Klaus Schwab Quotes

Why should I know Klaus Schwab?

Klaus Martin Schwab is a German engineer and economist best known as the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Schwab is the author of 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution', 'Stakeholder Capitalism' and 'Covid-19: The Great Reset'.

Born March 30, 1938

Books by Klaus Schwab


Best 91 Quotes by Klaus Schwab

“A great leader has brains, vision, soul, values and a heart.”

Klaus Schwab

“A leadership personality needs mind, soul, heart and nerves. Or, put another way, a high degree of professionalism, moral values linked with vision, passion and empathy, the ability to execute and, as I said, nerves. It would be nice if we had many individuals who truly met all five of these criteria. I’ve met very few like Nelson Mandela and the current Pope, whose great modesty I highly value.”

Klaus Schwab

“Always look to the future and satisfy newly emerging needs in international cooperation. Being a pioneer also means taking risks. I haven’t succeeded at everything.”

Klaus Schwab

“An organization like ours has to finance expansion not on credit, but on its own capital resources. Furthermore, in a turbulent world, we must be prepared for all risks to be able to maintain our independence and our responsibility to our employees in all cases.”

Klaus Schwab

“Elites have always existed. We bring together people of influence, and we hope that they use their influence in a positive way.”

Klaus Schwab

“Entrepreneurship is the engine fuelling innovation, employment generation and economic growth. Only by creating an environment where entrepreneurship can prosper and where entrepreneurs can try new ideas and empower others can we ensure that many of the world’s issues will not go unaddressed.”

Klaus Schwab

“I am especially proud of the fact that the Forum has given rise to three major global life-saving initiatives: first, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), which has immunized 580 million children and prevented 8 million deaths; second, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and third, the beginning of this year saw the launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), with initial financing of $700 million.”

Klaus Schwab

“In my book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, I show for the first time in summary form how current technological developments will fundamentally change not only business models, but also governance, economics, indeed all of society and even the individual. All of this is happening at a pace that hardly allows us to prepare for these massive changes.”

Klaus Schwab

“In the new world, it is not the big fish which eats the small fish, it's the fast fish which eats the slow fish.”

Klaus Schwab

“Our role is to better interconnect the world through systems thinking by providing platforms, and in doing so, jointly find solutions.”

Klaus Schwab

“Shared understanding is particularly critical if we are to shape a collective future that reflects common objectives and values.”

Klaus Schwab

“Switzerland is one of the best places in the world in terms of quality of infrastructure and services.”

Klaus Schwab

“The best answer to the extremists is to build a better world.”

Klaus Schwab

“The biggest change in the world today is that the young don’t learn from the old, they teach the old about the world today.”

Klaus Schwab

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“The key issue is the shift of the centre of gravity from the West to the East, the rise of China and India.”

Klaus Schwab

“The world is caught up in a rapid, comprehensive transformation – technologically, economically, socially and politically. Being able to help shape this transformation, and to do it in a positive way, is an incredibly motivating challenge. That pushes me and the World Economic Forum forward.”

Klaus Schwab

“The world must become aware of the fantastic transformational power of social entrepreneurship and the foundation will work as a catalyst in this effort.”

Klaus Schwab

“Today, the World Economic Forum is a brand that is known around the world and seen in predominantly positive terms. In many countries, particularly in Asia, Africa and South America, it is recognized that we have been working for decades to contribute not just to the economic, but also to social development of the continents.”

Klaus Schwab

“We do not want to just define issues; we want to help to create solutions.”

Klaus Schwab

“We have a great obligation not only to look after our own interests, but to engage and to make sure that this meeting is at the beginning of a renaissance of trust.”

Klaus Schwab

“We have a number of vulnerabilities in our economies.”

Klaus Schwab

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“We have created a system that disproportionately rewards the happy few, underfunds social security and infrastructure, and puts at risk the health of the planet as a whole.”

Klaus Schwab

“We have made an eight-digit investment in establishing TopLink, our digital network of global decision-makers. We have a team in London developing artificial intelligence software and another team in Geneva investigating how blockchain can support global governance.”

Klaus Schwab

“We have too large a disparity in the world; we need more inclusiveness… If we continue to have uninclusive growth and we continue with the unemployment situation, particularly youth unemployment, our global society is not sustainable.”

