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Wednesday, July 06, 2016


{**** Long read ****}

Has the world changed more in last 20 years than it changed in previous 20 years? Is the new world after the end of cold war changing much more rapidly compared to the world that was on tight leash by the opposing superpowers? From 1992 to 2012 we definitely have come a long way ahead. One may argue that will always be the case in any 20 years period. Would one say that from 1972 – 1992 world changed much less than it changed from 1992-2012? Or is this question immaterial?

Definitely last twenty years has given us a tremendously fast-paced connected world, some may argue connected dangerously and some may argue pacing dangerously – as some small event in one part may have unprecedented effect on the whole world. The world built on information superstructure that has been in the making for many decades after Second World War, has definitely shaped the world that impacts the whole world in unprecedented ways.

2012 is an Alien Planet for residents of 1992 

Let us assume you are in 1992. You open your eyes and you have come to 2012. What will be the new world that you will experience?
I remember late 1980s and early 1990s students were asked by their parents and teachers to think about their profession in life. Today we hear profession word from the teachers and parents but the students are talking about pursuing their passion not necessarily a defined profession. In 1992 it was all about "competition" - how do I compete? It became "how do I collaborate" - now it is becoming “how we co-create”? In 1992 it was "Me too" today it is "Me only"? One can say Co-create and Me-only how can these two co-exist – this is the beauty of the new world – multiple me-only attitudes can come together to co-create if they seek synergy – there definitely are more conflicts as well. Yet the choices are available to all. In 1992 it was "buying a car" (or buying anything) - it became "selecting a car" today it is "I am demanding my car". In 1992 it was all about "consuming" today it is shifting towards "embracing". In 1992 it was all about "watching from the sidelines" - today it is all about "immersing in the action". In 1992 it was my street today it is my world – the global village.

Suddenly the world is facing a crisis of freedom.

Freedom is needed from old ways and to the surprise of most of us it is available for all of us. The world suddenly has started demanding less control more creation, less management more on-its-own, less of post-facto data analysis, more of empiricism and experimentation, less of hierarchies more of networks, less of pyramidal thinking more of all-inclusive thinking; It’s a tough ask for people who are tuned to last century work ethics - the control freaks need to wake up - world is self-organizing. World wants itself to be free from hierarchy. The death of the organization charts in the enterprises built-in earlier world is imminent if not already buried. Whether the world has flattened on not – jury is still out – but enterprises need to be flattened otherwise they are in for death sentence.
World produce enough food to feed twice the world population and yet almost 1 Billion people are chronically hungry. Can the forces shaping globalization make it happen - the harmonious distribution of food? Can technology help? More than technology, I think it is the people's will to act. Can the powerful shift their focus from summarily starting regime changes in resource rich countries to solving the real problems? We are moving towards a new form and structure of the world and just like no one planned the world after cold-war – the new world cannot be planned by control freaks.

We need to globalize to remove hunger - not to aggravate it.

Amy Chuha in her book “World on Fire” describes "globalization has created a volatile concoction of free markets and democracy that has incited economic devastation, ethnic hatred and genocidal violence throughout the developing world." This is really the other side - the connected in the globalizing world becomes haves and stronger haves, leaving the unconnected as have-nots. This is potentially a dangerous disparity that can kill the very roots of globalization. Borders and cultures still matter greatly. This is the identity that individuals and individual communities want to protect at huge costs. There in lie the nemesis of standardization through technology enabled globalization.
Complexity is the basis and result of Globalization

The first market crash after the word Globalization became a commodity was clear indication of how complex the world that we have has become. Complicated new financial tools outpaced the comprehension of regulators, bankers or customers. In fact, comprehension has gone for a toss – although we are free but we are swamped with unprecedented choices – the explosion of choice is not what human mind is able to absorb easily. This is the danger of complexity. When Globalization is the focus - complexity increases without warning and it engulfs the world in dimensions not even comprehensible. How to design globalization taking care of complexity is what Innovation should be focusing on - therein is the play - the globalization, complexity and innovation as three pronged world dimensions need to be taken care of, simultaneously.

When Doors are opened - Traffic is both ways

When western countries (read US) forced Indian and other Asian economies to open their markets in late 1980s and early 1990s, west believed that they will get large markets for their products as well as cheap labor to work for their leisure and pleasure. They forced economies to open through multiple thrusts and forces that the so called poor protected economies had no means to push back. The poor relented. In 1990s opening of Indian economy by current Prime Minister, who was then finance minister of India was criticized and generated a feeling of fear of new products coming in India thus ending the so called monopoly of existing players in protected economy.
Well, two decades later, the story has been turned on its head. It is the hunter who is feeling hunted now. The Asian industries due to the strong innovation capability in a constrained environment that they are used to, have created a much bigger impact due to spreading globalization - for the simple reason that their people, are more used to ingenuity in adapting to change. And the change is what has exploded due to globalization spread. In the Connected Age, the early adapters will thrive. The era of lazy, leisure seeking, materialistic, automation dependent humans - in any society - either in US, Europe or Asia is ending. We have entered the age of continuous creative work - that will lead to the future - under constraints of living as per existing parameters of consuming natural resources. Some years back an article in New Yorker noticed, “When we persuaded developing countries to open their doors to us, we also opened our doors to them. Now they’re walking through." Well, when doors are opened, traffic is both ways.

