Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Voice America launches a
“New Kind of TalkRadio For Good”
ZenBiz Radio with Allan Holender
Phoenix, Arizona -December 18, 2008 The Voice America Talk Network www.voiceamerica.com announced today that it will be launching a “New Kind of Talk Radio For Good” The ZenBiz Radio Show will be hosted by veteran broadcaster Allan Holender . Allan is the founder and author of the revolutionary and inspiring new book, Zentrepreneurism.
ZenBiz Radio -”Changing the World of Business For Good” will begin broadcasting from the Voice America studios in Phoenix on Jan. 21, 2009.. This coincides with the inauguration of President-elect Obama who has committed to putting an end to the culture of greed and scheming in America.
Just as Obama has inspired millions with his message of hope and change we can believe in, ZenBiz Radio is committed to changing the world of business for good. From Enron to the board rooms of AIG and the penthouse suite of Bernard Madoff, America has seen the karmic repercussions of years of corrupt capitalism on Wall Street and nepotism in the White House.
Zentrepreneurism is about changing the way the world does business, as well as introducing a “new era” of business enlightenment. It offers hope of a new 21st century model for solving social and economic problems. A new world founded on the principles of honesty, ethics, purpose and the creation of profits with integrity.
Each week ZenBiz Radio will explore this burgeoning market of social entrepreneurship with the intention to inform, educate, entertain and inspire listeners.
Many of the guests for this “new kind of talk radio show” will be Zentrepreneurs featured in Allan’s book. ”Zentrepreneurism” which is available at www.thebooktree.com or www.amazon.com
His first guest will be Dave Stewart of the legendary group the Eurythmics. As CEO of Weapons of Mass Entertainment Dave Stewart has been a ”Zentrepreneur” for some time now and has worked with socially conscious organizations such as GreenPeace, TED and Pangea Day.
Other scheduled guests include Arran Stephens , founder and CEO of Natures Path Organic Foods, the world’s largest supplier of organic cereal. Joel Bakan , writer and screenwriter for the highly acclaimed movie “The Corporation”, as well as Zentrepreneurs from around the world who are creating a business as well as a life!
Weekly features include ;
“The Scheme Alert” with Robert Fitzpatrick ,author and advisor to world governments on ponzi and pyramid schemes. Exclusive to ZenBiz Radio,each week Robert will reveal the latest scheme and how you can avoid them!
“The GameChangers” with Mike Bonifer . Nurturing the skills you and your organization need to compete in the Networked World. Mike will also be telling the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things!
The Stewart Report .Noted futurist and author Bruce Stewart will be speaking his truth about current economic realities and solutions. How we got here and where we go from here!
Zentrepreneur of the Week. We are entering an era of “enlightened capitalism, where the reason to be in business is no longer just the bottom line. This era is also birthing “social capitalists” who are fusing their personal vision with their professional mission. Where people, planet, and profits share equal importance. Who are these people? Allan will interview them each week during this segment.
“Those things to which we devote ourselves have a karmic effect on future lives which arise “like one fire lit from another”.
The staggering demand for ageless and empowering content is being fueled by people becoming more consciously awake around the globe. VoiceAmerica is bridging the gap between the highly sought after demand and the limited supply of quality content by introducing innovative and multiple new forms of content distribution including pod casting, internet radio, I-Tunes and cell phone technology. This convergence of supply and demand is creating a dynamic opportunity.
VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network
Allan Holender and The ZenBiz Radio Show
Would You Like To Be A Part Of “ZenBiz Radio”?
The number of internet radio listeners jumped considerably last year with a year-end total of 72 million monthly listeners, up from 45 million listeners at the tail end of 2005, according to figures released by Bridge Ratings & Research. That number is forecast to be 148 million by 2010.
If you’d like your business to reach the eyes and ears of this growing demographic, a limited number of founding sponsor partnership opportunities are available for ZenBiz Radio.
Direct Line: 480-294-6409
Dear Fellow Zentrepreneurs,
Faced with global issues such as poverty, genocide, climate change, financial collapse, greed, and corruption, it's easy to feel powerless. We want to do good and change the world, but too often feel paralyzed by the fear that individuals can't make significant impact. ZenBiz Radio with Allan Holender is a new kind of talk radio for good! ZenBiz Radio is a media project about making a difference : Inspiring interviews with zentrepreneurs who are creating a new world of business for good! Stories About Creating A Business As Well As A Life! Zentrepreneurism is a wake-up call--a call to action, to change, to re-invent and to harness each and every person's unique ability to help build a better world for business.
ZenBiz Radio is an engaging, informative, and empowering radio show with interviews and conversations with zentrepreneurs from around the globe, some well-known and others less so, who have been inspired to do their part to effect meaningful social change. These notable advocates, activists, and social entrepreneurs share the causes they are passionate about and give advice on what each of us can do to positively impact our employees, communities, and those of others around the world.
From music icon Dave Stewart, who has aligned his corporate mission with notable causes such GreenPeace, TED, and Pangea Day to Arran Stephens, the founder of Natures Path Foods, the world's largest producer of organic cereal, who sees money as "green energy"-"From a more enlightened centre within, we can use money for great good, or if selfish and greedy, we can use it to harm and congeal". These personal journeys illustrate the power of the individual to motivate change.
We are now accepting proposals for a limited number of founding partners anywhere in the world for our new media convergence project, ZenBiz Radio.
If you would like to submit a proposal please contact Dave Kredell our Executive Producer. firstname.lastname@example.org .It would be very exciting to have you join us on the next phase of the journey. Since the birth of Zentrepreneurism three years ago we have taken our message around the world to over 21 different countries and with 810 members enrolled in the World Wide Association of Zentrepreneurs, it is now time to spread the word around the globe through a virtual medium.
I have valued your support and commitment to the principles of Zentrepreneurism. We are truly now a global movement that is changing the way the world does business for good. As a fellow zentrepreneur and business leader who personifies the triple bottom line, I now invite you to participate in a cause you already believe in.
A great opportunity awaits for us to engage together globally in a mutually beneficial, purposeful, and profitable project. We are scheduled to launch January 21, 2009. We will accept proposals till January 15th.
I look forward to you joining me !!
Yes We Zen!!
Monday, December 29, 2008
THE PATH TO BUSINESS ENLIGHTENMENT IN 2009
Based on his research for the revolutionary book "Zentrepreneurism"- A 21st Century Guide To the New World of Business and after interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs, author Allan Holender has defined the nine key distinctions of Enlightened Zentrepreneurs. Here are his suggestions on what you need to know to survive life and business in 2009 during chaotic financial and stressful times.
1. Force vs. Power
When you are forcing something, you are pushing and shoving to get things to work out the way you want. There is a great deal of effort involved, and usually struggle. Power, on the other hand, implies a strength that goes beyond what you might be able to exert. You experience power when you align your inner energies, beliefs, and emotions with your outer actions. This will propel you forward towards your goals with much less effort and fewer toes being stepped on. So people talk about this as "flow!”
2. Accomplish vs. Attain
Accomplishment has a sense of finality, an end point, and refers more to a task. Accomplishments often feel meaningless once you've accomplished them. Have you ever worked hard in order to get something, and then once you had it, it didn't seem so important or meaningful anymore? There was a bit of a letdown.
Attainment, on the other hand, has no end. It is based in a spiritual or inspired knowing that what you are doing is meaningful at a level that goes far beyond just you or your company. Enlightened Zentrepreneurs indicate that when they made the shift to attainment, it expanded their capacity to create the life they wanted.
3. Gaining information vs. Using
While it might seem obvious that to simply gain information is not sufficient for producing incredible, enlightened success, there are a lot of business people out there reading and acquiring information without really putting it into practice. Until you use what you learn, you haven't really learned it. You've just expanded your storehouse of information.
4. Segmented vs. Enlightened Zentrepreneurs
Enlightened Zentrepreneurs say that before they became incredibly successful, they thought of their lives in compartmentalized segments. Even within their businesses they had a segmented approach to their services, products, and even their efforts.
The shift for them came when they created a synergy by integrating their work and their lives. When you have an integrated approach, activity in one area directly benefits goals in another area. This is part of how you can move three paces ahead with only one step.
5. Working Hard vs. Working Joyfully
Working hard brings with it all the “must do’s” and “to do’s,” plus all the heaviness that those lists entail. Working joyfully, on the other hand, brings with it ease, fun, inspiration, and a light, powerful sense. When you work joyfully, you are working in tandem with spirit, in tandem with your true desires, whereas when you work hard you are usually pushing against something (See Force vs. Power).
Enlightened Zentrepreneurs often learned this the hard way. They spent years working hard, only to see their goals slipping away – along with their health and their energy. Often they “hit bottom” before they decided to try it a different way. When they did make the shift to working joyfully, they found themselves thinking, “Is it really this easy?” or “Wow, this is great! I can have fun, make money, and make a difference!”
6. Structure vs. Environments
Structure is a good thing. You need some structure in order to get things done – even if your structure looks vastly different from someone else’s. Structure is focused on tasks and specific outcomes.
Environments, on the other hand, go beyond structure to setting up entire systems of support that enable you to continue making progress without even “working” at it.
The distinction is that an environment works for you, while a structure requires you to do the work. An environment makes the structure YOURS. Enlightened Zentrepreneurs say this is one of the most important distinctions. When they could transform their structures – or lack of structure – into environmental supports, they were able to consistently move ahead with far less effort.
