Monday, May 19, 2008

A Man Without a Country

Just finished – in one go – Vonnegut’s last book „A Man Without a Country“, and wanted to highlight it.*
It’s humorous, yet critical and concerned, full of insights and reflections about the politics, society & life in the US (and the world).
The starting lines „There’s no reason good can’t triumph over evil, if only angels will get organized along the lines of mafia“ reflect well the author's style.

The book is very enjoyable and thought provoking, one thing that surprised me was the extent of Vonnegut’s concern about the future of humankind „...It seems to me that people live like the members of AA: day by day. And a few extra days is enough. I know very few of that kind of people that dream about the world left for their grand children."
„That’s the end of good news about anything. Our Planet’s immune system is trying to et rid of people. This is sure the way to do that.“

And there's a lot more...about integrity, honesty, war on Iraq, little Marsians etc

* especially so in the context, where I remember myself as a teenager checking out the "Breakfast of Champions" and thinking (regarding his style) "hm... that's a weird book", it went for his style of writing as well as illustrations. I guess it's all about timing. I really enjoyed it this time.

PS. it's a bit another topic, but I also loved Jaan's "Hingelõõm" particularly for how the illustrations/comics where integrated with the content/the story itself. I actually hadn't seen the illustrations given that big share in a novel before. (My ignorance might have to do with a fact that I've spent years of not reading too much other-than-for-my-work literature :).

Friday, May 16, 2008

Brazil: greenest lifestyles & GRI reporting awards

Just red a few newsbits about Brazil in

First one saying that Brazil, India are having the world’s most environmentally-sustainable lifestyle, according to a study tracking global attitudes towards consumption and the environment. There were four key areas in observation: housing, transportation, food and goods.

It's good news, but I'm very sceptical - I think that the consumption would increase in accordance with the household incomes and increase in spending power.

Yet, there's something special about Brazil (maybe I've felt that because I've been more exposed to such kind of people, but still) there's a certain (higher) sensitivity and energy in Brazil/brazilians in general and also regarding social and environmental topics, new lifestyles, innovation etc, certain spirituality.
I don't think it yet affects the mainstream (consumer), but it could soon.

The second news was about GRI reporting awards, where Brazil (Petrobras) and India (ABN Amro) won a few award categories. It's a good sign to demonstrate that the global best practice in sustainability is not anymore only concentrated in Europe (UK, Gery, Fra, NL etc), or USA, but the developing countries are right there on the map.
Like I said, Brazil is a good place to keep an eye on regarding CR/sustainability innovation (let's hope the general policial-economic climate will also remain positive).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Just thought of adding a comment here regarding my views on doing business.
While being keen on the green, sustainable, responsible business, I'm not an anti-business campaigner, I'm completely pro-business. I just think that contemporary times require us (for various reasons) & propose an opportunity to take much broader look at business, that is beyond the traditional single bottom line (turnover, profit).
We now look at business from more global perspective, along the value chain and the overall impacts along the life cycle of products/sercives, considering the social and environmental impacts of doing business. And for business, it has to do with both: risk management and business opportunities.
It's exciting time of re-thinking & re-modeling & re-inventing business/doing business. That itself does not imply a need to compromise the strive for profitability.

I'm inspired by this.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gucci recycled?

I've worked in a bank that aims at bringing economic, environmental and social aspirations together, including giving incentives for their clients and suppliers to do the same.
I soon hope to be able to start working in my new job in a cosmetics company that values sustainable production and biodiversity, cooperation with local producer communities, aims at having 0 carbon footprint, offers refills for their products etc.
These being a few examples of businesses going "green", more sustainable...

Yesterday, after passing through a KG shop (luxury shoe brand) in Gatwick airport (all the shoes made in Brazil, by the way), I casually browsed through the Kurt Geiger's web site. Beautiful beautiful shoes!!!

And then a bit awkward thought came to my mind - how do the luxury brands and the whole sustainable development movement fit together? Do they at all?
I mean, honestly, I can't imagine the expensive luxury brands like Gucci, KG, Armani, Fendi, Louis Vuitton etc being associated with greener production, sustainable value chain management, fair trade and pricing, or you name it sustainability issue.
It just does not seem to fit together!?!

heheh I mean, just try to imagine anyone being proud of a recycled Gucci bag!!!

On the same note, I noticed the year 2007 marked as the "Celebrities going Green" year. Interesting eh!
Sheryl Crow campaigning for stopping global warming, Leonardo diCaprio promoting hybrid vehicles, Alicia Silverstone renovating her home to be eco-concious etc. I think these are good signs of changing public attitudes.

And on the top of it, found a blog item from the Luxury Summit, which claims that it's now in fashion to be green and fabulous. And that not only for the talk of it, but the customers have really started to look behind the label.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Are you mad?

"You are not mad at me, are you?" asked my friend apparently a bit concerned about a recent short personal argument.
"Hmm...I guess not really" was my a bit vague answer.

I guess I had a bit of reason to be upset, and I had this little stingy feeling inside as if someone had bitten a bit of my ego or something. But yet, I knew I really shouldn't be mad. I've learned that by being mad I don't really proceed anywhere, I just stay stuck in my own self destruction or in worst case burst it out and make the initial argument even worse.
It surely helps if I can get myself out of the situation by taking a look at myself through someone else's eyes. If you know what I mean, that is to leave my hurt ego aside and think what just happened. And to learn from it, and do something with these learnings, that is to channel this energy somewhere else but into the feeling of madness. And not seem totally indifferent regarding what just happened (the argument).
ehhh...I still have to reflect on that and try to make this a bit more consistent for myself...