World Economic Forum: Takin' It To The Suites
Though you wouldn't know it from the media coverage, the real
story about the WEF is the diversity of opinions shared and the
progressive issues tackled. If the WEF is supposed to be a 'Rich
and Powerful Gathering at Elite Forum on Economy,' as the NY Times
put it, writes Arianna Huffington, '[H]ow come I keep running into
activists, academics, social entrepreneurs, consumer advocates, and
fellow journalists rather than the corporate elite?'
Huffington acknowledges the many rich and powerful people who attended the conference, but notes that there were thousands of activists on hand who publicly addressed complicated and controversial topics such as AIDS and poverty.
U2's Bono garnered the most applause for his speech condemning apathy. He challenged the forum's participants to 'live out the idea of equality by refusing to turn a blind eye to the AIDS epidemic in Africa as if the people suffering from it were not our equal.'
Huffington commends the WEF for inviting people with contrary views such as Van Jones, a community activist who protested the WTO in Seattle and the IMF in Washington. Jones, lauded as a 'Global Leader for Tomorrow' by the WEF, said the people at the WEF were 'more thoughtful, complex, and concerned about social issues than either the left or the media portray them to be.'
--Sara V. Buckwitz