7. Behaviour Change vs. Shift
A behaviour change is just what it sounds like. You either stop doing or start doing something. It can be simple, and may or may not be lasting. A shift, on the other hand, is powerful. It usually comes as the result of an experience of some sort (perhaps from the behaviour change), and results in a deep, cellular change in how you approach things. It is often accompanied by an identify shift as well.
Think of those “a-ha!” moments and epiphanies you have had – the times when you all of a sudden “got it.” That is a shift. You can try to go back to the old way of doing things, but there is a part of you that always knows you’re not participating at your full potential.
For example, once you realize that what you think about and focus on affects your results, you cannot pretend it isn’t so. You might temporarily think less than helpful thoughts, but your internal set point has changed and you will be inspired to go back to what you know to be the truth. In order to get to this shift point; however, you might have to practice it as behaviour change until you get the evidence of how it works.
8. Pessimism vs. Optimism
This distinction seems obvious. What’s not always so obvious to people is WHEN they are being pessimistic. People who are struggling with their businesses often describe themselves as being “realistic,” seeing what’s really going on. The truth is they are only looking at a portion of what’s going on, and chances are they are making that worse than it really is.
Optimism is not just a state of mind or an approach. It is a commitment to looking for what’s working, looking for the good in a situation, and building on that. It is based on spiritual and scientific principles that when we focus on what’s working and looking with vision and passion toward what we want, that we are actually more resourceful and creative.
Enlightened Zentrepreneurs have MASTERED this distinction!
9. Focusing on the Gap vs. Honoring Where You Are
While wanting more is not a bad thing, when most people talk about what they want, what they are really doing is focusing on the gap between what they want and what they have. By doing this, they actually activate the “not having” more than the “having,” so it sets up a bit of a catch-22.
Honoring where you are is being fully present, loving each moment, knowing that each moment is already full and perfect, regardless of whether you have accomplished or attained. It is tapping in to the power of NOW.
Honoring where you are doesn’t discount that you might have dreams and desires, but in really honoring, you activate trust, celebration, and good feelings that allow in more of what you want.
As you’ve noticed, these key distinctions of Enlightened Zentrepreneurs are grounded in inner and outer attitudes, beliefs, and actions. They require a spiritual shift as well as an external, or action, shift.
By applying these key distinctions you will have begun the journey towards becoming a zentrepreneur. While an entrepreneur creates a business, a zentrepreneur creates a business and a life.
By Allan Holender, Author of “Zentrepreneurism”- A 21st Century Guide to the New World of Business. Allan is also Founder & CEO of The Centre for Zentrepreneurism, dedicated to instilling passion, purpose and profits with integrity in North American business. Their website is www.zentrepreneurism.com
This article is the property of Allan M. Holender. It may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of Allan Holender email@example.com
Thursday, December 18, 2008
If you missed the great "fireside chat"conference call on Tuesday night here is the playback number and access code. My thanks in particular to Lawrence Didsbury from Texas, Mike Bonifer from Los Angeles and Joel Denis from Montreal for enriching the call with their valued input.
Be sure to get your pen and paper ready before you call so that you can make notes:
PLAYBACK NUMBER 1.218.339.4399 Access Code 446420#
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
"The Opportunity to do the Right Things During Perilous Economic Times".
A time to share and support one another during these uncertain times. Join us in the comfort of your own home by phone. No traffic, no parking, no hassels. Just pick up the phone and call.
IMPORTANT CALL-IN INFORMATION
Call 1.218.339-4300 then enter access code- 446420#
Following are a few tips to ensure you will successfully access the call.
When you enter the passcode, press the keys firmly. Avoid talking, moving around, or background noise when pressing the keys. The tones from the keys must be conveyed clearly to the system. Other noises can interfere. If you can't get in the first time, make sure you are in a quiet place, call back and enter the passcode again.
Please call at the exact time scheduled. Calling early may interrupt another group's call.
This dial-in number is a special number. Call only during your scheduled time, as it may be in use by other parties at other times.
P.S. SHOW YOU CARE....INVITE A FRIEND!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
WHEN: TUESDAY DECEMBER 16TH
TIME: 6:30 P.M PST, 7:30 P.M. EST, 9:30 P.M. EST
REGISTER TODAY FOR OUR FREE TELE-CONFERENCE CALL!!
There are three days left to register for our free "very zenful" fireside chat. A time to share and support one another during these uncertain times. Join us in the comfort of your own home by phone. No traffic, no parking, no hassels. Just pick up the phone and call. When you register you will be given the dial-in number and access code.
Happy Ho Ho In Zen,
Friday, December 12, 2008
The three things that will help us get through these challenging times:Relationships,Collaboration,and Trust.
Trust is the key lever that drives our personal and business relationships.
It has always been our intent to build the Zentrepreneurism movement around those three guiding principles.
I hope you can make this very zenful fireside chat and join others who believe, like you, in these fundamental principles.
Sign Up at: http://ping.fm/ysDob
A sociopath, also known as a psychopath, is someone who has no conscience. He or she shows a reckless disregard for the rights and feelings of others, and tends to live a parasitic lifestyle. The classic work on psychopaths is "The Mask of Sanity," by Hervey Cleckley.Dr. Robert Hare, a recognized authority on psychopaths (and a fellow Canadian) has written a book for the lay person called "Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us," as well as a book on psychopaths in the workplace, "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work." "Without Conscience" is an excellent introduction to the topic that give some warning signs.
I quoted Dr. Hare in my book when I examined the personality traits of some of the most well known CEO's of North America. Well, it looks like they are indeed still walking amongst us. And it also appears that America is very forgiving of it's liars and crooks, and thus we are in the mess we are in.
The CEO's of bailed out AIG think nothing of taking between $92,000 and 4 million dollars in performance bonuses after they were told to use the bail out money to help people who were losing their homes through foreclosures. It started with Enron, World Com, Wall Street, the CEO's of the Big Three Car giants flying in on their corporate jets, and now it's spilled into politics. How much more is America willing to take. I guess they are counting the days to Obama, but now it's even spilling into his yard.
The Governor of Illinois this week, with a name nobody can pronounce says he did nothing, even though they have tape recordings to prove he was trying to sell Obama's seat. Jessie Jackson Jnr. says he knows nothing, even though the FBI says he is "candidate #5". Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel refused to take questions. Even though in one wiretap, the Governor refers to a transition team adviser with whom they were talking. If you have nothing to hide, just tell the truth.
Just telling the truth seems to be not an option. Yes, it started in the White House with those famous lines "I did not sleep with that woman" , but it really started in a moment of history we will never forget- the Nuremberg trials when Adolf Eichman was asked if he was responsible for the death of 6 milllion Jews, said "Nicht Shuldik"- NOT GUILTY!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Because of the success of our economic meltdown tele-summit, we are hosting a special pre-christmas very zenful fireside chat on "The Opportunity to do the Right Thing in Perilous Economic Times".. We hope you will join us on Tuesday December 16th for an evening of sharing and support. It's free! So take a break from the stress, the corrupt politicians from Illinois, the bail out bandits from AIG, the snow, the rain, and stop the mad urge to buy more "stuff"! Instead, build a fire, put on your slippers, get a cup of hot chocolate, and join us by phone. Mark your calendar for 6:30 p.m. pst, 7:30 p.m. cst, 9:30 p.m. est.
Sign up at : http://firesidechat.eventbrite.com
P.S. The way the world is going we could all use a little zen in our hot buttered rum these days!
Happy Ho Ho!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
According to the U.S. Centre for Public Integrity we are at the lowest level of trust of government and the corporate sector since the 1930's.
So who do we believe. Was Hillary telling the truth when she said Obama was not qualified for the job of President. Was he lying when he said Hillary was not the change America was looking for. Or did they both lie? What did Obama really mean when he said "change you can believe in". When I ran for school board in my hometown, an old political war horse gave me this sage advice. He said; "Allan if you want to get elected you need to tell people what they want to hear". Is that lying or simply not telling the truth.
Nobody at any of the political rallies stood up and asked the candidates, including Hillary and Obama- "So what part of what you just told us is a lie". Even if the truth hurts, wouldn't you rather know what you are dealing with and can believe in.
I know that everyone is hungry for a solution, for change, to cleanse our souls from the Bush era. But America is looking for a "lifeline" right now, and sometimes when you are so desperate for hope and salvation you ratioanlize your decisions.
Political rallies have often been compared to a religious experience. I do believe many people had that experience in Grant Park. That euphoria has now been replaced by both fear and optimism. An interesting combination, as is the human reaction to fear, which is one of anger.
The financial hurricane we are in the midst of has also created the "perfect karmic storm" for America to look at how it has been conducting it's business, running it's government , electing it's politicians, and justifying "small fibs" that become "giant lies" to justify winning and succeeding at all cost. Be grateful it was just money lost and not lives.
The universe has created a golden opportunity. The world is watching to see if America has indeed changed. Americans have been viewed by the rest of the world as addicted to celebrities, money and power. Will we learn the lessons of the past or will history repeat itself. So far the jury is still out.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
It's now been three days since Grant Park. It's been three days since America elected it's first African American President. It's been three days since every black man and woman all over the world wept with joy to see a black man inherit in their mind the most powerful position in the free world. It's been three days since white and black, young and old celebrated in the streets.
Now that the euphoria is over, what has changed with you personally. If you are an American you can probably answer this question better than I can. I am a Canadian by birth, but as many of you know I graduated from The University of Montana, married an American, and my children have dual ciitizenship. But I live in Canada.
