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20 janvier 2008

Riding the rollercoaster on a magic mountain

It's the time of year that the great and good from politics and business get together in the Swiss Alps to put the world to rights. If it's January, it must be Davos. Once again, this year, as every year, there is only one place to be next week for the movers and shakers of the global elite. (...)

Having initially wowed even the corporate moguls who cough up millions in backing for most of the forum's activities, the high-wattage Hollywood personalities' appeal began to dim. Davos regulars, and the organisers themselves, seemed to feel that the superstars were eclipsing the agenda and, perhaps, hogging their own annual place in the global limelight.

This year Klaus Schwab, the forum's formidable founder, executive chairman and global éminence grise seems to have banished the Hollywood hangers-on from the select Davos circle, returning the event to its bedrock of top leaders from business and government. The glitziest cultural figures gracing the icy pavements of Davos next week appear to be Emma Thompson, the actress, Yo-Yo Ma, the cellist, and Peter Gabriel, the musician. Thus in more sombre times for the world economy, this year the forum itself seems to be sobering up, just a little...

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