Takin’ It To The Suites

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
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