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Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 oct 2018

When one thinks of marketing, Northwestern University Professor Philip Kotler's name comes right at the top. He is author of the most used marketing texbook in business schools, 'Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, Implementation and Control', alongwith another 57 books on the subject. Speaking with Paul Talbot, President of a marketing strategy firm Southport Harbour, Prof. Kotler shares his views on the role of CMOs (Chief Marketing Officer) in today's business organizations. Regarding their skills and talents, he says, 'In the 1960s, marketers were hired for their flair for advertising and creativity...Today, we need CMOs with a different skill set. CMOs must be expert at digital marketing...Information and mathematics are crucial. Companies need in-depth information about their customers’ individual beliefs, values, media consumption and channel choices. Marketers today use multiple regression analysis, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and predictive analytics to yield customer insight. Marketers increasingly make investments in...social media. CMO has to have good creative marketers on the staff to bring up bright new ideas. The tech approach to marketing is more about efficiency. Marketing creativity and imagination is about winning big.' Regarding collaboration between between marketing teams and others in the organization, he says, 'Back in the 1960s, companies didn’t have a CMO. They had a powerful vice-president of sales who was the driving force. They had added a vice-president of marketing whose job was primarily managing marketing research and preparing advertising and sales promotions...The chief marketing officer concept emerged as markets grew more complex and competitive...who would participate in finding and shaping what the company should produce, in identifying the target markets, and evaluating the overall company strategy...CMOs need to be effective in the following relationships: ...The CMO had to 'carefully' educate the CEO to understand marketing's potential and limitations; ...the CMO and CFO would work together to find and agree on the best way to measure the return on marketing spend; ...I view R&D people to be the masters of what is possible. I view marketers to be the masters of what is valuable; ...If those two executives (CMO and VP of sales) don't get along, the company’s financial performance is doomed.' Read on...

Forbes: Northwestern Professor Philip Kotler On Today's CMO
Author: Paul Talbot


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 oct 2018

Voters have to apply different standards to political advertising and take them with a pinch of salt. According to Prof. Jonathan Rose, Dept. of Political Studies at Queen's University (Canada), says, 'Political ads aren't subject to the same rules as other kinds of advertising. The Advertising Standards Council is a the professional regulatory body that regulates truth in advertising so I cannot say a nonfactual claim in an ad...But that truth-in-advertising doesn't apply at all to political advertising, so, literally, there's no method of enforcing truth-in-advertising.' Even though there can be limits on spending by political parties and by third parties, but it is hard to enforce the limit on online campaigns as the message can be spread for little to no expense and with virtually no oversight. Prof. Rose says, 'A lot of advertising is priming...priming is putting an item high on the public agenda by way of reinforcing a message...Priming is putting the ballot question in the minds of voters.' There are other tricks that third parties can utilize, for example portraying them as amateurish and create a perception of being a grassroots movement but in reality has been backed by big money. He advises people to be aware of political advertising in any form and be critical and do research about the accuracy of the content. He also suggests, 'At least use the ads to have a conversation with family and friends about the claims they're hearing. If you use an advertisement as a sort of a talking point to thinking about these issues then that’s at least better than accepting them without question.' Read on...

Toronto Sun: Political ads don't have to be true: Professor
Author: Antonella Artuso


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 oct 2018

Sustainability is evolving into an essential component of fashion and design industry due to environmental concerns. The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA), a Pratt Institute (US) initiative, is a hub of ethical fashion and design, providing resources to design entrepreneurs, creative technologists and professionals to turn ideas into businesses. Debera Johnson, founder and ED of BF+DA, also established the Center for Sustainable Design Strategies at Pratt Institute and has been integrating sustainability into art, design and architecture programs. She says, 'There are really three things that we're focused on doing. First - redefining the fashion industry around the environment and society...Second - we have production facilities open to designers. Our goal there is to be a local resource for sustainable production and to help educate designers about how to implement strategies around efficiencies and sustainable supply chain...The third and probably the newest part of what we're doing is becoming a research and design center for the integration of technology into smart garments and functional textiles - and, most importantly, with the idea of sustainability alongside it.' Regarding consumer perceptions, she says, 'Consumers need to decide whether they're more interested in saving pennies or saving the environment. Products that are quality are going to cost more. We just have to decide where we stand...At BF+DA, transparency is a big piece of how we do storytelling...' Regarding coming together of technology and sustainability, she says, 'The digitalization is one of them. I also think that biotech is creating really interesting materials in laboratories and not farms...Then you also have things like blockchain to help with traceability...And there's also nanofibers.' Read on...

GreenBiz: Moving the needle: Toward a more holistic and ethical fashion industry
Authors: Lindsey Strange, Katie Ellman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 oct 2018

