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MSLGROUP Davos Forum: Conversations

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An overview of our second annual MSLGROUP Davos Forum held in New York to share some of the ideas and conversations from the World Economic Forum, which we have helped organise for 19 years. We talked …

An overview of our second annual MSLGROUP Davos Forum held in New York to share some of the ideas and conversations from the World Economic Forum, which we have helped organise for 19 years. We talked about social media extending the dialogue, emerging economics, corporate decision-making and how the WEF brings people together.

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  • 1. Social Media is Burnout and Extending the Dialog Corporate Decision-Making Adrian Monck MSLGROUP Davos Forum HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DISCUSSION MSLGROUP held its second annual MSLGROUP Davos Forum in New York on February 5, 2014, to share some of the learnings, ideas and conversations from the World Economic Forum with the communications industry. The World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland between January 22-25, 2014, on the subject “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.” Arianna Huffington Adrian Monck, Managing Director, Head of Communications and Media of the World Economic Forum, on how the communications landscape around the World Economic Forum has changed: Arianna Huffington, the Chair, President, and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, on burnout in the workplace: When we started, we looked at the media as being an interesting participant in what Davos was, and now we look at it as being an engine for creating a global platform for talking about serious stuff. And what we’ve done is enabled some parts of that media to get deeper into those stories. We’ve also created our own platforms for distributing what we think is serious conversation. So, for example, we had a report on inequality come out just before Davos that raised the whole issue right up the agenda globally. We followed through with blogs in Spanish, in English, in Chinese, and with social media. We are on WeChat. We are on Weibo. We are on a Spanish version of Twitter. We’re in Japan as well. One of the things that was so interesting were the conversations around [why] so many leaders who are very smart are making bad decisions. A lot of the discussions included scientists [and the likes of] Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk walking around Davos in his flowing Buddhist monk robes. They reached the conclusion that the way we have been organizing our workplaces and our lives has been fueled by burnout. If these leaders are burned out, they are not going to make wise decisions. A lot of leaders are looking at how we can take steps now, on both the individual and the corporate levels, to be able to have lives and business practices that are more sustainable. So it’s using all those tools that weren’t available five years ago, which gives us this owned media platform—a phenomenal shift in the landscape of communications in the last five years. The WEF Brings People Together Promising Indications John Rossant about Emerging Economies John Rossant, CEO of PublicisLive, MSLGROUP, on how the World Economic Forum gets sides talking: Olivier Fleurot Olivier Fleurot, CEO of MSLGROUP, on how the discussions and mood at the World Economic Forum may be an early indicator of economic opportunity: I remember sessions years ago when we were talking about Africa and how we were going to save the children, you know, from all those terrible diseases. This year [the discussion was about] if Africa was going to be the success story of the next decade. We all know that Africa’s population is going to double in the next 35 years. It’s a big question mark, but it could be a huge economic and business story. I was struck by Mexico this year also. The president of Mexico came and made a very impressive speech around all the reforms they’ve done. Watch Mexico. To me, it’s something we should watch in the next few months—you get early signals [at the WEF] about what can happen. One thing this year that really struck me: There’s a wonderful World Economic Forum initiative that was for quite a while under the radar, called “Breaking the Impasse,” which brought together Palestinian and Israeli business people—the CEOs of Israeli groups and the CEOs of Palestinian and Jordanian groups. And, at first, these people met in secret, and I was part of those discussions. It was very courageous for this small handful of people to meet. The meetings were also held in Davos at the sidelines of the Forum this year, and it had expanded to several hundred people. There were Shimon Peres, the Israeli foreign minister, and their counterparts from the Palestinian Authority. But they were joined by the crème de la crème of the Israeli business community, leading business men and women from the Gulf, from Saudi Arabia, and obviously from the Palestinian territories. It was very moving. You could see how this is what “the day after” could look like—the day after peace is established. This is the kind of thing that the Forum does so well. MSLGROUP’s PublicisLive global event management firm has helped organize the World Economic Forum since 1995.