This February, the Random Acts of Kindness week is taking place now and we have 2 holidays in a row, one is Valentine’s Day which just happened, and today is Random Acts of Kindness Day to encourage people for giving back and helping each other with kind gestures.
So how’s your February so far? and how do you celebrate love and kindness throughout this month?
Kindness is beautiful, and giving is powerful.
Give for change
Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. It can be a praise, a thank you note, a friendly hello or a generous donation…That’s exactly the Random Acts of Kindness Day about. This annual celebration started with donating food and making a gift to someone or nonprofits, now it becomes a popular movement with small or large acts of kindness to treat people no matter you know or you don’t know.
Beautiful kindness can be seen everywhere and makes a positive impact in our life and community. In our families, we love and support each other as family members. At hospitals, many healthcare professionals work hard to help patients and save lives every day. There are doctors who try to cure the diseases, nurses who treat patients and their families with nursing skills and caring heart, emergency room workers who give medical services 24hours.
Just like firefighters and lots of everyday heroes, the frontline healthcare workers contribute a lot to our community with their professional practices and dedication. Proud of being a family member of nursing professional, I know nurses generally are kind and friendly to others as part of their work and living habit, they are trained to do something nice for injured strangers and patients with healing and caring services, they try to save lives and make the world a better place by spreading a little light at work and beyond, they really give a lot with less receiving to help people around them. That’s why nurses are called smiling angels in white.
Kindness practices do inspire people and change lives. Every day, we want to be better people to offer and help. We give to someone we love, give to someone who deserves, give to someone who matters to us, give to a nurse angel we don’t know personally but who keeps our community healthy and well. Let’s give to receive, donate for good, give to build an ecosystem with a ripple effect to pass along a kind act from one to another.
We don’t have to be a superman or healthcare heroes to save the world and many lives, a small and simple act to give and donate can also change someone’s life.
Change for the better
Be kind and do good deeds don’t have to be costly and a very huge thing, small gestures can make a big impact. Recently I joined a group conversation about helping vulnerable people and tackling social issues for a better and safer place. It’s a very open and interesting discussion among the enthusiastic participants, who are from public services, community organizations, different areas and neighborhoods. A series of topics were talked about safety and security, equity and diversity, accessibility and inclusion, education and discrimination. All is about community building and engagement to change for the better.
In uncertain times, the high inflation and slow economy have impacted more or less every one, especially the vulnerable groups such as elderly and older adults lack of income and resources, women in need of more help and support, people and families who have lost a loved one and experienced trauma and huge pain, disabilities and homelessness living with unemployment and affordable housing problems. By looking at the matters in our surroundings, some actions need to be taken and something needs to be changed with the community network from individuals to organizations.
Equity, diversity and inclusion are definitely important to build a healthy and resilient community. Today there are still many barriers for individual members from equity-seeking and underrepresented groups, indigenous and racialized communities in all aspects of life. There are still lots of work to do on equal opportunities, a fair process and diverse environment open to all, especially for people of color and minority groups.
Help others to help ourselves. So stop hate and violence towards others, we are all the same who live in one global community. We need to take part and work together, raise our voice and speak up, donate and support to keep the conversation going and continue to call for actions and change.
The community is ours, and we are the community.
Give now, act now
It’s friendly February and psychology month filled with kindness and wellness themed events. There are Groundhog Day and CNOY event (Coldness Night of the Year) about nature and eco-friendly practice, cultural diversity celebrations from Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival to Black History Month. There is World Cancer Day to raise awareness for health and fighting cancer causes.
We have Family Day long weekend happening with many family-friendly activities for family love and wellness. The Pink Shirt Day is coming up next week and an annual event of anti bullying at school and work, in the neighborhoods and communities. There are negative stuff and bad things happening all the time, but there are also lots of good things happening every day…so will you choose to give and change with us and spread positivity in the community together?
Kindness is not only a helpful act to build a more healthy living community, but also creates the health benefits for ourselves. Studies have shown, be kind can positively impact your depression and anxiety, and do good deeds to others can reduce your emotional stress and improve your mental health. The science and psychology of being friendly and being grateful are effective to help boost our morale as well as personal wellbeing at large.
Kindness is good for our health and our mind. Remember this: To do unto others as we would have others do unto us. So what are you waiting for? Act now to give and pay it forward mentality, treat others as you want to be treated. Wanna be respected, do respect more to others; want to be loved, do love more others; want to be helped, do help more others…just as simple as that!
October is the month of autumn, a colorful season with mild weather and beautiful foliage, a busy period of ripening and growing, a harvest time for farmers and also for business owners. Here comes the annual Small Business Week which runs from October 16-22, time to celebrate entrepreneurship, startups, small and medium businesses in our communities.
Small business can be seen every where, we visit them, we talk to them, have a health checkup regularly at a medical clinic close to home, order the food with their delivery to the door, get the services and goods from them…so what is about a small business? how they fuel the economy and impact the community?
Dream it, do it
Small business is powerful. It may be a micro company that has fewer employees and less annual revenue comparing to a regular or large enterprise. It can be a privately owned consultancy, an independently operated law firm, a local grocery store in your neighborhood, a walk-in clinic down the street, or a coffee shop at the corner…They provide the products and services we need, create jobs and employ millions of people across the industries.
Small business is big in Canada. There are more than 1.2 million small and medium-sized businesses from professional and technical services to construction and retails, they help the trades work and marketplace stay active and competitive, they’re at the heart of our communities and the backbone of our economy. If we look at some provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, there are about half a million small businesses in one and the other to represent a strong business community. In BC, approximately 1-in-10 people are small business owners or entrepreneurs to make the province a home of entrepreneurship.
It takes action, passion, commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and much more to start small get big, and make dreams come true.
Small business is all about entrepreneurship and opportunities. Many successful owners started small with only 1 or 2 people but have a big idea and a willingness to work hard and grow. By becoming bigger businesses, they provide more and more opportunities for people and give back to the community with inspirational entrepreneurship. Every year, Small Business Week brings thousands of aspiring business owners, entrepreneurs and founders together for the opportunities of learning and sharing, networking and celebrating. Digital literacy, innovative solutions, green technologies, business ecosystem and sustainable community, it’s a group of dreamers and doers to work hard and change the world with the ambition and big ideas along the way.
There’s no doubt that small businesses are important for many reasons: job creation, selling varies goods and services to benefit people and sparking innovation. How many of us got our first jobs at a family business down the street? Were you ever helped by a trade worker in the area? Have you been any block parties sponsored by a local business? Did you take any practical advice from a small business owner in the neighborhood? Plenty of small businesses start from local, focus on local and have a big impact on local to thrive, prosper and grow together, they’re lifeblood of our communities.
This week, we celebrate the contributions small businesses make to our neighborhoods and local communities. Let’s support them as much as possible to eat local, shop local, buy local and act local…
To start and grow a business is never easy, and one thing always stands out, the passion and dedication of entrepreneurs. Many small business owners dare to do things differently with courage and innovative thinking. They conduct import and export with overseas partners, collaborate with others to work together for digital transformation, hire a marketing consultancy to research and develop new markets, invest in green business and digital projects with professional advice for growth…
Nowadays, we’re facing many changes due to the pandemic and economic issues. I personally saw a few businesses in my area has disappeared, like one day I went to a familiar store but only saw the closed door…they may be gone in silence without too much attention but I know it’s not the good sign for small business, our community and our life. Certainly, some small businesses are finding ways to succeed in tough times, and some are struggling to survive with physical distance and safety.
The economic downturn is real, it hits international market and local business, no exception to the mall businesses. If you confront challenges like reduced cash flow, declining sales, labor and buyer shortage…we’re here to help each other out, provide digital solutions and personalized plan for your business, work with creative practices and online strategy to solve your problems, build resilience in global community for a win-win collaboration.
Be the change
Small business is the cornerstone of our economy, plays a significant role in local and global communities. Doing business is not only to achieve financial success and independence, but also help people including women and minorities to benefit the community at large: create job opportunities, help local economy, promote entrepreneurial spirit, encourage collaboration and partnership.
