International Collaborative Enterprises 2: “Clean Oceans Again”

Hello again. Here is a report i wrote, developing an idea you may have found out of here on, a post from July 2016, “International Collaborative Enterprises”. There are 2 minor redactions: a joke in really pretty poor taste given the issue up for discussion, and the word “exactly”, so as not to endorse a product I don’t know very well. My meaning with “exactly”: assessment systems & models, tools for self-determining and self-determination. All apologies if the paper is jargon-heavy (yes, “big hairy audacious goal” is jargon; it had an acronym in my text (BHAG))…. Alberto Rivera, @uzsmalls, December 15 2017

Alberto Rivera

Business 51: Intercultural Business Communication

Professor Welton

Clean Oceans Again

December 9, 2017

It’s essential to be proactive as Americans to deal with global and international affairs, especially because of what we profess to know of to the rest of the world: our fundamental equality at the root.

Unfortunately, our American educational system has been slow to truly integrate(…) scientific insights about human psychology and adulthood like projection, privilege, ego and the disservice this tool set does us.

Today we know how vital diversity is to our culture’s/personal health and growth. The value we place and gain in trade demands that we build relationships with every national neighbor.

How to build healthy relationships, though? Well- let’s do constructive things together!

My lesson this week in Microeconomics included the social problem known as “the Tragedy of the Commons”. Managing and maintaining common resources like the ocean may require American leadership due to our degree of industrialization and usage, and our significant influence and presence abroad as employers (read: leaders), manufacturers and builders. Still, our coalition must include not only powers China & Russia, but all Pacific rim nations.

The high power distance ratings from Hofstede Insights (For Hofstede Insights nation ratings, visit indicate that the United Nations would be best to coordinate efforts, though significant progress chronicled for over 5 years online has been made by nongovernmental actors like Boyan Slat.

To my eye, given the rigorous testing capabilities which will be available, some good ol’ pearl diver methods might work fine. A major concern will be the test results at Trash Gyre sites for possible toxicity from the decomposing plastics. The surrounding Pacific Ocean does likely mitigates the dangers; however, the safety of workers remains the primary concern.

There could be tremendous long term benefit both to our business interests abroad, and our neighbors’ own interests, to document and air – mixing live and land coverage over the course of the program’s arc – an international team cleaning what is now known as the Pacific Trash Gyre. Airing a global reality show with such universal benefit as an objective could help transform the cultural dialogue between national and cultural groups through personal experience. It’s also a safe and rich way for young people to experience other cultures, and choose destinations for leisure or career. The multinational business community would welcome direct help building the capabilities of other nations; a commonly-cited concern of the conglomerate at tax time are corporate investments in the developing world.

With so much green infrastructure necessary to construct all over the world, our neighbors will need ways to disseminate training materials as they each deploy a training/Ed sector to modernize and enable development of wireless connectivity or new and unique travel/transport architectures, as examples.

Donating “obsolete” equipment from TV networks should appeal to multinational media companies, and there are likely several U.S. corporations who would love a fresh start with other nations where empowerment and raising worker standards are tied to every action. In fact, there might be places where we can help foster a right to work ethos or movement as an ancillary benefit of our presence.

Leaving the production equipment after shooting wraps is a simple and pragmatic way to root the benefit. Some cameras we leave after fulfilling our roles might help develop international security or media networks; or just as likely, repurposed TV equipment might gather data in order to design better traffic intersections and safer streets.

There’s no unconquered unknown land across an ocean in our modern world. Yet we are no less the men and women who then thus embarked. How do we direct that immense energy in healthy ways living in a world with no room, really, to fight about it? How do we satisfy and tend that deep need to discover, our eternal need for avenues of growth? ( Dubious? Ask a CEO – or her shareholders. )

The “big, hairy, audacious” goal here is an internationally-staffed cleanup of the 5 major oceanic gyres in the ocean. A phenomenal marketing tool and symbol for the project: the Olympic Rings. Potential arcs for future “production seasons” at successive gyres could explore technological advances and stay with crew members as they develop the professional skills to replicate the success at the North Pacific Gyre as international trainers, or apply their gains to local infrastructure work.

Another benefit from programming like this is the creation of shared experience, and thus the beginning of a common ground and cultural lexicon shared by people around the world. With the goal being the cleanup and continuing education, not the TV show, we could structure the event as open-source entertainment programming with Creative Commons licensing, allowing local spinoffs of new and composite forms of edutainment.

This project also dovetails snugly with some of the rubrics and analysis tools in Chapter 14 of our text, Riding the Waves of Culture. The Organizational Values Profiler (OVP) is a practical method for demystifying and assessing one’s workplace culture. The OVP is built on top of the 4-quadrant role/task/person/power model, which can trace a lineage back to Carl Jung and 4-part self-diagnostic tools derived and designed with natural processes in mind. These are exactly the kind of tools to leave in the hands of partners in developing nations we work with abroad.

Our singular experience and body of knowledge as workers in American skyscraper culture, or the (relatively extreme) highly diffuse business sector of a metropolis – makes us experienced in working on the edges of tenability as a norm. The American worker’s narrative since 1980 is more focused on the bottom line and efficiency. Many of us have changed or lost jobs and careers as automation or benefits costs priced experienced laborers off – or further down – the payroll. Our challenges and victories as we move towards equity and decent treatment for all workers on the job are battles, which we must spare our neighbors to the extent possible and share to the greatest extent possible.

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