Gaia and Kamran, it is wonderful to be back on air with you guys. We had an absolute blast moderating the panels in Davos during the World Economic Forum and, you know, wanted to really talk today about one earth that was like, you know, how did we end up moderating panels in Davos, which is really the gold standard of panel discussions? What tips do we have for our audience? What were some of the hardest things that we felt we experienced during the moderation and, you know, I think what's really interesting about this year's Davos was that for the first time, in more than the 50 year history of these Davos meetings, the West wasn't being held in its usual, you know, time of January, where it's, you know, beautifully, it's a beautiful time of the year, but it's obviously much more logistical with the snow and everything else. So this year, you know, it took place in May, the birds were singing and chirping, and it was, you know, certain many summer days. And, of course, the reason for this was because the last two wefts have, were basically postponed because of the COVID pandemic. So it was, you know, a remarkable time also, there was a lot of, you know, I mean, with the things happening geopolitically, it was a very, very sensitive time to be meeting, you know, as well as such a, you know, powerful and impactful place. And I guess one of the challenges about that was that, you know, all event organisers in Davos had about two months to prepare for something of this calibre, which would normally take easily a year, you know, to prepare and plan for. So, you know, definitely added quite a lot of pressure on us. But let's kind of kick it off with, you know, how did we sort of really begin this process, because I think one of the most, you know, one of the most kind of, like, the what the thing that I really enjoyed was that we, as a team had full creative control over the programming of this, of the land space. And that's why, you know, I really wanted to bring both of you guys in because I really respect your kind of approach to things. And I also really love the way that you guys interact and kind of create that engagement. So yeah, let's talk about, you know, the beginning stages, like how that all kind of came came together. Maybe come on, you can you can kick start the discussion?
Yeah, sure. Sure. Well, it was really exciting for me, especially given the amount of creative control that you had over the entire event, it's not often that someone pulls you up and says, I can, you know, literally set the tone of the entire event over a over a five day period. It's usually you know, conference with which are over a much shorter period, two or three days, a maximum. So it'd be to be for you to be in charge of the entire five day agenda and having a different theme for each day was just the the kind of guardrails that we needed, without feeling like we were limited in terms of the topics of discussion, but that the themes that you had set for each day, I think those were brilliant, because those really guided us in terms of what topics we can pick, or we should pick within those themes. So everything from disruptive decentralisation through to sustainability, you know, so many really impactful or in important topics. So I think we had just the right amount of freedom, which was quite a lot, actually, to decide what were the individual panel discussion topics that would get the most well, that that would give us enough time to discuss the most pertinent issues in each of those subjects. So yeah, I thought it was amazing to be to have this much control over what we discussed and who we discuss it with, and who we invite onto those panels, and your captive, your captive database of speakers and guests. And panellists was amazing. So that also enabled us to really go wild with the with the top with the questions that we wrote with that we prepared for each panel discussion. So yeah,
nice. Yeah, definitely. 100 100% agree and Gaya anything to kind of add to that?
Yeah, absolutely. I think Cameron you really encapsulated it because it was really when when Farah you got in touch with this like beautiful white canvas basically of this five day period, some key ideas, some key topics we wanted to discuss. But as you said, Cameron was the beauty but also the challenge of putting it all together, especially if you consider that we started brainstorming on this. When was it probably May, mid May, sorry, March, mid March. So we didn't have that much time, there was a lot of time pressure. So many things we wanted to talk about. And we kind of had to find the right angles to have a fresh approach to some of the topics because obviously, the level of the conversations happening in Davos is so high that you really want to match that. And it was beautiful. Also, to see how some of our ideas, the ideas we first discussed among the three of us, eventually evolved and changed when we started connecting with the people who eventually became panellists. And they brought in their own expertise and ideas and views on the topic. So we really shaped together what the angle was going to be the questions that we picked, and yes, it was just great to see how everything went from a Google document with all the notes and ideas to life panel in this beautiful venue in central that was
100%. Yeah, it's amazing seeing, you know, things like that sprang to life in such a big way. And just talking through the days, I will just kind of retouch upon what those themes were, for our audience who may not be aware, so we started off on Friday, the 20th of May, and that was a day really, for us to welcome our audience. And really kind of set the tone and something one of the core values of the land space is really mindfulness, you know, we are a community that really cares about well being about leadership, that's, that's mindful. So we wanted to kind of really open the space with like a group meditation have like frequency healing, and really prepare our minds for like, the this level of discussion and interaction that's going to take place because as you guys probably figured out, you know, I would, I would actually say that this year's Davos was more relaxed. And that might sound surprising, because it was 100% hectic, and I needed like, a month off after me. But actually, normally in January, it's it's even, it's like maybe double, if not triple, a bit more busier. And so delegates are running around, they're trying to fit in at least 30 to 40 events a day. And I remember we already had so many events we were trying to fit in. And yeah, so so that was good. And in that sense, because people were able to stay in the room for a lot longer. And so we could really have, you know, a deeper level conversation. And so yeah, moving on to the first technical day, really of the of the conference, was the dawn of a new era. And something that we wanted to weave through this whole. This whole programme was an exploration also of the chakras. So we started with the route, we move on to the sacral, chakra, solar plexus, Heart Chakra, and so on and so forth. And so each day, had a specific chakra, and the way that we were integrating that was with a meditation with quantum healing. We had an amazing facilitator who came in from Germany, I think it was to, to even do workshops on like, the consciousness of plants, you know, and, you know, things like that. And then the following day, we talked about so the first thing we talked about the dawn of a new era, right, like, we really are meeting at, you know, such a intersection of history, like it's this what's been happening in the last two, three years, you know, it's unprecedented as as cliched as that word is these days are overused. But, you know, we wanted to use that data set the context of where we are where and the legacy that COVID has had on us and deglobalization. We then moved on to creativity and the spiritual codes of success. Another, you know, interesting thing about the land space is that there's many, many creatives who who come through who are in her audience. And we felt like it would be really nice to have a dedicated day for that. So, you know, we talked about the impact of creativity and the pandemic, spiritual recovery through the arts, cultural leadership in times of crisis. One of my personal favourites was harmony of the mind and this amazing workshop we did with this guy who plugged in this device that was able to read body frequencies and and turn that into a synthesiser and basically be reading the notes of your body and in real time turning that into like, a flute or you know, something like that. That was just mind blowing. Then we went into Tuesday, which was disruptive, decentralisation. So we needed a dedicated Dave, I mean, so much happening in technology right where we're on that wave of a new revolution. So So it's very important to have a dedicated day for like web three dowels, Metaverse, crypto, all of those things.