We see the pandemic hit hard on our businesses and economy, inflation and tax increases continue to hurt. Over the past 2 years, while small business owners have faced many challenges, such as rising costs, lack of workers and supply chain disruption, can we find better ways of working?
Any business can be an impact business, let the digital power and green impact be your strength.
Power up your growth with digital technologies is now more than ever. The economic recovery has brought new changes for entrepreneurs, services providers, restaurant and shop owners, digital services are on the rise. So what are you waiting for? Get online and go digital, improve your online presence and e-commerce business, work with a digital advisor to enhance your digital literacy for a sustainable business. Technologies empower small business, when small business succeed, our economy grows, jobs are created and communities thrive. So we live in a changing world now and disruptive innovations are on the way, be part of it to make our businesses more inclusive and sustainable, improving our digital strategy while driving the economy.
October is in the middle of fall season, it’s annual Women’s History Month and Small Business Month. Small Business Week is also underway till this weekend, the giving season and holiday season are coming right after. This harvest time is in full swing, I saw my neighbors already stored some pumpkins and potatoes for Halloween, I plan to light the candles for my late family members and pray for them on All Souls’ Day, Thanksgiving is also coming up next month…It’s a season full of diversity and sustainability about harvesting food, celebrating life and giving back to the community.
Food is essential for our life. When we celebrate the harvest festival, we celebrate the food culture and sustainability. World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year on the mid-October, which is the founding date of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. You can join the event to visit a local farm or food business, check out a community garden close to home and grow your own food, help food security and sustainable agriculture, donate your time or money to food bank or charities to give back the community.
Recently I joined a regional conference about arts and culture over a weekend. The theme is braving the future together with a focus on EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) topics and issues. It gathered the participants from varies backgrounds, there are small business owners and program funders, executive members and staff from public services and non-profit organizations. By meeting and talking with them, I feel to open a dialogue between different social groups, a peer conversation to express and share freely, a space to collaborate and promote equality, diversity and inclusion among members.
This year, Indigenous Peoples’ Day occurs on October 10, a time to honor the beautiful traditions and cultures of the native people, an opportunity to celebrate and recognizes their histories and valuable land for living with diversity and sustainability. From culture to business, from non-profit organizations to public services, from startup founders to financial funders, giving back and giving more are all about building communities and resilience through collaboration and partnership. We all need help and we all can help, keep helping each other and working together is a good way for the benefit of everyone in our communities.
Go digital, go global…LefTech offers consulting services to help small businesses with digital strategy and solutions, we promote green business and technologies, we support entrepreneurship and community for sustainable practices and living.
Happy harvest, happy fall! Let’s celebrate small businesses that make our neighborhoods vibrant, support diverse entrepreneurs with Small Business Diversity Forum, build an inclusive business ecosystem with more public services and programs. Whatever you want to start your own business, transit your startup to a small business, finance your company with some funding and boost your business with technology, there are some tools and resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners to recover and grow:
The popular Lantern Festival takes place today to celebrate the first full moon night on this 15th day of Lunar New Year. It’s a tradition that started over 2000 years ago for the family reunion and harmony importance. Along with Yuanxiao, the small sweet rice balls in round shape are eaten as a typical holiday food on the day for family gathering time. On the same time, the full snow moon occurs this weekend as the Moon of Purification and Renewal to spark the Year of the Ox with peace and blessings.
Lantern Festival is known as a treasured occasion to enjoy folk dances, popular folklore and illuminating fun within families and social gatherings. Lighting and appreciation of lanterns are main festivities for the holiday celebration. Beautiful and colorful, the red paper lanterns are symbols of good luck, hope and love for a brighter year and future. Being a wonderful art of lights, the lantern has an important meaning to help lead the way forward and push aside the darkness towards the future. Throughout the long history, the lantern has been used not only as a source of light or simple paper decoration, but also a modern form of celebration and worship. From the ancient age to the legend, the lantern has become a cultural icon and national pride in many Asian countries including China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam etc. There are Chinese painted paper lanterns, glowing sky lanterns in southeast Asia and floating water lanterns in Japan…whichever are at homes or in public spaces, all has the significations of honoring deceased ancestors and best wishes for family reunion and joy, living reconciliation as well as the return of spring.
Watch the glorious full moon shinning in night sky with the dazzling lights and joyful colors of memorable Lantern Festival, what do you wish for an amazing holiday and the year to come? This year, Chinese New year celebration has started at new moon on February 12 to mark the beginning of the Year of the Ox. In many cultures, the Ox is a faithful animal and lucky symbol with many good values including health, strength, courage and perseverance. According to the 12-year Chinese zodiac calendar, it’s the Year of the Metal Ox which represents positive movements of booming life and prosperous business. Nowadays, the Lunar New Year aka Spring Festival is celebrated across Asian communities such as China, South Korean and Vietnam…The entire festival celebration lasts 15 days in some Asian nations with the highlight of ancient Lantern Festival on the last day. After having experienced the past year full of challenging and hardship, many people are more than happy to welcome the Lunar New Year of the Ox for change and move forward for a healthy and strong year ahead.
Traditions, families and Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed February full of holidays and love, now we get into the month of March as spring time with a lot of natural activities and global movements on the way.
Leadership for change
March is Women’s History Month, time to commemorate and celebrate the achievements of women throughout our history and culture. By highlighting International Women’s Day on March 8, the annual month-long event focuses on the important contribution and vital role of women in all aspects of our life and society to recognize the countless women making an impact in their communities, their nation, and the world. As the global recovery is starting slowly from the devastating pandemic, this year’s International Women’s Day is like no other with the theme of Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
Women’s rights are human rights. These are the rights about making moves for gender justice and a call to action for accelerating gender parity, such as to live free from violence and discrimination, to access the quality healthcare, to be educated and have the equal pay, to vote and get the equal opportunity of leadership in political and business worlds. Today, women remain concentrated in the lowest paid jobs across the world, they are nearly twice as likely than men to lose their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis, and the pandemic has dramatically increased the women’s poverty rate and widened the gap with men…The economic security and independence are necessary for women to engage more deeply in the decision makings for the change, there’s still a long way to work on historic obstacles and social economic barriers, gender inequality and lack of female leadership positions. For instance, women are Heads of State or Government in 22 countries, and only 24.9 per cent of national parliamentarians are women. In only 14 countries where 50% or more of government cabinet members are women, just over 1 in 4 managers across all sectors are women globally……It’s the time to demand change and make a commitment to women everywhere to stand up for human rights and join the fight for an equal future. Change laws, take action, transform gender relations and challenge discriminatory norms, the generation equality can rise in the way we lead, talk, support, question and think to make sure that resources and power are more equitably distributed for women.
Women are the active members of the global community with valuable social, economic, cultural and political accomplishments, they want and deserve a freedom with equal rights and opportunities for all. Being a woman, we are capable to wear many different hats from home to public life: girlfriend, wife, daughter, sister, mother, grandma, aunt, granddaughter, babysitter, cook, baker, gardener, driver, teacher, student, warrior, nurse, doctor, mentor, handywoman, engineer, technician, lawyer, judge, filmmaker, artist, entrepreneur, volunteer and leader……On this global day, every woman needs to be appreciated for her hard working inside and outside of family and empowered by a world of possibilities to follow her dreams. We need women to build a better world together, we thank all women from bottom of the heart for all things you do, support women’s rights and leadership in all areas of life.
Loyalty, intelligence, strength, determination and confidence, women have many admirable qualities and they have the power of game changing to inspire people and shape the world. From the past to present, from the East to the West, some legendary women warriors like Mulan and Joan of Arc made the history with their inspiring stories and willingness to fight.
