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Welcome to Modern World!

August 29, 2010

Hello everyone,

I’m very happy to have you on my blog !

I’ll try to cover as much topics as I can, and I’ll mainly focus on global issues related with Business, Sustainability and Culture.

I’d love to see you taking part in the discussion here.
Yaron

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My new blog – airportonomy

August 14, 2014

Hey everyone,

Since my current area of research at UBC is airports – I decided to write a blog about it.

It is accessible at: http://airportonomy.com

I hope to see you reading my new blog !

 

 

An invitation to join me in my new journey

August 12, 2013

Hello Everyone,

It has been a while since I’ve posted something here.
I would like to inform each and everyone of you that I’m strting a new way at the end of the month. I’m going to be a graduate student at one of the world’s best research universities, UBC in Vancouver, Canada.

I’m going to study in a program which is Sustainability-oriented, and therefore, I’d like to open a new blog which will only be dedicated to Sustainability issues, mostly in British Columbia and Vancouver, but also from around the world.

I’m very thankful for having the opportunity to do so, and I’d like to share my experience with you, my loyal readers.
The city of Vancouver has a goal to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, and I hope I can halp in the process, even if my help will only be minimal.
Have a look of what the city looks like:

ImageIt has been a pleasure to write the Modern World blog for nearly 3 years by now.
I’ve gained experienced, and I enjoyed interacting with the readers each time it has been possible.
I’ll try to make my next blog more interactive, using maps, videos, and Prezis.
Don’t know what Prezi is? Have a look here, I created that one just for demonstration:
My Prezi Sample
As soon as I start writing the new blog, I’ll post the address here.
I’m looking forward to your suggestions, and I’d be happy to collaborate with you.

Yaron

Business Schools Should Teach You How To Tell a ‘Sticky’ Story

August 20, 2012

This summer I was finally graduated from university. I studied a B.A degree in Business Administration, and focused on Marketing. During the period of studying throughout the last 4 years I couldn’t ignore the large amount of quantitative courses we had to take. I can not downplay them, especially in the current competitive global business environment in which we have to deal with a lot of information and it can decidedly help in many cases.  Moreover, I’ve researched about it online, and found out that the situation was quite similar in other business schools worldwide.

However, I think that we sometimes forget that Marketing is a field which highly involves dealing with people’s desires and needs. I was captivated by one of my favorite professors’ courses, in which he told us to ‘learn to tell a story that sticks’. As you all probably know, the reason why I blog is because I simply like writing, so I matched everything together and got to an interesting conclusion. Business Schools should provide Marketing students with at least a basic set of creative writing skills!!

Yes, it may sound odd when you stop to think about it for one moment, but I really believe that when it comes to Marketing, whether personal or commercial, learning how to write and tell a good story can be highly useful for many reasons.

Firstly, try to imagine a situation where you have a very simple product or service to offer and you try to attract people to consume it. If that is the case, you can’t dispense with the use of a good story behind it, a story that sticks. Let’s take Coca Cola, for instance. It’s simply contains water, gas and some food coloring, but we all link it with other associations such as fun, summer and parties. Isn’t it brilliant? That’s one good example of what creativity can lead to.

Secondly, suppose you are trying to sell a very sophisticated product which involves a cutting edge technology to someone who scarcely understands why he or she needs it, such as new software. You can barely describe what it does, but you really need to streamline the whole thing in order to attract attention from would-be customers because you want them to thoroughly understand what it is all about.
How do you do that? First of all, you learn to identify the main utilities it has for your potential clients and break them down so you can number each and every one of them. Then, you should think of how to build a simple story with all those facts, in a way that will help your would-be clients understand why they need you or your product, and how is it beneficial to them. If you do that, you are likely to communicate a clear message instead of a vague one, and to end up succeeding in selling yourself, your product or your service. The keyword for this case would be simplifying.

Many of you would ask themselves at this point “But what is telling a story all about?” so let me clarify it a little bit for you.

Creative Writing is a vocation per se. There are many professionals in this field, among them you can find magazine writers, novelists and poets, and if you think you have to master creative writing to that extent like they do, the answer would absolutely be “No”. You can ‘borrow’ some of their techniques that help creating simple and attractive stories about your products, and the way to do it is to find internet websites or books that explain how to do it. Alternatively, you can attend a workshop with a pro if you are interested in receiving consistent feedbacks by handing in assignments once in a while. Those techniques help you aiming your story to sound like a conundrum, or to be a cornerstone for a series of books. There are plenty of techniques available and they are waiting for you to explore. I would personally recommend avoiding clichés when you write. It is easy to imitate what others do, and people normally tend to ignore it. In addition to that, I would also recommend abstaining from telling fictional ‘counterfactual’ stories which do not tell the truth. ‘A liar’ is the last thing you would like your customers to think of you.

