The Embarrassing Chairs of Davos


The World Economic Forum is an annual event at which serious people, including the world’s top business leaders, intellectuals, and heads of state come together to exchange serious ideas about serious issues facing the world in the politically neutral, picturesque mountaintop village of Davos, Switzerland. But behind the scenes, this gathering of powerful alpha mostly-males is also, according to one regular attendee , “an event largely based on mass humiliation and paranoia,” where Nobel Prize winners, billionaires, and heads of state alike are made to “feel wildly insecure.” These feelings come not just from the inevitable sniping and backbiting from their peers, but from the Swiss nonprofit that runs the Forum, which, if the choice of chairs they have provided are any indication, is hell-bent on taking their powerful guests down a peg.