Dec 202016

Published on Mar 5, 2014

This video describes our program "Securing Economic Rights for Informal Women Workers" with Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative in Uganda.

Children work in the informal economy in many parts of the world.

They often work as scavengers (collecting recyclables from the streets and dump sites), day laborers, cleaners, construction workers, vendors, in seasonal activities, domestic workers, and in small workshops; and often work under hazardous and exploitative conditions.

It is common for children to work as domestic servants across Latin America and parts of Asia.

Such children are very vulnerable to exploitation: often they are not allowed to take breaks or are required to work long hours; many suffer from a lack of access to education, which can contribute to social isolation and a lack of future opportunity.

UNICEF considers domestic work to be among the lowest status, and reports that most child domestic workers are live-in workers and are under the round-the-clock control of their employers. Some estimates suggest that among girls, domestic work is the most common form of employment.

Total Suffering

The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation.

During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of children are being abandoned and with many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear.

Others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites and diseases, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease spawned in the Landfill.

And yet others are being enslaved and abused.

It must be so. Every time there is plenty, There is poverty.

This very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the urban population and “naturally” will increase the poor population and the “natural” state of starvation and misery continues.

In a universe of social media and selfish genes, blind physical forces and social divisiveness, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. It is the intent of Green Fire to go beyond luck and create a new and better enviroment for them.

The universe of the Children living on Landfills that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no recognition, no purpose but survival, nothing but pitiless indifference.

Thank you for reading. Don’t be indifferent to this problem, do something, Please!

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

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Children of the Landfill
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Mar 092016

IMF managing director calls for new technology, shifting policy to meet population growth.

Peter Dizikes | MIT New Office March 7, 2015

Original article, MIT Press

The relentless rise in world population during the century ahead means we must develop new technologies and policies to spur economic growth, said Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while delivering MIT's Karl Taylor Compton Lecture on Friday.

In a sweeping overview of global demographics and their effects on our civic structures, Lagarde highlighted the many challenges of living on an increasingly crowded planet, including fiscal and environmental stresses. But she emphasized that a growing population need not portend a kind of doomsday scenario, as some have envisioned.

“We need to re-frame the debate about demographics,” Lagarde said. “I believe that this challenge can be met. But it requires the right policies, political resolve, and strong leadership. … The fiscal policy responses and technological innovation are especially important parts of the solution.”

The world population is currently around 7.5 billion people and is projected to grow to 10 billion about 40 years from now.

As Lagarde emphasized in her lecture, "Demographic Change and Economic Well-being: The Role of Fiscal Policy," population growth is bound up with some distinctly positive changes, such as greater life expectancy and a growth in per-capita income around the world. Globally, life expectancy has increased from 47 years to 71 years since 1950, and per-capita income has quadrupled since the end of World War II.

Yet having more people on the planet may also be associated with a slowdown in economic growth, Lagarde noted, because an aging population is less able to work and may be fiscally burdensome for states, due to larger costs associated with health care and retirement security.

Lagarde cited technology as a countervailing force to these trends, which spurs growth and lessens the costs embedded in our shifting demographics. She heralded MIT for its focus on “technological innovation,” saying it was “essential to raising living standards over the long term.”

Lagarde also unequivocally emphasized the need for robust government investment in scientific research and development (R&D). New IMF economic research, Lagarde noted, indicates that if governments of the world’s advanced economies took steps that increased private-sector R&D by 40 percent, they would improve long-run GDP in those countries by 5 percent.

Lagarde delivered her address before a capacity audience of around 1,200 people in MIT's Kresge Auditorium. The Karl Taylor Compton Lecture Series, which dates to 1957, is MIT's most prominent lecture event. It is named after MIT’s 10th president, who served from 1930 to 1948.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif introduced Lagarde, praising her “remarkable ability to bring the right players together” when addressing fiscal crises, in order to “keep the global economy on track.”

Reif also observed that Lagarde has demonstrated a distinctively “broad view of what topics should concern the head of the IMF,” from fiscal policy to “an aging population, to discrimination, to income inequality, to climate change.” And he heralded Lagarde’s groundbreaking accomplishments as the first woman to lead the IMF and the first woman to be finance minister of France, among other things.

“Our” alma mater

The IMF, founded in 1945 and now comprising 188 member countries, is an international organization that works to develop monetary cooperation, fiscal stability, and economic growth around the globe.

As Lagarde observed, there is a long-lasting intellectual connection between her organization and MIT. The last five chief economists of the IMF — Kenneth Rogoff, Raghuram Rajan, Simon Johnson, Olivier Blanchard, and Maurice Obstfeld — all received their doctorates at the Institute, a fact Lagarde termed “remarkable.” From the IMF’s point of view, she quipped, MIT could virtually be regarded as “our alma mater,” too.

