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Current Events

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By Randy Gold

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Vietnam and Putting the Fast in Fast Food

In 2014 when McDonald's first opened in Vietnam, crowds waited hours in line to try something new, but the fad soon wore off. After 4 years in the country, they have only opened 17 stores in the entire country.  Their original plan was to have 100 stores within 10 years. Though they still have time, something has obviously gone wrong. In both China and Japan, McDonald's has seen tremendous growth, but a recent study determined that the majority of fast food consumption in Vietnam is from street vendors who prepare popular local foods quickly and at a lower price. Some fast foods seem to thrive in Vietnam, like KFC and Pizza Hut. A study showed that the dynamic may have to do with the cultural habit of sharing food at meals. A Big Mac, after all, isn’t something you share. The lesson big business is learning is that not all products work in all markets. Still, McDonald's has very deep pockets and hasn’t given up yet. Perhaps their new menu combos, like grilled pork, rice and egg will make a difference. Time will tell.

Waking from the Dream

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In 2016 when the Summer Olympics visited Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, hopes were high that the infusion of billions of dollars into the local economy would change the lives of the local people. There were plans to develop a world-class sporting program, and open modern, state of the art venues that would transform the poverty they’d know for so long. Today, if you do your own research online, you’ll find that life isn’t better for Rio or its people. The majority of the venues used for the Olympics sit vacant or have been vandalized, and the money that came in didn’t end up where it was meant to go. Without naming names, or trying to determine fault, we challenge you, in that Rio should be a lesson to the young people who will run the future. Global Leaders are best served in studying the past so they don’t repeat the same mistakes. If you are one of them, our future depends on you.

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Eye on the Prize

[Photo: Courtesy NBC World of Dance]

On September 12th, fifteen young dancers [9 to 17-years-old] from West Covina, California, came back to The World of Dance Finals the second year in a row and this time they danced away with the $1 million dollar prize. One of the dancers, Logan “LogistX” Edra, now 15, talked about how they not only added five more dancers this year to make them stronger, but that “…we also went into season two with a more bold intention. We just wanted to go in planning to win the show rather than just trying to make it a certain amount of rounds. We just went in with a winning mindset, which is different from season one.” To watch a compilation of all of their performances, including their final dances, visit YouTube at:

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Opportunity is all Around Us

At 16 years old, Rylan Kindness from Brisbane, Australia used to witness first-hand the challenges his parents faced trying to find a parking place in the city. With over 2.4 million people in the immediate area, parking can often be a nightmare. While it’s true there is a variety of paid parking, the problem is that rates are different street to street.  After putting some thought into it, Ryan came up with the idea for an online system. The system he developed, called Parking Deals Australia, takes the hassle away by showing users the best price for parking in the area they want and offering users a daily deal with a discount. In truth, Parking Deals Australia isn’t even Rylan’s first business. When he was barely 11, Rylan came up with an idea to sell wholesale scooter parts online, purely because he just wanted some extra money. The key to Ryan’s growing success is in finding a need and figuring out a way to fill that need. Ryan left us with some sage advice: “I’ve learnt so many crazy things through trial and error. Every day I fail somewhere but I always try to get better. My biggest failure was when I first set up everything and thought it was what everyone else would like but it’s a shock when you see people not enjoying what you’re doing. It makes you want to cry a little bit but then you polish the product and keep going,” he said. To see Ryan’s latest success story, visit: and remember: this was created and is being run by a teenager.

Women Are Allowed to Drive in Saudi Arabia

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Recently, the ban on women having a license or driving in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was lifted. Many people in the months leading up to the change had protested, and there were even threats made. Some staunch conservatives argued that driving could lead women to behave sinfully and expose them to harassment. Some men have vowed to target women who dare get behind the wheel. In the wake of such threats, the Saudi government implemented an antiharassment law recently.  In the early hours of Sunday, women from across the kingdom posted on social media photos and videos of themselves driving, amid a heavy presence of police cars in major cities. Parking reserved for women has been already introduced in several malls, hospitals and other public spaces. Road signs are beginning to change to address female as well as male drivers. No matter where you look in the world, there are signs of change.​

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   Letter from the Publisher



   New Ideas

   The Traveler

   On the Map

   Current Events

   A Fireside Chat


Summer 2018

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