KLH organises Orientation Programme for BBA & MBA 2023


Hyderabad: KLH Global Business School of KL Deemed to be University welcomed its BBA and MBA batches of 2023 with an illustrious orientation program held on August 31, 2023, at the KLH Global Business School, Kondapur Campus. The event aimed to acquaint the incoming students with the institution’s values and academic offerings. The new students along with their parents visited to witness the transformative experience that would go beyond conventional education. It provided them a platform for meaningful interactions and understanding of the ethos and unique academic learning environment at the campus.

The program commenced with a ceremonial inauguration, marked by the lighting of the lamp and a soulful rendition of Saraswati Vandana, invoking the blessings of knowledge and wisdom. Distinguished dignitaries graced the stage, including the Chief Guest, Mr. Raju R L Kalidindi, Director and Head of India Operations at Salesforce.

Dr. G. Pardhasaradhi Varma, Vice Chancellor at KL Deemed to be University said “We are thrilled to have welcomed the dynamic undergraduate and post graduate management batches through our enlightening orientation program. The program marks the commencement of a new academic journey for them and encapsulates our institution’s values, academic prowess, and commitment to holistic student development. We’re poised to provide an education that transcends boundaries, nurturing innovation, and prepares students for success in a rapidly evolving national and global business landscape.”

In his address, Raju R L Kalidindi emphasized the need for continuous learning and updating to stay abreast of the dynamics of the business world. He also discussed the critical role of adaptability and innovation in a globalized economy. Dr. Anupama Gadiraju, In-charge of KLH Global Business School, along with Dr. Ramakrishna, Principal of KLH Hyderabad campus, and other esteemed dignitaries, delivered insightful addresses and led an engaging campus tour, setting the stage for an enriching academic journey for new students.

“I am very excited to have joined this business school. With ambition in my heart and eyes set on the future, I want to attain great heights. I am confident that my learning in this business school will play a pivotal role in both my personal and professional growth,” said Adithya Vardhan, who got admitted in the MBA program. Speaking with immense satisfaction on getting his ward admitted in BBA program, one of the parents said, “I feel that my daughter is now in the right hands. I found the faculty and their dedication to academic excellence up to the mark and this gives me confidence that they will aptly nurture the required skills, qualities and knowledge which will pave the way for her successful career. I also extend my gratitude to my friends who recommended this institution, as I see it really to be one of the best Business schools.”

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Europe Listens: Combatting online disinformation with


On 8 January 2023, following a contentious national election, protestors attacked government buildings in Brazil’s capital. The riots were preceded by years of online disinformation, targeting lawmakers and the country’s electoral process. Striking parallels with the storming of the US Capitol two years prior underline the role that transnational networks play in pushing disinformation globally, and that of big tech standing idly by (at best).

In this episode of Europe Listens, ECFR’s Rafael Loss and Jana Puglierin welcome Flora Rebello Arduini, campaign director, disinformation researcher, and big-tech watcher at Ekō, a global non-profit organisation advancing corporate accountability. How does online disinformation affect Brazilian politics? What role do social media giants play in spreading fake news? And how can companies, legislators, and civil society in Brazil and Europe stem the tide of AI-powered disinformation in the future?

This podcast was recorded on 16 June 2023.

Other episodes of this season:

Episode 1: Overcoming the global digital divide with Jane Munga

Episode 3: Governing outer space with Ruvimbo Samanga

Further reading:

Stop the steal 2.0. How Meta is subverting Brazilian democracy by SumOfUs (now Ekō)

Everyone saw Brazil violence coming. Except social media giants by Mark Scott

Gendered disinformation: 6 reasons why liberal democracies need to respond to this threat by Ellen Judson

Democratic defence: How Italy can lead the fight against Russian disinformation by Gabriele Carrer, Teresa Coratella and Silvia Samorè

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PatchMaster Expands its Drywall Repair Services with the


PatchMaster Expands its Drywall Repair Services with the Addition of Knoxville Location – Corporate Social Responsibility News Today – EIN Presswire

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अंश सरलीकरण गणक: संख्या जगत में सरलता और सटीकता की नई


अंश सरलीकरण गणक: संख्या जगत में सरलता और सटीकता की नई पहचान – Corporate Social Responsibility News Today – EIN Presswire

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Smart Axiata devoted to promoting entrepreneurship


Mr Ziad Shatara, Chief Executive Officer, Smart Axiata Cambodia, speaks to Khmer Times, in conjunction with the 66th Malaysia Day Special Edition.

Q: Could you share some of the milestones achieved by Smart Axiata as one of the leading telecom operators in the Kingdom?