Innovation to continuous co-creation – the lenses of 2012

The age of ideas is the new world. Ideas are essential for innovation. There is no other way but to understand that idea will survive and thrive only when attitudes are open and ideas themselves are valued not the source and all the mechanisms of control that our systems have been designed are eliminated in a radical shift towards embracing the self-organizing world and world is embracing the freedom of choice.
World will be integrating across economic, technological, personal, political and social dimensions. This is where globalization anyway is leading us. The waves of change explosions being seen now will take in its stride all forms of controls structures – be it military, intelligence communities – state actors, non-state actors or even terror creating structures. This change will create churn – upheavals that the residents of 1972 or 1992 cannot digest. We are in planet 2012 which is markedly different – fundamentally different than the planet 1972 or planet 1992.

New ideas are needed to solve the new problems. These ideas perhaps need to be applied in new ways may be in new contexts. These ideas are needed as new are seeking new results, new structures, new systems, new ways to understand, new ways to create and may be thrive in the world demands freedom to choose to create the new world. Mankind has survived, thrived and sustained through ingenuity, adaptation and innovation. However, the challenges of the Globalizing Innovation Complexity (GIX) are to be met – if at all we have to meet these – through continuous co-creation. A model of working where minds put together their individual unique capabilities and identities to create a solution that will solve real tough problems that we are going to face in planet 2012.
We have the minds, the models the means – what is needed is a lens to view planet 2012 not from lenses of planet 1992 or planet 1972 but the new lenses that we have. With these lenses, the globalization will lead to changes for making the world a hunger free planet, not exercising military actions or regime changes on some whims of mere thought of nuclear weapons. Hope the residents of 1992 wake up to the planet of 2012 and are given the lenses of planet 2012.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Imploding Pakistan - How will the splinters injure?

Imploding Pakistan – How will the splinters injure?

Alvin Toffler wrote in his bestseller Powershift:Knowledge, Wealth and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century about three forms of power. The power initially was with those who could gather more ability to destroy others through military means, especially in the ancient feudal system.  He then said as industrialization emerged – more flexible form of power in terms of wealth/money – the merchants became more prevalent. Interestingly, money can buy violence. In the “third wave” – the information based world, knowledge became the key ingredient of power. With knowledge one can control and buy money and violence. 

Pakistan and it's ideology of extreme radicalization through religious identity has stayed in the first era and form of power. Power is assumed to lie with ability to inflict violence – as the society continues by- and-large to be feudal. As the capability of violence is curtailed the violence targets are shifted to most unguarded to those that give most terror value. The violence with the terror value based on killing children is inherent in the ideology that Pakistan has built itself on – because the doctrine of feudal scripts on which the religion emerged was based on a single – my way or high way path. Three recent terror incidents in Pakistan have targeted children in school, university and parks. The question being asked now is, “Why have Pakistan’s children come in the line of fire?” (please see the article in Dawn )

Peace pieces in Pakistan
Sometimes back, one of my Facebook friends wrote his recommendations for peace in Pakistan. He lives in US and Pakistan alternatively. His three recommendations are (I am including below the key message)

1. It is about redistribution of resources - A detente of sorts is needed between USA and China that involves Russia as well. The superpowers will fight for redistribution of resources through proxy wars. China needs a corridor through Pakistan to reach middle-east. USA will make it more and more difficult. Till some sort of equilibrium is reached it will not be possible to have peace in Pakistan.
2. It is about redistribution of resources (inside Pakistan). Pakistan is an oligarchy - run by a minuscule coterie of people who have amassed great wealth. A new social contract between the state and the people of Pakistan has to be established. The constitution must be amended to fulfill the basic needs of the people. These amendments must address basic issues like creation of a level playing field and diversion of resources towards education, health and job creation as a top priority.
3. Army and Politicians need a viable formula to run the state. Under ideal conditions, the army must be answerable to the civilian authorities but considering the peculiar circumstances prevailing in Pakistan due to both inner and outer compulsions, Pakistan army has been inextricably involved with managing state affairs.

My response was to add some points to the first three. If we have to imagine “peace” in Pakistan what should be changed was my trigger. I came out with following six to add to his three points.

4. Pakistan will have to wriggle out of being the front end state of superpowers for their "experiments in war". This is easier said than done. The problem lies with "deep state" getting so used to being Frontend state since Zia-Ul-Haq’s time, when USSR came to Afghanistan that it is almost impossible to change, unless the reins that deep state has on everything are shattered. They have become so use to easy money from outside, side business in poppy trade and playing the game of the gun that everything else looks like a joke to them.

