There were many high profile speakers: David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. Cameron’s speech was a day after his speech announcing a controversial referendum on remaining in the European Union, if his Conservative Party controls the next Parliament. Both Merkel and Cameron emphasised the need for business growth, with the need for flexibility of both political and economic varieties. Making companies pay their fair share of taxes featured prominently in both speeches. Concern about economic inequality featured in Merkel’s speech and has been a serious theme in many conversations and presentations.
Having lived and worked in Africa for several years, I have attended a few African panel discussions and events. Listened to the Swedish Finance Minister declare that Africa is the next China. Africa’s economic growth today is second only to China’s. There is concern and debate about Mali, but generally a positive tone about Africa’s prospects.
Participated in a discussion on Impact Investing. I am not sure of the exact definition of Impact Investing, but it is roughly not just having a pure profit motive in making an investment, but also wanting to cause good things to happen for a community. Certainly seems as if it is a good idea and apparently there is good investor interest, significantly from high-net-worth individuals and foundations. Lots of discussion about how to measure the societal good component of impact investing. There was significant agreement that the profit aspect and the societal good aspect are strongly correlated and not mutually exclusive.
I was interviewed on Davos TV today, with Colin, Christian and Alastair volunteering me for the role. I can only think that they regard me as the most telegenic!
By the way, the polar bear wasn’t real; it was robotic.
All the best,