What´s up with water: Pouring water into your corporate strategy (IX). Water on earth-context explained, Part A.
Have a nice day. Last week I didn´t want to land on data or numbers about the oceans’ current state of affairs. Not because it wasn´t meaningful. Of course, we all know that information about how many or how much is important. And it is more if we can show it, not in absolute terms, but in relation to other performance indicators, or other pools of measures. That is how is relatively important when making sense of the conditions of something. But what happens when data is not available with at least 95% of precision? We didn´t share data about the oceans, because, even though scientists and a large pool of individuals have worked since the year 2000 altogether with United Nations to measure the situation of the oceans, I am convinced (and this is my hunch or opinion) that we still have not gathered the correct data input. Let me explain why?
Humans are partially capable to measure. The measurement of a specific object or body or piece of interest, in this case, “water” is linked directly to the fact of knowing it. Humans are only able to measure what they know. If they don´t understand something, little we can do if we try to estimate it. Humans are partially capable to measure because there are certain close systems items that they can assess and quantify (for example the volume of a sphere), but there are other entities such as “water” which is a dynamic and transformative cycle system that is interconnected to many other diverse cycles and systems. The water situation is immersed in a set of diverse cycles, some exogenous to humans such as the planetary, climate, temperature, carbon, nitrogen, bionetworks, etc. Other cycles are endogenous to humans, as the dynamic actions that collectively and simultaneously affect all the water-related cycles. The problem of water demands a multidimensional approach, not only from capable professional experts, not only from the collective or the communities that affect inland and coastal wetland, but also it requires a considerable amount of money for research. As a corporate strategist, the “problem” of water is one of the most difficult issues to measure on a global scale, as amazingly complex as you can ever imagine; and I am convinced, that we still don´t have all the accurate information in place, but we have some fragmented solaces for data on specific regions of the world that can´t be used to infer for an accurate global water snapshot.
The collection of the truth about water started only 22 years ago. It was Kofi Annan (The United Nations Secretariat General from 1997 to 2007) that initiated it. Annan instructed the UN to do the foremost premiere version of the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) in the year 2000. It was the first time, in which UN called a team of 1,360 experts from 95 countries to prepare for the first attempt global assessment on several critical issues, including water. This study took 5 years to be completed. This MA work, in four volumes (Current State and Trends, Scenarios, Policy Responses, and Multiscale Assessment) shows us the first attempt in our human history to understand the priorities of the planet earth and human wellbeing. Water was considered a key element of these reports(1).
Let´s presume that human history as we know it by now, is 6,000 years old. We know that is not true, because there are archaeological traces of us before that time. But, if we assume that in our recorded last 6,000 years of history, no entity on earth dedicated time, money, and resources to understand the meaning of water with such a primary priority, in between other natural crucial cycles of planet earth; we have to be humble enough to admit that we know little or nothing about the problem of water in terms of accurate data. If you see things from the point of view of the planetary cycle perspective, then the water cycle on our planet is simply another little elementary sub-cycle, in between many others, that we need to comprehend.
The Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). The objective of the Millenium Assessment (MA) was to assess the consequences of ecosystem change on human well-being and establish a first round of scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources for the future. If it sounds too complicated for you, for the time being, let´s conform with the witty wish to catch that the United Nations has invested 22 years of its time to understand the priorities of humans, in a different way than when the UN started. And it has not been easy to put the results of the findings on our table. During his rite passage at UN (1997-2007), Kofi Annan tried to offer us a new way to understand the planet’s priorities. Annan´s legacy provided the Millenium Ecosystems Assessment (MA report); at the same time, the United Nations established the 8 MDGs (Millenium Development Goals). These 8 MDGs were naively supposed to be reached by 2015.
In reality, these types of attainments take at least 100 years. After the MA findings were released in 2005, Annan passed the power baton to a new United Nations leader, the South Korean Ban Ki Moon. Under Ban Ki Moon, the United Nations was working back and forth on an upgraded development framework of priorities. As a result, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) superseded the MDGs as of 2015. We have covered in several opportunities the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on this website. Water and Sanitation is one of the 17 objectives set forth by the United Nations to define the global development agenda priorities for the next 15 years until 2030. Look at slide number 3 in the presentation above.
