Pleasures Magazine’s 50 African Women Entrepreneurs to watch out for on the global stage. Joana is an Artisanal Miner, Licensed Gold Miner, Licensed Gold Seller, Licenses Gold Buyer, Licensed Gold Exporter, Investor, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Business Executive.
CEO and Founder of GOLDEN EMPIRE LEGACY LIMITED and many other companies registered and added to her credit as an Entrepreneur. A fast growing private business within the annals of Ghana and across the globe. Miss Joana Gyan is known widely in the public space for her benevolence to the orphanages.
The making of a 21st century business titan from the dark continent of Africa comes at no meager cost.
A doppelganger of the woman of steel forged, from the furnace of life’s adversities; her adornment is her street credibility. She is the embodiment of the hearts of a hundred mighty men.
A charismatic visionary and advocate of the downtrodden. Been to hell’s gate and back, she radiates silhouettes of wisdom, bravery and class.
Joana Gyan is a young business mogul who made her indelible mark among the Ghana business elite by being the first and only woman to carve her niche and take stranglehold of gold territories in an industry totally colonized by men.
She fought through the ranks of the mining sector, gained grounds and consolidated her gold business empire (Golden Empire Legacy LTD) as a household name in Ghana, buying gold from local miners and exporting of gold internationally.
Today Golden Empire Legacy Ltd is the biggest gold agent in Ghana; sourcing gold from local miners and exporting Globally.
We present to you Joana Gyan, a licensed buyer and exporter of gold and the Founder and CEO of Global Empire Legacy Holdings.
Joana Gyan is also a business executive and owner of over 15 companies including;
- Golden Empire Legacy Ltd
- GEM multimedia Ghana ltd
- Colossus Minerals Ltd
- Joana TV Ltd
- The GEM rhythms Ltd
- The GEM pub Ltd
- KESSE music Ltd
- GELL Golden page Ltd
- GELL farms Ltd
- GELL Petroleum Ltd
- GELL real estate Ltd
- KBA mining Ltd
- Joana Gyan foundation
- GELL Timber Ltd
- ZEMA Ghana jewelry and fashion school Ltd
- Royalsekt Ghana Limited
Her influence has eaten voraciously into other sectors such as entertainment (GEM MULTIMEDIA), fashion, education and trade.
Her benevolence and love for humanity has earned her the tag of one of the most charitable philanthropists in Ghana. This feat is evident in the activities of the Joana Gyan foundation; an NGO dedicated to upgrading the abysmal welfare statuses of mining communities in Ghana.
As an astute motivational speaker, her followers keep expanding into a mighty horde, ready to propagate her philosophy of success and establish her legacy…
THE GOLDEN EMPIRE LEGACY
In a recent interview with Pleasures Magazine, she said “I just wanted to offer pure gold at the best available prices by buying from my country’s local miners and export it to buyers globally. I also wanted to keep business honest and transparent…..no bait-and-switch tactics, no up-selling to higher-margin limited edition collectibles.”
The hushed dawn of the 7th May mid-80s was unsettled by the cries of labour emanating from Dunkwa community hospital located along the dusty plains of Dunkwa-offin in Denkyira central region Ghana.
Agnes Nyarko a young beautiful trader and farmer was 9 months heavy with the seed of Ambrose Kojo Gyan, a COCOBOD contractor, teacher and farmer from the royal family of Juabeng Ashanti region. Agnes was the fifth wife of Ambrose who due to numerous long travels had formed an enormous polygamous family.
The ambiance of the Dunkwa hospital was inundated with the motherly wails of Agnes stimulated by contractions.
This will be the second time she will be ejecting life through her thighs; an event she would partake in three more times, cumulating in five offspring.
Ambrose, a major contributor to the present state of Agnes wasn’t left out of the physical and mental turbulence as his body found no rest, pacing haphazardly in the local hospital.
After a labour period that lasted all night, Agnes’s toil was met with the ultimate reward; the first cry of Joana Gyan who would later be called as Nana Awoo, named after a prominent philanthropist in Dunkwa-offin.
