The World Economic Forum. Are billionaire executives world leaders?

Abstract

The Davos Forum (World Economic Forum, WEF), which happens once a year, in the third week of January, gathers the most prominent businessmen in Davos, one of the most luxurious ski resorts in Switzerland. Is WEF only a new vanity fair or a true power wielding structure ? WEF is basically a very exclusive club ; very rich people like to be among themselves and exchange ideas about the future. For politics and officials, Davos is an important testing ground ; WEF means recognition, money and investments. But, in this time of globalization, anything new gets old very quickly. Concerning WEF, its golden age could already be yesterday’s news. WEF has been a pioneering institution, contributing to the build-up of a global public arena. But this arena is a work in progress ; new structures, new ways of putting people together will emerge. WEF remains the remarkable creation of an individual, the Swiss Klaus Schwab. Increasing safety imperatives are making meetings like Davos more and more cut off from the rest of the world. WEF, like all corporations to-day, will have to re-design itself.

AFRI 2007 Summary

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