Friday, November 27, 2009

Building COP15

COP?? What’s it? Is it cost of

production? Is it Coefficient of performance? Yes, you’re right as an MBA Graduate and a techie guy. But, an energy and environment graduate gazes it with a different perspective and comes up with a diverse idea saying that it is something related to climate change talks, Copenhagen, and so on.. Yes, it’s 15th Conference of Parties of UNFCCC. Parties? It’s not a get-to-gather or some festivity. Parties are the signatory nations to the convention. COP15 which is awaited for is one of the important proceedings in the milestones of Climate change since Berlin Mandate.

While we invariably speak about environment, pollution, scarce rainfall, etc, there is something going to happen to our planet earth in a long run, as a result of Copenhagen talks which could alter the scope and scale of efforts towards Climate Change. Denmark is about to host the conference during 7th to 18th of December ‘09 and the countdown has already begun.

How do you think it would be? Something like a congregation? Yes, of course, a congregation of different culture, language, and ethnic background but with a common objective. Though, the parties have a commonality, they have diverse responsibilities in proportion to the emissions they have made so far, an acute felony to our planet Earth which is ironically stated in the convention as “Common but differentiated responsibilities”.

Do you think, the drive behind the mass gathering would be purely concerned towards environment? I don’t think so. Apart from the civil societies, few nations are more rapt to make their pitch for their own economic development and industrialisation rather having an intention to save the environment. Such skewed facts craft suspicions about the success of the conference too.

What ever it may be, let’s not jump our feet to make further comments on it, until a conclusion is drawn out of it. Rather, I’ll make it more interesting for you in a way sharing few things about the pre-conference activities and events happening around the globe which is elegantly called as “Road to Copenhagen”. In other words, let’s see behind the Scenes – the Making of the Conference.

Let’s commence with an important occasion, “World Environment Day” celebrated on 5th of June ’09. This occasion was a platform for select group who took exceptional feats, high profile expeditions and other innovative acts of environmental activism to demonstrate their commitment and to raise awareness for one simple idea: Your planet needs You! Unite to Combat Climate Change.

Climate heroes are people who take a special initiative, who go beyond the normal responsibilities that we have, who pioneer with unusual initiatives and ideas. They show the kind of commitment, enthusiasm and understanding of how important it is that we all become heroes in order to address climate change,”

To name a few, Roz Savage who is known for her inspirational solo row across the Atlantic Ocean and who now row across the Pacific Ocean and walk from London to Copenhagen with the environmental message to take action on CO2 levels by inspiring people to walk more and drive less. Her initiative, called Pull Together, calls upon her supporters around the world to Pull Together and match her 10,000 oar strokes each day with 10,000 steps. In October, Roz and thousands of supporters assembled at Big Ben in London and, over a period of six weeks, march more than 600 miles to Copenhagen to address the conference delegates. At this time, she will deliver the results of the initiative, essentially a walking petition, as a symbol of commitment to taking immediate, aggressive action to reduce global CO2 levels.

David de Rothschild and a cherry-picked crew of adventurers, thinkers and artists set sail approximately 10,000 nautical miles across the Pacific. The boat, called Plastiki, is a distinctive, one-of-a-kind 60-foot (20m) catamaran made out of reclaimed plastic bottles, srPET plastic and recycled waste products. Their mission: to beat waste, raise awareness on the issues facing our planet and be the catalyst to activate change by bringing smart sustainable solutions to the forefront. The voyage sails through a number of exciting, challenging and environmentally-sensitive regions, including the ominously named Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, an area six times the size of England where plastic outweighs plankton by 6 to 1 – essentially, the world’s largest waste dump.

Project Kaisei consists of a team of innovators, ocean lovers, sailors, scientists, sports enthusiasts and environmentalists who have come together with a common purpose: to study how to capture plastic waste in the ocean, detoxify, and recycle it into diesel fuel. Every year over 60 billion tons of plastic are produced, much of it for one-time use and less than five percent of the world’s plastics are recycled. National Geographic estimates that over 85 million plastic bottles are used every three minutes. Currently, there are no proposed solutions to resolve the issue of plastics in the oceans.

Charles and Sho Scott (8 years old) This father-son pair are riding connected bikes from Cape Souya in northern Japan to Kyushu in the south, or 2,900 miles (4,700 km), as a campaign to raise awareness on climate change and in support of UN efforts to seal a deal on a climate treaty in Copenhagen in December. Entitled “United to Combat Climate Change—Ride Japan”, the ride passes through 11 of the World’s Cultural Heritage sites along the way. The two-month journey also raise funds for tree-planting efforts with the target of seven billion trees planted by the end of 2009, or one for each person on the planet.

