The percolating effect of the Davos Conversation

The 2008 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, wraps up today.

One of the most interesting aspects of the meeting has been The Davos Question, the YouTube channel where a single question was posed:

What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?

Anyone could respond with a video of their own ideas on this question. A few hundred people have done just that.

Many others have responded to some of those ideas, and so there’s been a video conversation going on.

Some of the political and business leaders attending Davos have also responded on the YouTube channel, nearly 50 of them so far, further extending the conversation.

Add to that the separate video from individuals prominent and influential in the social media area – such as Loic Le Meur with CNN and with seesmic, and Robert Scoble with live streaming video from his mobile phone – and it’s evident that video and easy means of sharing content has stimulated a great deal of idea-sharing that probably would not have happened otherwise.

And now what? How will all these ideas and different points of view translate into action or anything else?

How can such individual and informal commentaries make any impact and rise up to jostle for attention amongst all the formal communication surrounding Davos?

I think the answer comes from Nandan M. Nilekani, co-chairman of Infosys Technologies, in a post on the Davos blog yesterday:

[…] All these conversations we have at Davos have a subliminal effect – we absorb them, take them with us, assimilate them and revitalize our intellectual toolkit… I think that then starts flowing into academic pursuits, into business decisions, policy decisions…  They manifest in the most unexpected ways.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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