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I wonder what came…

- Saturday, 12/12/09 -

I wonder what came first the chicken or the egg I’m kidding no really I wonder what came first our sight or our ability to hear or whatever sense we have.

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‘Eco-Friendly’ Replacing Luxury as New Status Symbol

- Tuesday, 11/3/09 -

‘Eco-Friendly’ Replacing Luxury as New Status Symbol

More than twice as many global consumers say they would rather drive an eco-friendly car (67%) than a luxury car (33%), and an even larger percentage would prefer to live in an eco-friendly house (70%) vs. merely a big house (30%), according to results from this year’s goodpurpose study, conducted by PR firm Edelman.  

These results, Edelman said, indicate that the global tide of conspicuous consumption is turning away from traditional status symbols of the past and moving toward products and brands that support sustainability. Protecting the environment, improving healthcare and reducing poverty are the causes that global consumers care about most:

edelman-goodpurpose-causes-consumers-personally-care-about-october-2009.jpg

In keeping with this sentiment, 68% of consumers now think it’s becoming more unacceptable not to make noticeable efforts to show concern for the environment (82% in China) and live a healthy lifestyle (87% in China).


Local vs. Designer Brands

Sentiment also appears to be moving away from well-known national and international designer brands in favor of supporting local businesses and products. While 69% globally would rather have a brand that supports the livelihood of local producers than a designer brand (31%), North American and most European countries in the study – as well as Brazil – more overwhelmingly prefer supporting the livelihood of local producers, each indicating more than 80% preference.

Eco-Friendly Despite Recession

Study results indicate that despite the recession, 61% of global respondents have purchased a brand that supports a good cause – even if it wasn’t the lowest-priced brand, 64% would recommend a brand that supports a good cause, and 63% are looking to brands and companies to make it easier for them to make a difference.

Another 57% of consumers say a company or brand has earned their business because it has been doing its part to support good causes. Asian countries China (85%) and India (84%) had the highest scores in this area, the survey found.
Additional findings about brand preference:

  • 67% of consumers say they would switch brands if another brand of similar quality supported a good cause. These numbers are highest in Brazil (83%) and Italy (74%).
  • 83% are willing to change consumption habits if it can help make the world a better place to live.
  • Though twice as many people would rather drive a hybrid car than a luxury car, preference for hybrids is significantly higher in Japan (89%) and France (89%).
  • 68% of global consumers and 80% of those in the US say they are “okay” with brands that support good causes and make money too:

edelman-goodpurpose-make-money-do-good-win-october-2009.jpg

“People all over the world are now wearing, driving, eating, and living their social purpose as sustained engagement with good causes becomes a new criterion for social status and good social behavior,” said Mitch Markson, Edelman’s chief creative officer and president of its brand consulting group. “People are demanding social purpose, and brands are recognizing it as an area where they can differentiate themselves and in many parts of the world, not only meet governmental compliance requirements, but also build brand equity.”

Regional Differences – Expectations Highest in Brazil

This year’s study also uncovered some regional differences, which reveal varying expectations about good causes, socially aware brands and the extent to which product manufacturers are expected to be accountable for socially responsible initiatives.

Key differences among countries:

  • Brazil has the highest expectations on brands with 89% expecting brands today to do something to support a good cause.
    Brazilians (61%) also are most likely to say they are more involved in good causes this year, while the US is second with 36%.
  • Consumers in India and China have strong opinions about doing good and are significantly more likely to say they are aware of any brands that currently support good causes. More than seven in 10 in each of these countries say they would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause.
  • Unlike its Asian counterparts, Japan fell short of many of the global results, with the exception of choosing social purpose over social status – as respondents overwhelmingly preferred hybrid cars (89%), eco-friendly houses (87%), and brands that support the livelihood of local producers (76%).
  • While Europeans are least likely to think that product brands support good causes nowadays, they indicate that supporting good causes in their everyday lives is important. More than three out of four people in the UK, France, Germany and Italy were willing to change their own consumption habits if it can hel p make tomorrow’s world a better place to live.
  • Though the economic downturn has made Americans most likely to give less money to good causes, they too overwhelmingly indicate they are willing to change consumption habits to make the world a better place to live (85%) and are looking to companies and brands to make it easier for them to make a difference (65%).

