Davos is winding down to its coup de grace, a keynote address from antithetical-to-Davos-ideals Donald Trump.
Like the US president, some World Economic Forum attendees have reputations that precede them—others, not so much. Thankfully, the meeting’s organizers provide an attendee list to help global economic naifs figure out who’s who. In reading that list, we couldn’t help but note some of the most common—and most unique—attendee titles provided.
Three attendees have their titles listed simply as this four-letter word, the shortest in Davos. Karan Johar of Dharma Productions Private Limited in India, Nazir Foead of the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency, and Gene B. Sperling of Sperling Economic Strategies in the US. (Previously Sterling was an economic advisor to US presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.)
With possibly the most Davos of all the titles, nearly 500 of the around 3,000 attendees are listed as “chairman.” Five are listed as “chairwoman.” Seven are simply “chair” of something. There are 17 “co-chairs” or “co-chairman” and 59 “vice-chair” or “vice-chairman.”
Andrew Brown, a member of Royal Dutch Shell’s executive committee, has the rare title that contains a jargony “upstream.” The only other Davos attendee with that word in his title is Dmitry Timoshenko at Shell competitor Lukoil. Timoshenko is listed as “vice-president, business development, upstream.” Brown’s corporate biography indicates that as upstream director he’s responsible for “the exploration and production of oil and gas from conventional, shale and deep-water sources.”
President, 3D Printing
Stephen Nigro, a three-decade veteran of HP according to his LinkedIn profile, is the only WEF participant whose title contains the words “3D” or “printing.”
While there are multiple directors of engineering and a lead application developer, there is only one so-called software developer: Tinashe Mashungu of Websmith Design Collective in Zimbabwe. Mashungu is at Davos as part of a World Economic Forum initiative called Global Shapers, which limits its membership to those younger than 33. He is focused on e-learning.
Chief innovability officer
No, that’s not a typo. Ernesto Ciorra’s title is a portmanteau of innovation and sustainability. He undertakes the role at Italian electricity provider Enel.
Head, strategy and performance transformation
Perhaps it makes perfect sense for a former consultant at McKinsey to end up in industry with an important-sounding but incredibly vague title. Rajat Bhargava takes this post at Hero Mortorcorp, the Indian motorcycle manufacturer.
Pierre Gasly is a 21-year-old motor-sport athlete driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso.
President of Kosovo (This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence)
The relationship status of Hashim Thaci’s country is complicated. Kosovo has declared independence twice. Once from Yugoslavia and later from Serbia. As such, the attempt to diplomatically list Thaci’s title resulted in the longest title provided by the WEF.