How Davos became the anti-establishment’s punching bag

CNBC goes behind the scenes to find out why there is growing social backlash against the global elite and whether an Alpine gathering of the rich and powerful is the way to solve it.

Nearly 2,500 global leaders from business, politics and civil society are expected to convene this week in Switzerland’s luxury Alpine ski resort of Davos.

On the agenda will be issues including Covid-19, Russia’s war in Ukraine and the climate crisis.

But critics argue that the annual meeting fails to address rising economic inequality and tax avoidance, while exclusive side events hosted by big corporations can give the impression of a week of networking and partying.

The World Economic Forum has also been the subject of unfounded conspiracy theories which it is trying to address head on.

“We, like many other organizations have been the target of misinformation campaigns. And that is something that we’re very proactively trying to work towards combatingsaid Saadia Zahidi, managing director at the World Economic Forum.

For many of the local residents in Europe’s highest town, however, the return of WEF’s first in-person forum is a welcome sight.

It’s estimated that the WEF meeting brings in between 50 million euros ($ 59 million) and 60 million euros to the local economy.

To see more from Davos as it prepares for the WEF’s annual meeting watch the video.