After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the World Economic Forum returned Monday to the ski village of Davos in Switzerland, where some 2,000 of the world’s most influential leaders gathered this time to talk … geopolitics.
That’s right, for the first time Davos is driven not by business but rather what’s happening all over the world — at a time when the general feeling is that globalization is unwinding, GZERO Media President Ian Bremmer said during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft.
Indeed, former Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt observes «Davos cannot escape geopolitics anymore» because «things are coming apart» with Russia’s war in Ukraine and the global food crisis it has made worse.
A focus on global politics may be unavoidable, but «it doesn’t mean that people are necessarily excited to come to the party,» said Microsoft President Brad Smith, who cited food and energy as two of the second- and third-order consequences of the Russian invasion.
The thing is, Bremmer believes, most people are still unaware of what those consequences will be. In his view, we should brace for the impact of two major knock-on effects: NATO and Russia on the brink of something resembling a hot war, and a lot of starvation if the conflict drags on.