Many people have asked me why it took so long. Rather than me answer that question along with a number of other questions, I am going to let those of you who are American respond to this discussion forum. So here are the questions in no particular order:
Why did it take so long to elect an African American President?
- If you voted for Obama did you choose him because he is black or because you were sick and tired of the George Bush era?
- How different do you feel emotionally today than you did on Tuesday night?
- Given that half the population favoured McCain in the popular vote, how many of them do you think will believe in Obamas message of hope and will rally around his supporters to build a better America?
- How long does Obama have to deliver on all of his promises before people lose faith or hope?
- Do you believe Obama is a politician or a statesman?
- How different will the Obama Democratic administration be from Carter or Clinton?
- In his speech in Grant Park he told the people it might take one term to get things on course, Do you believe he was saying that to lower people's expectations or was he cleverly positioning himself for re-election in 2012?
- What things are you planning to do to contribute to his call for unity of all Americans?
- If you were his advisor what would you tell him his priorities should be?
- How will the election of Obama change the way business has been conducted in America; wall street, ponzi schemes, unethical behaviour of CEO's of some of the most respected companies?
- And finally, if there was no Obama what would happen to America?
These questions are to stimulate discussion, I don't expect anyone to anwer all of them, just jump in on any you choose. As zentrepreneurs you have more than a passing interest in you and your families future in America, and you view things from an "awakened", passionate, purposeful and yet realistic perspective. I value and respect your input and responses.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Dear Fellow Zentrepreneur,
Last night America made history by electing the first African American President.. The battle cry throughout the campaign was "Yes We Can". It has given hope to Americans and the global community that change is possible.
It is for that reason that we started the World Wide Association of Zentrepreneurs. "While an entrepreneur creates a business, a zentrepreneur creates a business and a life"!
The intent ot the WWAZ is "To Change The Way The World does Business". Our goal is to spread the message of Zentrepreneurism- creating purpose, passion and profits with integrity!
Today is the "perfect" day for you to begin that journey with us!
"This is a passionate, profound invitation...to stop
thinking about business and life as it should be and to start experiencing it as it could be"
I am inviting you to join the World Wide Association of Zentrepreneurs, a Groupsite that was created utilizing the CollectiveX platform for groups.
This Groupsite will enable us to share, network and coordinate our efforts. All information provided through this platform is maintained for the use of World Wide Association of Zentrepreneurs members.
Please click the link below so you may quickly and easily participate in the World Wide Association of Zentrepreneurs. Membership is free. Signup is simple and takes less than a minute. Help us reach our goal of 1,000 members by January 1, 2009
Accept the invitation from Allan Holender
Friday, October 31, 2008
ALLAN HOLENDER WILL BE INTERVIEWED ON THE GOOD LIFE SHOW WITH JESSE DYLAN ON 650 CISL AM SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:00 A.M. PST, 10:00 A.M. EST
LISTEN AS ALLAN AND JESSE DISCUSS THE UP-COMING ECONOMIC SOLUTION SUMMIT AND WHERE WE GO FROM HERE. YOU CAN ALSO LISTEN ON-LINE AROUND THE WORLD AT http://www.650cisl.com/
NORTH AMERICA'S FIRST ECONOMIC SOLUTION SUMMIT!!!
Galiano Island B.C. Canada
THERE ARE TEN SPACES LEFT FOR THE ECONOMIC SOLUTION SUMMIT WEEKEND ON GALIANO ISLAND.
WE HAVE NOW OPENED THE SPACES TO INDIVIDUALS AS WELL AS COUPLES, SO IF YOU ARE SINGLE AND WOULD LIKE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AN INCREDIBLE OFFER OF $995 FOR:
THREE NIGHTS ACCOMODATION IN A 5 STAR OCEAN VIEW SUITE.
ALL GOURMET MEALS
ALL SNACKS AND REFRESHMENTS
COMPLIMENTARY YOGA CLASSES
COMPLIMENTARY FLOATATION BATH SESSION
FULL ACCESS TO ALL PROGRAMS & PRESENTATIONS.
FULL ACCESS TO ALL INDIVIDUAL EXPERTS ON FACULTY.
COMPLIMENTARY OPENING WINE & CHEESE RECEPTION.
REGISTER TODAY FOR $995 CA or $837 US !!
FOR COUPLES YOU GET ALL THE ABOVE FOR JUST $1,200CA or $1,008 US
YOU MUST REGISTER BY MONDAY!!
FOR FULL PROGRAM AND FACULTY GO TO: www.zentrepreneurism.com
GALIANO ISLAND IS 25 MINUTES FROM VANCOUVER , BUT A WORLD AWAY!
P.S. If you received this notice and have already unscubscribed, our sincere apologies.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
"We need the most dramatic rethinking of the regulatory scheme for financial markets since the New Deal. If anything has demonstrated that imperative, it's the economy right now and the tragic circumstances we're in," and a realistic understanding of the dangers involved," says Harvey Goldschmid, a Columbia University law professor and a former commissioner and general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Asked how much danger he thinks is still out there, Goldschmid says, "We don't know. Part of the problem of the lack of transparency in these markets has been we don't really know."
If you would like a realistic understanding of the dangers involved in planning for your business, your future, and for your families' future, don't miss the first Economic Solution Summit in North America on Galiano Island B.C.. There are only a few spaces left, so REGISTER TODAY!
Go to www.zentrepreneurism.com for full program and registration info.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
ALLAN HOLENDER WILL BE INTERVIEWED ON THE GOOD LIFE SHOW WITH JESSE DYLAN ON 650 CISL AM SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:00 A.M. PST
LISTEN AS ALLAN AND JESSE DISCUSS THE LATEST IMPACT ON THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS. YOU CAN ALSO LISTEN ON-LINE AROUND THE WORLD AT http://www.650cisl.com/
WORLD LEADERS TO MEET IN WASHINGTON D.C. WHILE LOCAL GROUP MEETS ON GALIANO ISLAND TO DISCUSS THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS. ON NOV.15TH
U.S. President George W. Bush announced Wednesday that the White House will host the summit, where leaders are expected to discuss the causes of the crisis as well as potential reforms to the regulations and institutions that govern the global financial system.
The Bank of England deputy governor Charles Bean said that “this is no longer just a story about falling portfolio values. This is a once in a lifetime crises, and possibly the largest financial crises of it’s kind in human history”
Simultaneously, while world leaders are meeting, The Zentrepreneurism Centre, which is dedicated to changing the way the world does business, is presenting it’s first Economic $olution Summit to look at how we got here, the real economics, the remedies and a new vision for mankind.
The distinguished faculty includes; futurists, visionaries, entrepreneurs, business leaders, economic and relationship advisors.
To register call 1-877-530-3939
Call Allan Holender 604.684.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
“THE ECONOMIC $OLUTION SUMMIT”
From corrupt to conscious capitalism. Building upon capitalism’s most powerful assets while infusing it with a higher purpose.
The first Economic $olution Summit to look at how we got here, the real economics, the remedies and a new mission for mankind.
Join a distinguished faculty of futurists, visionaries, entrepreneurs, business leaders, economic and relationship advisors, as we explore the causes, impacts and solutions to the current global financial crisis.
The Summit takes place at the Galiano Island Oceanside Inn and Spa (www.galianoinn.com) Nov. 13-16th.
The goal of the Summit is to provide ideas and practices to ease your anxieties and fears during this troubling and traumatic time. You will receive real and practical tools to serve you in your business and personal life, and the renewed energy and heart to move ahead with your dreams.
“We have a situation where we don’t trust our government or our capitalist system and the level of distrust right now is probably unparalleled since the 1930’s.”- Charles Lewis Founder, Centre for Public Integrity
Because of limited space, the Summit is open to only twenty couples. To reserve today call toll free 1-877-530-3939
This special Summit is being presented by The Zentrepreneurism Centre (www.zentrepreneurism.com) and The Good Life Radio Show & Network (www.goodlifenetworks.com )
“Changing the Way the World does Business”
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
..... REPLAY OF THE TELE-SUMMIT FORUM ON "THE WALL STREET MELTDOWN" IS NOW AVAILABLE BY CALLING 1-641-715-3440 ACCESS CODE: 446420# YOU CAN HEAR THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE CALL.
........ALLAN WAS RECENTLY INTERVIEWED ON "SQUEEZE PLAY" ON THE BNN (BUSINESS NEWS NETWORK). YOU CAN WATCH THE INTERVIEW BY CLICKING ON http://ping.fm/mTkjJ
.......THIS SUNDAY MORNING ALLAN WILL BE INTERVIEWED BY WELL KNOWN RADIO HOST JESSE DYLAN ON THE GOOD LIFE SHOW ON 650 CISL AM FROM 7:00-8:00 a.m. pst, 8:00-9:00 a.m. mst, 10:00-11:00: a.m. est. You can listen on-line to live streaming audio at www.650cisl.com
Friday, October 03, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
WHAT: "WALL STREET WRECKAGE"- THE AFTERMATH IMPACT IT WILL HAVE ON THE U.S., NORTH AMERICA ,THE WORLD, YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR LIFE!!
