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"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

Confucius

A topical update on areas of interest!

The Global Economy - How will it affect you?


January 2, 2020

The Goldman Sachs 2020 MACROECONOMIC OUTLOOK

It makes interesting listening and reading. I wonder how many of the predictions will come true?


Follow the link below for more details: 
https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/global-outlook-2020.html 

It's official Brexit has happened!

27 European countries are now a club of 26!!


January 31, 2020

All after one referendum (2016), two general elections, three prime ministers, almost 4 years of political wrangling and 47 years of EU membership. Stage one, the "divorce agreement" has been completed.


Stage two, the trade agreement has to be concluded by December 31, 2020.  During the transition period the UK will follow all EU regulations and financial commitments, without any decision making representation inside the EU. This means business as usual until the end of 2020. What type of trade agreement will Britain and the EU strike for January 1, 2021?


Follow the links below for more details: 


https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-31/new-from-the-austrian-post-office-brexit-trolling-first-class 

https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/brexit-hub 



Harry & Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have decided to live in North America with their son, Archie. 

As we witness their overseas adventure,  it's a good time to review the things to consider when moving country for work.


February 4, 2020

The romantic notion of flying off to another country to begin a new life is a very compelling one. This image has to be balanced with the more mundane but critically important, background research and an official checklist.


Follow the links below for more details: 


https://www.themuse.com/advice/15-things-you-need-to-know-about-working-abroad 


https://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-guide/organizing-your-departure/calendar-before-you-go/ 


Coronavirus/COVID-19!!!

Is your workplace prepared for all eventualities!!!!?


March 1, 2020

The image on the left shows a figure depicting the Coronavirus being passed around during the Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) parade on February 24, 2020,  in Duesseldorf, Germany. This is a fantasy moment of fun during the absence of the very real Coronavirus/COVID-19. 


As Coronavirus/COVID-19 works its way around the globe, how prepared are you for the reality of a possible pandemic in your workplace?


Please follow the links below for more details on being prepared: 


World Health Organization (WHO) - (Resources)

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 


CIPD , United Kingdom - (Resources)

https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/news-articles/coronavirus-supporting-people-global-public-health-emergency 


HR Reporter Canada

https://www.hrreporter.com/employment-law/news/coping-with-the-coronavirus/325805 


SHRM , U.S.A. - (Resources)

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/global-hr/pages/coronavirus-infectious-disease-plans.aspx 


SHRM, U.S.A. - Communicable Diseases (Workplace Tool Kit)

https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/Pages/communicable-diseases.aspx 


Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the business implications!?

This is clearly a health and economic crisis!!


April 2, 2020

Firstly, and quite rightly the health implications of COVID-19 must be tackled as a global priority.  It is important to note, that the vast majority of those infected will have mild symptoms and will make a full recovery. Alas, not all will recover and as a result of COVID-19, many families have already felt the devastating effects of losing a loved one. According to the BBC as of March 31, 2020, "more than three billion people worldwide have been told to stay at home in more than 50 countries". Social-distancing, self-isolation, testing and a greater awareness of the transmission of the virus are crucial to defeating it. The race to expand medical facilities, devise treatments to remedy the disease and develop a vaccine obviously remain our paramount goals.. The potential  impact of COVID-19 on health in the workplace was highlighted in my blog of March 1, 2020. 


The global economic paralysis caused by COVID-19 is another key factor.  It has immediate and long-term affects on the world financial markets, industry and the business community. This also requires urgent attention. In  medical terms alone, personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical machinery like ventilators must be manufactured in huge numbers. In addition to this, new medical remedies and vaccines have to be mass produced globally on an industrial scale.  On a community recovery  level, people need jobs to survive, companies need to produce goods/services and the overall  economy is driven by consumer spending.  Unfortunately, much of the relevant industrial infrastructure to achieve this has been suspended due to COVID-19. The U.S.A., as the globe's largest economy,  is set to roll out a US$ 2 Trillion stimulus package for all areas of the U.S. economy.  A number of other governments worldwide including Australia, Canada, India, Japan, the UK and the EU (European Central Bank -ECB)  are introducing stimulus packages as well.
 

It is equally ironic, that a microscopic virus harmful to humans has managed to drastically reduce industrial pollution around the world. Environmentally speaking, we currently have the best air quality ever in many cities around world. This is due to a massive reduction in the use of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal and gas) in industries, manufacturing, aviation and the automotive sector. I am certain, we all want to find a less harmful way to reduce C02 emissions and protect the environment. However, what will happen when countries without strategic foresight resume their normal levels of fossil fuel usage after this pandemic?


