Davos is not a place for people who have a hard time picking and choosing. You need to carefully circle the Must-Sees and x-out the Can-Live-Withouts in the massive "Programme" participants are given. Here is a sample of the sessions I decided to skip:
Interactive Dinner Session: Preparing for a Pandemic Here was the organizers pitch for this one: "In addition to the countless lives lost, an international outbreak of avian flu would result in a loss of nearly US$3 trillion, or 5% of global GDP." Not exactly my top choice for an "Interactive Dinner Session." Plus, isn't that whole bird flu thing so 2006?
The Power of Music in Healing Mind and Body The pitch: "Join this musical performance featuring "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Porgy and Bess" by George Gershwin (1898-1937) to understand how to harness the extraordinary healing potential of music." Now, I am a big believer in the healing power of music -- and am a Gershwin fan -- but I decided to lift my spirits by sticking to the latest selections on my iPod. Plus, Gershwin died at 39 -- not exactly the best advertisement for the healing powers of his music.
Then there was this quintet of panels. See if you can detect a pattern:
Making Sense of Complex Systems ("What can the study of nature's systems teach us about organizations, societies, and markets?")
Regulating Complex Industries ("From food safety to financial derivatives, regulators and consumers are contending with higher levels of industry-based complexity.")
Visualizing Complexity ("How can visualization make complex data digestible and decision-making holistic?")
Managing Complexity: A Different Approach ("From complexity to possibility -- an artist's approach.")
Meet the Cultural Leader ("Come and join this session to discover what complexity means for Vishwanathan Anand, Chess Grand Master.")
I get that complex models that no one entirely understood got us into the mess we are in, but somehow I don't think taking part in these discussions would have helped get us out.
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