Posts by sheilasingapore

I am a Strategy Development Consultant working with sectoral, national and regional leaders develop the confidence and habits they need to make a systemic impact on growing their nation and economies. My practice spans 25 years. More here: https://sheilasingapore.blog/introduction/about/

When Nature Speaks … Rare Genetic Diseases

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

Contact: +267-75987534 / parcforlos@gmail.com

When the World Speaks … The Global Village

(Comming Soon)

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

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When Nature Speaks … Erratic Weather Systems / Global Warming

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

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When Community Speaks … Wars

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

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When Nature Speaks … the Animal Generation

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

Contact: +267-75987534 / parcforlos@gmail.com

When Nature Speaks … Plant Generation

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

Contact: +267-75987534 / parcforlos@gmail.com

When the Community Speaks … the Marriage Institution and Family

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

Contact: +267-75987534 / parcforlos@gmail.com

When the Community Speaks … Crime

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

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When Nature Speaks … Non-communicable Health Concerns

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

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When Nature Speaks … Communicable Diseases

As part of upcoming projects. Contact us if you want to commission us to do a systemic study in this subject area.

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When The Economy Speaks … Reversing National Unemployment Statistics

6 Things For A National Leader To Do

https://medium.com/series/when-the-economy-speaks-cdb62e49ad36

Peter looks down at his high school examination results transcript for the first time. It is not a pretty picture. He had been praying hard the results that would peer back at him would be different but he also knew deep down that it may not. He had been dreading this moment. It has arrived.

Still, he had wished for otherwise. He is a bright student. But it had not been an easy past few years. He had just lost his older sibling to a debilitating illness. They had been very close to each other. He is also dauntingly aware his parents are not close to each other and fears they may find other partners and break-up. What would that mean as a family? Where would he seek his counsel? Will he be intruding? That bothers him.

Turning his eyes back at the results, he knows he can do much better than what he sees. The reality is dawning at him. He is facing it squarely. These results are not going to help him get into his dream course at the university of his choice. It hurts him. What should he do now?

Suddenly he is remembering that he has to announce these results to his family. He has been known to be the one with a sound head on his shoulders. But now. With this. What would they think of him? Maybe they would not ask. He consoles himself.

But they did. He chose to keep quiet. Perhaps they will understand. He hopes. But meanwhile, he needs to come up with a strategy. Fast. So that his peers do not leave him behind.

He thinks.

He needs to get grades. Good grades. Fast. What subjects will help him do so? French. Perhaps. Grades that would help him put his foot through the door of a tertiary institution. What can he do so that he can catch up with his peers in the shortest possible time? He has the coming summer months to do so.

What jobs are out there that he should prepare for? He really did like the sounds of the field of nautical engineering. He had really enjoyed seeing and fiddling in the cockpit of a cruise ship during one of his summer vacations. It had made him feel happy and come alive. And he loves his Maths and Physics. But he has been told that manufacturing here is not a big deal in terms of jobs. What should he do? How should he decide?

Are his days of plain-sailing through life over? Will he face the same dilemmas when he out there in the big wide world looking for a job? With only four jobs available for every ten working age population, what will become of his chances with not so great grades? Supply of labour is now outstripping the demand for labour. Will jobs become too slim for his picking?

He will need to figure this out. He needs time. But does he have the time?

We all know a story like this.

One way or another.

And so. Here is the situation. You are now charged as the Head of this State. What would you do to turn around the situation?

Run, you say? Oh, you did not say that. Good! Invite more investors, locals as well as foreigners, to invest in the country?

Your predecessors have done that. Poured trillions for decades over with the help of past heads of states and a cabinet of citizen representatives. Yet, widespread unemployment today, has grown to now prevail at 60%! How did that happen?

You say perhaps “they” have not done enough. That you will do more than them. That is possible. For how long would you do more of the same? What went wrong? What else could we do?

Some measures are drastic and feels more like a bitter pill to swallow. But I hope it will make the tough actions we would need to take instead become easier to bear with. So here goes.

1. “EXPORT” UNEMPLOYMENT

Don’t have an agricultural and manufacturing bases? It has been too hard to build them? Well, no worries. Export unemployment at the same rate that we have been importing manufactured goods and the raw materials that were produced so that the unemployed follow the money you have spent buying them from outside the county (or the region).

2 “MATCH” BIRTHS TODAY TO JOB CREATION TOMORROW

If you know we will make more jobs tomorrow, go forth and multiply. But if you know, that we will not, … well, you get the drift.

A runaway population just means runaway unemployment figures that becomes hard to manage.

Supply of labour does not come from our education “system”. It is as the result of rates of births, not today, not just last year but from twenty years back. This is the time it takes for a young person to mature and readies himself for the job market.

Of course, it becomes tricky matching what happens in the bedroom today to the decisions we make in the boardroom twenty years on. The only consolation we can make is, the one who “creates” the child is the same one who plans today to “create” those jobs tomorrow. Well, no, I was not talking about God.

It is you and I. We needed to believe that we can create companies that can create those jobs for our children tomorrow. Companies are more than about hustling for clients to make money for us today or a shell to be used and discarded when we got what we need today. They are meant to create a legacy that makes jobs tomorrow. So, do you believe you can do that?

3 NATIONAL & COMMUNITY DIALOGUES AS FAMILIES Q: what allows industries to grow?

The decisions we make as nations and as families are strongly intertwined.

The decisions to be skilled for the agriculture and manufacturing sector bases are happening within families and households But the data used to inform the decision is based on what they would hear and say is happening “out there”.

If we think the population is not skilled to do manufacturing and in turn as families we think the country is not doing enough to create jobs in manufacturing then there right there, we have a lose-lose situation as a nation.

So make the intentions and the reasons clear and talk through the concerns surrounding the issue and figure a way to share the information as a nation. If countries around the world today can do grocery shopping online, this is not as big a step as we believe it to be.

4 CONSTRUCT REGIONAL MATRIX-ED GOODS VALUE CHAINS MAP

Get your backyard in order. Know what you want and go for it.

Figure what the latticed structure of chains of raw material supplies that are driven by what customers need as a region looks like and develop a vibrant agricultural and manufacturing bases:
– Do not be led by products that you have but rather focus on what customers want when building the matrix. Construct a map.
– Identify how one good feeds into another cost-effectively for end-customer needs within the local, regional and the global markets
– Know what is available. And what is not.
– Forget the who has what at this point. That is for a later stage when the map is completed.
– Focus on identifying critical processes on the chains, those if unavailable would stall the development of the production and the chains.
– Do not wait for another region to develop their maps and approach the country or the region to conduct the manufacturing for them. You will lose the clout you would need in managing the process and gaining value.

When the mapping is complete, you now have a working document to get your act together and move forward as a nation and the region.

5 ALIGN AND BUILD HUMAN RESOURCES

Align and, where needed, develop human resource skills dedicated to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors with a particular emphasis on acquiring both core across the nation and advanced skills in English, Mathematics and Science, particularly with Physics and Chemistry, that makes them resilient & inclusive in the two sectors.

6 BUILD UP THE PYRAMID OF THE ECONOMY

Concerted setup of corporations in the sub-sectors of: the agriculture (crop or plant / raw material production) and manufacturing that fits in with the regional industry value chain matrix map and schedule.

Economies that rely heavily on extraction industries will have large pockets of unemployment that continue to persist in the nation. These industries gross high returns but they do so by employing fewer people and more machines to keep costs of operations under control and growth of the industry. This way the GDP would certainly look good (but not the food on our tables, which is the real GDP).

Machines do not create jobs for the unemployment rates.

Plant and animal based primary production and manufacturing economic sectors when well-developed have greater potential for creating and absorbing significant employment. Extraction based industries are typically technology driven and has lower capacity for employment of human resources.

As the nation shifts its focus to production, particularly in plants, it will learn to mitigate climate effects country-by-country that would allow the region to produce consistently throughout the year to keep the manufacturing sector humming.

Invite regional and global industry leaders global industry leaders or; incentivise and groom local captains of industry (by long-term overseas stints) to lead, chart and build the sub-sectors bottoms-up including from within households and education sectors.

When The Economy Speaks … Growing Economic Sectors

Iceberg Systemic Story of Unemployment
Seeing Economies Grow Systemically

When Nature Speaks …. by “wildlife”

The word “wildlife” conjures images of beings (life) that are aggressive (wild) when provoked or otherwise. 

It must therefore, mean that wildlife carries out actions largely based on instinct and emotions and are therefore incapable of basing their actions on carefully thought-out and executed plan.

In part it is our fault.  We tend to portray them in the media (newspapers, the internet and, TV) showing highlights of their wild streaks due in part to the audience appeal such news creates (google turned up 372,000 video postings  of ‘enraged elephants’).

So, is the reverse true?  That wildlife is capable of executing a well-thought plan?  Well, here you are about to see in nature, ideas that is flipped on its head.  It has been altered so profoundly that up is down, left is right, and a person’s expectations have been completely overwhelmed.

Some facts first.

Population.  At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 450,000 – 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 – 40,000 wild Asian elephants.

Most captives are endangered Asian elephants; African bush elephants and African forest elephants are less amenable to training (quite possibly testament to a historical hostile relationship between man and elephants).  Animal rights organizations estimate there are 15,000 to 20,000 elephants in captivity worldwide.

That brings the total number of elephants today to about 500,000.   Half a million.

Poaching-Elephants-South-Africa-1980-2017
Level of Poaching in southern Africa not including figures from Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe
HECCausalLoop
Systemic Causal Structure of the Human-Elephant Conflict

What kinds of data in your view are needed to affirm
if the above causal structure exists?

This would be classic Law #8 of dynamic complexities.   Controversial but very simple.  Small changes can produce big results.  But the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious.  What is an obvious solution, is not the of the highest leverage.  It will only come at a huge price to us.

The leverage solution, on the other hands, may not mean as great news as yet for you as the citizens but you would soon realize that the power to change the course of this story, poignant as it would be, lies also in your own hands.  But the key point is, that this is not as helpless out-of control situation as you may think.

Think of how you may react  within the systemic structure, so that you may control the outcome that you desire and yet, funnily enough, would not cost the system and can be set into action, right away.

Now, that is what is called real empowerment.

SHORT EXPLANATORY NOTES:

How do they lose populations?

  • Elephants or wildlife in general risk losing its populations in various ways.  In more ways, than we imagine:  It may be as a result of:

    • it being inflicted by diseases,
    • natural calamities or those made by man (such as floods, fires and so on),
    • poaching or hunting,
    • culling or,
    • simply as a consequence of lost access to habitat, food and shelter from humans encroaching their traditional habitats.
  • Just because the elephants had moved away from a land (often in search of water and food), it often would not mean they have given up their homes.  They do return.  Remember, elephants have fantastic memories.

The impact of increased levels of death on the elephant population are as follows:

  • When mammals become increasingly sexually active they produce female offsprings.  Nature reads heightened sexual activity as the species needs to replace for lost populations and so it does this by producing females to make the correction possible in as short a time as possible.

What happens with increased sexual activity?

  • Female parents do not determine the gender of their offspring since they only produce carriers (eggs) with the X chromosomes.  They, however, determine the time-ness (or frequency) of the conception of the offspring.
  • The gender of the offspring is determined by the extent the male parent produces sperms with both the X and the Y chromosomes.
  • When, however, the male becomes sexually active, he produces at first ‘Y’ chromosomes, and then increasingly produces more carriers (sperms) with the ‘X’ chromosomes.
  • When the two genders reacts this way, nature is designed to take in the information that an increased level of sexual activity is a signal that the population has a need to replace itself.

What do you think would be the impact of increased levels of elephant population on human activities?

  • Unfortunately, when human communities are unable to ‘learn’ ‘from the elephants’ that this may be happening so for them, and so, if their response to increased population numbers is to cull or hunt them down, what do you think would happen next in the war of conflicts that exists between humans and elephants?
  • Will, in your view, hunting and culling them effectively reduce the conflict  over time, between the two?
  • There is more to interfering with the population of other life forms in protecting it for commercial (tourism or adversely for their ivory) reasons than meets the eye.

SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

What should we start doing?  Stop doing?  Continue doing?

A STORY OF INTEREST:

In one instance, when I was in the middle of sharing the ideas of the above systemic structure to a group of persons, the reaction by one person in the group was, are elephants really that smart?  Would they actually consider increasing their sexual activities to compensate for losses in their population?  Of course, I can understand that reaction.

How far do you agree to this idea of thought?  Why does that happen?

For more of the full story: Be calm.  Love an elephant.  The gentle giants.

When Nature Speaks … Wildlife. Be calm. Love an elephant. What everybody should know about these gentle giants.

 

Quote2

That is … until you see them return to
the lands and vegetation we have
encroached into, when we settled in their habitat.

When elephants leave their habitats for
their watering holes, for however long,
it does not mean they have resettled.

And so, it becomes hard for us to
imagine the way a child intuitively
understands these gentle giants.  Instead, …

When we think of elephants, we conjure up
images of majesty and aggression!

ARTICLE OUTLINE:

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Facts about elephants
    • The impact elephants have on the ecology
    • Historical reasons for the demise of elephants
  3. FAQS ABOUT HUNTING:
    • What is fuelling human’s obsession for hunting?
    • Why men trophy hunt?
  4. FAQs ABOUT POACHING:
    • About the elephants
    • About the tusk
    • About the poachers and the trade
    • About the end consumer
  5. Beijing master ivory carvers cling to their trade
  6. Who is the silent voice and what does it say?

Population. At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 450,000 – 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 – 40,000 wild Asian elephants.  Most captives are endangered Asian elephants; African bush elephants and African forest elephants are less amenable to training.  Animal rights organizations estimate there are 15,000 to 20,000 elephants in captivity worldwide. That brings the total number of elephants today to about 500,000.   Half a million.

The real question is, what would you do if it had been the global human population that has been decimated by up to three quarters of its numbers by another species?  And you are left with a quarter of you!

0.12957800_1460631700_27-20160430-l

 

INTRODUCTION

Elephants are among the most intelligent of the creatures with whom we share the planet, with complex consciousnesses that are capable of strong emotions.  Across Africa they have inspired respect from the people that share the landscape with them, giving them a strong cultural significance.  As icons of the continent elephants are tourism magnets, attracting funding that helps protect wilderness areas.  They are also keystone species, playing an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems in which they live.

Attribution:  http://www.savetheelephants.org/about-elephants-2-3-2/importance-of-elephants/

 

What is the spiritual meaning of an elephant?

Symbolic Elephant Meaning. … Symbolic elephant meaning deals primarily with strength, honor, stability and tenacity, among other attributes.  To the Hindu way of thought, the elephant is found in the form of Ganesha who is the god of luck, fortune, protection and is a blessing upon all new projects.

 

What does elephant symbolize?

Many African cultures revere the African Elephant as a symbol of strength and power.  It is also praised for its size, longevity, stamina, mental faculties, cooperative spirit, and loyalty.  South Africa, uses elephant tusks in their coat of arms to represent wisdom, strength, moderation and eternity.
 
