thestoryofmeaningfuluse

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CSR: New Business Opportunities Through Social Commitment

CSR: New Business Opportunities Through Social Commitment.

Republished from Juan’s – Business with Common Sense

 

 

 

 

by Juan Villamayor

@juanvillamayor41

14/02/2012 at 13:45 Leave a comment

Poster “Don’t stop, come to the Raval”

The recession is hitting Spain very hard. We are reaching an unemployment rate of almost 25% and many small business have to close.

However, there is room for good news and hope too. In Barcelona, several bars and shops located in the district of Raval have started a very nice initiative to offer products and services to unemployed people at lower prices ,with discounts of up to 50%. This initiative takes place on Tuesdays, a traditionally quiet, slow day for business.

These small bars and shops are showing social engagement and, at the same time, they have found a new business opportunity. They are not only attracting customers on a slow day like Tuesdays, they are also revitalizing the neighborhood with their promotion: the street is also more visited the rest of the week. At the end of the day, everybody benefits from it: the businesses, the unemployed people and the neighborhood.

This is a very good example of how SMEs can benefit from CSR in terms of the generation of new business opportunities. Pure shared value creation. Business With Common Sense.

One of the bars offering the promotion

Will 2012 be the End to Denial and Obstructing Change?

When Personal Change is not Enough

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth4949494949494949494949

New York, New York

At the end of the year, I take some time for reflection. First, I identify people, who have influenced change in my own thinking.  But this year, I have taken stock of people, who have drew me into a conversation that in my opinion is changing the neural landscape in which I live which has been filled with denial. This form of denial is not my own, it is the pervasive denial that is obstructing change that more and more people want for health  that will impact people, environment, economy and habitat.

This trend in my thinking began when I met Peggy LaCerra  on Facebook, through Joan Borysenko.  Peggy is a evolutionary neuroscientist that introduced me to the idea of “neural landscape,” back in June 2010. It has taken me more than a year of time to even feel like I grasp what neural landscape is, since I wrote this post, Changing my Neural Landscape.

Joining Peggy LaCerra in reflections of the heart and brain

Sometime last August, when I was first contacted by James Schwinn from his outreach on Linkedin.com, something began to deepen in my understanding of a neural landscape after a few weeks of chatting in brief bits and bytes and sharing writing with James, that resulted in my writing, Can Sustainable Venture Repair the Social Fabric of the Global and Local Economy?;  followed by What Do People want after OccupyWallStreet.

James pushed me my thought in such a way that it brought me to the door of  a new neural landscape. This landscape began to come to life in the way I related.  At the time, I did not realize the impact on me personally and how I was about to face one of the most challenging changes in my own life. It came to life for me inside very loudly and with great difficulty that I simply could no longer work the pattern of education and career that I had grown out of in the institutional world of non profits, government and commercial enterprise.

What grew inside of me was a level of rejection that was pushing me to walk away from doing anything as usual.  This happened while I was in Boulder, Co. Day be day it got more difficult and in some ways horrifying and hair curling. I am a person of courage and strength. This was not a soup opera or drama , I was completely altering how I think, who I related to and more important redefining myself in many different ways that was bringing into my life many new people who fostered great respect in me.

Learning with James Schwinn

Then through James Schwinn, I met his business partner Charlie Randall. Charlie and I sat in Boulder over tea a few times and he had an impact on me that was different from most.  Our conversation was very personal and quiet; grounded in a form of humility and heart that I cannot describe and maybe few could view and observe.  I left these conversations accepting how difficult life was and just recognizing the painful nastiness that seemed to be growing around me and making my life difficult on a daily basis at an accelerated scale over 5 months time.

Yet, in between honoring my own pain and suffering, I continued to sort through the muck and meier of it all and start to grow a new pattern to find my way out of the other side and slowly come back to life again experiencing some faith and hope, and refusing the same form of courage and strength that got me through so much difficulty from my experiences in the past.

Exploring Life from a New View with Charlie Kendall

 

I have for many years now no matter how bad it gets , get up each day and follow my cues and now after a few months of upheaval, I just got up with less suffering and continue to work my life, my path and follow the rapid appearance of some new cues.

Before leaving Boulder, Co, I met Andrew Lange, N.D and I  spent a lovely day with him that included meeting his life partner, Barbara, a nurse and somatic therapist.

This was an experience I could not translate rapidly.  While I am still absorbing the conversation that Andrew, Barbara and I shared,  Andrew is bringing to life with real time hard work, everything medically that I believe in and value that can transform health as we now know it. He is creating changes in practice that address the complexity of the environment, habitat, economy and all that is challenging people today for personal health.

