Posts Tagged ‘WEF’

Davos 2014: The arrogance of the elite hits a new high

January 29, 2014

It was recently revealed that the 85 richest people now own as much as the poorest half of the world combined. Statements from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos suggest that the arrogance of the economic elite grows as quickly as their wealth.

Last week Davos turned into a global “Parasite Street” as representatives of the increasingly rich economic elite met in a lush Swiss ski resort wrapped in security and media hype. The annual World Economic Forum once again saw a group, consisting predominantly of rich old men, plotting the next steps of global exploitation.

Parasite Street WEF Davos

Parasite Street WEF Davos

With their newly published Global Risk Report, the WEF readily hand out advice on everything from global poverty to social media. The report provides an interesting insight into the growing arrogance of the economic elite.

According to the WEF, one major ‘risk’ of 2014 is rising economic inequality. A bit of a cocky statement considering the overlap between the richest people in the world and the membership of the WEF. To put it bluntly, it is the 1 % telling the 99 % to be more equal.

Likewise, the report (commissioned by some of the world’s biggest polluters) features a warning about spiralling climate change: “Is it possible that we have already passed a point of no return and that Earth’s atmosphere is tipping rapidly into an inhospitable state?”. Maybe it is even more telling that this warning is put in the same section as the threat of adverse psychological impacts from a possible encounter with alien life forms.

Another main risk this year is supposedly ‘digital wildfires’ spreading panic on social media: “While the benefits of our hyperconnected communication systems are undisputed, they could potentially enable the viral spread of information that is intentionally or unintentionally misleading or provocative.” If nothing else it shows a lot about their view of us – the ‘common’ people – as digital savages that need to be pacified and controlled (unlike multinational businesses…).

It’s hard not to wonder what kind of misinformation and panic they are referring to. The Arab Spring? Or student protests? As we are bombarded with increasing amounts of corporate lies (such as how Unilever creates a bright future for our children) it seems nothing less than extreme for the world’s top businesses to lecture the general population on what to share online.

To me the WEF of 2014 has confirmed one thing: In this age of austerity, where we are all told to tighten our belts, the rich do not only get richer – they also get more arrogant.

Published by WDM.

The more wealth the rich accrue, the greater their arrogance they have the right to accrue more wealth.

At Davos we had Bill Gates, the richest man on the planet, railing against the minimum wage.

We have had the rich squealing at the thought of having to pay in the UK 50p tax.

The cultural industry

January 29, 2012

Documented@Davos: Paulo Coehlo, Author from Michelle Laird on Vimeo.

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho discussing the cultural industry at World Economic Forum at Davos.

The printing press revolutionised the way we handle information. The Bible was made available to the many, not the few.

Social media, the internet, is the second information revolution. The publishing industry has yet to catch up.

Social media, the internet, has given power to the people. We saw that in Iran, we saw it with the Arab Spring, we saw it with Occupy Wall Street. We the people are in power. Governments labour under the illusion they are in power.

Aleph, a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, No1 in all countries bar one, the UK. Not No1 or at least not well known in the UK due to the failure of bookshop chain Waterstone’s for whatever perverse reason known only to themselves to put Aleph on display.

What a year!
Paulo Coelho in Waterstone’s and the author the publisher forgot

Writers, artists, muscians want to create, they wish to share what they create

Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
Desmond Tutu and Paulo Coelho at Davos
Paulo Coelho on writing I
Paulo Coelho on Desert Island Discs
The Journey of Paulo Coelho

Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel

January 29, 2012

Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel from Michelle Laird on Vimeo.

Excellent panel discussion at Davos on why Sopa is bad and possible ways forward.

We created Wikipedia, we made it all up ourselves. Much of the content on the net is provided by us. It is the human condition to create, to want to share.

Hollywood wants, Hollywood does not get.

Money no longer buys votes. We can mobilise via social media. we can Occupy!

Hollywood acted on behalf of Hollywood. Greed! Internet companies acted on behalf of the internet. Empowerment!

Sopa has opened an amazing can of worms. Internet companies are now demanding openness, transparency, lack of secrecy, good governance!

If Hollywood and the music industry stopped being so greedy, stopped criminalsing their customers, they would not have a problem.

Creative people wnat to share what they produce. It is the greed of Big Business that gets in the way.

Amazing. An intelligent American politician who actually talks sense, who knows what he is talking about.

We have Open Source Software. How about the same for legislation? Publish on the net. People invited not only to make comment, but to propose and draft amendments (cf Wikipedia). This reduces the worth of lobbyists to zero over night. It would also improve the political intake as they would be there to serve, to make a difference, not to get their snouts in the trough, as there would no longer be the money sloshing around.

Sopa would have been still born if instead of cooked up in secret between Hollywood and politicians for sale it had bene available to open public scrutiny.

Open Government? Participatory democracy?

The cultural industry
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
We are in charge now
A sense of the masses – a manifesto for the new revolution

Desmond Tutu and Paulo Coelho at Davos

January 28, 2012
Desmond Tutu and Paulo Coelho at Davos

Desmond Tutu and Paulo Coelho at Davos

We can no longer ignore this growing distance between rich and poor. It is time to close the gap. It is time to talk about making real changes so that the world becomes a more equitable place. — Desmond Tutu

No matter how powerful we are, if we are morally hollow, our world will collapse. — Desmond Tutu

I believe every human being is made for goodness – yes, even bankers! — Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu and Paulo Coelho at World Economic Forum in Davos.

Together with Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of the founding members of The Elders.

Author of Aleph, Paulo Coelho is a UN Messenger of Peace.

The rich, powerful and influential meet once a year at the World Economic Forum in Davos to agree how the world will be run for the next year.

The World Social Forum is a parallel forum where the people of the world meet to put forward ideas for a better world.

Paulo Coelho on writing I
Paulo Coelho talks to Big Issue
Tutu: The Authorised Portrait
Time to close the gap

Paulo Coelho at World Economic Forum in Davos

January 27, 2011

There is probably a way to embed this video in wordpress, but I do not know how, therefore please click on the link.

World Economic Forum in Davos is where the rich and powerful meet.

Disruption Talk
Hey Davos! What about the tax havens

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