Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rules for addressing a crisis and mottainai - OECD ICT conference

This morning, former Prime Minister Esko Aho outlined his 7 plus 1 rules that he used to address the serious economic situation Finland was facing in 1991.

These rules really resonated with me. Especially as it was noted that they would be equally useful in addressing the climate crisis. They are:

1. Work with the worst case scenario - take facts seriously
2. A strategy is required to move forward
3. Gov't interventions in the finance sector should be brief and should promote structural changes
4. A crisis is an opportunity that allows for radical reforms
5. Don't eat (or reduce funding for) "seed potatoes" such as education and R&D
6. Take advantage of the mobility issues that come from a crisis (not just physical but also mental mobility)
7. Be patient - don't expect changes overnight

and the plus 1 - Politicians - don't think about the next election.

Also during the opening addresses (although this time during Botaro Hirosaki's speech), I learned of the Japanese term 'mottainai'. Mottainai is a feeling of regret about waste when the intrinsic value of an object or resource is not properly utilized. It was quite something to discover there is a single word that sums up my motivation for embarking on my carbon footprint reduction project.

After such a thought provoking first day, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's sessions. I'm hoping that during the 'gov'ts paving the way' session we will learn how the barriers to implementing green ICT solutions can be lifted. For indeed there must be barriers as these existing solutions have not been implemented throughout the majority of the world.

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