by Ray Fleming

I T'S Davos time again when some two thousand five hundred movers and shakers from the world's big businesses and governments and international bodies get together at a small Swiss ski resort to mix with a sprinkling of scientists, artists, trade unionists and people from leading charities and non-governmental organisations. Every year, the World Economic Forum, which is the correct name for the Davos gathering, sets a theme to set the global economic mood of the moment. This year it's “Dynamic Resilience” but in every article or interview I have read so far about this year's meeting no one has been able to explain what it means.

Some cynics have suggested that at last Klaus Schwab, who founded the Forum in 1971 and still presides over it, has at last either run out of ideas or accepted that the Forum itself is not much more than a talking shop and social get-together. Schwab defines the Forum as “A lab for new ideas, a testing ground, a launching pad for new initiatives and also an informal atmosphere for resolving disputes”.

Since no communiqué or report of any kind emerges from the Davos meetings it is hard to tell what, if anything, they achieve beyond providing a platform for speeches -- Mr Cameron's on Europe, at last, tomorrow? Perhaps Davos should close down for a few years and see if it is missed.


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