Social enterpreneurship, Post # 2

Even in those societies where women have been given little attention in every aspect of live, the little chance these women got to contribute to the society, has resulted in achieving great positive results. The best technology on earth “Telewoman”


Post # 1 – Social Enterpreneur

Every individual has the potential so we are all agents of change of the problems we see everyday. At this time of crisis the world needs those individuals with the passion, commitment and courage to help the majority who are in need. We need to do this in a sustainable way,  we can not run away from social entrepreneurship.

 


Why resource rich countries are actually poor

It is a true fact that most of the resource rich countries are actually poor, one might be wondering why this is the case and it is likely that this may be like this for so many years to come. Generally, mostof the poor countries, have some resources like oil, gas, mineral which could have helped them to improve their economic situation, however the opposite is the situation. Let us take for example the Sub Sahara African countries, like Nigeria, Liberia, DRC but also Venezuela, Russia where there are a lot of mineral resources and yet more than half of the population lives on less than a dollar, have poor transport systems, dont have access to clean water and sanitation, dont have access to electricity and have poor education and health facilities.

 

 

 

 

One of the cities in a oil rich countries Nigeria

 

 

 

This being the situation, we need to assess why? Is it bad policies? Laziness, lack of capacity or is it financial resources? Some development theories have explained why this is the situation and i will try to ellaborate basing on these policies but also on my on opinion as someone who has grew up in one of the poor countries. One of the biggest issues is the continuous overextraction of the resources in these poor countries by mutlinational companies from rich countries with very minimum benefits for the poor countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mining in Namibia

 

 

 

 

Usually these multinational usually extract the minerals , process them and then sell to thses poor countries at very huge profits.  Most of the times, these multinational companies come with promises things like investiment, technology transfer and capacity building which unfortunately are not fullfiled, hence no win-win situation, leaving these poor countries more poor and with no resource, no investment no technology transfer and no capacity. Since many of these poor countries lack the financial muscle, technical skills as well as human skills to process these resources into valuable assets or wealth, they are subjected to manupulations by multinational companies. It is also unfortuante that even where they try to process the mineral into valuable assets, they still face a lot of competition on the market and sometimes are forced to sell the products at very low profits which can not improve the countries economic situation.

On the other hand there are also issues and challenges within these poor countries which affects their ability to use their resources to achieve sound development, and the major one being corruption due to poverty, weak policies and institutions but also poor governance. This results in over exploitation of the resources be it financial or non financial by some individual leaders at the expense of the majority of the population. In some countries this selfiness ends up in civil wars which disrupts everything and increases the levels of poverty of the majority.

 

In addition to corruption, poor countries are faced with more challenges like climate change impacts, HIV Aids which also affects their economic growth as compared to rich countries and these problems are becoming the major focus in these countries and deviate from the development agenda.

 

Floods in Kenya

In conclussion, it is not only the mineral resources that is imporant for a country to become economically rich and well developed but rather the capacity to process these into valuable asset or wealth which can be used for social economic activities in those poor countries. In current situations where these poor countries lack the capacity to process the resources, then we are far away from  alleviating global poverty.

Sources

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/african-bioresources-exploited-by-west-466824.

Resource rich countries and weak institutions; htmlResource Rich Countries and Weak Institutions:  The Resource Curse Effect

 

 


How apple has intergrated CSR in its business

Apple is one of the companies that has made a lot of news in the media on its business and that of its supplies and this has forced apple to take some decissions and act on some of the claims as a way of improving and addressing the issues. Apple is doing well on some issue but still some issues are still questionable, for example, on its website it is very difficult to find their code of conduct ( both the code of good governace as well as the suppliers code f conduct). Apple has a these two codes which are not easy to find and they do not appear on their website however both are well explained. For its Supplier code of condauct, Apple stipulates the minimum standards to be followed by its suppliers on issues of labour and human rights, Environment, Health and Safety, Ehtics and management systems to ensure compliance of the code. Apple also takes initiative to audit some of its suppliers to ensure that its suppliers are always compling to thier conde of conduct, however the challenge is to what extent does apple ensure that the recommendations from these audits are implemented.

