Davos elite promise global solutions, but they’re part of the problem – MarketWatch

Each year in late January, global leaders — politicians, bureaucrats, corporate executives, and public intellectuals — make a pilgrimage to the Swiss town of Davos for the World Economic Forum. Demand is so great, and growing, available accommodations soon may not be sufficient.These 2,000 or so elites (0.00003% of the world’s population) are the Davos Men (and comparatively few women), a term coined by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington. The average age of the participants is a bit over 50. They are predominately male, with only one in five being female. They represent around 1,000 organizations from 100 countries, although the largest proportion are from Western Europe and North America. Over the course of several days, their views, strategies, and policies will be captured by the paparazzi and an adoring media.In recent years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has focused on economic matters and the new global context, encompassing conflicts, instability, and political, economic, and technological changes. But in truth, little of consequence happens at Davos. The real genius of Davos is the concept itself. Founded in 1971 by economist Klaus Schwab, it taps into the world’s voyeurism and innate shallowness.For 2016, the WEF’s theme was “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” designed to prepare leaders for a future shaped by technological change. Yet participants ignored the fact that much of what passes for new technology destroys jobs and wages, and exacerbates income inequality, as owners of the technology benefit at the expense of others. It was also unclear where this future technological wonderland fits into a world of unsustainable debt levels, the intractable trajectory of climate change, the slowdown in Europe, Japan and emerging markets, conflict-driven immigration and geopolitical risk.

Source: Davos elite promise global solutions, but they’re part of the problem – MarketWatch

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