Additional study findings:

  • 64% of global survey respondents would recommend a brand that supports a good cause – up from 52% last year.
  • 59% would help a brand promote its products if there was a good cause behind it – up from 53% last year.
  • 44% are aware of brands that actively support good causes through their products and services -up from 33% last year.
  • 16% find contentment from shopping – down from 25%.
  • 63% are looking toward brands and companies to make it easier for them to make a difference.
  • 59% have a better opinion of corporations that integrate good causes into their business no matter why they do so (61% in the US, 51% in Germany, 58% in Italy, 64% in India, 65% in China and 52% in Japan).
  • 56% believe societal and corporate interest should have equal weight in business decisions.

Too Much Spent on Marketing?

The Edelman study also found that 71% of respondents think brands and companies spend too much on advertising and marketing and should put more into good causes – up almost 10 percentage points vs. 2008.

Findings from another sustainability study earlier this year by Fleishman-Hillard and the American Marketing Association suggest that marketers might already have taken this sentiment to heart. That study revealed 58% of corporate marketers and communicators think their organizations will increase involvement in environmental sustainability initiatives over the next two to three years, and half believe the economy will encourage the adoption of sustainable practices.

About the study: The 2009 survey was fielded by Edelman’s research firm StrategyOne among consumers ages 18-64 across 10 countries in July and August 2009. The survey sampled 6,026 adults in the US, China, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Japan and India. An An online survey was conducted in all countries except India and China, where the survey was conducted face-to-face. The firm said that the sample is representative of the country population.

‘Eco-Friendly’ Replacing Luxury as New Status Symbol.

G20 London Summit 2009: Explanatory guide to the communiqué

- Saturday, 09/12/09 -

Explanatory guide to the communiqué
The explanatory guide has more information about the decisions on issues. Including: financial regulation, economic growth, global trade and helping the world’s poorest.

 

London Summit Outcomes

The London Summit took place at a time when the world confronts the worst economic crisis since the Second World War. The London Summit aims were to bring together leaders of the world’s major economies and key international institutions to take the collective action necessary to stabilise the world economy and secure recovery and jobs. Leaders faced an unprecedented range of challenges – of averting an even more severe downturn and restoring growth in the short term, while at the same time reshaping the financial system, preserving the world trading system, and laying the foundations for a sustainable recovery.

Real action was agreed at the Summit, with Leaders agreeing on steps to:

  • Restore confidence, growth, and jobs: Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to restore growth and jobs, while preserving long-term fiscal sustainability. They agreed actions toaccelerate the return to trend growth and committed to taking whatever action is necessary to secure that outcome, and called on the IMF toassess regularly the actions taken and the global actions required. They committed to make available an additional $1.1 trillion programme of support to help the world economy through the crisis and to restore credit, growth and jobs. Most of this will be provided through the international financial institutions [pdf].
  • Strengthen financial supervision and regulation: Leaders agreed to strengthen the financial system by putting in place a better and more credible system of surveillance and regulation to take account of macro-prudential risks and prevent excess leveraging, including (forthe first time) regulation and oversight of large hedge funds andcredit rating agencies. They also agreed actions to tackle non-cooperative jurisdictions and common principles for executive remuneration.
  • Fund and reform our international financial institutions to overcome this crisis and prevent future ones: Leaders agreed to make an additional $850 billion in resourcesavailable through international financial institutions like the IMF,World Bank, and other multilateral development banks, including a $500billion expansion of the IMF’s resources, an SDR allocation of $250billion, and at least $100 billion in additional lending from MDBs. The leaders also agreed to ensure to they have the facilities needed tomeet the needs of emerging markets and developing countries and speedup reform of international financial institutions to ensure national representation is in line with the changing balance of the world economy.
  • Promote global trade and investment and reject protectionism, to underpin prosperity: Leaders committed not to resort to protectionism, direct or indirect,and put in place a transparent monitoring mechanism; and to takemeasures which promote trade, including a commitment to make available $250 billion to halt the slow-down in trade finance, which facilitates up to 90% of world trade.
  • Build an inclusive, green, and sustainable recovery: Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and to delivering on development aid pledges; made $50 billion available to low income countries, including through the proceeds of agreed IMF gold sales; agreed that the IMF would further support low income countries; and called on the UN to establish aneffective mechanism to monitor the impact of the crisis on the poorestand most vulnerable.

1) Restoring Confidence, Jobs, and Growth

A series of financial market events beginning in 2007 has culminated inthe worst international banking crisis in generations. Despite unprecedented interventions by governments to fix the financial system,this crisis has triggered a global recession Before the G20 Leaders met, forecasts suggested that most of the advanced economies and many developing and emerging economies would remain in severe recession ove r2009, with world growth in real terms resuming and rising to over 2 per cent by the end of 2010.

