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People Over Profit: Why Two Small Countries Stood Up to Big Mining, And the Fight Continues

People Over Profit: Why Two Small Countries Stood Up to Big Mining, And the Fight Continues | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

If the governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador can resist the mining industry, maybe we all can, but not without a fight:  Mining firms are suing governments for policies that impeded future profits.   


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.....global mining companies are trying to ensure that no government is allowed to say no.

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One is the tiny nation of El Salvador, where the government stopped issuing gold mining permits half a decade ago. The Salvadoran government did so despite sky-high gold prices and the argument that exporting gold was one of the country's few chances to boost aggregate economic growth (in the short-term, at least).
      

They did so largely because the majority of Salvadorans get water from one large river system, and gold mining invariably pollutes nearby rivers and watersheds.    ...El Salvador is not alone in its policies. The government of Costa Rica has said no to open-pit mining. (While open-pit mining is only one method of mining, it is among the most environmentally destructive.)
     
Costa Rica's Congress subsequently voted for a no-new-open-pit-mining law—unanimously. That no was upheld by Costa Rica's Supreme Court.
    

Governments can say no to a false notion of development that would do little besides line the pockets of elite corporate interests, while leaving devastated ecosystems in its wake.   ....But global mining companies are trying to ensure that no government is allowed to say no.
     

These corporations are making their cases based on a controversial Central America "free trade" agreement with the United States, and on El Salvador's former investment law (written with the help of the World Bank), which opened the door for mining firms to sue governments for policies that impeded future profits.   
   
In February 2014, Infinito announced that, rather than accept the Supreme Court rejection of its appeal, it was filing an investor-state case against the Costa Rican government at the World Bank's ICSID. Infinito is suing Costa Rica for the $94 million it claims to have invested so far.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a cautionary tale of profiteering and corporatism at the global level.  The author suggests we support the right of governments to say no to rapacious mining.  It may be there are many other type of global actions that can destroy the environment in other nations when putting profits above people.   Just passing along this awareness can make a difference.  ~  Deb 

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Beginning to See the Light - Universities Adapt

"American universities are exiting a period of denial to grasp that they must remake themselves, beginning by understanding their place in society."

Go to the 30 minutes mark in to hear a 5 minute forecast by Huron [Consulting] managing director, Education leader, Edwin Eisendrath. 

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Today there is disequilibrium. Once a few universities get it right..it will be very exciting.

    

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Excerpts (not in order):

American universities are ...making their operations more efficient, deferring capital expenditures, and professionalizing management.

    

Faculty needs support.  Smart administrations are building easy to travel roads that faculty can use.

   

Universities are beginning to challenge publish or perish with new incentives, annual review on tenure process, social incentives for faculty - social networks that are institution based rather than discipline based.
    
Today there is disequilibrium. Once a few universities get it right..it will be very exciting.

 

Other excerpts:
Examples of turbulence: President Teresa Sullivan - formerly provost of the University of Michigan, at University of Virginia - hired, fired, rehired.


Good news, Universities are figuring this out. The University of Michigan is beginning to prepare for the public engagement for how to reach out and listen.

     

Questions for universities & colleges what’s changing:

  • Vision (markets, values, direction, needs), 
  • Incentives, support, 
  • Governance
  • Direction of money
  • Capacity to compete
  • National identity, context for the place of universities in society - role will need to be different
  • New or alternative paths to employment:


“A paper on King Lear may lead somewhere, unlike the

rather far-fetched play of the same name. It may be

a stepping-stone to the Local Government Board.

…As long as learning is connected with earning,

as long as certain jobs can only be reached

through exams, [and we]…we take the

examination system seriously.

If another ladder to employment were contrived,

much so-called education would disappear,

and no one be a penny the stupider.”

                                

                                         ~ E.M. Forster, Aspects of a Novel


Related tools from Deb:

               

 


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This consulting firm director shares examples of how higher education, using technology tools for efficiencies & re-examining how the environment has dramatically changed, is adapting and experimenting with new approaches, now.

     


Examples include:  
     

  • Rethinking publish or perish for faculty, and faculty support

     

  • Administrative  collaboration with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and
        
  • Georgetown, Washington, DC - Offers short courses on how policy gets made, with government leaders. 

         

  • Governor of Wisconsin - with its high unemployment rate, is exploring college credits and competencies to build a system that is competency based to help Wisconsin residents get credit for learning and access further online education.

~  D
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Solid Systems: A Michigan Muffin Mix's 21st Century Vision and Values

Solid Systems:  A Michigan Muffin Mix's 21st Century Vision and Values | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"A rare CEO personal phone call:  After making a customer complaint, I received a phone call from the CEO of Jiffy mix, the top producer of baking mixes in America."


