As I reflect at the end of my first full day at Davos, I am struck by how small the world seems at this huge global meeting. With so much activity and so many interactions, it’s a challenge to decide which great experiences to share.
The tone of the many great relationships I am establishing and renewing started on the trip here. As I changed planes in Amsterdam, I noted another individual looking for the transfer to Zurich. We spent the next four hours traveling together, getting to know one another and talking about our businesses. That is a great way to start a relationship, and to start this event.
Once at Davos, I continued to see people I already knew, and I introduced myself to others. My relationships from undergrad at West Point, graduate school at Harvard Business and the Executive Leadership Council – a group of senior African American business executives – have been instrumental in making connections and sharing the JLL story. As Christian pointed out in his first blog, Davos is about diversity of thought, background and experience.
In the small-world category, JC Pelusi, JLL’s market leader for Pittsburgh, pointed out another connection between our firm and Davos. Four locations around the world have satellite participation during one of the programs. The host of the Pittsburgh location is the Energy Innovation Center, which contributes to socially responsible workforce development, fosters energy and technology advancement, and assists in job creation though a commitment to diversity, innovation and comprehensive education. JC is a member of the board of the organization, and JLL is developing a curriculum for building engineers and committing to hire diverse candidates who graduate from the program.
In between meetings today, I also had the opportunity to hear Al Gore speak about infrastructure needs and global warming, the Prime Minister of Italy talk about his plans to lead his country to prosperity, and an MIT professor, standing on two prosthetic
legs, talk about how mechanical limbs connected to the central nervous system can enhance physical performance.
The last session I attended today, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, included central bankers from Russia and China, along with a Wall Street representative and a Harvard professor discussing “Volatility as the New Normal”.
This range of subjects is the beauty of Davos: interesting and knowledgeable people discussing contemporary problems that face the world.
And did I mention it’s a great place to interact with prospects and clients?