And then yeah, we're now sort of almost at the halfway point, which was sustainability and solidarity on Wednesday, a full day for that, and thinking about topics like indigenous knowledge and how to harness technology to act on the climate crisis, how space can contribute to the UN's SDGs, we're lucky to be joined by an astronaut for that panel. Web three for the greater good. And you know, a lot, maybe a lot of you guys know, on the show, obviously, I come from a motorsports background. So I really wanted to talk about also how motorsports can impact the future of mobility. And then our final day, which was the Thursday was the future of leadership. So kind of closing it out on, you know, that sort of note of, first of all, even thinking about, for example, the Montessori mindset and how that can enable future generations to thrive, leading with empathy and empowerment, shaping the future of climate crisis, building a financially responsible mindset amongst Generation Z. And then, you know, we were very lucky that day to also have Deepak Chopra in the space to really close the space out for us. So you know, is it it was a very full rounded spectrum. And as we, as you guys said, like so much to talk about, and I think every day needed its own dedicated, sorry, dedicated space. So yeah, that was a high level overview of the programme. And so let's talk about, you know, the actual experience of moderating. For you guys, what was the most surprising thing about moderating in such in such a setting, and maybe go, we can start with you.
Definitely. Taking on this, as I was listening to you sort of like recapping everything that's been going on during those days, and it sounds better and better every time, you know, hear the whole layout and all the topics we that's covered. And I wanted, I just wanted to add that it was great to see how our three, three different backgrounds so far a year closer to maybe the creative word, music industry, the motorsports businesses, Cameron comes from him more finance and legal background, I tend to focus on technology and sustainability, they all merged perfectly is almost as if we had all the expertise needed to cover all the key topics we wanted to talk about. And yet, maybe something that was surprising to me, but like, in a good way is that all those topics, or those angles, or those conversations were connected were linked to each other. So even to people coming from completely different backgrounds. We're referencing some of the obvious, latest innovation or maybe some of the approaches, like, for example, humanising technology or the importance that web three is going to have in different fields. So going from financial services, to sustainability to the creative industry. So I think it was very fascinating. And something I did not expect to see how all dogs connected perfectly during the conference. So that was really great to witness when, you know, as we were going along with panel after panel, different audiences, different guests in the room, but some of the key ideas, key topics, and really this feeling that something big is happening, some conversations are all leading to the right way to the right things that need to be addressed. So that was a really good surprise for me.
Unknown Speaker 13:38
Nice and Cameron.
Yeah, for me, I was just blown away by how open, people were on the panels, they there was no level of political correctness that you would find in a major conference, an industry conference, or a sort of a specialised conference, people were really transparent with their views, they did not hold back. It's almost as if, though, because this was a non World Economic Forum DeVos gathering, it was they were more willing to share their real feelings. They were not dressing things up, you know, padding, padding the message, softening the blow, you know, they were just telling it as it was, and they were people were openly airing their frustrations. And there was there are so many frustrations to air about the topics that we covered everything from cryptocurrency to NF T's to governance of digital communities. There was so there were so many opinions that I loved the fact that the panellists didn't feel like they had the time or the inclination to dress it up and stop and gotten the message because they really wanted to have a proper discussion about it and and it didn't ate. And that triggered brilliant interaction with the audience's to ask real questions as opposed to, you know, people worried about the press monitoring them because there were no press organisations that I can think of, in in, you know, recording our panel discussions. So it felt like Capitol house rules applied in those debates, and Chatham House rules are so important for real discussions to take place. And I felt like we had that. So that's what really surprised me. I didn't think Davos would be the place where people open their hearts and, you know, emotions and solid, you know, really voicing their, you know, deep opinions, but I was very pleased to see that it that it was,
yeah, definitely, I think, you know, given the calibre and the level of discussions that we wanted to, to host and I think, you know, we all said at the beginning of this, when we, when we got together was that we want to, we want these panels to be thought provoking, and disruptive, we don't want this to be your general thing that you can hear in any other conference around the world like this has to be, it has to have that level of disruption. And also, one of the main reasons for that is because we want to shift the energy right of, of leaders, there's obviously a lot that's, that's wrong right now in the world. And in order for us to do that, we need a private space to be able to have those conversations. We had press, you know, we our event was covered in Bloomberg, and, you know, several major publications, but it was more of a general coverage of like, you know, the event rather than this was what was said, and let's break the headlines, because this was said, right. In fact, what was surprising to me was that when we got the opportunity to, to interview Deepak Chopra, I was absolutely surprised that it was his first Davos, I mean, a guy of his nature, who's quite passionate about, you know, also shifting his energy was it was interesting to be able to talk to him for his in his first Davos experience. So, you know, moderating is not obviously an easy job, and then there's definitely an art of moderation. And sometimes, you know, we've probably all been at these conferences, whereas it's like, you know, these things can be better, right? And that, that kind of interactivity is missing. So, what would you both say, as tips for anyone in our audience listening who's looking to level up their public speaking or is in the, you know, beautiful position to moderate panels? What tips would you give them for being a good moderator? Come on, let's start with you.
