January 28, 2013
21 Quotes From Davos You Should Read

If you missed the World Economic Forum in Davos last week—or just need a re-cap—we’ve gathered a list of impactful remarks (some modified for Twitter) by prominent world leaders, CEOs, politicians and policy makers.

Leadership & Innovation

Marc Benioff, CEO,
“You need to have a beginner’s mind to create bold innovation.”

Jeff Bezos, CEO,
“If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you’re going to double your inventiveness.”

Barry Salzberg, CEO, Deloitte
“People believe they are more innovative than they are, and that that gap is leadership in their company.”

Lee Kun Hee, CEO, Samsung
“Change everything except your wife and kids.”

Joe Schoendorf, Partner, Accel Partners
“The two biggest tidal waves going on in technology today are social and big data. And they are coming together.”

William George, Professor, Harvard Business School
“Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and motivating them toward shared goals. Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles.”

Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan
“I don’t lose sleep over failures. I worry about the successes and how they can be replicated.”

Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web
“To be a hacker — when I use the term — is somebody who is creative and does wonderful things.”

Shimon Peres, President of Israel
“If you eat three times a day, you become fat. If you read three times a day, you become wise. It’s better to be wise than fat.”


Orit Gadiesh, Chairman, Bain & Company
“Not moving because things are unfamiliar—and you haven’t bothered to learn how to operate on them—I think is really a crime. The uncertain is the unknown and the unknown is the future, and you cannot predict the future. But the unfamiliar? You can learn how to operate in that.”

John Chambers, CEO, Cisco
“When you get the majority of the economy predictable, you’re gonna get faster job growth, and companies investing more. But actually, the best return for companies is when things are really going the wrong way, and you’re willing to go against the tide.”

“I would argue that your chance to break away is now as opposed to twelve months from now when hopefully governments get more predictable with their policies. In many of our industries, if you’re risk averse, you get left behind.”

The Rising Generation

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, WEF
“The biggest change in the world today is that the young don’t learn from the old, they teach the old about the world today.”

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC
“Are we going to fire the father to hire the son? We want to create jobs for young people, but not at the expense of others.”

Maurice Lévy, CEO, Publicis
“Young people are in despair. They want a job, a real job, and we as society are guilty of not offering it.”

Women & The Economy

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
“Think about it. Women control 70 percent of global consumer spending . . . when women do better, economies do better.”

“Leave the office at 5:30, take Wednesday afternoon off, don’t fill in your timesheet… Dare the difference and deliver.”

Corporate Transparency

Jamie Dimon, CEO, J.P. Morgan
“Businesses can be opaque. They’re complex. You don’t know how aircraft engines work either.”

Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo!
“For me the core principles of privacy online are transparency, choice and control.”

World Affairs

Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In the next 15 years, we can halve childhood deaths. That’s doable.”

Daniel Doctoroff, CEO, Bloomberg
“American families only spend 17 minutes a day on average having time together.”