January 14

Tiny Nation That’s Leading Europe In Digital Innovation

Tiny Nation That’s Leading Europe In Digital Innovation

Big Brother seems to just want to help Big Brother is just trying to help in Estonia nation at the very least. In this small country of 1.3 million, people have overcame fears of the Orwellian dystopia characterized by all-encompassing surveillance, and have evolved into an increasingly digital society.

The government brought a majority of the services it offered online through an e-Estonia State Portal. The nation’s digitally-savvy governance was not the product of a meticulously crafted master plan, but rather an effective and cost-effective solution to budgetary limitations.

It helped that Estonian citizens believed in their government following Estonia gained its independence from 1991. In turn politicians entrusted Estonia’s engineers, who were not bound by any obligation to the old hardware or software in order to develop something entirely innovative. It proved to be a successful formula, and it is now in use by all European nations.

The Nation Principle That Is Once-Only

Through its digital governance, Estonia implemented its once-only principle, mandating that the state isn’t allowed to solicit citizens for the same data twice.

Also, if you submit your address or family member’s names to the Census Bureau, your health insurance provider won’t then ask you to provide the same information. The government’s departments and agency is allowed to ask citizens to duplicate information that is already in their database, or the database of a different agency. A tech-savvy former prime minister and vice president of the European Commission Andrus Ansip oversaw the change.

The once-only principle has proven to be so successful that, in the spirit of Estonia’s common-sense approach and a common-sense approach, the EU adopted a digital Once Only Principle and initiative in the early part of this year. It guarantees the citizens and businesses supply certain standard information only once. Because public administration offices take action to internally share this data, so that no additional burden falls on citizens and businesses.

Requesting information only once is a good method to follow. A number of countries have begun to adopt this idea (including Poland and Austria).

However, this doesn’t solve the issue that simply seeking information could cause problems for businesses and citizens. The principle of once-only does not assure that the data. Collected was need to obtain or to be utilize to its maximum potential.

Twice-Mandatory Nation Principle

Governments must always think about looking for ways to improve their thinking, asking whether. For instance what government agency is in need of this data which other agencies could gain from the information? Beyond this what insight can we gain from this information?

Finance expert Vernon Hill introduced an interesting One to Say YES, Two to Say NO rule in. The beginning of Metro Bank UK: It is only one person who can take a yes or no decision and it takes two people to make a no decision. If you’re planning to refuse your customers, you’ll need to write an additional check to confirm this.

Imagine how easy and effective an idea would be if government officials learned this lesson. What if all information gathered from individuals or companies had the potential to be utilize. For at least two different purposes (at minimum!) or by two organizations to be worthy of asking for it?

Estonian Tax and Customs Board Nation

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board might be surprising. Given the popularity of tax authorities an illustration of the possibility for a paradigm change. In 2014, the board launched an entirely new approach to tackle tax fraud. It requires each business transaction exceeding 1,000 euros to be report every month by the companies who are affect.

To minimise the administrative burden of this, the government introduced an application-programming interface. That allows information to be automatically exchange between the company’s accounting software and the state’s tax system.

Although there was some opposition from the media at first by former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Who vetoed the original version of the law the program was a major success. Estonia beat its initial estimation for EUR30 million in taxes by nearly two times.

Latvia, Spain, Belgium, Romania, Hungary and other countries have all taken the same path to control and finding tax fraud. However, analyzing this data beyond tax fraud is where the true potential is not visible.

Predictive Models And Analytics

Analytics, big data and prediction models are expect to play a key role in the upcoming generation of e-government technology. In the case of a single transaction, for instance, if data puzzles are combine to create an overview of the larger national business. Landscape it may be possible to comprehend the complex interdependencies among companies that are illustrate below.

However, this poses a fascinating question is whether a federal government could make use of this digital tracking. System to gather information regarding the health of the economy as well as general economic developments?