WHEN: TONIGHT IN 2.5 HOURS
TIME: 6:30-8:30 P.M. (PACIFIC) 7:30-9:30 P.M. (MOUNTAIN) 9:30-11:30 P.M. (EASTERN)
TAPE OR TVO THE VP DEBATE OR WATCH IT LATER ON CNN, IT IS BEING RE-BROADCAST AT 9:00 P.M. PACIFIC, 10:00 P.M. MOUNTAIN OR MIDNITE EASTERN.
PROGRAM: THIS A TOWN HALL FORUM WITH EXPERTS FROM THE U.S. AND CANADA DISCUSSING THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME IN OUR ECONOMIC HISTORY. NOT SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION HAS THERE BEEN A FINANCIAL CRISIS OF THIS MAGNITUDE.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE: YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN THIS EVENT. LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD BY CALLING: 1-218-339-4300 AND THEN ACCESS CODE: 446420#
YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESPOND TO THIS INVITATION, AS ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE ABOVE NUMBER UNTIL THE START TIMES LISTED ABOVE.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU JOIN US. THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE EVENT BEING SPONSORED BY THE ZENTREPRENEURISM CENTRE. www.zentrepreneurism.com
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
ONE DAY LEFT TO REGISTER FOR THE TELE-SUMMIT FORUM ON THE "WALL STREET MELTDOWN". IT'S TOMMOROW NIGHT. ALL YOU NEED IS A LAND LINE PHONE. THERE ARE A FEW TICKETS REMAINING. REGISTER TODAY FOR A COMPLIMENTARY PASS AND YOUR ACCESS CODE!
DO NOT USE UNTIL THURSDAY OCT. 2ND
Call: 1-218-339-4300 and then access code 446420#
REGISTER TODAY! DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS IMPORTANT TELE-SUMMIT!
GET YOUR COMPLIMENTARY TICKET WHILE THEY LAST!
Click here to register now! http://ping.fm/yPFlq
Thursday, September 25, 2008
What: "Wall Street Meltdown"
How will it affect North America, your Business and your Life??
An interactive conference call forum with a distinguished panel of experts from around the world.
When: Thursday Oct. 2nd
Time: 6:30 p.m. pst, 7:30 p.m. mst, 9:30 p.m. est.
There are a limited number of complimentary tickets available.
To register while tickets last go to: http://wallstreetmeltdown.eventbrite.com
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
How will it affect North America, your business and your life?
A special TELE-SUMMIT with the distinguished faculty of The Zentrepreneurism Centre.
Thursday Oct. 2nd at 6:30 p.m.pst , 7:30 p.m. mst, 9:30 p.m. est.
Limited Complimentary Tickets Available for this extraordinary interactive event!
To register while they last go to:
These are profound times. "The Wall Street Wreckage" has been the wake up call not only America needed, but the world needed. In a recent CNN poll over 99% of the participants called for an immediate independent investigation into the meltdown, and that the managers of the companies' gone bankrupt should be subject to criminal charges. The two presidential candidates are now calling for "transparency" on Wall Street. This is simply too late and only represents the fact that desperate times result in desperate measures, including running away from the truth.
What we are witnessing today is the massive karmic repercussions of years of cheating, greed, and fraudulent behaviour on the beltway and on Wall Street.
Zentrepreneurism not only exposes this truth but it offers a solution and a new way of doing business that we believe will manifest over the next hundred years. Three years ago when Allan wrote his book he predicted that we were on the threshold of the events taking place today and that America needed a wake up call. That wake up call has turned into a fire alarm!.
Next week, The Jenkins Group and The Book Tree (Allan's publisher) will be launching a massive national media campaign in both the U.S. and Canada alerting the major outlets to Allan's timely book and offering interviews.
In 1989, Charles Lewis left the world of high-profile broadcast journalism to invent the world of what he calls "public-service journalism." Lewis, who was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship in1998, founded the Center for Public Integrity in 1990 to pursue investigative projects that the major media were neglecting. During the past 17 years, the center has produced 10 books and more than 100 reports documenting the often-sordid ties between big money and big politics.
When Lewis was asked whether the problem was based on a few bad apples, Lewis's response was:" Not unless the whole world is your orchard. That's a lot of apples, folks! More companies are restating their earnings now than at any time in U.S. history. And by the way: They have dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process to weaken any laws that might exist to curb the excesses. You can't look at Wall Street without looking at Washington. They're joined at the hip.
Lewis was asked who you can trust today to tell us the truth. "It's a very short list," he says, "Everyone has been discredited. We have a situation where we don't trust our government or our capitalist system. The level of distrust right now is probably unparalleled since the 1930s.
The events of the past week have literally put people into a "panic" mode. Everyone is looking for a "life "raft" or at least a roadmap on where to go from here.
To address your concerns and to create a forum for dialogue, The Zentrepreneurism Centre is hosting a special urgent tele-summit with it's distinguished faculty facilitated by the founder of Zentrepreneurism, Allan Holender on Thursday Oct. 2nd at 6:30 p.m. pst, 7:30 p.m. mst, 9:30 p.m. est.
There is a limited number of tickets available, and to the first 50 that register, your ticket is complimentary!
Once you register you will need the following access information:
DO NOT USE UNTIL THURSDAY OCT. 2ND
Call: 1-218-339-4300 and then access code 446420#
REGISTER TODAY! DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS IMPORTANT TELE-SUMMIT!
GET YOUR COMPLIMENTARY TICKET WHILE THEY LAST!
Go to: http://wallstreetmeltdown.eventbrite.com
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In the past few years we have seen a rise in the number of entrepreneurs and business leaders caught with their hands in the cookie jar. What makes everyday people commit extraordinary crimes of fraud and deceit?
Bernie Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom, was sentenced to twenty-five years in jail for orchestrating an $11 billion fraud, the biggest in U.S. corporate history, at the once high-flying U.S. telecommunications company.
U.S. district Judge BarbaraS. Jones said the sentence reflected the gravity of the crime.“Although I know this will probably mean Ebbers will spend the rest of his life in prison, sentencing him to anything less would not reflect the seriousness of the crime.”
Ebber’s sentence is one of the most severe to be handed down for a white-collar crime.Robert Mintz, a lawyer with McCarter & English, called the sentence staggering. “This sends a very chilling message that if you get convicted of these large-scale financial frauds, you’re going to be looking at a sentence that a Mafia kingpin or a drug lord wouldface,” he said.
Is the Era of Imperial CEOs Over?
What’s the mark of a great conman – he’s arrogant, cocky,brazen, and he loves his work!
Jennifer Reingold wrote in Fast Company in October, 2003 that there is a new era of accountability. Most of the nation’s worst performing bosses have been shown the door.“The death certificates have been signed. The eulogies have been written. The bagpipes have sounded. That’s right, folks. The era of the imperial CEO is officially over" or so we thought till this past weekend on Wall Street.
Thanks to the humiliating collapse of the fraud-riddled likes of Enron, HEALTHSOUTH,Tyco, and WorldCom, chief executives today are about as respected as, oh, Internet stock analysts.”Another prominent departure three years ago was American Airlines chief Donald Carty, forced out after neglecting to mention the special bonus pool for top executives while he was asking stewardesses and pilots to take massive pay cuts.
And this was just the tip of the iceberg. Many CEOs were knocked off their lofty perch for accounting irregularities, manipulation of annual reports, insider trading, and lavish perks, like Dennis Koslowski of Tyco and his$4 million dollar paintings for his $18 million apartment on fifth avenue, (plus another six residences valued at over $30 million,all at shareholder’s and employees expense). Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom received a severance package of $1.5 million a year for the rest of his life, plus the use of the WorldCom jet for 30 hours ayear, plus numerous other benefits. Keep in mind that Ebbers had already received $44 million in pay, but claimed he didn’t understand that WorldCom had defrauded investors of $7 billion.
• The CEOs of twenty-three large companies under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other agencies earned 70 percent more than the average CEO, banking a collective $1.4 billion in two years, while the market value of these twenty -three companies in January 2001 nose-divedby over $500 billion (or about 73 percent) and 160,000 employees were laid off.
• Enron’s CEO Kenneth Lay pulled in over $100 million, while100 executives and energy traders collected more than $300million-in the year before the company filed for bankruptcy,with a $68 billion loss in market value, the loss of jobs for 5,000 employees, and $800 million lost from their pension funds.
Politics and Corporate Crime
Thirty-one corporate criminals gave more than $9 million to the Democratic and Republican parties during the 2002 election cycle, according to a report released by Corporate Crime Reporter.Corporate criminals gave $7.2 million to Republicans (77 percent)
and $2.1 million to Democrats (23 percent), the report found.
The Republicans and Democrats are awash in dirty money,” said Russell Mokhiber, the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.“They took in more than $9 million from convicted criminals. When the heat was up on WorldCom and Enron, politicians from all stripes returned campaign contributions from these two tainted entities or sent them on to charity. The parties should do the same.”
Daniel Pink spoke to Charles Lewis, a former high profile broadcaster about Wall Street and Washington – strange bedfellows in the rising tide of corporate greed.
Pink says:“There are no guarantees in business and in life. Luck is always a factor, and the dice can roll against you. But that does not change the fact that those who go about their lives and work with the passion to create and build in pursuit of self-created goals are the only ones who will find meaning in the end – regardless of whether the dice roll their way. The fact of the matter is that life is short, and we only carry to our graves the inner integrity of
our efforts. Only we know how we lived our lives, whether we cut corners, whether we did anything of value – or whether we took the built-to-flip approach to life.”
