And so you may say, well, given all of that, why then doesn't it work?
Why can we not make our politicians change? Why can't we demand them?
Well I, like a lot of us, spend a lot of time complaining about how hard it is to make people change,
and I don't think we should fuss about it.
I think we should just accept that we are an inherently conservative species.
We don't like to change. It exists for very sensible evolutionary reasons.
We probably wouldn't still be here today if we weren't so resistant to change.
It's very simple: Many thousands of years ago, we discovered that if we carried on doing the same things,
we wouldn't die, because the things that we've done before by definition didn't kill us,
and therefore as long as we carry on doing them, we'll be okay,
and it's very sensible not to do anything new, because it might kill you.
But of course, there are exceptions to that. Otherwise, we'd never get anywhere.
And one of the exceptions, the interesting exception,
is when you can show to people that there might be some self-interest in them making that leap of faith and changing a little bit.
So I've spent a lot of the last 10 or 15 years trying to find out what could be that self-interest
that would encourage not just politicians but also businesses and general populations,
all of us, to start to think a little more outwardly, to think in a bigger picture,
not always to look inwards, sometimes to look outwards.
And this is where I discovered something quite important.
In 2005, I launched a study called the Nation Brands Index.
What it is, it's a very large-scale study that polls a very large sample of the world's population,
a sample that represents about 70 percent of the planet's population,
and I started asking them a series of questions about how they perceive other countries.
And the Nation Brands Index over the years has grown to be a very, very large database.
It's about 200 billion data points tracking what ordinary people think about other countries and why.
Why did I do this? Well, because the governments that I advise are very, very keen on knowing how they are regarded.
They've known, partly because I've encouraged them to realize it,
that countries depend enormously on their reputations in order to survive and prosper in the world.
If a country has a great, positive image, like Germany has or Sweden or Switzerland,
everything is easy and everything is cheap. You get more tourists.
You get more investors. You sell your products more expensively.
If, on the other hand, you have a country with a very weak or a very negative image,
everything is difficult and everything is expensive.
So governments care desperately about the image of their country,
because it makes a direct difference to how much money they can make,
and that's what they've promised their populations they're going to deliver.