Readers' Guide Comment on “placed performance before people and allowed our economic life to drift away from our political and ethical commitments”
World Economic Forum’s position here is not too different from that of the World Social Forum (WSF). 1 The WEF says “we have … placed performance before people;” WSF says it “[has] placed profits before people.” In both cases, the analysis is that people-focused development has been displaced by a market-driven mentality.
WSF and WEF would also be in agreement that there is a sharp disjunction between globalized economic realities and ethical values. They would differ about the causal connection between these two elements. For WEF it simply presents as a “drift[ing] away”; for WSF it is the former which drives the latter apart.
Readers' Guide Comment on “a gap between what we profess and what we do”
This is one of the rare uses of the first person plural in the text, and it is not at all clear who the “we” is. It might have been added here as part of the marketing of WEF’s proposals. It might also reflect the audience of this study, in which case the “we” consists of members of the international elite. For certainly the gap between what is ‘professed’ and what is ‘done’ is not a problem shared with the marginalized and impoverished communities of the world.
The Readers' Guide welcomes comments with alternative examples or counter examples, supplemental assessments of the extracted GRI text or commentary – critical or otherwise -- of the above interpretation of GRI’s perspective.