Davos WEF
Davos WEF

World Economic Forum 2019: Who's going to Davos this year?

A security guard show the way to a man outside of the Davos Congress Centre under snow ahead of the opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, in Davos, eastern Switzerland.

Thousands of business, political and cultural leaders from all over the world will return to the snowy mountains of Davos, Switzerland next week to discuss the latest global issues.

The main theme of this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) is "Globalization 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

The annual gathering of the rich and powerful is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, January 22, and end on Friday, January 25.

CNBC takes a look at some of the most prominent leaders expected to make an appearance.

Bill Gates

Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is expected to visit the Swiss Alpine town of Davos once again in 2019.

He is due to take part in a discussion focused on financial innovation for global health.

John Lamparski | Getty Images

Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde is expected to take part in several panel sessions at WEF in Davos next week.

Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), became the first woman to head the Washington-based institute in 2011, following a career in international law and the French government.

The WEF conference has been criticized in previous years for lacking female representation.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde speaks during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on November 7, 2018.
Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

David Attenborough

U.K. naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough is set to be recognized as an "exceptional cultural leader" at the Annual Crystal Awards ceremony in Davos on Monday.

With a broadcasting career spanning six decades, the 92-year-old is scheduled to present key sequences from "Our Planet" in Davos.

"Our Planet" is a new Netflix series focusing on the preservation of life on earth.

David Attenborough attends the opening ceremony of the COP 24 United Nations climate change conference on December 03, 2018 in Katowice, Poland.
Sean Gallup | Getty Images

Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is also set to attend WEF at Davos in 2019. She is set to take part in panel sessions discussing a range of issues, from mental health to the safeguarding of earth.

In June last year, Ardern became the first woman in the country's history to give birth while in office. She also became the country's youngest prime minister when she took office through a coalition deal in 2017.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Getty Images | Kerry Marshall

Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is also expected to visit the snowy mountain village of Davos next week, marking his first international trip since his inauguration at the start of the year.

In the absence of President Donald Trump, Brazil's populist leader is widely expected to take center stage at the forum.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro delivers a speech during the appointment ceremony of the new heads of public banks, at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on January 7, 2019.
Evaristo Sa | AFP | Getty Images


The American musician and tech entrepreneur Will.I.Am has become a frequent visitor to the Swiss Alps in recent years.

The Black Eyed Peas frontman, who was raised in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, started a foundation seven years ago where children have the chance to study about robotics and computer software.

will.i.am of the Black Eyes Peas performs during the 2018 AFL Grand Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and the West Coast Eagles at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.
Ryan Pierse | AFL Media | Getty Images

Prince William

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, is expected to arrive in Switzerland next week to take part in a conversation with David Attenborough and a session discussing mental health.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the 2018 Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 12, 2018 in London, England.
Max Mumby | Indigo | Getty Images

Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore will once again join thousands of other global elites in Switzerland next week.

The environmental activist is scheduled to take part in a session focused on the so-called "ocean economy." Gore will also chair a discussion on how to safeguard the earth.

Former Vice President Al Gore discusses 'Confronting The Climate Crisis: Critical Roles For The US And China'at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Paul Marotta | Getty Images

David Blaine

U.S. illusionist David Blaine is expected to take part in a one-on-one interview session entitled "Searching for Magic in Real Life" at WEF in Davos next week.

The thrill-seeking performer originally made his name in New York as a magician and endurance artist.

Magician, David Blaine soaks in a water bath full of ice.
Todd Plitt | Getty Images

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the world wide web, is expected to discuss digital environment safety at WEF in Davos.

In an interview with CNBC late last year, Berners-Lee said the internet was at a "tipping point," as it faces threats such as market concentration, data breaches and so-called "fake news."

Sir Tim Berners-Lee inventor of the World Wide Web waves to photographers as he arrives at Guildhall to receive an Honorary Freedom of the City of London award on September 24, 2014 in London, England.
Peter Macdiarmid | Getty Images

Chrystia Freeland

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will attend the annual gathering of world leaders in Switzerland next week.

Alongside U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others, Freeland is expected to take part in a panel session entitled "The Geopolitical Outlook."

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, speaks to members of the media outside the U.S. Trade Representative office in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. 
Yuri Gripas | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Dara Khosrowshahi

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber, will return to the Swiss Alps next week to discuss how capitalism can be reshaped to promote inclusive prosperity.

The former Expedia chef executive was appointed by Uber in August 2017, replacing co-founder Travis Kalanick after months of turmoil.

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images