Category Archives: Guest Bloggers

MIM Life Series: Portland and MIM Classmates

By Yuanqian Sun

I want to say, I love all of our MIM members! They are like my family right now. We are working together and learning together almost everyday. Here are some memorable moment I personal took during the term.

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Portland State University
  3. Chinese group in Japanese class
  4. Classmate’s wedding reception
  5. Have Chinese traditional dim sum with my friends

First of all, I want to say, I love Oregon, I love Portland. This is the place I have lived for already five years but I am still liking it.

Mount Hood is the best place we can go outside with our classmates. I came with my classmates on the weekend and it was so beautiful. We can climb or drive to the mountain top.

Rita

Then, I want to say, Portland is the beautiful city that I like the most in United States. I have been to a lot of states and a lot of cities, none of them makes me feel like home. Portland people are so nice, they always smile to you even if they don’t know you. Also, the weather is so nice in the summer. I like it.

Rita2

I like my classmates in Portland State University MIM program. Although we are Chinese, we didn’t know each other before we came to MIM. I would like to say, MIM gave us the opportunities to let us meet and know each other. I am very happy to know them and be their friends.

Rita 3

This is the picture we took in Japanese class. it’s so fun that MIM program provided us a chance to learn a different culture and a second language. The Chinese students were learning Japanese in the past year. We were not only learning Japanese, but also the culture.

Rita5

This is the picture at Derek’s wedding party. He was the second MIM member to get married in our program, and the first one who held a wedding during our school year. We all came to celebrate. This makes us just like a family. All of the MIIMers are like sisters and brothers. We are all very happy that he can find his love.

Rita6

After class, we would have lunch or dinner together. This is the picture we have Chinese traditional dim sum in HK Café. They are my Thai friends. They are all very nice. They were learning Chinese for a year and they really like Chinese culture. When we have dim sum, they try to use their Chinese to made the order.

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Filed under Food, Guest Bloggers, MIM GENERAL, Portland, Student Life

Age of Pacific Lecture – James Pond

This post was written by part-time MIM student Kim Morrison. Kim was on the extension trip of the MIM Asia Field Study that went to Cambodia and Thailand. While in Cambodia the students toured the Transitions facility. 

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The Altruist stalks the Benevolent Angel

2007 – After returning from a Phnom Penh Habitat for Humanity build,  I saw on Dateline NBC a program on sex trafficking and Transitions Cambodia. James and Athena Pond started the organization to rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking and ran the NGO out of Hillsboro Oregon. I found (stalked)  them and said I wanted to help; communication and support have been ongoing since that time. An important part of my annual giving is a monthly subscriber donation to Project EveryGirl.

If you attended the talk, I don’t wish to be redundant but to cover what was not in James Pond’s fabulous presentation and candid discussion of sex trafficking.  Beyond that is some history and observations;

–          James and Athena Pond sold what they had and moved to Cambodia do start Transitions Cambodia.

–          James and Athena are fluent in Khmer.  Their children moved to Cambodia with them.

–          Cambodia is still in the top 10 most impoverished nations and in the top 10 most corrupt.

–          Doing anything in Cambodia as an expat is not easy.

The fabulous work they do is in progress.  The first talk James did in Portland that I was involved in was roughly 2008 for the World Affairs Council. It was tremendous, and different IMG_1070than the talk we heard in Lincoln Hall (gets better all the time). Part of the reasoning for changing his talk is statistic fatigue.  It’s true that human trafficking has outpaced weapons and is just below drugs in terms of annual revenue globally. A lot of people profit mightily, so this is not a situation that can go away easily. I am consistently amazed that there are people whose conscience allows them to profit off the backs and suffering of others – it is a substantive part of the human global condition.  But the message and the marketing needed to be softer, more personal. The organization name was changed to Transitions Global www.transitionsglobal.org when the model showed success and James and Athena were approached by others in India, Europe, US and many other countries to replicate what they have accomplished in Cambodia.  For a roughly 11% drop out/recidivism rate (relative to >30% for other organizations), this is a model to be copied so the name and the scope had to change.  Imitation may truly be the sincerest form of flattery, but also desire to make an impact.  Transitions communicates with supportive organizations, this is part of the success. From building the “Fort Knox” of rehabilitation centers – from one confinement to another confinement, a huge part of their success is the humility to learn as they go and change directions.  Now to Shine and Dream House which are full of hope and light.

Two years ago (approximately) the website and donations methods changed to Transitions Global and  Project EveryGirl.  This is a way of donating monthly in the name of a girl and building a blog relationship with that individual.  Donors get a sketch of the girl; learn her name, get a t-shirt (I wore mine at the lecture), wrist bands and more. In return is the communication and knowledge that we can affect change.   By connecting with Bill and Leia Chiaravelle and brandnavigation the look of Transitions Global changed dramatically.

