XYBOOM Conference Discusses Workplace Community

[Editor's note: whether you're an un-or-under-employed Millennial, Gen Xer, or Baby Boomer, you should be paying attention to an upcoming awesometastic collaboration between Service Canada, My Loudspeaker, the post-secondary community, and many change-making businesses from Metro Vancouver and beyond. It's called the XYBOOM Conference and it will be community-building at its finest!]

Vancouver, BC – January 10, 2012 – When a business loses an employee, it loses more than a staff member: employee turnover is estimated to cost more than double the cost of retainment. Loss of productivity, resources and time spent re-hiring and training are some of the burdens of employee replacement. The BC Business Council urges businesses to be more competitive in their retention strategies, suggesting investing in succession planning and staff development as solutions. The XYBOOM Conference seeks to address these issues with a dynamic, intergenerational approach.

Sustainable hiring systems and employee development and retention are key topics to be addressed at the conference on January 20th. This unique initiative, funded primarily by Service Canada brings togther business professionals and youth with experts from three generations – X,Y and Baby Boomer – to collaborate on finding strategies and solutions on mitigating the growing labour shortage.

The conference offers more than ten industry panelists who have diverse career backgrounds – including expertise in human resources, intercultural understanding, workplace organization and strategic marketing – as well as engaging, participatory workshops sessions, guaranteeing attendees will leave with strategies and insights on the issues at hand.

“The conference plays an important role in mitigating the pending labour shortage as baby boomers exit the workforce” says Alden Habacon, UBC Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development and XYBOOM panelist. With baby boomers beginning to retire and a looming labour shortage, employee replacement is becoming a growing financial burden for unprepared businesses. Higher retention rates give businesses a competitive edge during labour shortages.

Business applications for XYBOOM will be accepted at www.xyboom.ca.

Hosted by My Loud Speaker, the XYBOOM Conference will be held on January 20th from 9-5pm at the Yaletown Roundhouse. This not-for-profit event will also include a live streaming feature for off-site youth participants across the Lower Mainland, XYBOOM awards for businesses, case study reports and an interactive art installation created by Gen Why Media Project at the W2 atrium from Jan 19-21st.

Please visit www.xyboom.ca for more information on the conference, issues at hand, and a complete guest panelist list.

Devon Wong – Media Relations
604 250 4662 | www.xyboom.ca
XYBOOM: January 20, 2012

Masthead photo (The Train at the Roundhouse Theatre in Yaletown) courtesy of goldberg

Wasted Talent

“Don’t let’s waste waste” – that’s the rather awkward title of an article from the The Economist that just flashed across my Facebook news feed. I skimmed it (Barack Obama is setting up an e-waste task force), but it got me thinking of a waste-oriented conversation in which I participated about a week ago.

It happened in the Railway Club … but that’s neither here nor there.

Moving on…

There I sat with my good friend Bu – who is a Senior Research Manager for the Department of Community and Government Services in Nunavut – and we, along with some other fine folks, were discussing Canada’s North. As a resident of one of Canada’s most Northern communities, Iqaluit, Bu had some inside knowledge and thoughtful opinions about the territory, which suffers from, among other things, an 11.6% unemployment rate.

And this is when – amidst several delicious jugs – I had a semi-eloquent moment: “People talk a lot about how much our world wastes,” I said. “I don’t think that there’s an example of waste more disappointing than the way we waste human talent.”

You see, human beings are the only species on this planet without full employment. All the other ones – from worms to whales to walruses to wallabies – have jobs (or, more accurately, they all have work to be done). This is not a new concept – undoubtedly, the delicious jugs made me seem very wise at the time – but it should be noted that, according to the International Labour Organization, nearly one billion people on this planet are unemployed and countless others find themselves underemployed because of barriers like technology, mental illness, poverty, the price of education, apathy, addiction, fear, and laziness to name a few.

Says co-author of Natural Capitalism, Paul Hawken, “In a world where a billion workers cannot find a decent job or any employment at all, it bears stating the obvious: we cannot by any means – monetarily, governmentally, or charitably – create a sense of value and dignity in people’s lives when we are simultaneously creating a a society that clearly has no need for them.”

Says Godfrey von Bismarck, co-author of The History of Work Series on the Daily Gumboot, “Wow, this gives whole new meaning to getting wasted.”

Jokes and tangents aside, while Canada should be proud of it’s 7.6% unemployment rate in this fragile global market, we still have a long way to go before being a truly inclusive, efficient and productive society. Especially when it comes to the value that we place on work and employment.

After all, a society that wastes so many electronics logically wastes so many people, too. And the price for both kinds of waste is higher than we can afford to pay.