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jerryking : davos   16

Freeland moves from the Davos bubble to the real world - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017
......the Davos consensus (i.e. open borders, combined with activist government policies to redistribute income and promote social mobility, are the keys to ensuring global growth and stability. Ethnic and religious diversity as linchpins of modernity, not threats to social cohesion).

It is also a vision inimical to the Trump administration and senior Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, who is tasked with keeping white working-class voters on board the Trump train. In the Bannon world view, globalism, diversity and the nanny state have eroded everything that once made America great. He admires Russian President Vladimir Putin’s skillful cultivation of ethnic and religious nationalism and wants to revive their domestic counterparts in America.....Rex Tillerson has been criticized for putting Texas-based Exxon’s bottom line ahead of U.S. national security interests. But as CEO, that was his job. If he applies himself as effectively on behalf of his country, U.S. foreign policy is likely to be ruthlessly focused. Realpolitik, not values, will dictate policy. Canada may be an afterthought.

Ms. Freeland will need to direct all of her abundant energy to earn the trust of both Mr. Bannon and Mr. Tillerson. The Trump people have no particular animus toward Canada – but they will not do us any favours either on softwood lumber exports or renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement.
cabinets  in_the_real_world  Davos  WEF  Chrystia_Freeland  Donald_Trump  Rex_Tillerson  Konrad_Yakabuski  Exxon  CEOs  NAFTA  Realpolitik  U.S.foreign_policy  whites  social_cohesion  Stephen_Bannon  working_class  open_borders 
march 2017 by jerryking
Canada has work to do to stand out as an innovation economy
In his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized five key points as the basis of a fourth industrial revolution: education,
WEF  Davos  Justin_Trudeau  innovation  education 
february 2016 by jerryking
Schumpeter: The network effect
Jan 17th 2015 | The Economist| Anonymous.

How does one make the most of a networking opportunity, whether it is in a charming village in the Swiss Alps or in the conference hall of a soulless hotel next to a motorway? The first principle for would-be networkers is to abandon all shame. Be flagrant in your pursuit of the powerful and the soon-to-be-powerful, and when you have their attention, praise them to the skies...But shamelessness needs to be balanced with subtlety. Pretend to disagree with your interlocutor before coming around to his point of view; that gives him a sense of mastery. Discover similar interests or experiences. Go out of your way to ask for help. Lending a helping hand allows a powerful person to exercise his power while also burnishing his self-esteem....The second principle is that you must have something to say. Success comes from having a well-stocked mind, not just a well-thumbed Rolodex....Go to the main sessions and ask sensible questions. Reward the self-styled “thought leaders” in each session by adding them to your Twitter “follow” list....The third principle is that you need to work hard at networking. Swot up in advance on the most important people who will be at an event. If you manage to meet them, follow up with an e-mail and a suggestion to meet again...successful networkers must be calculating, ruthless and shameless, they do better when they somehow make it all seem spontaneous, accidental even (Sprezzaturra)...One of the best guidebooks on this subject, by Keith Ferrazzi, is called “Never Eat Alone”.
howto  Communicating_&_Connecting  networking  shamelessness  Davos  conferences  preparation  WEF_Davos  WEF  books  Keith_Ferrazzi  asking_for_help  first_principle  disagreements  soulless 
january 2015 by jerryking
Davos diary: A new angst settles over the world's elites - The Globe and Mail
John Stackhouse - Editor-in-Chief

Davos, Switzerland — The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jan. 24 2014,

Another machine revolution is upon us. There is a new wave forming behind the past decade’s surge of mobile technology, with disruptive technologies like driverless cars and automated personal medical assistants that will not only change lifestyles but rattle economies and change pretty much every assumption about work....For all the talk of growth, though, the global economy is also in an employment morass that has the smartest people in the room humbled and anxious. The rebound is not producing jobs and pay increases to the degree that many of them expected. Most governments are tapped out, fiscally, and can only call on the private sector – “the innovators” – to do more....If a 3-D printer can kneecap your construction industry, or an AI-powered sensor put to pasture half your nurses, what hope is there for old-fashioned job creation?

