Jasmine Whitbread

Davos women are gathered to listen to the likes of Arianna Huffington and the impressive Indonesian trade minister, Mari Pangestu, and to network amongst other women. Seemingly stuck at just 15 per cent of participants, the ‘tribe’ (as its referred to by Harvard prof Rosabeth Kanter)looks quite different all gathered together vs as a light sprinkling.  As I’m sitting down and slightly wondering what I need to be doing here for children, most of the women at the table tell me they happen to be Save the Children supporters – it’s great to be able to say thank you.

The Google party is even cooler this year with wetsuit, snorkel-clad waiters serving sushi, and coloured pure oxygen tanks for those in need of a blast. Media moguls, politicos, all the young global leaders and even some royalty hit the dance floor. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

Jasmine Whitbread

First session of the day is on ‘Rethinking humanitarian response’ and was again dominated by Haiti. Is it really all as chaotic as the media depicts? If the response was slow, slow compared to what exactly? What are the respective roles of the UN, government, NGOS, business and military?

I think we have the answers to these questions but there is not enough time and ongoing interest to build a shared understanding across the different sectors. Still, the room is not hostile and the concluding straw poll shows more people are optimistic than pessimistic about the scale-up in Haiti. Read more

Jasmine Whitbread

The hotel vestibules were buzzing as I arrived – seems President Sarkozy pulled no punches in his address yesterday and people are up for ‘rethinking and redesigning’.  But, I asked my dinner companions, to what extent? If you were going to redesign a global economic system right now, would you tolerate design flaws that leave 70m kids out of school?

But what grabs people’s attention is the Tiger Woods back-story and how well his erstwhile corporate sponsors handled the PR crisis – must say I never expected that as a Davos theme. Read more