Join the Davos Conversation

The world’s leaders are asking you to tell them what to do. This YouTube video from the World Economic Forum at Davos asks, “What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?” Starting now, they’re also asking you to vote on the responses you like best (as of now, there are 60 to see). They will be shown at the annual meeting of machers in the Swiss Alps, starting January 23, and the machers are suppose to respond back at a YouTube booth at the conference.

I was lucky enough to go to Davos last year and I’m lucky enough to go again this year. How can you pass down the chance to hobnob with everyone from Bill Gates to Gordon Brown to Chad Hurley to Mark Zuckerberg with more political, business, and media machers mixed in? I was also privileged to work on the Davos Conversation project last year and this video effort is an extension of that. The conversation expands.

When the folks at WEF first talked with me about extending the conversation that occurs at their annual meeting outside the cloistered confines of the charming dorf of Davos, they admitted some nervousness. These echelons aren’t accustomed to conversation. But the WEF folks were smart enough to want to teach the powerful there that the internet age is all about conversation. So it started with steps. The Davos Conversation page (disclosure: built by Daylife) included blog posts from bloggers there as well as Technorati links to others from elsewhere who joined the conversation, plus some videos we took. (Here are Arianna Huffington and me at the end; here‘s my video of YouTube’s Chad Hurley announcing his revenue sharing program.) I wandered around with my little camera shooting video and not even knowing that that itself was breaking a few rules. But the castles didn’t tumble and so the conversation continues and grows.

That’s why Davos is involving YouTube and the world in trying to extend this via video. There’ll be a booth on the main floor of the conference center where the powerful can record a message to the world — “Hey, YouTubers” — or a response to your messages. Blogging continues with some new guests (Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is joining this year and I know they were trying to get a few more unexpected participants). And Reuters is extending its mojo (mobile journalism) project by equipping some of the participants with their kits (I weaseled my way into this one!) to chronicle the meeting in text, photos, audio, and video.

To join this conversation, just use the Davos08 tag wherever you put up blog posts or videos or respond to the Davos invitation here.

Here’s one reply to the Davos question, arguing for technology to spread education:

This reply takes only eight second and makes sense:

This gumchewer says the single thing that would improve the world would be universal internet access: free wi-fi for all:

Here’s a guy who wants to use YouTube to actually spread knowledge:

This Canadian wants product labels revealing the impact of the products we buy on the world:

Here’s a sermon on the mount of YouTube: