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Day 2 at Davos 2022 - your morning briefing podcast

Davos 2022: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen on a screen as he delivers a video address to the delegates of the World Economic Forum (WEF)  in Davos, Switzerland May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to Day 1 of Davos 2022 Image: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Robin Pomeroy
Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • Radio Davos is bringing you daily morning shows looking ahead to the action at Davos 2022.
  • And we hear highlights from Day 1, including an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
  • Subscribe to Radio Davos here.
  • Podcast page here.

Enrique Acevedo, News Anchor at CBS News joins us in the Radio Davos booth to look ahead to the highlights of Day 2 at Davos 2022.

We also hear some of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, get an advance glimpse of the Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index; hear political scientist Ian Bremmer on why the world is in a ‘geopolitical recession’; and chat to YouTuber Nuseir Yassin, who plans to encapsulate the whole week in a one-minute video for his 8 million subscribers.

Robin Pomeroy: It's Tuesday the 24th of May 2022, and from day 2 of the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this is Radio Davos.

More than two and a half thousand leaders from governments, business, civil society, academia and the media are meeting in person for the first time since COVID-19 stopped the world. They're discussing the biggest issues from geopolitics to climate change, inequality, technology, the future of jobs, all as history is at a turning point. Watch all the action live on catch up at and across social media using the hashtag #WEF22.

I'm Robin Pomeroy, podcast editor at the World Economic Forum and with daily podcasts from the Annual Meeting 2022, this is Radio Davos. And on day 2, I'm delighted to welcome to the Radio Davos booth at the heart of the Congress Centre in Davos, Enrique Acevedo. Enrique, how are you?

Enrique Acevedo: Robin, this is great. They did a great job with this studio.

Robin Pomeroy: You like the booth, huh?

Enrique Acevedo: Yeah, it's actually better than the CBS News studio, so I'm impressed. Thanks for having me.

Robin Pomeroy: So, you're an anchor of CBS News. Tell us something about yourself. I notice in your Twitter description: Mexican immigrant.

Enrique Acevedo: I’ll start with that. I think it defines a lot of what I am today. Someone that has had the opportunity to live between two cultures, a bi-national, bi-cultural, bilingual reality, and then father of two. That takes up most of my time nowadays.

Robin Pomeroy: So, have you been to Davos before?

Enrique Acevedo: This is my sixth year. Yeah.

Robin Pomeroy: How's it seen from your part of the world? Do people pay any attention to the World Economic Forum in Latin America?

Enrique Acevedo: I think they do. Especially now there is a debate on the tangible results that these consensus driven multinational forums have. Right. So, you know, from the World Health Organisation during the pandemic to what the international system has done with climate change, to cybersecurity, to what we're seeing with NATO and the G7 and the G20 in Ukraine, I think people are looking to institutions like these for answers.

Robin Pomeroy: And what will you be looking out for here? Are there hot topics that you'll be listening out for?

Enrique Acevedo: I'm grateful that the Forum is paying so much attention to climate issues. I think around a third of all the meetings or the panels here at the forum are dedicated to climate issues. So that's something, of course, I'm interested in as a journalist, as a storyteller, and someone who's worked on climate issues, especially in Latin America, in places like the Amazon.

And I'm also, you know, looking forward to learning more about how we're coming out of the last couple of years in terms of the disruption it’s caused across industries and sectors. And it's going to be interesting to see how people are reading this change in sectors like education, health, technology, governance, etcetera.

Robin Pomeroy: These sessions that we've got in front of us — at 10:45, The Geopolitical Outlook, this is going to be an interesting one with senior figures from Poland, Finland, the USA and Saudi Arabia. We'll see from Europe, let me say the geopolitical outlook is very different from what it was at the start of this year.

Robin Pomeroy: Do you think those reverberations have gone as far as Latin America, or not so much?

Enrique Acevedo: I think so. I think this has been the geopolitical issue that has defined the last six months to a year, not just since the invasion started, but even before that. We're still, unfortunately, in the early stages of this. So we're going to see the impact this is having across the world more clearly in the months to come.

Economically, this has bolstered the price of commodities. There's a push for stronger supply chains that's causing global companies around the world to look at Latin America as a place where they can open new factories. But at the same time, it's intensified other challenges, like unemployment, inflation. It has created even more inequality, I think, in places like countries around Latin America. But in this global competition between democrats and autocrats, it will be interesting to see where Latin America fits.

Robin Pomeroy: Well, let's have a listen then to this, a session yesterday. This is Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, giving a special address yesterday.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: This is really the moment when it is decided whether brute force will rule the world. If so, the force is not interested in our thoughts and there's no need for further meetings in Davos as there would be no reason for that. Brute force seeks nothing but the subjugation of those it seeks to subdue, and it does not discuss but kills at once. And Russia does that in Ukraine just as we speak.

