News & Commentary

Bilderberg 2024: CEOs, billionaires, and govt officials meet behind closed doors in Madrid

The CEOs of Microsoft AI, Google DeepMind, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, BP, Shell, Pfizer, Spotify, Palantir and more are meeting in private with an international cadre of high-level government officials and billionaires like Eric Schmidt and Peter Thiel this week.

A huge story if ever there was one, but don’t expect to read about it on the front page – or any other page – of most newspapers.

It’s the 70th annual Bilderberg Meeting, and – as has been the case for seven decades and counting now – the mass media is largely refusing to cover it, leaving most of its readership ignorant of the fact that it’s even taking place at all.

Participants will be discussing China, Russia, AI, the “changing faces of biology,” the “future of warfare”… and whatever the hell else they want — it’s off-the-record and the public is not invited.

“Journalists” like Fareed Zakaria (CNN), Bret Stephens (NYT), Zanny Minton Beddoes (The Economist), and John Micklethwait (Bloomberg) will also be present, but not to hold power to account; they’re there to share in it.

The event is taking place from May 30 — June 2 at Eurostars Suites Mirasierra, a luxury hotel in Madrid, Spain.

The group waited until Thursday, the first day of the conference, to publish a partial list of attendees for public consumption.

“The Official Whitewash”

As recently noted by independent journalist James Corbett, who has been covering Bilderberg for the better part of two decades now, the group’s steering committee created an official website around the year 2010 — seemingly in response to the increased coverage and scrutiny they were beginning to receive from the alt media at the time.

They now “put up the official meeting agenda with the official [topics] that they’re going to be talking about and the official attendee list,” Corbett says, but “there are [always] unofficial attendees; there are things that they talk about behind the scenes and off-the-record, etc.”

“So, take the official whitewash for what it’s worth,” he advises:

In contrast to the World Economic Forum (WEF) – which Corbett calls a “sideshow,” noting that it brings “thousands of people” to Davos and you can “buy your way in with a few million dollar corporate sponsorship” – Bilderberg is much more exclusive, with the official, invite-only participant list consisting of only about “120 or so people” each year.

Its sessions are also not recorded or livestreamed, and it has continued to enjoy much more of a media blackout than the WEF, even as attention to the latter has increased dramatically in recent years.

“Bilderberg is a little closer to the center of power.”

2024 Coverage

One of the few people who is actually on the ground in Madrid covering this year’s Bilderberg meeting is Canadian journalist Dan Dicks of Press For Truth, who has been documenting (among other things) the aggressive policing in the area:

In an update on Saturday, he said that undercover police officers intimidated a pair of Dutch journalists to the point that they promptly left the city:

Dicks says that he also ran into a Reuters reporter, but it turned out they were only there to cover the “protests,” of which there were few if any.

“He was probably looking for footage of people shouting at the building or something,” says Dicks.

“I said to the guy ‘You’d be better off reporting on the people who are meeting here and what they’re doing than this protest angle on the outside.’ ”

“He was here for about five minutes… he hailed a cab and was out of here once he realized there was no protest angle.”

British journalist Charlie Skelton, who is also in Madrid to cover the meeting, got this photo of Oscar Stenström:

Stenström was not particularly eager to discuss his visit to Bilderberg with Dicks or Josh Friedman, or to explain why his name doesn’t appear on the official list:

(Bilderberg’s press person later told Skelton that Stenström was there as a “senior advisor” to Bilderberg steering committee member Marcus Wallenberg, and as a “member of the pre-team.”)

More sightings:

On Saturday, a small fleet of buses arrived at the venue to take the participants on a dinner excursion.

Friedman, Dicks, and Skelton attempted to follow them in their own vehicle, but they ended up being detained by police for approximately 40 minutes.

“[They] checked our ID, searched our bags, searched the car,” says Dicks, adding that they were ultimately sent on their way on the condition that they “get the heck out of here and do not take any photos of the participants, or the police, or the security, or any of it.”

According to Friedman, the convoy’s destination turned out to be the Madrid suburb of Boadilla del Monte, home of Santander Group City — the corporate headquarters of the Santander Group, also known as Banco Santander.

“Ana Botín is the Spanish member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee, and she’s the [executive chair] of Banco Santander,” says Friedman.

“And because of that, Banco Santander is effectively the sponsor of Bilderberg 2024 — or you might say the host of 2024 — and they were very much the host of this Saturday evening gathering.”

Watch their report here:

Skelton, meanwhile, published a report for The Guardian — one of the few major outlets to cover the event — entitled “War, AI and more war: the 2024 Bilderberg agenda is sure to set off alarm bells.”

