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Achieving Peace, Ending Hunger, Eliminate War

In Africa, mindset 3.0 on June 13, 2008 at 8:25 pm

How could we achieve piece in Iraq? Or end extreme hunger in African countries and here in the United States or eliminate war in Darfur? I was reminded of this during a phone call with my buddy Ralph. We both play golf together and enjoy each other’s company especially when he wins. I realized that if these global, geo-political problems are to be addressed there must be a truly common objective that both parties want badly.

Ralph could not make the early tee-time for this Saturday because something came up; however, he and I wanted desperately to play each other especially since he won last time and I was eager to redeem myself, especially since I give him 8 strokes. So, when he told me he could not make it, I adjusted the time to meet his schedule and realized that while it is the hottest time of day, we both compromised and the change was made. We were both ecstatic to know we would be having a rematch on tomorrow.

After the change was made, I said to Ralph, “why is it so hard to end the war in Iraq”. Of course, my buddy had a few choice words, but the real reason is that if we wanted to end the so-called war badly enough we could. This is the attitude and optimism Senator Obama brings and what people should focus on rather than recalcitrant thinking of staying the course. Just imagine if I said to Ralph: “I don’t want to play at 1:00, it’s too hot and I would prefer to keep our time at 10:00”. The whole dialogue would have been about ME, and it was about achieving an outcome that was beneficial to both and something we could feel good about, since I plan on beating him soundly tomorrow.

Would Senator McCain’s stance be any different in dealing with the Sunnis or Iran or North Korea? As basic as this might sound it is achievable if we open our minds to new thinking. Some might say this is naive, but when you really understand what are the motives and desires and you get the truth on the table we could achieve peace, end hunger and stop unnecessary violence.

Have a terrific weekend to my faithful readers!

Small is the New Big in Politics…

In economy, mindset 3.0, politicians on June 7, 2008 at 4:55 am

Clinton Donor Base Need Not Apply.

The country witnessed history Tuesday evening, with Senator Barack Obama winning the nomination to represent the Democrat’s in the fall.  It is obvious why this is such an historic moment.  But I want to take a short detour to highlight three articles written in the New York Times June 4, 2008 that are seemingly unrelated on the surface but how they support the small-donor approach of Obama to fundraising as opposed to the large donor route that Senator Clinton seems to favor.

The first article Start-Up Releases Smaller Version of Camcorder describes their new product called Mino that will sell for $179.  The Mino is a pocket size camcorder that is the first cousin of the Flip and Flip Ultra developed by Pure Digital.  I have the Ultra and use it all the time.   What is striking is the strategy behind the company’s products.  Small, simple to use with minimal features.  The result is an experience for a consumer that is easy to use, fun and the ability to share videos quickly across the Internet.

The second piece, G.M. Shifts Focus to Small Cars in Sign of Sport Utility Demise is about GM’s shuttering plants to shift to building smaller cars.  At first, my response was duh?  That’s a no-brainer with gas at $4 dollars a gallon.  Then I thought to myself, smaller cars, fuel-efficiency, less expensive.  GM’s CEO, Robert Waggoner “ said $4-a-gallon gas prices had forced a “structural shift” by American consumers away from large vehicles into more fuel-efficient cars”.  You think?

And finally, the article entitled, Clinton Donor Base Is Obama’s Next Prize describes how Obama may involve the big money fund-raising machine for which the Clinton campaign is famous.  Most notable for me is, if the existing base of donors gives an average of $200 the Obama campaign will have over $300 million dollars for the general election sans the Clinton donor base.  The small donors are the defacto reason why Senator Obama’s ascendency as the Presidential nominee is so extraordinary, and well, so special for all Americans.  While Clinton donors boast their deep, and well endowed wallets, it is virtually impossible to build the kind of support and “active donor base” established by the Obama campaign— 1.5 million strong and growing.  If these hard-working women and men, were supplemented with a bevy of 300-400 heavy hitters as the article suggests, this could well take an incorrigible turn against Obama’s bid for President in the fall.

See the theme here?  Small.  Yes, small is having a huge impact on how we live, drive, capture memories, listen to music, earn a living, and of course raise money in Presidential campaigns.  What’s important to keep in mind is how successful companies that keep it simple and small are thriving.  Apple’s iPod for example.  The Flip Ultra camcorder and of course we can’t’ forget the Toyota Prius and its legendary 40 plus MPGs of fuel economy compared to 13 MPGs for your average SUV.