A: Smart Axiata is one of the major contributors to the economy of the Kingdom of Cambodia, driving significant impact and acting as a catalyst for growth and innovation. In 2022, our national Gross Value Added (GVA) reached an impressive 416 million USD, representing a substantial 1.6% of the nation’s GDP. Moreover, we made a significant financial contribution of 103 million USD to the national treasury and public finance, accounting for 2% of the total tax revenue in the country. This achievement has earned us recognition as the fifth top tax-paying entity in Cambodia.

We pride ourselves on establishing a strong foundation of connectivity and continuously expanding our network, guided by our commitment to provide “4G for all.” It is with great honour that we have recently gained recognition for delivering the highest “4G Service Availability” to users in Cambodia.

Furthermore, Smart remains devoted to promoting the growth of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Cambodia. Through our Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (SADIF), we invested in local digital companies, including established enterprises such as Nham24 and Morakot Technologies. We empower local artists to become entrepreneurs and generate income through their music compositions and videos. Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurship extends to our corporate social responsibility programs, such as SmartSpark+, SmartStart Unipreneur Learning Program (ULP), and SmartEdu University Student Development Program (USDP). These programs aim to encourage and support the emergence of startups in Cambodia, nurturing the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Continuously at the forefront of innovation, we always introduce an array of digital services and solutions to enhance our customer experiences. Among our offerings are mobile internet of things (IoT) devices and solutions like Smart@Home for home WiFi and Smart Home solutions. In addition, we have launched digital platforms for entertainment, such as Pleng, and embarked on enterprise solutions, including Fleet Management and Smart Sponsored Call and Data.


Q: How has been the company contributing towards grooming local talents in the telecom sector?

A: Smart Axiata has made significant contributions to Cambodia’s economy by creating employment opportunities and equipping individuals with invaluable skills that are scarce in the country. In 2022, we supported a total of 57,100 individuals through both direct and indirect employment, prioritizing fair practices that embrace diversity and equal opportunities, with 97.6% of our workforce being Cambodian. Our commitment to continuous learning and development is at the core of our world-class human resources program, fostering a growth mindset and empowering employees at all levels. Through various training initiatives, workshops, and seminars, we provide opportunities for our employees to enhance their skills, stay updated with industry trends, and remain relevant in the dynamic telecom sector. Additionally, as part of the Axiata Group, Smart Axiata offers access to exposure and learning from telecom companies in other Asian countries within the group, serving as a centre of excellence and a valuable resource pool. This advantage empowers individuals who have been employed at Smart to excel in other organizations, particularly in the digital and technical fields.

Aside from grooming our employees, we are actively involved in grooming individuals in the community through various initiatives:

Scholarship Programs: We provide scholarships to support the education and development of underprivileged Cambodian students who are interested in pursuing careers in the telecom and digital sector.

Basic Education Equivalent Program (BEEP): We support the Basic Education Equivalent Program of the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports and Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training under the facilitation of UNESCO, which aims to provide education opportunities to dropouts, giving them a second chance to continue their education and acquire valuable skills. This program plays a vital role in developing a skilled workforce by providing education and training to those who may have missed out on formal educational pathways.

Digital Internship 4.0 Program: Through our training and internship program called the Digital Internship 4.0 Program, we offer young Cambodians valuable hands-on experience and exposure to the telecommunications industry. This program is designed to enhance their skills, knowledge, and employability in the sector, preparing them for future career opportunities.

Chea Vandeth (centre), MoPT, and Ziad Shatara (third right), CEO, Smart Axiata Cambodia along with other officials taking part at the launch of Digital Talents sponsored by Smart Axiata in Phnom Penh. Smart Axiata

Q: What are your suggestions for the new Cabinet especially in terms of 5G rollout and other telecom reforms?

A: Smart recognizes the immense potential of 5G technology as a driver for economic growth in Cambodia. We understand that 5G is not solely a telecom revolution, but rather an opportunity to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of Cambodian products and services across various sectors.

The success of 5G technology is intricately linked to the reliable infrastructure of our established and maintained 4G networks. Our robust and stable 4G network places us as a key private sector partner in the ongoing development and implementation of 5G technology in Cambodia. We recognize the importance of public-private partnerships in driving sustainable economic and social development. As such, we are wholeheartedly dedicated to supporting and collaborating with the Royal Government of Cambodia to foster a more efficient and competitive nation, enabling a successful digital transformation journey for the country. By working hand in hand, our aim is to propel Cambodia’s technological advancement and facilitate its growth in the digital age.


Q: What are the challenges in the telecom sector as the Kingdom along with the world embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution?


A: The government’s ambition to achieve accelerated growth and create a digital economy and society in Cambodia implies that the telecom sector has high targets to meet in terms of growth, infrastructure development, connectivity, and innovation.

To achieve these ambitious goals, the telecom sector will need to make bigger investments in various areas. There will be a need for substantial investment in infrastructure development including expanding the network coverage, upgrading existing infrastructure, and deploying new technologies like 5G. These investments require significant capital and long-term planning.