Klaus Schwab

“What we are very proud of now is that the young generation like Prime Minister Trudeau and the President of Argentina and so on, that we penetrate the cabinets.”

Klaus Schwab

“When I mention names like Mrs. Merkel, even Vladimir Putin and so on. They all have been Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.”

Klaus Schwab

“Yesterday I was at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau and I would know that half of this cabinet or even more than half of the cabinet are actually Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.”

Klaus Schwab

“Young people are right to be angry and they deserve seats at the table.”

Klaus Schwab

COVID-19: The Great Reset Quotes

“A seminal paper on the long-term economic consequences of major pandemics throughout history shows that significant macroeconomic after-effects can persist for as long as 40 years, substantially depressing real rates of return.[18] This is in contrast to wars that have the opposite effect: they destroy capital while pandemics do not – wars trigger higher real interest rates, implying greater economic activity, while pandemics trigger lower real rates, implying sluggish economic activity. In addition, consumers tend to react to the shock by increasing their savings, either because of new precautionary concerns, or simply to replace the wealth lost during the epidemic.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“COVID-19 may compel us to address our inner problems in ways we would not have previously considered.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“During the lockdowns, a quasi-global relaxation of regulations that had previously hampered progress in domains where the technology had been available for years suddenly happened because there was no better or other choice available.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“During the lockdowns, video conversations were for many a personal and professional lifesaver, allowing us to maintain human connections, long-distance relationships and connections with our colleagues. But they have also generated a phenomenon of mental exhaustion, popularized as 'Zoom fatigue': a condition that applies to the use of any video interface.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Fighting a pandemic does not require a substantial change of the underlying socio-economic model and of our consumption habits.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“History shows that epidemics have been the great resetter of countries’ economy and social fabric. Why should it be different with COVID-19?”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“How can it be that a person who has spent more than 10 years’ training to become a medical doctor and whose end-of-year 'results' are measured in lives receives compensation that is meagre compared to that of a trader or a hedge fund manager?”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“How can the US administration, for example, accept that 97% of antibiotics supplied in the country come from China?”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“If an observer can only make sense of the 'reality' through different idiosyncratic lenses, this forces us to rethink our notion of objectivity.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Imagine North Korea in 2030, when every citizen has to wear a biometric bracelet 24 hours a day. If you listen to a speech by the Great Leader and the bracelet picks up the tell-tale signs of anger, you are done for.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“In 2016, two academics from Oxford University came to the conclusion that up to 86% of jobs in restaurants, 75% of jobs in retail and 59% of jobs in entertainment could be automatized by 2035.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“It is true that in the post-pandemic era, personal health and well-being will become a much greater priority for society, which is why the genie of tech surveillance will not be put back into the bottle. But it is for those who govern and each of us personally to control and harness the benefits of technology without sacrificing our individual and collective values and freedoms.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Many of our beliefs and assumptions about what the world could or should look like will be shattered in the process.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“On a virtual conversation, we have nothing other than intense, prolonged eye contact, which can easily become intimidating or even threatening, particularly when a hierarchical relationship exists. This problem is magnified by the “gallery” view, when the central vision of our brains risks being challenged by the sheer number of people on view. There is a threshold beyond which we cannot decode so many people at once. Psychologists have a word for this: continuous partial attention.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

