Davos Newbies Home

***Delays expected for Newbies
We have the small matter of president Clinton to deal with on Saturday. So I fear that my Saturday posting will be considerably delayed. Apologies to anyone who visits before that on Saturday.

***Back to normal service
The rubber really hit the road today. Loads of sessions, almost all of them absolutely full. One embarrassment was a session on memory, “I can’t remember… am I losing my mind or is my mind just overwhelmed”. I hear the session was wonderful, but I couldn’t even open the door to see.

One of the results of the Clinton shuffle (our rearrangement of sessions to clear the decks for the president tomorrow) was that some sessions needed to be crammed into rooms we wouldn’t usually use. Memory was one of those. It’s something I’d rather forget.

***Blair and Dell
Regular readers of Davos Newbies might recall my announcement of the session where British prime minister Tony Blair and Dell CEO Michael Dell had what we hoped would be a conversation on leadership. After some initial awkwardness, it really turned into a relaxed chat. One of Blair’s advisors told me afterwards that they thought it was like two peers talking by the fireside. That’s exactly what we wanted.

***Umberto Eco
“The terminal death of the universe is not for tomorrow.” Umberto Eco’s optimism in the face of entropy (the gradual dissipation of energy) was perhaps the most striking quote of an unprecedentedly busy opening day in Davos.

***Breaking news
Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, in the face of a domestic funding scandal, cancelled his trip to Davos at 5.30 this morning. Unsurprisingly, for all politicians, local concerns far outweigh the potential benefit of addressing a global audience in Davos. What this means for our Sunday session on peace in the Middle East still needs to be worked out (in between running all the other sessions we have going today).

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