For many of us tea is part of our everyday lives. From providing the centre piece for social functions, to being an integral part of a Buddhist's meditation ritual, tea as a drink is woven into the fabric of millions of lives around the world. After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Global consumption of tea jumped 60% between 1993 and 2010 and we now drink more than 3 billion cups a day.
Consider the word "crisis" in the modern world. Which would be the first geographical region that comes to your mind when you think about "crisis"? Maybe not Europe? At least, perhaps not until recent months, when the region became plagued with two major crises -- the financial one caused by our Greek friends, and the currently trending news item, the migrant crisis.
Hours to go and I can feel the adrenaline kicking in. Whatever happens on polling day, the General Election 2015 has been chaotic. The growing complexity of British politics, signalled by the appearance of seven leaders in the leadership debate compared to four last time, has not led to a better quality of discussion or engagement with the voters, but higher degrees of posturing and spinning against the storm.
The fact of the matter is that Muslims have always spoken out against groups like ISIS. Yet it is worth noting that after these extremist groups act, Muslims across the globe (and in particular the Western world) are left stranded in the centre of an imperial dichotomy which labels them according to "fundamental" and "moderate" Muslims.
Ego enables us to see shortcomings and weaknesses in others, but not in ourselves. And when we do see our weaknesses, ego hides them and claims to the world that we have none. How do you know when your ego is at work? If you feel insulted, if a criticism hurts, if you get defensive, lose confidence.... it's your ego reacting!
Being collaborative is often cited as something that women are better at than men. Now before I elaborate on this point I would like to start with the caveat that there are more differences among men and among women than there are between the genders. I think it's important to make that case up front and to make sure that any discussion on gender differences does not resort to general stereotyping.
In Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 movie Rumblefish, Mickey Rourke's doomed anti-hero Motorcycle Boy mutters: "If you'd going to lead people, you have to have somewhere to go." It's a thought that CEOs of today's entertainment and media businesses might usefully ponder as they strive to lead their organisations - and their people - through the turbulence of digital disruption.
I had high expectations for the 4th SLOW LIFE Symposium and it certainly didn't disappoint. With three days of conversing and debating with thirty of the great leaders and visionary thinkers from diverse areas of expertise, I knew from Day One that we would leave here with a sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm to change the world.
We had a whole series of wonderful mini-presentations from participants - and there were only two rules: no Powerpoint, and take it for granted that everyone else already knows just how dire the situation is out there. Instead of first wandering around forlornly in the bad stuff, cut straight to the good stuff - and stick with it!