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Can the establishment be trusted in Davos?

Keystone

Trust in elected leaders around the world has fallen since the rich and powerful last gathered in the Swiss ski resort in Davos for the WEF’s annual meeting. That’s official – at least according to The Edelman Trust Barometer published this week.

This content was published on January 21, 2014 - 10:35
Matthew Allen in Davos

Trust for politicians in France and the United States has fallen the most in the past 12 months, says global PR firm Edelman. US President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande (pictured) will be notably absent from Davos, but many other statesmen and women who have also suffered a fall in public image will be present.

If the barometer is to be believed, people have less faith in governments to solve the most fundamental problems affecting the man and woman in the street than last year.

That’s a message that seems to have been heeded by the 700 “leaders and decision makers” who listed their worst fears on WEF’s Global Risk Report this year. High unemployment, severe income disparity, global governance failure and profound political and social instability are among the ten biggest issues keeping high flyers awake at night.

Gathering a vast swathe of influential people from all over the globe in one place at the same time seems a reasonable first step towards finding solutions.

In the past few Davos meetings, leaders have been very good at pointing the finger of blame at others. What the disillusioned masses who respond to trust barometers might want to see this time around is a little more constructive teamwork and cooperation.

Matthew Allen

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