This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
| 2 minutes read

Returning to Davos at a turning point in history

Next week, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is convening for the first time since the pandemic. I am looking forward to attending, not just as a step toward some form of normalcy, but because of the critical state the world is in today.

The theme for this year’s conference is “History at a Turning Point.” As anyone who has followed the AlixPartners Disruption Index will know, we at AlixPartners are in strong agreement that the world has entered a period in which constant change and uncertainty is the new steady state. New technologies are reshaping our individual lives and our relationships with one another at a pace unprecedented in history. New business models and consumer behaviors are reshaping industry after industry. A more fragmented world order is emerging, with deep implications for geopolitics, finance, trade, and global welfare.

I have been asked to join a panel discussion on “Leadership in an Era of Rolling Crises” with Maurice Levy, Corinne Momal-Vanian, and Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, which will be moderated by Matina Stevis-Gridneff. In these turbulent times, the demands on leaders have grown immensely. One of the questions that interests me is whether business, government, and academia can do a better job of forecasting disruptions to help make them more predictable and manageable. Or do we have to accept that uncertainty is an inescapable element of today’s world, and therefore leaders must focus on agility, resiliency, and responsiveness to prepare for the next disruption? As with so much in life, the answer probably lies in doing both.

As we head into next week’s meetings, I am excited to make in-person connections with so many friends and clients, both old and new, but I also recognize that the real work will begin when we leave. The mission of the WEF is to bring together leaders in both the public and private spheres to help address problems that any one group cannot solve alone.

Despite the forces that are pulling us apart, the WEF provides a platform for renewed engagement—for putting heads and resources together to address some of the more persistent and intractable issues that are hindering global progress. At AlixPartners, one of the initiatives we are engaged with is their Racial Justice in Business partnership, which is helping business to assess and improve their racial equity impact in society. We look forward to continuing to invest in this and other efforts going forward.

Now, more than ever, the world needs leadership, dialogue, and cooperation. But even more than that, it needs results. As leaders, we will rightly be judged on that basis.

post featured image

Latest Insights