In short, learning how to tell and write a story that sticks has many advantages when it comes to Marketing of any kind. It can help you making a banal product to appear more fancily and it can help you simplifying the most sophisticated product. In addition to that, learning it is quite easy if you have your hands on the right materials, and therefore, I personally believe that it should be a mandatory course in every business school among other marketing courses. Now let me know what you think. Do YOU have a good story to tell?

What is your (inter)nationality ?

June 26, 2012

There is no doubt that many countries are consistently losing their old national identities, and start imitating other countries’ cultures.
The gaps have been narrowed so much, so that in some cases it’s hard to tell where people come from.

 I personally believe that this emerging situation can only benefit us as citizens of the new modern world. However, just like any other case, it has pros and cons, and we should carefully examine them.

Firstly, when people are more exposed to other cultures, it can help them in preventing hazardous conflicts on ethnical basis. Getting to know what you had previously found intimidating can only facilitate you with avoiding stereotypes, and consequently, getting to know ‘the other hidden side’.

Secondly, many people, especially those who are part of old generations, may say that Globalization means demise for the old world, and its nationalistic values.
I think that many countries that already have their traditions quite stable after many years, are robust enough to preserve at least the most of it, even if their citizens may ‘copy’ some behavior from other parts of the world.

Thirdly, I think that being a citizen of the world is an outcome of a free choice of citizens of particular countries, that experimented several ways of life, and found the best one for them, irrespective of the fact that it’s not 100 percent similar to what past generations in their home countries did.

On the other hand, globalization can sometimes cause us to be less creative, since we try to imitate other cultures, and we don’t invent or develop anything new of our own. Take some retail chains like Tesco (UK) foe example,  that nowadays have branches all over Europe selling almost the same ‘cloned’ products everywhere, pushing the legs of other national retail chains outside of the market.

Moreover, in some countries, the young generation may identify with foreign cultures so much, and may even be willing to immigrate abroad as a result of it.

Next, the older generations are aghast to see their children and grand children abandoning the values that once used to be very common, and they reluctantly have to face the fast changing reality. The implication for that is a growing gap between generations, much bigger than what it used to be in past.

To sum up, I still think that internationalism has its benefits much more significant than its disadvantages. The young generation is nowadays more curious than ever to get to know the world as a whole, and I think that we can’t stop that ongoing process.

What do you think?

The big challenge of Outsourcing

January 3, 2012

It’s not a secret anymore. Some of the best brands in the world aren’t produced in the countries where their corporate HQ are.

Having the opportunity to reduce and cut the production costs by outsourcing it to sub-contractors in other countries such as Eastern Asia or Eastern Europeis a common and known fact nowadays.

Despite the fact it’s not that complicated to do it nowadays, we should think about a few factors when choosing the best place to produce, and the best workers to be relocated to that destination.

1. How to choose where to produce?

Many people would automatically say “China” as for the fact that China has nowaday an increasing specialization in what we call “the economy of scale” or mass production. However, when mentioning China, we have to carefully examine the situation. Today, more and more college graduated people from all across mainl and China are not willing to take low salaries production jobs, and it’s getting more and more complicated to find workers for those roles, especially in urban areas. In accordance, the costs of production in China are higher and it’s more than possible that in 10-15 years from now cheap products won’t be “made in china” anymore. Therefore, new countries are discovered as “the next big thing” when we want to produce cheap low tech products such as lighters.Vietnam and Cambodia can be good examples for that.

We also have to think about the distribution options we have. Many companies, for example like Nokia, prefer to produce in eastern Europe in order to deliver the European market their product s faster, and be able to send their quality assurance experts as quick as possible to the factories in Romania.  

2. Time Difference

Suppose we want to outsource a customer support center from theUStoIndia, will it be that easy? One of the most significant difficulties is the time difference.Indiais a “good choice” when it comes to language, as everyone are used to speak English. I tend to think – why don’t American companies outsource their services toJamaicawhere English is spoken, but unlike India, the time difference almost doesn’t exist and the workers can go to work in “normal hours”?

3. Relocation – who are we going to send abroad?

When opening a new branch\service or production center, companies send one or more of their employees to their target destination. It’s best to send someone who knows something about the local culture and if there’s no one like this, it’s better to provide an external expert to give the relocated employee an appropriate preparation before going. Cultural shock has never been a good point of start when companies try to enter a new market.

These are only part of the things we should take into consideration while planning to outsource the companies function into another country or send some of our employees on a relocation period. Those points I discussed may have a significant influence on the future of the business world. People who learn quicker to speak a new language may be more needed by corporations than ever. Companies who are able to identify new potential countries for outsourcing services may have a competitive advantage.

We shouldn’t forget, of course, the impact that outsourcing jobs has on the local economy. If you take the US as an example or any other western country, we can see a moral decline especially among workers who spent many years in industries that have recently outsourced many of their functions abroad.

 

When you think about Outsourcing what is the biggest challenge in your opinion?

Pleasure? And Business! Tourism…

October 28, 2011

This time I would like to talk about a very important service industry, the biggest service industry that we sometimes forget.

