From Goldman Sachs bankers to United Nations bureaucrats, delegates have descended on Davos, Switzerland, for the 2020 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The conference, now in its 50th year, is a perennial draw for the world’s most powerful people to discuss the most pressing issues facing the global economy—or at least make them feel like that’s what they’re doing.
The WEF has publicized the attendees to varying degrees in recent years. At times it has kept the list private, released it in full, or released it while excluding certain groups of people.
This year, the WEF publicly released its list without names of participants and cited the European data-privacy law known as GDPR as the reason for doing so. That list included person-by-person demographic information, not linked to any identifiable information. A separate list with names is provided to press in attendance; it includes instructions not to release the names of attendees.
The information about this year’s attendees was submitted to us anonymously through our Secure Drop portal. By name, it matched the 2,784-person list made available to journalists. However, the information we received contains more detail on attendees than Quartz has ever seen and reveals, in ways never before disclosed, how the WEF catalogs and categorizes the world’s powerful people.
We’ve included two parts of that rubric here, the 1-to-7 categorization of each delegate based on title and affiliation, and a short description of what type of position they currently hold. The World Economic Forum declined to comment on the list or the purpose of the categorization.