Challenges of Waste

It is almost impossible to calculate the exact amount of waste generated at a global scale by producers and consumers (Dicken, 2011). In this article, it is stated that in 2007, Americans threw out about 570 billion pounds of municipal solid waste.
“We live in a time of throw-away consumerism- a time when companies are producing one time use DVDs so that consumers don’t have to deal with the “hassle” of renting and returning. The waste stream grows in volume and toxicity because corporations continue to profit by producing seemingly useless products, and they are not pressured to prioritize recycling, reuse, or substitute less toxic alternatives in their ingredients.”
Packaging is the largest and most rapidly growing category of solid waste. More than 30% of municipal solid waste is packaging, and 40% of that waste is plastic. The throwaway consumer society is the major source of MSW, the trend is clear that “as countries get richer, the organic share decreases whereas the paper and plastic ones increase” (Dicken, 2011).
The waste industry has become a big business, and governments work with the industry to find places to dispose waste. We are less creative and committed to developing new technologies to reduce waste and devoting resources to these programs.
This article is very interesting since it focuses on the move towards “Zero Waste”, which is reducing the volume and the toxicity of our garbage. Zero Waste is a bold approach to waste management that looks at both the both the front end (production and design) and the back end (reuse and reprocessing) of material flow, and solutions to connect the two. I think this is a big challenge to companies and governments, but definitely a goal we can all benefit from.

View article: http://www.toxicsaction.org/problems-and-solutions/waste

Technological Innovation and Logistics and Distribution Services

Technological developments in transportation and communication have been immensely important in transforming the basic time-space infrastructure of the logistics and distribution industries (Dicken, 2011, p. 405). In the article, I have read that manufacturing and distribution supply chains are focusing on “lean systems of distribution”, which minimizes time and cost involved in moving products between suppliers and customers.

“Tools such as delivery routing and scheduling software, or load consolidation with mode optimization software, can make the transportation process more cost efficient for many shippers”.  Some of the cost-cutting efforts firms are using to increase profits are consolidation of shipments into fewer truckloads as well as cutting back on express shipments.

“Additionally, wireless smart devices can be constantly connected to the company infrastructure. The advent of cloud-based software deployments has made it easier than ever for professionals to securely access the virtual business infrastructure at any time.”

“Social media sites are another way communication can be improved along the entire supply chain. According to Parsons, connecting with suppliers and distributors in real time can help everyone keep updated on the status of shipments. Mobile devices can also be used to log into social media sites for quicker access to these informal communication channels.”

These show that information technology, particularly electronic data interchange, plays a major role in materials management. EDI facilitates the tracking of inputs, allows the firm to optimize its production schedule, lets supplier and firms communicate instantly and eliminates the flow of paperwork between a firm and its suppliers.

Article link: http://appian.tmwsystems.com/industry-news/manufacturing-and-distribution-supply-chains-target-efficiency-reduce-costs

Works cited:

Dicken, P. (2011) Global Shift. New York, London: The Guilford Press

http://appian.tmwsystems.com/industry-news/manufacturing-and-distribution-supply-chains-target-efficiency-reduce-costs

I came across this article and I wonder what the professor thinks about this!

72% Of Professors Who Teach Online Courses Don’t Think Their Students Deserve Credit

GREGORY FERENSTEIN

posted 2 hours ago
55 Comments

This is not a good sign for online education: 72 percent of professors who have taught Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) don’t believe that students should get official college credit, even if they did well in the class. More importantly, these are the professors who voluntarily took time to teach online courses, which means the actual number of professors who discount the quality of MOOCs is probably much (much) higher. The survey reveals the Grand Canyon-size gap between the higher-education establishment and the coalition of tech companies and lawmakers that are mandating college credit for online courses.

