70 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.5.2015

Jun 21, 2015 at 11:09 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We continued our talk with Dr. C.P. about the situation of our health services in Madeira. He made it clear that the six towers building next to the hospital is not a good idea, it’s not even safe: the plot is on a slope where the exhaust fumes of the cars on the roundabout and tunnel below would float up the hill and adversely affect (at least) the patients with breathing problems. A new hospital is really needed; it would be possible to install modern and well-designed supply piping (oxygen and the like) and afford better service access (and fire exits). It would be easier to avoid sepsis which in the old hospital cannot be avoided, not due to bad hygiene but due to the building itself. The devil is in the details.

The City Hall commissioned a 20 page study about the feasibility of the six towers, and the result was negative. This study was rejected by the old Government.

The best option would be S. Rita. (The Savoy plot would not have adequate access to the traffic.) Another option would be to tear down the School next to the Hospital (which as all schools, is losing pupils) and build there; the land was originally part of the hospital plot.

The Marmeleiros Hospital (Internal medicine) should be next to the main hospital. Now, recourses are wasted on transport between the units. Due to bad maintenance and management, ambulances are late, even in servicing regular patient transport.

Madeira has a hospital centre, not a “proper” hospital like on the mainland. Rare cases still have to be treated on the continent.

We should have an emphasis on one specialty, eg. fighting diabetes which is prevalent on the island but the island does not have a critical mass of inhabitants. Autonomy in this area is not possible.

The pity is that 80 Mil. € were invested in the old hospital (Nuclear Medicine, Pharmacy, Labs), and even if the equipment is moved, there is a waste of money that cannot be recuperated.

We have, for an island, quite a sophisticated health equipment. The problem is bad management. Doctors and nurses are doing a great job under the circumstances they have to work in.

Some years ago, the hospital was greatly helped by the “Kings Fund” and received an accreditation which it lost a few years later. Another accreditation is sought but in the state the hospital is in, this is doubtful.

In any case, it needs political will to build a new hospital, with funds that will have to come from the continent. In spite of all adversity, the group felt that we shall get a new hospital eventually. It also remains to be seen how the new administration is doing its job.


We discussed John Strelecky’s book “Big Five for Live” again. Ri. suggested that the group do some work in this direction, to find a common purpose for the group, in order not to lose focus and achieve meaningful goals. This might be achieved in one or two meetings. There wasn’t much enthusiasm for this; some members think that to speak about their purpose of life, is too personal. People might not want to have a focus, and it might change with time.

Ri.will approach ECM to see if he can win them as a client for a pilot Project

D. recommended the following TED talk:


It delivers a clear argument that help against poverty, in whatever form, cannot succeed if the recipients live in an environment of danger and violence.. Security can be bought by the rich but the poor need it most of all.


Dennis also recommends a truly beautiful video (30 minutes), based on a short story by French author Jean Giorno,:


There is an excerpt of the book and background info on the author here:









68 joint Madeira Consorcio Meeting 12.3.2015

Mar 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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Unfortunately, the surgeon couldn’t come, so we started with Ri.’s introduction to the system he used to find his purpose in life.

This is based on a technique by an American author (John F. Strelecky “The Big Five for Life”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Strelecky#The_Big_Five_for_Life-_Leadership.E2.80.99s_Greatest_Secret

This is a humanistic approach, about team building for executives (it should also be offered to teenagers) and the application for the work in groups. Most important is that a person knows what he/she most wants to accomplish (the Big Five) in life. Most people work not in the jobs or even fields they would really like to work in, Ri. found that the career in the military was not for him. A person’s occupation should be fun, not just a means to earn money. It should be about “Auto-Estimo”, not egoism.

If we try to work towards the goals we really embrace, we will have more satisfaction in the workplace. This also helps the company achieve its goals, with a lower staff turnover and subsequently, better profits.

Ri. is offering this teamwork program to specific high-value companies. He fuses this with his own approach. This technique requires a group to work together 2 x 1 week in two years.

Some companies work along the lines of Strelecky, such as Richard Bransons’s companies, Google, AirBnB and others, empowering their team to do what like best and reaping more creativity and profits.

We want to buy and read the book in turns and then talk about it further, perhaps to apply this process to us

Other, similar approaches:

Ricardo Semler: http://www.ted.com/talks/ricardo_semler_radical_wisdom_for_a_company_a_school_a_life Ricardo Semler also created schools based on his laissez-faire approach which works very well for this companies and the schools.

Tom Wujec: http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_got_a_wicked_problem_first_tell_me_how_you_make_toast#


D. talked about tax controls and the loss of privacy. It is much worse than Edward Snowdon revealed. Anonymity also means freedom. With more transparency, our right to invest our money how we want is being curtailed. D. now sees his job as to protect his clients from the Tax Man.

Apps like WhatsApp know our every move. The solution would be turn them off and deny them access to our lives: The Amish between themselves know where everybody lives; the state doesn’t have a clue.

In the old times in Portugal, people would be called by nicknames. In theses village societies, everybody also knew what was going on in everybody else’s life, and oppression was exercised by the priest. In this regard today’s life is not much different; the loss of privacy is nothing new.

In Portugal the problem is bad education. Good leadership skils are not taught, nor are good life skills. Waldorf is a good approach to create personalities with a humanistic approach. In Portugal the problem is attitude, attitude, attitude, and a missing civic sense. Outside of Portugal, the Portuguese are well liked workers; in their own country, they don’t care much about their society.

Another funny thing: in a “happiness poll”, it was found that the feeling of happiness decreases from North to South in Portugal. In the North, communities are still sounder and people thrive better in old-fashioned social networks.

On the other hand. isolation cannot solve all the problems. What we can do is show our happiness so that others ask us how we came to be in this state.

U. quickly referred to the Fracking article by the Economist. Fracking is prohibited in New York State but not across the border in Pennsylvania. It is most likely bad for the environment but the point here is that the people in New York State want to secede from their state and join Pennsylvania across the border to gain jobs and earn money with this technique. The future may be a world with less visible borders as economic interest compels citizens to choose another legal jurisdiction for their community.




65 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.10.2014

Oct 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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A few of us had a very nice meeting last night. The weather was not favourable and we couldn`t visit V`s garden, so we went right into the discussion of just everything, including political parties and the current state of Portugal.

D said that there is a new party being created by Antonio Marinho Pinto, a man he says seems to be respectable and honest (ex-“Partido da Terra” member, ex boss of the Ordem dos Advogados). Here is a link to some info about the new party PDR: http://portocanal.sapo.pt/noticia/38771/

We also spoke about the TED talk about remittances which shows that foreign aid could be cut down if we allowed refugees to work in the country of choice. They are sending as much money as possible home to their families and support their community much more effectively. Here is the link:


Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who worked with Edward Snowdon, makes the case for privacy for individuals – to be protected – and openness of Government documents – to avoid shady dealings.:


Remember the “Marriage in Madeira” discussion – EU foreigners can easily marry in Madeira and this would be a good product for the island`s tour operators? A bridegroom found the Piece U wrote and will now arrange his nuptials with the German consulate in Funchal, a small success!


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