Davos Blog 3

Last night I got to say some thank you’s. At the InfoSys reception I had a chance to chat with Kris Gopalakrishnan the CEO and to thank him for the pro bono work that InfoSys did with our software team to help clean up our code in preparation for publishing it. This was the result of TED making a request through Nandan Nilekani to support my wish. When I said that we still had a lot of software to write, Kris said that InfoSys had a large open source work force but that it was all volunteer (or at least that is the way I heard it). We’ll need to look into how we can get those volunteers involved in setiQuest. By the way – the Davos WEF old hands all agree that the food at the InfoSys reception is always THE BEST. I don’t have any previous experience for comparison, but I can confirm that the food last night was extraordinary!

After the InfoSys reception, I attended a dinner honoring women leaders. Jack came along and found a few other male spouses to converse with – a bit unusual for him because he is (deservedly) often the one being honored in a room where I am one of many female spouses. At the start of the dinner, Klaus Schwab (he runs the WEF) noted that he was slightly uncomfortable being part of the minority group in the gathering, but acknowledged the tremendous contributions that the women in the room have made to all areas of global awareness and problem solving. He then said that the WEF Board had that day changed their rules of governance to demand that the Board achieve gender parity. That’s good news indeed, even though Klaus admitted he wasn’t sure what a Board with so many females would be like --- the BEST BOARD he’s ever had, is my guess! Dinner table conversation was a mix of ‘horror stories’ and assessments of what factors have been important to all of us. Fathers, family, and husbands as support systems were high on everyone’s list. Jack, whose nature is to enjoy working with smart people, especially if they are female, added some perspective from his side of the chromosome. One of the discussion leaders was Arianna Huffington and on the way out I told her that she would probably never have expected that the SETI Institute would be posting on her blog, but we were and were grateful for the opportunity to do so. Typically her response was – send more! I’m sure we will and I left her with a setiQuest sticker so maybe she’ll remember who we are.
After dinner we headed to the Google party – definitely THE scene last night. I tried to make acquaintances and find sponsors, but on the whole I had more success dancing --- something I regretted when I had to roll out of bed early this morning to make my first session. The WEF at Davos is definitely winding down this afternoon. The shuttles back and forth to the town of Klosters where we are staying are even running late – not very Swiss.
BTW – it wasn’t my romantic notion of avalanche cannons that was causing the subsonic booms the other day. It was just the quirky HVAC system of the Congress Center.