Tag Archives: Forbes

“Reindeer Games” at Davos

I have expressed my opinions about the current president of my country on various social media platforms for nearly three years but I have never actually written about him. This is largely because as a communications professional I never wanted to contribute to satiating his hunger for his name and photo to be widely shared,

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.”

~ Brendan Behan

In his address at The World Economic Forum at Davos Emmanuel Macron referenced ‘snow’, climate change and skeptics and that got me thinking about Rudolph and how he had torudolph prove his value to the clique of ‘regular, flying reindeer’. At some point, in most of our lives, we will face similar challenges of inclusion where we need to offer the best of ourselves to prove we are worthy. The concepts, and application, of justice and equality mean a great deal to me personally.  The WEF, widely and erroneously referred to as ‘Davos’, has the capacity to test the mettle of most confident and seasoned of intellectuals and thought leaders. Women are still in the minority, with improvements this year and an attempt to appropriate the #MeToo movement.

Based upon initial reports it would seem that, once again, the 45th president of the United States put his bravado before expertise. He attempted to thrust himself into rooms where he was unwelcome, and was physically removed according to some of his handlers in attendance. (I belong to some private social media groups where this has been ‘the topic of the day’.) After a year of his MAGA rhetoric the world has moved on, and away, from including the United States. Self-protection and mockery have replaced diplomatic deference. (Selected from many similar ones) these words from Nicholas Dungan, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, sum up the current climate as told to CNN “…Trump is going for show rather than substance.” Continuing Dungan said, “the rest of the planet is moving quite swiftly to fill the void of US leadership in the global system which the US itself created.

I grew up in New York state. Just enough younger to be aware of the shady real estate and other dealings of Trump. As the global elite jetted and helicoptered into Davos I recalled how passionately ‘The Donald’ has always aspired to be included in the upper realms of polite society. Some of the media headlines allude to Trump’s acceptance by the attendees at the WEF (based on the packed auditorium which also heard boos and hisses during his speech). I believe, as many do, that the real power in those rooms still find him insignificant to their plans for globalization and the eventual elimination of the nation state altogether. More so, political leaders have made it clear that a wide swath of current American policies are not welcome and they are advancing without the United States.

The ‘shade’ which the Guggenheim just threw at Trump speaks volumes about how little regard their storied institution has for him. I have no doubt that had the 18kt gold toilet goldhad not been used by 100,000 people mysophobic Trump would have delighted in putting his Forbes smacked butt on said throne. Perhaps they recognised that his insistence that the fake Renoir hanging in Trump’s property was real was sufficient rationale to deny his request (notwithstanding the lending restrictions of the Thannhauser Collection) as he does have a history of associating with criminal elements.

In a relatively short period of time Rudolph provided value to his peers and everyone around him, no greater good has been realised by ‘the election’ of Trump. Enough already. For the world it’s been a long two years. We are all doggedly tired of the lies, of the self-aggrandizement, of the abuse of power, of the systematic efforts to rape and pillage America and the rest of the world for his personal gain, of the scandals, of the divisiveness and the rising violence prompted by his hateful words. I don’t want to believe that 45 was enthusiastically invited to Davos where the accomplished in a great many spheres at least go through the motions of setting an agenda for the greater good. Rather I suspect that through a series of backroom phone calls and manipulations he was able to insert himself there to assuage the pervasive emptiness of his ego. Like a spoiled child constantly interrupting adult conversations it has become a moral imperative (even if it will impact shareholder value in the short-term) to reign in this incompetent and dangerous man. Just as (some) politicians have recognised that Trump is irrelevant, media bosses need to stop sending journalists to ‘cover him’. Please. Stop feeding the beast.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Hack ~ innovation to global happiness

To hack used to be something I did ‘to be useful’ out in the “back forty” with one of these – you swing it back and forth thus ‘hacking’ the weeds down to something more manageable for a mower unit on a tractor to cover, or to till the earth without having all the seed heads getting into Imagethe dirt and creating even more work in the long run.

Hacking hasn’t been that for me for a very long time, primarily because in the early 1990s I landed a MarComm Manager role at a tech company spun out of the IBM, MCI and Merit called, then, ANS CORE Systems, Inc., shortly thereafter, changed to ANS Communications.  At that point, amidst towers, air conditioned closets, vast pyramids of empty cans of Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola, my awareness of hacking shifted dramatically; hacking became something our team of programmers protected our Fortune 500 client base from happening to their information systems with firewall and VPDN solutions.  Each and every one of my colleagues possessed the technical skills capable of breaking into, rather than protecting, IT systems but each had the moral compass to ‘do no harm’.  They were (and continue to be) innovators – way ahead of the technology curve that most of us deal with on a daily basis and obsessed with achieving perfection in code – my job was to shine a spotlight on the product suite they developed and have it gain adoption with our core audiences.

The general public is a bit more aware of hacking today – security breaches abound from crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, to Forbes and Neiman Marcus – it’s generally a rather nefarious association to hack something.  But thankfully hacking is emerging from doing “a hack job” to something about fostering positive disruption of a less-than-ideal status quo by applying the creativity inherent to each and every one of us.

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To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.

 — Albert Einstein

Several months ago I sat enraptured watching Logan LaPlante’s TEDx presentation on hacking his education – I am not a mom, but had I been such I would so want to create an environment for learning and living life for my kids as his parents clearly have.  At the end of the day it is Logan doing the heavy lifting on his life with a maturity that far too many of us (insert any nationality) do not possess. Self awareness, discipline, creativity and curiosity drive him (as much as his love of skiing on fresh powder).  The seminal article by Dr Roger Walsh referenced by Logan encompasses eight building blocks of a happy and healthy life and are referred to as Therapeutic Lifestyles Changes (TLCs) and I can’t help but wonder why (like Logan) this path to living has not become more mainstream – well, in fact I do know why, as do most of us.

The paradigm of happiness is treated like a Holy Grail instead of something common to our experience and when our reality fails to ‘live up to’ the perception drilled into our psyche by the media we chose ‘medication’ (pills, alcohol or on the psychiatrists’ sofa) rather than stepping into the void. The core outcome of hacking is innovation ~ seeing the possibility of doing something easier, with greater style or more efficiently, fostering positive impact for ourselves and the world around us all of which exist at the core of social responsibility.

ImageThere are hundreds of thousands of ‘hackers’ whose efforts have produced totally cool end results, but I want to share two extremes of creative thinking with you that I believe have real possibilities of fostering paradigm shifts in many of our lives.  Though I don’t personally know any of these people the term lifehack comes immediately to mind when I think of Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin of the Swedish firm Hövding who have created a cyclists dream come true – a bike helmet that is essentially a personal airbag, and the disruptive microfinance and financial inclusion technology model created by the Croatian firm Oradian‘s co-founders Antonio Separovic, Andrew Mainhart, Julian Oehrlein and Onyeka Adibeli.  I think it is a reasonable assumption to write that their quality of life is enhanced because each recognised in themselves creativity begging for outlet and then, as a fundamental principle of their businesses, they engaged in work that both stimulates them and which also incorporates ‘service to others’.  

Yes, I realise that my perception of any of these, and thousands of others, individuals might be skewed toward something larger than reality but in believing such perhaps the resonance of innovationpositive carries forward to inspire more creativity, catalysing innovation and fostering change.

As the Buddha is credited with saying, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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