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.


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  • Foobarista

    Will all their briefings be disclosed? Maybe we can get more Eason Jordan moments?

    Otherwise, it’ll be the usual goo-fest where a bunch of tycoons, over-the-hill entertainers, and transnational bureaucrats attempt to impress each other with their profundity.

  • I guess the shakers and movers at Davos belong to the post-literate generation and written questions are beyond their capabilities.

    They have probably taken their lead from GWB who also doesn’t read. Notice that at several points during his regime change happened only after he viewed a video. One example is the creation of the new ocean preserve off Hawaii after he saw the Cousteau documentary. Another is his unconcern about Katrina until after a staffer put together a DVD for him to watch.

    Some how it seems fitting that a candidate whose public persona was created by TV needs video to understand the issues.

    Using video to present issues to those a Davos is just a wish to use technical gimmickry for its own sake. In any, case no matter what form questions are post in, the answers will be political pablum. If these people had any clue how to solve the world’s pressing problems (instead of maintaining their privileged position) they would be implementing them.

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  • Oh, come on, Robert. This is as much me as them so don’t blame them. I think it will be great to see people and hear voices from around the world and I think it will graphically illustrate the conversation. I’m not a text snob. Don’t you be. If the communication is in text, that doesn’t make it smarter, nor if it’s in video, it doesn’t make it dumber. You’re shooting with a blunderbus on this. There can be many criticisms of the machers at Davos but I’d call this angle a dud. And now that I’ve said that, why don’t you probe a specific issue in a video: Love to see and hear you and put a face with the comments….

  • Okay, here’s an idea… How about all of the economic leaders get behind a movement to “Give God a Rest.”

    For the next ten years, no company, business entity, government or global organization is allowed to use God — under whatever name they like to call him by – as a reason for doing anything.

    Okay, we’ll grandfather some stuff in… “In God We Trust” on currency. Fine.

    But you can’t bomb a building in the name of God. You can’t stop an abortion in the name of God. You can’t say “We’re doing God’s Work.”

    If you do, you have to preface the word “God” with the words “the mass hallucination we participate in which we call…”

    After Ten Years, let’s see how it goes.

  • Excellent!

  • p.lukasiak

    Oh, come on, Robert. This is as much me as them so don’t blame them. I think it will be great to see people and hear voices from around the world and I think it will graphically illustrate the conversation. I’m not a text snob. Don’t you be. If the communication is in text, that doesn’t make it smarter, nor if it’s in video, it doesn’t make it dumber. You’re shooting with a blunderbus on this. There can be many criticisms of the machers at Davos but I’d call this angle a dud. And now that I’ve said that, why don’t you probe a specific issue in a video: Love to see and hear you and put a face with the comments….

    Sorry, but a world economic summit needs to listen to the voices of the poorest people of the planet as well — and guess what Jeff, most of these people not have any internet access….. and the ones that do probably don’t have access to broadband, video cameras, etc., etc….

    but I guess the opinion of people who are STARVING TO DEATH while you wallow in the luxurious Davos atmosphere don’t matter…

    This “video-ization” of the attempt to “open up the conversation” at Davos is really an attempt to trivialize it while ensuring that those who are most victimized by the international financial community are shut out of the conversation entirely.

    This is exactly what McLuhan was talking about with “medium is the message”…. but I don’t think that he’d approve of your turning the “global village” into a civilization of economic apartheid

  • Jeff I’d put up a video entry if I had the means, but I can’t figure out how to get my super 8 movie camera to connect to the USB port.

    I’ve been watching TV since 1948 and still don’t “get it”. It’s great for pictures, but ideas don’t go over well. I’m not even too enamored with stand up lectures as is done in college. Dialogs, as in seminars, can be useful (your preferred type of interaction), but passive listening is less effective.

    I know I’m in the minority, but most scholarly knowledge is still transmitted via the written word. Whether this is just inertia or is required by the density of the material to be presented only time will tell.

    Even if I had the means I don’t see the value in posting a question, these types of forums are usually a means for people to validate their already existing positions. Perhaps there will be some surprises, I wait to be proven wrong.

  • Robert
    Well, you can’t be proven wrong if you don’t try. Webcams cost as little as $10 now. Give it a shot.

  • Hasan Jafri

    Jeff and Robert,

    For the record, I’m not a big fan of Davos. In a sentence, it’s a rich man’s club. But Jeff is right in saying we should enlarge the conversation.

    I think each one of us could tape a message from someone who DOES NOT have access to a webcam or the internet. Davos should hear from people who are too disenfranchised to be on the net.

    I am thinking especially of the handicapped, of poor folks in the inner city, and immigrant workers in the rural hinterland. I myself am in Hong Kong right now and working on an interview with a garbage collector who wants a raise and more time off.

    The people attending Davos need to hear from the poorest of the poor. If they disregard what they hear, as they have all these years, that will be their loss. If one out of a thousand guys lends an ear, more power to him.

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  • Hasan,
    Brilliant idea; I think that’s exactly right. I’m eager to see your video.

  • Cooler Heads

    How populist. Medium rich people make videos for the super rich.

