Cultural Forces, Business and Peace

(Adam Hallman) #141

Karen, I enjoyed this article on the fulfillment of human needs with protests, parties and sports. Each of these events are filled with individuals participating through their own choosing rather than being forced into a group. The sense of community displayed and fulfillment of a purpose with the unity of fellow fans or supporters can’t be understated. I think the best business cultures are able to transcend this connectedness/purpose among their employees/customers. I think this connection can create loyalty and in turn fight poverty or create more lasting peace.

(Russell Miller) #142

Hey Steven,

Thanks. Yeah, security in general is undervalued because its value isn’t immediately obvious unless something goes very wrong and it doesn’t help meet the bottom line.

Maybe we collectively need to make cybersecurity failures more expensive. It seems whenever there’s a major breach customers stay away from the brand for a bit, but generally within a few quarters (sometimes a lot less), customers return and the firm is right back on track. Maybe we need more severe punishments especially when cybersecurity breaches are due to negligence to make sure companies properly invest in it.

(Russell Miller) #143

Hi Emily,

Thanks. Great examples from defense industry. Given that intellectual property such as you describe and secure communications are increasingly important, cybersecurity will only become more important…for both companies and countries.

(Russell Miller) #144

I’d like to give a shout out to a business not far from me that definitely supports peace. Greyston Bakery is located in Yonkers, close to the Bronx. It makes yummy baked goods including supplying brownies to Ben and Jerry’s. What makes it unique though is that it focuses on its mission…hiring and rehabilitating ex convicts, over profits. No background checks. An open place to work founded on Buddhist principles. Investing profits into the community such as through lo income housing. Giving ex convicts places to live and work…talk about a business promoting peace! Here’s some info on the company:

(Eric Appelsies) #145

Russell, what an interesting article about Greyston Bakery. I’ve noticed in my industry that sometimes the best workers are those that have had gone through difficult times. They tend to have an appreciation for the opportunities given to them and are extremely loyal. I think it’s wonderful that this bakery has given these individuals a second chance.

(Andrew Breest) #146

Thats definitely a great call out business, Russel. And it highlights a huge problem for unemployed Americans… over 1/3 of those not employed have a criminal history. Many of these criminal histories are for non-violent(often drug related) crimes.

It is challenging for members to return to society as productive members if they are barred from entering any job industry. Staying out of work only exasperates peoples financial problems and makes it harder to get back to a place where they can be successful. Also, many background checks fail to distinguish between arrest’s and convictions. The New York Times found that some 42% of individuals identified as having criminal backgrounds had faulty data reported.

Many states have started to pass laws restricting how much companies can look into this, but many still don’t. Certain job industries will be required to conduct background checks, but many more do not. Businesses such as Greyston Bakery can help pave the way for showcasing how businesses can effectively hire those with criminal backgrounds and not unduly continue to punish individuals for past mistakes(particularly those of the nonviolent nature).

(Steven Fuller) #147

Plus if they are actually manufacturing the “giving shoes” in places like Ethiopia, that does add to the economy by providing jobs. It could be argued, however, that they would be able to do more for them by simply paying those workers a significantly higher wage so they could afford to better provide for their families as well as putting more money into their local economy.

(Steven Fuller) #148

Eric, if you were an old fart like me, you’d still have a heard time getting the 80s song out of your head. It was played to death. I can still remember seeing the video on MTV with Michael Jackson (and his one sequined glove), Huey Lewis, and Cyndi Lauper and a bunch of other people you probably wouldn’t recognize. :wink:

They still play “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” on the radio frequently every year during the holiday season, but I can’t remember the last time I heard “We Are The World”. Even shortly after his untimely death, it was rarely mentioned that Michael Jackson reported wrote almost the entire song.

(Emily Dezern) #149

I agree, Andrew! Industry standards are already coming and will be the future of procurement and product releases.

(Emily Dezern) #150

Thanks for sharing this, Russell! It makes me happy to see that companies are focusing on the rehabilitation of members of society that formerly were unemployable.

I know in the defense industry, having any sort of criminal record is a dealbreaker. While it makes sense in the case of national security (sort of), I have always been saddened when I think about those that commit nonviolent acts and the impact of their time in prison on the rest of their lives. This issue really stood out to me, as dumb as it sounds, while watching season 3 of Orange is the New Black. The show formerly chose to focus on the ethics of running a prison (rations, finances, treatment by guards) and made the leap to focusing on the difficulty for the female inmates upon their release. A prominent character from the first 2 seasons found herself unemployable, and right back in the situation that first resulted in her imprisonment!

(Hunter Backenstose) #151

Emily - good example with the F-35 and China. The commons example is perfect because there are basic FAR cyber requirements, but how much is enough passed that is the million dollar question. And when you are in the middle of a competition, you need to weigh the extra costs of imposing cyber requirements on a small vendor. On a more offensive front as you are probably aware, the A&D industry is investing heavily in this capability for our customers, but much of it is classified.

