chose the path chosen for us.

The path of which we walk will never fade… Follow it we must, direction it gives. Walk between the dotted lines. Adhere to the traffic signs. We must grow as individuals and strive to construct our path. 

Build the path of which we continue to walk on and follow our own path that we create. Let not others wither your path and find fault with that you have chosen. Greener pastures awaits you, upon your inception of your passion. 

As we continue down our path we realise that nothing more is required of us. Nothing less needs to be done. Creative destruction is a path that we all go through; to learn; to discover; and become wiser about the ourselves relevant to the world that we see before our deceiving eyes. 

Perceive that the path we will walk will be a difficult and troubled one.  Continue reading

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using technology to solve problems in developing nations.

This multipronged framework will use information technology as its core driver to enhance lives of those in developing nations. It provides a framework so that those living below the poverty line are able to get access to basic needs, health care and create awareness to the international community. This model is not new but it does have some personal input to its viability and sustainability. This will create avenues for crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Before we continue, we must first define the three triangles. Working in the ‘rule of three’ keeps a systematic process simple and its simplicity to handover.

Continue reading

social capital: at what point does it hurt.

….Continued referencing from the Manpower research; social capital has always existed and been the driver of economic prosperity. Some argue that it can not exist without the provision of certain rights that institutions provide. But was there not a period where there was no such institutions in place and we were forced to trade based on ‘trust’ or ‘social capital’?

“…In the Human Age, we have become all-day networks, able to act or respond immediately to many different situations. A business deal that begins in Tokyo on a Monday for a global corporation may continue uninterruptedly for days and involve employees and consultants from multiple time zones. Ideas may come from one-time economic outposts or collaborations between people who never meet but know each other virtually…” Continue reading

television/radio vs social capital. a social trade off

In 2006, Benjamin A Olken wrote a paper;

Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages

The link to the paper is here. For those with a thirst for knowledge and detail, please go ahead and read it. For general readers, please continue reading!

This post is not to discuss the credibility of the model or criticise the article. Instead let us have a discussion about how watching television and/or listening to the radio frequently may affect our communities. Social capital in this context does not directly mean intelligence, but instead the idea of community awareness, trust, governance and social group settings.

The article presents findings that there is a negative correlation between an increase number of television and a social community in Indonesia. As the number of TV channels increase, the number of social groups reduce. [On average, for every 1 more channel of TV increase, leads to a 7% reduction in social groups (Statistically significant at a 5% level – for you econometricians).] What does this mean exactly? -well, isn’t in logical? the more time you spend watching TV or listening to the radio at home, the less time you are going to spend in external social groups! After all, we only have 24 hours in a day!

Thus it is imperative that we consider how much time is spent watching TV and listening to the radio. Or in retrospect, how much opportunity cost has been incurred on your social life for every extra one hour spent in front of your black box.

The paper doesn’t stop there, it reveals that TRUST is also affected from this concept! You must be thinking ‘how in the world is trust affected from watching TV?!…’ -Well, again in can be logically presented that the less amount of time spent in social groups and community, one tends to dis-associate themselves with community norms and aspects of such nature. So when you ‘return’ to your social group and realise that there are a bunch of new faces, it is a natural human instinct to question the ‘trust’ one can provide. [Although only columns 1 and 3 are significant at the first row, we can see that the second row reinforces significance throughout all the columns except 5 -but perhaps that can be dis-regarded as you wouldn’t really have your president attending your social group meetings. Another feature to take note of is that all the coefficients are negative -I am sure that counts for something…]

If you are still reading by this stage, perhaps this table may also interest you. The author extended the realm to religious and non-religious groups as well! The results were consistently negative as well.

With all this said, causality is not affirmed here, however, correlation is apparent. The notion is a negative correlation between TV/Radio and social capital is very much logical as well. Is it not apparent that over decades, our devices become our ‘social group’ and we tend forget community awareness and values that come alongside with it. For instance, YOU. You are sitting right in front of your screen reading this post, as much as I am sitting here writing it. -to some extent we are secluded from the physical community beyond the parameters of your surrounding. -do you think social capital is important? Do you think that perhaps we should just shut off the screen and reinstate the previous norms of community values that bring trust and belonging?

What is the value of your social capital?

life goes on.

