I’ve been having some interesting conversations recently with a company called Red & Yellow Care, which is a new disruptive force in UK health provision. I love disruptive innovation because some markets really need to be shaken up with fresh ways of thinking – and healthcare in the UK is one. There are a lot of gaps in our healthcare system, and not just in the NHS but in the provision of healthcare overall, throughout the UK.
As the Greek crisis continues, so does discussion over the dangers of ‘easy money’ and what happens when you put its power in the wrong hands. Greece may be the most high-profile case of this at the moment, but it’s worth nothing that it is far from the only example.
Foreign development aid is another case to consider, especially in terms of Africa. The continent is more dependent on foreign aid than any other and in most instances has had little choice about whether to accept it or not. A lot of ‘first world’ countries feel that they are helping by throwing money at it, but while it may salve colonial consciences, in truth it works against Africa’s best interests.
Watching things unfold in Greece at the moment, two questions come up for me. Firstly, why do great civilisations deteriorate? And secondly, what is it that really creates a powerful and energetic economy?
One of the ways that getting older impacts, and I have noticed this a lot, is wondering whether you are at the ‘right’ point in your life for your age. People seem to gauge how far they have progressed, whether in their career or in their personal life, through age markers. I see it in my own children as they compare where they’re at with everyone else. Continue reading
Africa is the new frontier in the world, the “untapped market”, with tremendous wealth in the ground. Small wonder that foreigners are exploiting this up and down the continent. West Africa in particular is very exciting in terms of mineral wealth. And it’s also an interesting study in the power of ethical business practices. Continue reading
My wife and I were in Italy recently for a couple of days and during our visit we had some interesting conversations about the current immigration situation there. Italy is on the frontline of the current surge of movement of people from North Africa and the Middle East trying to come to Europe across the Mediterranean – most arriving on its shores after horrendous journeys on crowded boats run by people traffickers.
The European Union encompasses some 500m people, and has wealth, political freedom and stability. OK, it might have deteriorated slightly because of the imposition of monetary union on members when it doesn’t really fit (as American economist, Milton Friedman once said “you cannot have monetary union until you have political union”). But together with the US it is still generally the most developed and prosperous union across the board. And yet we have people coming here who are desperate, and I believe entitled to safe haven, and we are – in the main – refusing them asylum.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. It’s a common phrase I found myself considering recently. Look up its origins and you’ll find it comes from a Medieval Latin saying attributed to St. Ambrose – which literally translates as “if you should be in Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you should be elsewhere, live as they do there.” For me, this proverb carries a lot of weight and wisdom, and deserves reflection, perhaps even more so now in an age of multiculturalism.
Recently, I’ve been thinking – in the light of the recent election – about the difference between what lifts people up and moves them forward and what keeps them stuck in detrimental situations.
Personally, I am relieved that this government has been returned. The path that Labour was pursuing was worrying a lot of the country’s rainmakers. Many I spoke to were getting ready to leave, as the environment proposed to them from a taxation point of view was such a turn off and seemed to penalise the wealthy. When the coalition took over the country at the previous election it was in a perilous state. The only practical solution was to ensure that the UK could borrow more cheaply and to show investors and lenders that it was prudent to lend to us. Continue reading
As someone who has spent much of their life pursuing business goals, I am truly inspired by those who choose to take the creative route. Lorna and I really value art – albeit different types – and enjoy seeing the cultural side of cities, so while we’re in New York visiting Guy, Milou and Ona, we’re going to make the most of all the art galleries and exhibitions here.
There are of course the big three; The Met, the Guggenheim Museum and the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art), but there are also a collection of smaller galleries that I’ve been told are worth a visit.
There’s a real abundance of street artists, performers and pop-up exhibitions in this city; you get the sense that the whole city is a living, breathing museum. Like London, New York has a vibrant, buzzing cultural scene, and there are always new things to go and see, or do. Continue reading