World Economic Forum


PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 February, 2009, 12:00am

Famine, disease, war ... there seems no end to the world's urgent problems. Perhaps it is time the world's wealthiest, most powerful leaders all sat down together and tried to resolve these problems.

Davos, the nickname of the World Economic Forum, is just that. Held from January 28 to February 1, the five-day global summit takes place annually in the snowy peaks of Davos, Switzerland. A powerful networking event, it is a chance for the world's most elite political and business leaders to mingle under one roof. They engage in hundreds of discussions about everything from bank failures to water shortages. This year's theme was 'Shaping the Post-Crisis World'.

Some accuse Davos of being 'all talk and no action', but past Davos meetings have inspired some major initiatives. In 1988, Davos stopped Greece and Turkey from going to war. In 2005, actress Sharon Stone raised US$1 million for sick children just by asking a room full of business leaders.

This year's event drew more than 2,000 participants. This list includes heads of state, CEOs and celebrity humanitarians such as Jet Li and U2's Bono.

Wish you were there? We wish we could have been there too - we were just a little short of cash: membership and entrance fees alone cost upwards of US$50,000! And that doesn't even include transportation to and lodging at this secluded, upscale Swiss resort.