Mulan who is female hero in Chinese ancient era, she dresses and acts as a military man to go to war instead of her aged father, fights along with other male soldiers for the country against the northern invaders. A symbol of loyal, brave and family devotion, she’s one of the most popular Chinese hero as an honored woman warrior who protects her family and defends the homeland as well. The recent Disney’s drama feature and its earlier animated movie are the adaption based on the Chinese poem titled the Ballad of Mulan, it’s a very beautiful folk song which was created several thousands years ago and shows a female fighter with strong and independent spirits:
(The sound of creaking) Mulan sits in the doorway in front of her loom. When the loom grows silent, We can only hear the sound of her sighs. Girl, who are you thinking about? Girl… who do you long for? (Mulan replies) “There is only one man I think about , There is only one man I long for Last night I saw the conscription notice, The Khan is issuing a great draft – A dozen volumes of battle rolls, Each one with my father’s name. My father has no son old enough to take his place, I, Mulan, have no elder brother. I’m willing to buy a horse and saddle, I will take my father’s place in battle.” (Mulan went to war)
She buys a fine steed at the east market; A saddle and blanket at the west market; A bridle at the south market; And a long whip at the north market. At dawn, she leaves her parents’ home, and camps beside the Yellow River before dusk. From far away, she cannot hear the sounds of her parents calling for her Only the rushing waters of the Yellow River. She leaves the Yellow River at dawn, And reaches reach Black Mountain before dusk. From far away, she cannot hear the sounds of her parents calling for her Only the cries of the enemy cavalry in the Yàn hills. She traveled ten thousand li, She flew over mountains and through mountain passes The sound of a war gong pierces the air, The winter sun shines brightly on her coat of steel. The general dead after a hundred battles, The warriors return after ten years. They return to see the Son of Heaven, Sitting in the royal court He unrolls the scroll of merit a dozen times , Giving hundreds and thousands of rewards (Mulan was rewarded)
The Khan asks Mulan what she desires (Mulan replies) I have no need to be promoted to a prominent position I only ask for a camel that can travel a thousand li , That can take me back to my hometown (Mulan returned home)
Her parents hear that their daughter has returned, They welcome her at the entrance to the town. When Elder Sister hears of Mulan’s return, she stands in the doorway wearing a beautiful dress When Little Brother hears that his sister has returned, He sharpens his knife to slaughter a pig and a lamb. (Mulan speaks) “I open the door to my eastern chamber, And sit on the bed of my western chamber. I take off my military robes And put on my old clothes. I sit in front of the window as I comb my long flowing hair , And look into the mirror as I apply makeup, I go outside to see my comrades , They are all shocked and astounded. “We traveled together for twelve years,” (they say), “But we never suspected that Mulan was a woman!” (Mulan’s rabbit couple)
Most people tell the gender of a rabbit by its movement: The male runs quickly, while the female often keeps her eyes shut. But when the two rabbits run side by side, Can you really discern whether I am a he or a she?
feature movie and animation by Disney Movies
As a national heroine of France, Joan d’Arc was a peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to fight against the Anglo forces. She led the French army during the 100 Years’ War with England and achieved a momentous victory, then she was captured by the enemy and died at the age of 19. She was canonized lately as the Maid of Orléans and had been considered one of history’s greatest saints, an enduring symbol of French unity and nationalism. Being a village teenage girl, Joan d’Arc rose prominence with divine guidance to challenge the Royal power and legitimate of war. Even faced with death by fire, she followed her belief and voices from God to be a fighter against the darkness.
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc by UniFrance
Women are strong, women are power. The legacy of heroines is not only the memory of great names and also the inheritance of a great examples and inspirational figures over centuries. Hardship and difficulties can never stop the fearless fighters to keep following their passion and dreams, pushing for things to get better. From icon of popular nationalism to creator of change and peace, fighters don’t stop asking why, they’re naturally inspiring and courageous, often idealistic, driven by a desire to make the world a better place. When there’s fighting spirit on women, there’s resilience and strength to the leadership.
These women had a vision leading out of the darkness shrouding their world. They were women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality bathed in the light of the day…
–Justice Ginsburg, The Heroic and Visionary Women of Passover
Diversity on the rise
American lawyer and jurist Ruth Bader Ginsburg who served as an associate justice of the Supreme court of the United States until her death last year. She was the first Jewish female justice and second woman to serve on the Court. She spent a lifetime flourishing in the face of adversity before being appointed a Supreme Court justice, where she successfully fought against gender discrimination in some male-dominated fields. By being named one of 100 most powerful women, one of 100 most influential people by Time magazine, and a lifelong trailblazer for human rights and gender equality, she was recognized for having profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world with the ideas and law credits.
Justice Ginsburg, credit to CNN
From voting rights and stop discriminatory changes, to combating racial and gender-based discrimination, Ginsburg contributed much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, presenting a strong voice in favor of equal education and fair pay, action on policies of exclusion and inclusion, interest in diversity. She expressed her support for the Me Too movement, which encourages women to speak up about victim experience of sexual harassment. With her own experiences with gender discrimination and sexual harassment, she said that it’s about time. For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing.
Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.
— Justice Ginsburg
Women’s full and effective participation and leadership in of all areas of life drives progress for everyone. So how to break down systematic barriers, speak up for more women decision makers and build an equatable future for a generation equality? Around the world, some of the most efficient covid responses have been led by women including diverse and inclusive movements online and on the streets for social justice, climate change and equality in all parts of the world. They are also at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, as healthcare workers, scientists, doctors and caregivers all over the communities. Now let’s call to action to provide support to all women on the front lines of the fight against this pandemic, promoting flexible working arrangements, prioritizing services to prevent gender-based domestic violence, and building a future that’s sustainable and peaceful for all.
It takes a village to raise a child, it takes the world to work on the generation equality and everyone can mobilize to bring changes. Leaders, visionaries, activists and artists everywhere, virtually or not, have pushed for transformative and lasting change for generations to come. Recently UN Women launched a global call to creatives and their original artwork that visualizes and celebrates artivism for gender equality. Creative women are part of the diverse world, they have passion for the arts, drive to experiment, courage to change and make the history together.
We need women’s representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic and political situations. This is the only way we will get real societal change that incorporates women in decision-making as equals and benefits us all.
— Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director
The 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards just happened last month and it’s a historic year for female directing and leading film production. For the first time in the organization of HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association), 3 women directors were nominated in the category of Best Director Motion Picture including Chloe Zhao for Nomadland by starring of Frances McDormand, Regina King for One Night in Miami and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman. Chloe Zhao won the prize as the first woman of Asian descent and made a history about diversity. She’s also the second woman ever to win the directing prize at the Globes.
Nomadland, her movie is also won the award for Best Picture Drama. It’s a beautiful story about life on the road, discovering and exploring the own way of living with freedom and connection to the nature: After losing everything in the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. The film has heart of diversity to show a special group of people and their different lives in the authentic and realistic ways, just like the spirit of road life: never says goodbye, only see you down the road.
Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart bonding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us. Now, this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories. Because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together, and it gives us a chance to learn from each other, and to have more compassion for each other. — Chloe Zhao
Women create, women direct, women lead, women change and women make the history. When women lead, we see positive results. Pandemic is a turning point for people’s life and also for the world too, something has changed and many changes are on the way. It cannot simply return to the world we had before, we need to do things differently for women and generation equality. Strong ox, lucky lion dance and rising women’s power, this year has started with many blessings and hope to make a winning year of healthy life, so people can control the pandemic and finally live coronavirus-free. It is also a winning year to build resilience and diversity for a more equal, more inclusive and more sustainable future with the power of women’s leadership. On the occasion of many celebrations from lunar year of the ox to global movements, we’re committed to supporting diversity and generation equality for a strong and thriving community filled with goodness and warmth, wish you all health and happiness, success and prosperity in the years ahead.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel,
even it happens a little bit longer sometimes…
As the year is coming to an end, time for a year-end review and end of the year reflections to think and learn. Looking back this year, no doubt it’s been a very special year for everyone, so much happened and so many challenges: coronavirus, pandemic, lockdown, social distancing, quarantine, stay at home orders, face mask…what a year for people, businesses and the world!
