Chase your Dreams



This is a response toVanessa Lee’s blog, titled, “when will women earn respect in boardrooms?” published on 26/10/14. This topic interests me because it’s an ongoing debate as to whether gender equality is possible? There are many traditional theories and beliefs that prove otherwise that I tend to disregard. I believe that women are equally or even more capable than men in certain executive positions. But why are we still talking about gender equality? Are women really seeking these positions or are there no opportunities available? I feel that women have been held in an inferior position for so long that it has become a mindset. Only a few have managed to escape from the doubt created.

I agree with Vanessa Lee that the attitude women are having is not right. Instead of pursuing the position aggressively, they are more passive in their approach. It’s similar to having presidential elections between a man and a woman. The man might have prepared better and convinced most of the citizens that he is the best candidate; however the woman wins just because there has never been a female leader and they see this as the best opportunity to place her as the first female president. That is the greatest of deceptions! If that were the case, we would say that there is gender inequality towards men. Women need to chase their dreams, the same way Obama did. He worked to be the first Black President of America, by proving he is the better candidate and not because Martin Luther King had a dream of the first black president.

Could the government be the villain in their attempts to force equality? Policies such as hiring based on sex, allocating 50% of executive positions to women and offering benefits to companies that actually follow them make potential women candidates lazier? Or are businesses using gender stereotypes in which women are portrayed as more “loyal” and “caring,” whilst men as “competent” and “guardians.” If that’s the case the question should bewhether we actually need to work hard for our future? What are we doing in university if that would be the basis of employment?

This can prove that people have misinterpreted the word gender empowerment as handing power regardless of whether they deserve it or not. Women need to break out and chase their dreams because sitting down and waiting for them would not work. I support the notion of gender equality but it should not be set as a burden to males’ prospects of achieving their dreams especially if they are better candidates. Personally, I do not mind being led by a woman but only if I know she deserves to be in that position.


Vanessa Lee “WHEN WILL WOMEN EARN RESPECT IN THE BOARDROOMS,” Vanessa Lee’s Blog. 23 October 2014.



Together We Thrive For Brain Regain.

imagesWelcome-Slide1-600x264This is a commentary on an external blog titled, “How to reverse the brain drain,” written by Mohammed Al Maktoum 0n 23/10/14. [1] I found this blog insightful and thought provoking as it aligns with some of the objectives I have in my life. Given that I am an international student, I have a dream of going back to Kenya and applying the knowledge that I have learnt with understanding of the major issues that my country is battling with. Well, you could say that, “isn’t it everyone’s dream to go and give back to their community?” I would answer that it is the intention of the dream that really matters; I am not saying this just because I want to think of myself as a “good man.” But because I have seen and reflected on some of the problems we have faced and I sincerely want to make a difference.

Mr Maktoum clearly identifies the reasons of why people left and the reason is “opportunity.” Opportunities to have better education; is one of the reasons I came to Canada, others may vary from “rise in living standards,” to “security and safety reasons.”[1] So the question is how do we reverse this flow? Maktoum’s solution is, “believing in people.” It might sound vague and meaningless but that is the major conflict Maktoum has identified in his country and now one that I can relate in mine.

Ever since I went to the Young People for African Development, here in Vancouver, I realized that I might have met future revolutionists of my continent. We all sat down in a circle and told our story of how we ended up here and the dreams that we have for our continent. I realized that there were so many people who have noticed the same conflicts that I have and realized that I was not the only one who wanted to go and “fuel innovation and prosperity.”[1] Then, I understood that if we listened and believed in people’s ideas, we could all push for this changes in our respective countries. As Maktoum says, “ their ideas, innovation, dreams and connections are the capital for the future.” During one of my jump-start classes in UBC, they also emphasized that networking is the key to the future. Without networking, there is no way to meet people. After that you have to build a relationship or get to know the person “listen to their story,” and see if your goals are parallel.

Through this experience I noticed that my time here in UBC would be more valuable than I initially thought. I will get to build relationships with my fellow students that might last a lifetime. The only thing I have to do is be willing to listen to peoples stories so that I could help them achieve their dreams and they could help me achieve mine. I think one of the only solutions and ways to achieve “brain regain” is by networking and finding people with a common goal, who would grab the opportunity to come and work in Africa. This will help in battling with some of the problems we face as where “great minds go today, great things will happen tomorrow.”[1] It will only feel right to conclude with an African proverb, “ If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go together.”


How to Reverse the Brain Drain.” Web log post. ForumBlog. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 Nov. 2014.

