The World Economic Forum’s gala annual meet began on Tuesday with Founder Klaus Schwab stressing on the need for cooperation and collaboration among everyone, while a performance by acclaimed musicians, including Sandeep Das from India, marked the inaugural ceremony.

The opening ceremony in this Swiss ski resort town also marked Annual Crystal Awards with this year’s awardees including Chinese actress Yao Chen, Hollywood actor Leonardo Dicaprio, artist Olafur Eliasson and musician

Schwab, who is WEF Founder and Executive Chairman, hoped that when participants go home they would be convinced that the future of our small global village can only be managed by collaboration and cooperation.

With the theme ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, this year’s pow wow of the rich and the influential is meeting against the backdrop of global economic uncertainties even as emerging nations, including India, present a bright spot in the world economic affairs.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is distinct in the speed, scale and force at which it transforms entire systems of production, distribution and consumption, according to WEF.

Acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma alongside musicians from his award-winning Silk Road Ensemble performed at the inaugural.

Apart from India’s Sandeep Das, Yo-Yo Ma was joined by Brazil’s S rgio and Odair Assad, USA’s Johnny Gandelsman, Spain’s Cristina Pato, UK’s Kathryn Stott China’s Wu Tong.

Sandeep Das, who played tabla, is a disciple of Pandit Kishan Maharaj of Banaras Gharana and has been nominated for Grammy awards twice. He is also the founder of Harmony and Universality through Music (HUM).

Over 2,500 top leaders, including over 50 heads of state or government and CEOs of about 1,000 top MNCs, would discuss steps for "improving the state of the world" over the next five days during more than 300 sessions at the 46th WEF Annual Meeting in this snow-laden town.