Jan 28, 2009

This is no normal year

Posted by: Marian Salzman In: Davos| World Economic Forum

350215199_b746ad0bc72In normal years Davos is a welcome getaway for busy leaders, who get some valuable time to reflect and network in luxury with their peers in politics, business and science. In normal years, it’s important but not vital. But this isn’t a normal year, and this year Davos feels vital.

The theme is “Shaping the Post-Crisis World” and most of the 2,500 invited will be bringing their own bits of crisis to the event—not just economic but also political, social, energy and environmental.

“Post-Crisis” implies that the crisis will end and “shaping” implies that whatever happens next can be shaped. For pessimists, from where the world is now, those thoughts look fanciful. The economic crisis seems to be going its own destructive way, defying top-level efforts to deal with it let alone shape what comes afterward.

Still, paradoxically, this WEF is the most promising yet. Everyone is focused on the need for real action, as well as stirring words, even more so with a new sense of urgency and resolve in Washington. Davos 2009 may turn out to be the world’s best chance yet to get the key players to start creating some effective game plans.

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