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Tiger Woods and Sarkozy grab attention at Davos

The hotel vestibules are buzzing as I arrive – seems Sarkozy pulled no punches in his address today and people are up for ‘rethinking and redesigning’.  But, I ask my dinner companions, to what extent? If you were going to redesign a global economic system right now, would you tolerate design flaws that leave 70 million kids out of school?

But what grabs peoples’ attention is the Tiger Woods back-story and how well his erstwhile corporate sponsors handled the PR crisis — must say I never expected that as a Davos theme.

An eclectic mix of businessmen, academics, and a smattering of non-governmental organisation (NGO) leaders (no governments in sight tonight) moved this subject effortlessly on to values and then to “the youth of today” (at 46 years I was probably the youngest person in the room).  A note of optimism here — apparently 30% of Harvard Business School graduates go to work for NGOs — we’re quite struck by this.

Haiti gets a mention — there is a feeling Europeans are empathising while the Americans are more cynical — not sure what Henry James would make of that.

After dinner I hook up with colleagues reporting back from different sessions – one focused on the future of philanthropy, and the other on education.  We half-tease, half-admire our friend who’s just been dubbed a world economic forum ‘young global leader’ and just came from meeting with Clinton.

*This blog is also published on FT.com

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