How Silicon Valley is losing the Battle for Asia

The majority of the 4 billion people living inside a circle encompassing China, India, NE Asia and SE Asia—over half the world’s population—have not yet grasped the internet, but most of them will have within the next decade or two. How they do so, on what terms, and through which platforms, will go a long way to defining the winners and losers of the next wave of the web, and actually the very nature of the internet itself. So can we ask the question: how well placed are Silicon Valley companies to benefit? The battlefield is a diverse patchwork of countries with distinct languages and cultures, varying degrees of connectivity infrastructure, diverse digital media landscapes, and contrasting political regimes with business environments that range from: mature but essentially open … [Read more...]

Brasil x Japan: the ideal hybrid?

Although the stereotypes associated with Japanese and Brazilians are poles apart, the two countries in fact share a special relationship based on the very human ties of historical emigration. Now they are starting to explore the potential of combining the mutual strengths of both nations in the future. Japan's is arguably the most "progressed"  society on the planet, demographically more mature than any other, and one of the most advanced in terms of technology, infrastructure, healthcare provision and with a massive, capital intensive economy. In contrast Brasil (spelt the Portuguese on purpose!) has a young demographic, labour-intensive economy destined to grow into a superpower, but lacks many of the technological and infrastructural know-how that Japan has at its fingertips. … [Read more...]

The explosion of hybrid humans, and what it means for us

I recently discovered this little gem of a video describing Japan's trend towards greater ethnic diversity. It is interesting to note the not inconsiderable numbers of immigrants living in Japan, around 2.3m out of a population of 127m as of 2010, the vast majority of which are Asian. Taking the UK as a yardstick, like Japan an island nation that was never colonised by immigrants in the way that say North America was, at least since prehistorical times, but which started its journey of multi-culturalization a good century or two before Japan did, in its 2001 census 85% of the population described themselves as "white british". So Japan still has a long way to go, but it is on its way. All immigrants contribute to the cultural diversity of a country, but not necessarily to the … [Read more...]