January 22nd, 2013
02:00 PM GMT
Editor's note: CNN is at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Follow CNN's coverage here.
Davos (CNN ) - "The future's bright ... the future's Orange" was the tag line for mobile phone company Orange's UK advertising campaign in the 90s. It was annoying but it caught on, and was regularly co-opted in conversation whenever someone was looking on the dark side of life.
Now it sounds like Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum in Davos, is doing it too. Ahead of the formal opening of the 2013 forum, Schwab says we should all be more optimistic.
"Last year we were all caught in a crisis mood," he told me. "I think it's time to look at the future in a much more constructive way again."
He believes the bright spots are everywhere, not least in the progress that has been made since last year's forum when the talk was all about the "collapse of the euro and the end of Europe." He reminds me: "It hasn't happened."
Schwab has a point. Most of the world outside the U.S. and European Union is growing nicely, and the economic risks that do exist seem to be primarily transatlantic - again.
The danger of Davos is that it becomes a self-perpetuating whinge fest of what is wrong in the world and why it is so difficult to put things right. An intense week of discussing U.S. fiscal woes, European debt, developing world hunger, poverty and global climate change would have anyone running for the hills weeping.
Schwab wants us to look on the positive side. "We have certain signs of economic recovery, so let's see what we have to do to structure our future in a more positive way," he said. In Davos speak he wants us to be "more dynamic."
It is an interesting theory and perhaps one that is difficult to follow when EU unemployment is 11% and rising; inequality and social divisiveness is on the rise not the fall; and there is political gridlock in Washington.
I guess what Schwab is really saying, is that while are certainly many serious problems to be dealt with, we would do better to tackle them from a position of "glass half full" rather than the traditional journalists' view of "nothing in the bloody glass at all."
Ok, Professor Schwab. I will give it a try this week. Optimism at full strength. The future's bright........"
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