A Social Network for the ‘Elite’ 1 Percent?
(DAVOS, Switzerland) — For one week every year, the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people converge on the picturesque town of Davos, Switzerland. By day they discuss how to solve the world’s most pressing problems at elite meetings. By night, they drink expensive champagne at only the most elite parties.
And now, thanks to a San Francisco-based software company, they are getting their own elite social network.
“If you can get the right people together in Davos, then you can solve problems and make the world a better place,” Vivek Ranadivé, founder of Tibco Software, told ABC News. “It’s about getting the right information to the right place at the right time and in the right context.”
Ranadivé is in Davos this week to unveil Toplink (formerly called TopCom), his invite-only social network for the world’s richest and most powerful people.
He envisions it as a tool to “unlock the collective wisdom” of the world’s best and brightest.
“You can bring the right people and the right information together to solve problems, such as the financial crisis, pandemics and food shortages,” he said.
Users who are privy to the network will be able to hold group video conferences, ask questions and discuss ways to solve the world’s most significant issues.
“We have taken all of the best attributes of [social networks], such as ease of use and familiarity,” Ranadivé said.
Tech-savvy global leaders will be able to download the network to their tech device of choice at Davos this week, and they won’t have to worry about the less-elite spying on their activities.
Ranadivé said the company is using a “sophisticated security mechanism” to ensure outside parties aren’t privy to potential future video conferences between say, Bill Gates and Angela Merkel.
The world leaders won’t be getting the first look, though.That honor went to a group called the “Global Shapers” four months ago.
Global Shapers are defined by the World Economic Forum as people under the age of 30 who are making a significant impact in their community.
David Aikman, a senior director at the World Economic Forum, was one of the few people to use Toplink since its unofficial roll-out four months ago and said the Global Shapers group had already leveraged the power of the platform.
“One of the guys posted a poll about blood donation,” Aikman said. “The results that followed encouraged the city hub in Monterrey, Mexico, to host a blood drive.”
It’s the sort of impact Ranadivé hopes will happen on a larger scale if the world’s richest and most powerful become adopters of his social network.
“They come together for a few days to solve problems and then they go,” he said. “Professor [Klaus] Schwab [the founder of the Davos World Economic Forum] would like to have a certain kind of information always coming and going.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio