‘Disruption’ would be a good word to describe the theme of the State of the Island Economic Summit 2021.
This year’s summit happens Tuesday to Thursday, Oct. 26-28, but instead of a gathering of presenters and attendees and between-session exhibits at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, COVID-19 pandemic safeguards have disrupted those plans and pushed the event online and virtual for the second year running.
The virtual summit opens Tuesday with Stories of Digital Innovation from Island entrepreneurs who will show and tell how Island-based companies achieve amazing feats with evolving digital technology that has even taken the concept of the office into the digital realm.
The summit agenda gets busier Wednesday and Thursday, with speakers, presentations, round-tables, networking opportunities and more all day long.
Wednesday’s keynote presentation is at 3:30 p.m., when Premier John Horgan will address delegates.
The day begins, though with a talk with particular local interest, centring on ‘doughut economics.’ Nanaimo city councillors Tyler Brown and Ben Geselbracht will be guest panelists, as Nanaimo is the first Canadian city to adopt the framework. Carlota Sanz, co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab, will present the vision of doughnut economics and how action on the concept is laying the groundwork to create “ecologically safe and socially just communities.”
The Indigenous economy and how First Nations on the Island are expanding economic activities in traditional and non-traditional industries will be presented by panelist from the Huu-ay-aht, Malahat First Nations and Snuneymuxw First Nation’s Petroglyph Development Group.
As the pandemic continues, there will be discussion about working from home. Some are wondering about tensions arising between employees who stayed at job sites and those who worked remotely during the pandemic. A talk about return-to-work strategies and related mental health considerations will help employers identify workplace mental health issues and the tools and strategies to address mental health concerns in the work environment.
The Geography of Disruption is a session exploring how the forces of “disruptive innovation and dematerialization” might save the planet from sustainability models that are themselves showing signs of being unsustainable.
Disruptions in how Canadians shop and buy food is explored in Wednesday’s opening keynote presentation, It’s Good to Produce Goods, by Sylvain Charlebois, Dalhousie University professor and senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab. Charlebois will also engage in discussion about food systems opportunities for the Island.
Supply chain disruptions and worries about quality and reliability of imported goods will be presented by Island Good. The initiative is raising public awareness and, with local government sponsorship, Island Good producers and retailers are seeing sales increases and market expansion. The Island Good: Recipes for Success panel discussion happens Thursday afternoon.
Susan Mowbray, partner and senior economist with MNP LLP will close the summit when she presents the VIEA’s seventh ‘State of the Island’ economic report highlighting the rapid changes happening in the Island’s new COVID economic landscape.
For more on the Vancouver Island Economic Summit and how to register, visit http://viea.ca.
Mindset Matters: The Responsibility Of Corporate Behavior In Magnifying The Disability Economy – Forbes
Through a series of columns starting with the previous Mindset Matters piece, the hope is to open a dialogue around the significance of the emerging Disability Economy and discover some of the intricacies that are key to its very growth. As we mine deeper into this burgeoning economy of identity it is critical to recognize that this very concept is not static, but rather filled with complexity and nuances that must be explored further. If companies are going to truly embrace disability inclusion as a key stakeholder within their leadership strategy and a central theme to their long-term business success, then they must integrate key areas of knowledge that are essential to adopting a framework that radiates true disability confidence.
Corporations who choose to participate in this budding Disability Economy must understand the holistic nature of what needs to be done. A good starting point is to acknowledge the fact that the disability community is diverse, that the lived experience of disability cannot be seen through one lens, rather it must be seen through a diversity of perspectives that offer organizations a multitude of opportunities. Corporate leadership should have an awareness that while the Disability Economy is continuing to grow, it is ephemeral, in that it will continually change with each generation and each situation demanding new requirements that necessitate innovative ways of thinking and operating. It is this very awareness that will be critical for organizations to foster greater economic opportunities within this uncharted space.
So, what do businesses need to know? Corporate leadership must understand that to honestly immerse themselves within the Disability Economy in an authentic way they must identify with the value of needs. It is this understanding that must become the fundamental building block for corporate leaders to work on as they move forward while embracing disability into their business strategy. The value of needs is based on the notion that amplifying soft skills such as listening, trust, and empathy are central to pushing past barriers that are critical to gaining access to this new marketplace.
The adage “Nothing About Us, Without Us” cannot be far from the mind of any corporate leader who is engaging in the disability space. For any corporate leader to be involved in the Disability Economy, one must begin with a level of trust. No matter what the product or service, having buy-in from the disability community is essential to the process. Understanding the communities’ needs is imperative, but it is also the first salvo in starting an ongoing dialogue between corporate entities and the disability community themselves. It is through this process that the potential for real evolution can happen, and new products and services can have real meaning within this growing market.
As corporate leaders realize the value of need, the next step is making them habitual. The role of need must become an essential calling card for any organization doing business within the Disability Economy. It is not only critical for larger corporations but has value across many other branches of the emergent Disability Economy from entrepreneurship, social investors, to nonprofit organizations, and even government and educational institutions. These are topics that we will investigate further in future columns, but for the moment it is important to acknowledge the role behaviors play in expanding economic opportunities by celebrating the value of both the individual and the collective to shape the reality of the future.
Corporate leaders say they want to “do the right thing”, yet the question lies not just in the want, but the how. It is time for organizations and their leadership teams to be vulnerable and recognize that it is okay not to know. By identifying the needs of others to become a part of the habit of daily business life gives corporate leaders the flexibility to not only be prepared for change but move beyond a level of unconscious bias that offers a continuous mode of learning that will impact business both socially and economically creating opportunities for true disruption that can recalibrate the culture of business for the next century.
Japan economy contracts 3.6% in 3Q as virus hits spending – Yahoo Canada Finance
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s economy contracted at a 3.6% annual rate in July-September as a wave of coronivirus infections crimped travel and other activities, the government said Wednesday.
The estimate for the last quarter, downgraded from an earlier report of a 3.0% contraction, reflected weakness in consumer spending and trade, the government said.
In quarterly terms, the measure used for most economies, the economy contracted 0.9%, compared to the earlier estimate of a 0.8% contraction.
The world’s third-largest economy was in a slump before the pandemic hit. Its recovery has been fitful thanks to precautions taken to curb COVID-19 infections. Troubles with supply chains, especially for computer chips used in autos, have also taken a toll.
Japan’s latest big coronavirus outbreak, in the late summer, has receded for now with a sharp drop in cases. But it hit during the usually busy summer travel season, with calls for restricted business activity and travel hurting restaurants, hotels and other service sector industries.
Consumer spending is recovering and will likely drive a recovery in the current quarter, Norihiro Yamaguchi of Oxford Economics said in a commentary.
“With supply chain disruptions easing in the auto sector, production and exports are also projected to recover, albeit at a moderate pace,” he said.
The latest data showed a lower level of private inventories than earlier reported and weaker government and consumer spending. It also showed wages contracted by 0.4%, instead of growing by 0.1% as earlier reported.
Japan’s Cabinet has approved a record 56 trillion yen, or $490 billion stimulus package, including cash handouts and aid to ailing businesses, to help the economy out of the doldrums worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Parliamentary approval of the plan is expected this month.
The Associated Press
The global economic transition to a green economy – Lombard Odier
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The Investment Guide: Your Life Your Priorities 2022 – Forbes
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