The post-COVID lifestyle has necessitated a shift towards a more sophisticated digital way of life. As people spend more time online, their digital needs have become more diverse and complex. To keep up with the rapidly changing digital landscape, telecom companies must quickly adapt by fostering innovation and providing solutions that meet the evolving needs of businesses and consumers. This requires immediate investments in research and development, as well as collaboration with technology partners to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

Despite the increasing demand for internet services, it is important to note that Cambodians heavily rely on mobile internet rather than fixed-line connections. It is necessary for Cambodia to focus on improving connectivity options. By doing so, telecom companies can effectively meet the high demand for mobile data services and provide users with seamless connectivity.

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, cybersecurity and data privacy are paramount for responsible telecom businesses like us. We understand the importance of safeguarding businesses and consumers from cybersecurity breaches and data privacy violations. By adopting a zero-tolerance approach to such threats, we prioritize the protection of sensitive information and aim to maintain trust in the telecom sector. However, these efforts require substantial investments in cybersecurity and data privacy measures to safeguard customers’ sensitive information and maintain a secure digital ecosystem.


Q: Could you speak about your areas of cooperation and coordination with the Kingdom’s telecom regulator to ensure that the rights of customers are not taken for granted?

A: Advancements in technology have led to greater complexity in telecom products and services, which can be challenging for the average consumer to navigate. To address this, we must prioritize transparency and simplify our offerings. Smart has been closely collaborating with the Telecom Regulator of Cambodia to ensure that our products and services are transparent, easily understandable, and straightforward for customers. This has been achieved through the deployment of tools like SmartNas, our self-care app. With SmartNas, customers gain full control over their balance by having the ability to track their usage and monitor their remaining balance. This empowers customers to make informed decisions and effectively manage their telecom services. The aim is to provide clear and accessible information to customers, fostering trust and enhancing their overall experience with our products and services.

Ziad Shatara, CEO, Smart Axiata Cambodia believes in sustainability which he says is an integral part of our identity to make a real difference. Smart Axiata Cambodia

Q: What have been the efforts exerted by Smart Axiata to empower its transformation into a digital lifestyle brand?

A: At Smart, we have taken significant steps to transform into a digital lifestyle brand, by enhancing connectivity, offering diverse apps and content, facilitating digital transactions, and supporting startups and digital literacy. We empower individuals and businesses to fully embrace and benefit from the digital revolution.

Smart has been offering affordable devices to customers, such as the SmartHero series phone, that customers can easily afford to purchase.

We have prioritized expanding and enhancing network coverage, upgrading infrastructure, and introducing new technologies like home internet/fiber+ services. This ensures reliable and high-speed connectivity for customers, enabling seamless access to digital services and lifestyles.

We have established platforms, such as SmartPay and the Pleng app, to facilitate digital transactions. This allows our customers to conveniently make digital payments, transfer funds, and access financial services, supporting the growth of the digital economy and cashless payments.

At Smart, we are actively supporting digital startups. We offer a range of resources, mentorship programs, and funding opportunities to help startups thrive. Moreover, we promote digital literacy through our marketing campaign and engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to ensure that everyone has the necessary skills to succeed in the digital era.


Q: Being a quintessentially Malaysian company, do you see more and more Malaysian tech and telecom firms entering the Kingdom’s market and reaping success?

A: Smart is one of the key success stories of Malaysian investment in Cambodia. Being the sole prominent Malaysian player in the tech and telecom sector in the Kingdom, Smart has experienced remarkable growth and has become one of the largest telecom businesses, making a substantial contribution to Cambodia’s national economy and development agenda. This success serves as a testament to the potential for foreign direct investment companies to thrive and expand. Given the continued achievements and the conducive business environment that supports Smart’s growth in the Cambodian economy, it is highly likely to inspire other tech investors from Malaysia to explore opportunities for establishing additional tech firms in Cambodia.


Q: Could you throw some light on Smart’s partnerships with local franchise firms and businesses?

A: Smart has consistently played a role in promoting the growth and development of the local economy by supporting local firms and businesses. In 2022, we actively collaborated with 234 local suppliers, accounting for approximately 67% of our total suppliers. This collaboration resulted in the creation and support of approximately 57,100 jobs, both directly and indirectly, thus making a significant contribution to the local workforce and economic prosperity.

Moreover, we place great emphasis on encouraging our suppliers to adhere to the supplier code of conduct. This ensures that they meet ethical standards and practice responsible sourcing, contributing to the sustainable and healthy growth of the Cambodian economy.


Q: What are Smart’s future plans for the Kingdom’s telecom market? Could you share with our readers some of the products that are in the pipeline?


