Consent gap fillers
Almost every investor in Mongolia struggles the huge gap of understanding (interpreting) the Mongolian decision makers and they acts and promises. It has become obvious expectation for the most of the foreigners living in Mongolia now. If “Hot Cities” trip was made 20 years ago, investors would see much different scenario and expectation from the top leadership of Mongolia. This looks little late but, in fact it was made in the right moment. If they visit two years ago, they would see the Mongolian “own horn-blowing” economists and populists in one hand and brain washed miserable mass on the other hand. The second part hasn’t changed that much, but the boasting leaders’ dream starting to crumble and they got more humble and more willing to listen ever before.
Students of Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University visited Mongolia in late February considering Ulaanbaatar will be “Hot City” in the next 20 years. Ulaanbaatar is not chosen alone, Dubai (UAE), Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation) and Johannesburg (South Africa) were among them. This time they chose Mongolia to visit. It is privileged to see how “Harvard of the North” sees us. During they visit they had meeting with privileged top decision makers of the key companies in the Mongolian economy; MCS Holding, Eznis, Urban Environmental Foundation, Zorig Foundation scholarship students, senior officers from Oyu Tolgoi LLC (soon to be the biggest contributor to the Mongolian economy), Deloitte and so on.
Indeed participants of “Hot Cities” trip are students from privileged families in their home country, because they all speak 3-4 foreign languages and choose themselves as the leader to be in the next 20 years .
Participants of the Hot Cities of the World Tour met different counterparts and groups of society to understand as deeper as possible about the challenges that Mongolia faces.
During their visit students met with some most successful young business leaders, CEOs and CFOs of the top contributors to the Mongolian economy. Students met with Mr. Lkhagva, the Executive Producer of Mongol TV and Director Sant School, young leaders in the Mongolian companies, which is quite unusual in the North America to reach such level at this young age.
In reverse, shortly after visit to the children day care run by the Veloo Foundation http://www.veloofoundation.weebly.com/ , (students are working to raise fund for this project) they climbed to the waste dump site of Ulaanbaatar City (capital of Mongolia) on within the nearby hills and witnessed the real situation over there waste dump land which is most unwanted place in Ulaanbaatar even for Mongolians in winter! They brought lunch for the parents of those kids at daycare who collect food and salvageable trash and had conversation with them about the systematic causes of poverty and mobility barriers in the booming economy of Mongolia.
Interestingly, I was surprised why the Mongolian Government representatives didn’t take this opportunity to meet with professors and students of McGill University, “Harvard of the North”. It is very clear example for the political leaders of Mongolia how to nurture future knowledge.
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twitter: @profkjmoore and @hotcitiesmcgill