Jobs adapt to societies' new challenges

Enabling motivated people to create their own

Skills are rediscovered and praised

Showing not a lack of talent but of appropriate empowerment

Frontiers are pushed daily...

Opening worlds for new pioneers

1
1

In this section of the Blog

You will get in the know of the new trends shaping our world. You will be able to plan your projects, investments and life-long learning path ahead making sure they match the opportunities of tomorrow. 

It is Time for You to Get a Seat at the Future’s Table

 

Permission to dream – soon granted in Cambodia?

By | Knowledge Economy | No Comments

Past, erased.

How do you educate the younger generations when all the intellectuals have been killed? That is what happened in Cambodia under the Khmers Rouges’ regime. No more books, no more teachers, no more schools. Only the rules, and religion serving them. Buddhism also teaches you to accept your place in the world and to be resilient, and that is exactly what Cambodian politicians have used over thousands of years to educate what they believe were their masses.

Children suffer in Cambodia, but they do not fight, they resist and their resilience is impressive. With the latest economical improvements not all kids have to battle to go to school, but most. Some middle class children now have access to public schools but also to more and more private schools: Montessori models, international ones, « Smart kids », « Bright Future », institutions which find inspiring names to attract the new money. The business of education is more about business now than about education.

 

Educational actors are numerous in Cambodia. There is the state, of course, but the public school system is gangrened by corruption, by teachers’s no-show when they find a better paid job and by the fees collected whenever it is possible. In Cambodia, you have to pay the school to take an exam, to get a photocopy, to have access to a book. For everything, you pay. Many children work to be able to attend school, at least part-time, but often the pressure parents put on them to work in order to help their family is too strong and they give up on learning.

Many ngos in Cambodia are addressing this issue, by delivering books in Khmer, organizing English lessons, welcoming the poorest children into boarding schools, opening vocational schools, training them to get jobs in hotels and offices. Most ngos are dedicated and professionals but not necessarily sustainable so they will never replace a system managed by the Cambodians for the Cambodians. Efforts to enable this system to emerge should become a national and international priority: capacitation.

The objective would clearly be to rebuild an intellectual ground and empower people to take responsibility for themselves and their families and also to develop personally and activities that will strengthen the economy too. But we are clearly not there yet.

The objective of schools in Cambodia now isn’t to allow people to dream and become who they want to be, it is to give them the basic toolset to make a living. There are some exceptions of course such as in certain universities – controlled by the state – which are developing and offering research degrees and more and more international partnerships. For example, the library of the Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh is always full, not a single empty chair! Every single day of the week people come to have access to books, movies, newspapers, even to a US corner sponsored by the embassy, and to “saint computers” made available to students and even to non-university members. People gather for group projects, they read, they write, they exchange and some, dream. But their dreams are carefully watched for by the administration as the Dean of the Graduate School of education explained: “In their soft skills class, students must look for a proverb that illustrates the values of the university, then they have to raise funds to print it on a banner and display it all over the campus. Therefore, the dreams of the community are visible to all and the walls remind us of why we are here and where we need to go”.

 

Visiting a country by looking more closely at its educational system is fascinating!

It teaches you about politics, economy, people’s lives, hopes and problems, about society in its core. Education is where it all starts and it all ends, it is a circle that never stops.

In Cambodia the same rules apply. People see education as an exit to a better life so they try to learn whenever they can. The ones who are the most hungry for knowledge and with the correct basics identify their needs at present or a problem they encounter and go get the answer in a classroom or online, more and more. They have integrated the concept of life-long education because they do not have the luxury to stop working on the side. Adults here are not familiar with the concept of holidays. They respect the religious festivals and comply with their religious duties but also fill their schedule with many, many things: family, work, English lessons, second job, third job, etc.

Luckily some teachers also follow that rhythm and it is often the sole condition for any improvement in classrooms. Teacher’ trainings are very bad in Cambodia, some university degrees are good but too few have access to them. Usually, teachers do not know enough to quit the very traditional way of teaching: they talk, students listen, no questions allowed. Only some young teachers are doing this job out of passion and keep studying to be able to bring the best to their students. They even sometimes save money to attend university at night to get their masters. The energy is there, but still lacks strengths and isn’t properly allocated towards the people who need education the most.

 

When asking a father about his dreams for his daughter, he replied: « discipline ».

When asking a 17 years old orphan, attending an ngo vocational business school about her dream, she replied: « start my company ».

Change is here when it gets the chance.

Our responsibility is this one: find solutions to unleash people’s own potential and empower them so they can take action.

Because they will!

Down to earth – in Cambodia

By | Knowledge Economy | No Comments

Cambodia brought me right back to life, and down to earth.