In response to these events, governments of the G20 nations have agreed to take action to accelerate the return to trend growth and support families and businesses through the recession. In the UK for example, the Government has increased spending to support homeowners and people at risk of losing their job and provided support to get the financial sector lending again. The Bank of England has cut interest rates totheir lowest level ever, making it cheaper for businesses and households to borrow. Other countries across the globe have taken similar action.

At the London Summit, leaders of the G20 reaffirmed their commitment to work together to restore growth and jobs. They expressed their confidence that the new actions and commitments agreed at the Summit would accelerate the return to trend growth; and they committed today to taking whatever action is necessary to secure that outcome. Recognising that further action may be needed, theycalled on the IMF to assess regularly the actions taken and the global actions required

Not only did Leaders agree to take further action – and not just on fiscal policy but in other policy areas too – but they tied the need for such action to the achievement of quantified and time bound objectives for growth; and put in place a clear monitoring mechanismfor judging progress. This represents a significant step forward in international macroeconomic coordination to deal with the crisis.

2) Strengthening financial supervision and regulation

Problems in the financial sector and weaknesses in supervision were one of the fundamental causes of the crisis. Increased lending and securitisation of assets reduced transparency and exposed the bankingsystem to high levels of systemic risk.

While market participants were unable to understand the nature of the risks they were exposed to, the regulatory system allowed them to increase leverage dramatically in the run up to the crisis. The tendency of the financial sector to over-expand during up swings was exacerbated by a number of factors: over reliance on Credit Ratings Agencies (CRAs) assessments of the credit risk and potential CRA conflicts of interest, inadequate accounting standards and capital requirements that served to reinforce rather than dampen financial market over expansion, and remuneration policies that encouraged excessive leveraging and risk-taking.

At the Summit, G20 leaders agreed a blueprint for reforming the regulatory framework of the financial sector. Key principles underlying this framework include the need to strengthen macro-prudential supervision; for capital requirements to explicitly incorporate counter cyclical elements – but that in present circumstances it would be inappropriate to raise them until recovery takes hold; for all systemically important institutions, including hedge funds, to be subject to regulation and supervision; for common principles for remuneration so as to discourage excessive risk taking; to ensure credit rating agencies do their job properly and without conflicts of interest; and to deal with tax havens and non-cooperative jurisdictions. Leaders also agreed that a central role in coordinating this agenda should be taken by the Financial Stability Forum, now renamed the Financial Stability Board and incorporating all G20 countries.

Agreement on specific measures across all of these areas and all ofthe G20 countries represents an unprecedented degree of international regulatory coordination, and will lead to major reforms of the global financial sector – reducing the risk of a recurrence of this crisis.

3) Funding and reforming our international financial institutions to overcome this crisis and prevent future ones

The global financial crisis has resulted in the seizing up ofinternational financial markets that are essential for keeping the world economy functioning. The effects of this have been particularly felt in developing and emerging economies. Governments as well as households and businesses in these countries have found it moredifficult to borrow, adding to pressures on economic growth from reduced global demand and exports and increasing unemployment. International financial institutions like the International MonetaryFund (IMF) and the World Bank have an essential role in ensuring thestability and recovery of emerging markets and developing economies.

To ensure international financial institutions have the resource sneeded to provide responsive and effective support to developing economies – which have been key factors in world economic growth overthe last ten years and are vital to ending the global recession – G20 Leaders have agreed to resources available through the IFIs by $850billion. They agreed to treble IMF resources to $750 billion,initially funded through bilateral borrowing to be then incorporated into an expanded and enlarged New Arrangements to Borrow of up to $500billion. Leaders also agreed to an SDR allocation of around $250billion – to provide an additional $100 billion in liquidity to emerging and developing economies (including $19 billion for the poorest) – and urged ratification of the 4th Amendment for anadditional $30 billion SDR allocation.

Leaders urged MDBs to make available at least an additional $100billion in resources over the next few years, and also committed to providing up to $50 billion of trade liquidity support as part of the global effort to ensure the availability of at least $250 billion oftrade finance.

Leaders also agreed to ensure that the international financia linstitutions have the facilities they need to address the current crisis and meet the needs of emerging markets and developing countries: welcoming the IMF’s new Flexible Credit Line (FCL) foreligible countries, urging the IMF to reform its surveillance andlending facilities to address the causes of countries’ balance of payments needs, supporting the World Bank Vulnerability Framework through voluntary bilateral contributions, increasing individual country limits on World Bank lending to enable large countries toaccess required levels of finance, allowing low income IDA countrieswith sustainable debt positions and sound policies to gain temporary access to non-concessional IBRD lending, and a temporary lifting ofcaps on the proportion of concessional lending by the MDBs provided asbudget support to low income countries.

