Over the last year, Doing Business on the Earth has touched on a number of topics which some might find unrelated including:
- Electric Cars
- Rare Earth Metals
- The development of the arctic
- China’s environmental situation
- Africa’s environmental and social situation
- Geopolitical developments and tensions between the Unites States, Russia, and China as well as Iraq, Venezuela, Gaza and even Catalan Independence
- Shale Gas and Renewable Energy
- Offshore oil drilling
- The science and politics of sustainability and Climate Change
- The sustainability of the Olympic Games and the World Cup
- The global situation of Food and its link to the environment
- Elections in different parts of the world
- The sustainability of the Mining Industry
- Long term planning
- Authentic Leadership
I have also made posts of a more personal nature when impressed by a course, program or event which have something to do with the intersection of business, the environment, and geopolitics.
The other day someone asked about the link between some of the posts and business itself. For me, the whole point of these blogs is to go beyond the normal short term, narrow focus which passes for strategic thinking in some places and open up to the real issues which will shape the world we will live in and thus create, what my colleague Pankaj Ghemawat calls, the Business Landscape.
World Population has more than doubled in my lifetime and we are witnessing the largest, and fastest rise in global economic wealth literally fueled by relatively cheap and abundant fossil fuels. Business has, over the last fifty years, also been transformed in many ways.
This period, and the one before it has also caused serious harm to the earth itself and will continue to do so even as we start to approach the earth’s carrying capacity and see increasing shortages in key resources such as oil, water, and land. Geopolitical flash points are often deeply linked to these issues and also affect our ability as a global community to deal with them.
Developing business strategy without thinking about such issues is at best naive and certainly foolish.
My hope is that by writing the weekly posts of Doing Business on the Earth, I can call the attention of former students, friends, and interested readers to the aspects of this incredibly complex and evolving story that I think are worth looking at. The idea is to provide a brief synopsis of different issues in 500-600 words and also to provide a series of links for further reading or watching to make it easier for anyone with interest to dig a bit deeper.
As a Professor, one of the best parts of my job is to be able to spend time on whatever topics I find the most interesting. For me, Doing Business on the Earth is another vehicle for creating and disseminating knowledge and the best thing about it is that I am my own editor!
Besides that it gives me something to do on Sunday evenings.