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Opening ceremony began around 5:00 p.m. with the opening remarks by the Founder and Chairman Klaus Schwab.  This year’s opening key note speech is made by President Nicolas Sarkozy,  president of France.  As I really wanted to see him in person, I waited for half an hour outside of the Congress Hall.

President Sarkozy’s speech was dynamic, powerful and had a very clear message.  He said that we need new capitalism and more human perspectives.  He also said that if we leave everything to the market, it will NOT work.  (As he spoke in French, I was listening through simultaneous interpreter).  He was much more dynamic than I had expected and I thought leaders, of the country, business, or any organization for that matter, need passion.  I was very impressed with his speech and his style.  I had a glimpse of the way European leaders see the financial market, which is quite different from that in the U.S.

After his speech, there was Crystal award ceremony.  The three winners were Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, Swiss singer, Udo Jergens and Lang Lang, Chinese pianist.   Lang Lang played three pieces afterwards, which was great.  This conclude the official event of the first day.

Mehta LangI then went to the dinner entitled “Power of Music” held at one of the restaurants at the hotel. Discussion leaders included Lang Lang and Zarin Mehta of New York Philharmonic.  I was at the table with Zarin Mehta and had a wonderful time discussing the power of music and the role music could play in education etc.  It was fun dinner and fun day, though it was quite long.  As it was already after 10:00 p.m., I decided to skip the Night Cap and came back to the hotel.

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  1. January 28th, 2010

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