Archive for the Economics Category

#worldview_prologue

Posted in #worldview, Advertising, Brand, Culture, Digital, Economics, Inspirational People, Marketing, Social Media, Technology, Travel on 22/04/2009 by nicka77

It is now less than 24 hours before I get on a flight to Mumbai, and begin what promises to be the adventure of a lifetime.

After some last minute technical emergencies with the mac, I think I’m finally ready to leave sunny London to embark on an adventure that will take in India, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Brazil. 

The trip could take anywhere between 3 and 12 months, depending on a variety of factors – but the main aim from my perspective is to get out there, have fun, immerse myself in alien cultures, and have a phenomenal life-changing experience.

But it’s not all about play (although there’ll be plenty) – there is a business angle to this trip as well.

I’ll be meeting a wide variety of people from the world of advertising and marketing, asking for their opinions and perspectives on some of the big questions facing the industry today. It seems like an apt time to be undertaking this type of project, with the twin towers of technological innovation and global recession combining to create an era of unprecedented change.

The blog you are reading now will predominantly be for my personal experiences of the trip, and there will be plenty of photos, videos and anecdotes from my journey. I’ll also be on twitter (@nicka77 or search #worldview), and will be geo-tagging photos and videos on my flickrstream as I go.

The opinion pieces on how the industry is changing will be featured on campaignlive.com, and the idea for the #worldview project is to explore the global themes i am focusing on through a plethora of local and regional lenses.

Although Mumbai is the first stop on the world tour, in reality the #worldview project started a couple of weeks ago when I went to New York.

I was able to discuss how advertising and marketing is changing both globally and within America with Bob Greenberg & Chris Colborn at R/GA, Bob Jeffrey at JWT, and Mark Wnek at Lowe. The guys gave me some fantastic insights, and I’ll be talking about the conversations we had over the coming weeks and months, comparing and contrasting their perspectives on the industry with opinions from the countries I’ll be visiting.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve also spoken to a number of people in London to get some great (and varied) perspectives on the shape of the industry, both in the UK and worldwide. Again, i’ll be referencing those discussions in forthcoming posts.

I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to everyone who has found the time to talk to me so far, and who has helped to kick start the project in its embryonic stage. 

Now the project is about to begin for real.

I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do.

N

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G20 summit

Posted in Economics on 31/03/2009 by nicka77

As we all know, this economic summit is taking place at a time of unprecedented economic turmoil, and it’s critical that actionable solutions are agreed and pushed forward by the countries taking part.

Although I agree with the fact that people should be able to protest, and indeed should protest when they believe in something, I do hope that these protests are peaceful and there is no action taken that will hinder the G20 from fulfilling its ambition to stem this downturn and return the global economy to growth.

Given the fact that market forces are powerful and unstoppable, however, I do have grave doubts that any Government or group of politicians actually has the power to stop this runaway train from continuing along the path it has set, and crashing headlong into the barriers.

However, what this group of politicians do need to do is understand what is within their power, and to ensure that they 1. don’t allow such extreme risk-taking and short-termism to permeate the culture and everyday workings of the banking system moving forward, and 2. ensure that  a more liberal form of pure-market capitalism is developed to ensure greater equality of wealth between developed and emerging markets.

The first point – to eradicate the culture of extreme risk taking – is simple enough if stringent regulations are put in place at both a national and international level to ensure that investment bankers, hedge funds, currency speculators et al are not able to destabilse the system or certain institutions by shorting them, making runs on them, or betting against them within relatively miniscule time-frames.

The second point – to create a more liberal form of capitalism – is a harder task but one that must be aggressively pursued. Although I don’t agree with Sarkozy’s stance of walking out of the G20 summit if he doesn’t achieve his aim of a global financial regulator, he does have a point. That is to say that some form of supra-national system needs to be imposed by every national Government to create a co-ordinated approach to delivering tangible, sustainable systems through which to assist and support developing economies.

One notion that I have believed in for a very long time is to create a sliding-scale tax on all corporate profits in every developed country, where the monies are distributed to developing markets to aid state infrastructure and local industry. This would redress the imbalance of the structures set in place by the IMF and World Bank over the last 20-30 years. Of course this doesn’t address the issue of corrupt governance in developing markets, but that is another topic for another time.

This idea may be overly simplistic, but now that the banks are being part-nationalised, and may need to become wholly state owned for a period to save the financial system, this is an unprecedented opportunity for liberal leaders such as Obama, Brown & Sarkozy to impose developmentalist ideologies to any future credit arrangements between banks and the corporate sector. These developmentalist ideologies should also include clauses relating to the environment regarding targets for carbon emissions and climate change.

Again, my knowledge of the intricacies of global finance and high level politics is sketchy at best, but it seems to me that we have reached a watershed in the evolution of the global economy, where un-fettered profits in the developed world to the detriment of huge swathes of the global population will no longer be tolerated. 

The time for action is upon us, and the G20 summit is the best chance we have had in decades for achieving real change.