What is the point of Davos? That's the question most people have asked at least once, more likely many times over, when assessing the annual World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual jamboree in the Alps.
Let's face it, this week we are currently facing turmoil in the foreign exchange markets, IMF warnings over a global growth slowdown, ongoing conflict in Ukraine, dire warnings of inequality being worse than ever and much more besides. So is WEF just a distraction for those who are supposed to be getting us back on track?
Having been to the annual event many times since 2006, I too have questioned the purpose of the gathering and at times have firmly believed that the meeting's core thematics have been stunningly distant from real world events.
The truth is that if you ask the participants, from prime ministers to chief executives, from activist pop stars to labor unions, they will tell you that it is a unique opportunity to bang together some of the most influential heads on this planet.
They may tell you to forget the bland headline thematics put together by WEF and concentrate on the often ferocious debates, both in public and private, where ideas are formed and differences very often overcome.
And yet this year for once I am a little bit more hopeful that the headline nonsense of some of the previous years has been abandoned and the forum will hit the ground running and not have to bridge such a wide gap between the program and the real world.