Pic JCNWe thought the word “progress” had disappeared from the dictionary, replaced by a blank space and a note: “See ‘crisis’ or ‘depression’”. And here it is making a comeback where least expected. The lead weight covering the countries of North Africa is yielding to the blows of the people. Whether orange or green, brown or red, no one can swear to the color, but the revolt of little Tunisia has shaken the world. The shock wave is traveling at top speed, stirring consciences and stomachs. It takes courage for Libyans to confront a dictator whose dementia has revealed its full extent. Courage, too, for Bahrainis to call for a new Prime Minister. It will take even more for Belarussians or North Koreans to end their torpor and throw off the Communist yoke of the past. The only certainty is that the insurrection underway marks the end of one world, but we must wait and see if it becomes revolution.

  If China operates through planning ahead, many countries do not seem to know where the winds of history will carry them. The world’s largest economy, the U.S. is at a crossroads, the number of “Sputnik moments” that it could face are multiplying. On the central issue of energy policy and its commitment to climate change, it is difficult to imagine the United States playing Sleeping Beauty. The first part of the Obama mandate has been disappointing, to say the least, in this matter: nothing appears to be moving. But not so fast. We want to know more about the Americans who have not given up. Here, we introduce you to 15. These 15 are able to boost America’s legendary creativity and effectiveness, to create the consensus that is lacking. Without it, the dollar will weaken all the faster, currency reserves that have always been supported by the American conquering spirit will dwindle. The idea of an Apollo Program for Energy could be the solution the White House needs. The breakthrough will certainly be technological, (but also) - and probably the work of individuals. The members of Congress do not want it. But the members of the Dream Team we have assembled here seem to be saying “let’s do it without those sitting on Capitol Hill”. The new century has rolled in with a new lifestyle and pattern of consumption. Who can hold back the tide?

  For the waves are powerful. Don Brasher, CEO of GTIS, is convinced that China will become the world’s largest importer probably by the end of 2011 and no later than early 2012. Number 1 exporter, Number 1 importer…and the West moves into the background. For how many months can the dollar remain as the reserve currency under that pressure? Will the emotions of the financial markets speed up this transition? Time is not always on the side of those in power, as North Africa has reminded the world’s leaders. And, while Iran appears to have been stalled in its nuclear race, the world has yet to accomplish a positive transformation of its own energy model.  

To read the magazine, order a copy here