Okay, so, rule number one, the panellists have to see you as a peer. They cannot see you as a clueless, you know, media personality or isolated host who's just reading a bunch of questions from piece of paper, if anything that will destroy the conversation. The panellist is a key, sorry, apologies, the moderator is a key member of the discussion is an absolutely key member of the discussion. It's the moderators job to call out be it, if they hear it on the stage. You have to humiliate people in public. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean, I mean, he really has in question, the route because that person has been chosen for that panel for a reason. Clearly they are qualified or have achieved something in that industry that specialisation that field of specialty too big to be called onto the stage to discuss it with other experts. I'm not being the moderator has to have to be a subject matter expert, world renowned, respected in that subject. But if the moderator cannot ask the difficult questions, and call out sub standard answers, or subpar answers to those questions, then it will not be at the level that the discussion needs to be at, for it to be certainly, you know, a discussion in a high profile event or a high profile location. And it's an insult to the people in the audience. If someone's just allowed to, you know, reel off their opinions and sometimes actually irrelevant opinions, which are which are not linked to the question which is being asked by the Moderator. So, rule number one, the moderator has to be seen as a peer by the panellists in terms of their level of awareness about the issues facing that industry or that topic of discussion. The moderator has to know what is going on in that, in that industry or that area of discussion. They have to know what the concerns of the stakeholders are in that In that area of discussion, so it could, for example, we were talking about, you know, I moderated a panel on crypto blockchain and NF Ts, and the future prospects for these asset classes. And so much had happened in the few days before this panel discussion. You know, we had Tara USD, you know, we had hundreds of millions of dollars wiped off the market, because of what was perceived to be fraudulent activities, what was perceived to be criminal activity. So if, if I wasn't aware of those activities, I wouldn't have been in a position to really press the panel who are all you know, pro crypto on, is this really a long term sustainable institutional, retail friendly asset class, or it was just a casino, a giant convenience. So the moderator has to be aware about the latest developments in a sector or industry in order to put pressure on those panellists to get admissions, admission of where there are Lakin's from industry participants in that specific field. So that number tip number two, and Tip number three is just research. I mean, you just maybe it's the same advice twice, but you just have to be aware of what's going on in that industry or that or that area of that's being discussed otherwise, you will not meaningfully contribute to the discussion, you will not be asking the right questions, you will and it will it would actually turn off not just panellists, but members of the audience. And that would be the ultimate failure. So as the moderator, it's your primary role to stimulate discussion by asking the most pertinent pressing questions, no matter how uncomfortable it is to ask those questions. You know, you may you may insult people on the panel, you may even cause discomfort amongst the panellists. You know, several of my panels. People were totally taken aback, because I had asked questions which were not on the script. And several of them were not prepared. And it really exposed them.
Am I okay with exposing people on as on a in a public forum? Sometimes? Yes. Because you know, it, their opinions have to be substantiated with deep knowledge and expertise. And if you cannot display that knowledge and expertise, you will be exposed, though. Yeah, but I hope, I hope that that helps. That helps answer the question.
Fantastic, fantastic tips. I love it. I love it. And I absolutely, I love the way you moderate. So you know is it's really interesting to be in a room when you're moderating. So bonobo brilliant tips. How about you guys?
I think Cameron pretty much summarise it all. But what me is that it's really about the flow of the conversation, I guess different panels have different flows. And it depends on the number of people on the panel, the topic. Sometimes even the demographic of the panel could change the conversation, the sort of like intimacy that can be created or the more like interaction that happens with the audience. Sometimes you don't even get to the q&a session, because it's so interactive, that people, you feel the energy in the room. And I feel like being a moderator is quite challenging, but also very fascinating, because you get to witness this energy building up, and in a way to control it and directed, you know, minding the time and mining your list of questions, as Cameron mentioned, being on alert, because you may want to ask a follow up question because you picked something that and you know that if you want us that question, sometimes uncomfortable, or sometimes just something you didn't think about when you were preparing that session, but you know, that came up during the conversation or you just feel it's very interesting. And yeah, 100% that's camera mentioned, you need to ask it because you may you may be ending up losing or missing out on something very boring and support the conversation. And on top of, you know, keeping up with the most recent events and also say to extensively research the obviously the panel. You know, this way you can tailor better your questions, maybe you can keep asking similar questions, but with different angles to sort of really bring up the different opinions and different ideas that the panellists may have. And at some point, you may even allow them to interact with each other and recreate a more dynamic conversation. So it's not just a series of interviews, but it's more like a a proper discussion happening. they're on stage. And yeah, as I said, I think the best ones are when the audience feels involved as well and feels the urge to ask questions or like, they start holding their hands up way before you start taking on questions. So that's really when the moderator has to sort of direct and channel the energy in the best way.
