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More often than not, it is dialogue that sets cooperation apart from conflict, and progress from painful reversals of fortune.The World Economic Forum's 2018 Global Risks Report shows that an overwhelming majority of experts worldwide believe that a catastrophic conflict between major powers could erupt this year.According to the International Monetary Fund, income inequality has increased in 53 percent of all countries over the past 30 years, particularly in advanced economies.The indispensability of multistakeholder dialogue to global progress is why it is the cornerstone of the WEF's guiding ethos. Beyond the vital work of organizations such as the United Nations, it has created a space on the world stage where business leaders can rub shoulders with labor activists, and world leaders can talk – but, more important, listen.In 2018 and in the years ahead, long-standing geopolitical challenges will persist alongside fresh disruptions from the digital world.The world needs more of this kind of cooperative dialogue. Many people might hanker for a return to the supposedly simpler world of the past.
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