In 1989, Charles Lewis left the world of high-profile broadcast journalism to invent the world of what he calls “public-servicejournalism.” Lewis, who was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship in1998, founded the Center for Public Integrity in 1990 to pursue investigative projects that the major media were neglecting.
During the past 17 years, the center has produced 10 books and more than 100 reports documenting the often-sordid ties between bigmoney and big politics.
When Lewis was asked whether the problem was based on a few bad apples, Lewis’s response was:
“Not unless the whole world is your orchard. That’s a lot of apples, folks! More companies are restating their earnings now than at any time in U.S. history. And by the way: They have dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process to weaken any laws that might exist to curb the excesses.
You can’t look at Wall Street without looking at Washington.They’re joined at the hip. Congress and the politicians were the enablers for those scandals. They needed the campaign cash.The corporate executives needed certain favors. Everyone got what they wanted – except, of course, investors and the public.
Ninety-six percent of Americans don’t contribute to political campaigns at all. The wealthiest elements of this country are sustaining and sponsoring the political process and its actors.
What that means is that you get a government that’s essentially bought and paid for by the powerful interests affected by those decisions. Sometimes it does feel like we’re trying to force people to drink castor oil. People don’t really want to get bad news. But information is power. Until you find out the truth, you can’t dig yourself out of the mess.”
Lewis was asked who you can trust today to tell us the truth. “It’s a very short list,” he says, “Everyone has been discredited. We have a situation where we don’t trust our government or our capitalist system. The level of distrust right now is probably unparalleled since the 1930s."
So how do we build that trust you might ask, well based on Lewis’s theories, we need to set tougher standards, and then to everyone’s amazement you actually enforce them. There is an urgent need in America right now for transparency. That should be the case for all governments in power, but more so in America where lying has become commonplace. There needs to be openness and a set of rules. It’s indeed time for zenlightened leadership, in the boardroom,the oval office and on Capitol Hill.
Failure is Not an Option
How tough is it to be honest these days – really tough? As a child you may have been taught that to fib is okay; a “little white lie”has never hurt anybody. How about that little fib when you didn’t declare that new suit you bought across the border. They’ll never find out, I’ll just wear it. Or how about when you made excuses to the teacher when you didn’t do your homework. Any excuse to avoid the preconceived notion that the result of the truth would mean a terrible punishment or reprimand – in the mind of an eight-year old, a fate too gruesome to imagine.
The fear of discovery is far greater than the unknown consequence of the truth. As a society we are driven to succeed in virtually everything we live our lives for. In public school, in university, in sports, in our marriages, in our businesses, and in our relationships with our children, everything is measured by success.
This need for success is the single most destructive force operating in our free enterprise system.
If you doubt this, just look at the self-help section of any bookstore, where shelves are lined with books on “How to Succeed” in everything from business, sales, your marriage and relationships, to your golf game, your tennis game, your poker game, and your life. It seems every new workshop or seminar has a Tony Robbins look-alike telling you he or she has the seven secrets of highly successful people and for $1000 he’ll tell you the secrets so you no longer have to walk around with your head down wondering how you became such a failure.
I know the game because I played it. I am a recovering Tony Robbins franchise owner. Many men and women who have risen to the top inwardly feel like imposters. If asked, they may reveal that their biggest fear is being found out.
In Robbins’ book, Ultimate Power, “Fake it till you make it” is his war cry. It’s okay to pretend for a while; just never admit that you are afraid, or that you don’t know yourself. Fear of failure corrupts the mind. Because we are programmed to avoid it at any cost, it makes us do things we would not ordinarly do without thought or remorse.
Failure is not an option is the mantra of many young entrepreneurs who have just started their new business, while in the background ring the incessant voices of the fallen, the dot-com failures, and the overnight millionaires who have now gone bankrupt and taken tens of thousands of unfortunate with them.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Allan Holender, author of the book Zentrepreneurism – A 21stCentury Guide to the New World of Business, will present a FREE
evening seminar on how Western enterprises and business people can implement Eastern philosophies in their search for more meaningful work, and find ethical paths to lasting
A popular media personality and host of a nationally syndicated business radio show, Allan delivers his life lessons with both passion and humor – helping others to enter the era of “Enlightened Capitalism”, where the bottom
line is not the only reason to be in business.
Don’t miss this opportunity to join him for a FREE seminar and book signing at:
Where: Langara College
(100 West 49th Avenue)
When: Wed, October 29th
Time: 6:30 pm
RSVP: To register call
Oren Lupo at
(604) 876-1023 or email
Allan will also be offering courses on the
practice of Zentrepreneursim during the
upcoming winter (2009) term. Information
will be made available at www.langara.bc.ca
once the details are confirmed.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Fast forward to today's madness and you can see that it's not so much different. The price tag has just gotten higher. To "win" at all cost is a fabric of the American culture, it's in the DNA, and is instilled into every child from the age of five on. It's on every Wheaties box, and it's in their face; at school, from their parents, their coaches, their friends, and every time they turn on the television. The runner up coach from the Super Bowl is seldom interviewed on late night television.
And now we are discovering that this mad race to succeed at all cost is a part of the next great super power, China. Little girls must now have to lie about their age in order to succeed and win. This is encouraged by the government, their parents and their friends. Why, because China wants to be just like America only better and more powerful. And they are succeeding, and not just at the Olympics.
As of yesterday, there should be no remaining doubts as to the tectonic shift in the global economy--the world's largest and most profitable bank is Chinese. While banks in North America and Europe are still counting massive credit crunch losses, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has surged ahead of it's international competitors thanks to a booming economy that has dramatically bolstered profits.
Profits it seems in the eyes of many translates into power, power transforms into greed, greed transforms into corruption, corruption leads to lying and cheating. This is historical, it's even in the bible.
So what to do? Begin at the every fundamental level of teaching your kids that success is not about winning and that attainment is more important that achievement. That becoming someone is far more important than being like someone else. America is consumed with heroes and celebrities; it's an addiction.
By the end of the political campaign for President in the U.S. it is estimated that both candidates will have spent a billion dollars; that will be the most money spent on a campaign in the history of elections in the U.S. Is that something to be proud of or is it pure and utter insanity.
I have always said it is not the American people that have brought them to the "eve of destruction", it is their belief system. The American dream has become it's worst nightmare. And the irony is that neither candidate will have a solution, because they both are willing participants in the madness. What do you think the family who just lost their house is thinking, or the single parent mother who has two jobs, making about $6.00 an hour at each of them to feed her family. They must feel like ponds or fodder for political speeches and promises. "Verbal diarrhea", as my former college professor calls it.
Given that we are at the lowest level of trust of government since the 1930's, why should we believe Obama or McCain. Obama said yesterday to an audience in middle America;"I will wake up each and every morning thinking about each and everyone of you". How narcissistic can you get. How about each and everyone of you should be thinking about how you can help each other. When Obama spends 52 million dollars to get elected and McCain spends $25 million, that should not make Obama's chances of getting elected better, it should send a clear message to all Americans to "stop the insanity"!
Friday, August 01, 2008
Corruption has stolen the future of millions of people- Mohan Nepali, Nepal
In Zentrepreneurism and on this blog, Allan Holender has discussed the Enron story, a story of deliberate deception and corruption for the enrichment of a few. In the wake of the collapse of this company, the US Congress passed highly restrictive laws known as Sarbanes-Oxley (after the legislation’s sponsors) designed to ensure another such event could not occur. Anyone investing their hard won savings in a firm regulated in the United States by virtue of being traded on an American investment market would be safe and secure.
Here we are, six years later, and the Enron story unfolds again, only this time in the public sector. Benjamin Franklin reported, as the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, that the framers had built “a republic, if you can keep it”. Apparently keeping to even the shade of the republic is no longer the purpose of those in public life. Instead, the American people have been made milch cows to serve at the pleasure of their corporatist and political masters.
Somehow, “making the Hamptons safe for Wall Street profits” doesn’t ring quite as nobly as “making the world safe for democracy”, although that is precisely what is going on under Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, with the connivance of the President and the US Congress. When President Bush signed into law the “bail out my friends in the name of saving the American homeowner” legislation on Wednesday, July 30 — a 7.00am signing, indicating even he knew how distasteful and subversive of America this is — another large railway spike in the coffin of the Republic was banged home.
While some Zentrepreneurial efforts may well grow to be enterprises of substance, most Zentrepreneurs will build businesses that support their life. They will be scaled to be small and local, where they can ensure their principles are not subverted. To burden people like these with the costs of bailing out the trillions in unfunded liabilities associated with the looting of America in the credit bubble and the bailout of the very institutions that inflated that bubble to a global crisis is to make a mockery of their efforts to build a better world for themselves and those they love.
One might, of course, say “well, that’s America”. Alas, Canada has no shortage of larceny, either: in the country in the G8 that runs trade surpluses, current account surpluses and has a pristine central bank balance sheet with twice the reserves required under the current international regime, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, has decided to follow the Federal Reserve into the game of contaminating the national currency backing with the liar loan derivatives that have fractured the American banking system. Does Canada or its financial institutions need this? No: but Carney “wanted to be useful”. In doing so, his behaviour corrupted something Canadians count on to be honest, fair and right.
Zentrepreneurs, in other words, have more to look out for than just the achievement of their dreams. These days, the moral framework of the Zentrepreneur is needed more than ever, in a society that wants no part of truth, right action or good behaviour on the part of its officials.