From the media Apple has recieved a lot of critisms about its suppliers on issues to do with working conditions, i feel this is linked to the way Apple conducts its business, i.e cheaper prices. This forces the suppliers to try to reduce the cost of production as much as possible hence the poor working conditions, and to solve this Apple should give its suppliers good prices for the products. This will enable them to offer good working conditions to their staff who are the main drive of the business. As we have heard about the Foxcom scandal, it is very difficult to hold Apple accountable but as its supplier, Apple can help in improving the working condition at Foxcon through better prices, audits and also capacity building of its suppliers to help the comply to the minimum standards.

In addition, the governments in the suppliers company also need to have policies in place which will ensure that the workers are protected, there is need for multi sectroral approach if we are to achieve improvements on issues to do with supply chain management.

Secondly, Apple seems to be also to be be doing well on issues to do with the environment and they are being transparent on issues like on carbon foot printing, Apples measures its carbon foot print for all its activities and it further takes some initiatives to ensure that their product foot print is further reduced.

 

Some of the initiatives are energy efficiency, recycling, packaging, removal of toxic substances in their raw materials. This innovative initiatives helps Apple to improve on their products quality but also helps in reducing the green house gas emmissions. Apple also seems to do well on employees’ capacity building through its Supplier Employee Education Development where the employees are allowed to have free classes.

Personally i feel Apple is still doing something even though it might be regarded as a response to the crisis but everything has got its starting point, what matters is the how the issue is handled. On the other note, Apple still needs to do more than what it is doing now as i have elaborated above but also improve on its communications to its different stakeholders in a transparent way but also ensure that they is room for continuous stakeholder engangement. As CSR is a new concept to most of the people, companiies we need time for  continuous improvement within the  companies, otherwise it will be a marketing strategy rather than believing in the need for doing it.

Sources

1. Apple Supplier Code of Conduct; http://images.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/pdf/Supplier_Code_of_Conduct_V3
2. Apple and the environment; http://www.apple.com/environment
3. Apple Supplier Responsibility 2012 Progress Report; http://images.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/pdf/Apple_SR_2012_Progress_Repo

4. Greenfield, Rebecca. There are no Quick Fixes for Apple’s Foxconn Problem.February 14, 2012. More information:http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/02/there-are-no-quick-fixes-apples-foxconn-problem/48674/


Low carbon – The Economist

Members: Tabithah Mkandawire, Iana Malaga Newton, Antonio Calixto Moreno Zarco

  • Consumer awareness campaign to companies on the benefits of carbon foot print is very important, this should be the starting point.
  • Need for a simple, harmonised standard labeling system.
  • For the sake of uniformity and awareness creation, there is need for an international and national bodies to regulate and coordinate this.
  • Companies must not do it for the sake of saving money or profits but they should do it because they believe that there is a problem we need to solve or deal with and that is GHG emissions .
  • Due to lack of information about the benefits, some SMEs might not be on board since they believe they will incur costs, and this might affect their profits.
  • Governments should not be so rigid in demanding that all companies offer products with its carbon footprint label because this may lead to some protectionism in the market, and in the long term decrease a country’s economic growth.
  • More focus should be on the effectiveness of the whole process and not on just the label.
  • There is need for monitoring the effectiveness of every country when companies try to reduce their carbon footprint in their supply chain.
  • Just labeling is not enough, need for awareness to consumers on how they can reduce the emissions when using the products since some products emit more while in use.
  • More time is required, no need to do it in a rush for the process to be effective.

Climate Change:CDM project in Israel – Hiriya Landfill Project

I will try to explain about a CDM project in Israel on gas extraction from landfill for energy generation. Waste management is a problem in most of the african countries and most of the times it is given very little attention. Israel is one of the countries where waste management was not regarded as a priority for different reasons, and these can be lack of technological know how, lack of resources but also in availability of the laws to regulate the system. In the past, waste in the country was just thrown in the dumpsites which were not ligned and there were no laws in place.  One of the dumping sites was HIriya which is located near Moshav Ganot in the Dan region, the region is sorrounded by two rivers the Alalon River to the north and Sapprim river to the south.