More important, Andrew has shaken out a form of offering lab tests to people at significantly lower cost through his company, Save on Labs for as much as 60% saving on tests directly organized with patients.

This has moved a legislative activity into action in Rhode Island, where Internet related legislation blocked use of this site to Rhode Island citizens.

Why is this a change to my Neural Landscape?

 

On Friday, December 24, 2011, President Obama told Barbara Walters that he had not fostered an understanding of just how bad the American economy is with the people in this country. It has perpetuated a form of denial, which obstructs change.

The pervasive denial in this country is a neural landscape  that has obstructed and made it difficult for any change agents or capacity builders like myself to do the work we intend.

Being a hero or heroine is not my idea of way to live. Ultimately, people you relate to what help you form a new neural pattern in your unconscious from which you can respond with ease and filter as intuition without “talking about it.”

The truth that I have been pushed to learn and see through all my experiences with downsizing, death and dying and illness is not the life I had planned. But while I could see this truth, I continued to work in the way American told me I had to work and with people who did not have the sincerity to create the change we need.

These past 6 months have pushed me into a very painful leap that is now calming down to foster relationships and create a neural landscape with others who are working to create the change with need out of sincerity and by fostering the right approach.

I feel gifted to know all of them and draw the inspiration I need to build The Story of Meaningful Use and all I do into a platform of change that will move millions of people from the denial we are living with her in America and other forms in other parts of the world.  It will take this scale of change in our unconscious brains  to weave a systemic change that will bring to life around the world the discovery of change that so many want and need.

Happy 2012 to all. I welcome your comments and want to hear from you in how I can serve what I believe in with all of you to continue to expand this new neural landscape of change.

_______________

Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with. She has a private practice where she works with women to embrace the experience of chronic illness that challenges their livelihood and form of work.

The Tear in the Fabric

More Fray & Tear or Repair Beyond Imagination

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth56

Boulder Co

For the last 3 months, I have lived at the tear in the social in ways I have not seen before. I have met local to me and virtually other social entrepreneurs, who in their own right have intimately learned about that tear in a variety of ways and from numerous perspectives.

What is even more astounding is that most of the people who have in this flow of synchronicity come to my door are a balanced group of men and women with a diversity of background personally and professionally would surprise most! They are the change agents responding to the state of the world and its global financial collapse.

These people have worked beyond limitations that most people cannot imagine.

Numerous of these people have had to go through their own personal healing in ways not many Americans know to do. Here is a list of some of the synopsis of those experiences:

  1. A divorced women leaving an abusive marriage and living out of her car has now transformed into a successful entrepreneur who can rely on a base of product sales to keep her steady and constant;
  2. A former investment banker and venture capital person, who got such a bad taste in his mouth from how he was being successful, he traveled Europe and Canada to learn more about life and reshaped his business orientation as a social entrepreneur;
  3. A long time sustainability entrepreneur who found out about the stripping loss emotionally and financially that leads man with life threatening illness to be stripped of everything. He has now returned to his former work with a new pragmatism and recognition that business in this arena can be financially viable, serve and take care of him and his family.
  4. A man raised in a format of poverty that obstructed his education when he was trapped by his extended families socio-economic boundaries, who found a network of encouragement and practical and concrete support to complete a Ph.D. and marry a remarkable woman and build his own stable life woven into the fabric of a legitimate academic institution of reputation, now ready and able to make a difference. There are more and others, and then there is me.

Through recent experiences, I have been able to renew my courage in a time of great uncertainty by remembering my grandmother’s walk across EU to the US with her six year old brother after they were orphaned; and my memory of a good deed my father carried out during the depression that came back to reward him financially with a job in the last decade of his ability to work where he made more money perhaps than he had made all his life.

The other side of the experience is a deep emotional reminder of the cost of bitterness and hatred that weaves into people who are victims of pograms in Poland and the Holocaust, like my mother. It makes me think of the some of the political actions today and how good people become victims of a system of politic that strips them of engaging in life feeling like years of hard work is taking care of them, like this man,

– click on photo to read the text

Yet what I know is needed is to form social networks of imagination and community that inspire experiences like this one; where by a young man, Jason McElway, a basketball manager (water boy?) as a special ed student in his high school. Jason lives with autism.  In the last 4 minutes of the game and the last game of the season, Coach Johnson let Jason suit up and play.

Watch this amazing broadcast, Because Jason is autistic, he is use to feeling different, but as the broadcast reporter, Steve Hartman pointed out never this good. Jason shot 6 3 pointers, 20 points total.

Why was this possible? One Word, Imagination !

