Wisdom House Davos 2024

About Wisdom House Davos 2024

Wisdom House Davos 2023 was a great success and we are currently developing the 2024 event. Entrance is always free to all without any bookings needed up to the venue capacity. We only ask our guests not residing in the greater Davos region to bring enough healthy food and snacks for two people so that we can invite a Davos resident for free as well. If you don’t want to carry these items, a donation of CHF20+ is sufficient for us to do it for you (more details below).

The activity grid is currently being developed and most sessions are promoted via chat groups as it is far more efficient, if you would like to propose curated NGOs and assimilated to host their activities there, please reach out to marcelo (at) wisdomaccelerator (dot) org with a brief summary of your proposal including relevant references.

Wisdom House Davos January 2024 (WEF Week)

The original Wisdom House Davos in 2020

The inaugural edition of Wisdom House was hosted in Davos during the 2020 WEF Week (21-24/01). The concept is intended as a space for qualified non profit NGOs and assimilated organizations which have a valuable message to share with the world but can’t afford the steep prices charged by other Davos venues during the WEF Week.

Admission for the general public is based on the old Italian « caffè sospeso » tradition, in which a person who had good news gets into a bar and buys two coffees, drinking one and leaving the other « suspended » for someone coming later who had bad news to have it as a random gift from a stranger.

Inspired by the tradition above, we invite Davos residents for free to all sessions and non residents are asked to bring healthy food and drink for two people (themselves and a Davos resident); any non consumed items are donated to local charities; cash equivalent contributions (CHF20+) are also welcome for those who do not wish to carry food and drinks to the venue.


Program for Wisdom House Davos 2023

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Everyday from Tuesday 17/01/23 to Friday 20/01/23 (09:00 to 22:00)
Resilient Homes Design Challenge Exhibition

Build Academy, the World Bank, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and UN-Habitat would like to invite you to the exhibition of the winning projects from the Resilient Homes Design Challenge at the Wisdom House Davos from January 21-24 10:00 – 18:00. The Challenge generated designs for disaster-resilient and sustainable houses that could be constructed for under $10,000 for people living in areas affected by or vulnerable to disasters caused by natural hazards.

Disasters caused over 23 million people to become homeless in the past 10 years. When last year’s Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean island country of Dominica, only 11 percent of the homes on the island remained intact. More recently typhoon Dorian devastated the Bahamas. It is often the poorest that suffer the most from these shocks.

Over the next 30 years, more than half of the expected building stock will be constructed, most of them in rapidly growing cities in developing countries in Asia and Africa; and on average, 55 to 70% of the built areas will be devoted to housing. The policies and decisions that occur in cities over the next 15-20 years will shape the world we live in. Housing design and planning can play a big role in making cities more resilient.

The Resilient Homes Challenge is a global effort towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, namely target 11.1 to provide access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing by 2030, and target 11.5 to reduce the number of deaths and people by disasters.

The Challenge called on architects, engineers, designers, and students from all over the world to design proposals for up to three scenarios:

● Scenario 1: Island countries affected by earthquakes, storms, and flooding;

● Scenario 2: Mountain and inland areas affected by earthquakes and landslides; and

● Scenario 3: Coastal areas affected by storms and flooding

Over 3,000 professionals from over 120 countries participated in the Challenge, resulting in over 300 team submissions. A jury of international experts selected four winning designs for each of the three scenarios, for a total of twelve winners, which will be exhibited at the Wisdom House Davos on January 21-24.



Monday 16/01/2023

13:00 – 16:00

Impact Community Gathering

Multiple impact partners joined us for the inaugural Wisdom House event, including Catapult, BMW Foundation, Nexus and EPX


Monday 16/01/2020

16:00 – 19:00

Nature Forum 

Inaugural Nature Forum



Tuesday 17/01/2023

09:00 – 11:30

unDavos Education

unDavos community discussion around Education topics


Tuesday 17/01/2020

10:00 – 11:30


Wisdom House Davos
SAMD Aula, Tobelmühlestrasse 2, 7270, Davos Platz


Wisdom House Davos Rules

The general behavior expected from our guests is aligned with that of visiting any government facility – keep in mind that we are inside a secondary school. In case of doubt, please refer to the WEF Code of Conduct (weforum.org/open-forum; weforum.org/about/code-of-conduct) as well as internationally acknowledged common decency and pro-social attitude standards ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiquette).

We are open the whole week 16-20/01/23 from 09:00 – 22:00  and as clearly indicated on our website WisdomHouseDavos.org all those respecting the house rules and belonging to the Homo Sapiens species are welcome (guide dogs  are welcome too). 

