Almost two years after the beginning of the global financial crisis, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting dedicated its 40th anniversary to a discussion on how to improve the state of the world through a unique call to action: Rethink, Redesign, and Rebuild. To this end, the agenda of the over 2500 stakeholders from business, government, the media, science, and civil society focused on inquiries such as how to strengthen economic and social welfare, how to mitigate global risks, and how to ensure sustainability at a global and regional level.
swissnex San Francisco is pleased to host local 2010 WEF participants Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research; Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley; Loic Le Meur, founder and CEO of Seesmic.com; and Paul Saffo (moderator), forecaster, essayist, and visiting scholar at Media X at Stanford University, for a debriefing session on WEF themes.
Alison is a Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Berkeley, and one of the most prominent researchers in the effects of language on thought. She is renowned for her work on cognitive development in babies.
Loic Le Meur
Loic Le Meur is the CEO behind Seesmic. He founded the company in 2007, with the goal of turning online video into a powerful medium for threaded, interactive video conversations.
A seasoned entrepreneur, Le Meur launched several companies prior to Seesmic including: shared web hosting company RapidSite, (acquired by France Telecom), B2L, an interactive agency (acquired by BBDO) and Ublog (acquired by SixApart), after which Le Meur became Chairman of SixApart Europe.
In addition to his hands-on entrepreneurial expertise, Le Meur serves as a board member of Europe's no.1 dating site Meetic and leading online bank Boursorama. He also acts as a venture partner for Wellington Partners, and he helps bolster innovation in Europe through his conference LeWeb, Europe's leading web conference for businesses and web 2.0 entrepreneurs.
Le Meur took an active role in French President's Sarkozy's campaign, helping galvanize thousands of bloggers to support the candidate. Recently, BusinessWeek Magazine named Le Meur one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Web. Le Meur was also named "Young Global Leader" by WEF. Originally from the South of France, Le Meur lives in San Francisco, California.
Paul Saffo is a forecaster with over two decades experience exploring the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He is Managing Director of Foresight at Discern Analytics, teaches at Stanford University and is a researcher through mediaX at Stanford University. Saffo serves on a variety of not-for-profit boards including the Long Now Foundation, and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Saffo’s essays have appeared in a wide range of publications including The Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. Saffo holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University and Stanford University.
Astronomer Jill Tarter is Director of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute's Center for SETI Research, and also holder of the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. She has devoted her career to hunting for signs of sentient beings elsewhere, and almost all aspects of this field have been affected by her work.
Tarter led for Project Phoenix, a decade-long SETI scrutiny of about 750 nearby star systems, using telescopes in Australia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico. While no clearly extraterrestrial signal was found, this project was the most comprehensive targeted search for artificially generated cosmic signals ever undertaken. Tarter currently serves on the management board for the Allen Telescope Array, a massive new instrument that will eventually comprise 350 antennas, each 6 meters in diameter. This telescope will be able to enormously increase the speed, and the spectral range, of the hunt for signals from other distant technologies by orders of magnitude.
Psychology professor Alison Gopnik discusses the 2010 Davos panel on "the girl effect," which focused on the social and economic benefits of educating and empowering adolescent girls in the Third World.