Session 1 and 2 of the GEB course was an interactive session with the most interested students who took great interest in understanding what Geopolitics is all about. It seemed that it was the first time they came across this term and the concept of Geopolitical Environment.
It took one example of Soscolo, a place in Italy which has developed into a centre of excellence in the manufacturing of the world’s best ceramic tiles in last 700 years to explain the concept. While Soscolo accounts for 20% of the world production of Ceramic tiles and around 50% of the world export of the commodity, it is interesting to note that most of its hegemony on the product developed after World War II when most of Europe was devastated in the war. The rebuilding efforts of the aftermath of the war created tremendous demand for the ceramic tiles from Soscolo since it was one of the most suitable places to source this material due to its location, availability of skilled labor for this product and technology availability there. Manufacturers in Soscolo took advantage of this opportunity and refined the technology to make it more efficient requiring less labor. At the same time production capacities increased. Related industry developed and today we have the world’s most excellent centre for this product.
Above example of Soscolo of Italy demonstrate how three dimensions of Geopolitics can create a centre of excellence in business. These 3 dimensions are – Time Dimension, Place Dimensions and Demographics Dimension. These entire 3 dimensions were in Soscolo’s favor at the time of rebuilding of Europe. Due to this TRIAD effect, all the demand for ceramic tiles went to this place which was strategically located.
In the subsequent sessions students will understand how these 3 dimensions play an important role in creating Geopolitical advantage for businesses in particular places of the world at particular times of history of the world.
Political and Economic Environment is also a result of these three dimensional forces of Geopolitics. The change in the political and economic systems of the world can also be explained from this 3 dimensional Geopolitical Model of important forces which forces the subjects and political leaders to take decisions in favor of changing geopolitical weather of the nations and cultures around the world. One example of this change explained to the students related to increasing democratization of political systems of the world. Notable examples given were of Nicaragua, Chile, Eastern Europe and more recently the Gulf Region where purple revolution is taking place on the medium of Face book led campaigns in favor of democracy and more powers to the common people. Scores of countries are likely to affect by these changes which may drastically change the political and economic models of countries which are still not ready to accept these Geopolitical Change of Global weather. It was argues in the class that China may not remain unaffected by these Geopolitical changes and may see eruption of popular sentiments in favor of more power to its subjects and right to choose the people who must govern Chinese economy and its people. These changes may be seen in not so distance future.
Discussions in the class with the students brought above important points to the new Geopolitical understanding and helped understand the concepts in most simple manner. Students seemed satisfied with their new understanding of Geopolitical Changes which must be understood well by globetrotting business executives to help themselves take difficult business decisions.
In subsequent sessions, attempt will be made for the students to discuss on the next level of Geopolitical understanding through small case lets and news analysis. Students are expected to have read important global news while doing this course in order to raise their points during class room discussions. Attempt will also be made in the discussions to link several happenings in the world to Geopolitical models. These models will be discussed in detail to enhance the theoretical underpinning of the students.