January 14

Japanese Civil Society Groups Are Helping Support Refugee Attitude

Japanese Civil Society Groups Are Helping Support Refugee Attitude

Japan is famous for its unfriendly attitude towards immigration. Although the door has been gradually opened to professionals but the Japanese government isn’t willing to accept migrants with low skills other than temporary work visas. And it is very reluctant to accept refugees.

The refugee crisis of 2015 hasn’t changed Japan’s closed-door policy. While nations like those in the United States, Canada and Venezuela have taken in hundreds of thousands of asylum applicants, Japan has announced it will accept only 150 Syrian students and their families over the next five years. Although this is a significant move for Japan however, it is way too little.

A Different Attitude

There is a gap in Japan’s indifferent attitude to accepting refugees, and its inability to provide adequate assistance as well as its active involvement beyond its borders has been criticized by media, NGOs and academics.

Japan is among the largest contributors of funds to the UN refugee agency. the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a number of initiatives that included the donation of US$2.8 billion for refugees and host communities during the summit of leaders held in New York in September 2016. Despite this huge commitment to the country’s finances, its acceptance rate for refugees is extremely low (less than 1percent of all requests in the year 2015).

Out of 3,898 asylum requests process in Japan this year Only 27 of them were recognize as refugees. The figure also included asylum seekers who sought to appeal the decision of the government not to admit their claims in the past. Add in the 79 who received special status to remain in Japan for humanitarian reasons, and the total comes to more than 100.

Refugees can work with no restrictions. But asylum seekers can’t work if they applied for asylum on the territory of Japan legally.

Asylum seekers who apply following the expiration of their visas expire are transport in an immigration detention facility. They may be release on a temporary basis or permitted to remain in the outside of the centre. However, they will not be able to work.

Attitude Civil Society Is A Key Player

Given the institution-related restrictions facing asylum applicants, Japanese civil society and businesses are slowly working to assist refugees in gaining acceptance, and assist refugees in establishing their own businesses.

The non-profit organization based in Tokyo, Entrepreneurship Support Program for Refugee Empowerment (ESPRE), is the only public interest foundation that government has granted permission to help refugees access microfinance. Through a partnership together with Japan Association for Refugees and Social Venture Partners Tokyo, ESPRE can provide loans of up to one million yen (about $8800 USD) to refugees and offers additional assistance with business-related advice.

The kinds of ventures ESPRE has supported include food service to trading enterprises. For example one of them is an Burmese former lecturer at a university. Who was grant refugee status in Japan and has reside in Japan for more than 20 years, has open the first Myanmar establishment in Tokyo with the help of ESPRE in 2012.

And Vietnamese refugee Minami Masakazu who emigrated from her home in the teen years. He was also assist to establish a renowned Vietnamese eatery in Tokyo. ESPRE also assisted an Pakistani businessman who runs an exporting company that trades used Japanese automobiles. The company was initially target at the market in Mozambique and has since expand into other markets.

Corporates are also embracing the concept of helping refugees through the entrepreneurship. Uber Japan, for instance began an initiative in 2014 to encourage its customers to make donations. Towards ESPRE and an accountancy that is anonymous offers pro bono assistance to refugees who are entrepreneurs. According the director of ESPRE, Masaru Yoshiyama.

Every Kind Of Benefit

Researchers and academics who work with refugees have highlighted the positive impacts of entrepreneurship for refugees and host societies. In the beginning it helps refugees. It’s very easy for people to feel lost and feel unsure in the event that they are dependent on government assistance. They can restore their independence and confidence by establishing their own business. Making money and participating in the community they live in as a volunteer.

Organizations like ESPRE do not only assist them in financing projects. And reducing the language barrier for which Japan known for. To help with this, ESPRE holds English-language orientation sessions. Where business advisors and accountants provide guidance on the best ways to manage a company in Japan.

It is also widely recognize that refugees can benefit local economies by creating jobs. For instance, the Myanmar restaurateur in Tokyo is an example. The owner of a restaurant in Tokyo is currently hiring refugees and college students. Although this hasn’t yet occurred in Japan refugees, entrepreneurs in other countries typically employ locals.

