Thursday, 30 December 2010

"Crisis as an opportunity": A speech of hope at the Graduation of the Nottingham Trend University

That was the theme of the speech of Mr. Costas Kataras, key-note speaker at the Graduation 2010 ceremony of the Nottingham Trend University, at the Goulandris Center in Athens,18/06/2010. Mr. Kataras suggested that although we are now living in turbulent times, a new set of opportunities emerge which will force the new graduates to develop new strategies for personal development and advancement that, finally, will lead to a prosperous carrier. A carrier beyond borders and with a cosmopolitan touch , a long tradition and competitive advantage of great business figures in the country. Hippocrates from the ancient times was suggesting that crisis is a prerequisite for the cure and life. In some other languages, the word crisis is the same as the word for opportunity. Of course, both the above ideas involve some element of danger or risk, that graduates must be prepare to embrace. Present at the ceremony were guests, graduates, diplomates and academics, including the Vice-Chancellor of the Nottingham Trend University, Prof Neil T. Gorman.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Action Plan for Corporate Social Responsibility, by the Danish Government

The action plan aims at promoting CSR and helping Danish businesses reap more benefits from being at the global vanguard of CSR. At the same time, the plan aims at strengthening the efforts to ensure that Denmark and Danish businesses are generally associated with responsible growth. The Government has a focus on business-driven CSR and internationally recognized principles - the UN Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
The action plan contains a total of 30 initiatives in four key areas. With such initiatives ( from 2008 but still so refreshing ), there is no wonder why the Danish corporations excelle in the world markets. You can find the Action Plan for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) here.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Scandinavian Paradox: Scandinavian countries lead also in the new BCNF well-being index

An interesting study for better measuring people’s well-being: the BCFN Index from Barilla Center. The BCFN Index takes as its premise that a country’s wellbeing depends on many different variables that cannot solely be attributed to economic aspects. Hence, GDP, which for years has been deemed a partial indicator in portraying the state of economic growth and wealth of a country and its citizens, is no longer sufficient because it does not contemplate a number of elements that contribute to the social wellbeing of people. Hence, the BCFN Index introduces a series of new factors: dietary choices and habits, lifestyle, pathology rates, educational level, access to technology, level of political participation, and welfare system. The rankings, determined on the basis of the BCFN Index parameters, is led by Sweden with 7.23 points (on a 10-point scale), followed by Denmark with 6.88. Japan is in third place with 6.61 points, followed by a trio with similar scores: France (5.90), UK (5.81), and Germany (5.57). Italy is seventh with 4.85 points, just ahead of Spain (4.51). The United States (3.88 points) are in second-to-last place, with only Greece behind them (last with 3.29 points). The complete version of the BCFN Index report is here, while the related press release here.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Sustainable solutions to significant business, economic, social and environmental challenges

No one needs to be reminded that we live in increasingly turbulent times. New and enduring economic, social and environmental challenges grow more visible and urgent by the day. New ideas and emerging technologies make it possible to do things that weren't possible before. The result is a new hope: opportunities for innovative leaders to develop and achieve breakthrough solutions to significant public problems. Our mission is to help these leaders to achieve sustainable solutions to significant social and environmental problems. We do this in two ways:
# We are part consulting firm (Strategic International), drawing on our talents of advising innovative leaders of organizations who have high aspirations for maximizing their impact.
# We are part think tank ( Costas Kataras Organisation), analyzing and anticipating important shifts in the rapidly changing context that leaders must navigate. In addition, we are a research driven entity. Learn more about our services. Download the brochures below (in PDF):# Marketing Communications Brochure ( Click here ) or/and # Corporate Brochure (Click here) . For more info, please contact Strategic International (London) at: 175 Scott Ellis Gardens Street, NW8 9RS, London (UK), Tel: (+ 44) 796 350659,

“Opportunistic Philanthropy” is the Clear Choice of Entrepreneurs ?

(27/11/2010) The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund ("Gift Fund") and Ernst & Young, recently released Entrepreneurs & Philanthropy: Investing in the Future, a comprehensive study which examines how entrepreneurs apply their personal passion for giving to their corporate philanthropy.

The survey of nearly 150 CEOs and founders, reveals that nine in 10 (89 percent) entrepreneurs donate money, both personally and through their companies, to support charitable causes, while 70 percent also donate their time. The majority (61 percent) of respondents believe that being an entrepreneur makes them more inclined to give to charity. Whether corporate or personal, entrepreneurs view "giving back" as an opportunity rather than an obligation.Read the executive summary here.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Healthy food is good for the environment, finds major think tank study

 A healthy diet also benefits the environment, according to a scientific study presented in Brussels today by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN). The study ‘Double Pyramid: Healthy Food for people, sustainable food for the planet’ indicates that foods with higher recommended consumption levels are also those with lower environmental impact. Contrarily, those foods with lower recommended consumption levels are also those with higher environmental impact. The “Double Pyramid” model combines the well-known food pyramid with the environmental pyramid, based on an estimation of the environmental impact of each foodstuff in terms of generation of greenhouse gases (Carbon Footprint), consumption of water resources (Water Footprint) and use of territory (Ecological Footprint). The study was presented during open debate at the European Parliament, organised by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) and hosted by Paolo De Castro, Member of the European Parliament (Socialists & Democrats, Italy). A large number of participants from the institutions, trade associations, businesses, and civil society gathered to discuss the topic of ‘Healthy Food, Healthy Planet’.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Some investments aren’t meant to make a profit.

The business of.. business isn’t only about profit. It’s about people. Particularly people who have made a difference. We often meet these people at moments when they feel at their most vulnerable or helpless. But it’s in such moments that the human spirit can shine through. That’s what this story is all about. The “ You Are The Big Picture” campaign pays tribute to these people in giant portraits designed to match the size of their compassion, resolve, determination or integrity. A great communications campaign by Aviva.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Is Internet making us stupid?

Do you think the Internet has altered you mind at the neuronal, cognitive, processing, emotional levels? Yes, no, maybe. Philosophers, scientists, writers, journalists reply to the Edge annual question 2010, in dozens of texts . In the summer of 2008, American writer Nicholas Carr published in the Atlantic Monthly an article under the title Is Google making us stupid?: What the Internet is doing to our brains, in which highly criticized the Internet’s effects on our intellectual capabilities. The article had a high impact, both in the media and the blogosphere. – the intellectual online salon – has now expanded and deepened the debate through its traditional annual challenge to dozens of the world’s leading thinkers of science, technology, thought, arts, journalism. The 2010 question is: “How is the Internet changing the way you think?" They reply that the Internet has made them (us) smarter, shallower, faster, less attentive, more accelerated, less creative, more tactile, less visual, more altruistic, less arrogant. That it has dramatically expanded our memory but at the same time made us the hostages of the present tense. The global web is compared to an ecosystem, a collective brain, a universal memory, a global conscience, a total map of geography and history. More than 120 scientists, physicians, engineers, authors, artists, journalists met the challenge.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Glass packaging respects planet’s natural resources and the …arts.

An exhibition, organized by FEVE, was held during the month of October 2010 in the premises of DG Enterprise of the European Commission(Breydel Building, Brussels). It aimed at reproducing the bottle-to-bottle production system of glass packaging., as glass is 100% and infinitely recyclable. At the end of its life, glass is collected and it can be recycled in the production of new bottles. Glass packaging is non-toxic and does not contain any chemical substances. It protects human health and it preserves products. The exhibition consisted of an artistic reproduction of two glass bottle banks and a piece reproducing the shelves of a supermarket. The stand was completed with four banners with some key messages on glass packaging. It was realized by a Belgian sculptor – Ladislas de Monge (