(Hunter Backenstose) #152

Linda - awesome share. I shamelessly I like the tie back to the defense industry. I had never heard of this idea before, “PeaceTech”. I did a quick search online and found a company called Quantified Ventures, who looks some type of financial enabler. It sounds like this idea of PeaceTech is building some momentum!

(Hunter Backenstose) #153

If anyone else is in, or has taken, the Developing Strategic Capabilities class you will study a case on Warby Parker and their “buy one, give one” model. They provide the manufacturing costs to VisionSprings (non-profit) to produce and sell to consumers in developing countries to help promote entrepreneurship. A slight twist on Tom’s pitfalls.

(Hunter Backenstose) #154

Emily, an interesting twist on breaking down that barrier in a much different setting than an arena is what the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee is doing to promote peace among these religions. They are a non-profit that organized a series of traditional Islamic meals in synagogues and Jewish homes to help humanize the two groups to one another. Sounds like it has had a real impact on each religions outlook on one another.

(Hunter Backenstose) #155

Emily - I am not sure when the buy one give one model was first coined, but Tom’s is the first one that I ever came across. If you explore their website they are doing wayyyy more than just a one-for-one shoe exchange. Which is great! Just to name a few, they buy coffee beans from the areas they give shoes (good offset) and they are establishing manufacturing in the same areas. Like any new business model, it takes someone to take that first jump (Tom’s?) so that the global market can provide corrections to adapt to what is the most sustainable solution. At first thought, providing shoes to people who really need them sounds like a great idea to me as well LOL.

(Anna Hyronimus) #156

As if I needed another reason to adore Lush and their products - wonderful articles, Linda! The only charity or peace-based initiative I was aware of before your post was their Charity Pot initiative where proceeds from their Charity Pot lotion goes to causes such as animal welfare, human rights and environmental conservation. I think it’s incredibly impressive that Lush is using it’s voice and it’s dollars to drive positive change.

(Anna Hyronimus) #157

Hello Professor Fort! Having just finished the exercise of identifying specific songs that call to each of Kohlberg’s stages, I was pleasantly surprised to see how certain songs stuck out in my head immediately upon reading some of the moral development stages; they’ve become my own music and coping mechanism without me realizing. I hadn’t realized music, lyrics or certain melodies could have such a strong hold on my mood or outlook until going through the paper, and now I can absolutely see how music can foster different emotions in the workplace based on shared experiences of your colleagues. I think music is one of the best ice breakers when meeting someone new, and it’s amazing how much more I perceive to know someone after listening to their playlists.

(Anna Hyronimus) #158

I’ve heard of a lot of fascinating examples such as Tom’s, Warby Parker, Bombas and others that have a “buy one, give one” concept that fosters peace, economic development and economic sustainability. I admit this topic is rather taboo, but I wanted to call another company into this category: Cora. Cora is a menstrual product company who provides organic menstrual products in the US via subscription service. For every Cora purchase, they donate sanitary pads to girls in need around the world, mainly in countries such as Kenya and India. Their primary cause is to empower women through the availability of these products. Due to the extreme amount of shame and potential harm that menstrual cycles cause in countries like Kenya and India, many young women drop out of school once they hit puberty. Statistics show that 70% of women in India cannot afford these supplies, so one in four women in India drop out of school once they hit puberty, but the drop-out rate decreases by 90% when women are given access to menstrual supplies in Kenya. Cora partners with organizations on the ground to fund reproductive health education and sanitary pads to young girls. Cora’s cause is directly impacting economic development, women empowerment, and peace. Here are ten other organizations following suit:

(Adam Hallman) #159

Anna, this is a great concept by Cora. I know many NGOs, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are prioritizing this issue that is one of the top issues that needs to be resolved on the path to gender equality. However, I think that business could potentially play an even bigger role in a solution but raising awareness from those who are using the very product that is needed in poorer areas to lift women out of poverty through education and increased opportunities. It is also smart business for Cora. By providing these products for free now, Cora can gain brand awareness. As these countries develop Cora can switch from a gifter of menstrual products to a seller when the populations are able to afford them.

(Matthew Chiogioji) #160

Great article, thanks for sharing Eric. I agree with Adam and would be curious to see what countries the 1500 children come from. It would definitely be great if a portion of them were from Palestine. In addition to instilling values like teamwork, competitiveness, and ethical behavior, sports also help form lifelong friendships. Players in the NBA are a great example of this, many of them who played together in the AAU circuit as they grew up and remaining close to this day. Ensuring that although they may play for different teams (or come from different countries) they can still maintain a positive relationship.