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World Economic Forum 2024

January 15, 2024
By Sheila Rose

FleishmanHillard Davos Digest

Greetings and welcome to the kickoff of the FleishmanHillard Davos Digest and the World Economic Forum 2024! Today was a day of getting adjusted — to the altitude (drinking lots of water), snowy streets (tricky with ice underneath) and the food (raclette and fondue). It was also a day for exploring the Promenade (Davos’ main drag) to see which corporations, media houses and governments have set up shop this year. And of course, attending the first day of thought-provoking panels and sessions at hotels, media houses and even outdoors at the top of a snowy mountain. The most pervasive thread running through most all of today was AI. Whether it was discussions of AI impacting the workforce, AI and trust (or lack thereof) or the democratization of AI — it was on everyone’s mind.

WEF’s theme this year — Rebuilding Trust — is a relevant one, particularly with threats to trust in areas such as misinformation and disinformation. In fact, AI-derived misinformation and disinformation ranked ahead of climate change, war and economic weakness in the “Global Risk Report 2024” just released by WEF. And with the elections around the corner (not just in the U.S., but about half of the world’s adult population will be casting their vote this year, according to a recent CNBC article), concern about the role of AI in disrupting election outcomes tops the WEF risk report.

Big names in U.S. government in attendance include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry (the latter has some intrigue given the news of his leaving his post in the Biden administration to join the President’s re-election campaign). Internationally, Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will give a speech and likely meet with Secretary Blinken. And from other countries, Emmanuel Macron is the only G7 leader to be on the ground this year, and China’s second in command Li Qiang will be speaking. Argentina President Javier Milei will likely garner a lot of interest given he is newly inaugurated and has announced some shocking economic policies such as a sharp currency devaluation.

On the business leader front, there is a lot of buzz about Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, making the trip. In addition, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Pfizer’s Albert Bourla and a whole slew of bank CEOs including Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Citi’s Jane Fraser, Goldman Sach’s David Solomon, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Morgan Stanley’s Ted Pick will be on site. Certain there will be some interesting themes and headlines coming out of this group — stay tuned!

Watch for FleishmanHillard’s top takeaways from the World Economic Forum coming later this week.