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environment, the middle class worldwide were

the “big losers”. He echoed Roy Scranton at

Princeton University and Robert B. Reich at the

University of California, Berkeley in concluding

that “this civilisation is already dead”, and

humans had to radically search for different,

better strategies and values, and to work out

new relationships among ecology, economy and

ethics in order for them to live in harmony with

nature and to “save capitalism” for the many

rather than the few.

On the prospects of how New Zealand might

answer these daunting challenges, Rod

expressed optimism because of the growth in

public awareness of the urgent need to build

a sustainable future. In his opinion, this was

exemplified by a group of young professionals

from leading Kiwi firms, who developed the NZ

Vision 2050 for the NZ Sustainable Business

Council’s Future Leaders programme. He

felt hopeful about “local solutions to global

problems” also because New Zealand was the

only country in which the indigenous people

signed a treaty in 1840 with a colonial power

on the ownership and governance of its land;

a hundred years later, New Zealand became a

founding member of the United Nations and

had played an important role ever since; and

Auckland was today the 4th most immigrant-

intensive city in the world, with more than 40%

of its population born overseas but working with

the locals and each other to realise their career

and life aspirations.

To leverage New Zealand’s uniqueness in

building better connections with Asia and

the world, Rod believed that Kiwi businesses

should not “go cheap”, but try to convince their

overseas counterparts of their merits through

demonstrating their originality, smart strategy,

astute management, multi-tasking skills,

confidence, and willingness to collaborate.

He particularly highlighted the importance

of CQ, or cultural intelligence, in developing

relationships and dealing with complex issues.