The great paradox – Davos must be one of the highest concentrations of the most powerful people in the world, yet power to get things done is not here.
Everyone is anxious and concerned about the immigration crisis in Europe – biggest movement of people since the second world war. Everyone says it is urgent that something must be done, and has to be done collectively – no country acting alone can deal with it effectively. Yet there is no power to assemble the coalitions to do it. In the world of energy, in the world of finance, geopolitics. Power is hard to use, hard to acquire, so easy to lose.
Ideological necrophilia – passionate love for bad ideas that have been tried and tested around the world.
They create human suffering, companies that go down, governments that underperform. Debates where Trump suggests extraditing 12 million immigrants, or isolating Europeans by building moats, barriers and fences.
At the time when the world needs more integration, higher capability to act together, we see the embrace of very bad ideas of fragmenting countries, nations, regions.
Power understood in a 21st century way gets things done. It’s not done through the barrel of the gun or from a big balance sheet, it has more requirements. The ability to persuade rather than to order, ability to motivate, to rally, to engage, to lead far more than to pressure people into doing things they’d rather not do.