A: As we embark on our digitalization journey, we are committed to collaborating with the Royal Government of Cambodia to further evolve and expand our services. Our goal is to provide stable and high-quality connectivity to remote areas, bridging the digital divide and ensuring that more citizens have access to digital opportunities. In addition to connectivity, we are also focused on working with content developers and suppliers to create relevant and meaningful content for the public.

At Smart, we have consistently demonstrated our willingness to invest in and adopt new technologies. We prioritize both infrastructure development and the enhancement of our human capacity to embrace these innovations. In line with this, we are planning to introduce a diverse range of products that cater to the growing digital demands of consumers. This includes offerings for households as well as Business-to-Business (B2B) services, with a particular focus on supporting local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in their digital growth and business expansion in the digital economy.


Q: You are one of the top 10 taxpayers in the country and also a very active player in CSR and ESG activities. What motivates you in this and what benefits do you reap?

A: Sustainability is in our DNA, shaping every aspect of our operations. We think long-term, striving for the benefit of all. Our team believes wholeheartedly in the power of businesses to make a positive impact on society and the environment as part of our commitment to the National Building Agenda. Through our active engagement in CSR and ESG initiatives, we have leveraged our resources to address social and environmental concerns, creating meaningful change in society and the world. These endeavors not only fulfill our obligations, but also foster collaboration and partnerships with individuals, organizations, and government who share the same vision, sustainability. By joining forces, we gain access to a vast network of experts, resources, and innovative ideas, amplifying the magnitude of our impact and driving the effectiveness of our endeavours.

At Smart, we believe that sustainability goes beyond words – it is an integral part of our identity, driving us to make a real difference in the world.


Q: When do you foresee the 5G rollout?

A: As the digital economy and society continue to evolve, the 5G rollout in Cambodia is not a matter of “if” but “when.” At Smart, we are well-prepared and ready, regardless of the timing of Cambodia’s adoption. We have made the internal preparations and investments necessary for the 5G rollout, ensuring that we have the infrastructure and capabilities in place. Our teams are equipped with the necessary skills to handle 5G technology effectively. Once the country is ready to embrace 5G, we are excited to embark on this journey together to contribute to the growth and advancement of Cambodia.


  • Tags: Mr Ziad Shatara, Smart Axiata

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Close to two million died in China during the weeks after


The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not made public any real accounting of the death toll since the ruling Chinese Communist Party abandoned its Zero-COVID policy on December 7, 2022, and allowed a tsunami of infections to wash over the country, infecting upwards of 90 percent of the population. 

Despite the deluge of COVID cases, inundated health systems and mass cremations that were underway, Chinese health officials persisted in minimizing the extent of the crisis, stating that at most 60,000 people had died between early December and January 12, 2023. However, daily reporting by the national ministry completely ceased towards the end of December. 

Official total of COVID deaths in China. Most estimates place the death toll at ten times or even more than these figures. [Photo: Our World in Data]

On February 9, 2023, near the tail-end of the winter Omicron wave across mainland China, daily deaths began being reported again. However, the official cumulative COVID death toll stood at a mere 83,150, which was widely understood as a vast undercount. This was because only hospital deaths from respiratory failure and a confirmed COVID test was counted, which excluded those who were not tested or who died from other COVID-related causes or who never made it to the hospital. 

Estimates provided at that time by the UK-based predictive health analytics company Airfinity placed the death toll at a horrific 1.3 million by the first week of February. Other university-based researchers had indicated a range of between one and two million fatalities. More recent empirically based studies have only corroborated these grim early estimates and modeling analysis of the catastrophic loss of life that took place.

Before reviewing these, it bears noting that one year prior, on February 8, 2022, before the Omicron surge began to chip away at China’s public health defenses, Our World in Data (OWD) had placed the official death toll from COVID in China at 5,700, at a time when the official global tally had reached a grim figure of six million and worldwide excess deaths were estimated at more than 22 million. The success of China’s Zero-COVID policy was unassailable. 

However, perceptible shifts in policy and official attitudes became demonstrable after the March 2022 Omicron surge that centered on the Shanghai metropolis. In particular, the campaign in the international bourgeois press calling for ending Zero-COVID assumed fever pitch and Chinese officials were under considerable global financial pressures to end their public health policy and resume normal commercial relations. By mid-November, health authorities had rapidly moved towards a mitigationist posture, then opened the floodgates altogether on December 7, 2022.

Last week, a new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, published in JAMA Network, estimated that 1.87 million excess deaths occurred in China among those 30 years and older in the first two months after ending the Zero-COVID policy.

What distinguished this study from others was the review of empirical data and the use of Baidu, a commonly used Chinese internet search engine, to conduct syndromic surveillance, which can be used for early detection of outbreaks, follow the size, spread, and spread of outbreaks and monitor disease trends.

