THE world's ultimate networking event kicks off in the Swiss ski resort of Davos today following a stark warning from the event's founder who believes the world is too weak to tackle the web of interrelated threats facing businesses and governments.
"We have to be careful that this crisis does not become a social crisis, which it has in some countries," German business studies professor Klaus Schwab said ahead of the five-day conference.
"We have in the world a situation where the political systems and the institutions are overwhelmed by the complexity they have to face," he said.
Among 25 government heads expected are British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who will open the forum. Mr Medvedev, a keen user of the micro-blogging site Twitter, will take questions from the public over the website.
The political leaders are being protected by beefed-up security which includes the closing of local airspace.
Two surveys published ahead of the meeting shed an interesting light on Ireland's position in the world.
The first report concluded that Ireland is the world's second most globalised nation, and the most globalised nation in the Western world.
The globalisation survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that Ireland will replace Hong Kong as the world's most globalised nation this year and remain in the top spot for at least four more years.
A separate report shows that chief executives' confidence in future growth has almost returned to pre-crisis levels. In a worldwide poll of 1,201 CEOs, almost half said they were "very confident" of growth in the next 12 months, report author PricewaterhouseCoopers said.