Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Intense Global Transformation

The world according to Javier Solana and after the United States presidential election.

The World After November

Information on Javier Solana:
Javier Solana was Foreign Minister of Spain, Secretary-General of NATO, and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. He is currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why We Need Global Entrepreneurs

Members of the World Entrepreneurship Forum -- one of the most influential global networks of business owners, social entrepreneurs and industry experts -- share their advice on which countries are the most entrepreneurial friendly around the globe, and which are those most likely to stifle even the most promising new company.

Learn outcomes here and published by Forbes. 

Full disclosure:  I am a charter member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum

Monday, October 29, 2012

Learn About Your Heritage? Ask Your Country

Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, writes a wonderful piece on his newly appreciated heritage.

To Ireland, a Son's Journey Home

Sunday, October 28, 2012

World Entrepreneurship Forum 2012

I had an amazing time attending the World Entrepreneurship Forum. I am still in France due to my flight being canceled (Lyon to Frankfurt part/snow storm).

I will share more once I return to Chicago late on October 29th.

Until then, have a look at the World Entrepreneurship Forum 2012 website.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh When China Gets Sick ...

How the world suffers when China sneezes.
“China can transmit real shocks widely,” the International Monetary Fund said in a recent report, “whether these originate domestically or elsewhere.”
Learn the global impact on China's slowdown.

Read the entire article:  Global Economy:  When China Sneezes (

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Slowing Machinery of the Global Economy

A dispute between Japan and China over tiny islands threatens to "throw one more (big) monkey wrench into the slowing machinery of the global economy."
The origins of the dispute date back centuries but came to a head last month after Japan nationalized the tiny islands, called Senkaku in Japan, the world's No. 3 economy, and Diaoyu in China, the world's No. 2 economy. The move set off violent protests in at least two dozen Chinese cities. Angry mobs torched a Panasonic factory, looted several Japanese retail outlets and burned Toyota and Honda car dealerships.
Learn what the long term effect is here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meet the New Kid On the Planet: Quartz

Look out The Economist.  Here comes a market disruptor: QuartzQuartz is a digitally native news outlet, born in 2012 for business people in the new global economy.
We publish bracingly creative and intelligent journalism with a broad worldview, built primarily for the devices closest at hand:  tablets and mobile phones.
Quartz features top news, analysis, photos, data visualizations, commentary and more.

Quartz is owned by Atlantic Media Co., the publisher of The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive.

Explore Quartz here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Freedom Matters: Ask Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei can tell you a little something about freedom.  One of the world's most-famous artists is having a showing at the Smithsonian but he won't be there.  It seems that authorities in Beijing won't give him back his passport.  He chats with TIME about his artistry, his activism and the China-citizen-snooping system.

Read the entire interview here.

Related important information:

Advancing Human Rights - specific to Ai Weiwei

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

5th Edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum 2012

As a charter member, I'll be attending the 5th edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon, France from October 24-27, 2012.

Topic of the 2012 edition: Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: How to create entrepreneurship friendly ecosystems and foster the development of locally efficient entrepreneurial communities.

More than 200 participants will generate ideas and recommendations through the forum's think tank.
It is well recognized that entrepreneurs cannot succeed in a vacuum. They need customers, partners, suppliers, employees, legal, financial and educational institutions, as well as governmental bodies and proper infrastructure.

Ecosystems are made of environment, actors and interactions.

This year the participants of the forum will discuss this thematic through a round-the-world tour of ecosystems highlighting:

• Highly resource-endowed ecosystems
• Resource-constrained ecosystems
• Specifics of education within a sustainable ecosystem
• Territorially-constrained ecosystem (regional or local identity)
Learn more here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Agenda For Growth: A Soul-Searching Exercise

The following are remarks by Angel GurrĂ­a, OECD Secretary-General, delivered at the Official Monetary & Financial Institute Forum (OMFIF) Golden Series Lecture, July 2012 (still relevant today):
Thank you for this opportunity to present the OECD’s agenda for growth and our initiative on New Approaches to Economic Challenges (immediate download of PDF file) I think you’ll agree that now more than ever, we need to shine a brighter light on these issues.  Before I expand on this, let me first describe some of the economic and social realities we all face.
New Approaches to Economic Challenges: An OECD Agenda for Growth

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wishing the World a Very Happy Sweetest Day

