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.

  • Hasan Jafri


    Have a great time, and remember to take a copy of Thomas Mann’s “Magic Mountain” with you to Davos. As you probably know, Mann was a regular (due to his wife’s illness) when Europeans went to Davos to “take the cure.” This was long before finance ministers and economists arrived to find a fix for the world economy..

    Magic Mountain’s characters include Settembrini (representing human values), Naphtha (radicalism), Peeperkorn (the Dionysian principle), and Chauchat (love and temptation). Tell us if you meet some of them among your globalizing fellow delegates.

    Looking forward to your posts from Davos.

  • We here in ‘Merica will alert the trailer park manager to be sure to point the dish in that direction.

  • Davos is a real vote for the belief in democracy (snark). The world’s movers and shakers meet behind barriers at one of the least accessible places just to insure that no voices from those who will be most affected by their decisions have any input at all.

    Inviting a few token outsiders (especially ones with a public voice like Bono) is just part of the process to co-opt them. Why is it that those who claim that a “market economy” backed up democratic governments are the best model for mankind are unwilling to follow the principles they claim to support?

    Who elected these people to make international policy decisions? In the US when competitors meet behind closed doors the presumption is they are engaged in illegal collusion. Apparently the rules don’t apply when the meeting is “public” and overseas.

  • Robert,
    Certainly fair criticism. They say they want to open up the conversation and I believe that. How open can it be? Especially when 2,000 machers are surrounded by mountains, snow, and security — and themselves? We’ll see. I’ve been helping on a project that will try to do this (it will go up midweek) but it’s necessarily limited, just a step. Yes, we’ll see. I hope you join in that and I’ll explain more later. Family stuff this morning; gotta go.

  • This discussion reminds me of the movement that John Wonderlich of the DailyKos, is taking on to bring more openness in Congress. It is called the Congressional Committees Project in which Congress will allow more accessibility to the public in committee meetings where deals are brokered behind closed doors.

    I am intrigued and delighted by the success bloggers are haivng in changing the world as we know it. What we need is more transparency and thusly, more accountability in the world today. So, Robert you’re on the money.

    And Jeff, keep us posted.

  • Cooler Heads

    Can anyone report a real outcome, or policy shift, or something that has come out of Davos? Not talk, but action that has results.

    Looks to me like lots of rich people and windbags in a far away land listening to themselves talk about how great they are.

  • Ann B.

    Apologies for not posting this in a separate Daylife section, but I figured I was ok commenting here because there is, at least, one brief Daylife reference.

    Can I just say I hate how the entry page implies you need to take a tour to understand everything. It strikes me as annoying as being forced to register and I know how you object to that.

    Can’t you make an entry page that doesn’t require an explanation and/or a tour.

    Surely a successful entry page would give you enough info. to use the site right away. The tour and lengthy explanation would be optional later.

    I”m an online news and blog addict but Daylife leaves me feeling completely lost and worried that understanding the site is going to take a great chunk of my time. I want to know what it does, but I’ve already been hugely confused and, as a result, turned off.

  • Robert MacMillan

    The Magic Mountain contained one lesson above all others: If you have disposable income and a vague sense of unease about the world, the best thing to do is go to Davos for seven years, eat and drink well, and occasionally evince some concern about the dying. Now that’s my idea of a good time!

  • I’ve attended academic by-invitation-conversations with a roundtable of thirty or so where some serious give-and-take occurs. Can you explain while there the format and the goals? Good luck to you.

  • I’ve attended the World Economic Forum in the early nineties as a reporter for a major news service. On the one hand, the criticism about the powerful gathering in an exclusive, isolated venue is valid, but on the other hand, in all my years in journalism I have never attended a gathering where you could buttonhole so many of the world’s powerful people without any problems whatsoever.

    I remember chatting about some EU proposal with one of my colleagues at the opening reception and we had some questions. Lo and behold, Sir Leon Brittan, then EU commissioner, walks by. I tap him on his shoulder. We introduce ourselves and ask our questions. I also remember a lone US Senator hanging out near the buffet table and still regret not introducing myself, as he might have become president has Bush not defeated him in 2004. I did interview several CEOs, Central Bankers and politicians by merely going up to them and asking for a quick chat.

    So, yes, exclusive. But once in, there’s an openness beyond belief from a reporter’s perspective. Have fun…

  • Hey, i wanna sell out! Why won’t anyone ask me to be co-opted by the wealthy and powerful? I could at least wrestle with my inner demons in lieu of exercise for that day (but i’d just say yes in a heartbeat).

    In fact, i am delighted that Messr. Jarvis will have a chalet in Davos, and expect regular updates as sufficient expiation for selling out.

    And keep the Mann references to a minimum, please. Just make sure to tell us about the food along with all the policy insights. . .

    Wannabe Sell-out in the Midwest