On Wednesday, the first-ever Bloomberg Global Business Forum gathered at the Plaza Hotel in New York City to tackle some of the most important international issues of the day.
Joined by innovators, heads of state and celebrities, former New York City mayor and Bloomberg, L.P. founder Mike Bloomberg launched the day’s events saying:
“Too often governments and businesses don’t talk to each other. This forum aims to fix that, and it’s especially important when isolationism is rearing its head, including here in the U.S.”
Recognizing that diplomacy is often contingent and influenced by economic relationships, the first annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum aimed to strike an unprecedented collaboration between corporations and nations, seizing the opportunity to reinforce the notion that those in the private sector and boost and enhance diplomatic ties that governments may neglect.
“We have to take [cooperation] to another level, and it depends upon our mind and our heart,” said Bloomberg as he opened the Bloomberg Global Business Forum. “First believing that we can and must every day expand the definition of ‘us,’ shrink the definition of ‘them.’ We shouldn’t have to have an earthquake or a hurricane to know that that is what we are about.”
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) September 20, 2017
Former President Bill Clinton addressed the crowd, challenging them to work to unite people around the globe, instead of building barriers.
“I want you to look to the future, but I believe underneath all these debates that are going on today lingers one simple question. Whether you believe social strength, economic reform and political reform flow from division or multiplication,” Clinton said.
— Clinton Foundation (@ClintonFdn) September 20, 2017
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chimed in on the importance of economic relationships, and how trade policies and pro-growth agendas are needed to counter modern-day scourges such as discrimination, poverty and inequality.
“[T]rade leads to growth, and we made a deal with citizens that we would pursue pro-growth policies and that everyone would benefit. So we’ve seen growth, but it hasn’t necessarily reached everyone. And that’s where we fall into the politics of fear and envy… So now we need to make a turn into a new progressive trade agenda,” Trudeau told the forum attendees.
— CanadianPM (@CanadianPM) September 20, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed specifically to restricting border crossings and cutting back on immigration opportunities being one of the largest challenges to advance economic growth and prosperity around the globe.
“If I were a leader of a country… I’d want every smart person coming into my country… Smart people create jobs.”
NBA star LeBron James summed up the purpose of the gathering during a video statement.
“We all know what’s happening right now, how hard it is suddenly to understand so much in this world. You’re in this room for a reason. We’re leaders. We all know the world needs us to step up.”
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 21, 2017
Other notable attendees at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum included French President Emmanuel Macron, Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma, World Bank president Dr. Jim Kum, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and Softbank CEO Masayshi Son.