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  • The comment i did not manage to post here is in Size doesn’t matter

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  • The problem with Western, esp. US, policies is that those policies are unduly concentrated on the wrong priorities whereas China, India, and (yes!) North Korea are largely neglected as new opportunities/threats.

    We will continue those policies at our own ever faster growing peril!


    Val Samonis, PhD, CPC
    Lithuania, Canada

  • A message to each and every leader and individual who truly desires Peace on Earth.

    13 Minutes to Change

    i*am here today to humbly speak as a representative of Peace, with the hope that others who hear this message will also find the peace within their own heart to listen.

    The entire world is now confronted with the opportunities to begin the creation of World*Peace in earnest, these opportunities are now abundant and looming very large on our collective horizon, as the worlds people begin to awaken to the truth of their shared connection and to the reality of its use and power.

    There are many fine organizations and individuals working throughout the world on the myriad of issues which confront the stability of the planets social and environmental structure.

    It is these social issues which are the true threat to humanity.

    As individual leaders and groups continue to ignore the people in mass, and continue to degrade the social and environmental resource structure, the people and the planet herself will remove those leaders from power and take control of their own destiny.

    The single largest global risk our world faces is the continued disconnect of the people from their representatives, despite technologies ability to connect the global community, it has failed to recognize its ability and responsibility to offer hope and a sense of direction to the very community it is connecting.

    Revolution is the historical path of man, however there has always been a choice, to stand and struggle for absolute tradition, to violently demand and seize control, or to simply remove the (R) from Revolution and take the option which is reveled, Evolution of the gradual and intelligently designed change for the greater good.

    Shifting the imbalance in expenditure of money, time, resource, and human potential both physically and mentally from the production of weapons and substances which harm the people and planet is of paramount immediacy.

    Changing the use of these past ways is also of immediate importance to the survival of not only each individual citizen, but especially to the leaders which the people allow to lead them.

    We are in the Age of 13 Minutes of change, in 13 minutes or less, the people are aware of the actions which will affect them, and in 13 minutes or less they will have made their decision on the course of action to be taken. And as our technology spreads and advances, so to will the speed and learning curve of this equation of change.

    It is a leaders responsibility to at the very least keep in pace with the desire of the people and it is the peoples responsibility to insure their leaders are aware of those desires and that they are not overwhelmingly bias to or against any single group.

    Never in human history have the leaders welcomed or solicited the global populations opinion or assistance in creating world peace, without the use or call for violent action.

    Today is the day to change that reality, today is the day for the leaders to stand together and humbly ask the people to lead and help them in their efforts to end conflict in this world.

    Many have and will call me a fool, but this is not about me*, those who point the accusing finger and cry fool, world peace can never be, that is the true threat to the peoples dream, that is the voice of FEAR screaming to be heard above the angels song of peace, fear is the enemy which continues to consume our children’s potential.

    Peace is The*Way Forward

    The people have dreamed and manifested this for thousands of years and they see now that it is going to be their responsibility to create it, and their responsibility to hold leaders accountable for the integrity of their truth.

    And so i*am here to humbly offer on behalf of Peace and all those who desire its creation to begin in earnest, to present the first collective baby step for the world to make . . .

    So i offer the concept of the people and their leaders deciding together to commit their efforts to the creation of world peace and in doing so to create a global work of art, to display and mark this time as their collective change of direction forward toward world peace.

    Project: World*Peace – No*Compromise

    A global event is the single most likely solution to nudge this world into moving toward peace, there must be an effort by the leaders, a motion which demonstrates to the people that their leaders true desire is for peace, once this happens, it would become a point to move forward from, the key is that it must involve all the worlds people in a hands on creation of the notion and motion of peace, and be so benign that no one could oppose its creation.

    An event that would span the globe, not rely on a single region or place for its creation and take several weeks or even months to completely accomplish, and could also be carried forward into the future, giving pause for each individual to consider their role in the creation of hostility.

    The premise and platform for such an event is held every four years, its called the Summer Olympic Games, an in actual practice even your most barbaric predecessors, suspended all hostility to bring their champions home to participate, all that is required is to incorporate an event that would span the globe, reach into every heart, drawing out the peace within to be displayed as Peace on Earth.

    The actual creation of such an event is really very simple, would cost next to nothing and as a side benefit could even create a global fund for world peace. To jump start the notion that peace is the way forward and that peace will*be, if only the people decide to work toward it. All that is slowing this from happening is the fact that the people are disconnected from their leaders, this event would strengthen and deepen that vital connection, and it is called: 12+13=Peace on Earth

    A simple formula with which to create complex and far reaching result that could easily spring forth from the creation of this work representing the peoples HE(ART), giving each one a reason to trust that peace is their reality and then to pay it forward into being.

    And so i*ask for 12 minutes of the worlds time to present this solution.

    12+13=Peace on Earth

    Please forgive my lengthy post, and thank you for taking the time to read through it. Perhaps 12 minutes of the worlds time is asking a great deal, but it seems to me that the cause, World*Peace might be worth their while.

    Bruce Larson*Moore
    We All are Saying – Build Peace Today

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