For most people, this year started off with normal sense, soon the pandemic hit and getting harder over the course of the year, then we are suddenly facing an unprecedented situation and new realities. For some, this past year may be rough and difficult to survival and live healthy…For some, it may be a year filled with tears and hardship for many endings and farewells…For some, it’s full of uncertainty and changes both professionally and personally…and for all of us, it’s certainly a year unlike any other. Whatever the year has been good or bad for you, stay healthy and upbeat to finish it strong and well with some meaningful thoughts and gestures.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. — Charles Dickens
Health for all
In reviewing this challenging year with the ongoing pandemic, we all have experienced and learned a lot, health and science are much more important than never in our everyday life. There are frontline healthcare professionals who keep working hard to fight for public health, many scientists who put great efforts on making and developing vaccines…Selflessness, compassion and courage, all the dedicated healthcare workers step up to protect as much as they could around the world.
From public service to business community, from World Health Organization(WHO) to local healthcare provider, there are essential service workers like everyday heroes to keep daily life running with basic needs for our health and safety. Doctors, nurses and medical staff are called as fighters in white on the frontlines, they have kept working day and night for public health and safety, provided medical care to the patients with high risks of being infected with coronavirus…Remind that, they also have a whole family and loved ones behind each of them, but they have stayed at work to help more people in the communities just being health heroes.
We say that nurses are smiling angels with loving hearts and invisible wings, and we mean that they’ve been saving lives, caring for others, making relentless contribution to the community everyday. In honoring of their dedication and contribution to our communities, WHO designated this year as International year of the Nurses & the Midwife.
Nursing is a work of heart and nurses are angels in white among us. Amid the pandemic and in everyday life, they deserve our deep gratitude for their caring work and sacrifice to take risks and beat the coronavirus, keep people safe and improve the public health. Health is wealth, more and more people including many big performers and entertainers who have sincerely valued and supported their hard work by paying tribute and spreading the love in global community.
No science no health, no health no life. Science improves greatly public health in many ways, let’s respect science more and show our appreciation to scientists and healthcare workers.
In this past October Nobel Prize season, total 8 scientists and medical professionals were awarded the Nobel Prizes among 12 laureates. Also a historic winning with 2 women scientific researchers as the first time in Nobel Prize history, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their scientific discovery.
This November and December, total 175 nationwide recipients were appointed to receive the Order of Canada as one of the country’s highest civilian honors. They’ve made up with 9 Companions, 34 Officers, 1 Honorary Member and 131 Members to be honored for their accomplishments and success to build a better country. Among them, about 30 significant figures are scientists and medical professionals in a diverse fields of pediatric and obstetrics, cardiology and neuroscience, geriatric medicine and cancer research, chemistry and pharmacology, crop science, computer and planetary science.
No two snowflakes are alike. There are women clinician-scientist, pharmaceutical researcher, scholars and many more. With outstanding achievement and dedication to the community, they’ve been honored for their service to the nation and innovations to shape the future. In the spirit of northern heritage and diversity, the Order of Canada recognize their contributions are varied and enriched the lives of others in different ways and for a better life.
Order of Canada
Digital for life
This year is almost over, whatever we’ve been through are part of experience and lessons to look back and also look ahead. Knowing of digital age and power, how to go above and beyond our virtual life in the coming year with digital impact?
In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity. — Albert Einstein
The pandemic has changed our life and the world radically in unpredictable ways. Many of us have experienced the quarantine and stay at home by following the public health and safety guidelines, the restrictions for social activities and gathering have forced us to stay apart with people even with families, there are also the limitations of traveling from local to international. We are socialized human beings, how we keep up with human interaction and connection with remote work environment and social distancing everyday?
Going up like a rocket, it seems a virtual network and space happened overnight without delay, everything goes digital from study, work to social. Facing with the big changes and happenings in life and world, we need to adapt a new environment and start to redefine our life and work with digital technology. Love it or not, a virtual world has arrived and we are part of it no matter what…
Digital used to be an online solution in pre-pandemic and now becomes an essential activity in our daily life. We’ve seen digital shows and exhibits, digital theaters and operas, we’ve worked at home, attended virtual meetings almost everyday, we’ve known more and more business are going digital also many types of festivals are held online as well, thousands and millions of people stay online to meet, chat and learn through webinars and cloud video meeting platforms…all digital, all virtual, all good, so what’s not online now?
The rise of digital technology is soaring and most digital service providers see a massive success amid the pandemic. With about 300 million daily active users, Zoom has risen to the top of the market on a fast track due to the COVID. This December, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan named as Time’s businessperson of the year. Zoom meeting and Zoom social are the ones among the popular digital strategies to connect people and the world.
Today is the last day of the year, it’s hard to believe that this year has come and is almost gone enough quickly. As the pandemic continues to hammer the world without stopping point yet, it is vital that we stay well and keep mental health while isolating and dealing with loneliness. From foresight to insight and hindsight, from motivation to creativity and inspiration, what are on the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions? Being healthy, staying safe and well with digital tech could be top 3 for many people to keep going forward.
Going digital, going global…With the pandemic challenges and physical distancing restrictions, digitalization is underway coming faster than we expected, remote work, streaming services, virtual activities and online communities are all over the place and all around the world. The year’s end means the beginning of a new one with new possibilities, jump into the coming new year with best wishes, keep calm and carry on for a digital and green life:
Coronavirus risks are spreading rapidly with public health concerns and environmental problems. Love animal and live healthy are not only a good quality now, but also more about life choice.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads much more faster than the SARS 17 years ago, so far it has caused about 500 death worldwide in less than a month, the massive pneumonia outbreak raises the concerns about the impact on public health and the economy from local to regional and international. So where did it come from and what are the reasons?
According to WHO, the deadly virus is spreading rapidly through multiple transmissions and a PHEIC was declared across the world, but the real cause remain to be found out with investigations. Is COVID 19 a nature-related virus, animal-related disease or human-related intentional act? With more and more infected cases of this contagious disease, people are getting upset about many different sayings and unverified sources everywhere.
When it comes to an emergency situation with high infection risks between each other, we don’t have too much choice to think about thoroughly and can only respond as quick as possible. As the COVID virus can cause cough, fever, shortness of breath and death, the prevention and treatment are extremely important to protect our health and save lives. Keep a social distance, wear the face mask, stay more at home without big gathering and frequent contacts with lots of people, quarantine, isolation and vaccination, COVID outbreak has greatly changed our life in all ways.
Whatever the reasons behind the COVID 19, we need to learn from such a big lesson, don’t be egocentric, share the world equally and live with birds, mammal and wildlife together. Let’s raise more environmental awareness, respect more nature and biodiversity, take responsibility for our planet and ourselves most importantly. It’s the time for people to be fully aware of the health risks with the ignorant behaviors and uncaring mindsets, better understand about nature, animals, food chain and ecologic system. Speaking science and health, respecting nature and caring all lives just mean to protecting ourselves.
We all know how important is the ecology balance between people, nature and animals, most of people like birds and animals. My mom and I visited a bird museum in China, discovered different kinds of birds and their interesting facts, my mom also played some interactive games with some kids…very fun experience of learning birds and animal friends. Here’s a video about this visiting tour, enjoy!
We create, we build, we innovate, we change, and we are women.
Starting and growing your own business are never easy, especially for women. Female entrepreneurs usually face much more challenges from business skills to financial resources and industry opportunities. The reasons and levels can be varies by countries and regions, such as male domination and gender gap, lack of gender equality and equal rights at workplace about business skills training and professional opportunities…building smart solutions are necessary to make the world a balancer and better place, and all deserves to be treated equal regardless of gender, ethnicity or race.
Today is International Women’s Day – March 8, the UN theme for IWD this year focuses on innovative ways to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women:
Innovate for change.
So what’s the meaningful way to celebrate Women’s Day? Do our effort to care women more and treat them one day for anything, or make a call to action for everyone’s participation and contribution to build a balancer and better future with innovative spirit and mindset…
Empowering women is definitely good for unleashing success. Women’s empowerment means a business woman can access resources and grow her business based on equal footing and competing with business men. Working women, professional women, business women, all women are great and deserve for the equal rights and opportunities across the industries.
Women who tech
This past January, the annual showcase of consumer technology innovation CES kicked off the new year 2019 as usual. As the largest influential technology event, the Consumer Electronics Show drew a big crowd all over the world including business leaders and thinkers, industry professionals and innovators, creative players and women in tech.
