The 20th century challenge was for Scotland to maintain its cultural identity while at the same time cooperating with the four nations of the U.K.. Now the challenge is even greater: to uphold cultural traditions and national identities in a world where there are no such things as nation-only solutions. By answering those who claim that independence can make a difference with policies that show interdependence can make the difference, Scotland can show the way forward by thinking big and not small.
Our elected representatives would rather upset those who come back from the office or the factory than those returning from the supermarket. The person elected chooses to encourage the lowering of product prices because that appeals to the consumer, even though this decrease favors imports and hurts local workers. The elected official chooses to increase taxes on work and to lower taxes on consumption: more income tax and less value added tax.
Globalization has mostly benefited the rich and the rising Asian middle class at the expense of the middle class in the West. The choice would seem either plutocracy and globalization -- or populism and a halt to globalization. Another solution would imply more substantial redistribution policies in the rich world.
A few months ago I was asked by Alin Uhlmann, president of Tasuleasa Social, if I could help Romanian entrepreneurs learn how to present their ideas and accomplishments to international partners and investors. Inspired by my discussion with Mr. Uhlmann, I put together five essential issues that can be helpful in intercultural professional relationships.
Talk these days of the creative economy as soft power and a harbinger of world peace, ignores the huge struggles taking place between Google, Facebook no one hand and Baidu, We Chat, Tencent on the other, pitching the U.S. and China directly against each other in a cold digital war of online platforms, search engines and aggregation algorithms. It is very nice to assert the diversity of cultures in a globalized world. But this diversity is in reality dependent on some very hard issues of finance, intellectual property rights and communications infrastructures.