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Starting in January 2011, CNSX-listed entities – like all Canadian public issuers – will be converting from Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (Canadian GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Like any significant project, this carries both risks and opportunities, not necessarily in equal measure for all entities.

For smaller public issuers, some of the most prominent potential benefits – easier access to global capital markets by using a common financial reporting language – may not seem particularly relevant, at least in the short term. The risks, however, are clear for all.

Canadian regulators are already taking an active interest in IFRS adoption. CSA Staff Notice 52-320 Disclosure of Expected Changes in Accounting Policies Relating to Changeover to International Financial Reporting Standards sets out expectations for MD&A disclosure between now and conversion, focusing on an issuer’s changeover plan and its progress against that plan. Some small companies have already received letters from regulators, questioning the adequacy of the activities disclosed to date and asking for more information on what steps they are taking to ensure they can make the transition to IFRS on schedule and continue to meet all their regulatory obligations. Even now, therefore, IFRS needs to be an active part of an issuer’s communication plan.

Generally speaking, of course, smaller companies will encounter fewer significant conversion issues; however, it will also be relatively more likely that some of the matters identified might be material to the financial statements as a whole. For many topics, increased note disclosure under IFRS will shine a brighter spotlight than exists under Canadian GAAP. To take just one of many examples, it’s clearer under IFRS that a “provision” has to be recognized, at its best estimate, for the obligation arising from an uneconomic or “onerous” business contract. In addition, the notes provide a breakdown of the movement in each significant class of provisions between the opening and the closing balance, disclosing key uncertainties (including major assumptions) relating to their measurement. This transparency might, for instance, provide a better basis for regulators to question whether liabilities should have been recognized earlier than they were, or to challenge their amounts.


Certifying officers of non-TSX-listed entities do not need to report on the design and effectiveness of disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. However, they must still certify on the fair presentation of the key financial information, and this may mean something very different under IFRS. Using the same example, provisions may not be “fairly presented” without making changes both to the core financial statements and to the notes. In turn, the MD&A will often need to expand to address these changes. This should not be at the cost, however, of drowning out the key decision-critical information: this would likely not result in a fair presentation either.

Similarly, audit committee members of non-TSX-listed entities are not subject to the same requirements for independence and financial literacy; however, they still play a key risk management role and must think about their individual fiduciary duties and potential individual liability. Relying on experience gained under Canadian GAAP will not provide an adequate basis for overseeing management’s IFRS-related decisions, since so much of IFRS has no direct precedent in Canadian GAAP. This is not to say audit committee members necessarily need to receive the same degree of training as the financial reporting staff. But they do need a sufficient awareness to identify what could go wrong, given the company’s specific operations and activities, and to engage with the explanations management provides for its decisions. It’s likely many audit committee members have not yet focused on this personal challenge.


Lenders and other finance providers have not to this point said very much about IFRS, although we know for instance that some of the banks are receiving training and thinking about how the transition should impact on their loan assessment criteria. IFRS will often change the calculation of key performance measures: on occasion it may even change something as “objective” as cash flows (for example, different entities may be consolidated). Some finance providers will take the impact on covenants in their stride; others may not. At least for some entities, managing the risks of such collateral impacts will be the most important direct impact of the IFRS conversion.

All of this said, even small entities can find benefits from IFRS conversion too. The risks described above allow a fresh look at procedures that may have grown stale. In some areas – provisions might again be an example – preparing the information for external reporting may provide a better internal focus for management as well. But in IFRS as in other things, the best offense starts with the defense




“The term up has no meaning apart from the word down. The term fast has no meaning apart from the term slow. In addition, such terms have no meaning even when used together, except when confined to a very particular situation… most of our language about the organization and objectives of government is made up of such polar terms. Justice and injustice are typical. A reformer who wants to abolish injustice and create a world in which nothing but justice prevails, is like a man who wants to make everything up. Such a man might feel that if he took the lowest in the world and carried it up to the highest point and kept on doing this, everything would eventually become up. This would certainly move a great many objects and create an enormous amount of activity. It might or might not be useful, according to the standards, which we apply. However, it would never result in the abolishment of down.” — Thurman W. Arnold

“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” — John Kenneth Galbraith “We never have the time to do it right but always have time to do it over.” — Anonymous

“You can’t turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again.” — Bonnie Prudden

“When you’re at the edge of a cliff, sometimes progress is a step backwards.” — Anonymous
“Science cannot resolve moral conflicts, but it can help to more accurately frame the debates about those conflicts.” — John Owen

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne)

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” — Duke Ellington


“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.” — George Eliot “Commitment in the face of conflict produces character.” – Anonymous

“One might as well try to ride two horses moving in different directions, as to try to maintain in equal force two opposing or contradictory sets of desires.” — Robert Collier

“If necessity is the mother of invention, conflict is its father.” — Kenneth Kaye

“Conflict is neither good nor bad. Properly managed, it is absolutely vital.” — Kenneth Kaye

“If we manage conflict constructively, we harness its energy for creativity and development.” — Kenneth Kaye

“Within-group conflict is always personal and emotional — even if it begins with impersonal issues.” — Kenneth Kaye

“Opposites attract — and then can’t stand each other.” — Kenneth Kaye

“If you are leaning over to starboard to balance the boat against the other guy’s propensity to lean too far to port, both of you are about to get wet.” — Kenneth Kaye

“No matter how thin you make a pancake, it always has two sides.” – Anonymous

“You don’t have to worry about being bit if the dog doesn’t have any teeth. Success has made failures of many men.” — Anonymous

“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” — Joseph Joubert

“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” — William Ellery Channing

“The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results.” — Carl Jung

“It is through cooperation, rather than conflict, that your greatest successes will be derived.” — Ralph Charell

“Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.” — Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“Instead of suppressing conflicts, specific channels could be created to make this conflict explicit, and specific methods could be set up by which the conflict is resolved.” — Albert Low


“Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein

“Non-cooperation is a measure of discipline and sacrifice, and it demands respect for the opposite views.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi

“If we cannot end our differences at least we can make the world safe for diversity.” — John F. Kennedy

“The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Don’t wrestle a pig in a mud hole. You both get all dirty, and the pig enjoys it.” — Anonymous

“We own almost all our knowledge not to those who have agreed but to those who have differed.” — Charles Caleb Colton

“The heart has arguments with which the logic of mind is not acquainted.” — Blaise Pascal

“I cannot divine how it happens that the man who knows the least is the most argumentative.” — Giovanni della Casa

“The war existing between the senses and reason.” — Blaise Pascal “Contradiction should awaken Attention, not Passion.” — Thomas Fuller

“Conflict leads to less-than-adequate performance, resentments, and lack of motivation.” — Fran Rees “It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.” – William Gibbs McAdoo

“Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” — Chief Joseph

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Nelson Mandela

“The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.” — David Friedman

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

“In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary.” — Kathleen Norris


“Peace can not be kept by force. It can only be won, through understanding. Our longing for understanding is Eternal.” — Albert Einstein

“It is the acid test of nonviolence that in a nonviolent conflict there is no rancor left behind, and in the end the enemies are converted into friends.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Let us work without disputing. It is the only way to render life tolerable.” – Voltaire
“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” — Margaret Thatcher

“During the Depression, or back when we were fighting Hitler, people didn’t have time to sue a company if the coffee was too hot. There were urgent, pressing problems. If you think you have it tough, read history books.” — Bill Maher

“Take your life into your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame.” — Erica Jong

“The most dramatic conflicts are perhaps, those that take place not between men but between a man and himself — where the arena of conflict is a solitary mind.” — Clark Moustakas

“First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” — Thomas a Kempis “Beware, as long as you live, of judging people of appearances.” — Jean de la Fontaine
“When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry a hundred.” — Thomas Jefferson

“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

“The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and ‘mangled mind’ leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.” — Elizabeth Drew

“The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” — Matthew 26:41

“My interest is in the future because I’m going to be spending the rest of my life there.” — Charles Kettering

“It’s when you’re safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure. When you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.” — Thornton Wilder


“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M. Scott Peck

“One hour of thoughtful solitude may nerve the heart for days of conflict — girding up its armor to meet the most insidious foe.” — Lord Percival

“Marriage means expectations and expectations mean conflict.” — Paxton Blair

“All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest — never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.” — Ann Landers

“Make sure you never, never argue at night. You just lose a good night’s sleep, and you can’t settle anything until morning anyway.” — Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

“A marriage without conflicts is almost as inconceivable as a nation without crises.” — Andre Maurois

“There is no squabbling so violent as that between people who accepted an idea yesterday and those who will accept the same idea tomorrow.” — Christopher Morley

“ … That may appear as the truth to one person will often appear as untruth to another person. But that need not worry the seeker. Where there is honest effort, it will be realized that what appeared to be different truths are like the countless and apparently different leaves of the same tree.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Whenever two good people argue over principles, they are both right.” — Marie Ebner Von Eschenbach

“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.” — Marian Anderson


Robert Mnookin talking with his book ~ Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight





Liquidity Analysis Ratios   
Current Ratio


    Current Assets
  Current Ratio = ————————
    Current Liabilities


Quick Ratio


    Quick Assets
  Quick Ratio = ———————-
    Current Liabilities


Quick Assets = Current Assets – Inventories


Net Working Capital Ratio


    Net Working Capital
  Net Working Capital Ratio = ————————–
    Total Assets


Net Working Capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities


Profitability Analysis Ratios   
Return on Assets (ROA)


    Net Income
  Return on Assets (ROA) = ———————————-
    Average Total Assets


Average Total Assets = (Beginning Total Assets + Ending Total Assets) / 2


Return on Equity (ROE)


    Net Income
  Return on Equity (ROE) = ——————————————–
    Average Stockholders’ Equity


Average Stockholders’ Equity 
= (Beginning Stockholders’ Equity + Ending Stockholders’ Equity) / 2


Return on Common Equity (ROCE)


    Net Income
  Return on Common Equity = ——————————————–
    Average Common Stockholders’ Equity


Average Common Stockholders’ Equity 
= (Beginning Common Stockholders’ Equity + Ending Common Stockholders’ Equity) / 2


Profit Margin


    Net Income
  Profit Margin = —————–




Earnings Per Share (EPS)


    Net Income
  Earnings Per Share = ———————————————
    Number of Common Shares Outstanding




Activity Analysis Ratios   
Assets Turnover Ratio


  Assets Turnover Ratio = —————————-
    Average Total Assets


Average Total Assets = (Beginning Total Assets + Ending Total Assets) / 2


Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio


  Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio = ———————————–
    Average Accounts Receivable


Average Accounts Receivable 
= (Beginning Accounts Receivable + Ending Accounts Receivable) / 2


Inventory Turnover Ratio


    Cost of Goods Sold
  Inventory Turnover Ratio = —————————
    Average Inventories


Average Inventories = (Beginning Inventories + Ending Inventories) / 2


Capital Structure Analysis Ratios   
Debt to Equity Ratio


    Total Liabilities
  Debt to Equity Ratio = ———————————-
    Total Stockholders’ Equity




Interest Coverage Ratio


    Income Before Interest and Income Tax Expenses
  Interest Coverage Ratio = ——————————————————-
    Interest Expense


Income Before Interest and Income Tax Expenses 
= Income Before Income Taxes + Interest Expense


Capital Market Analysis Ratios   
Price Earnings (PE) Ratio


    Market Price of Common Stock Per Share
  Price Earnings Ratio = ——————————————————
    Earnings Per Share





Market to Book Ratio


    Market Price of Common Stock Per Share
  Market to Book Ratio = ——————————————————-
    Book Value of Equity Per Common Share


