From Slums To Healthy Communities

The Middle East is a new case of urban development, said Farrukh Aslam, Managing Director, Promag Pvt Ltd, part of a regional urban planning, infrastructure design and project management group. Many Middle Eastern governments and municipalities are starting urban planning with a fresh page, giving them the opportunity to focus proportionately on the needs of all socio-economic strata.

here are examples from across the globe where urban development was not sensitive to lower and middle income housing priorities and as a result slums and ghettoes emerged. The low and middle income housing sectors may not be glamorous, but a city that ignores them does so at its own peril. And currently Middle Eastern cities have the opportunity to learn and plan differently, thereby turning these potentially vulnerable segments into community stakeholders.

Published at Forbes ME  | See more...

The rather significant ass-u-m-ption in using the term value chain (VC) as opposed to supply chain is that only processes or people that add value to a product or service are considered to be a part of the value chain. In reality, this is often not the case, especially where middlemen often are observed to be detracting, rather than adding, value.

Which, is precisely where the value chain analyses methodology can fit in, first of all in developing economies such as Pakistan’s: Eliminating the people who detract disproportionate economic gains in relation to their roles in the VC.

Published at TBL | See more...
Tourism Acts As A Positive Force For The Environment In MENA

Guests are not demanding, but expecting to be in a hotel that is not mined full of environmental issues," said Otto Kurzendorfer, General Manager at Dubai-based JA Jebel Ali Resort.

In 2015, environmental sustainability ranked for the first time among the top ten drivers that brought guests back to Rotana’s properties, according to Christiane Abou Zeidan, Group Director of Environment, Health and Safety at Abu Dhabi-based hospitality chain, Rotana.

Published at Forbes ME  | See more...
Ideas to chew on: how to end food waste in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, like several neighbouring nations, imports 80 per cent of its food. As with many countries worldwide, a large amount is thrown away – but the kingdom is trying to tackle the issue.

Reducing waste entails a change in both personal and commercial outlooks, experts say. “We need a cultural shift in how we perceive food waste; in Arab culture, you are miserly and inhospitable if you try to conserve food,” Tarik Ismail, executive director of Savola Group, a leading Saudi food conglomerate, tells The National.

Published at The National | See more...

I must warn you not to allow your actions to be guided by ill-digested information or slogans and catch-words. Do not take them to heart or repeat them parrot-like. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, during an address at Islamia College, Peshawar, April 1948

As discussions on CorporateSocial Responsibility (CSR) regress, the need for understanding the beautiful concept of CSR becomes increasingly urgent. Not only is CSR misunderstood, a variety of individuals – well-meaning and otherwise – are realising that they can rather conveniently stuff their agendas into these three magical letters. And the corporate masses are buying it – for the most part. We must equip ourselves with the knowledge to decipher the truth of what is applicable to us.

Published at TBL | See more...

I was quite excited when Greenleaf Publishing sent TBL a copy of Sustainable Value hot off the press for us to review. Written by Chris Laszlo and published earlier this year, its first few pages are filled with impressive enough praise from academics and business people alike, including a foreword by Patrick Cescau, Unilever’s Group CEO.

Perhaps what sets the book apart is that it begins as a ‘story’. It’s light reading. It’s fun reading (ok you can discount that a little bit because I am a nerd). It doesn’t dive into the heavy business-case-for-sustainability kind of talk. It’s a fluid read. Something you can take on the plane and actually look forward to reading.

Published at TBL | See more...
Non-profit sector a new focus for Saudi Arabia

The kingdom’s far-reaching Vision 2030 is a committed push to realign the economy. The government wants to open up sectors away from energy and a recent change in the law and shift in strategy is designed to help to bring that about. As part of its hugely ambitious Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia says it plans “to raise the non-profit sector’s contribution to GDP from less than 1 per cent to 5 per cent” over the next 13 years.

The government, Riyadh has stated, “will encourage the non-profit sector to apply proper governance standards, facilitate high quality training to staff and promote a culture of volunteering and full-time careers in the sector” – as part of its push to tackle unemployment through this hitherto under-utilised avenue. How to implement the plan is more complex.

Published at The National | See more...