BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.3(11)
We all have no time to live and we want changes. We are continuously dissatisfied with something. We have goals, and we need them to be achieved no later than tomorrow. We are not ready to wait; patience is no longer among our virtues. Any long chain of transformations causes us frustration and disappointment, since ready examples will always be found, in the East or in the West, of how it should and has to be. Such impatience is seen everywhere, although, perhaps, more often in rich countries and less often in poor ones. On the one hand, this contains a genuine surge, while on the other, it entails preoccupation with results.
In order to part with this obsession, it bears thinking about the process. Without it (built carefully and for the long term), the result proves to be so expensive or far from the initial intent that its economic, technological, social, or humanitarian purpose is changed. This fully pertains to any innovative goal – from launching a first of its kind space radio telescope to building the world’s best business school in Russia, in spite of widespread disbelief.
Committing oneself to run a long distance requires not only endurance, but also bravery. Results will be demanded from you too early, beyond any doubt. And it will be incredibly difficult not to lower the distance. Who would have vouched for Singapore during the first 10 years after it gained independence? What should be said about the results of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, which recently celebrated its ninth anniversary? They could be listed right now, although the success or failure of any large-scale project can only be judged in a 25-year horizon. In science, the path to acquiring truly new knowledge, toppling traditional notions, can take 50 years or more. Nevertheless, this is no reason to abandon your goals and betray your dream. Ultimately, the evolutionary model, as history shows, is the most effective, even at the scale of human life, since it allows the interests of all societal groups to be reconciled. But only if goal-setting is combined with consistency and the resolve not to abandon the chosen path.
Though Russia was on the way to becoming a global superpower once again, it now looks to be heading toward prolonged economic stagnation. The best bet for Russia is to avoid political and military confrontation with the West, and instead focus on developing a modern economy based on advanced technology and talent. Russia should change its current course before its resources are exhausted and it goes the way of the Soviet Union.Opinion
With Brazil’s economic problems deepening and its prospects looking increasingly gloomy, it is high time for President Dilma Rousseff to draft a new agenda of comprehensive reforms – just as ex-president Lula did when he took office in 2003. If Brazil is to overcome its current problems, change must happen at the economic level as well as the political.Opinion
The entrenched understanding of humanities as an endless and often recursive commentary on life or as a way of structuring historical, social, and cultural processes often hinders the humanitarians themselves. The productivity of their work and their ability to disseminate their ideas would expand if they were to change some basic premises and alter their views of familiar things.Opinion
Medievalist, novelist, and renowned public intellectual, Umberto Eco’s most recent novel Numero Zero will be published in English in November 2015. A regular contributor to Italy’s L’Espresso magazine and La Repubblica newspaper, his new work of fiction delves into the mass media’s truths and lies.Opinion
Sustainable development is built on small efforts that address individual people’s day-to-day problems. This is the conclusion that was reached by 75-year-old Muhammad Yunus, an economist and banker from Bangladesh. He won the Nobel Prize for his achievements in combatting poverty, on a nearly 40-year journey that took him from microfinance to social business.Strategy
Governments no longer hold a monopoly on space travel. What was once exclusively a military and scientific concern has long since turned into a significant and fast-growing commercial market with a turnover estimated at nearly a third of a trillion dollars each year. Of these, more than $100 billion are the profits of space communication service providers, while $50 billion and $10 billion are spent on ground equipment supplies and satellites, respectively.Space
The Indian government is losing its monopoly on space travel. Several start-ups, which have mastered the production of inexpensive but functional equipment, are ready to carve out their place in the space exploration services market, and eventually to repeat the international success of India’s offshore programming.Space
Nikolai Kardashev – one of Russia’s best known international astrophysicists – initiated a mega-ambitious project to deploy interferometers both on Earth and in space with the super long Radioastron and Millimetron bases. Radioastron, also known as Spektr-R, has already been in orbit for four years. But Kardashev, a member of the Russian Academy of Science and Director of the Russian Academy of Science Institute of Physics, has earned even greater fame for his efforts to find traces of extra-terrestrial life forms, black holes, and wormholes.Space
We already have an efficient energy source that is both safe and abundant: nuclear fusion. But harnessing this energy source requires temperatures 10 times hotter than the sun. Though such a feat may seem impossible, scientists are actually quite close to making this idea a reality.Energy
Russia accounts for one fifth of the world’s forests, yet instead of cultivating these resources, the country is subject to deforestation. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of unprocessed timber, but there isn’t a single Russian company among the world’s 100 largest paper mills. It is the only BRICS member that is completely absent from that ranking. Russia is falling short because of a lack of large-scale sustainable forest management practices – but the situation is gradually starting to change.Business
Children from countries suffering from devastating crises and conflicts appreciate quality schooling more than anyone else, but it is virtually unavailable to them. The world urgently needs to develop an educational assistance program for these children if we do not want to be faced with a lost generation a couple of decades from now.Education
Quality education is by no means a guarantee of a nation’s future economic success. There is a great deal of real-world evidence attesting to this fact. Furthermore, if a country relies solely on improving education, it runs the risk of leaving behind the lion’s share of its active population.Education
Russia is in the grip of a push for urbanism that has spawned many ideas and projects to improve its cities. However, the most prominent of them are merely imitative in nature, failing to change long-established approaches to the transformation of the urban environment in the interests of the wider public. At the same time, the country is still waiting to nurture a new generation of professional urbanists who can offer intelligent and systemic solutions to urban problems, as well as officials and a civil society that can stimulate demand for a new look at urban development.Urbanism