31 December 2011

fer auld lang syne...

GDC's Holiday Greeting Card. GreenDen Consultancy ©

This time of the year always puts me in a reflective mood, as I take account of everything that has happened. I'm filled with gratitude for my friends, family, colleagues and my work. This year, the most significant thing I have done was start GreenDen Consultancy and make the first big step not only towards entrepreneurship but also towards taking a stand in changing things.

This year has been an extremely hard for many reasons. It has seen its share of natural calamities, a nuclear disaster, oil spills, the European debt crisis, the Occupy Movement, Anna Hazare's hunger strikes in India, the Durban climate talks and environmental problems. Reaching 7 billion people in terms of population has put population control back on the map - AIDS, cancer and malaria research also made tremendous headway. In many ways, this year will set the trend for the coming decade as many issues have reached the boiling point.

The most inspiring trend to be seen is that socio-environmental issues have come to the forefront, not just in the Western world but also in Asia. These were visibly demonstrated in several instances and I reckon that this is going to continue.

One of the biggest deciding factors for a better future will be how we manage our resources. This will have to start this year - oil, natural gas, coal, metals, and minerals will take front and center position in terms of sourcing as well as creating opportunities for companies to be more thrifty. Conserving other resources like water, forests, wildlife, and agricultural land will create even more pressure on the way we live. Overarching conservation policies for all of the above are needed to forge ahead into a world that places the least strain on the environment.

A couple of weeks ago, I just finished reading Amanda Little's book Power Trip and although the book was published in 2009, it is still pertinent. It renewed my faith that the world of the future is possible with consolidated efforts starting now, not only in terms of consumer trends but also government policies. There needs to be radical changes in the way we view energy usage, food security and production as well as resource utilization. Emphasis is required not only on creating new technology to reduce impact but also improving existing technology to make it more efficient.

For now though, let us take some time to reminiscence, gather our strength, mourn, laugh and welcome with hope, a new year as we respectfully lay the last to rest.