01/21/2016 16:33 EST | Updated 01/21/2017 00:12 EST

Davos piles up contradictions as rich and powerful come together

DAVOS, Switzerland — The most powerful business leaders in the world worry about the environment — then sit in idling cars in traffic-clogged streets next to brightly lit storefronts.

All this, even though it is sometimes easier to walk through the winding streets of Davos, the highest city in the Swiss Alps and host to the World Economic Forum.

The traffic delayed two delegates who were to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday night, both from a company whose business includes building cars: Tata.

There is a push for gender parity among delegates, even though four-fifths of those here are men.

And there is the Facebook worker who uses Facebook to check the spelling of the name of an employee who gave Trudeau a tour of the company's building, only to refuse to divulge the guide's title. (The guide turned out to be a communications director for the social media giant.)

The annual meeting of the World Economic Summit is, at times, a series of paradoxes.

It is also a spot to hobnob, network, see and be seen and rub shoulders — sometimes literally in long lineups to get into hotels, buildings and venues — with celebrities and business powerhouses.

Trudeau has had a chance to meet all of them. At a reception Wednesday night, he met U2 frontman Bono and actors Kevin Spacey and Leonardo DiCaprio. He has met the heads of General Motors, Royal Dutch Shell, drug giant Novartis and the president of Switzerland, Johann Schneider-Ammann, whose handlers had to turn down requests from local reporters to question Trudeau because they were so curious about him.

Trudeau has been labelled the political celebrity of this year's summit.

About 400 people came for his keynote address Wednesday — more than were in the room for two of Iran's top politicians minutes before.

Trudeau spent almost as much time taking selfies with a group of young people involved in the group Global Shapers as he did speaking to them.

The Global Shapers event was extended again and again, leading Trudeau to joke that it was like the final instalment of The Lord of the Rings — just when you thought it was over, it kept going.

Trudeau has one more day to soak it all up before returning to Canada on Saturday.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press