Posts about davos07

Opening the Davos Conversation

Today, the Davos Conversation project launches with the World Economic Forum (aka Davos), the Guardian’s Comment is Free, the BBC, Huffington Post, and me blogging, and with Technorati contributing a blog feed. Daylife is contributing news feeds and produced the whole project.

This is the WEF’s effort to open up the conversation into and out of Davos. The Davos Conversation will include:
* Blog posts from Davos by those listed above and by other participants contributing to a blog there.
* Comments on those posts.
* News from mainstream and blog sources about Davos, from Daylife.
* News about major participants at Davos, also from Daylife.
* A feed of blog posts from everywhere about Davos, from Technorati.
* Videos sent to and from Davos. See the invitation to send video questions and comments to Davos here and here.
* Links to the webcast sessions at Davos and photos from the snow.

The meeting starts in Switzerland next week, and that’s when you’ll see more content on the page. (The Technorati feed will also go up later today.)

The WEF annual meeting has been a closed session for the world’s machers: an exclusive list of 2,000-plus heads of state and of corporations. But they have been quite serious about opening up the conversation into and out of Davos. Indeed, the theme of this year’s confab is about the shifting power equation and the tools used for the Davos Conversation page are very much a catalyst of that change. This is how I got involved in this, advising on the project and blogging there. I hope some substantive conversations begin here. We’ll see.

: On a separate note, I’m proud that Daylife, where I’m consulting editor, could produce this. Daylife is a platform that enables sites large and small to present relevant news and to put their news and content in context and to create more content and inventory. Daylife is honored to work with the WEF, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, and the BBC to produce the conversation page.

Ask Davos

I just got a list of some of the participants in Davos to whom you can direct your YouTubed questions and comments (see the invitation here). Again, there’s no guarantee they’ll all be answered; there are only so many minions carrying cameras to get those responses. But it’s quite a list — and not just Bono and Peter Gabriel. So talk away:

Heads of state:
Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority;
King Abdullah II Ibn Hussein of Jordan;
Bertie Ahern, Prime Minister)of Ireland;
Prince Albert II of Monaco;
Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan;
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines;
Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan;
Abudllah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia;
Tony Blair, Prime Minister of United Kingdom;
Felipe Calderón-Hinojosa, President of Mexico;
Jakaya M. Kikwete, President of Tanzania;
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil;
Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa;
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany;
Ahmed Mahmoud Nazif, Prime Minister of Egypt;
Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam;
Fouad Siniora, Prime Minister of Lebanon;
Viktor Yanukovych, Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Heads of international organizations:
M. El Baradei, Director-General, International Atomic Energy Agency;
Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO),;
Paul D. Wolfowitz, President, World Bank;
Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General, UNESCO;

Webcasts include:
The Shifting Power Equation: Lord Browne of Madingley, Michelle Guthrie, E. Neville Isdell, Angela Merkel, Sunil Bharti Mittal, James J. Schiro, Eric Schmidt, Klaus Schwaz
Connectivity: Sergey Brin, Chris DeWolfe Chad Hurley
Climate Change: A Call to Action: Margaret Beckett, Lord Browne of Madingley, John McCain
Arab Peace Plan: Amre Moussa
Energy 2007: The New Era of Petropolitics: Ilham Aliyev, Bi Jingquan, Samuel W. Bodman, Alexander Medvedev, Jeroen van der Veer, Viktor Yanukovych, Thomas L. Friedman
European Identity: David Cameron, Christine Lagarde
China as a Global Player – A Conversation with Hua Jianmin
Who Shapes the Agenda? Gordon Brown, Rupert Murdoch, Eric Schmidt
Is Freedom Over-rated? Shimon Peres
What Is Today’s American Dream? John F. Kerry, John McCain
A Business Manifesto for Globalization: Lord Browne of Madingley, Carlos Ghosn, James J. Schiro, Joseph E. Stiglitz
Delivering on the Promise of Africa: Tony Blair, William H. Gates III, Bono
Iraq and The Future of Middle East: Adil Abd al-Mahdi, John F. Kerry, Mohammad Khatami, Javier Solana Madariaga
The Impact of Web 2.0 and Emerging Social Network Models: Chris DeWolfe, Caterina Fake, William H. Gates III

: LATER: The WEF announced its program: “Shaping the Global Agenda, The Shifting Power Equation.”

