Archives for the month of: March, 2014

business-of-doing-wellDo businesses have a responsibility to help the social good of the communities in which they operate? The Harvard School of Business is exploring that idea with a new seminar series. Rebecca Henderson, a Harvard professor started asking these types of questions a few years ago, which prompted the series. Henderson said that when she began asking colleagues and business executives, “they say the answer I regulation or that the answer is taxation. The idea that firms can set themselves up for public good is viewed with suspicion-in my view for very good reasons.”

The first workshop in the series took place on January 30 and involved three-dozen faculty and doctoral students from multiple colleges. The seminar series entitled “Business and the Public Sector” runs through May and is seeking to spark conversation and unpack ideas of the role the private sector may play in shaping capitalism. Henderson stated at the conference that businesses have to incentive to deal with public sector problems. She also noted that businesses becoming involved in public projects bay be seen as misuse of shareholders funds or as trying to be subversive when it comes to democratic institutions. It is a difficult thing to maneuver, but there are reasons for businesses to pursue this idea. One reason is the growing rate of global corruption.

Additionally, there are environmental pressures and inequality and poverty to consider. The government should handle these issues, but sometimes action is not taken. The private sector has more resources than the government does and could make more of an impact. In some cases helping the public sector can also be beneficial to the company. For example, IBM reduced their energy consumption and saved $477 million between 1990 and 2012.

Henderson identified two areas that need to be explored. One area is inducement methods for businesses like regulations and taxes. The second is whether it is desirable for businesses and firms to change and regulate themselves when considering helping the public good. Could helping the public be part of a new standard for business practices? Historically in the United States government and business worked together to help the public. This changed around the 1980s when businesses became less localized and tied to communities. This series will continue the discussion and possibly bring about change down the road for businesses and the public.

from Benefiting the Public Good http://ift.tt/1fzKHCl

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140307075614-business-meditation-620xaWorking on Wall Street involves a lot of stress. A job in the financial world involves long hours and high stakes deals. To help improve the health of employees many firms are using Transcendental Meditation techniques. This type of meditation takes you to a quiet place in your mind using by speaking a silent mantra. It is helpful for Wall Street workers because it can help you think in a clear and focused way, while reducing anxiety.

The David Lynch Foundation has had many calls for their $1,000 intensive course on Transcendental Meditation techniques. Many Wall Street Firms offer the course to their employees so that they will be better equipped to handle stress. This movement has taken off and gained a lot of momentum over the past few years. The executive director of the David Lynch Foundation and a Transcendental Meditation teacher, Bob Roth, said, “Two years ago, there were only one or two firms interested in the corporate program, now there are 30 or 40 companies and more expressing interest all the time.”

Firms that manage hedge funds and capital firms have shown the most interest. Some firms like Third Point’s Dan Loeb have even come out publicly with the fact that they are utilizing the program to help their employees with meditation practices. Transcendental Meditation techniques help employees with situations around them. It helps keep those on Wall Street more level headed when the market has bumps, instead of reacting rashly or operating with a crowd mentality.

from Initiatives for World Healing http://ift.tt/NeN1aX

This is lead author Col. Brian Rees, MD, MPH, US Army Reserve Medical Corps

This is lead author Col. Brian Rees, MD, MPH, US Army Reserve Medical Corps

Civilians in many African countries have seen some terrible things throughout their lives; some have experienced the threat of violence or death, and many have witnessed the abuse, torture, rape, and murder of loved ones. As a result, for example, many Congolese that have left their homeland and now reside in refugee camps in Uganda are experiencing the terrible effects and symptoms of sever post traumatic stress disorder (more commonly known as PTSD).

New research shows that Congolese war refugees who have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique had showed a significant reduction in post traumatic stress disorder in just 10 days, according to a study released in February’s issue of Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 27, Issue 1, 112-115).

According to the study, “Significant Reductions in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Congolese Refugees within 10 days Transcendental Meditation Practice,” eleven subjects were assessed after 10-days and again after 30-days of TM practice. After merely 10-days, PTSD symptoms dropped by roughly 30 points.

