Why Upskilling is Key to Staying Employable

why skilling up is key to employableWhat is it about the world that makes it more challenging to find work? I know at least a couple of friends who are educated and still looking for jobs.

Technology has lowered the barriers for people to learn. For example, ever since English become one of the official languages use on the Internet, teenagers in Indonesia these days speak better English than when I was their age!

So now because of technology and access to Internet, competition for the same kind of jobs can come from anywhere in the world.

A robot can even replace you, the worker. This is already happening (as we speak). Diapers.com, uses robots (not people!) to move things around. How about that?

It’s either another person or robot or machine. Whatever. You’ve got competition! This competition leave us with few choices: either reinvent, redefine – or toast.

How do you stay employable?

Well, I’ve got news for you. You can. Here is what you want to do: skillup and keep on learning – for as long as you able to work – for life! Because a college degree alone won’t be enough to keep you employable. You want to keep moving forward and continue to reinvent and redefine your career.

3 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO SKILLS UP 

1. The future lies on your (continued) education

The  US Congress on Joint Economic Committee, recently did a study “Nowhere to Go” to see the impact of Free Trade to US workers. The study finds that older workers and those without a college education – are at risk (of losing jobs). That being said, jobs are hard to come by for those without college degree. “Since most of the jobs expected to be created are in sectors that require education beyond high school.”

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 11.9 million jobs between now and 2018 will be in professionals category, where 65% of employees have a four-year degree.

chart shows how jobs growth needs higher education Continue reading “Why Upskilling is Key to Staying Employable”

Flooding and Impact on Businesses

CLIMATE SKEPTICS need to pay attention here. This man, Richard Han, CEO of Hana Microelectronics talks to CNN how the floods impacting businesses. The water is 2 meter (about 2.18 yards) high and you have to get to the industrial park – by boat!

There’s a correlation between deforestation, climate, rainfall. When we talk about Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century, look at the impact on people and business.

Half a century ago, Thailand was not as populated as today. Probably few manufacturing companies set up shops here.

Now is a different story.

Down the chain line, since the beginning of this month Toyota, Nissan and Honda combined are losing 6,000 units/cars a day! If you add this to the overall Thailand’s exports. And calculate its impact deeper down the chain line – how it impacted their businesses around the world – the  number could be really huge!

Check this out.

Sustainable Good Governance in Time of Direct Aid

By: Takahiro Nakamura 

We tirelessly hear about international aid lost before reaching the very people who most need it. Donors in the industrialized world today have become increasingly suspicious of their donations going into the hands of government officials and aid workers, and more aid organizations solicit them claiming that they directly deliver services and goods to the people.

While this bottom-up approach has its own advantages, it also deprives the local governments of their opportunities to deliver services on their own. As a result, the governments are not able to develop such capacity, and their people turn to aid organizations for assistance before their own governments, hence, making it more difficult for the aid organizations to exit the countries.

The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative is an organization that works on this very issue of bureaucracy in places overwhelmingly known to the West for corruption and aid-dependency. The organization stands on its principle to help African governments be independent of the international community, said Kate Gross, the Chief Executive of the organization.

Their approach consists of two steps—first, the organization works with leaders in the selected African countries that are “at turning points”, providing advice and resources. Once the trustful relationship is developed, its staff also work with public servants of all levels inside their governments and help them deliver countries’ policies.

Continue reading “Sustainable Good Governance in Time of Direct Aid”

Making the Connection for #SocialGood

It’s very inspiring to see how people across the spectrum around the world, are using technology and social media to make connection & do social good. They are using different platforms to educate, empower women and girls, spreading the buzz, connecting displaced people, and more. One thing they share in common – is the ability to make a change.

The starting point of any conversation. Why are we doing this?

Geena Davis @GDIGM at #socialgood: “When are we going to get over the idea that it is shocking that women can do things?” @mashable…
UN_Women
September 20, 2011
Geena Davis @GDIGM at #socialgood: “Kids need to see entertainment where females are valued as much as males.” @mashable @unfoundation
UN_Women
September 20, 2011
Guterres -The most nobel part of our job is to help refugees unite, go back home. #socialgood @refugees
melissarfleming
September 20, 2011
.@womenwarpeace: “It’s not just a question of who’s watching media, it’s an issue of who’s talking. We’ve only heard from men.” #socialgood
lionozion
September 20, 2011
@TheMandyMoore says startling statistics & tidbits are great way to spread awareness on malaria through social media #socialgood
USAID
September 20, 2011
Geena Davis @GDIGM at #socialgood: “Gender portrayls influence aspirations. If they can see it, they can be it” @mashable @unfoundation
UN_Women
September 20, 2011
A bed net can protect a family of 4 for up to 3 years (@TheMandyMoore + @ashong are showing+telling!) #socialgood
unfoundation
September 20, 2011
#SocialGood @ABurak on how gaming can be used to make social good changes…in this case for girls & women. Teaching via data.
mgyerman
September 20, 2011
@TheMandyMoore Totally agree about teaching kids about things like malaria in school. Why isn’t this being taught now? #SocialGood
johnrougeux
September 20, 2011
Every 45 seconds a child dies of malaria… #SocialGood let’s change that…now @nothingbutnets @themandymoore
WaterIsHumanity
September 20, 2011

A Preview to Social Good Summit 2011

Next week, we will be at the Social Good Summit, a four-day summit hosted by the good guys at Mashable, UN Foundation and  92Y. This is a second year of a four-day event where technologists, influential minds, government officials, and activists will hob nob and come together to find the solutions for the world’s most pressing problems. Problems like education, health, malaria, etc. That and in addition, there will be 8 startups (that are changing the world!) competing for a $10,000 prize in a ‘Startup Challenge.’

