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Those Davos nights
Piano bars. Drinking. Bobsledding. Karaoke... The World Economic Forum may be ‘committed to improving the state of the world’, but for many, next week’s meeting in Switzerland will mark a priceless networking opportunity, reports Trends.
January 23, 2010 12:04 by Liz Peek
As the 40th World Economic Forum in Davos approaches, thousands of attendees, celebrities, media types, and wannabes will brave Alpine storms, tortuous icy roads, frustrating security procedures, possible protests, scrutiny from investors suspecting boondoggle … for what?
Robert Hormats, America’s Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, and the former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, echoes a common refrain when he says Davos is “the best networking opportunity in the world.”
The chairman of Egypt’s Artoc Group for Investment and Development, Shafik Gabr, describes Davos as successful in bringing together people from different backgrounds, including Arabs and Israelis, in an informal setting conducive to a frank exchange of views. Others look forward to a chance to broaden their intellectual horizons, or for the ability to easily meet several of their clients.
Not many will fess up that they actually have a good time, but rumors persist of bobsledding in the wee hours of the morning and of boisterous singing in the piano bars.
For sure, merrymaking was largely absent from Davos last year, as world political and business leaders stared with horror into the abyss. Though the mood will surely still be somber this January, the very fact that the world’s markets have survived, and that the measures taken by central bankers around the world staved off financial Armageddon, should lighten spirits.
That very coordination of policies and measures also confirms that the World Economic Forum, a gathering that hosts the world’s top political and business brass, is worthwhile not only to attendees, but to the entire world.