For this reason, "Davos Man" has itself become synonymous with a stereotyped figure of a typical participant of the Forum — rich and powerful, perhaps out of touch, but most of all representative of the global elite.
The phrase "Davos Man" was credited to Samuel P. Huntington, a political scientist who spent the majority of his working life at Harvard University. In 2004, he wrote a paper about elites and "an emerging global superclass" of "Davos men" or "gold-collar workers."
"The rewards of an increasingly integrated global economy have brought forth a new global elite. Labeled 'Davos Men,' 'gold-collar workers' or… 'cosmocrats', this emerging class is empowered by new notions of global connectedness. It includes academics, international civil servants and executives in global companies, as well as successful high-technology entrepreneurs," Huntington wrote, citing an estimation that this elite would total 40 million people by 2010.
He said such global elites "have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite's global operations."
Huntington added that such individuals were defined by their "involvement in transnational institutions, networks and activities" and that "someone whose loyalties, identities and involvements are purely national is less likely to rise to the top in business, academia, the media and the professions than someone who transcends these limits."