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A Green Reboot

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced several countries into lockdown mode, striking fear into citizens’ hearts, and provoked a global financial-market meltdown. To prevent another pandemic, the response to the coronavirus must be immediate and forceful, however, governments must also look to long term green solutions. 

COVID-19 serves as a warning of a future trend, where more crises will occur, demanding immediate responses if we are to maintain the same economic model we use today. In the future, governments, financial institutions, and corporations may not be able to adapt to future shocks. So, how will we adjust our economy to adapt? Is COVID-19 an opportunity to change the way our economy functions?

Similar to COVID-19, climate change, biodiversity loss, and financial collapses do not observe national or even physical borders. This pandemic serves as a wake-up call to stop exceeding the planet’s limits due to the fact deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change all increase the likelihood of future pandemics. Global warming will likely accelerate the emergence of new viruses and deforestation causes wild animals to be driven closer to city centers which increases the chances that zoonotic viruses will make a cross-species leap. To prevent another crisis, governments must take action to lay a foundation for a new green, circular economy targeted towards the public good. Below are just some ideas in which governments can utilize towards a greener economy and future:

1)    Shift from industrial to regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that reverse climate change by rebuilding organic matter within the soil and increase biodiversity. Regenerative agriculture is featured in many new economic models globally and is being explored further by cities, governments and investors as a green way of investing in the future. This will not only help create biological changes but also aid countries in creating a sustainable supply chain for food in the future. There is an estimated $5.2 trillion spent on fossil-fuel subsidies each year, making the switch towards green infrastructure will improve the lives of citizens globally for many years to come.

2)    Invest in green infrastructure

Many countries desperately need to upgrade their infrastructure such as electrical, buildings and public transport. With the recession following COVID-19, many individuals will be unemployed. By switching to green infrastructure, every $1 million invested in energy efficiency creates at least eight full-time jobs, whereas $1 million invested in fossil fuels creates about three. Investing in energy transmission in an environmentally friendly way wouldn’t just create jobs—simulations have found that $1 billion invested in energy transmission creates 13,000 full-time-equivalent years of employment in America alone. 

If we do not adapt, we are at risk of another global catastrophe, whether that be a pandemic or a global climate crisis. Our economy should use COVID-19 as an opportunity to change the way we supply and manufacture goods, as well as the way daily economic decisions are made in order to prevent future harm to the public.

Coping with COVID: I’ve Been Laid-Off, Now What?

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Unfortunately, getting laid-off can happen to the best of us. Every day, more and more Canadians have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these individuals are university or college students who are missing out on a summer internship opportunity. As students, we rely on summer jobs to build our resumes and gain experience in order to be prepared for our future careers. The next four months without a job may seem hopeless and less than ideal. However, you may be able to turn this layoff into a new opportunity. This article will discuss how to handle unemployment, ways to build up your resume, and shed advice on what to do when you lose your summer employment.

Building Up Your Resume

LinkedIn Courses

Although LinkedIn learning courses do not count for credit towards your undergrad, that does not mean that they are not important. As a professional, you should always be looking to acquire new skills. After all, the more you know, the better you’ll stand out from the competition whether that be in a job hunt or when going for a promotion or raise.

LinkedIn Learning is different from other development tools due to the fact the platform provides a more specific approach to building skills towards your professional development. LinkedIn Learning provides 3 different ways to learn. The tools are categorized by subject, software and learning paths.

If you would like to learn more specific individuals’ skills, I would recommend learning by subject or by software. Alternatively, if you are looking to transition into a field of interest or want to build certain skills for an internship or job next summer, the Learning Path category is the route for you. Instead of browsing over 5,000 courses that LinkedIn Learning provides, Learning Paths allow you to have a structured learning experience in fields such as Digital Marketing, Python Development, and more.

If you were to choose a few courses to begin with, the below are QCIB recommended.

Marketing Foundations: International Marketing https://www.linkedin.com/learning/marketing-foundations-international-marketing
Project Management Foundations https://www.linkedin.com/learning/project-management-foundations?trk=lilblog_07-01-19_most-popular-linkedin-learning-courses_learning
Programming Foundations: Fundamentals https://www.linkedin.com/learning/programming-foundations-fundamentals?trk=lilblog_07-01-19most-popular-linkedin-learning-courses_learning

LinkedIn Learning is particularly useful for students as it will boost your resume and get the attention of a hiring manager. Employers want to hire people who are proactive about improving their skills and learning new ones outside a traditional university classroom setting. You can highlight theses new skills by including individual courses in the skill parts of your resume, and if you’ve completed an entire learning path you can include that in your education section – because yes it counts.

