During the World Economic Forum’s 2011 annual meeting, the tiny Swiss town of Davos, with just over 11,000 inhabitants, had 31,200 overnight stays. In general, local Davosers are supportive of this—who wouldn’t be, if you can get paid up to $33,000 a week for renting out your apartment?
In Davos, there’s a fleet of World Economic Forum shuttles to whisk people between the Congress Center, hotels, parties, side events, and meetings, just to name a few destinations. This gives us a window into their day and also lets us strike up interesting conversations. On the Line 1, we meet Sangeeth Varghese, an Indian leadership thinker as well as a founding curator of the Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum. “I work in the strategic consulting industry in India. I also founded a nonprofit organization for student empowerment—it is called LeadCap Trust,” Varghese says.
During the World Economic Forum, advertisements aren’t the only things that transform the city of Davos. With more than 3,000 soldiers from the Swiss Army and Police, the city turns into a heavily guarded fortress. And if this was not enough, helicopters and fighter jets will be controlling the Airspace.
When it comes to the World Economic Forum and Davos, everyone already knows about the 2,500+ leaders and thinkers from around the world who invade the small ski resort city. But the city already receives another kind of visit a couple of days earlier, when hundreds of posters and ads are installed on buildings, buses, and windows around the city. Here is a selection of what we saw on just the day before the official events start: