This year I have had the privilege to join a group of alumni of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and attend the Open Forum Davos . We attended the following panel discussions:
- Higher Education – Investment or Waste?
- Immigration – Welcome or Not?
- Ethical Capitalism – Worth a Try?
- Faith and Gender Equality – Mind the Gap
- The Secret Is Out – What’s Next for Switzerland?
Have a look at these video streams of the panel discussions below. Luckily, in every panel discussion I had the chance to ask the panelists a question. I cite the slot in the video where you can watch me asking the questions.
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Higher Education – Investment or Waste?
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Yet today, the US has a trillion dollar student loan bubble and the graduate unemployment rate has reached 14%. With over 285,000 university graduates working at minimum wage in the US, many students are faced with buyer’s remorse. Is it time to reconsider whether a college degree is worth the investment?
My question for Angel Gurria, Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD):
Youth unemployment is a very big issue in Europe. On the other side, the OECD publishes the PISA report. Interestingly, countries ranking very high in this report, don’t have the lower youth unemployment rate as the report might suggest. Hence, isn’t it time to revisit and qualify the priorities and check and update the underlying assumptions of this report?
Listen to his answer at 1:05:00 in the video stream.
Read a previous post including an analysis of this panel discussion.
Immigration – Welcome or Not?
For over 200 million people, migrating to a foreign land represents the hope of a better life and valuable career experience. While viewed by some as an opportunity for development and a healthy source of skills on the job market, many people are concerned with irregular flows of migrants, the cost of integration and potential increase in criminal activity. With European migration on the rise, should governments improve their integration policies or impose barriers to entry?
Speakers: Kofi Annan, Peter D. Sutherland, Martin Schulz, William Lacy Swing, Wolfgang Lutz, Amy Rosen, Khalid Koser
My question for Kofi Annan, Chairman, Kofi Annan Foundation, Switzerland; United Nations Secretary General (1997-2006):
What projects do you have in mind that could help prevent a “brain drain” in African countries?
What projects in Western Europe do you suggest that could help us become more sensible for “brain drain” in developing countries?
Listen to his answer at 0:41:03 in the video stream.
Ethical Capitalism – Worth a Try?
Capitalism lifted 1 billion people out of poverty in 20 years but, today, society is discontent. Some believe the neo-liberal capitalist model needs shaking up, and that regulators, supervisors and corporate governance managers have failed those they are meant to protect. Western economic and social crises are pointing to the bankruptcy of the capitalist model. Yet the question remains: What is the alternative?
Speakers: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Martin Sorrell, Muhammad Yunus, Jasmine Whitbread, Stanley M. Bergman, Ignazio Visco, Zanny Minton Beddoes
My question for Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP, United Kingdom:
The government of Bhutan is using a Gross National Happiness Index. How, do you think, can a “Happiness Index” change the discussion on ethical capitalism?”
Listen to his answer at 1:14:00 in the video stream.
Faith and Gender Equality – Mind the Gap
Women represent more than half of the world’s population. Yet, with enduring patriarchal traditions, women still do not have the same rights as men. Issues of reproductive rights and socially mandated roles in the family remain controversial. Considering the important role of faith in social and economic development, can religious bodies help rethink the role of women in society?
Speakers: Beth A. Brooke, Diarmuid Martin, Orzala Ashraf Nemat, Chris Seiple, Karnit Flug, Anne Mcelvoy
My question for Chris Seiple, President, Institute for Global Engagement:
The US is a strong proponent for faith and gender equality worldwide. On the other side it seems that the US education system is moving backwards as reflected in the debate whether or not evolution or creationism should be taught in high schools. What is your view on it? Is this something we have to be afraid of?
Listen to his answer at 1:11:00 in the video stream.
The Secret Is Out – What’s Next for Switzerland?
Switzerland is known for its chocolate, watches and banking sector. But today, with traditional banking secrecy gone, the country has to reinvent itself to retain its competitive advantage. Can Switzerland use this shift to its advantage by creating new markets while continuing to benefit from its pharmaceutical, energy management and tourism industries?
Speakers: Jean-Claude Biver, Joseph Jimenez, Boris Collardi, Harry Hohmeister, Didier Burkhalter
My question for Didier Burkhalter, President of the Swiss Conferation and Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Mr. Bundespräsident, you are saying that all Swiss citizens are integrated in a project. The question is: what are the goals of this project? What is the joint project vision?
Listen to his answer at 0:59:18 in the video stream.