EARLY YEARS OF NANA AWOO
Being the 19th child of a former COCOBOD contractor who had lost all he worked for due to military victimization, poor financial habits and an oversized nuclear family; Joana came out without the silver spoon and so the early harsh realities of life became acquaintances.
Christened after three months in a silent traditional naming ceremony with the names; Joana Maa-Adjoa Nana Awoo Gyan, the name Maa-Adjoa originating from her maternal side while Nana Awoo was given from her paternal side.
The name Nana Awoo will later take preeminence due to her selfless and hardworking personality. Soon Joana was enrolled into her first school; school of life and her first class being the class of survival.
The Gyan family were constantly on the move shuttling Dunkwa-offin and Wassa Agona Amenfi. The latter is where Joana started her formal education at Wassa Agona Methodist basic school, age 3 years.
At age 5 years, Joana started farming with her mother while in school. She became known at that tender age for being very helpful even at her own expense; carrying goods and heavy loads for elderly women from the farm to their houses miles away.
It was in this period that Joana will be affectionately and unanimously called Nana Awoo by the elderly people in the Dunkwa community.
Born a Taurus with the impulse for leadership, Joana always wanted to sacrifice her wellbeing, pleasure and liberty for her family. At age 8 years, Joana took the travail to a new level; she started illegal mining popularly called “galamsey”.
Oblivious of the health and environmental dangers posed by her new path, she ironically went deep into the mud just to survive.
There was never a standstill in time and Joana grew in age and hence advanced in class. Joana attended Denkyira Asikuma catholic school (junior secondary).
She advanced to Dunkwa technical secondary school where her second cycle education was truncated in form two mainly due to financial lack and the inability of Joana to combine studies with menial jobs.
The pressure eventually took its toll on Joana and in 1999 she left the classroom and headed for Accra in her school uniform unsupervised.
Alone in Accra, she wandered until eventide. Weary and hungry, she found solace in the uncompleted action chapel located on the spintex road. After countless nights at the uncompleted cathedral, she joined some friends from Wassa Agona Amenfi who had decent accommodation in Achimota a suburb of Accra.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, as time flew, so did Joana’s knowledge and experience of the city increase. She left Achimota to Legon Westland where she started her first business; operating a small phone booth popularly called “space to space”. After a while, she met a customer on the job who took her to airport residential area where she worked as a maid.
Hungry for success as she was, she became discontented with exalted life of penury which was becoming her adornment at airport residential area.
Once again Nana Awoo was on the move, back on the streets where the harsh realities of life has no sugar coating. She was taken in by Daavi, a poor woman who had only male children and lived in Ajiringanor which was a construction site.
Daavi took Joana so affectionately that soon it was believed around Ajiringanor that Joana was Daavi’s only daughter. Through Daavi she got a job as a labourer in the trasacco estates then under construction.
It must be noted that even though Joana wasn’t born financially privileged, her extended family members were people of noble heritage as Joana herself is from a royal lineage in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
So as she was sojourning the streets, she was declared missing by her family. Words had reached her family of her whereabouts.
An envoy from the family reclaimed her from Daavi’s possession to a family member in Accra which was comfortable financially.
Once again Joana became disgruntled with life in the custody of an extended family member as she was only used for house chores, for the second time in her young life, she would escape from the guardianship of family never to return.
THE CRUDE BRIDE
In the first quarter of the year 2010, Tyrone Jarvis a man from Bristol city (UK) came down to Ghana for business only to be duped by miscreants.
Dismayed and disappointed he made preparations to return to the UK then by a twist of fate, he met Joana Gyan through a third party.
The old British business mogul fell in love with the unsophisticated Nana Awoo and asked her to marry him. She agreed and the two entered a sanctimonious matrimony which would transform Joana wholly.
Tyrone saw her past toil in the galamsey fields as an advantage and motivation to delve into the mining industry legally. Under Joana’s first business “Jay Golden” they acquired gold sites and with Joana’s knowledge of the terrain, they explored new and uncharted territories.
