Power shifts dominate World Economic Forum

The leaders in politics, business and science will set their minds to considering shifts in global power at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which starts today in the Swiss mountain town of Davos.

Some 2,400 attendees - including 800 chief executives and top political leaders such as Tony Blair, Sergey Brin and Rupert Murdoch - take over the ski resort for the next five days to discuss the main theme, "the shifting power equation", in economics, geopolitics, business, and technology.

"There are some very crucial issues in the world that have to be addressed," forum chairman Klaus Schwab said, listing climate change, energy and geopolitics as top concerns.

Technology-related debates will look at the "vast possibilities of an 'always on world' and community-building social networks, created by Web 2.0 technologies and architectures," as well as look at the "impact on personal and collective identity", according to a statement on the WEF website.

Such luminaries as Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Flickr founder Caterina Fake will take part in a the panel debates, including talks on the ownership of the internet, the influence of the gaming generation and the emergence of social networking.

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