Brainstorm 2003

Fortune had a conference recently to discuss the future. Reading the rationale makes me want to have been there in Aspen.

Why does Fortune do Brainstorm? I guess the simplest reason is…the world is screwed up. We have a lot of problems, but the most fundamental is that those of us in a few developed countries have enormous wealth, but most people in the world remain very poor. Yet poor people, no matter where they live, always seem to find enough to spend on communications. TV, cellphones, and now even the Internet at those ubiquitous Internet cafesthese are literally everywhere.

All that technology is a windowthe poor now see the rich with unprecedented clarity. They see what the rich have, and they want some. Thus, the world’s economic divide is becoming unsustainable. The way it looks to me, we’ve reached a point where the world is fundamentally unstable. Yet it will seek equilibrium. Either we start bringing those people up or we will assuredly begin going down. With all the recent clamor about job losses in the U.S., in just about every industry and job type, one could argue that that latter process has already begun.

Brainstorm proceeds from the premise that business is part of the problems and part of the solutions.

Maybe if Emergic and RISC work they’ll invite us sometime!

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.