I usually receive questions on how 2011 will be for the planet. There might be different answers but the one that Iwould like to high light is simple and powerful. The following document was published in Newswek special edition for 2011. It was the opening message from Klaus Schwab and Sidney Harman. You might read it below. But for the lazy ones here are my take aways.
-post crisis era
-pay for the sins of the past
-global, national, corporate, personal—as we inch toward recovery? One key factor will be fitness
-collective sacrifices must be made
If ISSUES 2011
To Our Readers
As the world enters 2011, we are adapting to the new reality of the post crisis era. At its root, the crisis was a symptom of a broader dysfunction in our global political, economic, and social order We are now paying, and continue to pay, for the sins of the past.
Governments have assumed massive debts to save the global financial system from total collapse. As a result, countries are now grappling with higher taxes, severe reductions in public goods and services, and dwindling investments in education and infrastructure. Public disillusionment in business and political leadership is dangerously high. Because of our continued tendency to put off problem resolution, to the detriment of our children and grandchildren, we may yet trigger a deep social and generational crisis. All these are the defining features of our new reality.
What will determine our resilience— global, national, corporate, personal—as we inch toward recovery? One key factor will be fitness: that is, our ability to achieve better results with fewer resources. Despite the need to reduce debt, we must recognize that certain public subsidies will indeed ensure a fitter future—such as investments in research and development, education, and infrastructure Other systems, such as social security and health care, will likely have to be reformed in many countries to ensure their viability.
Another crucial goal is fairness. The model here might be the Nordic countries, which faced their own severe financial cri sis in the early 1990s. Countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Finland managed to practice fiscal responsibility and austerity without compromis ing the investments necessary for their long-term prosperity They have made their economies more competitive without giving up security for workers. The Nordic nations have shown how to successfully combine balanced budgets with economic fitness as well as smart, and fair, social policies.
As we continue to deal with the after shocks of the financial crisis, we must be extremely careful to sacrifice neither fitness nor fairness for the sake of short-term goals. This is not an impossible feat. But the speed at which our world now moves—and with which crises can emerge—threatens to overwhelm our capacity to adapt. More than ever, collective sacrifices must be made.