Don’t listen to her. She’s only a child!

I stumbled upon this video that made me numb and hopeful at the same time.

Severn Suzuki addresses the UN conference on Environment 1992 at Rio on behalf ECO  (Environmental Childrens Organisation) run by a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds. She must have turned 33 this year. 2 decades and 1 year on, we’ve only plundered more.

When will we STOP!!?

Her morality accuses our ethics.

Did you hear the anger, the angst and the anxiousness? Did you hear her plead for us to stop plundering the planet? Did you hear her cry for justice and for a safe future for her children? If you didn’t, hit the play button again. And again … and again, till you do.

Amen.

Of Godmen & GUIs

The ‘Fast-unto-death’ theatrics of the past few weeks, allegedly (sic.) in a fight against corruption in India, have urged me to finally bring this article out of my closet. I wrote it fifteen years ago, almost to the day, for frogdesign‘s rana#3, a brilliant in-house publication that they shelved inexplicably. 

Godmen were around those days too, (their business model hasn’t changed) snaring people into their spiritual concoctions and exploiting India’s superstitious side. GUI was a term almost nobody had heard then. We in India still speak out the letters, not ‘gooey’ like the rest of the world does. Read it, like it, hate it, keep it, share it. Here goes …

India, at the end of History …

… is mystical and hi-tech.  Impoverished and affluent. A billion-strong society in a pulsating state of chaotic equilibrium. Cows and cars share city streets.  Superstitions abound and Godmen flourish.  We will show our palms to people who promise a peek at our destiny, or say they can chant away a terminal disease. We have much to learn, but the world can learn a great deal from us …  Continue reading

Innovation 101 – Rethinking Poverty: Affluence is not a prerequisite for creativity

“The minds on the margin are not marginal minds”. The most powerful statement I have heard in a long time. I urge everyone to watch this no-holds-barred TED video (opens in a new window) where Professor Anil Gupta, founder of the Honeybee Network makes point after point about grassroots innovation and how our great need for one-size-fits-all business models fall miserably short of what is needed.

Professor Anil Gupta, Founder - Honeybee Network

In his own words, here is how he started Honeybee

And one day — I don’t know what happened — while coming back from the office towards home, maybe I saw a honey bee, or it occurred to my mind, that if I could be like the honey bee, life would be wonderful. What the honey bee does: it pollinates, takes nectar from the flower, pollinates another flower, cross-pollinates. And when it takes the nectar, the flowers don’t feel shortchanged. In fact, they invite the honey bees through their colors. And the bees don’t keep all the honey for themselves. These are the three guiding principles of the Honey Bee Network — that whenever we learn something from people it must be shared with them in their language. They must not remain anonymous.

“They must not remain anonymous.” If you listen to the ‘silent’ pieces of his talk you hear frustration, helplessness, trauma, longing and urgency in equal measure. He espouses a fairness test that he first applies to himself before he preaches.

Professor Gupta, may your tribe increase!

Climate Change Bollywood ishtyle

Kyoto Protocol

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s use the standard Hindi movie formula of circa 1980 to script our earth’s climate story. Enter Superstar  US. The virtuous, street smart, Robin Hood inspired protagonist of our story, replete with his coterie of jazz dancers. And then there’s the poor guy, India. Always trying to emulate the “hero” and competing with him for the “herione’s” attention in college settings. Let’s throw in some masala – subplots, love triangles and the very popular song and dance sequences – with the extras doing their own thing while they dance in the third row.

Quick Gun Murugan

Now compare this with whatever we’ve been seeing in the Climate Change discussions. See the script accurately playing itself out? (Nobody seems to want to ask mother Earth for her point of view). Call it clairvoyance or just plain sensitivity, some of us have been seeing it coming since the mid nineties. Even we couldn’t have guessed the speed of deterioration, although fully knowing the bounty hunter tendencies of the US, we should have been able to. Easily. Shame on us!

Some simple facts from Prem Shankar Jha’s Tehelka article, An Earth On Edge.

1. Till as recently as five years ago, abrupt climate change was on the unthinkable fringe of possibilities predicted by climate scientists. In March 2009, 2,500 scientists from 80 countries assembled at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen. The congress concluded that the findings of the IPCC were out of date. The evidence collected since its fourth report was compiled showed that global warming was ceasing to be human-induced and was becoming self-reinforcing. Continue reading

A Matter Of Trust

Arun Maira’s dissection of the current economic world state and a clear message to focus on sustainable strategies based on ethical values.

Like Arjun on the battlefield at Kurukshetra who asked Krishna a moral question, not advice on how to fight the battle, business leaders fighting the recession must also ask what they must change in their approach to business to regain society’s trust if they want more freedom in future. Therefore, corporate boards should introspect from time to time about the values that guide their decisions.

via TOP ARTICLE | A Matter Of Trust-Editorial-Opinion-The Times of India.