World leaders, chief executives, activists and celebrities have been arriving in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos for the 46th annual World Economic Forum.
This year's event is being overshadowed by fresh fears about the global economy, the refugee crisis, and the ongoing instability in the Middle East.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will attend the meeting for the fifth year running.
He will speak at a panel debate on the global economy tomorrow and meet senior figures from a number of multinational companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook.
Over the years the WEF has attracted criticism as a cosy networking gathering for the rich, famous and powerful, but it has also been praised for pushing a more inclusive agenda in trying to tackle the world's problems.
However, the mood at Davos is one of sobering realism with the slowdown in China's economy, turbulence in the world markets, a huge oil glut, terrorism, the migration crisis and deepening fears over climate change set to dominate the agenda.
The global accounting firm PwC published its annual survey of chief executives at a curtain raising event last night.
It found that two thirds of CEOs saw more threats facing their businesses today than three years ago, and only a quarter predicted an improvement in growth over the next 12 months.
74% feared geo-political instability, an issue which barely featured four years ago.
Amid the gloom, there will be an emphasis on how new technologies can be harnessed to fight climate change.
The theme of this year's gathering is mastering the fourth industrial revolution, which refers to the way that new technologies are fusing across the physical, digital and biological worlds in a way that brings both new risks and opportunities.