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PAST EVNETS: A Meeting of New Champions: The World Economic Forum’s 2012 ‘Summer Davos’ in Tianjin
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The 2012 Summer Davos, which is one of the most significant events of its kind one the global business and economic calendar, was held at the Tianjin Meijiang Convention Centre from 11 – 13 September. The event first came to China in 2007 and has since alternated between Tianjin and Dalian each year. As on previous occasions, participants were treated to a special key note speech by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Premier Wen delivered his compelling speech, in which he addressed issues such as the growth rate of the Chinese economy, global economic conditions and the future of the domestic business environment, and invited questions from participants at the Forum’s opening ceremony.
The events main goal was to bring together future and current world leaders, from a variety of fields, to discuss potential solutions to some of the world’s greatest economic problems and hot topics. To that end, the theme of the 2012 Meeting of New Champions was ‘Creating the Future Economy’. Looking at the list of speakers, it is impossible to not be filled with confidence over the events potential for generating world changing solutions. Considering the intellectual calibre amongst this year’s guest list, one cannot help but be filled with confidence as to the event’s potential to generate world changing policy prescriptions.
Discussion topics at this year’s event included- the European financial crisis, the discovery of the Higgs Boson, biotechnology, China’s future economy and world-wide sustainable development; amongst other pressing issues and topical discourse. 
The guest list was filled with distinguished guests from a wide range of sectors. Business leaders, academics and innovators from around the globe came to Tianjin to offer their insight and analysis to the WEF. Key speakers included Ma Jun, of the environmental NGO Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs, Professor Wang Gao of the China Europe International Business School, Thomas L Friedman, the New York Times columnist on his book Is the World Flat?, Nik Gowing, the distinguished BBC presenter of The Hub and  Kaliya Hamlin, founder of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium on data protection.
The cultural soiree was held at the Tianjin Cultural Centre Grand Theatre on the corner of Binshui Dao and Youyi Lu, Hexi District on 12 September. The event marked one of the high points of this year’s conference. It was truly a night to remember, with a sumptuous buffet and a spectacular backdrop that looks onto a beautiful man-made lake. The entertainment was also top quality, with guests enjoying a stunning rendition of traditional Beijing Opera as well as several other performances. 
The main purpose of the event, however, was to give guests a chance to network and discuss their individual areas of expertise in a more relaxed and informal environment than the conference hall.  
In sum, it is fair to say that all aspects of the WEF event this year was a resounding success. Tianjin is looking forward to hosting the Meeting of New Champions once again in 2014.
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