PositiveVibes

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By Dearbhla Gavin

The Bloomberg Good Business Conference took place last Tuesday at Bloomberg HQ in London. As ‘good business’ is a relatively new phenomenon, many attendees were understandably cautious yet intrigued as to what to expect.

For me, having been with Horyou for a year now and having a working knowledge of concepts like ‘sustainability’ and ‘social impact’, it was music to my ears.

In his opening remarks, Head of Bloomberg Media Adam Freeman alluded to socially conscious business and values driven behavior, all concepts so familiar to me. I thought it could be our Horyou CEO Yonathan Parienti up on the podium and immediately felt that not only would I learn a lot but possibly be able to contribute to discussions throughout the day.

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There was a diverse mix of panelists representing the full spectrum of industry, from social entrepreneurs to sustainability and from big corporations officers to professors; there were truly interactive and multidisciplinary discussions.

Rupert Younger, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation highlighted the importance of this interactive diversity, stating that it’s the ‘connectivity of stakeholder groups’ that can facilitate progress.

Other topics included the role of Government and policy in facilitating good business, the evolution of Formula E, harnessing new technology in motorsport and, my favorite of the day, how to attract and retain millennial talent.

As I technically come under the umbrella of ‘millennial’ (born between the late 1980’s and 1990’s), I could relate to everything that the panel expressed but what’s more, the subjects discussed got me excited like someone starting out in a career.

The heads of recruitment from Barclays, SAP and Ernst and Young gave their account on how they had to rapidly reform not only their recruitment policy but also the package that they offer to prospective employees in order to better compete with start-ups over attracting talent.

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Steering away from straight A’s in favor of evidence of community participation, the panelist insistence went to factors like flexitime and opportunity to test out the water in other departments: all things that companies have to consider in the race for talent. I can vouch for myself and everyone I know in saying that millennials will not work the same way as the previous generations.

We don’t want a job where we’re living for the weekend, we want a purposeful career, whether it is us benefiting individually or society as a whole.

We think and talk about our jobs outside of the office and we’re willing to put in the extra hours if it means a task get done but in return we want to feel valued, be granted mobility to work out of office if so we want and anything else that will encourage us giving our 100%.

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Overall,I thought this whole event was something more than just another conference on a rainy day in London. Distinguished businessmen, academics and journalists who gather at one of the world’s leading business news organizations is nothing new but what made this event different is its agenda. Talk of “maximizing profit” was replaced by “ESG” (environmental social governance) and “Dividends to shareholders” was replaced by “returns to society”.

This may all sound very Utopian; will CEO’s and shareholders really reform their bottom line and forgo monetary profits for doing good in society? The answer is surely yet to be found.

However, one of the main takeaways of the day was that it is not a zero sum game and there doesn’t need to be a choice. Doing good is actually good for business. The next generation of consumer and investor is demanding more from a company. They will give their support only to those who can show they are making a positive impact on society, whether they are choosing a more environment friendly way of doing business or simply are being more transparent with their workforce. Garnering clear support from stakeholders across all industry, the Bloomberg Good Business Conference was truly a sign of the times. It will take a concerted effort to make change but the will is there. I look forward to seeing how far we’ve come at the next BGBC.

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Each day we see the wonderful work of our Members, Personalities and Organizations on the Horyou platform. They are always Ready to Act! This week, we highlight the work and actions of great Organizations from Switzerland, Benin and Brazil.

Taking Astronomy to the World

Organization: GalileoMobile Location: Switzerland

The GalileoMobile is a non-profit organization. It is a science education initiative with the goal of bringing modern astronomy close to young people around the world. Created in 2009 with inspiration from the International Year of Astronomy 2009 it is currently run by astronomers, educators and science communicators. The initiative is six years old this year. This action post tells the story of its many inspiring achievements over the years, mainly in connecting people across South America. Discover this action post here.

By Amma Aburam

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Le Noel des enfants pour la paix

Organisation: L’Association Défis des Jeunes pour le Développement Lieu: Bénin

L’Association Défis des Jeunes pour le Développement a été créée dans le but de lutter contre la pauvreté et surtout de soutenir les jeunes dans l’accomplissement de leur devoir de pousser le Bénin vers l’avant. L’association répond aux besoins pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie dans l’économie, l’éducation, la culture, l’environnement et bien d’autres domaines. Leur action de cette semaine est en lien avec l’approche de la saison de Noël. Le Noël des enfants pour la paix en est sur sa cinquième Edition cette année. Le but de l’évènement est de créer un lieu de rencontre et d’animation pour les enfants et les jeunes qui n’ont pas la chance de fêter Noël comme ils le devraient. Découvrez et contribuez à cette action ici.

Par Amma Aburam

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Reciclar e reutilizar são dois dos 5 R’s da Sustentabilidade

Organização: Centro Social João da Costa Localização: Brasil

O Centro Social João da Costa existe há mais de 40 anos no Brasil. A instituição busca favorecer a formação integral do indivíduo com o compromisso de garantir prioridades socioeducativas voltadas para a promoção dos direitos de cidadania às crianças, adolescentes, jovens e adultos da comunidade e adjacências. Uma das atividades do Centro Social Dom João Costa é a oficina de Puff, que tem o intuito de ajudar o meio ambiente, retirando da natureza seus agentes prejudiciais e ao mesmo tempo, levar alegria e conforto paras as famílias que utilizam o produto. Para saber mais clique aqui.

