What happens at the World Economic Forum in Davos? : The New Yorker

The stratification begins with the badges. Every participant wears a badge on a lanyard. Every encounter begins with an unabashed glance or two down at the other’s badge. It is Davos Man’s defining gesture. So frequently did gazes slip to reëxamine my badge that I came to know what it must be like to have cleavage. The color of the badge denotes a role, and a degree of access. W.E.F. staff wear blue badges—dark blue for full time and light for temps. “Reporting Press” wear orange and can’t get in a lot of places. Entourages get mint green. The coveted pass is the white one, granting delegates free rein. There are variations: A Strategic Partner gets a blue dot and access to an exclusive lounge. A special hologram used to signal membership in an élite faction called the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders, or IGWEL, but now “serves boring logistical purposes,” according to Monck. I was given a white badge, which meant I’d been knighted a Media Leader. Media Leaders may trump Reporting Press (ha!), but they bow before the Media Governors (curses!), who get invited to the off-the-record sit-downs with Geithner and Merkel.

What happens at the World Economic Forum in Davos? : The New Yorker

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