 
DIY-frame-Majestic-African-Elephant-mammal-Animal-Art-Fabric-Poster-Print-Picture.jpg_640x640

 

 

What hunts the elephant?

Elephants generally do not have predators (animals that eat them) due to their massive size. Newborn elephants are however vulnerable to attacks from lions,tigers, and hyenas. The biggest danger to elephants are humans; elephants have been hunted for their tusks to near extinction in some cases.Oct 8, 2015
 

Yet, today they stand at the brink on its way of being wiped out.  Paving the way for the last man standing.  The man.

Yet, did you know that ….

 
 
  

As you read the article, notice the elephant (what we know about them: the facts, the emotions, the money trail, the larger-than-life images this animal conjures in our minds) that this majestic animal has brought into the room … and then, notice what is the “elephant that is not in the room”?

What do you think that is?  There right there, is our leverage.

 

BASIC FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS

Habitat loss is one of the key threats facing elephants. Many climate change projections indicate that key portions of elephants’ habitat will become significantly hotter and drier, resulting in poorer foraging conditions and threatening calf survival. Increasing conflict with human populations taking over more and more elephant habitat and poaching for ivory are additional threats that are placing the elephant’s future at risk.

Elephant, © Geoff Hall

 

© Geoff Hall

Defenders of Wildlife is working through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to maintain a ban on the sale of ivory as well as on regulations that govern worldwide elephant protection.

Of the two species, African elephants are divided into two subspecies (savannah and forest), while the Asian elephant is divided into four subspecies (Sri Lankan, Indian, Sumatran and Borneo). Asian elephants have been very important to Asian culture for thousands of years – they have been domesticated and are used for religious festivals, transportation and to move heavy objects.

Diet

Staples: Grasses, leaves, bamboo, bark, roots. Elephants are also known to eat crops like banana and sugarcane which are grown by farmers. Adult elephants eat 300-400 lbs of food per day.

Population

At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 450,000 – 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 – 40,000 wild Asian elephants.

Range

African savannah elephants are found in savannah zones in 37 countries south of the Sahara Desert. African forest elephants inhabit the dense rainforests of west and central Africa. The Asian elephant is found in India, Sri Lanka, China and much of Southeast Asia.

Behaviour

Elephants form deep family bonds and live in tight matriarchal family groups of related females called a herd. The herd is led by the oldest and often largest female in the herd, called a matriarch. Herds consist of 8-100 individuals depending on terrain and family size. When a calf is born, it is raised and protected by the whole matriarchal herd. Males leave the family unit between the ages of 12-15 and may lead solitary lives or live temporarily with other males.

Elephants are extremely intelligent animals and have memories that span many years. It is this memory that serves matriarchs well during dry seasons when they need to guide their herds, sometimes for tens of miles, to watering holes that they remember from the past. They also display signs of grief, joy, anger and play.

Recent discoveries have shown that elephants can communicate over long distances by producing a sub-sonic rumble that can travel over the ground faster than sound through air. Other elephants receive the messages through the sensitive skin on their feet and trunks. It is believed that this is how potential mates and social groups communicate.

Reproduction

Mating Season: Mostly during the rainy season.

Gestation: 22 months.
Litter size: 1 calf (twins rare).
Calves weigh between 200-250 lbs at birth. At birth, a calf’s trunk has no muscle tone, therefore it will suckle through its mouth. It takes several months for a calf to gain full control of its trunk.

Abstract from: https://defenders.org/elephant/basic-facts

 

The Impact Elephants have on the Ecology

Elephants are the keystone species of their habitat.

The planet earth is inhabited by diverse array of living organisms such as microorganisms, plants, animals and human beings which collectively constitute the biodiversity.  Each and every element of the living component of the system has its own role, either positive or negative, to play as a system component. So preservation and conservation of living organisms, whether they are tiny or large, become immense important in playing beneficial role in maintaining biodiversity.

Mega-herbivorous animal such as elephant has major impact on the terrestrial ecosystems in which they live and thus on the animals that depend on these habitats.  Elephant can be referred as “keystone species” because it facilitates:

    • Feeding by other herbivores that disperse seeds and supports large assemblages of invertebrates, such as dung beetles, and

 

    • Lower plants such as algae and fungi apart from enriching soil nutrients through dung piles.

 

    • These algae and fungi are preferred nutrient plants for some reptiles such as monitor lizard and star tortoise in the semiarid tropical forests.

 

    • Dung beetle accumulation attracts many insectivorous birds.

 

    • Dung deposition into water holes is being benefited to the Pisces and amphibians.

 

  • Wherever they live, elephants leave dung that is full of seeds from the many plants they eat. When this dung is deposited the seeds are sown and grow into new grasses, bushes and trees, boosting the health of the savannah ecosystem.
  • Seed dispersal through alimentary canal induces germination and survival capacity of the seedlings to maintain the forest heterogeneity; some species rely entirely upon elephants for seed dispersal.

Elephant also does some of the silvicultural practices such as

  • Creation of paths in dense forest.  When forest elephants eat, they create gaps in the vegetation. These gaps allow new plants to grow and create pathways for other smaller animals to use.
  • On the savannahs, elephants feeding on tree sprouts and shrubs help to keep the plains open and able to support the plains game that inhabit these ecosystems.
  • Maintenance of grazing lawns and height of the trees and thinning in thick vegetation cover to keep the sustainable utility of the forest.
  • Identification of subsoil water and natural salt licks through elephants’ strong sense is also shared by the other animals especially the herbivores for which intake of minerals from the natural soil is most important for many physiological activities.
  • During the dry season, elephants use their tusks to dig for water. This not only allows the elephants to survive in dry environments and when droughts strike, but also provides water for other animals that share harsh habitats.

The pachyderm (a very large mammal with thick skin, especially an elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus) is under severe threat due to various conservation problems such as loss of habitat (see example below that of forest cover in Sumatra), habitat quality and corridors, reduction of home range, population increase, impact of developmental activities, human-elephant conflict issues and poaching for ivory.  Among the factors, some of them may be responsible for major proportions, and some of them involve less proportion.  But these are the reasons listed as conservation problems for the long-run conservation of elephants.

Abstract from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-10-6605-4_16

sumatra-forest-cover-province

 

 

Historically, trade and capture are responsible for elephants’ demise

Since the Proboscidea originated 60 million years ago, the order has included some 10 families, 45 genera and 185 species and subspecies, in a spectacular diversity of forms.  The African (Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) existing today are the sole remnants of that remarkable evolutionary radiation.  Representing a tiny fraction of their former numbers, the living elephants survive in only small pockets of the land they once roamed.  In many areas elephant populations have already gone extinct or are highly endangered.

Over centuries legal and illegal hunting (“poaching”) for the commercial ivory trade and, in Asia, the capture of elephants for human use, have been largely responsible for the elephant’s demise.  The number of wild Asian elephants now comprise less than a tenth of all remaining elephants, and continue to decline in shrinking habitat.  In Africa, elephants once inhabited the entire continent, from the Mediterranean down to its southern tip, but the ivory trade coupled with human expansion caused a continental decline in their numbers.  By circa 1600 North Africa was devoid of elephants. In modern Africa, poaching for ivory has been fuelled by poverty, political instability and civil unrest coupled with the easy availability of arms.  In recent history, between 1979 and 1989, Africa’s elephants underwent a dramatic and devastating decline, falling from approximately 1.3 million animals to an estimated 609,000. Human greed and rising prices of ivory were responsible for the appalling slaughter.

African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are imperiled by poaching and habitat loss.  Despite global attention to the plight of elephants, their population sizes and trends are uncertain or unknown over much of Africa.  To conserve this iconic species, conservationists need timely, accurate data on elephant populations.

Abstract from: https://www.elephantvoices.org/threats-to-elephants/-killed-for-their-ivory.html

There is an estimated population of 352,271 savannah elephants on study sites in 18 countries, representing approximately 93% of all savannah elephants in those countries.  Elephant populations in survey areas with historical data show it has decreased by an estimated 144,000 from 2007 to 2014, and populations are currently shrinking by 8% per year continent-wide, primarily due to poaching.  Though 84% of elephants occurred in protected areas, many protected areas had carcass ratios that indicated high levels of elephant mortality.  Results of the GEC show the necessity of action to end the African elephants’ downward trajectory by preventing poaching and protecting habitat.

Abstract from: https://peerj.com/articles/2354/

FAQs ON HUNTING

What is fuelling the obsession of trophy hunting poaching?

Why are savagery and violence so omnipresent among humans?
 
We suggest that hunting behaviour is fascinating and attractive, a desire that makes temporary deprivation from physical needs, pain, sweat, blood, and ultimately the willingness to kill tolerable and even appetitive.
 
Evolutionary development into the “perversion” of the urge to hunt humans, that is to say the transfer of this hunt to members of one’s own species, has been nurtured by the resultant advantage of personal and social power and dominance.  While breakdown of the inhibition towards intra-specific killing would endanger any animal species, controlled inhibition was enabled in humans in that higher regulatory systems, such as frontal lobe-based executive functions, prevent the involuntary derailment of hunting behaviour.
 
If this control – such as in child soldiers for example – is not learnt, the brutality towards humans remains fascinating and appealing.  Blood must flow in order to kill.  It is hence an appetitive cue as is the struggling of the victim.
 
Hunting for men, more rarely for women, is fascinating and emotionally arousing with the parallel release of testosterone, serotonin and endorphins, which can produce feelings of euphoria and alleviate pain. Bonding and social rites (e.g. initiation) set up the contraints for both hunting and violent disputes.  Children learn which conditions legitimate aggressive behaviour and which not.  Big game hunting as well as attack of other communities is more successful in groups – men also perceive it as more pleasurable.  This may explain the fascination with gladiatorial combat, violent computer games but also ritualized forms like football.
 
(Blog Author’s Note:  And as such conjures notions such as the “last man standing”  must necessarily therefore mean someone is more strong or witty than the rest who did not stay around to remain standing as he could.  Therefore, as such (in conclusion) no one, not his mother or his wife say he is ‘therefore not man enough’ for her.)
 

 

WHY MEN TROPHY HUNT: SHOWING OFF AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SHAME

Prominent evolutionary anthropologists (Brian Codding and Kristen Hawkes from the University of Utah) have studied hunter-gatherer populations for decades.

Interestingly, analyses of the types of animals hunter-gatherer men target are very similar in that they are often the largest animals in the landscape.  Importantly, they are also animals with high ‘failure rates’.  That is, men are likely to come home empty handed from hunting.  This is very different from women hunters, who target smaller animals that they are more assured to acquire and bring home as food.

On that hunt, on a lake outside Tampa, I met Jay, a hugely successful New York photographer and author, who said, “I watched Romancing The Stone as a kid. In the movie, Michael Douglas kills a crocodile and turns it into a pair of cowboy boots. That’s what I’m here. I want to wear a pair of cowboy boots and to be able to say to my friends, ‘I killed these’”.

And kill them he did, from a flat-bottomed boat after he first harpooned it with a buoy tied to a rope so it couldn’t swim away, making Jay holler “this is like something out of Jaws!”

Men who target these large, difficult-to-acquire animals, therefore, signal to others that they can absorb the costs of an inefficient behaviour.  It signals that they have high-quality underlying mental and physical characteristics to be able to absorb such costs.

This ‘costly signalling’ to which it’s referred in the evolutionary literature, provides a way for men to accrue status. And status is universally important for men to ward off competition and attract mates. (I’ll note here that hunter-gatherer populations consume the animals they kill, unlike most trophy hunters.  In no way do I advocate any opposition to the ways in which Indigenous peoples earn their livelihood).

What are your major messages?

We believe this ‘costly signalling’ model applies equally well to trophy hunters from the developed world. By paying big bucks to trophy hunt, or even forgoing smaller individuals within populations to wait for chances at the very biggest, imposes costs on trophy hunters. And it’s prestigious to signal that you can absorb these costs.  In other words, trophy hunters, whether they realize it or not, are likely hunting for status.  It’s like driving a luxury car, though in this case the lives of animals are taken.

How do your findings extend and differ from what others have written about trophy hunting?

People, including me, were confused as to why men do this.  Are they sick in the head? Bloodthirsty?  Some believe that these are appropriate terms.  For me, this evolutionary explanation goes deeper and asked, why did this behaviour evolve?  We think we offer a good explanation.

Some might argue, ‘Well, if this is natural behaviour, then it’s justified’.  I believe this is a dangerous argument referred to as the naturalistic fallacy.   My colleague and mentor, Dr. Paul Paquet of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, makes this abundantly clear by reminding us, “Trophy hunting can neither be justified for being natural nor as an aid to help populations, given the enormous costs paid by individual animals – their lives.”

How might one apply what you found to put a stop to this reprehensible practice that some claim they do “in the name of conservation”?

One interesting observation post-Cecil (the lion’s death by trophy hunting) is that demand for lion hunting has declined owing to prohibitions on transporting the remains on planes, etc.  If hunters cannot bring the trophies home to boast with, then they have no costly signal.

 

 

FAQs ON THE POACHERS

The Elephant

How many elephants are killed by poachers every year?

100 Elephants are killed per day.  The U.N. says up to 100 elephants are being slaughtered a day in Africa by poachers taking part in the illegal ivory trade.  Mar 19, 2015.

How many wild elephants are left in the world?

Population at the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants.  Today, there are an estimated 450,000 – 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 – 40,000 wild Asian elephants.  That is a third or less than a third or even by as much as a quarter of the population of elephants that existed at the turn of the last century.  Three-quarters of them have disappeared effectively.

Endangered Asian elephants

Asian elephants are even more endangered than African elephants — but the threat isn’t poaching so much as human encroachment. The Asian species is smaller than the African, and none of the females and only some of the males have tusks. While some are hunted for ivory or meat, most of the Asian elephants taken from the wild are not killed, but domesticated for zoos, safari tourism, or timber hauling. There are only about 30,000 remaining wild Asian elephants, while 15,000 live in captivity. The wild herds in India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are dwindling, too, as human development shrinks their habitat. Many populations are now cut off from migration routes and forced to inbreed.

Abstract from: http://theweek.com/articles/449437/tragic-price-ivory

The Tusk

What Exactly Is an Elephant Tusk?

An elephant’s tusk is a tooth. It’s an elongated incisor, one-third of which is embedded into the elephant’s skull. The tusk is made up of nerve endings and pulp matter, and removal is deadly.

Elephants use their tusks in a variety of ways. They are used to protect themselves and their herd from predators, and elephants can even use their tusks for digging water holes. However, elephants are also anintegral part of the environment. They are sometimes referred to as “mega gardeners,” and without them, hundreds of animal and plant species would cease to exist as well.

Why are Elephants Killed for Their Tusks?

Up to 70 percent of ivory poached goes to China, where half a kilogram of it can sell for as much as 1,000 U.S. dollars. This increase in demand has been fueled by the growth of a middle class in China.  People can now afford the material that they have grown up believing is better than diamonds.

