Thoughts from Davos

Bill Gates calls for kinder capitalism

In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, [Bill Gates] plans to call for a “creative capitalism” that uses market forces to address poor-country needs that he feels are being ignored.

“We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well,” Mr. Gates will tell world leaders at the forum.

Some lefties may mock this, but many in the business world will listen to and act upon it. And maybe some lives will get better because of it. This is also the best way to work on global warming. Raise the  living standards of the desperately poor so they have the time and energy to think about the environment rather than just surviving.

The Google Foundation initiative on global warming

The key difference between this and the Gore-Bono panel prior to it is that Gore concentrated on the things we must stop doing – as the climate change movement does – while the Google team concentrates on what we can start doing, thanks to technology.

Yes. We’ve had enough doom-mongering. Let’s find solutions instead.

The shadow banking system

Heard on NPR this morning that 60% of the movers and the shakers at Davos believe that central bankers can’t control/manage the global economy anymore. Implication: it’s too big, complex, and fast for these organizations to manage. This is a big shift in thinking that puts them in line with the global guerrilla thinking re: the decline of the nation-state, more frequent black swans, etc.

Don’t forget, black swans can be good too! But the nation-state is in permanent decline. Think networks. Think swarms. Forget centralization, get decentralized instead.