What do you think of when you hear the word “Tourism”?

For many people it would just mean “being a tourist who travels somewhere” but for many others – 10.6 % of the global force, it’s a way of life, and a source of their income. They work as tourist agents, hotel managers, flight cabin crew and many other positions. It’s not a mistake – 1 out of 9 people in our world work in the Tourism industry and I’m one of them.

Unlike the ancient times when only rich, adventurer and courageous people such as Columbus or Marco Polo could afford going touring and exploring the world, the industrial\technological revolution after world war 2 brought us to a new era when many people can just get on a plane, a train or a boat and spend some time in another country. In the last 20 years, with many new developing market arise such as India, China and Brasil, even more people can travel, and new destination are offered to the public all the time. Low cost flights shorten the distances, and shrink the prices.

Tourism has many advantages and positive side effects on the region where it’s developed: 1. We should never forget that tourism is the only industry that earns foreign exchange without exporting anything. 2. Wherever you have hotels and new attractions that are being built, you’ll have to have new roads and that leads to a better development of the local infrustructure.

The best example can be given about remote villages that are now having modern roads leading to them that can serve the local people as well.

3. The most important reason that brings many of us to go traveling: curiosity.  In most of the cases we travel abroad in order to get a better understanding about a new culture and that can contribute to a very important side effect – the world peace. It may sound very optimistic and simple at first, but if one country is able to develop its tourism industry and bring tourists from around the world (inbound tourism) then, when its economy is stable enough, local agents will be able to offer their local clients to go visiting other countries (outbound tourism) and by doing this, we encourage an exchange of cultures.

The world most important Tourism Organization , the UNWTO (affiliated with UN) celebrate the World Tourism day in September 27 every year since 1980.
This industry changes its face every day, and it’s very dynamic and unique. From old , awkward flight tickets made of paper we changed the whole process of booking to be an on-line process, fast and easy to use. Prices are fixed and changed online all the time in accordance with the supply and the demand.

But this industry has a very significant disatvantage: seasonality.
Many destinations can only be marketed on a seasonal base such as ski resorts, beach hotels, etc. Geopolitical situation , Weather dissasters and many other reasons may cause the “ups and downs” that can gravely affect the whole industry. Have a look about the concerns of the canadian tourism council for British Columbia region:  

You also have to take into consideration that you work with people from different cultures, and that obliges you to dominate in at least 2-3 languages (appart of your mother tongue) if you want to be part of the industry. A cultural knowledge is a big must for those who work in the inbound tourism sector, and have to deal with forein tourists coming to their counry.

What do you think of Tourism as a way to boost the country’s economy?

How much do you know about living in the city?

June 8, 2011

Let’s start with what the researchers say.Jericho, according to many urban specialists, is the oldest city in the world, around 9000 years old, and it’s also the lowest town in the world.

Since those ancient times whenJerichowas built, the urbanization process became very intense almost everywhere around the world, and what made it even more intense were the times of the industrial revolution. Those years, many people around Europe moved to the cities, abandoning their villages in order to improve their level of life.

 

In 2008, over 100 years after, the number of people living in urban areas around the world was around 3.4 billion, hence, 50% of the world’s population.

 

 

Super cities like Tokyo in Japan with its 37  million habitants or Sao Paolo in Brazil with its 20 million people aren’t a rare thing anymore.The density in some urban areas around the world became unbearable due to air pollution, noise, crime and lack of public transportation. In this map you can see the percentage of population living in cities around the world in 2006:

 This situation forces us to find new solutions for a better quality of life for the habitants of the big cities, and new economic models to help the process go forward, and help the economies of the cities at the same time.

 The problem is even worse in less developed countries, where slams and poor areas arising around the city centers. These places are normally populated with people looking for more job opportunities that can’t be found outside.

A good example can be seen in this pictures taken from the “Garbage city” of Cairo, a very poor area where people live surrounded by tons of trash.

More photos can be found here.

 

 

 

 

However, we can’t forget that cities were established in order to make people’s life easier when we don’t need to grow our vegetables and fruits by ourselves, and could move into another economical model of living in the city instead of living in the rural areas.

 Today, many urban economists use the terms “economies of scale” and “economies of agglomeration” in order to show how large cities that are comprised of many firms in the same area together, benefit more than small cities. When talking about this situation we can name advantages and disadvantages. It’s surely good for the workers, suppliers and firms altogether to have what they need near them, but on the other hand, congestion may lead to pollution and diseconomies, and that’s why people today start thinking about new and sustainable models for cities.

One phenomenon I’ve recently heard about, is the Sick Building Syndrome.

This phenomenon causes many people working in big buildings to have health problems, and worse quality of life as a result of it. It’s one of the side influences of multi-urbanization. Have a look in the video in order to learn more:

So what do we really look for? A sustainable city, where we can live better.
I want to give you a view to our future in this video:

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and I want to thank you for beeing here. I’m waiting to see you here again soon – stay tuned!