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Knowledge Update

Introduction & Purpose
Knowledge update and Industry update at Skyline University College (SUC) is an online platform for communicating knowledge with SUC stakeholders, industry, and the outside world about the current trends of business development, technology, and social changes. The platform helps in branding SUC as a leading institution of updated knowledge base and in encouraging faculties, students, and others to create and contribute under different streams of domain and application. The platform also acts as a catalyst for learning and sharing knowledge in various areas.

The Sanguine CEO during COVID-19

The CEO addresses the employees of his organization during the pandemic and makes a genuine effort to motivate them. He also envisions a productive and more successful organization in the forthcoming times. Some excerpts of the speech are here…

“Good afternoon my dear executives. How are you doing today? So you know the current times. You know these are difficult, demanding and challenging times.  That’s the new normal! It has questioned our own existence, our methods of working, the way we think, the way we act, the way we use technology, the way we treat ourselves and others - everything has been questioned by these turbulent times!”

“…So what have you thought about yourselves? Have you been stressed? Have you had anxiety? Were you thinking that life is getting difficult? Were you thinking about your job? I am sure many of you were thinking what will happen if my company lays me off? What is going to happen if my company is cutting down on the number of people and their salaries – and my salary gets slashed by 25%? How am I going to sustain? How am I going to run my family? What would be the future of our company? Some of you are worried – will I fit in in the new norm? Will my skills be enough to save my job in the future? Will I be part of the team and this small family in the future or not? So many questions might have occurred to you during the last 3-4 months. These are haunting questions for everyone across the globe. You are still thinking what will happen to my promotion? What will happen to my increment? What will happen to the targets that I have met in the past? Well these questions should be answered today. Let me console and motivate you as the CEO of this company that all these questions for you about you have positive answers.”

The CEO gives them solutions…

“Did you think about doing web-based courses and certifications to increase your skills? If not, go ahead and do. I’m sure these will enhance your skills and make you learn new technologies. These skills are going to take you a long way because you know that “tough times don’t last – only tough people do”! So let’s be tough. Even I completed several courses as I understand that if I have to carry a vision for this organization I should know what is unknown, what to expect 5 years down the line, what skills I need to run the organization along with you.”

“My dear colleagues, it is very important that you build yourself, your happiness, your health, and work around balancing your family, your life, and this job, so that you can be more productive, more efficient while you are trying to work. See your inner strengths, your inner pillars, what brings you more courage and makes you more productive! Can I be more productive, can I be more efficient, can I bring more business, can I identify new areas of operation, can I sell more, and can I make new products or services? What can I do to enhance the face of this organization – think about it!”

“This discussion lays the foundation of our future. Please remember that we are here to see that we build better lives, we be more productive, we be more knowledgeable we have better skills and we bring improvement not only in our own lives but also an enhancement in this organization. So my dear executives best wishes to each one you and I’m very confident that you are going to make yourself proud, healthy and happier and of course, in turn, make this organization a more fruitful, productive, more efficient and more successful organization. Thank you and best wishes to each of you!”

The CEO receives a round of applause!

Impact of COVID 19 on Marketing Strategies and Actions

The appearance of coronavirus recently represents the most difficult pandemic that caused big impact on various economic sectors worldwide. Governments have been enforcing different approaches to minimize the effect

Disruption Due to Digitization

Digitalization is the use of technologies and digital skills. Digitization has entered almost every sector of economy and social life. Traditional practices are changing to include technology in every activity.

Marketing Strategy during Covid-19 and the Way Forward

Though the current health crisis has a legacy in the past, but with advanced medical and IT infrastructure, this unprecedented crisis has been a big jolt to the entire world.

When the Face Covering is no Longer a Security Threat: Rethinking the Face Covering Controversies and its Multilayered Signifiers

The piece of cloth that once caused so much aggravations—particularly as a security threat—mainly in European countries seems to be nowadays an essential and mandatory part of human daily precautions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Historically, the issue of face covering and its cultural and religious manifestations had been omnipresent in most of the secular states. It started in 1980 in France with what it was called l’Affair du Foulard or the Veil Affair and expanded to other European countries such as England where the issue of face covering was given much attention particularly in 2006.

In the French case, the core of the issue of the veil must be addressed in relation to Stasi commission[1] and the law that created so much controversy not only in France, but also in some other European countries as a result. The law was designed to protect the public spaces from any religious concerns such as the religious symbols. Hence, it prohibited all the religious symbols in public schools such as the headscarves and the all types of face coverings. John Wallach Scott, a French sociologist tried to inspect some of the ideas implemented in this law banning the headscarf in the French public schools. She stated that a law that prohibited the headscarf inside the public schools must be seen as a clear manifestation against cultural and religious symbol. (Scott, 2007)[2]

Now, and due the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that all the laws that forbade the face coverings in public places in the name of the secular values and security reasons can no longer hold in the face of the dire current circumstance. Surprisingly, it becomes almost mandatory in most of the European countries to use the face mask as a precaution notably in the public spaces. Recently, the National Academy of Medicine in France recommended that the face mask should be worn in public places.

Consequently, the face mask or covering in relation to coronavirus outbreak is used as a tool for resisting the virus. Here, one can theorize the face covering as a multilayered signifier due to its different functions over the courses of time. What this article is intended to add is the fact that the face covering or veil is always used and misused to serve certain agenda and purposes. So, those who used to vote on face covering bans have found themselves covering their faces as a gesture of precaution. Additionally, the face covering which was once a source of oppression and backwardness has dominated the public spaces nowadays.