A happy brain is a smart brain

131031-happy brainhappybrain_logoThis is a response to Phanes Scotch blog titled “KIDS AT WORK,” published on 23/10/14, ” which I found very interesting because I could relate it to my life. [1] Under stressful work circumstances, I always remind myself, “A happy brain is a smart brain.” Therefore this always leads me to dictate my work schedule without anyone applying pressure on me. I would simply do nothing or the complete opposite when someone reminds me to go to work. With the options of employees having “flexible working hours” and “the privilege to carry your kids to work” can be a motivating factor for them and lead to business success. There are very few people, if any that take kindly to following a set of rules; everyone has their on conditions that would lead them to work to their best abilities. If the factors were not provided, people would always look for jobs that provide at least a few of those conditions. The major reason for this is that there is less loyalty shown by the employees in this modern era than there was years ago.

People do not want to be constantly reminded of why they are working, they want freedom and to do work at their own will. People need distractions or rather “escapes from reality” in order to cope with stress. Hence the option of bringing kids at work will enable them to manage their work life while having their loved ones within their reach. It also gives them a sense of purpose to why they are working making them have more passion in their work that has a positive end product. This would be preferred to someone who is sitting on his office chair working at the same time stressing over the well being of his or her children, which results in half-hearted end product because of insecurities.

An organization offering these options would see their business prosper, as there would be more loyalty shown by their employees, which would result in increased productivity. It offers a platform where the workers would feel welcome where they could generate more motivation from happiness rather than fear. It would also have positive implications on workers overall health as they would be less stressed. As Scotch mentions, “the kids might turn out to be brilliant business minds in the future,” they could feel obligated to give back to a business that their retired parents have always bragged about offering good working conditions, which they had benefited from. [1] It should be noted that this strategies would only work as long as they finish all the work within the required time.


Phanes Scotch “KIDS AT WORK,” Phanes Scotch’s Blog. 23 October 2014.

“Business is about the people”


Coming from a third world country where corruption within businesses is an understatement and workers rights are taken for granted. It hurts me how people prioritize making more money over a person’s health or ruining a child’s future by making them work instead of attending school in order to minimize costs. I am patriotic and love my country but it does not take a genius to see that the priorities are wrong. At times, I ask myself what is the cause of this selfishness? I eventually realize that it’s the community, the consumers of these products that put pressure on the producers; we do not consider how ethically the product is made and are not willing to pay extra money in order to promote companies who value corporate social responsibility. We are always looking for the cheaper alternative. After reading the article, “Starbucks announces fair trade offerings at universities across Canada,” published on 2/10/14 by Anthony Bianco; I realize there is hope for sustainable development and environmental protection. [1]

With Starbucks offering fair trade coffee to university students who are the budding leaders of tomorrow and making them aware of producers that meet standards for labor and environmental sustainability; makes them more willing to promote the fair trade movement. This will change businesses priorities from minimizing costs in order to increase profits to being ethically responsible in order to make higher profits, as it would become a standard for people purchasing products. A form of competitive advantage, as your products will be sold at a higher price than the market price and there would be demand for it. The consumers will also pride themselves over the fact that they bought a cup of coffee that has gone through the most ethical channels possible. This would lead to more pleasant people who are satisfied with the product they’ve purchased.

However, Is it enough to seat in Starbucks feeling self-righteous about the fair trade cup of coffee you are drinking?

It is true that Fair Trade is not the only measure of ensuring that slavery and exploitive labor practices are avoided but is just a step in the right direction. If it were promoted successfully it would become a standard for all companies and what is expected to survive in the industry. However people would eventually become used to the idea of Fair trade and in order for businesses to succeed they have to find other ways to involve consumers as social expectations are continually changing. Then they would have to find a shared value[2] to enhance their competitiveness but at the same time expand the pool of economic and social value. I believe that in the future firms will need to be more than “profit maximisers” to be successful as more people are becoming environmentally and socially responsible. Therefore to succeed business would have to be about the “people,” as firms will have to have a responsibility to society that goes beyond their responsibility to its shareholders.

Bibliography [1]

Bianco, Anthony. “Starbucks Announces Fair Trade Offerings at Universities across Canada.” The Peak RSS. N.p., 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.


