Posted by: Massimo Merlino in geopolitic
Why this small book? It has very far roots. During my primary school in Caldonazzo, Trentino, a bit after the end of second WW, I was often entertaining the other boys of my classroom with “conferences” on geography. I was around 7 years old. I remember a big terrace looking to the mountain and my friends sitting around me, while in front of an old atlas, indicating countries with a stick, I was telling them my dreams about world, people, continents, probably annoying them a lot. But I was very happy in doing this theatre. Then the happy days finished with my family transfert to Genoa and urban context from that beautiful country. But from those days every time I was in front of a map, my hart enjoyed and my attention grew. By the way, I became very late also University Professor in my life, but never on Geography. During my human studies at lyceum, I became very passionate of History and Philosophy, having a wonderful Professor on these disciplines. Against the idea of my father I went to University for Chemical Engineering studies, proud to look for the most difficult road, not the easiest. During my young professional experiences in Operations Research and then in Logistics, I never forgot my passions on the World, travelling quite a lot in many continents, so as for History and any type of Anthropology books and articles. Ten years of international experience in Change Management, made myself returning to basics of my lyceum education.
Living in Rome in 1972, I discovered Geopolitics , friendly meeting one of the major founder of Italian culture in the field, Professor Ernesto Massi, man of so vaste vision and studies, whose personality inspired my first reading on the classical American and European schools to this syncretic approach. It was fascinating me like any multidisciplinary method in the business world. Globalization concepts exploded in the eighties and I found very useful to use Geopolitics paradigms to better understand what to do in international operations. A lot of failure in cultures integration derives from simplistic approaches, stereotyping and unifying behaviours of so different people getting more and more in contact at business and political levels. Of course my primary interest remained on management consulting, which I practised in any form from big multinational firms to free lance, but never restricted my mind and cultural interests. In the last twenty years I have been involved also in Financial world through Banking and developing new start up and Fintech firms. Writing a lot about managerial cases and funding and coordinating the main Italian Logistics review, I participated to the initial creation of Managerial Engineering Faculty, giving a bit of Economy and Finance to our so technical Engineers and restarted my childhood “conferences” becoming Professor in 1987.
Geopolitics suffers in Italy of many inferiority complexes, because cultivated in military academies, developing between the two WW in authoritarian regimes and so on, notwithstanding very nice geographical tradition and historical studies. A pity that in full Globalization process, we don’t teach geography any more in the schools, so our children know less and less about the world, where they must go for working! Teaching a lot to managers in the main business schools and within the firms, it’s impressive the low level of knowledge of cultures, economies, geography, history of the various areas of the World, where their companies need to push them to make business. Geopolitics could have been particularly useful for them. In many countries, apparently underdeveloped, you can find reviews on this discipline very popular also among young people. Italy has one of the best internationally, named “Limes”, but it’s circulating in about 1% of the families. So at the end of the day, when the Logistica di Impresa review decided for another coordinator, I decided to return to my childhood pattern and started to put on paper some geopolitical ideas on countries I knew and loved, writing in English at least to have one reader, my Latvian wife.