to the ‘spirit of Davos’”. As a result, everybody here is “expected to respect the non-commercial nature of the event”; “avoid organising private events or functions that conflict with the programme of the Annual Meeting”; and “not extend invitations to guests who are not registered participants in the Annual Meeting”. On top of that, it’s an explicit violation of the Code to “pay honoraria to speakers at private events or activities organised during the Annual Meeting regardless of whether or not they are participants in the Annual Meeting”.
Not everybody respects the code, of course. Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk flouts it most visibly, every year, with a huge event at the Morosani hotel. But even the WEF-iest companies seem to be happy to break the code whenever they feel like it. Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, for instance, has been a co-chair of the entire meeting in the past, and is still deeply involved in the organisation. And yet at lunchtime yesterday she was to be at something called the Pepsico Cafe, not particularly close to the conference, hosting a lunch with—of all people—Derek Jeter.
Still, the pendulum does seem to be swinging back, a little bit, from Davos towards the WEF. And that’s probably a good thing if only because it might allow the people here to get a bit more sleep. Davos will never be relaxing, of course. But yesterday morning I was very impressed to hear Heather McGregor, the FT’s Mrs Moneypenny columnist, declare after doing a TV hit that she was heading back to her flat to sit back and enjoy the spectacular Alpine view, rather than launching headlong into conference schmoozing. Maybe the smart new way of organising private events at Davos is to make sure that they only involve yourself.