Do Elephant Tusks fall off?

Tusks are specialized teeth and elephants have only one set that continue growing throughout the elephant’s life. They are sometimes broken off as a result of natural movements, such as digging and sparring with other elephants. If a tusk is not broken off at its root, then yes- the tusk will continue to grow.Feb 2, 2010

Can you cut off an Elephant’s Tusks without killing it?

A tusk can be removed without killing the elephant. … But poachers use darts, poison and high-powered automatic rifles with night scopes to take elephants down and, while they are dying, the tusks are gouged out of from the living elephant’s skull. Jul 30, 2014

The Poacher & The Trade

How much is a pound of Ivory worth?

Ivory fetched prices as much as $1,500 per pound due to demand in Asia, where elephant tusks are ornately carved into art.Jun 2, 2016

Poachers kill elephants for their valuable tusks — a single pound of ivory can sell for $1,500, and tusks can weigh 250 pounds.  That is USD375,000 (or just over a 1/3 million dollars) per tusk!  Nov 7, 2016

How extensive is the poaching?

Poachers are now slaughtering up to 35,000 of the estimated 500,000 African elephants every year for their tusks. A single male elephant’s two tusks can weigh more than 250 pounds, with a pound of ivory fetching as much as $1,500 on the black market. The ivory is so valuable because all across Asia — particularly in China — ivory figurines are given as traditional gifts, and ivory chopsticks, hair ornaments, and jewelry are highly prized luxuries. “China regards ivory as a cultural heritage; they are not going to ban it,” said Grace Gabriel of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Many Chinese consumers don’t realize that elephants must be killed for their ivory; in one survey, more than two thirds of Chinese respondents said they thought tusks grew back like fingernails.

What impact has the slaughter had on the elephants?

Elephants are highly intelligent, social creatures that live in matriarchal groups, and poaching has ravaged much of their social structure. The biggest tusks are found on the largest breeding males and on the oldest females, who lead the elephant troops.  Where these animals are targeted and killed, elephant populations are reduced to leaderless groups of traumatized orphans huddling together. In the past year, even they are being wiped out, as some poachers have started dumping cyanide into watering holes, killing every animal that drinks there.  Last year, poachers killed an estimated 300 elephants in Zimbabwe’s largest park, Hwange, by lacing watering holes and salt licks with cyanide.  To read more about the impact poaching of elephants have had on Botswana, more here.

Who are the poachers?

Since the industry is illegal, those who run it largely come from criminal syndicates or terrorist organizations. Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based wing of al Qaida, raises $600,000 a month from poaching to fund its activities. Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, the rebel group notorious for enslaving children, also raises money through poaching. “Poaching has become one of the most profitable criminal activities there is,” says Peter Seligmann, the CEO of Conservation International. Chinese mafia organizations mostly do the purchasing and distribution of ivory after it’s been obtained, selling it mostly in China and Southeast Asia but sometimes to markets in the U.S.

Why is the price so high?

When ivory became contraband, the supply got scarcer, but demand remained strong.  In 1989, the international community passed a global ban on the trade in new ivory to stop the killing of elephants. Only ivory that had been harvested before 1989 could be sold, so the ivory carving industry in China crumbled, and with it the demand for tusks.  Elephant populations rebounded — so much so that in 1999 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a global organization, decided to allow a “one-off” sale of pre-ban, stockpiled ivory to Japan (what did we not say here?).

Then in 2008 it authorized another “one-off”sale, this time to Japanese and Chinesemarkets. The Chinese carving industry roared back to life, as the Chinese government licensed dozens of carving factories and retail outlets. Since there’s no way to distinguish between pre-ban and new ivory, the illegal ivory trade has accelerated to meet the demand, and poaching is now worse than before the global ban.

(REUTERS/James Akena)

What steps are being taken to stop poaching?

Under pressure from some member nations, CITES refuses to institute a complete ban on the ivory trade.  But the U.S. is taking its own measures. The U.S. is the second-biggest ivory market, after China.  In a symbolic gesture last fall, U.S. officials smashed 6 tons of contraband ivory, including tusks and carvings, that had been seized from smugglers or confiscated from unwitting tourists. And in February, the Obama administration announced it would change regulations to ban interstate sales of all ivory except certified antiques, limit elephant trophy imports to two per hunter, and end commercial imports of antique ivory.

Is China cooperating?

Following the U.S.’s ivory crush, the Chinese government destroyed 6 tons this January, and Hong Kong authorities say they will destroy their 30-ton stockpile, one of the largest in the world.  Chinese environmentalists have also begun educating the public about the dire consequences of buying ivory. But it’s a tough sell in a country where ivory has long symbolized wisdom and nobility.With more disposable income in mainland China, many people are flaunting their wealth, and ivory is seen as a luxury product that confers status,” says Tom Milliken of the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network.

Why is the ban so hard to enforce?

There is no reliable way to tell pre-ban from post-ban ivory, or a real antique from a fake — in any country.  “It’s not like you walk into a store and find someone selling cocaine, which is illegal on its face,” said Edward Grace, deputy assistant director for law enforcement at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. In Chinese and U.S. shops alike, consumers simply assume that ivory trinkets are legal, and there is no way for law enforcement to prove that any particular item was made after 1989. Mary Rice, executive director of the Environmental Investigation Agency, says there’s only one real solution: “We need to learn from history and permanently shut down all ivory trade — international and domestic.

The End Consumer

Why is Ivory so popular in China?

A carved ivory ship model

Ivory is often used to make elaborate and expensive ornaments in China.

In China and Hong Kong, ivory is seen as precious material and is used in ornaments and jewelry. It’s also sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Some rich Chinese people think that owning ivory makes them look more successful. Others think that ivory will bring them good luck.

China has the biggest ivory trade in the world and wildlife experts believe that around 70 per cent of the world’s ivory ends up there.

It is said that buyers of ivory don’t understand they have blood on their hands. That notion is startling given where we are in the timeline of civilization and the increasingly global dissemination of knowledge.  Conservation efforts have never reached so far and wide through media as they do today.  So how can people not know about the tragedy behind their white gold trinkets? Accountability for this gross misconception seems to lie with the Chinese government.

EAL-IF-YOU-BUY-IVORY-YOU-KILL-PEOPLE-new-1Small

But from uncovering this bizarre ignorance, change has been set into motion.  A variety of conservation campaigns have been aimed at educating the middle class — those most likely to purchase ivory.  People who have seen these campaigns, such as posters depicting how an elephant’s life is sacrificed to harvest their tusks, are far less likely to purchase ivory products.  Japan was previously the largest demander of ivory, before organizations and celebrities raised awareness and reduced the consumption by 99 percent.

“Elephant teeth” is the direct translation of the Chinese word for ivory, xiangya, and it’s possible this has contributed to the idea that elephants are not harmed during ivory harvesting — an IFAW survey revealed that 70 percent of Chinese polled did not know that ivory was plucked from murdered elephants.

 

Beijing’s master ivory carvers cling to a controversial art

Beijing (CNN)When Li Chunke started carving ivory in 1964, the number of elephants in Africa was still on the rise. Demand for ivory in China was practically non-existent and tusks could be bought for under $7 a kilogram.

Today, this figure is closer to $1,100 — according to research by Save the Elephants.

But while this marks a significant increase over the course of Li’s career, the price of coveted xiangya (elephant teeth) has almost halved over the last 18 months.

An endangered art form?

Conservationists have welcomed the recent drop in demand, attributing it to awareness campaigns and President Xi Jinping’s commitment to abolish the ivory trade in China.

But for 65-year-old Li, these changing attitudes threaten an ancient art form and the livelihoods of many carvers.  “Ivory carving represents Chinese traditional culture” he says, sipping green tea in his small apartment in Beijing. “Chinese people love it because it is an ancient skill — it’s a practice that belongs to the imperial arts.”

At the state-owned factory where he spent his five-decade career, Li would sculpt everything from small trinkets to full-length tusks adorned with classical scenes.

Hong Kong to phase out ivory trade

Alternative raw materials to ivory

Legal restrictions mean that he is rarely able to keep raw ivory at his home.  Nonetheless, on the far side of his living room I find a small workshop besieged by chisels, drill bits and tools.  Some are electronic, but the majority are simple hand tools — the sort he trained with. From the clutter, Li picks out figurines carved from a variety of different materials.

Ivory’s rare combination of density and smoothness makes it ideal for intricate carving, but there are alternatives. Hippo, narwhal and walrus tusks possess similar qualities.  “When we don’t have ivory, we also use beeswax and agarwood,” he explains.

Li shows me a small horse statuette and an ancient goddess fashioned from a piece of mammoth tusk — an ivory substitute excavated from the Siberian permafrost.

“When we made carvings for export [in the 1960s] the products had to represent Chinese traditional culture — it was merchandise,” he recalls. “Now I can carve on any theme, including religion and modern life.”

Hong Kong’s illegal ivory trade exposed

Legal vs. illegal ivory trade

Since retiring from the factory in 2013, Li estimates he makes fewer than 10 carvings a year, and can spend as long as two months on a single item.  He appears despondent about elephant poaching and the black market that are now associated with his industry.  “We are legal ivory-carving professionals,” he says. “The ivory we used was from natural deaths. We ought to protect wildlife. I like animals and I’ve kept a puppy as a pet.  I find it shocking that elephants are killed by men.”

With the worldwide ban on ivory in 1989, factories like Li’s were able to stay open, as China still permitted domestic trade. A licensing system allowed the continued import of tusks sourced from natural elephant deaths and police seizures.

But the distinction between legal and illegal trade is becoming blurred, say conservationists.  A 2011 investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) found that almost 60% of licensed vendors and carving factories in China were involved in black market trade.

A high-profile campaign featuring former basketball star Yao Ming argues that all ivory consumption — even the licensed trade — feeds the cycle of killing.  “Yao Ming’s ‘no buying, no killing’ is only partly right — we still have to think about the inheritance of traditional Chinese culture,” Li says.  “Of course, the raw material can be replaced by alternatives, which is why my students also use woods and jade. But some of the nuances of carving — ones that can only be reflected in ivory — are at risk.”

Carvers are turning to ivory substitutes including beeswax, agarwood and even mammoth tusk dug up from Siberian permafrost.

Carvers are turning to ivory substitutes including beeswax, agarwood and even mammoth tusk dug up from Siberian permafrost.

Rise in demand for mammoth tusks

On the other side of central Beijing, one of Li’s students, Li Jiulong (no relation), leads me into his small, dusty workshop. The 26-year-old shares the space with four other apprentices. A fellow carver sits practicing her technique on a small block of wood, her engravings guided by ink markings.

Work surfaces are arranged in a square, each littered with hand tools for breaking down large chunks of tusk and more accurate electronic ones for finer details.  While his master is old enough to ignore the diminishing demand for ivory, the younger Li must keep his options open.

In addition to his apprenticeship he is also undertaking a master’s degree which sees him working with lacquer — a traditional colored finish applied to wood.  He can obtain ivory through “the proper channels,” but Li spends much of his time carving other materials, including mammoth tusks.

“These tusks have been buried underground for a long time, which can cause cracks and change their color,” he explains, sketching out their differing patterns of grain on a piece of paper. “They would [originally have been] white like the elephant tusks, but they’re also more compact than normal ivory.”

Imports of mammoth tusks from Hong Kong (the main route bringing them in from Russia) has more than tripled since 2000. But the young apprentice retains some hope for traditional ivory carving, despite the recent drop in demand.

“It’s true that ivory won’t be huge business in the future but it won’t vanish. It is part of our cultural heritage,” he says.  “It will survive and keep its place,” he argues.

Abstract from: 

https://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/13/asia/china-ivory-carvers/index.html 

 

So.

What is the “elephant” that is not in the room? Literally.

We can see what they do.  Can we see why it happens?
What do we not understand as yet?


What would that silent voice say to us?

When The Economy Speaks … Cracking the Botswana Productivity Code. Short Notes.

 

 

BATSWANA HAVE THE WORST
WORK ETHIC IN THE WORLD – REPORT

30 Oct 2017

In its 2015 survey of African workers, South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank found Batswana to be the laziest on the continent.  The problem is actually more acute than that.

In the 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Report, Botswana scores the worst among the 137 countries that are tracked by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) on 12 pillars of economic competitiveness.  From a list of 16 factors, respondents to the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey were asked to select the five most problematic factors for doing business in their country and to rank them between 1 (most problematic) and 5.  The results were then tabulated and weighted according to the ranking assigned by respondents.  One of those factors is “Poor work ethic in national labour force.”

With a score of 19, Botswana’s national workforce (which would include those in the public and private sector as well as NGOs) emerge as standard bearers of the poorest work ethic in the world survey.  Also doing poorly are Trinidad & Tobago (15.9), Brunei (14.4), Sri Lanka (11.1), Liberia (10.8), Bhutan (10.5), Seychelles (10.1), Malta (9.8), Georgia (9.7), Mauritius and Vietnam (9.5), Namibia (9.3), Bahrain (9.0), Kuwait (8.7) and United Arab Emirates and Jamaica (8.6).

WEF’s interest in labour productivity has to do with the fact that it impacts on business. A University of Botswana study by Professor John Makgala and Dr. Phenyo Thebe (“There is no Hurry in Botswana”: Scholarship and Stereotypes on “African time” Syndrome in Botswana, 1895-2011”) found that this lack of productivity has frustrated effort to attract foreign direct investment. Interestingly, there was a time when, according to literature that the authors quote, Botswana’s civil service “was generally believed to be the most efficient in the whole of the African continent.”

On a past trip to Singapore, former and late President Sir Ketumile Masire gained an appreciation on the efficiency of the country’s workers. Where a Motswana factory worker would produce one shirt within a given period of time, a Singaporean counterpart would produce six within the same period.

“This was productivity not in theory but in demonstrable terms.  When we say we are not productive, this is what we meant,” Masire recalled to Sunday Standard in 2015 of this experience which would lead to Botswana benchmarking with Singapore and delegations from the two countries travelling back and forth.

As one of the Four Asian Tigers, Singapore would provide one quarter of the inspiration to establish the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC). The tigers are Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Along the way, however, the late president appears to have given up on ever inculcating the right work ethic in Batswana. On assessing the apparent resistance, he determined that Batswana’s poor work ethic was a result of their pastoralism.

“If you look at the life of pastoralists, they don’t have a good work ethic,” he had said.  The example he had cited was that beyond sinking a borehole for their livestock, letting out cattle to pasture and doing some other undemanding work, most of the time pastoralists are just lazing about as their cattle graze untended in the bush.  By Masire’s analysis, this is the work ethic that has been bequeathed to modern-day Botswana.

As a University of Botswana study shows, not one productivity intervention scheme by the government has produced the desired results. In his 2015/16 budget speech, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo, lamented the low levels of labour productivity in Botswana.  The best performers in terms of work ethic in the national labor force are from Zimbabwe and Venezuela underpinned by a perfect score.

