It's the most important and influential conference you've never heard of. From June 6-9 heads of state will meet up with business leaders at the Grove Hotel in Watford for Bilderberg, an annual conference of the transnational elite that is shrouded in secrecy.
High-profile consultant Andrew Kakabadse has met many people who have attended the conference in the past, and is co-author of Bilderberg People, a book all about how world affairs are shaped by the consensus formed amongst the poltical and business elite.
He dismisses conspiracy theorists who say the reason the Bilderberg discussions are kept secret is to covertly create a "New World Order". He tells IBTimes UK: "The secrecy began not to keep things secret but to ensure the people who attended the Bilderberg conference felt relaxed.
"Whatever they said they could say it. Nothing was going to be attributed; nothing was going to be replicated externally. So really the Bilderberg Conference is a meeting of interests where people begin to reach some sort of consensus and share by feeling comfortable."
Whilst Kakabadse agrees that secrecy is not good and that the lack of transparency is a problem, to have the details of Bilderberg made public would create further difficulties, he claims.
"If you made Bilderberg too transparent you would expose the conference to lobbying from different interests," he says.
"So although you may get more transparency, ironically you'd probably get another Bilderberg growing up in the background where people meet to talk together in confidence. So there is a function to the secrecy. It's not something I like but I can see the logic of it."
From speaking to numerous guests of previous Bilderbergs (who all requested anonymity) he says the common thread among many is that the conference is just a networking event like any other.
To quote one of the guests Kakbadse says that Bilderberg is: "A self-congratulating irritating body of people who tell each other that they're beautiful."