Rebooting Planet Earth
How a Dubai summit helped set the agenda for this week’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. The agenda? Nothing less than ‘global redesign’…
January 27, 2010 9:58 by Jay Akasie
It’s hard to fault your lack of ambition when nothing less than “global redesign” is the theme of your conference.
Yet that’s just what the people who set the agenda for this week’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, tried to do at their final pre-Davos summit. One year into the worldwide financial crisis, they’re taking what they’ve learned and recommending radical changes to how the world’s major institutions work.
In late November of last year, members of the Summit on the Global Agenda converged on Dubai to hash out a global redesign plan as an intellectual lead-up to this week’s Davos meeting. Members at the three-day summit urged Davos participants to unburden themselves from 16th-century notions of the nation-state and instead think as citizens of the world.
“There’s an urgency here,” the director of the Institute of Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School, David Kennedy, said at the Dubai summit. “There’s quite a distance between our economy, which is organized on a global basis, and our political organizations, which are organized on local levels. The political culture is disconnected from the real world.”
Kennedy was one of 1,500 leading academics and policy-makers who discussed everything from the role of sports in society to the lack of risk management in international banking.
The summit was an across-the-board meeting of the minds where the small breakout group format encouraged brainstorming and rapid-fire responses to the world’s most vexing problems.