So, the strategic question for Obama, and his campaign strategist David Axelrod is this: Should we continue the small donor strategy through the general election and forego the Hillary Clinton donor network?

If you believe in the success of Small, which sure seems to be working, not to mention GM’s shift in strategy to building smaller, more fuel efficient cars, then sticking with small just might be the way to go.  If you apply this thinking to the large donor approach, how much does it take to “feed” the large donors in terms of expectation?   It’s all about “their” collective egos and what “they” want?  As Eckhart Tolle writes in his book, A New Earth, “Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind.”

What would they want in return to feed this massive collective ego?  By contrast, small donors simply want a government that works, and does what politicians say they will do.  Small donors have no need to feed their ego, they are more concerned with feeding their families.  This is the conundrum for the Obama campaign?  The leadership of Pure Digital adamantly stays away from “feature creep” to give consumers what they want—a camcorder that fits in their vest pocket and works with the push of one button.  Again, small is good!

So, here’s what we have: big SUVs, hefty $800 camcorders, and large donors with the ability to write six-figure checks.  All are hard to work with, require lots of resources, have high expectations and simply consume more energy and thought that could be used for more prudent pursuits.

Senator Obama has shown that if you have a good story to tell and you stick to your principles, people will vote for you.  I would be willing to bet that Republicans and the big money Clinton fund raising network prefer fuel-efficient, smaller cars, easy to use camcorders that don’t cost much and they would love to have the machine that is Obama’s small donor network all giving in unison on average $200 dollars a pop for the general election.  So, here’s the deal.  The Obama campaign generates $300 million dollars for this fall and Mr. Obama “lives” the message that Senator McCain continues to promote by doing away with special interest money.  Therefore, Small equals winning products to stimulate the economy built by U.S. companies.  And, just as important as this moment in history, small donor amounts equal big things for the American people in November.   Now, that is a fund raising strategy we can all believe in.

U.S. Education in a Global World is Not Adequate

In mindset 3.0, research, social networking on May 27, 2008 at 10:17 pm

For those of you who have ADD (can’t view anything longer than 2 minutes), this 8 minute video is arguably one of the most important points of view to illustrate why our global interactions and negotiations with our foreign neighbors is failing.  I work with clients and organizations that face the challenges described in the video with fact-based support, yet, the unwillingness to advance and move forward is crippling and thus contributes to the unpreparedness of young people to compete successfully. 

This video puts into perspective why our unemployment rate in the United States continues to increase; our young people are simply unprepared en masse to deliver to the world and be what we need for them to be in the year 2028.  Affirmative action will no longer be needed in 2028.

Gas Prices May Reach $5.00 per Gallon Sooner than We Think

In economy, marketing, mindset 3.0 on May 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm

The high cost of gas is likely to be a topic of discussion unless you ride a bike, been living in the “Enchanted Forest” or you earn over $1 million dollars per year. So, it’s safe to assume, this post is relevant to 95% of the people who may stumble across this blog. Because of the gas prices, I am looking for a new car or rather a more fuel efficient automobile. During my research, I came across the list you see below. If you live in Detroit, there should be good reason to worry.

And if you trade stocks, sell the US auto stocks short. This list is useful if you want to begin the search for a way to save gas. I didn’t stop there, I went a bit further and polled a few people on how much it costs to operate their automobile for a month.

You ready? People are paying between $550 and $800 per month for gas. So, assuming the average American car payment is $400 per month, the total cost is between $950 and $1,200 per month. Let’s take this a step further, what if you are married and have TWO car payments? You would approach $2,400 per month for the privilege of paying yourself to drive to work, sit in traffic and listen to the radio. If the Detroit automakers were playing Texas Hold’em Poker, and the Japanese said, “all-in” and Detroit “called”, they (Detroit automakers) would be wiped out.  Can you say: “government bail-out” again.

On the serious side of this discussion, is we are close to this scenario now. Just imagine the ripple effect? Nobody will purchase large SUVs and trucks. Thousand of Jobs will be lost. Bankruptcy for both GM and Ford. Government bail-out. And now gas is $6.00 per gallon and the special interest groups continue to lobby against more fuel efficient automobiles and commerce slows to a crawl. Can you say “Depression“?


Pain-Bodies in Action for Former Olympian Tim Montgomery

In mindset 3.0, narcissism, vanity on May 16, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I was terribly disappointed and saddened to read the news about Tim Montgomery’s recent sentencing to 46 months in jail. As I read this today, I could not help but think about the “pain-bodies” he is likely experiencing and “ego” associated behaviors that propelled him to criminal activity. The “pain-body” and being in the Present and how these concepts are explained by Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, highlights just how much pain our society experiences each day.

