There they were. In front of a blue background podium with the famous WEF (World Economic Forum) logo. standing. clapping wildly. It was the inaugural keynote address, the peak moment of the summit, even as the summit was so skilfully organized.Organized by Klaus Schwab since 1971 on the alpine peaks of Davos-Klosters. What an audience filled with heads of state and government, diplomats and high-ranking officials! In addition, there are academicians and experts of greater brightness and stature. And above all, the chief executive clapped incessantly, knowing that participating in the event entails the status of a big company (Altenrhine airport, collapsed on several occasions by a swarm of private jets). In front of the lecture, the one who showed himself to be the champion for the future was none other than Xi Jinping. For the first time in this temple of capitalism, the Chinese head of state appeared in person. And he did it with the aura of declaring himself – the heir to everything under heaven.
This was January 2017. The motto of that meeting: Responsible and Responsible Leadership. America seemed to shrink, with Trump bent on discrediting the institution of the American Presidency, a pillar of the liberal system. Amid a slowdown in world economic growth, the Chinese president argued for an immediate and courageous response from the powers he would lead. He recalled the long and difficult journey China had covered in 38 years of reform and opening up. Peking, willing to promote the prosperity of all. I called for responsible leadership of the international community for the Middle Kingdom. And with a smile and allegory, he became a champion of globalization and free trade, which has made enormous strides in health, wealth and education.
How things have changed. Without ice, traditional snow and Russian oligarchs. For the first time in the spring, the edition held these days marks a turning point in history: Government Policies and Business Strategies. With the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in pole position. Honor Slots. They appeared more or less alike and the ovation was close and unanimous. Except for representatives from China, who left the room not to attend the tribute. What they heard, however, was not the sweetness of the friendly globalization of five years earlier, but a serious crisis for the private sector and governments. A symbol of the times, Zelensky focused on his $40 million market and the project of rebuilding post-war Ukraine. He called for sanctions and an end to all commercial ties with Russia. In this bastion of economic leadership of our destinations, the message was particularly symbolic.
A phrase echoed from peak to peak: History is at a turning point… This is the moment when it is decided whether brute force will dominate the world. Davos as a metaphor. Tomorrow’s world, already today.
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