The Economist’s “China’s leader Xi Jinping declares the start of a ‘new era’” neatly captures the ambition of the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress held this week: “revise the party’s constitution, reshuffle the leadership and set the tone for policymaking in the next five years”. The ‘new era’ is one where China becomes a “great modern socialist country” by mid-century. I found Bill Bishop’s “19th Party Congress Work Report” [shared by Guy Taylor and which just added a paywall] very useful in pulling together articles from diverse sources and structuring some of the key take-aways. They include the positioning of Xi Jinping in the legacy of Chinese leaders, the characteristics of the “new era”, the strategic opportunity for China to “take center stage in the world”, the clearly articulated leadership on climate change, and the strengthened role of state enterprises. All of which very relevant to our work either directly or indirectly (through South-South and regional/international organizations).
I recently suggested to a young female professional who introduced herself as “just an intern” to consider introducing herself as a “reverse mentor” instead. That was based on the fact that pretty much every millennial who has been in my team has opened my horizons. And as Kevin Roose reports in his “Executive mentors needed. Only millennials need apply”, reverse mentoring schemes are trending in many industries. As an organization servicing the young, shouldn’t we formally develop such as system?
My graph this week if from IFPRI’s “2017 Global hunger index”. While broad numbers are positive, the index report presents important inequalities between and within countries, illustrated below for child stunting rates. It also argues that 52 out of 119 countries for which data are available, are in serious risk of hunger or alarming states of hunger. Together with FAO’s “2017 State of food security and nutrition in the world” showing that the absolute number of hungry people rose in 2016, it rings the alarm bell on a possible reversal of long term (taken for granted) trends.
My quote this week is from Muhammad Ali’s 1971 Parkinson interview: “When one man of popularity can let the world know the problem, he might lose a few dollars telling the truth, he might lose his life but he is helping millions. But if I keep my mouth shut just because I can make millions this isn’t doing nothing.”