Yeah, definitely, I think you guys have both covered some really, really good tips. And as you as you, as you know, rightly, so it is the role of the moderator to weave that chemistry and to guide and stimulate that discussion. At the same time, you know, I think also like, it's really important in advance, if you have the opportunity to, to actually connect with those people, one to one, you know, on a call, because I think it's if you can have that opportunity to know that person's chemistry, to understand what they're passionate about, it just helps make a better conversation, it's harder when you don't know someone to immediately go straight into that red seat. And, and, like, you know, make it happen. And of course, you know, in our situation, we definitely didn't have the opportunity to speak to every single person on on Zoom, but we certainly tried to speak to as many as we could. And if not be able to speak to them, we had a very, very comprehensive and well managed sheet where, you know, they could see their questions, they could contribute, the context was there. So they know what we ultimately want to kind of get out of this discussion, but also provide the space for them to critique it as well. As Cameron said, though, as well, very good to surprise them, and you can't just stick to the script that's boring, and you want this to be a natural conversation, things will come out, and you need to be able to feed off that energy. And also surprise them. And in a way, as you say, catch them a little bit of God. The last thing I will add is that, in context of that is also, you know, like, for a lot of people like doing these kinds of panels, maybe it's not something they do that often. So they are not going to be like all the time as as good of a public speaker as you as maybe your moderator, because this, you know, maybe they do these things two or three times a year, right. And so for some people it is it is a nerve wracking experience, like, they definitely want to be there, they want to, you know, get that opportunity. But at the same time, we do need to make them feel quite relaxed. And the most important part in all of that is like enabling trust between all of us. So of course, on the one hand, you know, going through the disruptive route of like, yeah, like, uncomfortable conversations, but there still needs to be trust and that feeling amongst everyone. So yeah, and then of course, you know, also just following up and just, you know, making sure that you know, people know that their time was valued. And and just the simple basic things. What would you say was the hardest part of moderating in Davos, Gaia, let's start with you.
I think specifically, because of the busyness of divers, you never, ever fully have control of what's going on. So guests may not show up, because they just took an unexpected turn, or you know, they're stuck somewhere else in another conference, in a very insightful conversation, and they just like, don't realise. So we had a couple of people not showing up when they were supposed to be on stage. That's quite stressful, because obviously, if if one of your panellists is missing, you know, everything gets very, very intense, you start texting, getting in touch with them, the session is about to start. So I think we managed to handle that quite well, because we had, you know, the dedicated team of people, sort of keeping in touch with the with the panellists, and welcome them to the venue and sort of like, introduce them straightaway to the the moderator for that session. But obviously, there's there's always something that, you know, couldn't go wrong, or things happen, basically. So I guess that's the most nerve wracking experience when someone doesn't show up. And in that case, you just, you know, the show goes on, you just go on without that panellist. That specific panellist or something that happened at lunch at the lunch space, actually, is that someone else who was maybe in the previous panel and was very sort of an expert in that field, and it keeps doing the right knowledge to take to join the conversation and take that seat? And sort of like, bring that forward? So I think, yeah, that was a little bit of improvising, then on a couple of occasions, but I guess, especially in Davos, this is something that probably you have to take into account because it's so busy and people time is so precious in Davos that people sometimes have to juggle different things at the same time and you just need to be prepared if that happens.
Yeah, definitely. And it has a knock on effect because then the grind Every designer needs to know they need to change the document. And in this case, it was asked he was having to change those things adds extra pressure to us, you know, the tech team, all of that stuff, it just is an extra level of complexity. How about you, Cameron? What do you think was the hardest part about moderating?
Um, there was, I mean, it is quite difficult to manage the conversation. When certain panellists have a very low energy, and they are there, they're only interested in answering the question. And then moving on to the next question. The best panel discussions are the ones where the panellists are bouncing off of each other. They're answering each other's questions that, you know, they're really keen to actually talk about the topic with each other, not just aren't the questions being thrown at them by the moderator? And going in turns, you know, to answer to answer the same question. So when you have panellists who are really reserved, or institutionalised, and so they only they're very measured with their words, then they don't want to either they're not opinionated, that's the worst, if they're not opinionated, and but if they are opinionated, but they didn't want to share those opinions openly on such a platform, that's another problem. Low energy levels, people who just want to answer the questions, you know, that's not the kind of panellists that makes for a really interesting or lively discussion. Now, I'm not saying the discussion should be needs to be lively, just for the sake of being lively. There are, you know, if you watch a Federal Reserve press conference, the most, you know, bought, the energy level is extremely low. But the level of interest in what they have to say is it is it's followed by millions of people around the world. So it's not suggesting the energy levels are required, just for the sake of it, but it's difficult to manage panellists who don't want to have a discussion. And they see more than an interview with alongside other people, that's, that's slightly difficult to manage.
