They are joined by artists, academics, religious leaders, trade unionists and campaigners from organisations such as poverty action group Oxfam,
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Their programme is packed with lectures, discussions and workshops sometimes eight or nine running in parallel.
Apart from the talking,
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The forum’s main event is its annual meeting,
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As every year, the agenda stays close to current events.
Under the heading "Partnering for Prosperity and Security", topics include ‘reconstruction in Iraq’,
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Broadening the horizon are softer themes such as the ‘curse of spam’,
Cheap Authentic Shoes Championship Cigar 6s, ‘creativity as comparative advantage’,
Online Authentic Air Jordan 11 Gamma Blue, and ‘books that have shaped our thinking’.
The Forum also offers an opportunity for politicians and other leaders to make keynote speeches or launch major initiatives, such as Bill Gates’ $200m grant to fund health research.
So who is attending then?
The guest list reads like a cut down version of the who is who of business and politics,
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This year’s forum will be attended by corporate bosses including Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Cisco’s John Chambers,
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The list of top politicians includes UN Secretary General Kofi Annan,
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Former US president Bill Clinton will also return to give a keynote speech.
But note the "former". During the 1990s, the Clinton administration sent dozens of officials to bask in the Davos sun.
The current US government, however, has yet to show as much interest in the forum’s international vibes although this year Attorney General John Ashcroft will do the honours.
Being in the news also boosts your chances for an invitation,
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As was Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq,
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How do they manage to attract all these people?
Well, the forum is the brainchild of Swiss Professor Klaus Schwab.
He invited European chief executives to meet in January 1971 in the Swiss mountain resort Davos,
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Over the years the event widened its agenda and attracted ever more prominent guests, which in turn made it interesting for yet more big names to come.
The forum is now run as a not for profit member based organisation.
The paying members are about 1,
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But ultimately it’s all about boosting globalisation,
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The forum has been targeted repeatedly by anti globalisation campaigners, and this year will be no different.
The forum’s organisers,
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And they point to the fact that in the 1990s, well before the anti globalisation movement got under way,
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