Bruce Stewart is an author, speaker, and futurist who wrote the forward to "Zentrepreneurism". You can visit his website at www.accendor.com
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
But alas since the front runners for the Democratic nomination began to empty their pockets to the equivalent of most people's lifetime of earnings, I began to get this sickening feeling that it was a horse race being run not on the basis of who would make the best President but who can raise enough money to become the media favourite.
And now here we are at the post again, and this time it's a two horse race. Here is the bet on favourite according to some political race pundits, Obama. Why because he has $400 million dollars and McCain has a mere $200 million. Some suggested that in the last days of Hillary, she was offered $22 milllion by Obama's team to pay off some of her political debts.
There were more foreclosures in America this year than at any other time in American history. The working poor in America are at an all time high. 30 million Americans make no more than $5.15 an hour. Gas is closing in on $5 a gallon. The war in Iraq has now killed more American soldiers than VietNam and George W. wants another $ 70 billion to stay the course. Is it no wonder that American television networks have turned to reality t.v. to escape the sheer insanity going on in supposedly the world's most progressive and democratic country.
So you tell me, is the American President elected or annointed by the 34,750 lobbyists in Washington, DC, the major corporate players who have the power and money to call the shots, and who conceivably make up 90% of the $400 million dollars needed to win. Or is it Joe Citizen in Newark New Jersey making $5.15 at the 7 Eleven who can't even own a house let alone buy one to foreclose. Does his vote count, does his $20 basic membership contribution count, or is it just smoke and mirrors when Obama and McCain get up in front of an audience and say "We believe in change, we believe in every American's right to the American dream, we believe in the power of the people. And just to hedge their bet, if you notice they end with a little help from above; " And May God Bless America".
The Dalai Lama in his book "How to See Yourself as You Really Are" says; "In the past attempts have been made to create more just and equal societies. Institutions have been established with noble charters to combat antisocial forces. Unfortunately, such efforts have been undermined by selfishness and greed. Today we bear witness to the way ethics and noble principles are obscured by self-interest in the political sphere. Politics devoid of ethics does not further human welfare, and life without morality reduces humans to the level of beasts. This leads some of us to refrain from politics altogether, but politics is not axiomatically dirty. Rather, the misguided instruments of our political culture have distorted our high ideals and noble aspirations".
Friday, June 06, 2008
Can Zentrepreneurism revolutionize the way we do business in the 21st Century? A group of passionate Entrepreneurs think so and have decided to lead the way...
July 12, 2008, Vancouver, BC — Allan Holender, Founder of Zentrepreneurism today announced the establishment of the World Wide Association of Zentrepreneurs
Zentrepreneurism is surfacing across a wide spectrum of successful, purposeful businesses. Many individuals have tried different things and are looking for meaning in their work: work that has integrity and purpose. Social entrepreneurs are exploding across North America and are looking to solve social problems on a larger scale, giving birth to zentrepreneurs who are aligning their personal values with their professional goals. Allan Holender's new book, Zentrepreneurism: A 21st Century Guide to The New World Of Business provides just that.
Zentrepreneurism is about making a fundamental shift in the way North America does business, as well as a swing towards a new era of 'enlightened capitalism', where the chief "embezzlement" officer is being replaced by the chief "enlightenment" officer. Baby boomers are awakening to the growing prevalence of innovation and altruism that is emerging and how they can incorporate this into their business lives. And according to Zentrepreneurism, leading market research companies are predicting that Generation X-ers might become the next Zen-ers.
"We have a situation where we don't trust our government or our capitalist system, and the level of distrust right now is probably unparalleled since the 1930's." according to Charles Lewis, founder of the Centre for Public Integrity. The "American Dream" has become, its worst nightmare, with the shrinking of the middle class and 30 million Americans earning $5.15 an hour. The relentless pursuit of money, "bling", success, and power has led North Americans to unhappiness, greed, and emptiness, with the burning question; "Is that all there is"?
"People are expecting more from the companies they're working for and more from the companies they're doing business with and more from the companies they're buying from", says Sydney Finkelstein, Professor of Strategy and Leadership Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.
By fostering this new era for business, author Allan Holender feels that Western businesses and business people have already begun to implement Eastern philosophies in their search for more meaningful work. It is now a matter of spreading this revolutionary idea world wide. In his book Holender shares the stories of a number of business people who are already doing this, and the impact their newfound practices are having on their lives. According to Holender, "The fusion of one's personal vision with one's professional mission grounded in activism and a holistic philosophy will hallmark the next hundred years."
You can join the world wide movement by signing up yourself and inviting others by going to the following link: http://tinyurl.com/5obm24
Centre for Zentrepreneurism
Founder & Chairman
w: Worldwide Association of Zentrepreneurs
Monday, May 12, 2008
By Steve Appleford, Special to The Times
May 12, 2008
There was a message in the drumbeats. The final moments of the first international Pangea Day event on Saturday were big on symbolism, as seven drummers of varied cultures were linked via satellite from Stage 15 at Sony Studios to an international drum circle scattered across the planet.
There were drummers from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and elsewhere, all beating as one during a worldwide broadcast designed to encourage peace and understanding. Pangea Day was a four-hour program of short films, live music and brief messages of hope, humor and sadness, named for the prehistoric super-continent
"By sharing stories, we have begun the process of turning strangers into friends," filmmaker Jehane Noujaim told the U.S. studio audience in Culver City on the same soundstage where Dorothy and Toto once danced down the Yellow Brick Road. Noujaim had conceived of the idea of a multinational film festival broadcast, and it was supported through a prize from the annual TED Conference, a gathering of creative thinkers in science and culture.
The emphasis was on storytelling. The first film, "The Ball" from Mozambique, was a lighthearted short piece about African children building a soccer ball out of an inflated condom and yarn, while making a subtle message about sexually transmitted disease. It was followed by a film from Los Angeles, "A Thousand Words" by Ted Chung, which suggested the power of snapshots discovered on a found digital camera. Other films offered vivid scenes of sadness and contemplation, of joy and tragedy: a lonely French woman on the Metro, children at a Chad refugee camp. In "Walleyball" by Brent Hoff, Mexicans and Americans played an international game of volleyball by using the border fence as a net.
Sitting in the Culver City audience was film producer Lawrence Bender, whose "An Inconvenient Truth" had its own global reach.
"It sounds a little airy-fairy, but the world is such a tough place right now," said Bender, a TED Conference regular and a Pangea Day advisor. "We kind of need something like this event."
The program was broadcast in seven languages. The live audience at Sony was about 1,200, joining crowds of 2,000 each in London, Rio de Janeiro, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Mumbai, India, and Kigali, Rwanda, with smaller gatherings in other cities. At Sony, there were big video screens and a news ticker that listed a roll call of the cities and small towns participating (Each of the films and a one-hour highlight show was put up on the web at pangeaday.org right after the broadcast.)
Actress and Pangea presenter Cameron Diaz, in her dressing room after presenting an animated, environmentally themed short, said she hoped the event's message would spread.
"Hopefully, all the people watching from different locations will see how they're connected," she said. "We're not separate. There's nothing that happens on this planet that doesn't affect all of us. Our choices every day will affect somebody on the other side of the world."
A communal feeling was the goal. In Los Angeles, hosts asked audience members to shake the hand of the person next to them. Among the presenters was Queen Noor of Jordan, who said, "We must learn from each other's stories."
Among the most surprising and uplifting films was about the "laughter clubs" of India, headed by Dr. Madan Kataria, who hopes to establish 1 million of these clubs across the world. On Saturday, he and actress Goldie Hawn led the audience in several moments of roaring laughter across the planet. "When you laugh, you change," Kataria told the crowd. "And when you change, the whole world changes around you."
The central focus of the broadcast was the power of film to communicate beyond borders and misunderstanding, but live music also played a meaningful role.
In Brazil, musician and activist Gilberto Gil stood alone with a guitar, as many on Stage 15 and elsewhere clapped and sang along. Rokia Traore of Mali performed her gentle, lilting vocals from London, accompanied by cascading harp melodies.
At Sony, there was the modern riff-rock of Hypernova, a Los Angeles-based act of Iranian rockers. And later, Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart led a large band through a pair of songs. He was joined by hip-hop singer Nadirah X, whose urgent words of dissatisfaction were set against Stewart's guitar and a string section.
When it was finally over, Noujaim looked ecstatic and a little drained as she hugged friends and collaborators. TED curator and key Pangea organizer Chris Anderson admitted to tears as he watched the worldwide drum circle. World peace was still out of reach, but they expected to be back with another Pangea Day in two more years.
Friday, May 09, 2008
The program on Pangea Day, May 10, is a celebration of the power of film to unite us all. You'll see films that are funny -- sad -- gorgeous -- stark -- powerful. Voices that have never been heard before. Things you've never seen. Scenes from worlds you didn't know existed. A cross-section of our amazing, complicated, noisy, beautiful world. Tune in or find a viewing party to watch on May 10, 2008, at 6:00 PM GMT. Click here to find the many ways to watch.
And once you've seen inside so many other lives, we hope, you'll be moved to act. To become involved in a pressing issue -- to share your own video or photos -- to join a discussion that might move the world a bit further toward understanding.
Join us on Pangea Day!
Friday, April 04, 2008
Jay Walljasper | July/August 2007 Ode issue
In April 17, 2000, Gary Erickson was about to fulfill the wildest hopes of any business entrepreneur. That morning he drove to the Berkeley office of Clif Bar, a company he'd founded eight years earlier, and got ready to sign papers selling it to food giant Quaker Oats for $120 million. Erickson would take home half that: a cool $60 million.
