Our CEO, Vicky Bullen, took a trip to the 2020 Economic Forum in Davos recently, to be interviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Here, she shares her feelings about the day.
“Looking at my stacked diary as I took the call inviting me to make a flying visit to the World Economic Forum at Davos it felt like madness to accept, but being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on Leadership also felt like too good an opportunity to miss.
As I set off, I carried some uneasiness as to whether a good leader should abandon their busy teams for 24 hours to attend what Boris recently dismissed as just a big opportunity to “sip champagne with billionaires”.
So to quell my conscience, I found myself working on the flight to Zurich and then on the train to Davos. And then I looked up.
And I stopped.
The train was running alongside a serene lake with mist floating above it and majestic snow-capped hunks of granite soaring out of the far side. What beauty. What sheer, and utter beauty.
The Davos 2020 theme was Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World – a rather dry sounding title.
But looking out of the train window at the majesty of nature writ large, put me in mind of an old Native American saying: ‘We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’
Sure, I had an initial burst of cynicism about Davos being a gathering of the wealthy elite creating a massive carbon footprint between them by flying and driving (madness- the train was easy) in to a small Swiss mountain town.
It’s too easy to sneer from the side-lines though and it is only by creating partnerships between business, brands and governments that we will be able to help pass on this beautiful Earth to the next generation.
We need the Greta Thunbergs of this world to kickstart popular debate and then Business, where much of the money will come from and then Brands, who act as a key channel to influencing consumer behaviour.
Many of our clients are responding to the huge changes in the world – pivoting their businesses to ensure they step up, at times pioneer, and take their share of responsibility for creating a more sustainable world.
Davos reminded me of the huge role that business and brand has in changing our world. And it made me feel proud to be working with some of the organisations who will help lead this.”