BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.3(14)

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Our technology forecasting is better than our social forecasting. We are now able to say much about what the Internet of Things will look like, what will happen to energy and medicine, what we will be able (and not able) to print in 3D in 2030, and how this will change the economy and its agents. It is significantly harder to imagine a society that can render habitable this new world. Or more correctly, societies. After all, if we enter into this period of so-called liquid modernity, washing away the rigid and familiar, but no longer required structures (institutes, businesses, our framework of obligations, and means of making life choices), then in all likelihood, we will have to deal with multiple mobile ‘microsocium’ as the main driver of any process. It will certainly be interesting to see how we agree upon what is good, and what is bad.

In a world where there are migration and economic crises, a president of a huge country is almost sent into retirement, and the new Mayor of London is a Pakistani, to talk about this seems a little ill-timed – there is always something more urgent. In fact, the opposite is true, we are already late. We should always be thinking about such things, as they, in many ways, determine the style and quality of management, the style and quality of decisions taken, even personal ones, which means the transition from one state of a particular business, the goal of the economy or society, to another. Together, new technology, new achievements of the human spirit, or new humanitarian catastrophes give rise to new identities that have a decisive influence on the next round of updates. To understand and predict them is just as difficult as it is interesting. And to ensure that your business stays relevant in this too-rapidly changing world is an incredible challenge facing every man (and later every country).

What can get in our way of facing this challenge? Boredom, laziness, and indifference to everything that does not confirm our own righteousness. Delegating all rights and responsibilities over to the authorities, the refusal to cooperate with those who seem alien to us. At the same time, there will be more centers and leaders in the 21st century, we constantly have to negotiate and establish relationships with each other. Uncontested hegemon will gradually disappear. To understand already just how capable we are of cooperation, it is useful to compare the personal and mutually directed fears of Europeans, Asians, inhabitants of North and South America, the Middle East, and Russia. A multicultural country that finds a way to remove or overcome these fears will be the most attractive to both people and capital. But there will be those who are stuck in their own past. According to Zygmunt Bauman, the author of the term ‘liquid modernity’, the lives of people are defined by five major concepts, which are extremely fluid in their meaning and significance: ‘individuality’, ‘emancipation’, ‘time/space’, ‘community’, and ‘work’. Anyone can analyze how they themselves and those around them are transforming and putting these ideas into reality. If everything seems static, then most likely, it is not the world, but it’s just us in no hurry to change.

Authors & Experts

Oliver Stuenkel
Oliver Stuenkel

Professor of International Relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo

Georgy Toloraya
Georgy Toloraya

Executive Director of the National Committee on BRICS Research, Russia

Ishac Diwan
Ishac Diwan

Affiliate at the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative at Harvard University

Sergey Vasiliev
Sergey Vasiliev

Deputy Chairman of the Board at Vnesheconombank.

Vasily Brovko
Vasily Brovko

Head of Communications, Information, and Research at Rostech Corporation

Andrei Degtyarev
Andrei Degtyarev

Chairman of the Board at Absolut Bank

Jeremy Rifkin
Jeremy Rifkin

President of the TIR Consulting Group

Dmitry Sharonov
Dmitry Sharonov

Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan

Tomas Krieger
Tomas Krieger

Head of Commerzbank in Latin America

Alexander Rost
Alexander Rost

Head of Commerzbank’s business in the Indian subcontinent and in ASEAN countries

Fernando Cruz
Fernando Cruz

Senior Research Analyst, Euromonitor International

Dmitry Rudenko
Dmitry Rudenko

President and Chairman of Post Bank’s Board of Directors

Azat Fazlyev
Azat Fazlyev

Acting President of Bashkortostan’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Vladimir Korovkin
Vladimir Korovkin

Head of the Digital Technologies at the SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies

Bernard-Henri Lévy
Bernard-Henri Lévy

Co-founder of the Nouveaux Philosophes (New Philosophers) movement

Gareth Evans
Gareth Evans

Former Australian Foreign Minister, President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, Member of the Aurora Prize jury

Ekaterina Molchanova
Ekaterina Molchanova

Project Lead at the SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies

Robert J. Shiller
Robert J. Shiller

2013 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University

Ksenia Sosnina
Ksenia Sosnina

CEO of International Paper

Marcos Troyjo
Marcos Troyjo

Director of the BRICLab at Columbia University, where he also teaches international affairs

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