The place which now looks like Moon-base Alpha, will be transformed into 38 functioning meeting rooms to host 2500 meetings over the two-week conference. While negotiators attempt to reach a new climate deal at COP15 in the Bella Centre, people from all over the world will debate how to fight climate change at Klimaforum09 in the heart of Copenhagen.

Thinking about climate change? Don’t keep it to yourself! Klimaforum09, new web-based initiative allows people from the entire world to share their thoughts on climate change up to COP15. Now it is possible to read many of the thoughts passing through people’s minds on the issue of climate change and add your own personal thoughts to the collection of climate thoughts.

Public transport is the main element in the transport plan for COP15, because it’s much more CO2-friendly than taxis and other cars. Shuttle busses will run from the conference venue to the city centre every five to ten minutes and to Copenhagen Airport slightly less frequently, from 7 am to 11 pm, right from December 6 to December 19. Delegates at COP15 can move around in Copenhagen with a clear, green conscience on bicycles, public transport and in cars fuelled by the first litres of second-generation bio-ethanol produced in Denmark.

The COP15 logo: Visualising the climate challenge. The logo chosen for COP15 is created by a small design duo, who won the popular COP15 logo design competition from an overwhelming 269 competition entries. The logo's network of blue lines suggests how complex the climate question is, and how it affects and involves almost all things on this planet

The most interesting thing is that the University of Copenhagen lights the way to a CO2-neutral future with new building. What is going to happen in Copenhagen in December is not just talk, but taking concrete action to combat climate change in Denmark – this house portrays that.

Denmark evens out the bumps on the way to COP15 visas. Anyone who has ever struggled with visa forms and deadlines will understand what a huge task it is to make sure that the many COP15 delegates who need a Danish visa receive one in time.

COP15 cycling tour from Kyoto to Copenhagen. Around 200 bicyclists waited outside the Japanese Embassy in Copenhagen on sunny June 14 for the last stage of the cycling tour from Kyoto to Copenhagen to kick off. Since the tour began in Tokyo on May 23, more than 3000 people have joined it on eight routes through neon-lit metropolises to small fishing villages all over Japan.

Now, let’s draw closer and guess what India would propose and expect out of this Conference. India is a country which is and will continue to be severely impacted by Climate Change precisely at a time when it is confronted with huge development imperatives. We would, therefore, expect that the Copenhagen outcome not only provides us with the space we require for accelerated social and economic development, in order to eradicate widespread poverty, but also create a global regime which is supportive of our national endeavours for ecologically sustainable development.

India’s focus would be mainly on

MITIGATION- Enhanced action on reducing GHG emissions

ADAPTION- Capacity building to meet the consequences of climate change

FINANCE- Objectives supported by sufficient financial resources

TECHNOLOGY- Technology transfers from developed nations

Still, few queries that crop up to each one of us are: What are India’s expectations with regard to the Copenhagen outcome? How can an accord be possible, if India and other major emitters refuse to accept responsibility in this regard? Would India be ready to accept a compromise along these lines?

Stay tuned with the happenings and hope for the best!

- Avinash Vijayarangam

MBA E&E (09-11)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

26/11: A retrospection

26.11.08 A Wednesday
Terror struck big time, at its PEAK, that too right in the heart of the ‘city of dreams’, Mumbai!! South Mumbai was usually regarded among the sophisticated, quieter and less trouble-some places of the city, compared to the suburbs. With most of the buildings/ infrastructure built by the British, even the 26th July 05’ deluge didn’t create much damage thanks to their highly efficient planning.

However, the three action-packed days put a drastic end to all perceptions / misconceptions, openly proving the fact that every damn portion of the city is vulnerable to terror and nobody is safe. A group of technically sound, anti-socially influenced ‘kids’, loaded with arms walked right into the city under the security’s nose, and each one of us were at their mercy for 60 long hours. Three of our ‘top’ cops lost their lives combating these kids, right on day one, which was another big blow.

While some news channels played their parts well, showcasing minute by minute updates on the issue, others stuck to TRP oriented links even during such critical times. Some went to the extent of spreading rumours and creating panic among viewers.

Politicians played their usual self, with 100% focus on their respective careers, vote banks and mud slinging as expected.
Hats off to the NSG commandos for their valiant & successful effort in putting an end to the dreaded tyranny, which almost seemed like continuing for months together!!

These entire series of incidents threw light on the following:-

1) There are loop-holes in our Indian system, no doubt, but what’s even worse that these limitations are constantly being highlighted to ‘anti social groups’ by ‘fellow Indian traitors’.

