The 21st century: from business to non-business

The growth sector of a developed society in the 21st century is most unlikely to be business-in fact, business has not even been the growth sector of the 20th century in developed societies. A far smaller proportion of the working population in every developed country is now engaged in economic activity, that is, in “business, than it was a hundred years ago. Then virtually everybody in the working population made his or her living in economic activities {e.g., farming). The growth sectors in the 20th century in developed countries have been in “nonbusiness”-in government, in the professions, in health care, in education. As an employer and a source of livelihood business has been shrinking steadily for a hundred years {or at least since World War I). And insofar as we can predict, the growth sector in the 21st century in developed countries will not be “business, that is, organized economic activity. It is likely to be the nonprofit social sector.
source: ActivityCross-Ref: Management Challenges for the 21st Century See also XlnkS511

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The future enterprise

  • Mobile, nomadic, temporary assembly of competence
  • Small, multinational, networked, decentralized
  • Main assets : knowledge, intellectual capital, patents, trade-marks, expertise
  • Main challenge: innovation and adaptability. (Only GE remains from the original 19th century Dow Jones Index)


source: Entrepreneur See also XlnkS526

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Social Entrepreneurs

The job of a social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is stuck and to provide new ways to get it unstuck. He or she finds what is not working and solves the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution and persuading entire societies to take new leaps. Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry. Identifying and solving large-scale social problems requires a social entrepreneur because only the entrepreneur has the committed vision and inexhaustible determination to persist until they have transformed an entire system. The scholar comes to rest when he expresses an idea. The professional succeeds when she solves a client’s problem. The manager calls it quits when he has enabled his organization to succeed. Social entrepreneurs go beyond the immediate problem to fundamentally change communities, societies, the world. Social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents in the social sector, by:

  • Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private value),
  • Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission,
  • Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning,
  • Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand, and
  • Exhibiting a heightened sense of accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created


source: Entrepreneur See also XlnkS526

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Risk management and sustainability

Risk management is a technique to reduce risks that has an application in sustainability. Risk management practice generally involve five steps: 1. Establish the context: Who is affected by the risk: Society, government, corporations, consumers, engineers, What are the barriers for developing a risk management program ? Who will champion the effort? Question: Why are engineers and geoscientists concerned by sustainability? As professionals, as individuals, as business people, etc,… 2. Acknowledge and identify the risk. In the context defined in step 1, define the “sustainability” risk as externalities such as · Climate change · Water · Resource depletion · Population · Toxic and air pollution · Social inequity and unrest · Security (9/11 and beyond) 3. Evaluate and prioritize risk. Step 2 might create an overwhelming list of issues. The next step is to assess the probability of each risk becoming reality (frequency) and estimate its possible effect and cost (severity) . Questions: What are the most important risks? For ex. Climate Change is very likely to happen and will be very costly in either way mitigation or adaptation 4. Select and implement the appropriate risk management techniques. The four major risk management techniques are: avoidance, modification, retention, and sharing/transfer. We can use one or a combination of techniques to manage each risk. 4.1 Avoidance We may not offer or ceases to provide a service or conduct an activity it considers too risky. Question: what are the risks that we don’t want to – or cannot- address? For. Ex. Population growth? 4.2. Modification Can we change the activity so that the chance of harm occurring and impact of potential damage are within acceptable limits? Establishing policies and procedures is the most common form of modification. We can change current practice to minimize environmental / social liability. This is traditional environmental management technique, and not completely addressing the challenge of sustainability. Question: what are the modifications required in our activities? APEGBC’s SMS and Primer is currently looking at this issue. 4.3 Retention Decision to accept or retain all or a portion of the financial consequences. Unlikely well-accepted by the profession, but the bottom-line is the cost of insurance. 4.4. Transfer (Sharing) Pro-actively working at the solutions required by society on sustainability. This will allow seizing the great business opportunities while increasing the risks. This option would require that engineers take in charge a great part of the risks, creating at the same time an immense opportunity – sustainability engineering- and a formidable challenge – how to deal with the risk internally. Risk can be mitigated by knowledge and codes. Question is: what are the knowledge and codes required? : · Knowledge: new ways of designing, managing and evaluating performance. New tools and techniques. Development of new technologies. · Codes means revised codes of practice, indicators and assessment tools, reporting, management system, etc,… 5. Monitor and update the plan. Sustainability is a dynamic concept; the risks and risk management techniques need to be reviewed periodically. This is where ISO 14000 and reporting techniques are very important.
source: Risk See also XlnkS525

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Four common techniques to deal with risk

Risk exists either independently to our actions or as a unwanted consequence. In either case, one generally uses any combination of the following four techniques to address or manage the risk: 1. Avoidance: stay away of the danger of stop doing an activity related to the risk. 2. Modification: Change of activity to eliminate or reduce the risk 3. Acceptance: Accept the risk as a fact-of-life, a part of the operation. 4. Transfer: Transfer the risk to a third party ( Insurance policy)
source: Risk See also XlnkS525

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Assurance

Assurance is a way to deal with the notion of risk. Assurance is at the same time a personal attitude and a technique. It is a question of confronting the risk armed with either the self-confidence to overcome it or the means to minimize its effects. (an insurance). In the first sense, assurance is a virtue driven by courage and prudence, and the second a contract, driven by planning and social solidarity.
source: Risk See also XlnkS525

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The new risks of the new century

Risks of natural disasters are becoming higher because of climate change and More costly because of increased concentration of activities in urban area. – Technological Risks such as nuclear contamination, genetic modifications, or computer viruses are increasing with globalization. – Risk of resources depletion like water, oil or fish. – Risks of war and terrorism increasing cost of doing business or public expenditure. – Financial Risks increasing with worldwide Financial transactions – Risks of epidemics increasing with urbanization and globalization. – Risks of piracy of intellectual property – Risks of professional liability for professionals, particularly engineers.
source: Risk See also XlnkS525

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Canada Bizarre Climate Trend in 2002

According to Dave Phillis, Environment Canada senior climatologist, the year 2002 was the most peculiar in modern history. September was warmer than June, Fall was missing and the winter 2001-2002 was so mild it hardly existed. It was the warmest winter in 210 years. Toronto had a record 27 continuous days of smog. Spring was like mid-winter, on the first day of spring it was 35 below zero on the prairies, Vancouver and Victoria were under snowfall – the latest on record, Ottawa and Montreal had the biggest snowfall of the year, and New Brunswick had 25 cm of snow. Saskatchewan had the worst drought of the past century and Western Canada was drier than at any time during the 20th century
source: Climate ChangeCross-Ref: Environment Canada See also XlnkS506

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Climate Change costs, opportunities and market

Annual losses from climate change induced natural disasters could reach $150 billion if current trends continue. The annual market in trading greenhouse gases, emerging as a result of international agreements to reduce emissions, could be worth as much as US $2 trillion by 2012. The market for clean energy could stand at $1.9 trillion by 2020, according to some estimates. The financial services industry, with over $26 trillion in assets under management, could, if mobilized, wield significant influence over future economic development and therefore the future global greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of itself and society as a whole. Organizations members of in the UNEP FI report task group: – Citigroup – Dresdner Bank – Munich RE – Prudential – Sustainable Assets Management (SAM) – Swiss Re (see also Insurance)
source: Climate Change See also XlnkS506

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