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SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2010, 07:00 AM

WEF: think 'business unusual'

The great thinkers and tinkerers of global politics and business descended on Davos, Switzerland, for the 40th World Economic Forum last week. This year, in the snowy confines of this small Swiss village, the theme was: Rethink. Redesign. Rebuild. For me, the focus was: Education. Education. Education.




Each year, more is lost by a string of national economies from low quality education than the world lost from the financial crisis. Each year, the income lost by developing countries from not educating their girls is equal to the total aid they receive: about $100 billion.

Moral, humanitarian, and health reasons aside, WEF reminded us that providing education to every child is an economic argument, especially in today’s bleak climate.

A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) argues that small educational improvements have enormous benefits: if all school systems in the industrialized world were on a par with Finland’s (which is the best), they’d gain $260 trillion over the lifetime of the generation born in 2010. That’s extra income six times the current GDP of these countries.

Education is also a deeply ingrained business interest. No wonder there was a plenary session devoted to the question of education last Saturday. Here and in private meetings, the private sector has begun to open up to arguments that they have a role to play in advancing the global education agenda.

How could they not? The lack of universal quality education is costing businesses around the world billions of dollars in lost trade, revenue, talented employees, innovations, and efficiencies.

Poor education means fewer customers and fewer talented recruits. It means countries burdened by debt, corruption, and waste. In short, the less education there is in the world the worse it is for businesses.

Today there are 72 million children out of primary school, with 300 million more in school receiving a poor education. In secondary education, millions more are graduating unable to read, write, or perform simple sums.

That’s a human tidal wave of illiteracy and poverty crashing down on our global economy, crushing families, communities, and whole countries.

This is unacceptable, whichever way you look at it, and should prompt some tough questions.

What are we doing about it? In 2000, the global community pledged to put every child in school by 2015, but at current rates 56 million primary school children won’t be so lucky.

Why the slow pace? Our global education architecture is fragmented, made up of bilateral donors, multilateral agencies, NGOs, foundations, corporations, and individual national governments. It’s like launching a large and complex business campaign, only to have all your departments work on it in isolation.

So our goals aren’t achievable? They absolutely are; despite obstacles, there have been some remarkable successes. India alone put 15 million more children into school between 2001 and 2003. Over the last ten years the number of out of school children in South and West Asia has halved. These facts dispel the myth that poor countries cannot achieve rapid progress.

What’s the issue, then? We’ve approached the education challenge “business as usual”: traditional methods, old solutions, same players. The result is a global education sector wrestling with what every business fears most: a lack of funding, investors (donors), and confidence.

What do we need? “Business unusual”: a bold, entrepreneurial, and creative approach, characteristic of the private sector.

Here are six areas that need a rethink:

First, the donors. The pool of countries investing their aid in education is limited. Expanding and diversifying their membership can widen avenues for new donors. We must stop thinking of China, Brazil, and India as just recipients of development aid and start thinking of them as partners in development.

Second, the money. Cash flows have slowed in recent years. Innovation can develop new ways to fundraise, breaking the mould of traditional dependence on donors. Issuing education bonds on capital markets is just one inventive approach to this intractable problem.

Third, the metrics. Our progress is measured by the easiest numbers to collect: enrollment. We need to redefine our business goals by focusing on standards not statistics: what children get out of education systems, not just the number of children we put in.

Fourth, the infrastructure. Poor organization leads to poor performance. The global education sector should unite under one roof. This would encourage predictable financing and coordinated aid, while inspiring greater confidence among donors.

Fifth, the mechanism. The Fast Track Initiative (FTI) was our new delivery chain launched in 2002 so donors’ cheques could reach children’s classrooms more quickly. Unfortunately, the process is hampered by slow procedures and minimal capacity. The result is that money still takes years to reach its destination. There are also few solutions available to help children most desperate for an education: those marginalized by conflict, amounting to a third of all out of school children. The FTI needs urgent and imaginative reform.

Sixth, the politics. None of this will happen if our leaders aren’t convinced to follow through on the pledges they’ve made. We need to persuade them it’s in all our interests that every child receives a quality education.

1GOAL, with the Global Campaign for Education, is an initiative to do just that. Partnered with FIFA, the South Africa World Cup, and a growing number of private sector companies, we’re gathering popular support to pressure politicians to live up to their promises.

If we’re going to give every child an education, we need to emulate the business world where entrepreneurs – bright and ambitious – throw the rule book out the window and try something different.

And, if you’re a business person, you have a part to play, too. With clout that can carry the education message to the halls of power, with leadership that can inspire change in how we help the most vulnerable, you can convince political leaders that global education is not just another social issue, it’s the social issue.

So bring your ingenuity and imagination and find new solutions to old problems. Fight for the right of every child to go to school as hard as you fight for your business interests. Because, in today’s world, they are one and the same.

