Examining the true meaning of Davos

Don Tapscott, Paul Walk's Web, eCOTOOL, Jan 30, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Don Tapscott writes in the Globe and Mail about how people misunderstand Davos (if you've tripped the paywall after reading the Globe's defense of the one percent, I'm sorry, though you can always read the paper they lifted the content from directly(cite)) and that they shouldn't comment from afar ("much like someone describing what is happening on the surface of Mars when they’re not there"). That's like saying you shouldn't criticize TED unless you've been to TED, or that you shouldn't criticize billionaires unless you're a billionaire. Anyhow. Tapscott says, "The key point is that the Forum is really an example of a new model of global problem solving, co-operation and governance." Because, you know, democracy is so inconvenient.

Take e-learning, for example. "In another meeting hosted a private Ukrainian foundation, educators, policy makers and business people had sessions dealing with higher education, and the potential for massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Representatives from Harvard, Stanford and MIT all came to Davos to discuss the issue." Because that's how things get decided in the wonderful post-democratic world of Davos. Don't worry about voting; rich people will get together and talk about it. The people from the elite institutions gather with their former students, talk about the latest advances in education (or unemployment, or international development), pat themselves on the back for 'inventing' something, then talk about how they'll monetize it. No, I'll never get to Davos. I don't have the stomach for it.

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