From Goldman Sachs bankers to United Nations bureaucrats, delegates descended on Davos, Switzerland, for the 2020 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (“WEF”). However, the WEF publicly released its list of attendees without names of participants and cited the European data-privacy law known as GDPR as the reason for doing so.
Anonymously, the information about attendees was submitted to Quartz who then published it in February 2020. And the information received contained more detail on attendees than Quartz had ever seen and revealed, in ways never before disclosed, how the WEF catalogues and categorises the global “elites.”
Davos has a way of separating even the global “elite” into strata. Participants’ relative importance is made known through the colour and design of their name badge. The hierarchy of attendees is also enumerated, with more nuance, in WEF’s databases. Participants are put into categories numbered from one to seven—an indication, of sorts, of how senior or perhaps important a delegate is to the business world.
Nearly every person attending is assigned one of these “position levels.” Those listed as ones are labelled things like “Top Executive” or “Head of State.” Twos are labelled in positions like “Senior Executives” and “Deputy Head of State.” Central bankers are level three. Level four includes country officials in a sub-ministerial post. Local government officials are level five. People in honorary positions are level six. Level seven is for those classified as “Functional Staff.”
There were only two leaders of international organisations labelled as “1-Head of Top IO” (for “international organization”). Those were António Guterres, the secretary-general of the UN, and Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Leaders of the WTO, NATO, and OECD were listed as “3-Head of IO/Deputy Head of Top IO.”
Download The Guest List Here: WEF-Davos-2020-UK-attendees