Speaking at today’s press conference at the World Economic Forum’s headquarters in Geneva, Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab said, “We are faced by a world which is increasingly schizophrenic. Our world is rapidly changing and power is shifting geopolitically, in business terms and even in the virtual world.” . . .

The programme will follow four main themes that are high on the global agenda in 2007. These range from “Economics: New Drivers” and “Geopolitics: The Need for Fresh Mandates” to “Business: Leading in a Connected World”, and “Technology and Society: Identity, Community and Networks”.

: LATER: Arianna blogs about going to Davos.

Say it to Davos: An invitation

Here’s an invitation to Davos: I hope that many of you will record video questions and thoughts to send to Davos, putting them up on YouTube tagged “davos07.”

This is part of the World Economic Forum’s attempt to open the conversation from Davos to the world and vice versa. I also think it’s a good opportunity to bring together more voices and viewpoints in a sort of virtual Davos on YouTube.

The other partners in the Davos Conversation Project, which will launch later this week — the Guardian’s Comment is Free, BBC News, and the Huffington Post — will also be asking their communities to make and post videos. The World Economic Forum will take a limited number of these and get video responses from the participants at Davos, posting both online. Please note that they won’t have the resources to get every or even many of the video questions answered. But I think that’s only part of the appeal of this. I want to hear more voices down from the mountains of Davos, voices from around the world. And I think video is a very powerful means to deliver these questions and messages: questions, comments, ideas, pleas.

So fellow bloggers and vloggers, please spread the invitation and ask your readers to say it to Davos via YouTube. Later this week, I’ll post some of the topics they’ll be talking about and some of the people who’ll be there. But go ahead and record and broadcast your questions and thoughts on world economic issues, on global security, on innovation and collaboration, on health, on energy, on the environment.

The head of the WEF , Klaus Schwab, said that this year’s meeting is about “a changing power equation; power is moving from the center to the periphery; vertical command-and-control structures are eroding and are being replaced by horizontal networks of social communities and collaborative platforms.” Since many of you are the ones advocating and enabling just that, then share your wisdom and your vision of how the world can and should work in a connected, collaborative, transparent universe.

You don’t have to do anything fancy to record a video on YouTube. It is incredibly easy to record and upload a video to YouTube; that’s why millions are doing it. But now there’s an even easier way: To to YouTube’s Quick Capture, let it take over your webcam, and you can record and upload a message in one easy step.

Davos says they want to have an open conversation. So let’s have it. Please record questions and messages for Davos — and for the world, really — and also please leave links to the videos in the comments here.


Davos 07: Declining trust in leaders

The World Economic Forum (aka Davos) just released its survey about confidence in world leaders and views of safety and economic prosperity and it’s not a pretty picture. (No link yet.) Some of the details found by the Gallup Voice of the People survey of 55 ,000 people in 60 countries:

Trust in political leadership: Globally, 43% of citizens say that political leaders are dishonest; 37% say they have too much power; 33% say they are unethical; 27% say they are not competent.

52% of U.S. citizens say their politicians are dishonest.

Africans “were the most critical of their politicians” with 81% calling political leaders disonest vs 60% of East Europeans (81% in Serbia).

More than half in the Americas, 56%, call their politicians dishonest: 90% in Bolivia, 89% in Peru and Ecuador, 80% in Venezuela (note that well, Hugo).

In Western Europe, the survey says, citizens are generally more positie about their polticians but not these: 76% of Austrians, 69% of Germans, even 50% of the Swiss say their leaders are dishonest.

