Davos 2020: What is the World Economic Forum and is it elitist?

What is Davos and is it elitist?

Some of the world’s top business people and politicians – plus a smattering of celebrities – will gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week. US President Donald Trump, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi are among the guests.

Who attends Davos?

WEF typically attracts around 3,000 people, about a third of them from business. To go you have to be invited – in which case the event is free – or a member of WEF, which can cost £480,000.

World leaders, key figures from the UN and EU and the heads of major firms like Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and IBM attend.

Regular guests include billionaire financier George Soros, former UK prime minister Tony Blair, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and U2 singer Bono.

However, new data from the World Economic Forum indicates that only 239 people from the UK will be attending this year – the lowest UK attendance since 2010 – after Boris Johnson banned ministers from attending the event.

What key moments can we expect this year?

Donald Trump could be the main attraction, having skipped the event last year. He is due to give a speech on Tuesday, the day his impeachment trial begins in the US Senate.

Meanwhile, Greta Thunberg is due to deliver another combative message on climate change – after trekking her way up the Alps to Davos rather than using public transport.

Other big names will be Sanna Marin, prime minister of Finland, who at 34 is the world’s youngest serving premier.

And Bollywood star Deepika Padukone will be in town talking about her battle with depression.

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