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The Great Reset: What It Actually Is And What Made It Controversial



If you haven’t heard about the Great Reset, ready yourself for something mind-boggling. The topic isn’t new, though, with the talks going around last year when it started. Still, you would not want to miss something this big.

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It actually went viral thanks to the conspiracy theories circulating online. Read on to know what the fuss is about and maybe the critic in you has something to say, too.

What is the Great Reset?

The Great Reset is an initiative by the World Economic Forum (WEF), a highly-influential global organization to so-called “improve the state of the world” amid the dreadful impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was launched last June 2020 for the 51st WEF Annual Meeting at Davos, Switzerland. The concept was formed by HRH Prince of Wales and the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab.


Also called the Davos forum or Davos meeting, the annual summit is attended by foremost political, business, media, and cultural global leaders. Traditionally, an entire week in January is dedicated to engage the world’s most powerful in addressing the most pressing global agenda. This year is in a “twin” format, happening both in-person and virtually to connect the participants all over the world. 

The forum looks to make opportunities for world leaders involved in global relations, steering national economies, nature of business models, and societal priorities to push for global recovery. It’s supposed to get insights and offer proposals from the vast expertise of these leaders to jointly and urgently build a more fair, sustainable, and resilient future — all for the common good.

So, how did it set off conspiracy theories?

How did the conspiracy theories start?

Conspiracy theorists believe that it’s all a plot against humanity by powerful capitalists and politicians.

A video was uploaded last year starting off with Prince Charles saying, “We have an incredible opportunity to create entirely new sustainable industries.”

There are countless of references you can refer to about the Great Reset initiative online. However, conspiracy theory believers are still not convinced saying that the plan lacks specific detail and clarity. It covers a wide scope of big themes like climate change, fossil fuels, international security, yet people are having difficulties seeing how the Great Reset practically affects these.

What are the conspiracy theories surrounding the Great Reset?

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Since the Great Reset initiative was launched, it went viral and garnered millions of interactions and shares. Certainly, the conspiracy theories had a big hand in this trending topic.

According to BBC, the commotion online came from baseless, unfounded claims. The most popular posts were saying that the Great Reset is a “grand conspiracy by the global elite.” In addition, some say that the lockdowns are their way to bring about “economic collapse and a socialist world government.” On another hand, some also believe that the virus mutations or new Covid variants are cover stories to impose more lockdowns. Conspiracy theories such as these found support from government skeptics, anti-vaxxers, and activists among others.

Other conspiracy theorists also spread claims that the Covid-19 pandemic was deliberately set to address overpopulation and “enslave people” through vaccines. 

Experts, however, say that these are just a new twist to old conspiracy theories.

Specifically, there had been a similar and very much popular narrative of the ‘new world order’ which had comparable claims starting way back in the ‘60s. Conspiracy theorists used to believe that a totalitarian government was on the works being established by powerful and elite groups. They even dropped controversial names like the Illuminati and Freemasons at the time.

Apart from conspiracy theories, why is the Great Reset controversial?

There are, indeed, dark tales and sinister plots that taint the Great Reset initiative. But there are still the legitimate arguments that are perhaps worth considering.

For one, people are questioning Schwab’s influence over the forum that could potentially affect the world economy. He demands for every country to participate and that every industry must be transformed. He calls this the ‘Great Reset of Capitalism.”

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Ivan Wecke, political scientist and writer, argues in his recently published article that conspiracy theories aside, the Great Reset has “something fishy” about it. Among the issues he raised was Schwab’s concept of ‘stakeholder capitalism,’ and ‘multi-stakeholder partnerships.’ Both concepts are part of the Great Reset plan that he interprets to be simply giving more power to corporations over society.

In the plan, governments are proposed to be just a part of the stakeholders, without always having the final say. But Wecke pointed out that in the multi-stakeholder partnerships setup, the non-governmental stakeholders are still the huge companies in oil, food, tech, and pharmaceuticals, making them the “official stakeholders” in global decision-making.

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Wecke also talked about COVAX, an initiative to address the inequalities in the Covid-19 vaccine access in the world. He questioned why the World Health Organization (WHO) not calling the shots.

COVAX is co-led by multi-stakeholder groups GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance) and CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), both having strong ties to WEF and connected to big pharmaceutical corporations like Pfizer, Astrazeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. In other words, these corporate-centered groups oversee the vaccine rollout.

Conservatives, in particular, also have their reservations. They are concerned that lockdowns are becoming a form of “greater governmental involvement” and see it as an infringement of personal freedom. Vaccines, similarly, are now seen as something that limits one’s mobility being required as entry passes.

One way or another, all of us have experienced first-hand the devastating effects of the pandemic. Sadly, with false rumors and misinformation adding fuel to the fire. All these, along with adapting to the transformative changes Covid-19 has brought to society.

So conspiracy theory or not, it is important that people be critical and take an active part in humanity’s fight to build a more resilient future — even in our own little ways.

If you’d like to know more about The Great Reset, there’s a podcast and a whole book about it which you might want to check out.

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Pexels



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