Porter, Michael E., and Mark R. Karmer. “Creating Shared Value.” Harvard Business Revies (2011): n. pag. Feb. 2011. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

Nissan outdoes Tesla

321878_2218402748061_592360390_o   VS   The Tesla Machine

Electric cars were previously considered to be ostentatious and only for the affluent population. Thanks to Nissan there are cheaper and more affordable options out there. Instead of buying the higher tier electric cars such as Tesla, which are only available to the rich, there is hope for middle-income consumers to afford an Electric car such as the Nissan Leaf. This ability of a lower social group to afford a product once consumed by the high-end consumers is called disruptive innovation. As a result of the larger proportion of people in the target market, Nissan managed to outsell Tesla, by acquiring a competitive advantage from low costs. The article, “Ignore the Tesla hype: the Nissan Leaf is your best bet,” published on 17/10/2014 by Jeremy Cato explains how Nissan edges out Tesla and why it’s the better option. [1]

I personally think that disruptive innovators are the future of business. With the world having limited resources, companies could allocate their existing resources with “disruptive” purposes. This implies that most people would benefit from this fair allocation where not only the rich are having the greater proportions of the available resources. This will make the world more sustainable. Companies such as Nissan leaf should be protected more than Tesla with governmental subsidies and reduced taxes because their cheaper products will enable more people to utilize them and thus reduce the pollution rate much more than the people who own Tesla electric cars. This will not only benefit the country environmentally but also socially where the gap between the rich and poor would decrease. With the Tesla costing around $75000 and the Nissan Leaf at $35000, even if there were subsidies by the government for Tesla electric cars, they would still be inaccessible for middle-income earners. It is yet to be seen whether Tesla’s Giga-factory will enable them to manufacture products at the price range of Nissan Leaf in order to regain their competitive advantage.

In conclusion, even though Tesla earns higher praises over its design, speed, elegance, comfort and performance than Nissan Leaf ever would. I agree with Jeremy Cato’s title in his article that, “Nissan is the best bet,” simply because of affordability. Therefore more people can buy it, in turn has a more effective global footprint.


Website Title: The Globe and Mail
Article Title: Ignore the Tesla hype: the Nissan Leaf is your best bet
Date Accessed: October 27, 2014
Author: Jeremy Cato

Control your time better.


Apple is once again going to take the world by storm, once they release their greatly anticipated iWatches in 2015. I am a huge fan of apple products, and have been waiting for the new innovation; apple has under their sleeves. Two years since the release of the iPad, apple has proved they have not lost their innovative touch by creating the iWatch. However, will the iWatch prove to carry the same value proposition as the previous products released by Apple? Will they be able to convince the consumer that the iWatch is what they want? Will they succeed in this new niche they are entering? After reading the article, “Apples will not go on sale until 2015,” published on 29/08/2014 by Mark Prigg; led me to ask these questions. [1]

New technologies these days are meant to make our lives easier, this can be observed by the increase in portability from using computers the size of classrooms, to having smartphones and now moving towards smart watches. I cannot help but notice the trend from the technologies above that we could only use when in a room, to technologies that we could carry around and now technologies that we wear like the smart watch. The iWatch will become a part of our lives! With the quote from Steve jobs that “the greatest resource we have is time,” makes you believe that they have made this quote a reality by introducing the iWatch.

What makes this watch so different from the orthodox watches with the two hands moving monotonously? With humans becoming more sophisticated, we communicate more frequently, becoming more health conscious, creating smart home gadgets, making more electronic transfers than using hard cash. Why not buy the iWatch that can assist in performing all the functions above for less than $1000. Rather than pay over a $100000 for a “luxury Swiss watch” [1], which can only tell you the time but cannot help you use it more effectively. I agree with Jean-Claude Beaver that apple should be taken seriously by the Swiss watch industry, for the reasons stated above. I believe they’ll be very successful in this new niche and offer a large point of difference from other products in this market. Although Apple is not the first to enter this new niche as Samsung and Sony have already launched their smart watches. The greatest point of difference between the iWatch and the existing smart watches is the fact that it would have a much longer battery life.[2] Which means it would be more difficult to abandon and is more reliable making it a better option.

In conclusion, I have never had the urge of wearing a watch because I have my phone, which can tell me the time like any other ordinary watches would do. But after reading about the iWatch; I am considering buying one as I am convinced it’s a must have gadget and will facilitate my life by making me utilize my time better. I believe the iWatch would be as successful as the other apple products as it has greater points of differences than its competitors which increase the consumers utility with the product and creates a competitive advantage because of differentiation.





Website Title: Mail Online
Article Title: It’s still not time for the iWatch: Apple’s wearable[…]
Publisher: Associated Newspapers
Electronically Published: August 29, 2014
Date Accessed: October 26, 2014
Author: Mark Prigg


Website Title: PCWorld
Article Title: Comparing smartwatches: What Apple’s rumored iWatch has […]
Date Accessed: October 26, 2014
Author: Martyn Williams
Electronically published: September 7, 2014


First Nation vs BC Hydro Project.


