Global Nation Organization

Securing the Future With Love, Hardwork and Integrity

This is an excellent speech by Katrina Pierson at the Dallas Tea Party on April 15th. Not only does she exemplify the GNO motto of achievement through “love, hard work and integrity”, but she clearly points out the true nature of the problems here in the US. That being, the members of the Congress and Senate in Washington have 1) taken up permanent and lifetime membership in the House and Senate and 2) THEY, along with a Marxist leaning president, are driving us off the cliff. They are not of the people for the people, they are of themselves for themselves and those who get them elected.

Now is the time to liberate liberty from the shackles of an Authoritarian governments.

Find out what makes you, you, and be that person. Don’t ever give up your search and always live out your dreams.

Change happens on the heels of vision. It isn’t enough to modify existing structures for improvement; you have to create new ways of doing things to cause revolution.

While the above statement is quite true, it isn’t always easy to accomplish. Through time, true visionaries have appeared infrequently. Men like Isaac Newton, Nicholas Tesla, and Leonardo da Vinci. Sometimes though, it is people or ideas that exact change on a smaller scale. And it is with the combined effort of the millions of scientists and designers around the world that we can improve our lives on a daily basis.

Last night I watched an interesting news story from Holland on a home developer who doesn’t work against the sea, but with it. Thirty percent of Holland’s land mass is fill-in, wetland that was reclaimed from the sea called polder. This land is below sea-level. To protect the land from the sea Holland uses tens of thousands of pumps to pull the water out. Also, as many people know, Holland has an elaborate dyke system that is constantly being built higher and higher to hold back the ocean. Despite man’s best efforts, nature will do what nature does, ever change.

In the story on the CBS Evening News they showed the homes Mark Van Ommen is constructing ON the waterways of Holland. Beautifully crafted homes designed to float. What a simple idea. If the sea rises, so goes the home with it. If you want to move to another part of Holland, hook your home up to a tugboat and move it.

In looking further into this idea, I found architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.nl who has been designing amphibious houses.

A cross between a house built on piers and one that floats, the amphibious house rests on piles when the water level is low. When the water rises, the buoyant foundation lets the house come loose from the piles and float. When the water level recedes, the house slowly sinks back onto the piles. Source: Washington Technology

Amphibious Home

Floating homes are not a new idea. We’ve had houseboats moored to piers for many years. The amphibious homes are more than houseboats. They are built on a concrete and foam platform in a factory, allowing the homes to be mass produced by skilled artisans. Because of the concrete platform the homes can be built much larger than your typical houseboat. By building the homes in a factory, materials and construction skills can be controlled with total quality management.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. How true, how true. Floating or amphibious homes might not be revolutionary, but they are certainly innovative. And it will be these kinds of innovations, ones that work with - rather than against nature, that will secure our future.


“Welcome to the jungle…”

What’s news on the Global front? Well, currently the annual G8 Summit is wrapping up three days of talks on the global economy. However, I am not going to spend time recapping the events and agreements at this time; preferring to leave it for future discussion. You can click on the link I’ve provided for in depth information on the G8 Summit. Right now I would like to draw attention to my current favorite print magazine: The Economist.

If you have never read The Economist, and are interested in global affairs as they impact business and politics (two sides of the same coin), then I highly recommend you get a copy of the magazine. At the very least, please visit their website.

What I like the most about The Economist versus similar magazines, (such as, The Weekly Standard, Newsweek, Time, Business Week, et. al.) is that The Economist is not U.S centrist. I am sure this is because it is a U.K. publication. I know many people perceive the United States as the center of the universe, but it isn’t; it is only one player on a planet of around 194 countries.

The quality of the writing is outstanding and clearly stated; the content is thorough and topical; the opinions are in line with my thinking (what I like to call right-thinking); and they believe in free-trade and free-markets. When you read the magazine, or as they call it, their newspaper, you might not notice it at first, but the articles are written anonymously. “The main reason for anonymity, however, is a belief that what is written is more important than who writes it.”

Each week I will try to bring attention to one or more articles from The Economist that I believe reflect the work we do here at Global Nation.

The following is an article from the May 24, 2007 issue on Mo Ibrahim. Here, instead of charity, he uses courage to radicalize life in Africa; proving “the way forward for Africa is investment.” What is most remarkable is how he was able to establish wireless telecommunications in Africa without having to give out bribes. His vision for Africa, a continent ripe for investment, is to promote good governance in Africa with a system of rewards. His plan is “to award an annual prize of $5m to retired African leaders who rule well and then stand down, rather than trying to cling to power.” I believe his political model, rooted in good business practice will be successful.

Africa calling
May 24th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Mo Ibrahim

Mo Ibrahim helped to bring mobile phones to Africa. Now he has bigger plans

IN 1998, as the telecoms boom was under way, Mo Ibrahim was amazed that big companies were rushing into the mobile-phone business around the world, yet not in Africa. There they saw only problems: poverty, unrest and corruption. Mr Ibrahim, a veteran of the telecoms industry in Britain and Sudan, was at the time running a consultancy he had founded in London. Amid the cigar smoke and snifters that followed its directors’ dinners, an idea formed. Might it be possible to set up a pan-African mobile operator—and to do so without paying bribes?