Trust in business leadership is, I’d say, marginally better than trust in politicians: 34% believe business leaders are dishonest (vs., again, 43% for politicians); 34% say business leaders have too much power; 30% say they are unethical.

When asked how to restore trust, a plurality of world citizens — 32% — argue for transparency. Note that well in the age of transparency. Add to that 13% pushing dialogue with consumers and 7% reconnecting with stakeholders (30% argue for punishment of fraudulent behavior).

Economic prosperity: Western Europe is looking through dark glasses: 53% think the world will be less prosperous in the next generation, versus 37 percent for the U.S.

The Chinese know that tomorrow belongs to them: 86% think the next generation will be better off (53% for all Asia).

Safety: Western Europe is, again, the most pessimistic: 68% think “the next generation will live in a less-safe world.” That’s 59% in the Americas (64% for the U.S.) and 46% in the Middle East.

In Afghanistan, there is optimism, but it’s declining — from 77% believeing the world will be safer last year to 68% this year; in Iraq, the number plummeted from 61% to 36%.

In the Middle East, almost half the people (46%) think the world will be less safe.

Priorities: Finally, asked about their priorities for leaders, a plurality, 15%, say reducing wars. 12% say the war on terror (that’s 25% in the Middle East, 52% in Iraq, and 23% in the U.S.).

Other priorities: eliminating poverty, 13%; economic growth, 12%, closing the gap between rich and poor, 11%; protecting the environment, 10%, restoring trust 9%; human rights 4%; overcoming drugs, 4%; integrating social issues, 4%; overcoming AIDS, 3%; reducing organized crime, 2%; equality for women, 1%.

They’re going to have the 2,000 leaders attending Davos answer the same questions.

Davos 07: Red Ken’s coming

Well, perhaps it will be a new Davos this year. The Guardian reports that London Mayor Ken Livingstone, “the politician formerly known as Red Ken,” will attending, speaking, and feteing. The Guardian has learned that Mr Livingstone, twice elected mayor of London and a columnist with the Morning Star, has accepted an invitation to join the high priests of global business, politics and academia at the controversial annual event in Switzerland. . . .

But it is also a landmark for anti-globalisation protesters and the far left, who would once have regarded Mr Livingstone as an anti establishment figure to be relied upon. In 2000 police used water cannon to confront hundreds of demonstrators. One source said: “The invitation is an acknowledgement of London’s position. For the first time, there are more people in urban areas of the world than in the rural areas and London right now is the world’s most successful city. On that basis there is a belief that Ken will have interesting things to say.”


I’m as amazed and amused as anyone, but I’m headed for Davos and the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in a week. I’ll be blogging and, I hope, vlogging. And I’ll be involved in another project aimed at connecting the conversation in and out of Davos that will launch this week with the the Guardian, the BBC, the Huffington Post, and Daylife; more details on that later, including an invitation to all of you to join in.

I’m there as a part of the International Media Council, which is supposed to include 100 media influencers from around the world. I’ll be playing the part of blogboy. Or actually, when I attended a welcoming cocktail party in New York the other night, I felt a bit more like the caterer. I’m not used to hanging with the machers. And there are machers aplenty. As I remember from the cocktail party speeches, there will be almost a thousand CEOs coming, including most of the CEOs of the world’s top 100 companies, plus heads of state and government agencies and no shortage of editors and columnists. Lots of the sessions look fascinating; a few look bewildering.

I’ve been caught up in the minutiae of the trip: Hotels were impossible to get so I had to rent an apartment, which also wasn’t easy. The final evening soirée is black-tie but I proudly have never owned one and rarely rented one so I’ll be looking like the caterer. Veterans have advised to bring boots, too. I spent today RSVPing to nightcaps and lunches. But enough of that.

I’ll bring you everything I can about the experience, starting soon.