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Activists Crash Powerful Economic Symposium in Jackson


Climate activists targeted one of the world’s most important economic symposiums last week, urging finance experts and regulators to take the devastating impacts of continued fossil fuel investments seriously.

About 10 activists with Climate Defiance, a new youth-led organization dedicated to resisting fossil fuels through non-violent direct action, attempted to crash an event at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium—an annual gathering of some of the world’s top economists, central bankers and policymakers—on Thursday, Aug. 24. They were met with violence from security, who forcibly tackled three protesters and held them to the ground. 

The action was one of several at the symposium by activists who throughout the weekend demanded that U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell and other international finance leaders address climate change and the escalating risks of fossil fuel investments.

“It’s beyond shocking that a body like the Federal Reserve, whose stated mandate is ensuring stability, is totally MIA on the greatest destabilizing force of our time,” said Michael Greenberg, co-founder of Climate Defiance. “We turned up to Jackson Hole to protest their inaction and demand that they act in the boldness that we know we desperately need.”

Climate-related extreme weather and disasters are already costing hundreds of billions of dollars, contributing to debt crises in nations around the world and displacing millions. Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated costs for major disasters in the U.S. alone reached $165 billion. As insurance companies increasingly exploit crises to spike rates and retreat from climate-vulnerable zones, more communities are at risk of financial peril.

Central banks like the Federal Reserve are tasked with creating nations’ monetary policy, setting interest rates and inflation targets, regulating money circulation and monitoring commercial banks’ management of risks.  

The weekend’s actions fit into a global movement pushing central banks to regulate investments in fossil fuels, claiming current economic models are ill-equipped to address the accelerating humanitarian and financial risks of climate change. 

On Friday, the second day of the Jackson Hole symposium, the nongovernmental organization Ekō delivered a petition with over 57,000 signatures, outlining demands for international central banks to center climate action. Meanwhile, 71 organizations—including Ekō—co-signed an open letter to symposium attendees. 

“Just by adjusting how we understand risk, how we calculate risk around certain investments, we can steer the finance sector away from fossil fuels once and for all,” said Eren Ileri, a policy advocate with Stop the Money Pipeline, a corporate accountability coalition with more than 200 member organizations, some of which signed the open letter.

Persistent Activists and a Forceful Response

At the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, surrounded by the magnificent vistas of Grand Teton National Park and a community rife with economic inequality, the world’s leading regulators and monetary policy wonks discuss the economic issues of the day. The symposium has had tangible impacts on stock markets and currencies.

As the activists attempted to enter Jackson Lake Lodge, where the symposium took place, security tackled 25-year-old organizer Teddy Ogborn and held him, face down with a guard’s knee on his back, before handcuffing and removing him from the lodge. 

After the action, Jackie Fielder, founder of Stop the Money Pipeline, condemned security’s violent response, calling it “horrible.”

“These are young people that are peacefully protesting people that are in power to do something about the climate,” she said. “We should be embracing that as a country that prides itself on protecting the First Amendment.”

Climate Defiance formed this spring with a hyper-focused mission to target the financially and politically powerful in the U.S. for their failure to curb the use of fossil fuels, using boldly disruptive, nonviolent direct action. In the few months since its founding, the organization has blockaded the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner, crashed a congressional softball match, shut down high-profile political fundraisers and targeted top Democrats, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

At a recent protest at a fundraiser hosted by Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, who has prioritized climate but who activists were urging to ban new fossil fuel projects in-state, one donor told the young activists, “I don’t mind if you die.”  

The “intense reactions from the people that are supposed to be fighting on our side [really show] where the democratic priorities are,” said Martin Gioannetti, one of the activists who organized the Healey action.

Both actions took place just days before rangers drove into an environmental protest at the Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert Sunday, tackling and pulling a gun on protesters who were screaming, “we’re nonviolent.”

Daphne Cronin, a climate finance campaigner at Ekō, said security’s reaction at the Jackson Hole symposium exemplifies increased criminalization of climate protests. 

“Climate activists are increasingly being brutalized, intimidated and harassed and being treated like criminals,” Cronin said. “The focus should be on the fossil fuel industry, and institutions that allow it to keep being violent against, especially, communities of color.”

The group said Ogborn is facing federal charges for attempting to enter the symposium, while the other protesters mostly received pink slips banning them from the Jackson Lake Lodge for a year. But as responses to climate protests grow more aggressive, Climate Defiance is pushing harder on the political and financial levers of power that protect the fossil fuel industry. 

Throughout the weekend, Climate Defiance continued to take action at and around the symposium, including attempting to birddog Powell. 

“We can’t end fossil fuels as long as there [are] massive financial parachutes and safety nets and encouragement to continue investing in them,” Ogborn said. “Even though that counters [the] physical reality of our world, the ethical reality of our world, and economic sensibility.” 