And argue that sometimes you will see, again, the opposite problem when some panellists would just go on and on and on forever, they have so much to say, and it's usually so interesting, you feel bad to stop them or like try to, you know, make sure everybody has enough time to express all they have to say, or sometimes the clock is ticking. So this session is about to to end is difficult, because you're the one to take, take it off them or stop them when you're about to make a really interesting point. But you also need to make sure everything runs smoothly. So yeah, it's a bit difficult to you can have both ends of the spectrum. Basically,
I agree fully, you have to become an expert at stopping people from talking. I mean, it's very, it seems rude to stop someone in their tracks, when but if they're going off topic, it is it is beyond important to stop them. Because you know, that will that will affect the entire dynamic of the discussion. If people keep going off on tangents, then it affects the moderators ability to keep the dialogue going in a specific direction. And, you know, the worst thing is to have one panellist go carry on and on and on, about, you know, something which is not even relevant. And so yeah, so I totally agree with Gaia that managing those personalities is very important. And it's, it's not easy sometimes to do that.
Exactly. And I think this is where again, it comes down to it. If you have the opportunity to speak to those people in advance, you can kind of get a gauge but it is it is difficult. And managing the time is one of the most difficult parts I think, in that sphere. I think personally, for me, one of the hardest parts was just given the level of intensity of this, you know, this week was maintaining the energy, you know, throughout that whole week because, I mean, I was wearing a few hats, you know, like I wasn't just moderation. But you know, there were times where I had to say to guy like look, do you think you could just take this panel for me because I just know that like my energy just isn't there like it's too I need I need time to to regenerate and it's hard because you're I mean I know that those that week we're getting like two I was getting like two to four hours sleep a day. And you know, the pressure point towards the end was like it's like a climax right like Deepak Chopra is our final closing speaker I mean, you need some seriously good energy to be you know, in that once in a lifetime seat. So yeah, maintaining energy levels when it's such a lengthy conference and there's so much to talk about is was for me one of the hardest parts. So moving from hard to easy, what was the what was the easiest part for you camera and what did you find the the most easiest part of moderating demos
of model of moderating. Striking a rapport with us the most of the panellists was quite easy. And I was very happy by that, because everyone spoke excellent English. I mean, there were some very heavy European accents on the stage at several points. But everyone sort of spoke English well enough, but to be able to strike for me to build a rapport with them quite quickly. I don't think I, I, even I pushed a lot of people in directions, which they may not want it to have gone in. I didn't get any complaints about inappropriate questions, thank God. But I remember going BBC veteran, he though he's the only person who challenged me on stage by when I called the the Ukraine, the invasion of Ukraine, a black swan incident, or an event, Black Swan event, I believe he challenged me on the spot and said that he didn't believe that that was a black swan event, because he had seen the sign for the last 2025 years of this crisis coming up and Russia going going into Ukraine. And so that was it was really nice to be challenged on stage. I didn't see it as someone trying to second guess, me or someone trying to humiliate me. No, that's the that is the essence of a good debate is people catching each other out or challenging each other on the spot? Because that's when, you know, people get really comfortable with each other and, and can openly contribute. So yeah. So that it was the easiest thing for me was to build rapport and get people to talk about the most pressing issue within a topic of discussion, because the these were industry practitioners, they were metric, but So should it be difficult to get them to talk about their area of expertise? Yes, it's sometimes it's sometimes difficult to get controversial opinions out of them. That's true. But it's easy to get them to talk about the topic. So yeah, so I guess that was yeah, that was the easy thing for me.
Nice, nice. And how about you guy?
I guess in my case, I mentioned that earlier, but very specific to this experience. It was the team, I guess we had a larger team of AV people and events managers. But particularly when it comes to the three of us it was very easy, not simple, but easy as Muth to put together so much in such a short amount of time. And I felt like the conversations among the three of us were always very open, we were able to offer feedback to each other on like previous sessions, or even a very at the very early stages, we were connected enough and we had two good chemistry going on that we were able to sort of because somebody's idea, but then bring it forward and give honest opinions to each other on what we thought about the lineup of speakers or you know, a specific topic or a way we could talk about an angle in the more like punchy or maybe with a fresher approach. So it was a lot of like learning as well. For me it was great to see things from different points of view from someone like you Faraj who has been at Davos before so knew already what what to expect and sort of like level of conversations happening and was very familiar with the venue and the sort of people that we would have had in the audience. And you can run brought in a lot of expertise on geopolitical matters, and you had really good suggestions on speakers we could on board. So I think it was easy in a way that they didn't you know, was scary when we approached it, but he went very smooth, little sleep, lots of pressure. But I think it was really good, good energy, and I'm very satisfied with the final result.
Nice. Yeah, I think you know, looking back, you know, like, I mean, I've been sort of living between Davos and London's and last October for this project. And in March when you know because actually we actually did do an event out in January for during that time even though we've got cancelled and I will make a confession that I was never meant to be a moderator in Davos. It was it was a funny coincidence because in January LAN said to me because I was there to perform some music and and potentially do this podcast idea with her a separate podcast I'm we're producing for the law. have space. And she said to me, you know, someone pulled out. And she said to me, you know, Ninja, like with literally one day's notice, like our event in January was two days. So it wasn't the full spectrum like we had, but she was like, Can you moderate this entire conference, and I literally had one or two days to come up with the entire questions. So like, day, what day day one was a bit easier for me because it was more about the creative subjects. But Day Two was like finance, it's not my subject area of expertise at all. And so, but I really enjoyed it actually, the whole process, I came away from it thinking, wow, like, that was my favourite part of this whole experience, you know, and so and so naturally, it all sort of evolved, and it went down this path of like, okay, can you take the lead role on like, curating this entire thing, the programme and all that, what I will say is that, you know, and then in March, it was announced that, you know, in two months, we're going to have the World Economic Forum happening. At that point, I felt like, you know, I'm standing at the base of a really tall and difficult and steep mountain, because the complexities of organising something of this scale, is like, is unlike any other, you know, even to the point that like, getting Deepak Chopra was a surprise, like, and we had, again, like, two, three days to prepare for that question for that interview. And we, we didn't have time, because we were already in the full event, you know, we there was no time to just take an hour off to go to the to go to an office and just sit down. So you know, those are some of the hard things. But the easiest part, then looking back at all of that was, because you were thinking we basically had about 25 panels, it's quite a lot. And surprisingly, you know, what I thought would be the hardest, which was getting the speakers was actually the easiest, because all of the most amazing minds are in Davos during that time. And we were getting flooded with requests, like, people sending us their bios, and like, just, you know, I mean, really stellar, you know, sort of people, right? And so actually, that was the easiest part was like, getting the subject matters to be there and, and to be part of the conversation. What would you guys say? Any tips for like people who haven't been to Davos, any, anything that you would advise them as it as a general tip, just, you know, attending, speaking, whatever, and camera, we can start with you first.
