A billion new entrepreneurs are on the march; young and old, big and small, from rich nations and from poor nations, this time most entrepreneurs all over the world have same access to latest technologies and similar global access to markets. Only the smart nations with smart cities with smart entrepreneurial management will be able to understand how to harness such mega forces. How will they create local grassroots prosperity and solid midsize economies across their nation? A new world of entrepreneurial freedom is emerging as an alternate to old-perpetual-economic-slavery-working-model.
What occupies the world today; Brexit fiascos of once the mighty British Empires, American Impeachment circus of once mighty global leader and the rest are wars of sorts, the list can be long, but the global masses tired and treasuries empty…entrepreneurial revival is a new mighty frontier. The national mobilization of entrepreneurialism of talented citizenry on platform economies demands understanding of the new definitions and answering some serious questions. When restless citizenry starts becoming visible, populism becomes louder and separatism issues as new fears urgently needed to create grassroots prosperity are new agendas and strategies.
Nothing more important than entrepreneurialism must fill such vacuum as the art of national mobilization of entrepreneurialism on digital platforms economies turns into a science of the day.
Re-definitions of midsize economy: The optimization of small medium enterprises of the nation to quadruple exportability and innovative excellence performance are new frontiers where battalions of entrepreneurs allowed to bounce all across 200 nations and show case their talents, goods and services to enjoy the powers of the brand of Canada and its people. The new thought leadership on new global age skills on national deployments becomes a test.
Re-definitions of work: work of future now determined by algorithms, elimination of white-collar expertise would morph towards entrepreneurialism as smart work for very smart worker not only erases 9-5 rat races, creating new living styles and new intellectualism; how will Canada mobilize working citizenry to adopt such dramatic changes?
Re-definitions of work-space: When workless, officeless, jobless workers start leaving downtown office buildings, corporate hierarchies morph, impacting downtown economies and redefining their purpose against suburbia. New styles of consumerism, distribution starts confusing future of smart cities starts bouncing amidst super-smart-living. Now Canada as a hot spot to such transformations offering best destination for living, foreign investments and opportunities; what will Canada table as solid options to highlight growth and stability?
Re-definitions of management: When free technologies replace senior and middle management impacting social adjustments, a hyper productive inter-connected-age with new styles of debates and engagements will force new state of mind, how will Canada identify, organize one million small and midsize enterprises as part of Platform Economy, showcase them in bright colors creating bounce with 200 other nations, where already some new billion other entrepreneurs are headed?
Re-definitions of time: now business operation time is 24x7x365 how will these new cultural-realities start overtaking old-style timelines and lazy calendars slots how do you train masses to work much less but with more productive technologies. New habits merge with new occupations optimizing with talented hobbies and here nouveau entrepreneurialism starts taking shape. Ease of processing and unlimited global access becomes the new and long awaited arena for women entrepreneurs to shine. The human productivity, juxtaposed with hyper accelerated automation will also create massive boredom and mental chaos.
Re-definition of digital-divide: Today globally speaking digital divide is now mental-divide.These issues demand new thinking and new answers. Such vacuums cannot allow filling with divisive politics or non-stop media rhetoric but with constant high quality contents and pragmatic global-age entrepreneurial solutions and grassroots prosperity ideas. Classicism of Entrepreneurialism proves that by nature entrepreneurism is diverse, tolerant and a real local community builder.
Re-definitions of national transformation: This is a fact, all over the world Public-Sectors and large bureaucracies for having a different mandate have proven again and again for not being entrepreneurial in action and for that reason alone, entrepreneurs much like mushrooms in the forest grow at random, but now on massive digital platform economies this is now like organized mushroom farming. How does something like this translates to a nation where majority is youth and anxious to find grassroots prosperity. Authoritative understandings, mobilization with deployment skills are the prerequisites.
The Entrepreneurial Rebellions:
Understanding entrepreneurial knowledge: The superiority of the message embedded in the art and science of entrepreneurialism clearly written in the language and symbology of ‘tacit knowledge’ and should not be the deterrent for academic or government agencies. Rather this is an open invitation to bold and open dialogue.
