February 05, 2009, 11:32 AM — "The tone in Davos this year was positively defensive," blogs Bruce Sewell, senior vice president and general counsel of Intel, in a wrapup post after four days in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. "Gone was the patina of entitlement, replaced instead with a palpable sense that at some profound level this collection of bankers, regulators and politicians had failed to read the writing on the wall, and for that omission the world as we know it will pay a stiff price."
Nevertheless, Sewell claims this was Intel's most successful trip to Davos yet, in part because global economic crises have pressured leaders to stop theorizing and get to work:
This was a no nonsense, get down to work, meeting. I didn't see a single rock star (Bono doesn't count because, well, he's Bono). On the other hand we had an unprecedented number of Heads of State, all talking about what their governments would do to stimulate the economy, how the world community could turn this disaster into a long term opportunity, and how to make sure this kind of melt-down doesn't happen again. Also present were most of the Commissioners of the EU, leading Finance Ministers from around the globe, and representatives from most of the major NGOs and multinational companies. In between the meetings to develop new green initiatives, to continue the fight against the digital divide, to resolve conflicts in the middle-east, and to advise President Obama on the first 100 days of his administration, a great deal of good old fashioned business got done.
It's too bad Sewell's post leaves out the most important details: What sort of "good old fashioned business" does he mean? A short bullet list of specific deals made, partnerships explored, or pledges to collaborate and cooperate between Intel and others to and "turn this disaster into a long term opportunity" would be a lot more convincing -- and more encouraging to those of us who weren't there.