Coronavirus pandemic will surely change the way things are interpreted. More importantly, it will lead some to rethink and reconsider some of the assumptions associated with the dress codes. However, there is no intention to call for a counter discourse based on the coronavirus outbreak in which the face covering becomes very useful particularly in the public spheres. Additionally, the unprecedented used of face coving nowadays can be seen as an opportunity to rethink all the ban on face covering, the compatibility of these cultural, security or religious symbols with European values and more significantly their conception of the public and private spaces.    

Note: This is a working paper on the Cultural Anthropology of the Face Covering.

[1] The Stasi Commission: is a commission done for preserving the principles of the French laïcité or secularism. It is named after the French politician Bernard Stasi. The commission consisted of 20 members and was formed by the French president Jacques Chirac in 2003. In 2003, the commission has introduced the ban on all conspicuous religious symbols in the public schools. The aim behind this commission was the preservation of the secular values and principles.

[2] Joan Wallach Scott, The Politics of the Veil, United States: Princeton University Press, 2007, p. 91.

Asian Technocracies Show Success in the Global Pandemic Fight

As of this writing, the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) global pandemic watchdog endcoronavirus.org projects that sixty-nine countries still need to take more concrete action to mitigate the spread of the virus. Over the early courses of the pandemic fight, Vietnam has been named by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a primary role model in disease mitigation as they implemented efficient and immediate public health policies that prevented that rise of the number of cases in their country (Dreisbach, 2020). 

Among the Asian nations that successfully dealt with disease mitigation are Taiwan and Thailand. Both countries are notable for their extensive experience in successfully handling pulmonary-related epidemics, which include the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) epidemic, and COVID-19. 

Prior to stepping down as Vice President of Taiwan on May 20 of this year, human genetics expert Chen Chien-jen received global attention as his epidemiology specialization became vital in the public health policymaking process to fight the spread of the virus in the country. The Johns Hopkins-trained scientist-politician was considered by the global media as the country’s ‘secret weapon’ in fighting COVID-19 as had the both the medical, scientific, and political experience in providing guidance for the ‘Taiwan model’ of virus outbreak control (The New York Times, 2020). Upon stepping down from his position, he returned to the academe by joining Academia Sinica, one of Asia’s premier research institutions, to continue doing research about COVID-19 mitigation (Cheng, 2020). Moreover, it can be noted in an interview with the British broadsheet The Telegraph, he revealed that Academica Sinica is involved with the United States National Institutes of Health and European Union health institutions that are collaborating in the research work on the COVID-19 vaccine (Smith, 2020).

Moving to Southeast Asia, Thailand proved that disease mitigation and action can be prioritized despite their tense political situation. The country has the best medical infrastructure and investment in the region, and this proved well in the current global pandemic as their fatality rates are well below 2 percent (Abuza, 2020). As with Taiwan, medical institutions in Thailand are already well-established in the field of epidemiology and tropical medicine. The country lists as one of the top-ranking countries in the Global Health Security Index (Searight, 2020). Thailand also ranks second after Australia in the Global COVID-19 Index, the list of countries that has the best recovery rates globally (Thai PBS World, 2020). Beyond having well-trained experts that could fight the global pandemic, the country boasts more than a million healthcare volunteers that are assigned in villages throughout Thailand to closely monitor the health situation in grassroots communities (Ratcliffe, 2020).

As such, we can see the significance of appointing epidemiology experts in the public health policymaking process and implementation to successfully mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These technocratic practices have provided great insight and lessons as to how other countries may stand their ground in this global pandemic.

References

Abuza, Z. (2020). Explaining Successful (and Unsuccessful) COVID-19 Responses in Southeast Asia. The Diplomat. Retrieved from https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/explaining-successful-and-unsuccessful-covid-19-responses-in-southeast-asia/.

Cheng, C-T. (2020). Chen Chien-jen becomes Taiwan's first vice president to give up pension. Taiwan News. Retrieved from https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3934346.

Dreisbach, J.L. (2020). Vietnamese Public Health Practices in the Advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons for Developing Countries. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 101053952092726. doi:10.1177/1010539520927266

Ratcliffe, R. (2020). Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam... How some countries kept Covid at bay. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/14/thailand-malaysia-vietnam-how-some-countries-kept-covid-at-bay.

Searight, A. (2020). Strengths and Vulnerabilities in Southeast Asia’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved from https://www.csis.org/analysis/strengths-and-vulnerabilities-southeast-asias-response-covid-19-pandemic.

Smith, N. (2020). Taiwan's Vice-President Chen Chien-jen on his country's fight with Covid-19. The Telegraph. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/taiwans-vice-president-chen-chien-jen-countrys-fight-covid-19/.

Thai PBS World. (2020). Thailand is ranked 2nd in global COVID-19 recovery index. Retrieved from https://www.thaipbsworld.com/thailand-is-ranked-2nd-in-global-covid-19-recovery-index/.

The New York Times. (2020). Taiwan’s Weapon Against Coronavirus: An Epidemiologist as Vice President. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/09/world/asia/taiwan-vice-president-coronavirus.html.