FACTS: Classroom education is ‘explicit knowledge’ like bookkeeping, something that can be written. Entrepreneurialism is ‘tacit knowledge’ like riding a bike, something that can only be practiced.
Understanding classicism of entrepreneurialism: The advanced study of classicism of entrepreneurialism brings us closer to global age mobilization and deployments of entrepreneurial as a new phenomenon. This is new thinking that advances and mobilizes masses of entrepreneurs, impacting grassroots prosperity that captured by superpower-technology-platforms.
Understanding mobilization of entrepreneurialism: Many nations around the world have tried very hard to create entrepreneurialism but frequently failed. However, these same nations were able to create well trained armies and high-ranking officers because they all trained in tactical battlefield engagements and by veterans from the real battlefields. Soldiers do not draw pictures of battlefields on whiteboards and run around with water pistols. They practice real situations in boot camp fashion and live the battles.
Understanding Platform Economies:
Alibaba records $38 Billion of sales within 24 hours November 11th 2019: Around the world, currently, there are 100 nations with less than $38 Billion dollars in annual GDP. Imagine if this single company performed at the same rate for next 365 days, it would equal to annual GDP of Japan, Germany, India, France, UK and Canada all combined. Bravo Alibaba, well done, the world in shock is now fondling in own toolboxes looking for a screwdriver.
Nations without digital platforms in 2020 would look like nations without Internet in the nineties.
Which nations are ready? Ready to explore how national mobilization of entrepreneurialism on platform economies can uplift local grassroots prosperity, and if there are enough trade-groups, Chambers of Commerce, Trade Associations anxious to play on these AI centric digitally advanced and globally friendly market-places? Outside a miniscule number, around the world, out-dated trade-groups are in rapid transformation so they too would become shiny butterflies for the new global-age. Which nations are open to national debates?Can a nation declare top priority to discover its hidden and untapped talents of their citizenry? Can it demonstrate superior skills to mobilize small and medium businesses across the nation? Can it adopt continuous self-learning to foster occupational superiority for the nation? Can it isolate trade-wars and prioritize internal skills-wars as national agenda? Can it create national debates and bring trade-groups all under one umbrella?
Fact: The world can easily absorb unlimited exportable ideas in unlimited vertical markets. Fact: The well-designed innovative ideas are worthy of such quadrupled volumes. Fact: The entrepreneurial and dormant talents of a nation are capable of such tasks. Fact: The new global age skills, knowledge and execution are now the missing links
Three steps for Midsize Economy to advance on grassroots prosperity:
ONE: Identify 1000 to 100,000 small and midsize entrepreneurs within a nation, and create a national agenda to quadruple their performance on innovative excellence and exportability. Caution–this is not to be confused with old out-dated-old-data rather it requires the assembly of ultra-modern-digital and current-profiles of individual midsize enterprises within a nation.
TWO: Deploy digitization of top national trade associations and chambers of commences to upgrade to world-class digital platforms so that their entire membership can skate nationally and globally showcasing their goods and services. Caution–this is not to be confused with old websites with odd text and emails; this is more like LinkedIn format and ten times more richer information with colorful and highly interactive platforms.
THREE: Study Expothon Strategy and how over a decade it has perfected the model; observe how Worldbank also adopted similar approach with their well executed Econothon project. Expect some more serious deployments in this arena. Caution– this is not to be confused with a single award night; this is all about outstanding performance of the remaining 364 days of the year each filled with active and daily engagements.
Serious Questions: Was there ever a senior level national debate and authoritative discussion on such deep and specialized integrations? In the meantime outside minuscule percentages there are some 10,000 Chambers of Commerce of the world and 100,000 National Trade Associations uplifting thinking when it comes to advanced level digital platforms but still afraid about their future roles and return on investment on membership fees. They will all shine under new flags of creating new global bounce and prosperity.
By all means, such transformations are no easy task; but however, they are less dependent on new-funding but are heavily dependent on global-age-execution and strategic agenda
How to improve current status of the national issues: Nations are already flooded with massive innovations, but lack massive commercialization. Nations have over certifications and degrees but seriously lack business directions. Nations have empty incubators and exhausted accelerators like real estate projects. Nations have random economic development programs but often without mega punch. Focused and timely Round-tables and Cabinet Level discussions are always good starting points.