And what it brings to the world: it inspires other potential aggressors to act. Instead of successful, peaceful cities, there's only black ruins. Instead of normal trade, seas full of mines and blocked ports in Ukraine. Instead of tourists, closed skies and thousands of Russian bombs and cruise missiles.

Robin Pomeroy: So, Zelenskyy there saying if you want to have discussions that mean anything to lead in a peaceful way towards decisions of coming together, cooperation, changing things, stopping climate change, as you mentioned, or any of these things. Well, that's one way of looking at the world. The other way of looking the world is just, as he calls it, brute force. I think he's made a very well-tailored point to this meeting.

Enrique Acevedo: Absolutely, and sums up what we've been discussing in a more concise and clear way than I've been able to. First, talking about, you know, what tangible results has this world order brought in terms of addressing the biggest challenges we face right now — from climate change, the pandemic, cyber security and now geopolitics.

We've seen how these institutions sometimes seem underfinanced, under empowered or understaffed to deal with these great issues. So there's a public demand for consensus-driven forums like this to really bring about results and go beyond the dialogue. On the other hand, he's referring to that global competition we were talking about between democrats and autocrats, a fight for the values of liberal democracy around the world. And that's not just something that's happening in Ukraine. It is playing out in this invasion, but I think it has impacted the conversation around the world, especially in a place like Latin America, where we've seen a lot of democratic backsliding. And in the US.

Robin Pomeroy: The main thing on everyone's mind remains COVID-19. Seen from your part of the world, is it all over now? We're all meeting here again — albeit people wearing masks — there's a load of testing going on. But we've still got China locked down in many ways. What was the feeling from Latin America?

Enrique Acevedo: I feel it's important to now move forward and say it's okay, mostly because of the vaccines, treatments and the accessibility to testing.

Robin Pomeroy: So let's have a look at another couple of things coming up today. Susan Wojcicki of YouTube, at quarter-to-three.

Enrique Acevedo: That's interesting.

Robin Pomeroy: And half-past-three, Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft. Do those two interest you?

Enrique Acevedo: Especially the YouTube panel, because I do feel, especially with Spanish language audiences in the U.S. and across Latin America, that disinformation has become the most important challenge of our time. Because if you care about climate change, science, health, public health, it's impossible to reach a consensus on those issues in this post-truth disinformation ecosystem.

Robin Pomeroy: And you think people in social media have questions to answer in that regard?

Enrique Acevedo: Absolutely. I think it has to do with individual responsibility of how we consume and share information. But it also has to do with some of the business models and the incentives around social media.

Robin Pomeroy: I’m interested, you say you do work about misinformation. What is that that you do?

Enrique Acevedo: Through the News Literacy Project we are focussed on creating a future founded on facts, and we work with schools at every level to provide them with tools for free, like workshops, tutorials, materials that can help the new generation become better media consumers. Because we, you know, we get these devices, these incredible devices that have the opportunity to give us access to so much knowledge and information. But we don't get a blueprint on how to use them, though, an instruction book on how to use them. So, we are trying to address this information now through verification, fact checks and other tools through technology, but also at the same time working with the next generation through education to make sure we are more news literate.

Robin Pomeroy: So, thinking of the broad packages of things being discussed here at the Annual Meeting 2022 — which are most of the huge issues facing the world — if you could pick one out and hope for one result, what would it be by the end of these four days?

Enrique Acevedo: I think this year in particular, I'm hoping that I can see a roadmap of how we move into a world that looks more like what we've been discussing the past 51 years and less like the old normal of economic — in the case of Latin America, of economic stagnation, of social discontent, of discrediting democratic values, which all of this, by the way, was turbocharged during the pandemic. So maybe just a roadmap of how we can reach a world like the one we wanted and not the world as it is right now.

Robin Pomeroy: Many thanks, Enrique Acevedo, News Anchor at CBS News. Thanks for joining us on this morning's Radio Davos.

Enrique Acevedo: Muchas gracias, Robin.

Robin Pomeroy: So it's not just the sessions at day 2 — there's also important launches happening here. And to tell us about one of those, a launch from the World Economic Forum, is my colleague Lauren Uppink, head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism at the World Economic Forum. Lauren, how are you?

Lauren Uppink: I'm great today, thank you.

Robin Pomeroy: Tell us what it is you'll be doing later today.

Lauren Uppink: Yeah, we'll be launching what we call the Travel and Tourism Development Index. It's the first ever edition of this index. It builds off more than a decade's worth of our Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, an exciting both reflection and tool to use.

