I’ve got my window seat confirmed; I’ve printed my boarding pass, packed my warmest gear (including my fabulous world flag scarf!!), and have 12 hours worth of reading material to get me “prepared” for Davos.
“Davos Davos Send Meghann to Davos.” This chant is ringing in my head. It’s the kids of Matonyok dancing on the swingset, singing to my iPhone camera in Olasiti, Tanzania. I used this clip as part of my application to be chosen to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. The application was due when I was in Tanzania back in September, and I had to include a 2 minute video with the application. I put it off and put it off, not quite sure what to say–not quite sure how to prepare. I tried to explain to my nuggets (86 TFFT scholarships students) what this opportunity meant and what an incredible learning experience it could be for me and TFFT as a whole. While I am not sure they understood the magnitude of the Annual Meeting, they listened, relaxed me, and made me feel at home. These kids will forever be a part of my Davos experience. I will be slipping and sliding through the icy streets all week singing their tune in my head.
Being prepared for Davos is a funny thing to say. I don’t think I could ever be prepared. I’m trying to read up on all the speakers and to figure out what I want to get out of the whole experience – how to maximize the opportunity swirling around that small Swiss town. I’ve talked on the phone to donors, advisors, and supporters of both the Charlotte Shapers and The Foundation For Tomorrow including Cathy Coughlin, CMO at AT&T who went in 2008. I talked to the US President of Adecco, Joyce Russell who is also a newbie this year but shared her years of experience and wisdom prior to my departure. Rye Barcott, Charlotte Shapers’ first curator and YGL who went last year also weighed in, as did M.A. Rogers and Lucy Trent, who have been going with their spouses for years. I want to take full advantage of the diversity and wealth of knowledge that is the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, but what I’ve come to understand is that there is no way to be perfectly prepared. The key is keeping your eyes and mind open to new ideas, listening in to sessions that promise to be meaningful as well as those completely outside of my wheel-house. I will be sharing my perspective and forging bonds that have the potential to move mountains for years to come.
Wish me luck – I am off!