Joana’s life was on cruise control as the couple improved in almost all spheres of life and it was as if the fallacious phrase “happy ever after” was fast becoming a reality. Then fate added another twist to Joana’s titillating story; in the third quarter of the year 2012 (2nd July), Tyrone Jarvis died of diabetes.
Alone once again and against all the odds for Joana to hold together whatever vestiges was left of her union with Tyrone Jarvis. She solicited for funds to uphold her dream of owning a business empire.
She was fighting on all fronts as she epitomized the phrase “down but not out”
Fortune they say favours the strong and relentless and so it was on the umpteenth time of knocking on the door of success, the answers came pouring in investors from Europe had fallen in love with the vision of the simple lady from Juabeng Ashanti region.
They were ready to fund in for the creation of the biggest solid mineral yet in West Africa… Golden Empire Legacy LTD (GELL).
As it stands today, Joana Maa-Adjoa Nana Awoo Gyan the poor unsophisticated girl who ran away from the scourge of paucity in Dunkwa is now adorned with accolades and professional titles such as; Artisanal miner (one of the best in the country), licensed gold miner, licensed gold seller, licensed gold exporter, estate developer, business class woman, business executive, talent developer and motivational speaker.
All these achievements are at a youthful age of 34 and she isn’t resting on her laurels, striving to attain more.
Her intelligence, caring attitude and interesting personality has seen her dine with the high and mighty, cruise on the corridors of power and impact lives in dimensions unfathomable.
It is a famous cliché that ” it is during turbulent times you know your friends”. The perilous times that came Joana’s way did not only show Joana her true friends, but also gave her a diehard army and an unwavering support from individuals she least expected.
Through the years, there are names that have become synonymous with the Joana struggle; Mesach Donkor (Director GELL), this is one man who stood on his grounds day and night, going through the nooks and cranny just for the dream of Joana to stand and abound.
All through those turbulent times, Mr Mesach never turned his back on Joana, he was always at her beck and call rendering his effortless financial support and ideas.
Another great person who also emerged as a supportive tentacle in the Joana struggle era was Albert Fiagah (Manager GELL), He also stood on his grounds pushing things to get better for both the dream carrier and also the great woman Joana.
Albert was always there to support Joana whether rain or shine, whether abased or abounding times, Albert never gave up on that dream Joana carried.
These two men form an unreplaceable components of the GELL arsenal today as we see.
Another unsung hero; Emmanuel Dadzie, an underdog who pushes for the wellbeing and also responsible for the maintenance of the public perception about the GELL vision.
Emmanuel has always been consistent in the sharing of the vision and dreams GELL to get to a pinnacle where nothing can bring it down.
It is in the struggles that Joana Nana Awoo Gyan and the trio came out with the GELL slogan ‘Together we can Succeed’ In the midst of all the challenges and problems and the turbulent and perilous times that beckoned on us, we stood firm and said everything is achievable, and here we are today.
Joana Nana Awoo Gyan’s dreams keeps on elating each day. In all Consistency, Persistency, Determination and Diligence have been our core mandates all these years.
Her scintillating life has been guided by this mantra among a few; “I don’t have a diary, I take each day as it comes”.
From the Company: Golden Empire Legacy Limited, Ghana’s Trusted Gold Dealer
Golden Empire Legacy Limited is a limited liability company which was incorporated in Ghana and commenced business operations in January 2016.
The company is responsible for sourcing gold from artisanal miners in Ghana and exports to buyers globally.
The headquarters and the logistics center of Golden Empire Legacy Limited is located in Accra, Ghana. It is responsible for the support, marketing, customer and partner communication, execution and delivery of orders. One of the major aims of the Golden Empire Legacy Limited is to contribute to the development of the Precious Minerals sector in Ghana with respect of Laws and International transparency.
All Golden Empire Legacy Limited employees contribute, through their actions, to the image of the company’s partners and clients all over the world. Golden Empire Legacy Limited believe that maintaining a strong reputation is greatly influenced by the reliable and trustworthy work of all our employees.
