Since the first incarnation of what is now the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 1971, the list of high-profile attendants, scope and ambitions at the event in Davos, Switzerland has grown considerably.
When Klaus Schwab founded the forum, he invited around 400 business executives as he sought to introduce European companies to U.S. business practices.
Today, Davos attracts several thousand attendees, ranging from heads of state and business executives to policy makers and celebrities, for almost a week's worth of workshops, speeches and discussions that focus on a central theme, 2018's being "creating a shared future in a fractured world."
As it turns out, gathering world leaders in Davos is the easy part, while getting them to agree on the solutions to the world's most pressing problems such as climate change, sustainable industrial development, global inequality and poverty is far harder.
This is something that the event's organizers concede. Lee Howell, WEF's global head of programming, told CNBC that the event could always improve.
"What I think Davos could do better is to take that sense of community and actually catalyze much more change in those areas (of discussion)," Howell said. "So in a way it's able to create a space of trust and community, and then look at how it can help that community really work together.
"Having that shared interest (in resolving problems) is great but it's not sufficient. We need to get to a shared vision of that future and take action on it and I think if we can compel more of the community members to do that in whatever domain, then that alone would improve the state of the world."