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News : Global Economy Last Updated: Jan 21, 2014 - 9:28 AM

Davos 2014: World Economic Forum to cost $40,000 average per attendee
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jan 20, 2014 - 7:54 AM

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Davos 2014: The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is set to open on Wednesday with more than 2,500 due to attend at an average cost of $40,000 according to CNN.

Inequality is one of the themes this year and Joseph S. Nye, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government writes on the WEF blog: "We already have many gated communities. Technology is making markets more efficient. More and more things can be done with the use of markets, and that means the role of government, which still has an important role in regulating markets, may be seen as too cumbersome. In that sense, citizens will find that they can use markets to buy goods – say, security – that are in the purview of government as 'public' goods, but can now be marketized as 'club' goods."

The first Annual Meeting was held in 1971, with 444 participants. It lasted for a whole fortnight. This year’s meeting is the 44th.

Donald Armbrecht, a digital media producer at the World Economic Forum, writes: "In the late 1920s Albert Einstein was a regular visitor to Davos, leading discussions with French, German and Swiss academics in an annual summer school, the Davoser Hochschulkurse. In 1928 he gave a lecture on relativity, and began by telling his audience: 'This enterprise is admirably suited to establish relations between individuals of different nationalities, relations which help to strengthen the idea of a European community.' Sadly the collapse of the Weimar Republic ended the Hochschule project."

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the final chapters of Treasure Island in Davos in the early 1880s. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote short stories and articles there in the early 1890s, helping to popularise skiing and tobogganing. Thomas Mann’s influential novel The Magic Mountain was set in Davos, just before WW1. After the war, the expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner lived in Davos from 1918 until his death in 1938.

The youngest participant this week will be 21-year-old Umar Anwar Jahangir, a 'Global Shaper' from Islamabad, who heads Bahria Medics, a student run social welfare organization. At the other end of the age range is Shimon Peres, president of Israel, at 90, who will be among 40 heads of state and government.

Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the WEF, has told the business executives, academics and government officials attending Davos this year that much remains to be done. "Economic growth patterns, the geopolitical landscape, the social contract that binds people together, and our planet's ecosystem are all undergoing radical, simultaneous transformations, generating anxiety and, in many places, turmoil," he said.

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