Friday, April 23, 2010


It was a great evening at Stockholm School of Economics attending the TED event, namely TEDXSSE4M, organized by the 4M (Masters in Marketing and Media Management) class on Wednesday, April 21, 2010. The entire team falls no short of praise and tribute for organizing such an outstanding event. The amount of effort that was put into the organizing was clearly perceptible. The event comprised three awesome lecture sessions, each limited to an 18 minute timeslot, a TED standard, so they say. All lectures were great. However, it was Robin Teigland, Associate Professor at SSE who stole the show. Despite the limited time in which to deliver her speech, she managed to coagulate everything she wanted to say in an incredible manner. It was one of the best short speeches I have heard. The speech revolved around Second Life (a virtual world), social media and amalgamating these to leverage the marketing world in the days to come. The lecture solidified my perceptions and beliefs so as to look more aggressively into the future. The future looks very challenging, transitive and promising at the same time. The theories presented by Robin contained innovative and radical elements in terms of how to improve a business as we look into the prospective landscape. She gave examples of certain key firms that have exercised this strategy already. The potential for marketing to reach soaring altitudes via Second Life is out there for marketers to exploit.

I, personally, enjoyed the chance to be under her supervision in the first module of the Media Management course at SSE. She is truly a great inspiration and the way she goes around things is always worth admirable words. All in all, Robin seems to be thinking excessively into the future. It has to be appreciated that her endeavors are directed towards motivating marketing opportunities in new entrepreneurial ways. The unpredictable future looks somewhat predictable now. Should we be expecting colossal change ahead?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nature Says: “Take That!”

My scheduled departure from Stockholm to Madrid due Saturday April 17, 2010 was brought to a halt as nature demonstrated signs of intense fury and devastating rage over a small island located in North West Europe – Iceland. The island, with just under half a million residents has been subjected to severe volcanic activity during the last couple of days. The volcano has been spitting grit, lava and hot ash which not only affected locals who had to be evacuated but it maintains its course to affect other parts of the continent. Media reports suggest the volcanic magma will be cooled fairly quickly as the geographical premises of the island indicate it to be at a cold place. It seems these media statements have been brought to a test as recent updates suggest otherwise. The most important concern from a business point of view, aviation services all across Europe have been limited to the land. Planes  are enjoying the luxury to rest on ground. This may very well backlash. Why? Well, firstly, people have been left stranded on airports and can’t reach their homes.  Secondly, customer services have been flooded with claims. It can't get worse. Nature’s fury has translated into resentment of humans. As far as i am concerned, I would obviously like to share my personal thoughts and feelings on this.

I was excited to meet my loved ones after a long, long wait thinking the wait was finally going to be over. But I was wrong. I received emails from the airline intimating me the cancellation of my departure. I became bound to parameters of anger. I did not know how to react. I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I was praying deep inside my heart hoping I could fly as scheduled. But nature’s power seemed excessively immense in front of my tiny wishes. Maybe it happened for the better. Like the saying, “Everything happens for the better”. I, now, reflect on this statement. I had friends telling me that. At first, I disliked this saying coming from people who are close to me in Sweden. The entire Friday evening seemed terrible. I had cancelled a very important event I was scheduled to partake in the same day I was to travel. It was supposedly a very important part of my curriculum. Things continued adopting odd profile. I began second-guessing my course of actions. I was already stressed, extremely stressed due to a very strange happening that took place a couple of weeks ago. I was drowned in guilt, fault and resentment. My tiny little reactions to defy the consequences of this little incident didn’t pay off as I hoped. It seemed to me I had spent more time in Sweden than I was supposed to. Everything was working against me, as I thought. But nature had something positive hidden for me in this entire phenomenon. It resembled something that can be interpreted as small but withholds big and deep meaning. It is hard to profoundly describe the series of situations associated with this episode. However, I would certainly like to summarize it in a line or two. The natural disaster allowed me to settle a score with a friend that seemed to approach terminal intensity ever since the issue started urging elevated heights. A patient, tolerant and resilient attitude was illustrated on part of my friend on Saturday. It felt relieving. It gave me the sensation  like I had taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I wonder sometimes how a particular little phenomenon can bring about changes that are so meaningful and delightful. The opportunity to visualize and experience the actual spectacle was truly dazzling and priceless at that moment.