Lagarde also praised MIT as a place that values “intellectual honesty and openness and relentless curiosity.”
In prescribing solutions to the demographic challenges of the 21st century, Lagarde listed a series of “game changers” that she said would be essential to grappling with the changes ahead.

One, she said, would be alterations to health care and retirement systems to manage costs. In health care, Lagarde suggested, we will need “more targeted spending, paying more attention to primary and preventive health care, promoting healthier lifestyles, and making more effective use of information technology.”

As part of this effort, Lagarde also asserted that governments would likely have to raise the retirement ages of workers to ease pensions expenses, although she acknowledged that “policymakers need to put in place a proper safety net for those who might not be healthy enough to work longer.”

Secondly, Lagarde said, the world needs better tax systems and more efficient public spending. She recommended expanding the use of value-added taxes, wider enforcement of taxes on multinational corporations, and more effective tax compliance in general.

And thirdly, Lagarde asserted, we need to promote economic growth in a variety of ways, from helping women participate in the work force to technological innovation.

“Higher growth means a fuller public purse and a more potent fiscal policy response to this demographic challenge,” Lagarde explained.

Energy in the room

As part of her second “game changer,” pertaining to taxes and spending, Lagarde put a notable emphasis on energy policy.

"Energy pricing is key, not only for the public purse, but for the planet," Lagarde said. She added: “This means more emphasis on energy taxation and less reliance on energy subsidies.”

Lagarde pointed to new IMF research estimating that global energy subsidies were $5.3 trillion in 2015, equivalent to a whopping 6.5 percent of GDP worldwide.

"This staggering figure, I believe very strongly, needs to come down," Lagarde said.

And after her lecture, Lagarde responded to follow-up questions from Reif, including one about energy and climate change. Today’s youth, Reif observed, constituted “the first generation to truly feel the impact of climate change, and the last that can do something about it.” He added: “What … are the most important steps to take now, and what can the next generation do?”

In response, Lagarde emphasized, "We strongly believe that if subsidies were removed and a carbon price properly set … that would go a long way toward addressing the climate change issues the world is facing.”  
Such policies, in that view, would limit the damage from fossil-fuel emissions, while helping the world experience the continued economic growth it needs to in light of its increasing population.

"Everything is better with growth," Lagarde said.

Reprinted with permission MIT Press.
MIT News homepage

Note: Just in case you may have missed any of my previous blog posts, I post here on one of my active projects. It is a new social network for entrepreneurs, completely free, and very unique. It could be a great thing for your business. It is called MarketHive. Just click —-> HERE <—- to find out more.

If you are interested in participating in this effort to lift these children to inspiration, please join me in the Markethive group “Green Fire”. It is from here that we will start a crowd funding campaign to aid Green Fire in its mission.

Mar 032016

SEWA- Self Employed Women's Association

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation has recognized this organization for its work with “women of the landfill” waste pickers. They work at the bottom of society, neglected, abused and like most people's awareness of waste, they are invisible.

An interesting fact about the the global society, 1% of the population of every major global metropolitan area are waste pickers.

Green Fire is joining the global networks that are focused on securing livelihoods for the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.

“Informal workers need voice, visibility and validity.” WIEGO.

Green Fire creates change by building capability among informal worker organizations, expanding the knowledge base, and influencing local, national and international policies.

The informal economy includes workers who do not have employment-based social protection and enterprises which are not incorporated or registered.

Green Fire is designed to contribute directly to these organizations, We provide complete autonomous villages, with electrical micro-grid, clean water and housing manufactured on site by the Pickers themselves. We do all of this with the by-products from the Green Fire processing of the landfill.

Just as importantly, Green Fire puts every “Picker” to work doing basically the same activity they regularly do in a more advantageous and safe way.

Women of the Landfill

The women of SEWA are what we at Green Fire recognize as true entrepreneurs striving to capitalize (survive) on the only opportunities they have, waste from the streets and landfill.

These women entrepreneurs don't have visions of 6 zeros ($X,000,000) behind their names or anything else of this material magnitude. They spell success like this – SURVIVAL.

At the end of the day a “little success” for these women is a smile from their children.

Green Fire is designed to support these entrepreneurs. We support and contribute to the “green livelihood” they have created for themselves..

This video introduces the human side of the Green Fire landfill mining mission and their conditions.