At home, they live on the floor. To sleep they put a very thin mat on the floor, all next to each other, very often sharing the room. Sleeping, but also cooking, eating, bathing, all there. Most houses are made of wood, still, sometimes brick and often do not have any door, nor any furniture. Cambodia is developing and some middle class is emerging, some wealth transformed in huge mansions too. These ones are locked behind tall walls and you can only see big trucks coming in and out of them. Cars, that is also very important in the Cambodian lifestyle. It all measures on the road: the bigger the better. Trucks, cars, tuk-tuks, motorbikes, bicycles, people, is the new chain of life. The road is a mess: noisy, smelly, busy – but that’s just the way it is in Phnom Penh. In Siem Raep, there is a bit more peace and in the countryside it is another world, agrarian. Cambodians go from home, to the road, to work. Many vendors in the streets, they sell food, clothes, mechanic pieces, in short: everything! They are garages, shops, spas, restaurants, hotels, one next to the other. Companies develop too and it has become a highlight to work in an office, behind a computer and all kids dream of being managers: a secure job with not much to do since you are managing, hence not doing much. Managing here as a completely definition from ours in the western world. The sense of responsibility and engagement is different. In Cambodia you commit to you family first, then men with men often, women with the children and the rest of the family. Cambodians do not share much, they is like an invisible door to their souls. What most strokes me is their sole focus on the present: negate the past, can not think of the future. That is something very interesting, they live for now. They first make sure to deal with basic necessities: food, roof, not even health. They work but when the necessities are met for the day, they stop. Only few think ahead, or maybe they do but in a completely different way from us, they won’t tell. Their history influenced it that way: Cambodians are not allowed to dream. It is amazing to see that they are incapable of reading a map, of abstracting things and visualizing them in their minds. Nothing. To indicate you the way on the road they would say “turn right after the gas station”, only they do not know from where you will be arriving so turning right makes no sense. No planning ahead. And the consequences are huge on their daily lives. Pollution, dirt, the misery cycle is harder to break.

Their sense of community is very interesting though. It is hard for them to be alone in an office, they need others, they are used to sharing the plate, and yet they do not really care for community. Family first, you can see them pile up on motorcycles – the father, the mother, the two kids and the baby, all on one -. But the picture isn’t always bright obviously and domestic violence reaches very high rates. Women are numerous to be at risk, of being beaten, of being prostitutes. Because ngos usually fight against “white consumption” but the first clients for hookers are the Cambodians and many policemen even manage businesses. Just have a look at all the KTVs on the road to Phnom Penh airport, like I said, back to life, down to earth. Corruption rules. The political past of Cambodia is very troubled and sequels are visible everywhere.  No need to mention the Khmers Rouge episode, but they are the same ones in power now after a trip to Vietnam and back under new covers. Cambodians now have a new opposition party encouraging them to strike and disagree. The problem is, it is the respect that goes and the revenge and entitlement that stay. Some want to fight, especially the young, and they are clearly the majority as it is very hard to see elderlies, but they do not have the right enlightenment, tools and vision for the future to fight for. If they become richer, they will focus on spending their money and completely forget about their compatriots. The poor help the poor, the rich corrupt the rich. The economy is opening a bit, but there are two parallel ones.

Sometimes they have fun, they love karaoke, going to beer gardens, watching television and eat. That’s the second question they will always ask you “did you eat rice?” – because in Khmer the word “eat” translates into “eat rice”.  Of course first you will see this amazing smile and the famous “hello”. Why do all children instantly look at you with a smile and a hello? Many say that the UN taught them how to properly greet foreigners when they came after the war… no comment. The first question Cambodian always ask is “where are you going?”. It always makes me want to answer back “Where are you going?” – and I did, many answered with a smile.

Smile is always an option, smile is an open door. I came here not knowing what to expect and I found life in its essentials. I guess by always thinking about our future we forget the necessities and how the future is necessarily bound to them. In our worlds, what are the necessities, what is reality, what lies under the cover and now, how do we build. For once let’s not start with the dreams but with the fundamentals. Thank you Cambodia.

What if you could see behind companies’ doors?

By | Knowledge Economy | No Comments

Glassdoor gives you exactly that.

If you are looking for a job, do not miss out on this great tool to learn about: job opportunities, salaries, interview processes, employees feedbacks. This is the tripadvisor of jobs.

In times of change and increasing amount of information to go through it is hard to find what you need and to make sure you do not miss any option because you did not know.

Let’s give a huge “thank you” to the founders

http://www.glassdoor.com/

 

Get Mix-ed Up!

By | Knowledge Economy | No Comments

The Management Innovation eXchange (MIX) is an open innovation project aimed at reinventing management for the 21st century. It brings together the most progressive leaders and provocative management thinkers with in-the-trenches management innovators. Together they build real-life cases and become the biggest showcase space for renewing the way we work and think about management.

The prize associated to it enables innovators from all backgrounds to see their idea taken to the next level thanks to partners such as Harvard or Mc Kinsey.

A community of high caliber, thorough information and powerful outreach. Don’t wait and get in the know!

http://www.managementexchange.com/

 

Want to Contribute to this Thread? – Reach Out!

 

Your Name*

Your Email*

Subject

Your Message

Please copy this code to validate your message:
captcha