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The crisis is in the destruction of the human resource

26 November 2012 / 16:11:04  GRReporter
5996 reads

Victoria Mindova

The destruction of human resources is one of the biggest problems of our time, says marketing expert Sam Conniff from Great Britain. He spoke at this year's TEDx Athens forum, which was dedicated to people who are not afraid of acting instead of just planning. Sam Conniff presented his own business that combines entrepreneurship with social activities. He has united his knowledge in the field of corporate marketing with the desire to contribute something to the common good in a successful project for social regeneration of young people who have served their sentences. His efforts are directed towards those young people who did not have an equal chance in society, got into the system but want to start a new life, and even their own business.

Conniff refers to statistics showing that 90% of young people, who have been in jail, can never be rehabilitated into society. The likelihood of them breaking the law a year after their release is extremely high. This means that in 90% of the cases, when we were trying to fix something it failed, the marketing experts says and adds, "Imagine that 90% of the iPads or iPhones we use are defective. That would be a disaster for the company and it could not have existed. Why should we leave 90% of young people having a disadvantaged start to fail forever?" he asks rhetorically. He believes that everyone should be given a second chance.

According to data presented by Conniff, it has been estimated in the United States that the entire life cycle of young people with behavioural problems has cost the government about 4.7 trillion dollars. This includes food, health insurance, legal costs and other resources necessary to provide for the criminals. In Europe, the number of young criminals is over 14 million. The natural approach of society towards them is to isolate them early in their lifetime.

Conniff focuses on the main problem of how to turn the social cost related to disadvantaged young people into social capital. The answer is to give them a chance to learn new things, develop hidden talents and introduce them to activities that will be successful for them as well as for society.

That is why Conniff abandoned corporate marketing 15 years ago and created the Livity non-profit organization. It trains young people with problems in practical business skills that can be useful to develop their business ideas in practice. It trains them to work with computers, manage projects, gives them basic knowledge in the field of company management. The company motto is: "To save the world through marketing."

The goal is to find the individual talent of everyone wishing to change their lives in order to become useful to themselves and society. Conniff is clear that if someone really believes in and gives a chance to young people who have been in trouble with the law, they can become creative and put aside the self-destructive practices.

"The status of all young people today is that they belong to the digital natives. When talking with employers and businessmen, they often require their employees to have digital skills." So, the organization has a programme that is aimed at the most disadvantaged young people. "This programme reinforces and further develops digital skills and employers line up for these employees. The gaps are clear and we only need to shorten the distance between the young people and the business. We must create new opportunities rather than block them," said the businessman.

The founder of Livity calls each of us to find ways to support organizations dealing with disadvantaged young people, whether we become mentors or professionals whose knowledge can contribute to their development and training. Sam Conniff ensures that this activity will be useful for the people putting their time in the process of integration of young people as well as for the young people who want to build a clean future.

"Take a difficulty that you have to overcome and share it with the young man in front of you. He will give you a new, fresh perspective on things. Thus, you will find the solution to your problem. Similarly, you can help the young man resolve his difficulties."

To overcome scepticism, the marketing expert said that Livity has already carried out a similar experiment that has proved extremely successful. They put together 12 of the most influential executives of energy companies with 12 young people seeking social rehabilitation through the organization. They were divided into groups of two for a short time and were left alone in order for everyone to present his problems and discuss them with the other side.

"In 15 minutes, the scepticism left their faces." Each pair had either reached a decision regarding the problems discussed, or put them in a completely different light, which changes the approach to theirsolution.

The result of the experiment showed that erudite and successful managers had a lot to learn from their meetings with the young people. The young people, in turn, had the chance to share and even resolve their concerns and anxieties, because for the first time, high-standing persons had spared the time to devote their attention to them.

Conniff sees something positive in the collective loss of confidence in the people who govern us. He believes that in this way, we transfer the responsibility to ourselves and take the development into our own hands. "Mutual assistance is a simple act of a profound effect on the soul of a young man. This action will cost you nothing if you do it, but it can cost us everything if we ignore it."

Tags: SocietyEconomySocial policyTEDx AthensDevelopmentEducationSuccess
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