What is Davos? Does it matter to you?

First Movers Coalition Panel at the World Economic Forum Annual Event


Every year, over 2,500 of the world’s global leaders from business, politics, and civil society burn a bunch of carbon with their private jets flying to Davos, Switzerland, for five days to talk with each other about current issues.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos serves to help level-set priorities across nations and companies. While in past years, issues of sustainability and globalization have taken up the agenda, notable topics this year, included the war in Ukraine, supply chain challenges, and struggling market performance. While not everything is actionable for consumers, it still does bear importance to pay attention to what the “global elite” are talking about.

Overall, the takeaways can be seen as broad and overarching but different enough to provide some context into how the world’s leaders are currently thinking. Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, made overly bullish points on the current state of affairs, explaining how he views the US consumer as very strong and undeterred by inflation and recession risk. Conversely, Anne Richards, CEO of Fidelity International, took a more balanced view in explaining that she believes the risk of recession has gone up while echoing that we might be reaching peak pessimism soon.

As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, there has been much discussion regarding recession risk in Europe. The consensus among the members of the forum are predicting a recession overseas. While the US is insulated from many global issues, Europe is not. Food and energy insecurity are growing concerns, and the lingering effects of a drawn-out conflict are not good for anyone involved. President Zelensky video conferenced into the event to thank supporters of Ukraine and call for further help in the fight against Russian forces.

Additional topics covered included technology and the metaverse and its impact over the next ten years, how to prepare for the next pandemic, cryptocurrency legitimacy, and “speeding up the road to Net-Zero” carbon emissions.2

Over the years, the topic du jour changes with whatever seems to be at the forefront of people’s minds, leaving some to wonder if those who are partaking in the forum are there to solve problems or help make headlines. While the forum brings the brightest minds from the public and private sector to discuss such issues, one cannot help but view the event as more of a networking vacation than anything of real tangible value. Of course, if you are interested in attending next year, it might be a bit more than you were expecting to spend for a short-lived event. Tickets start at $52,000 for an individual ticket and move up to $523,000 if you want to be a “strategic partner” at the forum.



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