While Jiffy competes by selling quality products at the lowest price (40 to 60 cents for corn muffins, for example), most American companies now try to sell their products by making people feel inadequate. 


Many of our best and brightest minds shuffle paper and money ...to earn big salaries, while the real creators of wealth — bakers, builders, farmers, inventors, teachers, designers, and doctors are loaded down by debt.

Jiffy mix is a welcome trend-breaker.

According to CEO Holmes, "Our staff puts more emphasis on internal and external relationships than we do on completing tasks. This is very different from most companies ... Our dedication to strong family business values, combined with real world professionalism has us uniquely situated for the 21st Century."


Related posts by Deb:


    
    
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Michigan based Jiffy Mix will have to fend with GMO issues & carb reduction in the future.  Yet today they know where their core audience is and where they are going.  In the end, business is still all about sustainability, relationships and not just the short term bottom line. ~  Deb

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This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier Of Business | Fast Company

This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier Of Business | Fast Company | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

That Fast Company identifies GenFlux seems a is a renegade idea way disrupting traditional HR staffing / people concepts for organizations.  Think "churn" as a way of being.


"The future of business is pure chaos. ...So it seems...today.  GenFlux is a mind-set that embraces instability...even enjoys--recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions."


A variety of careers & ages are profiled in Fast Co's piece.  I remember back when "white water change" and "pinch-points of change," were 90's terms tossed out while working on the latest reorganization, staffing change or technology installation, followed by the brand, is "you" in so many words.  


Excerpts:  


"There's a difference between the broadcast and networked worlds," danah boyd (lower case by intention) and Senior Researcher at Microsoft, says. "Command and control and hierarchical structures are being disintegrated. Big companies are trying to make that slow down. They have massive internal structural issues."


...From classrooms arranged in rows of seats to tenured professors, from the assembly line to the way we promote executives, we have been trained to expect an orderly life.


Thrivers are the members of Generation Flux, who are less a demographic designation than a psychographic one.  


GenFlux is a mind-set that embraces instability, that tolerates--and even enjoys--recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions.  ...To be successful, businesses and individuals will have to work at it.


This is no simple task. The vast bulk of our institutions--educational, corporate, political--are not built for flux. Few traditional career tactics train us for an era where the most important skill is the ability to acquire new skills.


"I don't have any personal challenges about throwing away the past. If you're not changing, you're giving others a chance to catch up." ~  Pete Cashmore, founder of the widely popular, Mashable, with more than 2 million twitter followers

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It’s a beautiful time to be alive, educated and entrepreneurial

It’s a beautiful time to be alive, educated and entrepreneurial | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

I grew up watching Star Trek, ...believing t...we would all be using communicators, replicators, tricorders, and transporters. I was optimistic...

    

...I was disappointed. I grew up into a world filled with hunger, poverty, and disease—....a world .... in which people obsess over maximizing their share of the pie. There is a greater focus on building wealth than on bettering the world.

      

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...
This period in human history is unique, because now entrepreneurs can do what only governments and big corporations could do before. 

   

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No wonder so many MBA students want to join investment banks: it is the best way to reap big financial rewards and to get ahead.   ...I’m an MBA myself, so I can be critical about MBAs. I too worked at an investment bank, ...I too used to obsess over building wealth, and didn’t believe I could really make a difference in the world. 

         

...I am here to tell you that you have opportunities that I could not even have imagined when I was young. You can build the Star Trek future that we have dreamed about. 

      

...This period in human history is unique, because now entrepreneurs can do what only governments and big corporations could do before. You are the space cadets with the opportunities to make amazing things happen.



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We need people who care about enriching humanity rather than just themselves. 

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....Whatever you do, don’t take a mindless, meaningless job with a big company just because they offer you a big salary. Try to be somewhere where you can constantly redefine yourself and keep learning. That is what it is going to be about: constant learning and reinvention.

      

The future is going to be what we make it. It can be the Star Trek utopia or a Mad Max wreck, a creative playground or an Orwellian nightmare. That is why we need people with good values and ethics leading the way.  We need people who care about enriching humanity rather than just themselves. 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This gem of a commencement address is well worth a slow, careful reading.  Vivek Wadhwa delivered this address this year at Hult International Business School. It is informative to us all, not just his audience this past summer at the school formerly known as  the Arthur D. Little School of Management.  Click on the photo or title to review the well-researched, technology savvy, compassionate and practical view of what's coming, affecting our families, including changes in livelihood.   I like how the author encourages us to choose other options than just corporate jobs for the big bucks. 


Who is he?

