This year’s World Economic Forum annual meeting kicked off in Davos, Switzerland yesterday and will be running until the 19th.
The guest list is as star-powered as ever, including the Chinese Premier, the President of the European Commission, a dozen or more heads of state, the UN Secretary-General, the Chief of the World Health Organization and the US Secretary of State.
Rounding out the cast of characters are over 1600 CEOs of major companies and the heads of dozens of prominent international organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and Human Rights Watch.
Yes, the world’s *ahem* “great” and *ahem ahem* “good” all gathering to talk about what to do with all that power the establishment press repeatedly tells us the WEF doesn’t have.
Yesterday’s opening pageantry was devoted to a concert and something called “the Crystal Awards”. Translation: Giving themselves a fanfare and slapping each other’s backs.
The real work starts today, so let’s see what’s on the agenda…
According to the WEF’s website, the theme of this year’s summit is “regaining trust”, something discussed at this kind of thing since 2021, when it became apparent the Covid narrative had lost them a large portion of their previously captive audience.
In his opening remarks, Klaus Schwab focused on the idea of trust “We must rebuild trust – trust in our future, trust in our capacity to overcome challenges, and most importantly, trust in each other.”
The talks will be focusing on four key areas:
- Achieving Security and Cooperation in a Fractured World
- Creating Growth and Jobs for a New Era
- Artificial Intelligence as a Driving Force for the Economy and Society
- A Long-Term Strategy for Climate, Nature and Energy
One of the first panels of the week was titled “When Climate Change Impacts Your Health”, it coincided with the publication of a new WEF report on Quantifying the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health.
The panel includes WHO Special Representative Vanessa Kerry who repeats her claim, made in an interview with France24 last month, that “the climate crisis is a health crisis”.
Adding, “I cannot think of a topic more urgent than the interplay of climate change and health”
I have written extensively about the planned interplay between public health and climate change, and this plays exactly to the predictions made in my article 2024: The Year Global Government Takes Shape.
Food is always in the crosshairs at these things too. One particular “agenda article” focuses on “Food is Medicine”, while on Wednesday Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the WHO will be hosting a panel devoted to “fighting the obesity epidemic”.
Elsewhere there are whispers of limiting travel, with topics like “tackling Overtourism”, a word I had never previously come across.
“BRICS in Expansion” notes that the BRICS nations now represent over 46% of the world’s population while its GDP is greater than the G7. The panel will discuss how it will “contribute to the reshaping of the global geopolitical and economic landscape”
Among the more concerning titles are “Putting a Price on Nature”, “Protecting Democracy against Bots and Plots” and “Preparing for Disease X”.
But what do you think?
- Which of the four “focus areas” is most important moving forward?
- What should we make of BRICS?
- How will the use of AI change in 2024?
- What do they mean by “trust”?
- Does Russia’s absence mean anything?
There are literally dozens of presentations and hundreds of agenda articles published during this week, which concern you the most? Have we missed any important ones so far? Let us know.
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