Where Bhutan is doing pretty damn poorly is visible. Where it needs to go in the 21st century is becoming unclear by the day. We are still talking too much and doing too less.
Bhutan could focus elsewhere for better gains than modern technologies such as IT and robotics and much more that is being talked about today. Data consumption and usage, more importantly, will be a serious challenge for Bhutan because there has not been equivalent investment in this sector.
We can dream and we can talk. We can even convince our friends and relations to think the way we do. But for what end if the nation is not prepared for this significant leap? IT education, the bedrock of all these phenomenal opportunities for growth, is today at best receiving only a lukewarm response. The thing with the technology is that we could often be the last users before something new comes up to nullify our efforts.
Speed of change. That’s the key. Bhutan has no advantage there. But that does not make us poor. What is actually making us poor is our inability to sell our best products. Bhutan can never be a military power and that is not even what the nation wants to be. Bhutan can never be an economic power, which we only dream of but can in fact achieve if we were to go rogue like many nations that are triggering disbalance the power play in the world today.
Bhutan has a national ethos which, unfortunately, many so-called advanced countries and economies do not have. We have never succumbed to and, will not ever, to the immediate gains that will ultimately prove dangerous to not just world the economy but the life of earth itself. No one has got modern economy quite right and that’s where Bhutan could step in.
Bhutan has what the larger world needs desperately today. Hawks will always be there because they are governed by their self-interests. The world must defeat them.
The world politics is in sad state of affairs. For Bhutan that’s nothing new. But we can do a lot more. If selling climate and culture is difficult, we aren’t doing enough. If we are not investing in our art and architecture, we aren’t doing anything. Talking too loud is so useless. How are we positioning ourselves better in this chaotic world today? In other words, how are we engaging with the world beyond? How far are we looking?