Robin Pomeroy: It's an interesting, really interesting sector, isn't it? Because it's something that was hit by lockdown. I mean, everybody was, every sector was, but if you think about travel: none of us were travelling. Very few of us were travelling for, what, two years, I suppose? Can you give us some indication— you know, the World Economic Forum, or your part of it, has been tracking that industry over those years. Can you give some indication of how it was hit by COVID?

Lauren Uppink: One thing we all could see and feel it, right? We all knew that we couldn't get to where we wanted to get to, either for important personal reasons or for reasons of travel and business. It's estimated that one in five jobs that were lost during the pandemic were those in the travel and tourism sector. So it was enormously hit. And it also contributes so much to economic development in many countries and economies. And so we saw that have a roll-on effect with the economies themselves.

Robin Pomeroy: Right. Because it's something travel and tourism that links into so many other parts of the economy.

How are things looking now? Because while everything's upside down, we thought we were in a starting to be post-COVID recovery phase in the global economy. We know that COVID isn't over yet in certain parts of the world, but also, of course, now you've got the Ukraine situation upsetting the global economy.

Is there any indication you can give us on how the recovery of the travel and tourism sector is, globally?

Lauren Uppink: What's interesting to see is the recovery is on its way. We've seen the pickup. We're all here in Davos today. People have travelled from all over the world. But the recovery itself is uneven. We know that certain countries still are under lockdown. Borders remain closed in some places, and vaccination rates are uneven as well. And that will continue to shift. With these, as you mentioned, geopolitical challenges.

Robin Pomeroy: A lot of people have talked about building back better. When we were in the middle of lockdown, it was: okay, the economy’s stopped. When we get it back up and running again, let's do things better this time.

And I guess travel and tourism is often targeted for criticism of, particularly, greenhouse gas emissions. Do you think the recovery will include a less environmentally damaging travel and tourism sector?

Lauren Uppink: I think absolutely. And I think we've seen that ambition from policymakers and business leaders alike, as well as community-led tourism.

I think what's important is we saw a very special shift in travel and tourism because of the lockdowns for economies that could allow for better domestic enjoyment of their travel and tourism assets, their attractions. And so the Index, for example, measures things like natural attractions, cultural attractions and non-leisure attractions. And we are starting to see a change to more local, more community-based, more authentic experiences. And policymakers and business leaders also recognise that they can't go back to overcrowded places, areas that don't have good resident liveability and they're using that time to reflect and reposition.

On the greenhouse gas one, we absolutely this time really gave the aviation industry in itself a lot of time to reposition. They know that people are coming back with a different perspective and demand for more sustainable travel and are doing an enormous amount of work on sustainable aviation fuels, on the next horizon of technology in electric and battery fuelled aircraft. And so, yes, there really is opportunity now.

Robin Pomeroy: Great. So people can find this Travel and Tourism Development Index on the website.

Lauren Uppink: Absolutely.

Robin Pomeroy: A great read?

Lauren Uppink: A great read and a lot of interactive data. So you can play around, look at how your own country performed and your region, and also look at how you might support the travel and tourism industry to rebuild and create more jobs and more economic development.

Robin Pomeroy: Lauren Uppink, thanks very much.

Throughout the week here, we (are) grabbing as many interviews with as many of the fascinating people passing through Davos 2022 as we can. You can hear those on future episodes from Radio Davos or our sister podcast, Meet the Leader, and also on the social videos we put out across social media.

My colleague Anna Bruce Lockhart, for example, spoke to Ian Bremmer, an American political scientist who's just written a book called The Power of Crisis.

Here is Ian Bremmer, talking about how we should be on the lookout not only for economic recession, but also for what he calls geopolitical recession.

Ian Bremmer: In the global economy, we have boom cycles and we have bust cycles. And in fact, every seven years on average since World War Two, we've had a recession. And because they happen so frequently, we know how to recognise them. And we have tools to respond to them. We have fiscal tools. We have monetary tools. And the playbook is very similar with the United States or Europe or China. Right. We just understand what it means. We don't like a recession. We want to respond to it.

The interesting thing is that geopolitics have recessions, too, but they're long cycles. And because they're long cycles, we don't necessarily recognise them as easily when they come, and we certainly don't agree how to respond to them. We are right now in a geopolitical recession and what causes that is actually very simple. You create institutions and architecture and when you do, it aligns with the balance of power and the values and priorities of the countries in the global order at that time. Over time, the balance of power changes. But the institutions don't. They're sticky. And over time, those institutions become so far removed from the new evolving balance of power and different priorities and different values that the institutions erode. They start to break. They become delegitimized. We see that with NATO. We see it with the World Trade Organisation. We see it with the United Nations Security Council.

