By Ellen McGirt
Updated: January 24, 2019 3:42 PM ET

I’ve been following the activities at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland from my own wintry lair in the Midwest, so I thought I’d flag a couple of things for you.

First of all, I walked a little taller after reading my colleague Claire Zillman’s most recent in situ report in which she called out some glaring inconsistencies in the annual event. She also asked some critical questions.

The annual meeting of business and world leaders is noble in its mission of trying to solve some of Earth’s biggest problems, but the meeting itself and the surrounding circus are, at times, guilty of tone-deafness that can border on hypocrisy. For instance, WEF is peddling a “Globalization 4.0” theme amid protectionist trade wars and the rise of populist regimes. It fosters talk of combating climate change—with input from leaders who arrive by private jet. And on Tuesday, Joseph Lubin, founder of blockchain software technology company Consensys, wore a “Women in Blockchain” t-shirt to speak on a Consensys-sponsored blockchain panel with…no women.

More here on how she challenged the panelists to explain how they planned to address the blockchain tech’s—”with its claims of vast, world-changing potential”—obvious lack of diversity.

You can also find Zillman’s assessment of the gender pay gap, and why companies struggle with it here.

I’ll end with this wonderful moment of courage and clarity, from sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has galvanized students around the world to hold their leaders accountable through activism and “school strikes for climate,” which occur every Friday.

With Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff as her wingperson, she stood and addressed a crowd as part of a panel with Bono, Christiana Figueres, Jane Goodall, and Kengo Sakurada.

“Some people say the climate crisis is something that we will have created, but that’s not true,” she began. “Because if everyone is guilty, than no one is to blame. And someone is to blame. Some people, some companies, some decision-makers, in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”


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