Open Forum Davos 2011 begins

FSPC President Gottfried Locher opened the 9th Open Forum Davos today. The first of six panels began with a discussion, involving the audience, on the euro crisis and possible solutions to it.

“The Open Forum Davos: It’s all in the name. Our goal is an open discussion in an open atmosphere.” Those were the words of Gottfried Locher, president of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC), who together with Gilbert Probst, managing director of the World Economic Forum, opened the 9th Open Forum Davos today.

Locher explained that “the Open Forum serves as a bridge. The World Economic Forum can meet with civil society and with the general public here. People can speak openly here. We can match the great issues of the global economy here with equally great questions of justice, peace, and life purpose.”

Is the euro in serious trouble? In this, the event’s very first panel, the willingness emerged to enter into provocative discussions. Wilhelm Hankel, professor emeritus for monetary and development policy was of the opinion that the euro rescue package would push Europe deeper into crisis and that “two thirds of the euro countries are actually bankrupt.”

This view was, however, refuted by Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, saying that there was in fact “no euro crisis”. Instead, the countries of Europe were encouraged to follow the regulations and improve on the monitoring systems.

The Open Forum Davos offers the opportunity to have an open and critical discussion on globalization, the effects of globalization, and various ways forward in a platform that has been on offer since 2003 to accompany the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. As is the case every year, the Open Forum microphone is indeed open to all. Following an initial round of discussion among the panelists, the audience is called upon to challenge the speakers with their provocative questions and statements.

The events of the Open Forum Davos are public and free of charge. They take place in the auditorium of the Schweizerische Alpinen Mittelschule (Middle School), located at Guggerbachstrasse 3, Davos Platz. The discussions are held in German and English with simultaneous interpreting available.

DRS, the Swiss television network, will broadcast individual Open Forum Davos sessions on its SF info channel. Full information and comprehensive reporting are available at www.openforumdavos.ch. The complete panel sessions will also be accessible there as webcasts.

For complete information, please visit www.openforumdavos.ch