What caught my attention – week of 3 February 2020

Happy new year and happy lunar new year (of the rat). May 2020 and this new decade bring you and your loved ones even more love, health, happiness and wealth. After a long(ish) winter break below are a few things that caught my attention over the last few weeks.


1. Behavioural science and diet

Title: A Menu for Change
Using behavioural science to promote sustainable diets around the world. In our latest report, A Menu for Change, we make the case for a global shift towards more sustainable and healthier diets. Using the latest and most well-evidenced behavioural science, we outline 12 strategies for promoting sustainable diets. Each strategy offers a route through which governments, retailers, producers, restaurants, campaigners and consumers can help deliver a more sustainable food system. And central to all of these strategies, is a recognition that widespread diet change needs to be genuinely appealing to consumers, perceived as normal, and easy to adopt.

2. Trendwatching

Title: Asian Trends for 2020


From WeChat to WeWork and Grab to Gangnam Style, the 2010s has rewritten consumer expectations in radical ways. Now a new decade is upon us, and the pace of innovation will only accelerate. In this briefing we have curated three key consumer trends that will shape Asia in 2020 and beyond. Each one features best-in-class innovation examples that collectively signal new emerging consumer expectations:


1. SUSTAINABLE STEWARDS: In 2020, sustainable lifestyles become the new status symbol.
2. GOOD POLICE: Asian consumers demand brands to use data and technology for good.
3. BUSINESS AS SOCIAL: Community-driven commerce is the next e-commerce frontier.

3. Family business


This is not an article per se rather a fascinating organisation. Les Henokiens is the international association of bicentenary family businesses and they have a terrific website which is a phenomenal resource for anyone interested in family businesses. The organisation was formed in 1981 and is basically an association of companies that have been in existence for 200+ years, in good financial standing and either in family ownership/majority control and family mgmt/board. Currently they have about 50 members (not surprisingly majority from Europe and some from Japan).


Few things I found useful:

4. Eastern philosophy

Title: The Multiverse And Eastern Philosophy
Link: Forbes

These ideas grapple with the fastness of the multiverse, but also its interconnectedness. “All phenomena, from the macro to the micro, is the hologram-like expression of the ultimate nature of the universe,” says Sensei Stultz. “The true nature of the self is not the transient and contingent ego but the ground of our inherent interconnectedness. If the multiverse is really out there, its vastness may seem a bit terrifying. But these images, from flower garlands to nets of pearls, may help us to imagine that it is nothing to fear, rather, that we, somehow, are a part of something much larger, something that can fill us with awe and wonder.”

5. Leadership

Title: USAFA Superintendent talks to cadets about racial slurs found on campus
Link: Youtube


It’s not a new video but every time I watch it I get encouraged. Lesson for myself: when I’m privileged to be in a position of leadership it is my duty to lead.
“So just in case you’re unclear on where I stand on this topic, I’m going to leave you with my most important thought today: If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you can’t teach someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”

+1 Book of the week

Author and title: Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams – The book of joy

One of my favourite books which I gifted to more people than I can remember.

“Hope is quite different from optimism, which is more superficial and liable to become pessimism when circumstances change. Hope is something much deeper. I say to people that I’m not an optimist because that in a sense if something that depends on feelings more than the actual reality. We feel optimistic or we feel pessimistic. Now, hope is different that it is based not on the ephemerality of feelings but on firm ground of conviction. I believe with a steadfast faith that there can never be a situation that is utterly totally hopeless. Hope is a dapper and very, very close to unshakeable. It’s the pit of your tummy. It’s not in your head. To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind baring one’s chest to the elements knowing that in time the storm will pass.

“If someone has something we want just take joy in their good fortune and say: good for him. Just like me he too wants to be happy, successful and support his family. May he be happy. I congratulate him and want him to have more success.”

“Stress and anxiety often come from too much expectation and ambition then when we don’t fulfil those we experience frustration. Right from the beginning it’s a self-centred attitude.”

“What we are offering is a way of handling your worries: thinking about others. You can think about others who are in a similar situation or perhaps even in a worse situation, but who have survived or even thrived. It does help quite a lot to see yourself as part of a greater whole.”