Our mission is to serve our clients in uniformity and direction, entailing strong, transparent communication processes (to best serve our customers and our ideals on dealing with colleagues and partners).
HOW WE SEE OURSELVES
Golden Empire Legacy Limited offers the attractive option for consumers to purchase pure gold, as well as gold merchandising.
We are proud of the independence that Golden Empire Legacy Limited offers consumers to own, manage and control their personal purchases.
The company’s goal is to provide the very best in customer service for their clients, and to provide opportunities for all people across the globe to own gold at an affordable price.
As a company, we take responsibility for the delivery of our gold.
Sustainable development is a particular concern of ours – economic action, social responsibility and environmental awareness are therefore guiding principles of our company.
In order to achieve long-term success, we must secure our presence as an independent group of companies.
We are committed to supply gold that is “responsible”,”conflict-free” ‘Responsible Gold’ is gold which followed the ‘Chain of Custody’ requirements consistent with the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Affected and High Risk Areas.
All Gold products that we trade in are ‘Responsible Gold’ and ‘Conflict-Free Gold’ as all our products are sourced from legalized miners who comply with all guidance according to the law of the Republic of Ghana.
WORLD CLASS SERVICE
Our ethics are well established and we maintain strict confidentiality when transacting with our impressive buyers and clients in the area of gold export. We look forward to serving you and providing you with the most pleasant buying and exporting experience possible.
Golden Empire Legacy Limited is located within walking distance of the A&C Mall and near Max International, 24 Garden Road, Adjacent Ideg, House number 14, East legon Accra Ghana. . Our ethics are well established and we maintain strict confidentiality when transacting with our impressive buyers and clients.
To get in touch, visit our website www.goldenempirelegacy.com /or email us [email protected] call us on +233 (0) 30 397 0268.
Thank you for visiting and we look forward to serving you and providing you with the most pleasant Gold buying and export experience possible.
Source: Linda Ikeji.
Why Doesn’t Anyone Live On The Moon Yet?
Short trips don't require too much baggage, but what about an extended stay?
Is Earth’s fresh air, endless biodiversity, and (relatively) stable average temperature getting you down? Ever wanted to drop everything and jet off to a place where life is simpler—or better yet, nonexistent? Then take a 238,900-mile jaunt to the solar system’s premiere deserted destination: The moon. Our closest astronomical neighbor offers 14.6 million square miles of peace, quiet, and more shades of gray than you can count—perfect for a rustic getaway without all the distractions of nature.
Sound heavenly? Unfortunately, it’ll take a lot more than a simple rocket trip to achieve lunar paradise. And the first folks to set up shop on the moon probably won’t be building resorts and vacation homes—as of now, NASA wants to create what’s basically a gas station for future trips to Mars. Astronauts would stop on the moon to refuel and stock up on supplies before embarking on an 8-month odyssey to the red planet.
Whether it becomes a 5-star hotel among the stars or the first 7-Eleven outside Earth’s atmosphere, the tiny rock orbiting our planet is so desolate that we’ll have to establish basic infrastructure to sustain life if humans are ever to settle down there. It won’t be easy, but it’s far from science fiction.
“Humans are fragile, and because we’re so fragile, we require so much,” says astrophysicist and planetary scientist Laura Forczyk, who owns the space consulting firm Astralytical.
For starters, there’s the moon’s lack of a genuine atmosphere. Forczyk says it does have somewhat of a “pseudo-atmosphere” called an exosphere: a magnetically suspended mix of gases and particles stirred up from the lunar surface by solar wind. But the elements that make up breathable air float around the moon at infinitesimal concentrations compared to Earth. Taking a deep breath would be just as deadly on the moon as it would be in the vacuum of space.
