Dance of the World

After stumbling into a popular Chinese restaurant by the name of 狗不理 (directly translated as "dog doesn't care") to fill our stomachs with local delicacies, a group of us Social Entrepreneurs decided to have a further immersion exercise into the local culture by taking the three-kilometre walk back to our hotel (thanks to Google Maps).

On the way back, under the cover of a flyover, I witnessed a new form of dance/exercise which seemed to be a fusion of disciplines. The practitioners were handling rackets resembling the kind used for tennis, to balance a ball while creating movements inspired by music playing in the background. It was an art/sport that required great coordination, technical skill and creativity, yet was executed with ease by elderly folks.

Apart from observing this interesting dance style on the street, I witnessed the amazing dance of ideas, viewpoints and agendas at the Summer Davos.

Great sessions were characterized by the ability of panellists to communicate messages with great poise, technique and entertainment to leave an impression and sway opinions with style and class.

Every day while going to the sessions, I couldn't help but notice the big blue panel listing the different groups and communities represented in the Forum. The font size and placement of each group probably were well thought out, but I felt proud that "Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship" was quite strategically placed.

The first year I participated in the Forum, I expected key decisions and announcements to be made - the type which could improve the state of the world. Then I realized that it is a lot more complex and requires the great determination of the organizers to stay on course to effect long-term change. The world would be in a more beautiful state if the different communities could "dance" as one, not in specific movements but with a central theme and complementing each other, to the sound of a common rhythm and melody.

We categorize this as "teamwork" or "chemistry" in our dance competition, which is a key component of the judging. This is precious because it requires nothing short of commitment from every member and the acceptance of leadership and servant roles - when to lead and when to follow.

This year I felt that the Social Entrepreneurs could dance better as one. We didn't just celebrate each other's successes, but were open to share our mistakes and failures. We didn't take seats just as panellists but also as friends, enjoying each other's stories and jokes in a Thai restaurant.

For those who are interested in the "tennis dance", check it out here.