Please follow the links below for more details: 


Coronavirus - Goldman Sachs (Business Insight)

https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/top-of-mind/coronavirus/report.pdf


World Bank - Coronavirus Response!

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/03/17/world-bank-group-increases-covid-19-response-to-14-billion-to-help-sustain-economies-protect-jobs  


U.S. Government: Coronavirus Stimulus Package

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/politics/stimulus-senate-action-coronavirus/index.html


Coronavirus - BBC - Air pollution and CO2 fall rapidly as virus spreads

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51944780 


Coronavirus: A visual guide to the pandemic (BBC)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105


Some inspirational stories from around the world on the battle against Coronavirus/COVID-19! 


May 4, 2020


In my previous two blogs of March 1 and April 2, I have written about the health, economic and environmental implications of COVID-19. It is important to note, that in these uncertain times, COVID-19 will eventually be defeated. We humans, as a species, are very resilient, adaptable, optimistic and resourceful.  Here are some good news stories to support this:


"Tech entrepreneur collects over 50 electronic devices to help COVID-19 patients see loved ones." (CBC)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/British-columbia/device-donations-burnaby-covid19-1.5535853 


"A woman met her son for the first time, twelve days after giving birth and recovering from the coronavirus." (BBC)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/must_see/52333334/new-mum-meets-baby-after-emergency-birth-in-coma 


"A 102-year-old Italian woman called Pierina Quagliati is celebrating her recovery from coronavirus." (The Daily Telegraph)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/16/italian-great-grandmother-recovers-coronavirus-day-toddler-grandson/ 


Captain Tom Moore an inspiration to us all at 100. (CNN)

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/17/uk/captain-tom-moore-raises-23million-scli-intl-gbr/index.html 


"Coronavirus: The students that are printing PPE masks in Tunisia."  (BBC)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-52236678/coronavirus-the-students-that-are-printing-ppe-masks-in-tunisia 


"How coronavirus inspired a gangland truce in South Africa."  (BBC)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-52205158/how-coronavirus-inspired-a-gangland-truce-in-south-africa


"Stars come out for Together At Home" - (BBC)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/headlines/52343193/lady-gaga-billie-eilish-and-the-rolling-stones-together-at-home 


New Zealand's handling of the coronavirus applauded. (Financial Times)

https://www.ft.com/content/7514ea27-aff7-4733-a827-6ae792364f75


Anthill Studios  Coronavirus/COVID-19  public service announcement (English animation)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCBtkEfk3p4 


Happy International Human Resources Day!!
(May 20, 2020)


May 19, 2020

We would like to recognize all of the hard-working HR professionals around the globe! HR is actively supporting the worldwide efforts of front-line workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we eventually emerge from lockdowns and cautiously advance to a “pandexit” future, HR remains one of several valued partners in reaching this unifying global goal. It is very timely that the World Federation of People Management Associations has designated May 20, 2020, International HR Day!!!


For more details please follow these links:

CIPD Promotional Video

https://twitter.com/i/status/1261642633992159232 


World Federation of People Management Associations - WFPMA

https://wfpma.org/news-and-resources/news/international-hr-day-2020 


Volunteers Supporting the Fight Against COVID-19!

Activities ranging from food banks, to contact tracing, to making masks, to medical assistance or advice, to maintaining "remote" contact with vulnerable members of the community.



June 6, 2020

The photo on the left, shows volunteers wearing  masks as they take part in an awareness drive in the densely populated Diepsloot township in Johannesburg, South Africa, on March 21, 2020. Volunteers distributed soap and information to residents to bolster awareness of the risk of poor hygiene. This is just one example of many worldwide. We applaud and recognize this global volunteer effort in support of our communities, essential workers and defeating COVID-19. 

 

For more details please follow these links:

UN Volunteers

https://www.unv.org/UNVs-COVID-19-pandemic-response 


International Red Cross and Red Crescent - COVID-19

https://www.icrc.org/en/what-we-do/covid-19-pandemic 


Volunteer Bénévoles Canada (COVID-19)

https://volunteer.ca/index.php?MenuItemID=420 


USA Food Banks - Feeding America (COVID-19)

https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/volunteer

COVID-19 Volunteers in the United Kingdom - The Guardian Newspaper

 https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/13/a-million-volunteer-to-help-nhs-and-others-during-covid-19-lockdown


"I Can't Breathe." George Floyd

(October 14, 1973 - May 25, 2020)



July 2, 2020

The global uproar over the shocking and tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, has resulted in an important conversation about race in 2020 and the atrocities of the past.


