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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
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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
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Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
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An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
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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
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Facebook revolution but Indian style
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Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
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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
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Nikkei Weekly, February 11, 2013
 

Didn't we hear this about the prowess of Roger Federer, for long a top tennis player?

We have just held the Horasis Annual Meeting in Zurich, where there was much discussion about the need for change globally. I also hear this in our other meetings focused on businesses wishing to invest in (or diversify out of) China, India, Russia or the Arabic nations. There are at least two connected fronts. First, we need to invest in education. Second, we need to invest in innovation. These sentiments are all laudable, but they rest firmly on balance and timeliness - and above all, on governments.

We need to reinvest in the hardware of education: the schools and the teachers. In most nations, there are too many unemployed youths and business leaders saying youths do not have the "right education." As the demographic decline hits all nations, it behooves them to educate 100% of their children so they can contribute to each nation's economy. We need to persuade fathers to allow their daughters to be educated and not to fear the cost of providing a dowry for "a nonproductive daughter." Yet we all ought to recognize the time delay of education. It is maybe 20 years before the brightest become employed as they pass through primary school, secondary school and then into university or college. We may have to add several more years before these children become decision-makers high up the management or political chain.

And those considerations naturally lead me to mull balance and timing. There are many traditional businesses with their legacy technology, and adherents of "if it works, don't change it" - with which I often agree. Why do we have to throw away whole assemblies when only a small part has failed - or half a new car when only a fuse needs to be replaced? This kind of process is not sustainable. In contrast, we understand many new technologies and management practices are simply more effective than the old. So we have a problem of balance. It is difficult to predict the effect of innovation "to change old for new" as we implement disruptive technologies.

There is a further balance and timing issue. It links back to education. By teaching children about the status quo and the need to think critically we set the seeds of revolution, not necessarily physical aggression and the overthrow of governments, though this may occur. No, I refer to the young adults who question dogma and invent new theories. They may prove novelty works in the laboratory and want venture capital to progress their ideas - which moves us firmly into timing. At the present time, it will be many years for early-days venture capital to be won, and still more years to get to the larger venture capital funding that takes inventions to commercial deployment. Education thus has a very long lead-time when imagining the deployment of new ideas by our children of today.

I am not contradicting anyone who says we must educate all and do this better. Nor will I rebut those who say we might get a kick-start by advancing more training and apprentice schemes for older children who missed out on their early learning. What I am saying is that we must take care to observe the balance (the cash spent on the redevelopment of education schema) against our wish for timely results (as outcomes take time). Please let us be magnanimous in our desires - by all means invest in good education programs teaching critical thinking from the beginning; but also let us recognize that the commercial success of our education investments (of all types) takes many, many years. We must all demand our governments create ring-fenced large budgets for education, and also create nation-backed early-days investment funds. Without such deep investment stability we will never achieve the long-term education and development that will raise national and global performance.

We must not be downhearted in recognizing that we cannot instantly affect these changes. After all, Federer did not become world-class without training and practice, and by heeding the advice of his coaches over many years. We all must wait for years for the seeds of education to bear fruit no matter if this is via the traditional routes, or apprentices, or via online courses. Not only must we instill in our children the desire to learn and enquire but we must demand governments responsibly implement enlarged education budgets even in our present austerity.

 

Frank-Jurgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, a Swiss-based global visions community


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