In India, a non-profit organisation is enhancing the links between women-owned businesses and global supply chains. The aim is to eventually roll out a data platform that serves and promotes women entrepreneurs from 17 other countries. Across South Asia, women are far less likely to be employed than men, with less than a third of women holding or looking for a job, compared with 80% of men. According to the International Labour Organization, women’s labour force participation rates in India actually declined in recent years, from about 37% in 2004-05 to 31% seven years later. As in many developing countries, Indians who are employed are more likely to work in the informal sector, where income is low and benefits and protections scarcely exist. Empowering more women to succeed as entrepreneurs is one way to address the persistent gender gap in employment and incomes. WEConnect International is a non-profit organisation that connects women-owned businesses with international buyers, tapping a growing number of multinational firms that have committed to using their purchasing power to support women’s economic empowerment. The organisation has already played a key role in promoting women entrepreneurs in nearly 20 major markets. In India, it identifies, educates, registers and certifies enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect provides direct support to small businesses operated by women through its eNetwork, outreach events, training, networking and mentoring. “There are so many opportunities for women entrepreneurs and business owners around the world,” says Elizabeth Vazquez, CEO and co-founder of WEConnect, “if only we can find these women and give them access to knowledge and the networks to expand their businesses from a start-up in the informal sector into something where they can create jobs for others and for their communities.” To strengthen WEConnect’s […]
The Ethical Economy: Rebuilding Value After the Crisis, by Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen, Columbia University Press, 2013 The Ethical Economy introduces two major intellectuals mapping the transition from early industrial manufacturing and its economics based on objects (things you can drop on your foot) to today’s information economies where intellectual property, intangibles, brands and reputation are the new source of value. Authors Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen join Don Tapscott, Yoichi Benkler, Michel Bauwens and others in mapping this new economic terrain where information offers non-rival “win-win” opportunities for abundance through sharing and cooperation (if you give me information, you still retain it as well). Following Yoichi Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks, Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams’ Wikinomics, Chris Anderson’s Makers and Michel Bauwens’ peer-to-peer sharing models (P2P Foundation), Arvidsson and Peitersen, both seasoned professionals in business and finance, delve deeper into the implications of this tectonic shift beyond the cover story in The Economist and recent books including Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers’ Collaborative Consumption and Lorna Gold’s The Sharing Economy to examine the role of technology, the internet, social media, the maker revolution, prosumers, crowdsourcing and “productive publics” and the socialisation of value creation. This is deeply researched, heady stuff enfolding insights from behavioral science, brand management, ethical investing and the growing importance of reputational risks and benefits. Mainstream economics and financial models are left behind in their material focus on competitive rival goods and assumptions of scarcity. The rise of this global informational, internet-based economy of social media, open-source, crowdsourcing by over 3 billion ever-more connected, interacting humans is a new economy of the commons – based largely on “publics” and their opinions, infrastructure resources and shared knowledge. This fuels the skepticism toward corporations, banks, governments and erodes trust in older norm-creating institutions, academia and religious […]
Dr Stephen McKenzie Released by Exile publishing comes a truly inspiring book which we all ought to read to help find a little more peace in our lives. Dont we all need that and to make the world a better place to be in? Dr Stephen McKenzie looks at the lived examples of such luminnaires as Nelson Mandela to show how he lived with heartfulness in his truly difficult life. Heartfulness can help us move away from being so self-possessed and singularly focussed in these times of high social technology interaction – without seeing the smile of the other person on the computer or mobile phone! The mindfulness trend has seen mindfulness become valued more as an item in a personal toolkit as opposed to a full way of living. Dr Stephen McKenzie is a leading mindfulness author and teacher and he brings us back to its roots –—connecting the heart with mindfulness to become heartfulness. The paths to full living are clearly shown and demonstrated. Being heartful simply means being fully connected — with ourselves and with other people — and therefore fully alive, happy, without stress and at peace. There are exercises for the reader and chapters include adversity, humour, knowledge, kindness, love and hope, among others. With anecdotes, things to do and think about and lots to gently read and enjoy, this is a gentle warm book that seeks to bring the reader home to a happy state. As a researcher, lecturer and writer with years of clinical and teaching experience in many areas of psychology, Dr Stephen McKenzie has written several books including Exisle’s Mindfulness at Work and with Craig Hassed, Mindfulness for Life. Dr McKenzie lectures in psychology at Melbourne’s Monash University.
