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by Shanny Basar, Financial News 22 Jun 2012 

Nature – The Great Teacher

Michael O’Malley, vice-president of human capital at Sibson Consulting, took up beekeeping as a hobby and was surprised to find that it provided insights into his day job of advising on risk management.

WE NEED OUR BEES, ALIVE NOT DEAD

O’Malley writes in the Harvard Business Review that beehives are structured for long-term growth and as a result the pollen gatherers have become masters of risk management, unlike many “too big to fail” banks.

He writes: “When a colony gets too large, it becomes operationally unwieldy and grossly inefficient and the hive splits. Eventually, risk is spread across many hives and revenue sources in contrast to relying on one big, vulnerable “super-hive” for sustenance.”

Other lessons he has taken from his hobby are that queen bees do not appear to be subject to short-term quarterly pollen and nectar targets. “No queen bee is under pressure for quarterly pollen and nectar targets. The hive is only beholden to the long term. Indeed, beehives appear to underperform at times because they could collect more,” he writes.

Instead, decision-making is decentralised with individual bees empowered to take decisive action, bolstered by a “disciplined career development program”: “By the time bees are sent into the field, they are prepared — and, even then, novice foragers are frequently accompanied by veterans who show them how to efficiently and productively move among, and work, the flowers.”……More

Read O’Malley’s full article at Harvard Business Review Why bees are better risk managers than banks.

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PART TWO:

Occupy COP 17: Listening to the People to Build the New Architecture of the Ecological Commons

Submitted by: Francesca Rheannon Posted: Dec 06, 2011 – 04:58 PM EST

Tags: cop 17, climate change, environment, ecological commons, human rights, sustainability

In this second part of a two-part series, we explore how the “duopoly” of State and Market could become part of a new triarchy with the Commons to protect the environment.

Francesca Rheannon

By Francesca Rheannon

In this second part of a two-part series, we explore how the “duopoly” of State and Market could become part of a new triarchy with the Commons to protect the environment.

A banner reading “Listen to the people, not the polluters” was briefly unfurled December 5th when Greenpeace activists tried to hang it from a Durban, South African hotel hosting a conference of business leaders convened by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development. It was part of a protest to highlight Greenpeace’s new “Dirty Dozen” report, coinciding with the climate talks in Durban, on how major corporations are holding the world back from getting an effective deal on tackling climate change as the clock ticks perilously close to climate tipping points.

(One of the conference participants showed up on the “dirty dozen” list: Eskom, the South African state-owned electrical utility.)

That three of the activists were immediately deported is symbolic of just how little world leaders are “listening to the people.” (continued.http://ow.ly/7RgfB

Protecting Our Ecological Commons

Part One of a Two-Part Series

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: “Occupy COP 17: Why The Climate Talks Will Fail And What To Do About Ithttp://ow.ly/7JEoZ

by Francesca Rheannon Managing Editor CSRwire’s Talkback  – Posted: Nov 29, 2011 – 08:14 PM EST

With the climate talks in Durban seemingly headed for a train wreck, an innovative project is developing a new legal international framework for protecting the planetary ecosystem that could just be the most important legal initiative of our age.

The climate talks had not even started in Durban when their epitaph was already being written. It was revealed in a number of reports that at the two previous talks in 2009 and 2010, the big industrial nations of Europe and the US had bullied smaller nations into accepting no action on the climate and that the rich nations, including the UK, EU, Japan, US and the UN have already decided to quash any agreement until 2020 – at which time, no doubt it will be conveniently put off again.

It won’t matter by then because it will be, in the memorable words of Dr. James Hansen, “game over for the planet.” The narrow window we might just possibly still have to avert civilization-destroying climate change will close by 2015. To squeak through that window, we will have to begin ratcheting down our absolute emissions by then – in other words, reverse the direction we are currently on, which saw a 6% rise in emissions in 2010, despite the global economic downturn. Read the rest of this entry »

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