It was a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a guy who at age 33 was living in his parents' garage and making less than $10,000 a year when he envisioned a more wholesome energy snack. An avid outdoors enthusiast, he hit upon the idea on the last stretch of a one-day, 175-mile bike ride as he realized he couldn't stomach another bite of energy bars that tasted like cardboard. His initial investment was $1,000, and R and D was done in his mom's kitchen. He named the product for his dad.
But rather than feeling on top of the world about this dream deal, Erickson was uneasy. "I stood in the office waiting to go out and sign the contract," he recounts in his book Raising the Bar. "Out of nowhere, I started to shake and couldn't breathe." He told his business partner that he needed to get some air. Outside in the parking lot, he broke down in tears. And then it hit him as he began to walk around the block: "I don't have to do this.
"I began to laugh, feeling free," he writes. "I turned around, went back to the office and told my partner, 'Send them home. I can't sell the company.'"
What possessed Gary Erickson to turn his back on millions of dollars and throw away a golden opportunity for his company to get big? He was bucking all the business trends. Many of the outspoken and Jerry's, The Body Shop, Stonyfield Farms, Green and Black's chocolate, Tom's of Maine and Aveda eventually sold to corporate conglomerates. And even the brash young Internet companies, which trumpet their independence as a badge of hipness, are conceived with the intention of being gobbled up soon by Google or another huge firm.
Erickson stubbornly clung to the idea of guiding Clif Bar according to his own vision, not the business-as-usual paradigm of rapid expansion fueled by massive outside investment.
"If we had sold to Quaker Oats, we would just be another bar on the shelf," Erickson explains, sitting at a small desk in his surprisingly modest office that looks out on the sidewalk where he made the fateful decision. "We would not have an environmental program; we would not have given $1.2 million last year to charity in money and products. We would not have gone organic. No one working here would even be here now."
Saying no to conventional-style growth has made Clif Bar a stronger brand, showing that small is not only beautiful but successful. The company now features numerous new energy snacks and has grown 20 percent in each of the last two years.
But that is not what Erickson likes to brag about. He shows more excitement talking about Clif Bar's shift to mostly organic ingredients; the Lunafest women's film festival they sponsor in 120 U.S. cities; company vehicles that run on biofuels; the cutting-edge sustainable architecture at the headquarters they are set to build; public-education efforts to address global warming; ample opportunities for staff to volunteer at favourite charities on company time and a work environment that includes a lavish on-site gym, personal trainers, massages and-since the Clif Bar wrapper features a mountaineer-a climbing wall.
Mo Siegel, founder of Celestial Seasonings, who sold his tea company to Kraft at a huge profit, once heard Erickson telling the story of Clif Bar's aborted sale and asked, "Can we switch places?"
Clif Bar is not the only thriving company choosing to grow its own way rather than follow the "get big or get out" ideology of global business that has led to Wal-Mart accounting for almost 10 percent of U.S. retail sales and some corporations accumulating economic output higher than that of some nations. Even if you don't read about them in the business press, most companies today measure success in some way other than ever-increasing sales and profits. They don't reject growth per se, but simply decide that the usual tools to achieve it-bringing in big-time investors, selling publicly traded shares or franchising the business-don't fit with their missions and values.
Even in the booming, turbo-charged Internet sector, there are companies that refuse to play by the usual rules. Facebook, a hot social-networking site launched in 2004 by a Harvard sophomore and now based in Silicon Valley, has reputedly turned down a $750 million offer from Viacom and a billion from Yahoo. "I am here to build something for the long term," founder Mark Zuckerberg has declared. "Anything else is a distraction."
Some companies have been doing business this way for centuries. Bob de Kuyper, chairman of the internationally known distillery that bears his name, meets regularly with private equity firms that are interested in buying him out. "Such discussions are always useful in terms of contacts," De Kuyper says. But he knows the outcome in advance. The gin distiller and liqueur producer located in the Dutch city of Schiedam has been in the same family since 1695. "And our strategy aims to keep it that way," he adds. His family business produces some 80 different alcoholic beverages that are exported all over the world. With around 100 employees, the company reports annual turnover of 60 million euros ($80 million ) "and a substantial return we're proud of."
De Kuyper questions the alleged advantages of getting big through acquisitions or capital injections from outside investors. "Growth is nice and important, but constant fast growth is nonsense," he says, pointing out that benefits of scale can also be achieved without mergers and acquisitions-such as the joint venture De Kuyper entered into with other drink producers to invest jointly in a bottling plant.
So many businesses are now adopting this idea of growing on their own terms that it amounts to an emerging economic movement, according to Don Shaffer, executive director of the Business Alliance of Local Living Economies (BALLE, www.livingeconomies.org), which coordinates 52 networks of local businesses in North America, encompassing 15,000 entrepreneurs. "We believe that a strong base of locally owned businesses in a place is good for democracy, for the community and for the economy," he says. "Staying small is no longer just a romantic ideal, or a niche market. It's a viable way of doing business."
Shaffer points to New Seasons Market, which operates eight natural-food stores in Portland, Oregon. "They have been encouraged many times to expand to other cities and become the next Whole Foods. But they're not interested; they want to invest their energies at home. Many businesses are now defining success differently."
As co-owner of San Francisco-based Comet Skateboards, Shaffer walks his talk as a businessman. "We have ambitions to be the best company in the business, not the biggest," he says, noting how Comet's skateboards are carefully designed for top performance and made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, ensuring it was ecologically harvested. "We consciously decided we were looking for just a segment of the skateboard audience-the enthusiasts that know quality in skateboards and care about sustainability. We're still small but we're excited by the loyalty we're getting from our audience."
While companies like these seem to defy the fundamental economic realities of our age, Shaffer responds that BALLE's membership has tripled in the last 18 months due to mounting interest in finding a different way to do business. The group is now making connections to similar networks that have popped up recently in other countries, such as Sur Norte in Argentina. "This is a new approach to entrepreneurship for the 21st century," he predicts.
If there truly is a "small is beautiful" revolution underway in business today, it first erupted in San Francisco around the same time hippies were emerging as a cultural force in the soon-to-be-famous Haight-Ashbury district. But while hippies saw LSD as the substance that would change the world, this revolution began with beer.
Fritz Maytag, owner of Anchor Brewery, remembers, "It was 1965 and the brewery was bankrupt. It was going to close on Friday and I bought it on that Wednesday." At the time, small breweries were dying out all across America, with no one giving it much thought. Their beer was considered inferior to huge brands like Budweiser and Miller, which had shiny new industrial facilities and millions to spend on advertising. But Anchor was, as Maytag saw it, "a beloved San Francisco institution," noted for its Steam brand beer which had a taste distinct from the lackluster lager beers flooding the American market.
Maytag, who had recently graduated with a degree in Japanese from Stanford University, and was heir to a washing-machine company, set about studying European brewing traditions and gradually improved his beer to the point that that drinkers would pay the same price for Anchor Steam as for Guinness, Heineken and other fancy imports. This made Anchor America's first microbrew-which helped touch off an explosion of high-quality artisan breads, cheese, wine and other goods from small producers dedicated to the principle that bigger is not necessarily better. The tables have turned since 1965, and today the burden of proof in some industries is on large companies to prove their products are as good as those coming from small ones.
"I like things small," Maytag explains. "I didn't want to sell my company to outsiders in order to finance a bigger brewery. In a small company, everyone knows each other. That has its advantages."
Then, almost on cue, Maytag stops and points through his office window, which looks out on the copper brewing kettles imported from Germany. "Look over there; it's overflowing. They don't notice it yet." He waits a moment, ready to rush out and draw attention to the problem, but then seeing a worker bring the situation under control, he returns to our conversation. In how many big companies can the president spot a problem on the production line? "But how do you stay small?" Maytag continues. "No one asks that question."
Bo Burlingham, longtime editor at Inc. magazine, addresses that issue in his book Small Giants, which studies 13 companies that have decided "to be great instead of big." They range from countercultural outposts like Zingerman's food companies in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and singer Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe records in Buffalo, New York, to very straight enterprises like ECCO in Boise, Idaho, which manufactures warning lights for commercial vehicles.
What makes these companies special in Burlingham's eyes, beyond a record of clear financial success and a conscious decision not to pursue growth for growth's sake, is a quality of infectious enthusiasm he calls "mojo." They aren't just pumping out product in the name of ever-rising quarterly profit goals, he writes, "they had a buzz. There was excitement, anticipation, a feeling of movement, a sense of purpose. That happens, I think, when people find themselves totally in synch with their market, with the world and with each other." He questions whether "mojo" is possible in a big operation.
Burlingham also detects something else in these organizations that accounts for their unlikely success-a "feeling of intimacy" that fosters strong connections with their customers, with their suppliers, with the communities where they are based and, most important, within the workplaces themselves. All of this would be difficult to replicate in larger companies.
Small, however, remains a controversial idea in the business world, even among those who advocate that companies must have a sense of social responsibility:
Gary Hirshberg, president of sustainable business leader Stonyfield Farm, has absolutely no regrets about selling his yogurt company to the French multinational Groupe Danone in 2001 (see sidebar). "Being larger made our dreams come true," he says. "We are giving millions more to our Profits for the Planet charitable programs. And we are supporting tens of thousands of acres of organic production around the world."