Don’t break out into a passionate rendition of Jordin Sparks’ “No Air” just yet—thankfully, breathing could be the least of future lunar residents’ worries. Forczyk says we’ve gotten really good at recycling air on the International Space Station through the Environmental Control and Life Support System. Along with a few lunar greenhouses to foster oxygen-emitting plants, a similar system could purify air and send it back through a network of sealed, controlled habitation modules in a lunar settlement, keeping us breathing easy for years. However, we’d have to send loads of those life-giving gases to the moon at least once to get the cycle going, which would be expensive: Shipping just a pound of material (even air, which would have to be pressurized in tanks) to the moon would cost more than $1.3 million.
The moon’s dinky exosphere poses other serious problems. Because there’s no air, there’s no wind, which means no erosion. That’s made the dust particles on the lunar surface—called regolith—especially troublesome. Unlike granules of sand on Earth, which appear round when observed under a microscope, regolith particles are sharp; meteorites and solar wind have hammered them, and there’s no fluid around to wear down those fractured edges. Getting sand out of your clothes at the beach would be a walk in the park compared to fielding these ultra-clingy particles, and they could cause problems for machines and humans working on the lunar surface.
No atmosphere also means no protection against meteorites, which hurtle toward the moon at breakneck speeds, threatening to puncture spacesuits and permanent structures. So if future humans on the moon see a shooting star, they’ll have to run for cover instead of making a wish.
While a lunar colony thankfully wouldn’t have to account for hurricanes or other extreme atmospheric weather events, it’d have to shore up against an invisible—but highly hazardous—threat: solar storms. Unlike the Earth, the moon has no magnetic field to protect against highly charged electromagnetic particles emitted by the sun. During particularly intense solar flares, which eject bursts of high-energy light waves from beneath the sun’s surface, even the Earth can’t fully shield our electricity infrastructure from going haywire. Without that crucial magnetic field, a solar storm engulfing a lunar settlement could be potentially disastrous for human health and infrastructure. Thus, we’d have to use substances like water or polyethylene, which contain concentrations of hydrogen high enough to absorb the impact of these rogue space particles, to protect buildings on the moon from solar radiation.
Scientists have recently uncovered another lunar nuisance to be aware of: moonquakes. Seismometers left by Apollo astronauts have told us that, despite having no apparent plate tectonic system or subduction zones, the moon’s ground can shake up to a magnitude of around 5 on the Richter Scale. That’s not as intense as some earthquakes recorded here at home, and Sam Courville, a research assistant at the Planetary Science Institute who has studied planetary seismology, says they likely wouldn’t pose a major risk for lunar structures.
But Courville says a possible mechanism behind these quakes could have implications for our future buildings. Some moonquakes are believed to be caused by temperature stress, when intense freezing and warming periods lead to contraction and expansion of materials and, in some cases, the formation of faults. The moon has some of the most variable temperatures in the solar system, ranging from a balmy 260˚F during the day to a bone-chilling -280˚F at night. And because a single lunar day lasts 27 Earth days, a colony’s structures would have to withstand these extreme temperatures for weeks at a time before feeling relief.
There’s also the issue of gravity: the moon’s is only about 1/6th that of Earth’s. Given what we know about the effects of long-term weightlessness on astronauts, lunar residents would have to take precautions to keep healthy. Exposure to microgravity on the ISS has been shown to accelerate bone and muscle loss and create cardiovascular issues, because having to work against gravity is part of what keeps our bodies fit. That’s why astronauts on the ISS spend hours a day exercising to make up for its absence. While the moon’s lack of gravity isn’t quite as extreme, Courville says living long-term in any environment with reduced gravity could be detrimental to human health.
Because we’d be setting up shop in a venerable desert, a lunar colony would need to secure some kind of water source. An ECLSS-like system could recycle any water we bring with us, but it’s not 100-percent efficient and would result in the loss of some water over time. Forczyk says one option is scavenging for traces of hydrogen and oxygen bonded to regolith particles and fusing them together to make trusty molecules of H2O, but that process would require an immense amount of energy. Instead, we could establish a settlement near one of the lunar poles, which contain deposits of ice that never see the sun—and never melt. This would provide easier access to a water source to replenish the purification system.