From smart cities to 5G, from drones to self-driving technology, from AI to robotics…this is truly a global stage to connect, learn and be inspired about disruptive technology and innovation. I experienced AI powered playground and smart home, visited innovation awards showcase, talked to virtual assistants and robots, met some great entrepreneurs at networking events, connected with multiple startups for further discussion…What I learned from CES? Get ready for a smart future and 5G revolution.
Technology is changing business and female-owned tech companies become a fast growing force in the Americas and the world. So how we can embrace disruption for good? Supporting women empowerment in this growing industry opens up a new business and develops a prosperous path of cooperation between North America and Asia Pacific in different sectors and ecosystems. This is indeed an opportunity to be part of this very energetic and empowered female workforce with the power of learning and networking.
Among many world-class speakers and panels at conferences, some women brought their innovative ideas on some mind-blowing topics, such as be your own boss in sports technology, a keynote discussion on data, blockchain, AI and computing, create content to connect with audiences and branding strategy…when women get together and learn from each other, to share best practices and conduct discussions about the latest trends, all women can benefit from it. We all play different professional roles like Emmy Award winning journalist, CEO and CMO, founder and entrepreneur…and we are also women in tech as innovators and disruptors shaping the future of technology.
Women who create
Creativity is power, it’s truly original and inspiring.
Last month at the 91st Academy Awards, Domee Shi, who’s Chinese-Canadian, won the Oscar for best animated short film “Bao”, she is also the first female director of a Pixar original short.
“Bao” is an allegorical tale about an aging and lonely mother who receives an unexpected second chance at motherhood when she makes a dumpling (baozi), and an adorable Chinese dumpling that comes to life as a boy. Eventually the child grows up as a young adult, he increasingly wants independence, while his mother wishes for more attention from him, feeling ignored. One day, when the dumpling introduces his new fiancée and wants to move out, his mother tries to stop him from leaving and finally eats him…Later, her real son enters the room, revealing that the whole sequence was an allegorical dream. Then the whole family sits at the table and makes dumplings together…
Through this short film, the audience can get a taste of the great Chinese food, culture, and people that she grew up with in Canada. Shi said she used to take her Mom’s dumplings for granted, making “Bao” helped her better understand her mother. Shi shared that the journey to making this film come to life. Seven years before becoming the director of an Oscar-winning film, Shi began her journey at Pixar as an intern and contributed to multiple films as storyboard artist. Now being one of the first female writers and directors for a major studio, she said it’s been challenging to make the film: “One of the most challenging things is when you’re walking into the room and feeling like one of the only females in this room, it took me a while to build my own confidence, but I kind of use that as a way to motivate myself.”
Cinematography, photography, design, screenwriting, video editing, copywriting, content strategy and digital media production, creative minds come from our own stories, imagination, dreams, brainstorm and inspiration by others. As an artist and filmmaker, Domee shi won an Oscar, created value for her industry, and showed the creativity and innovation that comes from diversity and women’s empowerment.
To all the nerdy girls out there who hide behind their sketchbooks, don’t be afraid to tell your stories to the world. – Domee Shi, filmmaker
Women who change
Women are everywhere: tech startup and entrepreneurship, filmmaking and creative arts, innovative business and science, journalism and healthcare professionals…female leaders are shaping the future of innovation and making the world to a better place with their insistence for good and persistence in the face of adversity.
Today to honor Women’s History Month and IWD, it’s really important that we see examples of successful women and powerful women doing things that are outside the box, so people can have role models and be inspired. By celebrating women leadership around the world, let’s look at women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design (STEMD) , and their outstanding inspiration to others including the next generation of female professionals.
Let’s check out this series of numbers from the Nobel Prize Organization. Over 100 years, 51 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2018 with 52 awards in total. There are
1 woman in Economic Sciences,
3 women in Physics including Marie Curie in 1903,
5 women in Chemistry including Marie Curie in 1911,
12 women in Physiology/Medicine including Tu Youyou in 2015,
14 women in Literature,
17 women in Peace including Mother Teresa in 1979.
They are women who changed the world with their inventions, medical research, writing novels, analysis of economic governance, thought thinking in new and creative ways, engagement in social issues and the peace movement…what they achieved are the greatest benefit to humankind. In 2018, 3 women among 12 new laureates of the Nobel Prize were awarded for their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems, as well as combating war crimes. They are
Donna Strickland, a Canadian optical physicist and pioneer int he field of pulsed lasers, who was awarded in Physics for “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” and with Gerard Mourou “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”
Frances H. Arnold, an American chemical engineer, who was awarded in Chemistry “for the directed evolution of enzymes”.
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq, who was awarded in Peace with Denis Mukwege “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.
Among these 51 remarkable women of the Nobel Prize,19 women who changed science with their unique contributions. From the early 1900s to now, they are scientists represented in this experience include biochemists, X-ray crystallographers, pharmacologists, neuro-embryologists and nuclear physicists. Some are the children of teachers, grocers, scientists and artists, some rarely left their labs, some travelled the world to collaborate with other scientists or to advocate for a cause. Each of them is as unique as her contribution to scientific knowledge, but all possess common traits: creativity, vision, passion and – perhaps most importantly – persistence.
With a new and more scientific approach to drug development, Gertrude Elion altered and accelerated medical research by creating the drugs and alleviating human suffering. Tu Youyou is the first mainland Chinese scientist to have received a Nobel Prize in a scientific category for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria. And she did so without a doctorate, a medical degree, or training abroad. She turned to Chinese medical texts from the Zhou, Qing, and Han Dynasties to find a traditional cure for malaria, ultimately extracting a compound—artemisinin—that has saved millions of lives…
The world cannot afford the loss of the talents of half of its people if we are to solve the many problems which beset us.
— Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate
Celebrating and exploring the careers and lives of them aim to transform not only how we experience the powerful stories and perseverance behind their scientific achievements but also empower the next generation of young women to change our world.
Women are power
Innovation and technology disrupt business and impact our lives.
Women hold up half of the sky according to a Chinese saying. Actually women could hold up entire industries from tech and science to media and creative business by affecting the future of business. A growing number of women are business owners and decision-makers to bring innovation to the market and changing the way we work.
With education and hard working, women are not only tech users also digital creators. Social media is playing a pivotal role in their business decisions, with many popular short video platforms out there, and blogs expanding their influence in marketing sector and beyond. They build local business community and solar-power projects, connect with customers, and grow business with enhanced digital tools like mobile technology, cloud-based open source system, big data driven platform, online marketing and eCommerce etc.
Around the world, women are making an impact with this type of social media influence every day. Women’s fresh, relevant thinking also brings transformative change to the businesses and services that benefit our lives. Women and girls, who are not only consumers of innovation, but also become kind of innovators to engage, design and execute practical solutions from creative work and tech business to green energy and renewable industry. With a greater balance of men and women at some places, women have increasing opportunities to realize their potential and achieve their dreams in a stable and inclusive environment.
…as industries prepare to adapt to disruptive change, tackling gender gap could also unlock new opportunities for growth. – World Economic Forum
Who run the world?
Balance for better is the global campaign theme of International Women’s Day 2019. On this global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, it marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and creating balance for better. The first IWD gathering in 1911 was supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Over a century, many international groups from grassroots activism to worldwide action campaigned for women’s equality.
Gender equality is basically a question of power. According to the UN, women still face major obstacles in accessing and exercising power. As the world bank found, just 6 economies give women and men equal legal rights in areas that affect their work. Living in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture, gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. In recent decades, we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas, such as increasing the number of women decision-makers and women in senior management, more efforts to protect and promote women’s rights, dignity and leadership…
When women rise, we all do
Innovation and technology have shaped the lives of women worldwide, also provide opportunities for women and girls to play an active role in building more inclusive systems, efficient services and sustainable economic growth to accelerate the achievement of the gender equality.
Innovation and technology reflect their designers and makers. From mobile technology to artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT), it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our digital future. From UN Women to IWD community, from STEM education to global innovation for change, more and more initiatives and community projects are helping women and girls to develop coding skills and train the tech leaders of tomorrow. All of the work is not only to challenge stereotypes that limit girls’ ambitions and dreams, but also to empower them to play the decisive role in emerging industries by unleashing their limitless imagination and boundless strength.
