World Economic Forum - Davos 2020

Posted on | Darys Estrella

The World Economic Forum (WEF), name adopted in 1987, holds important meetings around the world and throughout the year, but the star event is still taking place in Davos.

Every January in the city of Davos, Switzerland about 3,000 leaders meet, coming from five continents and from all sectors: politicians, academics, communicators, businessmen. Great celebrities meet there. For the privilege of sending their representatives, companies spend a fortune.

This event, whose first meeting takes place fifty years ago, is organized by the World Economic Forum. Its original name was European Management Forum, and it was convened by a German academic, Mr. Klaus Schwab. Today, at 80 years of age, he continues to be the main figure of this very important event. Of this prestigious academic we can affirm without any doubt that he was ahead of his time.

The objective of that first meeting fifty years ago, and with only European businesses, was to convince those present so that their companies took into account not only shareholders but also all stakeholders. This concept sounds very familiar to us today, it is well known. But nobody talked about it 50 years ago.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), name adopted in 1987, holds important meetings around the world and throughout the year, but the star event is still taking place in Davos.

Having continued to be chosen by the WEF as a Young Global Leader in 2008, I have had the privilege of being invited and participating in their events, and I have not had to pay the fortune I mentioned earlier. I remember my first time there. I seemed to be dreaming. You enter the "village" after going through security that is much more extensive than that of an airport. Meeting Bill Clinton, ordering a soda and seeing Bill Gates by my side, having lunch with Desmond Tutu, having a private meeting with a King ..... these are all unforgettable experiences. You know in advance through an App who will attend the event and you coordinate meetings with people who interest you in half-hour increments usually. Spending six days at a World Economic Forum event can be very productive. And it is also extremely fun. You have the opportunity to attend the best parties you can imagine. The fact that Mr. Schwab can bring together global decision makers makes this event a real magnet for many to want to participate.

What is intended with these events, I know, is to improve the world. I have participated in many meetings with the General Managers of the companies that meet there, and we talk extensively about finding solutions to the many and great problems that affect us. However, in recent years, it has received strong criticism. It is said, for example, that it is the most expensive elite party on the planet. Many (myself included) wonder if the progress has been really significant. It is undeniable that there has been improvement. But what? so much?. It is very true that excellent initiatives are discussed and defended, such as climate change, for example. But 1,500 private jets arrive at the event. There is much talk about inequality and poverty, but more than 500 dollars a night are paid for a room with a sandwich bed. And trust me, I'm not exaggerating. Gender equality and diversity is also an ever-present topic, but it is still a men's event. This year, women represent only 22% of the audience. This is the highest percentage so far.

Mr. Schwab wants to change the world, laudable purpose. However, he is surely aware that he cannot displease his guests, who, as he pointed out before, pay a fortune to be there.

For all that is discussed in Davos we should already see better results. My advice: talk less and act better. Let's change the world, more than talking, EXECUTING.