Source: Sunday Standard.  http://www.sundaystandard.info/batswana-have-worst-work-ethic-world-%E2%80%93-report Retrieved May 23, 2018

Productivity Systemic Story by Ranking

Table 1:  Comparison of Botswana with 2017’s Best Global Labour Productivity Data

DID YOU KNOW?  THE AVERAGE PER CAPITA PRODUCTIVITY IN BOTSWANA
LAGS THE WORLD’S PRODUCTIVE COUNTRY BY 30-40 TIMES?

TALKING POINTS (FOR NOW):

COUNTRY’S GENERAL ECONOMIC PRACTICE:

  1. An economic system defines the mechanism of production, distribution and allocation of goods, services and resources in a society/country with defined rules and policies about ownership and administration.
  2. The most commonly followed economic system is modern-day capitalism.  It was based on a framework to secure supply of the key elements required for industry – land, machinery and labor.  A disruption in any of these would lead to increased risk and loss for the venture.

THE COUNTRY’S GENERAL ECONOMIC PRACTICE, ON THE OTHER HAND:

  1. Socialists viewed this commoditization of labor as an inhuman practice.  I am of the view, that those words are distinctively that of the female voice possibly lending itself from Marx’s known instances of showing great sympathy for peasants, and especially women, as important forces for change within Marx’s theory (and quite possibly marks the genesis of a matriarchal society – even so where women leads quietly from behind the scenes often as a response to survive in the face of absent males who  have needed to travel long distances to work in the agriculture and mining industries – and so have become increasingly ‘masculinized’).
  2. These, I believe, led to the birth of Karl Marx’s idealism on socialism and socialist economies across a few countries.

    • How does a socialist economy work?
    • The starting point to this form of economy is three-fold typically:
      • The country has substantial access to wealth generated by mining underground mineral and fossil fuel resources and which is demanded by other world economies and is traded in exchange for income;
      • Or it has traditionally enjoyed a monarchy and/or a pastoral economy and access to substantive land spaces that allows it to multiply livestock and warm crops (that does not require as much attention compared to cold crops) at rates faster than the rate at which the human population multiples with relative ease.  The monarchy supports its people when they ask for help and assist in distributing the wealth in the form of  shared resources (such as land) or meat and food as needed.
      • Either ways, the population therefore, has a tradition and work ethics unlike that of the farmers in parts of Asia, such as southern China where rice cultivation can be an intricate, laborious, multi-seasonal in a year and since the majority of whom have limited resources, they have learned to improve the returns on their labor by “becoming smarter, being collaborative, by being better managers of their own time, and by making better choices.”  In other words, more than simply working hard, they worked intelligently and strategically.  Cultures “shaped by the tradition of wet-rice agriculture and meaningful work” tend to produce students with the fortitude to “sit still long enough” to find solutions to time-consuming and complex math problems, for instance.  As such hard work given this context, can easily be perceived as more difficult than usual and therefore quite possibly regarded as inhumane.
        Source: “Rice Paddies and Math Tests,” Malcolm Gladwell
    • There are three prominent characteristics of the socialist economy:
      • That the goods and services are produced based on usage value or for their usefulness (subject to the needs of the society, and so preventing under-production and over-production).  Therefore, it eliminates the need for a demand-based market for products to be sold at a profit.   This is completely different from the common capitalist economic system, where goods and services are produced by economies of scale to generate profit and capital accumulation.  In this way, it discourages accumulation, which is assumed to be the root cause of wealth imbalance across the society.
      • It is a financial system based on the public or cooperative ownership of production.  Socialism, similar to communism, advocates that the means of production be owned by the people, either through a state-controlled agency or worker cooperative; or else property/capital might be commonly owned by the society as a whole, with delegation to representatives.  Socialist economies discourage private ownership.  For example, this includes having a mostly state-run economy, subsistence farming on lands purposed for shared or communal use, a national health-care program, government- paid (i.e. free) education at all levels, subsidized housing, utilities, entertainment and even subsidized food programs.   These subsidies compensate for the low salaries of workers, making them better off than their international counterparts in many other countries.
      • Socialism also believes that wealth and income should be shared more equally among people.  Therefore, perceiving the receipt of income as an entitlement rather than merit is acceptable within all levels of society.  “If you have it, then I should have it too.”  Taken to an extreme, that would not bode well for productivity, would it?  It therefore becomes a misnomer to say that socialism and free market economies can realistically co-exist. However, the main goal of socialism is to narrow, but not totally remove, the gap between the rich and the poor.  The government, through its agencies and policies, takes the responsibility to redistribute production and wealth, making the society fairer and leveled.
    • The consequences of the above, are as follows:
      • The economy relies on sectors whose productive practices are not apparent to the masses or there is heavy reliance on machinery and technology such as in mineral extraction and processing, real-estate and passive income business practices such as multi-level marketing. The social environment makes it difficult for the general masses to imbibe productive work ethics and practices, to a point of shunning and even dismissing those who may display such practices;
      • The dominant trade offered by the masses to foreigners and professional include domestic maid services and guard duty security services.  Neither of these services train the individual learn to generate income but rather protect and consume resources that are already there.  The element of hard work is for the most part, removed.
      • Significant masses of citizens make purchases primarily do so, not to support entrepreneurial growth but to ensure redistribution of wealth, i.e. flows from professionals, foreign investors or expatriates operating within the system to the citizens;
      • The system works on ‘forces’ that facilitate the flow of money from those who have to those who do not and who are then, in turn, amply rewarded, even if with kind words.  The following are used intentionally or otherwise, to draw special notice to it to facilitate the flow to:
        • The informal business sector with standard essential products the masses use such as airtime, sweets, fat cakes, essential foods such as vegetables, meat and milk, drinks, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.  A significant part of the income from the sector is used with a view to make ends meet rather than necessarily to grow an enterprise.  Growing large enterprises is shunned unintentionally or perceived as too difficult and would cause the ‘flow’ within the system to slow down to accumulate or even stop.  Most therefore stay as self-employees for life which makes for ‘things’ to be easier.
        • Citizen businesses rotate two monthly to allow more to gain access to government purchase schemes (catering, uniforms, supplies, etc.) before relinquishing the turn to the next ‘business’ in the queue.  We shame or shun who otherwise overstay their dues or are engaged in sales (who are too active and over the top and are perceived as being impatient and rude to wait their turn and is therefore callous and uncultured) or even make claims they are engaged in corrupt ways.
        • Young women who have young children often present subtle pressures as to one is more deserving than others to receive help and to come to one’s aid by virtue of the number of children one has mothered or the shanty standards of living one has unfortunately fallen into.
        • Women who are open to offering sexual favours in return
        • The youth or the orphaned child
        • The disabled
        • The disenfranchised or the ostracized
        • The man who has fathered large numbers of children and is unemployed or is a self-employee.
        • The royalty and therefore are naturally privileged to entitlements
        • When left untreated, these creates the perfect conditions for the growth of beggary as an acceptable occupation on the streets during the day and crime by night.

THE RESULTANT REALITY OF THE ECONOMIC PRACTICE:

  1. Botswana’s real labour productivity per capita (when measuring the employed population’s output excluding value added by mining and real-estate sectors, against the total population of the country for a truer reflection of real per capita income of the country) is USD 2.2 per hour or USD 18 per day, and that is, before deducting costs of operations.  Luxembourg sets the pace as the global labour productivity leader at USD 93.4 per hour or USD 747 per day (or USD 16,437 per month).  At this rate, Botswana’s productivity (and therefore wealth) lags (falls behind by) at 30-40x behind that of Luxembourg.
  2. It makes one wonder, that in our efforts to avoid capitalism, apparent inhuman labour practices, wealth accumulation, and for that perfect equality in the distribution of income, at what cost have we done so?  Will our efforts to transform the manufacturing and industrialization sectors OR efforts to diversify the economy (from the tried and tested) gain traction without understanding the underlying forces that detract us from such efforts?
  3. The Question Is.
    • Would we rather continue this way as business as usual and dragging a burgeoning burden on the state in the process?
    • Would citizens know how big that burden is or what that would become of and cause to the state?
    • Would it help citizens of the country, see and learn what these distinctions stand for and what that would mean for them?
      Gaining such understanding in our mind would mean gaining the power in our hands.  If you can imagine it, then you can create it.

STEPS GOING FORWARD:

  1. However, this would deter organizations from worlds that practice capitalism, wanting to be a part of such an economic system.  These are organizations that grew their wealth by virtue of merits of their performance, have withstood the test of time being measured by defined standards and rates of growth of income and wealth and believed in reducing costs of production to accumulate business wealth so as to grow the economy.
  2. Interestingly, no pure socialist, pure capitalist or pure communist economy exists in the world today.  All economic system changes were introduced with a big bang approach and had to make “adjustments” to allow appropriate modifications as the situation developed.
  3. Eventually most state-run subsidies without high productivity standards, become insufficient to support the numerous social programs.  Despite perhaps, enormous aid received from outside itself, high poverty levels continues to persist, widening the gap of rich and poor, and becoming a massive burden on social programs.
  4. A reform will often aim to shift towards a mixed economy that would allow free-market mechanisms, remove government control of small businesses, lay off unnecessary state workers and make self-employment easier allowing up to 40% of the government workforce to move into the private sector, enabling the inception of income tax payment, which in turn will lead to more self-reliance.
  5. In the short-run, to relieve the income pressures of the economy, policies may be aimed at bringing in higher foreign investment. Tax-free special development zones are introduced for foreign companies to conduct business freely and allow transfer of tariff-free profits abroad, among other benefits. This may cause a significant change from the central “socialist” planning.  However, this cannot act as a substitute for it.
  6. Fundamental changes, however, will call for reforms (yes, even if it is aimed at our own citizens), designed to allocate wages based on  citizen or worker productivity.  Not rank.  Not seniority.  Till citizens see the direct link between their productivity and the national and personal incomes, the transformation will not be complete.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Socialist economies across the globe have existed and continue to progress. However, there may not be any standard pure socialist economy remaining.  Timely, fundamental shifts in programs and policies have allowed such economies to thrive and flourish – China being the world leader among them.  The ones taking a rigid stand are facing severe problems or developing parallel markets.

Source: Socialist Economies: How China, Cuba And North Korea Work | Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/081514/socialist-economies-how-china-cuba-and-north-korea-work.asp#ixzz5GKkjPmXQ
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REQUIRED RESEARCH ANALYSIS

FOR DETAILS OF DATA REQUIRED FOR RESEARCH ANALYSIS FOR THIS SUBJECT, CLICK HERE.

THE FULL STORY, CLICK HERE.

When The Community Speaks … When learning is more important than education. Short Notes.

Without learning, education will fail to deliver on its promise to eliminate extreme poverty and create shared opportunity and prosperity for all.

World Development Report 2018 calls for greater measurement, action on evidence

WASHINGTON, September 26, 2017 – Millions of young students in low and middle-income countries face the prospect of lost opportunity and lower wages in later life because their primary and secondary schools are failing to educate them to succeed in life. Warning of ‘a learning crisis’ in global education, a new Bank report said schooling without learning was not just a wasted development opportunity, but also a great injustice to children and young people worldwide.

The World Development Report 2018: ‘Learning to Realize Education’s Promise’ argues that without learning, education will fail to deliver on its promise to eliminate extreme poverty and create shared opportunity and prosperity for all. Even after several years in school, millions of children cannot read, write or do basic math. This learning crisis is widening social gaps instead of narrowing them. Young students who are already disadvantaged by poverty, conflict, gender or disability reach young adulthood without even the most basic life skills.

“This learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis,”World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “When delivered well, education promises young people employment, better earnings, good health, and a life without poverty. For communities, education spurs innovation, strengthens institutions, and fosters social cohesion. But these benefits depend on learning, and schooling without learning is a wasted opportunity. More than that, it’s a great injustice: the children whom societies fail the most are the ones who are most in need of a good education to succeed in life.

Download the World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education’s Promise.

The report recommends concrete policy steps to help developing countries resolve this dire learning crisis in the areas of stronger learning assessments, using evidence of what works and what doesn’t to guide education decision-making; and mobilizing a strong social movement to push for education changes that champion ‘learning for all.’

According to the report, when third grade students in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda were asked recently to read a sentence such as “The name of the dog is Puppy” in English or Kiswahili, three-quarters did not understand what it said. In rural India, nearly three-quarters of students in grade 3 could not solve a two-digit subtraction such as “46 – 17”—and by grade 5, half still could not do so. Although the skills of Brazilian 15-year-olds have improved, at their current rate of improvement they will not reach the rich-country average score in math for 75 years. In reading, it will take 263 years.

These statistics do not account for 260 million children who, for reasons of conflict, discrimination, disability, and other obstacles, are not enrolled in primary or secondary school.

While not all developing countries suffer from such extreme learning gaps, many fall far short of levels they aspire to. Leading international assessments on literacy and numeracy show that the average student in poor countries performs worse than 95 percent of the students in high-income countries—meaning such a student would be singled out for remedial attention in a class in those countries. Many high-performing students in middle-income countries—young men and women who achieve in the top quarter of their groups—would rank in the bottom quarter in a wealthier country.

The report, written by a team directed by World Bank Lead Economists, Deon Filmer and Halsey Rogers, identifies what drives these learning shortfalls—not only the ways in which teaching and learning breaks down in too many schools, but also the deeper political forces that cause these problems to persist.

Source: Phillip Hay, Patricia da Camara, Huma Imtiaz  (2018). World Bank warns of ‘learning crisis’ in global education. World Bank. Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/09/26/world-bank-warns-of-learning-crisis-in-global-education [Retrieved on 19 May 2018].

