How Davos Became a Dissident Sandback

The World Economic Forum is working to solve the image problem.

This week, nearly 2,500 global leaders of business, politics and civil society are expected to participate in a rare springtime version of Davos.

The annual meeting gathers in Davos, Switzerland’s luxury alpine ski resort, for five days to talk about issues including Covid-19, Russia’s war in Ukraine and the climate crisis.

Event organizers postponed the meeting from the original January schedule due to safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, as good news for local residents, the forum’s first face-to-face event has resumed after two years.

that much subject The theme of this year’s event is “A History of Turning Points: Government Policy and Business Strategies”.

“It means a lot to us, it means a lot to Switzerland as a whole,” said Samuel Rosenast, a spokeswoman for the local tourism agency, in an interview with CNBC’s Tom Chitty.

Rosenast said the event was “unbelievably important” to those living in Europe’s tallest town, and could see a windfall of around 70 million Swiss francs ($72 million) at the resort this week alone. It is estimated that

“Every business is getting in touch with the World Economic Forum,” said Rosenast. “People know how important it is.” “Most people here are looking forward to the World Economic Forum. They are excited to be hosting it here again this year.”

‘Symbol of a failed era’

However, not everyone is delighted with the return of the world’s business and political elite to the Swiss Alps. The event has been sharply criticized in recent years. touch outinefficient and unrelated.

Three years ago, Dutch historian Rutger Bregman made headlines by calling billionaires to avoid taxes at a Davos panel. In a clip that has now been viewed nearly 11 million times, Bregman says the world’s inability to effectively address tax avoidance is a major cause of inequality.

Bregman said at the time, “I think I’m at a firefighter’s meeting and no one can talk about the water.” “This isn’t rocket science… we have to talk about taxes. That’s all. Taxes, taxes, taxes.”

The Swiss ski resort of Davos hosts the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Harold Cunningham | Getty Images News | Getty Images

More recently, protesters, activists and people at the forefront of inequality have beenempty investigation,” condemned Davos as a “symbol of a failed era” to be left behind.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 573 people become new billionaires, at the rate of one every 30 hours, according to a report released Monday by global charity Oxfam. The report, titled “Profiting from Pain,” projects an additional 263 million people into extreme poverty this year, at a rate of 1 million every 33 hours.

“Billionaires are arriving in Davos to celebrate a remarkable surge in wealth,” said Gabriela Bucher, managing director of Oxfam International. done,” he said.

“Meanwhile, decades of progress on extreme poverty are now reversed and millions of people simply face an unacceptable increase in the cost of subsistence.”

As a young man, Philipp Wilhelm was one of those protesting the annual gathering of billionaires and political leaders in the town where he was born. But now Wilhelm is the mayor of Davos and his goal is to deliver a successful meeting.

“I protested at the annual meeting because it was important for me to express how important it is to address this climate crisis,” Wilhelm said. “We have to make the world a more just place.”

Wilhelm said he took part in the protests because he thought it was important for everyone arriving in Davos to “get a message that it’s really important to solve these problems.”

“Davos Man” in itself has become synonymous with the stereotypes of typical participants of the forum. Wealthy, powerful, and perhaps out of touch, it represents, above all, a global elite.

Fabrice Coprini | App | Getty Images

Wilhelm added that he and the WEF have changed positions since the protests and believes he can influence policy more effectively in his current role.

When asked if the criticism of the WEF was too closely tied to Davos, Wilhelm replied, “It doesn’t bother me at all.”

“I think it’s interesting that people know Davos as a place to meet and discuss,” Wilhelm said. said Wilhelm.

Davos 2022 is ‘one marker of time’.

“Work on the forum is ongoing,” said Saadia Zahidi, managing director of the World Economic Forum.

“What we’ve been doing over the past two and a half years is a set of actions that haven’t been made visible in any specific conference, but to make a difference while improving inequality. Addressing one of the biggest existential risks we all face is climate change. It’s for.”

When asked if rising income inequality had become a specific issue for the forum, Zahidi replied: “Inequality is a global problem. I think we know that a society that doesn’t fight inequality will slow its growth.”

“So we need to work to tackle inequality. What does that mean now? By solving problems like better education, better skills, better jobs, taxes, and changing the nature of our economy to actually work for people. A minority to work for the people,” said Zahidi. “It will be central to next week’s agenda.”


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