2) Whether ‘internal acts of vandalism’ or ‘external terror attacks’, it’s our own people who are directly/indirectly involved.

3) Except the NSG, no other section of the society proved to be well equipped / strong enough to combat any sort of attack whether internal or external.

Dec 03, 2008: Immediate reaction Thousands of people across the nation came out on to the streets with candles, posters, slogans and openly voiced their opinion against the attacks. Most of us, blamed it on the politicians, some condemned the act, while some just silently payed homage to the heros who lost their lives. It was a day when INDIA spoke in one voice !!

Nov 22, 2009: Latest Update
This week, 26.11.09 will mark the first anniversary of India's worst attacks ever. But, has there really been any change ? are some unpleasant aspects which we need to be aware of.

1) The same set of politicians are in power inspite of elections being conducted. Mr. R.R. Patil who had created raves with his media statement " देश में ऐसी चोटी मोटी बातें होती रहती हैं", and was dismissed with immediate effect, is now back in power as the hon'ble Home Minister Of Maharashtra.

2) Amir Kasab Jamal, one of the main terrorists caught alive, is still undergoing trial, which hopefully is nearing its end as per advocate Ujwal Nikam. At the moment, he's enjoying 'biriyani' in prison.
Its strange that it takes almost a year to decide what to do with a person charged with murder of more than 100 lives. On the contrary, it took 10 mins to gun down Rahul Raj, who only tried to threaten but did not actually harm anyone, for the simple reason that he himself was damn scared !!

3) The Economic Times dated 22 Nov 2009 states that "the bullet proof jacket, ATS Chief Hemant Karkare was wearing, as well as its procurement file, is missing !! CM Mr. Ashok Chavan stated last Sunday that he would investigate the reports of substandard bullet proof jackets. As of now, nobody has been taken to task".

This clearly shows that we are still vulnerable to attacks, and need to be careful.

Frankly speaking, we the people of India are collectively responsible for every loophole in the system to some extent, because being in a democracy we ultimately get what we choose, and we deserve what we get !!

Power and responsibility go hand in hand. Power bestowed upon an individual is best, when used as a strong tool to carry off responsibilities with utmost ease and maximum efficiency. Use of power, simply confined to fulfilment of self-interests, is nothing but nuisance value.

To bring about a change / revolution in the current system, one needs to possess immense qualities such as honesty, selflessness, meticulousness, practical approach, far-sight and above all patriotism.

But, on a positive note, I sincerely hope that the anger & pain in our hearts though subsided at the moment, do not die down totally, and someday, somehow, we the people of India shall be able to constructively & fruitfully transform our emotions into skills for the benefit of the nation.

Jai Hind !!

Padmanabh S

Be the change you want to see in this world - --M.K. Gandhi

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chakra of Life

The day you were born world stand still,
you goofing around denying to climb hill.

Mugging the numbers & alphabets,
find your teacher biggest mugger or prophet.

life is fun when you catch it on the run X2

Sun shines when buddies around,
day in day out sounding lost or found.

Chic-Flick is common as are the Sci-Fi,
but don't step into Homo Hi-five.

life is fun when you catch it on the run X2

There's a stage when you wipe-off all your sins,
fucking and earning just for beer tin

Now you conceive just to complete the circle,
child in you breaks free to act as uncle........

life is fun when you catch it on the run

Now World laughs at you & you stand still,
you have to jump from top of hill.

We are sad at the end of time,
death takes toll and begins to rhyme.

absence of life is like alarming bell,
kick the Heaven welcome the hell..... X2

coz you left one hell for another hell.......

life is fun when you catch it on the run X2

Asheem Sher (09-11)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pyar and Marketing

All marketeers are romantics. They are out there standing to pamper you.. They are out there to serenade you by tempting u to savour all those temptations!! No wonder few puritans, offended by the romantic gooeyness, called all the marketing folks devisl!! Infact if I could sum up marketing in one word: it could be "Pyar" Note, Im not using the traditional four letter word, used so casually to downgrade its status to be throw-away slang or rather a semi-colon. Marketing and to be very precise Branding is all about "Pyar". After all, what do lovers/consumers do, so gobsmacked by their beloved brands, they could do anything for her!!

How can you explain long queues of youngsters braving the long night before I-phone could be released, all just to touch and feel the silken smooth skin of the electronic nymphet, showcased to the world by the greatest lover of all ages: Steve Jobs!! Isnt he the pioneer to bring in hot n sleek electronic chicks right from Macintosh to the latest I-phone!! If Marketing is all about "Pyar" , Steve Jobs is apna Devanand, the king of Indian romance.

