The Bilderberg Meeting, a secretive gathering of global elites from various fields, kicked off its 69th edition on Thursday in Lisbon, Portugal.
The event, which runs until Sunday, has attracted about 130 participants from 23 countries, including some of the most influential figures in politics, business, academia and media.
The organizers of the meeting claim that it is a “forum for informal discussions about major issues” that are facing the world today, but critics accuse it of being a shadowy cabal that plots global agendas behind closed doors.
One of the main topics on the agenda this year is artificial intelligence (AI), a technology that has been rapidly advancing and transforming various sectors and aspects of society.
The participants will likely discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by AI, as well as its ethical and geopolitical implications.
Among the attendees who have expertise or interest in this field are OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams.
Other topics that will be covered at the meeting include the banking system, China, energy transition, Europe, fiscal challenges, India, industrial policy and trade, NATO, Russia, transnational threats, Ukraine and US leadership.
These reflect some of the most pressing issues that are shaping the global landscape and affecting the interests of the Bilderberg participants. The meeting will also feature some prominent figures from Portugal, such as former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut Managing Partner José Luís Arnaut.
The Bilderberg Meeting was founded in 1954 by a group of European and American leaders who wanted to foster dialogue and cooperation between Europe and North America. Since then, it has been held annually at different locations around the world, usually in luxury hotels or resorts.
The meeting operates under the Chatham House Rule, which means that participants are free to use the information they receive, but they cannot reveal the identity or affiliation of the speakers or other participants. The organizers say that this allows for a frank and open exchange of views, but critics argue that it undermines transparency and accountability.
The Bilderberg Meeting has been the subject of many conspiracy theories over the years, ranging from claims that it is a secret government or a new world order to allegations that it is involved in occult practices or extraterrestrial contacts.
However, there is little evidence to support these theories, and most of them are based on speculation or misinformation. The meeting is not a decision-making body, but rather a platform for informal networking and brainstorming among influential individuals who share common interests or concerns.
The meeting does not have a fixed agenda or a formal statement of outcomes, but rather a list of broad topics for discussion that are published on its official website.
China, India, Russia, Ukraine, and Europe, as well as “energy transition,” “fiscal challenges,” and “transnational threats,” will also be explored throughout the event.
Unfortunately, beyond these rather uninteresting issues, the details of the discussions will remain a closely held secret, known only to those present, even if what emerges from them is likely to have an impact on our world in ways we may never even be aware of.
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