Enrico Verga

Latin America
Crying for Latin America

Ancient setbacks coupled with lack of development, poor planning and corruption have taken their toll on Latin America. Resource rich countries have plundered their wealth, wasted foreign investment and left their people helpless and disillusioned. 

Featured briefing
Demons amid the paddies

Rice production is coming under threat from an array of directions – climate change being among the top causes. Now technology is scrambling to save crops at risk of drowning. 

Entertainment
Hollywood's death knell

There’s a revolution taking place in the entertainment industry. Movies are taking the biggest hit. Now with many of the Big Data players encroaching on Hollywood’s turf, the landscape is changing rapidly.

Cover story
Soul traders

The new hi-tech giants are monetizing everything in our animated lives that distinguishes us as individuals. The potential of such information is enormous and a race is on to exploit our very essence.

Industry 4.0
Domotics now

As technology advances, societies with a technological edge will move beyond those that have been catching up solely through cheap labor, thus modifying the economic hierarchy of nations and the relationship between governments and the workforce.

Featured briefing
Turkey is hungry for energy

Both as energy consumer and as strategic hub for oil and gas transport, Turkey is growing in importance. But since it is wedged between the world’s most volatile regions, it must negotiate astutely. 

Cybercrime
Blockchain ransoms and mercenary hackers

The new frontier in crime is located in cyberspace. As the IT revolution gets into full swing, those inclined to deviant means for making money will no doubt try to make the most what software can do.

Featured briefing
The Arabian honeymoon is over

The odd-couple Saudi-American love affair may finally be drying out as American demand for foreign oil decreases. What has everyone worried is what may fill the vacuum of a foreign policy that has long been taken for granted.

Foreign investment
Djibouti, where China meets the West

The Chinese have been investing heavily in the tiny East African nation, as well as throughout the Horn of Africa. Sooner or later they will be rubbing elbows with Western interests long established there.

Featured briefing
Financing the new bubble

Is the startup bubble that has characterized the IT revolution about to burst? There has certainly been an evolution in both the way startups get funding and in the types of businesses that are attracting investors.

Euro Sisyphus faces jihad
Terrorist branding strategy

Any organization that wants to make itself known to the world at large must project a coherent image, or brand. Even terrorists are adapting their marketing strategy to social media.

Africa
Sparrow’s generation

One of the biggest scourges for international trade in the past few decades has been naval piracy. Unlike the drunken rabble sailing under the Jolly Roger back in the heyday of piracy, the new pirates tend to be structured more like small businesses. 

New frontiers
High-end high-altitude drones

The need for high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles that can transmit real-time data about a vast area have been best met by the Global Hawk, a cutting edge drone whose eye in the sky soars well above the rest.

Obama
How big is the Levant?

The US is bombing not only in Iraq, but also in Syria, where they hope to lead a coalition that will destroy the Islamic States. How the US labels the enemy may indicate the strategy America intends to follow.

Finance
Sharia-compliant Europe

Islamic finance is blossoming in Western countries. Since the economic crisis, sharia-compliant strategies have come to be seen as ethical and less risky approaches that in many respects go back to the fundamentals.

­­­The not quite pacific Indian Ocean
A new day over breaking waves

The Indian Ocean is once again a crucial region with respect to the economic and military balance of power. Three major players – China, India and the US – are vying for dominance there.

Middle East
Gulf crowns butt heads

Tension is rising between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Today the main point of contention, which stirs historical grievances, is Doha’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Iran's game
Coming out from the cold

Things are looking brighter for Iran’s oil and gas sector. A new minister, pipelines in the works, the possible easing of sanctions, and growing interest on the part of Western oil majors all bode well.

Global farming
Food evolution

Optimizing food production in a sustainable manner is imperative in the near future, especially for developing nations. This will require a merger between seemingly contrasting visions and methods of agriculture.

Holy glasnost
The future of soul food

An agricultural revolution is needed in order to adequately feed the developing countries and ensure a transformation that is at once efficient and ethical. The change, however, must be driven by more than just profits. The Catholic Church may be the best-equipped organization.

Nuclear negotiations
Stretching Persia

As the world’s second largest gas producer, Iran is looking to expand its influence through a new pipeline that would open markets for its gas exports. But to do so it must have sanctions eased.

World economy
Building banks

As the BRICS countries gain more clout in the global economy, a proposed development bank can ensure steady growth. But the disparities among the countries pose many problems.

Big Data
Push-button democracy

Imagine Election Day with no queuing up, no polling stations and no never-heard-of-them-before candidates. With internet technology citizens of democracies can now make informed choices with a few simple clicks.

Qatar
Qatar’s hat trick politics

Football is serious business for Qatar, because through the world’s most popular sport, as well as the TV station that will broadcast it, the emirate hopes to gain entrée and influence that it can leverage in more serious competitions – like the struggle for Syria.

Central Asia
Let the rivers flow

Central Asia has abundant natural resources. But one resource in particular, water, may turn into a stumbling block for regional cooperation. Through dialogue and international agreements, this obstacle can be overcome.

Central Asia
The Central Asian chessboard

The formation of a Eurasian Union has the potential to change the world’s geopolitical balance. The degree to which Russia can unite effectively with its resource-rich neighbors will dictate how the rest of the world reacts.

Food diplomacy
The heat in the kitchen

Cuisine is an integral part of a people’s culture. But the very nature of food is such that it’s meant to be shared. Neighbors often appropriate each other’s methods of preparation. At times this can lead to disputes. Although it can also lead to cooperation.

Military technology
Drone democracy

As the technology behind unmanned aerial vehicles becomes more accessible and the industry expands into the private sector, our skies ­­and landscapes may become more crowded in ways we have only just begun to imagine.

Cosmopolis
The contemporary cosmopolis

What will happen in the future if cities grow in harmony with the surrounding environment? If urban dwellers evolve to feel like living entities within a larger living entity – the polis – we might see the birth of permacities.

Turbulent times in civil aviation
The sky’s the limit

Even though the economy is experiencing turbulence, air travel is increasing. The rise of emerging markets and the growth of intra-continental travel, however, are having an impact on what kind
of planes will be in demand.

Corporations steering the planet
To boldly go and seek out new opportunities

Transnational corporations are feeling their way into the future. Whether expanding into greener pastures or consolidating their hold over traditional markets, metaphors of East and West no longer mean what they used to.

Iran
Bypassing sanctions on Iran

As the sanctions imposed by the US and EU on Iran gain traction, other nations have come up with creative solutions for continuing the flow of discounted oil and even insuring the ships. The irony is that by imposing sanctions, the West has encouraged a situation that may obviate their effect.

International trade
The Iron War

Despite having its own deposits, China, the world’s biggest consumer of iron, needs to import huge amounts to feed its hungry economy. The world’s biggest producer, Brazil’s Vale, is now vying for control of the market.  

Buffing up American cities
Get your freegan hands in that dumpster!

The number of Americans getting food stamps is at an all-time high. Now cities are witnessing the birth of a scavenger culture taking advantage of what has become a scandalously wasteful society. With so much free food being eaten, producers are reassessing their role in the food chain.

Featured briefing
The migrant industry

The exodus from Africa has gone beyond the scope of 
a one-off emergency situation. It has evolved into an organized industry, in which people and organizations have invested their money and reputations.