Author Topic: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar  (Read 1331 times)

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Offline Seze Mune

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Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« on: March 21, 2013, 11:14:49 pm »


Public release date: 20-Mar-2013


Contact: Albert Ang
[email protected]
Inderscience Publishers


Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar


Learning the lessons of sustainability and corporate ethics at the movies

Norm Borin of California Polytechnic State University and Arline Savage of the School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, argue that the fictitious mining company in the 2009 James Cameron movie, Avatar, makes a perfect case study for how not to be a sustainable company and offers lesson to more down to earth corporations hoping to gain green credentials as opposed to the blues. We hear a lot about indigenous peoples (the Na'vi in the movie) whose health and lives are all but destroyed by invading corporations such as Resources Development Administration (RDA) in the movie. The researchers draw a parallel between the problems faced by the Na'vi and the pollution and deforestation, facing people from Alberta to Ecuador, from Kenya to the Philippines and beyond.

Fundamentally, the fictional plot hinges on RDA seeking to procure a valuable resource for profit while ignoring and violating the social and cultural needs and desires of those who live where the resource is located and at the same time destroying many of the unique environmental characteristics of their environment. The researchers suggest that it is unlikely that James Cameron developed the movie with the objective that it would be used as a case example for business sustainability, but it is likely that he was well aware that Avatar represents an allegory for the malignancy of corporate greed and certainly has some valuable lessons for corporations, the team says.

The team provides some useful approaches to show how a company might improve its corporate responsibility as it ventures into new areas of the planet. These include a consideration of prioritizing the three p's in this order - (1) planet, (2) people, (3) profits. They also suggest expanding stakeholder groups to include at the base of the pyramid the inhabitants and hiring managers with knowledge and an interest in ethics and environmental resource allocation. Finally, they believe that building accountability feedback systems from the company board to the indigenous groups is important for sustainability.

"There have been repeated examples of successful sustainable ventures by companies," the team concludes, "but they require implementation of these ideas to avoid failure on the Avatar scale." Borin adds that, "We believe it does cover an important topic that impacts any business dealing with indigenous populations."

###

"The sustainable corporation: lessons from Avatar", Int. J. Sustainable Strategic Management, vol 3, 294-313


Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 12:41:38 am »
It would be great if all companies take an example of this. Unfortunately, the greed of most companies is very high. In my opinion is would be necessary a completely new economic system that is fair to all people, and the environment.

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Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 08:18:51 pm »
What economic system would that be?

Offline Tsmuktengan

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 11:07:51 pm »
What economic system would that be?

My opinion is the following : the same basicaly, but not using the same principles.

We haven't found better than liberalism and capitalism to provide progress, wealth, development and freedom. Yet, it has been proven that a lack of regulations and lead to extreme capitalism (like it looks like is occuring in China) bringing the negative symptoms of a malfunctioning capitalist society : high unequalities, environmental damage without monitoring (and no repression), etc.

Today, the western societies show clearly that it is possible to encourage companies to make a turn. Google is one excellent example, but they aren't the only ones.

However, when you look to developing or emerging countries where there aren't public initiatives to encourage or sensibilize, nor regulations and repression of harming acts, the results are sad.

So it would use the same economic system than today, but this requires public initiatives to direct companies on the right path with a good strategy. It is not about limiting the possibilities of actions of mining companies for example, but orientating them on the path of reducing constantly the long-term impact on the environment. R&D encouragements can also help creating new standards to always push back the limits of pollution reduction.

...but all this can't be done by magic without government or society initiatives, whatever economic system is ongoing on any territory.

Very interesting topic, thank you for posting this. I have already been thinking about this (especially the "how can we reduce this mining pollution issue"). :)

Once again, just a personal opinion.


Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 07:33:11 am »
What economic system would that be?
My opinion:

The capitalism can and will not working in future. This system is based on an infinite growth. You see it every time in the news when the states and the IMF is crying that the economy has not grown or even declined. Liberalism and capitalism seems to forget every year that the resources of this planet are finite. How should an annual growth of 2-3% should be possible, if the physics puts an end here?
We need an economic system which is designed to conserve and protect resources, sustainable and all people are goes well, not as an exploitation as is the case today (look to Africa). For example, when the oil runs out, it can no longer afford to send a cargo ship halfway around the world to pack only sardines in doses. This also means that the food (and energy) production will be local. Whom that will dislike most? Correct the big oligarchic corporations ala Nestle. The rest one can think for yourself.
I'm not an economist, I can not say what will be the best for the future, but certainly not capitalism or similar.

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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 08:06:32 am »
An annual growth of 2-3% is clearly possible because money depreciates and the units you are using to measure growth shrinks. Also, population grows.
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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 08:40:02 am »
Monetary depreciation is caused by an imbalance of real value and the amounts of money on the market. And how many people the planet can hold?

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Offline Banshee314

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 06:24:33 pm »
My opinion:
First we need a global ethic on living conditions and sustainability. That we do not have!
But I mean ethics, not religion or socialreligions. Ethics is flexible and can learn from the experience. We have to learn what works through research and experimentation.

