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GİLA BENMAYOR >Low participation from Ankara at this year’s Davos

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There will be a limited participation from Ankara at the 47th World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan. 17-20, due to the ongoing debates over the constitutional amendment vote.   

Unless there is a last minute change, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek will participate, along with Central Bank Governor Murat Çetinkaya. 

Şimşek will be among the speakers at the “G20 Agenda – Growth” event at this year’s World Economic Forum, where the overall theme is “Responsive and Responsible Leadership.” 

From the Turkish business world, among the participants will be Ali Koç, Ferit Şahenk, Agah Uğur, Begümhan Doğan Faralyalı, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı,  Hanzade Doğan Boyner, Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ, Feyhan Yaşar, Ebru Özdemir, Zafer Kurtul, Hakan Binbaşıgil, Aclan Acar, Hüsnü Akhan, Levent Çakıroğlu, Korhan Kurdoğlu, Fırat Çeçen, Kaan Terzioğlu and Tamer Saka. 

Also among the participants are Bedriye Hülya, a social entrepreneur and the founder of B-fit, as well as Trendyol founder Demet Mutlu. 

So while the Koç, Doğan and Doğuş business groups will be present with large teams, some Davos regulars such as Güler Sabancı and Erdal Karamercan from Eczacıbaşı, who handed over the flag to Atalay Gümrah, will not be present this year. 

Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, who is planning to handover his post in May, will also not be at Davos this year. The Coca Cola reception, which is always a colorful and fun event that attracts many prominent attendees, including businesspeople and politicians from Turkey, will not be held without Kent.   

I had been curious about whether one of the winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Aziz Sancar, would be joining the dinner organized for Nobel Prize laureate scientists. But he is also not coming. 
So what will be discussed in Davos this year? The Global Risks Report 2017 that was recently issued has some clues. 

The report cited climate change, rising income and wealth disparity, socio-economic tensions stemming from ethnic, cultural and religious clashes, robotics that may disrupt employment balances, and technological developments including artificial intelligences, as the most critical risks. 

Meanwhile, political uncertainties caused by events like last year’s Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency also hold risks. 

In an environment where risks are increasing, and where uncertainties and chaos seem to be on the rise globally, this year’s theme of Davos, “responsible leaders,” are needed more than ever.

Look at what CEF CEO Professor Klaus Schwab has said regarding this theme: “Leaders need sensitivity and empathy. Leadership today cannot be built on privilege, but only on sustained and sincere efforts to earn trust.”

January/17/2017

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