BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.4(8)

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The world stands on a threshold – but of what? According to newspapers, on the threshold of drastic change. Alarmist headlines are all too familiar to us, and often seem like a good reason not to do or think about anything. Often and everywhere, we reiterate the universal significance of any given task. We sometimes declare that we are already working on it. For example, we try to prevent catastrophes in whatever form they may take – the dramatic growth of religious extremism spurred on by poverty, military conflicts seeping in from regional borders, a scarcity of water and energy, or the wanton pollution of our air and soil.

But words rarely reach minds. We think that a universal problem means that it is no one’s problem. It is easy to forget that great oaks grow from little acorns. The absence of an oak tree for a century is significant, but it is only grasped by those with highly-developed abstract thinking skills, which are sometimes lacking among today’s problem-solvers. Foreseeing changes and recognizing that the future does not have to be better than the present is just the beginning. The next step is to realize that you may not see the results of your efforts, but the following generation will.

Given such horizons, questions become somewhat ephemeral, and investing one’s energy becomes difficult. It helps to consider the world’s greatest challenges: politicians hampered by inbuilt priorities of national interests, tough but not always honest competition, simple mistrust, and rising costs. All of this is plain to see even amongst countries that consider themselves to be natural partners.

Yet for all these challenges, I believe that the word ‘collaboration’ will largely define the 21st century. If we seek past experiences to rely upon, the best examples are scientific and quasiscientific projects that did not hold any immediate benefit: the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the International Space Station, or CERN. The rewards of such projects, although perhaps not felt instantaneously, are spreading to everyone on Earth. It is of greatest importance are the ability to work for the long term, have a jeweler’s precision, agree on all actions, and commit to a goal which, upon first glance, is entirely impractical. Yet this is the only way to change the world for the better.

Authors & Experts

Mahamoud Ali Youssouf
Mahamoud Ali Youssouf

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Djibouti

Arsen Gasparyan
Arsen Gasparyan

Director of the US Bureau of Barcelona-based Esproenko

Erwin Arrieta-Valera
Erwin Arrieta-Valera

Former Minister of Mines and Energy of Venezuela

Vladimir Yashin
Vladimir Yashin

First Deputy Chairman of the Board at Promsvyazbank

Ian Goldin
Ian Goldin

Director of the Oxford Martin School, Professor of Globalization and Development at the University of Oxford

Zadok Hakim
Zadok Hakim

Chairman of the Board at JAG Energy

Sergey Chemezov
Sergey Chemezov

CEO of Rostec

Joe Watt
Joe Watt

Chairman of the Management Committee and Managing Partner, EY, CIS

Mukesh Eswaran
Mukesh Eswaran

Professor of Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia, Canada

Sirjjan Preet
Sirjjan Preet

Research Consultant at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)

Simon Anholt
Simon Anholt

independent policy advisor on strategies, author of the Nation Brands Index, winner of the 2009 Nobels Colloquia Prize for Leadership on Business and Economic Thinking

Mikhail Supotnitskiy
Mikhail Supotnitskiy

Deputy Director of the Russian Ministry of Health’s Centre for Planning and Coordination of Scientific Research

Andrei Degtyarev
Andrei Degtyarev

Chairman of the Board at Absolut Bank

Alexander Shokhin
Alexander Shokhin

President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

Alexei Rakhmanov
Alexei Rakhmanov

President, United Shipbuilding Corporation

Denis Manturov
Denis Manturov

RF Minister of Industry and Trade

Natalya Kasperskaya
Natalya Kasperskaya

CEO, InfoWatch Group

Sergey Andreyev
Sergey Andreyev

CEO and President, ABBYY

Amartya Sen
Amartya Sen

Nobel Prize-winning economist

Ralph Simon
Ralph Simon

Head of the Mobilium Advisory group

Alexei Nesterov
Alexei Nesterov

Director General at Perm Chemical Company

Yaroslav Gorodetsky
Yaroslav Gorodetsky

CEO of CDNvideo

Dr. Andrey Shapenko
Dr. Andrey Shapenko

Project Leader at the Institute for Emerging Markets Studies at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Bulat Nureyev
Bulat Nureyev

Deputy Director at the Institute for Emerging Markets Studies at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Vladimir Korovkin
Vladimir Korovkin

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

Dmitry Ontoev
Dmitry Ontoev

Analyst at the Institute for Emerging Markets Studies at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

José Mujica
José Mujica

President of Uruguay

Joaquim Chissano
Joaquim Chissano

Former President of Mozambique

Charles Wyplosz
Charles Wyplosz

Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva

Andrei Sharonov
Andrei Sharonov

Dean of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Moscow city’s Mayor Advisor

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