Making Our Mark on the Magic Mountain

Despite fog, cancelled flights, and a lot of snow, Team Scriberia made it through the mountains and the military checkpoints up into the resort of Davos, transformed for one hectic week into the home of the World Economic Forum. As all the movers and shakers in world politics and economics, their entourages, security, the world press and all of the people needed to run such an event descend on the pretty little town, it is transformed into a bizarre combination of celeb-studded media circus, a networking session for the great and the good, and a top-security fortress patrolled by paranoid policemen. Ordinary residents and shops tend to escape for the week, lucratively renting their properties to the many organisations willing to pay top dollar to house their personnel for a few days. Thousands of smart black Audis growl impatiently along the rigidly planned out traffic system and snipers perch amongst the rooftops.

Our quarters were a pleasant family home complete with cow-bells and cuckoo clock, a top floor flat on the edge of town, a short walk through the crisp morning air to the Belvedere hotel, where our scribing walls were set up. After a few minutes waiting at the airport-like security at the hotel entrance, we were at our walls. Our client Deloitte had managed to bag an amazing spot; we were working in the entrance and exit corridors to the Belvedere hotel, which meant that everyone who came in would walk past our work as it filled the walls. My first thought was “wow, that is a lot of white space”, as we paced out the dozens of meters of corridor. But we Scriberians are never daunted; we had a plan and we were going to stick to it. We would be illustrating content coming in from a Deloitte Twitter feed related to four themes; driving economic growth, leading progress, big issues, and positive impact. These would be cleverly revealed in the negative space as we illustrated the content throughout the event.

To cover the huge amount of space, we worked big and fast. Many of people walking through the corridors remembered the work Scriberia had done the previous year and told us how they looked forward to watching the wall develop. Karolin in particular received some warm words of encouragement from Mohammed Yunis, the social entrepreneur and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who we’ve scribed for before. We were so absorbed in the task at hand it was easy to forget, temporarily, that you were surrounded by so many big names from world politics and business. It was surreal to look up from an illustration to see David Cameron or Richard Branson striding past – and not many people can say they’ve coloured-in in the presence of Ban Ki-Moon.

The days were long and exhausting, but very rewarding, and the work got a lot of love from everyone at Davos. The wall was serving its purpose to encourage engagement and debate around the chosen themes, and the Deloitte team seemed delighted with the response it was getting. Though we barely had the strength to pick up a beer at the end of the day, the evenings were a great chance to bond as a team, either chomping supermarket pizza in front of dodgy Swiss TV or trying some delicious sizzling kangaroo steak at an amazing and quirky restaurant we found. At the end of Friday, everyone was completely spent, but rightfully proud of surpassing high expectations at one of the most high-profile jobs of the year.