Various media outlets have thrown out the names of those they espy – or don’t – on the Promenade in Davos.
The most prominent names on everyone’s list this year are the people who aren’t attending Davos.
Six of the G7 leaders aren’t stopping by. The seventh – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz — was here last year too, so he seems a bit of a re-tread.
Joe Biden isn’t going to Davos. His Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, will be in Switzerland, but in the cruellest cut of them all, she will meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Zurich on Wednesday (January 18) and bypass Davos altogether.
Apparently, most of the Japanese delegation pulled out, last minute. Peter Mandelson, credited with rehabilitating Britain’s Labour Party in the 1990s, is not making his usual trek to the supposed home of globalisation.
Politico reports that at least one Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Beatrice Fihn, who campaigns to eliminate nuclear weapons, said she “genuinely had forgotten that Davos is still happening.” And a Davos regular, Scott Colvin, insurance company Aviva’s public affairs director, called the format “dated”.
The Chinese have sent a very few people – four, according to some accounts – to Davos.
And the Russians aren’t there, of course, for the second year running. That no-show is a can’t-show and it says something about the state of the world in 2023. Exactly 10 years ago, the World Economic Forum was lauding the participation of Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as a sign of responsible global cooperation. For the moment, there is no such loose talk.
The most prominent attendees make for a pretty short list. There is the actor Idris Elba, Jared Kushner, will.i.am, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Oh, and at least 634 CEOs.