I'm just returning from two days with members of the Global Council network of the World Economic Forum held annually in the UAE, this year in Abu Dhabi. I was a guest of the WEF and participate as a member of the WEF Global Council on Geopolitical Risk.
Despite having quality, sobering discussions with a number of interesting people about the fragile state of global geoeconomic and geostrategic affairs, including former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former NM Governor Bill Richardson, Kissinger Associates China expert Joshua Cooper Ramo, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer, Saudi media mover Jamal Khashoggi, IMF US alternative director Douglas Rediker, and others -- the general mood there seemed to be uncomfortably positive.
Not sure why this was. Perhaps some folks who attend the Global Councils meeting are so deep into their various NGO terrains trying to alleviate poverty, curtail pandemics and disease, deal with water shortage problems, enhance human rights and the like that the fragility of the developed economies doesn't really rank as a big concern. Maybe World Economic Forums and the network of business leaders and economists just naturally tilt to more positive takes on the globalization track and downplay the downsides.