Both Montgomery and his former wife Marion Jones had it all in the eyes of most people. Olympic fame, money, endorsements and it is all now gone. Literally. In the book, Tolle describes how people carry a large amount of unnecessary baggage, both mental and emotional and throughout their lives. They limit themselves through grievance, regret, hostility, guilt. As Tolle further states, “Their emotional thinking has become their self, and so they hang on to the old emotion because it strengthens their identity.” In the case of Montgomery and Jones you can see that their identity and who they thought they were or rather, who they think they are is about financial resources and celebrity.

This is an important point, because it highlights the negativity in this world and how the so-called affluent struggle more than the poor. Quoting from the book: “Unhappiness or negativity is a disease on our planet. It is everywhere, not just in places where people don’t have enough, but even more so where they have more than enough. Is that suprising? No. The affluent world is even more deeply identified with form (possessions), more lost in content (things, feelings, perceptions) more trapped in ego.” Page 213

People are dependent on things, seven cars is not enough for the hip hop musician or rock star who has made it big financially. Yet, they struggle in their lives with drugs, self-identify, depression and they have more than enough.

What would a young person from a developing country think about these shenanigans if he had the material wealth of Montgomery and Jones. The deeper purpose that the affluent and super wealthy can gain from this is that all situations are fleeting because things change. Remember the rapper Easy-E who dies of AIDS? On top of the world one minute and sadly dying of a sexually transmitted disease the next. This is important because people of color especially are stuck in a way of thinking and behaving that is so fundamentally wrong that the pursuits of “bling” and “getting paid” will NOT advance their family and their community, ultimately.

Mr. Montgomery pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the bank fraud and money laundering plot. Prosecutors said he had a hand in depositing bogus checks worth $1.7 million. “I’ve had everything I ever wanted in life. I’ve stood on the top of the mountain,” Montgomery told the court. But now, “the gold medal, all those people cheering, that was part of another world. … In jail, my status is gone.”

The things Montgomery cited are the problem. Those things are not who he is. In his “mind” this is probably so and I am sure he will miss the niceties he has enjoyed.  So for the next 46 months, he should figure out who he is and who he is not and I will guarantee that he will be the type of person his children and family can be proud of sans the cheers and the gold. This is his opportunity to do something special and make himself proud.

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008May16/0,4670,TrackStarFraud,00.html

Poor People Have Poor Ways: Poverty Czar is NOT Answer

In Human Condition and Treatment, mindset 3.0, poverty, social networking, Uncategorized on April 4, 2008 at 8:12 pm

What is poverty? According to American Heritage Dictionary, it is “The state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts.” Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton spoke today about creating a cabinet level position in which the primary purpose would be to end poverty in the United States. Mrs. Clinton gave her support to an idea long advocated by the King family, a cabinet position that she said would be “solely and fully devoted to ending poverty as we know it, that will focus the attention of our nation on this issue and never let it go.”

I am not so sure that a cabinet level position would fundamentally change the condition of people who experience poverty and those that experience extreme poverty in this country. Let’s look at some facts and recent illustrations of what I refer to as “poor people having poor ways” which underscores the mindset and behavior of people who tend to experience poverty.

Currently roughly 12% of the U.S. population fall below the federal poverty threshold. There is however some controversy regarding the federal poverty line, arguing that it either understates or overstates the problem of poverty. According to the United Nations, which defines poverty among high-income OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ) countries as those earning less than 50% of the median, 17% of Americans lived in poverty between 1999 and 2002, the second highest percentage of any high-income OECD country.

human_poverty.png
Human Poverty

Poverty is not just a financial state. Being poor affects life in many ways. The human poverty index uses indicators that capture non-financial elements of poverty, such as life expectancy, adult literacy, water quality, and children that are underweight. The 30 territories of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development use a different index which includes income and long-term unemployment; and not water quality or underweight children. This implies that the poor in richer territories are materially better off. This is clearly not the case. Otherwise, we would not need to create a cabinet post for a poverty czar.

Nearly half the African-Americans in a recent study of teenagers ages 14 to 19 were infected with at least one of the diseases monitored in the study — human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomoniasis, a common parasite. Further, the United States still has the highest rates of teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion in the fully industrialized world.

