This essay goes too far, and I’m not a Davos fan. I appreciate the sentiment behind it, but the fact of the matter is the ‘private sector’ boogeymen behind Davos aren’t just scheming to keep this imaginary ‘people’ down. The increased consciousness of Corporate Social Responsibility, for example, stems out a increased social pressure from their peers. Pressure they feel very rarely, except for when they’re pushed together and forced to mingle at…you guessed it…Davos.
We now find that social incentives are among the strongest incentives available for changing human behavior (cf. Sandy Pentland’s Social Physics).
This is true for leaders (who are just people like you and I) as well. Davos isn’t a perfect institution; it absolutely may not be ‘legitimate’ by whatever definition you use; but celebrating and creating incentives towards what most people would call ‘progressive’ ideals among leaders is something to be celebrated, not derided.
Not perfect, but a step in the right direction.