Balance drives a better working world. Building our world so that it works for everyone with innovative ways and smart solutions are upon us. To create long-term sustained global community and sustainable economic growth, everyone’s contribution counts. Industry leaders, game changers, social entrepreneurs and women innovators… on one is left behind, everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.
We are women, do proud every day for embracing our strength, drive, dreams, femininity, sense and sensibility, take the lead and be our own hero everyday.
Being professional women, we usually wears many different hats in family and at work, wife, mother, daughter, business owner, entrepreneur, founder and CEO…from household role to leadership role, women can do anything. When reflecting on our journeys that led us to where we are today as a successful woman, whoever your are a talented woman, a strong woman, a powerful woman, an inspirational woman, an independent woman or an influential woman…no matter whoever inspires you or you inspire whomever as role models, no matter whatever like community and connection motivates you or you value whatever like challenges and opportunities…be yourself and believe in yourself, we are women, we can do anything!
You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.
― Les Brown, The Power of Purpose
November is National Entrepreneurship Month, time to celebrate startup community and entrepreneurial experience.
Entrepreneurship matters. From economic development and transformation to sustainable community and life, it contributes to employment and business growth, improves quality of life and work-life balance, inspires innovation and technology, supports diversity and communities in everyday life.
With Thanksgiving celebration and Giving Tuesday event, November is also the month about showing gratitude and appreciation to people and business around us, giving back to community and support good causes in many different ways.
Hard work, leadership, inspirational life and big dreams…entrepreneurship means different things to different people. To innovators and creators, it could be more about bring disruptive ideas to life and changing the world; to entrepreneurs and founders, it’s more about making impact on community and achieving their dreams. No matter you’re new startup, small business or a serial entrepreneur, the key is to take action, get started and keep doing…
Be a doer
So you want to be an entrepreneur? You have a good idea in mind, a target market to work and a great product to launch, here are a few tips about the experience of starting a company and running your own business:
1. Start smart, start well…It’s less important that you do something perfectly and more important that you do it with energy and motivation.
2. No pain no gain. Nobody is born gifted, every talent needs hard work and constant practice to chase his dream. Entrepreneurs are made, not born too. It requires sacrifice, hard work and a willingness to accept constant change in the business world.
3. Do the research and know the risks. Expect that failure will come, and minimize it where possible. Be flexible and resourceful to face the challenges along the way…
4. Identify your purpose and network with others. Resources and relationships are very important to entrepreneurship, keep in mind to form your alliance with business owners who can help grow your business.
5. Work with collaborators and get the word out about your business. Instead of doing everything on your own from marketing to finance, you can save time and energy with specialized services. Especially about marketing service and digital media projects, many entrepreneurs collaborate with marketing consultant for branding, social media marketing, event planning and public relations.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb
Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. No doubt at all, there’s more to entrepreneurship than just a business idea. Anyone can acquire the knowledge and experience to transform a business idea into reality, but it takes business skills, entrepreneurial mindset, patience and perseverance to live an entrepreneurial life. Starting a business is hard, but the hard is what makes it great. Do what you love, and love what you do…so would you be up to take action and start your own business with a purpose?
It’s end of the year again, there are lots of ways that small businesses, corporations and brands can get involved in year-end giving. With Thanksgiving tradition and GivingTuesday event, end of year giving is a great opportunity to do more for the causes you support and get community engagement.
Doing business with purpose is not only market-driven to make money, and also impact-driven to help people and support the community. As a service-based creative business, we support good causes from fundraising event to public presentation. We give our time, technology and expertise to raise money and awareness for charities, connect with the organizations to collaborate nonprofit projects, and help them engage people effectively via social media platforms.
Being thankful is a mindset, having an attitude of gratitude is a virtue in business and life.
What goes around comes around, helping others actually helps yourself. From individuals to startups, when we become more grateful and give our time, talent and donation to help others, they benefit from our generosity and in turn more people benefit the same as well. For startup community, giving back means to pay it forward and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. From green business to social enterprise, check out how little things can make a big difference:
Start small. Get involved in the community and support charities and non profits by making a donation, volunteering time, spreading the word for good causes and helping the community engagement.
Think big. As technology has an impact on all aspect of life and people, good tech can solve the problems and save the world. Go paperless with digital, go green with solar energy, and go global with social media…think about our environment and world, we support tech for good to use, design and build tech to address social challenges like global education, waste prevention, and healthcare with innovative solutions.
Pay it forward. Business and success is not everything, think of our short and long-term goals with social responsibility, be generous with our time, talents and resources to invest in social, cultural and environmental issues, at the end we are the ones who receive the greatest benefit of a sustainable community.
Build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. By giving, sharing and inspiring, together we support each other to make the change and create impact through collaboration. Creators, investors, leaders, incubators and entrepreneurs are all ecosystem builders in startup community, such as venture-friendly markets, quality business support and network, available finance to research and development, effective leadership and technology for creativity and innovation…
NASA has just landed successfully a robotic geologist InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Transport) on Mars after 300-million-mile journey from Earth. By NASA, the Journey to Mars is humanity’s Next Giant Leap deeper into their solar system. 45 years ago, the Apollo missions blazed a path for human exploration to the moon and today that path extends to Mars and beyond. After landing on Mars, the robot will investigate processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system more than four billion years ago, and many more missions will follow on the Path to Mars including human landing and step foot on the Red Planet.
Almost on the same time, SpaceX has made a historic launch of the first and largest rideshare mission on a US rocket. It also marks a new record of its 19th launch in the year, and the 3rd launch with the same reusable rocket by the company. The spaceflight brought together payloads from 17 countries including US, UK, Canada and Australia etc. total 64 small satellites aboard its reusable Falcon 9 rocket were deployed into low-Earth orbit in this single launch. They are university spacecraft, tech demonstrations, imaging and communication spacecraft from 34 commercial and government organizations, plus the companies seeking to revolutionize the Internet of Things.
Tech for good, tech for change. From national space agency to private space services company, from space tech to reusable rocket launch and digital tech, technology drives exploration and innovation. It expands our knowledge, helps our research and development, transforms our world, tackles social challenges and change our lives for the better. Many business and social enterprises get involved in tech for good to create innovative solutions and foster positive change at work, in the community and the world.
Tech for good is a community and a movement for long term sustainability, such as digital solutions, STEM education, social design, renewable and solar energy…it adopts a responsible technology approach for business, people and planet, creates collaboration between creators, designers, founders, incubators and leaders for working together to make a change in all aspects of our life.
Tech for Good is the intentional design, development and use of digital technologies to address social challenges. It is the combination of the most powerful and flexible tool we’ve ever had and good design approaches that are user-led and test-driven.
— Dan Sutch, Researcher and CEO at the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technologies
Entrepreneurs are innovators, and builders of startup ecosystem. We share knowledge of the marketplace, provide service, advice and information to help other businesses, use technology to support the community and change our life for the better. From tech for good to digital innovation, entrepreneurship has the potential to bring new ideas and technology in life that contribute to business growth and improve well-being of global community.
Collaboration creates opportunities. In entrepreneurship system, we value business ethics, supportive environment, best practices and strategies for collaboration. Entrepreneurs, members of the public and communities are expected to collaborate and deliver research and development projects, share resources and input insights within network, create solutions and opportunities for creativity and innovation.
Based on startup mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, giving back means to pay it forward and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Entrepreneurship can make an impact with innovation and collaboration, be a giver and innovator to make a difference in our community. Today we give thanks to collaborators, partners and supporters, and we’re grateful to be part of global entrepreneurship ecosystem.
May is one of the most busy and beautiful months of the year. Mother’s day, World Press Freedom day, Endangered Species day and International Day for Biological Diversity, a long list of important days can be found throughout the month of May, there’s also the ongoing month-long celebration like the following one.
The Asian Pacific Heritage celebration is a time to honor and appreciate Asian heritage and contributions to the growing and prosperous communities within North America. This is an opportunity for people to celebrate the multicultural heritage and explore Pan Asian history and traditions in Arts, culture and business. People like May as the month of sunshine and flowers, in UK it’s National Smile Month, and it’s commemorative month of Asian Pacific Heritage across North America, in the US it’s called Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, in Canada it’s simply called Asian Heritage Month.
