Monday, February 26, 2024 | Sha'ban 15, 1445 H
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The White Swan and the impact of the highly probable

We could have saved millions of lives if the pharmaceutical industry wasn’t concentrated in a few wealthy countries that monopolise health investments and intellectual property rights

Since 2007, we have learned, the hard way, how reading global signs and wisely assessing situations is the best way to avoid global crises that harm our health, economy, and overall livelihood.

This was in great part due to the book of the influential thinker, and former options trader Nassim Taleb called 'The Black Swan: The impact of the Highly Improbable'. Taleb argues that we do not acknowledge crises until they occur again because “we concentrate on things we already know, and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities.”

While it was hard to predict the global financial crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic it is easier to foresee a White Swan crisis in the horizon facing our world’s larger economy US and exacerbated by a total global failure in communications, that is resulting in the suffering of millions of people in our region and around the world.

There are three predictable global White Swans that our world could turn into opportunities this century; the occupation of Palestine, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, and the US-China rivalry. Without deliberate and wisely seeking to avoid these three crises this century will likely continue to suffer from one crisis to the other.

The occupation of Palestine

As the highest judicial body in the world, International Court of Justice (ICJ), a specific group of people, the Palestinians, are suffering from the signs of genocide.

Israel and its accomplices’ continuous disregard for the genocide convention and international humanitarian laws, and the ongoing dehumanisatiosn of human beings is the White Swan spreading hatred and violence in all corners of the world. We have a great opportunity in 2024 to hold ourselves accountable and alleviate almost a century-old suffering and stand by the right of Palestinians to be free.

For almost a hundred years our world tried to achieve collective peace and prosperity without ending the occupation, and the result has been always the same a complete failure, and this is the right time to try to do the right thing.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine

In February 2024, the charismatic Russian President Vladimir Putin granted an interview to an American media influencer who is an extremist white supremacy sympathizer Tucker Carlson.

This interview showed the leadership failure of both superpowers to spare the world from decades long destructive conflict. It also showed the toxic link between parties that fueling violence, racial hatred and islamophobia in the US and Russia.

The lengthy interview also showed we have a valuable opportunity as human beings to shared understanding of history to achieve truth and reconciliation.

Here’s an opportunity to follow the example of a nation that survived one of our history’s greatest evils - apartheid and build a revamped United Nations body that can guarantee peace and prosperity.

US China rivalry

US China trade wars has been causing global supply chain and procurement disruptions and stifling global research, development, and innovation outside the so-called global north.

We could have saved millions of lives if the pharmaceutical industry wasn’t concentrated in a few wealthy countries that monopolise health investments and intellectual property rights.

The opportunity is to dedicate more investments to more sustainable local supply chains that complement global supply chains.

We have seen how black swans like the global financial crisis and Covid-19 harm humanity, and now that we have several highly probable, man-made crises, I believe we can turn these white swans into opportunities that bring us more justice, prosperity, and useful innovations.

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