This was the genesis of Celtel, which is now one of Africa’s largest mobile operators, with some 20m subscribers in 15 countries.When Mr Ibrahim sold Celtel in 2005 to MTC, a Kuwaiti operator, for $3.4 billion, it demonstrated that the continent was open for business. Rather than charity, he insists, “the way forward for Africa is investment.”

Building businesses in Africa is important to Mr Ibrahim, who had to leave the continent as a young man in order to pursue his career. Born in Sudan and raised and educated in Egypt, he started off as an engineer at Sudan’s national phone company. After further study in Britain he went on to become technical director at Cellnet, the wireless arm of BT, Britain’s biggest telecoms operator. (Cellnet was subsequently sold, renamed O2 and is now owned by Telefónica of Spain.) He left in 1989 to set up an engineering consultancy that designed mobile networks, and sold the firm for just over $900m to Marconi in 2000.

These experiences paved the way for Celtel’s emergence. The consultancy enabled Mr Ibrahim to peer into the business models of dozens of mobile operators, from which he concluded that an African operator would work. His time at BT was also informative: big companies, he says, teach a fellow everything he ought not to do in order to be successful. “Later on in life I was not worried about taking on the big guys, because you know they are not efficient,” he says. And Mr Ibrahim’s previous success meant that the motivation behind Celtel’s establishment was not solely commercial. He and his co-founders had already made their fortunes and regarded Celtel as a political and intellectual test. That is why they happily ventured into risky African markets and refused to pay bribes.

Now that mobile telephony is booming in Africa, Mr Ibrahim has other plans. Not for him the typical rush into private equity. Instead he set up a foundation last year with the novel (and, say critics, utopian) mission of promoting good governance in Africa. It plans to award an annual prize of $5m to retired African leaders who rule well and then stand down, rather than trying to cling to power. The foundation is working with Harvard University to establish a scoring system with which to assess potential candidates. The prize committee is chaired by Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations. The first award will be presented in October, though the prize will be presented only in years when a worthy winner can be found. By that point Mr Ibrahim plans to have stepped down as the chairman of Celtel to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

Meanwhile Mr Ibrahim has also put up $150m to establish a fund to invest in African businesses. From its newly opened offices in London, the Africa Enterprise Fund will seek out promising companies in financial services, consumer goods, energy and agricultural processing. The aim is to focus on established businesses that need cash and experienced management to grow, and the average investment is expected to be around $20m. Only companies that can expand their operations regionally or throughout Africa will be considered. Mr Ibrahim has appointed Tsega Gebreyes, Celtel’s former strategy chief, to help run the fund. This is because the fund’s approach is to apply the Celtel formula in other fields: identify inefficiencies, consolidate fragmented operations, go pan-continental and develop a respected brand. The goal is scale. A large company that operates in several African markets can attract a higher calibre of managers than a gaggle of local ones, and can have more political clout when demands for bribes crop up.

Politics, philosophy and economics

Though there are no direct links between the foundation and the fund, the two are symbiotic. Business and investment in Africa can succeed only if there is good governance, which is what the foundation is intended to promote. And economic development is necessary in turn to give people a stake in improving the political process. The foundation’s $5m prize is a pittance, it is true, when compared with the spoils that can be extracted by staying in power. But the initiative may not be totally futile: given the impotence of Africa’s intergovernmental bodies it will do no harm at all to produce an annual public ranking of African governance. And the foundation will offer a carrot where other non-governmental organisations carry sticks.

The investment fund is also tiny when set against the magnitude of Africa’s problems. But as Celtel shows, some businesses can have a powerful ripple effect, promoting economic activity and generating new investment. Celtel employs around 8,000 people directly, for example, but it and other mobile operators indirectly provide jobs to around 170,000 people in Africa who resell prepaid airtime. More broadly, mobile phones also promote entrepreneurship and economic activity by widening access to markets and making up for poor or non-existent transport infrastructure. Similar ripple effects ought to be possible in other fields such as financial services and energy.

Thirty years ago Mr Ibrahim had to leave Africa for Europe in search of education and professional success. He hopes that fostering indigenous African companies will help ensure that tomorrow’s engineers and entrepreneurs can find their opportunities closer to home. (source: The Economist)

I want to thank my good friend Ted Sheridan for agreeing to post his work on the Global Nation blog. Ted is a prolific writer on many subjects, but for this space I’ve asked him to concentrate on issues involving freedom, justice, democracy and the impact of globalization on humanity. I hope you, the reader, will be as moved by his writing as I have been for the past four or five years. Please feel free to leave comments as discussion is encouraged.

I would also like to thank my webmaster, Dan Kinchen for building the new Global Nation website. Dan, you have created a wonderful site. I am very proud to have both you and Ted on my team.

To the other people I have asked to join me here, I hope you will accept my invitation to post your philosophies on how to build a global union for the society of man. Our goal is to create the blueprint for the benefit of all mankind and not just one specific ideology.

Thank you,

   Sara Coslett