WFP's message at Davos was that good nutrition is an investment. It’s an investment in the next generation of the world's inhabitants and it should begin in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. WFP went to Davos to talk with business and government leaders about innovative solutions to hunger. Browse through this blog to get an idea of what emerged.
Perry Yeatman, senior vice president of Kraft Foods, gives her thoughts on the "power of women" in the fight against hunger and recalls a popular American saying: "If you want to get a job done, give it to a busy woman".
Barbara Stocking, CEO of Oxfam GB, gives her impressions after brainstorming with other women leaders about how best to help women in the developing world to ensure their families get the food and nutrition they need.
Stocking was one of 15 women from the worlds of business, politics and aid who gathered in the WFP tent on Friday to find innovative approaches to helping women fight hunger. WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said several new ideas emerged from the conversation and promised to hold another such meeting next year (see post below).
“Life is full of coincidences,” says Peter Bakker, who ten years ago was still a senior executive at TNT, not yet the CEO. His first interview for that job took place on September 11, 2001, at exactly the time of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. “When we left the room, it seemed like whole world was on fire.”
A few weeks later, as the company’s new CEO, he flew to Sydney, Australia on a business trip. With nearly 24 hours of flying time, he had plenty of time to brainstorm about ways that the company could contribute to making the world a better place. He came up with an idea to help “distribute health and wealth” to poor people throughout the world.
After researching the idea and several organizations, TNT approached WFP to work together. It was a natural fit. WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, delivering millions of tons of food to feed about 90 million people in 70 countries around the world each year. TNT is a commercial transport and logistics company serving more than 200 countries and employing around 161,500 people.
With such a large and diverse company, Bakker was searching for a unifying mission for his staff. He says the partnership between WFP and TNT has energized his employees, increased loyalty and served to attract creative and dedicated people who want to work for a company that was involved in corporate social responsibility before the term “CSR” had become popular.
TNT has a staff competition to come up with creative ways to help WFP. One staff member suggested the company start a sponsored event called “Walk the World” which has mobilized more than 1.2 million people to participate, providing school meals to 120,000 children over the past 8 years, also with support of other partners Unilever and DSM. Another year, a staff member suggested TNT invite WFP to the World Economic Forum at Davos. Thus, WFP’s “Davos Tent” was born.
The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, often referred to simply as Davos after the Swiss town where it is held, is attended by leaders from industry, government and civil society. It’s a forum where leaders can talk about the difficult challenges facing the world and discuss ways to address them.