Bring on the private jets, billionaires, pricey snow-boots, splashy nighttime parties, and climate change talks over coffee at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
The annual event returns to its mid-January time-slot for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The theme this year: Cooperation in a Fragmented World.
The five-day confab, which begins on Monday, will attract the world’s elite from politicians to pop-stars.
Some big names on the snowy grounds will range from Davos veterans JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon (fresh off fourth quarter earnings being released and a new interest rate warning) to Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon to musician-turned-tech-investor Will.i.Am.
Salesforce Co-Founder and CEO Marc Benioff will also be in attendance after making a tough decision to cut 10% of his workforce this month. Unlike the spring/summer Davos in 2022, Benioff will be absent a co-CEO — his one-time battery mate Bret Taylor recently stepped aside to pursue his next endeavor.
The meetings of the top minds in business will come as investors are still feeling the sting of the 2022 bear market in stocks and with recession fears swirling due to rising interest rates. The Russia/Ukraine war also remains omnipresent.
“As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine approaches one year, economies and societies will not easily rebound from continued shocks,” WEF managing director Saadia Zahidi wrote in this year’s Global Risks Report, adding that “more than four in five respondents anticipated consistent volatility over the next two years.”
The report also also found that a cost of living crisis is the top short-term risk to society. Longer-term challenges such as addressing climate change and natural disasters — always on discussion at WEF — remain on the table.
In the background, there will likely be concerns on the outlook for cryptocurrencies in the wake of the FTX meltdown. And Tesla’s stock price plunge at the hands of Twitter-owning Elon Musk may get some attention at the gathering of the exclusive.