When we say Asia, what comes to your mind firstly? Panda, green tea or lotus…Check out some Asian cultural icons and find out their meanings in oriental traditions and philosophy. Many Asian people see green tea as green mindset. Tea culture has thousands years of history in Asia. Over a thousand varieties of tea can be found in Eastern Asia and beyond, one of the main types is green tea. With mild smell and light taste in general, green tea has spread across the oceans from Asia to the world. Behind its popularity and health benefits of drinking, people really enjoy the oriental culture and traditions such as mindfulness, meditation, peace and harmony.
Be like a lotus, let the beauty of your heart speak, be grateful to the mud, water, air and the light.
~ Amit Ray, Indian author and spiritual master
Everything in nature has a spirit, and lotus is one of the most spiritual symbols with profound cultural meanings. The lotus is to the East, as the rose is to the West.¹ Lotus is a summer flower that rises from the muddy water and blooms gracefully like a pure beauty. In Eastern cultures, people love lotus for its purity and serenity with long and deep roots in the mud. Live like the lotus flower, be enlightened by peace and harmony: the deeper root you have, the stronger growing you are.
Every culture has its profound identity and deep root through the generations, it connects people, enriches our life and defines our communities from historical footprints to cultural milestones. From Asian people to Asian community, we have seen many success stories coming from this diverse, vibrant and growing community in all aspects of life.
With the importance of transmitting culture and heritage across generations, Asian descendants and immigrants contribute actively their talent to the thriving and diverse society. To emphasize the valuable contributions by women of Asian descent, here are some notable Asian figures who have made a significant impact in different fields of arts, culture, sports, entrepreneurship and business.
A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
Since 3 decades, Asian American writer Amy Tan has written some stories about Chinese immigrants and how they embraced Chinese heritage. Her best seller The Joy Luck Club explores Chinese American experience, Chinese culture and family relationships between two generations. As the former Governor General of Canada, Asian Canadian Adrienne Clarkson, has played an active role in multicultural environment with a long and successful career in broadcasting from journalist to arts show producer.
The award-winning geneticist and broadcaster David Suzuki is widely recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology and environmental protection. He has received numerous honors and awards throughout the lifetime, his work, documentaries and books about nature and the environment are inspiring others “to find the ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that does sustain us.”
CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai grew up in India, studied at Stanford University, and has worked at Google to the top is a remarkable personal journey and success story to inspire many people. The professional basketball player Jeremy Lin is one of the few Asian Americans to play in the NBA with impressive athletic achievements through the years. Talented and humble, he represents a younger generation of Asian descent with higher education background and influential public image today.
From the East to the West
The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people, and the beauty of life is in living it with different traditions and cultures. Open, pacific and colorful, Asian culture is well characterized by the peaceful mindset and vibrant spirit. As one of Asian culture icons, Asian food is extremely popular across North America. Noodles, General Tso’s Chicken, sushi and fortune cookies…have a look at some famous Asian food and learn more about Eastern cuisine and culture in good smells!
General Tso’s chicken is sweet and deep-fried chicken dish and almost universally available in North American Chinese restaurants. It’s named after a Chinese military leader in the history, and the origin of the dish can be traced back to over 200 years ago with the stories connecting to Chinese traditions and history. The making of dish replicates traditional Chinese cuisine of Hunan province, it’s lightly battered and covered in a mildly spicy sweet & sour sauce in a way that adapts the recipe to fit the western taste. No doubt this chicken dish represents a typical Asian American experience about cultural connections and integration.
Healthy and fresh, sushi is another typical Asian food combined with a variety of ingredients such as cooked rice, seaweed, seafood, vegetables and more. As many other Asian cuisine, the sushi culture is rooted in Eastern traditions and Japanese lifestyle. Traditionally, sushi is served on wooden platter along with soy sauce, pickled and sliced ginger, wasabi and chopsticks. With a colorful presentation and aesthetic style, making sushi is more like crafting a work of art with different combinations and recipes. In North America, the western-style sushi has evolved to become something completely different from its Japanese origins. By inventing some new types like brown rice sushi and latin flavored sushi burritos, sushi art has become more and more interesting and creative with mixed cultural influences.
How can we talk about Asian cuisine without noodles? Unlike Italian pasta, Asian noodles are typically handmade from fresh dough which is stretched, extruded, rolled and cut into a long and thin shape. As a staple food originated in China, noodle is a symbolic cuisine of representing Chinese culture and traditions everywhere. In the animated movie series of Kung Fu Panda, Panda Po had a dream about noodles but finally becomes a Kung Fu warrior, and his father Mr. Ping is master of noodles having a secret ingredient to make noodles and run the shop…From movies to real life, making noodles is an art of perfection with passion and inspiration behind its long history and culture.
Fortune cookies are another staple of Chinese cuisine in Chinese restaurants within North America, they’re crispy and sugary wafers and folded around a small slop of paper written with a so-called lucky message. People love cracking it to open one of them at the end of a meal, be delighted or surprised to read the words: good things come in invisible packages, accept the next proposition you hear….whatever is wisdom quote, Confucius phrase or vague expression, it’s fun and entertaining by the end. Now this bite-sized dessert has become an iconic symbol in North American culture, inspiring many businesses and cross-cultural communication between the East and the West.
Over the last 2 centuries, immigrants have journeyed to North America from all parts of Asia, they bring in a rich cultural heritage of many languages, ethnicities and traditions. Now more than 200 million people of Asian decent are living on this land, mainly Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesians and Mongolian etc. Like many diverse communities out there, Asian Pacific communities have a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that continues to grow and strengthen local economy.
Natural diversity is essential for a healthy ecosystem, and cultural diversity is in the lifeblood of vibrant economy. By integrating into local communities, the emigrated Asian Pacific Islander people have made various achievements in every aspect of life including entrepreneurship and business. In the US alone, there are 1.5 million Asian American Pacific Islander – owned businesses, with more than 500 billion of sales and 2.8 million workers, they are certainly fueling job creation and strengthening local communities and American economy.
Cultural differences makes the world more complex and interesting, especially when it comes to some differences between Eastern and Western cultures. Eastern culture is deeply rooted in its long history of traditions and based on a wide variety of concepts and philosophies from Confucianism, Tai Chi to Yin and Yang. Extremely complicated and profound, it emphasizes the balance of Yin-Yang and highlights the harmony through the energy movements in tranquility of Tai Chi.
Western culture has its roots in Christianity and European civilization, it has developed many themes and traditions in arts, humanities, philosophies and scientific evolutions. Based on logical and rational concepts, it focuses on the values of legal system and innovative creation through technological revolutions and discoveries along the way. Physically and culturally, Asian descendants and immigrants are different and identified with oriental colors, Asian traditions and pacific culture, but we all represent the big image of multicultural heritage, belong to the culturally diverse and prosperous communities.
The East is East and the West is West, neither is better nor worse than the other. In global community and digital age, the cultural integration and diversity are more important than ever, a good understanding of both cultures is truly practical and valuable in doing business effectively. Diversity is colorful, beautiful and powerful with the strength to broaden our mind, create the opportunity and encourage people to reach their full potential and participate positively in all aspects of life from communities to business.
Culture connects us, it brings people together to celebrate our rich and cultural heritage and promote the harmony in our communities.
To the end, culture is a tool of communication by all measures, it’s a great way of learning from each other and understand the world. Identity, language, tradition and heritage…culture is everywhere, it enriches and enlightens people’s lives from hearts to souls. In the multicultural environment, cross-cultural communication is effective for people to collaborate and grow together since it’s a creative process to interact and share with different perspectives through an open and dynamic conversation. Culture inspires people, it reminds us that we always have the power to change ourselves and make the world a better place.
April is earth month, and earth day happens again this weekend. Celebrating earth, participating in nature’s rebirth in springtime are all about green life and green environment. Ocean, water, trees, animals and nature…the earth laughs in flowers with feelings of hope and joy, spring is certainly a good time to go outside and enjoy everything in green!
