Interview: Founder of Horasis, Frank-Jürgen Richter

Frank-Jürgen Richter, the founder of Horasis, whose events made tremendous impact and who recently held a major event in Portugal, was the director of the World Economic Forum in the past. We talked about Horasis, the world-famous think tank institution, which is often compared with Davos, with its successful founder.

Could you please tell us what is Horasis?

Horasis is a global visions community committed to inspire the future. We hold annual meetings for the world’s leading CEOs and entrepreneurs, governments and eminent thought leaders. We currently hold 5 annual meetings the Horasis Global Meeting which is always held in Cascais, Portugal it is our flagship event ca 800 business leader and several heads of states and approx 20 Ministers from around the world attend. The Horasis Global Meeting is one of the world’s foremost annual meetings gathering the leading global shareholders who together shape the future. We also hold annual regional meetings focusing on China, India and Southeast Asia those meetings are always held outside the respective countries. This year’s Horasis China Meeting, for example, is held in Las Vegas, USA. The concept of hosting the meetings outside the target countries makes the entrepreneurs travelling and discovering a new investment destination. The regional Horasis Meetings are focused on FDI, trade and further modes of economic exchange. Horasis was founded in 2005 we held ca 50 meetings so far around the world.

Mainstream newspapers such as the New York Times speak highly of Horasis. In fact, it is even said that you are the most effective global meeting forum after Davos.

The media likes to compare us with Davos. Davos might have lost its innocence it is a very commercial undertaking these days. I usually don’t like the Davos comparison too much, we are not benchmarking ourselves. We are concentrating on our own development. We want to be the world’s most important annual gathering where like-minded individuals and organizations meet and jointly inspire the future.

Can we say that, as a think tank of about 15 years, you have made rapid progress?

We are not doing any kind of advertising, the success of Horasis is based on the word of mouth. VVIPs with an inspiring background recommend each other. At this year’s Horasis Global Meeting, for example, we had HH Princess Märthe of Norway. She made a major contribution on how human beings shall connect with Mother Earth. She received standing ovations. We were very glad to have an outstanding Royal attending the meeting. HH was introduced to us by another participants. That’s Horasis at its best outstanding individuals from around the world recommend each other and we jointly shape the global agenda.

You must have an important network and power in the field of international relations and politics in the world. Which countries are you having difficulties and want to organize the forum?

Some of our members and supporters say that we have the convening power to gather the world’s most important stakeholders. Our community is based on years of global engagement and initiatives. And the community is growing. We could potentially hold Horasis meetings in most of the 200 countries in the world. We have to reflect of course on accessibility and potential. We are currently investigating, for example, to create a Horasis Africa Meeting. We believe that Africa is the world’s new frontier and we have seen the need to bring the African continent together in an annual conclave. There are several potential host countries are are talking to.

Do you also organize forums where private participation is provided? I think it’s one of those in Palo Alto on September 13-15. 

Beside the 4 large-scale summits (Horasis Global Meeting, Horasis China Meeting, Horasis India Meeting, Horasis Asia Meeting) We also hold a small private gathering for 15 billionaires, entrepreneurs who are on the Forbes list of the world’s most influential business leaders. They meet over a long  weekend to exchange views about the next steps in their business and private life, philanthropy and the betterment of the world. This year’s annual gathering of the Horasis Visionary Circle will be held in Palo Alto, USA. Some of the Silicon Valley’s and the world’s most outstanding entrepreneurs will participate.

Lastly I ask about world politics in general, what do you think about Brexit, Iran embargo and refugees?

We at Horasis are impartial and non-political. We do not express our opinions of political nature. In principle, we don’t think that sanctions are the right way to influence the course of developments. We believe that government leaders shall come together to resolve potential areas of conflict, and to engage in compromise. The world shall be a win-win opportunity for everybody, notwithstanding the given political system. We shall not live in a dog-eats-dog world. We need to jointly enhance opportunities into the future. And we have to give up the prevailing Machiavellian mindset. To give you an example the ongoing and potentially escalating trade-war between the US and China might harm the whole world, leading to a lose-lose scenario where everybody is impacted ultimately leading to a new global economic crisis. We at Horasis are committed to prevent such a confrontational setting.

About the Author
Emir Eksioglu, is a journalist and an entrepreneur. He published articles in important institutions such as Huff Post, Times of India, Economic Times, Jerusalem Post, U.S. News, Foreign Policy, GQ, Tehran Times and was introduced as the youngest media boss thanks to some of his investments in Turkey. He has many initiatives in technology and media fields. His biggest passion is Trabzonspor.
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