5. Pakistan should be very serious about changing its Identity. The country has this "Not India" identity artificially imposed on itself. This has once again to be re-done and embedded at the grassroots level. De-link religion from state. That is easier said than done. As with "religious" identity come the easy money from Saudi and other such religious identities. The natural cultural identity of Pakistan, if I may, was to be "like India" not "Not India". It may look strange now, but Pakistan should work towards harmonization of its natural cultural, social, political and governmental identity as "Like India".

6."Cleansing Pakistan" from its 'deep state" will require "cunning foxes" who can outfox the deep state. These cunning foxes should have a more clear national agenda of connecting Pakistan with the world and its natural identities and eliminating all self-imposed artificial identities fueled by outside powers.

7. If the intentions are clear, comprehensive and complete and above all unambiguous, what I see of India today, Pakistan will find its greatest friend in India. China in becoming a superpower that is copying exactly what the sole superpower did so far is going to use Pakistan on its New Silk Road Strategy like the US "Marshall Plan" - a potential result being subjugation of Pakistan to the Chinese momentum in its superpower design.  On Chinese twin silk roads please look at the article at and scenario that I painted in 2011 which is increasingly becoming plausible now when China will do a friendly takeover of Pakistan (please see

8. Robert Axelrod performed an experiment on a specific game theoretic construct called Prisoner's Dilemma. He called the tournament iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. Playing the tournament many times - the results were published in a book of the same name as well. It is interesting to note that the best strategy in a two person game came out to be "Tit for Tat" (TFT). In the long run of many iterations of the game, it seems TFT lead to evolution of Cooperation. It is evident that the “Deep State” continues to pull up a bogey of Indian Threat to arm itself and keep its "control" fangs on the population – Power through the most basic form as per Toffler, i.e., violence. Unfortunately "NOT India" identity on which Pakistan was created has become so ingrained that discourse is on how to destroy India rather than how to build Pakistan. Pakistan will have to change the discourse by recognizing the "elephant in the room".

9. Pakistan has to get out of the irrational nuclear arms race. Discourse and mindset of India in India has shifted to how to build India for many decades now. However, it is now getting enforced with we have to build India and eliminate all or any forces - outside or inside - which will be interested in destroying India. India has not been built to destroy other nations as you would have seen historically. TFT was not used by India for last 40 years or so. However, as we start TFT now, there seems to be jitters in "deep state". How many nuclear bombs are needed has been a remarkable evolutionary spiral of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine till the cold-war superpowers realized the futility of prisoner’s dilemma. Still the relics continue to hold on to huge number of nukes. Pakistan Nuke status was known since 1980s - to make it overt and show the hypocrisy of US and China to being blind to Pak nukes - the Indian nuke tests were conducted in 1998. More nukes that Pakistan makes or more nukes the world has more chances of them escaping to the wrong hands and evil minds (Please see how much risk is increased with every new nuclear weapon Pakistan builds HERE

Hope Pakistani rationality helps to remove the cobwebs of hatred on which Pakistani identity was created, given new fire in 1971 and simmered through Zia Ul Haq's radical Islamification  of Pakistan which gives Kargil adventures of 1999 and series of attacks including 2003 Parliament attack and 2008 Mumbai attack. Hope there are more people to counter the discourse perpetuated by the deep state.

Peace in Pakistan looks a distant dream today, however, as my facebook friend did, there is no harm in imagining it. Hope our dreams of a peaceful world become true. Indeed, that’s what dreams are about – hope!

One of my friends wrote on facebook in response to my 9 points peace pieces in Pakistan, and I quote,

“Tomorrow must never die. Pakistan is a feudal setup even after 68 years. There are 25 feudal families controlling this country. Now ethnic cleansing has started. Is another Bangladesh situation at hand? I fear yes. The Chinese are using this country as a laboratory to test their weapons. NATO has enough on its plate in Europe. India is combining with Iran to bring peace in West Asia, with a new Economic plan. Russia agrees wholeheartedly with this approach to peace. Pakistan is now getting isolated. Will it last?”

What Pakistan will need to escape Implosion?
From the above, it is increasingly becoming clear that a nuclear Pakistan is going to implode if it doesn’t change its path. To change, Pakistan needs an Anti-Zia-ul-haq dictator now. Else the Islamic forces that he had unleashed and uncorked in Pakistan with Saudi petro-dollars, US support as “front-end state” and Chinese military and nuclear hardware, are going to destruct Pakistan into an unimaginable disaster whose reactions and waves are going to hit India and the world in multiple dimensions in much more severity than what is being experienced now. India need to be extremely careful with these mismatching power shifts where violence, money and knowledge are getting entangled in the quest for power by great powers. 

A society that has started feeding its own children as terror value is asking “Why have Pakistan’s children come in the line of fire?”  If the world doesn’t do something soon, it will not be too late before we will be asking “Why our Children are being exploded in parks?” – Because the basic form of Tofflerian power is in the glee that violence provides to the eyes of the fanatics.

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