The covered dumpsite before the gas mining.
The land fill started getting wastes from households in 1954 and it used to operate unsupervised and they generated a lot of environmental issues like odours, vectors soil and water contamination. In 1998, the landfill was closed and fcovered with soil, but this was not a solution at all because of the environmental cahllenges stated before, In 2000 a project was started to mine gas from the landfill and convey it through pipes to supply thermal energy for Offi textile Ltd. Factory which was nearby.
The project involved trapping gas from waste, convey it to boilers at the factory site and then convert it to thermal energy, thus the landfill was changed to provide clean source of energy. The host in the Republic of Israel and the other party is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Anaerobic digestors at Hiriya landfill
Benefits from the Project.
The project was a success and had environmental, health, social as well economic benefits.
Environmental Benefits
Economic Benefits
  • Increases employment opportunities in the area where the project is located.
Technological Benefits.
Health Benefits
In addition to the health and economic benefits for the community, i  also feel that the project could also impact on the communities in the long run. This could be in terms of reducing soil contamination, soil degradation is one of the cuases of hunger and poverty in Africa since the soil has lost its functionality in terms of agriculture. The soil condition currently requires the application of fertilizer which is environmentally bad but also expensive for most of the households and they can not afford to purchase the fertilizers and this results in poor harvest, hence hunger and poverty in the rural areas where the majority of the people lives.
Additionallity of the project

According to the tool for the demonstration of additionality, it is required that the CDM project activity should not generate any additional revenues other than CDM revenues. In regards to this project the electricity generated is not sold to any other companies, it is also important to note that e
mission reductions which result from the replacement of fossil fuel with renewable energy at the Offis plant are not claimed by the Hiriya Landfill Project, as that component is registered as a separate CDM project of the Offis textile Ltd Fuel Switch. Secondly, some companies before tried to analyse if the viability of investing in a methane collection system, on the Hiriya Landfill. It was however, recommended that the collection and selling of the landfill gas is not financially viable. Some years later it was found out that some revenues could be obtained from GHG reductions under the CDM projects, and later the project started. This therefore proves that without the CDM approach the Landfill could have been in the same state increasing the environmental problems which were being faced. The other issue is on the GHG emission reduction for the Offis Textile Ltd which could have been using fossil fuels as an energey source hence increasing the GHG emissions.
I chose this project because it was in Africa where Waste management and energy are still big problems. The economic growth of a country also depends on the energy capacity of the country, but most of the poor countries are faced with other challenges like HIV/AIDs, hunger and investments in the energy sector is affected. However, there is a lot of wastes in these countries which keeps on contributing to the GHG emisssion problems, i therefore feel projects like this if replicated could bring a great impact on these least developed countries like i have explained above on the benefits.
References
CDM projects; http://cdm.unfccc.int/filestorage
Hiriya landfill Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiriya

Rural Development – Food security, to end poverty and achieve Sustainable development

In my discussion i will talk about three things; poverty, food Security and sustainable development in developing countries.

We will define Food security as having access to nutritious, safe, personally acceptable and culturally appropriate foods, produced in ways that are environmentally sound and socially just. Poverty will be defined as lack of basic human need, which commonly includes claen and portable water, nultrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. Sustainable development will be defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

I will try to point out how the three are related and see how Poverty and Food insercurity affect Sustainable Development in the context of developing countires. In the developed countries,most of the population live in the cities, and are able to buy food from the shops and eat for their daily life, this is different in developing countries, where 85% of the population live in rural areas and depend on what they produce for both their food and financial sources.  Most of these people are illiterate, poor and vulnerable to alot of crisises, and this also affects their ability to produce and this results in food insecurity. There are also other problems which affect their ability to achieve food security like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since 85% of the population in this developing countries live in the rural areas, and are exposed to these chalanges, and they are in a dilema on how to get food which is the main basic need for life, and the major challenge is that most of these countries economy depends on the agriculture sector. Pro-poor transformation of rural economies requires increasing agricultural productivity and efficiency along value chains, diversifying economic activity, and integrating the rural economy into the broader economy through sound market systems.

