One of the things I have been doing for the past year and a half is working on my business skills. The reason? Well, I feel that skills like leadership, team-work, orientation to goals, financial intelligence and time management, among others, are part of what we need if we want to achieve those great things we dream of, even if they’re not business related. If you’re an assiduous reader of Youthink! blog, chances are that you have great dreams about our world becoming a better place to live, so business skills may also be important for you.
This Chinese proverb is my recent favorite! In my previous blog, I drew a very pessimistic picture of the future due to the financial crisis. Of course it is a crisis and its negative, but here I will talk about some quintessential optimists, who are in search of the silver lining.
The Mediterranean—a basin of cultures, the demographics of which, it seems, invite both appeal and criticism…
Gone seem to be the days when water was the key in a process of communication; where those living along the coasts would be absorbing, assimilating and partaking in diversity and exchange. Routes were sea, not land. Trade was linked to ports, transport to ships, and movement to waves.
The World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings started last week, and are focusing on the current big global topics: Financial crisis, food crisis and climate change.
Get an inside look with the World Bank's Meetings blog.
Between 1798 and 1826 Thomas Malthus, in his series of essays on population, had stated that the human population grows in geometric proportion while the food production grows only in arithmetic proportion. Hence, he predicted that there will be a situation, in the 19th century, when the food supply will not be able to support the growth in population and it will inevitably lead to a population check by means of natural/man-made catastrophes.
When I went to South Africa in the winter of 2008, I was eager to cross the Atlantic Ocean and set foot on African soil for the first time. Also, I was excited to be able to meet and share ideas with the other young finalists of the International Essay Competition I have mentioned before in my blogs. And yet, I wasn’t expecting that South Africa would also teach me a lesson about how cruel human beings can be as well as how crucial forgiveness is for a society.
CNN is the only channel I get in English, so I watch a lot of it. Needless to say, I’m kind of sick of hearing about the global economic/financial crisis, especially since the reports of the end of the world as we know it have little relation to my day-to-day life.
Growing up, many of us receive a horde of unwanted advice in the name of our supposed wellbeing:
“Study accounting or management so you can get a paying job!” “Learn cooking rather than singing!” “You'll do it this way because that’s how it's always done!” “Let others change the world; you just focus on your career!”
The other day I dropped by our school’s Gender Studies and Development Center and had a brief chat with a good friend of mine, who also happens to chair the center. We had exactly the same observation on the progress of empowering women at the grassroots level here in the Philippines, and in Dumaguete City in particular—it’s moving at a snail’s pace.
There was a time when the setting of employment minimum standards was the personification of civilization – no longer can you impose 20-hour days or work without pay. Needless to say, we still allow the importation of products from sweatshops, whilst making weak diplomatic statements against them. Yet that (at least some would insist) is another argument altogether.
The other day a friend of mine, who is doing her MBA in the United Kingdom, was telling me all about how difficult it is to get an internship in the financial sector these days. I was kind of surprised when she mentioned this because, to be honest, I had not given a lot of thought to the correlation between the crisis and the job/internship search process until that moment. As crazy as it may sound, I knew about the crisis (I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s all over the news!), for me it was more like one of those things that you know are out there but which don’t affect your life directly.
In India, we are proud of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate. We have been boasting a high growth rate for several years now and the results are visible on the streets of our metropolitan cities. We have glittering shopping plazas, restaurants, multiplexes and a section of the Indian kids love to hang out at the McDonalds and KFCs that are mushrooming across the cities.
The ongoing financial crisis has had many effects throughout the world. Political leaders are coming and going from office, banks are being bailed out, and central banks are pumping billions of dollars of borrowed money into securities to boost investor confidence.
We are aware of the private sector, the public sector and the non-profit sector. To state the most important criticisms of the existing sectors: the private sector is believed to be only profit driven (no social aspects), the public sector inefficient, and non-profits are mostly unsustainable when it comes to financials (this is evident from the high mortality rate of NGOs). To address all these major flaws in the existing sectors we need a Fourth sector.
Mindanao, the third major island group in the Philippines, strikes most of us as a culturally diverse region—along with many Muslims and Christians, its population is also made up of many local ethnic groups. This cultural diversity, in as much as it accounts for Mindanao’s uniqueness, has also been the root of the ongoing war which is taking its toll mostly in the regions of Sulu, Jolo, and some parts of Cotabato.
Are businesses and social interest initiatives mutually exclusive? I guess for a lot of people the answer to this question would be “YES!” because they perceive that what is profitable for a company does not create any social impact besides employment generation. I am surprised how frequently I get comments like “business administrators only think about money.” You know what? They should! They should because no company or organization can be sustainable without economic resources.
The other day, someone told me Youthink! needs to be more optimistic. Well hey, it’s hard to be cheerful and witty about topics like poverty and disease…
To be fair, though, there’s often good news from the world of development. So, maybe she did have a point. I decided to try to highlight more of the positive from now on.
With the release of US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's latest plan to clear bad loans off the books of troubled banks in the US, the fact that the elaborate auction is essentially a public-private partnership has flown under the radar amidst celebrations and critiques.
Want to understand how various countries of the world have gotten richer and healthier? Or how about seeing how China's CO2 emisions have grown as the country has gotten richer? Without having to read?
It’s been over a year, but hardly a day goes by when I don’t think about the slums of Cairo. Of course, the incessant talk of slums for no reason other than the cinematization of Mumbai’s own in Slumdog Millionaire may have something to do with this revival of my memories, although I found that its screening did little, if any, justice to the issues or indeed the people living the daily reality of abject poverty.