As the World Economic Forum today wrapped up its weeklong annual meeting of nearly 3,000 political, business, media and academic elites, The Defender identified eight key takeaways based on news reports and comments by participants and attendees.
As the World Economic Forum (WEF) today wrapped up its weeklong annual meeting of nearly 3,000 political, business, media and academic elites, mainstream media largely continued to sing the meeting’s praises, while independent media outlets took aim at the WEF’s agenda and its promoters.
The Associated Press (AP) described the meetings in Davos, Switzerland, as taking on the “pressing global issues” while simultaneously being the “target of bizarre claims from a growing chorus who believe it involves a group of elites manipulating events for their own benefit.”
Among those critics was Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk, who responded to a tweet: “WEF is increasingly becoming an unelected world government that the people never asked for and don’t want.”
Musk posted an online poll — that generated 2.42 million votes — where he asked whether “The World Economic Forum should control the world.” Eighty-six percent of respondents said “no.”
The Defender on Wednesday reported on the first few days of meetings. This article lists eight key takeaways from Davos — and why they matter.
Global elites really want vaccine passports
One of the proposals that generated the most attention at this year’s WEF meeting came from embattled former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, now executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
Blair proposed the development of a “national digital infrastructure,” stating, “We should be helping countries to develop a national digital infrastructure which they will need with these new vaccines” — a statement that strongly suggested “new vaccines” are coming and we will “need” them.
“You need to know who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t been. Some of the vaccines that will come down the line, there will be multiple shots.
“So [for vaccines] you’ve got to have — for reasons to do with healthcare more generally but certainly for pandemics — a proper digital infrastructure and most countries don’t have that.”
As previously reported by The Defender, Blair endorsed the “Good Health Pass,” a digital vaccine passport launched by ID2020, a collaborative effort between Mastercard, the International Chamber of Commerce and the WEF.
ID2020’s founding partners include Microsoft, the Rockefeller Foundation, Accenture, GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance (a core partner of the World Health Organization, or WHO), UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank.
Global ‘leaders’ appear to be clairvoyant
On the disease front, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that “a resurgence of tuberculosis may be coming … sooner or later.”
Statements like Tedros’ appear to belie a knowledge of future developments. This has been the norm at previous WEF meetings — and it was the case again this year.
Similarly, this year, Lawrence “Larry” Summers, who served as U.S. secretary of the treasury between 1999 and 2001 and director of the National Economic Council from 2009 to 2010, said “the odds in my view are better than 50-50” that “there will be a COVID-scale problem within the next 15 years.”
Summers made these remarks as part of a panel, “Global Economic Outlook: Is this the End of an Era?” whose panelists included International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Kristalina Georgieva and former IMF managing director and current president of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde.
These are people who think very highly of themselves
Statements by WEF’s Founder and Executive Chair Klaus Schwab and WEF meeting participants also revealed how the “elite” meeting participants appear to believe they are the self-anointed saviors — or rulers — of the world.
In an interview with India Today, which sent two attendees to this year’s WEF meeting, Schwab said the world will soon no longer be run by superpowers such as the U.S., but instead by WEF “stakeholders,” such as BlackRock and Bill Gates.
During another session, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, foreign affairs minister of Pakistan whose mother, Benazir Bhutto, was formerly the country’s prime minister, talked about a “new world order” that is being stymied by “hyper-partisan[ship].”
Also during the same panel, Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Falon, said, “We have countries that are respecting their national interest going beyond the rules,” referring to “global rules,” adding that “we have to take into consideration The World Order.”
And Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry told meeting attendees, “We are a select group of human beings” who “sit in a room and come together and actually talk about saving the planet.”
WEF Participants make decisions in ‘lock step’ — no debate, please
Schachtel noted that at the WEF meetings, “conformity is required and debate is a cancel-worthy sin.”
He elaborated on this point in a recent blog post, describing the WEF meetings as “a reinforced echo chamber in which there is one problem, one objective, and only one solution,” instead of being “a place for a healthy, robust debate.”
“Regardless of who populates these panels and speeches, whether it’s invited corporate media, governmental officials, and/or business executives, there’s never any apparent dissent or difference of opinion expressed.
“The truth of the matter is that the WEF and its leaders prefer conformity to debate. In fact, debate is actively discouraged, and stepping out of line — via a narrative violation — is grounds for permanent removal from Club Davos.”
Journalist and author Walter Kirn tweeted similar sentiments:
Journalist Jack Pobosiec said the “WEF/WHO and the Davos mindsets are essential to understand [because] this is the mindset that governs our world here in the West. Vast amounts of our leaders, even down to lower levels, ascribe to the globally homogenized and technocratic vision of the world. Do not overlook this.”
They want you to believe there’s a digital solution for (almost) every problem
The annual WEF meetings are renowned for their promotion of technocracy, and this year’s meeting continued that trend.
An example of this was a session titled “Improving Livelihoods with Digital ID,” which promoted “an international ID policy to realize financial, social and health equity through digital identification.”
According to journalist Andrew Lawton, this panel “was not streamed and was not open to the press.” The panel included participants from the Global Digital Policy Incubator, Hedera, the Dubai Future Foundation and DataKind.
During another session, panelists predicted “humans will soon embrace implanted brain technology so they ‘can decode complex thought,’” adding that “neurosignals can be used for biometrics” and that the more widely adopted neurotechnology becomes, the more data can be gathered on humans.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdulla Al-Swaha told attendees in Davos his country is “embracing metaverse technology [which] has already shown its environmental benefits with the planning and development of some of the Kingdom’s biggest projects.”
The WEF is a proponent of the metaverse, as previously reported by The Defender.