I have been hearing throughout my life that everything happens for a reason. Unknown to me, I always doubted it. However, I now realize any event is to strengthen one’s mind and faith. Over this last year or so, events characterized by such sceneries have started to happen more often in my life. I struggle to find ways to combat this. Nonetheless, I eventually do find ways around them every time I get entrapped. I have to owe it all to nature. THE POWER OF NATURE! I have managed to gain deeper insights into the values of life and appreciate happenings of all sorts which has allowed me to appreciate nature more and more. The recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland have reinforced my thoughts and have guided me to support the concept of nature controlling and seeking commanding position in all that happens. It allows me to think deep into the impact something small, such as Iceland, over something as big as the European continent. Throughout my life, I have always heard small things are the ones that matter. Nature has testified to my belief now. It doesn’t always have to be something big to make a difference. It can be the small ones that can make the difference. Humans have tended to query this conception through history but nature suggests the contrary. Nature always prevails as it has prevailed throughout history. "TAKE THAT!"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

PTI – “Profound Turmoil Institution”

I enjoyed the opportunity to partake in the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) meeting in Stockholm last Saturday, April 10, 2010. The Imran Khan lead political party, a very famous personality and someone I am really proud of, views the horizon and foresees the future with hope, optimism, and a promising justice system. Recent developments have revolved around the Pakistan political system which has favored and constituted this entire scenario. It is a question of time that a radical outbreak occurs that allows PTI to seize power and dethrone the present Govt. or the ones that succeed the present Govt. (at least the way the PTI forecasts the political climate). The question that remains deadlocked is WHEN PTI will conquer the PM Secretariat. A big question mark ….

The meeting was effective in the sense that the PTI representatives seemed rational and focused not merely on the existing problems. Instead, they decided to focus on actions and solutions to counter the turmoil. To start off, a significantly emotional speech was bestowed upon the audience to magnetize their consents, a marvellous and admirable execution of the PULL strategy. I looked around during the speech at people and perceived a false sensation that these people were hypnotized for a short while. Some of them were keen on pitching their views (their rather unrealistic views) and expected a transformation to occur at a drastic pace. I would like to highlight when it comes down to translating these views into collective participatory action, success tends to remains at a lone corner  and very vulnerable. It is primarily due to reluctance by individuals to perform actions who can make a big, big difference. The reasons tend to overweight hmmmm …….. pretty much everything!

During the meeting, it was exclusively pointed out PTI is yet deficient in the number of registered members who would be willing to commit themselves to support the process. Previously, the party has relied on the mere fame of Imran Khan. It did manage to gain certain inroads owing partial thanks to the freedom of media and the sphere of influence it carries. Nonetheless, the status-quo is essentially mirroring the past. No clear signs of advancements that are noteworthy are in prospect. The party representatives are strayed right now. Their courses of actions ought to be complemented and should be acknowledged with admiration. They are cruising ruthlessly to reach the stardom they seek. However, it seems they have been lost in the middle and are facing numerous challenges and prospective unforeseen consequences.

I have started to speculate how to resolve this heated series of events. Ideas are many, yet they lack depth and execution with heart. Reaching wonderland is a dream that requires big heart culminated with undiluted consistency. At present, achieving this feat is haunting genuine PTI participants like a nightmare. It has to be said that the status of PTI representatives today cannot be viewed as being part of a bigger party, but rather their role resembles an institution that lacks best practices and associates itself with conflicts of opinions and turmoil.

I detest putting into perspective that I belive the current state of PTI can also be interpreted as “Profound Turmoil Institution” …..  (rational or Irrational? I am going to leave it to the people to decide.)