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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Of procrastination...
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Khaleej Times, December 14, 2011
 

We all know what this means to us… putting off something we ought to do. There is even a day set aside for this task – Frenchman David d’ Equainville proclaimed that March 26th, 2011 should be International Procrastination Day, but he said he did not mind “… if it were later”.

Today, or thereabouts we are faced with two sets of procrastinating groups who are interconnected. These are the negotiators from around the world discussing climate change in Durban, South Africa (over 28th Nov – 9th December) and the less numerous EU financial change negotiators in Brussels, Belgium (December 8 – 9th). The similarities are that both groups are beset by years of procrastination for very similar reasoning: we must not disturb our electorates.

On the financial side Jacques Delores (a former president of the European Commission and one of the original architects of the Euro) said he believed ‘the Eurozone’ was always a weak concept without it embodying a stronger federalisation and centralisation of fiscal control. But it is not feasible to attempt to run a single currency managed by one central bank over a continent in which each participating country manages its own fiscal affairs independent of the others. Therefore failure to deal with imbalances in member nations has brought the currency to the brink of collapse today.

With respect to climate change we see something similar – the complex scientific findings are decried as politicians, commentators and business people look in vain for a simple explanation. Meanwhile, the media has fragmented and the old expectation of quality and ethics has gone in the pursuit of market niches across all media types.

An Ipsos-Mori report ‘Tipping Point or Turning Point?’ attempted to qualify the public’s worry. Its authors say that complexity in science and the notions of probability do not translate easily to the public who, in the absence of definitive ‘proof’, search out signs of doubt. 40 per cent question our ability to predict the climate system; while as many as 56 per cent believe that the scientific jury is still out on the causes of climate change… and uncertainty by the public in the science is matched by widespread confusion and doubts about what actions to take and which products to buy. When asked unprompted what they are doing to confront climate change, most cannot identify anything beyond recycling, begging the question whether this has become a token behaviour that discharges responsibility in other areas.

The public is torn between competing and conflicting mindsets. As citizens they want to avert climate change but, at the same time, as consumers they want to go on holiday, own a second home, a big car and the latest electronic goods. They acknowledge their collective responsibilities but guard jealously their personal rights and freedoms – they also form a part of the tribe of procrastinators.

Finally, bringing both the Durban and Brussels issues together are the ‘hot money’ decision makers. These guys take decisions based on risk and have driven up their requirements for pay-back according to their perception of being repaid, or not. These guys do not procrastinate; they know that by delaying until tomorrow they will lose out on their own income stream today.

Within the climate change arena, specifically on CO2 mitigation, many EU nations have moved heavily to building up their electricity generating capacity via renewable sources, partly by stimulating markets through feed-in tariffs and partly by offering long term loans at low interest rates. Recently two problems have occurred.

Governments have lowered their offers of low-rate loans and have reduced tariff rates; at the same time they have placed greater stress on the use of natural gas as a fuel. So again the quick moving financiers have dropped solar and wind power project support, and instead are now investing in natural gas exploitation as they expect better returns from these new investments.

Procrastination is the biggest challenge we have to overcome. We all have an emotional reaction when we have to do something we don’t want to do, don’t enjoy doing, or we have become convinced we simply must not do. Acknowledging this reaction will not only make us aware that we may be procrastinating, but will also help us to stop procrastinating.

 

Frank-Jurgen Richter is chairman and founder of Horasis, a Swiss-based international organisation.


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