The World Economic Forum takes place in the middle of the freezing temperatures in the snowy Davos, but within the myriad of meeting and conference rooms, there is more than a little hot air.
Some of this is generated through a form of English unique to this meeting, which can be disconcerting – even for the experienced WEF observer.
To help, we’ve compiled a short list of puzzling terms and phrases heard or read in Davos, and tried to decipher, with limited success.More from Davos on the BBCBenchmarking
Brings to mind a heavy, sweaty weight lifter trying to beat your personal best.
According to Bain, the benchmarking is when “managers compare the performance of their products or processes externally with those of competitors and best-in-class companies, and internally with other operations that perform similar activities in their own companies.”
So it is clear.The circularity
To quote the inimitable Inigo Montoya in The Princess bride: “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”
According to the dictionary, the circularity means: “the fact that an argument or a theory with an idea or a statement to prove something which is then used to test the idea or the statement in the beginning.”
The circularity does not mean: a measure of the process by which a product is reused in a “circular” economy.
Is this virtual reality? It is the reality of the digital world in which we live? It is a reality experienced by the cyborgs? Beats Me. Probably the best elucidated by sci-fi novelist Philip K Dick. Deep diving
If we’re not talking about Tom Daley, avoid.Critical points
A place, an event or a moment in which violence or hostility is turned on. It is not the point at which all Davos traffic is diverted on the side of the road by people in high-vis jackets and waving glow sticks, apparently.
Mode of application
“Is defined as the degree to which the system is coupled to the objectives of the organization during the implementation process. An application mode that decouples the performance indicators (Pi) of the objectives of the organization seems to further the success of the implementation.”
You can thank A Johnsen 1999, the work, the Application of Mode and Local Government Performance Measurement: A Norwegian Experience, for that.Influencers
The people that influence. How they differ from Thought leaders is an unknown.
Definitely not the same as interaction. Or, in fact, the Linkage, see below.Link
A word according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which unfortunately is not pronounced on the literary taste.Material improbabilities
This comes from Marsh & McLennan’s new report. The next paragraph should clear things up:
“The development of an inventory of emerging risks requires both divergent and convergent thinking: on the one hand, reflective of the research and wide-ranging consultation; on the other, a mechanism for effective triage of the problems and align the top concerns.”
Hmm, that helped me a lot.
Look, you’ll know one when you meet one.Multi-stakeholder platform/the beginning
A “crucial mechanism”. For example, the active participation of a “broad range of stakeholders – from civil society, academia, business, and more – in order to ensure that all members of the society benefit from intellectual property”, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.Negative feedback loop
As, in this article? Seriously, this describes the cascade effect that a sector of the economy is poor may have in other sectors or countries.
Different routes. Also different from the precarious snow trenches which will allow delegates to Davos, switzerland, to get from one session to another without being buried.The resilience imperative
We have No idea what that means. So I asked WEF member Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz to explain – without using the jargon of herself again in 2016.The risk of interconnections
The linkage and interaction between the risks. It is an interconnection network that is there (see below).Those interested
Catch-all term for those interested or invested in a particular policy or business. Nothing to do with vampires, garlic or Bram Stoker’s dracula, I am sorry.
According to this article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Systems of Leaders “build relationships based on deep listening, and the networks of trust and collaboration begin to flourish.
“They are so convinced that you can do something you do not expect a fully developed plan, with the purpose of releasing others to take a step forward and learning by doing.” In the real world, which is also called “winging”.Takeaway
It is not a Mcdonald’s burger, but “a key fact, point, or idea to be remembered, typically one emerging from a discussion or meeting.” Almost always the “key”.The telegraph (as a verb!)
“Submit or transmit or as if by telegraph,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary.
It is usually used in the WEF, to denote that someone is signaling a future move – for example, a central banker of suggestions, or telegraph, which can raise interest rates (Instead of, say, starting for the first cocktails).
Been there, done it, got the t-shirt. To see the influencers above. Transformative impact
Around the world in Davos is to have one, as in: “I am a lover of the transformative impact my diet is having on my waist”. Visioneering the future
Visioneering? Please, do not. I want to say no, no, no, no and no.
Definitely not to be confused with the engineering. A way of talking about a concept that has virtually no practical application yet.
Now I’m getting angry, repeat after me: A. in the Web. Is. By. Definition. Interconnected. Capice? The world wide web, especially.Where we net with this
Euch. Only euch.
Are you in Davos, or by following the World Economic Forum from afar? Do you have #Davos18 financial terms that you want us to demystify?
If so tweet @JoeMillerJr using the hashtag #DavosJargon with their suggestions. You can also comment on LinkedIn or send us an e-mail to [email protected]