In a world of social media and technology, networking has become commonplace. Once a year, the world's biggest and most powerful networking event, the World Economic Forum's annual meeting, takes place in Switzerland.
Last week, world leaders met in Davos to discuss the biggest challenges facing the global economy in 2016: Crushing markets and currencies, the falling price of oil, global inequality, migration, the rise of technology, and the threat of another recession.
So, what is next for the world's economy? Can another global financial crisis be averted? How can inequality be tackled? What does the low oil price mean for the future of Russia and the Middle East? And how can the world master the next industrial revolution?
Angel Gurria, the secretary general of OECD, talks to Counting the Cost about the economic prospects for 2016 and what should be done to tackle the challenges ahead. He believes it is time for ministers and governments to go structural and to implement long-term reforms.
We also talk to Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam international, about Oxfam's recent report on inequality.
"Our report shows the pace and the scale of the crisis. We are showing today that 62 people own as much wealth as 3.5 billion poorest people - half of humanity. And that this has been increasing rapidly. In 2010 this figure was 288; last year it was 80; today it's 62, and in a few years time it will be just ten people owning the same wealth as half of humanity. This is dangerous, because it slows economic growth... it traps people in poverty and it sparks social unrest.... It's not inevitable and we are here to propose solutions and we are asking governments and business leaders to tackle it, and to tackle it urgently.... Thirty years of deregulation, of privatisation, of financial secrecy, of globalisation, has resulted in exactly this," says Byanyima.
Global oil prices have fallen sharply over the past months, leading to significant revenue shortfalls in many oil producing countries, but what is really behind the falling oil price? And what does it mean for the global economy?
We talk to Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, who says the oil price has been the main topic in Davos.
"There will be more oil in the market... 2016 may well be a year where we see oil prices under pressure.... Low oil prices hurt the economies (the Middle East and Russia are hurt the most), but we should also see that this is not a price level which will be with us forever."
Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, talks to us about Russia as global international player. How does Russia deal with the low oil price and its international standing - and how has it affected business?
He says, "it's a very big challenge for the Russian economy because it's very much dependant on oil, but .... it also creates new opportunies."
Finland has been dubbed by some as the next sick man of Europe. Alexander Stubb, the Finnish finance minister, talks to us about unemployment, economic decline, structural reform and Finland's and Europe's economic future.
"There are colossal challenges for all of Europe, number one is migration and asylum seekers, number two is the euro and economy, and number three is basically terrorism and security. I think this is like a 1950s and 1990's moment for Europe. In the 1950's coal and steel was integrated, in the 1990s the Cold War ended and we went for the European Union. I think the answer to all these three crises is more integration, not less."
Source: Al Jazeera