He discusses some of his thoughts and observations in this interview with Friedman:

The Official List of Participants

Here are the people meeting behind closed doors at Bilderberg — plus whoever else they don’t want to tell us about:

Abrams, Stacey (USA), CEO, Sage Works Production
Adeyemo, Adewale (USA), Deputy Secretary, Department of the Treasury
Adlercreutz, Anders (FIN), Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering
Albares, José Manuel (ESP), Minister of Foreign Affairs
Altman, Roger C. (USA), Founder and Senior Chair, Evercore Inc.
Alverà, Marco (ITA), Co-Founder,; CEO, TES
Amodei, Dario (USA), Co-Founder and CEO, Anthropic PBC
Anderlini, Jamil (DEU/USA), Editor-in-Chief, POLITICO Europe
Appathurai, James (INT), Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Innovation, Hybrid and Cyber, NATO
Applebaum, Anne(USA) , Staff Writer, The Atlantic
Auchincloss, Murray (GBR), CEO, BP plc
Aydin, Mustafa (TUR), Professor of International Relations, Kadir Has University
Barbizet, Patricia (FRA), Chair and CEO, Temaris & Associés SAS
Barroso, José Manuel (PRT), Chair International Advisors, Goldman Sachs International
Baudson, Valérie (FRA), CEO, Amundi SA
Bengio, Yoshua (CAN), Professor in Computer Science and Operations Research, University of Montreal
Bini Smaghi, Lorenzo (ITA), Chair, Societé Générale SA
Botín, Ana P. (ESP), Group Executive Chair, Banco Santander SA
Bourla, Albert (USA), Chair and CEO, Pfizer Inc.
Braathen (NOR), Kjerstin, CEO, DNB ASA
Buschmann, Marco (DEU), Minister of Justice
Calviño, Nadia (INT), President, European Investment Bank
Carney, Mark J. (CAN), Chair, Brookfield Asset Management
Carvalho, Charlene de (NLD), Executive Director, Heineken Holding NV
Castries, Henri de (FRA), President, Institut Montaigne
Castro, Ildefonso (ESP), Secretary International Affairs, Partido Popular
Cavoli, Christopher (INT), Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Champagne, François-Philippe (CAN), Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Chhabra, Tarun (USA), Senior Director for Technology and National Security, NSC
Chubays, Anatoly B. (RUS/ISR), Visiting Professor, London School of Economics
Corydon, Bjarne (DNK), CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Dagbladet Børsen
Coveney, Simon (IRL), Former Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Creuheras, José (ESP), Chair, Grupo Planeta and Atresmedia
Cuerpo, Carlos (ESP), Minister of Economy, Commerce and Business
Daurella Comadrán, Sol (ESP), Chair, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners plc
Della Vigna, Michele (ITA), Head, Natural Resources Research EMEA, Goldman Sachs
Domański, Andrzej, (POL) Minister of Finance
Donohoe, Paschal (INT), President, Eurogroup
Döpfner, Mathias (DEU), Chair and CEO, Axel Springer SE
Easterly, Jen (USA), Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Ek, Daniel (SWE), CEO, Spotify SA
Empoli, Giuliano da (ITA), Political Scientist and Writer, Sciences Po
Entrecanales, José M. (ESP), Chair and CEO, Acciona SA
Eriksen, Øyvind (NOR), President and CEO, Aker ASA
Ferguson, Niall (USA), Milbank Family Senior Fellow, Stanford University
Finer, Jonathan (USA), Deputy National Security Advisor
Fontcuberta i Morral (CHE), Anna, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, EPFL
Fraser, Jane (USA), CEO, Citigroup
Gabuev, Alexander, Director (INT), Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center
Gentiloni, Paolo (INT), European Commissioner for Economy
Gil, Isabel, Rector (PRT), Catholic University of Portugal
Gruber, Lilli (ITA), Editor-in-Chief and Anchor, La7 TV
Gruyter, Caroline de (NLD), European Affairs Correspondent, NRC
Gürsel, Kadri (TUR), Journalist, Medyascope
Halberstadt, Victor (NLD), Professor Em. of Economics, Leiden University
Harrington, Kevin (USA), Managing Director, Thiel Capital LLC
Hassabis, Demis (GBR), CEOGoogle DeepMind
Hedegaard, Connie (DNK), Chair, KR Foundation
Hernández de Cos, Pablo (ESP), Governor, Banco de España
Hobson, Mellody (USA), Co-CEO and President, Ariel Investments LLC
Hoekstra, Wopke (INT), European Commissioner for Climate Action
Johansson, Ylva (INT), European Commissioner for Home Affairs