2020 is a great start for tabling pragmatic solutions and presenting a special series of exclusive programs on uplifting midsize economies of any nation so long there are large numbers of small and midsize enterprises. Special announcements on exclusive events and large scale digital platforms under planning announced very soon. Study very deeply on Google…
Copyright 2015-2019 Naseem Javed
The Blazing Revival of Bitcoin: BITO ETF Debuts as the Second-Highest Traded Fund
It seems like bitcoin is as resilient as a relentless pandemic: persistent and refusing to stay down. Not long ago, the crypto-giant lost more than half of its valuation in the aftermath of a brutal crackdown by China. Coupled with pessimism reflected by influencers like Elon Musk, the bitcoin plummeted from the all-time high valuation of $64,888.99 to flirt around the $30,000 mark in mere weeks. However, over the course of the last four months, the behemoth of the crypto-market gradually climbed to reclaim its supremacy. Today, weaving through national acceptance to market recognition, bitcoin could be the gateway to normalizing the elusive crypto-world in the traditional global markets: particularly the United States.
The recent bullish development is the launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF – the first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund – on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading under the ticker BITO, the Bitcoin ETF welcomed a robust trading day: rising 4.9% to $41.94. According to the data compiled by Bloomberg, BITO’s debut marked it as the second-highest traded fund, behind BlackRock’s Carbon fund, for the first day of trading. With a turnover of almost $1 billion, the listing of BITO highlighted the demand for reliable investment in bitcoin in the US market. According to estimates on Tuesday, More than 24 million shares changed hands while BITO was one of the most-bought assets on Fidelity’s platform with more than 8,800 buy orders.
The bitcoin continued to rally, cruising over the lucrative launch of BITO. The digital currency rose to $64,309.33 on Tuesday: less than 1% below the all-time high valuation. In hindsight, the recovery seems commendable. The growing acceptance, albeit, has far more consequential attributes. The cardinal benefit is apparent: evidence of gradual acceptance by regulators. “The launch of ProShares’ bitcoin ETF on the NYSE provides the validation that some investors need to consider adding BTC to their portfolio,” stated Hong Fang, CEO of Okcoin. In simpler terms, not only would the listing allow relief to the crypto loyalists (solidifying their belief in the currency), but it would also embolden investors on the sidelines who have long been deterred by regulatory uncertainty. Thus, bringing larger, more rooted institutional investors into the crypto market: along with a surge of capital.
However, the surging acceptance may be diluting the rudimentary phenomenon of bitcoin. While retail investors would continue to participate in the notorious game of speculation via trading bitcoin, the opportunity to gain indirect exposure to bitcoin could divert the risk-averse investors. It means many loyalists could retract and direct towards BITO and other imminent bitcoin-linked ETFs instead of setting up a digital custodianship. Ultimately, it boils down to Bitcoin ETFs being managed by third parties instead of the investor: relenting control to a centralized figure. Moreover, with growing scrutiny under the eye of SECP, the steps vaguely intimate a transition to harness the market instead of liberalizing it: quiet oxymoronic to the entire decentralized model of cryptocurrencies.
Nonetheless, the listing of BITO is an optimistic development that would draw skeptics to at least observe the rampant popularity of the asset class. While the options on BITO are expected to begin trading on the NYSE Arca Options and NYSE American Options exchanges on Wednesday, other futures-based Bitcoin ETFs are on the cards. The surging popularity (and reluctant acceptance) amid tightening regulation could prove a turn of an era for the US capital markets. However, as some critics have cited, BITO is not a spot-based ETF and is instead linked to futures contracts. Thus, the restrain is still present as the regulators do not want a repeat of the financial crisis. Nevertheless, bitcoin has proved its deterrence in the face of skepticism. And if the BITO launch is to be marveled at, then the regulations are bound to adapt to the revolution that is unraveling in the modern financial reality.
Is Myanmar an ethical minefield for multinational corporations?
