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Copenhagen student to set world agenda in Davos

Global business leaders, statesmen and even royalty will listen to the opening speech of, and meet up with, Gregory Rockson at this year’s World Economic Forum

Gregory Rockson is to have one hell of a birthday: The world’s economic and political leaders will converge on the small mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland next week to talk shop and network. They will also inadvertently be there at the same time as Gregory Rockson, a full degree international student of philosophy and political science, turns 21.

With friends he recently joked that Davos is his birthday party and the world’s leaders are there for him.

»This certainly makes me feel special,« he laughs.

Grass roots diplomacy

He has been selected to be a part of the ‘global shapers community’ at Davos, a community of young people who are leaders in different fields. And he will play a key, agenda-setting, role in this year’s conference.

»I have been invited to deliver the remarks at the opening of this year’s meeting, and I will be taking part in a panel discussion,« he explains to the University Post.

Gregory Rockson has made waves over the past years as organiser of a host of different initiatives in what you could call grass roots diplomacy. Last year he got Israeli and Palestinian representatives to meet in Copenhagen at an informal meeting.

Everyone is there, almost

This May he will help organise a global music concert for peace in Tivoli gardens, Copenhagen, and June he will organise a meeting of young Middle Eastern entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv to promote joint ventures.

At the conferrence in Devos, Gregory has meetings scheduled with Israeli president Shimon Peres, the US under-secretary for economic, energy and agriculture Robert D. Hormats and top business leaders from Hewlett Packard, KPMG, and Pepsi. Gregory will even exchange viewpoints with royalty: He will meet up with Norwegian Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

US president Barack Obama is not scheduled to be at the conference.

Young people have least voice

So what are you going to tell the world’s leaders in your opening speech?

»I am not going to be the only speaker, so I will focus on the aspirations of the millennial generation, my generation. During the economic crisis, we are at the bottom of the economic pyramid, with high unemployment etc.«

»I will make the point that in these times, we have been hit the hardest, yet have the least voice to influence decisions,« he says.

One year at a time

So they are all here to ‘celebrate your birthday’. Can we use Davos to launch your own career as a global leader?

»I take one year at a time, and see where the world takes me!«

Gregory Rockson will blog for during the World Economic Forum.

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