As the Arab spring rolls into Autumn, and the UK recovers from a series of shocking riots, the role social media plays in widespread social unrest has never been so scrutinised. But at One Young World, tipped as the Davos for the younger generation, social networking is valued as a crucial new marketing tool with global reach, and even as a way to leverage new business.
Speaking to entrepreneurs from across the globe, many credit the likes of Facebook and Twitter with providing a new platform for brand awareness and as a way of generating new business.
Entrepreneurs are looking at new ways to use social media in particular to promote their businesses. Argentinian wine maker Mike Barrow says he uses his following of Twitter as a selling point to customers and business partners.
"The advantage is that with the explosion of social media... Combined with traditional TV, you can take a story like ours from a corner of Argentina and go out to the world with it" said Barrow, who runs Costaflores.
Big businesses have been taking advantage already, with CEOs are turning to social networking as part of their marketing strategies. David Jones, CEO of Havas, CEO of Havas and co-founder of One Young World said he is hiring, "in the digital space, absolutely, in fast growing markets like China, India, Brazil and Russia."