No lawful impediment to the union is pending. www.mscnewswire.co.nz Napier, MSCNewsWire, 11 May 2016 – The coast is clear for the marriage of the two New Zealand subsidiaries of Australian media chains Fairfax and APN. There is no legal impediment remaining to their union. They resemble a duo well past the full flush of youth and on their lips are the words “why didn’t we do this years ago?” Like any couple of, well, mature years entering into wedlock, the duo for some time have sensibly laid the groundwork in assessing their mutual possessions and especially so in terms of the long term care and maintenance of the children, in this case the sprawling gaggle of district newspapers and other such assets. The couple have already, for example, worked out who will claim what in the couple’s sprawling Central Districts region where a medley of jointly owned free and subscriber titles have for so many years jostled together, uneconomically . Now the couple at last can realise value on their joint hard assets. These are the ones that they had to keep funding in order to accommodate these separate families. Things such as offices and plants. At least, the ones they didn’t have to sell and then lease-back. They can sample the honeymoon excitement of the type that even after the long postponement is still full of fun. Looking at the logistics will be one such source of bliss. Will they print in Auckland or Wellington? Christchurch, even? The newspapers are skinny enough nowadays to fill an air freighter. There is the enjoyment of owning your own uninterrupted destiny in the form of knowing that there are no other suitors knocking at the door. So the weekend bulldog editions and Sundays can be printed early and rail freighted across the […]
In the picture:Novice monks at the Dechen Phrodrang Buddhist monastery walk down a hillside to have breakfast in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu. Waking to the sound of monks chanting prayers and drumming their gongs during countless traditional pujas, a ceremony of honour, worship and devotion; running up the steep Himalayan mountain slopes under colourful prayer flags hung between trees in the lush natural landscape; looking out at the expanse of forests and mountains that surrounded its capital city, Thimphu. These are the memories that remain imprinted in my memory after two years living in Bhutan – the Himalayan Kingdom best known for its concept of “Gross National Happiness” (GNH). But, what is GNH and are the people of Bhutan really the happiest in the world? GNH as a development philosophy in Bhutan dates back as far as 1972, when the fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, announced that Bhutan would pursue “happiness” in its path towards development, rather than measuring progress merely through growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Revered in Bhutan for his many progressive actions as king, this forward-looking leader recognized that GDP did not take into account the ultimate goal of every human being: happiness. What does the pursuit of happiness really mean? John Lennon sums up the concept, and the tensions behind it, beautifully. He wrote: “When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Naturally, “happiness” is a challenging goal to understand, let alone measure. Yet, since the 1970s, much has been done to move GNH from being […]
Mindfulness could benefit individuals and organisations and transform the way we live and work, according to a researcher from Singapore Management University. Whenever you need a break at work, instead of checking your social media account, try this instead: STOP, and by that I mean Stop, Take a breath, Observe and Proceed. Stop whatever you are currently doing. Take a conscious breath, or two, or three. Observe how you are feeling at this very moment: are you feeling tense? Energetic? Tired? Think about your intentions for the next hour or day: what needs to be done? And finally, proceed to connect back with the flow of your day. This is a quick, yet powerful mindfulness practice that helps you to realign your attention and focus on the present, says Jochen Reb, associate professor of organisational behaviour and human resources at the Singapore Management University (SMU) Lee Kong Chian School of Business. His research interests lie in the psychological aspects of behavioural decision-making as well as the study of mindfulness at work. According to Professor Reb, mindfulness is defined by present-centred attention and meta-awareness—to be fully in the here and now, moment to moment, and to be aware of it. Mindfulness teaches you to pay attention to your own habits and actions, some of which may seemingly be subconscious. “You can experience temptations but not necessarily give in to them,” he says. “We often give in automatically, for example, by checking our e-mail on the phone when we wake up at night.” But with mindfulness, practitioners could become more aware of their impulses and then make a decision whether they want to address them or not. “We try to practice becoming more aware of these impulses, recognising that we actually have a choice; it doesn’t have to be automatic,” he explains. […]