16th Mar2009

A Different Kind of Currency

by Dorothy

With headlines about the bleak state of the economy dominating the news, it is quite difficult not to feel discouraged about the situation. Nevertheless, here are a couple of links to some good reads.

A different kind of currency
Lets talk about a different kind of currency, one that is not financial, but financially linked.

Will Online Volunteers Transform Our Economic Recovery?
Josh Bernoff is the co-author of “
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies“.

“A pessimist sees value erosion. But the value’s not gone, it’s just different. The consumer/creators get paid for their contribution in love, admiration, pride and a sense of belonging.”

“The online social world is driven by free, volunteer activity. Now add a horde of unemployed and underemployed digital talent, both those laid off and new college graduates who, when they reach the doorstep of the job market, find a sign that says “Sorry, We’re Closed.” While they wait for better jobs to appear, they’re going to invent online tools that supplant the current ones — tools whose modus vivendi is emotional, not financial.”


You know you truly have someone’s passion when they would be doing it for free anyway. Intrinsic motivation is hard to beat, easier to sustain in the long run. Will we see a surplus of innovative tools as digital talent fuel the volunteer economy? Only time will tell.

What people want – a “good job”
Here is another read on
Global Migration Patterns and Job Creation.
The article details that what people really aspire for is a good job. Given that employment levels are at an all time high, there are no surprises there. As the world moves beyond the basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy, it is only natural that other qualitative factors come into play in determining one’s fulfillment in life.

This article makes for a good manifesto that leaders of countries, education, lawmakers, military leaders, amongst the few listed, could look into, as we try and move out from the current crisis. It also looks into the driving forces behind global migration and how best to tap into this trend of mobile talent.

“Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” Work is crucial to every adult human because work holds within it the soul of the relationship of one citizen to one government and one country. The most important World Poll discovery, so far, is that the primary driver of almost everyone is a “good job.” This particular condition relates to net migration in high-income countries and GDP growth in low-income countries, but it is also a core influence of elections, revolution, and war.”

“…A successful team of global leaders will need both state-of-the-art classic economics, such as GDP, inflation, population, and birth rates and state-of-the-art behavioral economics, such as law and order, citizen engagement, and well-being to affect the migration patterns of the most talented people and create the next global economic empire.”

Time for a “less selfish” capitalism?
The concept of progress is questioned in this article.

“…despite massive wealth creation, happiness has not risen since the 1950s in the US or Britain or (over a shorter period) in western Germany. No researcher questions these facts. So accelerated economic growth is not a goal for which we should make large sacrifices. In particular, we should not sacrifice the most important source of happiness, which is the quality of human relationships – at home, at work and in the community. We have sacrificed too many of these in the name of efficiency and productivity growth.”


love_currencyThese reads were pretty thought provoking for me, and I do wonder how this situation we are all in will play out. Of particular interest for me would be how technology can help to connect talent around the world, so that physical migration is no longer necessary.

The reasons are, of course partially personal, and ones that I will expand on in future posts!

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06th Dec2008

This is Your life; Are you who you want to be?

by Dorothy

This is a rather belated Thanksgiving post, and also one that has been sitting in the draft folder for far too long.

On another note, I love Ben Casnocha! Simply because his writing is so interesting and he always puts forth a critical argument that allows you to view the world from a different perspective. I’ve been following his posts for a while now, and fully intend to continue.

So here is one of his gems, Make an Extraordinary Effort. It dawned on me that just making that effort makes all the difference in everything we do.

Making the effort, and being fueled by enthusiasm. One of the quotable quotes I remember from Troy Chin’s talk at our BSM class last year was that people could “smell” his enthusiasm for the music industry. How true. I do not know if it is by coincidence that Seth Godin also blogged about effort two days before Ben, but there you go, another person that is a good read, for an entirely different perspective on the same topic, all about the same time.

I wish I could say that I could go through life sustained on my own enthusiasm, maybe more so in the past, but hardly the case of late.
I draw a lot of motivation from the inspiring people around me. Sometimes, we may not even have similar mindsets, opinions, nor interests, but the fact that they are so driven, drives me too, during times that I feel like faltering. There is nothing more discouraging than being all fired up for a purpose, and then having your enthusiasm fall on deaf ears. I really really hate that.

The new recent Gladwell article on late bloomers and genius can be found here.
He says that, “The Cézannes of the world bloom late not as a result of some defect in character, or distraction, or lack of ambition, but because the kind of creativity that proceeds through trial and error necessarily takes a long time to come to fruition.