Okay, so it depends on what in what capacity you're going to Davos, the World Economic Forum is, is obviously, very well structured. And you have probably two or three hours in the evening, maybe three, four, to meet a lot of people that you need to meet, it's, it's not supposed to be a holiday, it's supposed to be intense, it's supposed to be where you meet as many people as you as you can in those few days. So my advice, if you're going as an attendee is to pre organise your meetings, as much as you can, because you need to catch people that you otherwise would not be able to catch. And, and seeing someone in DevOps is different than seeing them anywhere else. So I would say Gree, organise your itinerary, and, and do things together with people that you want to build a relationship with, invite people for dinner, or lunch that you want to build a relationship with, or you're trying to raise capital from, or you're trying to introduce an idea to or you're trying to win a contract from. It's the perfect place for short meetings, like, you know, 3030 to 45 minute sort of power meetings. And you can do so many of those, you know, a day, I mean, most CEOs are doing well in excess of 50 meetings a day, because they're keeping them very short and sweet. And, and, of course, make, attend networking events where you can, where you can meet other people. But just remember that Davos attracts people from every single industry you can think of. So if you're not focused in your networking, you're not going to probably not going to meet relevant people. So be very aware of that, of the fact that the networking has to be focused networking, preferably even pre or organised networking, where you tell someone, is there anyone? If you're raising funding for your startup company, for example, you should tell the investors that you are meeting is there anyone else that you think I should see, while who's coming to Davos, that kind of board planning will otherwise if you don't board plan it in so meticulously, the few days will be over before they've even started? Because that's how fast things happen once the week starts. And I would say it's, I would say, if you're moderating, then just enjoy it. You know, do a lot of research to ask heavy hitting questions, pertinent quite Questions, so that you will earn the respect of the panellists even before the discussion even starts. If you do, you know that organise that organisation call beforehand. And yeah, and so so if. And finally, if you're an executive, and you're, and you're going to Davos, just differentiate between people that you can meet or see at any other time of the year. And differently, and just keep them off the list of meetings to do while you're in Davos and focus on people that you will not catch, or it will be very difficult to catch anywhere else throughout the year. And yeah, that would be my overall advice.
Nice. I actually wanted to touch upon what you said there, because you mentioned it earlier that like, it's true, like some of the interviews we see in the media or even the panels, when that moderator is not from that subject expertise. It's just it's it's boring. And it's, it doesn't do anyone justice, the brand, the panellists the audience, you know, and I think the best ones that we see are the people that that really understand that subject matter. So definitely, and 100% about being organised about you know, pre planning your event schedule. How about you guys have anything to add to that? Tips Pandavas.
Those were really, really good tip saying those, the more I totally agree with Cameron, so I'm gonna offer a few fun tips. I'd say, beyond doing everything that Cameron said, also add, go to the parties, because obviously, when it's more town is full of young, dynamic people who like therefore business or therefore media, for research, whatever, it's their association with the web for Dallas in general, or any other satellite event. There's so many parties happening, whether it's dinners, DJ sets, networking events, but really the after hours at Davos are really fun, but also very, very useful to connect with people in a more maybe informal way, in a more intimate way. Because you can like maybe, you know, go for a walk, or like sort of bring those conversations that maybe happened in seconds during another event, and they were very time, then you can just have, you know, the evening and maybe a nice dinner or a nice DJ set to bring those forward. And say Do do go to the parties. They're really fun. And always maybe if possible, at the end of the conference, keep a free day because the nature around Davos is so beautiful. And I really regretted didn't have that day, especially may because you could do hikes and see the nature and see you know, pristine water and everything. And you know, in the winter, be perfect for skiing and you know, any other snow sports. So I'd say yeah, keep that day and probably arrive after, you know, a few days of rest good sleep, because you'll need it to power through the whole conference.
Yeah, it's so true. I mean, Cameron, my sister and I had an amazing hike in the mountains. I mean, we won't talk about what happened on that.
