Shigeru Ban, Andrea Bocelli, Angélique Kidjo receive Crystal Awards; Open World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos

  • world economic forumJapanese architect Shigeru Ban, Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Beninois-French singer Angélique Kidjo will be awarded at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting with a Crystal Award
  • Introduced in 1995, the 21st Crystal Awards recognize personalities in the arts who are true global citizens, and help improve the state of the world through their art
  • The Crystal Awards Ceremony marks the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, which focuses increasingly on culture as a means to promote inclusion and equality
  • For more information about the Annual Meeting 2015:

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 20 January 2015 – The World Economic Forum will mark the opening of its 45th Annual Meeting on Tuesday by awarding three exceptional artist and cultural leaders with a Crystal Award:

Shigeru Ban, Principal Architect of Shigeru Ban Architects in Japan. Ban uses paper and cardboard tubes to build low-cost, scalable, durable and dignified shelters for disaster survivors around the world.  His works include the Temporary Elementary School (Chengdu, China) and the Container Temporary Housing (Onagawa, Japan).

Andrea Bocelli, World-Famous Singer-Songwriter and Founder of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. His Foundation works to help people in need due to illness, poverty and social exclusion by promoting and supporting national and international projects that foster the overcoming of such barriers and help them to realize their full potential.

Angélique Kidjo, a Grammy Award winning Musician, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Co-founder of the Batonga Foundation. Kidjo has long used her voice to speak up for the world’s most vulnerable children and their families. In her visits to communities across Africa and Central-America, she promotes girls’ education,.

“We are very happy to distinguish these three outstanding personalities who not only are world famous artists but who also are concerned about humanitarian issues and committed to using their time and energy to make a difference,” said Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

In addition to the Crystal Awards, the Forum is organizing a series of cultural events in Davos, to highlight the importance of culture in achieving inclusion and equality across the world. The Events include “In Search of Balance” a series of digital photographic installations in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum; “The Refuge”, with artist Lynette Wallworth, intimate portraits of 10 female refugees using projection; and “The Studio”, with Daan Roosegaarde’s Dune, an interactive, energy-neutral landscape of LED lights that react to the motion of passing visitors, and are the spark for a series of sessions on creative solutions for sustainability.

“Cultural leaders are coming to Davos this year to respond to a climate of exclusion by providing visions of balance, inclusiveness and nuance. The arts are included in Davos now more than ever because they are needed. Culture is how we see the world.  In Davos, we have a responsibility to bring the arts into the mix,” Nico Daswani, Head of Arts & Culture for the Programme Development Team, World Economic Forum.

The Annual Meeting 2015 will take place from 20 to 24 January under the theme, The New Global Context, with over 2,500 participants.   The Co-Chairs of the Annual Meeting 2015 are: Hari S. Bhartia, Co-Chairman and Founder, Jubilant Bhartia Group, India; Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, United Kingdom;  Katherine Garrett-Cox, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Alliance Trust, United Kingdom; Young Global Leader Alumnus;  Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, Washington DC;  Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, USA; and Roberto Egydio Setubal, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Itaú Unibanco, Brazil.


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (