… we need managers and political leaders able to cross frontiers
( “leave no man behind” – motto of the US Rangers)
We start with an example: Afghanistan . A land with a wealth of around 1 trillion dollars in gold, iron, load, zinc, copper.
Let´s me quote General Proteus : “ I am an old economist and at the end of the day this is about progress for the people and giving them the prospect for a much brighter future for them and their families. That ´s what persuades the citizenry to support the government rather then support the Taliban”.
When the conventional foreign aid organizations are not getting the job done is the time for what we could describe as frontier capitalism… and not only in these situations…
The place for adventure venture capitalists.
Conventional ? Frontier ? Adventure ?
I am using such words to describe it and doing it I think to a superlative book wrote by the Yale Professor Nayan Chanda , (Bound Together. How traders, preachers, adventures and warriors shaped globalization).
In Afghanistan all started with an article by Capt. Henry Drummond that in 1841 wrote the 1st western mineral survey of the country. One year later the entire British army but one survivor was massacred at Grandmak.
But to be honest this story started with Alexander the Great and after him Persians, Mongols, Britons, Russians and now Americans.
All of them have been tried to exploit this mineral wealth on a large scale but without success… at least till today.
Americans we told, well it is not exact and this is an example of things work nowadays where blood, expertise and money are always mixed.
This time all started with a meeting in Baghdad at the Baghdad Hunting Club ,one of the main crossroad of the “Great Game 21st century version”. There a brilliant mind from the Pentagon met a former British SAS.
The leader of the project was an English ,a former SAS.
The bank adviser an American top bank.
The supporter the Pentagon.
The money come from German, British and Thai investors.
The Afghan partner is the son of the spiritual leader of the Afghani Ismaili , ( a family of the Shiite belief ), and his brother lead a private army of 12.000 fighters.
And a license…that was waiting since 2008 to become operative.
They achieved what a Chinese company backed by Beijing failed to achieve: to start a gold mine 50 miles away from Kabul.
A story that one day will be part of history and that remembers to us these used by Fernand Braudel .
This is only an example of the energies we need to go ahead from the mood of social apathy ,( to use the Nobel Prize Arias´ s words in the “Cancun speech”),that is frozen our societies like an inner, invisible cancer.
An example and we are not here to tell that we need only former SAS-turned-into managers but ,simply, that we need a special kind of people.
People able to have a special transversal vision ,trans-disciplinary understanding and culturally open minded.
Able to feel at home either in a street and in a executive meeting room.
At the end “simply” people with an embrace of complexity to be able to understand what is complex.
And before of all with ethic and respect.
And ethic and respect mean people that no leave man behind…because that man can be each of us.