I am finishing this editorial in Khajuraho station waiting for the train to Delhi. 13 months ago I first came to incredible India as a tourist, but a great deal has happened since then. Now I’m living here on a business visa and engaged in building a school. And I’ve discovered the joys of riding my motorbike across the countryside.
From the first I welcomed India’s diversity with open arms which also means accepting all the tensions – both positive and negative – that go with it. In times when globalization flattens diversity, it’s important to cherish it! I’m constantly amazed by all different layers, hubs, networks, relationships and combinations that keep this country running – and keep it running in an incredible democratic way. Even though huge parts of the system are not running at their level best, and so many things seem to stand in blatant contradiction to what I am saying, somehow these 1.3 million people on all their various levels still keep the democratic system on track and fuel it every single day. Under all the amazing chaos, you can still detect a definite discernible order. And at the end of the day Indians do get things done and move forward – perhaps after all it’s just the Indian way.
For me India is pretty much like the Internet where empathy, reputation, collaboration and transparency hold the keys to survival. In India as on the Internet, there are so many different options for each and every occasion that you really have to dive in, trust your peers and go with the flow. You have to accept that there is no such thing as a “roadmap” or knowing what’s going to happen. You have to become part of it, live it and just let things unfold. You have to release control and let the future reveal itself in free flight. But this is not to advocate total passivity – just keep your mission in mind and make whatever adjustments are needed on the way. What might sound like a business strategy for the 21st century or a do-it-yourself manual for a great relationship is in fact daily practice here in India.
I’ve been in India for over one year now so it was only a question of time before we_INDIA was published. And here WE are … I hope some of its articles and interviews will give you greater insight into this vast country and its various WEs as Egon Zippel describes them on p.26. I only hope that you get as much pleasure and inspiration from reading the magazine as I’ve had in putting it together. Many thanks to all our contributors – and special thanks to Egon with whom I spend most of my time here in India trying to figure out how to set up we_school.
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