As well as increasing resources, it is important that each country has confidence in the institutions’ relevance, effectiveness and legitimacy, to ensure credibility.

At the London Summit, leaders recognised that action needs to be taken to improve the credibility of IFIs. The G20 therefore agreed:

  • reform of representation on IFIS – IMF quota reform to be broughtforward to be completed by 2011; and similar reform of the World Bank to be completed by 2010;
  • selection and recruitment of heads of IMF and World Bank to be based on merit;
  • consideration of greater involvement of the Fund’s Governors inproviding strategic direction to the IMF and increasing itsaccountability.

4) Promoting global trade and investment and reject protectionism, to underpin prosperity

Trade is vital for the health of the global economy: The more open totrade economies are, the greater the benefits. History demonstrates this: since 1945, average tariffs for developed countries, like the UK, Europe and the US, have fallen from nearly 40% to less than 5%;world exports have risen 27-fold; and world income has risen eightfold.

However, world trade is forecast to fall by 9% this year – the largest decline in 60 years – due to lower global demand and reduced exports. This decline is exacerbated by growing protectionist pressures, butalso the drying up of trade credit – essentially the insurance exporters pay while their goods are in transit, which roughly 90 percent of world trade relies on.

The G20 leaders stated that reinvigorating world trade and investmentis essential for restoring world growth and leaders agreed on action tostop the slowdown in world trade. Specifically, leaders :

  • committed to ensure that countries do not resort to protectionism, by extending their pledge made in November not to raisetrade barriers or impose any new trade restrictions to 2010, andrectifying any such measures promptly.
  • committed to minimise any negative impact of domestic policy action on world trade and investment including fiscal policy and actionin support of the financial sector, and not retreat into financial protectionism.
  • committed to notify promptly the WTO of any such measures andcalled on the WTO, together with other international bodies, to monitorand report publicly on adherence to these undertakings on a quarterly basis
  • to take measures to support trade, including a commitment to make available $250bn in trade finance over the next two years, through bothnational agencies, and the Development Banks, as well as making better use of financing that is already there.
  • stated their personal commitment to the Doha Round and agreed to prioritise the negotiations.

5) Ensuring a fair and sustainable recovery for all

The global financial crisis affects all countries, rich and poor, andthe response will also affect all– both rich and poor countries now, but also future generations. Leaders recognised the human dimension to the crisis and committed to support those affected by creating employment opportunities and through income support measures. And theystated their determination not only to restore growth but also to laythe foundation for a fair and sustainable world economy.

The effects of the current crisis on developing countries could resultin an additional 90 million people a year living in extreme poverty, and threaten progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. A global recovery will not be sustainable unless it benefits the poorest and provides them with the opportunities they need toescape poverty. Leaders :

  • reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and to achieving Official Development Assistance pledges,including commitments on Aid for Trade;
  • made $50 billion available to low income countries, includingthrough the Rapid Social Response Fund, investing in food security and supporting the World Bank’s Vulnerability Financing Framework;
  • agreed the IMF should double concessional lending access limitsand capacity to increase its support to low income countries, and requested the IMF to bring forward proposals to use the proceeds of agreed gold sales to do so; and
  • called on the UN to establish a mechanism to monitor the impact of the crisis on the poor.

Understanding that a return to business-as-usual growth will leave them vulnerable to rising oil prices and the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change, several have committed sizeable parts oftheir economic recovery packages to low carbon investments. Leaders agreed to pursue a path of economic growth that creates green business opportunities. The opportunities will not only provide jobs and contribute to the economic growth; they will also ensure that therecovery is sustainable in the longer term.

