Everyone from the prime minister of India to Neil deGrasse Tyson to Robert De Niro was there.
DUBAI — The Madinat Jumeirah is as good a place as any for a gathering of the globalists. A sprawling resort that resembles a 12th-century Middle Eastern fortress, crisscrossed by picturesque canals and bordered by two kilometers of private Persian Gulf beachfront, it feels almost too opulent to be real.
Early this week, the Madinat played host to the World Government Summit, an annual conference put on by the government of the United Arab Emirates. There was a lot of earnest policy discussions on topics from artificial intelligence to pandemics, but the most striking thing was the broader, if often only implied, subtext to the entire three-day event: the collapse of America’s global influence under President Trump.
The summit is supposed to be a forum for discussing big-picture issues like trade and artificial intelligence. It’s also an excuse for a lot of really famous and important people to get together — think Davos, but with better weather. Attendees included everyone from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the head of the World Bank to Neil deGrasse Tyson to Arianna Huffington (the UAE paid for my travel costs, as it did for other journalists covering the event).
This created a very diverse, very global, and deeply weird atmosphere. Over the course of my time here, I watched Robert De Niro lecture about the dangers of climate change while the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, a country that is literally sinking under rising seas, looked on. I was asked to meet with important policymakers like Tedros Adhanom, the director general of the World Health Organization, and eccentrics like Neil Harbisson, a British electronic musician who implanted an antenna in his head and describes himself as …read more
Source:: Vox – All