BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.4(8)
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.
All great achievements start with a dream. It is quite natural that 20 to 30 years of unprecedented global economic and political tensions have made us focus all of our attention on the present, while the sheer scale of uncertainty constrains our imaginations. Still, we decided to dream a little – if we were to imagine the BRICS countries in 2030, how would they look?Strategy
The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO is proud to present a special edition of BRICS Business Magazine dedicated to global challenges. The term ‘global challenge’ has become a common buzzword these days. It is used in reference to nearly every issue and current event, from problems like climate change and income inequality to the explosive development of digital technologies and the spread of epidemics. But are these challenges truly global?
The last few decades of globalization and innovation have resulted in the most rapid progress that the world has ever known. Poverty has been reduced, life expectancy has increased, and wealth has been created on a scale that our ancestors could not have imagined. But not all the news is good. Along with these achievements have come complications that now pose a threat.Opinion
Human beings have always lived in groups, and their individual lives have invariably depended on group decisions. But the challenges of group choice can be daunting, particularly given the divergent interests and concerns of the group’s members. So, how should collective decision-making be carried out?Opinion
With the rise of Asian economies and their desire to play a greater role on the world stage, it has been suggested that Africa should choose between keeping its partnerships with the West and embracing new alliances with the East. This is the same false choice that African countries were told that they had to make during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union and the West, led by the United States, competed for exclusive influence across the continent.Opinion
Today BRICS represents a club of emerging powers attempting to increase their political and economic integration in response to new global challenges. The reason this opportunity presented itself to these five countries in particular is because similar institutions are either not fit to tackle today’s global challenges or they do not have the proper resources. The four BRICS development scenarios presented below, which are based on the intensity of their overall political and economic integration, address the scope of their possible development.Strategy
The BRICS countries are likely to be more noteworthy than ever before in 2015. In part, this is due to the scope of joint projects the five countries are taking on, but it is also thanks to the ambitions of BRICS businessmen and politicians. In addition to the heads of state that will be in the public eye this year, BRICS Business Magazine has identified this year’s news making entrepreneurs.People
To respond to challenges in our globalized world, countries should compete less and collaborate more. The Good Country Index (GCI), a recently introduced ranking that measures how each nation on earth is contributing to the common good, put it like this: countries should try to be ‘gooder.’ In an interview with BRICS Business Magazine, Simon Anholt, the author of the GCI and a renowned international policy advisor, explains why he wants to live in a good country and wishes that everybody else did too.Vision
As relations with the West stiffen, Russia is ‘turning to the East’ and pursuing stronger ties with China. Though the political relationship between Moscow and Beijing is better than ever, bilateral economic achievements are not as apparent. This will require a substantial commitment to building mutual trust and cultural understanding that must come from both sides.Cross-cultural communication
The economies of Sub-Saharan Africa have boomed in recent years. But the headline figures often mask longer-term problems – not least, an over-reliance on natural resources and chronic inequalities. Inclusive, sustainable growth is achievable, but only by tapping the continent’s greatest reserve of energy and creativity: African women and girls.Gender inequality
The United States and Europe have grossly overreacted to a few isolated cases of the Ebola virus within their borders. These panicked responses are not just futile. By violating basic scientific principles, they defy the fundamental ethical criterion for compulsory public-health action. And when it comes to protecting citizens from Ebola – not to mention preventing similar global health crises from emerging in the future – these responses may well be counterproductive.Virus
Reports of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa first appeared in February. By late November, the World Health Organization reported that the disease had claimed 5,500 lives and another 15,300 people remained infected. Though the virus has been studied extensively, scientists are still struggling to determine its natural reservoir host and how Ebola originated. These questions, as well as a clear understanding of how the virus affects the human immune system, have become the main obstacles to developing an Ebola vaccine. Nonetheless, the outbreak does not pose a threat to all mankind, not least because of the nature of the virus itself.Virus
Modern day India faces major economic and social problems as a result of a seemingly unstoppable overpopulation problem. The Indian government’s hasty, and at times violent, attempts to limit the birth rate has forced it to adopt a different approach; it has now moved on to a policy of persuasion and ‘small steps’ tactics.Demography
To stimulate economic growth and solve the problems of poverty and social inequality, the BRICS countries need to focus on youth development, specifically intellectual abilities and professional skills. This issue has not been given the priority it deserves at BRICS summits, but it is a matter of great importance.Demography
Head of Mobilium Global Group Ralph Simon believes that we are standing on the threshold of a new era, one in which mobile technology will be present in all aspects of our lives. In an interview with BRICS Business Magazine, this guru of the mobile industry shares his opinions about the future and the role emerging countries will play.Technology
Civilian and military helicopters, Kalashnikov assault rifles, Kamaz trucks that triumphed at the Dakar rally, titanium alloy products, and even the world’s only dual-screen smartphone – these products, and many more, are all manufactured by Russia’s Rostec Corporation or its subsidiaries. Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec, spoke with BRICS Business Magazine about the high-tech industrial solutions that his company and his country could offer its BRICS partners.Technology
Though no Russian companies were included in the latest World Economic Forum ranking of leading innovators, there are still many technological innovations happening on Russian soil. What makes a company a ‘technology pioneer’ and which Russian companies have the potential to be included on the next list?Technology
Moscow is steering its course toward import substitution. Though the process may be fraught with local crises, it should create new opportunities. BRICS Business Magazine asked representatives of Russia’s business community and the government about how the changing circumstances are going to affect the country’s economy and which industries are likely to catch a lucky break.Technology
Zadok Hakim – an engineer, entrepreneur, and JAG Energy CEO – keeps a close eye on the global energy sector. In an interview with BRICS Business Magazine, he talks about the differences between doing business in Latin America, Russia, and Asia and shares his insights into the American oil boom.Energy
Two Russian start-ups – CDNvideo and the Perm Chemical Company – have managed to find a recipe for success that any technological business would be smart to follow. Both of these companies created an innovative product that fills a market niche, got local partners on board, sought venture capital, fine-tuned their marketing models, and continue to improve their technology. As a result, they have made names for themselves in a highly competitive global innovations market.Business