The world is moving into a time of "fragmentation and confrontation," the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s Klaus Schwab said in his opening address to the forum..The forum's founder and executive chairman said "unprecedented challenges" of energy shortages, COVID-19 aftershocks, and the reshaping of supply chains are "catalytic forces for the economic transformation."."These hotspots of socio-economic remodelling are raising inflation, increasing interest rates and growing national debt. This is particularly helping low and middle income groups and it is exacerbating societal fragmentation," he said Tuesday..Schwab was speaking at the opening of the WEF's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The theme of this year's meeting is "Cooperation in a Fragmented World," which references the twin global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the War in Ukraine..The world reached a turning point due to "true existential problems," according to Schwab. He said issues such as climate change, the exploitation of nature, possible nuclear incidents, extreme poverty and viruses threaten to lead to global extinction. And he said the global response to those risks, particularly to climate change COVID-19, have led to greater fragmentation..Schwab also described how the post-World War 2 order is at risk, leading to a "messy patchwork" of superpowers, rising powers, middle powers, as well as corporate and social media powers "all competing increasingly for power and influence.".And the technologies of the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution," such as Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and genetics could cause even more societal fragmentation, Schwab said..The WEF founder said the spirit of Davos is a positive and constructive one, focused on building a greener, safer and more stable global economy.."This means creating a more cohesive society by providing everyone with appropriate skills and opportunities, investing into the hard and soft infrastructure that modern societies require.".Schwab remained hopeful a more peaceful, resilient, inclusive and sustainable world can be built. But only if the world is able to overcome fragmentation..Schwab said the most critical fragmentation is between those who "take a constructive attitude," and those who "are just bystanders, observers and even those who have a negative, critical, and confrontational attitude."