"I think there are certain times where you have tectonic shifts and change always happens that way."
On the latest episode of 'That Made All the Difference,' Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia, shares his thoughts on the role we all have to play in bringing our communities and the environment back to health.
For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.
<p>Indeed, this case reflects the full scope of complexities underpinning contemporary Rwandan politics and society.</p><p><strong>Paul Kagame: A "benevolent dictator"</strong></p><p>Much of Kagame's worldview was formed during his formative years growing up in a Ugandan refugee camp. An ethnic Tutsi, Kagame was one of hundreds of thousands who fled during the country's decades-long civil war to escape violent attacks by the Hutu-led government.</p><p>In the waning days of the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26875506" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Rwandan genocide </a>— during which Tutsis were systematically raped, tortured and murdered by their Hutu neighbors, and some 1 million Rwandans were killed — Paul Kagame commanded the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RFP), a Tutsi militia that eventually ended the Hutus' murderous campaign, emerging as the most powerful political force in post-conflict Rwanda. Kagame became president in 2000.</p><p>Since then, Kagame has been credited with overseeing a period of stability and economic prosperity after one of the world's bloodiest conflicts, but <a href="https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/kagame-african-leader-obama-shouldnt-invite-109677" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">critics</a> accuse him of widespread <a href="https://vimeo.com/107867605?utm_campaign=5370367&utm_source=affiliate&utm_channel=affiliate&cjevent=20b86c22fdb411ea82be007f0a240611" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">human rights abuses.</a></p><p><strong>Internal perceptions</strong></p><p>While many Rwandans revere Kagame for his role in ending the conflict and then putting Rwanda on the map as one of the <a href="https://qz.com/africa/1783714/african-economies-to-watch-in-2020-debt-and-climate-crisis/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">fastest-growing</a> economies in Africa, and one of the best places to do business in the world (in the <a href="https://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/media/Annual-Reports/English/DB2019-report_web-version.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">World Bank's 2019 "Doing Business" report </a>it ranked 29th out of 190 countries), he is also widely viewed as a <a href="https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/kagame-african-leader-obama-shouldnt-invite-109677" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">strongman</a> known for suppressing dissenting views and creating an atmosphere of growing mistrust and fear.</p><p>Indeed, politically motivated killings and enforced disappearances of high-profile <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/rwandas-opposition-rattled-by-killings-and-disappearances-of-members/a-50596049" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">political opponents </a>in the years since Kagame took power are well documented, while <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/01/28/rwanda-repression-across-borders" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">human rights groups</a> have long denounced arbitrary arrests and torture of Rwandans who dare to criticize the government.</p><p>Many Rwandans also lament the concentration of power amongst a small group of political elite who are loyal to the president. Kagame's <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/06/world/africa/rwanda-elections-paul-kagame.html?_r=0" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">reelection</a> in 2017 — when he claimed to have reaped a fanciful 99 percent of the vote — was seen by many as a sham, reflective of the oppressive political environment the RFP has cultivated. Importantly, this contested election came just two years after Kagame held a referendum overriding term limits that would allow him to stay at the helm until 2034. (<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/26/it-looks-like-a-gameshow-russias-pseudo-vote-on-putins-term-limits" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Vladimir Putin </a>seemed to find this move inspiring, following suit this year.)</p><p><strong>External perceptions</strong></p><p>The international development community, and much of the West, have lauded Kagame for steering the country through a period of profound economic growth that's lifted at least 1 million people out of poverty. Meanwhile, Kagame's focus on expanding female representation in politics — over <a href="https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2018/8/feature-rwanda-women-in-parliament" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">60 percent</a> of the country's lawmakers are women — has also endeared him to leaders in Europe and the US. (When <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-42834308" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">US President Donald Trump </a>met with his Rwandan counterpart in 2018, he praised Kagame's "absolutely terrific" leadership and said: "It's a great honor to have you as a friend." )</p><p>Additionally, the Kagame government's focus on promotion of new technologies and environmental policy (in 2019, Rwanda became the first African country to introduce a complete <a href="https://www.greenpeace.org/africa/en/blogs/11156/34-plastic-bans-in-africa/#:~:text=Rwanda%20is%20a%20shining%20star,sale%20of%20plastic%20carrier%20bags.&text=In%20October%202019%2C%20Rwanda%20became,on%20all%20single%2Duse%20plastics." rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ban </a>on all single-use plastics) has led to strong partnerships with economic heavyweights like Germany. The two countries recently created a <a href="https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/first-for-africa-volkswagen-and-siemens-launch-joint-electric-mobility-pilot-project-in-rwanda-5510" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">joint pilot project </a>to introduce electric cars to Rwanda, with plans to expand the electronic automotive industry throughout the region.