Davos 2024 Journey Song

Davos 2024 Journey Song

I was in Davos, during the week of World Economic Forum 2024, between 15 - 19 January, together with Erkut Uludağ, our Strategic Advisor, Sinem Uğurdağ, COO of Aposto, and friends from The Impact Office aka TIO Gang.  This is the second year we are attending Davos and you can read about our notes on Davos2023 here

Our intention in stepping into Davos2024 was to nurture our existing relationships and build new partnerships, to move the needle forward in decarbonizing our planet, to inspire more capital to be deployed for positive impact, and to contribute to expanding the collective consciousness of all human in preparation for the paradigm shifts we are moving towards.

This is a personal log of this learning journey, prepared with the intention to expand the conversation.  Feel free to share your own views and questions in the comments section below.

We stayed in the Eagle’s Nest, once again, like last year.  The beautiful cabin acted as the 6th character in our international group of 5 friends.

I did not offset my footprint for this trip, as I have not yet decided which company to collaborate with in 2024.  I pledge to choosing a company and offsetting all my trips for 2024, including Davos before the end of March.  If you are an excellent startup offering services in this space, or would like to recommend one, please reach out to me.



We kicked off the week on Monday evening at SDG Tent with FBN-The Family Business Network “From Learning to Action: Business Families Driving Change” dinner.  It was wonderful to reconnect with our international community, whom we had been connected with at events like Building Bridges, FBN Global Summit and House of Impact, Slush.  The freshest new organization I was introduced to during the panel was Generation Pledge.  The next 50 years will see the largest wealth transfer in history, with inheritors set to receive between US$30-70 trillion.  Generation Pledge invites inheritors to donate at least 10% of their inheritance to effective causes within the first 5 years of inheriting and mobilise their economical, social, career, and political capital to generate the greatest impact, before and after inheriting.  This is quite next level from my perspective, and I am excited to see new ways to push the needle forward to inspire deployment of capital for good.



On Tuesday, we started our day in DragonHeart House with TaoTea Ceremony. This was my first experience with the Chinese TaoTea Ceremony Tradition.  I am inspired by how DragonHeart House is a full, beautiful house of people, collaborating to expand the consciousness, through spirituality, and innovation.  I felt deeply welcomed by Yanling Duan and all members of the house and was inspired by diversity and inclusion, in this place. 

The next stop was a workshop by FBN titled “Why Ownership Matters?” where we participated in roundtable discussions, and witnessed how the perspective around ownership is evolving towards an understanding of stewardship.


Future of Work

After the workshop, we took off for a walk on the sunny promenade to join a fireside chat with Adam Grant, at BetterUp Chalet about organizational coaching and future of work.  This is the first time I heard about Morning Star which is a mission focused self-management company, where there are no bosses and employees start their job with their predecessors job description. They are at the end of first year to rewrite their job description, addressing which of their skills are not being utilized and how they can better support the organization's mission. At the end of the panel, I had the opportunity to ask Adam about where he thinks the incremental improvements and changes in the worklife are leading us towards?  What does he see beyond the paradigm shift? His seeing is that we are moving towards a time where the traditional workplace is disappearing, and human are gathering around projects.  That the future of work is not around companies, but around projects, and we will be able to participate in multiple projects at the same time with multiple communities.

Hotel Badge

After this inspiring session we took a walk to the post office to get my hotel badge for the breakfast session on Wednesday morning.

WEF Annual Meeting takes place in multiple venues in the middle of Davos.  The whole block around the event is guarded and you need to receive an invitation to enter the space, there are various types of invitations that describe your level of clearance.  If you are to join a session in this area your name is added to a list and you need to go through a security check and collect your badge.  You may think of the WEF Annual Meeting and Davos as a castle and the city around it.  I come here for the vibrant city around the castle, and hear a lot of talks about how the focus of the gathering is moving away from whats held behind the walls to whats happening outside.  This year I wanted to see what the talk is about and signed up for an event inside the hotel area.  Which turned out to be an experience that informed me about exactly what we are moving away from.  More on that later😊

After getting the hotel badge, we walked back to the center and checked out “Themed Roundtable Discussions” at Finnish Flow.  Realizing not all of us were registered, and not certain what the topic of the roundtable discussions were, we decided to move on to a different event to ensure we could all enter together, to come back for the Night Cap part of the event that was a open event.  We checked the “The Future of AI with Will.i.am” session and found it to be super crowded, opting for a dinner where we could reflect back on the day.  I later discovered that an adjacent session, next door, launched a new alliance for planetary well-being.  We moved on to join the night cap at Finnish Flow and learned that the roundtable discussion topics were very interesting and an important amount had been raised to protect indigenous land. These consecutive misses made it clear I was out of sync with my flow, leading to frustration. I retreated to the Eagle’s Nest. Sharing this in detail is vital to me because it reflects my belief that the human experience mirrors a heartbeat, characterized by both contractions and expansions. Embracing these contractions, much like honoring the heart's rhythm, heightens my appreciation for the expansive moments, fostering a deeper connection with the broader tapestry of life.