Strangely enough, Courville and Forczyk say the biggest obstacle to living on the moon isn’t a solar death storm or evil sand—it’s the economic and political will to make it happen. As of now, NASA has no set plan to send humans back to the moon in any capacity, and other space programs don’t yet have the funding to carry out their own crewed missions.
“Technologically, NASA has the ability, motivation, and expertise to do this,” Forczyk says. “The question is: Are people here on Earth going to fund it so we can actually accomplish it?”
Fifty years ago, the Cold War space race was a big motivator for sending the Apollo astronauts to the moon. Today, it’s the possibility of using the moon as a jumping off point for Mars and other spots throughout the solar system. Courville says a permanent settlement on the moon could dramatically reduce the cost of launching rockets into deep space, mainly because the moon’s low gravity and lack of atmosphere make liftoff a lot easier.
Whether the moon becomes a crucial stop on the way to Mars, the most isolated research facility to date, or just an outlet mall, the challenges of setting up permanent shop there should make us grateful to live on a planet that gives us everything we need.
Youngtrepreneurs Crowns Winner Of Directing And Cinematography Workshop With 10,000 Ghana Cedis.
The inaugural workshop of the newly-founded organization Youngtrepreneurs which was officially launched in May this year by British-Ghanaian director, producer and screen writer Scilla Owusu took place from 15th July to 17th July , 2019 at the Fitzgerald in Cantonment Accra.
The 3-day workshop was well-organized, intriguing and very informative. All participants attended as expected by the organization. The purpose of the workshop was to focus on Directing and Cinematography. As expected, it was very interactive and insightful. Nevertheless, the workshop kept the applicants enthusiastic and excited they were allowed to freely use cinematography equipment and participate in demonstrations. In fact, more emphasis was placed on the practical aspect of the workshop in order to ensure that the applicants were imparted with adequate skills in directing and cinematography. Furthermore, the practical nature of the workshop enabled many applicants to express their creative opinions.
The applicants showed a lot of gratitude and expressed their genuine excitement about the three day workshop and how appreciative they were for being exposed to such in-depth knowledge and experience from guest instructors Yaw Sky face and Scilla Owusu. Executive director of the Accra film school, Mr. Rex Anthony Annan graced the workshop with a powerful speech in which he said “the time to raise the pertaining standard in Ghana's film industry is overdue” He also described the workshop as one of a kind and showered praises on the founded for putting together such a great initiative and at the end he presented certificates endorsed by the school to all participants.
Three winners were crowned on the 17th of July. The ultimate winner, Richard Quagraine Amoah, was given a sum of 10,000 GHC funded by sponsor Eugene Ayisi of Dominion Capital to direct and shoot Ghanaian hip hop star Joey B's video. He was also awarded with an internship slot with award-winning production house Apstairs media and a 10 week business internship with African Internship Academy Anna Leonie, the 1st runner up and John Kwame Markin the second runner up will also get to be assistant directors to Richard to shoot JOEY B's music video this month.
Follow Youngtrepreneurs on https://instagram.com/theyoungtrepreneurs
David O. Bannor
If Aliens Call, What Should We Do? Scientists Want Your Opinion.
In the age of fake news, researchers worry conspiracy theories would abound before we could figure out how — or if — to reply to an alien message. The answer to this question could affect all of our lives more than nearly any other policy decision out there: How, if it all, should humanity respond if we get a message from an alien civilization? And yet politicians and scientists have never bothered to get our input on it.
At long last, that’s changing. A group of researchers in the UK this week released the first major survey on the question. The responses could help inform an international protocol for responding to first contact.
This is a big deal because, as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have warned, communicating with extraterrestrials could pose a catastrophic risk to humanity. In fact, if we send out a message and it’s received by less-than-friendly aliens, that could pose an existential threat not only to the human species but to every species on Earth.
Despite the high stakes, scientists have already sent out signals intended to be picked up by aliens. The first one went out in 1974, when the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico transmitted a broadcast containing information on everything from the position of Earth in our solar system to the double helix structure of DNA.