GENERAL TALKING POINTS OF INTEREST (For now):

  1. To not assume that if there is education, there will be learning.
  2. Learning is not the same as teaching.  Learning happens when the learner makes the action of learning the primary responsibility of the learner, just as  teaching is the primary responsibility of the teacher.
  3. You can have teaching and no learning as the article above here illustrates.  We need to accept that is possible.
  4. Yet one could have learning in the absence of teaching.
  5. Learning takes the student much farther along, with less resources, than any amount of teaching can do for the the learner.  School and principals and student grades improve at the rate the learner seeks out learning.  Infrastructure is not the primary driver of learning.  Curiosity and the willingness to learn is.
  6. In the world of learning, we stop using the word ‘student’ and switches its reference to ‘the learner’.
  7. The student goes much farther in their journey of learning when they have piqued their curiosity about what they are learning.  That is an almost mesmerized attention to learning.  They are learning because they want to rather than they have to.
  8. All children have this innate capacity to be curious.  Often it goes unnoticed by the parent as it typically happens in their absence and not in their presence or is picked up when the child does something ‘wrong’.   And so as adults, most of us miss seeing it as it happens.  We have all gone through it ourselves but we abandoned the notion of what it is, when we got what we had wanted as a result of that process or were punished for exercising it.
  9. What is the true nature of a child’s mind that piques their interest and become mesmerized (be they clean (or unclean) interests) to want to learn?  Totto-Chan is a book written in modern times set within the context of World War II in Japan, that explores classic ideals such as curiosity, innocence, shyness, inquisitiveness, confusion, happiness and sorrow that represent some of these traits (all of which are emotional, and less mental, spiritual and physical) in nature) that promotes the mind of the child to want to learn.
  10. A learner then soon discovers that being on the journey of discovering and learning is far more exciting to be on than arriving at their destination (having learned and scored grades).  The learner then can’t wait to get on to the next big journey and it did not matter to him whether his scored grades or he did not.  That is not relevant to the learner.
  11. Once a learner discovers the joys of learning for its own sake (as opposed to ‘not wanting to fail’ or not making the grades for advancing to the next stage), the systems begins to realize it is becoming difficult for it to keep up with the pace at which learning is happening for the learner.  The learner will keep exceeding the expectations that the teachers have set for them.  The learner reaches his grades only by as far as he or she is willing to learn.  Anyone else who believes that the effort to improve grades lies elsewhere, or with the teacher, is sorely mistaken and does so at the expense of incurring huge costs to the state (as highlighted by the article above here).
  12. Now, the question is:  Where would a child imbibe the values of learning?  Or, where could the child lose such values?  What would allow or encourage the mind of the child to become mesmerized by learning?  True childhood means the curiosity that piques a child’s interest for learning.  Would that be at the school or be at the home?

REQUIRED RESEARCH ANALYSIS

FOR DETAILS OF DATA REQUIRED FOR RESEARCH ANALYSIS FOR THIS SUBJECT, CLICK HERE.

When The Economy Speaks … ICT Graduate Unemployment Is Just the Tip of National Unemployment Iceberg

DEFINING THE RESEARCH SPACE

It is not difficult to create employment.

It is harder to keep unemployment off!

Do you wonder what came of the billions (possibly trillions) spent by countries both as governments as well as private sector (including foreign direct) investors, across the world, decade after decade (let’s say, now going five decades) with the purpose of creating employment, and then learn to find that unemployment persists relentlessly , companies shut down at the snap of a global economic meltdown and national economic growths continue to take hits, year after year?

Is this story familiar?

Why does this happen?

I am not alluding that the money is siphoned off. That is not where I am going. But, yes, there is another kind of ‘siphoning’ happening.

In the meantime, of course, governments face angry faces of unemployed constituents and so nations react by wanting to see both governments and foreigners ‘continue to invest’ in it.  Why does the issue persist?

Often, when an issue persists, it is a sign we have made the choice to avoid some difficult and hard decisions.  These hard choices  include questions such as what is causing our innate ability to be honest with ourselves, and that includes bearing criticisms, taking a hard look at ourselves (instead of cowing others into submission or hustling as needed), being patient, persistent and being sufficiently resilient to spring back from setbacks, diminish over time.  All of which are factors that are critical to the ability of a country to succeed as a nation in growing its economy.

So, which one do you think comes first?

Nurturing our capacity to be patient, to persist and be resilient and being frugal (doing more with less (not spending no more than 10% of the margins for personal spending while the business is still trying to stand up on its feet (and generate its own income) is the first rule of business)) despite the odds stacked up against us?

OR

Needing to seek investments?

What is destroying our ability to grow these innate capacities for us?  These and more questions are explored in this article.

Botswana’s new leader wants to shrink the civil service, sell state companies and cut red tape as he targets increased foreign investment.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has identified reducing the country’s reliance on diamonds and creating jobs for the almost one in five workers who are unemployed as his top priorities since taking office six weeks ago.  Private companies will have to take the lead, he said in a May 14 interview in his office in the capital, Gaborone.

“The government in and of itself does not really create jobs,” Masisi said. “It is not my desire to grow the public service any bigger; if anything, it is my desire to trim the civil service so we are more efficient, we are leaner, meaner, and we can do business and we are more attractive to the private sector for them to invest.”

Source: Agency Staff. (2018). Botswana wants to shrink civil service so privatisation can grow the economy. Bloomberg. Available at: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/world/africa/2018-05-16-botswana-wants-to-shrink-civil-service-so-privatisation-can-grow-the-economy/ [Retrieved on 17 May 2018].

OUTLINE:

  1. THE OVERARCHING SYSTEMIC STRUCTURE OF UNEMPLOYMENT
  2. THE STORY OF SUPPLY OF LABOUR
  3. THE DIGITAL USE DIVIDE:  A SPECIAL MENTION
  4. THE STORY OF DEMAND FOR LABOUR
    1. WHEN GOVERNMENTS INTERVENE
    2. WHEN PRIVATE SECTOR INTERVENES
    3. THE UNEMPLOYED DIGITAL USE (ICT GRADUATES) EXPERTS – WHEN THAT HAPPENS – A SPECIAL MENTION
    4. BUILDING INDUSTRY SYNERGY: VALUE CHAIN MATRICES
  5. THE UNEMPLOYED DIGITAL EXPERT (OR ICT GRADUATES) – A SPECIAL MENTION: WHY IT HAPPENS?
  6. WHEN DEFINING THE TRUE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS
  7. REQUIRED RESEARCH ANALYSIS

GENERAL TALKING POINTS OF INTEREST:

THE OVERARCHING STRUCTURE:

Systemically, the growing pool of unemployment today is as the result of the different rates of change that exists between the levels of annual births from as far back as twenty years ago and the capacity of annual jobs created today.  Why twenty years?  That is the average age before someone becomes ready to join the labour market.  The changing rates of unemployment is determined by rate at which these two factors change over time relative to each other.

When the numbers of Jobs Created Today < Children ‘created’ from twenty years ago cause the number of persons that are unemployed adds on to an existing pool.

WHEN
Growth Rate of Births From Twenty Years Ago (A)
IS GREATER THAN (>)
Growth Rate of Job Creation Today (B)

= GROWING RATES OF UNEMPLOYMENT Today (C)

A = SUPPLY OF LABOUR
B = DEMAND FOR LABOUR

And so,
Growing Unemployment = When Growth of A > Growth of B

Meanwhile
Growing Employment = When Growth of A < Growth of B (it would now have the capacity to absorb increasing immigrant employment).

And of course,
Full Annual employment = When Growth of A matches the Growth of B

SUPPLY OF LABOUR

The factor that contributes to the supply of labour in any nation is the rate of births.  Yes, it is dependent directly, on the number of students who graduate from the education system but how wide that pipe is, would depend on the rate at which the nation populates or replaces itself.

It would, however, not be completely accurate to say that had the overall population numbers not increased substantially over the years, that it must mean that the rate of births has not increased.  It could mean instead that the rates of attrition (deaths or migration) or somewhat higher than the rates of births.  Hence, the theory would have to be tested before being confirmed that it is so.

Couples within an intact marriage often would have a better chance at influencing the rates of births within their combined capacity to provide for the children.  However, in an impaired marriage (and I am not referring to visual or hearing impairment) or a marriage where the couple has lost or is losing their ability to be committed to each other, as a couple they begin to produce children outside of the marriage.

As males become increasingly sexually active with several partners (or with the same partner), he then tends to produce more female progeny.  A higher proportion of females within the system would mean a higher propensity of the population to increase its birth rates and therefore even further female offsprings (testament to polygamous communities typically living off on arid lands).  It does so, at times, at runaway rates i.e. populate at rates faster than their capacity to provide for it.

Of course, when the males present their progeny within an open system (marriage or a polygamous community), where everyone sees the number and the gender of children he has produced, it is much more evident as a community and as a nation the impact such behaviours will have on unemployment and job creation in the future.  When he is, however, unable to do so or such information is limited to immediate family members or the village, impacts of such acts become less discernible to the nation as a whole.  Governments seem to be caught unawares of the extent of the issue till the election times are upon them.

THE DIGITAL USE DIVIDE:  A SPECIAL MENTION

The Digital divide is a term that typically refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have physical access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don’t or have restricted access.  This technology can include the telephone, television, personal computers and the Internet.

But I would like to make a special case for this divide here.  The Digital Use Divide. One perhaps that was brought on by man’s own decision to avoid the hard choices when he had to make them.

Think back to the time when we were choosing to decide to whom should a topic such ICT to the population?  The old ones?  The young ones?  Which one did we choose?  We thought, it was easier to teach ICT to young minds.  Teaching the old ones would be like trying to teach old dog new tricks.  It will be painful and take a long time.  That is harder.  It takes time and resources’.  Well, moulded, we sure did.

Except, what becomes the consequence of this choice?  It meant that the old ones except in the case of passive use of the ICT are fearful of engaging ICT actively for purposeful and creative uses.  They did not want to come across as incompetent or worse, stupid.  So what will be the result of older generation trying to work with the younger ICT graduate?  What would we do?  Did you say, we could ‘push them away’.  This way the older ones can avoid dealing with the pain of that fear of using ICT.

DigitalDivide_Infographic
Figure 3:  Digital Use Divide

Adding, to this, persons who would typically venture into small businesses in the private sector or set up their own businesses would be persons (typically the parents of the millennials) who did not do as well in school particularly in the  areas of mathematics and science.  They have found it difficult to keep a job since they are not able to do most jobs that are common in the new knowledge economy.

On the other hand, an ICT graduate would have had a much easier time with these subjects, and appear to come across as the ‘know-all millennials who do not care for the ones who do not understand maths and science subjects’.  They would then be perceived as a threat to the older ones.  These experiences, can often push the  wedge in the divide between the two, even further, and often generations apart, from each other.

The trick for now may lie in the young ones learning to make a very conscious, but not obvious, choice to ‘hand-hold’ the older generation along in crossing this bridge of divide that exists now between them.  Very patiently and learning not to tread on tender emotions, when doing so.  Should the two generations figure ways to build that trust between them, we could possibly enter a new era of interacting between the owners and enablers of the economy that would enable them to expand their market, manufacture bases and export capacity to the region, all of which requires the ICT environment to flourish.

It would also mean opening opportunities up for several other careers such as sales, accounts, finance and marketing to take off in the industry.  Should we, however, not be successful in doing so, we face the risk of riding off into a bleak future of seeing the pool of ICT unemployed graduates grow or eventual dwindling of numbers willing to enter the study of the profession or a draining of their talents out of the industry or worse off, the country.    That would present a loss of investments by the country in their learning and therefore a possible alternative future for the country.

What is your view?

Now, going back to the point on the supply of and demand for labour, just a bit.  The trick is both, the supply of labour (bearing of children) and the demand for labour (creation of jobs), is essentially ‘managed’ by the same person, the man in his 30s to the 50s.  When he figures how he would create more jobs than children, he, more than anyone else effectively wipes out unemployment for his country.  Not the government.

DEMAND FOR LABOUR:

– WHEN GOVERNMENTS INTERVENE

When governments create jobs (in government) to absorb the unemployed, they do so at the expense citizens pay to the state coffers or from revenue of sales of raw materials extracted from the ground.  It typically behaves as a cost to the overall system with low returns.

Additionally, these jobs do not fundamentally change the structure of the economy, in particular develop the primary sector of the economy i.e. the production of natural raw materials by its citizens.  This sector not only has the greatest capacity to absorb employment that will be needed for sustained growth of the economy over time compared to manufacturing or industry and service sectors, but it serves as the fuel that will keep the economy burning to some extent, literally, and therefore growing its GDP (the ROI on government and private sector spending).

Investing without the  need to sustain the investment is a sign that the country is primed for investments in the sector as a result of solid growth of the supporting industries.  However, should a country after, tens of years (decades) of investment injections by corporations and nationals from both within and outside the country and in-spite so, continues to rely on such injections to sustain its growth, it then speaks to a fundamental breakdown of the supporting set  of industries (primary for industries and, manufacturing for retail) needed to support sustained growth of the ones above it.

– WHEN PRIVATE SECTOR INTERVENES

Notice as in a pyramid (see figure below) the layers at the bottom of the pyramid of economic structures provide much greater capacities to absorb employment than the ones above it.  The math is easy.  If there are 30,000 personnel in the services sector, then we are looking at say, 100,000 persons that would be needed within the agriculture raw material production strata to grow and support the layers above it.  The services and the government sectors will not be able to absorb 130,000 persons when there is little persons and materials to sustain the growth profitably from within the primary industries.  Also refer to Figure 1 below for reference of a country till in recent times that has absorbed large numbers of the population within the primary economic agriculture sector.

pyramid-of-classes-in-egypt.jpg

The private sector creates new jobs when it has the capacity to generate revenue (notice I did not say funding) in a sustained manner at rates faster than the costs of production of the organization.  When the change between the two grows a margin such that the growth in the margins itself is sustained, then the organization is able to create new jobs in a sustained manner for the economy.  This does not, however, happen when its development is based on the principles of socialist economic systems where we strive for equality in the distribution of wealth (that poses risks of rising costs).  It only happens when the rates of growth of revenues inclines and rates of growths of costs decline.

What would influence that?  The current set of employees do.  From management and that includes the boss to the cleaner.  Companies do not create employment. Employees do.  When everyone in the company helps to grow (rather than consume) the margins, they, in turn help the company create margins that help it to expand and therefore recruit more employees in the future.

 When we understand that, in principle, anyone could start anything from anywhere.  There right there is how new jobs become available to us today from the past.  However, when a new employee joins asking what is it in there for them, or carving out their own niche, that’s a warning bell.  It is the start of that company not only losing potential new employees but stand to lose their current jobs.  When there is unemployment today, this suggests that this has been happening from the past.

THE UNEMPLOYED DIGITAL EXPERT – A SPECIAL MENTION – WHY IT HAPPENS?

When graduates or trained ICT personnel continue to stay unemployed within the nation, it is a sign the following are happening:

  • A numbers mismatch.  This is a case of where there are more graduates created (SS) than there are jobs inherently (naturally as in a free market system, as opposed to forced employment creation (those created by government in response to appease an unhappy voting public)) available for the sector.
  • Skills mismatch.  Where the employers are unsure or even feel threatened to hire ICT graduates.  This is a case where employers do not understand what ICT graduates can do (refer to the digital divide segment above, where this elaborated further) for them or what that job would do to affect the bottom-line of the organization.  This gap is particularly noted in the small, medium and micro-businesses.  If these businesses make up the majority of the populace, then ICT graduates who come from that same populace (who are children of that population), will inevitably find themselves at the short-end of the stick.  Their parents are unlikely to open jobs to them, except on compassionate (for socialist reasons) grounds, unless the parent sees a very experienced ICT personnel (who is at this juncture is not a graduate) who can convince they can and will change the bottom-line for the organization.  The small businesses make up the major employers of any country.  Each one of them may not be anywhere close to the size of your national network chain employers, but they are more important as a combined system in terms of numbers and impact.  If this sector does not change its mind towards ICT employment, doing anything else to change it will not make any significant difference to the country.
  • When other graduates are employed gainfully, ICT graduates are better placed to be employed as well.  They usually do not make a substitute for a missing production base, unless the ICT graduate is just as skilled in non-ICT-based jobs, such as cooking food products, as an example, in which case, they would then know how to mechanize the process.  When they don’t. the job for which they are trained for, ceases to stay relevant.There is a systemic breakdown of the economic sectors within the country.  ICT sector employment does not create or conduct the actual jobs needed to generate revenue within the economy.  They facilitate an existing process to become more efficient particularly when the volumes of trade are significant.  The presumption is a process or a window exists that needs to be made more efficient between factors of production and management of production.  This is caused by two interrelated factors:
  • This means sales and revenues are generated particularly in a vibrant manufacturing and agriculture sectors.  However, when markets are dull (as in what happens when there does not exist a strong set of primary and secondary economic sectors) and the economy is not hiring factors of production (jobs in other sub-sector, e.g. milling, cooking, producing furniture, clothes, and so on) in the first instance, and in which case, this window for the ICT sector becomes narrowed significantly.

