Category Archives: work and business

Tidjane Thiam on Desert Island Discs

I love Desert Island Discs and this one with Tidjane Thiam from 2012 is probably one of the most extraordinary episodes I have ever heard.. some great songs too ranging from opera to traditional Senegalese music.

At the time Tidjane was ‘The Man at the Pru’ (he is now CEO of Credit Suisse) and amongst other things he talks about political upheaval, Yes Minister and The Archers, his fathers imprisonment, being offered the presidency of Ivory Coast, and why he took 2 suits to big meetings!

Click on the photo to hear his Desert Island Discs .. or find it here on iplayer

Intro from the Desert Island Discs website

He’s chief executive of the Prudential, but he’s about as far from the archetypal “man from the Pru” as you can get.
The seeds of his success were sown amid the complex political terrain of the Ivory Coast with an extended family heavily involved in politics and a father imprisoned for his beliefs. His life quickly took on an international flavour from West Africa to Morocco, Paris to Washington, but in his early 30s a coup in his homeland left him high and dry. He says “I had no job, no career, nothing at all. It taught me a lot about myself. If you’ve been in a situation where you have nothing there’s nothing much you’re afraid of.”

The entire archive of over 3000 Desert Island castaways is now on the BBC website and worth a browse through..

 

Just Money – Banking as if Society Mattered

I have mentioned the U.Lab course Transforming, Business, Society and Self in a previous blog and this free course Just Money: Banking as if Society Mattered is from the same team at MIT. This time they look at how money moves around the exisiting banking ‘system’ and at examples of financial institutions working for positive change and doing things differently.

Hardly a week goes by without some story of dodgy behaviour from big banks so it may surprise you to discover that many credit unions and some banks are actually doing great things with their clients money. Understanding more about how this works gives you the knowledge to make an informed choice about what you do with your own money.

 

The 5 week course is free and runs on the edx.org platform and starts mid-April 2016 but you can register any time and work at your own pace.. blurb from the course page says..

What do you know about banking? Do you know what your bank does with your money? The recent financial crisis highlighted some of the most fundamental issues with the mainstream banking system.

This course looks into banks that operate differently, namely, “just banks” that use capital and finance as a tool to address social and ecological challenges.

This course is for anyone who wants to understand the unique role banks play as intermediaries in our economy and how they can leverage that position to produce positive social, environmental, and economic change.

The instructors of this course have worked for over 10 years with just banks from around the world, as well as in the fields of community development, economic democracy, and social change.

No previous knowledge of finance or banking is needed to take this course.

For more info or to sign up go to the Just Money page on edx.org

This is the first of several spin-off courses from the original U.Lab course and by 2017 there will be more from the same team of people on a range of topics.

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg

I love In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.. 45 minutes a week on BBC Radio 4 and you know you will always learn something new!

The thing that amazes me most about these programmes is how Melvyn seems able to ask pertinent question regardless of the topic. He is surrounded by people who have spent years studying a particular subject and he always sounds like he knows what he is talking about whether it is the history of Mali, The Salem witch trials, X-Ray Crystallography or Rumi’s poetry.
Only once have I heard him flummoxed.. and must confess I was too.. so have a listen and see what you think about this classic discussion about Bertrand Russell and his work on Analytic philosophy.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the influential British philosopher Bertrand Russell. Born in 1872 into an aristocratic family, Russell is widely regarded as one of the founders of Analytic philosophy, which is today the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world. In his important book The Principles of Mathematics, he sought to reduce mathematics to logic. Its revolutionary ideas include Russell’s Paradox, a problem which inspired Ludwig Wittgenstein to pursue philosophy. Russell’s most significant and famous idea, the theory of descriptions, had profound consequences for the discipline.

Have a browse through the comprehensive A-Z with all episodes broadcast since 1998 and I’m sure you’ll find something that takes your fancy.. from the A of The Abbasid Caliphs to the Z of The Zulu Nation’s Rise and Fall.  

Top 100 documentaries from Films for Action

I discovered Films for Action a while ago and can spend hours on their site watching fascinating documentaries or reading thought provoking blogs. They describe Films for Action as a community-powered learning library for people who want to change the world viagra generique maroc.

