Surely, there are a large number of compelling issues that cry out for a more visible leadership role than sustainability in India. Look to technology and agriculture, to food security and energy. Even more so, about development of human talent and entrepreneurial creativity- the very values that make India a powerhouse today.
Are those values sustainable or do we need more?
I think we do.
First of all, in a time of economic difficulties, sustainability goes out of fashion, especially if it requires global decisions. Look at Climate Change. The only thing we hear about Durban and COP 17 is about managing expectations downwards. What a wasted opportunity, what a waste of innovation opportunities!
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The world really needs growth and you need to be green to grow... But we won’t get the stimulus that we need, sadly.
What about working together on digital opportunities? The world is fully integrated digitally. Young people communicate with the world in the palm of their hands.
But are we creating an environment to bring these economic and social goods to all the population? In a sustainable way? Are we developing the right models for rural areas?
Sustainability is more than a fashion word for good times. It is the building block for cohesive societies. And it is needed now more than ever.
Ben Verwaayen is chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent.
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