Geopolitical Strategist, Economist and World Optimist
Regular Speech Topics
Nope, do not despair, today’s doom-and-gloom sentiment is way over the top. Sure, the current phase of both the political and economic cycle includes many worries but also a herd mentality which is equally strong during times of pessimism as during times of optimism. Media adds to the problem through its inherent negativity bias. Not least since we frail human beings click more on the juicy bad-stuff headlines than on the take-it-easy-no-need-to-fuss headlines. On top of this countless influential stakeholders are strongly incentivised to spin a variety of the fairytale that the only way to stop the world as we know it to end is to send power and money their way. As a consequence many of today’s upsides tend to be simply ignored. All this betrays not least younger generations in a big way since having lead many into a state of permanent anxiety. Despite us living, in just about every way that counts, in the best era ever. As evidenced not least by the fact that very few of us would, if possible, want to return to any previous decade. This inspirational speech serves as a counterweight to all the present negativity. Not by ignoring the negative elements but by presenting the positive counterarguments along with plenty of historical perspective. The point is moreover driven home that a fresh vital start is only possible, following a period of excess, by finally biting the unavoidable hangover bullet. However, if and when doing so in the right way the corner can be turned a lot quicker than the doomsday people typically are claiming. This speech can be tailor-made to focus in particular on the political cycle, business cycle or the security situation.
Staying on Top of Geopolitical Risk. Topical geopolitical update.Currently including Russia/Ukraine and the underestimated likelihood of a more humane regime when Putin has been toppled; The inflation ghost and the shortsightedness of the monetary markets; The pros and cons of the looming recession reset; The UK political mess and why the ‘Downing Street soap opera’ never seems to stop; Why the US, despite all the domestic smoke and dust, is yet again turning more important as the leader of the democratic world; The division of the globe into power blocs and why the prospects of China are often overplayed for much the same reasons the prospects of India are often underestimated; How to react but not overreact during a time when investors, for obvious reasons, are turning towards safe havens of all sorts.
Long Term fundamentals Rather Than Short Term Noise. Today’s six key development trends– technological, commercial and socio-economic – that have triggered today’s ongoing power shifts and equilibrium reset. Trends which explain why we are experiencing the first establishment-versus-the-people divide since the democratic breakthrough. Trends which to a massive degree explain the political and economic similarities and differences between both countries and regions.
The Real No Nonsense Links between Making Money and Sustainable Growth. Why our attitude towards sustainable growth is not only more refined than ever – but can be expected to be yet more refined moving forward. Especially if and when acknowledging the trial-and-error elements involved. How to ensure sustainability/Good Governance even today when anti-entrepreneurial vested interests are, more than ever, bombarding the airwaves with, for example, too-big-to-fail theories. Meaning by theories which, as if by chance, just happen to swimmingly serve the status quo agenda of the big beasts. Yet hinder innovation much needed not least to tackle climate change issues.
UK politics cleansed from PR spin of all sorts. The big picture view including an outside-the-box explanation of the Shakespearean rise, fall – and continued wing lurking – of Boris Johnson. The key mistake of the Truss/Kwarteng duo and why voters always turn down disruption. This speech also includes a round-up of the key factions – often much misunderstood – within both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. It also includes the main reasons the narratives surrounding UK politics tend to turn so tribal. What Rishi Sunak crucially needs to do to keep the Conservative party together. What Keir Starmer crucially needs to do to secure a Labour return to power.
The unique Swedish story and the long-standing magic of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. Why the Social Democratic Party has won more elections, since the 1930s, than any other political party in the democratic world. Why and how the Social Democratic Party has finally lost its magic. Why and how the traditional opposition party, the Moderate Party, has still not really managed to capitalise on the declining fortunes of the Social Democrats. Why instead the Swedish party of discontent, the Sweden Democrats, has managed to overtake the Moderate Party as Sweden’s second largest party. How Sweden, which has stood out in the Nordics over recent years, is nevertheless – contrary to received wisdom – is set to yet again return to its traditional Nordic ways of pragmatic balance. Why the Nordic model for international co-operation is, decidedly, far superior to the EU co-operation model. How the pending Finnish-Swedish NATO memberships really affect Baltic Sea security.
