ITC states that the WEDF brings together around 300 senior national and international policymakers, heads of trade support institutions, representatives of international agencies, and business leaders from about 50 developed and developing countries. The theme of each forum is developed through a participatory process involving a number of preparatory workshops between ITC and event partners.
In 2008 the Humanistic Management Center's Ernst von Kimakowitz was asked to join forces with the ITC to co-develop and moderate a panel discussion on corporate buyer power in the international market for consumer goods. The question that was discussed is whether consumers are driving markets or if corporate buyers are deciding to what degree end consumer wishes are included into buyers' purchasing decisions? In the final analysis, producers need to meet the demands of corporate buyers. They do not deal directly with consumers. On the one hand, corporate buyers argue that they have adopted some form of ethical sourcing policy to address growing public concern. But are these buyers really tuned in to consumer conscience? In other words, do they heed or do they influence consumer conscience?