In a local community, people can take what others perceive as  a risk, because to the person that takes the initiative, the idea is not high risk; it is offered out of a history of relationship, value for the other person and care.

Change in this country has been difficult to come about within institutional boundaries of hierarchy and spheres of influence that rely on a sphere of wealth, as I described the structure of global financial institutions last week.

There is a growing number of people in this country and in fact around the globe, as demonstrated by the spreading of #OccupyWallStreet to 1039 sites across 87 countries.

This social network lives across jurisdictions and boundaries often described as sectors or vertical channels where life is based on transactions and formulas based on prescribing needs with yes and no questions.

So  institutional driven analysis is  based on a form of reduction theory that has through the years grown into a formula for collapse.

Can We Avoid Collapse?

Last week, Newsweek published an editorial by Niall Ferguson, America’s, “Oh Sh*t!” Moment.

Ferguson’s analysis provides a real time framework of imagination on how America and Americans can avoid collapse. A collapse according to Ferguson, e.g. the Ming Dynasty or the Soviet Union is sparked by the rulers losing their legitimacy by an overwhelming swelling of a complex social network activity making a statement that this legitimacy no longer has power.

This is not news to the ebbs and tides of success and failure in financial markets, but it is news to a format of medical legitimacy that accelerated in it formation from the mid – 1900’s promising all Americans “quality health care” and the guarantee of the funds they need covered by health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid System.

Obstruction by the Legitimate Rulers

 The reality is that America is collapsing because 99% of people without wealth cannot assure ownership of a home, the health care they need with the funding sources of insurance or income.

The system is further collapsed by the cost of education to begin a career with a wage that supports people to raise a family and take care of themselves is chronic or life threatening illness does not configure into the mix of the wage earners personally or their children.

This collapse has been fueled based on the attention of scientists to disease, infection and treatment with antibiotics and anesthesia to enable surgical fix as an alternative to less costly approaches of reducing the impact of symptoms e.g. on the brain or  spine by reshaping lifestyle, exercise and modalities of body work that reshape the spine and remove the obstruction of energy and nervous system behavior to restore health or reduce pain.

This is a systemic description of the system that has been harmed by how our political system has selected rulers who are reinforcing a system for jobs, taxes and infrastructure that is perpetuating harm for people because of the failure to adapt new systems and replace old out of date methods so people of this country have their needs responded to.

We are at a all time experience of this harm reinforced by rulers we elected who are not getting their job done for people living in this country.


Altering the Complex Social System with Imagination

Ferguson has defined what he calls the killer apps that have created and reinforced collapse for the American people equating our systems of competition, view of the Scientific Revolution, the rule of law and representational government, modern medicine, consumer driven demand and our work ethic as we act educate for, act in response and live are like software applications that are spiraling all of us into collapse.

The social fabric of our county is torn and lost in a debate or protest with respect to which of these “killer apps” dominate how we live, our practices and our behavior towards each other in communities in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Avoiding collapse, In seeking some ideas about what is ahead of us to discover a new formation of social entrepreneurship that builds capacity between social entrepreneurs, political entrepreneurs and civil society entrepreneurs.

This week I became acquainted with Marriah Star’s, personally and academically. Within Marriah’s research, he examined the phenomena of diaspora. A diaspora is a movement or a migration of people away from their ancestoral home

Marriah’s research reminded me that so many of the 99% are the children of immigrants who migrated to America ad  it’s promise for freedom and a future of success for anyone who reached out for it’s golden ring.

I am part 2nd and 3rd generation of an immigrant family, who came here as a result of a diaspora.

Yet here I am today, a citizen who has migrated from the local community that insured me my economic stability, health and sanity after living in a format of a society that stripped itself of the very relationships that insure that and pushed most people to a form of survival and lots of hard work that is not caring for us in the long term.

There is no going back and our institutional practices in business and politics has resulted in a movement of people protesting and asking for something else.

The next stage of formation has to restore an understanding of the value every person can contribute to repairing this tear, rich or poor; it’s going to be a lot of hard work across this country and around the globe.

Right now are people forming into capacity building organizations incubating ideas into a real societal framework of practice that will rebuild local economies and bring people together to begin to relate to each other as if time and what you do is of value; and will also serve to take care of you so that the work you do wisely will insure that you can sustain.

While this stage has grown out of a stripping duress, the next stage is more difficult in that it requires a new form of investment in local communities that  to build results that impact local infrastructure, build a wage base that is livable and more important build communities in which our children have the best possible education to move ahead with the foundation we build to achieve full momentum.

If we don’t — yes, there will be a collapse and the question remains out of a collapse can organic renewal give birth to a new formation that will bring life back to the people so deeply in struggle now?

Which struggle do you want to leap?

