At Davos, we don’t ask the right questions

Is Davos still a Davo with no snow and cold? We should find out soon. For decision makers who are accustomed to meeting in January until “improve the state of the world”, the decision of the World Economic Forum to carry out its major raout in the spring will allow us to determine to what extent actually cold temperatures are a factor of debate and stimulating discussions.

I always thought that walking together in the mountains in the winter usually creates an atmosphere of camaraderie. We are all equal in the face of the cold: the rich and powerful slip and break their legs as easily as ordinary mortals (sometimes even down to their eco-friendly alms).

gravity and seriousness

Two years have passed since the Davos summit took place, though its organizers have ridiculously tried to prepare an edition – first in Singapore, then in Davos – before canceling everything at the last moment in the face of this dazzling reality. is quite impossible.

This year, the-not-snowy-Davos summit will take place in an atmosphere of gravity and seriousness like I believe I have never seen in twenty years of participation.

The war is taking place in Europe. Inflation is at a forty -year high, while central banks are doing everything to keep the situation under control. The overall structure of globalization – Davos’s raison d’être – is shaky.

The chorus of political and business leaders is simultaneously telling us that this is the hardest time they have known. Everyone knows that the global geopolitical order is no longer disturbed. Beliefs that originated in World War II, confirmed by the end of the Cold War, have been swept away. You do not believe me ? So why are Sweden and Finland, two countries with a long tradition of not being part of military alliances, now on the brink of NATO membership (if Erdogan agrees)?

Then there’s China and its compelling “zero Covid” policy. Although most other countries have roughly returned to a normal situation, tens of millions of Chinese are still living in the agony of extremely brutal incarceration. Not to mention that the country is spreading difficulties in its supply to other parts of the world and exacerbating a complex situation. Long live globalization. Here, then, is the atmosphere, dear visitors of the Davos summit, to which you are invited “improve the state of the world”.

Vague and private

In this context, I was amazed to discover that this year’s discussion menu looked like a strange collection of debates and panels with titles ranging from vague to esoteric. If the right people are going to Davos, they are clearly not being asked the right questions.

If I were to leave, I would stick to one simple question: “What can be done to prevent another world war, years of weak economic growth and famine? ”

And before accusing me of pushing the priorities of rich countries, try to control the world economy when rich countries are not doing well.

I’m not entirely pessimistic: I remain convinced that it’s very interesting to bring together all the major decision makers in this world to hear what they think, what they believe and what they think is the right path. . The optimist in me clings to the possibility that this summit will help us find a way to get out together, as long as we’re not wrapped up in expert chatter.

I recently interviewed the NATO Secretary General. I asked him what his plan was in case the war in Ukraine turned nuclear. I can’t believe I’m actually asking him about the possibility of nuclear conflict. My whole week in Davos will be marked by this moment. The situation is serious. In the near future, “improve the state of the world” is simply to prevent it from being vitrified.

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