Davos’s status levels

By Felix Salmon
January 19, 2012

Here’s my infographic on the badges at Davos, put together with the invaluable help of Alex Leo and Juno Lee.

I actually snapped a photo of the white-with-hologram badge — pretty much the top badge you can get at Davos — a couple of years ago, although I didn’t know what it meant at the time. Technically, the purpose of the hologram is to let the Davos security people know who’s allowed into IGWEL meetings. But the real purpose is to make everybody who doesn’t have a hologram feel a little bit left out.

Wonderfully, in his piece on why he isn’t going to Davos, Mohamed El-Erian calls for even more layers of exclusivity: “To be more productive, and more useful,” he writes, Davos meetings “need to be much less inclusive at some key moments. Very difficult (and highly delicate) decisions have to be made about who to involve in certain meetings and who to exclude. This would require additional (and closely monitored) status levels for participants.”

I can assure Mohamed that the WEF already spends a mind-boggling amount of time making difficult and delicate decisions about who to involve in certain meetings — none more so than IGWEL. And one of the wonders of Davos is the way that every time you go back, you discover a whole new level of secret and exclusive meetings and dinners and get-togethers which you had no idea even existed: the badge-color layers are only the beginning. Maybe Mohamed should actually go, next year. But only if he gets a hologram.


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El-Erian managed to be both content-free and elitist at the same time, perhaps because he was trying to make allusions that would only be understood by the global ruling class plutocrats that invest lots of money with PIMCO and attend Davos, in the manner of a “dog whistle”.

Who does he mean by “the attendees who truly matter [and] are not interested in the organizers’ higher ambitions” that are “the key players”? He doesn’t even share one example.

He also doesn’t give even one example of a current participant in the meetings who should be excluded once the changes he suggests to make them “less inclusive at some key moments” are implemented.

Maybe its one of those things were “if you don’t already know, you’re just a prole and don’t need to?”

Posted by Strych09 | Report as abusive

Ugh. So there’s secret orders within secret orders. Its getting all very New World Order all out in the open isnt it. No doubt the “Illuminati are the 2 or 3 at the top of this pyramid of secrecy who are getting their minions to plan the next stage fo corporate globalisation and elimiation of the nation state. UGH!

Posted by funkymonkey | Report as abusive