On Wednesday morning I woke up early and took off for a run before sunrise.  This is a time I take to meet with the elements, father sky, mother earth, plant and animal brothers and sisters.  I lend an ear to what they think about what we are doing here as human.  I received wisdom on finding my flow during the day and stepped into Day 3 on my own terms.

The first session was at 9 o’clock at Steigenberger Icon Grandhotel Belvédère for the futur/io Executive Reception where I needed to put my hotel badge to work.  I got lost a couple of times and had to ask for directions to find my way in as all the walls where digitally painted with branding of consultancy and technology companies.  I landed in a small ball room with a stage, and soon the sponsors for the event start taking stage one by one speaking about their achievements and launching new projects.  The audience lost interest and shifted to networking and what I found amusing is that they were shushed by the organization.  Content on the stage had many interesting layers.  Some of the corporates have been doing a very good job, and they have been sharing their best practices.  Unfortunately the form of the event, sponsors speaking of their success to an audience standing on their feet and shushing them occasionally made it very difficult to follow even the interesting topics and served to raise questions about the sincerity of the presenters.  My “key take aways” (!) are:

  • Every gathering presents a chance to enrich the mind, body, emotions, and spirit alike. Embracing innovative ways of coming together—like the memorable Investor’s Sauna at Slush opens doors to new possibilities and forges fresh connections. Meanwhile, crafting a veneer of exclusivity with ballrooms and elaborate security measures no longer captivates; it's the genuine, inclusive experiences that truly resonate.
  • There were beautiful photos by Marc Stickler exhibited in the room, the cards on them read that by inviting these photos to your events you can raise awareness and funds for the beautiful animals in the photos.
  • Zero13 and XTCC  emphasized the growing importance of direct investment in high-integrity carbon credits and announced a call for 100B$ in climate finance.  We are investors in NatureRe at Light Eagle with the intention to inspire the growth of high integrity carbon credits, and seeing that this approach is moving from outside city walls into the courtroom in the castle is exciting.


New Generation of Impact

From here we moved on to FBN’s “How the New Generations are Educating their Parents about Impact?” session.  This was a session with the dream team of impact leaders in family business space.  Marina Feffer, Johan Andresen, Risto Varynen, Rudolf Hilti and Jason Jay shared their experiences in how they stepped out of a well paved road ahead of them and stepped into creating their own pathways, how they gathered their families and organizations around their vision and how they are currently leading the way today.  Here are some golden nuggets from this session:

  • “If you want to be successful you should not be following the proven pathway than has been passed down to you.” – Risto
  • “Start taking a first generation approach” - Rudolf Hilti
  • “What is the ceiling of where we can go through doing and what is the ceiling of where we can go through speaking into our purpose” - Johan Andresen
  • “Polycapital to tackle the polycrisis” – Marina
  • You need to be vigilant.  Today BlackRock brands Coca Cola as the biggest circular economy brand on the planet.  Make sure that you develop your own approach, apply your own mind to this issue.
    • Take your own risks, others (mckinsey, or the ceo of a listed company) wont take the risks for you.
    • Allow yourself to be measured. Stick your head on the table. Expose yourself.
  • The previous generation focused on earning wealth by any means, later turning to philanthropy, while the current generation prioritizes understanding how wealth is generated from the outset.
  • Excellent Training on Investing for Impact by University of Zurich: https://www.csp.uzh.ch/en/executive-education-training/wealth-owners/impact-investing-for-the-next-generation.html

We had lunch with the panelists and participants of this session, where we seized the opportunity to broaden our discussion and deepen our connections.  I got to meet with Bill Tarr and learn about unique strategies of Motiv Partners where they're creating seamless entry and exit points for their trusted LPs via meticulously managed secondary market transactions, maintaining the long-term vision behind their fund.


Systemic Change 

The next session was one of the my most anticipated ones: “Systemic Change” in SDG Tent. 

Dominic Hofstetter set the stage by presenting the Transcap Initiative, an impressive effort in systemic investing for sustainability. By employing systems thinking, the initiative aims to transform funding mechanisms to better support sustainable outcomes. Hofstetter detailed how systemic investing transcends traditional financial capital to include multiple forms of capital, thereby addressing complex systems through methodological investments and creating value through synergies.  My key insight from his speech is the transformative potential of shifting from a traditional portfolio approach of risk reduction through diversification to a systemic approach focused on generating value and synergies. This shift from a fear-based to a growth-oriented mindset can catalyze a realignment of investment strategies, paving the way for a more sustainable and interconnected future.


