I've spent a little time today listening to a few of the audio recordings from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Interesting listening, many of them, even though they are recordings of speeches and sessions which you can read about in mainstream media reporting.
The really interesting ones, though, are the informal and short podcast conversations (no, not interviews: chats, really) recorded by Loic le Meur which are not listed in the link page referenced above. To get those, go to the Forum blog.
Loic's first podcast last Wednesday was a conversation with Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman PR (discussed in show #106 of FIR: The Hobson & Holtz Report podcast on Thursday). Loic's disarming style enables him to easily draw out commentary and opinion from his conversation partners in a way that seems relaxed and natural, and undoubtedly more spontaneous than if it were a journalist engaging in formal interviews.
Four other podcasts are definitely worth a listen.
- Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, talks about why he comes to Davos; comments on Google.org, the philanthropy arm of Google launched last November; talks about what digitizing content is all about; and online advertising with an interesting "that's a good point" comment about the ad potential in podcasting.
- Thierry Breton, French Minister of Economy and Finance, says entrepreneurs who set up in France won't pay taxes for six years; some people have a wrong perception about France, he says, and it's engaged role in the world today.
- Shai Agassi, SAP board member, believes every second transaction in the world at some point goes through SAP, and 30-40,000 companies worldwide run SAP software; about responsibility, leadership, lack of fear and willingness to take risks; praises Microsoft chairman Bill Gates (he calls him a 'statesman') for his philanthropy; has wry commentary on being quoted out of context regarding open source software during a presentation at the Churchill Club a few months ago and how a podcast of the event helped set the record straight. Plus he takes a swipe at a competitor and its anti-SAP advertising. (No prizes for guessing who the competitor is. No, not Microsoft.)
- Frederick Kempe, assistant managing editor international, The Wall Street Journal, on coming to terms with the integration of print and online as quickly as possible; the Davos zeitgeist; and views about bloggers - quality ones, trusted ones and those who will end up in the trash.
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