I recently attended the World Economic Forum Annual Gathering in Davos to lead a workshop with Hintsa as part of their contribution to the WEF’s ‘Peak Performance’ sessions. Read on to find out more about my time in Davos.

Early on the morning of January 20th it was cold enough to freeze the hairs in your nose. In Davos, a group of delegates escaped the icey conditions and boarded a coach to take a twisting road out of the town, towards the Rinerhorn.

From Skis To Suits & Snow Boots

Davos is the highest town in Europe, a winter sports paradise, but for one week each year skiing tourists are replaced with men and women in suits and snow-boots, as the town is taken over by the World Economic Forum. The Congress Centre is the hub of activity with further meetings and gatherings spilling over into cafes, restaurants and private rooms. At 1,560 metres, the air is thin but conversation runs fast as delegates take the opportunity to meet with colleagues, peers, influencers and even competitors. This rarified atmosphere provides the unique opportunity to grab a coffee with a world leading neuroscientist in the morning, meet the leadership team of a global corporation over lunch and attend a discussion on the ‘future of health’ in the afternoon.

So why was this group leaving the ‘action’ behind, to venture even higher in the Albula Alps? On their journey the delegates were encouraged to reflect on a series of questions: What is your mission? Do you have a clear sense of where you are headed in life? Is anything impeding your progress towards your goals? Do you have a strong sense of your personal identity? At the base of the mountain, the guests took a cable car up to 2,528 metres, to the WEF’s ‘Basecamp’ venue; an exclusive location featuring a week of presentations on the theme of reaching peak performance.

Rethinking Success

The Hintsa team accompanied by F1 World Champions Mika Häkkinen and Sebastian Vettel, F1 test driver Susie Wolff and Professor of London Business School Lynda Gratton. The Hintsa team was already present, soaking in the panoramic views from the windows of the Alpine restaurant which had been converted to host the two sessions we had been invited to deliver, during this year’s Annual Gathering. The sky was clear, offering spectacular views of surrounding peaks and a welcome change of perspective – the perfect metaphor for the morning’s theme; a challenge to ‘rethink success’ and understand how performance can become a by-product of wellbeing.

James Hewitt, the Hintsa team and guests at the World Economic Forum Annual Gathering, Davos.

James Hewitt, speakers and team at the World Economic Forum Annual Gathering, Davos.

Hintsa’s founder, Dr. Aki Hintsa, was joined by 2-times F1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen, 4-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and F1 test driver Susie Wolff. Aki shared the origins of his approach which was birthed and shaped during his time in Africa, the Hintsa philosophy was brought into reality through the considered insights of our speakers from the world of F1 and the delegates themselves were challenged to explore what these perspectives could mean for them – using a range of Hintsa tools to consider their inner world, their true source of motivation and the real status of their health and wellbeing.

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