In addition, refugees’ participation in self-generated economic activity can alter. The perception of people of them as considered a “societal burden”. This reduces the negative perception of the public toward refugees.

January 13

Communities And Cities Can Help Save The Environment

Communities And Cities Can Help Save The Environment

One year after COP21 and the signing of the Paris Agreement Environment, international policymakers continue to struggle to translate goals into actions. This is evident in this title for the latest follow-up COP in Marrakech The goal of the COP21 was to turn into Action the Promise of Paris into Action.

However, as the international community plods along the streets, local communities and cities are already on the frontlines of the combat for climate protection

Cities Lead The Way Environment

In recent years Sub-national actors, including cities and regions have gained more influence in international discussions. Both scholars and policymakers recognize the vulnerability of cities to, and their part in the environmental degradation. Like the recently held C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City proved, the metropolitan mayors across the globe are also looking to create sustainable urban environments that are low carbon and energy efficient.

Local governments have control over the key areas of environmental policy and also have a high concentration of economic activity, people and political influence, cities are in a good position to develop new climate solutions.

In Tokyo In Tokyo, for instance the Tokyo metropolitan government put the city’s first cap-and trade system to improve buildings which is ‘energy efficiency. If the most energy-intensive buildings do not meet certain goals, they have to purchase credits from buildings that meet the standards and are able to sell the credits they have earned.

Transform An Old Elevated Road

The project is located in South Korea, Seoul’s Station 7017 Project will transform an old elevated road to an elevated pedestrian pathway that connects Seoul’s city central area to other districts as well as to Seoul station. The project will not only revive certain areas of the city and areas, but it will also bring green spaces to the urban region.

There’s also Hamburg, the German Hamburg city. Hamburg. The city is working on a plan to have the city completely car-free within the next 20 years through the development of an extensive green network of pedestrian and bike routes that connect the city with its surroundings and also to cemeteries, parks, playgrounds and other public places. Apart from making cars less necessary and reducing congestion, greenways will increase the resilience of the city to flooding and natural disasters, as well as take in more carbon dioxide.

People Have Power Environment

People have the potential to fight the climate change. This is particularly true in the energy sector, which is vitally important. The research literature on this subject has proven. Community power encouraging citizen involvement in renewable energy projects facilitates their implementation. Decreases energy consumption, and can eventually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The idea of this was the basis for the most recent World Community Power Conference. Which was held at Fukushima, Japan from November 3-4, in the same week as the Paris Agreement was ratified. The conference that is the very first event of this kind. The participants from academia as well as local government and civil society. Business and even schools pondered the role of communities as the agents of sustainability improvement locally.

The event was organized through The Japan Community Power Association. The Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies and the World Wind Energy Association. The participants addressed issues ranging that ranged from energy democracy to regional. Cooperation, to the community power’s benefits in developing countries. The barriers in cooperation between local authorities businesses, citizens and local governments were also discussed.

Earthquake And Tsunami Environment

Fukushima in Japan, where an 2011 earthquake and tsunami led to the meltdown of a nuclear. Power plant is a symbolically significant host site. Following the catastrophe, local officials have decided to set a goal of being 100 renewable energy by 2040. To achieve this residents, companies as well as local government. Officials are cooperating to make wind and solar their main energy sources.

The collaboration is a result of a variety of community-based projects. The Fukushima Airport Solar Power Project there were citizens who participated in the financially invested). When they purchased and installed solar panels that will generate around 1.2 megawatts of power at the terminal. Another prefecture-wide initiative is that is the Fukushima Ryozen citizens’ Joint Power Plant. Utilized citizen funds to assist local farmers in constructing the solar farm. It produces about 50 Kilowatts of electricity.

Community power, therefore, is a way to increase the use of renewable energy and gradually eliminate fossil fuels. Since it is also associate with greater security of energy, it places a greater. Emphasis on democratic engagement and autonomy for local governments. Community power can also bring important socioeconomic benefits like jobs creation. Well-being of the community as well as new revenue sources as well as solutions to fuel scarcity as well as lower prices.