Make the right Decision

With British Colombia’s ambition to be the world’s greenest city by 2020[1], is building a dam a positive reflection to their goal? BC Hydro is an electric company in BC that will undertake this CAD$ 8 billion project [2]. At the expense of the loss of indigenous people habitat, is it a worthy project to invest on? Building the dam may prove to be a sign of progress and development but could also be seen as political instability, social inequity and environmentally degrading. The article titled, “First Nation chiefs to stage Site C showdown,” published on 18/09/2014 by Peter O’Neil explains some of the problems faced with the project at hand [3]. I’ll be discussing the issues that arise from the exploitation of First Nation’s land.

When I first heard about the dam it reminded me of Belo Monte project in Brazil [4]. There were over 20000 “Amerindian” indigenous inhabitants displaced, 40 000Ha of forest were flooded and mass deforestation took place. US Film maker James Cameron, portrays “[the Belo-Monte dam leaders to Ecological villains in the movie Avatar]“[5]. This is not the image that the Canadian Government would want people to perceive them as around the world. It also doesn’t align with their ambitions of having the world greenest city.  As it does not only harm the indigenous people but also de-stabilizes the ecosystem as a whole as several species would lose their habitats. On the other hand, the dam would generate more electricity into new homes and also create more jobs for the unemployed. Despite these positive aspects, is the value proposition of the dam worth destroying someone’s habitat, where their ancestors lived and the only place that they can call a home? Why should they be willing to relinquish their land to a project that would not mutually benefit them? These are some of the questions the Canadian government needs to think about before investing in the project.

To conclude, the Government has a choice in either investing in the dam or not. But they should be prepared to affect a particular social group with their decision. In the long-term they are expected to find a way to compensate the group they’ve affected. Personally I believe if they decide to invest in the dam the effects would be more severe on the first nation people and might not be easily forgiven and they might spark genocide because of this. Therefore, I feel the right decision is to find a different potential area where they could build their dam where there aren’t any inhabitants or a few inhabitants, who can be easily moved. Or they could have an agreement with the first nations that would benefit both parties from the building of the dam.


Website Title: Home
Article Title: Greenest City 2020: A Bright Green Future
Date Accessed: October 07, 2014

Website Title: Site C Clean Energy Project
Article Title: Site C Clean Energy Project
Date Accessed: October 07, 2014

Website Title:
Article Title: First Nation chiefs to stage Site C showdown
Date Accessed: October 05, 2014

Website Title: Forest Peoples Programme
Article Title: Brazilian indigenous peoples and civil society challenge gov[…]
Date Accessed: October 07, 2014

Website Title: Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam, Bad Idea?
Article Title: Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam, Bad Idea?
Date Accessed: October 07, 2014





Coca-Cola Life

As years go by, people are becoming more health conscious and consuming much healthier beverages. In lieu of having classic coke, people would rather have Diet Coke/ Coke Zero, and now there is the introduction of Coca-Cola life. The difference between Diet Coke/Coke Zero and Coca-Cola life is that a natural sweetener: Stevia is used in the latter. However, does using a natural sweetener mean that its healthier than the artificial sweetener? Or is it nothing but an attempt to make consumers perceive coke as a “healthy product” in order to boost soda sales, which have been declining in recent years: with a 3% volume decrease in the US in the past year[1]. This can be shown in the article titled, “Coca-Cola Life to make US debut,” published on 22/08/2014 by Journey Staff.[2] I’ll be discussing whether Coca Cola would be able to boost sales from their new product.

From the article, we can quickly notice the green bottles which differ from the traditional “red” we associate with Coca-Cola. If I saw it in the market I would think it was a completely new drink before I realise the Coca-Cola print on it. In my opinion, I do not agree with the idea of changing the colour to green, as they lose the brand-image that everyone is accustomed to seeing, making it harder for their customers to identify the new product as a Coca-Cola product. Secondly, the using of a natural sweetener over an artificial sweetener does not mean its healthier, they are using a natural product but it could have an equal amount of calories if not more. Lastly, I believe the introduction of the new cola puts it in a niche where it competes with other natural drinks such as juices, which are much healthier and the likelier choice for someone who is health-conscious.

In conclusion, Coca-Cola deserve some credit in illustrating that they are becoming more environmentally aware. With the green connoting eco-friendly, natural and sustainable. However they have relinquished their traditional red colour which was their main identity to their consumers. I also believe that it would be extremely difficult to convince their increasingly health conscious customers to view Coca-Cola as a healthy product. There are also plenty of rival products in this market segment that have been viewed as healthy beverages for years such as minute-maid juice. Personally, I think the marketing segment of Coca-Cola could have made the product more appealing to the consumers. Therefor I doubt if they’ll be able to boost sales.