“An earlier study found a similar result after 30 days where 90% of TM subjects dropped to a non-symptomatic level. But we were surprised to see such a significant reduction with this group after just 10 days,” said study author Brian Rees, MD, MPH. The study participants were tested using the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Civilians (PCL-C), which rates the severity of PTSD on a scale of 17 to 85. A score below 35 means that the symptoms of PTSD have been abated.

Eleven Congolese refugees who had been tested three times over a 90-day period on the PCL-C, which rates the level of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85, began with an average score of 77.9. They learned Transcendental Meditation within 8 days of the third test and after 10 days their average score dropped to 48, which was highly clinically significant. They were retested 30 days later measuring an average score of 35.3. With scores below 35 considered non-symptomatic, they were practically symptom free.

Eleven Congolese refugees who had been tested three times over a 90-day period on the PCL-C, which rates the level of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85, began with an average score of 77.9. They learned Transcendental Meditation within 8 days of the third test and after 10 days their average score dropped to 48, which was highly clinically significant. They were retested 30 days later measuring an average score of 35.3. With scores below 35 considered non-symptomatic, they were practically symptom free.

Initially, the subjects at the beginning of the study had an average PTSD score of 77.9. After merely 10 days of practicing TM techniques, their PTSD score dramatically dropped to an average score of 48, considered statistically and clinically significant. Thirty days later the subjects were again tested and were found to have an average PTSD score drop further to an average 35.3 – meaning that they were nearly symptom-free.

“What makes this study interesting is when we tested them in the 90 days before they began the TM technique, their PTSD scores kept going up,” said coauthor Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. “During that period their scores were rising, from 68.5 at the beginning to 77.9 after 90 days. But once they started the Transcendental Meditation technique, their PTSD scores plummeted.”

Generally, during TM technique practice, one experiences a deep state of restfulness and alertness. Repeating this experience for 20 minutes twice a day cultures the nervous system to maintain settled mental and physical functioning for the rest of the day. This helps to minimize disturbing thoughts and memories, sleep difficulties, and other adverse PTSD symptoms.

Esperance Ndozi was one of the Congolese refugees traumatized by the civil war. The 35-year old mother of 5 was part of the group of refugees that learned TM. Before learning the effortless technique, Esperance couldn’t find relief from a flood of dark disturbing memories. She could hardly sleep. After a week of meditating 20-minutes twice a day she describes increasing relaxation and relief from PTSD symptoms. “Your mind, your body relaxes. You feel you are out of the outside world. You are just in your peaceful world. No negativity. It doesn’t come near me now.” Like other refugees in the study the calm and peace grew to last throughout the day. Watch the video below:

from Initiatives for World Healing http://ift.tt/1iddIc7

This is a truly beautiful story out of Idaho. For this father, being an organ donor meant saving his daughter’s life. Matt Kortz gave his daughter, Lexi, one of his kidneys. His daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome called Joubert Syndrome. After the diagnosis, doctors found that Lexi was in stage-4 kidney failure.

“She’s my daughter, so I’m just going to get it done,” Kortz told KTVB. “I can’t have my little girl go away.”

Devastated by the situation, Kortz said he wanted to do whatever he could to help his daughter. The Kortz family said that the successful transplant brought color back to Lexi’s face.

Lexi is now at kindergarten at Frontier Elementary School in Meridian, and the family couldn’t be prouder of Matt. ”He is truly our hero,” said his wife, Lori.

It’s news like this that really gives you hope in humanity as well as makes you remember that good things happen every day. Let’s not forget to cherish one another and know that nobody can get through life without any help. The help from a father to a daughter is just as valued as the help of a friend to a friend, and furthermore, a stranger to a stranger.

Let’s not forget to be good to one another, and that good deeds never go unnoticed.

from Doing Well by Doing Good http://ift.tt/1jRAUwp