Recent passing away of Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen (b.21 jan 1953 - d.15 oct 2018) brings to the forefront his contributions, not only to technology and entrepreneurship, but also to education, arts, culture etc as part of his philanthropy. After leaving Microsoft's management in 1983, his philanthropic activities focused on the city of Seattle (US), his hometown. He endowed a separate school for computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. His investments in Seattle's South Lake Union locality has recast the city as an increasingly popular destination for young technologists. Some of his cherished contributions to the city's scene and skyline include artistic and athletic monuments to which he devoted a substantial portion of his wealth. He commissioned Frank Gehry to design a pop-culture museum. He also developed a children's center at the Seattle Public Library, funded an off-campus studio for the beloved public-radio station KEXP, and established a military-history museum outside the city. He was an ardent advocate of environmental protection, computational bioscience, and space exploration, donating millions of dollars to regional nonprofits. He invested in sports and acquired Seattle Seahawks at the time the team was planning to leave the city. In his memoir, 'Idea Man' (2011), responding to criticism that his philanthropy lacked focus, he wrote, 'At times, I cast my net too widely. But my choice of ventures wasn't arbitrary.' In 2000, the chairman of the architecture department at the University of Washington likened him to a modern Medici (an influential banking and political family of Florence, Italy). His contributions to entrepreneurship and technology are public knowledge. He recounted in his memoir regarding the initial mission of his venture with Bill Gates was, 'A computer on every desk and in every home.' Mr. Gates recently wrote, 'Paul foresaw that computers would change the world.' He influenced the technological innovations like point-and-click computing, word processing, and multi-button mouse. Mr. Allen attributed his entrepreneurial ambition and imagination to a wide-ranging autodidacticism and a natural passion for art and literature. Even though a technologist and part of a cut-throat and highly competitive industry, he understood that the products he designed were complements to preexisting lives, all of them rich and varied. He wrote in his memoir, 'That's a core element of my management philosophy. Find the best people and give them room to operate, as long as they can accept my periodic high-intensity kibitzing.' Read on...

The New Yorker: The Rare Humanism Behind Paul Allen's Technological Vision
Author: Eren Orbey


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 oct 2018

Brands are all around and everything that is put forward for public consumption requires adequate branding. Sumarie Schreiner, founder of BrandBrew Consulting, explains the value of branding and what is essential for building great brands. She provides 5 core pillars for brand building - (1) Link The Thinking And Feeling: Great brands connect, resonate and then become acceptable. They connect thinking with feeling, and attract attention and keep interest with the promise of something extraordinary. They offer value beyond products and services and make a difference. This inturn evoke emotions and provides sense of belonging, thus creating trust. (2) Build Trust: To build trust requires consistency and time. Trust provides reassurance. Trust is inherent part of human senses. It constitutes both environment and people. Trust = Reliability + Desirability x Experiences. In the present push economy people are more empowered and demanding. Their experiences define their standards of expectations. (3) Offer Value Beyond Your Product/Service: Value builds trust and need to go beyond products and services. Value is both objective and subjective and is derived from all the interactions with a business. Value creation needs to run through the DNA of the organization. It should be the way of life. Outside-in approach offers true value. Relevant and valued experiences are build in response to customers' needs at the right time and place. (4) Differentiate To Those People You Want To Connect With: Understanding diversity of needs helps provide solutions accordingly. People want to belong and connect with other people and organizations that share their values. Differentiate but more importantly make a difference. (5) Help Those People To Connect And Belong: Shared values and belonging develops true connections with emotions. Human-centered, outside-in approach connects at an emotional level and builds long-term relationships. Storytelling helps to differentiate and creates a space in people's memory. Brand is defined by what customers and employees feel about the business. Unlock and cultivate the value offered and keep building on the trust earned. Read on...

Customer Think: "Trust me, I'm a brand!" - What is the value of branding?
Author: Sumarie Schreiner


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 sep 2018

People with business education and experience are now getting inclined towards social enterpreneurship and enterprises. They are realizing that business skills and expertise can be utilized to provide solutions to society's challenges. Prof. Patrick Adriel H. Aure of De La Salle University (Philippines) explains the importance of encouraging social entrepreneurship among business students and shares research and programs that he conducts at the university. The program, Lasallian Social Enterprise for Economic Development (LSEED), involves incubating student-led social enterprises that partner with marginalized local communities, while Social Enterprise Research Network (SERN) undertakes research and advocacy activities. Regarding one of the research conducted in relation to business students and social enterprises, Prof. Aure says, 'Our statistical analysis suggested there are two factors that consistently influence business students' intention to engage in social entrepreneurial activities - (1) Their perceived support from friends, family, and other organizations. (2) Their prior experience in socially-oriented activities such as volunteering.' Research findings suggest - Design social enterprise advocacy campaigns to target group participation and not encourage students individually; Schools may want to consider creating a pipeline of activities that enrich students' socially-oriented experiences. Read on...

The Manila Times: Encouraging social entrepreneurship among business students
Author: Patrick Adriel H. Aure


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 sep 2018

There are many components of exterior and landscape design for buildings. One such component is the retaining wall with the basic purpose of holding back earth. In addition to functionality, they also expand the usable surface area. Aesthetics of these walls is also an important aspect. There are mainly two things to be kept in mind while designing retaining walls. One is the type of material to be used and the other is the use of the land. Traditional materials used were railroad ties, found stone and treated landscape timber. But nowadays bricks, concrete blocks, poured concrete and steel are added to the list. Environmental friendliness is also important while choosing materials. Aesthetics and functionality should go hand in hand. Design of the front of the wall should be in line with the overall exterior design of the building and land should be effectively and beautifully used with each element appropriately fitted. Garden wall, also called screen wall, is a type of retaining wall used to enclose a garden. It is often used to created a tiered or terraced garden. There are multipe ways in which a garden wall can be designed to provide an elegant addition to home design - wall of flowers and shrubbery, next to a pool or patio, outside a home's garden window etc. Read on...

myAJC: Choosing the right retaining wall for your landscape
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 sep 2018