Nearly last 5 decades, earth day ( “jour de la terre” in French) along with environment issues are getting more and more attention in global business and community, now more than 1 billion individuals, families and industries take part in this world’s largest environmental movement every year.
Spring has returned, the earth is like a child that knows poems.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Doing business with a sense of green
Today the environment is as important as the economy. Facing the bad effects of waste and pollution to nature and human, no doubt that environmental problems are really pressing concerns in the US and around the world, such as smog pollution, climate change, global warming, declined biodiversity, tree loss and deforestation, extinction of species and endangered wildlife etc. Our green earth and blue planet are calling the social responsibilities and participation of the business community.
To plant a tree is to believe in tomorrow. As the global ecological awareness and green community are growing, more businesses and organizations are responding quickly with a variety of green solutions: sustainable design, zero waste, eco art, low carbon economy, water for life, food security and clean water projects…Environmental programs and sustainable developments need to be worked on the schedule.
In springtime, the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! –Sitting Bull
Go green, go digital
If spring brings the sun to earth, then digital brings green to the business. Innovative green projects become a good strategical development across the industries: electric car, green building, solar and renewable energy, reuse and recycle of wastes, clean tech and digital media…taking care of the planet and maintaining business ecosystem are now or never.
Spring is the time of plans and projects, taking social responsibility of environmental sustainability is getting critical in doing business. Saving trees, consuming less, going paperless and protecting environment….how to take action in green business development and what’s the digital strategy for business growing?
Recently Apple has announced the entire company including every Apple store, data center and corporate office are now powered by 100% renewable energy. Meanwhile it’s also launched a new GiveBack program with introduction of a new robot to recover and reuse materials. For all trade-in and recycled devices during this month, it says to make a donation to the non-profit organization – Conservation International. Like Apple, many businesses started working toward smart solutions to address climate change and conserve resources on earth, do something good for the planet through environment-related programs with high tech and green innovation.
April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks go.
The natural world that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihood, the business world that people expect on sustainable development and green future for our planet. Keep a good balance between business development and green environment is big issue for companies, more and more digital technology and green solutions have been used as business strategy to meet both of innovation and conservation:
1. Reduce its carbon footprint by using renewable materials and driving energy efficiency in company’s products, services and facilities
2. Focus on mobilizing the reusable resources and green technology
3. Support green community associated with digital media and strategy
4. Create green impact through the beneficial partnership along with business growth
5. Reduce consumption with the mindset of sustainability and green environment
6. Promote green business with cost-effective ways, paperless and digital solutions
Everyday green tips
Mother earth is giving us energy, food, water and ecology. It is our only home so make it a better place to live well. We heard that buying things and acquiring wealth don’t really make us happy, connecting to others and our natural environment are rather the keys to happiness. Spring is here, time to go out and playing in the nature. Playing is our truest form of connection and happy life, how to play for good and play for fun at our earth home?
The beautiful spring came, and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. –Harriet Ann Jacobs
Consume Less and play more…by keeping green life in our mind, let’s follow some simple and easy tips to go digital, save trees, protect the earth and make a difference in green community:
1. Plant a tree, use cloth towels instead of paper ones
2. Save trees with paperless, use online billing and documents without printing
3. When you need to use paper, make sure it’s 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and print paper in two-sided not one side only
1. Buy organic food to keep your body and the environment free of toxic pesticides, and support farmers and companies who use organic ingredients
2. Grow your own organic garden, or join a farm-share group
3. Compost kitchen scraps to use in your garden — turning waste into fertilizer
Save water and energy:
1. Install solar panels on your roof
2. Contact your utility company and find out about renewable energy options
3. Use energy-efficient appliances and electronics
4. Turn off lights, and unplug electronics you’re not using including computers
5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator to save energy (and get exercise!) if possible
6. Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving shower head
7. Fix leaky faucets and shower-heads
8. Wash your clothes only when necessary with cold water and line dry
Consume less with reusable items:
1. Reduce your carbon footprint: use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products
2. Collect used printer, fax, and copier cartridges to recycle
3. Use reusable bags, mugs and bottles as much as possible
4. End plastic pollution: stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws
5. Recycle paper, plastic and glass: reduce your garbage by 10% and your carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds a year
6. Donate your old clothes and home goods instead of throwing them out, and consider buying used items if you need something
Play more and wisely:
1. Get dirty, play outside and do gardening in your backyard to have outdoor fun
2. Visit the forest and parks, be careful with fire to prevent wildfires and conserve wilderness areas for future
3. Bike more, drive less…take public transportation or drive an electric or hybrid car, and reduce your carbon footprint by one pound for every mile when you do not drive
4. Take Earth Day Challenge to go outside and exercise for at least 30 minutes
5. Volunteer for a local environmental group and/or make a donation
Being entrepreneur is never easy, and the business world never stops changing. We say once you step into the entrepreneurial world, you can only go forward to follow your dream and constantly stay competitive in the changing global environment. It’s the lifelong learning and never-ending journey for entrepreneurs to pursue the goals and success.
Today we’re in digital age, and the digital economy has transformed the world with many growing tech companies. China-based ecommerce giant Alibaba hosted its biggest ever US event in Detroit last week. Including Jack Ma, Charlie Rose, David Abney, Lisa Ling and more featured speakers, about total 60 presenters and panelists from inside and outside of Alibaba talked about the China opportunity in front of a big crowd over 3000 entrepreneurs and SME owners across the North America. All is about how to source from China and sell to China with digital technologies and power.
The Internet, big data and mobile innovation….the fast-changing technology offers so much opportunities for the business to grow rapidly and globally. In the era of digital transformation, digitalization can be a powerful tool to win the world. We have so-called Big 5 of digital economy – Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and we also have so-called Big 7 tech companies that really control big data – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. Digital is everything, and tech companies are literally leading the world.
Looking at now and the future, some businesses that master digital technologies are getting a big piece of cake in the market. As one of top tech companies in China, Alibaba manages multiple businesses and platforms for different markets, such as the consumer-to-consumer marketplace Taobao, the business-to-consumer T-mall, and the business-to-business Alibaba.com, plus digital media and entertainment, online banking and a cloud computing service, it’s all in one. Having been called as China’s Amazon, Alibaba identifies itself more like an ecosystem to be different from the Amazon model. Alibaba’s CMO Chris Tung said that unlike Amazon as shopping channel to make the profit margin, Alibaba services as a marketplace, a bridge between the seller and the buyer through consumer data. The chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma also differences the 2 companies: “Amazon is an ecommerce company, we are not. We help other companies become ecommerce companies.”
“Thinking of Alibaba as a combination of Google, Facebook and Amazon…” Tung made a point about Alibaba’s global popularity in many countries like Russia and Southeast Asia with a presence in some countries in Europe and South America. Recently a report was published about Chinese consumers and their online shopping habits. Some very interesting data is shown the online shopping differences between the west and China. In the west, people are more likely searching online sources and going different platforms for buying experience. And in China, people are more dominated with online exploring and discovering on 1 or 2 large platforms for shopping experience. With digital power and platforms, people go online for everything: education, trendy content, entertainment, shopping and sharing on social media. From the west to the east, living in digital environment with a digital-oriented lifestyle is now and future.
Digital makes life easy, and also raises the challenges to be able to succeed in everyday life. To win or to lose, to succeed or to fail…the stories about entrepreneurship keep going around in the business world:
Today will be terrible, tomorrow even worse;
but the day after will be beautiful.
Most companies die tomorrow night.
The struggling business can be real, entrepreneurs need a digital strategy to empower their businesses, and keep up with technology for the future. Be digital, be the change, it’s now or never, just like the famous abstract of “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
From Amazon to Alibaba, from big companies to small business, digital is powerful and disrupting everything, digital transformation is now and future. On the past Gateway’17 event,Jack Ma presented the Chinese dream to US sellers about cross-border business opportunities in China, and closed his an hour long keynote talk with a compelling message:
Small companies will be the future…
Embrace the change, see the future,
change yourself, don’t miss the chance!