So we're now in a geopolitical recession. It's a bust cycle and it's because our institutions increasingly do not line up. I'll give you an example: when the United States first put together the United Nations, the permanent vetoes in the Security Council were given- were allocated on the basis of the victors of World War Two. So, of course, the Soviets were at the table. The Germans and the Japanese were not. In 2022, the Russians are led by a war criminal. They're not here at the World Economic Forum, and the Americans want to throw them out of the G20. Meanwhile, the Germans and the Japanese, who are the two major economies that are most committed to the rules and precepts of the United Nations Charter, to multilateralism, to rule of law, cannot be given permanent seats in the Security Council because they lost World War Two. Now, that's a stupid reason. But that's what happens when the world changes and institutions don't.

Now, if you're driving your car, you'd get an oil change occasionally. You'd get a tune up. And over 20 or 30 years, you'd eventually get rid of the car and you'd buy a new car. You wouldn't say: "the car is no good. I'm just going to walk, going forward." When people say today “our institutions are broken, we just don't want these institutions, we just don't want this global governance, we should be doing it ourselves” — no, no. You’re not going to walk. You need global architecture, but you have to rebuild those institutions and that's where we are in the world today.

Robin Pomeroy: Ian Bremmer, look forward to more from him on a future episode of Radio Davos.

While he was talking to Anna Bruce Lockhart inside our interview booth in the middle of the conference centre here in Davos, I took a stroll just outside the booth to chat with Nuseir Yassin. He's a professional YouTuber who intends to tell his millions of followers around the world the story of this Davos 2022. In — get this — one minute. So, out in- just outside the Congress hall, I'm surrounded by VIP's of all stripes. And I just stumbled across Nas, who is a YouTuber of enormous fame. Nas, how are you doing?

Nuseir Yassin: Good, good, good. How are you? My name is Nuseir, and I run a company called Nas Daily and Nas Academy.

Robin Pomeroy: You say that's your name, but everyone keeps bumping into you saying “you’re Nas from Youtube!”

What is it? How come all these people know you?

Nuseir Yassin: So, we make videos. And to our surprise, these people watch our videos. Can you imagine that? They consume our content.

Robin Pomeroy: So, you think about YouTubers doing these cool things, Hey, I'm doing this cool thing — let me tell you about that. I always imagine, you know, it's kids.

I don't want to, you know, say everyone here is an old man in a suit. It’s really not true.

Nuseir Yassin: Not everyone is an old man. Just you and me!

Robin Pomeroy: Well, maybe one of us, but pretty much across the board here, you seem to have a recognition factor.

Nuseir Yassin: It's shocking. You're shocked at that? I am shocked, and I don't play football.

Robin Pomeroy: There's some of those here too, as well.

Nuseir Yassin: So at Nas Daily, what we do is we try to go around the world and find the most interesting people and the most interesting places and highlight them. And when you highlight interesting people, a lot of people want to see. This is not just YouTube: “I'm doing nothing. Hey, look at me. Give me attention.”

It's a different kind of content, and it's awesome to see people like that watch this stuff.

Robin Pomeroy: Right. And so what brings you to Davos? I mean, what are you going to get from here?

Nuseir Yassin: What brings me to Davos? Well, I'm here to try to tell the story of Davos, because this is a very interesting thing, right?

Did you know that there is a village where everybody, every resident leaves the village, locks their bakeries, and then new people come to the village. And everybody that comes in is interesting. Entrepreneurs, prime ministers, leaders, presidents, they all sleep in these ski towns. And then they just talk about how to make the world better. I mean, that's a crazy story.

Robin Pomeroy: So and you're going to try and interview someone, make videos about someone like that?

Nuseir Yassin: Yes. I'm going to try to summarise that idea into a one minute video.

Robin Pomeroy: Okay. What, the whole thing?

Nuseir Yassin: The whole thing!

Robin Pomeroy: The whole of Davos, you’re going to get into one minute?

Nuseir Yassin: Well, yeah, I just described it in 20 seconds, so I'm just going to wait 40 more seconds. You get the idea at this point.

Robin Pomeroy: It’s brilliant. Alright, so when are we going to see that? When can we see your one minute video?

Nuseir Yassin: In three days.

Robin Pomeroy: In three days' time. So, okay, the end of this week, we'll check it out. And we go to where on YouTube?

Nuseir Yassin: Nas Daily — N A S daily. Every single day.

Robin Pomeroy: Well Nas, thank you so much for talking to us.

Nuseir Yassin: Robin, thank you so much, guys. I hope you enjoyed listening.

Robin Pomeroy: Subscribe to Radio Davos wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss day three of the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting 2022. Leave us a rating and a review and join us on the World Economic Forum Podcast Club on Facebook. Follow all the action from here at and across social media using the hashtag #WEF22 This episode of Radio Davos was written and presented by me, Robin Pomeroy with today's co-host, Enrique Acevedo.

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