Tag Archives: Asia

Mongolia connects to the Asia Super Grid – read the book what it means to nomads

2017-10-16

Mongolia is a large, sparsely inhabited central Asian country where nomads still live in a traditional way on vast plains and foothills of mountains. The mineral rich country has large coal mines for its energy needs. Now, Mongolia has joined the Asia Super Grid electricity network in order to produce clean energy. Will ordinary Mongolians and nomads benefit from it?

Camel herder, ebook on Mongolia travel

Camel herders in Mongolia

The book Herder’s Boots – Traveling and Working with Nomads for the Future of Mongolia gives an indirect answer to the question. The author, Stephen Parliament, lived and worked in Mongolia for many years both in the capital Ulaanbaatar and in the desolate lands where nomads live. He experienced the bitter coldness of winters and heat of summers with nomads.

Some nomads have moved to cities, some tend to stay in one place with their cattle, some move with seasons. In any case, they live outside the grid and if they want electricity, they have to produce it themselves – which they do, because they also want to watch television and charge their mobile phones.

Mongolia travel book, photo gallery

All possessions of a herder family. Mongolia, Stephen Parliament.

Reuters reports that Mongolia has joined a large power transmission network established six years ago by China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. Mongolia’s plan is to build wind power plants and connect them to this Asia Super Grid and export the generated energy.

While this is a great initiative for clean energy and balancing Mongolia’s state budget, it doesn’t bring much to the nomads. Small moveable solar power stations would support nomad lifestyle, but their prices tend to be high.

Read more about Mongolia in the book The Herder’s Boots.

Plenty of bookstores per capita in Asia, and plenty of libraries in Europe

2016-08-05

World Cities Culture Forum collects culture related data from large cities across the world. The organization publishes the data annually as statistics that describe what kind of cultural services the cities have and how citizens use them. One of the published statistics compares the number of bookstores and public libraries against the city population.
FInnish National Library
The World Cities Culture Forum organization comprises 32 cities that collect and share data on the role of the cities in the future, services the cities provide, and how the cities are administered. The Forum only collects and publishes information on cities that are members of the organization. The participating cities are listed here.

As we can see in the table below, Asian cities tend to have more bookstores per capita than cities in other continents.

City Bookstores per
100 000 inhabitants
Year
1 Hong Kong 21 2014
2 Taipei 17.6 2014
3 Madrid 16 2014
4 Shanghai 16 2014
5 Toronto 13.9 2015
6 New York 10 2015
7 Sydney 9.4 2015
8 Paris 9 2015
9 Seoul 9 2015
10 Austin 8.2 2015
11 Melbourne 8 2015
12 Shenzhen 6.6 2014
13 Amsterdam 6 2014
14 Moscow 5 2014
15 London 4 2015
16 Stockholm 3.2 2014
17 Singapore 3 2014
18 Istanbul 1 2015

 

The number of libraries per capita is bigger in Europe than in other continents.

City Libraries per
100 000 inhabitants
Year
1 Edinburgh 60.5 2015
2 Warsaw 11.4 2014
3 Brussels 10 2015
4 Paris 9.2 2014
5 Seoul 6 2014
6 Shenzhen 5.9 2014
7 Vienna 5.9 2014
8 Hong Kong 4.2 2015
9 London 4.2 2014
10 Moscow 4.2 2014
11 Toronto 3.9 2015
12 Melbourne 3.4 2015
13 Amsterdam 3.3 2014
14 Sydney 3.3 2015
15 New York 2.7 2015
16 Taipei 1.8 2014
17 Rome 0.8 2014
18 Singapore 0.5 2014
19 Istanbul 0.4 2014
20 Dubai 0.3 2015

The future of travel is defined by mobile technologies, new business models, millennials and Southeast Asia

2015-08-02

Five years ago, it was 2010. Uber had just started, and its programmers were still developing the software application that redefined the business of taxis. Airbnb had been in operation for a year, but no one had heard of it yet. Very few people – if anyone – could foresee how fast new businesses would transform industries. Now, New York based travel intelligence company Skift is looking five years ahead, and is manifesting the key changes in travel by 2020.
Woman looking through binoculars on boat
In 2020, Skift expects that everything we need in travel is available online, whenever and wherever we want, and conveniently to our mobile devices (“The unbundling of everything. The on-demandification of everything. The mobility of everything.”). Silent travelers (doesn’t mean silent in traditional sense, but someone who silently arranges her trips online) define the travel services we use, and the hotbed of travel business innovation will be Southeast Asia.

The Skift Manifesto: The Future of Travel in 2020 makes bold statements about the state of affairs in five years. Here are select highlights from the manifesto.

The travel industry in 2020:
– The rise of silent traveler, a new kind of traveler who is adept at all available online and mobile tools and uses them to jump across all industry-defined silos.
– The Southeast Asian nations are where the future of travel will be tested.
– Travel business will be defined by those who build around trendlines, not headlines.
– The people creating the future of travel in 2015 and beyond are strategists, technologists and marketers.
– Business is fanatically focused on the changing consumer behavior across all sectors, not just travel.
– For the first time since the European Renaissance, watch out for the rise of Southeast Asia that is very mobile & very social.
– People are going ‘silent’ and self-reliant because they don’t want to be sold to anymore.
– New marketplace models, which have taken the best of online, mobile and social to create travel products that people can use with previously unheard of ease.

Skift’s five-year predictions are actually pretty safe, because they are based on trends that are already happening. It is, however, quite possible that a company like Google, Apple or Facebook will invent a product that transforms travel even more than Airbnb or Uber have done.

Here is a couple of scenarios from Klaava Media headquarters. Would you hire a personal chauffeur and personal assistant for your trip across Europe for the price of a rental car? The assistants can answer any question you throw at them and get you safely anywhere you want to go. Driverless cars and robots are already near their commercial breakthrough. Would you like to travel for free? Facebook, Snapchat, Whatsapp, YouTube, Spotify are all free services that take our personal information and sell it to advertisers. Perhaps someone invents a similar model for travel as well.

The whole Skift manifesto here.

Smiling women on boat