“…when the Global Financial Crisis Hit… the world was hit… unemployment rose… people lost their homes… families were torn apart… debt rose beyond the extent of paying back…”

“…People were committing suicide…”

“…the middle class become non-existent… one could not afford to fall sick and miss work…”

“…some of the rich became richer, whilst some of them became homeless and jobless and even lifeless…”

“…it was difficult to see the light at the end of this tunnel… lifestyles had to change… people had to be homeless and suffer, even now…”

“…of course, there are some that are still surviving… those that new what was coming… those that have skills to weather any storm…”

“…those that have been in a financial crisis their whole lives…”

“…for us, it is just another day of surviving… and dammit, we appreciate every single day of trying…”

“…for us… life goes on…”

student voices

http://vimeo.com/36173303

A tastefully done video by a friend about the views on the Egyptian Revolution.

The video shrewdly captures the what students know and understand about what is going on around the world. We can see that depending on the students background, their version and depth of knowledge about the subject varies!

Enjoy the video!

Credit for this video goes to Lidia Nikon and. B Raya

sUStainability.

Sustainability. What is it? Why is it so important to incorporate it into business? How do we even start to incorporate sustainability it into business models?

Before we look into the how, when, what and where, the underlying philosophy must align with the WHY.

Why sustainability? Are we really doing it because we care about the future? Or is it just a popular public opinion and thus companies are using this logic as a marketing tool to increase sales. The notion and idealism of sustainable products and services are all well and true, however, we must look into the agenda of companies. But even more so, individuals. Consumers. You and me.

We go on to believe that large companies and governments should do something about it.

Almost 3 years has passed since the tragic Black Saturday that occurred in Australia. The public was devastated that this happened and it shook everyone up about the how sensitive the environment is and how fast engulfing flames and wipe out innocent people and leave numerous homeless. -Could these fires have been prevented? -There are tales of indigenous people that use to have a regular ritual of burning leaves and bushes. Westerns came into the land and signalled that that was incorrect and wrong. However, this simple ritual ensures that dried leaves and other dry substances and materials were regularly burnt away to ensure that forest fires are reduced or even prevented altogether.

Yes, the government is liable to ensure that these events do not occur. However, the underlying point to note is that everyday we blame other entities and organisations for the downfall of this planet. When one and truly, it depends on you and me.

Companies and governments are driven by households and consumers. We cannot sit around and expect companies to be sustainable. We must take our own personal action before anything. How the hell can we expect a certain standard from others when we do not expect it out of ourselves.

Simple demanding sustainability and protesting for it – is not going to cut it. We must start from the micro level.

When was the last time you did something that had social returns, or some level of sustainability? -When was the last time you did not put an empty glass container into the recycling disposal and used it for something else?

When was the last time you cycled instead of drove.. just cuz you could?

It is easy to demand and talk about sustainability. But one and truly, it starts from us….

sUStainability begins with US…

SInDex … ?

Recently, a new inflation index launched by MasterCard and SMU: SKBI-Mastercard Singapore Index of Inflation Expectations. Surveys were taken of a sample population of 400. The survey was conducted in September and December 2011.

The Index is a carefully constructed measure of Singaporean’s core inflation, or at least what is to be expected.
Key results were:

  • SInDex1: Expected Inflation for 1 Year measured at 4.62% (remained the same for Sep % Dec)
  • SInDex5: Expected Inflation over the next 5 years  decreased from 5.2% to 5.16%, Sep and Dec respectively
  • Medium term (1 year) existing economic conditions play a crucial role in determining price expectations. A main contributor is local and global media
  • The long term expectation found that HH are more optimistic, which are affected by citizenship, length of stay and other socio-economic factors.

Serious consideration needs to be taken when using this index to benchmark as an appropriate economic indicator.

  1. Survey design? At this stage there are only 400 people, more surveys need to be taken and over various periods of time
  2. Economic climate situation? How can the index be used when there is no proper comparison to a ‘peaceful economic’ situation? These are some control effects that must be considered.
  3. The results considered show expected inflation that already incorporates adjusted views and ideas of current inflation/economic climate factors. Thus wouldn’t the results just be even more biased and skewed than the original inflation calculation based on the CPI?

Statistically data was presented in this Document.

One significant discovery is that the data was significant accordingly with ‘Awareness of economic Issues’. We cannot over look the important role of media and how it affects ever single aspect of our lives. Awareness of economic issues will be directly correlated with the media and what is or isn’t release. This will affect HH decisions for inter temporal choices, which will of course affect investors and government decision makers. Media is converging to be a forecasting tool for economics and it is a matter of time (or maybe it is already out there) where social media is used and incorporated into financial models.

Just imagine, your status update to buy or sell something can and will affect inflation.

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