Davos Newbies Home

It’s little more than a week since Davos 2000 ended, and it is already clear that there were at least two important issues we didn’t discuss.

First, the rise of far-right parties in European democracies. The Jörg Haider crisis in the European Union has truly serious implications. The phenomenon is not confined to Austria: Switzerland, Italy and Flanders also have growing, powerful ultra-reactionary parties. I think this was an omission on the scale of the 1999 Davos not mentioning Kosovo.

Second, the potential for large-scale disruption of the Internet. In all the e-uphoria in Davos, no one discussed the vulnerability of sites. I don’t think the Yahoo!, Ebay, E-trade, etc sabotage of the past few days will derail the expansion of e-commerce or other Internet-related activities. But it does add another element of uncertainty — and another need for infrastructural development and planning — to the scenarios of businesses that are moving into the Internet economy.

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