_______________

Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is a sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with. She has a private practice where she works with women to embrace the experience of chronic illness that challenges their livelihood and form of work.

Can Sustainable Venture Repair the Social Fabric of the Global and Local Economy?

Integrating Repair of the Local Economy into Incubation Scenarios for Cleantech or any Sustainable Venture

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth56

Boulder Co

 

 

Jochen Kleef’s editorial, “Global Clean Tech Challenge: Clean Tech and Innovation – An Issue of Scale” was published in parallel with the start of the Wall Street Protest and Obama’s appointment of Jeffrey Immelt as Job Tsar to the US.

Kleef’s focus in his editorial was on “the challenges for these clean technologies are many ranging from simply the human resistance to change or accepting new approaches, engineering as well as technical hurdles and the running of a business professionally with commercial success.”

Kleef’s perspective is from his examination of launching an incubator and technology platform in Asia and the intricacies of create investment, commercial success and examining the benefits of localization and culture (Asia versus a global approach, e..g Immelt’s EcoImagination).

What happens when you shift the focus of sustainable business venture strategy to repair of the global or local social fabric?

A little over two weeks ago,  James Schwinn contacted me. James is an economic development adviser, who has a successful career in international capital markets and venture development.

Schwinn has changed the forum in which he works to take a leadership position – along with his partners, John L. Knott, Jr. and Charles Randall – that is focused the reorganization and redevelopment of its capital resources – financial, physical, natural and human – as the essential gateway to building self-sustaining economies and jobs.

The 3 partners created a chain of strategy and action that is taking root in South Carolina, starting in the Noisette Community of North Charleston. While investigating Schwinn’s success with his partners, I figured out very quickly our conversation was much more than a chat or interview. It was a foundation for a generative dialogue, which few people ever engage with.

Generative dialogue is the 4th state of inquiry and rarely begins in the first conversation where the learning forms creates a path of strategy and action. It is a competency exercised by leaders who know how to do more than inspire change.

The partners build the social network architecture based on what the community needs by creating  a geometric scheme of relationships,  where learning forms into patterns of activity that form strategic activity that produces results and change.

In this way, the partners of EcoBank, Network LLC insure results that build repair to a social fabric of a local community that requires a change to return to health – that repairs the environment, local economy, habitat and people’s capacity to live. Introduction to this form of thought leadership

Take 24 minutes to review this presentation, Financing Sustainability; James Schwinn, Presenter at the 2010 Gaining Ground Conference in Vancouver.

I watch this video 4 times.

It did not take me long to realize that this presentation was a context for the development of an accelerated learning lab to serve the incubation and repair of sustainable commercial ventures in a pattern of community interaction with local government and citizen forums that united a view and formed an architecture to repair the social fabric of community.

Whether this is organized in a region of Asia or the United States, there are critical activities that I have always viewed important and missing in the movement of business that describes itself as a Sustainable Venture or Corporate Social Responsible Business that I believe does not integrate responses that repair the social fabric of local community and its economy.

Why has Commercial Business and Incubation Failed to Repair Local Economy?

Commercial business and planning historically has been transactionally driven as an exercisse to manage a spread sheet. This spread sheet is used to monitor a capitlization plan with profit and loss that serves a limited group of stakeholders.

This mechanistic approach is fundamental  reason that the Wall Street investment engine resulting in an extension of the 2008 financial global meltdown sand cycle continuing to this day.

How Can We Break from this Destructive Pattern?

Local to me in Boulder County, Colorado, I began a very female style of networking that has resulted in a preliminary format from which to build a partnership with the DaVinci Institute

This began in what I perceive to be a best form of women’s networking and generative dialogue.  Amanda Johnson, DaVinci Council of Luminaries,  my coaching client, asked to shift her relationship with me so I could partner with her and Deb Frey, V.P.,  DaVinci Institute.  Amanda asked DaVinci’s Vice President, Deb Frey to join us.

DaVinci’s founder, Thomas Frey has followed the tradition of structure and organization of some of the most reputable consulting ventures from a futurist point of view, e.g. my colleague Jonathan Peck, President of Institute of Alternative Futures in Alexandria, Va.

Deb joined her husband Thomas a few years back to manage the firm and has been percolating on a vision to translate the assets and brilliant engagement that Thomas has guided to translate into something more meaningful for the community that is taking form around the DaVinci Institute.

Deb has come to recognize that a critical stage for making this vision real and practical is the requirement that the Institute learn to assess and serve the community need to create a fabric of innovation locally in the Boulder County area. Deb is also very aware that most thought leaders or futurists do not know how to build the capacity to translate vision into action.

