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Sunday, January 30, 2005


These past few days, many of the world's elite have been meeting in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum.

US coverage of the event can be spotty. From what I can tell, on the heels of the recent devastating tsunami, the world's elite are this year especially interested in poverty and underdevelopment.

Well, they're interested in poverty as a potential business proposition, at least.

Here are the words of the Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), who attended the event:
She said business leaders attending the forum in the Swiss Alps are showing growing interest in helping the world's refugees.

"I met with a lot of UNHCR's business partners who have already been committing their resources and time," said Jolie. "There's quite a few."

She said the interest in helping refugees didn't need to be purely altruistic.

"Business people can understand that these are people that will be returning to the countries that were destroyed," Jolie said. "If they have proper support and education when they're in the camps or support when they're back, they can make the country stable and maybe in the future they don't go into conflict again.

"It's smart humanitarianism," she said. It' also smart business."
Oh, and "Jolie" is Angelina Jolie.

I wonder if celebrity spokespersons are good for business?

Note: Sorry for the lightweight and voyeuristic entry about Davos. Last year, better bloggers than I were providing first-hand coverage.

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