This week, the World Economic Forum is meeting in Davos, Switzerland for the most lucrative annual world leadership pow-wow. Country leaders from around the world will spend 5 days together, addressing the current economic situation in the world on a global, region, and industry levels. It may be the only time in the year, other than during an Olympics games year, where leaders have the permission to put religious and political differences aside and focus on addressing elements that impact the livelihood of our world and humankind. Joining these public figures are some 1400 executives and business leaders, academia, and media. Entrepreneurs, philosophers, and even bloggers will attend. The value some of these people bring to the table is tremendous. In 2007, the impact of Global Warming on the economy was the key discussion and Shai Agassi came up with the idea that spawned Better Place—a company that creates the full ecosystem which to enable the re-entry and adoption of electric vehicles and has the potential to reduce the West's dependency on oil.
The WEF was once the only way in which leaders and innovators could meet in the same place. Back when it was established, in 1971, computers, the internet, and cell phones were mere thoughts and the enabling technology behind them in early concept and product phases. But these days, technology makes it possible for almost everyone, wherever they are, to connect with others; thought-partnership is happening real time, in the moment, across the world, with regular folks.
Today, we have the power to change our lives in much greater ways, much faster, and much more effectively than our leaders can. Whether you realize it or not, take an active part or not--change in the coming decade, will not come from leaders—it will come from the community; it is already rumbling beneath our feet. Leaders are going to return to their original roles as diplomats and emissaries of the people and governments to their roles in creating infrastructures, regulatory system, and negotiating on our behalves.
The sooner we realize our power, the more will we be able to influence the type of change we’d like to see and the people with whom we’ll be having these conversations. The next decade will be about mobilizing communities, turning conversations into action, bringing back accountability and ownership, and waking up from the lull that has engulfed us (and especially the West) to take part in creating everything that will makes this earth what it is in the coming decades and centuries.
The concept of Davos will no longer be limited to representatives selected by a committee--instead, it will be coming to each of our homes, to each of our communities--however you define those. What question will YOU want to ask? What change do YOU want to see? Whatever it is, know that there are many more people around the world who are asking the same question. For the first time, we can find each other and together, find a way to make our answers real.