Book Value of Equity Per Common Share 
= Book Value of Equity for Common Stock / Number of Common Shares


Dividend Yield


    Annual Dividends Per Common Share
  Dividend Yield = ————————————————
    Market Price of Common Stock Per Share


Book Value of Equity Per Common Share 
= Book Value of Equity for Common Stock / Number of Common Shares


Dividend Payout Ratio


    Cash Dividends
  Dividend Payout Ratio = ——————–
    Net Income




ROA = Profit Margin X Assets Turnover Ratio   
ROA = Profit Margin X Assets Turnover Ratio


    Net Income Net Income Sales
  ROA = ————————  = ————–  X ————————
    Average Total Assets  Sales Average Total Assets 


Profit Margin = Net Income / Sales 
Assets Turnover Ratio = Sales / Averages Total Assets




Amazon Kindle

E-readers are everywhere, even at my local library. But what about the trees? You told us about reading the newspaper online vs. getting the print edition, so now tell us about e-books. Does reading on my Kindle represent a win for the environment?

Environmental analysis can be an endless balancing of this versus that. Do you care more about conserving water or avoiding toxic chemical usage? Minimizing carbon dioxide emissions or radioactive nuclear waste? But today, the Lantern has good news: There will be no Sophie’s choice when it comes to e-books. As long as you consume a healthy number of titles, you read at a normal pace, and you don’t trade in your gadget every year, perusing electronically will lighten your environmental impact.

If the Lantern has taught you anything, it’s that most consumer products make their biggest scar on the earth during manufacture and transport, before they ever get into your greedy little hands. Accordingly, green-minded consumers are usually—although not always—better off buying fewer things when possible. Reusable cloth diapers, for example, are better than disposables, because the environmental costs of manufacture and transport outweigh those of washing.

Think of an e-reader as the cloth diaper of books. Sure, producing one Kindle is tougher on the environment than printing a single copy of Pride and Prejudice. But every time you download and read an electronic book, rather than purchasing a new pile of paper, you’re paying back a little bit of the carbon dioxide and water deficit. The actual operation of an e-reader represents a small percentage of its total environmental impact, so if you run your device into the ground, you’ll end up paying back that debt many times over. (Unless, of course, reading Pride and Prejudice over and over again is enough for you. Then, by all means, buy it in print and enjoy.)

Tons of eBook readers in the market

Let’s talk numbers. According to the environmental consulting firm Cleantech, which aggregated a series of studies, a single book generates about 7.5 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents—the value of all its greenhouse gas emissions expressed in terms of the impact of carbon dioxide. That includes production, transport, and either recycling or disposal. (Attention students: Your textbooks are particularly bad, releasing more than double the CO2 equivalents of the average book.)

Apple’s iPad generates 130 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents during its lifetime, according to company estimates. Amazon has not released numbers for the Kindle, but independent analysts put it at 168 kg. Those analyses do not indicate how much additional carbon is generated per book read (as a result of the energy required to host the e-bookstore’s servers and power the screen while you read), but they do include the full cost of manufacture, which likely accounts for the lion’s share of emissions. (The iPad uses just three watts of electricity while you’re reading, far less than most light bulbs.) If we can trust those numbers, then, the iPad pays for its CO2 emissions about one third-of the way through your 18th book. You’d need to get halfway into your 23rd book on Kindle to get out of the environmental red.

So far, electronic readers—not the machines, in this case, but their owners—are far surpassing that pace. Forrester Research estimates that the average user purchases three books per month. At that rate, you could earn back your iPad’s carbon dioxide in just six months.


Water is also a major consideration. The newspaper and book publishing industries together consume 153 billion gallons of water annually, according to the nonprofit Green Press Initiative. It takes about seven gallons to produce the average printed book, while e-publishing companies can create a digital book with less than two cups of water. (E-book publishers consume water, like any other company, through the paper they use and other office activities.) Researchers estimate that 79 gallons of water are needed to make an e-reader. So you come out on top, water-wise, after reading about a dozen books.

E-readers also have books beat on toxic chemicals. The production of ink for printing releases a number of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere, including hexane, toluene, and xylene, which contribute to smog and asthma. Some of them may also cause cancer or birth defects. Computer production is not free of hard-to-pronounce chemicals, to be sure, but both the iPad and the Kindle comply with Europe’s RoHS standards, which ban some of the scarier chemicals that have been involved in electronics production. E-readers do, however, require the mining of nonrenewable minerals, like columbite-tantalite, which sometimes come from politically unstable regions. And experts can’t seem to agree on whether we’re at risk of exhausting the world’s supply of lithium, the lifeblood of the e-reader’s battery.

If you’re not ready to plunk down $139 for a Kindle or $499 for an iPad, or you just love the feel of dead tree between your fingers, there’s one thing you can do to significantly ease the environmental impact of your reading: Buy your books online. Brick-and-mortar bookstores are horribly inefficient because they stock way more books than they can sell. Between one-quarter and one-third of a bookstore’s volumes will ultimately be shipped back to the publisher and on to recycling centers or landfills. The carbon footprint of the average book purchased in a bookstore tops 15 kg of CO2 equivalents, more than twice the overall average for books.

Apple iPad

An even better option is to walk to your local library, which can spread the environmental impact of a single book over an entire community. Unfortunately, libraries are underutilized. Studies suggest that fewer than one-third of Americans visit their local library at least once a month, and fewer than one-half went in the last year. Libraries report that the average community member checks out 7.4 books per year—far less than the three per month consumed on e-readers—and more than one-third of those items were children’s books.

Of course, you could also stop reading altogether. But then how would you know how much carbon you saved?

What people feel about the eBook Readers




“Social condensers” — the place where citizens of a community or neighbourhood meet to develop friendships, discuss issues, and interact with others — have always been an important way in which the community developed and retained cohesion and a sense of identity.