From The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2003 (http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/006/j0083e/j0083e00.htm). ‘In general the countries that suceeded in reducing hunger were characterised by more rapid economic growth and specifically more rapid growth in their agriculture sectors. They also exhibited slower population growth, lower levels of HIV and higher ranking int he  Human Development Index. We can see here that food security is related to health, education as well as population growth, and this can well explained why most of the poor countries are having population, health and education problems. I personally feel that achieving food security at household level, can contribute a lot in economic growth of a country.  This will be through different ways like;

When we look at Human Development Index which is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living,of a country, attaining food security at household level can greatly improve perfomance of a particular developing country through improved health, education and living standards, this will result in a lower rank in the HDI. Even if we want to measure the country using the Gross national Hapiness (GNH), we will still have these countries ranked low, since food is the main source of hapiness for every human being.  It is also the agriculture sector which provides raw materials to most of the manufacturing and services, therefore improving the production of the raw materials will also improve the the manufacturing industry and may result in penetration into the global markets, hence improved economic growth.

The question now lies on how we can achieve food security at household level? I personally feel that the following can help;

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9y3dx_fighting-poverty-food-security_news

Lastly let me point out how poverty and food insecurity affects sustainable development in the least developing countries.  generally, a human being will always try to survive where problems arise, in case of poverty, the majority have resulted in activities like deforestration for both firewood and charcoal selling, poaching, fishing, and other activities which are working against sustainable development. Most of the times, it is for the daily´s survival. All these activities are working against the attainment of food security in the long run, for example deforastation results in land degradation which affects the productivity of the land and it becomes a cycle. I therefor conclude that for us to achieve sustainable development, we need to start at houseohold level and that will improve the ladder as we go.

Food Security, http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Food_security#Achieving_food_security

Human Development Index, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

FAO report, http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/004/X3936E/X3936E07.htm

Challenges to agricultural development in developing countries, http://www.pdfarticles.com/topic/food+security+problems+in+developing+countries+ppt.html#

 

 


INNOVATION – MORE BENEFITS FROM OPEN INNOVATION.

the past companies believed in closed innovation and competition with each other. However, this has changed now, and attention is being given to Open Innovation, which is the use of purposive inflows and outflow of knowledge to accelerateinnovation and expand the markets for external use onnovztion respectively. The business world today is very competitive and more open, hence there’s  need for companies,businesses to be more creative and innovative to attract more customer. Open innovation helps the company to involve the consumers, employees, researchers in developing news ideas for everyones satisfaction. One thing i like about open innovation is that you dont guess on what the market wants since you are involving the in creating the new ideas but also new markets and this might reduce fhe operating cozts and increase the profits. Additionally open innovation shorten the innovation cycle and dramastically reduces the cost of research and development.

 

In short Open innovation is all about;

  1. Involving people (employees, clients, suppliers, other stakeholders) in terms of new ways of working, incentives, fading distinction between work and (social) networks;
  2. Operations ((e-)processes and (e-)infrastructure) in terms of (e.g.) web access, communities, facilitation of knowledge and creativity sharing;
  3. Policy (written and unwritten rules) regarding (e.g.) intellectual property, privacy, outside communication; and
  4. Culture (e.g. openness, learning, networking) to create the right (and safe) atmosphere

From this we learn that, open innovation tries to simplifiy the organisations activities by ensuring that there is a good link between all the functions, procedures and people both within and outide the organisation. However having the great ideas is not enough, it is important that the ideas which have been generated should be implementaed by the company to the satisfaction of the customers. So it is important for companies to ready for soem changes in their strategies according to the vission and the ideas which have been generated.

There are several companies which are using open innovation and one of them is Cadbury whic is a company that believes in creating strong relationship with suppliers, universities, SME’s and other multinational organisations that lead to great innovation and products.Here is a link for the companies open innovation websites  www.collaboration.cadbury.com. The premise for these initiatives are, that no one organization or human being can know everything. “The world is becoming too fast, too complex and too networked for any company to have all the answers inside,” Yochai Benkler wrote in ” The wealth of Networks”

There is also a platorm for different companies known as Atizo, where companies companies can post a question to a crowd to get more and better solutions. This is called also Open innovation since you are not looking inside your own firm for ideas but to a broader spectrum of people. Some call it crowd sourcing for ideas. Atizo’s platform allows companies to generate ideas, evaluate ideas and develop the ideas into marketable concepts. Most companies have seen the benefits of the plat form saying it is fast and cheap.

 

 

 

 

Other known initiatives are My Starbucks Idea, Dell IdeastormIBM Innovation Jam and Shell GameChanger. These are all corporate examples of Open Innovation. For R&D matters more organizations are beginning to post challenges on Innocentive which is a platform where companies post challenges and pay for researchers around the globe to solve them. Procter & Gamble is one of the active players on Innocentive.