Comments (34)
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brunas69
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Her majesty, I’m not a professional designer. Although I follow and admire your work as a Queen and also as an exquisite human being. Therefore a take the chance of sending you a logo created by myself.
Has the Queen Rania Foundation is an organization dedicated to making quality education for every child a global priority I send here my humble contribution and hope that you appreciate it.
The basis of the logo is very simple but yet very straight to the point your organization wants to achieve, therefore I’ve design a rectangle that which significance is the edification the construction or even a huge door that will make the life of millions of children better to live on. The white point on the right sight means the light of hope at the end of the tunnel for those children and youngsters that Her Magesty’s Foundation is helping everyday with your work.
I Submit my logo although I don’t have any portfolio.
Has I have already mentioned my aim is to help the children through the work of the Fountadion, Therefore although I would very much appreciate to win or at least to have Your kind opinion on my view I hereby state that any price that I could win would be immediately donated to the Queen Rania Foundation, hoping only t meet Her Majesty and t get to know your work better in order to help more if You will accept my humble offer.
Best Regards,
Ana Castro from Portugal

r_magableh
Sunday, September 26, 2010

god bless you kang and queen of jordan and jordanan people love you and say go ahead
kand regard
radhi al-hasan

chloexe
Monday, August 23, 2010

you make every woman in the world proud. you are not only beautiful physically; you're intelligent as well, culturally sensitive for a woman from where you are from. I would like to know how to send mail to tell you my views on some pressing issues regarding culture and conflicts that arise from the differences of these. I come from a country that is fraught with conflict, especially religious conflicts. For this reason I have joined our military forces as a female naval officer. It is the most I can do for now to slowly change the world. You are amazing and inspirational.

afkarequrani
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Her Majesty! Asaalamoalaikum!
I am the editor of Afkar e Qurani, an international magazine based on Quranic Teachings. Usually, we publish our cover stories depicted from the Quranic Aayaths. However, ever since I have heard Your Majesty's views on different topics, particularty in Arab-Israel conflict, we want to bring a cover story on Your Majesty entitled H.M.Q. Raina The Eligabeth of the Muslim World.
Wasslam
Aslam Maqbool
Editor

WORLDPEACE@KAREEM
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thankyou your Majesty!  Please excuse my poor spelling. I wanted to make sure 
I got the greeting correct this time. Sense I had to immediately repost for that 
reason I may as well explain a few more of my Non-profit concepts I would love help with from the community. 

Virtual Build-A-School. Com- Develope a application for social utilities like facebook
that fundraise online to build schools. If we have time for farmville we have time for this. A game that challenges friends to put the most pieces on a school in 
Virtual Reality.  Each donation posted to each players profile as a symbol of character and humanitarian work! Once fundraising is complete construction in reality begins. Money raised held in each schools educational account until construction is complete. In places like Sub-Saharan Africa where 38 million primary aged school children are out of school this could be the difference in a child 
getting educated. Investing in education not only pays off in a stronger Global  
economy but creates people who create industries. Creates people who can support themselves! Innovation is nonexistent when we don't invest! 

 

  http://1kidcorpconcerts.webs.com

WORLDPEACE@KAREEM
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Assalamalaikum. Thank Your Majesty for leading the way in bringing awareness
to the importance of Education. The imporatance of reinvestment especially now in the middle of recession. I believe a lot of people didn't realize some of the principles that you have been speaking about are of utmost importance. Principles such as how economic prosperity is a means to a end and not a end itself. Currency has no meaning if it is not being invested in places like education city, INJAZ, or other NGO's which put it to work. Our financial systems, corporations, etc will fail if we don't have people intelligent enough to keep them operating! So once again the currency of consciousness has to be given priority in the coming years. I have devoted my life to seeing this very thing which you speak about is done with a non-profit idea.  It is so important to be educated in a world where people will exploit the uneducated. Where young girls fall victim to unscrupulous predators. Some even in there schools where they are suppose to he learning. So we have not just reinvestment in education issues but reinvestment in Moral and Value issues. Molested children are not productive in society. This cycle creates a chain reaction 
of failure. So when this mentality becomes trendy, we are headed for failure. When family values breakdown the rest of our society is not far behind. When we start to look at industries like, defense contracting, prison, and perversion as more important than EDUCATION where in a Moral State Of Emergency!  Something that could only happen when officials who get into positions with there support become puppets instead of leaders. Something that's does not help a child who has a outdated school building. Does not help the children in countries where they have no school period. So to end extreme poverty, and make primary education available to all we will need more real leaders like yourself. Otherwise we can only expect double talk with special interest agendas. Thankyou also to people who help negotiate treaties in places like Dafar. Countries at war can never focus on conscious agendas because of other survival issues. On the eve of Nelson Mandela birthday I wrote a short essay about the I pittance of unity. I will post this link as well as the page about my non-profit idea, which I wanted to briefly describe before closing. I wanted to ask the community here on this site to please help me form the board for this non-profit called Kidcorp Concerts. A idea to use conscious minded entertainment venues to raise money to buy franchises that kids own and work in. Buy real estate, stocks bonds etc that kids own. Each concert to hopefully have a fund manager in place to manage these portfolios. A private equity fund that invest in our most precious commodities. Our most precious futures. Our future!
With your help I can not only bring this idea to places in Africa, the Middle East, but anywhere there are children. Thankyou for reminding the world that the time to start thinking about the future is today. 

