Healthcare practitioner and investor Dr David Walcott will, for the third time, sit among more than 300 public figures at the highly-anticipated physical staging of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos later this month. The sitting is a landmark event representing the first large-scale in-person convening by the WEF since the pandemic.
The WEF’s annual summit was initially scheduled to be held in January but got postponed due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the deadly COVID-19 virus. Last year it was held in a virtual format and featured several speakers, including Dr Anthony Fauci, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO & Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer. This year’s event, held under the theme ‘History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies’, is slated to begin on May 22 and continue till May 26 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
The forum will provide another opportunity for heads of state and government, together with chief executives and leaders from civil society and international organisations, to reflect on global issues and shape solutions for challenges in the year ahead.
Recognised as a global champion for healthcare issues in emerging markets, including the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa, Dr Walcott intends to bring attention to the need for more significant investments in healthcare systems through private equity and public-private partnerships.
“Emerging markets really have to embrace the power of technology in healthcare to allow for their healthcare systems to leapfrog on their counterparts. Catalytic development has taken place in several emerging markets, and in some cases, these emerging markets have significantly progressed ahead of many advanced markets. We must double down on this,” Dr Walcott says.
His message should reach more than 2,000 participants, including global leaders from business, media and civil society, who will contribute their expertise and insights over 400 sessions. At least 100 Indian CEOs and hundreds of business and political leaders worldwide are already registered for the five-day event. In his last physical attendance at the Davos event, Dr Walcott participated in a dialogue with Robert Smith, Chairman & CEO of Vista Private Equity & Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.
The 300 public figures expected to be at the event comprise heads of state and government and leaders of international organisations, as well as ministers of foreign affairs, economy, finance, trade, energy and a range of additional portfolios from G7, G20 and other relevant economies. Regular attendees include Immanuel Macron Dr Walcott has already taken steps to tackle the challenges he has identified in emerging markets healthcare systems. Through Novamed, the healthcare company he founded in 2018, Dr Walcott and the Novamed leadership – Mr Kirk-Anthony Hamilton and Mr Kevin Donaldson of Roots Investing – are bringing solutions to inefficiencies in the region’s healthcare services, medical education, and health innovation.
The healthcare company spans consultancy, education and financing divisions. Through the consultancy arm, Dr Walcott says Novamed is currently working to bring digital transformation projects to private healthcare facilities in partnership with the Development Bank of Jamaica. The Rhodes scholar turned healthcare entrepreneur is also mulling over investment deals in the short term through Novamed’s financing division. Novamed’s medical education arm, First Step, has grown to become a pioneering one-stop-shop for medical students and doctors in the Caribbean and Latin America who want to access further training to advance their careers.
Described as an international organisation for public-private cooperation, WEF has been hosting its annual meeting in Davos every January for nearly 50 years. The organisation has recognised Dr Walcott and his work as a founding partner of the Visionaries’ Summit and the co-chair of the COVID Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.