Posts about davos07

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.