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Open Forum Davos 2014: Too many problems, too little solutions


Today was Day 2 of the workshop “Chairlift to Innovation”.  The weather and snow were spectacular.  In other words, perfect conditions for an innovative workshop.  So, what did we discuss today and what vision did we build?  Here we go:

IMG_4929The Dilemma:  Too many problems, too little solutions

This year’s panel discussions at the Open Forum Davos were very appealing.  The WEF picked topics that were guaranteed to attract a large audience.  Panelists were well-known celebrities and experts in the field.  Unlike in previous years, audience interaction in the form a question and answer session was possible.  And yet all panels faced a severe dilemma:  panelists shared their ideas and described problems.  Unfortunately, no solutions were being developed or portrayed.  This was and is frustrating and disturbing.  Frustrating because you could expect panelists to at least outline ideas for problems.  Disturbing because it becomes very difficult if not impossible for the WEF to achieve the objectives of the Open Forum, namely “to develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges”.

What are some of the causes for this gap?  For one, it is the way the facilitator is asking questions.  Then, the panelists themselves did not really go out and offer too many solutions or food for thought that could inspire the audience to become active.  Last but not least, audience interaction exists but is limited.

As a consequence chances for “new insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges” were missed.

The Vision:  An interactive workspace nurturing the development of solutions and results in the form of concrete projects

The Open Forum Davos not only addresses pressing global problems.  Panelists spark a discussion for solutions and results.  They offer new solutions, thus inspiring the audience to get involved, too.  Following a Q&A session participants are invited to share their thoughts and ideas in an open workspace.  The WEF facilitates this exchange of ideas.  Either on site or virtually in an online community.  Interested individuals or organizations can meet with like-minded people.  The idea, however, is not to describe problems but to actively help those interested growing their ideas into concrete projects for social change.  Progress of such projects could be tracked on a central online platform.  1-2 months prior to the next Open Forum project results can be displayed.  Projects that made the greatest impact could be awarded by the WEF and presented in a special event at the next Open Forum.

Next Steps:

  • The Institute for Project and Business Transformation (name changed to “Human Business Academy for Today’s Economy” in December 2016)will reach out to the organization team of the Open Forum Davos and share the results of today’s “Chairlift to Innovation” workshop.
  • In addition, we will finetune the vision and derive possible actions to be tested in a smaller environment than the Open Forum to test their viability.

Please let us know if you, too want to get involved in improving the Open Forum Davos 2015 thus developing insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges on the global and local level.

 

Posted in: Centeredness, innovation, WEF

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