Hey, hey it’s "Davos time" again!

Davos, Switzerland, views of the Congress Cent... 

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Now, I do consider that I have a pretty well informed and balanced view of the world! If I didn’t believe that to be true I would not have the nerve to write this blog on as wide a range of topics – NO it’s not all about complexity!

In case there are any doubters I suggest you read these words of wisdom.

As you do, kindly refrain from thoughts of “oh no, he’s off again..”

2011 will be a decisive year. We will finally see whether we have learned the lesson or whether we continue to take decisions and behave as if the exuberance of the pre-crisis world would return.

It is a year where we should definitively recognize that we live in a completely new reality. The context for global cooperation, for national policies and for business models has substantially if not fundamentally changed. New movers have emerged at a much greater speed than previously foreseen. The Millennials, a generation born digital, will have a much stronger impact on social behaviour than we currently assume. Global climate change and resource security will influence our lives in substantial ways. The most decisive success factors on the global, national and business level will be the ability to anticipate, manage and mitigate risks.

One new reality is global interconnectivity and the fact that all challenges must be addressed on the basis of “togetherness”. Thus the most crucial factor in accepting the new reality and confronting its opportunities and risks is our willingness to develop shared norms on all levels. Without such shared norms our reform efforts will remain at best piecemeal and at worst simply lip-service. Shared norms require principles and values. Here again, we should not look to old-world recipes since unfettered capitalism and state-directed collectivism have both been bankrupted as guiding ideologies.

Our only way out is the stakeholder concept. This means that the pursuit of our own interests can only be substantially realized by incorporating the interests of all those with whom we have a mutually dependent relationship. This is true on all levels, and in any capacity in which we take decisions: family life, society, business or politics.

In 2011, the G20 will have to demonstrate that it can address not only the necessary financial reforms but also questions of global governance, the reform of the global monetary system and the scarcity and fair distribution of natural resources. For their part, business leaders will have to demonstrate that they are truly committed to the entrepreneurial creation of jobs and to the reduction of the income gap.

Will we grasp our new reality? 2011 represents a fundamental tipping point in addressing this question.

I know, I know it’s just my usual stuff “tipping point”, financial reform, cooperation, collaboration, interdependence, stakeholder, community, cultural change, values, inter-connectedness, risk prevention, sustainability, technology, communication blah, blah.

So you may be surprised to learn that I had no part in this. These aren’t my words. I didn’t say them nor did I write them for  KLAUS SCHWAB, the distinguished founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum—known in the shorthand of world movers and shakers as “Davos”, after the Swiss ski resort where the forum has its annual meeting (the next is in January).

If I had written it there would have been more specific reference to complexity…as there was in the WEF Global Risks 2010 report. I didn’t write that either.

But I will say this for old Klaus…he sure as hell knows what he is talking about!


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