Kaag, Sigrid (INT), Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, UN
Kadri, Ilham (BEL), CEO, Syensqo
Kalemli-Özcan, Sebnem (TUR), Schreiber Family Professior of Economics Brown University
Kallas, Kaja (EST), Prime Minister
Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies Inc.
Kerameus, Niki (GRC), Minister for the Interior
Kieli, Kasia (POL), President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Discovery EMEA
Koç, Ömer (TUR), Chair, Koç Holding AS
Kotkin, Stephen (USA), Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Kravis, Henry R. (USA), Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chair, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Kravis, Marie-Josée (USA), Chair, The Museum of Modern Art
Kudelski, André (CHE), Chair and CEO, Kudelski Group SA
Kuleba, Dmytro (UKR), Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lander, Eric S. (USA), Founding Director, Broad Institute
Lee, Peter (USA), PresidentMicrosoft Research
Leysen, Thomas (BEL), Chairdsm-firmenich AG
Lighthizer, Robert (USA), ChairCenter for American Trade
Liikanen, Erkki (FIN), Chair, IFRS Foundation Trustees
Linde, Ann (SWE), Former Minister for Foreign Affairs
Luckey, Palmer (USA), Founder, Anduril Industries
Meeus, Tom-Jan (NLD), Journalist, NRC
Mensch, Arthur (FRA), Co-Founder and CEO, Mistral AI
Merz, Friedrich (DEU), Leader, CDU
Michel, Charles (INT), President, European Council
Micklethwait, John (USA), Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP
Minton Beddoes, Zanny (GBR), Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
Monti, Mario (ITA), Senator for life
Moreira, Duarte (PRT), Co-Founder and CEO, Zeno Partners
Netherlands, H.M. the King of the (NLD)
O’Leary, Michael (IRL), Group CEO, Ryanair Group
Pannier-Runacher (FRA), Agnès, State Secretary at Ministry of Agriculture
Papahelas, Alexis (GRC), Executive Editor, Kathimerini Newspaper
Papalexopoulos, Dimitri (GRC), Chair, TITAN Cement Group
Petraeus, David H. (USA), Chair, KKR Global Institute
Philippe, Édouard (FRA), Mayor, Le Havre
Phillips, Richard H. (USA), Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Pind, Søren (DNK), Founder and CEO, Danish Cyber Defence
Pouyanné, Patrick (FRA), Chair and CEO, TotalEnergies SE
Rachman, Gideon (GBR), Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, Financial Times
Ramírez, Pedro J. (ESP), Director, El Español
Rendi-Wagner, Pamela (AUT), Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Ruiz, José Juan (ESP), Chair, Elcano Royal Institute
Rutte, Mark (NLD), Prime Minister
Sawan, Wael (GBR), CEO, Shell plc
Sawers, John (GBR), Executive Chair, Newbridge Advisory Ltd.
Schadlow, Nadia (USA), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Schmidt, Eric E. (USA), Former CEO and Chair, Google
Schmidt, Wolfgang (DEU), Head of the Chancellery, Federal Minister for Special Tasks
Šefčovič, Maroš (INT), European Commissioner Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight
Sewing, Christian (DEU), CEO, Deutsche Bank AG
Sherman, Wendy R. (USA), Former Deputy Secretary of State
Siddall, Evan (CAN), CEO, Alberta Investment Management Corporation
Sikorski, Radoslaw (POL), Minister of Foreign Affairs
Şimşek, Mehmet (TUR), Minister of Finance
Stephens, Bret (USA), Opinion Columnist, New York Times
Stoltenberg, Jens (INT), Secretary General, NATO
Stubb, Alexander (FIN), President of the Republic
Suleyman, Mustafa (GBR), CEO, Microsoft AI
Thiel, Peter (USA), President, Thiel Capital LLC
Varadkar, Leo (IRL), Former Prime Minister
Verhoeven, Karel (BEL), Editor-in-Chief, De Standaard
Wallenberg, Marcus (SWE), Chair, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
Ward, Jonathan (USA), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Wolf, Martin H. (GBR), Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times
Wright, Thomas (USA), Senior Director for Strategic Planning, NSC
Yläjärvi, Erja (FIN), Senior Editor-in-Chief, Helsingin Sanomat
Zadrazil, Robert (AUT), Country Manager Austria, UniCredit Group
Zakaria, Fareed (USA), Host, Fareed Zakaria GPS
Zeiler, Gerhard (AUT), President, Warner Bros. Discovery International

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