So which one is your reason?

BUILDING SYNERGY OF INDUSTRIES: VALUE CHAINS

The easiest way for an opposing political party to bring a ruling government down  is, noteworthy enough, not at the elections.  It is slowdown, low productivity and tool down at the workplace, often by employees that are party to the opposition.  This fundamentally does one thing.  It works at gradually eroding the synergies needed in an economy to keep the economy well-oiled and running effectively.  These are its  value chains.

This does not change because the ruler is no longer at the helm and had to leave office to his opponent.  All it does do is the see the camps trade places.  But nothing changes fundamentally until, the lines between the ruling and the opposition fade away and the people of all creeds and parties decide to join their hands, hearts and minds as one.  A broken industry value chain is a sign of the breaking down of its people of the nation.

WHEN DEFINING THE TRUE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS

Governments and nations can only consider patch works of correcting unemployment as a nation when it looks at the narrowest definition of unemployment.  To consider working with the real rate of unemployment, it would require understanding the state of unemployment that exists at its fullest extent within the nation.  Refer to Figure 3 to determine such a figure.  Remember as always, it is not the primary responsibility of governments to absorb these numbers, if they are high.

These numbers need to be understood as a nation and dealt with as a nation to turn the issue around.  The ruling party or the government can bring it to the awareness of the nation but it is still the responsibility of the nation in deciding together what it will do next as a nation.

To note, unemployment in the region cannot be ruled out as part of the unemployment structure within the country.  We cannot run away from this reality.  A true picture of the country needs to include the true picture of unemployment in the region that needs attention.

Homelessness, crime, substance abuses, domestic violence, divorce rates, growing single-parent households and reliance on government programmes are just making up the tip of this ice-berg.

Vietnam's Employment Figures 1990-2009
Figure 5: Share of employment by sector

Source: Tuyen Tranh and Tinh Doan. (2010). Industralization, economic and employment structure cbanges in Vietnam during economic transition BCollege of Economics Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Available at: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/26996/1/Vietnam_industrialization_and_employment_structure_changes.pdf [Retrieved on 17 May 2018].

Unemployment Rate.png
Figure 6:  Defining Real Unemployment Figures within the country / region

REQUIRED RESEARCH ANALYSIS

FOR DETAILS OF DATA REQUIRED FOR RESEARCH ANALYSIS FOR THIS SUBJECT, CLICK HERE.

FOR STORIES RELATED TO PRODUCTIVITY, CLICK HERE.

Newspaper Column Article 22: The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part IX: Caring Love for Her. Trusting Love for Him

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard July 28, 2013, edition, Systemic Thinking Column 

When a couple are in conflict, often times we are expecting that our partner to think, act and be like ourselves and meet our needs in the same way we think we should meet theirs.  That’s where we can get this wrong.

The column is currently exploring the link between the state of emotional fidelity that exists between couples and the state of HIV/AIDS prevalence that exists as a nation.  To do so, the article explores the ways how men and women think and feel emotions differently.

When we are aware of the differences, we “are freed from the tendency to change our partners at those times we are not getting what we want.  With a greater level of acceptance and understanding, love flourishes and we get what we want from our relationships,” says the author of “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”, Dr John Gray.

The freedom from the tendency to change partners or retain a “variety of them” now becomes a critical key to seeing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS decline.

This week we continue to explore more of the twelve kinds of emotional love that can exist between a man and woman in love.  Physically, we probably have rather similar needs, the need to appease hunger and thirst, the need to stay warm and for shelter, and so on.

But that’s where the similarities end for the “opposite” genders.  Emotionally, we are like from different planets, so says, Dr John Gray, “Men are from Mars” and “Women are from Venus” and then we met on earth without realizing how we come from two different planets!  Go figure!  And we did not come with a handbook to navigate us through this emotional maze.

Here’s one example of this difference.

A man wants his favourite woman to trust that he can handle whatever is bothering him.  That he can handle his problems is important for his honour, pride and self-esteem.  However for the woman, not worrying about him is difficult for her.  Worrying for others is one way women express their love and caring.  It is a way of showing love.  Go figure but it is true.

For a woman, being happy when the person you love is upset just doesn’t seem right.

Ironically, men show their love by not worrying.

He does not want her to be happy because he is upset, but he does want her to be happy.  It helps him to feel loved by her.  “How can you worry about someone whom you admire and trust?”, a man questions.

But for a woman, she wants him to worry for her when she was upset.  Sometimes, it takes years for a man to figure this distinction.   Without understanding this distinction and if a man minimizes the importance of her concerns, this would make the woman more upset.  Again something that does not make sense from a man’s perspective, but it is true.  Ask your man and woman friends (this can make very interesting conversation over a pint of beer!)

The best comes out in a man when his six primary (yes, there are six of them) love needs are fulfilled.  But when a woman doesn’t know what he primarily needs and give a caring love rather than a trusting love, she may unknowingly worsen their relationship.  Here is a story in point.

The knight in Shining Armour

(Extracted from “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”).

This is a powerful metaphor to help us remember a man’s primary needs.  Too much caring and assistance will lessen his confidence or turn him off.

Deep inside every man there is a hero or a knight in shining armour.  More than anything, he wants to succeed in serving and protecting the woman he loves.  When he feels trusted, he is able to tap into his noble part of himself.  He becomes more caring.  When he doesn’t feel trusted, he loses some of his aliveness and energy and after a while he can stop caring.

Imagine a knight in shining armour travelling through the countryside.  Suddenly he hears a woman crying out in distress,  In an instant, he comes alive.  Urging his horse to gallop, he races to her castle, where she trapped by a dragon.  The noble knight pulls out his sword and slays the dragon.  As a result, he is lovingly received the by the princess.

As the gate open he is welcomed and celebrated by the family of the princess and the townspeople.  He is invited to live in the town and is acknowledged as a hero.  He and the princess fall in love.

A month later as the noble knight returns from another trip, he hears his beloved princess crying out for help.  Another dragon has attacked the castle.  When the knight arrives he pulls out his sword to slay the dragon.  Before he swings, the princess cries, “Don’t use the sword, use this noose.  It will work better.”

She throws him the noose and motions to him instructions about how to use it.  He hesitantly follows her instructions.  He wraps it around the dragon’s neck and then pulls hard.  The dragon dies and everyone rejoices.

At the celebration dinner, the knight feels he didn’t really do anything.  Somehow, because he used her noose and didn’t use his sword, he doesn’t feel worthy of the town’s trust and admiration.  And the even he is slightly depressed and forgets to shine his armor.

A month later he goes on yet another trip.  As he leaves with his sord, the princess reminds him to be careful and tells him to take the noose.  On his way home, he sees yet another dragon attacking the castle.  This time he rushes forward with his sword but hesitates, thinking maybe he should use the noose.  In that moment of hesitation, the dragon breathes fire and burns his right arm.  In confusion, he looks and sees his princess waving from the castle window.

“Use the poison,” she yells.  “The noose doesn’t work.”

She throws him the poison, which he pours into the dragon’s mouth and the dragon dies.  Everyone rejoices and celebrates, but the knight feels ashamed.

A month later, he goes on another trip.  As he leaves with his sword, the princess reminds him to be careful, and to bring the noose and the poison.  He is annoyed by her suggestions but brings them just in case.

This time on his journey he hears another woman in distress.  As he rushes to her call, his depression is lifted and he feels confident and alive.  But as he draws his sword to slay the dragon, he again hesitates.  He wonders, should I use my sword, the noose or the poison?  What would the princess say?

For a moment, he is confused.  But then he remembers how he had felt before he knew the princess, back in the days when he only carried a sword.  With a burst of renewed confidence, he throws off the noose and poison and charges the dragon with his trusted sword.  He slays the dragon and the townspeople rejoice.

The knight in shining armour never returned to his princess.  He stayed in this new village, married the princess and lived happily ever after.

As the couple learns to meet these differences it prepares the couple to move to the next deeper level of emotional intimacy between them.   Respect.  And Appreciation.  This will be the subject of next week’s column.

In what way does not knowing these differences that exist between a couple have an impact on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS as a nation?

Would this series of causality be different for countries beyond Botswana in instances where the epidemic has become resistant to our effort to intervene it?   Strange as this question may sound, whose mandate is it to understand and “manage” these distinctions?  The medical sector?  The United Nations?  The government?  Who would that be?  What do you think?  What do your friends think?

 

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a Systemic Strategy Development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518 or email sheila@loatwork.com.

Newspaper Column Article 21: The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part VIII: To de-stress, “Men Go to Their Cave, Women Talk”

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard July 21, 2013, edition, Systemic Thinking Column 

When women talk, it means it is a good sign!  They are actually de-stressing.

Some of the male readers of the column shared they were surprised from the previous week’s column that the act of making social contact (such as talking and seeking to be heard or nurturing activities) for a woman is to a woman what withdrawing or becoming aggressive does to relieve stress for the man.

They had no idea!!!

When a man is stressed, he goes to his cave!  He will withdraw into the cave of his mind and focus on solving a problem.   He generally picks the most urgent problem or the most difficult.  He becomes so focussed on solving this one problem that he for a while loses awareness of everything else.  Other problems and responsibilities fade into the background.  If he can find a solution, instantly he will feel much better and come out of his cave and suddenly he is available for being in a relationship again.

Women handle stress very differently.

She does not know how to go to the cave of her mind.  She talks.  Or she finds activities in which she is taking care of or connecting emotionally with others.  This also stimulates the production of oxytocin for her.

 “An understanding of oxytocin-producing behaviours can completely change the way a man interprets a woman’s behaviour.  For example, when a woman complains she is not getting enough support or feels the need to talk about the problems in her life, it does not mean she does not appreciate what her partner does.   Instead, her behaviour is an indication that she is attempting to cope with stress by increasing her oxytocin levels”

— John Gray, Author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Generating oxytocin in the work world outside the home does not happen easily as it can be disrupted by the demands of having to make decisions, and set priorities based on bottom line instead of the need of others, and behaving in a professional manner.  These are testosterone producing situations.  Though there is nothing wrong with stimulating testosterone, it does nothing to lower a woman’s stress levels.’

Finding relief through talking.

When women talk about problems, men usually resist.  A man assumes she is talking to him about her problems, because she is holding him responsible.  The more problems, the more he feels blamed.  He does not realize that she is talking to feel better.

She would usually not open up to a man, if she had not felt “safe to do so” with him.  It is a sign of intimacy she is extending to him on her part.  So, if a woman does talk to you, it is a good sign for the relationship.  He will also eventually learn that that she will appreciate him if he just listens.

Men talk about problems for only two reasons: they are blaming someone or they are seeking advice.  Therefore when a woman is really upset, a man assumes she is blaming him.  Then he draws his sword to protect himself from attack.  If he offers solutions to her problems, she just continues talking about more problems.  He finds his solutions have been rejected and he feels unappreciated.  In both cases, he soon finds it difficult to listen.

He does not realize that explanations are not what she needs.  She needs him to understand her feelings and let her move on to talk about more problems.  If he is wise and just listens, then a few moments after she is complaining about him, she will change the subject and talk about other problems as well.

The degree to which a man does not understand a woman is the degree to which he will resist her when she is talking about problems.  As a man learns more how to fulfil a woman and provide her emotional support he discovers that listening is not so difficult.

Men and women learn to live together in peace because they were able to respect their emotional differences.  The men learned to respect that women need to talk to feel better.  Even if he didn’t have much to say, he learned that by listening he could be very supportive of her.

The women learned to respect that unlike themselves, men when they are stressed, needed to withdraw to cope with stress.  The place where he retires to distress was no longer a great mystery or cause for alarm.

Emotionally, the needs of the two genders are opposite.  Yet, that’s exactly what it takes a couple to come together.  As opposite genders, we do not meet in our similarities.  But in our differences.

When a couple are in conflict, often times it happens because we are attempting to meet the needs for them from our respective perspectives.  We think they are the same as ours.  That’s where we get this wrong.

As the couple learns to meet these differences it prepares the couple to move to the next deeper level of emotional intimacy between them.   Respect.  And Appreciation.  This will be the subject of next week’s column.

In what ways does not knowing these differences that exist between a couple have an impact on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS as a nation?  Would this series of causality be different beyond Botswana particularly in instances where the epidemic has become resistant to our effort to intervene it?   What do you think?  What do your friends think?  What do you agree on?  What do you disagree on?

 

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a Systemic Strategy Development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518 or email sheila@loatwork.com.

Newspaper Column Article #19: The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part VI: The Twelve Kinds of Love

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard on June 30, 2013, Systemic Thinking Column

The column is currently exploring the link between the states of level of emotional fidelity that exists between couples and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates that exists as a nation.

It is difficult to imagine that something that prevails by as much as at a personal level can have an impact at a national level.  Yet, when we observe the phenomena of emotional (rather than of sexual) fidelity that exists from person to person, family to family, district to district, region to region, it is really not all that difficult to imagine or ignore the significance of the influence on the level of the epidemic as a nation.  Viruses are not transmitted in the open.  Just because I do not see they are happening openly, it does not mean the transmissions are not happening.

Source:  Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Dr John Gray

Yet, what is emotional fidelity and what influences it?

In the past weeks we saw that this begins when the couple works at meeting and fulfilling the emotional needs of one’s partner.

And then we discovered that the emotional needs of one’s partner (of the opposite gender) are typically different from that of one’s own.

In fact there are twelve kinds of emotional needs or as we say twelve kinds of love that can exist between a couple.

The figure here illustrates what these look like.  We will start from the top.

When a woman meets and fulfils a man’s need to see his woman trust him, it allows him to grow his sense of belief in himself (when a woman believes in her man, it makes it easier for a man to believe in himself).  This act grows feelings of masculinity that fosters a need within him to provide, protect and care for his woman.

As he cares for his woman in each step of the way; the act releases oxytocin in her body, a powerful hormone that plays a huge role in pair bonding for the woman. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up for the person.  This allows her to grow her feelings of feminity that allow her to behave truer to her gender as a woman for her man.  This then allows her to grow feelings of trust in her man.

