Tim Brown is guest blogging for the Forum. He is Chief Executive Officer, IDEO and a Member of the Global Agenda Council on Design. He will be attending the Annual Meeting in Davos.
Form afar it may seem as though Davos is a homogeneous collection of the world elite discussing a narrow set of economic and business topics. For those lucky enough to attend it is of course an entirely different experience.
I find myself not only appreciating the diversity of geography, cultural background and role in the world, but also the diversity of approaches to any given topic. Growth might be addressed from an economic perspective, the development of talent or achievements of innovation. Sustainability has been discussed in terms of resource depletion, brand credibility and social justice.
A session on the Creative Workplace, in which I was a participant, saw Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com showcasing the emerging future of collaborative technology, myself talking about various aspects of creative culture and Marcus Samuelson, the famed chef, talking about the value of diversity and inclusion in the quest for cultural innovation. This crashing together of different perspectives produced a rich discussion and new insights that might not have emerged if three contributors from the same background had taken the stage.
Davos is not just a unique opportunity for people to network so as to create new possibilities. It provides a unique opportunity for diverse ideas to meet, network and create entirely new possibilities that might well, to quote the mission of the World Economic Forum, improve the state of the world.