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Bill Gates and Nelson Mandela added stardust to Davos, rather than the other way around. One of the first guests was the renowned economist. Global economy, for Davos insiders, the big story is the world economy. But Vice President Biden, a regular attendee, will pop in for two days to deliver remarks on the cancer moonshot and foreign policy, along with Secretary of State John Kerry. The conference takes place in the shadow of one of the most beautiful ski slopes of the Swiss Alps. For much of the past century, Davos, the highest town in Europe, was known for its tuberculosis sanitariums where Europe's sickest and wealthiest gathered to breathe the cold, fresh air and take their "rest cure.".
Over the years, it grew. On the sidelines, they meet, greet and make lots of deals. King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania are Davos regulars. The regulars call it simply "Davos" for the Alpine resort town in which it's held.