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

 

Reference

Leaders Lab,   http://leaderlab.com/open-innovation/

Wikipedia (2011) Open Innovation, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Innovation

http://www.ideavents.com/

 

 


EIA – The South African Stadium for 2010 FIFA World Cup

In 2004, the Southh Africa Football Association was selected as host to the FIFA World Cup 2010 soccer Championship. In preparation for this, the country decided to construct a new and bigger stadium. Six possible sites for development or redevelopment of 68,000 seat stadium as a semi final venue were identified. After assessment a place called the Green point site was chosen and it comprised of a “Brown field” which was an existing stadium and “Green field” which was used as a metroplitan golf club.

f

According to the National Environmental Management Act of 1998 any development that involves land change use,road construction and associated infrastructure requires an Environmental Impact Assessment. The construction of this stadium did not include land change only but also the construction of a road and  upgrading of electricity infrastructure. Then an EIA was planned and it established three alternatives which were; to do nothing, to use the existing airport site or the golf club site.

A decission was reached at after assessing the three alternatives above and these were the outcomes;

At last a decission was made to demolish the old stadium and a new one was built which hosted the 2010 FIFA World cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New stadium in Capetown

http://www.google.es/webhprlz=1C1SVEF_enES457ES457&sourceid

Scoring the Stadium

http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/EnvironmentalResourceManagement/publications/Documents/enviroWORKS_Aug06.pdf

 

 


CLIMATE CHANGE – VULNERABILTY

Malawi as a land locked country, depends largely on Agriculture for its economic growth. Viability in climate has greatly affected the performance of its agriculture-based industry due to floods, droughts, strong winds and landslides. The majority of the country,s population about 80% live in the rural areas and depends on agriculture for their survival both for food and economic sources.

Vulnerability measures a country’s exposure, sensitivity and ability to cope with climate related hazards, as well as accounting for the overall status of food, water, health and infrastructure within the nation.


 

Using the adaptation Index Malawi falls on number 135 on the ranking , under the high vulnerability and  with low levels of readiness. In terms of the sectors, it show that the food contributes 25% of the vulnerability, the Health contributes 39%, the infrastucture contributes 22% and the Water contributes 13%.  On readiness composition; the country has 44% of economic, 34% of governance and 21% on social readness. From this we can see that the health contributes to higher vulnerability nad this can be attributed by things like  HIV AIDs pandemic, malnutrition but also poor medical services. On the food, this can be due to the floods, poor agricultural, dependency on one food crop but also poverty levels.

This will requires the country to put in place strategies to improve its ability to adapt. There is need for increased investiment and innovation for the country to be able to adapt to the challenges imposed by climate change. However investiment is also sometimes hindered by other epidemic like HIVAIDs  which becomes a priority at the moment. There is need for international support in investing in techologies which will asist the country to adapt.

Using the DARA Climate Vulnerability Report, Malawi show high vulnerability to health impact and economic stress as we see  can from the bubles which will be in an acute category in years to come. This is due to the impact from the problems due to climate change like floods, however there will be no great impact on Habitat loss and weather disasters.

On economic stress, we see that the situation will also get worse from severe plus to acute plus. This is mainly because Malawi as a country depends on agriculture for its export and this is one of the sectors which is heavily affected by climate change. The majority of Malawians live directly off the country’s rich natural resource base, which is vulnerable to droughts and floods. The poor, often living at the margin of survival, cannot manage risk as they are ill-equipped to deal with crises of such magnitude. Since agriculture is extremely vulnerable to drought, it is necessary to promote drought-tolerant crop varieties and hardy livestock in drought-prone areas, develop irrigation and promote farming using residual moisture, especially along dambos.  Unless this is taken seriously, Malawi will not be in a position to adapt the pressure due to climate change.

Healths is more linked to the economic and for the case of malawi, its very crucial since 80% of the population depends highely on Agriculture which is vulnerable to climate change. There is also high dependency on external support on health, and this might cause more stress on the population if the country do not put up measures.

 

The Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2010

http://daraint.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/CVM_Complete-1-August-2011.pdf

Global Adaptation Index

http://index.gain.org/



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