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World Politics Davos 2020: What is the World Economic Forum and is it elitist?


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World Politics Davos 2020: What is the World Economic Forum and is it elitist?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Security is tight at the Alpine event Some of the world’s top business people and politicians – plus a smattering of celebrities – will gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week.US President Donald Trump, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi…

World Politics Davos 2020: What is the World Economic Forum and is it elitist?

World Politics

World Politics Armed security personnel stand guard on the rooftop of a hotel, next to letters reading Image copyright
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Security is tight on the Alpine occasion

One of the crucial sector’s top enterprise individuals and politicians – plus a smattering of celebrities – will rep in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week.

US President Donald Trump, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi are amongst the mates.

But what’s the jet-thunder occasion for and is it elitist?

World Politics What’s the World Economic Forum?

Launched in 1971, WEF goals to “improve the thunder of the sector”.

Held every year in the Alpine ski resort of Davos, the convention locations leaders from enterprise in the the same room as key avid gamers from politics, charity and academia.

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Tony Blair and U2 singer Bono talking at WEF in 2005

Many utilize the chance to withhold deepest meetings on things cherish funding of their worldwide locations, and as an opportunity to manufacture enterprise deals.

Excessive profile figures generally put it to use to electrify the area agenda. Catch Prince William’s speech final year on mental health, or David Attenborough’s stark warnings about the environment.

World Politics Who attends Davos?

WEF on occasion attracts spherical 3,000 individuals, about a third of them from enterprise. To head you wish to be invited – in which case the occasion is free – or a member of WEF, which could stamp £480,000.

World leaders, key figures from the UN and EU and the heads of indispensable corporations cherish Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and IBM support.

Routine mates embody billionaire financier George Soros, primitive UK prime minister Tony Blair, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and U2 singer Bono.

However, new records from the World Economic Forum indicates that fully 239 individuals from the UK will be attending this year – the lowest UK attendance since 2010 – after Boris Johnson banned ministers from attending the occasion.

World Politics Does Davos fetch critics?

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FABRICE COFFRINI

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There were protests originate air WEF when US President George W Bush visited in 2007

The occasion does no longer excellent attract vitality avid gamers.

Closing year, Dutch new historian Rutger Bregman primitive a panel to slam delegates for no longer paying their excellent-making an strive allotment of taxes.

Usually you will watch protests in Davos and indispensable Swiss cities.

Ukranian activists Femen, protested in opposition to male dominance of the sector financial system. And in 2012, the Opt Wall Aspect freeway motion – which campaigned in opposition to inequality – constructed igloos to apartment 50 protesters.

World Politics Is Davos elitist?

Until the monetary break of 2007-08, attending Davos changed into once regarded as a need to for the sizable and superb-making an strive.

But critics fetch suggested it is an emblem of the “world elite”, about a of whom are to blame for that crisis.

Closing year Time magazine editor-at-dapper, Anand Giridharadas, described Davos as “a household reunion for the those that broke the popular world”.

Even amongst attendees, no longer everyone has the the same stage of entry. Colored badges settle who will get to rub shoulders with whom.

The most excessive-profile mates procure a white badge with a hologram on it, giving them entry to in every single website online. At the diversified slay of the dimension a “resort” badge potential you can not procure into the convention centre at all.

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For quite quite a bit of the year Davos is a ski resort

It’s miles steadily male-dominated, with the term “Davos Man” changing proper into a nickname for the style of rich, elite male who on occasion goes. Closing year 22% of all Davos participants were ladies, up from 17% 2015.

The convention’s swanky thunder, the deepest helicopters flying inner and out and the array of lavish parties can add to claims the occasion is recurring.

But WEF argues it is merely in bringing leaders together for the greater excellent-making an strive.

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And Martin Wolf, the Financial Instances’ chief economics commentator, says: “Elites are always reasonably out of touch – that’s their nature – nonetheless it is impossible to fetch a world without them. It’s miles steadily crucial that these individuals meet on a extraordinary foundation and rep out what every diversified is pondering.”

World Politics What has Davos carried out?

Many corporations utilize the occasion to make key pledges on components cherish sustainability, or to improve range.

The convention has also notched up some accurate achievements.

In 1988, meetings between prime ministers Turgut Özal of Turkey and Andreas Papandreou of Greece introduced household between the worldwide locations serve from the brink of war.

And in 2000, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) primitive it to delivery programmes to immunise millions of children in opposition to disease.

World Politics What key moments manufacture we request this year?

Donald Trump will be the principle appeal, having skipped the occasion final year. He is thanks to present a speech on Tuesday, the day his impeachment trial begins in the US Senate.

Meanwhile, Greta Thunberg is thanks to ship one other combative message on climate change – after trekking her procedure up the Alps to Davos in preference to the utilize of public transport.

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FABRICE COFFRINI

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Greta Thunberg will support all yet again this year

Other mammoth names will be Sanna Marin, prime minister of Finland, who at 34 is the sector’s youngest serving premier.

And Bollywood huge name Deepika Padukone will be in city talking about her battle with despair.

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