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QuarterBillionGirls.com - a Norman Macrae Foundation Youth Economists Project
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EWTP: China Thanks - Digital Free Trade Zone by Ma
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young pofressional associations of health provide benchmarks for all young professionals where they are

eg bostonian  alumni of paul farmer or now more broadly linked by jim kim youthworldbanking.com or inspired

by the Franciscan movements out of rome including its own community health networks of nuns 

  • Declaration_NCDs_TradeandInvestment_YPCDN.pdf
  • Forum Draft_Declaration_NCDs and Trade.pdf
  • YPForum_Agenda_Trade&Health_July 9.pdf
  • Program_YPForum_NCDsandTrade.pdf
  • YP Forum Social Media Guide.pdf

one of my urgent challenges in trying to open space where the goal3 interfaces between youth and the UN exist is to update who in the UN collaborates with YPN - all advice welcome as i intend to revisit boston in january for the first chunky time in 18 months and I know that many of jim kim's young professional heroes interconnect through ypn
medical youth of ypn provide a benchmark fr all young professionals as i hope this typical debrief from 2 years ago shows

The Young Professionals Forum for Action on NCDs:
Mobilizing a Movement for Solidarity on Trade

On July 11, 2014 prior to receiving a standing ovation from civil society for his statement, YP-CDN Founder and resident physician at Yale School of Medicine, Sandeep Kishore, stood before the United Nations General Assembly at its High-level Non-communicable Disease (NCD) Review and called for swift and targeted action to prioritize health and mitigate corporate influence in trade agreements:

“Whether it is access to medicines, tobacco control, salt reduction, reduction of marketing of sugary drinks to children, we understand behind the scenes the enormous pressures you face to stand up for  the public’s health. We get it. As civil society, our avowed responsibility is to respectfully stand with you. But please know that we are also watching you. We are mobilizing a people’s movement.”

Delivering on this promise, YP-CDN held the Young Professionals Forum for Action on NCDs two days prior to Dr. Kishore’s statement, which brought together individuals who are working tirelessly to mitigate the negative impacts of trade and investment agreements on health. At the forum, we put forth a declaration demanding action on this issue, and heard from emerging leaders and established experts in the areas of health, law, and economics. Testifying to the damaging influence that vested corporate interests can have on health, these authorities cited specific examples of big business efforts to hinder government regulatory actions in some countries,  such as attempts by pharmaceutical lobbies to block patent reforms in South Africa that would allow for greater access to affordable treatments.

The forum gave an overview on how the international trade and investment system works, highlighting both positive and negative outcomes that result from free trade agreements, but focused mainly on two major health concerns related to trade:  access to medicines, and regulation of harmful risk factors like unhealthy food, tobacco, and alcohol. Kicked off by Ariella Rojhani, Senior Advocacy Manager at NCD Alliance, the forum began with an overview of gains and progress still needed on 25x25—the goal of reducing mortality from NCDs by 2025.

James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a veteran of the AIDS access to medicines movement in the 1990s and a current activist for access to cancer medicines, expanded on Maybarduk’s sentiments.  Of pharmaceutical makers and the rising cost of cancer medicines- which are untouchable for those in developing countries- Love said, “If they think they haven’t quite exhausted the patients and the public, it’ll be higher next time.”  Love touched on the dearth of cancer medicines on the WHO Essential Medicines List and the convoluted explanation provided by governments for this glaring absence: “They say there’s no problem with cancer, because there are no patented drugs on the EM list, but there are no patented drugs on the list, because they’re really expensive. They’re expensive because of the patents.”

This problem was the same which we ran into in the early days of AIDS, in which those in low- and middle income countries lacked any chance of access to vital drugs. Both Peter Maybarduk and Keegan Hall, President of the International Diabetes Federation’s Young Leaders and a native South African, touched on this, citing South Africa’s 1999 battle for access to AIDS drugs. Love stressed the importance of an idea that he has pioneered and has gained traction within the WHO, which is to de-link the cost of research and development for drugs from the price of the drugs themselves. Love further asserted that the public is unjustly paying for the 10 to 15 years of research and trials that often go into drug production, when we should be considering new business models that reconcile both innovation and access to health technologies. “As long as there’s a monopoly on the paradigm for funding R&D, people will keep dying,” said Love, “This is not acceptable. It’s unfair. It’s morally repugnant. It’s inefficient in a thousand ways. And you can change it.”

Anthony So, Director of Duke University Sanford School’s Program on Global Health and Technology Access, tied together the access to medicines movement and that of tobacco control, pointing to a lack of transparency in areas concerning trade where FTAs have allowed for lowered tariffs on tobacco products, as well as the seizure of lower priced generic drugs while in transit.  Dr. So highlighted the difficulties in addressing these violations in a global arena, citing cases of governments unsuccessfully going up against the WTO, and stating that he was told “it would not be possible to add tobacco control to the Millennium Development Goals.”  Dr. So also touched on the power of young people to change the world, citing the AffordableMedsNow, a campaign by our colleagues at Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) and the American Medical Students Association (AMSA) to grant affordable access to biologic alternatives to those who cannot afford vital medications.