The new digital divide – it used to be about access, now it’s about employment – stands to further isolate the millions of long-term jobless people in Europe and North America, many of whom have left the workforce and won’t be getting calls when jobs come back.... Say’s Law--a theory that says successful products create their own demand.
creating_demand  Davos  John_Stackhouse  Say’s_Law  Eric_Schmidt  Google  McKinsey  creative_destruction  Joseph_Schumpeter  unemployment  machine_learning  disruption  autonomous_vehicles  bots  chatbots  artificial_intelligence  personal_assistants  virtual_assistants  job_creation  digital_disruption  joblessness  fault_lines  global_economy 
january 2014 by jerryking
Nine big ideas that are changing the world
Jan. 27 2014 | The Globe and Mail |John Stackhouse: DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — The Globe and Mail
China  John_Stackhouse  ideas  Davos 
january 2014 by jerryking
Ideas Conferences as Brand Builders
11/19/2012 | Forbes | Marian Salzman, Contributor.

Smart talk is today’s hot commodity, whether you’re speaking, listening or, perhaps most important, hobnobbing after the formal sessions...But what do they say about your personal brand? Are Davos people different from TED people different from SXSW people? What about the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and Renaissance Weekend? Is there a big half-dozen in conference-going that lets you borrow for your brand (today’s equivalent of name-dropping) and build it up? And if there is, do you have to attend all of them (who has time?), or do you need to decide what each stands for and how it helps make a person a brand? Does your choice of conference send a message about what generation you see yourself in?...I’d argue that some conferences are becoming so ubiquitous and trendy that their velvet ropes are being pulled back.
personal_branding  trends  trend_spotting  public_discourse  Clinton_Global_Initiative  Davos  SXSW  ideacity  TED  Renaissance_Weekend 
september 2013 by jerryking
In Davos, a U.S. deficit hawk gets dovish - The Globe and Mail
CHRYSTIA FREELAND

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jan. 24 2013
Chrystia_Freeland  Larry_Summers  Davos  Martin_Sorrell  WPP 
january 2013 by jerryking
At Davos, Leaders are Debating Whether Corporations are More Powerful Than Governments
January 27, 2012 | TIME.com | By Rana Foroohar.

The top companies seem to exist in a world apart — they are booming, and their executives are prospering. If there is a meta theme to this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, it is that the world’s largest companies are moving on and moving ahead of governments and countries that they perceive to be inept and anemic. They are flying above them, operating in a space that is increasingly disconnected from local concerns, and the problems of their home markets. And if the conversations here are any indication, they may soon take over much of what government itself does....The problem was nicely captured in this week’s New York Times piece on Apple, looking at why the iPhone is mostly made outside America. As one of the company’s executives put it, “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.” It’s a sentiment that was echoed on Time’s Board of Economists’ panel, where business leaders blamed for not sharing the $2 trillion in wealth sitting on corporate balance sheets argued that they did create jobs and prosperity — just not in this country.....Labor economist Clyde Prestowitz pointed out as much in an article in Foreign Policy this week where he noted that while Apple may not think American economic issues are it’s “problem,” it certainly depends on the Seventh Fleet to keep Asian waterways safe and clear so that it can deliver it’s products.....A lot of people here in Davos — people like Nobel laureate Chris Pissarides, and a number of high level investors I spoke with — say that we can’t innovate or educate our way out of this problem. It’s only going to get worse, particularly as a coming automation revolution starts to hollow out white collar jobs in rich countries.
Rana_Foroohar  Davos  multinationals  Apple  globalization  cash_reserves  job_destruction  job_displacement  downward_mobility  automation  hollowing_out  white-collar  developed_countries  Nobel_Prizes  large_companies  statelessness 
august 2012 by jerryking
Big Data, Big Impact: New Possibilities for International Development
Agriculture - Mobile payments for agricultural products, input
purchases and subsidies may help governments better predict food production trends and incentives. This knowledge can be used to ensure the availability of proper crop storage, reduce waste and spoilage, and provide better information about what types of financial
services are needed by farmers. Mobile use patterns may also help governments and development organisations identify regions in distress so that targeted assistance can be directed to them. Early detection can help prevent families from leaving their land and further decreasing agricultural production.
agriculture  Davos  farming  international_development  massive_data_sets 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Man Who Knows Everything: Vivek Ranadive Profile - Vivek Ranadive TopCom Software
January 19, 2012 | Esquire | by Ryan D'Agostino. Vivek Ranadivé wants to harness the ocean of data in this world. And save civilization.

