Who’s not coming to Davos – POLITICO


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DAVOS, Switzerland — The World Economic Forum’s annual conclave within the Swiss Alps is the best intersection of wealth and political energy on the worldwide calendar, however this 12 months the stability is shifting. 

Each January, discussion board organizers grew to become used to asserting one other record-setting listing of nationwide leaders, world officers and royalty making their method to the unique gathering.

WEF would appeal to even globalization’s strongest skeptics: from U.S. President Donald Trump to former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and local weather campaigner Greta Thunberg.

While there are 52 heads of state of presidency heading to Davos this 12 months, top-tier leaders are lacking. U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese and Russian counterparts Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are all giving it a miss. 

French President Emmanuel Macron, who promised to Make the Planet Great Again, can be skipping the talkfest, together with new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and re-elected Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Instead, it’s a European-heavy visitor listing: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is the one chief from a G7 nation, sharing prime billing with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, one other German.

Even inside European royal ranks, the discussion board this 12 months is attracting the likes of Queen Maxima of the Netherlands — a U.N. monetary inclusion envoy — quite than environmental campaigners reminiscent of King Charles and Prince William.

Some of probably the most distinguished tech firms are dialing again their participation amid rounds of heavy layoffs. 

And the largest social gathering hosts on the town — Russian oligarchs — stay compelled out by sanctions levied since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has unmatched star wattage among the many Davos crowd — however even a video look from him this 12 months might be handled as under par, given what number of of them he now does.

It’s the C-Suite, silly!

With the worldwide political elite principally absent, WEF is that this 12 months selecting to concentrate on rising CEO numbers. 

Among 2,700 individuals in official WEF periods, “we’re likely to surpass the old record from 2020 with 600 global CEOs — including 1,500 C-suite level overall,” mentioned WEF’s head of digital and advertising and marketing George Schmitt, who added that 80 of the CEOs are first-timers in Davos.

Those who declare Davos is useless are but to be confirmed proper, however WEF’s critics now unfold past the activist world who’ve lengthy disparaged the juxtaposition of personal jet opulence with hand-wringing panels about world poverty.

WEF would appeal to even globalization’s strongest skeptics: from U.S. President Donald Trump to former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and local weather campaigner Greta Thunberg | Jim Watson/AFP by way of Getty Images

The U.S. delegation consists of cupboard members reminiscent of local weather envoy John Kerry, who will camp out in Davos for many of the week, however others reminiscent of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are skipping. 

It’s not that Yellen has higher issues to do at residence: She’s embarking on an 11-day journey with stops in Senegal, Zambia and South Africa, with no time for Davos. 

Nobel Peace Prize winner Beatrice Fihn, who campaigns to eradicate nuclear weapons, mentioned she “genuinely had forgotten that Davos is still happening.” 

“The format seems slightly dated now. The private jets and oligarch parties are no longer in step with modern biz [business] life,” mentioned Scott Colvin, a Davos veteran who’s now public affairs director at Aviva. “The events around COP [the U.N.’s annual climate summit] now feel a bigger deal, given their focus on a specific global policy objective,” he added.

WEF is a sufferer of its personal success and caught in a demographic bind.

The discussion board’s working mannequin requires it to present a spot for the world’s strongest and influential folks to speak. 

In 2020 Bloomberg calculated 119 billionaires joined the social gathering, with a mixed internet value of greater than $500 billion. 

WEF’s efforts to carry the uber-elite collectively is a stark annual reminder that they don’t appear to be the remainder of us. 

The greatest ratio of feminine individuals in WEF’s 52-year historical past of in-person gatherings was 24 p.c, in 2020. 

Despite years of exhortations and incentives for members to carry extra feminine colleagues, the quantity usually hovers within the vary of 18 p.c to 20 p.c. A WEF spokesperson mentioned that 42 p.c of audio system this 12 months might be girls.

WEF goals for world attain — however usually lands in the course of the Atlantic as an alternative. 

This 12 months Europe is supplying probably the most political leaders, whereas the U.S. company delegation will as soon as once more massively outweigh the others. The 700 Americans taking part this 12 months outnumber the Chinese delegation roughly 20 to 1.

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