Growing Foxes on the shoulders of giants

By Clem Sunter. The education system is ripe for revolution; and it is inspired by the thinking of five intellectual giants. In a presentation I gave last week in Johannesburg, I talked a bit about the programme called 'Growing Foxes' which Chantell Ilbury and I are running at a private school for girls in London. The purpose is to teach them how to think creatively about the future and thereby make better decisions about their lives. We are providing the course material and the principal is giving the lessons. The girls are all in their final academic year. After my presentation, a young woman came up to me and asked how all this came about. My response was based on the quote of the famous mathematician Isaac Newton: "If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants." In our case, we are standing on the shoulders of five giants in constructing the programme. Pierre Wack Pierre is the greatest scenario planner the world has ever produced. He was head of the function at Royal Dutch Shell during the 1970s and became a consultant to my company, Anglo American, in the

Rare chance for SA to reset its ethical compass

By Chantell Ilbury. Amidst the current political turmoil, South Africa sits with a strategic opportunity

As SA hurtles headlong towards the expected chair-tossing anarchy of the ANC’s 54th national conference in December, it has a rare opportunity: to reset its ethical compass. The benefits for business would be profound. South Africans have become inured to what would be shock events in other countries. The combative arena of politics in Europe is akin to the set of Strictly Come Dancing against the rank brutality of South African politics, where bloodshed isn’t a metaphor. Murders, daily in the double digits, slip to the inside pages of SA’s newspapers; racial differences still dominate social discourse and threaten to rend the delicate democracy; and the currency remains the whipping boy of global trade.
But ironically, within all this repetitive nihilism is a sense of certitude: people resign themselves to the situation remaining so. This is why, when pushback against British public relations firm Bell Pottinger and its poisonous narrative pulled a thread that led not only to its rapid unravelling, but also that of KPMG and McKinsey, it all came as something of a shock. There may have been silent

Seoul and Cape Town under threats

By Clem Sunter. Nowadays I ask one simple question in any talk I give: how do you know for certain when a bubble is a bubble? The answer is, only when it bursts. We all live in bubbles; and a major purpose of identifying the flags changing the future is to be aware of the potential needles that can prick the bubble before our lives are turned upside down by them. 1158