We tried where possible to add “spice” and do the unexpected. This came off wonderfully well with the Tony Blair/Michael Dell duet on Friday. But too many sessions for my liking where still populated by the usual suspects. On the programme team we’ve concluded that we should start our work by concentrating on the spice, rather than adding it in the closing months (we may need to find a new metaphor as well).
The standard of moderation of sessions was again considered to have improved, but we need to move still further. This is particularly true in plenary sessions, where a good moderator actually can create interaction and debate. The less skilled moderators seem to freeze up in the plenary hall and let panelists have the run of the session with their all-too-preprogrammed statements.
Polarity might become our watchword for 2001. There’s been a lot written about Davos Man (and less about the under-represented Davos Woman). We need to work very hard to ensure that sessions don’t become a parade of Davos consensus. If there aren’t disagreements on topics, why should we give them time on the programme?