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Economy

In Doctor Who’s universe, the majority of investors would back the Master

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As we close in on the much awaited, heavily trailed 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the BBC has been pumping out enough Whovian content to satisfy the most ardent fan. That includes our publisher, Simon Leadbetter.

Apologies for the shameless bandwagon jumping, but I happily admit I’m a fan of Doctor Who. I’m a fan of what he stands for: endless optimism, curiosity, enthusiasm and compassion.

I was four or five when my parents took me to the Blackpool Illuminations to see the star attraction, the fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker. Sitting on my father’s shoulders so I could see everything, my parents tell the story of me freezing, catatonic, when a Cyberman appeared on stage.

On this occasion, there was no sofa to hide behind and the villain was not safely inside the television, where he should be. Years of therapy have helped.

It has been the ability of the programme to flout age-appropriate guidelines, scaring and delighting children (and their parents) in equal measure, which has made it the longest running sci-fi series of all time. Almost all post-1963 sci-fi owes a debt to Doctor Who. Fans range from the Queen and the Prince of Wales, through George Lucas, Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg to Bob Dylan.

The plot device of regeneration means the Doctor will probably be with us for at least another 50 years. Which can only be a good thing.

The Doctor has had many formidable enemies: the aforementioned Cybermen, serial exterminators the Daleks, the Sontarans, Ice Warriors, Weeping Angels and more. But one of the most interesting villains has been the Master. The Master, a Time Lord like the Doctor, presents the flip side of what someone with this enormous power, near-immortality and the ability to travel anywhere through time and space, could be and would do.

While the Doctor uses his time travelling and longevity to fight for the underdog, the sociopathic Master is only in it for himself. While the Doctor is certainly a maverick, mercurial and even Machiavellian at times, he also has a strong ethical and moral code, even destroying his own race for the greater good.

In his time, the Master has travelled through time to profit from compound interest (if you accept the view that the Monk was his first incarnation), manipulate and conquer other races, in the overall aim of becoming master of all time.

The Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes plays off against the Master’s Prof James Moriarty. Both geniuses, but one using that genius for good and one for ill. The parallels make it fitting that the current executive producer of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat, should have gone on to create the excellent Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

While the Doctor, Master and other Time Lords are presented as aliens, they are us. We are masters of our planet, while they master the universe. Time Lords see us in the way that many humans see other species on earth. Dumb, unenlightened creatures, useful up to a point and worth conserving, but certainly not equal.

If you could travel through the single dimension of time, what would you do? Try to help others or profit personally? If we added the dimension of space, would you be looking for greater power for yourself and clique or greater freedom and prosperity for all?

Well, as Prof Brian Cox would point out, we are travelling through time and space, just not in Tardis-like leaps.

Science fiction allows us to create personal and collective ‘what ifs’, extrapolating current thinking and emerging trends to logical or leapfrogged conclusions. Utopia and dystopia are often the divergent end games. Science fictions means we can safely test our political, social and economic philosophies, alongside scientific and technological advances. Science fiction is not just children’s entertainment but a mirror for our past, current and future selves and society.

The evidence all around us suggests we have created a dysfunctional political, economic, social and environmental system that works against the common good. There is enough food, money, medicine and resources in the world for every one of the 7 billion of us to have a very good life, and enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is enough for 10 billion, but that’s about it. We are currently degrading our planet and its resources at such an alarming rate we are threatening future generations.

We can power the whole Earth many times over with just one second of what the sun blasts us with. As Thomas Edison (who the Doctor has never met, as far as I can tell) put it in 1931, “We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide… I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

If the Doctor visited 2013, he’d be dismayed at what we have done to our world, but the BBC’s strict code of impartiality wouldn’t allow that kind of story, whatever the Daily Mail would have you believe. If the Master visited 2013, he’d be delighted and probably take over. Maybe he already has.

He certainly has won in terms of room size. Who can hide behind their sofa these days? They’re all pushed up against the walls in our tiny living rooms.*

The Day of the Doctor is simulcast globally at 7:50pm on Saturday November 23.

* Thanks to the comedian Joel Dommett for that excellent observation.

Further reading:

Creating a financial enlightenment

Do we live in a bullyconomy?

The sustainable investment tipping point is now

Not over the long-term? Unsustainable investment’s ‘black swan’ moment

Transparency, simplicity and honesty is urgently needed in investment

Simon Leadbetter is the founder and publisher of Blue & Green Tomorrow. He has held senior roles at Northcliffe, The Daily Telegraph, Santander, Barclaycard, AXA, Prudential and Fidelity. In 2004, he founded a marketing agency that worked amongst others with The Guardian, Vodafone, E.On and Liverpool Victoria. He sold this agency in 2006 and as Chief Marketing Officer for two VC-backed start-ups launched the online platform Cleantech Intelligence (which underpinned the The Guardian’s Cleantech 100) and StrategyEye Cleantech. Most recently, he was Marketing Director of Emap, the UK’s largest B2B publisher, and the founder of Blue & Green Communications Limited.

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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