Water is seen as an SDG globally just recently. From the last two paragraphs, we wish to acknowledge the fact that water has just started to be accounted as a priority for human well-being by United Nations. It appeared on our civilization radar as an SDG just 7 years ago. It is an extremely super fresh goal! So for us is a motive of happiness to be a generation that received from the baby boomers the gift of considering water as a priority. Nevertheless, anything that is just starting, will require a long roadmap to attain not just the truth about the problem panorama with water, but also the solutions.
This latter water context as a priority since 2016. Our today´s publication was planned to offer you a quick and sharp review of our inland water systems and habitats. Don´t worry, we will land on this topic on Friday. We opted to show you the context of our findings because in no way we can proceed to bring inaccurate data to our saga. Over the years, we have learned that practically our ancestors’ legacies were all the time concentrated in wars of dominion. The European peoples inherited the empire struggles of other past civilizations, and that is why we experienced 2 World Wars last century. Still, Europeans are dealing with this way of living as a problem-solving strategy, i.e. the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. To put water at the center of our corporate strategy is evidently so novel and original, that it will take a lot of years for us to get used to seeing water as a problem to solve, instead of war. In addition, finding the truth about the water puzzle will require years, decades if not centuries of accumulated efforts. But we will arrive there. Sooner or later. We will.
We wish to say thanks to Mr. Kofi Annan (Ghana) and Ban Ki Moon for their impact aid to our thoughtful future. Their inheritance to us is utterly well received. From here on, we will continue evolving in our commitment to care for water in the most accurate dimension that we can explore. It is our commitment. A word of honor.
Let´s continue with our musical contribution for today.
Strategic Music Section:
Why did we choose Hillary Hahn in our last episode?
Let me express why did we choose Ms. Hahn in our last chapter. As usual, anyone who devotes a lifetime to his or her discovered talent is usually a success. Hilary Hahn was called a prodigy, not just because she started to play the violin before she was 4 years old. She was formed under the Suzuki method in Baltimore, and then she was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Hahn studied with Professor Brodsky at Curtis and learned 28 violin concertos, recital programs, and many pieces. In parallel, she also began a remarkable career, with hundreds of presentations and concerts, including Carnegie Hall. But I wish to express a very particular thing from her: “When she was 16 years old, Hilary Hahn had completed the Curtis Institute’s university requirements, but elected to remain for several years there to pursue elective courses, until her valediction in May 1999 with a Bachelor of Music Degree”. By choice she decided to stay at Curtis, preparing herself more, and deferred her graduation for 3 years. This is extremely interesting for us. In a world in which many youngsters are rushing for getting out of high school and university as soon as possible; Ms. Hahn decided to wait, even though she was a prodigy. The strength of waiting is another thought-provoking personal assessment that many of us urgently necessitates. Particularly with artificial intelligence-powered endeavors. If at early incipient stages, prodigious techie people take the time to review and correct the wrong foundations of the NAIQIs, I am sure that we may stop atrocious consequences for the next generations. NAIQIs (Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Supremacy, and the Internet) have weak foundations because they were not conceived for helping to solve human priorities (including water). These tech tools have been used to buy and sell at a massive scale using smartphones and digital devices, but not to solve our most crucial issues. In consequence, if the groundworks are insubstantial and inadequate for our civilization, don´t expect success on a long-term scope. Maybe the AI-powered initiatives can learn something from Ms. Hahn’s when she decided to wait before leaving Curtis Institute of Music. Those years gave her groundwork otherwise impossible for attaining. Nowadays she has reaped the blessing outcomes of her waiting time during her teenage years. Next episode we will explore Bach, the composer with whom Hahn has recently endowed for her inspiration works.
Songs of today belong to Gil Shaham. Two songs accompany us today. The first one is “The Zapateado”, a piece written in 1880 by Pablo Sarasote a Spanish composer. This piece is for solo violin with a piano accompaniment. The pianist is Akira Eguchi. The second oeuvre is from Mendelssohn, a concert for violon number 2 with Christoph Eschenbach, played with the Orchestre de Paris.
See you next Friday, with the tenth episode of “What´s up with water: Pouring water in your corporate strategy”. Thank you for reading to me.
Sources of Reference utilized to prepare the slides and the material above:
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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