We could cite many more illustrations to be fair. But not until we change our mental models about how we view people, getting away from being judgmental, helping others without compensation and doing so unconditionally is the way out of poverty. What I am afraid of is that some national figure will get nominated who is well connected, Congress would deliberate and ultimately approve the nominee, then a bunch of high-priced consultants who know little about poverty will be hired and create a national report on poverty with recommendations. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

This issue has to be taken to the streets like presidential candidate Barack Obama has done. Use of social networking in a vigorous and relentless way. Providing tools like PCs (not old machines), for educational attainment, free high-speed Internet access, communicating with people via text messaging to remind of certain events and activities, creating “Meetups” weekly that engage, involve and excite people to change their mindset and their behaviors. Instead of going to the club, pool together talents of parents to conduct tutoring sessions. For example, if one parent is a math whiz, one is an english prodigy, and the like, have sessions in the home where it is safe and compelling to learn sans the television and side conversations. This the framework for the poverty czar to get things done because there are 196,000 search results for “poverty in america” so the work is already done. It is now time to execute much like what Obama has done to change the collective minds of people across America. It’s time for a different pace of action with fresh faces and relevant ideas and the willingness to change course.

 

 

 

2008 World Economic Forum – Davos

In mindset 3.0 on January 21, 2008 at 10:38 am

We will blog about the goings on at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland this year. The theme for this year’s Forum is The Power of Collaborative Innovation. One of the greatest opportunities to improve our economy is the notion of global citizenship. When Jay-Z kicked off his Water for Life campaign last year, this signaled, I believe, his prominence as a global citizen. Before this, he was a global entertainer. The concept of citizenship is about participation, having new and different conversations, new business partners and creating lasting relationships that includes contacts in your Outlook from Sri Lanka, Morocco, Beijing, Mumbai, Dubai or for that matter any point on the planet.

Each day, you can expect a recap of the most salient points of the day and what it means to people right here in the United States. The conference starts on Wednesday, January 23. See you on Wednesday!

African-Americans Can’t Save the Country from Recession

In conservation, economy, mindset 3.0, political analysis on January 21, 2008 at 2:38 am

The recession that continues to be discussed is real and there’s nothing the Stimulus Package can do about it. It’s really quite simple: consumers are tapped out. There is not enough money to pay all the bills. Just look at the proliferation of pay day advance stores that litter inner-city and even suburban areas. The fact is, consumers don’t need more stuff.

Now, after taking a peek at the video, the actor talks about “planned obsolescence”. This means that the stuff we buy has a finite life span. So, if you use credit to buy something that costs $250 bucks against your $1,000 credit card limit, and the item lasts 3 months before it breaks, you have to buy another one. So, you buy another one and now you have $500 remaining on your credit card. So, now let’s assume, you need new tires, which costs you $400; now you have $100 on your credit limit.

For African-Americans it is now time to revisit those trips to the mall, and perhaps consider doing one’s hair at home rather than spending 4-5 hours on the weekend to look pretty. So, the leading democratic candidates Obama and Clinton will be forced to get real creative if they want to create lasting economic change to change things. This next clip highlights why the democratic candidates need to seriously rethink their approach to getting the economy back on track.

After viewing these clips, I realized that going out to shop, is NOT the answer. Despite what the pundits say, and George Bush’s attempt to “stimulate” the economy, buying more stuff that we actually don’t need is simply not the answer. So, what is the answer?

Well, the first approach is to increase wages. Real wages have not kept pace with inflation and thus it is difficult to continue the torrid pace businesses have come to expect. The second piece of advice is to invest in spending quality time with your family. This might seem odd to some, but by spending quality time reading, sharing, walking and dancing at home, gets people away from the deluge of marketing messages that they get from watching television incessantly. Third, families have to get real about their finances and cut back on unnecessary driving, multiple cell phones and other financial leaks.

Recession means, marketers have done their job. But guess what, the bill is due and no amount of stimulus will help the U.S. economy. When real wages increase, savings increase, education becomes a priority, an economic stimulus package will provide “perceived” relief but in reality, this stimulus package, will simply be, well, much ado about nothing.

Happy New Year!

Why Global Social Problems are Relevant to People in the United States

In mindset 3.0, narcissism on December 17, 2007 at 5:57 am

I often hear the argument from people in the United States and especially people of color, even my mom on why should we be concerned about problems in Africa or India or places to which we have never traveled or do not know anyone?   

However, as simplistic as this sounds to focus on things here at home, focusing at home has brought and continues to bring failure, a few benefiting, corruption and frankly a poor return on investment.  From what I have seen personally and continue to witness is that our social fabric and mindset is limiting millions of people from advancing in our country.  Why?  It’s actually simple, but the journey is complicated.  Simply put, people tend not to think critically and in new ways as global citizens about how to address challenges. 

