Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for February 2nd, 2007

Good business FOR the global poor: Harvard Business School

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-02-02

A very interesting article in the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge series has just surfaced at http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5529.html entitled Business and the Global Poor, demonstrating enlightened thinking that most lefties will welcome.

Here are two of the key concepts:

The goals of poverty reduction and economic profit begin to align to the degree that these ventures empower the poor, either by improving their quality of life, providing them with productivity tools and services, or by creating jobs.

Yep, win-win scenarios are always better than straight competitive zero-sum games.

Companies must strike a delicate balance, keeping in mind both their legal obligations to return profits to their investors as well as their social responsibilities. Companies cannot afford to treat their social license callously.

Now that’s good: unfortunately our right-wing political leaders and pundits pooh-pooh the subject-matter experts again because of the short-termism of their financial backers. But then, Australia’s Dear Leader has been studiously ignoring the world-renowned evidence-based work of Professor Michael Porter of HBS’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness.

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Posted in Economics and Business, Ethics | Leave a Comment »

A Call to Trivialize Education

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-02-02

John Howard says a national school curriculum is common sense, according to a report by ABC News.  Whether defined by the states, or federally, I advocate that all Australian curricula place an emphasis on “trivial” matters, thus creating an electorate that detects misdirections by dissembling politicians and commentators.

I’m using the word trivial using it’s original sense, meaning "of the Trivium", the traditional study of grammar, dialectic (logic) and rhetoric.  I’d also argue for more emphasis on the rest of the Seven Liberal Arts, the "quadrivial" studies of number: of itself (arithmetic); in space (geometry); in time (music); in time and space (astronomy).  Ok, maybe we don’t need a population that knows the names of the stars, but imagine a society where everyone understood our place in the kosmos, and can think critically about the spin placed on the flurry of numbers that determine social and economic policy.

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Posted in Australia, Education, Language Use, Politics | Leave a Comment »

 
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