In Atlas Shrugged (1957), by Ayn Rand, the system falls apart to the point that the remaining producers choose to simply withdraw rather than proliferate and disrupt the society from within. "In 1995, Fukuyama argued that only those societies with a high degree of social trust would be able to create the kind of flexible, large-scale business organizations that are needed for successful competition in the global economy." Carrying proudly the responsibility of its 170 years history and legacy, a Tech Giant, an Atlas of the modern era of turbulent markets and exponentially growing challenges, the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe with its footprint in 190 countries around the globe, the German conglomerate company Siemens AG (German pronunciation: [ˈziːmɛns]) is shaping the future – the digital future. "With its Vision 2020, Siemens has recently once again clearly answered these questions: a company faces up to its responsibilities, furnishes lasting benefit and generates added value from a position of strength – for its shareholders, employees, customers, business partners and societies all over the world. Joe Kaeser, President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG, puts it like this: "Only the strong can help the weak, take responsibility and then fulfill it.
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It is somehow admirable to hear terms like "ecological balance" and "sustainable living" spew forth from the mouths of Oxford scholars and political candidates; having a gentle heart that weeps for the indiscretions against the world in which houses us is certainly good for business. But truly, how far are we prepared to go in order to save Planet Earth from the inevitable collapse it has been prophesied to have (by scientists, not priests) in the few coming years? Are we prepared to suffer a few losses in business in the name of forest preservation? Would we interest ourselves in making "unnecessary investments" in consumer goods to make them more eco-friendly? Are we still ready to decide upon which political candidate to vote for based significantly on their environmental beliefs?
Achieving universal, safely managed water and sanitation services by 2030, as envisioned by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, is projected to require capital expenditures of USD 114 billion per year (1). Investment on that scale, along with accompanying policy reforms, can be motivated by a growing appreciation of the value of water. Yet our ability to value water, and incorporate these values into water governance, is inadequate. Newly recognized cascading negative impacts of water scarcity, pollution, and flooding underscore the need to change the way we value water (2). With the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water having launched the Valuing Water Initiative in 2017 to chart principles and pathways for valuing water, we see a global opportunity to rethink the value of water.