A focus by countries on developing a skilled workforce through improvements in education is necessary, according to participants in a CNBC debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The snow started coming down Tuesday evening and a crisp white blanket covered Davos before sunrise. But much of the talk late yesterday and Wednesday morning was about snow in the UK — and whether it's really to blame.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne blamed "terrible" weather in December for the surprise 0.5 percent fall in fourth-quarter GDP. But as ploughs cleared the snow in Davos there was much skepticism in the WEF community.
As the Congress Center fills up, everyone is asking about President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
The hub of activity in Davos Tuesday will be the registration tent. Again, this had benefited from an upgrade. It's larger, preventing the typical rugby scrum of participants trying to get credentials.
The breakfast conversations on the day before WEF officially starts have a somber tone, with discussions centering on the bombing at the international arrivals terminal at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.
While topics for discussions, debates and panels are carefully planned ahead of times, breaking news has a way of taking over the agenda, so you'll hear much more on security from world leaders.
The Super Bowl gets two weeks of full-swing hype ahead of kickoff, but at the World Economic Forum there's a calming sense of mountain quiet until the delegates start to gather and hit the watering holes late Tuesday.
That does give the opportunity for some reconnaissance of the town and a very rare view of the empty Congress Center. The CNBC position, usually buzzing with conversations, TV output, white noise from heaters and blaring ringtones from all over the world, is practically empty.