Mentors are an important component of learning-based relationships. Wikipedia quotes a definition of 'mentoring' from a research published in 2007 in SAGE Journals, 'Toward a Useful Theory of Mentoring: A Conceptual Analysis and Critique' (Authors: Barry Bozeman, Mary K. Feeney - University of Georgia, Athens, USA), 'Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé).' On prsa.org (PRSA - Public Relations Society of America) website, PR expert Prof. John Guiniven of Elon University in North Carolina, says, 'Mentoring is all about communication and relationships, so it's natural for public relations to be in the forefront.' Over the course of learning, people can go through many mentoring relationships, brief or long. But, there are few mentors and their inspiring advice that sticks in one's memory and they often share this with others. 10 members of Forbes Agency Council share the most important learning received from their mentors about PR and media strategy - (1) Consistency Is Essential - Darryl Mascarenhas, LivelyGroup (2) Don't Send Garbage To Media Contacts - Ajay Gupta, Stirista Digital (3) Collaborate With Stakeholders - Ana Miller, Asquared Communications Group (4) Nobody Can Tell Your Story Better Than You - Alexander Yastrebenetsky, InfoTrust LLC (5) Go Big, Go All In, Or Go Home - Dan Russell, Vivid Labs (6) The Order Of Operations Matters - Jared Mirsky, Wick & Mortar (7) Create A Connection - Drew Kraemer, Marketplace Strategy (8) Depict Core Beliefs And Values - Chris Gutierrez, TouchFuse (9) Develop Insights - Julia Gardner, MAAST DIGITAL (10) Be Authentic - Mark Stubblefield, Stubgroup Advertising. Read on...

Forbes: Memorable Mentor Advice: 10 Thoughts On PR And Media Strategy
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 sep 2018

According to the 2011 research study published in The American Journal of Medicine, 'Success in Grateful Patient Philanthropy: Insights from Experienced Physicians' (Authors: Rosalyn Stewart, Leah Wolfe, John Flynn, Joseph Carrese, Scott M. Wright - Johns Hopkins University), 'Facing challenging economic conditions, medical schools and teaching hospitals have turned increasingly to philanthropy as a way to supplement declining clinical revenues and reduced research budgets. One approach to offset these diminished returns is to commit efforts to 'grateful patient' programs that concentrate on satisfying patients and their families, especially families with significant assets. Support from grateful patients is the single most important source for substantive philanthropic gifts in medicine.' According to the latest 2018 research published in the Journal of American Medicine, 'Navigating the Ethical Boundaries of Grateful Patient Fundraising' (Authors: Megan E. Collins, Steven A. Rum, Jeremy Sugarman - Johns Hopkins University), 'Health care institutions in the United States receive more than US$ 10 billion annually in charitable gifts. These gifts, often from grateful patients, benefit physicians, institutions, and other patients through the expansion of clinical and research activities, community-based programs, and educational initiatives.' The topic of 'grateful patient philanthropy' raises some ethical issues in patient-physician relationship. There is general agreement that donation related interaction with patients shouldn't happen during the course of their treatment and should be discussed once patients have fully recovered from their medical condition. The study finds that although physicians consider fundraising as their duty but find it difficult to have a conversation with their patients regarding donations. Read on...

Nonprofit Quarterly: Grateful Patient Philanthropy? Some Fundraising Ethics Shouldn't Need to Be Taught
Author: Ruth McCambridge


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 aug 2018

It's critical for the marketers to understand the collective habits of the customers of a particular segment they want to sell. Engineers are one such segment that B2B marketers have to deal with while pursuing their campaigns. Patrick D. Mahoney, President and CEO of IEEE GlobalSpec, explains the IEEE GlobalSpec's '2018 Pulse of Engineering Survey - The Changing Work Environment for Engineers Today' and how industrial marketers can utilize the insights to formulate their marketing strategy. The survey of 2236 engineers and professionals was designed to gather measurable and actionable insight on what they think about their industries and work environments. The survey also includes exclusive analysis on two key segments of the engineering workforce: millennials and technical professionals in the electronics industry. Highlights from the research - PRESSURES: 55% of engineers say the pace of engineering is increasing; 53% are required to do more with less; 40% say that pressure to meet deadlines is putting product quality/rework at risk; Majority also say that designs are becoming more sophisticated and that design cycles are shrinking, while time-to-market pressures are increasing; 44% of companies have increased design involvement from external partners and vendors. MILLENNIALS: Marked differences between mindset of younger engineers vs veterans regarding information. Millennials are information hungry. Concerning information access, 24% of surveyed millennials say they are more likely to use video for educational purposes compared to a much smaller 14% of veteran engineers; While the majority (53%) of all engineers are willing to register on a website for access to specific documents, only 44% of millennials indicated such willingness; Younger engineers tend to believe all content should be free and openly accessible (52%). Read on...

Martech Advisor: A Look Into the Mind of the Engineer: For B2B Marketers
Author: Patrick D. Mahoney


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 aug 2018

According to experts, effective use of data is key to B2B marketing success as it offers precision targeting, better customer experience and personalization at scale. Bernard Tan, APAC Regional Marketing Director at Red Hat, doesn't consider marketing as just B2B or B2C, but prefers it to be 'business-to-all'. He says, '(Data) is transforming the way that we talk to whole markets...it's transforming the way that we can actually have one-to-one conversations in volume markets, and be much more efficient about the way we go to that market...All of us are consumers...We are now at this position where we are now able to start to drive engagement at an individual level and really focus on the customer.' According to IBM's 2017 Customer Experience Index study, APAC (31) scored lower than other regions when it comes to data-driven customer experience in the B2B space [North America (35), Europe (33) and Latin America (33)]. Jodie Sangster, CMO liaison lead of IBM Watson, says, 'Unfortunately in APAC, we are lagging behind in terms of meeting consumer expectations of how we are using their data and delivering great customer experience.' Read on...

