Monday, December 20, 2010

Pakistan: Creating a Place for the Future

UPDATE (5/9/2011): Entrepreneurship and markets study now available on the Planning Commission's website.

Over the weekend I worked with Lance Kramer (@kramerlance) of Meridian Hill Pictures to put together a video for the Growth Strategy Conference hosted today by the Government of Pakistan's Planning Commission:

The point of the video is to introduce a study that I recently completed with Elmira Bayrasli (@endeavoringe) and Sara Shroff (@samsaradc), at the request of the Planning Commission. However, the core principles reinforce points that Nadeem Ul Haque (@nadeemhaque), Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, has been making for some time now, including in this 2007 paper on "Entrepreneurship in Pakistan" and in this Spring 2010 talk at TEDx Lahore :

Here's how our report begins: 
For six decades, Pakistan has faced, and overcome, conflict and calamity. Despite many obstacles, the country’s economy has grown steadily. At critical junctures, successive governments have adopted strategies suited to the circumstances of the day, and the nation has developed steadily due to these particular well-conceived initiatives. Yet, as a consequence of the reactive nature of policy formulation and implementation, the institutions of government are conditioned to think in terms of projects rather than strategies to support growth. 
Today Pakistan confronts a new round of immediate challenges and urgent demands. Yet, it is precisely at this moment of apparent crisis—in the aftermath of a devastating flood and with security concerns continuing to dominate the national agenda—that the need to change the discourse about the country’s development has become most apparent. Reactive tactics and dependence on external aid are not helping Pakistan to develop or to realize its potential. Sustained and sustainable development cannot come from a collection of projects, no matter how well intended. A New Development Approach is needed: Building markets. Building opportunity. Building cities. Building governance. Including youth.
To realize Pakistan’s 21st-century potential, the nation’s political and business leaders must not only meet the demands of the present, but also—and perhaps more importantly—create a place for the future...
More to follow on this as the Planning Commission's process moves forward.

The Coolest Thing Ever, Pt II: Science, Technology & Revolution (X2)

... If you haven't checked out the Google Ngram yet, definitely read this New York Times article about it, then try it yourself ... Endless explorations are possible. This one tells a pretty dramatic story of the history of industrialized countries since the Industrial Revolution (focus on the green peaks--eras of revolution that occurred during second half of 18th century and first half of 20th century):

science [yellow],  revolution [green], technology [red], submission [blue] -- 1750-2008 


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Coolest Thing Ever, Part I: The Millennial Discontinuity

Check out what happens at roughly the year 2000 in the charts below, created using Google's just released Ngram tool (for description, see this and this):

Hope[red] = Fear [blue] -- 1800-2008

Science [green], Technology [blue], Innovation [red] -- 1800-2008

China [blue] > India [red] > United States [green] -- 1800-2008

Truth [red] > Beauty [blue] > Hatred [green] -- 1800-2008

HT Tom Murphy (@viewfromthecave) for pointing out on the first chart that the the trend reverses at 2000, after I Tweeted this chart:
Hope[red] = Fear [blue] -- 1800-2000
 Initial verdict on Google's Ngram viewer: Coolest thing ever.