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~ Leo Buscaglia

Origin of Sweetest Day.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Saving the World

Can the G20 do it:  Save the world?  
The Group of Seven, formed in the 1970s by the world's leading countries in response to the energy and economic crises of the time, played a positive role in coordinating global economic policies. But the influence of the organization began to decline in the late 1990s — coincidentally, about the same time Russia joined the organization in 1997. The G8 turned into a series of PR events devoid of any real substance.
Read the entire article here:  How the G20 Can Save the World
Much more hope is vested in the G20 as a body capable of filling the global-governance vacuum. This organization includes 19 countries, not all of which are the world's mightiest economically, plus the European Union.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Global Expansion Doesn't Happen Overnight

According to Doug Wignall at Design Intelligence, "Global expansion doesn't happen overnight."

Below he provides ten things to consider when building a global architecture practice.  Consider these lessons learned in a journey to build a sustainable global practice.  The first being "global expansion doesn't happen overnight."
If properly managed, global expansion can contribute astounding growth to an architecture practice. But it also requires a completely different mindset and a whole new set of rules than the one needed to do business on your home turf. It comes with many risks and challenges, from how to develop strong global resources, cultural understanding, and local knowledge to the practical specifics concerning regional and country issues such as the organization of the construction industry, liabilities, contracts, collections, and collaborations with local consultants.
Read the other nine things here

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Appointed an International Distributor? Zero Sales?

Have you appointed an international distributor and he or she doesn’t sell? It goes like this:  You wait three, six or possibly nine months with zero new business before you scratch your head and ask yourself, “Why haven’t I terminated this person for lack of performance?”

In the case of international sales or distributor agreements, it becomes even more complex when a party -- whether an individual or company -- does not perform to expectations because it takes a longer time to prequalify a new candidate.  The geographic locale alone makes it doubly hard to monitor progress and determine whether the sales arrangement is working or not.

The following article outlines steps to take before setting up an international sales or distributorship agreement, which will protect you should something run afoul.

What to Do When an Overseas Sales Agent, Distributor or Wholesaler Doesn't Perform?
by Laurel Delaney

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What Happens When China's Growth Rate Slows?

What's the fuss about the weakening of China's growth rate?  When they slow down, we do too. 

Further, the East Asia Forum reports:
Growth of Chinese GDP has decelerated from 9.6 per cent a year ago to 7.8 per cent in the first half of 2012. But, Huang notes, the government has remained calm about this gearing down, with only minor adjustments in policy that aimed at stabilising growth. The Chinese government’s ‘policy paralysis’, as it’s been called, appears odd given the emphasis on GDP growth in the past. A common interpretation is that policy makers are ‘way behind the curve’ because of the once-a-decade leadership transition.
Read the entire article:  The fuss about China's growth rate

Monday, October 15, 2012

Licensed Customs Broker 101

Must you be a U.S. citizen to become a licensed customs broker?  How old do you need to be?  Is there a test? 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sailing Around the World

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Sailing On Lake Michigan (Chicago)"
"I have no interest in sailing around the world. Not that there is any lack of requests for me to do so." ~ Edward Heath

Friday, October 12, 2012

What Is Global Land Grabbing?

According to the Transnational Institute (TNI), land grabbing is essentially control grabbing.  Meaning, the capturing of power to control land and other associated resources like water, minerals or forests, in order to control the benefits of its use.

To learn more, read:  The Global Land Grab:  A Primer

You also have an opportunity to download the complete primer here.

Agrarian Justice:
The ‘agrarian justice’ cluster brings together research and analysis on political struggles in rural areas around access, control and ownership of resources and land, as well as on international agrarian movements struggling against dispossession and working to construct alternatives.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Small Businesses Will Always Be a Beacon of Hope

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
It's a mistake to diminish the hope and optimism that small business owners generally have day-to-day running their enterprises.  So goes the article, "Small-Business Butterflies Can Create Wave of Trouble" (as reported by The Wall Street Journal).

Small businesses matter.  They are not a group of lovely butterflies (although that sounds magnificent); they are more like a bunch of hard-charging race horses.

We will forge ahead serving as the engine to future prosperity and shine a beacon of hope on our wobbly global economy.