Any event hosts using our space proposing “application forms” and “waitlists” are in a clear breach of house rules. They shouldn’t be collecting your personal data either and we strongly discourage this “data mining plus artificial  scarcity” mindset. Connect with people through genuine interactions and providing them with value rather than shoving them down a Google Form corral to join the cool crew.

The contribution requested to enter the premises is enough healthy drinks and snacks for each member of your group, then double the amount of both so that we can also invite residents of the Davos region to benefit for free of the facilities – this acting as a thank you gift for hosting the WEF community for more than half a century. If you don’t want to carry food/beverages we ask for a contribution of CHF20 per person per day so that we can do it for you.

Anyone selling entrance tickets to Wisdom House is committing fraud and will be denounced accordingly. We exist also as a counterbalance to the extreme commercialization of Davos during the WEF, supporting nonprofits and benefitting the local population and the charging of fees on top of the aforementioned contribution is strongly contrary to this ethos.

The only other monetary exchange allowed are donations to WisdomAccelerator.org, the registered Swiss nonprofit hosting the event. Anyone else collecting payments on behalf of Wisdom House is also unauthorized and committing fraud, so please let us know if you are solicited.

We are testing this year a few sustainable financing models to justify any additional donations and for the moment decided to request CHF1000 per hour of use of the stage with the large screen and professional grade projector (about 5-10% of what most hotels would charge); also CHF1000 covering the whole week for a permanent seat/table at the foyer area by the entrance; and CHF5000 also for the whole week to display any exhibitions. Nonprofits that can’t afford even these highly subsidized fees are asked instead to provide equivalent in-kind support of our work (e.g. 20 or 100 hours of volunteering respectively).

Only qualified nonprofits (please refer as a benchmark to canva.com/canva-for-nonprofits/eligibility-guidelines) should request the premium spaces above, but it is not an issue to have a for profit representative in a panel they host if they’re helping to cover the overall participation costs (food/drinks/donations).

Pitches are most certainly out of place even when done by nonprofits, TED talk guidelines are a good baseline for the boundaries to be respected (storage.ted.com/tedx/manuals/tedxcontentguidelines.pdf).

We are designed as a safe haven for the sharing of valuable ideas of what we call “qualified stakeholders” including of course legitimate nonprofits and residents of the Davos, but also foundations and their backers, institutions, academia, corporate sustainability/impact officers and of course ethical startups and scaleups with a focus on making meaning rather than just money.

There are no “VIP Areas” at Wisdom House other than speaker seats on stage. It’s first come, first served but we will do our best to cater for capacity constraints if a group discussing a specific topic requires additional seats for their session. Please leave room to others in the unlikely case that space is scarce. We will dismantle any “squatter” structures benefiting single interest groups other than the welcome desks at the foyer allocated to donors and partners.

Any flyers for events hosted at Wisdom House Davos should clearly indicate all three websites of our Wisdom Event Series below – it’s the polite thing to do and the ethical one too. Building your brand without acknowledging our significant efforts to provide you with a great venue and heavily subsidized conditions is probably not something your grandparents would be proud of:




Our SAMD Aula venue is a “vice free zone” monitored by the police, therefore smoking and alcoholic beverages are permanently forbidden; we have however obtained special authorization from the mayor to serve drinks from 18:00 on Mon-Tue and all day on Wed-Fri. Please use this privilege responsibly. If required we have a drop off parking spot for handicapped guests in front of the main building entrance. We’re just one minute walk away from the Promenade, but the street is steep so watch out – we’d rather avoid using that parking spot for an ambulance. 

Any damage done to the premises will be fully charged to the users causing it, the reference value being the invoice we receive from the authorities plus a management fee at Swiss rates based on time spent to solve the issue.

Those with an existing track record of disrespecting any of the points above also during previous events we have hosted will be asked to leave the premises at our discretion – Wisdom House Davos was conceived and developed over many years as a result of significant time and effort, so please honor our rules to benefit from it. 

We ban deplorable misbehavior for life and tragically don’t have time for any appeal procedures, so if you have any doubts about the conditions described above it is much wiser to ask us first rather than hope to mitigate infractions with excuses after the fact as those will most likely fall flat.

Wisdom Film Festival Rules

Pretty much same as above, but no drinks/food are allowed in the projection room and we must be out of the premises by 22:00 sharp so will start wrapping sessions at 21:30. 

The use of cloakroom facilities at both venues is at your own responsibility as they are unguarded at all times – be safe rather than sorry with your valuables and please flag suspicious behavior accordingly to on-site volunteers and to Marcelo Garcia +41  79 329 7926 or Alberto Levy +34 664 884 870.

