It's easy to consider an invitation to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum's annual meeting a sign one has reached the pinnacle. (We're not talking about Alpine ski resort's lofty elevation).
By most measures, it is an elite event, where one regularly crosses paths, if not mixes, with the wealthy, mighty, influential and powerful, from business to government to academia.
Davos may even be that rare place where tight security is synonymous with exclusivity. Membership fees, a well kept secret, are said to be extraordinarily high. Accommodation is precious and party lists short.
If is not merely meeting of the minds, but a gathering of the masters of the universe, who are, at various times, part of a captive audience, members of a prognosticating debate club or willing participants in the operation of the global economy. Influence is applied and acquired, deals are born or closed, conventional wisdom updated and revised.
Despite all that, Davos is a place where little is solved, resolved or written. Critics — some of them admittedly driven by envy and barriers to entry — call it a talk fest (or worse), a publicity event, a temporary home to hubris, greed and vanity, a modern incarnation of the military-industrial complex, an instrument of globalization.