Yeah, I think we enjoyed it a bit too much that day. With we, the incident the incident in the mountain, I don't know if we can talk about
but we won't talk about it. That's off air that's that's between what happened in the mountain stays in the mountains. But let's just say we had an amazing offered adventure, and it's one we won't forget. But most importantly, we were all, like, just our jaws are dropping, like, you know, when we got out of the car, and we like saw just the most incredible mountains. I mean, you know, and you don't see that in the town because the town is the town and it's, you know, of course, you see the mountains, but it's not like actually taking the hike and going out there, especially in me, I would say, you know, in terms of, you know, tips for people who are going to DevOps. Yeah. Number one, obviously, the events, where do you find those side events? Of course, a lot of the impact and the networking happens at these after hours. So Eventbrite number one loads of events, all events, frankly, apart from the web related events are on there. There's also an app called DevOps x which updates that schedule about a month it drops all the announcements of the events happening including the party's about a month in advance of the actual thing and you can you have to apply to get go to a lot of these ones but then you know, they're not they're not complicated to apply for. Secondly, book things in advance if you're doing things like dinners with important CEOs, make sure you book because needless to say, supply versus demand, there just isn't enough supply for the amount of people out there and you know, also you're in a unique opportunity where you can have the most amazing scenic meetings like I remember you guys may know on this podcast Tessie dinar, Sal, who's now one of my best friends, closest allies in business as well. Our first ever meeting properly was at 3000 metres up in the Swiss Alps in there have us, you know, an incredible restaurant Bill Gates was in that restaurant like an hour earlier. I mean, these are just things you just don't experience in daily life. And even during this year's Davos, I remember having, you know, dinner, I mean, sorry, lunch, again, with the astronaut MCM proctor again, you know, 3000 metres up, you know, it was just, I mean, these are just like once in a lifetime type of opportunity. So you need to book those things in these hotels. Second, thirdly, also, of course, this year was in May, but January, generally, it's in January. And as someone who unfortunately broke their arm in Davos, or their elbow, I have to just flag this up right now you need to take appropriate gear. And I'm someone who absolutely loves skiing, like, you know, I'm familiar with the winter climate, and even I broke my elbow, not even skiing, just literally walking in the main road, slipping on some black ice that was underneath and snow. And that is just the worst situation. On that note, I've actually, since that experience, you know, I've spoken to a few people who've, unfortunately, you know, had injuries in the mountains, whether it's skiing or not. And they've all told me like, they would never have an operation in the actual hospitals in the mountains, because the experts are not there. And unfortunately, it happened to me where my elbow surgery was done wrong, and DeVos had to pay a fortune. And it was just, you know, took me 10 months, and it was just it was just happened. I'm still going through Visio. So make sure you're going in January, you have all of that stuff. Then, yeah, safety fast, because it's over before it even begins, you know, and in my case, and then 2020 That was then I would also say good, just given the overwhelming amount of events, information and people and all that stuff. And I'm an introvert. So like, for me, it's a lot like I really needed a one month digital detox after, but it's important to take a moment to pause and just meditate at night, if the you know, just just just wind down the mind from
maybe the wrong person to ask the ask stupid question. But what if we go away? Then? If you can't wear high heels, then what's the alternative? Why
not wear high heels and devils during jet? And during January? You can't everyone's wearing snow boots. You have to there's no way. I mean, you can wear snow boots to get around. And if you really need to wear heels, obviously you have to take it in your in your in your backpack or something and changing the venue. There's no way you could walk in like knee deep snow, like it's just not possible. And it's freezing on taxes. Yeah, you need to be warm as well. But, you know, obviously, you need to dress smart, too. But yeah, I mean, you can get some really nice stuff online, with boots and stuff. And then yeah, the other last part I would say is that obviously, it does take a lot of time to get around. Because like, if you're not staying in DevOps itself, a lot of people stay in clusters. The security measures are you know, that it's like nothing you've ever seen before their military tanks, not a single human being can get through the border between classes, and Davos without being without their passport being, you know, identified without their car being served, like all of that stuff. So, and therefore, it adds on a much longer time to get between clusters and doubles. So obviously, a lot of people take the train for that reason between both certainly about 20 minutes. But yeah, those would be my, my, my tips. And I'm aware we're kind of running a bit out of time. So I just want to flip it around a little bit and ask if you guys have anything you want to ask each other. You know about this whole experience before we before we wrap up? Gaia, how
about you? I actually have one for you, because you held a couple of panels that were basically one to one interviews, Deepak Chopra is a great example. There were a couple more so maybe what are you have tips on how to moderate an interview basically. So it one personality panel in such a way that it's not boring and flat, but But it brings out different, you know, flavours and sort of like it gives a 360 portrayal of that person because obviously you have more time and you know, the focus on the conversation is on their expertise and their experience and so on. So maybe whether you had some tips and yeah, in particular, how you handled the Deepak Chopra interview?