Volunteer

Volunteering is more than just an opportunity to better your community – it can have a major impact on your job search and your professional reputation. It’s a no-brainer that volunteering looks good on your resume but can also be a unique networking opportunity. Networking is not only done at professional networking events or conferences; it can happen throughout your daily life. Volunteering can be utilized as a way of creating more genuine connections and possibly more connections with individuals with similar interests which may lead to leverage in your career.

Handling Being Laid-Off

Find a Hobby

While the world is on pause, there is no better time than the present to learn a new hobby that will set you apart when the next hiring period occurs. In many interviews, employers have asked either ‘tell us about yourself’ or ‘what do you do in your free time?’ – you could give the average answer that every other candidate will give or you could elevate your answer and make yourself stand out at the end of your answer with a unique hobby or skill that is memorable. This skill could be coding, learning to cook, or even roller-skating. You will stand out more than any other candidate because of your uniqueness.

Focus on yourself

It is common to feel stressed or afraid during this pandemic. However, taking time to step away and focus on yourself can help alleviate those negative feelings. It’s important that we take time for ourselves in order to focus on our mental and physical health a well to do the things we enjoy. Creating a daily routine will help add structure to your life while also helping to manage anxiety in order to adapt more quickly to this current reality. Give yourself breaks when needed between tasks and define times of rest and work to help maintain clarity of thought. These challenging times provide us with the motivation to focus on and better ourselves. Take advantage of that!

A weed to the wise: The Canadian marijuana business is going global

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Marijuana is no longer a forbidden – even shameful and criminal – fruit of the vine. It’s fair to say that Canadian society is seeing weed in a whole new light, and we’re taking the business global.

With the Canadian Federal Government’s game changing legalization of marijuana, led by Justin Trudeau, our national economy has seen a huge economic boost and marijuana production like never before. Of course, legalization has been accompanied by its fair share of bureaucratic red tape, but the consumers and producers are unfazed and determined to reap the rewards of Canada’s new weed friendly landscape. This article looks to the future and how enterprising Canadians in the Marijuana business can expand beyond our northern frontier and make Canada a front runner in one of the most hugely lucrative economic opportunities seen in decades.

Ironically, the global marijuana expansion story starts where the War on Drugs originates – Colombia. Pharmacielo acts as a key example: this world-renowned cannabis manufacturer houses a huge outdoor production facility where they grow cannabis crops at 5 cents per gram, versus $2 per gram in Canada! Product development for cannabis is no different than when Hasbro creates a toy production facility in China: production costs are simply lower. This being said, regulations and restrictions are being upheld within all facilities to ensure fair wage pay and proper working conditions. Just a few examples of Canadian cannabis manufacturers in Colombia include Khiron Life Sciences Corp, MedCann and FCM global. A significant number of these companies have licensed shipping rights to 15+ countries, including over 5 countries in Europe.

In Germany, cannabis consumption per capita is almost 4 times the US amount. Cannabis cultivators seem inspired by Steve Jobs’ game changing lead: their innovation is driving change in laws and the accompanying regulations. When laws support a high demand business, it inevitably creates a recipe for profit. In this case, tremendous profit!

Within a decade, it is likely that most European countries will legalize cannabis as a recreational drug. Case in point, this August Luxembourg announced plans to legalize cannabis and have called on its EU neighbours to follow suit. “Forbidding everything makes it more interesting to young people…I’m hoping more of us will gain an open-minded attitude towards marijuana”, says Etiénne Schneider, a longstanding politician within Luxembourg’s federal government.

Of course, Europe and the rest of the globe’s introduction to cannabis may be more gradual and measured than the seemingly heady “gold rush” approach empowered by Canada’s recent legalization. We may even see more paced economic growth in other regions as compared to Canada’s: “There’s some appetite for medical marijuana being subsidized by insurance companies, but that’s something that would happen over the long-term. Europe is more incremental in nature and they are not in a hurry to legalize” says BNN Bloomberg’s in- depth Cannabis reporter, Scott Gomez.

Sure, Gomez and other cautious experts may be correct in this long-term view. But a word to the wise, and certainly this writer’s opinion: get in on the ground floor!