As reported by Bloomberg, Japan has lost its position as the world’s second largest economy to rival China. China is in fact predicted to overtake the US as the worlds largest economy in the next 16 years and with its BRIC partners affect and global cultural practice and labour migration.

BRIC Leaders Meeting

L-R; Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

China is the leader in a pack of four emerging economies expected to hold world economic power along with Brazil, Russia and India collectively known by the acronym BRIC.

These four BRIC countries whilst giants in themselves are expected to become global leaders by 2027 if not sooner. This financial shift is significant in taking power away from leaders of the last couple of centuries in the UK, Germany, US and Japan. Finance giant Goldman Sachs accurately predicted BRIC potential in a 2010 report and the projected 2050 figures dwarf anything before seen in history. These predictions are reiterated by the likes of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in what is becoming the financial zeitgeist for the new millennium. 

This power swing is however only momentary in a timeless pendulum where behemoths like the Byzantines, Ottomans, Romans, the US and UK quickly come and go. Indeed the anticipated BRIC shift in wealth and power also has its date of expiry when emerging economies challenge them the future. What is more important perhaps is the affect a shift in wealth and power has on the day to day lives of what the UN predict will be 10 billion people by 2050.

Whether it be the ancient Romans or today the US, governments that maintain world economic power also determine the cultural trajectory of those in her realm. America was the flavour of the century and so we drove American automobiles, watched American cinema, chased American dreams and learned the American-English language. Last year China overtook America as the worlds largest automobile manufacturer and Germany as the largest exporter. It is the worlds largest importer of iron ore and second largest of crude oil whilst Russia has the worlds largest reserves of mineral and energy resources overtaking Saudi Arabia in 2009 as the largest crude oil producer. India’s Bollywood industry produces more than double the number of movies compared to Hollywood and Spanish/Portuguese are amongst the fastest growing languages in the world. 

BRIC countries are certainly positioned to become the cultural flavour of the coming century whilst taking a position of economic prominence in less than half that time. The average day of the 2050 citizen might look somethin like;

08:30 Vegetarian Nashta breakfast in traditional Indian style

08:45 Refuel hybrid vehicle at local Russian Oil service station 

09:00 Arrive at work and spend the next 8 hours project planning Chinese export/import

05:30 Test drive a new car from a Chinese manufacturer

06:30 Proof your children’s Mandarin language homework

07:00 Dinner is a Brazilian Churrasco BBQ

09:30 Watch a new release Bollywood film streamed to your home theatre

11:00 Kiss your wife and wish her ‘buenas nochas, mi amor’

Seems familiar yet somewhat unlikely? Well that’s exactly what we thought prior to American globalisation; Australian’s said McDonalds would never work, supermarkets would never work, Jap (crap) Sony sound systems would never work and Made in China meant Made in Low Quality Sweat Shop. Of course those things were proven wrong and we were eased into a life we take for granted today. One thing however is certain; a BRIC global society will encourage diversity in a greater way than Americanisation has. Those that position themselves for the coming upswing, will profit in a way that is difficult to imagine. So make sure that;

  1. Identify your organisation’s blind spots are when it comes to engaging BRIC  markets

  2. Identify your organisation’s position in the cultural map dominated by BRIC economic power within 10 years

  3. Future proof your HR by employing and up skill existing labour to compliment the anticipated global business culture

  4. Commit to the communities you serve today with programs addressing your target clients of 2050

  5. Go to market with a focus on it’s needs, not your own; nor your current policy objectives

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