My Davos Moment, part 4

  • Tim Weber
  • 26 Jan 07, 04:08 PM

We have asked some of the participants to tell us about one of the Davos moments, encounters and events that make Davos special for them.

Mark Crosier is the founder of UK high-tech firm DeepStream Technologies, and one of the "technology pioneers" that have been invited to the forum.

My Davos moment so far hopefully demonstrates the surreal experience of attending the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting, the melting pot of attendees and buzz around the place that permeates everything.

I attended the WEF's Young Global Leaders' Energy Night Cap event held at the Belvedere Hotel. The Young Global Leaders seem to be very active here and their gatherings really capture the atmosphere of the conference, while highlighting the urgency with which we need to address climate change now.

The buzz of Davos is heightened by the fact that events don't always take place in traditional surroundings or with an accustomed mix of speakers. So inside the hotel, I find myself in an igloo, 10 feet from Claudia Schiffer, Shimon Perez, the CEO of Sun Microsystems, and a French pilot who's been flying solar-panelled planes around the world.

For me this moment sums up everything that is Davos and hearing Shimon Perez describe history as a catalogue of mistakes that the young should forget and always look to the future was truly inspirational.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:37 PM on 26 Jan 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Shimon Perez describing history as a catalogue of mistakes?

Many have advised that modern society's disconnect with history is a big part of our society's problems.

Does he wish to doom us to repeat past mistakes?

If the young forget past mistakes, how will they learn?

The author of the blog finds this remark inspirational. I find it stupid and simplistic, and I wonder at Perez' motives.

Forget the Great Depression, so Big Finance can wreak the same horrors again? Forget past military gaffes so we can make more war and sell more weapons? Forget the past oil crises? Forget that the North Sea is in decline? Forget that there has never been a silver bullet for any societal problem?

This is not exactly the kind of blogging that provides insight. Instead it is name-dropping -- inspiration by celebrity rather than by ideas and critical thinking.

  • 2.
  • At 11:29 PM on 26 Jan 2007,
  • Marios wrote:

I've seen a video exercpt of Shimon Perez making those same statements with a clearer context.

Crucially, you have to think context (ex-president and current (?) vice-premier of Israel). When he says 'history', he means the Palestinian-Israeli history. When he says 'the young should forget and always look to the future', he means that he thinks the way forwards (for Palestinians and Israelis, at least) is to not rake up the past as a justification for future conflict/intransigence but to focus on future prospects for peace.

If an Israeli ex-president said that it was vital that we 'learnt the lessons of the past' without providing context, that would probably be interpreted as an anti-Gentile statement or an implication that we can induce that Palestinians can't be trusted because of their behaviour in the past (not so inspirational).

By all means, criticise the guy, but not for things he isn't saying and not when he's making such (arguably empty) hopeful statements.

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