Taken from the SEWA website:
“SEWA is a trade union registered in 1972. It is an organisation of poor, self-employed women workers. These are women who earn a living through their own labour or small businesses. They do not obtain regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in the organised sector. They are the unprotected labour force of our country. Constituting 93% of the labour force, these are workers of the unorganised sector. Of the female labour force in India, more than 94% are in the unorganised sector. However their work is not counted and hence remains invisible. In fact, women workers themselves remain uncounted, undercounted and invisible.
SEWA’s main goals are to organise women workers for full employment.

SEWA is both an organisation and a movement. The SEWA movement is enhanced by its being a sangam or confluence of three movements : the labour movement, the cooperative movement and the women’s movement. But it is also a movement of self-employed workers : their own, home-grown movement with women as the leaders. Through their own movement women become strong and visible. Their tremendous economic and social contributions become recognized with globalization, liberalization and other economic changes, there are both new opportunities as well as threats to some traditional areas of employment.”

The video is produced by SEWA Video studio and successfully depicts the plight of the informal worker in India. Its 10:42 long.

Waste Pickers' – Life & Livelihood


Note: Just in case you may have missed any of my previous blog posts, here is one of my active projects. It is a new social network for entrepreneurs, completely free, and very unique. It could be a great thing for your business. It is called MarketHive. Just click —-> HERE <—- to find out more.

Mar 012016

I am not an employee and I can't be.

Entrepreneurism is a state of mind, a way of looking out at the world and constantly watching for opportunities. You attune your mind so you look at every situation and evaluate for its business potential. It is not something you do for eight hours a day but all the time you are awake.

In the real world of work, purpose finding is what leaders do.”

Robert E. Quinn

While waiting for my purpose to come into focus, there were many experiences of success and failure, I was lost in the forest with no tree in sight.

Then came that “ah ha” moment. I was working with an independent stock broker and market maker, an absolutely ruthless man. He was truly remarkable, he was the one that was busted for a multi-billion dollar scam in the Hong Kong banks in the early 90's.

Anyway, one day we got into a heated discussion about business, he got pissed and threw a one liner at me that I have never forgotten, “Are you an employee or are you an entrepreneur?”

I am an Entrepreneur.

I am a person who organizes and manages an enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

Working toward being a successful entrepreneur is a drag; you get a good idea but nobody likes it. Then you have a good idea, start the business and it fails. Now repeat after me. “Good Idea, failed.”

That changed Jan 15, 2015, when Tom had the first public meeting of Markethive. On Jan 18th I published my first article on Markethive.

Beginning to understand, I again searched for an entrepreneurial pursuit. “Follow your passion”, “do what you like to do”…

What? … What? What is my passion? Its complicated.

Then there was a sign (you always get one if you listen). I read an article about Zhang Yin.

Zhang Yin, the low-profile mother of two, went from humble beginnings in China to a top ranking position on the list of the world's richest people. In fact, Forbes ranked the owner and founder of Nine Dragons Paper as the wealthiest self-made woman in the world.

She did it with waste, our waste.

In 1985, Zhang moved to Hong Kong and started her first waste paper trading company with just a few thousand dollars. Despite financial difficulties and unscrupulous business partners, Zhang managed to build her wealth. Five years later, she and her husband left for the United States.

In America, the enterprise that would become Nine Dragons was born. Because there was a shortage of paper materials in China and her paper trading business was not doing as well as Zhang would have liked, she left for America. In the U.S., however, she had no such problem. There was plenty of waste paper everywhere she and her husband looked.

Zhang set up a system to collect and bundle the paper in America, then send it to China to be processed into usable paper products. American raw “waste” materials were shipped across the Pacific for processing. Our paper waste was converted into boxes, cardboard, and other paper products, then sold to Chinese manufacturers as packaging and containers and then sold back to us full of Chinese products.

With an estimated net worth of more than $3.4 billion, Zhang Yin has more money than both Oprah Winfrey and "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling. In schools, Zhang is lauded as an example to young Chinese girls of their unlimited potential and ability.

She did it with waste.

Waste has value.

From a certain point of view, it is the very bottom of the material wealth of society. What society wastes and considers unusable and worthless.

Well its not worthless and I claim it!

Here is the deal,we have 7 billion people in the world and each of them wastes an average of 100 tons in a lifetime. 40% of all waste goes into open landfills. These landfills directly affect half of the world's population.

Is there an opportunity here?

Green Fire is the only company in the world that can do what is needed for this situation.

We have a simple model, we call it the Triangle of Waste; raw materials into commodities, commodities into Waste, Waste into raw materials. Green Fire turns waste into raw reusable materials.

I found an entrepreneurial opportunity in waste and a purpose that inspired the business of landfill mining and what we are able to give back to society in the process.

There are several global organizations that focus on this opportunity. Let me introduce you.