Deb has invited my leadership and capacity building talent to work with her and Amanda to build this vision into practical stages of real time development.

DaVinci Institute will be the host for my November 12, 20011 program, Foundations of Portfolio work. Watch for next weeks press release with link to a registration page.

How is This all Helping Me to Change my Focus into More Productive Energy that Implies Progress?

Since arriving in Colorado and working with a few consultants in this community, it has been eating at me how deep our denial is in the US.  My conversations with James Schwinn have validated my intuition.

I am certain this is true in other places, e.g. Asia, as well.  In the fractured economy, commercial business is conducted on a transactional basis.

Companies as shown by the UN Global Compact performance report are continuing even as enlightened leaders of CSR and Sustainability to perpetuate that which is broken and re-enforce the systems that have are obstructing job creation, the building of healthy investments and platforms of economic development.

To build the new infrastructure, we need to repair the health of the environment, people, economy and habitat. But any form of press shows how many people are joining for protest and well intentioned “flittering,” that goes now where.

Where Does the Word Flittering Come From? And What Do We Have to Do to Stop this Pervasive Behavior?

Over coffee with a friend “Samantha Weston”, I learned a new word,“flitter.”

Sam has followed her career in bio-pharm and finance with a new passion for oil painting. She said when the paint splatters all over the place, that is called flittering.

Conditions today for me are like a map of flitter splatters; we have not gotten down to the serious work of change by assessing the needs of the people and children they love to find the resources needed from which to assure stability for themselves and who they care for.

Amanda Johnson, Deb Frey and I have pulled together our work with that view. Schwinn and his partners have had the financial and resources of scale they need to impact and step up to do the job and have the impact they can have.

This is also based on the notion of performing social network analysis  that forecasts  the need of people or the community formation they wish build for economic impact.

For years the transactional approach has obstructed the voice of community need after downsizing and investment harm. Schwinn captured my attention and put sparkle to my eyes when in his presentation he outlined that responsible planning and engagement plans for cycles of progress and cycles of decline.

I know no man that has put into a sentence more of what is natural to women when they care for their families or lead through cycles of change in the community where they live or the vertical commercial venture that employs them.

This was a value core to many of the men who have mentored me; but not often translated into a leadership platform in government, commercial business and the non profit sector by economic core groups of decision makers.

If you are aligned with repairing social fabric of a local community that serves the needs of people, subscribe to this blog and watch for more stories of meaningful use that serves the needs of people for generations moving forward.

______________

Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.

WEeditorial – Global Clean Tech Challenge

Clean Tech and Innovation – An Issue of Scale

by Jochen Kleef

@jochenkleef51515151515151

Hong Kong

Let’s start with a definition “Clean technology includes recycling, renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, greywater, and many other appliances that are now more energy efficient. It is a means to create electricity and fuels, with a smaller environmental footprint and minimize pollution.”

Having listened to numerous presentations, talks and discussions around clean tech, innovation and what society needs to address the world’s problems in the future such as water shortage, energy generation, food supply and a global population of 9.0bn people, there is a serious need for innovation. Innovation of cleaner technologies as outlined by Wikipedia is what is called for and on a big scale.
However, the challenges for these clean technologies are many ranging from simply the human resistance to change or accepting new approaches, engineering as well as technical hurdles and the running of a business professionally with commercial success.

Three Exemplary challenges

Looking at the first challenge of driving change, this has improved over the last three decades not the least because of the Internet which made environmental issues and the need for a more sustainable life style much more known.

Twenty years back and without the Internet, there was not the scale of common knowledge or the rising awareness that something needed to change. This I guess is underway and will probably accelerate to gain more scale.

Secondly, the technical issues seem to be well taken care of as the inventiveness of people who take the sustainability challenges serious deserves applauding. There are many bright, talented and experienced people who are coming up with promising approaches and solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s needs of society.

A lot of interesting ideas have been developed to prototype stage and are at various levels of readiness for commercialization. Successful examples are showing the way such as China’s solar sector or companies such as Atlantis Resources Corporation and its tidal energy technology

The main issue surrounding these ventures is one of business approach and commercial success. There are two routes that seem to be shaping up.
One is for these clean tech start-ups to apply and hopefully get accepted into the so called incubation programs of big global players who are market leaders in a particular environmental sector.

This is a very promising approach as the start-ups join a network of specialists in their fields and get financial backing to take them to the next level of scale in their aim to commercialization.

The argument however is whether the motivation of these multinationals is actually as humble as it seems. There’s a school of thought that thinks big organisations and innovation – or to use a more general term: change – do not necessarily go together that well. So the idea of the big organisations to simply innovate by attracting smaller, cutting edge innovation technologies and to potentially incorporate them as a profit center after an extensive due diligence during the incubation programme is one that can work to mutual benefit if the entrepreneurs are eying for a buy-out.