Ray Oldenburg (1989), in The Great Good Place, calls these locations “third places.” (The first being the home and the second being work.) These third places are crucial to a community for a number of reasons, according to Oldenburg. They are distinctive informal gathering places, they make the citizen feel at home, they nourish relationships and a diversity of human contact, they help create a sense of place and community, they invoke a sense of civic pride, they provide numerous opportunities for serendipity, they promote companionship, they allow people to relax and unwind after a long day at work, they are socially binding, they encourage sociability instead of isolation, they make life more colourful, and they enrich public life and democracy. Their disappearance in our culture is unhealthy for our cities because, as Oldenburg points out, they are the bedrock of community life and all the benefits that come from such interaction.

There are essential ingredients to a well-functioning third place. They must be free or quite inexpensive to enter and purchase food and drink within. They must be highly accessible to neighbourhoods so that people find it easy to make the place a regular part of their routine — in other words, a lot of people should be able to comfortably walk to the place from their home. They should be a place where a number of people regularly go on a daily basis. It should be a place where the person feels welcome and comfortable, and where it is easy to enter into conversation. And a person who goes there should be able to expect to find both old and new friends each time she or he goes there.

According to Oldenburg, World War II marks the historical juncture after which informal public life began to decline in the U.S. Old neighbourhoods and their cafes, taverns, and corner stores have fallen to urban renewal, freeway expansion, and planning that discounts the importance of congenial, unified and vital neighbourhoods. The newer neighbourhoods have developed under the single-use zoning imperative — which makes these critical, informal social gathering places illegal.


Oldenburg points out that segregation, isolation, compartmentalization and sterilization seem to be the guiding principles of urban growth and urban renewal. In the final analysis, desirable experiences occur in places conducive to them, or they do not occur at all. When certain kinds of places disappear, certain experiences also disappear.

The Death of the “Third Place” and the Birth of Virtual Community

Why is virtual community becoming so important? Maybe this piece talking about Ray Oldenburg gives us a clue.

“Ray Oldenburg believes that the demise of community can be blamed upon the loss of what he calls the “Great Good Place.” Oldenburg’s Great Good Place is the third place which is important to us in our everyday lives after home and work. In this third place, we meet members of our community on neutral ground, leaving possible divisions such as class or industrial rank at the door in the spirit of inclusion rather than, exclusivity. These third places are described by Oldenburg as “the
core settings of informal public life”. (Oldenburg, 16) As the pub, church, and other free or inexpensive local third places have disappeared, for many of us the feeling that community is lacking has increased. Third places, according to Oldenburg, are necessary for community to arise. They are places where members of a
community interact with others and come to know the ties which they have in common. Looking at the definition of community used in this paper, it is clear that the existence of the third place is necessary for the building of community


Oldenburg notes that cities of the Western world have seen a decline of such third places. This is especially true in America, where most of the population lives in suburbs, far from within walking distance to shops and businesses, a local pub or coffee shop, or other
community centres which bring populations together. In the words of Oldenburg, “Houses alone do not a community make, and the typical subdivision proved hostile to the emergence of any structure or space utilisation beyond the uniform houses and streets that characterised it.

Or, as Richard Goodwin complained, in the suburbs “there is virtual no place where neighbours can anticipate unplanned meetings – no pub or corner store or park.” (Richard N. Goodwin, “The American Condition,” The New Yorker (28 January, 1974), 38) In fact, it has been demonstrated that even the architecture of our cities discourages free association amongst members of the community (Davis, Harvey ).

Because of the lack of third places within easy reach of the majority of the population, many people, especially those with a high level of education and expendable income, have flocked to third places accessible through computer mediated communications technologies. Centred around these virtual third places online are the relatively new social formation called the virtual community. Howard Rheingold argues that the development  virtual communities are “in part a response to the hunger for community that has followed the disintegration of traditional communities around the world.”

Coffee Shops a Third Place

Starbucks is simply not what it used to be. The brand that was one of the pioneers of the notion of the brand experience is struggling to be relevant in a turbulent marketplace. The stock price is down and Howard Schultz is back at the helm, admitting that his company expanded too quickly, opening stores within no more than 100 meters of each other in many US cities and in major cities abroad. Now, Starbucks is pulling back, closing stores around the world and stooping to offering free refills in its UK stores — a concept that most customers would associate with mainstream brands like Howard Johnsons and IHOP — certainly not what one would expect of Starbucks.


Howard was the guy who legitimatized the $4 cup of coffee and took Starbucks to a special place in the lives of many consumers — a “third place.” Although he didn’t invent the notion, Schultz did take the concept of a third place from its academic roots and gave it a practical retail application.

It was an American urban sociologist named Ray Oldenburg who first coined the phrase “third place” back in the early 1970s. Oldenburg’s research demonstrated that certain commercial places, such as restaurants, bookstores, and bars, took on a special meaning for their customers, representing places to which they could retreat to unwind, relax and talk with friends and even strangers. This was a place that was neither home nor work, a place where customers just felt comfortable. Think of Cheers and the stereotypical English Pub.

Oldenburg’s original view of the “third place” was centered on association and sociability. In fact, the central role of the third place, as Oldenburg defined it, was to facilitate conversation, certainly with friends, but also with individuals who may not be known outside of the context of the particular restaurant or pub. In the early days, Howard Schultz succeeded in creating precisely this kind of atmosphere at Starbucks for millions of customers. We saw them all there, chatting with friends, reading magazines, working on History assignments with laptops open. But, the rapid expansion of recent years has served to move Starbucks away from this brand positioning.


The appeal of the Starbucks brand experience has changed. While it is still a place to meet friends for many customers, others in downtown business districts now see Starbucks is a place to grab a quick cup of coffee to take back to the office. There is no stopping to chat or sitting to read a newspaper. In fact, in many Starbucks locations in the basements of office towers, there is nowhere to sit. Others now see Starbucks as a drive-thru — a concept historically associated with Dairy Queen and McDonald’s. Ordering a Caramel Macchiato from the window of your car just doesn’t seem to have the same cachet.