 We heard from young professionals who have done their own part to drive change. Seun Adebiyi of YP-CDN told of his successful efforts to start the first bone marrow registry in Nigeria as a patient who was given a 17% chance of finding a marrow donor match. Kavitha Kolappa of YP-CDN spoke of South Africa’s recent battle to lessen intellectual property laws on pharmaceuticals within FTAs to grant free access to cancer medications. Bryan Collinsworth of UAEM talked about breaking down the traditional barriers between academia and activism, with a story of a Nepali immigrant and his UAEM colleagues, who were able to successfully convince Central Michigan University Medical School to adopt progressive medical research licensing and commercialization policies. Divya Dhar discussed her founding of the P3 Foundation, a youth movement that quickly took hold in New Zealand to end poverty within our generation. Though each story was different, the message which came through was common across all narratives: a small group of committed individuals with passion can change the world: “Advocacy is coming from a place where you’re willing to risk everything,” said Adebiyi.
Image: Seun Adebiyi

Addressing access to affordable medicines

Peter Maybarduk, Global Access to Medicines Program Director at Public Citizen, outlined the consequences of free trade agreements (FTAs), which often give big business free rein to sue governments for regulatory efforts to amend medication patent laws or pass stricter laws to control access to substances like tobacco. One such agreement going through current negotiations is the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (the TPP), which- if passed- would strengthen companies’ abilities to have monopolies.  Specifically, pharmaceutical companies would own exclusive patents to essential drugs for diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and thus able to charge any price they wish for these drugs, which are already financially out of reach for many in low- and middle- income countries.  Within the parameters of the TPP, biosimilar competition- or the manufacture of cheaper versions of expensive drugs- would be blocked, giving pharmaceutical companies unfettered power over drug prices in the absence of competition.  “It’s certainly quite obvious that in this battle money and politics are an obstacle,” stressed Maybarduk, who noted that the majority of these agreements are conducted in secrecy and not shown to public until they have already been finalized.  


What does trade have to do with NCD risk factors?

Benn McGrady, Project Director for the Initiative on Trade, Investment and Health of the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown University, further fleshed out complications of trade and health, pointing out that trade has positive effects as well in that it grants wider access to products such as food to marginalized populations.  Within that access, he stated, also comes access to harmful substances like unhealthy, highly processed food and tobacco, citing “coca-colonization” of countries. McGrady highlighted the handcuffing of governments by corporations that occurs when they try to regulate such dangerous products.  One such example is the implementation of plain packaging for cigarettes in Australia, or packs that would depict the health consequences of tobacco products: lip cancer, etc.  These efforts were challenged at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the basis that it interferes with trademark rights and is more trade restrictive than necessary.

Gregg Haifley, Director of Federal Relations of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, elaborated on the fight for tobacco control, citing particular cases in which tobacco company Phillip Morris sued countries to thwart governmental and public health efforts to stop the spread and decline of tobacco use, which will kill one billion people in this century. Tobacco companies argue that despite having no positive attributes, tobacco is “just another product,” and that singling out products as harmful or illicit leads way to a slippery slope in which more and more products could get banned. Using this logic, they maintain their stronghold on governments and their influence in the global marketplace.
Image: Gregg Haifley

Ashley Schram, a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa, further reiterated previous points, drawing parallels between the food, tobacco, and alcohol industries and their tactics to inhibit government and public health influence and push their products forward. “If tobacco, alcohol, and food didn’t have so many negative health consequences, we wouldn’t be talking about them today,” said Schram, who cited corporations’ use of “personal responsibility” as a justification for keeping their unhealthy products unrestricted to the public. The difficulty with this logic, she pointed out, is that- especially in the case of food- unhealthy “choices” are often the only accessible choices for the poorest populations. “When a parent is deciding between trying to keep the electricity on and putting healthy food on the table, are they responsible? Did they really have a choice?” Schram asked. Citing obesity of the new face of food insecurity and malnutrition, Schram said, “Food has gone from a source of life to a source of death for many.”