Business at a crossroads
Political reforms in Myanmar started in November 2010 followed by the release of the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and ended by the coup d’état in February 2021. Business empire run by the military generals thanks to the fruitful benefits of democratic transition during the last decade will come to an end with the return of trade and diplomatic sanctions from the western countries – United States (US) and members of European Union (EU). US and EU align with other major international partners quickly responded and imposed sanctions over the military’s takeover and subsequent repression in Myanmar. These measures targeted not only the conglomerates of the military generals but also the individuals who have been appointed in the authority positions and supporting the military regime.
However, the generals and their cronies own the majority of economic power both in strategic sectors ranging from telecommunication to oil & gas and in non-strategic commodity sectors such as food and beverages, construction materials, and the list goes on. It is a tall order for the investors to do business by avoiding this lucrative network of the military across the country. After the coup, it raises the most puzzling issue to investors and corporate giants in this natural resource-rich country, “Should I stay or Should I go?”
Crimes against humanity
For most of the people in the country, war crimes and atrocities committed by the military are nothing new. For instances, in 1988, student activists led a political movement and tried to bring an end to the military regime of the general Ne Win. This movement sparked a fire and grew into a nationwide uprising in a very short period but the military used lethal force and slaughtered thousands of civilian protestors including medical doctors, religious figures, student leaders, etc. A few months later, the public had no better options than being silenced under barbaric torture and lawless killings of the regime.
In 2007, there was another major protest called ‘Saffron Uprising’ against the military regime led by the Buddhist monks. It was actually the biggest pro-democracy movement since 1988 and the atmosphere of the demonstration was rather peaceful and non-violent before the military opened live ammunitions towards the crowd full of monks. Everything was in chaos for a couple of months but it ended as usual.
In 2017, the entire world witnessed one of the most tragic events in Myanmar – Again!. The reports published by the UN stated that hundreds of civilians were killed, dozens of villages were burnt down, and over 700,000 people including the majority of Rohingya were displaced to neighboring countries because of the atrocities committed by the military in the western border of the country. After four years passed, the repatriation process and the safety return of these refugees to their places of origin are yet unknown. Most importantly, there is no legal punishment for those who committed and there is no transitional justice for those who suffered in the aforementioned examples of brutalities.
The vicious circle repeated in 2021. With the economy in free fall and the deadliest virus at doorsteps, the people are still unbowed by the oppression of the junta and continue demanding the restoration of democracy and justice. To date, Assistant Association for Political Prisoner (AAPP) reported that due to practicing the rights to expression, 1178 civilians were killed and 7355 were arrested, charged or sentenced by the military junta. Unfortunately, the numbers are still increasing.
Call for economic disengagement
In 2019, the economic interests of the military were disclosed by the report of UN Fact-Finding Mission in which Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) and Myanmar Economic Holding Limited (MEHL) were described as the prominent entities controlled by the military profitable through the almost-monopoly market in real estate, insurance, health care, manufacturing, extractive industry and telecommunication. It also mentioned the list of foreign businesses in partnership with the military-linked activities which includes Adani (India), Kirin Holdings (Japan), Posco Steel (South Korea), Infosys (India) and Universal Apparel (Hong Kong).
Moreover, Justice for Myanmar, a non-profit watchdog organization, revealed the specific facts and figures on how the billions of revenues has been pouring into the pockets of the high-ranked officers in the military in 2021. Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE), an another military-controlled authority body, is the key player handling the financial transactions, profit sharing, and contractual agreements with the international counterparts including Total (France), Chevron (US), PTTEP (Thailand), Petronas (Malaysia), and Posco (South Korea) in natural gas projects. It is also estimated that the military will enjoy 1.5 billion USD from these energy giants in 2022.
