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When men and mountains meet

By Barry Salzberg - January 17, 2013

Barry outside at Davos 2012The poet William Blake wrote that “Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”1 Despite this poem being more than 200 years old, and recognizing the dynamic collection of men and women leading business and society today, this line perfectly sums up my feelings of anticipation ahead of my return to the mountain in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, to participate in the 2013 World Economic Forum.

This will be my sixth year attending the forum whose theme this year is “Resilient Dynamism.” Each year I’m impressed by the quality and insightfulness of the event, and by the intelligence and passion of those who take part. Where else do you get the opportunity to interact with smart young innovators, top academics, government leaders, and senior executives … all in one place?

Our delegation also includes Deloitte U.S. CEO Joe Echevarria, DTTL Audit & Risk Financial Services Leader Yoriko Goto, Deloitte France CEO Alain Pons, and Deloitte UK CEO David Sproul. Deloitte will also be making a significant impact through leadership of key industry discussions in the financial services, manufacturing, and TMT sectors.

As part of the forum’s public program, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on the subject of “Fostering Entrepreneurial Innovation” (Thursday, 24 January, from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. CET, in the Congress Centre Seehorn Arena). The discussion will explore how businesses can foster entrepreneurial innovation despite the low-growth environment many countries are still experiencing.

On this topic, Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs said: “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D [research and development] dollars you have.... It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it."
Innovation is a characteristic at the very core of Deloitte, as the network works to help member firm clients embed innovation within their organizations and to build capacity for future growth. In fact, next week we’ll release the results of the 2012 Deloitte Millennial Survey. This latest survey delves into the minds of the next generation of business leaders to surface their views on the role innovation plays in advancing both business and society.

Also during the Forum, we’ll be running “InnovationLive” – a new, open online platform for debate. People around the world will be able to share ideas on business, innovation, and its impact on society. We’ll be tracking the conversation in real time, and sharing the most insightful comments on our Deloitte live scribe wall onsite at Davos. This is a unique opportunity to be part of the conversation during the Forum, wherever you are in the world. To join the debate, tweet us or post on Facebook, using the hashtag #InnovationLive.

See you next week on the mountain.


[1] Blake, William, 2008. “Great Things Are Done” (c. 1807 – 1809), The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake. 2nd ed. United States: University of California Press.

Barry Salzberg headshotBarry Salzberg is the Global Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). As DTTL Global CEO, Barry leads and manages the Executive and sets the strategic direction of the Deloitte global network. Prior to this role, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte LLP (United States) from 2007 to 2011.


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