Here’s an example of a person who get’s it.  His name is Roderick and I get my newspaper from him each day as I approach the traffic light.  Roderick told me one day how globalization is hurting his business; he explained without prompting, because he likes to chat; he said with the Internet, people buy fewer papers and migrant workers will work for much cheaper and our local paper is more inclined to hire them for distribution.  Roderick has a huge smile, sans a top row of teeth, but he is conscientious, has a clear mind, honest and conversant about issues besides himself, but truly sees that the world is indeed flat.  Admittedly, he does not worry about what might have been, but is genuinely excited about what is happening; he lives in the moment in a healthy way.

Healthcare

To dive a bit deeper, there is an increasing number of aspiring medical school students who come to the United States to earn medical degrees and now, because of improvements “back home” they are leaving the U.S. to help their native country.  While here in the U.S., we continue to face increasing costs for healthcare and ever increasing wait time’s as well continuing lack of involvement in clinical trials that involve minority groups.  All of this is going on while our children continue to do worse in science and math and are moving away from the medical professions.  Young people, parents, teachers and higher education officials will only see this mindshare loss accelerate over the next 10 years and well beyond.

Food, Finance & Consumption

When it comes to food, products like Plumpy Nut is saving lives in countries like Africa, India and South America, while people in the U.S. continue to go to bed and subsequently to school hungry almost daily.  Remember, the United States is the richest nation on the planet, at least for now.  So, maybe we should think about getting Plumpy Nut into our public schools.

World Wealth Distribution in 2015: Will You be Participating?

 

Because of the ever increasing appetite for stuff and personal gratification to consume more and less on creating wealth in communities, people have become slaves to creditors and mortgage companies.  Our communities across the country are littered with “payday” loan stores that suck the life out of people.  By contrast, micro credit (lending in small dollar amounts to people who make less than $2 dollar a day) in countries like Mexico, India, and across Africa is creating opportunities for parents to send their children to school and improve their lives for the first time.  

Further evidence also shows we are finding that college graduates today are finding it difficult to become independent citizens with their own place to live outside their parents and that prospects look even bleaker for long-term prospects despite their education and technological know how.  Rather, many young people wait in line at American Idol auditions or hope a “baller” or entertainer or successful business person (woman or man) can help us click our heels and rescue us from the trials one might experience day to day. I have an inordinate number of women tell me that  a great many men they meet today often expect to receive gifts, cash and meals simply for “being there for them.”

By contrast, our brethren in every part of the world are participating in the global economy at any chance they might get to introduce their products, develop a relationship or have a conversation, no matter how difficult it might be for them to understand.  I hired a firm from Minsk, Belarus last year to work with and we had twice a week conference calls (4:30am for me) using Skype for over 6 months; while it was difficult for both of us at first, I learned a lot and now have solid connections should I visit Moscow or Eastern Europe.  Please note, MySpace friends do not count as real relationships especially if you have over 300 and you have never had a live conversation with them.

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS continues to increase at even more staggering rates in places like Washington, D.C., Atlanta and other urban centers with high concentrations of minority groups despite all the rhetoric, funding, programs, non-profits, anti-retroviral drugs and the lessons learned since Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s announcement almost 17 years ago, in 1991.

Despite the knowledge we have (aka the media), access to information (aka the Internet) and tools to prevent this dreadful disease, hedonism, lust, narcissism and this unabating selfishness continues to prevail.  To be sure, there are rebel leaders and their soldiers in the Congo spreading this disease; by contrast, however, “In Thailand it was through education and condom promotion, and in Uganda via their “ABC” program — for abstinence, “be faithful”, and condoms, implemented in the early 90’s.  These governments made stemming the human and economic toll of the disease a priority of their administrations and poured tremendous resources into the effort.  Are you listening Obama, Hillary, anybody?

Yet, other program efforts have been undermined as in Uganda last year by collaborating with the U.S. world AIDS project that promotes abstinence only.  The new campaign does not support condom use; in fact, promotional material was distributed declaring condoms to be porous and pre-marital sex a form of “deviance”, according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).  It is this same type of arrogance and complete ignorance that African-American women face when African-American male sexual partners expand their horizons with “down-low” trysts for sport, only to bring home this disease resulting in skyrocketing infection to their female partners, who unknowingly pass it on and BOOM, we have an epidemic.  

These same brothers are behaving just like the Bush-driven policies that do not support condom use, because clearly, if these down-low brothers did support a different policy, I would not have to tell this story.

