Category Archives: Davos

Posts made either in Davos or about the Davos Annual Meeting


Dave Winer and I had an initial exchange that I thought would be useful for most Davos newbies.

Is there going to be a computer room, a place where I can update my site?

Novell runs a “Web cafe” in the Congress Centre. I wish I could say there were 100 web browser machines — more like a couple of dozen. But it will certainly serve your purpose. Outside the Congress Centre, it gets more difficult. Davos still has analogue telephone switching, so some people have found it difficult to access anything. This year, for the first time, there will be an IT help desk that will extend to getting people an ISDN line for their hotel room, should they need it.

I plan to bring a digital camera with me. Is it OK to take pictures?

Pictures are fine.

Some conferences are off the record. Is there such a policy at Davos?

Plenary sessions are all on the record (and will all be webcast). Interactive sessions are theoretically off the record, but in practice most people report on them — generally checking on the sensitive items. Meals are generally really off the record (unless it’s with someone like Larry Summers, who understands that anything that happens in front of 100 people can never be off the record).

On a different level, my colleagues here are encouraging me to give some more practical advice. Here are some essential tips. Davos is in the mountains and it can be bitterly cold and snowy (it can also be sunny and beautiful — sunglasses are vital). You’ll need boots or sturdy shoes to walk around in. If you wear a suit (and most do, except for the Silicon Valley crowd), you annoyingly have to carry shoes in a bag and then change in the Congress Centre.

The air, both outside and in the Congress Centre, is staggeringly dry. You’ll need chapstick and possibly eyedrops. Hotels are mostly geared for skiers, not Davos participants, so they may not have alarm clocks.


Davos (or the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, as it’s formally known) can be bewildering for first-time visitors. I’m going to try to use this website for the next month to help Davos newbies.

First, you should know that the Forum tries hard to offer a personalised service that, in my experience, has no equivalents elsewhere. If you know me, Lance Knobel, you can always ask for advice directly.

Otherwise, if you are coming to Davos for the Annual Meeting, there will be someone within the Forum who is responsible for looking after you. They will do whatever they can to provide information. If, in extremis, you send an email to, there really is someone who tries to reply swiftly.

One of the confusing aspects of Davos is that there are many Davoses. In addition to the Annual Meeting programme (the official programme which all participants can attend), there are Governors meetings (just for a select group of individual industry CEOs), special programmes for Global Leaders for Tomorrow (GLTs), Emerging Market Leaders and Tech Pioneers, and, of course, a host of private functions at cocktail hour. For media leaders there’s “Barbara’s Davos”, a distinct series of events organised by Barbara Erskine, director of communications at the Forum. So if you find that someone is talking excitedly about something that you didn’t even know was happening, don’t worry too much.

I’ll try to update daily with thoughts to help Davos newbies. You can always post specific queries in the discussion group.