The more that a man cares for his woman, the more she trusts him!

While the couple helps to meet and build the emotional needs of their partner, the cycle behaves in a self-seeking way that reinforces their ability to receive and meet their partners’ needs.  The couple bonds in this way.

This type of relationship does not require moral, physical or monetary obligations to tie it together so as to make it work.

Couples, who learn this subtle shift in difference in the way they see their partner early on in their relationship, are often on their way to realizing greater levels of fulfilment between them.  Making relationships work becomes ‘cheap’.

As the man and the woman enjoy the first of these levels of emotional intimacy between them, they become ready to move on to the next steps in the bonding process.

This is the capacity of the man to understand the woman by listening to the views she expresses from her side of the world.

For the woman, this also means her ability to accept the man for who he is rather than who she wants to be.

Whenever a man changes his ways, be they his views or his actions, it would be on his own terms.  This is not an act of defiance.  It is what defines a man and separates him from the feelings of being a boy or a child.

It is important for a man that he sees his woman accepts him for who he is and not who he needs to be for her.  The more the man feels he is allowed to change on his terms, and sees the woman trusts him to change on his own accord, the more he feels that his woman meets his need to accept him.

So rather, than say, “Why don’t you take the trashcan out?  It is your trash too!” she instead requests of him to “Would you take the trash out?  It would really make a difference to how the house would feel.”  And when he does take the trash out, she then makes a big deal of his action.  Whenever a man does something for his woman, he assumes there is a risk involved as he is not sure if his actions would be wholly accepted by his woman.

When he sees that she accepts whatever he has given to her, it makes him happy.  This happiness is key to him becoming open to requests on her part in the future for things she would like to see happen for herself.

And this is now his capacity to listen to and understand his woman.

It is not an uncommon remark by men amongst men how “women do not stop talking”.  It is really not all that difficult to see this at checkout counters or at restaurants or at government service counters to see service delivery is delayed, because the women staffs are choosing to chat up to a point that it becomes incessant for each other.  It is now placing a dent on the economy.

Women fulfil that need for each other quite easily.  They are programmed to know how to ‘listen to another woman that fulfils this need for her.  Men however are not programmed to listen for the sake of listening.  He is designed to listen so as to take an action.  He is Mr Fix It.  So how would a woman “programme” her man, so that he becomes ready to offer the listening ear she needs to feel she has been understood by her man?

Think about it and we will explore it here in our next column and the impact of meeting these emotional needs on each other as well as for the economy.  We will explore this and more of the remaining twelve kinds of love then.

How true have these experiences been for you?  As a man?  And as a woman?  How would you tell these distinctions exist for each other?  Happy discussing these with your spouse or your girlfriend and discovering from each other!

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a Systemic Strategy Development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518.

 

Newspaper Column Article #20: The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part VII: Men and women in love meet in our differences – not similarities

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard on June 9, 2013, Systemic Thinking Column

“She’s not my type” or “He is not my type”

Yet, that’s exactly what it takes a couple to come together.  As opposite genders, we do not meet in our similarities.  But in our differences.  Emotionally.

When a couple are in conflict, often times it happens because we are attempting to meet the needs for them from our respective perspectives.  We think they are the same as ours.  That’s where we can get this wrong.

In the past few weeks, we explored while a woman accords trust and accepts her man for who he is, her need is met for her when she sees the man care for her.

The column is currently exploring the link between the state of emotional fidelity that exists between couples and the state of HIV/AIDS prevalence that exists as a nation.

This week we continue to explore more of the twelve kinds of love that can exist between a man and woman in love.

First however, a sharing of interesting reactions by readers of the column.  In the course of the week, I received reactions particularly by women readers who share the extent to which they had placed trust on the man they love and how they accepted him for who is, yet, did not see their relationship last.

In many such instances, we also see the couple enter into sexual relationships very early on in their relationship.  Each story is heartfelt yet interestingly the story line repeats in much the same way across relationships.  In most instances sexual intimacy acted as a substitute for the emotional intimacy that can happen between a couple.  We thought the two types of intimacies are the same.  They are not.

There is a however a trick to helping build emotional intimacies between a couple.  Interestingly however, it is found in the first of the ABCs as advocated by government in their efforts to prevent  HIV/AIDs transmission.  And that is abstinence.  This “tool” serves a double-edged sword.  It could prevent transmissions of the virus.  It also becomes key to building the emotional intimacies between couples.

When the couple is sexually intimate very early on in the relationship, and yet emotional fidelity has not built up between the two, the latter is less likely to happen for the couple.  It can also mean it does not happen for life afterwards for the individual even with other partners.

So it is harder to say ‘we trust or accept someone’ because we have become sexually intimate with that person or for reasons other than for reasons attributed for that individual.  Building a level of emotional intimacy can take months to happen.  It does not survive short spans (over night or weeks) of time.

For emotional fidelity to grow, it needs to happen in a space where the couple have not become sexually intimate as yet.  In instances where the couple are successful in doing so, one would usually find they have taken the time to instead to build emotional intimacy between them.

This would seem harder than it is.  It is more so when reflected against a backdrop of seeming need  African men have to be engaged sexually and women’s fear that should they not give in, one would “lose the man” to the next person.

There is an emotional distinction in the sexual activity intended to build an intimacy with one’s partner and one that helps a man regain his sense of manhood or masculinity.  Can you tell the difference?  In one instance it would feel that the man regained or received his sense of masculinity while the other is where the woman feels she received affection rather than having given in to the man.

The man received and the woman gave.  There is a misfit here.

Women sense of joy comes foremost when they “receive” from their man.  A woman who finds herself giving or giving in to others, will usually find herself falling into depression.  The need to give is now running against her inherent nature as a feminine woman.

A man’s deepest sense of joy comes from giving.  When a man is at the receiving end (as when a woman pays for him financially), he may be happy in receiving the money, but not at the expense of he questioning his sense of manhood even so privately.  He may not present this emotional discomfort in front of the lady.  But it could lead him having the need to seek out more sexual conquests with other women as a means to compensate for declining notions of his manhood.

On the other hand, where women learn to build her partner’s emotional sense of masculinity by meeting his emotional needs (trust and acceptance), she would find that over time , this leads to his need for sustained sexual conquests to decline.  This now allows him to open up to build relationships with his partner emotionally.

And this includes now his capacity to listen to and fulfil a need for his woman that her man “understands” her.  This need is ultimately defined by her when it is met for her.

It is not an uncommon remark amongst men to share with each other how much “women do not stop talking”.  It is really not all that difficult to see this evident at checkout counters or at government service counters or to see service delivery delayed because of the women staffs’ need to talk with each other so as to be heard.  This can sometimes come across as incessant chatting.

It is now beginning to place a dent on the economy.  It is a sign that the man in their lives have not yet fulfilled this need for his woman.

Women easily fulfil this need for each other amongst themselves.  They are programmed to know how to ‘listen to another woman”.  Notice the ways when women talk to each other, how they would listen to the woman and respond by taking what they have heard and relating it to their personal experiences and sharing their reactions to the woman or just showing interest in hearing more of what’s been said.

Men however are not programmed to listen for the sake of listening.  He is designed to listen so as to take an action.  He is Mr Fix It.

So how then would a woman “programme” her man, so that he becomes ready to offer the listening ear she needs to feel she has been understood?

All she would need to start with is a request to her man: “Sweetheart, will you offer me a listening ear?  I do not need you to fix anything.  I had a difficult day at work, and it will mean a lot to me if you’d do just listen.”

A woman would not need to say such to another woman.  But she needs to remember to say that to her man.  We forget this subtle point with the opposite gender.  Now he knows exactly what to DO.  The “fix “for him is to listen.  He relaxes, downs his tools and prepares to listen to his woman.

Most men hesitate to take this step because when he sees that his woman is unhappy he believes the reason for her unhappiness has something to do with him.   And he is not sure what is causing it.  It is a risk for him.

But if she prepares him to listen, and he listens, he will soon discover that all she needed was a sounding board.

When a woman is allowed to express what she hopes her man would hear, two things happen for her.  She begins to calm down as when she sees someone listening to her, it allows her to complete her trains of thoughts that lead her to become clearer of what she needs to do next.  This de-stresses her immediately.  This becomes key to ready her to meet another need for her man.  And that is to appreciate him for what he does for her.  Her attention now turns away from herself (and therefore she stops talking) to her partner.

Don’t forget to appreciate the man for listening to you.  The gesture prepares him to better listen to his woman the next time.

The best gift a man can give to his woman is to offer a listening ear to her.

And the couple learns to meet these differences it prepares the couple to move to the next deeper level of emotional intimacy between them.

Are these how you see these or do you see these differently?

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a Systemic Strategy Development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518 or email sheila@loatwork.com.

 

The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part VI: The Twelve Kinds of Love

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard on June 30, 2013, Systemic Thinking Column

The column is currently exploring the link between the states of level of emotional fidelity that exists between couples and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates that exists as a nation.

It is difficult to imagine that something that prevails by as much as at a personal level can have an impact at a national level.  Yet, when we observe the phenomena of emotional (rather than of sexual) fidelity that exists from person to person, family to family, district to district, region to region, it is really not all that difficult to imagine or ignore the significance of the influence on the level of the epidemic as a nation.  Viruses are not transmitted in the open.  Just because I do not see they are happening openly, it does not mean the transmissions are not happening.

Source:  Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Dr John Gray

Yet, what is emotional fidelity and what influences it?

In the past weeks we saw that this begins when the couple works at meeting and fulfilling the emotional needs of one’s partner.

And then we discovered that the emotional needs of one’s partner (of the opposite gender) are typically different from that of one’s own.

In fact there are twelve kinds of emotional needs or as we say twelve kinds of love that can exist between a couple.

The figure here illustrates what these look like.  We will start from the top.

When a woman meets and fulfils a man’s need to see his woman trust him, it allows him to grow his sense of belief in himself (when a woman believes in her man, it makes it easier for a man to believe in himself).  This act grows feelings of masculinity that fosters a need within him to provide, protect and care for his woman.

As he cares for his woman in each step of the way; the act releases oxytocin in her body, a powerful hormone that plays a huge role in pair bonding for the woman. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up for the person.  This allows her to grow her feelings of feminity that allow her to behave truer to her gender as a woman for her man.  This then allows her to grow feelings of trust in her man.

The more that a man cares for his woman, the more she trusts him!

While the couple helps to meet and build the emotional needs of their partner, the cycle behaves in a self-seeking way that reinforces their ability to receive and meet their partners’ needs.  The couple bonds in this way.

This type of relationship does not require moral, physical or monetary obligations to tie it together so as to make it work.

Couples, who learn this subtle shift in difference in the way they see their partner early on in their relationship, are often on their way to realizing greater levels of fulfilment between them.  Making relationships work becomes ‘cheap’.

As the man and the woman enjoy the first of these levels of emotional intimacy between them, they become ready to move on to the next steps in the bonding process.

This is the capacity of the man to understand the woman by listening to the views she expresses from her side of the world.

For the woman, this also means her ability to accept the man for who he is rather than who she wants to be.

Whenever a man changes his ways, be they his views or his actions, it would be on his own terms.  This is not an act of defiance.  It is what defines a man and separates him from the feelings of being a boy or a child.

It is important for a man that he sees his woman accepts him for who he is and not who he needs to be for her.  The more the man feels he is allowed to change on his terms, and sees the woman trusts him to change on his own accord, the more he feels that his woman meets his need to accept him.

So rather, than say, “Why don’t you take the trashcan out?  It is your trash too!” she instead requests of him to “Would you take the trash out?  It would really make a difference to how the house would feel.”  And when he does take the trash out, she then makes a big deal of his action.  Whenever a man does something for his woman, he assumes there is a risk involved as he is not sure if his actions would be wholly accepted by his woman.

When he sees that she accepts whatever he has given to her, it makes him happy.  This happiness is key to him becoming open to requests on her part in the future for things she would like to see happen for herself.

And this is now his capacity to listen to and understand his woman.

It is not an uncommon remark by men amongst men how “women do not stop talking”.  It is really not all that difficult to see this at checkout counters or at restaurants or at government service counters to see service delivery is delayed, because the women staffs are choosing to chat up to a point that it becomes incessant for each other.  It is now placing a dent on the economy.

Women fulfil that need for each other quite easily.  They are programmed to know how to ‘listen to another woman that fulfils this need for her.  Men however are not programmed to listen for the sake of listening.  He is designed to listen so as to take an action.  He is Mr Fix It.  So how would a woman “programme” her man, so that he becomes ready to offer the listening ear she needs to feel she has been understood by her man?

Think about it and we will explore it here in our next column and the impact of meeting these emotional needs on each other as well as for the economy.  We will explore this and more of the remaining twelve kinds of love then.

How true have these experiences been for you?  As a man?  And as a woman?  How would you tell these distinctions exist for each other?  Happy discussing these with your spouse or your girlfriend and discovering from each other!

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a Systemic Strategy Development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518.

 

Newspaper Column Article #18: The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part V: His emotional needs. Her emotional needs.

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard on June 9, 2013, Systemic Thinking Column

In the previous segment of this column, we concluded it was not as easy for someone to be sexually fidel till one learns to build and enjoy “emotional fidelity” with one’s partner.

It can be easy to miss this point.

Yet it becomes significant when we explore the link between the state of emotional fidelity between couples and the state of HIV/AIDS prevalence as a nation.

How are they inter-related, you ask?

It can be difficult to imagine that something that exists at a personal level can have an impact on a national level.  Yet, when we see the phenomena happen across families, communities, districts to the region, it is not difficult to see that they can and do have a significant and growing influence on the level of the epidemic as a nation.

Our medical caregivers then give their all to fight it for the nation.  It is really admirable how they do so, even when we know we have not made it easy for them.

Last week, we explored that developing emotional fidelity is the exclusive work of the couple.  No one can do that for them.  The parents and the community around a couple may encourage marriage and the ability to stay in one.  But, not much more.  And certainly not foster emotional fidelity.

This aspect therefore, is now beyond “the control” of SADC, or as the national planning commissions or the government or the Ministry of Health, the caregivers, or even as an NGO.  We control what we can.  But till we as couples learn to reach this, leaving the work of beating the epidemic to an outside organization, will not assure us of success in this issue as a nation!

Yet, what is emotional fidelity and what influences it?

We saw that this state begins when the couple works at meeting and fulfilling the emotional needs of one’s partner.

And then we discovered that the emotional needs of one’s partner (of the opposite gender) are typically different from that of one’s own.

For example, when a man sees his woman trust him, it meets an emotional need for the male partner.  And seeing the man give care to his woman meets an emotional need for the female partner.

Both genders need both emotions.  Just not to the same extent.  To feel fulfilled as their gender in the relationship each as a unique emotional need.

