Frank Owarish

Post graduate diploma in International Law and International Relations, Ph.D., International Business, Executive Director, IISRT; former Senior Executive, United Nations

As we watch the news, we have the feeling that the world is getting more complex day by day with the problems becoming harder to deal with (e.g. wars, vagaries of the weather, culture clashes and religious conflicts, refugees and displaced populations). There are bad news and good news but often we get consumed by the bad news with a feeling of pessimism. However there are good news as well (e.g. better ways of producing and preserving food, better medicine, transportation systems, travel opportunities). We do not quite know whether the glass is half empty or half full; it may depend upon where you are standing. We seem to be more reactive than proactive. Is there also a lack of good will; have we given up trying? This research paper will take stock of what is going on in the world today capturing the ‘best of times and the worst of times’. e-Leadership has emerged as a powerful tool fueling countries’ advancement (e.g. South Korea, Singapore) as well as companies’ transformation (e.g. Apple, Amazon). Is there a transformation problematique albeit a failure in our search for specifi c improvement methodologies? While the private sector seems to be en- ergized by innovation, the public sector is not staying behind either and moving ahead as well, at times overshadowed by political rhetoric and posturing. Technology is a crucial factor. When we look at countries, we see that the ‘power shift’ paradigm of Alvin Toffl er has maintained its relevance. While many countries have made the quantum leap forward (e.g. India, South Korea), several are struggling and falling behind beset by many adverse factors. We hear of an area impacted by water shortage. Could we not be proactive rather than reactive? Desalination technology has been around and is being successfully used in many locations; look at the marvel of Israel transforming deserts into fertile farms. Have we lost our abilities to make peace as in several circumstances there seems to be endless wars. Is militarism overshadowing diplomacy? Should not we be strengthening the United Nations and making it better? Should not we be preventing and resolving wars, avoiding major refugee problems as well as large displacement of populations? According to the World Bank we are making progress in dealing with poverty in the world; there is much more that needs to be done. In addition, we do fi nd pockets of poverty in advanced countries with a deepening of the divide between the haves and the have-nots. Special interest groups often use their power to influence the defi nition of common good. Globalism catapulted the world forward after World War 2 and free trade was seen as the way forward. Now it seems as if we want to go back to protectionism. We do have the means of resolving trade disputes. Trade agreements can be reviewed and improved. Let us go forward with a spirit of constructiveness.

This article will serve as an introduction to a book with the same title to be published later this year.