Galvanizing a new generation of allies and change advocates

The forum ended with an interactive conversation around the Declaration on NCDs and International Trade and Investment, a statement which YP-CDN issued as a call to action for governments and policy makers around trade.  The document, which reiterates Dr. Kishore’s respectful but honest advisory on behalf of civil society, “We are watching you,” asserts that there is not enough being done to combat trade’s negative consequences on health. Within the document, we demand greater transparency in negotiation of FTAs, stricter regulations of harmful risk factors, and other measures to protect health. Out of the discussion on the declaration, audience members affirmed its importance as a living document to provide guidance on trade negotiations from a generation of advocates and thought leaders. One suggestion that was made by an audience member was to create an online database on trade and health, a place for individuals and civil society groups to share their thoughts, create events, and collaborate across advocacy areas. Another suggestion was to put into place an action plan for a path forward. The declaration will be updated accordingly and shared widely to continue the dialogue around how to mitigate trade’s negative effects on health and provide those in developing countries to greater access to the opportunity to live longer, more productive lives.
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Alibaba founder Jack Ma unveils ambitious plan

Mission: 100 million new jobs

By Dana McCauley

He already runs the world's biggest online shopping company, but Alibaba founder Jack Ma is not satisfied.

The Chinese billionaire has unveiled an even more ambitious plan to expand the company's reach across the globe, creating 100 million new jobs and transforming the global economy to create a more equitable world.

It may sound pie-in-the-sky, but the goal forms part of mission statement of the US$261 billion company's visionary executive chairman.

In a letter to shareholders, Ma outlined Alibaba's achievements of the past financial year - including a gross merchandise turnover of more than $195 billion (1 trillion RMB), an "unprecedented" figure - before looking to the future.

"We have more than 430 million annual active buyers, which means one out of every three individuals in China has made a purchase on our retail marketplaces," Ma wrote.

But, he said, while proud of Alibaba's online shopping achievements, "we want to do far more", saying that the benefits of globalisation had not been spread evenly, but that "digital disruption will bring us closer to a level playing field for young people and small businesses".

"We are not merely trying to shift buy/sell transactions from offline to online, nor are we changing conventional digital marketing models to squeeze out a little additional profit," he wrote.

"We are working to create the fundamental digital and physical infrastructure for the future of commerce, which includes marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing, big data and a host of other fields."

The Alibaba group of companies, founded in 1999, accounts for 60 per cent of all Chinese online sales, and this year overtook Walmart as the world's largest retailer.


It has made Ma the second richest man in Asia, with a net worth of US$28.5 billion.


It's through cloud computing that Alibaba aims to expand its reach, and the company has been investing in the technology as part of a strategy that sees shoppers' data as the contemporary equivalent of mineral riches.

"Over the next 30 years, with computing power as the new 'technology breakthrough' and data as the new 'natural resource,' the landscape of retail, financial services, manufacturing and entertainment will be transformed," Ma wrote, forecasting a decades-long period of transformation.

"The internet revolution is a historical inflection point, much like when electricity was introduced, and it may have an even greater impact," he predicted.

Alibaba's mission, he said, was to "empower merchants with the ability to transform and upgrade their businesses for the future" and "help companies all over the world to grow".

"We believe, the commerce infrastructure we have created in China - marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing and big data, all working in concert - can be applied on a global scale to lift up small and medium businesses and ordinary consumers around the world."

Eight years after launching, Alibaba Cloud hosts 35 per cent of Chinese websites, while delivering cloud computing and big data services.


Ma said Alibaba was constantly adapting to the changing e-commerce environment, as staying at the forefront of innovation was key to its continued success.

"In the coming years, we anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain," he said.

"With e-commerce itself rapidly becoming a "traditional business," pure e-commerce players will soon face tremendous challenges."

A shift to mobile revenue was one such change, he said, with mobile climbing from a single-digit percentage to three-years of total revenue from Alibaba's Chinese retail marketplaces, in the space of two years.

"This is why we are adapting, and it's why we strive to play a major role in the advancement of this new economic environment," Ma said.

Innovations like Alibaba's Qianniu app, which helps online businesses to improve sales and marketing while enhancing efficiency, were an example of the type of projects the company aimed to focus on.

"In 20 years, we hope to serve two billion consumers around the world, empower 10 million profitable businesses and create 100 million jobs," Ma said, adding: "This will be an even more difficult journey than the one behind us."


LISTEN : Newstalk ZB Political Editor Barry Soper speaks to Andrew Dickens on KPMG Early Edition

Mr Ma - who's worth around $50 billion - met with John Key in Beijing late yesterday. He made his money through founding the online commerce platform Ali Baba.

Standing alongside the Prime Minister, he heaped praise on the country, which he says is loved by many Chinese.

"At least 20 of my colleagues retired from Ali Baba. They're all very young, in their 40s, they all go to New Zealand."

"I asked what they do apart from the golf and green things and they say it's the people there."

It wasn't all social, with the Chinese billionaire also talking business.

Jack Ma told the entrepreneurs luncheon Kiwi businesspeople find it difficult to access the Chinese market.

Mr Ma said he wants to make that easier with his multi-platform organisation.

