Theresa May – The UK’s Next Prime Minister

In a parliamentary race that saw potential candidates seemingly drop like flies, Theresa May (the current UK Home Secretary) has become the United Kingdom’s (UK) second female Prime Minister.

Stating she was “honoured and humbled” whilst promising to “make Britain better” as well as facilitating a smooth and favourable exit outcome for the UK from the European Union (EU), May is set to take over from David Cameron who has occupied the highest office on UK politics since 2010. In the exceptionally short campaign to become the Tory party leader and next PM May was pegged as a ‘serious person for serious times’ and a safe pair of hands in such uncharted and unprecedented times.

In turn fending of competition from Michael Gove (UK Justice Secretary).  Who after initially planning on backing former London Mayor Boris Johnson publicly stated his reservations for pursing this course and announced his own candidacy. Andrea Leadsom (Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change) a clear Leave campaigner, Stephen Crabb (Work and Pensions Secretary)  who was opposed to the legalisation of gay marriage and believes to resolve the problems facing the benefits system, recipients need to change their current attitudes and finally from Liam Fox (former Defence Secretary) who believes NATO is the core pillar of Britain’s national defence whilst opposing any involvement of the EU in military matters. Although they didn’t quite fall in that order.

So what does this mean for the UK and will Theresa May be a good match for country? Especially in such an unprecedented time in the country’s history.

Well frankly we will just have to wait and see. Theresa May has, since 2010, held down the often controversial position of Home Secretary, which regularly involves making the hard choice, and ones that are not always especially popular. One decision we do certainly know about however, is the new PM’s claim that “Brexit means Brexit”,  meaning in no uncertain terms that there will be no attempts made to alter this course, Britain is heading out. Alongside this she has stated the Conservative Party, under her stewardship will look to support the everyday people of the island nation, making Britain a place “that works for everyone”.

But restoring the electorates faith in politics is going to be no small feat, and whether such faith can even be restored is a question that has hung heavily on the shoulders of consecutive governments for some time now. A feat that will now be matched equally be the apparent divides brought to the fore by the Brexit vote and the need to ‘heal the wounds’ and unite the country.

In any case we wish her the best of luck, the road ahead is certainly rocky, and only time will tell if she has chosen an effective cabinet to support her and whether she can lead the United Kingdom safely through the Brexit negotiations.

(Image(s) from The JC)

An Evening on Environmental Impact

Under the banner of Redpanda.earth, along with their partners and co-hosts: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) China,  ImpactHub Shanghai, Cocoon Networks and Green Initiatives, a diverse panel of experts and industry insiders was pulled together and assembled in an attempt to confront the ever present and growing issues of environmental impact and business.

Billed as an event consisting of “a panel discussion on the role of entrepreneurs for action an solutions in the environment” open to anyone with a vested interest (or a more general interest), the organiser intention was to set into motion the foundations of a widespread community of like-minded individuals keen on building sustainable business and producing more positive impacts on the environment.

The Panel was made up of:

  • Bikram Chaudhury, MD Credit Suisse.
  • Michael Cheng, Industry Partner ICY Capital.
  • Xu Hao, Sustainability & Resource Productivity, McKinsy.
  • Bunny Yan, CEO The Squirrelz. (A start-up looking to tackle the exponential waste associated with the Fashion and Fabric industries.)
  • Yifan Gu, Tongji University Entrepreneur.

Also present was a video panel consisting of:

  • James Griffiths, Fund Manager, Adapt Low Carbon Group UK.
  • John French, Chair in Enterprise and Sustainability at University of East Anglia.
  • SZE Ping, CEO WWF China.

Together the panel tackled underlying issues facing aspiring and emerging green start-ups such as: starting and funding a start, as well as continuing growth, expansion and scaling. What followed was also an informative Q+A that seemed to highlight one of the more prevalent issues start-ups are required to tackle, financing. Here the discussion quickly moved towards the field of Impact Investment and the shared responsibility aspiring CEO’s had in finding appropriate investors. A clear message established through the collaborative experience of the panel members was the distinction between two sets of investors, those interested in the positive impact an idea can have offset against potential profit, and the other seeking for profits whilst looking to increase their image and reputation.

After a thorough and in-depth discussion on the development of Green Business, in the second half of the event presented an opportunity for networking as well as a level of interactivity in which individuals were encouraged to think about and engage in pertinent questions regarding the creation of Green Initiatives and the expansion of Green Business Ideas.What emerged was the sense, or more accurately the need for greater collaboration, education and a need for a more widespread and real belief in the preservation of our environment and more sustainable practices. The success of such pioneering projects rested on the shoulders of a greater understanding and a larger desire to engage and solve one of the most immediate problems facing humanity as a whole.

At future events RedPanda.Earth hopes to foster and grow this emerging community, provide support, networking whilst engaging in exploring and educating China along with the world regarding these crucial issues. In this endeavour we wish them the greatest success.

Counting Your Blessings

It’s important every now and then to stop, think, reflect and take stock. In these moments of reflection it’s equally important to count your blessings.

A quote I came across recently inspired such a reaction in myself. You may or may not be familiar with the Netflix series Marco Polo. But one of my favourite characters 100 Eyes, a blind monk, stated (and I’m paraphrasing)

“An unhappy man will always find reason to continue his cause”

This wildly profound sentence, in one fell stroke, encapsulated a very specific period in my life as well as its aftershocks, the rippling effects that, at times, I still find myself grappling with.

What is often missed is that your blessings are often more abundant that perhaps you care to see or admit, as most reside in the realms of expectations and comfort. They’ve always been there, they will likely always reside there and thus we are often blind to them.

The problem is that they may not seem to be enough, seem to be important enough. Not at least until they are challenged or removed from our lives entirely, often unto the gates of eternity, never to return to us again. In this solemn abyss lies regret and sadness, spectres of self-reflected guilt and loss.

Taking stock can help remind you and shed light on how truly fortunate you are, how small your problems really are, remind you that the light will always follow the dark and that your blessings can be as universal to the world as they are personal to you.

So, what are my blessings?

  • Family – Past and Present, there will likely never be anyone or anything more important than your family.
  • Friends – Coming a close second to your family, so much so that at times the lines become blurred, these are people you cannot live without.
  • Health –  Rich or poor, your health is paramount to your quality of life and is fundamental to your very existence.
  • My Mind – I’d be lost without it. The double-edged sword that is both one of my greatest assest whilst simultanesously being my greatest challenge and adversary.
  • A Roof – I’ve been fortunate enough, and continue to be so, to have a roof over my head. Protection from the elements and somewhere safe to rest my head.
  • Food & Water – Access in abundance if I so required, a privallege not afforded to everyone.
  • My Senses – My gateway to the world, all as of yet intact, allowing me to experience everything this beautiful planet has to offer.
  • My Imagination – A source of great comfort and adventure, as much as it is, at times, a scary place to wonder alone,
  • The Ability to Think & Question Freely – One of my greatest joys is thinking, something so remarkably simple, yet almost unrivalled in its intrigue.
  • Emotion & Expression – Imagine your life without emotion and the ability to express or read them, how empty the experience would be.
  • My Memories & Experiences – A library of lessons, an ever growing training manual and a show reel of every utterly great moment.
  • The Promise, that Good or Bad, There is Yet More to Come – It’s not over yet. There is still so much to see, learn, experience and do, and it’s all out there, waiting for you.

Take heart …….

I challenge you to stop  and pause, to think and reflect, to see what you’ll discover.

(Image(s) Via WallQuotes)