The three days that did (not) change the world

Starting today, till Sunday, most of the world’s leaders are at Villa d’Este, in the small hamlet of Cernobbio, on lake Como. It’s the yearly gathering under the call of the prestigious The European House – Ambrosetti workshop.

The list of hosts include presidents (beginning with the host, Italy’s Giorgio Napolitano, but you also have Shimon Peres, President of Israel), ministers, current of former (José Maria Aznar, Renato Brunetta, Christine Lagarde, Yves Leterne, Roberto Maroni) economists and scientists (Cheng Siwei, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Nouriel Roubini, Hans-Werner Sinn), EU Commissioners and authorities (Joaquin Almunìa, Màire Geoghan-Quinn, Jean.Claude Trichet), a whole bunch of CEOs and CIOs, experts of any field of activity dealing with technology (wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales, to name one), representatives of the Catholic and Methodist churches. And the list could go on and on. All seriously, deeply engaged in debating about the future of the planet.

Themes like the economic outlook, the world of tomorrow today, how to promote growth and competition, the future of industrial relations and of the welfare state, China and the world, sustainability at a time of a changing climate will fill the three-day agenda.

Expectations? Not very many, indeed. Workshops like The European House – Ambrosetti are not the place for historic, revolutionary announcements and turns. Sure nobody is expecting the Israeli President Shimon Peres to shake hands with Amre Moussa, Secretary general of the Arab League. Or any other front page news. A few important words might be spent by many of the highest level speakers and participants, yet. Trichet could as well anticipate a change in the ECB policy about inflation and money rates, or one of the science and technology gurus might announce they are on the verge of a major breakdown in technology…who knows?

Better not have too high expectations, though, and just let these three days go on and by as they can. they are not going to change the world, no matter what.


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