Peter Barnes, co-founder of the socially responsible pioneer Working Assets and author of Capitalism 3.0, doesn't see that reducing the scale of businesses solves the core problems with our economy today. "There are always a few people who will buck the tide, but that shouldn't be confused that with systemic change. The tide is still there. Something in the operating system of capitalism today requires companies, especially publicly traded companies, to maximize profits. So we have to look at changing that operating system so we can save the commons, save the planet."
Marjorie Kelly, founder of Business Ethics magazine and author of The Divine Right of Capital, is not ready to give up on larger businesses, feeling that they can drive positive changes in the economy. But she admits that the push to get bigger constantly instills a dangerous short-term economic mentality: "Studies show four out of five business executives will ignore business fundamentals to meet some short-term goals. The situation has been set up so that now seems normal."
Even Fritz Maytag himself, despite his stature as father of the microbrew revolution, refuses to speak as a prophet of smallness. He's full of praise for big companies, noting the great innovations that they've made in management practises and overall production quality. "There's no doubt that big is the modern way," he notes. "If you make something well, and you sell more and more of it, the price goes down and the profits go up."
Surprised at this, I ask if he regrets staying small at Anchor. "Not at all," he answers. Maytag certainly had the chance to expand the business dramatically in the 1980s when it couldn't produce enough beer to meet the demand. "I often say we were saved by the bell," he says with a grin. "We welcomed all the new microbreweries that came in and took the pressure off of us to grow." Today Anchor brews eight top-quality beers amounting to 85,000 barrels a year with about 50 full-time employees, up from 600 barrels in 1965 but considerably less than some other microbreweries.
Maytag's smile widens as he tells me about his more recent business forays. In a corner of the brewery's basement is a tiny distillery making whiskey (Old Portrero), gin (Junipero) and a recent experiment with the Italian liqueur grappa. Maytag and his staff's effort to revive traditional rye whiskey-America's leading drink throughout the 19th century-has sparked a small rye renaissance in barrooms across the country, much as they did with richer-tasting beer 30 years ago. Maytag also runs a winery across the street in an old soy sauce factory. He seems irrevocably drawn to starting modestly scaled operations.
Although Maytag firmly resists making broad pronouncements about the virtues of small business, his own personal observations are nonetheless persuasive. "I think its more fun this way. I have found being small a joy," he says, with a note of reverie in his voice. "It's like having a good team. You get to know your teammates and how everyone can help each other do their best. That wouldn't feel the same with 1,000 players on the field."
Monday, March 17, 2008
Aileen Mccabe, Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, March 17, 2008
SHANGHAI -- A massive show of strength by Chinese security officials appears to have restored an eerie calm in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, but the Dalai Lama said Sunday he feared the Chinese were intent on "cultural genocide" in Tibet.
Meanwhile, the anti-China protests spilled over into neighbouring Sichuan province Sunday, where there is a large Tibetan population. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said it had confirmed reports of eight deaths in Ngaba County "after armed troops shot indiscriminately into the peacefully protesting Tibetans."
It also reported a second day of protests by ethnic Tibetans in Lanzhou, in China's northwestern Gansu province. Aides to the Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters their unconfirmed reports put the death count from Friday's rioting in Lhasa eight times higher than the 10 "innocent civilian" deaths the Chinese government is acknowledging. The Dalai Lama said he had "grave concerns" about what really happened when Buddhist monks and their supporters clashed with the Chinese security forces on Friday.
The Dalai Lama called China's response to protests in Tibet 'cultural genocide.'
Speaking from his headquarters in Dharamshala, India, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate told reporters: "Whether intentionally or not, cultural genocide is taking place" in Tibet.
He said the Chinese "simply rely on using force to simulate peace, a peace brought by force using a rule of terror."
The holy man pleaded for an international investigation into Friday's riots in the vast Himalayan state.
The Chinese, meanwhile, continued to insist "a handful of monks" -- the "Dalai clique" -- incited the violence and is responsible for the deaths of innocent shopkeepers and hotel workers. They maintain security forces handled the dangerous situation appropriately.
Chinese troops moved to tackle more unrest in ethnic Tibetan enclaves today, as a deadline loomed for "troublemakers" who took part in protests in Lhasa.
"We are completely capable of protecting the security of the Tibet people. Right now the overall situation in Tibet is very good," the mayor of Lhasa, Doje Cezhug, said from Beijing, in remarks posted on the Tibet government's website.
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said senior official Sun Qian laid the blame for the unrest on a "scheme premeditated by the Dalai clique to separate Tibet from China and sabotage the normal, harmonious and peaceful life of people in Tibet."
Reuters reported that Wu Shuangzhan, commander of the People's Armed Police, said Sunday: "I can honestly tell you that none of the means we have adopted (in Lhasa) have exceeded the constitutional rights of the armed forces or international law."
Human rights groups around the world are skeptical. There are unconfirmed accounts of security forces using tear gas, cattle prods, live bullets and brute force to quell the demonstrations that began last Monday with a peaceful march by monks commemorating the 49th anniversary of a failed anti-Chinese demonstration in Tibet.
Reporters are not allowed into Tibet without special permission from Beijing and most of the foreign tourists who were providing eyewitness accounts of events earlier in the week have now been convinced by authorities to leave.
Up to 80 protesters killed during rioting, aides to Dalai Lama say
Aileen Mccabe, Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, March 17, 2008
Tour operators say existing travel permits have been cancelled and tourists are no longer allowed to enter the region.
The Chinese Communists annexed Tibet in 1951 and since then have systematically moved Han Chinese into the mountainous region in what many see as an attempt to wipe out dissent among the native population.
There have been short stories in the Chinese media about demonstrations by the "Dalai Lama clique," saying the situation is now under control and state TV showed pictures of people cleaning up the debris on otherwise deserted streets in Lhasa.
Around the world, leaders have called on China to exercise restraint in Tibet and in several countries demonstrators have marched in sympathy with the Lhasa monks.
The reaction is exactly what Beijing does not want to see as it counts down to the opening of the Olympic Games in August.
The Beijing Games have taken on an importance here far beyond their value as a sporting event.
They are supposed to be China's "coming-out party," as the newly prosperous nation wants to reposition itself in the world and show itself off as a modern forward-looking state. And the last thing it wants is renewed concern over its human rights record to overshadow its "re-launch."
Published: Monday, March 17, 2008
Pervez Nasim may look like an average businessman with his collared shirt, pressed slacks and neatly groomed beard, but when you begin to discuss finances with him it quickly becomes apparent that the similarities end there.
"Maximizing profit is not the most important," he tells us. "Charity and social responsibility are part and parcel with the bottom line."
Nasim is the Chairman of the Ansar Co-operative Housing Corp., a Toronto-based financial institution that strictly adheres to the rules of Islam. He's part of a rapidly growing faith-based financial industry that is turning the basic principles of banking upside down.
From North America to Asia, hundreds of Islamic-inspired banks offer interest-free services that emphasize charity and community over profit, in accordance with the Koran. Once found only in pockets of the Muslim world, growing Islamic wealth and a return to religious values has helped these banks multiply, skyrocketing them to a worth of $200 billion worldwide. "Your thinking has to change," Nasim says of Islamic banks. "Your focus has to change."
With interest forbidden by the Muslim holy book, Ansar turned to an approach that appears similar to a secular co-op, but like other Islamic business models, is rooted in religious beliefs. It purchases homes on behalf of customers, who then pay it back over time by buying shares in the company. Customers live in the homes and pay rent during the process, splitting any gain or loss in the home's value with Ansar.
"The whole Islamic concept of finance is sharing the risk and benefit together," Nasim says. "This is a community organization."
Since 1981 Ansar has sold 700 homes across the country. Despite not being able to charge interest, its success rate is nearly perfect. Nasim says the company only had trouble collecting its money once. He chalks this up to the fact that customers are driven by faith as much as they are by finances.
Ansar has been so successful that it now receives calls from financial institutions in the U.S., Australia and even Saudi Arabia looking to copy it.
Along the way, Ansar has not wavered from what Nasim calls another major tenant of Islamic banking -- social consciousness. It has regular investors looking to help first-time homebuyers, and when one of its customers died in a car accident while paying off his home, the co-op waived its remaining fees for four months to allow his wife to grieve.
"If there is a genuine need, it is our responsibility to help," Nasim explains. "As human beings, we have to look after each other and help each other."
Islamic banks are also careful not to invest in anything deemed unethical by the Koran, such as gambling or alcohol. Ansar soon hopes to invest in a senior citizens' home.
Nasim says the principles of Islamic banking used to draw laughter from those in mainstream banks, but with an annual growth rate topping 10 to 15 per cent, no one laughs any more. In fact, HSBC and other major banks are jumping on board and have opened their own Islamic financial institutions around the world. With stories of people losing their homes amid an impending recession in the United States, alternatives like this one will only become more attractive.
"It's sad," Nasim says of the U.S. mortgage crisis. "On a corporate level, they are on a different planet."
At the moment Ansar is open only to Muslims, a rule Nasim says is in place to cut down on fickle customers only looking to get a good deal on a house. That may change though, as Muslims and non-Muslims alike become increasingly committed to finding ethical ways of investing their money.
"There is a lot of opportunity [in Canada]," Nasim explains. "It's just a matter of time."
Craig and Marc Kielburger co-founded Free the Children. The primary goal of the organization is to free children from poverty and exploitation through education.
© The Vancouver Sun 2008