The dominance of “CINO” Centrism and why this fake variety of Centrism cancels rather than balances key thoughts. How to genuinely understand Centrism and its two key varieties: Authentic Centrism (balances key thoughts and has no problem taking on board also right-wing and left-wing thoughts as long as these thoughts are good) and Centrism In Name Only (Centrism that uses moralism to simply kill debate relating to non-Centrist thoughts). Why the latter, CINO, was bound to produce an anti-thesis like Trumpism. How this has left authentically moderate voters, in country after country, betrayed by not only one but both key camps. How this dilemma is, for those willing to see, rectified by democracy now reasserting itself.
Why the EU experiment (a textbook example of a CINO project) is doomed to fail in its current form. Why the EU of today is bound to leave its wonderful promises unfulfilled regardless of all the massive amounts of goodwill involved (and regardless also numerous stakeholders paid to insist otherwise). Why the immense EU powers of interpretation amounts to a double-edged sword while in practice blocking a truthful vigorous debate – as always when massive amounts of power is concentrated in the hands of unelected officials. Why years of protracted political and economic agony could be avoided, in the increasingly sclerotic eurozone, if reshaping or returning today’s EU into something more similar to what most voters have always been promised: a free trade union that does not erode democracy. Why the prospects of the latter eventually happening – and voter intent finally realised – are a lot higher than held by received wisdom. How the controversy surrounding the EU is, at the end of the day, little more than a modern variety of the centuries old controversy between the establishment and the people. Meaning a fight between, on the one hand, the (pretend) stability, shine and glory offered by paternalistic “philosopher kings”. And, on the other hand, the confusing hustle and bustle of real democracy. Now as always the latter will be labeled “mob rule” by power centralisers but it will still allow for the element of continuous self-correction and reset – through trial-and-error – that always really secures long term stability.
The Brexit story – cleansed from both Brussels and London PR-spin. How and why the Brexit story has intriguingly alternated between high-level Greek drama and soap opera. Why none of the tribal hero-versus-villain narratives – or tribal wisdom-versus-stupidity narratives – are even close to telling the Brexit story truthfully. UK prospects if focusing on long term fundamentals rather than on wishful thinking among those incentivised to want Brexit to either succeed or fail.
The classic banality of Vladimir Putin. Why the long-term prospects of a more democratic Russia are actually improving rather than deteriorating. Not despite but due to the current Kreml backwardness. Why Putin is already a man of the past. How the Putin government, with record speed, managed to do what the German government failed so blatantly to do: reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Why it is far from certain that Putin – when he is toppled – will be replaced by another ‘Hardman’. Why he could also be replaced by a “Russian Zelensky”
How to distinguish real democrats from those only believing they are real democrats. The fundamental democracy lesson we keep forgetting even when proactively striving to improve society. What it always pays off to place the long-term political and economic bets on the world’s politically most grassroots oriented (truly democratic) countries. Countries like – at least so far – the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and the Nordic countries. Why the vast number of claims made by people thinking otherwise – or paid to say otherwise – really should be dismissed as noise. Why we can easily fool ourselves we are real democrats even when presenting paternalistic arguments -non-democratic per definition – such as “voters are too uneducated to know their own good”. Why real democrats never toy with “temporarily” offsetting democracy. Why the hustle, bustle and often unseemly mud-fights of real democracy is often mistaken as signs of weakness. Despite, really, reflecting society vigour. Whereas the (pretend) calm offered by “philosopher kings” is a foolproof indicator of decline rather than progress. Why, due to the seductive trappings of the philosopher king mindset, every generation will have to reconquer real democracy.
Why the tribal people might dominate the airwaves but are still a lot weaker than their reputation. How these camps still tend to dominate the airwaves despite often outrageously misrepresenting the only consistently moderate force in today’s decidedly middle class society: the electorate. Why really no camp can be trusted not to take things too far is given the chance. Why every camp actually can be trusted to take things too far if given the change. What to do if really interested in bridging divides and healing society.
Why we really do not need to be so gloomy about the future. As long as we do not forget to champion authentic rather than pretend democracy as well as authentic rather than pretend market orientation. Why short term noise always tends to be far too negativistic and therefore should be taken with a massive pinch of salt.