globalEDGE Blog - By Author: Ahmad Naboulsi
The Burj Dubai Towers (now renamed the Burj Khalifa) opened for business this Monday after about six years of construction. At 2,727 feet (828 meters), the tower is the tallest man-made structure in the world, beating out the KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, United States and the Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower in Guangzhou, China (which was topped-out in 2009 at 610 meters). Check out this video from Al Jazeera for an interview with Bill Baker, the chief structural engineer at designing firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.
Over the last year or so, we’ve been working on a few different projects that we hope will make globalEDGE more useful to more people. A couple adjustments were implemented only recently, and I’m sure you’ve already noticed a few changes in your day-to-day browsing experience (the new formatting and sorting options in Resource Desk are my personal favorites thus far).
In an ever-flattening world, the need for a pronounced international emphasis in education is becoming more apparent every day. Universities and larger colleges have been able to adapt to this need relatively quickly. In a 2002 article, Philip Artbach and Jane Knight wrote that the focus of international activities in universities have expanded greatly over the last twenty years ranging from “traditional study abroad programs allowing students to learn about other cultures to providing access to higher education in countries where local institutions cannot meet the demand”. Much of this drive towards internationalization is motivated by profit (schools marketing internationally or promoting a new internationalized aspect of their programs) and the desire for students to study in English-speaking nations.
Many people in the international community have perhaps visited or at least heard of Adbusters.org, the Canadian anti-consumerist activist organization. I remember browsing through the site a couple years ago and watching a few videos, laughing a little bit, and happily forgetting that it existed. Recently, the self proclaimed “journal of the mental environment” and I crossed paths again when a friend of mine received an online invitation to participate in Buy Nothing Day, an international campaign supported by Adbusters in which participants refrain from spending money on absolutely anything on November 27th or 28th (depending on location) in order to create “a chain reaction of refusal against consumer capitalism … a sudden, unexpected moment of truth … the first ever global revolution.” Participating countries include Denmark, France, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Mark your calendars: United Nations Day is October 24th. The holiday is an annual celebration observed internationally by UN member nations, reaffirming the goals and the values of the organization. Of special interest to those in the international business field is the United Nations Global Compact, a sub-organization that acts as a policy group for companies that are “committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.”
If you're planning a trip abroad in the near future, make time to check out this fascinating article from International Business Times on the world's 10 strangest delicacies. Fried tarantulas, live octopus, balut, and puffin heart! Oh my!
Here's a neat video from National Geographic about eating live Octopus in South Korea.
Even after Google's little shutdown at the beginning of May, CEO Eric Schmidt is still predicting that cloud computing technology would elminate the need for software. Businesses and individuals would be able to access their information or programs, stored on a central server, from anywhere in the world. This would completely revolutionize the way that businesses communicate with eachother around the world. Check out this neat little interview from CNN Money on the future of server based applications.
Recently, CNN Money’s Small Business section featured a great article on the "seven deadly sins" of entrepreneurship. According to SCORE, a nonprofit in support of entrepreneurial success, 2007 saw over 560,000 small business closures and over 28,000 bankruptcies! Additionally, only 31% of small businesses survive for seven years or more.
Over two million people crowded the streets of Paris on Thursday, in protest of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent inaction in light of increasing unemployment. Job loss in France, according to the Telegraph, was the final straw in a string of incidents that have decreased Sarkozy’s popularity exponentially in recent months. Critics, including dissenters within his own party, are calling for his removal. In a nation where people depend largely on the “welfare state” to take action, little is being done.
A couple months ago, we posted our very first gE blog series on Global Entrepreneurship. One of the topics we had discussed was the growing ease of not only starting a business, but also expanding your reach internationally due to increased access to computer and information technology. The internet in particular is a key development in this respect.
Check out these two articles from the New York TImes on the recent opening of oil fields in Iraq. This article from December discusses the second round of bids that happened a few weeks ago. The second article is from last June, which discusses the impact of opening the fields to foreign investment.
Reports are beginning to show up all over the internet of another facet of the financial crisis: the damage done to the agriculture industry. If you check out the agriculture page in the Industries section of globalEDGE, you’ll get an idea of how large the consequences are for relevant businesses. The US alone produces almost $68 billion dollars in agricultural exports yearly. The Netherlands follow with roughly $38 billion, preceded by Argentina, France, and Brazil. It’s no surprise that as consumers try and spend less, the greater agricultural industry would be bearing the brunt of the losses.
Only a few short months ago, national security still appeared to be headline news. News paper articles, news feeds online, and television reports about threats of terrorism, weapons testing, illegal immigration, etc. were inescapable. It seemed strange to think that at some point we would have to pay attention to news about the global economy with the same sort of concern.
Welcome to the fourth installment of our special globalEDGE Series on Global Entrepreneurship. Today we'll focus on probably the most important aspect of international entrepreneurship, or even business in general: people. The human element of entrepreneurship, as we have discussed previously, is what drives innovation and creation. In this post, we'll specifically discuss how the people you meet and work with are key to expanding your business internationally, how to find those people, and how to keep them interested in working with you.
Welcome to the second installment of our special series on global entrepreneurship in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week! Yesterday, we discussed the emerging role of small businesses in a globalized market and the different factors that are important to consider when deciding to begin exporting. Today, we'll focus on one of the factors that have made it much easier for small business to conduct business abroad: the growing accessibility of technology.
Today marks the first day of the first annual Global Entrepreneurship Week! As we mentioned last Friday, our celebration of the general themes of entrepreneurship will take place within the specific context of the global marketplace. This is the first article of a 5 part series on global entrepreneurship which will focus on the importance and accessibility of becoming an entrepreneur on an international scale. As always, we intend the blog to be a part of a conversation - not a lecture - so feel free to comment.
Beginning Monday, November 17th, the globalEDGE International Business Blog will feature a special series in recognition of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an annual event dedicated to inspiring the next generation of great minds to focus their passions and pursue them through entrepreneurship. You can check out more information about the week itself at unleashingideas.org/theweek. In our celebration of the week's general themes of innovation and creativity, we will focus on the international aspects of entrepreneurship, both the obstacles and the rewards, by collecting useful resources on key topics.
Specifically, the topics are:
- how international entrepreneurship is important and within reach
- the importance of technology as an enabling force for international expansion
- the role of knowledge and research in the international decisionmaking process
- the process of networking, making deals, and forming partnerships across borders
- the logistics and legal issues involved in trading internationally
Join us next week in what we hope to be an exciting and informative event!
With ever-increasing gas prices tempting empty wallets and bank accounts all around the world, commuters have been propositioned with a solution that gets them out of their car seats and onto their saddles. No, you will (hopefully) not see horses tied-up outside of your office next time you're at work. International businesses and governments are beginning to sell their constituents a new-fangled-old-school technology that has been proving itself popular both on the streets and in the market place: the bicycle.