The activists also held demonstrations around Jackson Hole to call out the community’s severe wealth gap and the outsized role of wealth in fueling the climate crisis.

Concrete Demands

Climate Defiance activists demonstrated in support of four demands outlined in Ekō’s petition. 

First, they call for a one-for-one capital requirement for fossil fuel projects—for every dollar invested in fossil fuel projects, investors would be required to put up another dollar to cover any future losses, essentially doubling up-front costs. Second, to uphold local and Indigenous communities’ right to deny fossil fuel extraction on their land. Third, to ban financing of industrial development in critical ecosystems. And fourth, they urge regulators to pressure finance ministers of wealthy countries to help secure “a just and resilient financial system” that resolves Global South debt issues and provides funding for losses and damages caused by fossil fuels. 

The petition was launched in June and delivered to the Bank for International Settlements’ annual conference in Basel, Switzerland, Cronin said. 

She said reaching U.S. regulators is particularly important, due to their large influence and inaction on climate.

“U.S. regulators have been peddling really dangerous anti-climate rhetoric,” Cronin said, mentioning comments from Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Christopher Waller in May, when he said climate-related financial risks don’t outweigh other categories of risk. 

Climate Defiance protesters held banners outside of the Jackson Lake Lodge calling for a one-for-one capital requirement in the financing of fossil fuel projects. Credit: Climate Defiance
Climate Defiance protesters held banners outside of the Jackson Lake Lodge calling for a one-for-one capital requirement in the financing of fossil fuel projects. Credit: Climate Defiance

The open letter described the symposium as a “policy solutions incubator for tackling global economic challenges,” and cited growing costs of climate-related damages—over $595 billion in the U.S. over the last five years for billion-dollar disasters alone—and global insurance gaps as evidence of climate-related financial risk. The letter also noted that the banking sector continues to pour money into fossil fuels despite clear scientific evidence that the opposite is required to rein in the damages from climate change. 

The letter urged symposium attendees to use their influence to push for a precautionary approach to climate-related hazards and for the implementation of capital requirements and other methods to curb fossil fuel projects, as well as to help financial institutions plan transitions to net zero emissions models.

Fridays for Future Uganda activist Patience Nabukalu, who helped deliver Ekō’s petition in Basel, said after this week’s actions that financial regulators in the Global North need to pressure banks to stop financing fossil fuel projects that devastate communities in the Global South. Nabukalu pointed to international financing of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, which would displace an estimated 100,000 people and generate 34 million tons of carbon emissions each year. 

Commitments to climate action from political and financial leaders in the Global North are empty as long as they continue financing fossil fuels, Nabukalu said.

“The Global North is full of hypocrisy,” she said. “Banks have a big role to play. They should defund companies that are really devastating human lives.”

Disagreement on the Role of Financial Regulators 

This year, the symposium’s theme was “Structural Shifts in the Global Economy,” but climate change was absent from the news release and agenda summary posted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and from Powell’s speech, which focused on inflation. In January, he stated that the Fed “will not be a ‘climate policymaker,’” and he has held that the responsibility to address climate change lies with elected officials, not central banks. 

But according to Fielder of Stop the Money Pipeline, as the regulators of Wall Street banks and other financial institutions, the Fed has a clear role to play in addressing the financial risks of investing in the fossil fuel industry.

“This isn’t about making the Fed a climate policy maker, it’s mitigating risk,” she said. 

Powell said in January that the Fed’s narrow role in climate-related risk does include requiring banks to understand and manage risks—though he maintained that without legislative mandate, its jurisdiction would end there—and the Fed has taken steps in that direction. At the end of last year, it proposed principles for climate-related risk management at large financial institutions. This year, the Fed also launched a Climate Scenario Analysis (CSA) exercise to gather qualitative and quantitative information about the existing climate risk-management practices of large banking organizations.

The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City declined requests to comment for this story.

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David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s climate program, said these guidelines are a good start but that they need to be quickly finalized and followed up on. Central banking officials supervise banks, reviewing their books and policies to stop excessive risk-taking, he said, so stopping banks from engaging in risky behavior related to climate should be core to the Fed’s mission.

“It is an unsafe and unsound practice to finance fossil fuels wildly in excess of science based targets,” Arkush said. “By financing extreme global heating, banks are contributing to massive threats to financial stability.”

Ileri said that the U.S. is falling behind its peers in terms of climate-risk mitigation, pointing out a scorecard by the Green Central Banking research project that ranked the U.S. 16th out of the G20 countries for green policies and initiatives in central banking. 

In a report last month for Carbon Tracker—an independent financial think tank focused on the energy transition—University College London economist Steve Keen, Ph.D, argued that central banks, financial regulators and pension funds aren’t taking climate risks seriously enough, relying on economic models that don’t line up with science. 

