Leadership engages common interests to pursue uncommon objectives. Arguably, leadership is fundamentally about sustainable design. And it uses clever strategy to achieve sustainable design.

In contrast, politics are about short-term decision making and the tactics linked with short-term thinking. Such tactics might include:

  • borrowing from the future to pay for the present,
  • misleading voters about risk & the root causes of various problems concerning the voters,
  • governing in favour of the lobby group who offer the greatest short term benefits to the political party in power.

Tragically in my view, we have excessive politics and not enough leadership amongst the global institutions and multi-national companies operating and influencing World events. Instead, in my view, we need the best minds in the World, whether in multi-nationals, governments, retired, or in start ups, providing leadership to design win-win solutions that benefit the environment and multiple countries, if not entire continents. This would leave politicians to administer the follow-on details, including how benefits are divided up between groups and across generations, in the spirit of sustainable design.

Political Stability amongst Nations

If nations such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel & North Korea want greater political stability, it’s likely to come from improved international trade. That’s because trade expands the areas of common interest internationally. Perhaps there are more common interests than various countries realise and more leadership is needed to debate these common interests?

Surely the Arab and Balkan states and various religious groups can see the stalemate suffering that endures in the Middle East (Israel-Palestine) if they continue to duplicate that type of close-neighbour conflict. Surely they can see how much there is to gain from co operation on sustainable design instead?

The Israel-Palestine Conflict

My guess is that for Israel & Palestine, the only real future peace for both will come from sustainable design of a common solution (two recognised states), yet both have entrenched politics and minimal leadership to (yet) achieve it. Probably that design will have to come externally, (at the UN level), because of the high level of legacy bitterness and suffering making constructive debate almost impossible. Such a common solution might involve Israel donating some land that adjoins the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian state, along with joint ventures to alleviate overcrowding in the Gaza Strip. Israel could act to then improve crop farming on the donated land to help feed the population of the Gaza Strip. In return, Palestinians would formally recognise the state of Israel and cease armed activity against it, or risk Israeli ground troops imposing recurrent occupancy (checkpoints & house searches) on their territory.

The Failed State Problem

The failed states are those without any political voice internationally, because they no longer function as a nation. In some ways their governance is like the issues of common law of the oceans, the colonisation of Space, the governance of Antartica and international rules governing multi national company conduct.

Perhaps the leadership solution emerging for the failed states will simply be greater UN governance of these areas, with eventual return to humanitarian self-governance. Why? Every time warring factions within these areas commit atrocities that drive the innocent civilians to emigrate, the flood of refugees become an international problem. Similarly, every time international terrorist groups enter such areas to use them as training grounds (with or without local consent), the results also become an international problem.

At least with UN intervention governance, the humanitarian governance problem can be contained geographically and innocent peoples’ lives protected, so they can survive to ultimately pursue humanitian self-governance. The issue delaying UN governance is under what circumstances should the UN step in to over-ride self determination and how forceful should it become when resistance is encountered?  This is probably a set of criteria to be developed by clever minds and agreed by all UN member countries.

Food for thought?