Diversity is Good for the Economy

The benefits of having a diverse workplace and a diverse community are obvious, but it always helps if some researchers back up these common-sense positions with helpful facts and demonstrated success. For those who champion diversity initiatives you’ll be pleased to know that a diverse workforce can mean $630 more per year per employee in a retail environment.

The study, co-authored by professors from Temple University, Rutgers University and Davidson College, studied 739 outlets of the U.S. department store J.C. Penney. According to the study, stores where the pool of employees mirrored the ethnic makeup of the communities they served earned an average of $94,000 more per year than stores in which staff wasn’t as representative of the wider community.

That figure averages out to $630 more per employee, and earned the company an extra $69 million last year, the study found.

Read more at The Star.

Economy Down, Happiness Up

It seems like the world has its own life-work balance and thanks to the fact that we’re (on average) working less we are happier!

The second conclusion challenges the received notions of mankind’s moods. A tenet of political science is that happiness levels rise with wealth and then plateau, usually when a country’s national income per head reaches around $25,000 a year. “The richer a country gets,” argued Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in “The Spirit Level”, an influential book of 2009, “the less getting still richer adds to the population’s happiness.” Many on the left have concluded that pursuing further economic growth is pointless. Even right-wing politicians such as Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, and the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, have set up projects to study “gross national happiness”.

Read the rest at The Economist.

The Reality of the Paperless Office

A PDF- making company (no idea these eve existed) recently sent me something that caught my eye about a survey they conducted:

In this survey, three out of every four Americans say they want to reduce paper consumption for the environment, including:

·         48.0% – willing to reduce their use of newspapers

·         45.9% – willing to reduce their use of magazines

·         37.6% – willing to reduce their use of forms, contracts, documents

·         31.6% – willing to reduce their use of books

·         6.1% – willing to reduce their use of toilet paper

Essentially, Americans are willing to half their paper consumption in the next five years. That’s fantastic for the environment! That means fewer trees will be felled uselessly and fuel consumed to transport paper will be reduced too.

They compiled an info-graphic about their survey results.

New Art Project Examines Humanity and Art-as-Experience

ZED.TO is an art project that is examining how people relate to one another while exploring the boundaries of art and theatre. It’s run by a small group called the Mission Business and looks like they’re going to create something downright nifty.

ZED.TO – an immersive biotech adventure from Trevor Haldenby on Vimeo.

This project is an exploration of format. We are curious about what happens when artists and strategic thinkers move outside of their own specific realms to collaborate in story making and story telling. Toronto is currently in a financial artistic crisis. Looking at the report on municipal per capita investment in the arts that just came out this week, Toronto is at the bottom of list of Canadian cities dollar investment in the arts. It’s not a secret that cities flourish when a government invests in culture. The return on investment is high when you invest in the arts. As a result of this lack of funding, the art we are creating is void of risk. The Mission Business, a new collective on the Toronto arts scene, is inevitably caught in a cycle that won’t allow us to gain from writing grants because our project doesn’t fit into any category box, and no one knows our work to be proven successfully. So we are expected to go round and round in a cycle that wants us to prove ourselves before we are supported by larger funding bodies, but we get caught because we can’t put anything up without that support. The problem here is the same as the art-making. No one wants to take a risk. For me, creating an experience that is inherently risky in format and content as well as collaboration, makes sense in a period where we are being forced to do what is considered safe. How are we expected to create change if we do the same thing over and over expecting different results? Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

To get their project running they are looking for financing through IndieGoGo, find out more at ZED.TO on IndieGogo

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