In the lexicon of computer hardware, a bus is connected to the motherboard — the foundation of any computing system. Ranadivé brought that idea to software: If all the physical components of a computer have a single hub, why not all the information floating through the software? Instead of a traditional hardware bus, an information bus. That's what the Tib in Tibco stands for: "the information bus." The company plucks seemingly disparate bits of data, often in real time — as opposed to "batch processing" at the end of the day, month, quarter — and makes them work with a singular purpose.....Ranadivé's goal is to make sense of the pile of data created by information overload. Tibco's mantra: the right information to the right people at the right time in the right context.
Vivek_Ranadivé  Tibco  massive_data_sets  data  real-time  Silicon_Valley  event-driven  WEF  Davos  Reliance  location_based_services  mantras  LBMA  the_right_people 
may 2012 by jerryking
A traitor to his class has the public interest on his mind - The Globe and Mail
CHRYSTIA FREELAND | Columnist profile
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND— From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012
Chrystia_Freeland  George_Soros  Davos  class_warfare  Henry_Blodget 
january 2012 by jerryking
What's The Big Idea?
Mar 12, 2011 | Financial Times. pg. 28 | by James Crabtree. Forward to R. Mayot re. IdeaCity

From Davos, to Long Beach, to north Wales, 'ideas conferences' are burgeoning. But, asks James Crabtree, are they really the new crucibles for creative thinking - or just exclusive talking shops?

Aficionados of cult television know Portmeirion simply as "the village". Here, in the 1960s show The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan insists "I am not a number, I am a free man," and plots his escape from a mysterious captive community. But, last weekend, the town hosted a different sort of exclusive gathering - and one perhaps better known for those trying to get in, not out.

Against a backdrop of pastel-painted Italianate cliff-top villas, around 120 specially invited guests descended on the Welsh coastal village for what its organisers describe as a global "thought leadership symposium". Such self-selected elite groupings seem, at first glance, to be little more than a weekend break for an already-fortunate section of the chattering classes; what one Portmeirion participant dryly described as "a socially concerned Saga mini-break, dressed up as something more serious".

But such events are also part of a wider trend in the burgeoning market for "ideas conferences" - exclusive conflabs that bring together groups of leaders with the aim of sparking creative ideas, untethered from the niche subjects, academic specialisms or industry segments that have long dominated professional events.

Examples are not hard to find. The business summit in the secluded Swiss mountain resort of Davos is the most famous. But the first week of March also saw the latest TED conference, an exclusive annual USD7,500-a-ticket gathering in Long Beach, California, dedicated to "ideas worth spreading". Elsewhere Google runs an annual invite-only conference, known as Zeitgeist, while American internet evangelist Tim O'Reilly hosts excitable technology entrepreneurs at Foo Camp, which modestly stands for "Friends of O'Reilly".

Dozens of smaller meetings are popping up too, such as Portmeirion, now in its third year and with the FT as one of its sponsors. They represent a shift in the market for conferences, now forced to be more eye-catching to attract the attention of more demanding and distracted audiences. But their blossoming also illuminates a wider trend: the growing importance of unusual ideas and rich social networks, in an economy in which information is both increasingly valuable and confusingly abundant.

Those gathered at Portmeirion this year formed an eclectic group, ranging from polymathic finance expert Nassim Nicholas Taleb to actress Miriam Margolyes and rock concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith. Elsewhere the resort's narrow streets were thronged with a mixture of senior bankers, newspaper columnists, politicians, entrepreneurs, authors and think-tank boffins.

Portmeirion itself used to be something of a salon for London's recuperating elite, hosting guests such as Noel Coward and Bertrand Russell. The idea of hosting a contemporary event there stems from this: it is the brainchild of British public relations guru Julia Hobsbawm, whose father (the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm) brought their family to the town for summer holidays.

Top-level gatherings have long been a feature of politics and international affairs. Historian Simon Schama points to The Poker Club, a distinguished salon at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment of the late 1700s, which counted David Hume and Adam Smith among its members.

Today's ideas conferences are less serious affairs than their antecedents, with agendas that go well beyond the straitjacketed worlds of politics, foreign affairs and business. Videos, jazzy graphics and blaring music between sessions all help keep participants engaged. Informal, unscripted agenda-less "unconferences", are also popular.

A defiantly cross-disciplinary ethic marks out this new class of events, whose programmes are seemingly incomplete without sculptors, comedians and bioethicists to balance out the economists and business gurus. Portmeirion's two most memorable sessions were its most eclectic: a plea to save the seas from oceanographer Sylvia Earle, and a moving film about Indian prostitution from filmmaker Beeban Kidron.

The flipside of this variety is a certain intellectual vagueness, as organisers try to hold together a programme full of clashing insights. The gnomic theme of the most recent TED, for instance, was "the rediscovery of wonder" - featuring a live talk from an astronaut in an orbiting space station, and a demonstration of a machine that "printed" human body parts. The theme of Portmeirion, meanwhile, was simply "community and values", into which one could read just about anything.

