I'm hoping to post a video to the Lunch Panel: A Discussion With Nobel Laureates in Economics: Whither Capitalism? soon. But for the moment, an observation. One thing I was interested in is the change in the attitudes of participants between last year's meeting and this year's. It's hard to find such a difference in the panelists, though I would say they are more defensive and ready to deflect blame for what has happened for what happened (to government for the most part, you can judge one instance of this for yourself when the video is posted). But a big difference is that last year I was given more business cards than I knew what to do with, it was a huge stack. You could hardly turn around without someone introducing themselves, and offering their card. It probably made a big impression on me because, as an academic, I have never bothered to get nor had much use for a business card, and I found myself apologizing for that every time somebody else would hawk their card.
So I made up my mind I'd have cards this year, but one day turned into another, and on the way down I realized I'd never bothered to actually do that. I figured I'd just apologize again for not having a card to exchange, just like last year, but amazingly so far it hasn't been necessary. I haven't been given a single card. Not one. Then I wondered, is it just me? So I've been paying attention to what goes on at the tables as people sit down, and it's just not like last year as far as I can observe.
Not sure what that means, exactly, and it's certainly not statistically validated other than through my own limited observations and a few questions of others about whether they've noticed the same thing, but it does seem like people - as you would expect - have pulled back considerably in the search for ways to expand their businesses, make new connections, etc. But it's not clear tome why the value of netwrking would have fallen so much due to the recession.