Call for Applications: World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland (January 2017)

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Imagining a World Designed in Davos

This January, Pro Journo is looking for a team of young reporters from a variety of disciplines to travel to Davos, Switzerland as part of a week-long reporting workshop at the World Economic Forum 2017, led by a deputy editor from The Economist Intelligence Unit and a correspondent from ABC News (America)’s Moscow bureau.

Every year, the World Economic Forum gathers the world’s most influential figures from business, government and social organizations in a tiny Swiss town in the Alps to discuss the biggest issues facing the world. The annual conference is known for its grand goals and utopian ideas; so this year, Pro Journo thought it would see where these goals and ideas might lead if they were to come to pass.

Pro Journo will take a creative (and sometimes critical) look at the big ideas being brought out at the 2017 WEF, in a series of articles and multimedia pieces imagining a world where these have been realized. We’ll be looking at questions like: What if job recruitment was done entirely by AI? What if gender parity was achieved in global boardrooms? What if all developed economies established a basic income?

Reporters will receive a two-day training in Zurich ahead of the conference, learning key journalistic skills, including interviewing and reporting, as well as in writing and narrative techniques appropriate for major international outlets. Reporters practice these skills in the intense and fascinating environment of the WEF. The conference is an exceptional opportunity to talk with some of the world’s most influential thinkers and doers, from world leaders to Nobel prize-winners.

Reporters will be expected to produce one larger feature piece (1000 words) before the conference, guided by our training program, and two shorter blog pieces during it. For examples of the style of pieces, applicants should see The Economist’s World If collections.

To apply please send a CV, writing sample (preferably a short piece that is journalistic) and one idea for a possible ‘What If’ story to[at] by midnight EST on Sunday 27 November. The “What if’ story idea need not necessarily be connected to the WEF.


  • Current or recent graduates in economics/business/finance/sociology/politics/ environmental sciences/marketing/journalism or other social sciences/creative writing
  • Journalism experience is a plus but not required. Applicants should have a passion for writing and an interest in social and economic issues
  • Applicants should be available to work in Switzerland from January 14th to January 21st, 2017. January 13th and 22nd will typically be travel days if you are traveling from far
  • Native if not excellent writing skills in English

Accommodation and food expenses in Switzerland will be provided. Applicants are asked to fund their own travel.

Program key dates:

  • November 27: Application deadline
  • Week of Dec 2: Team selection
  • Week of Dec 12: First edit meeting – meet and greet
  • Week of Dec 19: Second edit meeting – story pitches
  • Week of Jan 9:  Third edit meeting – first draft of training stories
  • Jan 14, 15: Prep weekend in Zurich
  • Jan 16: Travel to Davos
  • Jan 17-20: On-site reporting in Davos
  • Jan 21: Final deadline for file all stories

Pro Journo is a global journalism incubator, partnered with The Economist, that trains students and recent graduates across disciplines in core journalistic skills, while giving them the chance to report  on global issues from major discussion events around the world. Pro Journo has syndicated its pieces with major outlets, including the Guardian and the Huffington Post.

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