By Alan Murray and David Meyer
January 25, 2019

Good morning from Davos.

Put hundreds of CEOs from around the world into a small ski village for a week, and some clear themes usually emerge. A few from this year:

– The global economy is slowing, yet few of the business leaders here see clear signs of imminent recession.

– There is general agreement that AI is transforming business, but also that the hype remains far ahead of reality.

– The backlash against tech, and concern for data privacy, remains strong. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the group he wants “data governance” to be a focus of his chairmanship of the G20 this year.

– Plastic waste and its effects on the oceans have risen as a top concern of the Davos crowd. The CEOs of Dow, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were among those announcing new plans to control plastic waste. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said plastic “has become the nuclear waste of our generation.”

The undercurrent of many of the conversations here is a continuing sense that global capitalism may face an existential threat from the populist political forces roiling the world. Fortune assembled 35 CEOs at a dinner last night, for an off-the-record discussion of how business can better serve the needs of society. The conversation was clear evidence that a growing group of well-intentioned leaders are eager to demonstrate the power of business to address the problems fuelling economic unrest. But as one CEO put it, they face an urgent need to translate that intent into action and results.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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