Nordic-Chinese Energy and Climate Day coming to the Nordic pavilions at EXPO 2010

On the 25th of June 2010 the Nordic-Chinese Energy and Climate Day will take place at the Shanghai World Expo. Key stakeholders from the Nordic and Chinese energy research sectors will gather to network and exchange ideas. Speakers and guests include Ministers and high ranking government officials as well as notable business leaders and researchers. The event will focus on how greater Chinese-Nordic cooperation and interaction can contribute to the development and deployment of clean energy and climate technologies. To signify the very close cooperation among the Nordic countries, the event will move through all five Nordic pavilions as the day progresses.

The Nordic Region and China are natural fits for this kind of cooperation. The Nordic region has been proactive on the climate change issue for a long time and Nordic experts have great experience in developing and implementing sustainable energy solutions. And China, with is rapidly growing economy, has increasing needs for energy but also massive ambitions to satisfy this need with clean or climate-friendly energy,” explains Barbara Evaeus, WWF Sweden’s Climate Communications Manager. “Events like this are a wonderful chance to exchange experiences and create valuable connections between key stakeholders in both China and the Nordic region”.

Energy and climate policy is often ruled by national interests as well as industry and technology protectionism. Barbara Evaeus stresses however that such biased policy is outdated and that we should not talk about technology transfer, but instead we should think of it as technology exchange. “Things are happening so fast now. Technologies appropriate in one region might not be appropriate in another. China might be light years ahead of the Nordic region in developing technologies based on their particular needs.

Barbara Evaeus will moderate the morning session of the Nordic-Chinese Energy and Climate Day which will take place at the Finnish EXPO pavilion. This session will focus on the overall needs and potential for greater cooperation between actors within sustainable energy and climate technologies. As the representative of a global NGO like WWF excelling in cross-border cooperation on energy and environmental issues, she is well suited to the task.

Barbara will be introducing the ministers and high-level experts, including Karen Ellemann, Danish Minster for the Environment and for Nordic Cooperation; Jan Vapaavuori, Finnish Minster of Housing and Nordic Cooperation; Jiang Kejun, Director of the Energy Research Institute at the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission; Bo Diczfalusy, head of IEA’s Directorate of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology and Heidi Hiltunen, Environment Counsellor at the EU Delegation to China.

After lunch at the Danish EXPO pavilion, the afternoon session at the Swedish pavilion will feature a variety of case studies in addition to a panel discussion with leading energy technology and innovation experts on the way forward for successful Nordic-Chinese cooperation. This session will be moderated by Professor Jørgen Delman of Copenhagen University.

To round up the tour of the Nordic EXPO pavilions, delegates will be treated with drinks, dinner and entertainment at the Icelandic and Norwegian pavilions where they will also have a chance to network more informally. This event is part of a broader ongoing initiative by the Nordic Council of Ministers to build further Nordic-Chinese cooperation.

By Hans Fridberg

For further information about the event, visit www.nordicenergy.net/china

 

 


The Ethnic Crises in Burma/Myanmar: 2010 and Beyond Dilemmas & Opportunities for the International Community

Burma/Myanmar is a very ethnically diverse country, with ethnic minorities comprising about 40 percent of its estimated 56 million population. Burma has been afflicted by ethnic conflict and civil war since independence in 1948, exposing it to one of the longest running armed conflicts in the world. Ethnic minorities have long felt marginalised and discriminated against. The situation worsened after the military coup in 1962, when minority rights were further curtailed. The military government, which now calls itself the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has as yet refused to take political demands from ethnic minorities into account, for the most part treating ethnic issues as a military and security issue.

The international community has focused on the struggle of the democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has become an international icon. The ethnic minority issue and the relevance of the cease-fire agreements have had less focus. Support for these groups to develop their regions has also been minimal, creating great frustration and disappointment among ethnic minority community leaders.

The Ethnic Crises: 2010 and Beyond

2010 is set to become Burma’s most important and defining year in two decades. A general election has been scheduled by the SPDC that could well determine the country’s political landscape for another generation. Half way through the year, after disappointing election and party laws, rejection by part of the ethnic and democratic opposition of the SPDC’s election plan and the growth of tension between the regime and the main ceasefire groups, optimism is fading.

However, the opposition itself is divided on how to respond to the challenges the 2010 elections are posing. For many ethnic minority organisations the elections are the only political process in the country, which they feel cannot afford to ignore. Apart from running at the national level for an upper and a lower house, some ethnic minority parties especially see opportunities to run for regional parliaments and the future role they can play in influencing policies on a local level. These ethnic minority organisations also take a long term view on the elections, and ask the international community not to ignore and reject them because of their participation.

For Burma’s military rulers, the election is only one element in a long-term process to secure a new system of military-backed government in the country. The SPDC is also concentrating on other political goals, including the pacification of armed ethnic opposition forces, the build-up of pro-military parties, the capital move to Nay Pyi Taw and the development of a new economic system based on close trading ties with Asian neighbours.

The challenges facing Burma’s different ethnic groups and parties are complex. The polls and introduction of new system of government are creating a timeline that is forcing all ethnic stakeholders to assess their political positions. Throughout 2009-2010 tensions steadily rose, affecting political parties, ceasefire and non-ceasefire forces, religious-based groups and different community organisations. Equally critical, the ramifications of the 2010 election are unlikely to be political alone but have urgent consequences for the humanitarian and economic landscape.  Ethnic politics are not a remote or peripheral border issue but have long been integral to the failure of the post-colonial state.