    http://1kidcorpconcerts.webs.com
     donfloats@yahoo.com
     http://1kidcorpconcerts.blogspot.com/2010/07/tribute-to-mandela_17.html?...
   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSk301VaPk4

                                                                    DON"KAREEM"BEACH
                                                                    AKRON, OHIO
    
 

   

amer1
Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's not secret for thinkers that education is the most important thing to have a good life and to get human rights.

I support your majesty and I expect a great future not in Jordan only but the entire world and hope your dreams will be achieved.

Every one can work with you although we don't have a something great to give or to do but I think every one in this world can work with Queen Rania by give more attention to schools and teamwork.

helpthacause
Friday, June 18, 2010

Hello,
I am an American and I just started my not for profit organization. Therefore, I am looking to help out with this mission because I too think that an education for any child is important.

helpthacause
Friday, June 18, 2010

I read part of that and I think that is so true.

Rajamukherjee
Saturday, June 5, 2010

From the Desk of :

Raja Mukherjee
Business Head –India || MEENA Region || Rest of Asia
Cell :+91 98 04 32 01 92

India Office:

Knescopic Electronics Pvt. Ltd.
8/ 4 Rishi Bankim Chandra Road
Dum Dum Cantonment 4th Floor
Kolkata –700028
West Bengal , India
Tel:+91 33 25592014
Fax:+91 33 25298201[ Calcutta,India]
+88 62 66012059[ Taipei,Taiwan ]
+81 34 496472 7[ Tokyo,Japan ]

E-mail : kepl@cal3.vsnl.net.in
: Rajamukherje@gmail.com

Telecommunications–R&D-Design &Development|Hardware Components| Electronics Testing|
Energy Management Solutions–Solar Energy Management|
Rural Electrification|R&D

Global Alliance Partners|| HWT Hwuawang Tel, China| TTIC Elec,Taiwan

Dated:02-06-2010

Ref:HER MAJESTY RAINA ABDULLAH -QUEEN OF JORDAN/ KN-02-06-2010/01

To
Her Majesty
Queen Raina Al Abdullah
Queen of Jordan
__________________________________________________

Your Majesty,

I am Raja Mukherjee -Business Head –India ||MEENA Region || Rest of Asia for Knescopic Electronics Pvt.Ltd,an Indian company which has significantly expanded itself in Asia and Africa client base in the areas of:

[a] Energy Management Solutions –Solar Power Management :Urban& Rural Electrification Projects with complete expertise in cost -effective,non-hazardous solar grid management,solar lanterns and both rural & urban solar electrification solutions.

[b]Emergency Telecommunications systems– for Remote Access Areas
and emergency services,proven track record of Product Designing,Research & Development for GSM ,Fixed Line Telecommunications system.

I write this mail to you from India to convey my deepest regards to you for standing against the tides of time and face the biggest challenge that the human race is facing today -food,shelter,clothing,good health and education.

Knescopic was conceptualised by Mr.Subhash Ch Sarkar-Managing Director,who was born in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands-India an enginner and technologist by profession and has walked a long way to make a mark for indigneous Indian technology and research work across the face of Global competition.

I,Raja,by profession -a Private Banker and Corporate Banking specialist,with focus on alternative areas of investments and value creation;has been responsible for organic growth of Knescopic across the Globe and responsible for planning new initiatives.

I had gone through the entire work of Your Excellency and interested to Partner with Jordan River Foundation and your other initiatives to create a "Solar and Alternative Energy Foundation" wherein we plan to train and employ women from below poverty line in the region of Jordan and MEENA Region in the areas of Solar and Alternative energy management technology; and donate a min of 20% of our profits for further development of Primary Education and Nutrition for the poor in the region.

I request an appointment with Your Majesty, at Amman wherein my Managing Director and myself would like to call on you to discuss our initiatives with your foundation.

Look forward to your kind co-operation regarding this matter.

Thanking you.

Yours Sincerely,

Raja Mukherjee
Cell :+91 98 04 32 01 92
E-mail:Rajamukherje@gmail.com

Interesting facts to know:

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The typical sized household PV system for example will provide at least 2,000units of electricity per annum and save at least 1.14 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
PV has a proven working life of 45 years plus and modules typically come with a 25 year manufacturers warranty.