If you ever thought branding was so boring, here is a refreshing way to look at it.
Lemme explain the evolution of branding through a simple love story!!

Long long ago, there lived a smart, suave talkative lover. Lets call him old Brander. He was the only Old Brander in town. Inspired by the likes of Shakespeare and Keats, poetry flowed from Old Brander's lips to woo pretty consumers.He gave amazing promises to all those gullible n naive consumers who were swayed by his charm. People believed his promises so dearly as they had no other handsome chap to fall for. They bought all those he showed to buy, without any other restraint. As world began to grow in, things began to change and the tribe of Branders grew. Lets call them New Branders!! These New Branders took themselves too lightly and began to indulge in amorous activities. They grew up to be philanderers. They had multiple relationships with different consumers. They gave different promises to different consumers. They made the cardinal sin of breaking several promises which stood in contradiction to other promises. The naive consumer, perplexed by confusing promises, began to break the relationships quickly with the branders. There were too many breakups.. No wonder Brand Equity paper, few weeks ago, screamed the headline, "The Consumer is an infidel"... Pampered by too many choices around, consumer is now an infidel. Although New Branders are getting new techniques every day( Twitter and Face book are the latest to be added to this list!!) to seduce the consumers, they are struggling to get their relationships right with the consumers. Old style of romance by throwing brand promises across the air will not work anymore. The consumer is no longer naive. She now demands undivided attention on you and expects to u fulfill all the promises given. If you fail once, she ll begin flirting with someone else.

Is it still surprising we see relationships breaking down so quicly in brandspace and real world??

Infact real-life relationships can learn a lesson or two from the concept of branding to solve several problems!!! I guess Im goin too deep into this!! Ill delve into this later!!!

Let me pause at this moment and give you a small tip.

Next time when you open the fat Kotler book and read every chapter, remember, you are reading a beautiful way to create a love story in the mind of a consumer!!!


Thoughts of a cricket lover

Its 2’o clock in the morning. The AMR final report is still only half way through. Birthday Celebrations of a C2Du mate just got over. And its been just one day after the end of semester exams. Something lingering at the back of my mind. Its not about when am gonna finish the report. And not even about the plans for the one last weekend for the next one semester. Yeah, weekends have been officially scrapped for us for the next one semester.

It is the failure of God. He created the whole new world. He created the emotions in people. He united the whole of the community. He has groomed so many of the new entrants to his world.

May be happiness and sorrow are above Him. Else, one cannot overcome so many disappointments. We all know man proposes and God disposes. But what happens when God himself proposes??

Such was the case today. The match was on. India and Australia were fighting for the Top Rank in the ODIs. Indian demi-God was firing all cylinders. The cover drive was as fluent as ever. The leg glance and the paddle sweep were played as if there was no other way it could go.

God comes down the pitch and off goes the ball. Memories go back to the matches when God took two steps in front of Warne and hit him off the ground. Straight on top of the stadium roof. The umpire in the middle asks for a new ball to be taken. Memories linger back to those days when fast bowlers were terrified to bowl short balls against the God. It would for sure land up either in the deep mid wicket stands or it will be a catch offered to a spectator behind the third man rope. All of these came on one day today.

It was more special today as there were not even cramps striking him. Not even after reaching century. How many times in the recent past has God managed that? All were going fine but suddenly out of the blue came the shock.

Sachin dismissed. God becomes mortal again.

My dream of seeing him breach the double century mark still stands a dream. India loses. Cries of “Jeetegaa bhai jeetegaa.. India Jeetegaa..” were all drowned in the TV room. Some of us stayed back for the presentation. Sachin stood there unfazed with pursed lips.

How many times can someone endure the sight of his team losing after a brilliant show personally? Sachin can only answer that. . But in the midst of this, is there some management lesson in the offering.. Learning to be calm and composed even after a stormy emotion filled battle?? A losing battle. I thought cricket’s little master will break down today just as Master FedEx broke down after the loss to Nadal. But No. Not yet!! May be Never!! But let me now get back to some business. My friend thinks I am working on the report work. Let me not fool around anymore.

More about the Sachin miseries:

1) Oz score 284. India needs 254 from 46 overs to win. SRT scores 143 off 131 and gets out in the 43rd over last ball with score at 242. India managed just 8 in the next three overs.

2) Against the arch rivals. Pak scores 329. Sach gets 141 off 135 balls. India goes on to lose the match by 12 runs.

Thanks to Cricinfo, so much of data is available for misery!!

Hari G (09-11)