For further information please contact marcelo (at) wisdomaccelerator.org

Wisdom House Davos 2020 Media Coverage

I hope that when the next forum is organized it will be remembered what the idea was in 2003 and why the forum was created. Fortunately, I visited the “Wisdom House Davos 2020” in the middle school building … I felt something of the original, unadulterated “Spirit of Davos”.

Marianne Christen, Davos resident

Cover Story, Davoser Zeitung, Friday 17/01/2020

“A small thank you to the local population”

Davos is bursting at the seams. Everywhere there are new exhibition areas created by different providers and they all have something in common: only WEF participants are invited.

The “Wisdom House Davos” that is just being built is refreshing for the resident crowd. Its focus is strictly non-commercial and it is aimed directly at the local population.

Marcelo Garcia has been a regular and super well-connected visitor to the WEF Annual Meeting and Davos for a long time. “I come here several times a year to reflect and seek inspiration”.

The Brazilian, who has been living in Switzerland for 14 years (he has just sent in his application for naturalization) is the founder of various non-profit organizations that deal with questions about future developments and more specifically how Digital Transformation with broad and far reaching benefits can be deployed.

He has been working for and with the United Nations pro bono for several years. This year Garcia is organizing the Youth Camp “WisdomAccelerator.org” for the second time at Jschalp during the WEF week. The idea is to bring young people from all over the world into direct contact with the many outstanding personalities who are in Davos during this time.

In addition to fun and games in the snow, the teenagers get engaged in topics related to advanced know-how and challenging ideas. It is important to him that the event is “WEF neutral” – this means that the infrastructure, which is already strained to the point of tearing apart, should not be put under additional strain.

“An opportunity for non-profits”

He is now driving his latest project with the same approach. His two entities “WisdomAccelerator.org” and DAVO (Davos Association of Venue Organizers) together created “Wisdom House Davos” in the lower ground foyer of the Davos Primary School building.

Qualified non-profit organizations can present their projects and ideas strictly in line with the goals of the WEF. While usually in the fight for presentation space flooded with money during the WEF Annual Meeting, they usually have to stay silent in the background.

“Wisdom House Davos is a private initiative”, says Garcia. “At the same time, it is an opportunity for the wider WEF Community to thank the local population on the 50th Annual Meeting anniversary for their hospitality.”

“Resistant houses”

All of this is still very new., but Garcia hopes to officially open on Tuesday morning with the support of local volunteers. At the center of this year’s “Wisdom House Davos” is an exhibition on Resilient Homes. This was recently shown at the United Nations in New York and is now on its way to Davos.

The exhibition consists of a hundred paper cubes (see front picture) showing the winning projects of the “Resilient Homes Design Challenge” carried out by various international organizations last November. The background of the task was that around 23 million people lost their homes due to natural disasters in the past ten years.

They were looking for constructions that could be built for less than $10,000 and were particularly suitable for areas that are often afflicted or vulnerable to such disasters.

“Payable in good deeds”

Because the project is so new, the program is currently being developed and updated. It is however certain that all speakers and topics should be drawn from the pool of participants already present during the WEF.

Access for the local population will be free, everyone else will be asked to contribute to the food and drinks buffet set up inside the “Wisdom House Davos” or to make a symbolic contribution.

“Wisdom House Davos” is only accessible when school events are not taking place, which is the case on Tuesday from 1.30pm to 3.30pm and on Wednesday from 11.00am to 12.30pm.

What is still needed now are volunteers who provide their support on an hourly basis – knowledge of English is not necessary.


Because the project is so new, the program is currently being developed and updated. It is however certain that all speakers and topics should be drawn from the pool of participants already present during the WEF.

Access for the local population will be free, everyone else will be asked to contribute to the food and drinks buffet set up inside the “Wisdom House Davos” or to make a symbolic contribution.

“Wisdom House Davos” is only accessible when school events are not taking place, so it is closed on Tuesday from 1.30pm to 3.30pm and on Wednesday from 11.00am to 12.30pm.

What is still needed now are volunteers who provide their support on an hourly basis – knowledge of English is not necessary.


(Google Translation)

Wisdom House Davos is brought to you by Wisdom Accelerator for Youth (WAY), a Swiss non profit NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland.


Wisdom Accelerator for Youth
℅ BroadLights.org
rue Fendt 1, 1201
Geneva, Switzerland

Registered Swiss UID: CHE-293.908.661

 © 2017-23 Marcelo Garcia – All Rights Reserved