WARC: Data is key for B2B marketers, but APAC lags behind
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 aug 2018

The possibility of eco-friendly biodegradable paper-based batteries is now made a reality by the scientists at Binghampton University (SUNY), Prof. Seokheun 'Sean' Choi from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Prof. Omowunmi Sadik from the Chemistry Department. Their research titled 'Green Biobatteries: Hybrid Paper-Polymer Microbial Fuel Cells' was recently published in Advanced Sustainable Systems. Prof. Choi engineered the design of the paper-based battery, while Prof. Sadik was able to make the battery a self-sustaining biobattery. The biobattery uses a hybrid of paper and engineered polymers. The polymers - poly (amic) acid and poly (pyromellitic dianhydride-p-phenylenediamine) - were the key to giving the batteries biodegrading properties. Prof. Choi says, 'There's been a dramatic increase in electronic waste and this may be an excellent way to start reducing that. Our hybrid paper battery exhibited a much higher power-to-cost ratio than all previously reported paper-based microbial batteries. The polymer-paper structures are lightweight, low-cost and flexible. Power enhancement can be potentially achieved by simply folding or stacking the hybrid, flexible paper-polymer devices.' Read on...

BingU News: SCIENTISTS CREATE BIODEGRADABLE, PAPER-BASED BIOBATTERIES
Author: Rachael Flores


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 aug 2018

Nonprofits have to take the cue from their for-profit counterparts for successful implementation of marketing and technology oriented strategy implementations. Content marketing is now a mature field both in B2B and B2C aspects of business. Best practices are available. Gloria Horsley, founder of Open to Hope Foundation, explains the value of effective content for nonprofit organizations to educate, inform and engage with donors, volunteers and those the nonprofits intend to support and help. She shares her mistakes in content marketing in nonprofit realm and the learning from these experiences - (1) Transferring Existing Print Content Online: Offline content is outward-facing and telling rather than sharing or interactive; Written for entire audience and not personalized for specific segments; Online content need to be written in a way to engage audience; Interactive for audience to share their opinions; Utilizes story telling and visual content. (2) Delivering Content That Lacks Educational Value: Merely information and facts are not always valuable content; Specific content that educate different audiences is more valuable; Produce content that answers specific questions; Educational content attracts more supporters, donors and volunteers. (3) Letting Volunteers Run With It: Giving too much control to volunteers for content development risks consistency and integrity; They may create content that is not fully compliant with regulations; Specific rules and guidelines for content must be laid out; Templates and formats must be shared with temporary workers and volunteers; Provide volunteers access to content management system where content is checked and approved before being published. (4) Failing To Focus On High-Quality Writing: Emotion-based writing may not always be the best quality writing; Long sentences, grammatical mistakes, passive voice use etc leads to content exhaustion where audience lose interest; Use online tools like WordPress and Grammarly for appropriate writing; Professional writing techniques need to be adopted. Read on...

Forbes: Four Nonprofit Content Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
Author: Gloria Horsley