Related article:  WEO October 2012 Report

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Economic Outlook on Our World: October 2012

Projections presented in the World Economic Outlook (October 2012).
The World Economic Outlook (WEO) presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects. 
Get your copy:

Report (immediate PDF file download)
World Economic Outlook

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

World News Brought to You by TimeWorld

Oh the world offers so much news, especially from TIMEWorld:
Asian Slowdown – The World Bank cut its GDP outlook for the East Asia and Pacific region Monday, citing uncertainties and various risk factors in the global and regional economies ...

Korean Carmakers – South Korean automakers posted record sales in China last month, reports Bloomberg, as sales of Japanese cars declined due to ...

Aging World – The United Nations is urging countries to accommodate the world’s rapidly aging population ...

Afghanistan’s Collapse – The International Crisis Group has issued a report warning that the NATO troop exit in 2014 could be followed by collapse and a civil war, the BBC ...

Iran Criticizes IAEA –  Iran’s tone towards the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sharpened in recent weeks, which many fear will lead to ...
Read all about it here.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Are You a Superpower Negotiator or More of a Power Broker?

In the article below, two books are referenced that will keep you at your best while negotiating international business deals.  But I wonder:  Are you a superpower negotiator or more of a power broker?  Find out by reading the entire article.

Communicating Across Cultures
by Laurel Delaney

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Women Are Reshaping the World of Business

Nearly 1 billion women will enter the global economy for the first time in the coming decade alone, fundamentally shifting how the world works.

Read:  How one billion women will shake the business world.

Friday, October 05, 2012

International Trade Promotes Growth and Development

In a speech, “Charting a Course for Trade in an Uncertain Future," given by Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy at the Brookings Dialogue in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, he said:
Trade as a share of global GDP has risen from roughly 40% in 1980 to around 60% today. In the United States, a country long considered less dependent on trade than many others, the share has risen from 10% to 25% over the same period of time.  US exports of goods and services in the last 10 years have more than doubled to over $2 trillion. One reason for this dramatic expansion is that US exporters have entered new markets in a big way. When China entered the WTO in 2001, US exports to the Middle Kingdom were $20 billion. By 2011 they had increased more than five-fold to over $100 billion. 
Read the entire speech here.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Linda Lightman Sells Globally

Linda Lightman, CEO of Linda's Stuff, sells globally.  She turned a hobby into a successful business, now employing over sixty workers in multiple departments.
Linda, a former attorney who left her career to build a successful business selling clothing and jewelry on eBay, is now one of eBay’s top fashion sellers.  The venture began as a hobby, selling her son’s video games on eBay over ten years ago, and after learning the ropes, she started selling her own designer clothes. Other people started asking Linda to sell their unwanted garments and jewelry, and the venture developed into an entrepreneurship and a highly successful business.
Somehow Linda knew when it was right to begin selling globally and did her homework so she could handle it without losing her designer shirt.  You can too.

Visit Linda's site here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Most Entrepreneurial Country in the World?

Image Source/Thinkstock
Which country is the most entrepreneurial?

According to OECD, the U.S. does produce proportionately more large start-ups than its peer nations and new businesses have a much better than average chance of surviving at least two years.

But which other countries shine in the quest for entrepreneurship?  Jordan Weissmann, author of "Think We're the Most Entrepreneurial Country in the World?  Not so Fast," says the United States has:
a Start-up Rate Lower than Sweden's (and Israel's, and Italy's ...)
Find out more here.  There are enough graphs in the article to keep you busy and scratching your head.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Expanding Internationally Is Your Choice

Here are some tips, advice and a short story on preparing for the age of the pure global small business.
4. A story: Goodbye to the local small business and hello to the emerging global small business the world over.

The impact of globalization can be found as nearby as your local dry cleaner, shoe repair shop or hairdresser. For example, a visitor from Japan walks into a North American shoe repair shop to get her shoes shined. Speaking very good English, she gets into a conversation about the shoe business, what part of Japan she ...
Read the entire article:  Borderless Business

Monday, October 01, 2012

King of Exports: Texas

First it was California as the leader in exports back in the 90s.  Now it's Texas.
Since 1998, the state has increased its total exports by 217 percent, compared to 139 percent for the country as a whole.
Find out why Texas -- a low-cost state to do business -- is considered king of exports here.  Hint:  a lot has to do with the rise of free trade, the decline of domestic manufacturing, and our transformation into the world's oil refiner.