While the Forum continues to hum with ideas, there doesn’t appear to be a conduit to transform these ideas into concrete actions. Or, as Toby Keith would say, the Forum needs “A little less talk, and a lot more action.”
Over the last two years I have participated in 5 or 6 various sessions that involve rousing (sometimes conflicting) discussion on some very serious issues. But, to be perfectly frank, I’m not sure I can stomach another session where the end result is “a report detailing the ideas and concepts” produced during the session. Invariably we leave the room feeling energized for action, but when we return to our respective regions, as one CEO said to me, we “get trapped in the tactics of the day-to-day”.
Thankfully, this year may bring us solutions in a different guise: Occupy Protestors. Hear me out – look at what they have shown in the past months – a core competency in organizing, commitment to taking concrete action and a group of individuals prepared to risk their livelihoods to be heard. Whatever you think of their protest, you cannot deny the passion and motivation they have demonstrated. Quite literally.
I have a firm belief that the Occupy movement is missing one of the key ingredients embodied in the forum. Namely, an articulate vision and strong charismatic leaders that can focus the energy of this movement into positive change. While the actions of Occupy have been admirable in catalyzing public engagement, they are primarily a message of “No!”. Rejection is not sufficient. Transformative change comes from a call to action and a clear vision of what must be achieved.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could combine the visions developed at Forum with tenacious, committed directed energy of the Occupy movement?
All institutions must evolve or face certain obsolescence. The Forum has followed this mantra over its 30 year history. The theme for 2012 was Shaping New Models, presumably for the world at large. But perhaps more appropriately this insight could be applied to the Forum itself, which should be prepared to incorporate the best practices of even its most vocal critics.
Who’s ready for a little less talk and a lot more action?
Shout-out’s to @WEF with hashtag #alotmoreaction to make your voice heard. Or let me know what you think @ebenbayer.