Why Global Social Problems are Relevant to People in the United States is the title I have chosen for this post, and my last one for 2007, unless something really compelling happens between now and the drop of the ball to bring in the New Year.  Why is it relevant?  Here’s the answer: People in this country, need to learn how to think critically about what they do, who they deal with, how they deal with them, how to advance their life; improve their value to themselves and to their families.  By THINKING, TALKING and DOING (making personal changes no matter how small) with our global neighbors serving as a source of innovation, inspiration, and motivation, you get a fresh and perhaps clearer perspective on what could and should be right here at home.  It’s hard work, it’s exciting, and it’s refreshing and actually cool to make happen!  Happy New Year 2008!

Mindset 3.0: Ending Famine by Ignoring the Experts

In Africa, famine, mindset 3.0 on December 3, 2007 at 6:52 am

Often consultants come up with chic new terms like Mindset 3.0 and of course most people don’t understand what it means other than it being another buzz phrase.  For most women and men in developed countries, we hear about famine, hunger and the 4 billion impoverished souls who live on less than $2 dollars a day and give it scant thought.    Now, I want to share with you a real-life illustration of what it takes to make American Idol Gives Back a worthless exercise in popular television altruism.  To illustrate: In Malawi itself, the prevalence of acute child hunger has fallen sharply. In October, the United Nations Children’s Fund sent three tons of powdered milk, stockpiled here to treat severely malnourished children, to Uganda instead. “We will not be able to use it!” Juan Ortiz-Iruri, Unicef’s deputy representative in Malawi, said jubilantly.

Farmers explain Malawi’s extraordinary turnaround — one with broad implications for hunger-fighting methods across Africa — with one word: fertilizer

  

Over the past 20 years, the World Bank and some rich nations Malawi depends on for aid have periodically pressed this small, landlocked country to adhere to free market policies and cut back or eliminate fertilizer subsidies, even as the United States and Europe extensively subsidized their own farmers. But after the 2005 harvest, the worst in a decade, Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawi’s newly elected president, decided to follow what the West practiced, not what it preached.

In a withering evaluation of the World Bank’s record on African agriculture, the bank’s own internal watchdog concluded in October not only that the removal of subsidies had led to exorbitant fertilizer prices in African countries, but that the bank itself had often failed to recognize that improving Africa’s declining soil quality was essential to lifting food production.  Full article.  This is what Mindset 3.0 is about.

Elephant Dung, Opium and The Hood

In Environment, mindset 3.0 on November 19, 2007 at 5:45 am

This is my last post for the week as I will be taking off for the holidays.  What’s important here is the innovation and the thinking that goes into the products shown on the video.  What’s more, these are people of color making this happen across the globe, the examples will take you from Los Angeles to Sri Lanka.

 My charge to all of you is to visit these some of these sites.  For the elephant dung paper, visit www.ecomaximus.com to see the process in action.  Or, visit www.buychange.com to make a purchase.  I will bring to you more opportunities for global innovators who don’t want handouts, but a chance to bring their products to the world. 

The Real Wealth Gap is Worse than Imagined

In economy, mindset 3.0, Third World Business on November 15, 2007 at 3:57 am

Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968 — a stratum with a median income of $55,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars — grew up to be among the lowest fifth of the nation’s earners, with a median family income of $23,100.  Only 16 percent of whites experienced similar downward mobility. At the same time, 48 percent of black children whose parents were in an economic bracket with a median family income of $41,700 sank into the lowest income group.   To read the full story, click here.   Now, you think this is troubling, something even more compelling to consider and even more serious is the map below:

wealth_2015.png

The projected wealth of China in 2015 could mean it producing 27% of all the wealth in the world, if the economic trends established between 1975 and 2002 continue for another 13 years. In year 1 of the current era China produced 26% of the wealth in the world, but very slowly declined to generating only 5% of the world total in 1960.   One might ask, what has this got to with the issues and socio-economic problems here in D.C., Detroit or Houston?  A lot!

We continue to feed the insatiable appetite for more, more, more.  More clothes, purses, shoes, toys, you name it.  But here is the opportunity, and listen carefully especially the young people.  Leave home now.  Go work abroad and get some international experience.  You see it with young people from Asian countries like India, Europe and Africa.  Yet, most African-Americans born in the United States can’t imagine living in Dubai, making $200,000 a year tax free for five years.  Or doing a student exchange in Beijing for a year.  This is how we can close this gap.  We must get out of our comfort zone and Just Do It, instead of just buying it.