Three Wishes for Davos; Inclusive Growth, Support Entrepreneurship, Empower Women.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos is one of the most exclusive events in the world and I am certainly aware of what a privileged it is to be invited.  Since 1971 this event has drawn some of the most influential people in the world to discuss improving the state of the world. WEF sets the stage, micro managing the official agenda, convenes a fabulous cross section of public and private sector leaders – and then the conference takes on a life of its own.

It is hard to know exactly the contribution each Davos meeting makes to the world – but I believe it is significant. It takes people out of their day-to-day routine; gets them talking to a diverse group of influencers from all over the world and all walks of life. The experience expands their understanding of critical issues and their view of what is possible. In some cases, backroom meetings can be pivotal–some credit one of these meetings to ending Apartheid in South Africa.

My wish for this Davos this year is that we have a real breakthrough for women, entrepreneurship and inclusive growth. Tangible results – not rhetoric. More execution and more investment in making real change a reality. We all know more women should attend Davos from the participating organizations, more women should be on corporate boards, hold government roles, have basic rights, get access to education. This group has the power to move mountains – and to find tangible ways to make this happen.

For entrepreneurs, all of us will tell you it is great to be treated like hot items.  But what we really need is help building and scaling our business. That means access to capital; successful business relationships with large companies or government organizations; stronger advisors and boards; and, in some places in the world, critical change to business infrastructure. WEF, DAVOS participants – you have the power to make the world a better place for entrepreneurs – go ahead, dazzle the world and do something big.

Inclusive growth is all about the bottom of the pyramid – the poorest of the world benefiting from economic growth.  In India, for example, 70 per cent of the population is poor. What is predicable is that the 300Million people at the top of the pyramid will have better lives with the economic growth, but the remaining 700Million will only receive a small benefit. And this situation exists in most emerging markets. Inclusive growth is about changing that – engaging all the people in the benefits of growth. This is definitely possible.  Certain conditions, like increased connectivity through mobile, make it now more achievable than ever. Yet, I’m not quite sure we have figured out how to bring this all together- even when the environment is becoming more favorable. Creating tangible ways to ensure inclusive growth . That is a challenge for the movers and shakers attending Davos.

If you share my passion for more tangible results and action coming from Davos, then come along. I’ve told everyone who asked me if they could come with me, “I can’t take you with me but you can definitely participate virtually through the magic of technology and social networking.”  Tweeting, blogging, asking questions, interacting with those of us that attend – it will change the tone and the results. A few ways this can be done –

  • Follow the coverage on Huffington Post.  They are planning on providing insights and views from bloggers like myself.
  • Follow me on Twitter: carolrealini
  • Follow activities through #WEF and
  • Follow these active tweeters during the conference:
    • @jeffjarvis: Jeff Jarvis, Blogger, and Professor, Graduate School of Journalism (CUNY)
    • @MariaBartiromo: Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, CNBC’s Closing Bell; Host and Managing Editor, Wall Street Journal Report, CNBC, USA; Young Global Leader; Global Agenda Council on Systemic Financial Risk
    • @MDTBillHawkins: William A. Hawkins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic, USA
    • @ClaireBoo: Claire Boonstra, Co-Founder, Layar, Netherlands; Technology Pioneer
    • @loic: Loïc Le Meur, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Seesmic, USA
    • @DavidKirkpatric: David Kirkpatrick, Technology Columnist, Daily Beast, USA; Global Agenda Council on Internet Security
    • @danariely: Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University, USA
    • @CharlieBeckett: Charlie Beckett, Director, POLIS, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom; Global Agenda Council on Informed Societies
    • @trevordty: Trevor Richard Dougherty, Global Changemaker, British Council, USA
    • @quixotic: Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman and Founder, LinkedIn Corporation, USA
    • @marissamayer: Marissa Mayer, Vice-President, Search Products and User Experience, Google, USA; Young Global Leader; Global Agenda Council on Innovation
    • @cshirky: Clay Shirky, Associate Professor, Tisch School of the Arts, USA
    • @NickKristof: Nicholas D. Kristof, Columnist, The New York Times, USA
    • @vikramchandra: Vikram Chandra, Presenter and Editor, NDTV, India
    • @luefkens: Matthias Lüfkens, social media architect at the World Economic Forum

I’ll do my part via tweeting and blogging. In my blog next Tuesday, I’ll talk about the Technology Pioneers .This is the program where high potential businesses are recognized and one of their leaders attends Davos. We meet each other next Tuesday and celebrate this year’s newly awarded group. Impressive group…I’ll tell you more about it on Tuesday.

About Carol Realini

Serial Entrepreneur, Mobile Payments and Banking Pioneer, Author, Board Member Carol Realini is a successful Silicon Valley executive and expert in financial service innovation. She has worked with leading financial institutions including MasterCard and Citi, as well as numerous multinational and regional banks, to change the way banking is conducted. In 2011, as a Technology Pioneer attending the World Economic Forum, she led discussions on alternative banking at their meeting in Davos. A serial entrepreneur, she has been recognized as one of the 50 Top Women in Technology by Corporate Board Member magazine. Carol is a huge believer in the potential of mobile banking and payments to create financial inclusion - where everyone with a mobile phone has access to affordable financial services that empower their life and work. To understand Carol's vision please watch the WEF video (click on the link below). Carol also mentors entrepreneurs providing wisdom and lessons learned from her four successful startup experiences.
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