Additionally, data shows that the corporate businesses currently operating in Myanmar has been enriching the conglomerates of the generals and their cronies as a proof to the ongoing debate among the public and scholars, “Do sanctions actually work?” Some critics stressed that sanctions alone might be difficult to pressure the junta without any collaborative actions from Moscow and Beijing, the longstanding allies of the military. Recent bilateral visits and arm deals between Nay Pyi Taw and Moscow dimmed the hope of the people in Myanmar. It is now crystal clear that the Burmese military never had an intention to use the money from multinational corporations for benefits of its citizens, but instead for buying weapons, building up military academies, and sending scholars to Russia to learn about military technology. In March 2021, the International Fact Finding Mission to Myanmar reiterated its recommendation for the complete economic disengagement as a response to the coup, “No business enterprise active in Myanmar or trading with or investing in businesses in Myanmar should enter into an economic or financial relationship with the security forces of Myanmar, in particular the Tatmadaw [the military], or any enterprise owned or controlled by them or their individual members…”
Blood money and ethical dilemma
In the previous military regime until 2009, the US, UK and other democratic champion countries imposed strict economic and diplomatic sanctions on Myanmar while maintaining ‘carrot and stick’ approach against the geopolitical dominance of China. Even so, energy giants such as Total (France) and Chevron (US), and other ‘low-profile’ companies from ASEAN succeeded in running their operations in Myanmar, let alone the nakedly abuses of its natural resources by China. Doing business in this country at the time of injustice is an ethical question to corporate businesses but most of them seems to prefer maximizing the wealth of their shareholders to the freedom of its bottom millions in poverty.
But there are also companies not hesitating to do something right by showing their willingness not to be a part of human right violations of the regime. For example, Australian mining company, Woodside, decided not to proceed further operations, and ‘get off the fence’ on Myanmar by mentioning that the possibility of complete economical disengagement has been under review. A breaking news in July, 2021 that surprised everyone was the exit of Telenor Myanmar – one of four current telecom operators in the country. The CEO of the Norwegian company announced that the business had been sold to M1 Group, a Lebanese investment firm, due to the declining sales and ongoing political situations compromising its basic principles of human rights and workplace safety.
In fact, cutting off the economic ties with the junta and introducing a unified, complete economic disengagement become a matter of necessity to end the consistent suffering of the people of Myanmar. Otherwise, no one can blame the people for presuming that international community is just taking a moral high ground without any genuine desire to support the fight for freedom and pro-democracy movement.
The Covid After-Effects and the Looming Skills Shortage
The shock of the pandemic is changing the ways in which we think about the world and in which we analyze the future trajectories of development. The persistence of the Covid pandemic will likely accentuate this transformation and the prominence of the “green agenda” this year is just one of the facets of these changes. Market research as well as the numerous think-tanks will be accordingly re-calibrating the time horizons and the main themes of analysis. Greater attention to longer risks and fragilities is likely to take on greater prominence, with particular scrutiny being accorded to high-impact risk factors that have a non-negligible probability of materializing in the medium- to long-term. Apart from the risks of global warming other key risk factors involve the rising labour shortages, most notably in areas pertaining to human capital development.
The impact of the Covid pandemic on the labour market will have long-term implications, with “hysteresis effects” observed in both highly skilled and low-income tiers of the labour market. One of the most significant factors affecting the global labour market was the reduction in migration flows, which resulted in the exacerbation of labour shortages across the major migrant recipient countries, such as Russia. There was also a notable blow delivered by the pandemic to the spheres of human capital development such as education and healthcare, which in turn exacerbated the imbalances and shortages in these areas. In particular, according to the estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO) shortages can mount up to 9.9 million physicians, nurses and midwives globally by 2030.
In Europe, although the number of physicians and nurses has increased in general in the region by approximately 10% over the past 10 years, this increase appears to be insufficient to cover the needs of ageing populations. At the same time the WHO points to sizeable inequalities in the availability of physicians and nurses between countries, whereby there are 5 times more doctors in some countries than in others. The situation with regard to nurses is even more acute, as data show that some countries have 9 times fewer nurses than others.
In the US substantial labour shortages in the healthcare sector are also expected, with anti-crisis measures falling short of substantially reversing the ailments in the national healthcare system. In particular, data published by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), suggests that the United States could see an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, including shortfalls in both primary and specialty care.
The blows sustained by global education from the pandemic were no less formidable. These affected first and foremost the youngest generation of the globe – according to UNESCO, “more than 1.5 billion students and youth across the planet are or have been affected by school and university closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic”. On top of the adverse effects on the younger generation (see Box 1), there is also the widening “teachers gap”, namely a worldwide shortage of well-trained teachers. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), “69 million teachers must be recruited to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030”.
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