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Source:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/22/72-of-professors-who-teach-online-courses-dont-think-their-students-deserve-credit/

Interesting article about Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Implementation

Supporting Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Implementation

  • Approximately 3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas, and minerals, but many of these countries suffer from poverty, corruption, and conflict stemming from weak governance.
  • The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), launched in 2003, promotes and supports improved governance and transparency in resource-rich countries.  It does this through the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining activities. As a voluntary association of stakeholders with common goals, the EITI includes resource-rich developing countries, donors, international and national resource companies, and civil society.
  • The World Bank’s oil, gas, and mining unit provides countries with technical assistance and grants to implement the EITI principles of revenue transparency and accountability, as well as support capacity building for civil society.  Funds for this purpose have been contributed to a multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) managed by the Bank and supported by 15 donor countries.
  • Grants from the trust fund help support technical assistance and global knowledge sharing activities in EITI implementing countries. As of September 2012, donors include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • As of September 2012, 36 countries are implementing the EITI.  Fourteen countries have become compliant with EITI principles while 15 more have made significant progress toward validation.

Full Article 

 

 

Relative Bargaining Powers of TNCs and States

Dicken talks about relative bargaining powers of TNCs and states that “such relationships revolve around their relative bargaining power: the extent to which each can implement their own preferred strategies” (Dickens 2011 pg. 225). In this he means that the TNCs have a great advantage to peruse a work environment that has a better cost to profit ratio, and the states can create taxes and guidelines that they have to follow. In short both sides can create good and bad scenarios for each other. In the article I have read how Mexico is a prime example of this relationship between TNCs and the State.

“The Mexican results, both the positive (renewed growth, capital inflows, increased and diversified exports, and reduced inflation) and the negative ones (foreign exchange crisis, trade and current account deficits, and weak capital formation), are outcomes directly related to the adoption of neo-liberal policies oriented towards reducing the role of thestate in the economy, Mortimer notes” (Raghavan, 1998).

In the article, Michael Moore, a senior economist at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), analyzed the performance of the automobile and economic sectors. The U.S. automobile TNCs investments have led to Mexican production facilities becoming globally competitive. However, instead of using national suppliers, the production has been reoriented into exports, which eventually affected Mexico’s auto-parts industry.

This shows that Dicken’s statement holds true that TNCs can produce both good and bad results in the host country’s economy.

Works Cited

Dicken, P. (2011) Global Shift. New York, London: The Guilford Press

Raghavan, C. (1998). Globalization’s Political Economy and the Role of the State. Retrieved from http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/role-cn.htm

 

Knowledge and skills in the global economy

According to Dicken “Knowledge and skills depend on such conditions as the breadth and depth of education and the particular history of an area’s development” (Dicken, 2011),

Both Knowledge and skill spur the development of new technology and encourage the advancement of current technology, this is prevalent in Silicon Valley where tech giants recruit the brightest minds to develop the latest gadgets, According to the U.S Bureau of Labor and statistics Economic growth in the area grew 13.4%-168.5 Billion compared to overall U.S GDP growth of 2.6% last year (Tawakol, 2011)This is a prime example of how knowledge brings the skilled mind to the epicenter of technology, Silicon Valley is our nearest example of cumulative & self-reinforcing development and exemplifies Dickens statement on how our current history has developed this area.

Works Cited

Dicken, P. (2011). Global Shift. New York, London: The Guilford Press.

Tawakol, O. (2011, 11 08). Why Silicon Valley is Bucking The National Unemployment Trend. Retrieved 03 13, 2013, from Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2011/11/08/why-silicon-valley-is-bucking-the-national-unemployment-trend/

Challenges for the macro-scale of the global economy

After reading Institutional macro-structures of the global economy p.54 I believe the challenges that global companies face is the ever evolving treaties and regulations that are made between Countries, These treaties are somewhat liquid in where commerce can flow from one nation to another while being blocked from entering a third nation.

The global economy on a macro scale as measured with the GDP of a country could be indicators of challenges one could face, other indicators are Unemployment, income, and inflation as it relates to the country, and on the macro scale as compared to the globe. While globalization has allowed us to transfer goods/services around the world the challenges have increased due to all the pacts and treaties signed between Countries and organizations.