(CNN) - It took a few days for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to calculate his next moves, and when the decision came the strategy was predictably an "old school" approach to a modern-day governmental challenge sparked by social media.
In power for three decades, no one expected Mubarak to present an "I got it" moment. He chose a right hand man as vice president, Omar Suleiman, who literally saved his life after an assassination attempt. The "big boss," as many in the former government and business community refer to him, sacked his "new school" cabinet of reformers. Then-Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and his four key ministers representing trade, finance, telecommunications and investment were highly regarded in the global business community and trusted faces at the World Economic Forum each winter in Davos.
The act by the president to sack the "new school" reformers sends the wrong signal to global investors and some of the Egyptian corporate brand names that have become well known beyond their borders. Even if he survives the uprising by Egyptians on the street, nearly all the progress made over the past five years goes out the door - not to mention the impact on the tourism sector which is the country's number one foreign exchange earner.
(CNN) – Watching CNN’s fantastic Davos coverage both on television and online, I can’t help but notice we’re always talking to men. Turns out, there’s good reason for it.
According to World Economic Forum executives, women have never made up more than 17% of total attendees. The WEF has introduced a quota for female executives from major sponsors at this year’s summit. One in five delegates sent by strategic partners must be female.
I’ve never met a quota that didn’t have a long trail of strong opinion floating behind it, and this one is no exception.
As one of my Twitter followers asked: “Why does gender still count in 2011? Why don’t we talk about how qualified a person is for the job of CEO?”
Beijing (CNN) - When it comes to labor rights, collective bargaining is forbidden in China. But if you're talking shopping, it's all the rage.
Group buying, or tuan gou in Chinese, is wildly popular across the country. Groupon of the U.S. isn't here yet but over a thousand local websites are. These sites offer similar services– hooking up China's 140 million online shoppers looking to buy the same thing and negotiate hefty discounts.
The Chinese have taken the concept and run with it. Sites like Lashou, Meituan, and Teambuy are selling everything from cars to home furnishings, to the homes themselves in bulk.
We have begun. In the coffee bars and salons around the WEF, I am now meeting and greeting people I haven’t seen since last year’s Davos. I am trying desperately to remember names, occupations and titles.
Crucially – any important facts about that person and their life. Who are they? Where are they? What are they doing? Did their company make money or lose a fortune? Is the gossip that they are going to be promoted or fired? Help!!
I am perfecting the smile of recognition when I have no idea. It’s not pretty.
Everyone is talking about the new economies and the role they are playing in the world. It is the only topic in town. But what to do about it and how to handle it? So far, there are few answers about that. Tonight we hear from President Medvedev. It will be a serious, somber reflection on the state of play in Russia I guess, after the airport bombing.
Last night on Quest Means Business, Ben Verwaayen, the CEO of Alcatel Lucent – who I love having on the programme – talked about the need to take real decisions. He is worried about protectionism and wants a conclusion to the Doha round. Good luck, Ben.
Trade ministers are due to meet later this week to try and jump-start the process. If I had a dollar for every time they have done that, I would be able to afford to ski at Davos every year.
An interesting group of people turns 65 years old this year, from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to Steven Spielberg, Cher and Sylvester Stallone. Add to that list Geoff Woodhouse.
Geoff recently retired as a maths teacher and like many of his “baby boomer” generation, he may have decades in retirement. He told me that his decision to take early retirement, at 64, came quickly and without much preparation. Five months on, he has to figure out what's next.
Welcome to the New Reality of retirement life. With men in the west happily (and many healthily) living into their 80s and women pushing into their 90s, the impact on health care, pension systems and the jobs market is profound. The UK government recently estimated that more than seven thousand Britons will hit 110 years old by 2066.
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