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Trying to make Sense of what is going on in the World?



This is Your Answer

As we adapt to a new norm, the world as we know it is more fragmented than ever before and demands systemic change to overcome its challenges. Simon Anholt, founder of the Good Country Project breaks down how we can make that change by being “good”. Good people, good business, good countries make up a good world, and in his podcast conversation with tea grower, and Dilmah Tea CEO Dilhan C. Fernando, Simon shares how to reassess and refocus at the onset of paradigm shift; an opportunity for businesses and communities to make the necessary adjustments now for a more sustainable future.


Defining “Good”

Simon Anholt, author of ‘The Good Country Question’ and the founder of the ‘Good Country Index’, must know the meaning of the word “Good”. However, he doesn’t define it traditionally. It is a word beyond a single definition, a word which actually defines a holistic vision. “Good” is the opposite of selfish, not good, the opposite of bad. The world is in turmoil today because of the introspective nature and the microscopic vision of people which affects the way we think, the way we lead and the way we are governed. The root cause of our challenges from Climate change to pandemics, small arms proliferation to the abuse of human rights links to our humanness or lack thereof. It isn’t simply to do the right thing by your own people. The responsibility must be wider to contribute to our collective wellbeing, including the global commons, the environment, the planet and the rest of the world. It’s simple. How people behave, individually and collectively defines “Good”.


Education is always the answer to every social and economic problem…

When the problem exists amongst the people the solution too lies within and must be unravelled. Human behaviour is woven into every individual based on an individualized experience of education, culture and upbringing. It can exacerbate the challenges we face or contribute towards solving it. In ‘The Good Country Project’, Simon calls for a new global compact on educational values, virtues and principles, a universal upheaval of education systems around the world to teach values that will build a new generation that will run towards the global challenges instead of running away from them.

This will enable young citizens to be suitably armed to face the challenges of the age they live in and tackle the present day challenges. It could create a generation of Good citizens that are able to start fixing things in just one generation. ‘Social Engineering’ can singularly save humanity from its own destructive instinct. Our world is truly globalized, and its citizens are interconnected and interdependent. What goes on in Sri Lanka has an impact on every other country on Earth.  The next generation must learn to think differently and behave differently.


Collaboration: focusing on the system

While addressing the challenges ahead are self-evidently greater than any one individual and or even individual country, to make sensible progress it is inevitable that people, communities, businesses, governments and countries work together, consistently and continuously to change the culture from fundamentally competitive to fundamentally collaborative according to Simon, who has advised the presidents, prime ministers, and government officials of fifty-six countries, helping them to engage more imaginatively and effectively with the international community and is accredited with being the founder of the concepts of nation brands and place brands, seeing them as being “simply another manifestation of how obsessed countries have become with their competitive edge, instead of focusing their energies on the system of which they are a part, and on which we all utterly depend”. 


Coopetition: cooperative competition

In the 1970s, businesses began to demonstrate that it’s perfectly possible to compete and to collaborate at the same time. Coopetition was a buzzword that originated in the Japanese auto industry which proved that the best way to drive a market towards growth is to have companies both competing against each other in an honorable way and collaborating to build a more efficient and effective marketplace. It demonstrates that human beings are still allowed to compete, which is a very valuable and very fundamental part of their nature, but also collaborate on the essentials in such a way that they don’t destroy each other or the marketplace as a result. Businesses and corporate bodies must advocate for coopetition within sectors, amongst sectors and on the lands on which they operate. “So that experiment of coopetition, I would argue, is about 30 years overdue between governments. And that’s one of the things we need to see now” urges Simon.

A Good Corporate/Business

A Business has a direct influence over the lives of nearly as many people as governments do. It is the simple idea that it’s not enough to make good products and sell them at a good price for a company to earn its right to inhabit the space it inhabits on the planet. Every business must understand its role and responsibility within the shared system, in a society, to the land on which it operates and as a stakeholder it is a common obligation. 

We have to see the mandate of people in power, whether that’s within corporations or within government or within society. “You’re responsible for your own people. Yes. And for every single man, woman, child and animal on the planet, whether you like it or not, you’re responsible for your own premises in your own territory. Yes. And for every inch of the earth’s surface and the atmosphere above it and the soil beneath it, whether you like it or not, and if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t be in a position of power or authority because that is the rule of life on Earth today, whether we like it or not. And the sooner people begin to understand that, the sooner we’ll get the right people aspiring to positions of power and responsibility because they accept that their sphere of influence as leaders, their sphere of responsibility, rather, is greater than their sphere of influence.”

– Simon Anholt 

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Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers




In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.

At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.

“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.

But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,”  Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.

Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”

He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.

In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.

Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.

Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.

Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.


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ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace



EFC's team of trainers visited the selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management

Five companies volunteer to participate in the project

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.

True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.

Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.

EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.

They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.

All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.

Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.

In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.

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Rage Coffee forays into Sri Lanka market



The brand has secured investment from Virat Kohli

Rage Coffee, an internationally acclaimed coffee brand, was launched in Sri Lanka recently.

Originating in 2018 from the visionary mind of Bharat Sethi, Rage Coffee emerged to address the dearth of high-quality artisanal coffee in the Indian market. It fills the void with a unique plant-based, vitamin-enriched coffee selection.

A notable milestone for Rage Coffee was securing investment from Virat Kohli during its initial seed round. Kohli, known for his discerning brand choices, not only invested but also became the official brand ambassador, accentuating the brand’s quality.

Sourcing beans from Ethiopia and India, Rage crystallizes them, preserving a distinct nutty and earthy flavor profile. The brand’s proprietary blend, boasting 100% plant-based ingredients, eliminates harmful waste elements found in other leading coffees, prioritizing nutritional value. Each serving packs an impressive 120mg of caffeine, offering a superior boost to kickstart one’s day compared to standard brands.

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