As the World Economic Forum turns 50, the organisers are insisting on moving away from 'hard-partying' and express concerns over establishing more meaningful relationships in the future. The organisers have vowed that this year's meeting at Davos will consist of talks on climate change.
In the past, Davos has been known for rapid-fire corporate dealmaking consisting of cocktail-fuelled soirees, but organisers insist that there will be equal emphasis on such soirees and hearings on climate change. This year's guests will include some big names like Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and the co-creator of the anti-finance movement Occupy Wall Street, Micah White.
White had been earlier quoted saying that him attending Davos would be akin to reputational suicide but he believes that an alliance albeit a difficult one is needed between activists and members of the social and economic elite.
An alliance White states is the bare minimum that has to be achieved if the World Economic Forum wants to live up to its slogans of 'improving the state of the world'. The World Economic Forum known as Davos first began in 1971, under the guidance of German economist Klaus Schwab, it was a cosy Alpine get-together for European businessmen.
Schwab, who is now 81, is still very much in charge of the organisation. Joining the forum does not come cheap as the joining and partnership fees are 60,000-600,000 Swiss Francs. According to former European commissioner Pierre Moscovici, the forum has evolved from its origins into something akin to 'speed dating' for economic and political leaders.
Moscovici added that Schwab's attempts to broaden the horizons of the forum's agendas are sincere attempts to enhance dialogue. On the other hand, many have criticised the forum for the fact that many of the CEO's that attend the forum come in their private jets that undercuts the World Economic Forum's climate change commitments. Many people still remain highly unimpressed by the what World Economic Forum represents, even in its 50th year.