In a world with 9 billion inter-connected people, power will come from creating peace, prosperity and freedom and this will require breakthroughs in how we live, enabled by a transformation in the very definition of power itself


The Shape of the World to Come – Part III: The Path to a New World Order
The Shape of the World to Come – Part III: The Path to a New World Order

The third part of our series on the Shape of the World to Come attempts to describe the transition to and the shape of the New World Order.  In this undertaking, we examine the opportunity for a peaceful transition to the future and the potential for a violent one.

The Shape of the World to Come – Part II:  The Key Challenges Facing the World
The Shape of the World to Come – Part II: The Key Challenges Facing the World

The second part of our series on the Shape of the World to Come presents the big issues that are driving people to support more extreme positions at the electoral box.  These issues might not only undermine some of the important progress achieved but also set the path for a new world order to emerge from conflict and competition.

The Shape of the World to Come – Part I: How the World is Progressing
The Shape of the World to Come – Part I: How the World is Progressing

In the first of a three part series on the Shape of the World to Come the Sign looks at the key elements of progress made globally.  Despite the challenges facing the world today, we live in a time of unprecedented progress and improving lives across a number of critical dimensions.

The US Election in Context – We Live in Revolutionary Times: The Prelude to the New World Order
The US Election in Context – We Live in Revolutionary Times: The Prelude to the New World Order

Both the Trump and Brexit votes have taken place within the context of revolutionary history. Looking ahead there is the potential for more revolutions to come, with significant implications for the world.

South China Seas: With Greater Power Comes Greater Responsibility
South China Seas: With Greater Power Comes Greater Responsibility

The ruling by the international tribunal in the Hague on the South China Seas dispute between the Philippines and China has significant potential security implications.  If not well handled, the ruling bears wide ranging risks for China on sovereignty disputes with India, Japan and almost all its neighbours and in domestic matters too.

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Featured : Addressing India’s Literacy Challenge A brief discussion with Sourav Banerjee, India Country Director for Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation whose mission is to tackle the problem of childhood literacy across the developing world

Addressing India’s Literacy Challenge

The Sign of the Times has written extensively about the importance of education and skill development for India to fully realise its demographic advantage and thereby achieve economic development. Approximately a quarter of India’s population is illiterate, and by virtue of its sheer size, India has the largest illiterate population in the world, accounting for c.40% of the world’s illiterate population. This is disproportionately skewed towards women and girls, approximately a third of whom lack even basic literacy skills, and has therefore limited women’s ability to choose how they participate in the economy.

Addressing India’s literacy and education challenges, along with the large gender gap, clearly requires transformative solutions. In this context, Greater Pacific Capital talks to Sourav Banerjee, Country Director for Room to Read in India. Room to Read is a global non-profit organisation whose mission is to tackle the problem of childhood literacy across the developing world.

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Image 5 The Frontline

Revolution and Information Revolution

Revolution and the Information Revolution

A brief discussion with Jon Miller, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Digital Media Group and Chief Digital Officer for News Corporation.


Reflections on India in the BRICs; Who You Calling a BRIC?

Reflections on India and the BRICS; who you calling a BRIC

Interview with and article by Jim O’Neill, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management who coined the term “BRICS”.

Frontline 3

Interpreting Gandhi’s Principles of Non-Violence for Today’s World

Interpreting Gandhi’s Principles of Non-Violence for Today’s World

Lecture by Rajni Bakshi, Gandhi Peace Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations

Archived Articles

Pointing to the Future in       February 2018

Pointing to the Future

India, Iran and a Divided Middle East.  Realism tells us that Delhi does not have the power to mitigate the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. But Delhi can certainly encourage the emerging trends for political and social moderation in the Middle East.

India’s Path from Crony Socialism to Stigmatized Capitalism.  Over the past few years, the Indian government has pursued far-reaching economic reforms to address the twin problems of overly indebted private-sector firms and under-capitalized public-sector banks. But, more fundamentally, the government is finally trying to deliver the country from the legacy of its socialist past.