If we have this Ehtik:
Then we can:
- define product certificates, such as minimum wage for the product worldwide;
- and environmentally sustainable cultivation of food;
 and much more

This is a fair game within the company worldwide.
The infiltration of these rules, must be severely punished - worldwide.

I learned:
Mining is not as big a problem when nature was not poisoned. I know blooming nature in these areas (post mining) because it is forbidden to humans.  ;)
 
A bigger problem is the felling for palm oil for biodiesel (Indonesia,...). There the Nature can not return.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 06:36:51 pm by Banshee314 »

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 06:54:08 pm »
What needs to happen:
 - economic restructuring
 - combating corruption
 - reduction of world population (for many it sounds egregious, but 10 billion people just too much)
 - away with the throwaway society
 - worldwide same standards (units, etc)
 - worldwide the same rules for politicians
 - worldwide observance of human rights
 - away with the totalitarian and authoritarian regimes
 - global health care
 -
...it is a pretty long lists.

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Offline Banshee314

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 06:31:49 pm »
I have a question:

Many US people followed the ideas of Mr. Bush.
But why do not these people followed the ideas of Mr. Roosevelt?
See:    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

Can someone explain the psychology and the ethic behind it?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 05:48:53 am by Banshee314 »

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 07:17:57 pm »
Lot's of people like Roosevelt's ideas (including me). There's no need to conjure up a "dumb masses that have pervasive false consciousness", at least with regards to modern democratic societies.
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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 12:42:32 am »
I have a question:

Many US people followed the ideas of Mr. Bush.
But why do not these people followed the ideas of Mr. Roosevelt?
See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights
Very interesting, but unfortunately, very focused on the own state and a bit incomplete.

Can someone explain the psychology and the ethic behind it?
Some points have yet been included in constitutions.
Quote
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation
For example in the German Constitution:
Quote from: Artikel 12 / Article 12
„Alle Deutschen haben das Recht, Beruf, Arbeitsplatz und Ausbildungsstätte frei zu wählen. Die Berufsausübung kann durch Gesetz oder auf Grund eines Gesetzes geregelt werden.“
But in the reality is different.

Edit:
Leave off the quotation marks and line breaks, because your links doesn't work.
[url=http://"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights
"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights[/url]
Correct:
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights[/url] --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights
or:
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights]Second Bill of Rights[/url] --> Second Bill of Rights

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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 07:24:55 am »
I'm never claiming that 2% growth or whatever is infinitely sustainable. Especially population. However, printing money is pretty sustainable, and prices and wages adjust by themselves pretty quickly, so theoretically if you can do it slowly enough, inflation can (and has!) go indefinitely with no ill effect. Yes, this makes me sound like a "big old capitalist". If you think about it though, what ultimately causes inflation? Something that generally goes against the interests of big old capitalists: governments printing lots of money.
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

Offline Banshee314

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 11:29:30 am »
I mean
1. Money is a Paper for a real product.
2. A real product has a natural decay.
=> Money value should be also forfeited to - Inflation is OK!

The problem is the pension. This should not be tied on the value of money.
=> The best approach is the old German pension plan (point system).

But now we begin to destroy this system.

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 12:03:59 pm »
I mean
1. Money is a Paper for a real product.
2. A real product has a natural decay.
=> Money value should be also forfeited to - Inflation is OK!

The problem is the pension. This should not be tied on the value of money.
=> The best approach is the old German pension plan (point system).

But now we begin to destroy this system.
Pension plans...hmm. I guess if they weren't tied to the value of money it would be impossible for anybody to buy it, since the value wouldn't apparently go up. People are fooled by money depreciating, and some money deposits (bank savings accounts being the best example) take advantage of this fact to attract people. The true thing is that I could just buy up a bunch of gold with the money you deposited with me, selling gold when you withdraw, and still give you a "nice" interest rate.
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

Offline Banshee314

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2013, 08:02:04 am »
The point system is coupled to the gross national product, not the money value.
Please google for English sides to the German system and the generational contract.

In current time they want to link the (a part of) pension to the Kapitalmakt -  called "Riester - Rente".
Private Pensions in the stock market casino.  :o
Many people now expect their age poverty!?

Back to mining corporations and the destruction of villages.
Please see here the destruction of the villages in Germany by mines.
This is only the list of the small region where live Sorbian minority:
de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_abgebrochenen_Orte_im_Lausitzer_Kohlerevier

(Sorry for my thin English. Otherwise I would have explain more.  :( )
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 05:46:25 am by Banshee314 »

Offline Tsmuktengan

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2013, 06:22:18 pm »
What is sure, is that if there is enough a lot to learn from Avatar, there is also quite a lot to learn from the second smallest country in the world :

Nauru, except that in the tragedy of Nauru, the nauruans, formely living in a primitive way, have actively participated in the destruction of their land, culture, and health.

Do you people know about this story?


Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2013, 06:29:39 pm »
Do you people know about this story?
I know this story...kefto nì'aw. :(

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