The Starbucks experience is just not the same when it involves picking up a coffee from a drive-thru window. Where is the “third placedness” in that? Is coffee still worth $4 a cup when you are drinking it in the privacy of your own office cubicle? Without the convivial atmosphere of the original Starbucks, it’s just not a third place any more. The brand has lost some of its value for millions of loyal customers. The challenge that Howard is facing is one of getting back the value that those millions had associated with the Starbucks brand. I’d close the drive-thrush first.
Our Vanishing “Third Places” Masterpiece by Ray Oldenburg
Nicholas Christakis: “The hidden influence of social networks”

Centre Seminar: Coffee Houses and the Third Place




Towards a Zero Carbon Vision for UK Transport
John Whitelegg, Gary Haq, Howard Cambridge and Harry Vallack, Stockholm Environment Institute

In 2006, the transport sector accounted for approximately 24 per cent (130 million tonnes) of the UK’s domestic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) the majority of these emissions (92 per cent) coming from road transport. The 2008 Climate Change Act, commits the UK to reducing GHG emissions across the economy by at least 80 per cent (in comparison to 1990 levels) by 2050.

In its recently published Carbon Reduction Strategy for Transport, the Department of Transport (DfT) recognises that effective decarbonisation of the transport sector will play a large role in achieving this goal. This DfT strategy document also recognises that complete decarbonisation is unlikely to be possible for aviation and shipping due to the greater technical challenges although by 2050 “these modes will have seen a transformative improvement in efficiency”.

Despite the difficulties envisaged by the DfT study in decarbonising the UK transport sector, it is possible to make significant progress towards the desirable future of a zero carbon transport system by 2050. There are no technical, financial, organisational or other obstacles that would put this objective out of reach though a willingness to move boldly and decisively in this direction has yet to be demonstrated…


The MI (maximum impact) Scenario [in this study] represents a radically different Britain by 2050, where the UK transport sector emits close to zero CO2. A wide range of measures known to reduce CO2 emissions from transport were examined to see the extent to which these measures can have a maximum impact on the transport sector and realise the vision of a zero carbon transport sector in the UK.

These measures are grouped into in four categories (Spatial planning, Fiscal, Behavioural and Technology) and the impacts of each assessed separately in order to allow their relative efficacy to be assessed. For passenger and freight railways, a single technological intervention only is applied: complete electrification of the UK rail network. Biofuels are assumed to have only a minimal role given they are usually considered to be far from ‘carbon neutral’ and have been associated with adverse land-use issues and other drawbacks identified in the Gallagher review (Renewable Fuels Agency, 2008).

Under the MI Scenario assumptions, road transport will be completely carbon neutral by 2050 due to a combination of reduced demand (approximately 75 per cent from spatial, fiscal and behavioural measures) and a whole-scale shift in technology to PEVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, both of which will utilise decarbonised UK electricity supply. Clearly, a carbon neutral electricity supply would be much more likely to be able meet the increased needs of a road transport sector almost entirely composed of PEVs and/or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles if total demand is also drastically reduced. The measure causing the greatest reduction in demand is the annual increase in fuel costs due to the re-introduction of a fuel price escalator.

TOD Impacts On Mode Split in Portland, Oregon (Ohland and Poticha 2006) - People who live in transit-oriented developments drive less and rely more on alternative modes. “Daily VMT” indicates average daily vehicle miles traveled per capita.

Emissions of CO2 from aviation have been reduced by 56 per cent when the 2050 MI Scenario is compared with the 2050 BAU. CO2 emissions in 2050 under the MI Scenario are also 11.2 million tonnes less than the baseline 2005 figure. This represents significant progress in bringing aviation into line with the implications of the UK national commitment to an 80 per cent reduction by 2050 on a 1990 base. The scale of reduction achieved is still not enough but it has been produced by the full application of all available measures. It is clear that a combination of those measures that reduce demand such as air fare increases, no additional runways, modal shift to railways (including High Speed Rail) and video substitution would deliver a considerably greater reduction than could be achieved by advances in aircraft technology and air traffic management alone. It follows that a reduction in CO2 emissions from aviation of this scale could not be delivered by a policy that encouraged technological solutions alone whilst allowing demand to continue o grow. Any expansion of airport capacity through building new runways would have the effect of supporting year-on-year increases in demand and therefore does not form part of this MI Scenario. Indeed, there would be no need for any new runways under a policy designed to maximise CO2 emissions reductions from aviation through a demandled reduction strategy as assumed in this MI Scenario.
(August, 2010)

Summary of CO2 emissions for BAU and Maximum Impact (MI ) Scenarios

Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits

Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute
This report investigates ways that public transportation affects human health, and ways to incorporate these impacts into transport policy and planning decisions. This research indicates that public transit improvements and more transit oriented development can provide large but often overlooked health benefits. People who live or work in communities with high quality public transportation tend to drive significantly less and rely more on alternative modes (walking, cycling and public transit) than they would in more automobile-oriented areas. This reduces traffic crashes and pollution emissions, increases physical fitness and mental health, and provides access to medical care and healthy food. These impacts are significant in magnitude compared with other planning objectives, but are often overlooked or undervalued in conventional transport planning. Various methods can be used to quantify and monetize (measure in monetary units) these health impacts. This analysis indicates that improving public transit can be one of the most cost effective ways to achieve public health objectives, and public health improvements are among the largest benefits provided by high quality public transit and transit-oriented development.

