In no particular order, I've been thinking through the below set of questions and would love asynchronous exchanges with others who may have insight on potential answers:
- Market failure -- The world economy is open source. Any new entrant can capitalize on a market opportunity by introducing new solutions. In emerging markets, there is a persisting latent demand for many common products and/or services that do not yet exist. Many of these solutions: (a) have a proven economic model and universal appeal, (b) exist and thrive in most geographies in the world, and (c) do not require a complex skill to execute. Why do these solutions not exist in so many emerging markets (keeping in mind that these geographies are home to countless well capitalized business groups that actively seek opportunities for new ventures)?
- Future of zoological parks -- In recent years, there has been broad acknowledgement that holding animals in captivity in a zoo should be unacceptable. In densely populated metropolitan areas, are there ways to build zoological parks such that people get to experience nature and wildlife, but in ways that do not require animals to be held in captivity? Is this already happening in some parts of the world?
- Future of work -- Since the advent of Covid-19, a lot of companies have embraced a remote-first work environment. While the transition to remote work has been successful in many ways, there are two key things that are still difficult to replicate in a remote environment: (1) a natural environment for brainstorming and problem-solving through serendipitous exchanges that result from being in the same physical space, and (2) building a strong sense of camaraderie, association and chemistry with teammates. Are there creative solutions that can solve for (1) and (2) in a remote environment?
- Economic development -- In the natural cycle of development for emerging economies, what is/are the "root factor(s)" that create the pathway to economic development? In some emerging markets, there is a growing belief that a highly functional judicial system is the most important driver of rapid economic progress. In other countries, there is a sense of acknowledgement that education and the skill level is the true driver of economic progress. In reality, I wonder if there are different "phases" of development -- each of which requires a different set of "root factors" to advance to the next phase. India, for instance, is in a very different phase of development compared to Indonesia. I wonder if there is empirical research that identifies some of these phases and what is required within each.
- Systems of governance -- In the 19th century, the founding fathers of the US wrote down the country's first Constitution in 1781 with a system that was designed to create structural resistances to hijackings of the state by a single faction. In some ways, the design of the modern state across the three pillars (executive, judicial and military) has been successful at creating a balance of power and at preventing mass hijackings of the state by a single faction. In many emerging economies, however, the modern democratic republic hasn't been successful. Is there a more intelligent design to the modern governance system that: (a) continues to foster a free and open economy, (b) creates structural changes that make the hijacking of the state by a small faction less likely than it currently is in emerging markets?
If you have thoughts on the above questions -- I'd love to hear from you (email@example.com).