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think:act - Mastering complexity

Issue 15, 2010

If we want to generate sustainable growth for the future, we need to successfully connect the major challenges in the world—such as climate change and demography—with growth. In this effort, industrial expertise plays a decisive role. Why? Because both the green technologies that can help us address climate change, and the productivity gains that can enable us to generate growth with fewer employees, are based on superior industrial know-how.

The crisis has been a good reminder that the real economy—namely industry and highly-specialized services, especially in combination — plays a crucial role in the economic structure. That puts our priorities right back in order! And it places continental Europe, with its high industrial density, in a leading position.

However, the crisis has also revealed clearly that the Asian national economies saved us from crashing into a depression—and that they will remain the growth drivers for the next few years, with China as the model for successful Asian economic development. However, a growing number of people are beginning to ask just how long can China walk the tightrope between communism and capitalism? India, for example, is pursuing alternate roads to growth and prosperity. In this dossier we present our perspective on how real the opportunities for India as a boom region truly are. One of India’s strengths is diversity, which can be advantageous for competition and progress. Yet one region in the world has potential for an even more stimulating environment: Europe. Nowhere else can you find more languages, cultures and countries in a smaller geographic area. This unique mix has led European businesses to develop a special outlook on management—a topic we present indepth in many studies and books.

For this issue, in an exclusive interview, we spoke with BASF CEO Jürgen Hambrecht for his insights on the opportunities inherent in a “European way of management.”

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