I raced to catch my connection in DC and immediately recognized a new “virtual friend” and fellow DC Hub Global Shaper, Peter Corbett, waiting at our gate for the Zurich flight. It was nice to see a friendly face! We scooted our way across 4000+ miles and landed in Zurich. It’s all invigorating–I’ve been in a 1,000 airports before, but this time I was drawn to take pictures and had to force myself to blink. We found our way to baggage claim, and who did I see but a 2010 RIDETZ Rider, Dave Boehmer, who had just landed from NYC, also headed to Davos as a Young Global Leader (YGL). I can tell this interconnected world is going to get even more exciting as the week progresses. Along the way Dave introduced us to a couple more YGLs and a delegate friend. We also ran into Darrah, from the Atlanta Global Shapers Hub before jumping on a train to head east a couple hours.
The train ride was idyllic. We passed through the snow-covered countryside, and as we continued winding through the mountains, families jumped on and off the train with their skis. At one point the scenery made it feel like we were in a Bond movie.
The train ride was filled with banter–the conversations ranged from our career paths, to WEF’s overuse of the term multi-stakeholder, to gender disparity, to YGL Irene‘s ability to fit all her clothes for a week in a carry on. I can tell this week is going to open my mind in a way I have been craving since leaving college! So far it has been a dream.
Arriving in the town of Davos was great. For some reason I completely forgot everyone was going to speak Swiss German. When I say that out loud it sounds ridiculous, but, I assume because of the diversity of the conference, I figured English would be prevalent. Well… not so much with the taxi drivers. I really had to dig back to my 7 years of German class figure out what was up!
It turns out we are only staying 1/4 of a mile from the train station, so maybe the taxi wasn’t necessary, but it’s all part of the experience. WEF has put some of us up (very grateful for that) in a middle school – yup – mittelschule. I guess I should have realized when I got the name of our “hotel” that it was a school! I now truly feel like I am back in college–dorm room style!
My roommate has yet to arrive, but she is called Katharina Norden. I looked her up, and she is from the Vienna Global Shaper Hub and focuses her time on finical literacy through an organization she started called Three Coins. I am looking forward to meeting her and the rest of the crew. We’re off to the Piano Bar now… Gute nacht schlaf gut (Good Night Sleep Tight)!