While the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (24-28 January) has never been known as a meeting place for civil society, this year’s Forum could be the starting point for a change of direction. Admittedly, the programme did not reflect this opportunity as much as actual conversations taking place. Out of 100 sessions under the overall theme ‘The Shifting Power Equation’, just one was dedicated to philanthropy (there were two sessions on tasting fine wines).
As it happened, ‘From Private Giving to Social Investing: the New Philanthropreneurs’ was also one of the sessions with the longest waiting list (sign-up is required for most sessions). Judging from conversations with participants, this was not (only) due to the fact that the Financial Times had included it on its list of the ‘guide to the best of Davos 2007’ – the topic seems to have hit a nerve with attendees of the Forum.