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Recent hits include telling us to eat bugs and save the planet (while the 'elites' fly in to the event on their 1,000 private jets. So is there anything worth paying attention to at Davos this week?
The WEF has a marketing problem. From the public's perspective, there's generally nothing good about the WEF.
The consensus is found somewhere between a bunch of 'out of touch elites' lacking in self-awareness, 'world leaders doing the bidding of supervillain Klaus Schwab' and 'Who? Why tf should I care what they have to say, I've got work today'.
Now, there's a reason the marketing team doesn't do anything to change public perceptions of this organisation. It's because the public's not the target audience...
For all the chatter about their conspiracies and power, it's just a groupthink club for academics to circlejerk with other 'important' people and pretend they're making a difference to the world.
Schwab's 'executive education' grift is genius, and not in the good way. Don't expect anything to ever be fixed by the WEF.
However, for us curious types. There's value in the chatter. Narratives and group think from these events can become tomorrow's policies. Hubris and overconfidence is fuel for the next crisis. These are the stories of the future.
But watching these events is sort of like panning for gold. A lot of effort for no guaranteed reward, and you'll probably need to have a good wash afterwards.
The guys at Newsquawk put together an excellent shortlist of 'ones to watch' this week 👇
Aside from the above, there's an insane variety of topics and speakers. Plenty are just talking heads, activists and the like.
Others, such as Learning from Semiconductor Supply Shocks, feature people who might actually have an idea, like the CEO's of Volvo and Intel. 👇
Or this, on AI and white collar jobs 👇
Bear in mind who the speakers are and what their biases are likely to be...
It's still interesting to hear their ideas and then make your own judgements on what, realistically, might be achievable. One more that really has my curiosity piqued is this one on The Return of Manufacturing 👇
Mainly due to my fascination with the near-shoring/friend-shoring narrative and the durability of it.
Anyway. The point. These forums and chats are mainly breeding grounds for bad ideas, ego-stroking, and sometimes obligations. But that doesn't mean they should be completely ignored.
There's value in figuring out what the strongest narratives are, figuring out if there are operating constraints within the current frameworks (and what needs to change for a constraint to be lifted).
If you (understandably) don't want to watch Davos mouthpieces for the next week, there'll be plenty of replays and summaries hitting the wires. Some will be far more important than others.
Here's the link so you know the events/speakers you want to look out for...