</p><p>To be sure, while some Western leaders have condemned Kagame for his human rights record in the past — with Washington going so far as to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-rwanda-usa/u-s-cuts-military-aid-to-rwanda-over-congo-rebel-support-idUSBRE86K0AY20120721" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">cut </a>military aid to Rwanda in 2012, citing the government's support for violent militias in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — most have been willing to look the other way because of the country's economic potential. (In the late1990s, leaders including US President Bill Clinton and the UK's Tony Blair repeatedly praised Kagame's leadership as visionary.)</p><p><strong>A complex legacy</strong></p><p>Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian writer, philosopher and dissident, once said: "The battle between good and evil runs through the heart of every man." While Paul Kagame has pioneered reforms that have helped stabilize a war-torn country, many believe that his oppressive tactics have led to continued pain and suffering, <a href="https://theconversation.com/rwanda-cant-achieve-reconciliation-without-fixing-its-democracy-94925" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">making it hard </a>for Rwanda's post-genocide society to fully heal.</p>
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Listen: Have you ever heard of Blue Zones? They're communities all around the globe—from Sardinia to Okinawa to Loma Linda, CA—where residents exceed the average human lifespan by years, and even decades. While they've been studied for the lessons we can learn about health, lifestyle, and environment, you don't have to live in a Blue Zone to experience increased longevity. It's happening everywhere. In fact, the number of people over 80 is expected to triple by 2050, reaching nearly half a billion. This episode of Living Beyond Borders focuses on the geopolitical and economic implications of an aging global population, how to make the most of new chapters in your life as you age, and what it all means for your money and the world around you.
<p>This episode of the Living Beyond Borders podcast features Robert Jasminski, Global Head of Citi Investment Management, with Eurasia Group's Fernanda Kroup in a conversation about the future of globalism moderated by Meredith Sumpter, CEO of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism.</p>
<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.gzeromedia.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzNjE3Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNzk1OTc3NX0.VDL0hZiCvShJZtFyT5Y2h7jL-cHgGSYotNu6yQT6e60/image.jpg?width=980" id="d77b6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8b4f6964f822d6529905b5689663a84c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Robert Jasminski" /><p class="caption">Robert Jasminski</p><p class="caption">Global Head of Citi Investment Management, Citi Private Bank</p>
<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.gzeromedia.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzNjE3MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MDU3MzQ4N30.jmQXxBWLdzNFJAGgIQyoMBc5PCKKsp7XwlTZi1co_Tw/image.jpg?width=980" id="656e8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1a4438dad19f6613adc37cbd8c5e218f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Fernanda Kroup" /><p class="caption">Fernanda Kroup</p><p class="caption">Managing Director, Corporate Research and Consulting, Eurasia Group</p>
<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.gzeromedia.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzNjE3NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTQwNDM1MX0.5y3kpryrsalYZCpN3ALQq8wNFxAgSagiq-cTZDJLEgc/image.jpg?width=980" id="e2eb7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5d0bc8affb35600b74110140d5e45779" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Meredith Sumpter" /><p class="caption">Meredith Sumpter</p><p class="caption">CEO, the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism</p>
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Born in the ashes of World War II, the United Nations now marks its 75th anniversary amid another global crisis. But is the world ready to come together today as it did decades ago? Ian Bremmer offers a brief history of the organization, and some memorable moments from years gone by, as the UN's 193 member states gather virtually for the 2020 General Assembly.
Watch the episode: UN Secretary-General António Guterres: Why we still need the United Nations
September 24, 2020
Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how corporate business leaders think in response to the coronavirus crisis:
How can business leaders approach budget planning for 2021 when the environment is so uncertain?
In short, I believe that the planning process for 2021 presents an opportunity to turn hard earned lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. It's an enduring exercise that links strategy to value. Now, five steps are needed for this to happen.
<p>First, stress test scenarios and assumptions to counter uncertainty. Two, reimagine the business from a zero base in order to determine key business drivers. Three, hold back some spending centrally, as contingency, to build flexibility and optionality into budgets. Four assign finance talent to support the highest priority areas, or topics in order to prevent burnout. Five, rethink decision-making with the explicit goal of de-biasing the planning process.Given the scale of disruption, means previously held beliefs likely no longer hold true. The past year has been full of challenges. 2021 will no doubt bring another set of challenges, but it's also a year when companies invest now behind resilience and sustainability are those that will emerge stronger, not weaker from this crisis.</p>
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