"We have Ali Baba University. We would either have courses in New Zealand or invite the entrepreneurs in New Zealand to stay in China for two weeks for training."

"The second is that we're going to open an Ali Baba business embassy next year in New Zealand."

John Key is in China meeting business and political leaders.



Innovation "Made in China" - The Case of Alibaba and the role of Net-based Small Business

Innovation is a key driver for economic development and social progress and small business is one of the best ways for people to express their willingness and capability to innovate.  Pervasive business ownership has, therefore, been the foundation in many societies for the continued improvement of people’s economic wellbeing. In the People’ Republic of China, however, private business ownership was prohibited between 1957 and 1978. Productive innovations were extremely restricted and as a consequence, China’s economy was on the verge of collapse by the end of 1978. The Chinese people had suffered a historic setback.

Alibaba’s growth, driven by unleashing grassroots entrepreneurship, has become an exemplar of China’s innovation in the 21st century.  Started by 18 young people in 1999, Alibaba has grown into a giant global internet platform and has made many invaluable contributions to China’s progress. Highlighting the importance of pervasive small business ownership in unleashing grassroots innovation and improving economic wellbeing, Professor Lowrey will discuss Alibaba’s innovative strategies and explain the economic theory behind its inspiring success.




Dr. Ying Lowrey is Professor of Economics at Tsinghua University and Deputy Director of the Tsinghua Research Center for Chinese Entrepreneurs, and a member of the Academic Committee for Alibaba Group Research Institute. Her teaching and research interests include economics of innovation and entrepreneurship in the internet and platform economy, the modern microfinance market, business demographics, characteristics of business owners, and the role of free enterprise and competition in the macroeconomy. 

She received her economics Ph.D. from Duke University, economics MA from Yale University and mathematics BS from Wuhan University. Before joining Tsinghua University in 2012, she served as senior economist at the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration and has taught economics at George Washington University and San Diego State University.


Selected publications 




Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepren…chris macraeNov 23, 200950 views

Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepreneur jobs in 2010s - who else would you vote at the centre of 100 million job creation leagues?
=====================update sumer 2016:
unlike oiher years spent with bangaldeshi inspired youth, i spent 2015-2016 mainly with a class of chinese female students - what brilliant minds and tirelss sources of human energy - i hope this summary of why the whole world can celebrate what jack ma is doing is near to the mark - but as always look forward to editing any errors which are mine alone
chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk washington dc text 240 316 8157
was english language tutoring

In 1995 he was sent to the usa on an exchange mission and encountered the worldwideweb - then unknown in China. He determined the www would be the biggest job creating innovation of his (or his generations) life and hopefully of every Chinese entrepreneur he could valuably link into.

Over the next 15 years his wizard coding teams went from something that was little more than an electronic yellow pages for small businesses to conceiving sustainability generation's 2 greatest retailing platforms china or the world may ever have seen..

the taobao platform is the most valuable job creating concept retailers have ever mediated because it reverses the western trend of globalisiation of retailers, bankers and big corporations squeezing out local and small enterprises from having a market; how taobao did that is an extraordinarily detailed story but note how Ma was concerned to ensure even the most cut-off of Chinese villagers could start up on tao bao (rural ecommerce is one of the innovations that Ma has led the www purpose to linkin)

His other mall was pitched at the more usual high cost fashions of big global merchandisers. Because of complex property laws in chinese cities, most expensive retailers are not much of a joy to shop in. So ali baba created a lifestyle -eg celebrate singles day 11/11 shopping virtually rather than the physically exhausting interaction in The West's biggest shopping days of the year)

SO 365/24/7 consumers of ali baba can choose who they value developing most with their purchasing power as well as searching merchandise with global image or local cultural joy

Alibaba has become china's and probably the word's largest retailing channel. It does this with next to no merchandise but brilliant coding so that every store front on its platforms delivers with equal reliability. Hunting out exactly how Ma forms partnerships so that big data analysis benefits the smallest enterprises and most local consumers ought to be a job of whomever is sustainability goals greatest economist.

Intriguingly to ensure he could compete with the chinese internet companies that raced to co-create the www that Ma had opened space for in china, Ma IPO'd Alibaba through a process 2010-2015 while developing his secret sustainability weapon under private ownership. AlIpay is china's number 1 financial inclusion delivery system and maybe global youth most humanly productive coding achievement to date.

Comparing china's top 10 internet properties with the west's is very interesting. Are the consuming behaviours on ali baba more sustainable than those on amazon or ebay or paypal? Are the learnng behaviours on baidu more sustaining of youth than on google or coursera or microsoft's linkedin. Time will tell but note how speaking english, chinese and coding (as well as mother tongue) are probably what educators anywhere on planet earth should NOW be most valuing their global youth's future freedom to thrive entrepreneurially around.

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