Also known as the braintrust of the World Economic Forum, the Global Agenda Council participants here in Dubai are an assemblage of what some would call the world’s brightest, most accomplished, and most intelligent. We have taken the chance to meet and speak with Nobel Prize winners, CEO’s, NGO founders, professors and etc. As my first event coverage as an editor, it has been energizing to see our reporters develop their thoughts from these meetings the past three days, which will be published as podcasts and blogposts in the following weeks. Personally, maybe because I am an academic researcher, I also find valuable the stock of knowledge that the Forum has been collecting before and during the summit, with the Global Agenda Councils. For example, just yesterday, the Global Agenda Survey was released.
Economic paradigms come and go. The seemingly endless debate between neo-liberals and –Keynesians in the past century provides a fascinating account of this. It shows that there must be words in economic debate other than last words – that no matter how certain an insight might seem in a particular instance, it will likely be proved wrong in the myriad combinations of circumstances that history inevitably yields. The essence of capitalism evolves around the centrality of profit, which in many ways is the very reason it has outcompeted its economic alternatives. Few would disagree with the central claim of University of Chicago’s Milton Friedman’s controversial essay on social responsibility (New York Times Magazine) that the paramount social objective of any business is to achieve profits within its legal constraints.