January 23, 2020 / 2:01 PM / in a month

Dispatch from Davos: A day in the life of a Reuters journalist at the World Economic Forum

My day in Davos actually started late last night. On my way home from dinner, I bumped into Yo-Yo Ma, the cellist, on the Promenade, which is the main drag in Davos. When Ma heard I worked at Reuters, he wanted to talk about the value of the World Economic Forum, and how it brings people together.

Reuters Wealth Management Editor Lauren Young and Yo-Yo Ma at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020.

Two young men came up and asked for a photo with Ma. And then when he learned the men were from China and educated in the U.S., the conversation morphed into a passionate discussion about the future of Hong Kong. We also spoke about sustainability. I shared all of that intel with my colleagues when I got to work at 7 a.m. this morning, because Ma will be joining Davos Today for our final live show on Friday. Reuters transforms the Davos Library into a working TV studio and newsroom for the week, where we produce the daily hour-long show as well as run our news coverage on everything happening at the WEF.

The rest of the day, honestly, is a blur. I finished a story about Barry Colson, a Canadian musician who for 25 years had the ear of world leaders, CEOs and even rock stars at Davos. But the Swiss ski resort's most-listened to man has moved on from his perch at the Hotel Europe, a popular piano bar. Colson is now performing at a brand-new rival club nearby. here

At lunchtime, I moderated a panel to a packed house about the Multigenerational Workforce. My panelists were Taso Du Val, chief executive officer of Toptal; Lareina Yee, chief diversity officer at McKinsey; Tae Yoo, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Cisco, and Othman Laraki, chief executive officer of Color Genomics. Jo Ann Jenkins, who is the CEO of AARP, introduced the panel and shared this stunning statistic: The 50-plus cohort contributed $8.3 trillion in economic and unpaid activities in 2018. By 2050, this number is expected to triple to $28.2 trillion, bigger than the economic output of most countries.

The conversation was vast: we spoke about each generation in the workforce, flexibility, automation, the myth of work-life balance and so much more.

When the panel wrapped at 2 p.m., I was starving, and I ended up having an impromptu lunch (salad and lasagne) in the Point with my mentor Debra Walton, who works at Refinitiv. I also ducked out for an hour for a meeting with an executive from Accenture I’ve been trying to meet for almost a year to talk about the future of work.

My dance card for the evening is full: Japan Night, speaking at an AARP dinner with Michael Friedenberg as wing man, and then the famous McKinsey Nightcap, if I can keep my eyes open...

Davos is the New York Fashion Week or the Cannes Film Festival of the business world. I’ve met dozens of sources here and made many new contacts. So that’s the external value. But the time the Reuters staff spends together is my favorite part of this week.  There are journalists here from the U.K., Singapore, New York, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and elsewhere. The intense hours we spend together transforms the work dynamic when we return to our home bureaus and need to collaborate across different time zones.   

[Reuters PR Blog Post]

Heather Carpenter

heather.carpenter @ thomsonreuters.com

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