A couple of weeks back the World Bank announced that the world had more people in poverty than ever before, stating that 1 in 4 are in poverty. This ticker bar of information flowed under the anchor woman who handed over to a journalist at the Democratic convention. People behind her stood side-by-side as their expectations for change from the Obama campaign grew. They had just heard Hilary Clinton formally announce the latter as the official candidate – Wow! Is change really coming.
Then the other night I watched a recording of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games 2008. Apart from my continued disbelieve that China ‘got the games’ in the first place, it emerged that apparently the Chinese have spent £20B, constructing venues that extends over 74 Hectares. Interestingly, currently the 2012 hosts, London, have revised their budget from £2B to £9B. The London site is expected to cost £10B use 20+ Hectares.
The Olympics are also interesting from a perspective of bringing the world together. In one way they suggest that humanity can come together and celebrate ‘the importance of taking part’. Yet, it is this very notion that is exposed, for example, with rich nations having big teams and country commentators obsessing over nationalism. Its always annoying when sports commentators never mention the achievement of other nations in enough detail. In a way the latter is an example of what we all adhere to day in and day out. We look at our own achievements and do not consider the opportunity to help or encourage others.
In recent days Billions of Dollars (the rescue deal will cost US tax payers $12 Billion) has been allocated by the US government to prop up The Federal National Mortgage Association and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Between these two organizations they hold $5.3 trillion Dollars worth of mortgages.
In summary, there is a lot of money at stake and one could argue that that securing one economy safe guards the global economy (just look at the ripple effect of the credit crunch). However, we seem to be missing an opportunity to change the way the economy could work for the betterment of all.
Harmonization is a word that is not used enough. For example, looking at development opportunities not based on short-term returns or to sell Western based product. For example, if in the West manufacturing is decline together with a rise in service sectors, could there not be a commercial equivalent of the Peace Corps? Do we not owe it to our current and future generations to eradicate Poverty? Can we not get a stronger set of United Nations forces to implement anti-genocide regimes.
Can’t Bankers and Accountants be more creative? Can we not twin company’s the same way that towns twin each other?
As consumers can we not demand greater ethics in food and clothing production? Corporate responsibility is being ignored. Can we not remove distance between the very rich and poor? Can we not think before we spend our money on lavish events.- or – simply link the Olympics to an opportunity to drive change.
If this could happen I’m confident that future Olympic team sizes will change.