I realize that the beautiful spot in Switzerland is where the supposed brightest and best gather for a few sessions, yet the gathered crowd appears to grow more incapable every year at solving the globe's biggest problems. Perhaps the reason is because those gathered are not only intelligent and connected, but are, in fact, incredibly wealthy -- remote and removed from the everyday problems faced by average citizens in both developing and developed nations. There seem to be no effective solutions for growing unemployment, the decline of democracy, the yawning gap between rich and poor, and a world financial system seemingly out of control.
China's growth, while enviable, is slowing. But power is opaque here, a problem in a globalized world, and the government controls information flow. It in the midst, like America, of a power struggle over who will run their nation. America is undertaking a noisy and disruptive election process while China is undergoing a power struggle behind closed doors as to who will run the superpower for the next 10 years.
Women in the U.S. are offered zero paid maternity leave, and they're practically the only ones. More women are going to school and joining the workforce but then -- boom! -- babies. And yes, while more and more Americans are working from home, there is little hope that a single shift will alleviate a working mother's workload. The shift needs to be one of national legislative proportions.
While it recently played host to the Oslo Freedom Forum, Norway's capital is gripped by the Anders Breivik trial. What happens at the Breivik trial has a bearing on the libertarian and humanitarian values that underly the Forum -- one that is neither left wing nor right win, and has highlighted oppression and dissident courage in places as various as China, Singapore, Turkish Kurdistan, India and Sudan.
"Severe income disparity" is the most likely risk facing business and political leaders according to the World Economic Forum's Global Risk 2012 Report. This finding really caught me by surprise. So while the Occupy movement isn't anywhere on the agenda, here at Davos, its impact has been very much felt.