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Sunday, 28 January, 2001, 15:01 GMT
Davos diary, day three
Barbed wire barricade in Davos
Barbed wire fences are protecting Davos
The World Economic Forum in Davos is the meeting place for the movers and shakers of the globalised economy. Writing exclusively for BBC News Online, Vernon Ellis, the international chairman of management consultancy Accenture, reports his daily Davos experience.

Day 3: Friday, 26 January

Much has been written about Davos Man recently, not all of it flattering.

It is tempting to see this exclusive gathering of world leaders as remote and out of touch.

Certainly that is a view the protesters would share.

But there is something about being on a mountaintop that brings out the prophet in people.

And there is no shortage of prophets here in Davos, or people eager to listen to them.

Today we peered into the crystal ball and tried to determine the shape of the 21st century corporation.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Joe Forehand, our CEO, arrived here yesterday with a message for Davos Man - and Woman too.

We can be pretty certain that most of the corporations represented here this year will cease to exist long before the end of the century.

To survive, enterprises will have to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit within their organisations, creating an environment where their people can innovate.

Joe closed with this thought: it is harder to stay on top than to get there.

You could say much the same about the icy pavements in Davos.

Today was a classic Davos day. Four highly varied sessions ranging from meetings with political leaders to one on advanced medical research.

So much hot air?

Some fine discussions too, both at our evening dinner and at a roundtable I chaired on sustaining growth in 2001.

But is it all just so much hot air?

Well, there certainly is a lot of it about - ranging from the portentous to the downright boring.

There is far more that is stimulating, and dialogue usually a good thing anyway.

Can something more concrete come out of all this? In my view, yes.

The World Economic Forum can be a real catalyst and integrator in addressing serious world problems, such as the diseases that cause poverty.

This is an objective of the Forum Plus programme, which we discussed at the WEF Council at lunchtime today.

Specific action on each of the initiatives has to be reported back at Davos next year. I am hopeful that we can make real progress in the coming months.

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25 Jan 01 | Business
Davos diary, day one
26 Jan 01 | Business
Davos diary, day two
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