 His bio, from his website is as follows:

Vivek Wadhwa is a Fellow at Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering,  Duke University; and Distinguished Fellow at Singularity University. He is author of  “The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent”—which was named by The Economist as a Book of the Year of 2012, and ” Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology”—which documents the struggles and triumphs of women.  He was named by Foreign Policy Magazine as Top 100 Global Thinker in 2012. In 2013, TIME Magazine listed him as one of The 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech.  

    

 ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, October 17, 2014 9:46 PM

I've shared this gem of a commencement address by Vivek Wadhwa on Change Leadership Watch as well as here.  He delivered this address at Hult International Business School. It is informative to us all, not just his audience this past summer at the school formerly known as  the Arthur D. Little School of Management.  Click on the photo or title to review the well-researched, technology savvy, compassionate and practical view of what's coming, affecting our families, including changes in livelihood.   I like how the author encourages us to choose other options than just corporate jobs for the big bucks. 

    

Who is he?    His bio, from his website is as follows:
    
Vivek Wadhwa is a Fellow at Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering,  Duke University; and Distinguished Fellow at Singularity University. He is author of  “The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent”—which was named by The Economist as a Book of the Year of 2012, and ” Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology”—which documents the struggles and triumphs of women.  He was named by Foreign Policy Magazine as Top 100 Global Thinker in 2012. In 2013, TIME Magazine listed him as one of The 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech. 

     

 ~  Deb

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Start with Why: How great leaders inspire action | Classic, Video TED.com

"People don't buy what you do, but buy why you believe it."


Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers ...


Belief...  


The law of diffusion of innovation:  TIVO, the single highest quality product on the market, great market conditions.  Yet a commercial failure.

For Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech, there where no invitations.  The focus was on belief.  250,000 people showed up to hear him speak.  They showed up for themselves for what they believed for America.  25% of the audience was white. 

“[Martin Luther King, Jr.] gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.” 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

From one of the comments:  "Therefore, good leadership is not pushing and/or pulling people (normally done by top management) but acting so that people do it for themselves and by themselves."   - Deb

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Trending Down for years: Yahoo Investors Need to Worry About Marissa Mayer

Trending Down for years:  Yahoo Investors Need to Worry About Marissa Mayer | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"By fighting trends, like telecommuting, Ms. Mayer's focus on tactics further damages Yahoo - which desperately needs a CEO with vision to create a new strategy."


Excerpts:


__________________

Yahoo has been a struggling company for several years
.

__________________


...Yahoo has lacked an effective strategy for a decade.  ..It has no technology advantage, no product advantage and no market advantage.  It is so weak in all markets that its only value has been as a second competitor that keeps the market leader from being attacked as a monopolist!


A series of CEOs have been unable to develop a new strategy for Yahoo to make it more like Amazon or Apple and less like – well, Yahoo. 


...Ms. Mayer was brought into the flailing company from Google, which is a market leader, to turn around Yahoo.  But she’s been on the job 7 months, and there still is no apparent strategy to return Yahoo to greatness.


Related posts by Deb:


     

   


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Yahoo's spotlight in the news seems to now be a cautionary tale about how not to change. 


Mayer's success at Google seems as if it is not translating into vision and right action (first steps), even after 7 months, at Yahoo.

Leadership IS about followers and inspiration to adapt.  Yahoo seems to have chosen conventional communication (email) as well as traditional management techniques in a company that seems more and more old school in adapting to change. 


If nothing else, Yahoo, note, the medium is the message, a quote from Marshall McLuhan.

~  Deb 

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How Having & Sharing a Vision For Your Company can Accomplish the Miraculous

How Having & Sharing a Vision For Your Company can Accomplish the Miraculous | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Your vision should be a reach AND realistic => based on  an ability to develop key distinctive competencies.


What are examples of a clear vision?

Ewing Kauffman, at his founding of the Kansas City Royals baseball team in 1969, articulated a vision of competing in a World Series within 5 years. While this sounded highly improbable at the time, it caused the entire organization to measure every action it took against the aspiration to be the best! Kauffman built a superb organization and, while there wasn’t a World series within 5 years, the Royals did get to the World Series within 10 years.


The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis was started in 1984 with a vision to “cure spinal cord injury.” This was an audacious goal given the state of spinal cord research at that time. Twenty seven years later, the Miami Project has raised over $300 million for research and has pioneered critical breakthroughs in treating spinal cord injury -  unthinkable at its founding

 

In addition to its motivational  value, a clear vision serves as a powerful prism through which you judge every action you take.  It helps you set key priorities.  Does the action in question bring you closer to achieving your vision?

 

For example, if you want to be the best business office products retailer in your city, do you spend sufficient time out speaking with and understanding the office products needs of your potential business customers? A vision  forces you to ask these questions and serves as  a powerful organizing statement for your efforts.

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