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Johannes Ernst has posted a personal account of the Amman extraordinary annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

If you’ve never been to a Forum meeting, it’s worth reading the whole thing, as Johannes captures the atmosphere very well. As someone who wasn’t in Amman, what I enjoyed was the sense that the Forum largely succeeded in transmitting its special character to a difficult meeting organised at very short notice. And Johannes’ conclusion is well worth reading.

“The first time I heard the WEF’s subtitle — To Improve The State Of The World — I took it as a (silly) platitude. It sounded like so many useless corporate mission statements that sound grandiose but end up as a farce because the gap is too large between the corporate mission statement and everyday reality.

“But as unlikely as it is on the face of it, the WEF’s subtitle is probably fairly close to the truth. If not there, where else would you expect to find the people who are in a position to, and do, improve the state of the world, on a ‘world’ (as opposed to project, or community, or country) level? There are lots of people out there who — mostly without ever having attended a meeting — demonize the WEF as that secret capitalism-run-amok club of old, cigar-smoking big business types who plot to take over the world, ruin the environment and hurt society as much as they can. If that description is correct, the WEF must be really good at hiding this part of the meetings from me. Mind you, this was not the first WEF meeting I have attended.

“Instead, the people I have met are generally very good people. The type of people that one would want to trust with one’s money. The type of people who get things done, and typically have a personal mission in life that very far from ‘let’s ruin the world some more’.”

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