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2017
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
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Business Today, July 19, 2017
 

Two years ago all world leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, agreed two major accords. They took the details back to their countries for their legislature to read and to agree implementation. Most leaders reconvened, signed the accords, and thus ratified their acceptance of the targets.

One accord is the 2015 UNFCCC Paris Agreement on Climate Change which extends the 1997 Kyoto Protocols coming into force in November 2016. It asks each nation to limit their pollution and so restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less.

The second accord builds upon the 2000 Millennium Goals which had targets to be met in 2015. The new agreement was agreed and ratified by the UN's 70th general assembly in New York (September 2015) and is known as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 17 main goals to be met by 2030. One goal is to offer universal gender-free education to all children to fully develop their potential. SDGs provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and within global environmental challenges.

In a world increasingly fractious, even chaotic and dangerous, these two accords carry onerous decision-making choices for every nation as major policy changes imply considerable costs at a time when all nations suffer from slow global economic growth. The Swiss banker, UBS, notes many of the wealthy are willing to invest in their new SDG fund which they consider needs about $5 trillion per year worldwide to meet the UN's targets by 2030. The banker believes there is $250 trillion of global private wealth and will set out rules for its investment that benefits all actors in ways in which national governments cannot: this fund might ease governments' difficulties in meeting their SDG targets, especially ones that develop their education systems.

The annual Edelman 'Global Trust Barometer' data shows trust in institutions and governments has plummeted to new lows. Many people question why populism has grown world-wide and why national leaders tend to succumb to populist demands? Their answers are mixed, but they consider better education is the foremost global imperative developing analytical and critical thinking - noting the time from primary school to adult involvement is at least 16 years. The poorly educated ask "so what?" magnifying this into a Twitter storm " we believe social media - they can't be wrong."

Sadly many governments have decimated their previous education budgets as they are 'soft' targets. In India, surveys show that teachers often do not show up for work, creating problems later: 14 per cent of Indian students (when leaving school) cannot read anything, and nearly half school leavers cannot read text meant for 7-year old children. A 2016 study by the Indian Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry found that only 7 per cent of Business School graduates were worth a job. Nor were engineering graduates any different: about 600,000 engineers graduate in India every year and of those, only 18 per cent were employable.

Achieving good education is not only an issue in India - in the UK (supposedly with a good education system) the British Nutrition Foundation surveying knowledge about healthy eating found nearly a third of five to seven-year-olds thought that cheese came from a plant; that animals are the source of pasta; and fish fingers are made from chicken. And according to PISA, the international comparison of educational achievement, children in the US fare poorly against the best - in Singapore, Japan, Estonia and Canada. What is education doing for all these people? Where is their critical thinking ability?

India has the largest global diaspora and many of its brightest are heads of multinational firms registered in the US and elsewhere: by 2012, 16 per cent of start-ups in Silicon Valley had an Indian co-founder even though Indians represented just 6 per cent of California's population. And in India itself there are pockets of brilliance with family-run business taking the lead. The Fortune 500 lists a range of foremost Indian firms located across all economic sectors and across many states: one cannot say that India lacks intelligent children, only that it does not do enough for its masses.

Prime Minister Modi is to launch 'Swayam', a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) attempting to lift all education achievement, but these self-motivated modules demand the student can read. Prime Minister's Modi's education reforms are a good start and the reform process should be implemented evenly and quickly throughout all States. Mr Modi notes good school access has been achieved, and has directed reforms to ensure good teaching embraces achievable learning goals.

Recently at the Horasis India Meeting in Switzerland delegates suggested more should be done for rural India, not only to decrease wasteful food losses by re-engineering the supply chains, but also to retain the rural population in place instead of letting it flee to crowded towns in search of work. They suggest increasing food processing at source - with cleaning, trimming and packaging absorbing labour. This change implies processing firms take on the necessary apprenticeship education to train poorly educated school leavers. Firms may say they are not in business to educate - but Mr Modi has seen first-hand how such schemes have benefited Swiss firms whose engineering products are second to none and in high demand globally.

Perhaps the most calming route forward is to remove the fear of losing one's job which can be done by giving every adult a universal basic income (UBI). Finland is already making experiments with this concept and India proclaimed in its January 2017 Annual Economic Survey that "it is an interesting idea whose time may be ripe". Such a change by government might increase trust in our institutions and so develop a better environment allowing time for children's education to be redeveloped, and empower apprentice schemes to educate older workers. Better education will enable all people to critically consider alternatives and their consequences rather than following populist herd opinions.

 

Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global visions community. Horasis hosts the annual Horasis India Meeting.

 


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