Preparing for Davos 2018

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They say that there is nothing better than adversity to bring people together.  In which case, the Davos 20-year record snowfall of 2 metres (6.5 feet) in the last 24 hours might just help the World Economic Forum delegates come together. The overall theme of Davos this year is: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” So a bit of bonding in snow boots might just be the perfect therapy.

Having taken advice from colleagues, who are now Davos veterans, I have purchased some rubber soled shoes. So over the next few days, I (and my newly acquired sturdy, grippy but business like boots) will spend my time here meeting with delegates and listening to the speaker sessions.  I have meetings with leaders in the insurance, banking, media, investor, hotel and technology industries.  I look forward to sharing any interesting insights with you.

Davos has a number of agendas in 2018, including; responding to geopolitical change, sustainable economic development in a period of low growth, as well as the evolution of business models in a period of technology transformations. These all have implications on how our clients (be they corporate, investor or government) make decisions.  I am going to focus on three topics: what this could mean for our investor clients, on the availability, pricing and intentions of capital, and the role technology will continue to play in real estate. Technology is a major theme at the conference – and whilst there are the normal handful of A-list celebrities attending, from Elton John to will.i.am, the biggest star, with numerous dedicated panel sessions and events, would appear to be Blockchain.  Famous for being the backbone for Bitcoin, Blockchain is already beginning to have an impact on real estate, with land registers in a number of countries already transitioning to a Blockchain based technology for the digital recording of ownership and transactions.  I look forward to learning a bit more about its broader applications.

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