They want to change what you think, and how you live
Many of the proposals presented this week will necessarily involve large-scale changes to people’s livelihoods and habits.
In an example of the behavioral psychology concept of “nudging,” Cepsa CEO Maarten Wetselaar advocated in favor of “much higher carbon prices,” in order to “make what you try to avoid expensive and subsidize the thing that you try to build.” He called this a “very capitalist intervention.”
Lawton noted that while it may seem odd for an oil and gas executive “to be so enthusiastic about transitioning away from oil and gas,” Cepsa “is also involved in green hydrogen and clearly sees the writing on the wall and wants some of those subsidies Wetselaar is calling for.”
Australian mining executive Andrew Forrest spoke in favor of “zero emissions, not just net-zero emissions,” saying this can be done using existing technology: “solar, wind, batteries, green hydrogen.”
The “15-minute city” concept, where people will be car-less, was also touted, while a member of Switzerland’s Green Party called for “punishing businesses that don’t adhere to climate agreements.” Indeed, a “5-minute city” proposal was also put forth, that would be “100% solar and wind-powered.”
Meat — or discouraging its consumption — was also on the agenda. Jim Hagemann Snabe, chairman of Siemens, said, “If a billion people stop eating meat, I tell you, it has a big impact. Not only does it have a big impact on the current food system, but it will also inspire innovation of food systems.” Snabe also advocated for synthetic meat.
The global elite don’t like free speech or public opinion
Participants at this year’s meeting also expressed contempt for free speech.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, for instance, said:
“Politicians need to understand, sometimes we are faced with these kinds of challenges. It is better to take today decisions that will eventually be not popular [sic] but to be essential, to be able to shape the public opinion itself.”
Responding to a prompt from Sasha Vakulina, a Ukrainian journalist working for European news network Euronews, who described “the extent of this misinformation when it comes to vaccination” as “overwhelming,” Bancel said:
“In some countries you saw scientific debate on TV, in prime time, so you can imagine some people were scared.
“You saw the differences in countries where all the parties would say, you know, these have been approved by the regulators, clinical studies have been done, you should get your vaccines.
“The social media was just terrible, just terrible. You could see some countries where you had scientific debate and political debate and social media … those three things and the vaccine rate was very very low.”
To this, Vakulina simply replied, “absolutely.”
On the same panel, Michelle Williams, dean of faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, “In a diverse society, you are going to need to have layers and layers of communicators and different styles and ways of communicating.”
Williams said governments should “work collaboratively and respectfully in addressing the appropriate message and messenger to really promote the change.”
“It was amazing the amount of misinformation that was there, and that information then went straight to the rest of the world … the way we normally deal with misinformation is we get the local chief, the local religious leader, the local healthcare workers who are trusted, but all of a sudden they’re like, ‘but look at what’s going on in Germany or in the U.S. or in other places, and here’s what I’m getting in my social media,’ and that has been a real problem.
“So the trust goes even broader. We don’t trust the institutions. We have misinformation, and it’s getting worse, not better.”
In another session, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said COVID-19 vaccines were “politicized” because people questioned whether they worked, and that this questioning was “constantly in our way.”
Similarly, Erik Brynjolfsson, professor and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI [artificial intelligence], expressed concern about the flow of so-called “polarizing information.” He also discussed the importance of communicating the “truth to the right people.”
The head of Britain’s telecommunications and broadcast regulator Ofcom, Dame Melanie Dawes, defended “free and frank and open conversations on any topic,” but then qualified that statement by saying “Well, there are sometimes cases where we open up an investigation but … let’s see how that goes.”
These are people who don’t practice what they preach
The “cost of living” crisis was a big theme at this year’s meeting. Yet panel discussions such as “Stemming the Cost of Living Crisis” included participants like Gita Gopinath, the first deputy managing director of the IMF — an institution known for imposing austerity measures globally.
Journalist James Melville, remarking on this theme, wrote:
“Millions of people are suffering the consequences of the cost of living crisis. But when they see our global elites grandstanding their power & control at the WEF/Davos, it’s hardly a surprise that people feel disenfranchised and forgotten.”
And journalist Michael Shellenberger noted the WEF, even though it purports to advocate more transparency and disclosure from corporations, is highly secretive with its own financial disclosures.
According to the WEF, “Swiss law does not require financial reporting for foundations,” although the 2022 WEF annual report says part of its portfolio is managed by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management.
Lawton noted the WEF meetings operate under the “cash-for-access” model, with business leaders reportedly paying $250,000 to attend, although politicians participate for free. This is in addition to annual WEF membership and partnership dues which are as high as $650,000.
According to Lawton, the WEF meeting also operates alongside a type of caste system, where “your value in Davos isn’t determined by your net worth but by the colour of your ID badge,” as access to certain spaces is prohibited for those with the “wrong” color.
And while participants proclaim to be engaged in the business of saving the world, Greenpeace noted attendees arrived “in droves of private jets.” The Guardian reported that private jet emissions quadrupled during the 2022 WEF meeting.
One attendee, interviewed by independent journalist Savanah Hernandez, justified the extensive use of private jets in these terms: “I think it’s more important what decisions are made here rather than how the people come here, by plane or by train,” while a driver for VIPs in Davos revealed that, for such figures, “I cannot drive electricity car.”
Despite the WEFs agenda to reduce meat consumption, Hernandez noted, “All of the attendees in the food halls are eating MEAT. Also, the hors d’oeuvres served to WEF attendees at parties have MEAT [emphasis original].”
And according to Lawton, attendees enjoyed “wine and hors d’œuvres” while discussing “food insecurity in Africa.”
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children's Health Defense.
Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., based in Athens, Greece, is a senior reporter for The Defender and part of the rotation of hosts for CHD.TV's "Good Morning CHD."
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