“All the numbers that economists make up imply trivial damages, and therefore policymakers, including central banks, are preparing for climate change to be a trivial challenge that doesn’t reserve any more focus than any other potential challenge,” Keen said. “They’re completely wrong.”

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Purposeful travel by design: Can tourism lead the way to a


Aay­usha Pra­sain lays out her vis­ion for pur­pose­ful travel and why the tour­ism industry should lead by example.

It’s a “Good Tour­ism” Insight. (You too can write a “GT” Insight.)

Pur­pose­ful travel involves more than just the joy of exploration. 

It encom­passes a mind­ful approach that pre­serves the envir­on­ment, empowers loc­al com­munit­ies, pro­motes eth­ic­al prac­tices, and ensures a sus­tain­able future. It’s a way to learn and grow while mak­ing a pos­it­ive difference. 

When we, as tour­ism industry people, travel respons­ibly and with pur­pose, we lead by example. We encour­age oth­ers in the industry and the trav­el­ling pub­lic to do the same, cre­at­ing a bet­ter future for everyone. 

Don’t miss oth­er “GT” con­tent tagged ‘Respons­ible travel & tourism’

How can we travel respons­ibly? And, by exten­sion, how can we design and pro­mote respons­ible travel options?

It is easy to use buzz words and phrases like ‘sus­tain­ab­il­ity’, ‘respons­ible travel’, ‘women’s empower­ment’, among oth­ers, to present a feel-good option to our cus­tom­ers. But how do we give mean­ing to these ideas through our actions? 

Supporting local communities

Respons­ible tour­ism emphas­ises the sup­port of loc­al communities. 

One of the best ways you can sup­port loc­als is by choos­ing com­munity-based accom­mod­a­tions for your­self and for your cli­ents; accom­mod­a­tion like com­munity homestays that are truly led and owned by loc­al people, where you can live with your hosts and learn their way of life. 

Purposeful travel. Practicing Ranjana Lipi strokes at a workshop organised by Community Homestay Network.
Prac­ti­cing Ran­jana Lipi strokes at a work­shop organ­ised by Com­munity Homestay Network.

Immers­ive exper­i­ences like cook­ing with loc­als with ingredi­ents that have been sourced loc­ally, or invest­ing your time to learn ancient script and art, among oth­ers, opens up oppor­tun­it­ies for trav­el­lers to explore the loc­al cul­ture and have a mean­ing­ful con­nec­tion with loc­al people. 

Based on my own exper­i­ences trav­el­ling and liv­ing in diverse com­munit­ies, I have come to appre­ci­ate that under­stand­ing a cul­ture means get­ting to know the blend of ele­ments that is shaped by their lan­guage, his­tory, geo­graphy, and food. 

I per­son­ally believe that food serves as one of the best ways to learn the true essence of loc­al communities. 

Food-related exper­i­ences with loc­als, like learn­ing how to cook thenthuk in a Sherpa com­munity or savour­ing ghongi in a Tharu com­munity, has always brought me joy and deepened my under­stand­ing about the com­munity, such as how geo­graphy plays a huge part in shap­ing their lifestyle. 

If you are trav­el­ling and design­ing trips for your cus­tom­ers, try to find organ­isa­tions that are genu­inely pro­mot­ing loc­al products and experiences. 

Gov­ern­ments have a role to play. They can cre­ate oppor­tun­it­ies for com­munit­ies to act­ively par­ti­cip­ate in and bene­fit from the tour­ism industry, includ­ing offer­ing train­ing pro­grams, skills devel­op­ment ini­ti­at­ives, and fin­an­cial sup­port to pro­mote entre­pren­eur­ship and mean­ing­ful involvement.

Promoting ethical tourism practices 

Pro­mot­ing eth­ic­al tour­ism prac­tices is essen­tial for ensur­ing sus­tain­able and respect­ful inter­ac­tions between trav­el­lers and loc­al communities. 

In my exper­i­ence, I have seen that travel and tour oper­at­ors play a cru­cial role in this endeav­our by imple­ment­ing strong child pro­tec­tion and safe­guard­ing policies. 

Don’t miss “GT” con­tent tagged ‘Eth­ic­al tourism’

Travel agents and tour oper­at­ors like G Adven­tures and Roy­al Moun­tain Travel among oth­ers, have guidelines and policies designed in such a way it helps to pre­vent any exploit­a­tion of chil­dren and vul­ner­able indi­vidu­als through tour­ism, ensur­ing their safety and well-being.

Sim­il­arly, wild­life pro­tec­tion is anoth­er crit­ic­al aspect of eth­ic­al tour­ism. Tour oper­at­ors should pri­or­it­ise activ­it­ies that do not harm or exploit wild­life. This may include avoid­ing attrac­tions that involve cap­tive or mis­treated anim­als and pro­mot­ing respons­ible wild­life view­ing prac­tices, such as main­tain­ing a safe and respect­ful distance.

