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Business Themes

Page history last edited by mmatos@... 11 years, 3 months ago

Working in pairs, please add an emerging business theme to our table with a brief description and evidence.  These articles don't need to be scholarly ones (though they can be) but they should support one another to offer a basis for your claim.


Business Theme  Description  Articles/Evidence  Your Name(s) 
Women From East to West Will Be Wearing The Pants


By the end of the decade there will be more businesses started by women than men.Currently women own 35% of startup businesses. Women have earned the reputation of being more secure and patient investors.

Female investors were more likely to hold onto assets longer and sell when the time was optimum reducing their losses.

The SHE-CHANGE is exactly what society needs right now. We need to rely on compassion more than competition and innovation more than invasion. The introduction of this new feminine power into all aspects of our lives will bring about a new era of productivity and peace. [Faith Popcorn's Brain Reserve]

What's Popping, Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve, January 2012 (Article Uploaded to Wiki)

FPBR Predictions 2012.pdf


Salim Ismail, Founding ED Singularity University

TEDx Occupy Male Street- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG0mUwIpy2Q (added by JA)

Ami Mehta
Shorter (more volatile) business/learning cycles  Companies are no long built to last and people learn and unlearn at much fast rate compared to several decades ago. In the brave new world, budding businesses with roots in technological innovation shoot to meteoritic stardom and fade equally quickly. How will the unique characteristics of the Generation Y affect how the business world functions in the next decade?  http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2011/09/global-economy  Shannon Xue 

A resurgent business theme, cooperatives show resilience in the current slow economy. 2012 is the UN International Year of the Cooperative. 

“The International Year of Cooperatives is intended to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development.”

Cooperative enterprises are member owned, member serving and member driven. Cooperatives empower people, improve livelihoods and strengthen the economy, enable sustainable development, promote rural development, balance both social and economic demands, promote democratic principles, provide a pathway out of poverty for women, and are a sustainable business model for youth.


“Cooperatives improve opportunities for income generation, help diversify economic activities and increase productivity in low-income and poor communities. In particular, they assist with the provision of financial and technical assistance….In the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial and economic crisis, financial cooperatives proved to be more resilient than their commercial counterparts. Cooperatives have also been noteworthy for their contributions to rural development and agricultural productivity across both the developed and developing world….Urban consumers have turned to cooperatives for low-cost alternatives. Workers have turned to cooperatives seeking stability and greater voice. And the unemployed are increasingly recognizing the added value of cooperative strategies to entrepreneurial endeavors.”

-Opening Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development


It will be interesting to see if advances in technology, particularly social media, have any effects on the way cooperatives are formed or operate. "Weak cooperatives" have the ability to form regardless of geographic proximity or strong ties to the other members. Instead they can be purely based on motives and interest in the business venture. In turn, this may affect the nature of cooperatives in the later stages, as their values tend to currently align more with traditional businesses. 


Cooperatives show resilience to the recent economic crisis: http://www.ilo.org/empent/Publications/WCMS_108416/lang--en/index.htm%20%29


Everyone gets out what they get in. The example of Cabot cheese.



Coop news





Lifecycle and future of cooperatives:

Cooperatives and the business cycle

Measuring alienation within cooperatives

Measuring cooperatives' values

Cooperatives and the Web 2.0


Kerri and Jen
Big Data  Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data of a variety of types (big data) to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information. Such information can provide competitive advantages over rival organizations and result in business benefits, such as more effective marketing and increased revenue. 




Micro-working  More computing power and more complicated networks allow individuals and employers to break up their work into smaller and smaller tasks.  Companies such as Zaarly offer a platform to outsource smaller and smaller pieces of your daily life (i.e. I'll pay $3 to the first person to bring me coffee).  Samasource has a non-profit model where big tasks for companies are broken into smaller components to be done by workers distributed throughout the third world; samasource then puts the pieces back together again for their client.  Amazon's Mechanical Turk service is also in this space.

"Virtual Working Takes Off in Emerging Markets" Financial Times report May 23, 2012





Dan Gilbert 
Microcredit and Micro-financing 

While some collaborative funding models that reach women are conducted at a large scale (i.e. http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/), it's compelling to consider how smaller contributions can lift up entrepreneurial women, their daughters, and their networks. Very small loans to those without the economic standing to secure traditional loans is one of the ways in which micro-financing can bring high quality financial services to the bottom of the pyramid. This has been disproportionately beneficial to women and is often cited as a service for empowering women to rise above poverty--and to bring their communities with them.  





Kiva video about global connectivity/involvement around microloans: http://vimeo.com/28413747

Emily and Alexis 
The economics of happiness 

The United States, has achieved striking economic and technological progress over the past half century without gains in the self-reported happiness of the citizenry.  Instead, uncertainties and anxieties are high, social and economic inequalities have widened considerably, social trust is in decline, and confidence in government is at an all-time low. Perhaps for these reasons, life satisfaction has remained nearly constant during decades of rising Gross National Product (GNP) per capita. 


So why do our measures of economic progress not reflect the values that make us happy: supportive relationships, meaningful work, a healthy environment and spiritual well-being?



The Mechanical Turk-ification of work

We will all become free lancers-- Over time, the traditional structure of working in an office in real time/space will shift to a more fully virtual world. 


Mechanical Turk- https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome 

http://www.usv.com/2011/11/what-comes-next.php Jessie Arora 
The Freemium Model

The freemium, or free-to-premium, model has been called the first business model of the 21st century. In a freemium model, a basic version of a product or service is given away for free, with the option to buy advanced features, accessories, or other options. This model is most commonly used for software and other digital products/services that can be easily upgraded to a premium feature-set at any time.


By allowing users to "try before they buy," the freemium model frequently produces high satisfaction and loyalty among paying customers. It is worth noting, however, that freemium is not the same as a free sample - in a freemium model, the majority of consumers are non-paying.


Companies and products that distribute via a freemium model often also find ways to monetize the non-paying portion of their user base, most often in the form of ads. This creates value for the company in maximizing their customer base, whether paid or unpaid, creating additional incentive to reach BOP markets and their vast numbers of potential users.





Joy & Heidi




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