Entrepreneurialism has become cool. Victor Hugo once remarked: “You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.” Today entrepreneurship is such an idea. The triumph of entrepreneurship is driven by profound technological change. A trio of inventions—the personal computer, the mobile phone and the internet—is democratising entrepreneurship at a cracking pace. Today even cash-strapped innovators can reach markets that were once the prerogative of giant organisations. An activity that was once regarded as peripheral, perhaps even reprehensible, has become cool, celebrated by politicians and embraced by the rising generation.
A half-century after the Lhasa uprising, it’s time for China to learn from its past mistakes. China has little to lose and much to gain from engaging in serious talks. The Dalai Lama alone is capable of uniting Tibetans behind an agreement with the Chinese government, and at 73, may not be around much longer to seal a deal. China may think that it can hold on until he passes. But the Dalai Lama is the voice of moderation, while the younger generation is pushing for independence and a more radical approach.
Contrary to Chinese propaganda, Tibet was not traditionally a part of China. Over the centuries, relations between China and Tibet were characterized by varying degrees of association spanning the spectrum from sovereignty to suzerainty to independence. The People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet in the middle of the last century precisely because Tibetans did not consent to Beijing’s rule.
Governments around the world are grappling with some of the toughest decisions faced in generations. In severe recession, they are collectively considering as much as $4,500bn (€3,600bn, £3,200bn) in stimulus investments.
US economic, military and political dominance is likely to decline over the next two decades, according to a new US intelligence report on global trends. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) predicts China, India and Russia will increasingly challenge US influence.
While many of the world’s best business brains are exercising themselves over the current global banking and equities crisis, there is another issue which has the potential to dominate our lives far more in the longer term — energy.