I am moved by the resilience of the human condition; while I have the intestinal fortitude to survive almost anything, the thought of being raped over 1,000+ times by people who don’t care at all about a girl, who would actively bring physical and emotional trauma on that individual for the ecstasy of power and control – that would bring into question any desire to continue living in that circumstance.  I would almost rather die, and yet with the help of Transitions many of the girls do thrive.  They are not victims of sex alone but of use, abuse, subjugation, pain, and suffering and yet they can smile again at some point.

We have many questions left for James.  Why does this continue to happen? What is the psyche of the perps who actually pay to abuse a young girl or boy? What are the obstacles? Picture1What are the numbers? How can we help?  The biggest message I think is this:  In any walk of life that includes individuals who work for and with anyone else, there is a message to be sent. That social responsibility needs to be part of our collective DNA, that intolerance must be amplified for any type of corruption, corrosion or use of others and that allowing someone their true empowerment is manifest. Easier said than done as we go back to our lives. But it touches us all directly or indirectly.   My part is housing  projects in Cambodian villages to give at least; shelter, water, sanitation, light and bring the denominator up a bit, hopefully to lessen the need for anyone to be subjected to the supply chain  of sex trafficking. The demand is still a problem.

You are the future of business and humanity, the status of girls (and boys) and the entitlement of men.  A couple of my friends are CEO’s and presidents who travel for work, they say upon arriving at any airport in Asia they have a limo, drinks and are offered girls…multiply that availability to the ones who actually say “yes”….it’s still an astounding problem.

I hope James Pond and AOP are an annual tradition.  Each of us will know or might be a CEO who can make a difference.  Remember, act accordingly, help the global destiny improve how we can.

Be the change http://vimeo.com/22722457

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Filed under Age of the Pacific Lecture Series, Guest Bloggers, Non-Profits

Asia-Pacific News Highlights February 11-17th

This week’s articles cover developments in China’s economic and political transformation, environmental policy debates in Malaysia, the Pope’s views on globalization, and Valentine’s Day in Japan.   

yuan

From The Economist – The amount of trade settled in Yuan has reached an all-time high. Many experts believe this will change the dynamics of international trade. http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21571442-rise-chinas-currency-will-change-way-world-does-business-yuan-money

From The Diplomat – Speculation about possible changes in the Chinese political climate. The Diplomat explains 5 ways that democracy might come to flourish in China. http://thediplomat.com/2013/02/13/5-ways-china-could-become-a-democracy/

 

From The Diplomat – Rainforests around the world are being decimated at alarming rates. Currently, Malaysia is in the midst of a heated public debate over the future of their most valuable resources. http://thediplomat.com/2013/02/12/saving-malaysias-last-great-rainforests/

 Pope

From The Globalist – Pope Benedict XVI is abdicating his seat in Vatican City after ascending to the head of the Catholic Church in 2005. What does this have to do PDX MIM? Here are his thoughts about globalization and inequality in a recent interview. http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=9904

 japense-valentines-day-1268341220

From Channel News Asia – As most of us know or forgot, yesterday was Valentine’s Day! Here is an interesting article about Japanese spending habits on this special and uncomfortable holiday! http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/featurenews/view/1253976/1/.html

Luke Hudson

Luke_HudsonLucas Hudson is a full-time student in the Masters of International Management program. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish from the University of Oregon. During his studies, he lived in Valdivia, Chile, studying Spanish language and Latin American history. After graduation, Luke has spent his time traveling extensively throughout South America and working as a banker and accountant for local Portland businesses. He is interested in using his business experience and language skills to find a career that will allow him build relations between Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

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Filed under Guest Bloggers, Luke's Entries

Asia-Pacific News Highlights: February 4 – 10th

This week’s articles cover recent developments in North Korea, political reform in Vietnam, concerns of foreign competition in Oregon, and international space cooperation!

kn-map

From the Economist- An update on everyone’s favorite hermit kingdom! Many North Koreans have chosen to turn their backs on socialism.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21571421-even-another-nuclear-provocation-looms-hope-glimmers-worlds-most-oppressed-people

From Bloomberg- The US trade deficit has decreased for the first time in 3 years. Bloomberg discusses how this news will affect the economy as a whole.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-08/trade-deficit-in-u-s-plunges-on-record-petroleum-exports.html

eu-china-flags

From Spiegal International – As the US cuts funding for space exploration, the EU and China are currently training for joint-nation space missions.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/esa-mulls-new-alliance-as-china-becomes-space-leader-a-882212.html

From the Oregonian – An article about Oregon’s manufacturing sector’s declining competitive advantage and its effects on the local economy.

http://www.oregonlive.com/money/index.ssf/2013/02/oregon_lost_more_than_1900_job.html

Ho-Chi-Minh-City-scene3

From The Diplomat – Recent legal decisions shed like on the Vietnamese government’s contentious relationship with its detractors.

http://thediplomat.com/2013/02/09/despite-crackdown-on-dissent-can-vietnam-reform/

Luke Hudson

Luke_HudsonLucas Hudson is a full-time student in the Masters of International Management program. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish from the University of Oregon. During his studies, he lived in Valdivia, Chile, studying Spanish language and Latin American history. After graduation, Luke has spent his time traveling extensively throughout South America and working as a banker and accountant for local Portland businesses. He is interested in using his business experience and language skills to find a career that will allow him build relations between Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

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Asia-Pacific News Highlights: January 28th – February 1st

Guest blogger and full-time MIM student Luke Hudson shares news highlights covering events around the Asia-Pacific. This week’s articles cover Sino-Japanese relations, the Tech Boom in Chile, as well as video games in China, among other topics.