Burma’s political landscape has long been fragmented and divided. But in essence, there are three major areas by which the election can be judged in bringing potential solutions (or problems) to the country’s crises: political, ethnic and economic. They are closely inter-linked and, unless there is inclusive progress in all three fields, precedent strongly warns that Burma’s troubles will only continue.

The political challenges include the construction of a democratic system of government that guarantees human rights for all. The ethnic challenges include conflict resolution and humanitarian progress in the most impoverished regions of the country. And the economic challenges include equitable participation, sustainable development and progress that will bring benefits to every district and people in the country.

Format

The one-day seminar has been conceived as an expert meeting, where a maximum of 30 to 40 participants are expected to take part to the presentations and discussions. All the participants will be invited on the basis of their familiarity with the issue and will come from different backgrounds; namely, academia, ministries, politicians and NGOs.

Rationale

The seminar aims at taking a close look at the most significant recent developments concerning ethnic conflict in Burma/Myanmar and possibilities and dilemma’s for the international community to respond.

It will be structured around four main sessions, each of them with a distinctive focus, but at the same time all related to the main questions of how the political situation in Burma/Myanmar is expected to develop in the near future, what it’s impact will be on the ethnic issues and how the international community could respond to these developments, especially concerning the opportunity to support demands and needs of ethnic groups in Burma/Myanmar.


Be reminded, it is co-creation that we should understand?

By

Sudhanshu Rai  8th June 2010

 

Hello again! In my previous blog I coined the idea of interactive globalization and speculated a bit about the nature of interactive globalization and how we have focused for too long on the nature and consequence of globalization and to some extent forgot the idea of the term “interactive”. In this blog I hope to expand the idea of interactive globalization and then move to the idea of co-creation and discuss how we in Denmark are well poised to take advantage of this fourth stage of interactive globalization, if only we are able to conseave globalization not as a zero sum gain but as an instance of shared prosperity brought about by rapid knowledge creation facilitated by interactive globalization. 

Well, to what extent can interactive globalization help us understand current undercurrents that we are all experiencing? The central driver for interactive globalization is the harmonization of the internet and the emerging but still disjointed shared values of the global citizenry. This feeling of a community is increasingly influencing our world view and enabling a better appreciation of cultural diversity. To my mind this will have two positive nock on consequence for all of us, first, we will increasingly acknowledge knowledge as being the key value creator and not technology per say, second, we will increasingly want to harmonize education across the globe to help tap into the emerging pool of global knowledge help sustain our way of life. Both of these will shift the focus of globalization primarily of goods and services to that of experience and knowledge creation.  The challenge of course is how do small countries like Denmark tap into this global pool of knowledge and continue to be at the cutting edge of knowledge innovation.

Let’s look around us and see whether we have structured ourselves in a manner through which we are poised to take advantage of this emerging knowledge base. Well lets see, starting from how we structure our organizations. We tend to have flat organizations, consensus building decision making aperatous, less dependent on the knowledge of one but on the diversity in knowledge of all participating. Then we instill in our social actors the ability to work in groups, engage in network building and be rooted in critical appreciation of knowledge. These basics in my opinion will form the core value system of the emerging idea of interactive globalization and Hey Presto; we are well poised to take advantage of it already. The question is how?

This is where the co-creation mode comes into focus.  In my previous blog I stated that there were four stages of interactive globalization; the Y2k Phase (1990-1999), the body shopping phase (1995-2003) the outsourcing or the collaboration phase (2004-and counting) and the co-creation phase (2009-and counting) . In each of the phases specific business models and assumptions of the markets were conceptualized. So also the in the co-creation phase the emphasis will increase be on building disruptive technologies and the creation of future markets for goods and services. In the co-creation phase there the emphisis will be to create systems and mechanisms on enabling cross functional work to enable more frequently, leadership will be redefined as distributed and focusing on disruption rather only on the bottom line. The organization is likely to get smaller but more distributed and there is likely to be a proliferation of co-creation labs that would probably be at the centre of all firms’ innovative strategy. Further knowledge focused at co-creating disruptive innovation will go hand in hand with co-creation disruptive business models. In effect the co-creation of new products and services will take place simultaneously with the co-creation of business model to support that specific product and service. Business models will no longer be generic but specific driven by information technology. 

Specifically co-creation of disruptive innovation for future markets is aligned to the idea of interactive globalization for several reasons; first the focus of co-creation and of interactive globalization is on the nature and quality of knowledge, Second the focus in both is on enabling diversity of the knowledge base and facilitating its interaction, third both focus on knowledge creation through intensive dialogue of knowledge bases and fifth both take cultural diversity as a strength and finally both focus on creation and benefits for all participating entities.

While that may be the case we have a few challenges ahead of us, we are continuing to see globalization as a zero sum gain, those who are cheaper gain and those who are more expensive lose, so goes the narrative. We need to arrest this narrative and instill a new path, one in which the shift is away from gains and losses to knowledge creation and gains for all based on the nature of knowledge possessed and shared. We need to study co-creation as a concrete phenomena and develop mechanisms of how best to enable this process to produce results and finally we need to understand co-creation as yet another process building on the experiences from previous stages, which a greater emphasis on cross domain interaction predicated on rapid knowledge creation.

What are the implications for firms? Firms should be on the lookout for opportunities for engaging in co-creation and firms should try and shift on new knowledge creation as a key output as opposed to focusing on new technologies. In effect I am arguing for a firm that understands each individual, wants to serve them individually and be at the cutting edge of technology using the co-creation mode.