For me, implicitly that suggests effort, because you have to keep doing it, keep making tweaks to make things work. That’s what trial and error means.

So, to the people around me, from all walks of life, who keep me going.
For all these years, for all these months.
For your gift of time.
And company.
And opinions.
And shoulders.
And love.

Thank you for making me who I am.
I keep trying, because.

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01st Dec2008

My Halloween ’09: UBS Young Womens’ Leadership Connection

by Dorothy

I spent my evening in perhaps what the majority may find a rather unorthodox place to celebrate Halloween, but it was time well spent. It was an evening of sharing and learning, and taking the class out of the classroom always elicits thoughts that only a new mental environment can.

It started off with a light cocktail dinner high up above at the very swanky UBS lounge overlooking the glittering citylights.
It ended with those who stayed long enough going for a visit to the trading floor, oddly quiet because the shift had been passed on to the other side of the globe. Still, the room was flooded with multiple computer screens, and huge plasma TVs on the wall reported the news of the night silently.

What happened in the middle? …On to the main part of the night!
The talk was great. It did not focus solely on the feminist viewpoint as the title might lead one to think, but rather, on a quiet confidence of a panel of females(and male) who have grown into their own, and were willing to share their experiences openly.

Some gems from the night:

  • Being True to yourself
  • Happiness– with small successes as well as your big ones.
  • Strength(s) of a woman

Negotiation – With a knowledge and innate sense of what both sides are thinking, a lot of women end up being very successful negotiators. I suppose integrative solutions are always out there for one to find. In addition, a “Can Do” attitude. When it’s down to the wire, a woman will do what it takes – to support her family, to support herself.

  • Overcoming Your own barriers – Do the gender barriers exist only in your mind?

One of the advice for the young ladies present was to find an industry that is so fast changing, that tradition has not had the chance to take root. Interesting.

  • Jobs, Priorities & Decisions – What to do?

One of the phrases uttered by the panel really resonated with me. How they talked about “stumbling into” many of the opportunities that allowed them to become the people they are today.

Perhaps this theme would have been pertinent to all who are about to graduate, and trying to figure out what to do. What to do with themselves.

As always, Ben Casnocha has a gem of a post on uncertainty in life.

I would add that if you don’t regularly feel utterly confused, if you don’t occasionally feel like you’re treading just above water, if you don’t ever feel misunderstood, then you probably aren’t living in life — you’re just observing it.”

The question was raised during the conference – What then, is the responsible thing to do? Find your dream & follow that? Circumstantial living?

I find change invigorating. I’ve been professionally diagnosed that change has the same effect as rest on myself. But sometimes, too much change, too fast, too soon, can wear anyone (myself most certainly included) out.

We live in exciting times. As Gerald Chan, country head of UBS, mentioned, Mores are constantly shifting. Even in the new millennium (for in the grander scale of things, we have only just begun), issues of race, gender and identity are still salient. The media no doubt have already honed in on the race issue after Obama’s historic win. What’s next? A female president to lead the United States?

I don’t see why not.

p.s: In light of the subject of this post, I really have to share some related social media girl-power links!

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09th Jun2008

Instrumental v.s. Fundamental Reasons

by Dorothy

I am about to commence the fourth year of my undergraduate life, and this issue seems especially pertinent right now. I have heard too many tales of seniors who stress themselves out about what they are supposed to do, and obsess to join the statistics of over achievers who land cushy jobs even before they graduate. And of course, follow our poster boy and earn $10k a month.

Here is an interesting read that I found while trawling through the web. And I’d like to share it. Suffice to say, this is my personal favourite portion of the article.


What’s the biggest myth about the post-graduation search for a job that you would like to dispel?

That you need to have a carefully articulated plan. Too many people make career decisions for instrumental reasons — because they think what they’re doing will lead to something else. Not enough people make decisions for fundamental reasonsbecause of the value of the activity itself.

The dirty little secret is that instrumental reasons don’t work. It’s way too tumultuous out there. The people who really flourish are those who make decisions for fundamental reasons. They have to live with a certain amount of ambiguity about not knowing what’s going to happen next. But that keeps them alert to unexpected opportunities and the serendipity you talked about earlier.

I like how in Today, they talk about the pragmatic generation of young Singaporeans. I also like how they allude to the fact that we might be churning out an entire generation of Superbrats. So they say pragmatism and dreams are somewhat like oil and water. I wonder, who said that they were mutually exclusive?
Rationality can be balanced with knowing who you are, and how you can get the best out of yourself.

Who/what are you fundamentally?

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