Third, there’s another train of thought though that hints to the buying-out of inconvenient innovation to ensure a particular corporate business model  or a certain product stays in business and the innovation disappears into a drawer.

Which leaves us with the organic growth path from inception via R&D to prototype stage and then through various investment rounds to full commercialisation. This is a very honourable and the most controllable but yet hard way of developing a clean tech business and therefore ultimately innovate.

The major challenge is one of obtaining funds be it at seed or angel stage or later on VC money and ultimately listing. The disconnect between the entrepreneurial clean tech community on the one and the investor community on the other side seems to be what is hampering innovation.

There seems to be a lack of common understanding and probably even language (technical vs. financial, let alone cross boarder) on a large scale as clearly a need for more innovative technologies in a larger variety exists.

Scale and innovation

Since setting up our consulting business, we have been in contact with a significant number of clean tech companies that were either looking to enter into the Asian markets or for funding or both. This is good news as it means there is innovation and the innovative businesses want to be close to potential markets which makes commercial sense. The Asian markets are appealing because this is where growth is happening now – and for the foreseeable future maybe with the exception of Germany given recent performance – but there is an issue.

In general, small clean tech firms from the US or Europe do not know how to do business in Asia unless one of the founders or investors has Asia experience. It is difficult enough to innovate in one’s home territory as “to innovate” at the very heart means leaving the conventional for something new and ultimately change. But to do this in a completely new cultural environment with all its unknown protocols and behaviours, potentially at first with people whom one has not met in person but only virtually to start with is adding yet another dimension of the challenge.


The Question

The key question is whether this “long distance innovation” is actually feasible and a recipe for success or does it prolong the time these small clean tech firms take to grow? Would it perhaps be better to focus one’s efforts in one’s local community / economy and once the business model is proven with revenues to back this up prior to stepping out of your back garden? Or are economic – and investment funding – circumstance such that clean tech firms outside of Asia will fail if they don’t tap into the Far East’s momentum and economic growth potential?

That leaves another question open: Is there enough clean tech innovation happening in Asia or do the growing and developing countries indeed need input, IPR and experience from the more mature economies to maximize a combination between innovation and commercial success?

———–

Author’s Bio:

Jochen Kleef, Chairman of Ecopoint LTD. is an environmental services company that provides an Internet platform for the environmental business community throughout Asia.  He is also the founder and chief executive officer of Kleef and Co, a strategy and management consulting firm specialising in sustainable business.

Publisher’s Letter – Introducing TSOMU Fall Issue – 2011

Letter from the Publisher

Lavinia Weissman

Boulder, Co

@wecarehealth5959595959595959595959

Our next series of articles will focus on “accelerated change.”

9/11 – 10 years later – represents an unfortunate trend in human behavior that occurs immediately after a natural disaster or catastrophe of massive harm.

The 1st responders performed the heroic deed of rescue, recovering the dead and creating some order to the destruction.

But after this initial phase of recovery and response, one has to ask if any leader stepped up to observe, monitor and act on the outgrowth of harm to the people, economy, environment and habitat?  And why was there no response to accelerate the response to this growing harm?

What happened post 9/11?

The Bush Administration, the US EPA Director and Mayor Guiliani assured the public that New York City air quality was fine. We now know that is wrong.

Over the past 10 years, a growing evidence base of medical harm that includes a variety of cancers and pulmonary/lung related diseases and more.

Response to this growing medical evidence data base  has multiplied the frequency with which NY Firefighter and World Trade Center survivors are stricken with pulmonary and lung related disease or encounter cancer and die.

Tom Zeller, a Huffington Post reporter, on 9/9/2011 reported on how this struggle for help for these victims is just beginning to take form 10 years after the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Zeller interviewed John Feal, a retired Ground Zero disabled worker who sustained an injury at the site, offered his perspective post injury that took half his foot;

“I don’t need a doctor or a scientist or 12 years of college and a Ph.D and an MBA — no offense to them — but I don’t need anybody to tell me that 9/11 didn’t cause or did cause cancer,”

Feal’s own struggle to win compensation for his injury prompted him to establish the nonprofit FealGood Foundation to help 9/11 responders cope with the physical, mental and financial fallout of that day. He said he’s getting more and more requests for help from cancer sufferers.

How 9/11 prompted my thought leadership and journalism

After 9/11, I stopped watching mainstream news. I tired  from what I perceived to be unproductive forms of protest, denial and debate.