The Arecibo Observatory is currently running a contest that invites kids to design our next message to E.T. And later this year, an organization called Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) plans to transmit a new message containing information on the periodic table. There’s no law saying they can’t, or even that they need to get some international buy-in.
But the scientists at the UK SETI Research Network (UKSRN) think we’re woefully unprepared to handle an alien message if we receive one. And they say no one class of people should unilaterally decide humanity’s response. As astronomer Martin Dominik put it, “We want to hear people’s views. The consequences affect more people than just scientists.”
So UKSRN has launched a survey online and at the Royal Society’s summer science exhibition in London, which runs July 1-7. Here are three of the questions they’re asking the public:
1) Some people think we should send messages into space even if we don’t receive a message first. What is your opinion?
2) If we receive a message, do you think we should reply/make contact or not? Why?
3) What would you consider a credible source?
That third question reflects a worry I’ve been hearing from astronomers over the past couple of years: If a newly discovered message from aliens is announced, members of the public may use social media to spread all sorts of fake news and conspiracy theories about the aliens, their message, and what it will mean for humanity to communicate with them.
In the weeks or months or years it could take scientists to decode the interstellar missive, fear-mongering could tank our chances of responding wisely — or at all. An alien message “will take time to understand and if that work starts to drag out and there is nothing new we can say, the information vacuum will be filled with speculation,” John Elliott, a UKSRN co-founder, told the Guardian. “Conjecture and rumor will take over.”
In hopes of figuring out how to minimize the problem, the survey asks which information sources you’d trust: Main news channels? Direct quotes from scientists? Official government statements? Other sources?
It also asks if you’d post on social media about the discovery of an alien message. If so, would you restrict yourself to defending the scientific evidence? Or would you maybe engage in speculation? Would the absence of any news on the signal’s decoding encourage you to speculate?
You can see how it’d be useful to scientists to be able to predict the public’s response in these scenarios. But there’s a difference between how I say I’d react when I’m filling out a questionnaire, and how I’d actually react in real life. In addition to that limitation, the UKSRN survey is weakened by the fact that the same person can take it more than once from different devices.
Still, it’s an improvement over the lack of public consultation we’ve seen on these questions in the past.
Who gets to make rules about what happens in space?
For decades, the international community has been exploring the possibility of establishing a mechanism for global oversight when it comes to our engagement with outer space. But even if everyone were to agree that’s a good idea, the question of how to set it up and make it enforceable is incredibly complicated.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty was an early effort in this vein. Ratified by dozens of countries and adopted by the United Nations against the backdrop of the Cold War, it laid out a framework for international space law.
Among other things, it stipulated that the moon and other celestial bodies can only be used for peaceful purposes, and that states can’t store their nuclear weapons in space. The treaty suited its historical context, but it didn’t tackle the concerns people have nowadays about messaging an alien intelligence.
Carl Sagan helped design this early pictorial message to aliens. It was engraved on an aluminum plaque that was attached to the Pioneer 10 spacecraft before its launch in 1972.
Another inflection point came in the late 1980s, when scientists with the organization Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) drafted a post-detection protocol, a list of best practices for what to do if and when we ever find aliens. One of its principles reads: “No response to a signal or other evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence should be sent until appropriate international consultations have taken place.”
This protocol was put on file as a brief with the Outer Space Treaty at the UN, and it was endorsed by the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute for Space Law. But it has no regulatory force when it comes to those who actively send out messages à la METI.
In 2015, SETI researchers, Musk, and others released a statement criticizing METI efforts. “We feel the decision whether or not to transmit must be based upon a worldwide consensus, and not a decision based upon the wishes of a few individuals with access to powerful communications equipment,” it said. “We strongly encourage vigorous international debate by a broadly representative body prior to engaging further in this activity.”
So far, though, there is still no “broadly representative body” regulating what messages can be sent into space or by whom.
Alessandra Abe Pacini, a researcher at Arecibo who helped generate the idea for the kids’ contest, told me the question of whether any message should be transmitted at all is “very controversial,” adding: “Even here among the scientists at Arecibo, there is no consensus.”