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“On the societal front, a paradigm shift is underway in how we work and communicate, as well as how we express, inform and entertain ourselves.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“One of the great lessons of the past five centuries in Europe and America is this: acute crises contribute to boosting the power of the state. It’s always been the case and there is no reason why it should be different with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Outright collapse is not an outlandish scenario for petrostates like Ecuador or Venezuela, where the virus could overwhelm the countries’ few functioning hospitals very quickly.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Psychologists point out that the pandemic, like most transformative events, has the ability to bring out the best and the worst in us.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Put in simple terms, in a post-pandemic world beset by unemployment, insufferable inequalities and angst about the environment, the ostentatious display of wealth will no longer be acceptable.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Simply put, what we expose as facts or opinions are moral choices that the pandemic has laid bare. They are made in the name of what we think is right or wrong and therefore define us as who we are.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“The deep disruption caused by COVID-19 globally has offered societies an enforced pause to reflect on what is truly of value. With the economic emergency responses to the pandemic now in place, the opportunity can be seized to make the kind of institutional changes and policy choices that will put economies on a new path towards a fairer, greener future.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“The sobering truth is that the heroes of the immediate COVID-19 crisis, those who (at personal risk) took care of the sick and kept the economy ticking, are among the worst paid professionals – the nurses, the cleaners, the delivery drivers, the workers in food factories, care homes and warehouses, among others.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“This could be one of the unexpected upsides of COVID-19 and the lockdowns. It made us more aware and sensitive about the great markers of time: the precious moments spent with friends and our families, the seasons and nature, the myriads of small things that require a bit of time (like talking to a stranger, listening to a bird or admiring a piece of art) but that contribute to well-being. The reset: in the post-pandemic era, we might have a different appreciation of time, pursuing it for greater happiness.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Two points are pertinent to the Great Reset in this: 1) our human actions and reactions are not rooted in statistical data but are determined instead by emotions and sentiments – narratives drive our behaviour; and 2) as our human condition improves, our standards of living increase and so do our expectations for a better and fairer life.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“Unlike previous pandemics, it is far from certain that the COVID-19 crisis will tip the balance in favour of labour and against capital. For political and social reasons, it could, but technology changes the mix.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“We will see how contact tracing has an unequalled capacity and a quasi-essential place in the armoury needed to combat COVID-19, while at the same time being positioned to become an enabler of mass surveillance.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“What matters to African Americans is their situation today, not how much their condition has 'improved' compared to 150 years ago when many of their ancestors lived in slavery.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

“When devastating things happen, creativity and ingenuity often thrive.”

Klaus Schwab
COVID-19: The Great Reset

Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution Quotes

“AI, robots and humans work better when they work together. Human chess players in collaboration with AI chess programmes consistently beat both other humans and other computers working on their own.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“All strategies to address global climate change require large-scale interventions to have anything more than short-term local effects. Even massive reforestation might not offset the ongoing yearly deforestation in the Amazon and elsewhere.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“One way in which the Fourth Industrial Revolution could exacerbate inequality is via monopoly power: already, for example, Google controls almost 90% of the global market share of search advertising, Facebook controls 77% of mobile social traffic and Amazon has almost 75% of the e-book market.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“Since the first Industrial Revolution, the average real income per person in OECD economies has increased around 2,900%.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“The complex human brain is a fascinating domain. A skull has around 1.4 kilograms of cells, including over 80 billion neurons connected in over 100 trillion ways. If each of the 7.4 billion people living on earth knew everyone else, understanding their social relationships would be simplistic compared to understanding the pattern-making potential of the human brain.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“The new technology age, if shaped in a responsive and responsible way, could catalyse a new cultural renaissance that will enable us to feel part of something much larger than ourselves – a true global civilization. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to robotize humanity, and thus compromise our traditional sources of meaning – work, community, family, identity. Or we can use the Fourth Industrial Revolution to lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent on us all to make sure that the latter is what happens.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“The tools we’ve relied on for decades to manipulate and interact with computers – the mouse and keyboard – will quickly fade with next-generation technology. Interface will move towards the fidelity of the real world, as simple as the sound of your voice and a blink of your eyes.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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“To paraphrase Madeleine Albright, we face the task of understanding and governing 21st-century technologies with a 20th-century mindset and 19th-century institutions.”

Klaus Schwab
Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Stakeholder Capitalism Quotes

“A better economy is possible. But we need to reimagine capitalism to do it.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

“Every day, we invent new technologies that could make our lives and the planet’s health better. Free markets, trade and competition create so much wealth that in theory they could make everyone better off if there was the will to do so. But that is not the reality we live in today.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

“For the past 30 to 50 years, the neoliberalist ideology has increasingly prevailed in large parts of the world. This approach centers on the notion that the market knows best, that the 'business of business is business', and that government should refrain from setting clear rules for the functioning of markets. Those dogmatic beliefs have proved wrong. But fortunately, we are not destined to follow them.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

“Most people, including business leaders, investors and community leaders, have a similar attitude about their role in the world and the lives of others. Most people want to do good, and believe that doing so will ultimately benefit everyone, including a company’s shareholders. But what’s been missing in recent decades is a clear compass to guide those in leading positions in our society and economy.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

“Rather than chasing short-term profits or narrow self-interest, companies could pursue the well-being of all people and the entire planet.

