|Aerial photo of Davos, Switzerland, the biggest tourism metropolis of the Swiss Alps, captured on January 17, 2011, before the opening of the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum. Picture shows the centre of the Alpine City with the revamped Congress Center close to the famous ice hockey stadium. ©World Economic Forum; swiss-image.ch/Photo by Andy Mettler|
Davos 2011: The annual gabfest of the political and business elite
Wednesday and will continue until Sunday.
Among issues that will be discussed will be the Eurozone debt crisis and the
two-speed global economic recovery with countries such as China and India in the
Political leaders expected to attend include Chancellor Merkel of Germany, President Sarkozy of France, President Medvedev of Russia, Prime Minister Kan of
Japan and the leaders of Mexico, Thailand and Indonesia.
In a decade, Chinese representation has risen five-fold while and India is up
four-fold, said Robert Greenhill, the forum's chief business officer. ''It's
a reflection of the accelerated leadership of China and India in the global and
economic and intellectual discussions globally,'' he added.
India is sending several ministers and China's Commerce Minister, Chen
Deming, will lead the delegation from Beijing.
United States Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, will head the US delegation
and bankers are reported to be returning in strength this year after a number of
low profile years.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase is due to attend, as will
Vikram Pandit, Citigroup head.
Policymakers on the event list include Jean-Claude Trichet, European Central
Bank president and Axel Weber, Bundesbank president.
''The world has fundamentally changed,'' said Klaus Schwab, the
founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), last week. ''One of the most important
factors of the new reality is the shift of geopolitical and geoeconomic power
from north to south, from west to east.'
The Outlook on
the Global Agenda 2011 report, launched last week by the WEF,
emphasizes the importance of rebalancing risks and opportunities
and developing collaborative solutions on a global scale.
“Today’s global interconnectedness means that it is impossible
for any stakeholder to address global challenges in isolation,”
says Prof. Schwab “Leadership today means navigating a
larger, more complex set of issues and more complicated
The Outlook on the Global Agenda 2011 is a publication of the
Network of Global Agenda Councils, incorporating the result of
the annual Survey on the Global Agenda of what are termed the
world’s foremost experts and discussions at the third Summit on
the Global Agenda, which brought together more than 600
multidisciplinary thought leaders from 60 countries to discuss
the most relevant issues on the global, regional and industry
The World Economic Forum created the Network of Global Agenda
Councils in 2008. The councils are charged with monitoring key
trends and risks, mapping interrelationships, addressing
knowledge gaps and developing recommendations to address key
- Global Power Shifts: Economic and political power
is more spread out and emerging markets have become centres
of growth and political decision-making.
- Economic uncertainty: The high degree of
volatility and ambiguity across markets will likely lead to
irrational investor behaviour, creating the potential for
currency wars, fiscal crisis and persistent global
- Resource scarcity: With the population set to top
7 billion, the resource strain threatens to undercut growth,
create environmental problems and cause social and political
- Institutional weakness: Institutions which were
fragile before the 2008 crisis have become even more so in
the face of global instability – as a result, the world is
not in a state to withstand further shocks. “Resilient
responses to these trends and related risks must be based on
the power of interdisciplinary thinking,” says Martina
Gmur, Director, Head of Agenda Council Development. “The
Forum’s response has been in the creation of the first-ever
Risk Response Network which brings together leaders across
industries to assess and develop solutions to current and
According to the report, more than 550 'thought leaders' rank
the “increased concern for corporate social responsibility”
and “globalization” as the most overestimated risks,
meaning that the global community has lent too much importance
to these issues and not enough to others.
On the underestimated side of the scale, “growing income
disparities” and “increase in demand for resources”
are ranked as the most important issues that have not been given
enough attention globally. The Risk Response Network (RRN) will
bring a new approach to addressing the complexity of risks that
leaders face and enable them to capture the upside of those
risks. A network of risk experts and counsellors are responsible
for responding to this new risk landscape and helping to advance
the global goal of rebalancing and represents the next evolution
of collaboration to advance global development.