The annual secret Bilderberg conference was more or less started in the 1950s by international man of mystery Józef Retinger, a Polish intriguer and friend of the great and good who spent most of his life in exile (e.g., he was chief of staff of the Polish government-in-exile in London during WWII). The goal was to provide important people in NATO and similar non-Communist countries a few days per year to get together and talk over issues of concern away from the press.
The general flavor of Bilderberg invitees has been aged and center-right (e.g., Henry Kissinger has gone at least 17 times between 1957 and 2022). Anti-Communist pro-NATO center-left senior statesmen like German Social Democrat leader Helmut Schmidt can also be mainstays. European royals are often welcome as well. Various academics are invited to discuss their areas of expertise. A few journalists, often associated with The Economist, are invited to contribute but not to report.
Bilderberg has loosened up a little in recent years, but it remains highly secretive and exclusive.
Evidently, one invitee was a German professor of economics named Klaus Schwab. His career-making business idea was to found the anti-Bilderberg, an annual conference at Davos during ski season in the Swiss Alps that would pursue publicity with all its might. Rather than deny like Bilderberg that its members run the world, Davos would broadly hint that its participants of course do run the world.
These days, lots of people believe Schwab really is a supervillain out of a Bond movie, which is good for his brand.
Here’s an interesting high-brow analysis of Schwab’s World Economic Forum.