Big Ideas, Free Thinkers Drive Debate
This year, Davos promises to be a fascinating event. 1. There will be the usual CEO spotting. Who are the first timers this year? (Emerging Markets and Sovereign Wealth Funds.) And who isn't there? (Chuck Prince and a slew of bankers.)
2. There are issues. Will the US have a recession? Can Asia decouple? Has the global credit cycle rolled over? Do the financial rules need overhauling? And how is money and power shifting from the West to the East?
3. Millennial issues are still up for grabs. Climate change and the renewables vs. alternatives debate, the US election outcome and immigration/emigration and its impact on national economies and policy.
Davos always has a very ambitious agenda, and we intend to match that with our coverage.
Ross Westgate and I will be there to present "Squawk Box Europe" and "Worldwide Exchange" in the snow. We have a solid list of CEOs and analysts to guide us through the issues, and we'll be taking soundings in the corridors to make sure we reflect the conversations that are held away from the microphones.
Davos sometimes gets dismissed as a talking shop which achieves few concrete results, but that is a misunderstanding of the event, usually spoken by people who have never attended.
Davos' greatest coup is in gathering together individuals who have the ability to make meaningful decisions –- and then encouraging them to think freely and discuss their fears and hopes. It is only through facing the challenges and talking about them that they finally get addressed.
This year, like no other in recent memory, uncertainty is the predominant emotion. Uncertainty about the climate, energy reserves, financial markets, employment prospects … and so the list goes on.