Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Every year, many of the world's top leaders from politics, business and the global community -- including some of our own -- attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss how to make the world a better place. This year, we wanted to give people around the world the chance to join them, and help them, by submitting their own answers to "the Davos Question," which is: "What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?"
So that's the question, but we all agree that it's finding the answer which will be tough.
You may be familiar with the CNN-YouTube U.S. presidential debates, which have made an enormous impact on interactive politics as we know it. The interactive component here is similar, but this is a global initiative where we are using the magic of YouTube to create an ongoing conversation between people in positions of authority, and those whose lives their decisions affect every day. Before the success of the CNN-YouTube initiative, such a conversation would never have been thought possible. And now we're trying to take it to an even more ambitious level.
We see the Davos Question as a means to let people everywhere get close to, and influence, leaders whom they would never otherwise have a chance to reach. Equally, however, we want to show the actual participants at Davos the muscle with which YouTube is able to make a difference. It's kind of a two-way street: we can let everyday people into Davos, and at the same time we can show Davos the views of everyday people. And this is where it gets interesting. The YouTube community gets to vote and rank the submitted videos, and the highest-ranked ones will be featured at Davos. They will be used by the World Economic Forum to introduce topics in the plenary sessions, and we will be showing them directly to world leaders in the YouTube booth we are running onsite at Davos. The ongoing video blogs from some of the most influential people in the world which stem from the Davos Question will, we hope, kickstart a mechanism to really make a difference.
Can you help? You bet. Spend some time over the holiday season thinking about your own answer to the Davos Question, and post a response through the cool gadget we've developed. Then vote, rank, and encourage your friends and colleagues to get involved.
Around here, we often talk about doing things which genuinely help the world. We think this is one way we can truly make the world sit up and take notice of what its people think about the most pressing issues of our time. But this time, instead of having it lost in the ether, we want to take it, wrap it up, and present it to some of the most important leaders we have, when the whole world is watching on YouTube.