Wiego – Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing

WIEGO is a global network focused on securing livelihoods for the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.

Informal workers need voice, visibility and validity. WIEGO creates change by building capacity among informal worker organizations, expanding the knowledge base, and influencing local, national and international policies.

Today WIEGO is a thriving network of 176 Individual and Institutional Members in 40 countries who share this concern.

The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers

The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Waste pickers are workers in the informal economy who represent, according to several institutions (ILO, World Bank, and others), 1% of the urban population. They total approximately 15 million landfill pickers in 96 regional organizations.

ISWA – The International Solid Wast Association

The National Members are non-profit, waste management associations representing the waste management industry in a particular country. Generally, these associations have memberships from both the private and public sector. Based on ISWA regulations, the National Members are the only memberships allowed to vote at the General Assembly and thus, they constitute the governing body of ISWA. ISWA's global waste management network adds up to over 100,000 waste management professionals associated with ISWA National Member organizations alone.

Membership in ISWA is paid, not so in the other two

Inspiration after inspiration.

We are Landfill Miners and more.

GF re-purposes the reclaimed raw materials into usable material then uses that to create small autonomous villages for the workers (Pickers) that live and work on these landfills.

My business is waste and I am a founding member of Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, the only company in the world that can reclaim and reuse 99% of all landfill wastes.

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation is an Engineering company, not environmental, not mining and not geological but a combined association of those professionals with an intent toward landfill mining.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
Steve Jobs

Green Fire is going to change the world.

Note: Just in case you may have missed any of my previous blog posts, here is one of my active projects. It is a new social network for entrepreneurs, completely free, and very unique. It could be a great thing for your business. It is called MarketHive. Just click —-> HERE <—- to find out more.


Feb 192016

So this is basically what inbound marketing is all about. It's about letting your prospects find you rather than broadcasting your marketing message to the masses hoping it reaches a prospective customer (as in traditional outbound marketing). So far so good.

Now, how do they find me and why?

I'll publish the right content in the right place at the right time, my marketing will become relevant and helpful to my customers and it will not interrupt. Great intent, right?

I'll create targeted content that answers prospects' and customers' basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide.

This is good.

I'll use SEO, I'm pretty good at that, is that In-bound Marketing? No it is not. SEO is a tactic, inbound marketing is a strategy. Social strategies are developed with the Markethive tools.

Markethive is In-bound Marketing. It has the tools to communicate through multiple channels simultaneously. SEO is a single channel. You can do in-bound marketing without SEO.

Inbound marketing is really Organic Earned Marketing.

The content you create and publish will over time organically earn you the marketplace you target.

As entrepreneurs using Markethive we see inbound marketing a little differently, we see it as social things we can do on web that earn traffic and attention, without directly costing any money.

Inbound marketing is all about earning attention and love.

There is no single way to do inbound marketing, and it's not about being everywhere. Your goal should not be to have a presence on all channels but to really be present on the channels where your audience exists.

So, how do I get anyone in my audience to pay attention to me and my message?

Brand building.

Inbound marketing helps with brand building and having a good brand helps with inbound marketing.

The best way to build a brand is to be truly remarkable, recognizable and authentic, and to provide the world the the answer to the question “Why”.

But does being truly remarkable, recognizable and authentic and having great content always get enough attention? Not always and usually not enough.

What about attention?

Consumers have a tendency to pay attention only to messages that address a need or interest or are consistent with the consumer’s attitudes, opinions, and beliefs, a selective attention.

Why does Attention become “Selective”?

It has been estimated that the average person may be exposed to over 1,500 ads or brand communications a day. Because a person cannot possibly attend to this amount of information (content) flow, a process called selective attention is used to filter the information, some information gets screened out.

Selective attention means that marketers have to work hard to attract consumers notice. The real challenge is to explain what stimulates people, what will they notice. Here are some findings:

  • People are more likely to notice information that relates to a current need. A person who is motivated to buy a computer will notice computer ads; he or she will be less likely to notice DVD ads.

  • People are more likely to notice information that they anticipate. You are more likely to notice computers than radios in a computer store because you do not expect the store to carry radios.

  • People are more likely to be stimulated when deviations are large in relation to the normal size of the stimulation. You are more likely to notice an ad offering $100 off the list price of a computer than one offering $5 off.

Although people filter out much of the surrounding advertising, you can get favorable attention by contacting your community with unexpected social invitations with appropriate information.

Use Social Publishing to get noticed.

Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content – and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand.

Write and publish, be truly remarkable, recognizable and authentic and interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.

Be Remarkable, get attention, let people know your story, earn a reputation, inbound marketing is really Organically Earned.