George Kohlrieser on Negotiation in Zero Sum Games

Question: How do we negotiate for limited or shrinking resources?

Kohlrieser: Creativity. Innovation. There are all kinds of ways that water can be treated and can become drinkable. We know the possibilities of alternative energy. They’re all around us. If we didn’t spend so much time in the closed mindsets of trying to protect and we really opened the creativity, and we hear over and over again and in business schools, this is clearly understood, greening is for business. It’s not because you’re going to be kind or nice. There are business reasons to do this. And that mindset change is too late and is slowly coming, but it’s coming. And so, we do not have to live in this fear that there’s not going to be enough resources around. It may mean dramatic changes. Look at the waste, it is incredible. When I see the difference in how countries handle just waste and all these mining resources, there are so many possibilities in the recycling process. We haven’t even begun to open up the possibilities. And I’m reminded, as I walk through the streets here in New York to see the huge amount of garbage and waste, that there’s no good reason for that except we’re too focused on the wrong things. We don’t have leaders who are getting people directed in the mind’s eye. I live in Switzerland. Switzerland is one of the top, named top green country of the world. This attitude, this mindset is so different. And we have to open up and look at best practices around the world. Stimulate innovation and creativity. The future is based on secure bases that allow people to open the mind and see what is possible.

Creativity and innovation are the keys to the negotiations we will face over natural resources, says George Kohlrieser.

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