The annual meeting chooses a theme each year. The 2014 theme is “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business” and takes place over 4 days of meetings and forums, according to a piece released by Time, engaging “on all platforms” at the conference. “Our aim is to develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges,” a statement from Time reads. The theme itself sounds ominous for the people not included at the meeting, since the decisions there will effect their lives the most.
Income inequality is scheduled to be one of the topics discussed. Irony is not. We should all have confidence in the WEF when we hear “Shark Tank” host Kevin O’Leary say “it’s fantastic” that the world’s 85 richest people hold as much wealth as its 3.5 billion poorest people. In a study by an international relief organization, Oxfam, a new report this week found the richest 1 percent in the world controlled about $110 trillion in wealth, or 65 times more than the world’s poorest half.
Do the people meeting in Davos have any frame of reference to be anything but the 1% at the top? Do they know the struggles of a South African family trying to survive on $1 a day? Do they comprehend the oppression when $.23 an hour is considered “good pay” in some countries? How many times have they been homeless, hungry and cold? Has unemployment ever been their only means of survival? How many representatives of the actual 99% will be at the WEF?
Have you ever wanted to replace the “E” with a “T” in this wheel of fortune called a Forum?