Yes, this was a very stressful one. And I remember asking both of you to help me out, help a sister out and and come up with some questions. But in the end, you know, it's and you both did, obviously, and that was, you know, really appreciate that. But for me, it was that, you know, of course, this is someone who fought for for more than a decade. You know, I have been reading his books, I've been meditating to his meditations. But one of the songs that came out a long time ago was like one of the songs they played so much in my boudoir sets that had his voice in it. I mean, it's so many spheres, right? And the mindset I always get into when I interview someone and I don't always achieve it. Of course, you can always have 100% success rate, but it is that I want this interview to be one of the best interviews they have ever had in their life. And that's a very hard standard to meet because someone like Deepak, someone like Carl Cox, who we've had on the show, of course, they've been interviewed almost every other day of their life. So How do you create that experience for them. And that requires a very deep level of thinking that requires talking about things that that not your average Joe, we're talking about in an interview. As you guys may know, on this podcast, one of the first things that we dissect with someone is the meaning of their name. And we did the same with Deepak, we, we opened up that conversation with him about the meaning of his name, and it was so relevant to his path and what he does in life. And, and, and also having the creative control over the subject of the discussion. I wanted to talk about the spiritual codes of success, because to me, I think that is the most important thing that I wanted to achieve in that interview was like, there are many successful people, I mean, everyone in the room and dabbles in some, however you measure success is they must be successful in some shape, or form to be there. And at a certain point, it's not about money, but at the same time, this obsession with money and power is a humongous it's created conflict and war and death, and so many disgusting things, inhumane things, so how can we get leaders who are in the room to go much deeper within themselves, and think about the spirituality behind what they do? And for me, that was the the essence of this interview. I wrote it, actually, even though we all you know, attempted to write questions in the end, you know, it like it, I had, like, 20 minutes to really nail down what I wanted to ask him and it was, it was difficult, it wasn't easy, but you know, like, sometimes you thrive the best under the most highest pressure points that you can and so yeah, I guess that would be you know, my experience of that whole thing and, and of course, making him feel comfortable taking the time to introduce myself before you know, someone like Deepak obviously, towards the end, when we opened it up for the q&a, and then when that finished, it was like, the entire room like, like, ran to the stage like wanting to get picture wanting to get questions with him. And we, we kind of had to prioritise like we need to take, he knows that we need to kind of do an interview with him. So he was kind of, he knew that so like, then he was able to say, like, you know, I'm going to speak to you now, but like, really sorry, I can't continue speaking with you because I have to do so because he had to catch a flight, you know, shortly after as well. So, yeah, just tight timing as moderators, we all know is of the essence. So yeah. How about you, Cameron, anything you want to ask? Either of us or both of us?
Um, I have a question for Gaia, which is as, as a professional journalist in the space, in FinTech covering FinTech covering technology sustainability. How do you? How do you stay on top of all the developments in bulk of these in all of these areas? How is it possible, with so much going on? For you to keep tabs on what's happening? The key developments in tech and fintech, the key developments in sustainability, and how do you stay on top of it all. And I know it's not relevant to moderating but I guess it is relevant to moderating when you're when you're moderating topics of discussion in these areas. So yeah, that's good. I know, it's a very broad question.
No, I think it's yes, yes, sir. It's quite easy. Because you said it, if you have the privilege of doing this full time, basically, reading the news and keeping up with what's going on in the industry is not on top of my you know, mainly daily tasks, but it's what I do full time. So wake up, read my news, work on those news book interviews, speak with a bunch of people go to events that are somehow related to the latest developments, I'd say especially FinTech, financial technology at large, is most in terms of like, the amount of time I spend on these, I occasionally also cover maybe more longer features, or investigations or longer term projects on in sustainable innovation at large. So moving away from financial services, covering you know, different aspects of how technology can basically build a more sustainable inclusive society, you know, through different lens. So I guess, you know, really having, I call it a privilege, because having the access as a journalist or a media person, or as a podcaster, as far as, for example, to ask questions to speak to the right people constantly read constantly, you know, just basically design your days around key dates or key events, you know, they are about to happen, or they will happen or someone in the industry or in the you know, press agencies you're connected with, sort of give you hints about it's really what makes the difference. So that's really a privilege that helps with maybe the moderation side of things. They are maybe maybe Farah, you have a different take on this, but you're also a trained journalist. So I guess you've been on it, you know, following the news cycle, at least for Some some phases of your life. And yeah, do you agree with this? Or do you have some different techniques to sort of keep up with with everything?
Well, as we as we've touched upon time is our most precious and valuable commodity apart from health, I think in my personal opinion, and I'm involved in so many things, whether it's music motorsport, business, my podcasts, all of these are for different industries in themselves. And and then the podcasts that we also produce admission makers for clients can be in tech. So like, I mean, Gaia was, you know, we were privileged to work with Gaia on a tech podcast, and it is hard to keep up with how much is happening, right. And this is where it comes down to building that very curated news feed of information. So like, on my LinkedIn, I follow, you know, even if I'm not connected with them follow really interesting people could be just giving you an example of music could be like, the editor of DJ Mag globally could be the CEO of McLaren, for example. And getting in you just see like, you know, interesting things come through and it's really yeah, that's, that's, I think, a part of it and, and also taking time to like, I think podcasts is a great medium for finding out a lot of these informations as well, like you, you know, how often Could it be that I would be in a room with like, I'd know Zac Brown and Lando Norris, for example. I like that's never happened in my life, but I can listen to a conversation between them. And that is absolutely amazing. Right. So yeah, just being particular about what and where you get your news sources from? I think, you know, we're all three of us are very lucky that we turned our passions into our profession. So like, as you say, Gaya like it is our job every single day to actually do this. Right. And the Yeah,
it's a pleasure as well. So as you said, it's a passion turned into a job turned into you know, daily pleasure.
Exactly, exactly. Well, unless you guys have anything more to add you know, thank you. So it was such a pleasure to work with you both like I like I could not have done we could not have done this without you both. So you know, I will take the time again to say thank you so much. It was absolutely amazing. It was once in a lifetime like we'll never forget what we achieved out there in 2022. And I hope to welcome you both back in Davos next year as well. So yeah, thanks. Thank you guys so much. And stay tuned because Gaia and and Cameron will also share their favourite panels with us at Davos and that will come up on mission makers later this autumn so yeah, thanks a
lot. Thank you today.
Yeah, take care guys.