It was clear to me that the mainstream media audience needed a new form of journalism and post event response that was going to repair or prevent future harm from events like 9/11, Katrina, Haitian Earthquake, tsunamis, hurricane and earthquakes.

Like many other citizens, I concluded that events like these were accelerating because of the denial of the politicians, government officials and commercial business around the world.

The tangible evidence of this acceleration was evident to any American with the new-formed reality that 1 out of 2 Americans now live with a chronic illness sparked or complicated by environmental and chemical toxins.

Based on this observation, I shaped a question from which to grow my investigation and learning:

What does it mean to pay attention and stop denial?

I turned my attention more aggressively to identifying communities of people in business and the public sector that dared to form innovative responses to sustain a future for our children.

Many groups have formed with a mission to discover what it takes to turn the societal impacts of what we do when we go to work, reside in local communities and sustain the health of our family economically.

Each group is building a quality of life that assures us the best health possible, whether we are living, working or dying; and by joining with a learning community, over time each group creates its own “story of meaningful use.”

Sustaining TSOMU Proof of Concept

This past summer, drawing on dialogue with my personal advice network that includes Trina Hoefling  and Bernie Kelly, I developed a monetization model to sustain thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com and its companion page on Facebook.

The model as a business model moves beyond the concept of virtual collaboration to defining partnerships linked to the magazine for public and private educational communities that are shaping through dialogue, inquiry and stories of meaningful use, concrete stories of meaningful use.

What is unique about these communities is that they incubate ideas, build a deliberate and organic discovery process to shape activities of applied learning that impact the health of the environment, economy, people, and habitat

The editorial direction and format for these public and private communities will growing into a live educational journal. The community can report on their learning and the discovery of outcomes and metrics that have shaped out of hard work and investment with the intention for meaningful impact and response to harm from the perspective of the Earth Charter Precautionary Principle.

TSOMU public community access will offer current reports on how these learning communities take shape and archive these communities’ stories of meaningful use (applied learning).

The private communities integrate and contract with me and other associates in TSOMU’s professional community to capture the story of action research learning labs that are structured to accelerate applied learning through the building of trust. This happens in an incubated learning environment that invites accelerated learning through the use of investment and shared resources.

An Innovative Market Ready Publishing Format

For the past 3 years, I have carried out the hard work of proof of concept for this new monetization model for producing a web-based magazine on the web of sustainable value.

For each learning community that TSOMU serves, we will capture the story that brings a project to life through advocacy and inquiry. Trust building is basic to this concept of applied learning.

Over the next year, parallel to shaping the performance of this publishing venture, I will work with representation from all our stakeholders to set up and put to use a performance and accountability system to measure how this magazine contributes to sustainable value of all the communities we serve, public and private.

Our goal is to attract community participation (public and private) and design a form of communication and reporting that is not excessive or confusing to support our readers and clients to do the work that measures tangible impact and outcome.

Why is this of Value Now?

The Secretariat General of the United Nations on 14 July 2011 issued a report on the role and functioning of the UN Global compact.

This 10 year performance review found the membership of the UN Global Compact had failed to build the performance model that embedded sustainability through global companies beyond the walls of corporate headquarters into subsidiaries and the supply chain.

This review followed a report from George Kell, Executive Director of the UNGC, on the impact of UNGC’s 6,000 members over 130 countries.

This performance review of the UNGC’s work over the past 10 years parallel’s the lack of response to the growing harm that has taken form as a result of 9/11.

This assures the intelligence and heart of why the publication of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com is so timely. The articles featured in this next cycle of publishing include contributions and editorial from

Jochen Kleef, Chairman EcoPoints Asia

Bernie Kelly, Principal, Intelog Health

I hope as our reader, that as you select and read articles that are relevant to you and you will join the dialogue for accelerated change and applied learning that this magazine serves.

Take a minute to add your thoughts  (comments)  to what you think of our agenda and help to build our community of accelerated change to embed sustainability.

Best,
Lavinia Weissman

WEResearch Note – #pharma – Beyond Business as Usual!

A Research Summary

by Lavinia Weissman

Boston, MA

@wecarehealth52

(graphic: from Vertex Pharmaceuticals collection)

Sanofi Aventis announced the completion of its acquisition of Genzyme, April ll, 2011.  Now is it business  as usual for this progressive global pharmaceutical company?

This raises the question what is “business as usual,” for pharma?  The answer is simple:  “There is no such thing as business as usual for #pharma.”