This does not require a 180-degree turn: corporations don’t have to stop pursuing profits for their shareholders. They only need to shift to a longer-term perspective on their organization and its mission, looking beyond the next quarter or fiscal year to the next decade and generation.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

“Technological advances often take place in a monopolized economy and are used to prioritize one company’s profits over societal progress. The same economic system that created so much prosperity in the golden age of American capitalism in the 1950s and 1960s is now creating inequality and climate change. And the same political system that enabled our global progress and democracy after World War II now contributes to societal discord and discontent. Each was well intended but had unintended negative consequences.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

“There are reasons to believe that a better economic system is possible—and that it could be just around the corner. As the initial shock of the COVID crisis receded, we saw a glimpse of what is possible, when stakeholders act for the public good and the well-being of all, instead of just a few.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

“Those who follow the path of stakeholder capitalism will soon find that it leads to a more inclusive and sustainable economy for all.”

Klaus Schwab
Stakeholder Capitalism

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Quotes

“According to the innovation charity Nesta in the UK, the five cities that are globally best placed in terms of having the most effective policy environment to foster innovation are: New York, London, Helsinki, Barcelona and Amsterdam.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“An estimated 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past two years, and the amount of information created by businesses is doubling every 1.2 years.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“As media strategist Tom Goodwin wrote in a TechCrunch article in March 2015: 'Uber, the world's largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world's most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world's largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“Boundaries between sectors and professions are artificial and are proving to be increasingly counterproductive. More than ever, it is essential to dissolve these barriers by engaging the power of networks to forge effective partnerships.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“In all moments of major technological change, people, companies, and institutions feel the depth of the change, but they are often overwhelmed by it, out of sheer ignorance of its effects.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

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“In the automotive realm, a car is now a computer on wheels, with electronics representing roughly 40% of the cost of a car.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“Increasing inequalities might emerge between tech-savvy individuals, who understand and control these technologies, and less knowledgeable individuals, who are passive users of a technology they do not understand.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“It may be too soon to tell, but extrapolating from current trends indicates that mobility will play an ever more important role in society and economics in the future than today.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“New technologies will dramatically change the nature of work across all industries and occupations.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“Productivity is the most important determinant of long-term growth and rising living standards so its absence, if maintained throughout the forth industrial revolution, means that we will have less of each.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“Strategies which primarily focus on reducing costs will be less effective than those which are based on offering products and services in more innovative ways.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“The cost of storing information is approaching zero (storing 1GB costs an average of less than $0.03 a year today, compared to more than $10,000 20 years ago).”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

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“The fact that a unit of wealth is created today with much fewer workers compared to 10 or 15 years ago is possible because digital businesses have marginal costs that tend towards zero.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“The more we think about how to harness the technology revolution, the more we will examine ourselves and the underlying social models that these technologies embody and enable, and the more we will have an opportunity to shape the revolution in a manner that improves the state of the world.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“The second industrial revolution has yet to be fully experienced by 17% of the world as nearly 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“To a large extent, the millennial generation is setting consumer trends. We now live in an on-demand world where 30 billion WhatsApp messages are sent every day and where 87% of young people in the US say their smart phone never leaves their side and 44% use their camera function daily. This is a world which is much more about peer-to-peer sharing and user-generated content. It is a world of the now: a real-time world where traffic directions are instantly provided and groceries are delivered directly to your door. This 'now world' requires companies to respond in real time wherever they are or their customers or clients may be.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“Today, a middle-class job no longer guarantees a middle-class lifestyle, and over the past 20 years, the four traditional attributes of middle-class status (education, health, pensions and house ownership) have performed worse than inflation.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“We must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments. There has never been a time of greater promise, or greater peril.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“When two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on the table between them or in their peripheral vision changes both what they talk about and their degree of connectedness.”

Klaus Schwab
The Fourth Industrial Revolution