Certainly, it isn't always clear what these conferences are meant to be about. The ideal speaker, therefore, is someone able to cross many intellectual boundaries at once [jk: does this meet the definition of "transgressive"??] - as with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan, who kicked off the Portmeirion gathering with a magisterial address on the topic of "anti-fragility" in complex social and economic systems. His remarks ranged from mathematics and economics to political theory and Greek history, leaving attendees at once stimulated and more than a little perplexed.

There is an underlying economic rationale too. Delegates often work in professions that place a premium on finding and exploiting the ideas central to processes of innovation in modern businesses. This makes the events business-friendly too - a fact compounded by their need to win extensive corporate sponsorship, which in turn pays for the meals and accommodation that non-paying guests and speakers enjoy.

Yet if the ideas are a little fuzzy, and the business jargon a little too prevalent, this is because, more than anything, these conferences are meant as a celebration, and a test, of the individuals picked to attend - those high-powered, busy, professionally successful types who make a living telling others what they should watch, read or buy.

RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor notes the importance of intellectual cross-dressing at such events: "They allow people to throw off their professional persona for 48 hours: journalists become social theorists, businesspeople become green warriors, and academics become showmen. But on Monday morning - perhaps to everyone's secret relief - it's back to work."

Although their easygoing participants would tend to deny this, these events are a new form of elitism: a novel way of marking out a social and professional hierarchy, in which sensibility and interestingness replaces class or creed. What follows is stimulating, but also reflects the similar outlooks of the media and intellectual elite in a post-ideological world: an ersatz form of intellectualism, which might have raised an eyebrow in Eric Hobsbawm's day.

Even so, such ideas events prosper because they solve a problem faced by many at the top of their professions. The much-discussed "death of distance" never happened; globalisation and the profusion of technology makes place more important. Similarly, a world of abundant, instantly accessible information seems to make personal connection more vital. This puts a premium on private events, which force their participants to spend time developing ideas without distraction. The ideas conference is here to stay.

The Polymath

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

As the guru credited with spotting the unexpected "black swan" events behind the global financial meltdown, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (illustration above) has a track record for spotting unusual ideas. He worries that we have still not learnt the lessons of the crisis, identifying ongoing major threats arising from "expert problems". The risk, he notes, is that "a pseudo-expert astrologist doesn't have many damaging side- effects, but a pseudo-expert economist certainly does".

Taleb is sceptical of some ideas gatherings. Davos is a particular bugbear; he turns down the annual invitation on the grounds that it is "too big, on the wrong topics, and with the wrong people". Other events have their problems too - in particular their tendency to turn "scientists into entertainers and circus performers".

Taleb is currently developing his thinking for a forthcoming book, which he describes as a deeper "volume two" of the themes he explored in The Black Swan. His new big idea is "anti-fragility", or the stability that comes from decentralised, complex systems - such as those found in nature (i.e. biomimicry), or artisan industries - which allow regular small acts of self-destruction, but adapt to keep the system as a whole stable. He contrasts this with fragile, centralised systems - such as the post-crisis banking industry - which prop up their failing parts.

The Agent

Caroline Michel

It is the books with the "big themes" that sell well nowadays, explains Caroline Michel (below), one of London's leading literary agents. Her job, she says, is one in which "amazing people come to me with brilliant ideas, and it is my job to work out what to do with them". In this role she styles herself as part of a new class of "professional mediators", a cadre of ideas professionals whose role it is to weed out "Pot-Noodle knowledge", and give the public new ways to find the valuable information they need.

Consequently, she is a confirmed ideas conference fan, citing book gatherings such as the annual Hay Festival as a source of inspiration. But when facing "an extraordinary spaghetti of knowledge and information", she says, even knowledge professionals find themselves struggling to "to pull through strands" they can understand. A world in which "we have access to this huge mass of information, and in which we are all instant doctors and instant reporters" therefore only increases the importance of those few "people you trust to show you the way through it" - and makes doubly important the chance to listen to them, and to interact with them, in person.

The Entrepreneur

Will … [more]
antifragility  conferences  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  David_Hume  Davos  fragility  hierarchies  ideas  ideaCity  invitation-only  Nassim_Taleb  self-destructive  TED  Tim_O'Reilly  thinking_big  trend_spotting  Zeitgeist 
march 2011 by jerryking

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