Summary of Findings

  • High quality public transportation (convenient, comfortable, fast rail and bus transport) and transit oriented development (walkable, mixed-use communities located around transit stations) tend to affect travel activity in ways that provide large health benefits, including reduced traffic crashes and pollution emissions, increased physical fitness, improved mental health, improved basic access to medical care and healthy food and increased affordability which reduces financial stress to lower-income households.
  • Traffic casualty rates tend to decline as public transit travel increases in an area. Residents of transit-oriented communities have only about a quarter the per capita traffic fatality rate as residents of sprawled, automobile-dependent communities.
  • Public transit reduces pollution emissions per passenger-mile, and transit-oriented development provides additional emission reductions by reducing per capita vehicle travel.
  • U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends that adults average at least 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, to stay fit and healthy. Although less than half of American adults achieve this target, most public transportation passengers do exercise the recommended amount while walking to and from transit stations and stops.
  • David Bassett, John Pucher, Ralph Buehler, Dixie L. Thompson, and Scott E. Crouter (2008), “Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia,” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Vol. 5, pp. 795-814

  • Neighborhood design features that support transit, such as walkability and mixed land use, also support public health. Of people with safe places to walk within ten minutes of home, 43% achieve physical activity targets, compared with just 27% of less walkable area residents.
  • The United States has relatively poor health outcomes and high healthcare costs compared with peers, due in part to high per capita traffic fatality rates and diseases resulting from sedentary living. Public transit improvements can improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Inadequate physical activity contributes to numerous health problems, causing an estimated 200,000 annual deaths in the U.S., and significantly increasing medical costs. Among physically able adults, average annual medical expenditures are 32% lower for those who achieve physical activity targets ($1,019 per year) than for those who are sedentary ($1,349 per year).
  • Many physically and economically disadvantaged people depend on public transportation to access to medical services and obtain healthy, affordable food.
  • Current demographic and economic trends (aging population, rising fuel prices, increasing health and environmental concerns, and rising medical care costs) are increasing the value of public transportation health benefits.
  • A growing portion of households would prefer to drive less and rely more on walking, cycling and public transit, provided these alternatives are convenient, comfortable, safe and affordable.
  • Conventional planning tends to overlook and undervalue many transportation-related health impacts. More comprehensive evaluation can better integrate transportation and public health planning objectives.
  • When all impacts are considered, improving public transit can be one of the most cost effective ways to achieve public health objectives, and public health improvements are among the largest benefits provided by high quality public transit and transit-oriented development.





“ If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places. ”

The power of this simple idea is that it reflects basic truths that are rarely acknowledged. One such truth is that more traffic and road capacity are not the inevitable result of growth. They are in fact the product of very deliberate choices that have been made to shape our communities around the private automobile. We have the ability to make different choices–starting with the decision to design our streets as comfortable places for people.

There is a new movement to look at transportation in the broader context of communities. Thankfully, over the past ten years, a growing number of people around the world have stood up and demanded something better. PPS is helping to show the way forward, assisting communities realize a different vision of what transportation can be.

Downtown streets can become destinations worth visiting, not just thruways to and from the workplace. Transit stops and stations can make commuting by rail or bus a pleasure. Neighborhood streets can be places where parents feel safe letting their children play, and commercial strips can be designed as grand boulevards, safe for walking and cycling and allowing for both through and local traffic.

We are poised to create a future where priority is given to the appropriate mode, whether pedestrian, bicycle, bus, train or automobile. To be sure, cars have their place, but the rediscovered importance of walking, biking and taking transit will bring more people out onto the streets—allowing these spaces to serve as public forums where neighbors and friends can connect with one another.

Toronto – Highway 401

In order for our streets and transit stations to fulfill the critical “town square” function that is missing in most communities today, they need to be planned and designed appropriately using the following guidelines.

Rule One: Stop Planning for Speed
Streets need to be designed in a way that induces traffic speeds appropriate for that particular context. Whereas freeways should remain high-speed to accommodate regional mobility, speeds on other roads need to reflect that these are places for people, not just conduits for cars. Desired speeds can be attained with a number of design tools, including changes in roadway widths, curvature, and intersection design. Roadside strategies, like building setbacks and sidewalk activity, can also impact the speed at which motorist comfortably drive.

Speed kills sense of place. Cities and town centers are destinations, not raceways, and commerce needs traffic—foot traffic. You can not buy a dress from a car. Even foot traffic speeds up in the presence of fast-moving vehicles. Access, not automobiles, should be the priority in city centers. Don’t ban cars, but remove the presumption in their favor. People first!


Rule Two: Start Planning for Public Outcomes
Great transportation facilities, such as Grand Central Terminal in New York City and the wide sidewalks of the Champs Elysées, were transportation “improvements” that have truly improved the public realm. Designing road projects to fit community contexts can help increase developable land, create open space, and reconnect communities to their neighbors, a waterfront, or park. They can reduce household dependency on the automobile, allowing children to walk to school, connecting commercial districts to downtowns, and helping build healthier lifestyles by increasing the potential to walk or cycle. Think public benefit, not just private convenience.

For years we’ve seen this philosophy gain traction in leading cities around the world. Barcelona has built boulevards and Ramblas that give pedestrians priority over the auto. Paris has developed a neighborhood traffic calming program to rival that of any city anywhere. London charges congestion fees for vehicles entering the city center, successfully reducing traffic levels and funding an aggressive program to improve transit. Bogotá now boasts a world-class bus rapid transit system and has established a mandate to eliminate private auto use during the morning rush hour by 2015. These projects provide evidence that wecan redesign our transportation networks to reflect their true importance as public spaces and supporters of our vision for our towns and cities.

Personal Rapid Transit at Heathrow Airport in London

It is also essential to foster land use planning at the community level that supports, instead of overloads, the transportation network. This includes creating more attractive places that people will want to visit in both new and existing developments. A strong sense of place benefits the overall transportation system. Great places—popular spots with a good mix of people and activities, which can be comfortably reached by foot, bike and transit as well as cars—put little strain on the transportation system. Poor land use planning, by contrast, generates thousands of unnecessary vehicle-trips, creating dysfunctional roads, which further deteriorate the quality of places. Transportation professionals can no longer pretend that land use is not their business. Transportation projects that were not integrated with land use planning have created too many negative impacts to ignore.

