Claman's Davos Notebook: Party Hopping and Learning Along the Way

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Published January 24, 2013

| FOXBusiness

You've heard of a "working lunch"?

At Davos it's "working parties." 

Everyone thinks a party is just a lot of relaxation and fun, but last night was a perfect example of how all the soirees present excellent opportunities to network and learn. 

Last night, my FOX Business producer Yvette Michael and I first headed out to the Yale party at the Belvedere Hotel. (It's the nicest hotel in Davos, and no, I don't get to stay there. It's booked for WEF 15 years in advance).

While I'm a UC Berkeley and not a Yale grad, two years ago while flying to Davos I sat next to Yale President Richard Levin and he invited me. Every year, it's a gathering of big minds and big ideas. 

Check out FoxBusiness.com's full coverage of the World Economic Forum: the best interviews, columns, and interactive social media experience

Last night, we ran into Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi. She was talking to me but at the same time deftly BlackBerrying Derek Jeter who was en route to the Yale party. He's here representing Pepsi's Gatorade division. He's got to be the first MLB player to hang out in Davos. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was there schmoozing, along with Professor Robert Schiller, Yale professor and one half of the Case/Schiller home price index. Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax was there, happy his lost luggage had finally arrived.

Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson, a FOX Business fan, was there, and while everyone wanted to see Jeter breeze in, half of us had to head on to the next party.

I went straight to Goldman Sachs' "10,000 Women" private dinner where Facebook's star exec Sheryl Sandberg and NY Times columnist Nick Kristof led a conversation about women aiming for success and what sabotages them (Male execs? Women's own inhibitions about aiming high? A little of both maybe?). Sandberg has just written a book called Lean In (March 2013) about how women and girls can shed the self-fulfilling prophesy of mediocre moves in the corporate world and really break out and succeed.

Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn greeted us and stated flat out that if companies want to succeed, they better include women in the equation in a meaningful way. Fascinating discussion ensued for an hour and a half in a town where party hopping entails a strict 20-minute stay at each event. Goldman's powerhouse braintrust behind "10,000 Women" is Dina Powell, a true winner no matter what your gender.

The only bummer of the evening? I lost my ski glove somewhere between the Hotel Seehof and our cozy, little apartment on Cassannstrasse by the Kongress Center. Lucky I brought two other pairs. It's 29 degrees on top of this Swiss mountain!

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