I began reporting on the changing space of #pharma after the Babson Life Science Conference in 2010, where Matthew Emmens, CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in his keynote described his vision for the future #pharma

” Emmens recognizes that treatment for the majority of ailments, e.g. acid reflux, has and will continue to grow over the counter.   Therefore, the future is about creating a biopharm industry that is responsive to challenging disease that will address the 150 different types of cancer and growing number of systemic ailments. The challenge will be to fund this innovation and research and organize an investment formula that is dedicated to this new emerging market. “

Scott Johnson, CEO and capacity building, Myelin Repair Foundation has proactively since 2004 initiated discovery of an accelerated methodology that leaps beyond what Johnson describes as the Valley of Death. 

Any person diagnosed with a chronic or life threatening illness faces this valley emotionally and physically upon diagnosis.  This person lives in the context of questions:

  •   Will there be a cure for me before  I have to face total disability or impending death?
  •   Can I  sustain the cost of treatment to assure a quality of life out of which I can sustain myself and live?”

Johnson developed with his colleagues, an accelerated research collaboration , the describe as ARC. This model was put to use and built capacity for acceleration by  a group of researchers drawn from 4 academic institutions to combine their agenda in search of a cure.  Johnson with the Myelin Repair Foundation raised matching funds of $40 M and this matched the$40M of combined funding the academic research institutions had.  Drawing from resources from 4 medical schools, the community organized an agenda to leap beyond the “valley of death” where so many patients with MS get lost.

Myelin Repair Foundation in contrast to the FDA

Social innovation expert,  David Bornstein recently compared the results generated by the FDA in 2008 to what has been reported by MRF

In his NYTimes Editorial,  Bornstein reported that  Food and Drug Administration approved 21 drugs for use in 2008, in the same year 800,000 medical research papers were published exploring the cure for disease.  In contrast, the collaboration formed for MS research  by Scott Johnson led to these results:

  1. identification of over 150 novel potential targets;
  2. development of  24 new research tools for broad application to other neurological disease;
  3. filing two US patents and applied for 16 more;
  4. publication of 50 peer review articles;
  5. the launch of  broader collaboration with pharma companies;
  6. extending this research base for benefit to 70 other disease categories.”

Reporting on the pharmaceutical industry is growing complex, especially as more and more companies step their toes into examining the ethic of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.  The complexity ties to growing questions about how to oversee patient involvement in clinical trials for the progression of research, treatment and cure.

When does the patient become a guinea pig and when does the growing differences in approach to clinical trials internationally become an obstacle to the potential cure or treatment of disease? and when is quality of life more important than treatment?

There is a growing recognition of the implications of the quadruple bottom line (4bl) and its implications to health for people, environment, ethic and planet and its implications of how any company approaches any  initiative for health and treatment.

Sanofi Aventis has come to recognize that this context may in fact imply a process of learning and inquiry that implies shifting their corporate strategy beyond the tradition of how pharmaceuticals go about business as usual. In 2009, CEO Chris Veihbacher  announced  Sanofi’s  clear commitment to improve the health of as many of the 6.8B people walking the planet. With the publication of its 2010 report, a value was expressed to deepen this mission by describing itself as a global health care leader.

In coming to this conclusion, Sanofi has asserted an ethic to contain as part of their strategy and development model to appreciate today’s human economic challenges and factoring in societal issues of cost of health care and treatment, chronic illness pandemics, e.g. Diabetes, and access to medical care in its priority from a global view.

Sanofi Aventis continues to be a company to watch and learn from.  It is a company that has adopted transparency, so please do not look to Sanofi for perfection and answers to copy. Sanofi has added to its agenda the difficult question of how to balance profit and sustainability.  It is a systemic approach that moves beyond the traps of green marketing described this week by Joel Makower, “Green Marketing Is Over. Let’s Move On.”

Sanofi Aventis is acknowledge what I first heard described by Matthew Emmens, when he said pharma was moving beyond the marketing of generis to face the reality of responding to the activism and demand from communities of people living with chronic and life threatening illness.

The new health care leader will be paying heed to what the Myelin Repair Foundation response to the valley of death.  Pharma companies will be regroup into consumer goods, wellness products and services, treatment and cure innovation and much more.

Sanofi Aventis,  Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline are all early stage members of the UN Global Compact will continue to be companies to watch that are helping to author a new leadership and market place in support of health. In this context,

I believe we will be reading more about the annual cost of living with a chronic or life threatening illness.

I believe, we will be reading less about what pharmacy offers you or what generic drug is available for the least cost.

In the not to distant future,  I believe we will be reading more about how treatment, procedures, equipment is organized for ease of access and how the expense will be covered by patient and health coverage (insurance, government and assistance programs, and medical savings accounts) and what that implies to the supply chain, consumer product distribution and retail.

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Authors bio:

Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com. As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.  As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.