Davos Innovation: “Knowledge Concierge”

by Peter Spiro

Here you go. The idea: everything you need to know about really big issues in two pages or less (charts included). Say you are the CEO of Sara Lee or something and find yourself among the great minds of Davos, your KnowledgeConcierge (space intentionally omitted) will bring you up to speed so that you can take it all in. Topics include globalization, climate change, “The Rise of Asia”, and “Societal Shifts” (meaning the ways that “globalization has increased contacts between people of different backgrounds and cultures”).

There nothing wrong with this in principle, but there is something slightly irksome about the title. Like knowledge acquisition is now just another part of the luxe service economy. It brings to mind the fact that celebrities all have “international advisors” these days. Nothing wrong with that either, I guess (and good work if you can get it); much better, in fact, to have informed celebrities jetting about pushing international causes than uninformed ones. Perhaps the butler image cuts a little too close to home (do lawprofs qualify as such?).


4 Responses

  1. This strikes me as a bad business idea. Most intelligent people are smart enough to come up with their own opinions on most issues, and information is available enough in the age of the internet that we can do it fairly easily. Aside from movie stars and athletes, I don’t think there are that many people with enough money to afford something like this who would want to pay for it.

  2. Peter:

    If you don’t like the “KnowledgeConcierge” imagery (and I don’t either, by the way), why don’t we just call them “CliffsNotes for the Rich and Famous”…

  3. Do law profs qualify as such? Peter, no doubt your students are different from mine … still, I would say my students don’t regard me as a butler of knowledge, but as the barista in the Starbucks Faculty of Law, dispensing a high priced consumer product called legal education – I’ll have a skim milk latte international business transactions grande with extra shot of espresso, thank you very much.

  4. Ken, I feel better now that you’ve brought it down to earth (though I still can’t shake “small, medium, large” by way of coffee sizes) and out of the realm of pretentious new NYC condo developments!

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