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 aug 2018

Apparel production is generally linked to environmental issues like water and air pollution, alongwith the land, water and pesticide use related to growing natural fibers. But now research points at the source of another problem created by apparels made wholly or partially from synthetic textiles. Microfibers, a type of microplastic, are shed during normal use and laundering, and remain in the environment similar to plastic packaging that coats so many of the world's beaches, and they bond to chemical pollutants in the environment, such as DDT and PCB. Moreover, the textiles from which they are shed are often treated with waterproofing agents, stain- or fire-resistant chemicals or synthetic dyes that could be harmful to organisms that ingest them. Also, microfibers are being consumed alongwith food and drink. Research review (Microplastics in air: Are we breathing it in? - Johnny Gasperi, Stephanie L. Wright, Rachid Dris, France Collard, Corinne Mandin, Mohamed Guerrouache, Valérie Langlois, Frank J.Kelly, Bruno Tassin) published last year shows that microfibers suspended in air are possibly settling in human lungs. Research led by Richard C. Thompson from the University of Plymouth (UK) in 2004 (Lost at Sea: Where Is All the Plastic? - Richard C. Thompson, Ylva Olsen, Richard P. Mitchell, Anthony Davis, Steven J. Rowland, Anthony W. G. John, Daniel McGonigle, Andrea E. Russell) documented and quantified the occurrence of microplastics in the marine environment. Research by Mark Anthony Browne, one of Prof. Thompson's graduate student, published in 2011 (Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks - Mark Anthony Browne, Phillip Crump, Stewart J. Niven, Emma Teuten, Andrew Tonkin, Tamara Galloway, Richard Thompson) found - (1) Samples taken near wastewater disposal sites had 250% more microplastic than those from reference sites and the types of microplastic fibers found in those samples were mainly polymers often used in synthetic apparel, suggesting the fibers were eluding filters in wastewater treatment plants and being released with treated effluent (which is released into rivers, lakes or ocean water). (2) A single polyester fleece jacket could shed as many as 1900 of these tiny fibers each time it was washed. Another 2016 study by researchers from UC Santa Barbara in US (Microfiber Masses Recovered from Conventional Machine Washing of New or Aged Garments - Niko L. Hartline, Nicholas J. Bruce, Stephanie N. Karba, Elizabeth O. Ruff, Shreya U. Sonar, Patricia A. Holden) has shown far higher numbers - 250000 fibers. Rosalia Project, a nonprofit focused on ocean protection, led a study of microfiber pollution across an entire watershed (from the mouth of Hudson River all the way to where the river meets the Atlantic in Manhattan). Rachael Z. Miller, group's director, was surprised to find that, outside of samples taken near treatment plants, there was no statistically significant difference in the concentration fibers from the alpine region to the agricultural center of New York state to the high population areas of Manhattan and New Jersey. This suggested to her that fibers might be entering surface waters from the air and from septic system drainfields in rural areas without municipal sewage systems. According to Textile World, demand for polyester has grown faster than demand for wool, cotton and other fibers for at least 20 years. And by 2030 synthetics are expected to account for 75% of global apparel fiber production, or 107 million tons. All textiles, including carpeting and upholstery, produce microfibers. So do commercial fishing nets. But due to the frequency with which apparel is laundered and the increasing quantities of clothing being purchased throughout the world (thanks at least in part to the so-called fast fashion trend), apparel is the microfiber source on which researchers and policy-makers are focusing attention. Krystle Moody, a textile industry consultant, says, 'Outdoor gear is heavily reliant on synthetic textiles due to their performance profile (moisture wicking) and durability.' Jeffrey Silberman, professor and chairperson of textile development and marketing with the Fashion Institute of Technology at the State University of New York, says, 'Price is the big driver behind the use of synthetics in textiles. A poly-cotton blend is generally far cheaper than a cotton one, but doesn’t look or feel appreciably different to most consumers. The motivation is to get natural-like fibers and still be able to get a price point that people are willing to pay.' Katy Stevens, sustainability project manager for the outdoor gear industry consortium European Outdoor Group (EOG), says, 'Initial research suggested that recycled polyester might shed more microfibers. Are we doing the right thing by using recycled polyester that might shed more? It has added a whole other big question mark.' Other studies have found microfibers in effluent from wastewater plants (Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) as a Source of Microplastics in the Aquatic Environment - Fionn Murphy, Ciaran Ewins, Frederic Carbonnier, Brian Quinn), in the digestive tracts of market fish (Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress - Chelsea M. Rochman, Eunha Hoh, Tomofumi Kurobe, Swee J. Teh), throughout riversheds (Mountains to the sea: River study of plastic and non-plastic microfiber pollution in the northeast USA - Rachael Z. Miller, Andrew J. R. Watts, Brooke O. Winslow, Tamara S.Galloway, Abigail P. W. Barrows) and in air samples. Two separate studies released in March 2018 revealed that microfibers are found in bottled water sold all over the world. And a study published weeks later revealed that microplastic - chiefly microfibers - were present in 159 samples of tap water from around the word, a dozen brands of beer (made with Great Lakes water) as well as sea salt, also derived globally. Although most research has focused on synthetics textiles, but Abigail P. W. Barrows, an independent microplastics researcher who has conducted numerous studies on microfibers, says, 'Natural fibers such as cotton and wool, and semi-synthetics such as rayon should not be totally ignored. While they will degrade more quickly than, say, polyester, they may still be treated with chemicals of concern that can move up the food chain if the fibers are consumed before they degrade.' The study she led in 2018 (Marine environment microfiber contamination: Global patterns and the diversity of microparticle origins - Abigail P. W. Barrows, Sara E. Kathey, C. W. Petersen) found that in the surface water samples collected globally while 91% of the particles collected were microfibers, 12% of those were semi-synthetic and 31% were natural. Read on...

GreenBiz: Why are our clothes so bad for the environment?
Author: Mary Catherine O'Connor


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 jul 2018

Team of 25 researchers from 7 institutes in Europe, USA and China (Linköping University, Sweden: Shula Chen, Xiao-Ke Liu, Liangqi Ouyang, Yingzhi Jin, Galia Pozina, Irina A. Buyanova, Weimin M. Chen, Olle Inganäs, Fengling Zhang, Feng Gao; Georgia Institute of Technology, USA: Zilong Zheng, Veaceslav Coropceanu, Jean-Luc Brédas; Chinese Academy of Sciences, China: Deping Qian, Huifeng Yao, Sunsun Li, Bowei Gao, Jianhui Hou; École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland: Wolfgang Tress; Imperial College, UK: Thomas R. Hopper, Artem A. Bakulin; The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong: Jing Liu, Shangshang Chen, He Yan; University of Cambridge, UK: Jiangbin Zhang) have come together to develop rules for designing high-efficiency organic solar cells. Their research, 'Design rules for minimizing voltage losses in high-efficiency organic solar cells', was published in Nature Materials. Lead researcher, Prof. Feng Gao of Linköping University, says, 'We have formulated some rational design rules to minimize energy losses in organic solar cells. Following these rules, we present a range of examples with low energy losses and high power conversion efficiencies.' The research provides two fundamental rules to minimize energy losses in organic solar cells - (1) Minimize the energy offset between donor and acceptor components. (2) Make sure that the low-gap component in the blend has a high photoluminescence yield. According to researchers, theoretically the limit for the fraction of the sun's energy that can be obtained in solar cells is around 33%, but laboratory experiments with silicon-based solar cells have achieved 25% at best. Prof. Olle Inganäs of Linköping University, 'But we now know that there is no difference - the theoretical limit is the same for solar cells manufactured from silicon, perovskites, or polymers.' Read on...

