Editor's note: Providing assistance

Okey Chigbo, Editor of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the April 2016 issue.

Who remembers Mikhail Gorbachev, the one-time head of the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the man who brought “glasnost” (openness) into the West’s political lexicon? Well, it seems Gorbachev did not entirely disappear into the dustbin of history with the crumbling of the Soviet Union. While vozhd (big boss) of the world’s No. 2 nuclear power, Gorbachev spoke about nuclear disarmament, the destruction of the environment and unsustainable development, and suggested that the world needed an International Green Cross, similar to the International Red Cross, to provide emergency assistance to places in ecological distress. Six months after he left office, he founded Green Cross International, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that “works on issues such as climate change, security, poverty eradication and sustainable development.”

Gorbachev was the founding president of Green Cross International; the current executive director and chief operating officer, Adam Koniuszewski, is a Canadian and an accountant. Koniuszewski immigrated to Canada from Poland when he was three, worked for Deloitte in Montreal and London for a few years, and at two other companies, before moving to Green Cross in Geneva in 2008. Green Cross is found in more than 30 countries around the world; “it has worked to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons ... and has helped with toxic waste cleanup, pesticide reduction, renewable energy and conservation.” In “Global Do-Gooder” writer Susan Smith tells us that the NGO executive “always puts his accounting skills to good use.” Green Cross has an annual budget of US$30 million and “part of Koniuszewski’s job is raising money and keeping an eye on where it goes.” Please read this fascinating story about an accountant working in a nontraditional area.

Does the word “drone” make you think of a remote-controlled warplane flown by some video game expert in a CIA station in California? Does it make you think of The Drone Ranger president who zaps alleged terrorists from the sky like Zeus with his thunderbolts from on high? It should not, because drones have a far wider use than the tracking and killing of enemies of the state. More and more drones are used for business and other peaceful applications. In our second feature, “What Do Drones Deliver?”, writer Pierre Théroux examines these commercial uses and the regulations that guide them. He writes, “Commercial drone use is quickly taking off in numerous sectors — from farming topography and building, energy line and railroad inspection to package delivery services.” This is a feature all business leaders should read to see what is possible with this technology.