Beijing Talk

To start with an extract from the Stanley Kubrick film 2001 space odyssey may seem a little remote from the topic but hopefully the analogy will be understood…..In the final scenes of the film there is an old man in a large sterile bedroom appearing to be on the edge of death….no friends, no medical staff…..nobody, it evokes a sense of reflection and of inevitability.

I have through the years held this image in my mind and often thought about the significance of this scene….it has led to my conclusions that no amount of money, or houses, or wine cellars or….. are the things we think about in these final moments. What we think about are the things we did, not the things we have, the people we knew, the places we went, the good influences on other people, and sometimes the not so good. This for me all results in a choice of two phrases: I wish I had or, I’m glad I did.

Moving to china has been my third life experience. I have the opportunity to share my world experience with a new culture that is on the brink of major challenges daily.  Socially, politically and environmentally the range and dimension of these challenges is breathtaking and I feel privileged to be able to be a part of this dynamic but potentially fragile transition from a feudal society to a world leader in such short time. It is this transition period which gives china the opportunity to express in the future the same two phrases I defined from the film. ‘I wish we had’ or ‘I’m glad we did’.

The issues of green practice and economies are this opportunity. The green expectation of consumers in the west is increasingly, and with great momentum, determining the purchases made by these communities. The design features of similar technologies, materials and processes have been the choice factor for many years but now increasing numbers of people all over the world are beginning to re-evaluate the criteria for those choices. They see need to practice not just talk about the green issues. This translates into business at all levels and into all economies a need to address a consumer led revolution towards a safer and more considerate way of life for themselves and most importantly for the future, their children.

The economic crisis in the west caused a downturn in spending in most sectors. This brake on the economies of the west has also given people time to think about issues beyond themselves and has resulted in some remarkable examples of re thinking business practice. Their philosophy being to run business for other ……not to maximize and therefore potentially collapse a major biz like GM motors is a good example of dominance having the ability to become the next victim.

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