Website Title: business and news RSS
Article Title: US Soda Sales: Should Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Be Worried?
Date Accessed: October 05, 2014

Website Title: The Coca-Cola Company
Article Title: Coca-Cola Life to Make U.S. Debut
Date Accessed: October 05, 2014



With the rapid enhancement of technology, the world is becoming smaller, national boarders are being breached; diversification is increasing as nations thrive for economic integration. MNC’s such as McDonalds are taking advantage of this. They are changing their products in order to suit not only American citizens, however to align it with the target country’s needs and belief in what “real food” actually is to them. It unveils how the world is becoming a “global village.” Where diversity and differences in culture is being embraced by society. This can be shown in the article titled, “From Big Mac to Rice Burger,” published on 8/12/2012 by Manya Koetse.[1] I’ll be discussing how businesses such as McDonald’s are embracing Globalization.

The conducting of businesses to both local and global consideration is illustrated by how McDonald is said to have become “a part of the Japanese culture.”1 Instead of selling products such as the “Big mac” which consist of meat, they sell the “The Rice Burger,”1 which consists of rice that is part of Japan’s “national identity.”1 McDonald has also adapted more restaurants to suit local taste in India, where they do not serve beef and in the Middle East, where they serve halal meat.

McDonalds ability to adapt and complement to change in taste of their different consumers gives the consumers a feeling of homeliness with the McDonald brand. This invites customers from all economic backgrounds to McDonalds as they have food that they can all relate to and are comfortable with. All these characteristics make McDonalds a timeless company; as they are adapting to the consumer tastes around the world. This has led to numerous food companies such as KFC emulating McDonalds. Otherwise companies that have not adapted to economic integration would prove to be timely as they’ll be more incompetent in their respectful markets. Globalization in business proves to be a key factor in maximizing consumers’ satisfaction and pleasure, which would translate to better reputation and eventually more profit for business. This would lead to all stakeholders and the whole community to be content.




Publisher: ManyaKoetse
Author: Manya Koetse
Article Title: From Big Mac to Rice Burger- Globalization: McDonald’s Globalization




Business Ethics



Nike is one of the eminent franchises in the world, which dominates the clothing industry, specifically in athletic wear. In 2013, Nike had revenue of over $24 billion and operated over 753 retail outlets around the world[1]; with most of their factories located in Asia. Despite the recognition and status of their brand, there are allegations of Nike exploiting workers by not offering them their minimum wages. This can be shown in the article titled, “Nike Supplier ‘Resisting pay rises’ in Indonesia,” published on 15/01/2013 by Kathy Marks.[2] I’ll be discussing the unethical behavior demonstrated by Nike in this article.

As stated by Kathy Marks, “ Nike supplier factories have pressure workers into renouncing their right to a minimum wage.”2 Through this statement the brand image of Nike is being tainted. They are portrayed as a company that does not comply with the target countries regulations and do not respect the rights of their employees. If the internal stakeholder of a company are not content with their working condition that illustrates that the company isn’t processing optimally. The average salary of Nike’s Indonesian worker is $150 per month, which is regarded as a “poverty wage.”[3] In my opinion, I find this very unfair and unjustified as Nike sells some of the sneakers made in Indonesia at a market price of $300/pair[4], which is double the salary earned per month. This means that the workers are not receiving proper remuneration and appreciation. Thus, they are not maximizing their value in the company, as they are not benefiting from the sales of the company. This ruins the Nike brand image as the community is dissatisfied by their ethical and social responsibility. As a result less people would be willing to buy $300 shoes if they knew how Nike conducts itself towards the Indonesian workers.

In conclusion, the article “Nike Supplier ‘Resisting pay rises’ in Indonesia,” show how ethically irresponsible Nike is, as they can survive in the market by offering the set minimum wages but have decided to be selfish. Thus hurting their employees by not offering them what they sincerely deserve. For Nike to be recognized as ethically responsible to the community once again, they need to act with fairness, equity and integrity to all their stakeholders that include their employees. Following the laws and regulations set by their target countries can do this.










Website Title: Statista

Article Title: “Total number of Nike retail stores worldwide 2009-2013”


Website Title: The Independent

Publisher: Independent Digital News and Media

Author: Kath Marks

Article Title: “Nike Supplier ‘resisting pay rises’ in Indonesia”


Website Title: TeamSweat »



Publisher: The Wall Street Journal

Author: Banjo Shelly

Article Title: Le Bron Sneakers to test $300 limit