John Dutton

Tess Lawrence
Tess Lawrence
John Dutton

On this episode, we sit down with John Dutton, Head of UpLink at the World Economic Forum, during Slush 2022 to get his insights and hot takes on human interaction, environmental solutions, and digital ecosystems.


  • Having worked at the World Economic Forum for fifteen years, John focused on creative communities of impact for young leaders and social entrepreneurs.
  • Young Global Leaders, YGL, is a community of change-makers under forty and global shapers in their twenties from across a wide range of society. They range from CEOs to journalists, academics to entrepreneurs.
  • The Schwab Foundation for entrepreneurship is joining in creating this digital community for global change.
  • The one thing that has been a constant in all of this background has been the event software, which was built internally since the days of kiosks and manual ticketing.
  • The magic of Davos is that you can get back to the origin of people to people without the chaperone organizing your schedule.
  • Peter Gabriel and Archbishop Desmond Tutu were also part of an initiative by YGL trying to promote global dignity.
  • In a typical year, there are around 2300-2500 official delegates attending the forum, with another 700-1000 people who are attending in support of those leaders. Outside of that, tens of thousands of people are coming to the city to participate in side events.
  • Strategic intelligence, Uplink, and Davos are all part of the same digital ecosystem.
  • Uplink is the free public side of this digital ecosystem, with over 55,000 people on the platform.
  • There are two functions they are looking at on the platform for their app: end-to-end innovation sourcing and trying to inspire people to get involved in this movement for people and planet.
  • (the trillion trees movement), is looking to tackle the climate problem through a nature-based solution with the mission of getting corporate pledges for tree planting, supporting ecopreneurs, and helping countries on the ground with regional chapters.
  • Making a big wave is also the First Movers Coalition. An initiative exploring how to get the technology necessary to get to a net-zero future through the aggregation of the demand side of corporate partners.

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