Klaus Schwab and the Pink Panther

On 13 May 2019 the Chicago Council on Global Affairs was addressed by the founder of the World Economic Forum, Mr Klaus Schwab.

In that previous paragraph we see two grand-seeming names of think-tanks, or some might call them talking-shops. This might be a source of some powerful speechmaking. Shall we go and look?

When the video starts we hear some breathy notes from a saxophone. For a second I think we might be treated to a rendition of the Pink Panther theme, but it seems that this is just a groovy way of heralding someone coming to the microphone on the stage. A nice young man invites us to take our seats, reads us a few standard bromides, and introduces another nice young man. The second nice young man is very nervous, utters further bromides, apparently has to consult his script to tell us what his job is, tells us how excited he is to be introducing Schwab who will “elaborate on the characteristics of the revolution as he sees it”, gets lost in his script for a while and finally at 3:08 to everyone’s relief (including I suspect, his) hands over to Schwab.

Schwab is relaxed, brimming over with bonhomie, pleased by the size of the audience, and eager to impart something. He asks if we will allow him to spend some time telling us about the World Economic Forum.

He stands well, gestures well, shoots from the hip, and if you dip at random into this speech you will hear snippets that sound as if he is imparting a lecture rich in information.

In fact he says nothing. At all. I defy anyone to tell us what is to be learned from the half-an-hour he spends waffling aimlessly.

At 33:05 he opens up to questions and, if you have the patience to stick with it, good luck to you. I have better ways to spend my time.

I wish it had been the Pink Panther.

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