The lineup of speakers include Ted Turner, Lance Amstrong, Muhammad Yunus, Pete Cashmore (in case you’ve been hiding in a cave, he’s the founder of Mashable – the most visited side for all things social media), actor Geena Davis, Ami Dar (if you’re looking for non-profit jobs, his site ‘Idealist’ is the go-to source), Scott Harrison (the Charity:Water guy), and many many more. You just have to see it yourself, here.

Continue reading “A Preview to Social Good Summit 2011”

Ecological Non-Toxic Raw Materials

Few days ago, I blog about reverse innovation as one of the trends that can have an impact on any-size of business. Reverse innovation is innovation adapted from emerging markets (developing world), first. This company’s products fit that description.

It just so happen that the other week, I had the opportunity to interview Alex Khan, who is the Operations Assistant at Compo Clay, a company that manufacture green raw materials for the homes and building industries.

This company is an example of how you don’t have to be a big business to do a reverse innovation. A small business can do it.

The story

Compo Clay was founded by a guy named Eric Man, who’s the Managing Partner of Compo Clay, 7 years ago. Eric found that there’s a lot of ineffiencies in the market for building products, home decor, architectural designs and a lot of stuff that he said that he wasn’t comfortable with for his family. You either have to give up a lot of quality or you’d be bring in toxic products that are harmful to the environment into your home. So that’s how he set out to do things differently. He wanted to solve all of these problems and come up with a product that would be beautiful, aesthetically pleasing product while also being a good quality and healthy for both for the human and earth.

They have been in R&D (research and development) for 7 years and now ready to bring to market.

Innovation is at the core working with team of engineers, they’re constantly working to improve their products and breaking barriers.

The niche market and its competitive advantage

Their niche are products are environmentally safe. These products consists of 6 ingredients that make up all of their products: 50% mineral composition, sea salt, sand, water, recycle fly ash, reinforcing fibers, which is glass-based fibers. All of these ingredients are sourced from the earth crust so there’s no mining, no deforestation and no chemical use. Alex says that their “products are totally non-hazardous, so there is no there is no lead, formaldehyde, no VOCs (volatile organic compound) and totally non-combustible. So you have no problem associated with fire toxic.”

Sample of some of their products include home decor, building products, mantel pieces, planters, statues, and different things targeted for the residential market.

Strategy: when it comes to selling their supposedly “green” products, they put “green” aspect secondary. What’s important for them is for customers to realize that their products are aesthetically beautiful, light in weight, thus save money on packaging, shipping, etc.

It’s important for any business to have a mission, purpose. This is how they intend to change the world.

1. Green products – provide products that are affordable to many.

2. Green operations – concious of their actions they way they run the company operations through continuous development and implementation of green technology and practices. They use variable energy in the operations and there is no heat is use in the molding process.

3. Green society – to educate consumers and communities on sustainable awareness.

Distribution channels

They use grassroots approach. Using a network of specialty stores. Products are sold through Amazon, Ebay, small boutiques throughout the U.S. They have storefront in Alameda, CA with soon to be opened flagship store in San Fransisco. Their long-term view includes helping bigger companies to go green.

Dig deeper. I break the interview into 3 parts: about the company, line of products and distribution channel. It’s something that everyone can learn. 

Part 1: the story

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Part 2: line of products

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Part 3: distribution channel

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Related reading: 20 Global Trends that can have an Impact on Your Business

 

20 Sustainability Learning Resources

FOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN. These are some of the sites where you can learn and dig deeper on sustainability. Whether you’re an employee, business owner, professional, or even executive and career changer, the information available through these sites is priceless. The best part is, most of the resources it’s either available for free or for a small subscription fee.

The resources below provide you with the knowledge, the kind of information that includes things that would affect the sustainability of your business, i.e. climate change, energy efficiency, nature conservation, biodiversity, water efficiency, and more. It is by no means they are the only twenty sources out there. There are literally more than hundreds (probably thousands) sources globally! However, for the purpose of learning, we’re going to start one chunk at a time. It’s good enough to spin your head.

FOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN. These are some of the sites where you can learn and dig deeper on sustainability. Whether you’re an employee, business owner, professional, or even executive and career changer, the information available through these sites is priceless. The best part is, most of the resources it’s either available for free or for a small subscription fee.

The resources below provide you with the knowledge, the kind of information that includes things that would affect the sustainability of your business, i.e. climate change, energy efficiency, nature conservation, biodiversity, water efficiency, and more.  It is by no means they are the only twenty sources out there. There are literally more than hundreds (probably thousands) sources globally! However, for the purpose of learning, we’re going to start one chunk at a time. It’s good enough to spin your head.

Continue reading “20 Sustainability Learning Resources”