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Davos 2012 meets with gloomy backdrop

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Davos 2012 meets with gloomy backdrop
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The World Economic Forum is convening after one of the most momentous years in recent history.

Some 2,600 Davos delegates are meeting under the summit theme ‘The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models’ – a rallying cry to find new long-lasting solutions to the world’s woes.

For a third year running the chronic nature of fiscal debt is hogging the stage, as well as an urgent call for action.

“We have a lot of homework that we haven’t done. It’s not for lack of diagnosis. I think it’s quite well known what we should be doing. But as that sports firm’s advertisement says: ‘Just do it!’, you know,” said the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Angel Gurria.

There is an impressive guest list to tackle these big issues with the eurozone topping the bill. There are some 40 heads of state and government participating, including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“Over the last six months we have needed a speedy and a comprehensive solution. European leaders have been neither speedy or comprehensive, maybe Davos will present an opportunity for them to actually change that,” said Standard Chartered’s Chief Economist Gerard Lyons.

Speed is certainly a byword here. One thing 2011 did highlight was the rapid and uncertain nature of change in the world nowadays. One of the current questions is how to get world powers to harness that force and create lasting change for the better.

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