In a time where Europe sees increasing news coverage about migrants both inside (ex: Paris, Calais) and outside its borders (ex: Syria, Lybia), there is a worrying uptake of public hate speech on the internet and attacks on refugee shelters. Yesterday evening, in the German television news program Tagesschau, broadcast on the German public-service television network ARD, Anja Reschke made a 2-minute, important statement on German public TV: “Open Your Month, Show Attitude.” While anyone can have an opinion on the way – and the extent to which – countries should receive and help migrants, there a universal, important message in what she said. Here it is in English (links and bold passages added by myself). Continue reading →
Hello all, I would like to present you a project that we have with a friend: that of competing at Ironman France in June 2013 and – more importantly – raising funds for an NGO called Enfants du Mékong (Children of Mekong). Enfants du Mékong is a French NGO that focuses on helping the youth in South-East Asia, mostly by allowing people to sponsor a child’s education, but also by supporting local development projects like building schools (see map below in this post).
We will participate in the financing of a pre-school in Bou Sra (Cambodgia) which costs 13,500€ to run for 3 years. The more we collect, the easier it will be for Enfants du Mékong to set up the school there… I’d like you to help us achieve our funding goal! Continue reading →
Co-creation, which can be defined as the active, creative and social process of collaboration between producers and consumers, is definitely a trend. What started with pioneering initiatives in IT (Orange and Cisco), sports (Nike+Apple) or commodities (Starbucks) is now seen as a major transformation of business. A recent report showed that ALL surveyed firms considered co-creation to be key in the future, whether it be for innovation, marketing or distribution purposes. A German consultant, Achim Feige, created a matrix called “Good Business Matrix”, which describes businesses along 4 axes. In 2 of these 4 axes (brand community and brand performance), co-creation is considered to be the most advanced level… the “Good Brand”-level. Now are co-creating companies better companies than the others? Continue reading →
In a previous post about personal branding (in French), I mentioned the fact that some recruters leverage the gaming-platform World of Warcraft (WOW) to hunt for good managers. Think about it : multitasking, team management, organisation and communication skills… everything that we can find in job offers ! According to Jane McGonigal, we’re also more inclined to collaborate in game world than we are in real world. Knowing that collaboration and engagement seems to be the holy grail of a lot of companies out there (at least on paper), gaming might be a solution. Continue reading →
Merci au blog collaboratif Nous Les Geeks de m’avoir donné la parole au sujet du dernier livre que j’ai lu : Rêveurs, marchands et pirates, Que reste-t-il du rêve de l’internet (Joël Faucilhon, éditions Le Passager Clandestin). Un livre court, engagé et éclairé sur les nouveaux business-models du web qui sont, selon l’auteur, en contradiction avec l’idéal fondateur d’internet. Voici le post entier.
Céline Rouden, responsable du service politique du journal La Croix, a réuni pour ce livre Serge Papin, président vendéen de la coopérative de commerçants Système U, et Jean-Marie Pelt, fondateur de l’Institut européen d’écologie. Sur une petite centaine de pages, les deux hommes aux points-de-vue a priori opposés débatent de la société, de la consommation et de l’avenir de notre modèle de société. “Ce livre d’entretiens tente d’esquisser les voies de ce qui pourrait être […] une société de l’après-consommation“, précise l’auteure dans l’introduction.
It’s exam period at UWF and I am studying my various courses : Marketing Strategy, Information Sources for Business Decisions, International Business and Current Social Problems. In the course material of the two last ones, I read content that made me want to watch that documentary I had heard about a couple of times now : Prison Valley. While we extensivelly discusses the crime issue in our Current Social Problems-class, the part of our International Business-class about privatization of public services as a way of achieving growth in global service industries (like prison management) pushed me to type http://prisonvalley.arte.tv/ into my browser. Here’s what it’s about… and what I think about it.
In Cañon City, Colorado (36,000 inhabitants, 13 prisons), prisons are part of people’s daily lives. There’s even a sense of pride to being host-city of this industry : orange, the color of the inmates’ uniforms, is overrepresented on the streets. The Riviera Motel, in which David Dufresne and Philippe Brault, the two producers of the web-documentary, stayed during their journey, is all orange.
One in six employees of Colorado’s Department of Corrections works in the small Fremont County, the county of Cañon City. But the importance of the prison industry is not a local, nor a statewide specificity : it is a national issue. While in Germany there are 93 prisoners per 100,000 country residents and in France they are 103 per 100,000 people, in the United States they are 750 ! This is more than 1 in 100 adults… I see this as a social problem, and some of Canon City’s inhabitants share the same opinion, including the sheriff. However, this stream of prisoners brings jobs to this small city too, and they’re recession-proof jobs too.
But, with 13 prisons in a single county, there must be more than just philantropy towards the locals. In the county, public prisons are mixed to private, or for-profit prisons. Not that the State of Colorado stopped building prisons… in fact, there’s one new facility currently being finalized and supposed to open in August 2010 : Colorado State Penitentiary II. Lobbyists working for private companies have convinced the State the following deal : the private sector finances the construction of the facility, and the State provides a constant flow of inmates to be held in jail. Sounds crazy, but that’s basically how the system works. Of course, the longer the prisonners’ stay, the more money goes to the (private) prison-facility. And the documentary points out another side of the system : inmate labor. For example, all of Colorado’s license plates are manufactured in the State’s prisons. It’s one of the best paid jobs for inmates, they make 50$ a month stamping them. Some of the new state prison’s cells are also welded and assembled by inmates of the Fremont Correctional Facility, and that’s how the circle closes : prison inmates (employed by Unicor, which is the trade name of the Federal Prison Industries) provide cheap labor to build for-profit prisons ; in other words, the customer becomes the supplier, who provides labor at unbeatable prices.
In Europe, prisoners work too, but outsourcing the whole prison management seems unthinkable to us Europeans. We might not have the best system either. In France, for instance, prisons are so overcrwded that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture calls in “inhuman and degrading treatment“. The web-documentary utilizes the potential of the web2.0 to educate us about the social problem of crime and, more specifically, emprisonment. You don’t have to visit every discussion forum that is proposed to you between the different parts of the movie, nor do you have to read one of the explanatory websites that give deeper insight into the movie’s subject. But it is definitelly worthwhile watching… just don’t grab a bowl of popcorn, because this web-documentary is designed to be (very) interactive.