Photonics Media: Design Rules for Building Efficient Organic Solar Cells
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 jul 2018

According to the latest research by Stanford University business academics, Prof. Navdeep Sahni and Prof. Harikesh Nair, people are very good at distinguishing native advertisements from digital content, but the ads still exert significant influence on shopping behavior. Native advertisements blend with the digital content and closely match style and layout of the surrounding media. Regulators are often concerned regarding their deceptive sponsorship disclosure and the resulting misguided purchases by consumers. Prof. Sahni says, 'Native advertising is a relatively new form of advertising. Advertisers and publishers have embraced this because of the rise in mobile browsing behavior, and because banner ads are hard to implement on mobile screens, and are known to be not very effective.' Professors developed a field experiment in which they manipulated how native advertising for specific restaurants appeared on a restaurant search mobile app, creating two 'extreme' ad presentation conditions (no-disclure and prominent-disclosure) to compare to a more typical native ad. The study examined differences in how over 200000 users responded to the varied presentations and found that responses to typical native ads were similar to those in the full-disclosure condition. Prof. Sahni adds, 'We found that people who respond to the ad can spot this kind of advertising in its typical format...The effect of advertising seems to happen through direct exposure and can result in conversion even if people don't click on the ad itself.' The study suggests that because consumers who are more likely to be affected by ads can identify typical native ads easily, making the ads more prominent is unlikely to change people's behavior. For consumers, implications of the study are that even in a time of advanced analytics, ad exposure continues to have a deeply subtle, and thus harder-to-quantify, effect. Read on...

Insights by Stanford Business: Disguised 'Native' Ads Don't Fool Us Anymore
Author: Sachin Waikar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jul 2018

Collaborative partnerships between local government, community, nonprofit organizations, academia and businesses can do wonders to enhance the various aspects of localities, cities and regions. An old factory site being rehabilitated as a business park in Lackawanna (New York, USA) is an example of sustainable redevelopment and the impact a local government can have on climate change. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Deputy Executive Maria Whyte and others officials visited Conrnell Universuty campus and discussed the redevelopment project with faculty and shared county initiatives focused on sustainability and economic growth, quality of life and building strong communities. Mr. Poloncarz says, 'Strong partnerships and sustainable practices are essential to progress, giving more people a say in their community and making responsible use of our resources to effect change that benefits generations yet to come.' Basil Safi, Executive Director of the Office of Engagement Initiatives at Cornell, says, 'The event was organized as a launching point to further community-engaged research and learning collaborations with Erie County', seeding ideas for potential projects involving Cornell students and faculty.' Initiatives for a Smart Economy (I4SE) is an economic development strategy Erie County enacted in 2013 and updated last year as I4SE 2.0. It contains 71 initiatives and is focused on inclusion and creating shared opportunities for all residents, to address persistent poverty and underemployment. Max Zhang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell, says, 'I can envision that students team up with community partners to address specific challenges they are facing.' Rebecca Brenner, a lecturer at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, began a project in spring 2017 in Buffalo (NY) on improving communications during an emergency for that city's diverse, multilingual refugee population, and creating an emergency notification plan with nonprofit resettlement agencies as community partners. Erie County has about 300 current strategic initiatives led by county departments with community partners. They include fostering hiring of disadvantaged residents in high-poverty areas for construction jobs amid Buffalo's building boom; exploring the feasibility of a new convention center to spur tourism; creating an agribusiness park in rural southern Erie County; supporting health and human services agencies and energy programs targeting low-income households; and infrastructure and environmental remediation in county parks. Shorna Allred, associate professor of natural resources at Cornell, says, 'I was quite impressed and intrigued by what they are doing in Buffalo...We are similarly trying to bring together a partnership of people to work on sustainability issues across the city...' Read on...

Cornell Chronicle: Sustainable economic strategies spur engaged research interest
Author: Daniel Aloi


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jul 2018

Implementing an effective content marketing strategy with original content that stands out from competitors is a challenging task. Online content needs to be continuously updated, should be valuable to the audience and fulfil the required marketing goals. For this hiring a professional writer, full-time or freelance, is a good option. Professional writers can ensure that the content is more engaging, informative, credible, and persuasive. Following are ways in which he/she can contribute to the content marketing strategy - (1) Improve Search Engine Rankings: Professional writers understand search engine optimization (SEO) and create keyword rich copy. They have knowledge of the latest SEO trends and ensure that content meets the standards of search engine robots. (2) Save Money: Outsourcing content can be more cost effective. Companies using inbound marketing generally experience a 61% lower cost per lead than those using traditional methods (HubSpot). The average cost of hiring an in-house writer is US$ 7221 per month (Society for Human Resource Management). (3) Save Time: Creating quality content is time consuming. Outsourcing content as per requirement assists to focus in other essential areas of business. Moreover, multiple expert writers can be hired at the same time. (4) Meet Deadlines: Professional writers can work as needed and maintain schedule. (5) Boost Your Social Media Presence: Continuous stream of content can make businesses focus on their social media strategy, share content timely and create brand awareness. (6) Increase Conversions: The average web user leaves a web page after less than 20 seconds (Nielson Norman Group). Skillful writers can write persuasively to hold audience on website and increase conversions. (7) Communicate More Effectively: Professional writers can write in conversational tone and keep audience engaged. They communicate effectively about products and services keeping in mind the audience's perspective. (8) Deliver a Wide Range of Content Types: Different experts can be hired for providing different type of content. Read on...

