Davos Newbies Home

One of the useful services the Forum offers is a reasonably accurate write-up of sessions in Davos and at regional meetings. Session summaries for Davos are now in theory accessible through the so-called Knowledge Navigator, which I think is an example of clever technology run riot.

The Knowledge Navigator provides a graphical display of themes, sessions and speakers. That works fine for me (but see below). But when I try to click on the summary, a window briefly opens and then closes. There seems to be some kind of JavaScript error. All too cleverly, the help link is also in JavaScript and also generates an error — so I can’t even get to any kind of online help.

Technical problems aside, my other problem with the Knowledge Navigator is the way it all too neatly categorises Davos sessions. People within the Forum (not, to my knowledge, in the programme team) have built a taxonomy of sessions that I find hard to navigate. And some of the best of Davos doesn’t fit neatly into the designed boxes.

I also have a very personal gripe with the Knowledge Navigator. By chance, the four sessions in which I had a role in Davos (including one plenary) are not listed in the Knowledge Navigator. I know they can’t cover everything, but I find it particularly strange that a full plenary (“Will humanity catch up with technology?”) wasn’t covered. Is it something I said?

***Greek lessons
I can’t get out of the habit of looking for Davos-like ideas. So I was intrigued by the UK Ministry of Defence’s just-issued The Future Strategic Context for Defence. There’s a lot of fascinating material here, but consider this reflection on climate change and conflict: “It is possible that global warming will become an increasing source of tension between industrialised countries, which are seen to be the primary source of the problem, and developing countries which bear the brunt of the effects.”

I also love that the paper begins with the story of Croesus, king of Lydia, and his consultation of the Oracle at Delphi (note for the narrow-minded: this has nothing to do with Larry Ellison’s Oracle) in 546BCE when he was wondering whether to attack the Persians. I won’t give the story away here (follow the link), but it shows good classical education still has an impact in the British civil service.

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