SOURCE: http://www.londonsummit.gov.uk/en/summit-aims/communique-explanation

BiZ Bitch Fit: $tuck Like Chuck

- Monday, 05/4/09 -

sooooo… i’ve been going back & forth on different business ideas lately. but it seems as though i’m still as confused as i was when i left it last, which was about 2 months ago. i mean, i have some great ideas which i can actually see becoming something great. i guess the thing is that… well… hmmm… i guess you could say — i can see the vision, but it’s hard to keep it. ya know? it’s just hard to focus on the little details which, in the end, are the things that are really going to matter. i mean, it’s always the little things that do. they just… are basically, like the glue that holds everything altogether. & personally, i’m just a stickler for details. in a way, i am a perfectionist. but only because i truly do believe in the quality of work, not the quantity. & in regards to MY work(s), i most definitely always want it to shine. so, right now, i’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything. and… and in a way, i feel alone in it all. not that i don’t have any support from family or friends or anything like that. i feel alone because i feel like there’s no one else around that’s on the same page as me, like there’s no one i can turn to for input or just to bounce ideas off of. (sigh) but i guess, i also feel like i should just stop bitching & whining and get down to business. i mean, i think the thing is, i don’t really know where to start with the whole thing. but then again, i feel like i should just start anywhere, because does it really matter? since, in the end, i’ll still be covering all the bases. (sigh) yeah, i’m trippin’… yeah. i must really be trippin’. and off of nothing, too!!! argh  :/  i hate that. ahhh, well… at least, it’s off my chest now, right? hehehe… exactly.  ;-)

now, back to work.   8)

“Worth It” (draft 2)

- Thursday, 04/23/09 -

questionin’ my worth
durin’ unstable times
and uncertain worlds
wonderin’ if i’m actually worth
all the work
but every word
just seems to escape me
answers hide
and i
go seek
but it’s like
we speak
in broken languages
now, how can i manage dis-
cussions i can’t even decipher?
then again, how can i give up
when i never gave in?
how do i know
if i don’t even try first?

____________________

04/23/2009, 1:56 p.m.

all i know is i keep askin’ myself why i hurt
this bad
re-examinin’ mirrors of what i had
only to realize what i don’t
seems like moments were stolen
then, replaced with something less golden
damn
must’ve chosen the path less travelled
and i’m watchin’ it all unravel
in the palm of my hands
hopin’ to catch the sands of time
so i can refill my glass with hours
or maybe somehow rewind
mistakes i didn’t have to make
actions i didn’t have take
oh no, ’cause now i just taste
bittersweet kisses
Reality left, like checks, on my cheeks
said, all i see is a diminished
part of a slide show
i guess Legend was right
’cause that life
seems like a dream to me
seems like i should’ve seen
shit comin’
too bad i was too busy numbin’
myself stupid
too dumb & too foolish
to add up the sum
before some became none
and nothing became now

“Worth It”

- Thursday, 04/23/09 -

“Worth It”

Marizen © 04/23/2009

questionin’ my worth
durin’ unstable times
and uncertain worlds
wonderin’ if i’m actually worth
all the work
but every word
just seems to escape me
answers hide
and i
go seek
but it’s like
we speak
in broken languages
now, how can i manage dis-
cussions i can’t even decipher?
then again, how can i give up
when i never gave in?
how do i know
if i don’t even try first?

_________________________________________

(draft — not really satisfied w/ these few lines but i’ll never be the one to force inspiration)

Never Forget You Not(e)

- Thursday, 04/9/09 -

This goes out to Anthony Joseph Tolua & all of those whose love keeps his memory burning bright…

Yesterday replays like MTV re-runs, and you always seem to find a way to draw me out from my reality. Once again, I relive what shouldn’t have had to be. And I know it don’t make no sense, but I just can’t help but get mad at me. Oh yeah, I somehow place the blame upon my name even though I know the fact still remains the same. Said, I know it’s sounds crazy but baby, maybe I just need to see your face, hear you say my name. Oh Tony, maybe I just can’t maintain without you havin’ to lay 6-feet beneath your grave for the rest of this lifetime. Oh no, sometimes your memory ain’t enough for me, ’cause sometimes I just can’t make believe you a heaven. And I’m sorry for bein’ so selfish, but I can’t help but want one more line to speak my peace. ‘Cause my words were jumbled when I heard your world had crumbled. I was so hurt, I even cursed God for lettin’ you slip & fumble. I was so stuck in a tunnel vision, I couldn’t remember that He had already given me the lock & key. Said, misery had made a mockery out of me & my faith ’cause when you walked away, I felt more than my heart break. I felt darkness consume every drop of daylight. Oh, ’cause ain’t no one could make rights outta the lefts that led to your wrongful death. It even took YEARS for the courts to sentence your killers. And I know blood may be thicker, but Tony, I swear I will never give in or give up to forgetting. Said, I will walk upon waters with you from the beginning & ending, I will set aside the pretentious so I can pen you to life & spend the present tense suspended between heaven & happily-ever-after. And no matter what love, you will always be the yesterday my tomorrow simply adores & lives for. Yes, you will be the moment my heart loves to capture.

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