Business 2 Community: How Hiring a Professional Writer Improves Your Content Marketing
Author: Chris Reid


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 jun 2018

Logos are a brief visual representation of what the brand is all about. They help brands connect with customers and a memorable logo make it easier to do so. According to Siegel+Gale's 2015 study, 'Logos Now', memorable logos are 13% more likely to get consumer attention and 7% more likely to make them want to learn more about the brand. Ross Kimbarovsky, founder of Crowdspring, runs one of the world's leading marketplaces for crowdsourced logo designs, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services. Following are five things he recommends all organizations to do before hiring someone to design (or redesign) their logo for optimal results - (1) Your brand has to come before your logo: 'Your logo must derive meaning from your brand, not the other way around. Before a logo can communicate anything about your brand, you will need to better understand your brand. What values, practices, benefits, products or services set your company apart and make it unique?' (2) Assess what styles you like and don't like: 'New design trends and fads in logo design appear every year and not all designers can effectively incorporate popular trends and avoid the fads...Spend some time looking at various styles and build up a list of what you like and don't like.' (3) Decide what you are willing to pay: 'Pre-made logos is a terrible idea that will actually harm your business in the long run...it's not possible for a client to get a great logo for less than several hundred dollars. There's simply not enough incentive for a designer to spend time creating a custom design unless they get a reasonable fee for their work.' (4) Write a stronger 'project brief': 'The project brief can make or break a project...Most designers have limited time to do their work, so they will be picky when choosing which clients to work with...Help designers understand how you see your company or your products...Define the problems and define your goals: designers are problem solvers.' (5) Decide who will make the final branding decision: 'One person should own this process and be able to make the final decision...Pick a group of 2 or 3 people whose opinions you trust, whether in-house or not. In fact, people outside your company can often be better at this than insiders.' Read on...

Forbes: 5 Things You Absolutely Must To Do Before You Design Your Logo
Author: Kate L. Harrison


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 jun 2018

Food waste is a global concern and innovative solutions are needed to overcome it. Recent data from National Resources Defense Council found that the average American throws out 400 pounds of food a year, meaning that up to 40% of food grown on the farm bypasses the fork and ends up in a landfill. Globally, impact of food waste can be seen in terms of lost resources, wasted water (70% of fresh water is consumed in agriculture), increased levels of climate-change-producing gases, and diverted food that could contribute to alleviating hunger. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - It is estimated that annually over 60 trillion gallons of water are used to grow food that is ultimately wasted; Roughly 1/3 of the food produced for human consumption every year - approximately 1.3 billion tons - gets lost or wasted, representing nearly US$1 trillion. The cost of producing, harvesting, transporting, and disposing of this food isn't just financial - food waste accounts for about 8% of global climate pollution, more than the nations of India or Russia. According to one report, food waste throughout the US accounts for more than 60 million tons of waste, which translates into US$ 160 billion of produce and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), represents over 21% of all waste in landfills. Adequate government policy alongwith solutions from for-profit and nonprofit sectors can successfully tackle this challenge. Sherri Welch, writing in Crain's Detroit, highlights two food-box subscription companies that sell produce and other food that retailers won't touch in the Detroit market. One is the Baltimore-based Hungry Harvest; the other is Toronto-based Flash Food. They are both for-profit companies. Denver's We Don't Waste is a nonprofit working on similar lines. Other nonprofits are working with hunger relief organizations and give their customers the option to buy a box of imperfect produce and donate it to a family in need. Phillip Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, says, 'At this point, I think we are all working together to feed hungry neighbors, reduce waste and lessen the impact on the environment.' Other solutions include processing food waste as bioenergy. In the Pacific Northwest, Impact Bioenergy develops and manufactures bioenergy products that allow communities and commercial food waste generators to lessen their environmental footprint and conserve local soil resources while also reducing their waste disposal and energy costs. Policy approaches can also play an important role to shift the amount of food entering the waste stream. A May 2017 paper published by Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic looks at the 2018 Farm Bill as a portal for changing the national conversation on food waste by integrating strategies and initiatives to support diversion efforts. Policy is a major focus on ReFed, one of the nation's leading nonprofits dedicated to addressing food waste. One of their initiatives in partnership with the Food Law and Policy Clinic is the US Food Waste Policy Finder, a tool that provides research on current food waste policy. Another promising approach is to incorporate the reuse of food that has been rejected by the conventional market into social enterprises. DC Central Kitchen is a job-training catering social enterprise that buys food seconds from farmers and uses that produce in the meals it serves to students in schools and catering event guests, even as the nonprofit also addresses the cycle of hunger. According to ReFed's 'Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste by 20 Percent', an estimated 15000 permanent jobs could be created through policy initiatives alone. 'Wasted! The Story of Food Waste', a documentary produced by the late Anthony Bourdain, offer a glimpse of ways that nonprofits can expand their missions and collaborate with others to reduce food waste while improving the health and well-being of those in need. Read on...

