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January 21, 2004

Stop Press on Connect the Disconnected 

Its always been a guideline of mine that the net's first great value multiplier is to connect the disconnected. When a powerful space like the World Economic Forum actually does that, we should register the first hurrah for "beyond world leaders as usual", and pray this wasnt a temporary aberration but the emergence of a new World Economic Order

With thanks to our
Rapporteur Lilly Evans:
I have just heard President Khatami of Iran at the opening of World Economic Forum focusing on the essential role of Dialogue. He spoke of "the world where dialogue becomes a principle we will be able to institutionalise". He highlighted two points, which have been also picked up immediately by Jack Straw, UK Foreign Affairs Minister:
"democracy is a HUMAN EXPERIENCE not a Western invention"
"democracy is a PROCESS not a revolutionary event"

Finally, perhaps the theme for our conversation here could be another point made by President Khatami that:
"solutions to economic (and social) problems will come through DIALOGUE to establish comunications and understanding, and overcome contradictions"
"democratic norms are not 'packaged goods' and get established through LONG YEARS of dialogue".


homepage of wef
WEF goes public
During the 2004 Annual Meeting, the World Economic Forum and civil society organizations - including church, non-governmental and non-profit organizations - will co-organize discussions for the general public. These events will be held in conjunction with our Annual Meeting 2004 under the heading “Open Forum Davos 2004”. The general theme of this second year edition is “Globalization or Deglobalization for the Benefit of the Poorest”. The debates will be in German and English with simultaneous translation into both languages. Webcasts will be available for all sessions (see programme below).

Wednesday 21 January

19.00 - 19.15: Introducing the Open Forum 2004
19.15 - 21.00: Do Labour Rights Partnerships Work?
Thursday 22 January
12.30 - 14.15: Trade Round: Where There Is a Will, There Must Be a Way
18.00 - 19.30: Is the Biodiversity Agenda Changing Companies' License to Operate?
Friday 23 January
18.00 - 19.30: Has Globalization Amplified the Risk of Financial Crises?
Saturday 24 January
12.30 - 14.00: Religion: Does Globalization Bring Salvation or Curse?
15.30 – 17.00: Can Civil Society Contribute to Peace?
17.30 - 19.00: Children Rights, Public Service or Market Rules?
Sunday 25 January
12.30 - 14.00: Globalization or Deglobalization for the Benefit of the Poorest?
14.00 - 14.15: Closing Remarks to the Open Forum 2004

On a less positive note, I note the usual suspects were convening a session on global brands at risk:

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Global Brands at Risk

Date: Wednesday, 21 Jan 2004
The world's most successful brands are often also cultural icons that embody national values. 1) To what extent do geopolitical events and subsequent shifts in public opinion actually affect global brands? 2) What strategies can companies adopt to protect brands from negative turns in public sentiment toward geopolitical events? 3) Can brands ever become truly global and transcend association with national values?

Moderated by

Nigel Roberts ** Vice-President, Europe Fleishman-Hillard


Bruce L. Blythe ** Chief Strategy Officer Ford Motor Company
Orit Gadiesh ** Chairman Bain & Company Inc.
Stelios Haji-Ioannou ** Chairman easyGroup
John A. Quelch ** Senior Associate Dean, International Development Harvard Business School
Sir Martin Sorrell ** Group Chief Executive WPP Plc
Sir Howard Stringer ** Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sony Corporation of America
Michael D. White ** Chairman and Chief Executive Officer PepsiCo International
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