If some of the smartest astronomers in the world can’t come to an in-house agreement, is there any hope that the international community will ever agree? Maybe not, but the UKSRN survey may at least help us find out how much consensus there is or isn’t among the public. That’s a good first step.
LIFESTYLE: How To Make A Good Impression While Working From Home.
The option to work remotely is a huge draw for employees today. With commutes averaging nearly half an hour each way in the US, working from the comfort of home, a local coffee shop, or nearby co-working space is a perk now enjoyed by nearly half of the US workforce.
But businesses—which also benefit from flexible remote-work policies by reducing the overhead costs that come with physical office space—are struggling to address the collaboration challenges their remote employees faces.
Software company Igloo, where I work, recently surveyed 2,000 employees to gauge the state of the digital workforce in a new report. Our data indicates that over half of remote workers have been left out of important meetings, and more than two-thirds say they deal with challenges they would not encounter in an office setting.
Knowledge sharing is essential in any work environment. For remote workers, this is especially true. Yet, 43% of employees have neglected to share a document with a colleague because they couldn’t find it, or thought it would take too long to find. While working remotely may limit the distractions that come with an open office, challenges like these make it difficult for remote workers to be as successful as their in-office peers.
56% of remote workers have missed out on important information because of their remote status. Employers are responsible for providing their employees with the best tools to communicate and collaborate with their fellow co-workers, but it’s up to remote workers to use those tools effectively to ensure their voices are not ignored. These three steps are a good place to start.
1. Always make your presence (or lack thereof) known
“Out of sight, out of mind” shouldn’t apply to remote workers—but it does more often than not. In our survey, 56% of remote workers have missed out on important information because of their remote status; 70% reported they “feel left out.”
In order to be included, ensure that co-workers know where you are, or at the very least when you’re online. For example, if you’re running out to get lunch or grab a cup of coffee, setting your status to away on your messaging app of choice can help avoid missed connections, eliminating the infamous, “Sorry for the delay!” response.
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While remote workers may not have the luxury of grabbing a conference room for a quick chat, there’s a variety of cost-effective and easy-to-use conferencing tools that make it simple to have a virtual face-to-face meeting, regardless of location.
Asking to do an informal meeting over Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, or the plain old telephone can help build rapport with colleagues in various locations, which can be useful when you inevitably need to circle back for information.
2. Show up for the job
While it’s tempting at times to work from your bed, it’s best to reserve this for sick days. Creating a professional environment at home helps trigger productivity. In fact, research shows that working from your bed or even living spaces can cause workers to link these places to stress and makes it hard to disconnect from work, even after logging off for the day.
It’s crucial for remote workers to build a dedicated work environment outfitted with the proper tools. Curating a space equipped with a desk, monitor, keyboard, and office supplies can go a long way.
Creating a structure for the day, in addition to building a workspace and dressing professionally, can also help set work/life balance boundaries and avoid the potential for burnout. Taking time for a coffee break or stepping away to eat lunch, just like those in the office often do, helps productivity in the long run.
And when it’s time to log off for the day, being able to shut a physical door allows employees to leave their work in the (home) office.
3. Make your voice heard
Because remote workers are not physically present, speaking up is crucial. This doesn’t mean dominating every conversation, but at the very least you should avoid the mute button during meetings, and find ways to contribute to meaningful discussions.
This does more than increase your value as an employee. A study directed by psychologist Matthias Mehl at the University of Arizona showed that people who engaged in substantive conversations throughout the day were typically happier than those who conversed primarily with small talk.
Remote workers also must be more intentional about conversations regarding career growth. Because there are no water coolers to start conversations around, remote workers need to be diligent about recording and sharing professional wins and accomplishments.
Telling a supervisor about results regarding an ongoing project isn’t bragging—it’s good communication. Participating in internal message boards and engaging on corporate social channels shows commitment to the company and makes communicating more natural when the challenging assignments and promotions roll around. And when they do, there’s no reason remote workers should get any less consideration for them.
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