Flag-Pins-China-JapanFrom The Economist – An article about mounting tensions between China and Japan. The Japanese government has recently announced its first military expenditure increase in decades.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21569757-armed-clashes-over-trivial-specks-east-china-sea-loom-closer-drums-war

startup chileFrom The Economist – Bienvenidos al Valle Chilecon! An oldie but a goodie! In recent years, Chile has been extremely successful at attracting top technology firms. With immigration tightening in the US, Chile has capitalized on the opportunity to attract top talent.

http://www.economist.com/node/21564589

asean logoFrom The Jakarta Post – The ASEAN states have announced plans to establish a six-state free-trade bloc. The new entity would be larger than the US and the EU.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/01/31/talks-asean6-trade-bloc-kick-may.html

New-York-Times-officeFrom The New York Times – The New York Times is currently under attack by Chinese hackers. An interesting article about the increasing need for cyber-security in journalism.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/technology/chinese-hackers-infiltrate-new-york-times-computers.html?_r=1&

 

super marioFrom ITech Post – Good news for gamers! The Chinese mainland may soon know the timeless joys of Super Mario and Donkey Kong!

http://www.itechpost.com/articles/5033/20130128/china-considers-lifting-video-game-console-ban.htm

Luke Hudson

Luke_HudsonLucas Hudson is a full-time student in the Masters of International Management program. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish from the University of Oregon. During his studies, he lived in Valdivia, Chile, studying Spanish language and Latin American history. After graduation, Luke has spent his time traveling extensively throughout South America and working as a banker and accountant for local Portland businesses. He is interested in using his business experience and language skills to find a career that will allow him build relations between Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

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Filed under Common Questions, Guest Bloggers, Luke's Entries

Guest Blog: From “Global Immersion” To The Real World–A Field Trip To “Doi Chaang” Coffee Farm In Thailand

Back in November 2011, I spent 3 days with my MIM team researching and developing the business model to sell “Premium Coffee,” planted in the rural Laos in the area of “Bolaven Plateau,” to the potential market. To be honest, the main purpose of the aforementioned team research is to get done with the “Global Immersion” course and, yeah, MIM Degree! Continue reading

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Filed under Business and Asia, Business Tours, Coursework, Guest Bloggers, Thailand

Social Enterprise Study Abroad in Andhra Pradesh India

Under the direction of Professor Carolyn McKnight and Kim Alter, Managing Director of Virtue Ventures (www.virtueventures.com) seven MBA students, one MIM student, one Conflict Resolution student and one PSU faculty set out on a twelve day course on Social Enterprise.  Set in Bhimavaram and Hyderabad India this course is not for the meek or timid as everyday is a day in the “classroom”.  Everyone on the trip is dealing with personal sickness, exhaustion and the emotional struggle of coming face to face with extreme poverty.  This group is braving all of these elements in an effort to learn how Social Enterprise can be part of the solution to eliminate poverty.

 The course is strategically designed to first provide everyone with the tools required to build a Social Enterprise.  Indentifying Social Enterprise problems, developing market research, target market profiling, becoming culturally aware, preparing social marketing plans, feasibility analysis and business planning are all learned, tested and executed in the village of Bhimavaram.  The team interacts one-on-one with villagers who earn anywhere from $1 to $2 per day and face enormous Social Enterprise problems.

 Coming back to Hyderabad, armed with a strong foundation the students are assigned consulting projects.  Consulting projects this year include development of a Social Enterprise livelihoods program for a night shelter, transitioning a non-profit into a self sustaining Social Enterprise that can run as a community based organization, and developing Social Enterprise revenue sources to support a slum school.  All over a course of three days.  While the work is challenging both emotionally and physically it is also very rewarding.  This group of ten students will be connected for life by this experience.

 The course is offered each Fall Term and is a priceless experience.  You can read all about the students activities and adventures on http://psumagicbus.tumblr.com/.

Student conducting a focus group at the Night Shelter in Hyderabad

 

School Children from village in Bhinavaram Students with Social Enterprise Small Business Owner Sita

 

MBA student conducting market research

Empowered by Micro-Finance Village Women able to open sewing business

By
Tracy Granda
Degree Candidate, Master of International Management (class of 2010-11), Portland State University

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