Today was the first day of the 2008 World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. Last year, I somehow bumped into the World Economic Forum and since then I have been extremely interested in this forum. The World Economic Forum is “an independent international non-profit organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to global, regional and industry agendas”. The forum was originally founded in January 1971 by a group of European business men being led by then Professor of business policy at the University of Geneva Klaus Schwab. Originally the forum was focused in business leaders coming up with competitive strategies so European firms could catch up to US companies. Yet, the forum started accomplishing milestones and hence it grew. In 1974, it was the first year that political leaders were invited. And in 1987, the forum adopted its current name. Presently, the World Economic Forum is a membership driven forum where business leaders from top companies around the world along with politicians gather in Davos, Switzerland to discuss current issues at hand such as world economic trends, environmental issues, poverty and such.

I have mentioned in previous entries that I think the world is being run by corporations. This is the place where strategies and plans are thought out and leaders meet to discuss the future of our “world”. Politicians, congresses and laws are something minimal now. Corporations and businesses talking to political leaders and discussing the real issues at hand is “OUR” future. We live in a world economy now. What happens in the US affects the world, what happens in Europe affects the world, what happens in China affects the world. We are interconnected. We are moving together at a fast pace and we need our leaders of our corporations and governments to discuss current problems, because ultimately that will affect all of us. From the air we breathe, to the type of banking services we use, to how we operate a car. So, if you are just a little interested about your future….go to http://www.weforum.org

Some interesting quotes:

“We welcome Sovereign Wealth Fund investments and we don’t fear it. But the growth in the number and significance means that vigilance is needed.”

Robert M. Kimmit, US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

Some of the attendees include:

Al Saud, Prince of Saudi Royal Family; Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Plastic Factory, Saudi Arabia

Tony Blair Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997-2007); Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; Co-Chair of the World

Samuel W. Bodman US Secretary of Energy

Gordon Brown Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

François Fillon Prime Minister of France

James M. Flaherty Minister of Finance of Canada

Timothy F. Geithner President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, USA

Jean-Daniel Gerber Secretary of State for Economic Affairs of Switzerland

Al Gore Vice-President of the United States of America (1993-2001); Nobel Laureate 2007

Henry A. Kissinger Chairman, Kissinger Associates Inc., USA; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008

Luis A. Moreno President, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC

Peter Piot Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Undersecretary-General, United Nations, Geneva

Rachid M. Rachid Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt

H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum

Condoleezza Rice US Secretary of State

Susan Schwab US Trade Representative

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington DC

Jean-Claude Trichet President, European Central Bank, Frankfurt

Pierre-François Unger State Councillor of Geneva, Switzerland

Alvaro Uribe Velez , President of Colombia

Ann M. Veneman Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), New York

Xia Deren Mayor of Dalian, People’s Republic of China

Yi Xiaozhun Vice-Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China

Abdullah Zainal Alireza Minister of State of Saudi Arabia

Zhang Yesui Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

Robert B. Zoellick President, World Bank, Washington DC