Purposeful travel. Guests interact with the host at Barauli Community Homestay, part of the Community Homestay Network.
Guests inter­act with the host at Barauli Com­munity Homestay, part of the Com­munity Homestay Network.

Gov­ern­ments can play a sig­ni­fic­ant role here too, by mak­ing it a pre­requis­ite for the main­stream travel industry as well as com­munity-based enter­prises to have com­pre­hens­ive eth­ic­al tour­ism policies and oper­a­tion­al guidelines in place as pre­requis­ites for doing busi­ness in their jurisdictions. 

Indeed, I believe gov­ern­ment policies should expli­citly address child pro­tec­tion and wild­life con­ser­va­tion. By set­ting such require­ments, gov­ern­ments can foster respons­ible tour­ism prac­tices and safe­guard loc­al com­munit­ies and their resources. 

By col­lect­ively focus­ing on strong policies, train­ing, and empower­ment ini­ti­at­ives, the travel & tour­ism industry can foster eth­ic­al prac­tices, pre­serve loc­al cul­tures and resources, and ensure that tour­ism deliv­ers pos­it­ive out­comes to com­munit­ies as well as enrich­ing exper­i­ences to travellers.

Helping travellers make responsible travel decisions

As we work in the travel industry, we under­stand that the respons­ib­il­ity of choos­ing respons­ible travel options should not be solely placed on indi­vidu­al travellers. 

The industry needs to design and pro­act­ively pro­mote respons­ible options. 

Trav­el­lers need to be made aware. It is very dif­fi­cult to be ration­al about sup­port­ing loc­al causes once one is out there travelling. 

Wheth­er book­ing a trip through your organ­isa­tion or buy­ing a souven­ir from a shop you take them to, it will be a more enrich­ing exper­i­ence for your trav­el­ling cus­tom­er if they feel con­fid­ent that you have done the appro­pri­ate research about who bene­fits most from the money they spend. 

Hence, tour­ism author­it­ies, travel agents, and all rel­ev­ant stake­hold­ers along the value chain, should take stronger actions to help trav­el­lers take wise steps. 

A path to purposeful travel and responsible tourism

Enga­ging in pur­pose­ful travel fosters per­son­al growth and cul­tur­al enrich­ment through immers­ive exper­i­ences, mean­ing­ful inter­ac­tions with loc­als, and a deep­er appre­ci­ation for diverse ways of life; without adopt­ing a ‘saviour mentality’. 

Pur­pose­ful, respons­ible tour­ism is as much, if not more, about the entire travel industry mak­ing an effort to design and pro­mote such travel than it is about respond­ing to indi­vidu­al trav­el­lers’ demand for it. 

Don’t miss oth­er “GT” con­tent tagged ‘Cor­por­ate social responsibility’

By act­ively sup­port­ing busi­nesses and organ­isa­tions that pri­or­it­ise sus­tain­ab­il­ity and respons­ible prac­tices, tour­ism stake­hold­ers can become agents of change, pro­pelling the industry towards a more sus­tain­able future, and allow­ing our cus­tom­ers to enjoy their travels and appre­ci­ate their des­tin­a­tions without fret­ting about their choices.

A col­lect­ive industry-wide effort to be respons­ible will trans­form ‘pur­pose­ful travel’ and ‘respons­ible tour­ism’ from mar­ket­ing buzz phrases, or niche con­cepts deman­ded by a few, into a real­ity; a real­ity that secures a sus­tain­able future for our unique and pre­cious des­tin­a­tions, the people who live in them, and the trav­el­lers we serve.

What do you think? Share a short anec­dote or com­ment below. Or write a deep­er “GT” InsightThe “Good Tour­ism” Blog wel­comes diversity of opin­ion and per­spect­ive about travel & tour­ism because travel & tour­ism is everyone’s business.

Fea­tured image (top of post): A wel­come at Barauli Com­munity Homestay. Image sup­plied by Com­munity Homestay Net­work.

About the author

Aayusha Prasain
Aay­usha Prasain

Aay­usha Pra­sain leads the Com­munity Homestay Net­work (CHN), a Kath­mandu-based Nepali social enter­prise that “works with grass­roots com­munit­ies to devel­op attract­ive tour­ism exper­i­ences through a value-chain approach”. As CEO, her role includes “bring­ing stake­hold­ers into align­ment with CHN’s vis­ion, mis­sion, and goals”. 

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BlackRock: Interest rates return to the ‘old normal’


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Reserve Bank of NZ Governor Adrian Orr. Graphic / NZME

Strategists from global investment giant BlackRock warn people shouldn’t hold their breaths for material interest rate cuts in the near to medium term.

They believe central banks in the western world are committed to keeping


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