Melanie Ryan of Unearthodox, moderated the session where Ndidi Nwuneli spoke next about their guiding principles at African Food Changemakers:


1-Partnering with local organizations: Track how much money goes through local organizations check board and leadership structure.  Transfer skills experience etc

2-Humility: Keep learning what works in what environment 

3-Put woman in the fore front of financing:  Look for women run organizations, transform the land to finance women

Ending with the tibetan proverb:  “If I tell you my dream you might forget it, if i act on my dream perhaps you will remember it, but if I involve you, it becomes your dream too.”

Ralph Kretschmer of EBG, introduced their fund, and expressed that many of the current invesment structures are focusing on the form rather than the substance and his advice was to “stick as much to the form as you can and change the substance” he continued to add “keep the management fees”.

Jason Jay started his words by sharing that last year there wasn’t a platform for systemic investing, we had gathered in the halls of an elemantary school (see Davos2023 Journey Song😊) and now we are gathering in SDG Tent, this approach is gaining strong momentum.  He shared the excellent case study of “Systemic Investing to Tackle the US Food Waste Challenge - The Fink Family and ReFED” and quoted William Gibson “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”  I also loved learning about Spoiler Alert and Twist in this space.

We broke into small roundtable groups and discussed a case study.  During this part of the session I had a chance to ask Renat Heuberger, Co-Founder of SouthPole, about how they are ensuring their funds to effectively reach their intended destinations. He elaborated on the necessity of maintaining a vigilant balance between trusting local partners and implementing measures for their accountability.  I met with Manuel Seiffeof MPower which is a climate and fintech start-up providing energy access to middle income households in Africa, through supplying solar energy infrastructure and financing solutions.

After the roundtable discussions Kirsten Dunlop of Climate KIC, EU’s main Climate Innovation Initiative, spoke last and shared their experience about NetZero Cities Programme where 50 cities across Europe such as Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, Warsaw have signed up to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.  She summed up the session by indicating that in such panels, we recognize that solutions exist; it's in combining them within our complex, human-influenced systems that we uncover unintended consequences.  Embracing the learning process and from each other, working in collaboration is the key to transformation. 

I found this conversation very engaging and the parties involved, sincere.  The next cycle of Light Eagle will be around following up on the discussions in this very room.


House of Beautiful Business

From this inspiring discussion we set out to find the House of Beautiful Business held in Davos History Museum.  We had met with one of the organizers of this house Johanna Zuleta, in Building Bridges and were drawn to the idea of a space created with the intention to cross pollinate between art and business.  On this afternoon and evening were being held sessions around the theme of “Conversations towards the Life-Centric Economy”.  Series of conversations kicked of with "Talent Communities and the Future of Talent" with Kerem Alper sharing about Neol and looking into the question of “how can we create a sense of community in a digital space?”  It was followed by "Brands and Generative AI" and "10 Moral Questions for Tech", and I found it very refreshing to be introduced to new ideas and concepts.  Some of the things I needed to Google to follow the conversation were Building 20 and Flow.  The 10 Moral Questions All Tech Creators Should Ask (and Answer) Before Creating New Technology was especially an interesting concept.

After dinner we skipped the rest of the sessions and delved in a lengthy conversation with Kerem, in the beautiful dining hall of the history museum.  We dived deep into future of work, and explored how Neol presents a solution for what is beyond the paradigm shift.  I find it interesting that many asset owners and creative talent are conversing among themselves about a new future, but rarely converse together.  I believe design have a key role in guiding the transformation that lies ahead, and am seeking for ways to bring different voices looking in the same direction, together.

As we walked back to our car in the evening through the promenade, I reflected back the journey between different realms of Hotel Area, SDG Tent and History Museum and how these spaces, speakers and communities are shaping reality in their own way.



AI House

Thursday began with a morning run, and a spacious breakfast at Eagle's Nest as some of our friends were leaving later on this day.

I had an appointment with Terence Thiel of Verve Ventures, and we decided to meet for a cup of coffee at the AI House.  Anyone who have been to Davos this year will tell you that it was %90 AI, and AI House has been central to the conversation in the valley with 30 supporters and 80 events.  Adrian Locher of Merantix kindly shared the journey in bringing together this amazing space and community, before we moved on to a round table discussion with the TIO Gang about the amazing AI investment platform they have been building since 2016, and some of the very interesting startups they have been backing such as Vara and Cambrium.  Adrian explained to us how they are looking into commercialization opportunity of the use case at an idea level and then quickly building the team and product if they sense traction.  How they are leveraging the inspirational campus in Berlin to attract the best talent and to cross pollinate expertise.

