Daily Archives: January 29, 2010

Jasmine Whitbread

The BBC’s Politics Show presenter Jon Sopel is moderating a discussion on cross-sector partnerships. I’m on the panel with Accenture and IKEA. Amazingly it’s a decent turnout at 7am (after a late night for most compounded with jet lag for many). Are NGOs and businesses converging? What will partnerships look like in another decade? Classic Davos fringe meeting. Encouraging levels of enthusiasm and a few new partnership ideas emerge.

I’m catching quick meetings with CEOs I’d struggle to get time with normally. So I miss what I hear was a great session on global talent mobility – a big issue for Save the Children. 

Martin Wolf

Here are further glimpses of the Davos kaleidoscope.

First, my friend Moises Naim, editor of Foreign Policy, gave me a new acronym on the global recovery. It is LUV. The L is for the L-shaped recovery of the European economies. The U is for the U-shaped recovery of the US economy. The V is for the shape of the recovery of big emerging economies. 

Sir Howard Davies

Although the conference dribbles on until Sunday morning, by Friday evening the tone has been set. So what is the verdict?

The mood is certainly better than last year, when the world was ending, but it is worse than at the beginning of last week. Alessandro Profumo of Unicredit acutely observed that Davos is likely to accentuate whatever mood you arrived in, rather as alcohol does, I guess. So those who arrived nervous about the economic prospects are leaving even more jittery. If you arrived feeling pessimistic, you will leave somewhere between suicidal and homicidal.

The market background has not helped. Anxiety about Greece has grown over the past three days. In the circumstances, it was strange to see both the Greek prime minister and his finance minister here. Maybe the subtext was to show that there can be no crisis if they are munching muesli in the mountains, but though some may have been reassured, more people asked who was at home minding the taverna. 

Bill Gates

On Friday I talked at the World Economic Forum about how I see the next 10 years as the Decade of Vaccines – a time when we will make more progress than ever on immunisations that save lives in the developing world.

The Decade of Vaccines will build on the phenomenal progress of the past 10 years. Since its creation in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has helped immunise more than 250m children in poor countries, averting 5m deaths and preventing a great deal of sickness and suffering. (You can read more about GAVI’s work in my 2010 Annual Letter, which was released this week.) 

By Chris Giles, the FT’s economics editor

I had an ulterior motive last night when I went to a dinner on Shakespeare and the crisis. I thought the session, led by Carol and Ken Adelman, founders of Movers and Shakespeares, would be ripe for ridicule and typical of some of the enjoyable nonsense of Davos. Their website, after all, does talk guff about teaching ”critical business skills through Shakespeare’s greatest works”. 

By Chris Giles, the FT’s economics editor

In a recent speech, Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England railed against the inconsistencies of national recovery strategies, saying that, “a present there is no political mechanism for achieving that consistency”. 

Jasmine Whitbread

Will India meet global expectations? This is what was debated in a large televised room packed with serious corporate players yesterday (so this is where they are). Lots of talk about India’s role as regional power and growth rates, but then finally a brave panellist suggests that the number one priority has to be for India to develop its people. The moderator completely ignored this and went back to growth rates.

Frustrating given India really could stop its children going hungry and dying from preventable causes – with enough determination. Bangladesh, a poorer country, has made faster progress on cutting child mortality rates.