Dateline: Davos

Every January, we send a team to Davos, but this year seemed different. Anticipation for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting was heightened, even among the Davos faithful. As Gillian Tett, the Financial Times’s US Managing Editor, wrote in Foreign Policy, “While previous reports of Davos Man’s death have been greatly exaggerated, a revolution is now brewing against his rosy ideals — a revolt that is likely to spread in 2017 and send shock waves through the global economy.” How would Davos attendees respond to widening trust gaps and populist ballot box surprises, the public wondered. Or, as Tett put …
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Business leaders in the mind field

A few years ago, you’d have been laughed out of the CEO’s office had you suggested daily meditation sessions. Now, some of the most successful names in business are full-throated advocates for mindfulness. We explored the business case for contemplative practice at a Davos panel this year, co-hosted with Mind & Life Europe. Suffice to say: minds were blown. Managing Director Sophie Lambin writes more about it in her LinkedIn column.

Inspiration from the New York Times Energy for Tomorrow conference

Judging by the headlines, this year has been a roller-coaster ride on the climate change front. On the one hand, the Paris agreement that emerged from last year’s historic UN climate talks came into force much earlier than many had expected. On the other hand, populist votes in the US and Western Europe have made it abundantly clear that their governments need to spend more policy attention on their native workers. This dampened expectation for government follow-through in key countries, notably the United States. Scan below the fold, however, and you’ll find more-positive stories, stories about companies continuing the momentum …
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The private sector and society: Evidence of progress

HP Enterprises held its Living Progress Challenge finals event on August 3 and I had the opportunity to attend. At the event, 10 finalists pitched their ideas to solve for the question, “What software applications and digital services would you create to improve people’s lives?” The majority of pitches were from NGOs. It makes sense: NGOs are in the business of finding ideas to improve people’s lives and they need the support of corporate partners like HP Enterprises to bring their ideas to fruition. Among the winners was a World Wildlife Fund web-based tool that uses trade data to identify illegal …
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Climate and energy talks at the Women’s Forum Mauritius 2016

Mao Zedong may have come up short when he proclaimed, “Women hold up half the sky.” For when it came to the climate negotiations last year, women held up more than their fair share of the bargaining. Managing Director Sophie Lambin explored that gender gap when she moderated a few sessions on climate and energy at the Women’s Forum Mauritius 2016 this week. In her interview with French Ambassador Laurence Tubiana, who is widely credited with the success of the UN’s COP21 Paris climate meeting, Tubiana shared her view that a close network of women, such as UNFCCC Executive Secretary …
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Davos of hope for a low-carbon future

On 21 January, at a dinner in Davos hosted by We Mean Business and the Carbon Disclosure Project that we helped to produce, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman welcomed over 80 guests to a discussion on “The End of the Oil Age: Taking low carbon mainstream.” “There’re a lot of bad-news dinners in Davos. You all came to the good-news dinner,” he said. The room was packed and energised and ready to hear leaders on carbon pricing make their case and hold laggards accountable. Friedman began by speaking with Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation …
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At Davos, We Mean Business

This is going to be a big year for global talks on global issues, with big events to look forward to, such as the September UN meeting to finalize the Sustainable Development Goals (successor to the Millennium Development Goals) and the Paris climate talks in December. For us, the year of global talks on global issues started at Davos. We’re a little late reporting on it, but you should know that we sent a team to the mountain to help We Mean Business cover climate and energy stories in real time. And stories there were. Where before, only a handful …
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