What is the greatest force shaping our age?

On the front page of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, two unrelated articles pointed to a greater story.

The first concerned a 15- or 16-year-old factory girl in Bangladesh. Her name was Mahinur Akhter. She survived five weeks of burial in the collapsed garment factory where she had worked. A seamstress, she had earned $90-100 a month, essential to her family. Her father died in a traffic accident last year. She now struggles with fear of returning to rickety industrial buildings versus the needs of her mother and siblings. But the tragedy of the factories is part of a greater story of hope.

“For millions” in Bangladesh, the article noted, “global demand for cheap garments provides a chance to lift their families from destitution.” It continued:

Read the entire piece here. 

Visit to a Country of Ghosts

I spent September’s last full week in Budapest, capital of Hungary. Sharing a border with Ukraine, the former Warsaw Pact country is now member of the European Union and NATO. For the United States, it is a strategic country that has become, thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin, a tense region.

Over four days, I met with senior political figures and their advisors, college professors, entrepreneurs and journalists and posed questions to an astute British expatriate who was my guide. I also delivered lectures at three universities.

Read the entire piece here.

Lady Gaga Tells It All

Tonight (Sunday, January 29th), as the opening act in the Grammys, Stefani Germanotta, also known as “Lady Gaga”, will sit at the piano with Reginald Kenneth Dwight, also known as Elton John.  They will sing a duet.  Corporate communicators facing public affairs challenges could learn a thing or two from this appearance.