We moved on to AI Investors Lunch, to listen to a vibrant panel discussion on high-level overview of the current investing climate, and explored the question of "What kind of economic revolution will be triggered by this technological revolution?"


Climate Scale-Up

For the afternoon, we took the funicular to Schatzalp, for Climate Scale-Up Deal Day, hosted by Green Accelerator.

When we entered the hotel, a session was ending with a presenter from We Don't Have Time, shaking a bottle of champagne saying “We are the bubbles in this bottle and oil industry is clogging the way.  We need to shake them off, once we are out there is no going back to the bottle.”

Climate Scale-Up session opened with an inspirational speech by Seema Gupta, Co-Founder and was followed with panels of very interesting scale up companies in climate tech.  Some of the bold ideas that remained with me are:

- You can’t scale on impact investors you need to be attractive to traditional investors. — Cody Friesen of SourceCo
- We don’t want to sell carbon credits anymore. We would like to sell projects that remove carbon from the athmosphere.”  — Peter Fernandez of MOMBAK

The session moved onto round tables and networking where we had a chance to meet with vey promising founders and nurtured existing relations.


Dance of Phoenix & Dragon

The next event we attended was "From Kailash to Davos" back in DragonHeart House.  This was a spritual and entrepreneurial gathering, I was invited to introduce myself as part of "Dance of Phoenix & Dragon" on Nature intelligence & Digital Ethics.

I am a currently in BlackLodge Training, with an international circle of people dedicated to growing a thriving, balanced, and healthy world for all.  We have come together to study in-depth the Origin Teachings of the Delicate Lodge, which is an ancient body of knowledge that guides the human to their deepest sense of self-respect and self-authored growth. 

Applying this ancient wisdom to our everyday lives, we have shifted how we show up as humans, how we move through life and create our reality, how we build products and services, and how we approach our work.


The invitation from the DragonHeart House was a testament to the power of drawing from this ancient and natural state of being, clearly illustrating that what began in the Transformation Room at the House of Impact during Slush is indeed flourishing.

The session and the connections that were made afterwards are steps towards expanding the collective consciousness to hold the transformation we are moving through. 


The last event we were invited to was a closing dinner invitation by FBN.  This event proved to be an excellent opportunity to reflect on our learning and take aways, and how the family business community can utilize its resources to move from learning to action, and create lasting economic, social and environmental impact.  During this session I had the pleasure of meeting with Itzel Arróliga, a brilliant young woman, one of the WEF Global Shapers.  I had a chance to ask about her experience of Davos and WEF, specifically about how this experience is shaping her perspective about power.  Her response highlighted the platform as a unique space where individuals engage on equal footing, disregarding external power hierarchies, thus fostering rare opportunities for mutual inquiry and perspective sharing. 



I had heard about an invitation to actualize "One Hour for World Peace at the World Economic Forum in Davos" organized by The Universal Peace Sanctuary.  The invitation was for all to take an hour between 5:00PM to 6:00PM everyday, when the forum activities were winding down, to engage in meditation sessions, candlelight vigil, peace pladges, interfaith prayers or artistic expressions on "Promenade Street in Davos, in each and every open house, where participants can gather in a space that is conducive to reFlection and unity."  I had brought with me a hand drum and some items with the intention to hold a space with the intention to participate in this gathering.

Eventhough the flow of my Davos, had not included a session as part of this intention, I felt the a closing stringing with in open air in front of Kulturplatz was called for.  With those who wanted to join, we answered the call of the drum and gathered in circle, speaking into what we are leaving this experience with, bringing a closing to this transforming experience.


As I reflect on the whirlwind of experiences, conversations, and insights gained during my time at Davos, I am struck by the profound interconnectedness of our global community. This journey was not just about attending sessions or meeting influential thinkers; it was a deep dive into the possibilities that emerge when diverse minds unite with a common purpose. From the transformative ideas discussed in the Systemic Change session to the heartfelt connections made over lunch with panelists, each moment was a testament to the power of collective action and shared vision. The conversations that started in the bustling corridors of Davos have not only expanded my own perspectives but have also reinforced my commitment to driving positive change. As I move forward, carrying the learnings and aspirations from Davos into my own realm of influence, I am inspired to contribute more actively to the paradigm shifts we are navigating towards. The journey from Davos has ended, but the work to shape a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive future continues. In this spirit, I invite others to join in this endeavor, sharing their insights, dreams, and actions, as we collectively strive to transform our world.


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