BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.5

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Our civilization has no plans to do away with weapons and money. With this in mind we still place high hopes on ‘soft power,’ which means the ability of any country to convince and attract people and entire institutions by demonstrating that its system is reliable, viable and, most importantly, appealing. In such matters every detail counts. Music, literature, cinema, the standard of living and the way of life, internet accessibility and even approximate ideas as to what future prospects lie ahead – all play an important role.

To convince and attract means to inspire trust. There is no other tool that is more rational than trust – after all, it is capable of bringing down costs in any processes – from business to international relations. However, very few people are able to learn to trust and afford this luxury, which is rather unfortunate. In today’s world trust has truly become one of the most sought-after commodities. Expanding trust and its reach is a key priority, which I am sure can be addressed.

Naturally, the ‘attract – convince – inspire trust’ formula needs to be augmented to include the notion of ‘understanding.’ We need to fully recognize and take account of the difference between ourselves and other people and bear in mind that we think and perceive information in different ways. In any communication there is a risk of pseudo-communication when the difference between the meaning conveyed and the meaning perceived is too great. Many developing nations suffer from this problem to varying degrees.

Therefore, it is not enough to just accumulate soft power with all of its components in the hope that it will work out automatically by itself. One needs to have a long-term plan spelling out how this soft power will be used. This task can be simplified if we comply with the rules of the game that are the same for everyone. Deep down these rules amount to respect and the aforementioned trust. Not everyone seems capable of it – far from it – but each of us needs to strive to respect others while remembering to respect ourselves. The same can be said about trust.

Authors & Experts

Joel Whitaker
Joel Whitaker

Senior Vice President and Global Head of Research at Frontier Strategy Group

Jack A. Goldstone
Jack A. Goldstone

Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, Head of the International Laboratory for Political Demography and Macrosociological Dynamics at Moscow’s RANEPA

Oliver Stuenkel
Oliver Stuenkel

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

Mo Ibrahim
Mo Ibrahim

Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, founder of Celtel

Kristel Van der Elst
Kristel Van der Elst

Head of the World Economic Forum’s Strategic Foresight Team

Artem Konstandyan
Artem Konstandyan

President and Chairman of the Board at Promsvyazbank

Pierre Casse
Pierre Casse

Professor of Leadership at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Shailesh Rao
Shailesh Rao

Director of New Products & Solutions at Google Enterprise, Head of Google’s Cloud Global Business Unit

Maxim Kronhaus
Maxim Kronhaus

Head of the Social Linguistics Centre at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Park Geun-hye
Park Geun-hye

President of the Republic of Korea

Lev Kuznetsov
Lev Kuznetsov

Governor of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region

Jeffrey D. Sachs
Jeffrey D. Sachs

Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University

Marcos Troyjo
Marcos Troyjo

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

Alejandro Aravena
Alejandro Aravena

award-winning Chilean architect

Claire Hsu
Claire Hsu

Co-founder of the Asia Art Archive and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader

Nouriel Roubini
Nouriel Roubini

Chairman of Roubini Global Economics, Professor of Economics and International Business at the Stern School of Business, New York University

Wang Jianlin
Wang Jianlin

Chairman of Dalian Wanda Group

Pankaj Ghemawat
Pankaj Ghemawat

Anselmo Rubiralta Professor of Global Strategy at IESE Business School, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Management at the Stern School of Business, New York University

Rodrigo Canales
Rodrigo Canales

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Yale School of Management

Vladislav Inozemtsev
Vladislav Inozemtsev

Head of the Public Administration Department at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Director of Moscow’s Centre for Post-Industrial Studies

Christopher Hartwell
Christopher Hartwell

Head of Global Markets and Institutional Research, SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies

Jean-Pierre Lehmann
Jean-Pierre Lehmann

Founder of The Evian Group, an international coalition of corporate, government and opinion leaders, and Professor Emeritus of International Political Economy at IMD

Eugene Abov
Eugene Abov

Publisher of Russia Beyond the Headlines

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

Sergey Mitrofanov
Sergey Mitrofanov

Head of the Moscow office of Brandflight, founder of Mitrofanov & Partners

Pushpa Arabindoo
Pushpa Arabindoo

Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory at University College London

Celso Amorim
Celso Amorim

Brazil’s Minister of Defense and former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Michael Spence
Michael Spence

Nobel laureate and William R. Berkley Professor in Economics and Business at the Stern School of Business, New York University

Matthew Ferchen
Matthew Ferchen

Associate Professor at Tsinghua University, Resident Scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

Tao Ran
Tao Ran

Professor in the Department of Economics at the Renmin (People’s) University of China

Thorsten Pattberg
Thorsten Pattberg

German writer, linguist and cultural critic

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