Back from Davos: reflections on an organization’s brand and purpose

February 4, 2020
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Since returning from the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland, not a day has gone past without people asking me my opinion of the meeting, its content, and its purpose. 

Given that this year was the fiftieth anniversary of the event it seems a good time to reflect on those questions.

I first attended the W.E.F. in 2004. Back then, I was a bit sceptical, thinking it was largely a group of elite, middle-aged, white men feeling rather pleased with themselves. And while there is certainly still some truth to that, the Forum has evolved to incorporate a much more diverse set of viewpoints across gender, race, geography, and background. Nevertheless, I have noticed that each year, within the first day or so, a core narrative develops, almost always grounded in economic matters along the lines of “this looks like a growth year ahead” or similar.


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