India Must Play Hardball If It Wants to Be Part of the Maldives’ Return to Stability.  India’s capacity to serve as a first responder to crises in the region also requires the strategic will and skill to help solve neighbouring countries’ political conflicts. After it failed to take such an initiative during the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Maldives one poses another test for India to act like a leading power.

Welcome to the New Indian Ocean.  In the last few years we have seen growing strategic rivalry between major powers such as China and India as they expand their roles in the Indian Ocean. These developments may presage the beginnings of a new Indian Ocean order – a much more complex and multipolar region, where a number of major and middle powers jostle for influence and position.

Deepening the India-France Maritime Partnership.  In response to growing geopolitical turbulence, both India and France appear eager to expand their strategic engagement. Bolstering their alliance is bound to move India away from the legacy of nonalignment and military isolationism, pushing it progressively toward coalition building with other powers.

India’s Elite Institutions Are Facing a Credibility Crisis.  The realities of India’s institutions are captured most evocatively by Lant Pritchett’s notion of a “flailing” state. Pritchett’s term refers to the fact that India’s public institutions have a Jekyll and Hyde quality to them: an exclusive set of elite agencies that are high-functioning and a patchwork of lower-level institutions that are not.

India’s Budget 2018: Those Left Behind.  India has a long way to go to be a disabled-friendly country in terms of both infrastructure and the discriminatory mentality which its 27 million disabled people are subject to every day. Yet the allocation made to the department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) is a marginal increase.

May’s Visit Shows Why Britain Needs a More Strategic China Policy.   The contradictions across multiple areas of China policy will not go away. It will be challenging to balance commercial interests, the opportunities and potential political sensitivities of growing Chinese investment in the UK, relations with other allies and Asian economies, and the questions of human rights.

US Allies Aren’t Buying Its New Strategies to Confront China.  The Trump administration has foreshadowed a much more confrontational relationship with China. But US allies and friends question how well the Trump administration rhetoric relates to strategic reality. China presents many challenges to the US, but bluff, bluster and empty rhetoric will be seen for exactly what it is.

Could the Renminbi Challenge the Dollar?  Whether the renminbi joins the global currency club will depend less on international institutions than on China’s domestic policies. For the renminbi to become a true global currency, it needs the support of deep, liquid financial markets, which may take decades to develop, even if the Chinese economy continues to grow without interruption.

China’s Economic Gloom Merchants.  The IMF’s suggestion that China should accept lower growth rates in order to limit debt growth seems to be mistaken logic. If a key reform is to restructure SOEs, slower growth will make this more painful, and therefore less likely. China should be able to maintain the 6–7% growth of recent years as it deepens capital and moves towards the technological frontier.

What’s Happening with China’s Fintech Industry?  By any measure, China has become the world leader in the fintech industry. Though largely reliant on China’s relatively closed domestic market, several industry leaders are setting their sights abroad.

The Chinese Communist Party’s Experiment with Transparency.  Adoption of the Open Party Regulations institutionalizes the open party affairs project and strengthens the “cage of regulations” into which Xi has vowed to place the exercise of power. Its passage also signals the CCP’s continued, albeit cautious, support for using transparency to modernize the Chinese governance system.

Brexit : What’s Next for the China-UK Relationship? Post-Brexit, China will not be averse to make use of the UK’s main asset, i.e. its financial centre. If and when the UK decides to close the curtain on its EU membership, China will be there, if – and only if – it suits its own agenda.

Shipping Finance: China’s New Tool in Becoming a Global Maritime Power. Given its three-fold expansion in the last decade, a growth rate of seven percent for the past two consecutive years and the central government’s policy, China’s expansion in shipping finance is expected to continue. This entails greater shipping power for China, which will give it greater control over global supply chains.

Could China Embrace Blockchain for Defense and Security Applications? Despite its benefits, Blockchain has yet to prove its military and security bona fides in China.  However, as the technology evolves, it is very likely that its use will proliferate across the public and private sectors in China.

China’s AI Agenda Advances. China’s rapid emergence as an AI powerhouse is often hyped and sensationalized, variously provoking alarm and enthusiasm that can sometimes overshadow the reality of real progress. At the same time, critical challenges remain in China’s quest to become “the world’s premier AI innovation center” and build up an AI industry of $150 billion in the process