Over the last 8 years, they have watched hundreds of social change documentaries and cataloged the best of them on the site. There’s now so many that they decided to create a list of the very best 100 fims hand-picked for their quality, insight and potential to inspire positive change. The films cover a wide range of topics including finance, permaculture and gardening, food, energy, democracy and politics, war, happiness, community, education, architecture, media and more.

All of the films have been selected because they are either free to watch online, or can be rented online.  Click on the image below to see the list of 100 films.

100 films for action

Philosophers Notes

I love these Philosophers Notes book summaries from Brian Johnson.  I came across them a few years ago and must confess I ‘tested’ Brian when I first discovered them. You used to get a free book of your choice to try and I deliberately picked one I knew well to see what he made of it.

I chose ‘Loving What Is’ by Bryon Katie as my freebie and was very pleasantly surpised. I first read the book when I was doing a course in Focused Mindfulness with Absolute Specialists and learned about ‘The Work’ which is a very powerful technique she uses.

When I read the book there were several key points that stood out, but when I heard Brian’s summary he also picked out something else which I hadn’t initially realised was so significant, but after using the techniques for a while it was clear to me how important it was.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

So.. I decided I liked Brian, his notes, and how his mind worked and signed up for them all!

There is absolutely loads of  free stuff on the Philosphers Notes website including podcasts and short video summaries of the books. You can get 3 free notes for signing up to Brian’s daily or weekly  email dose of inspiration so why not give them a try.

If you want access to everything he offers a brilliant deal of $10 a month for all the Philosophers Notes, 10 new notes a month as well as Optimal Living 101 videos on all sorts of topics like Procrastination, Confidence, Action, Optimism and much more.

I do get a bit of commission if you become a paid up member and find his site through this page.. but I wholeheartedly recommend what he does.

Brian Johnson

Validation

Validation is a short film by Kurt Kuenne . A fable about the magic of free parking. All about a parking attendant who gives his customers REAL validation — dispensing both free parking and free compliments.

It is only 16 minutes long but a brilliant short film with a roller coaster of emotions. It will make you smile, laugh and probably cry.. so grab a coffee and sit down and watch!

Mulch Yourself

As some of you know I am a keen organic gardener and have lots of friends who are interested in permaculture la maca viagra. I read a fascinating article written by Flo Scott in Permaculture Magazine where she talked about mulch and bringing permaculture principles into her life to help her cope with long term health problems. I had never really thought of using permaculture ideas in this way but her article made a lot of sense. In very simple terms… you need healthy inputs into your ‘soil’ before you can grow and be productive in your ‘outputs’.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I really love her little cartoon of ‘Mulching Man’ which is now stuck on my fridge as a reminder!

mulching manSo.. be honest… how many of those do you actually do? Are you making time for nourishing food, good quality sleep, supportive relationships, having fun and doing enjoyable things, restful breaks and time in nature and space to be creative? If not.. don’t be surprised if you struggle with work, family and other commitments. Don’t start beating yourself up about  your lack of mulch but try and make some time for those positive things.

Many thanks to Flo for letting me use her wonderful Mulching Man. If you would to find out more about Flo or permaculture check out her website http://permaculturedesigner.co.uk/

This was originally posted on the North Craven Networking blog.

Do nothing for 2 minutes

This website http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com does exactly what it says on the tin and asks you to ‘Do Nothing For 2 Minutes’.

If you have never tried anything like mindfulness or meditation before this is a simple place to start.

Just try and breathe, listen to the waves and if you want look at the picture. Most people struggle to begin with but that is fine.. don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage it at first.

I set a timer a couple of times a day on my phone and if I’m working on the computer when it goes off I do this.. just breathing deeply and taking a bit of a time-out can help enormously and make you more focused when you go back to your work.

Give it a try – Click on the picture below and breathe!

donothingfor2minutes

From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies: Otto Scharmer

I have mentioned Otto Scharmer in my previous blog post about U.Lab – Transforming, Business, Society and Self. The book on which the course is based is called Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economics.

This is 40 minute talk  ‘From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies’ at Wisdom 2.0 Business 2014. www.wisdom2business.com where Otto goes into more depth about Theory U and its applications in business and other organisations.

 

Find out more about Otto, Theory U and his work at http://www.ottoscharmer.com/