The universal relevance of the following quote is clearly beyond question. However, the nature and manner in which it was made official 244 years ago is questionable. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This is taken directly from the second paragraph of the U.S. Declaration of Independence of 1776. These “inspirational and egalitarian words” were written by Thomas Jefferson an active slave owner. There is an inherent contradiction and a clear dichotomy between freedom/liberty and bondage/slavery. This moral imbalance is what the United States of America has been struggling to rectify ever since. Sadly in 2020, George Floyd along with other victims of systemic racism are the latest manifestation of this continuing injustice.


How do we address this inequity and plan a proactive future? We must collectively Listen to the lived experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Acknowledge Bias whether individual or systemic. Develop and apply appropriate Training to mitigate the debilitating affects of racial bias. Through Advocacy promote a more inclusive and egalitarian society. In the words of Lawyer Konata Lake in a Globe and Mail Newspaper article on June 7, 2020. "Work done internally in one’s own thoughts will naturally flow to external actions. Small, purposeful and persistent incremental steps, not grand gestures that fade when the spotlight fades, are what will make a difference." 


My sincerest efforts and those of our wider society, must be based on meaningful, positive and focused action. This is in alignment with tangible equality, which is surely the true egalitarian meaning of Jefferson’s words.

 

For more details please follow these links below:

Black Lives Matter (BLM)

https://blacklivesmatter.com/ 


The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 passed by the House of Representatives (CNN)

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/25/politics/house-police-reform-legislation-vote/index.html 

"Toronto highrise where 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet fell to her death." (CBC)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/regis-korchinski-paquet-toronto-1.5593718     


A campaign for a commemorative statue of Black British Football/Soccer Player Jack Leslie (CNN)

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/01/football/jack-leslie-england-football-plymouth-argyle-spt-intl-gbr/index.html 


Happy United Nations International Youth Day!!!

(August 12, 2020)



August 12, 2020

Youth Responses to COVID-19


"COVID-19 affects all segments of the population, with young people playing a key role in the management of this outbreak and the recovery following the outbreak. Though much is still unknown on how the disease affects young people, governments are mandated in the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) to ensure their services meet the needs of young people. In these circumstances, it is important to ensure that youth are heard alongside other community and patient voices in the rollout of health and non-health interventions in response to COVID-19." (United Nations)


For more details please follow these links: 

United Nations - Youth Day
https://www.un.org/en/observances/youth-day
 

United Nations - Youth Day 2020 Concept
https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/articlefile/iyd2020-concept-note-1.pdf

United Nations - International Literacy Day!

(September 8, 2020)

Literacy in a Digital World!!! What Does Education, Training and Learning Look Like During an Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic? 


September 7, 2020

"International Literacy Day (ILD) 2020 will focus on Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond with a focus on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme will highlight literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective and therefore mainly focus on youth and adults. The recent Covid-19 crisis has been a stark reminder of the existing gap between policy discourse and reality: a gap that already existed in the pre-Covid-19 era and is negatively affecting the learning of youth and adults who have no or low literacy skills and therefore tend to face multiple disadvantages. During Covid-19, in many countries, adult literacy programmes were absent in the initial education response plans, so the majority of adult literacy programmes that did exist were suspended with just a few courses continuing virtually, through TV and radio, or in open air spaces. What is the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on youth and adult literacy educators and teaching and learning? What are the lessons learnt? How can we effectively position youth and adult literacy learning in global and national responses and in strategies for the recovery and resilience-building phase?" (United Nations)


For more details please follow these links: 

United Nations - UNESCO

https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday

BBC - Coronavirus: Fears over pupils missing out on online learning

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-53067254 

Coursera (Free Courses)

https://www.coursera.org/  


Harvard Free Online Courses
https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free

 

Terry Fox

40th Anniversary of the Marathon of Hope!

(September 20, 2020)


September 19, 2020

Terry Fox at 22, first captivated a nation and then the entire world by bringing cancer research to the attention of the general public.  He was a beacon of hope, an inspiration and an "everyday person" doing an extraordinary thing. That is why he so readily connected with millions of people in Canada and around the globe. In 1980 when Terry started his run across Canada on April 12, 1980,  little was known about him.  When he ended his run due to illness on September 1, 1980, the whole world knew of his cause.

This is the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox's epic Marathon of Hope. There have been many breakthroughs in cancer treatment over this time but the search for a cure for cancer continues even during a COVID-19 pandemic. I ran a socially distant 5km on September 20, 2020.  Why, I hear you ask? This was to honour Terry Fox, to raise awareness of cancer research, generate some donations and to demonstrate the resilience of us as human beings even during a pandemic. Please do what you can to support cancer research worldwide.


For more details please follow these links: 

The Terry Fox Foundation

https://terryfox.org/ 

Terry Fox Run Donations (September 20, 2020)
https://secure.terryfox.ca/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?RegistrationID=4782134   


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