Bullet Train

Rule Three: Think of Transportation as Public Space
Not so long ago, this idea was considered preposterous in many communities. “Public space” meant parks and little else. Transit stops were simply places to wait. Streets had been surrendered to traffic for so long that we hardly considered them to be public spaces at all. But now we are slowly getting away from this narrow perception of “streets as conduits for cars” and beginning to think of “streets as places.”

The road, the parking lot, the transit terminal—these places can serve more than one mode (cars) and more than one purpose (movement). Sidewalks are the urban arterials of cities—make them wide, well lit, stylish and accommodating with benches, outdoor cafes and public art. Roads can be shared spaces with pedestrian refuges, bike lanes, and on-street parking. Parking lots can become public markets on weekends. Even major urban arterials can be designed to provide for dedicated bus lanes, well-designed bus stops that serve as gathering places, and multi-modal facilities for bus rapid transit or other forms of travel. Roads are places too!

Transportation—the process of going to a place—can be wonderful if we rethink the idea of transportation itself. If we remember that transportation is the journey, but enhancing the community is always our goal.

Personal Rapid Transit – A Controversial Concept – How it Works

Canada Line Opening Day



From left to right: Jim Pattison, Carlos Slim Helu, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Liliane Bettencourt and Lakshmi Mittal

An Up-to-Date Understanding of Leadership
Within all of these theories, frameworks, and approaches to leadership, there is an underlying message that leaders need to have a variety of factors working in their favor. Effective leadership is not simply based on a set of attributes, behaviors, or influences. You must have a wide range of abilities and approaches that you can draw upon.
Having said this, however, there is one leadership style that is appropriate in very many corporate situations – that of Transformational Leadership. A leader using this style:
• Has integrity.
• Sets clear goals.
• Clearly communicates a vision.
• Sets a good example.
• Expects the best from the team.
• Encourages.
• Supports.
• Recognizes good work and people.
• Provides stimulating work.
• Helps people see beyond their self-interests and focus more on team interests and needs.
• Inspires.

In short, transformational leaders are exceptionally motivating, and they are trusted. When your team trusts you, and is really “fired up” by the way you lead, you can achieve great. Having said that Transformational Leadership suits very many circumstances in business, we need to remember that there may be situations where it is not the best style. This is why it is worth knowing about the other styles shown below so that you have a greater chance of finding the right combination for the situation you find yourself in.

Popular Leadership Styles
The leadership theories and styles discussed so far are based on research. However, many more terms are used to describe approaches to leadership, even if these do not fit within a particular theoretical system. It is worth understanding these!

1. Autocratic leadership
Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership, where leaders have absolute power over their workers or team. Staff and team members have little opportunity to make suggestions, even if these would be in the team’s or the organization’s best interest.
Most people tend to resent being treated like this. Therefore, autocratic leadership usually leads to high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover. For some routine and unskilled jobs, the style can remain effective because the advantages of control may outweigh the disadvantages.

2. Bureaucratic leadership
Bureaucratic leaders work “by the book.” They follow rules rigorously, and ensure that their staff follows procedures precisely. This is a very appropriate style for work involving serious safety risks (such as working with machinery, with toxic substances, or at dangerous heights) or where large sums of money are involved (such as handling cash).

3. Charismatic leadership
A charismatic leadership style can seem similar to transformational leadership, because these leaders inspire lots of enthusiasm in their teams and are very energetic in driving others forward. However, charismatic leaders can tend to believe more in themselves than in their teams, and this creates a risk that a project, or even an entire organization, might collapse if the leader leaves. In the eyes of the followers, success is directly connected to the presence of the charismatic leader. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and it needs a long-term commitment from the leader.


4. Democratic leadership or participative leadership
Although democratic leaders make the final decisions, they invite other members of the team to contribute to the decision-making process. This not only increases job satisfaction by involving team members, but it also helps to develop people’s skills. Team members feel in control of their own destiny, so they are motivated to work hard by more than just a financial reward.
Because participation takes time, this approach can take more time, but often the end result is better. The approach can be most suitable when working as a team is essential, and when quality is more important than speed to market or productivity.

5. Laissez-faire leadership
This French phrase means “leave it be,” and it is used to describe leaders who leave their team members to work on their own. It can be effective if the leader monitors what is being achieved and communicates this back to the team regularly. Most often, laissez-faire leadership is effective when individual team members are very experienced and skilled self-starters. Unfortunately, this type of leadership can also occur when managers do not apply sufficient control.

6. People-oriented leadership or relations-oriented leadership
This is the opposite of task-oriented leadership. With people-oriented leadership, leaders are totally focused on organizing, supporting, and developing the people in their teams. It is a participative style, and it tends to encourage good teamwork and creative collaboration.
In practice, most leaders use both task-oriented and people-oriented styles of leadership.

7. Servant leadership
This term, created by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognized as such. When someone, at any level within an organization, leads simply by meeting the needs of the team, he or she is described as a “servant leader.”
In many ways, servant leadership is a form of democratic leadership, because the whole team tends to be involved in decision-making.
Supporters of the servant leadership model suggest that it is an important way to move ahead in a world where values are increasingly important, and where servant leaders achieve power based on their values and ideals. Others believe that in competitive leadership situations, people who practice servant leadership can find themselves left behind by leaders using other leadership styles.


8. Task-Oriented leadership
Highly task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done, and they can be quite autocratic. They actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, plan, organize, and monitor. However, because task-oriented leaders do not tend to think much about the well-being of their teams, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, with difficulties in motivating and retaining staff.

