Archive for the ‘Globalization & International Trade’ Category


By Professor Ibrahim Al-Marashi

The contents revealed in October 2010 from an archive of secrets US military documents from Iraq are astonishing, but civilian deaths, the use of torture, and Iranian involvement in Iraq have already been covered by journalists, many of whom lost their lives in that country to make such news public. Rather it is the process of how these documents became public that heralds a new age in the flow of information. 

 One of the aspects of globalization is the technological revolution in communications which obliterates time and space, and aggravates the ability of the state to control information within its border or globally.  Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the independent organization WikiLeaks, used Sweden as a base, in addition to a network of servers around the world to instantaneously release these documents to a global audience.  In this case, the American superpower was unable to prevent this super-empowered Australian from releasing the documents.  Nevertheless, the globalization of intelligence does not mean that the state is irrelevant.  Assange lived in Sweden due to its broad press freedoms but was denied a residence permit and has joined the ranks of global nomads.

 I have personally experienced this phenomenon of the globalization of intelligence.  When the academic Glen Rangwala of Cambridge University noticed that a British intelligence dossier he found off the Internet was similar to an article that I had written on Iraq that was also published on the Internet, he was able to send me an email from the UK which I read in California in the early morning.  A couple of seconds later, I was able to respond that I had no role in the drafting of the UK intelligence dossier.  An announcement on Rangwala’s website, and a couple of further emails led to the story breaking on London’s Channel 4 news, becoming headlines in countries ranging from South Africa to India.  All of this happened within 24 hours.  Read more…

by Gaudenz Assenza (Professor at IE School of Arts and Humanities)

For many years, our economic system rewarded those who said, “I want, give me” while ignoring others who practiced the idea “I have, let’s share”. But with the economic crisis, the momentum of self-interest has begun to wear out. Greed, frivolity and hedonism are increasingly out of fashion. Instead, more people are rediscovering the beauty of slowness, enjoying family, friends, hobbies, spending time in nature — all those things that are neglected when work is the priority. The slowdown was not just about the economy; it reflected a broader shift in values. Realizing that life has more to offer than a fat bank account, fewer people are willing to work 12 or 16 hours a day in the pursuit of a career.

If we look underneath the recent hype and anxiety, the message of the crisis is clear: slow down, reflect and reconnect with who you truly are and what you really want to do. If we disregard these signals — if instead of slowing down we try to accelerate — we do so at the risk of a more drastic slowdown in the future. If we decide we want more of the same, we may get it at the cost of sacrificing our health and our relationships. Phenomena such as burnout, depression and nervous breakdown are not confined to people on the fast track. But if those on the fast track change their ways, they help themselves and others who are dependent on them.

Wise business leaders do not pressure subordinates to accelerate; they form environments where people can thrive and be creative. Instead of installing more controls in an attempt to speed up and achieve unrealistic profit targets, leaders can focus their ingenuity on ways of releasing the power of free will and self determination. If leaders do not learn fast, subordinates may fail to respond, numbed by the proliferation of incentives and punishments imposed from above. Efforts of performance maximization and crowd control are losing their edge. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Speed is irrelevant if you are moving in the wrong direction.”

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