When a woman meets and fulfils a man’s need to see his woman trusts him, it allows him to feel more so like a man.  Even when we think, he is not worthy of the trust, the more the man sees the woman learns to see ‘the good side’ of him and trusts him, the more he moves to a state of feeling fulfilled.  This stage is important for his feelings of masculinity to grow for him which in turn fosters a need within him to provide, protect and care for his woman.

While a man can trust his woman, it matters even more so to her, when she sees he cares for her.  The more he cares for his woman; it allows her to feel true to her gender as a woman.  And the more that allows her to grow feminine feelings as a woman; it allows her to grow and give trust to her man.

Wait!

Did we see a cycle of causality that exists between the two genders, in meeting their respective emotional needs?

The more that a man cares for his woman, the more she trusts him!

Period.  This is where the trick lies in bringing a couple together.  It is growing the cycle of meeting their respective but different emotional needs.

The bottom-line is they are not meant to be self-fulfilling nor meant to fulfil in ways that one thinks it should be for the partner from one’s point of view.  But from the view of one’s partner.  No other relationship quite teaches us to learn this point.

We often say relationships are not straightforward.  That statement is truer than we believe.

It is not meant to be.  Otherwise separation and divorces become the only ways out back to our straightforward lives.

The relationships between couples are meant to be cyclical.

The more the woman trusts her man, the more he cares for her.  The more the man cares for his woman, the more she trusts him.

Couples, who learn this subtle shift in difference in their relationship in the way they relate to their partner, often realize greater levels of fulfilment between them.

I then left you with two further questions.

How would we know that these indeed are the respective needs of the two genders?  And who should start first?

Notice when a man or a woman is in a heated discussion with each other, what would the man or woman typically say to the other?  Would the man usually say “just trust me” or would he say, “you do not care for me!”?  Whose voice do you typically hear say these words?  What did you hear in your own relationship?

It is more common for us to hear a woman say, “you do not care for me”, while a man often asks of the woman ‘to just trust him’.  We do leave clues in our relationships about our needs for our partners.  We just need to find them.  When a woman tries to reach her man, it is not because she does not trust him by as much as for her to feel the experience of his assurance of care for her.  This is not a formula.  It is a natural emotional need that exists separately for the two genders.

Who should start first?  Do I wait for my partner to fulfil my emotional needs first before I try to meet his?  Of course, that becomes self-defeating since, by doing so, we have already come from a place of the self rather than for the other.

However, this depends on the extent such needs have been met for the individual from their past relationships.  The less it has been met, the more it becomes important for the partner to meet those needs for his or her partner first.

For example, the first man a woman learned to trust was her father.  However, if she did not enjoy a trusting relationship with her father, it now becomes important that her boyfriend or husband learns to fulfil and meet that need for his woman before he may expect her to learn to trust him.  In time, she will.  One would have to learn to be patient till one reaches that stage.

And then there are five other types of emotional needs that are different for men and women.  Have you found out what they are?

Here, I will leave you with two more each for each gender and they will become the subject of the column’s discussion for next week while you continue to figure what the other remaining three emotional needs are for the respective genders (there are twelve types of love or emotional needs in total …. no one said it was going to be that easy, did they?).

How true are they for you?  How would you tell these distinctions?

Happy discussing these with your spouse and discovering these needs from each other!

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a Systemic Strategy Development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518.

 

Newspaper Column #17: The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part IV: What Causes Emotional Fidelity?

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard on June 2, 2013

“A relationship does not need the “baggage” we bring to it from our respective pasts.  Yet it serves to remind us
they are there, if we are still carrying them.  Leverage the relationship to work at unloading our baggage together.
The act of doing so clears misunderstandings and brings the two even closer.  Every time.
Conflicts in a relationship are not bad.  90% of the time they are the result of reasons from our pasts.”

In last week’s segment of this column, we concluded it was not as easy for one to enjoy sexual fidelity for oneself till one learns to enjoy “emotional fidelity” with one’s partner.  It is easy to miss this point in the “heat of the moments” but it is hard to ignore this inter-relationship over time.

When emotional fidelity or intimacy is missing between couples, it brings all relationships to an eventual standstill.  It’s usually not just sexual infidelity that causes relationships to crack up.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

What is emotional fidelity or intimacy and what does it look like?  What allows a couple to grow it between the two?  Does it happen by accident or is it open to nurturing?  Or does it happen because it is propped up by obligations as a result of the physical relationships that exist between and around them?

Emotional fidelity happens for its own sake and requires effort exclusively on the part of the couple.  Nobody (a child, parents, or wealth) can help do that step for them.  Fortunately or unfortunately.

When I do arrive at this stage of my sessions with participants in understanding the interrelationships between fidelity and prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and I present the question, “What is emotional fidelity or itimacy?”, I get the following responses, each time, without fail:

  1. Trust (that I expect my partner trusts me, or I should be able to trust him)
  2. Care (that my partner cares for me)
  3. Loyalty (that my partner is loyal to me)
  4. Compassion (that my partner shows compassion to me)
  5. Sexual pleasures (that my partner allows me to reach that pleasure for me)
  6. Passion, lust (that I must enjoy these)
  7. Respect (that my partner should respect me)
  8. Love (that my partner should love me)  … we should love each other, but that I’d love him when he shows his love me.
  9. Listens (that my partner listens to me)
  10. …. And so on, more or less in that order.

Interestingly, while the list appears seemingly innocent, take a closer look at it when we include the words that appear in parenthesis.  These are usually not voiced in the first instances.  What do you notice?

We had hoped these emotions would happen for oneself rather than for our partner.  So it would be not be a case by as much of compassion that I present to my partner as much as compassion that I expect my partner shows me.  It is not by as much the respect I accord to my partner, by as much as what I expect my partner to accord to me.  If they do it for me, then I shall do it for them.  Then it becomes mutual.  Otherwise. No!

Yet, relationships thrive, when the attention is on meeting the emotional needs of my partner rather than of myself (and, don’t read this part alone aloud to your partner! (smile).  Read the whole article together, if that is possible).

What are the emotional needs of my partner?  Would they be the same as mine?

Let me present two words here.  “Care” and “Trust”.  Both words describe emotions.  But which word describes best an emotion that when that need is met for her, helps her feel even more so like a woman.  And a man a man.  Both emotions are needed, but which one stands apart for each gender?

Would that emotion be care or trust for a woman?  Most can agree and men are quite clear of it each time, that a woman feels most like a woman is when she sees “her man cares for her”.  Yes, mothers ‘take care of their sons and daughters’.  But when the daughter grows up and she has her own children, and may take “care of her son”, she is happiest when she receives care from her husband or boyfriend.

And a man feels at his best, when he sees that his woman “trusts him”.  Sometimes, as women we do to others what we expect them to do for us.  And so, she may end up ‘taking care of him’, thinking should the more she ‘cares for him’ that more he would ‘take care of her’.

But a man does not need care from his woman.  Otherwise he sees his mother in his woman.  He needs our trust which would allow him to grow and feel more so like a man.  The less he enjoys the trust from his woman, the less he learns to feel like a man.  And therefore “stays as a ‘boy’ to be taken care of”.  This stunts his emotional development as a man.

How can we be sure these are indeed what best describes the emotional needs of the respective genders?  How do we tell?  Think what we notice happen in our own relationships?

Also men and women keep different scoring systems.  When a man does an act of ‘giving’ to his woman, the score he accords for his act depends on the size of the gift.  If say the man takes his woman for a vacation, in his books he has scored a lot of points.

But the woman keeps a different scoring system.  Be it the gift is big or small, she accords one point.  So, if the man brings her 24 roses or 1 rose, to her she accords 1 point for that act of giving he made to her.

So here’s the trick.  Instead of giving her 24 roses (and his book he records 24 points) at one time, bring her one rose but do it 24 times over a period of time.  That will be 24 points in her book.  What does this mean?  What is more important to her is not the size of the gift but rather the consistency in the act of giving.

She could sometimes come across as being ‘expensive’ but all she is trying to do is ‘to make up for the acts of giving that were not done in the past.  Hard as it seems, women can be easy.  We would need to understand the other genders’ emotional needs first for a more cordial relationship.

The physical needs of the two genders may be similar.   We all need warmth, food and shelter.  But when we attempt to cross the relationship into the emotional realm, and attempt to meet the emotional needs of the opposite gender, we meet in the differences, and not in the similarities.

So it is easy to get away by saying “he is not my type” or “she is not my type”.  It is actually truer than we believe it to be.

 “Women mistakenly expect men to react and behave the
way women do, while men continue to misunderstand
what women really need.”
  Dr Gray
– Author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”

So who would need to start meeting the needs of the other gender first?  Would it be that the woman shows trust in her man first, before he begins to accord care to her.  Or would it be vice-versa?

And then there are five other types of emotional needs that are different for men and women.  What do you think they are?

What do you see is the impact of couples who are able to meet and build emotional intimacy with each other on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country?  What would prevent them from building such levels of intimacies?

These will be the subject of the column’s discussion for next week.  Happy discussing and discovering with your family and friends!

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a systemic strategy development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518.

Newspaper Column #16: The Viralness of HIV/AIDs – Part III: What causes fidelity? Not infidelity.

As it appeared in the Botswana Sunday Standard on May 26, 2013

Nevertheless, a question that has crossed millions of minds and tons of conversations around the globe.  In sports clubs, in tea-gardens, at pubs, at market places and at bus-stations.  Between girlfriends and among boys and men.  Regardless of gender.

And we have thrashed this question in and out on various media at various stages of our lives.  As teenagers, as young adults, as married persons, as elders, even as institutions.  Sometimes, we would choose not to go there, because, we believe that it is either too difficult to get there or evokes difficult emotions or we see things that are difficult “to change” when we do get there.  Regardless of our professions.

And when we think we have got it, despite past experiences, it escapes us.  Once again.  Regardless of age.

But to be honest with each other, we really do not ask what causes fidelity!

We typically focus on why infidelity happens (happened to us).  Not fidelity.

We get what we want.  Knowing what we do not want, does not help us learn to build what we want or yearn for.

We may be ready to ‘tackle the consequences’ but as long as we keep creating the causes, we will have to continue to tackle the consequences.

This question, what causes fidelity, began to be important to us last week.  This was, when after exploring and uncovering what causes the prevalence of HIV/AIDS to rise, we recognised that fidelity inspite of non-abstinence or of not applying condoms; it had a sure-fire (guaranteed) way of bringing prevalence figures down.

I shared a discussion I would usually have in my workshop programmes when we tackle this topic, that, “Should two individuals, both HIV positive stay sexually fidel to each other, would that lead to increased levels of transmission of the HIV virus to individuals outside of the couple’s relationship.  That is, in spite of unsafe sexual practices with each other?

And the answer would be quite simply …. No!

For all.  Regardless of age, professsion or gender.  Immediately!  Except for the pair, there would be zero transmissions beyond them.  Something, a lot of nations and individuals easily aspires to and wishes it could happen for them but thinks it is difficult to reach.  Yet, it really isn’t that difficult to figure this one out.

This work is relentless in wanting to understand what influences such actions.  It is easier to dismiss it off and ‘say we require a change in behaviours’.  But if it stays on easier to say it than to do it, then we have not yet put a finger on to it to understand what would make a sufficient difference.  It was too simple!  Which is why we are led back in (to the problem).

I also shared that from a systemic perspective, the causality of HIV/AIDs as a phenomenon will be no different from that of one country to another!  Be it that the phenomenon is happening in India or Europe or China or here in Botswana, South Africa or Russia or the Americas.  Despite races or nationalities.

Why did I say that?

These circles of causality occur naturally and they prevail despite what we as individuals may appear to look like ‘on the outside’.  The ways we think and emote within, despite the boundaries we draw across the globe are not that very different.  Be it the hatred or joys we see as happening in China or Zimbabwe or Venezeula or the Artic or even between individuals as partners may manifest outwardly as looking differently.  But the emotions, and therefore the thinking and the behaviours stay true to the same.

The circles of causality are a presentation of how these aspects (namely emotions, behaviours and actions) interrelate within us and across each other.  Once these reinforce or feed themselves, or as we say locks themselves in, be they positively or negatively, the reasons or causes that appear in the cycle stay the same.

This takes us beyond the unequivocal blame we square on the ubiquitous influence of ‘truck drivers’.  And yet, ‘this’ could be anyone.  Some-ones from “outside but who was driving through” or we might say, being sexually indiscriminate or infidel with each other.

Yet, when it happen, it does not happen without a reason.  It is whether we see it (the reason) or we don’t.  When we do understand the reason, it now becomes easier for change to happen.  Hard as it may be, to accept the reason.

And so, the question is, “what causes sexual fidelity”? What encourages its growth?  What discourages it?  Where does that begin?

Couples anywhere, enjoy a type of intimacy that does not quite match up in the same way in relationships as we have with someone outside it or when we keep more than one intimate relation.  It is the only relationship that enjoys the following characteristics:

  1. The relationship is ‘not given’.  It needs to be learnt.  My relationship with my brother is given.  But my relationship with my husband is not given.  I did not “grow up” with him.  It has to be learnt.  I invest effort to learn about him;
  2. It enjoys an intimacy that goes beyond physical relations as we could with our parents and siblings, and especially beyond the obvious sexual one.  It is the only relationship that enjoys intimacy with another human being that spans, sexual intimacy to emotional (learning of our respective pasts) to mental (ways of our thoughts) to spiritual (that is not religious).  All of them with the same person at the same time.  Sometimes, the experience is referred to as being almost celestial or heavenly.  Sexual experiences become more enjoyable then.  Couples who do not ‘graduate beyond’ sexual activities rarely reach such a stage or enjoy it.  It takes time;
  3. It is the only relationship that helps us learn to open our ways of thinking to include that of another.  Family relations reinforce current or familiar ways of thinking within the box.  Intimate relations are the only relationship of its kind that helps us learn to ‘step out of our boxes’.  No other relationship can help us do that.  The more we do so, the more we learn to do that with relations outside of the family.  This becomes key to organizational and economic and international growths;
  4. It is the only relationship that helps preserve and grow our feminine and masculine emotional qualities to their ultimate peaks.  The woman feels (and not just looks) most like a woman and the man as a man.
  5. It is a relationship that starts small and grows over time, over a lifetime.  For the reasons above.  Not because our wealth has become inextricably tied up.

What allows a couple to reach such stages that goes beyond sexual fidelity to emotional fidelity?  What does emotional fidelity look like?

Sometimes we say, it is not easy for couples to enjoy sexual fidelity till they learn to enjoy emotional intimacy together.  Without emotional fidelity, do not expect sexual fidelity to happen that easily!  It does not.

So does emotional fidelity happen by accident or can it be learnt?

This will be the subject of the column’s discussion for next week.  Happy discussing and discovering!

Ms Sheila Damodaran works as a systemic strategy development consultant currently developing her practice with national planning commissions in southern Africa.  She welcomes comments and queries for her programmes at https://www.facebook.com/SystemicThinkingColumnist or call DID: 3931518.