9. Transactional leadership
This style of leadership starts with the idea that team members agree to obey their leader totally, when they accept a job. The “transaction” is usually the organization paying the team members in return for their effort and compliance. The leader has a right to “punish” team members if their work does not meet the pre-determined standard.
Team members can do little to improve their job satisfaction under transactional leadership. The leader could give team members some control of their income/reward by using incentives that encourage even higher standards or greater productivity. Alternatively, a transactional leader could practice “management by exception” – rather than rewarding better work, the leader could take corrective action if the required standards are not met.
Transactional leadership is really a type of management, not a true leadership style, because the focus is on short-term tasks. It has serious limitations for knowledge-based or creative work.

10. Transformational leadership
As we discussed earlier, people with this leadership style are true leaders who inspire their teams constantly with a shared vision of the future. While this leader’s enthusiasm is often passed onto the team, he or she can need to be supported by “detail people.” That is why, in many organizations, both transactional and transformational leadership are needed. The transactional leaders (or managers) ensure that routine work is done reliably, while the transformational leaders look after initiatives that add value.

Leading@Google: Emmanuel Gobillot




Leadership Theories
Researchers have developed a number of leadership theories over the years. These can be categorized into four main types:
1. Trait theories – What type of person makes a good leader?
Trait theories argue that leaders share a number of common personality traits and characteristics, and that leadership emerges from these traits. Early trait theories promoted the idea that leadership is an innate, instinctive quality that you either have or do not have. Thankfully, we have moved on from this approach, and we are learning more about what we can do as individuals to develop leadership qualities within others and ourselves. What’s more, traits are external behaviors that emerge from things going on within the leader’s mind – and it is these internal beliefs and processes that are important for effective leadership.

Trait theory does, however, help us identify some qualities that are helpful when leading others and, together, these emerge as a generalized leadership style. Examples include empathy, assertiveness, good decision-making, and likeability. In our article Building Tomorrow’s Leaders, we discuss a series of attributes that are important for all types of leaders to develop. However, none of these traits, or any combination of them, will guarantee success as a leader. You need more than that.

2. Behavioral theories – What does a good leader do?
Behavioral theories focus on how leaders behave. Do they dictate what needs to be done and expect cooperation? On the other hand, do they involve the team in decisions to encourage acceptance and support?
In the 1930s, Kurt Lewin developed a leadership framework based on a leader’s decision-making behavior. Lewin argued that there are three types of leaders:
a. Autocratic leaders make decisions without consulting their teams. This is considered appropriate when decisions genuinely need to be taken quickly, when there is no need for input, and when team agreement is not necessary for a successful outcome.
b. Democratic leaders allow the team to provide input before making a decision, although the degree of input can vary from leader to leader. This type of style is important when team agreement matters, but it can be quite difficult to manage when there are lots of different perspectives and ideas.
c. Laissez-faire leaders do not interfere; they allow the team to make many of the decisions. Typically, this happens when the team is highly capable and motivated, and it does not need close monitoring or supervision.
Similar to Lewin’s model, the Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid helps you decide how best to lead, depending on your concern for people versus your concern for production. The model describes five different leadership styles: impoverished, country clubs, team leader, produce or perish, or middle of the road. The descriptions of these will help you understand your own leadership habits and adapt them to meet your team’s needs.
John Adair’s Action-Centered Leadership model is another framework that is consistent with behavioral theories of leadership. Using this model, the “best” leadership style is determined by balancing task, team, and individual responsibilities. Leaders who spend time managing each of these elements will likely be more successful than those who focus mostly on only one element.
Clearly, then, how leaders behave impacts on their effectiveness. Researchers have realized, though, that many of these leadership behaviors are appropriate at different times. Therefore, the best leaders are those who can use many different behavioral styles and use the right style for each situation.


3. Contingency theories – How does the situation influence good leadership?
The realization that there is not one correct type of leader led to theories that the best leadership style is contingent on, or depends on, the situation. These theories try to predict which leadership style is best in which circumstance.
When a decision is needed fast, which style is preferred? When the leader needs the full support of the team, is there a better way to lead? Should a leader be more people oriented or task oriented? These are all examples of questions that contingency leadership theories try to address.

A popular contingency-based framework is the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory, which links leadership style with the maturity of individual members of the leader’s team.

4. Power and influence theories – What is the source of the leader’s power?
These theories of leadership take an entirely different approach. They are based on the different ways in which leaders use power and influence to get things done, and the leadership styles that emerge as a result. Perhaps the most well known of these theories is French and Raven’s Five Forms of Power. This model distinguishes between using your position to exert power, and using your personal attributes to be powerful.
French and Raven identified three types of positional power – legitimate, reward, and coercive – and two sources of personal power – expert and referent (your personal appeal and charm). The model suggests that using personal power is the better alternative and, because Expert Power (the power that comes with being a real expert in the job) is the most legitimate of these, which you should actively work on building this.
Similarly, leading by example is another highly effective way to establish and sustain a positive influence with your team.

Another valid leadership style that is supported by power and influence theories is Transactional Leadership. This approach assumes that work is done only because it is rewarded, and for no other reason, and it therefore focuses on designing tasks and reward structures. While it may not be the most appealing leadership strategy in terms of building relationships and developing a long-term motivating work environment, it does work, and it is used in most organizations on a daily basis to get things done.


Level 5 Good to Great : Jim Collins




From Mahatma Gandhi to Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King to Barack Obama there are as many leadership styles as there are leaders.

Fortunately, businesspeople and psychologists have developed useful and simple ways to describe the main styles of leadership, and these can help aspiring leaders understand which styles they should use.

So, whether you manage a team at work, captain a sports team, or lead a major corporation, which approach is best? Consciously, or subconsciously, you will probably use some of the leadership styles in this article at some point. Understanding these styles and their impact can help you develop your own, personal leadership style – and help you become a more effective leader.With this in mind, there are many different frameworks that have shaped our current understanding of leadership, and many of these have their place, just as long as they are used appropriately. This article looks at some of the most common frameworks, and then looks at popular styles of leadership.

Leading@Google: Richard Shell