Davos: An optimistic outlook 

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The first two days in Davos have been packed with an impressive array of panelists and speakers. The overall tone is one of very healthy optimism on the global economic outlook, particularly in the short term, mirrored by a very healthy dose of realism on the mountains to be climbed to improve social equity.

I ended day one listening in on a panel of the WEF Co-Chairs, moderated by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. All 7 Co-Chairs are women, which meant this was the first such panel that was all female. This led Christine to open proceedings by declaring, “Finally a real panel, not a manel!”  Seems a nice way to end the formal proceedings of the day!

 The JLL team also had plenty of client interactions yesterday and today. Clients are consistently looking to drive more value from their real estate, and there is a general recognition that real estate and workplace is rising up the corporate agenda. Digitization, improved experiences and more innovation that enhances collaboration, as well as operational efficiency and financial performance, are common themes … very much in line with our own Future of Work research. 

I also listened to two keynote addresses this afternoon. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both delivered clear messages on the need for a stronger Europe. The Q&A sessions drew out key points around the ongoing refugee crisis, the importance of building multilateral ties, disappointment over the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU and the European perspective on the US. Around the corridors there is also clearly a rising sense of anticipation of US President Donald Trump’s address scheduled for Friday.