Davos Notebook

Hudson pilot tells business leaders to look beyond short-term

USA/The U.S. pilot who safely landed a plane carrying 155 passengers on the Hudson River urged political and business leaders in Davos to look beyond short-term results to deliver long-term benefits.

Chesley Sullenberger III, former U.S. Airways pilot, is speaking at the World Economic Forum, as chief executive of Safety Reliability Methods. His sessions “Leadership under Pressure” and “Exploring the Extremes” are both fully subscribed.

Sullenberger told Reuters on the sidelines of the Forum that leaders must be prepared personally and professionally and have integrity.

“I was telling my older daughter what integrity meant to me and I said it was about doing the right thing even if it’s not convenient. I might tell her now it’s having real values and choosing to live by them,” he said.

“Another important part of leadership is at least occasionally taking a longer view. It seems there’s so much emphasis these days on the short-term, whether it’s next quarter’s financial results or this quarter’s stock rise that would benefit us right now.”

from Breakingviews:

Global economy not as healthy as it looks

By Hugo Dixon
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The global economy is not as healthy as it looks. The International Monetary Fund now predicts 4.4 percent growth for 2011. But inflation has reared its ugly head across the globe, suggesting that many economies are growing faster than can be sustained without structural changes. Spurring on reform should be the main focus of the annual World Economic Forum shindig this week in Davos.

If one wants to look at the glass half full, there are things to feel positive about. The U.S. economy is growing smartly again -- the IMF predicts 3 percent this year. China and India should each grow at around 9 percent this year. Even the euro zone may be pulling itself out of crisis.

CEOs hoping that everything comes up roses

CHINA-VALENTINE'S/A few things struck me from the annual survey of CEOs that PwC (yup, PricewaterhouseCoopers likes big ‘P’, little ‘w’, big ‘C’) released at Davos this year.

The most obvious was that 48 percent said they were “very confident” of growth in the next 12 months – up from 31 percent last year. Pre-crash confidence again!

But I have to say, I wondered a bit about their crystal ball when 37 percent said they planned to shift sourcing to China — with cost being the most cited reason. With inflation looming and currency moves almost certain, that isn’t necessarily a bet I’d make. There are plenty of reasons to go to China — and I’ve staked my career on it since 1979 — but cost isn’t top of my list in 2011.

Tigger bounces back in the boardroom

PWC_chart for blogCEOs are, of course, ebullient by nature.

So it’s no surprise that confidence about growth prospects is bouncing back as emerging markets continue to barrel along and even sluggish developed economies show signs of recovery.

What is, perhaps, remarkable is just how far confidence has returned. The latest survey of 1,201 company bosses by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows it is back almost to pre-crisis levels.

But how much should we trust the bouncing boardroom Tiggers? There are also plenty of Eeyores in Davos, warning about fiscal deficits, growing economic imbalances and the rising threat from inflation.

Jealous Davos Mistresses


This is part of a series written by Anya Schiffrin, author of “Bad News,” and the wife of Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz. The opinions expressed are her own.

Of Snubs and Men

The point about Davos is that it makes everyone feel wildly insecure. Billionaires and heads of state alike are all convinced that they have been given the worst hotel rooms, put on the least interesting panels and excluded from the most important events/most interesting private dinners. The genius of World Economic Founder Klaus Schwab is that he has been able to persuade hundreds of accomplished businessmen to pay thousands of dollars to attend an event which is largely based on mass humiliation and paranoia.

Wives feel sympathetic to their husbands and share their pain. But we have our own problems to cope with. After all, we are the on the bottom rung of the Davos ladder.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab on the “new realities”

The theme of this year’s Davos meeting — ‘Shared Norms for the New Reality’ — has led to much debate about what this actually means.

In the video clip below, World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab tells Reuters Insider TV what these “new realities” are and says that the last ten years have seen a complete change in the global geopolitical structure and he hopes we are now living in a ”post-crisis” era.

Desperate Davos Wives


This is a series written by Anya Schiffrin, author of “Bad News,” and the wife of Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz. The opinions expressed are her own.

Preparing for Davos

This is the time of year when Davos Man — that renowned signifier of the world of international power and commerce — is preparing his presentations, having his secretary book his limo from Zurich airport to the hotel Belvedere and leafing through the stack of dinner and cocktail receptions that pile up in advance of this annual event.

My husband is a Davos Man, which makes me a Davos Wife.

I’ve lost count of how many times I have stood by my man on the buffet line and in the luggage scrum at the Zurich airport. Along with countless other wives I’ve put in my time and always felt that we are under represented. The World Economic Forum ignores us completely and only has a few activities lined up for us: cross country skiing, ice driving an Audi and the ubiquitous open sleigh ride.

Art comes to Davos

Davos is not just about the global economy and corporates: there are a plenty of cultural programmes — especially on Friday — which would take the minds of CEOs and politicians away from their immediate economic concerns and invite them to the creative world.

For example, a session called “Art Walk” offers a guided introduction to contemporary Indian art, led by the curators of the art exhibition in the Congress Centre, and explores the social consciousness behind several additional artworks.

An interactive session on “Art and the Natural World” focuses on how artists inspire others to cherish and respect the natural world. Participants are also invited to a private “spin painting” session at lunchtime with Damien Hirst as part of a philanthropic roundtable.

Davos’ badge hierarchy explained

DAVOS/Davos is all about which colour your badge is – are you white, orange, purple, green or gray? Here’s what they all mean and, more importantly, what they get you into.

White badge: access all areas – those who get white badges range from corporate executives and government officials to media leaders (this year from Reuters: myself and my colleagues Paul Taylor and Lisa Jucca). Holders of white badges can attend all sessions, all lunches, dinners and night-caps, provided they sign up beforehand. Lunches are mostly held in hotels where chefs sharpen their knives to serve sizzling three-course meals to participants. Sessions open only to white badges are off-the record.

Orange badge: entry to limited areas of Congress Hall and hotels as media participants. You can get quite a lot of things done with orange badges but access is more limited compared with white badges.

Making workplace wellness work

MikeMcCallisterBy Michael B. McCallister, chairman and CEO of Humana, and chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Workplace Wellness Alliance.

The World Economic Forum meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, will explore ways to improve our citizenry’s health.

Increasingly, WEF participants are focusing on workplace wellbeing. Several major corporations, including Humana have created the Workplace Wellness Alliance to better understand the link between employee wellness and productivity. Healthy work environments are essential to a business’s bottom line.