The desert in Davos is arousal with anxiety. While the desert’s vastness is usually a source of tranquility and stillness, the mood at Davos this year is one of anticipation and unease. The air is thick with a sense of apprehension about the future, a future that will be determined by the decisions the attendees will make during their time at the conference. As the power players in business and politics assemble for breakout sessions, round tables, and networking, they bring with them the weight of their careers, the impacts they have made, and the consequences of their decisions. It’s exciting - and a little unnerving – to think of what the mood here will be in the days to come.
1. Uncertainty in the Air at Davos
The scene at Davos this year was one rampant with uncertainty: as world leaders, business executives and political thinkers gathered in the Swiss Alps, the looming issues of global trade tensions and Brexit dominated the discussion.Stress and anxiety seemed to be around every corner as the world’s elite tried to grapple with these issues and lay out a game plan for the future.
A pervasive sense of the unknown filled the air, with many of those present unsure of what the future held or how to prepare for the twists and turns that lie ahead. Local experts gave their opinion on the all-important topics of Brexit and trade, but there was a general consensus that no one could really have an understanding of what to expect from the events of the coming year. Some of the key takeaways from the summit included:
- Uncertain future – Political leaders were in agreement that the Brexit process and global trade tensions would continue to create unease for the coming year.
- Lack of control – There was also a shared feeling that no one was in full control of the current global climate, so any future plans needed to be structured accordingly.
- Adaptability – Several business executives argued that the ability to be flexible and adaptive was the key to making it through these times of instability.
2. Fearing the Unforeseen in the Desert
Exploring the Uncertainties
The desert is a place of unbridled curiosity and unexpected adventure, but one of the most daunting discoveries lurking in its depths is uncertainty. Travelling the desert’s vast open spaces can mean an adventure of all sorts, as one never knows what one will find. Whether it’s the next stunning vista, an exotic critter or an undiscovered oasis, you never know what lies ahead.
Adopting a Zen Approach
Travelling through this unfamiliar terrain may seem intimidating at first, but with the right attitude it can also be deeply rewarding and joyous experience. Engaging with the environment and taking it all in, one’s expectations tend to be more easily managed while their curiosity is satisfied. Rather than staying in one’s comfort zone, the desert encourages an open mind, facing off with the unexpected, yet peaceful and contemplative. In short, this golden landscape has the potential to unearth special moments of wonder.
3. Fearful Times at the Davos Forum
The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is held in the luxury 5-star ski-resort town, usually bringing a sense of optimistic energy and enthusiasm from the several high-profile attendees. However, this year’s Forum was a marked departure from the past due to the fear and uncertainty that accompanied discussions. Here’s some reasons for the tense atmosphere:
- The global economic slowdown
- The still-uncertain trade war between the U.S. and China
- The extreme volatility of the stock market over the past few months
- The increasing global environmental awareness
Here at the world’s most prestigious economic gathering, the mood was sombre as the collective wisdom of the pinnacle of global elites failed to have a glimmer of hope about the present and the future. It was a difficult conversation, where international alliance leaders and corporate powerhouses was unable to reconcile the answers to the cataclysmic questions the world must answer quickly.
4. Uncharted Waters at the Desert Summit
Exploring a vast wilderness
The hot sand beneath your feet stretches beyond the horizon, culminating into seemingly impassable dunes. With the sun beating down on your skin, you realise you’re treading uncharted waters as you make your way towards the summit.
Indigenous wildlife inhabiting the landscape perhaps join you on your voyage, unsurprised by your presence. Nonchalant birds soar high in horizon and small lizards scurry away at the sound of your steps. Despite the warnings of a toiling journey, a rare calm and stillness pervades the area, inviting reflection and peace.
There’s no way to tell how high the steep incline will be, but you press onward, steadfast and determined.
- Strange plants and shrubs dot the landscape.
- The footpaths meander between rocks and boulders.
- Occasional pools of cool water.
You have the sense you are drawing closer to something extraordinary at the summit, and you press on. Upon reaching the pinnacle, you bask in the unparalleled beauty of the serenity of the desert. The sun’s majestic brilliance in the night sky, sprinkled with bright stars, take your breath away.
At last, you feel you have reached the very edge of your limits. The summit stands as your greatest achievement, and you know you continue on, you can face whatever lies ahead.
As the sun sets on the desert sands outside Davos, anxiety is still the prevailing emotion of the day. With the ever-evolving climate of doubt and uncertainty, Davos remains a powerful symbol of the fragility of the global economy. While the collective mood at this annual gathering of world leaders and business magnates is uncertain, as we look to the future, the only thing we can be sure of is that only time will tell what is in store.