Por Edriana Oliveira Major

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By Amma Aburam

We sat in a booth at the rear of the Fert Barton hall in Geneva, a gracefully and beautifully lit white exhibition space. At its center, a long sculpture representing passing people and beyond that hang two large size photographs by photographer Jean Jacques Dicker. The two photographs represent two rooms he lived in during his many travels – Dicker has visited 92 countries in his lifetime and he masters six languages. They were part of an exhibition that was to showcase the African continent. Well-chosen they represented the highlights from his two years travel on the continent, in 1977-1978 and then again in 1984, crossing from North to South Africa. Horyou seized a chance to talk to Mr. Dicker about his lifetime of travels and the stories behind his photos.

As he walks in, it is obvious that Jean Jacques Dicker is a child of the Hawaiian Islands. Wearing sandals, a tussled scarf and a light khaki jacket, he states his rebellion against the cold weather and his desire to return to his home in Honolulu, Hawaii. Born and raised in Switzerland, he studied at the University of Geneva before heading to Honolulu to study at the University of Hawaii. Today, he still lives and finds inspiration on the island as a waiter and a photographer.

Jean-Jacques Dicker and his wife Yuko Kamiyama
Jean-Jacques Dicker and his wife Yuko Kamiyama

The Afrique exhibition began on the 24th of November 2015 and will carry through to the 15th of January 2016. The photos tell the story of a well-travelled man, one that has found his “home” in many different places. Michel Auer, founder of The Auer Foundation, made the exhibition possible: “I have known Michel for many years and he decided to organize this exhibition for my work and that’s how I’m here,” Mr. Dicker utters. His photography career was triggered by one simple fact: “I wanted to travel,” he confesses. “I finished University and worked for a year then I travelled. I came back and took photo course because I figured if I could do that I could make a little money on the side.” Little did he know he had a natural talent with the camera. He got countless compliments for his work, learnt how to print, entered competitions and won awards: “I was flattered and enjoyed doing it, which is the most important part”, he admits.

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At the age of 71, Mr. Dicker has made his “home” in Kenya, Japan, South Africa, France, Switzerland and New York. We asked him about the highlights of some of these experiences, starting with the African continent. “In Africa, the highlights are the people, the relationships I built,” he says. One of the exposed photos is a shot of his room in Kenya, where you can tell he lived a simple life. It shows a simple bed and a simple coat hanging above the bed. He lived with prostitutes in Nairobi, as part of one of his photographic projects. Then, finally, he made it to South Africa: “travelling through the continent I crossed quite a few unsettling countries; but South Africa was the scary one. It’s what we had been hearing on the news: Mandela was in jail, apartheid was in full bloom and I was breaking the law because I had a black girlfriend when I was there.” Mr. Dicker didn’t let himself be influenced by the social and political state of affairs; he treated everyone equally and made life long friends thanks to his kind attitude: “I worked in a restaurant where the waiters were white and the assistants black. I would help them out, I would eat leftovers with them, they would ask if I didn’t mind eating with them and I would say of course not! I was from Europe and that was normal to me”, he recounts. Upon his departure, the assistants made a circle around him and told him he was the only white man they respected because of his humility and kindness.

In his South-Asian adventures he met with his aunt. An experience he relates with emotion, joy and awe just as if he was reliving it: “I met my Aunt who was French and who went to live in India about 40/50 years ago. I had lost touch with her since 1962 but I knocked on her door and said remember me I’m your sister’s son. That was fun. I met my nieces as well.” This experience was proof that we can find home in travelling as well.

Jean-Jacques Dicker with Michel Auer
Jean-Jacques Dicker with Michel Auer

Today, If there is still a place he would like to visit, it is Brazil; having missed the chance to go years ago. A hitch hiker at heart, in the sixties he took the road from San Diego to Mexico and then to different places for about 3 months: “I did that in 1966, back then it was all about flower power. I’m not sure what it would be like to do that today”, he adds.

Aside from his travels, Mr. Dicker keeps photography close to home. One of his recent series is comprised of portraits of restaurant workers, his colleagues back in Honolulu; a black and white series delicately highlighting the different personalities he encounters and works with everyday. “I’m not big on messages in my photography. I want to capture beauty and experiences for myself. If people like it, that’s even better,” he explains.

Mr. Dicker is a dreamer from the sixties: “I dream that there will be no religions, no nations and no flags. These are the things that separate people,” he declares passionately. For him inspiration simply resides in photography. He points to one of his photos of his bedroom in Kenya: “Hopefully, when you see that you are inspired to go live in a room like it or get on the road,” he says. He then points to a photo of a child on a boat on a river in Kenya as well: “look at that kid. I am so fortunate to have witnessed that and it was even more fun and special that he didn’t notice me taking the photo. He certainly made me so happy and maybe he will make others happy too.” To act for Mr. Dicker is to share his experiences through conversations such as this interview: “To act is to talk to you and say all these things about nations, flags and religions and if you put that in an article and someone is inspired or semi-thinks about it, that’s a good thing.”

His exhibition continues until the 16th of January at the Espace Fert Barton in Geneva.

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