Nonprofit Quarterly: For-Profit and Nonprofit Firms Devise Creative Ways to Reduce Food Waste
Author: Derrick Rhayn


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 jun 2018

Team of researchers (Prof. José Antonio Rosa of Iowa State University; Prof. Richard J. Vann of Iowa State University; Prof. Sean M. McCrea of University of Wyoming) conducted five experiments to understand how crisis influences motivation and commitment to the goal. Their research titled 'When consumers struggle: Action crisis and its effects on problematic goal pursuit' was recently published in the journal Psychology & Marketing. Prof. Rosa, the lead researcher, says, 'Setbacks are to be expected when pursuing a goal, whether you are trying to lose weight or save money. The challenge is getting back on track and not giving up after a difficulty or crisis.' The research team is working on practical ways to help people stick to health-related goals - specifically, prescribed regimens for medical ailments that require significant lifestyle changes. According to Prof. Rosa, staying committed to a long-term health goal is challenging, because it may feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. He explains, 'These are some of the most difficult goals we face, because the effort has to become a way of life. If you're a diabetic, you have to be thinking about your diet every time you eat. In many ways, it is sacrificial. You must endure this cost and the reward is health.' Prof. Rosa says that action crisis, whether related or unrelated to the goal, is a point during goal pursuit when circumstances change, causing us to question whether the goal really matters. This sets in a process of goal evaluation instead of implementation and can result in the decision to quit, termed by researchers as 'taking the off ramp', and may cause another crisis. Researchers are now working to develop and test interventions for patients on prescribed health regimens. Prof. Rosa says the goal is to provide specific instructions for patients to follow and help shift their mindset from renegotiation or evaluation back to implementation. He adds, 'From a marketing perspective, it is an issue of consumption and making health care more effective for patients. The right intervention will help patients stay on track, lessening the risk for additional health issues and lowering health care costs.' Read on...

Iowa State University News: Crisis can force re-evaluation and derail efforts to reach goals
Author: Angie Hunt


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 jun 2018

According to Korn Ferry's 'The Salary Surge' report, India would be the only economy that will not face an upward revision of wages by 2030, as it has a talent surplus, bucking the global trend of a talent crunch. For organizations around the world lack of highly skilled talent supply will drive up salaries for the most in-demand workers and is expected to add more than US$ 2.5 trillion in annual labour costs by 2030. The Global Talent Crunch analysed global demand for labour at three key milestones, 2020, 2025 and 2030, in 20 markets, including in India, across three sectors, financial and business services, technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) and manufacturing. Wage premiums by 2030 - US (US$ 531 billion); Germany (US$ 176 billion); Japan (US$ 468 billion); China (US$ 342 billion) Asia Pacific (US$ 1 trillion); Singapore and Hong Kong (10% of 2017 GDP). Wage premium per worker per year by 2030 - Asia Pacific (Average US$ 14710); Hong Kong (US$ 40539); Singapore (US$ 29065); Australia (US$ 28625). Dhritiman Chakrabarti, Head of rewards and benefits for the APAC region at Korn Ferry, says, 'The new era of work is one of scarcity in abundance, there are plenty of people, but not enough with the skills their organisations will need to survive. While overall wage increases are just keeping pace with inflation, salaries for in-demand workers will skyrocket if companies choose to compete for the best and brightest on salary alone.' Manufacturing, one of the sector that is a critical driver of growth for emerging economies, may be stalled by the huge impact of the salary surge. Read on...

The Economic Times: India to be lone economy facing suppressed wages by 2030: Study
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 may 2018

Australian fashion designer, Mark Liu, advises creative professionals to recognize the importance of studying STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at school. He initiated 'Zero Waste Fashion Design' concept in which every piece of fabric is utilized in a fitting pattern. This process is contrary to the traditional linear pattern-making, which assumes a flat surface - with little account for the body's curves. Mr. Liu says, 'When you start pattern-making with zero waste, you really have to understand how it works to a really intricate level. Traditional techniques weren't really cutting it. I had to look at the underlying mathematics. And the more I looked, the more I found problems that mathematics had answers to but traditional pattern-making didn't.' He created 'Non-Euclidean' system of pattern-making that uses a technique called the 'Drape Measure' to record the curvature of surfaces as an angle measurement in order to create a more accurate design. Advocating STEM for creatives and designers, he also want 'A' for 'Arts' to be included to make it STEAM. Mr. Liu also supports and mentors students of International Grammar School (Sydney, Australia) emphasizing importance of maths. Ksenija Doic, design and technology teacher at school, says, 'They come into a creative subject thinking, 'Perhaps all I need is to have an idea, or be good with colours, or have an artistic side'. But what mathematics is useful for is the problem-solving part. The students who do maths find it easier to do the tasks at hand, because they have an innate knowledge of geometry, of working out curves and tangents.' Wynton Lambert, a student, says, 'Without some of the stuff I learned in maths, I wouldn't have been able to do the sleeve (of the shirt). It was very technical.' Mr. Liu considers STEAM to be the future and says, 'There’s this nice intersection between art and mathematics, and when they come together that's when really amazing things happen.' Read on...

SBS News: Why aspiring fashion designers should study maths
Author: Rena Sarumpaet


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 may 2018

Researchers at The University of British Columbia (Okanagan, Canada), Prof. Abbas Milani and graduate student Armin Rashidi, are working to solve the issue of wrinkling when it comes to making textile composites. Their research, 'A multi-step biaxial bias extension test for wrinkling/de-wrinkling characterization of woven fabrics: Towards optimum forming design guidelines', was recently published in Materials & Design Journal. According to Prof. Milani, wrinkling is one of the most common flaws in textile composites, which are widely used for prototypes, as well as mass production within prominent aerospace, energy, automotive and marine applications. Researchers have investigated several de-wrinkling methods and have discovered that they can improve their effectiveness by pulling the materials in two directions simultaneously during the manufacturing process. Mr. Rashidi says, 'The challenge was to avoid unwanted fibre misalignment or fibre rupture while capturing the out-of-plane wrinkles. Manufacturers who use these types of composites are looking for more information about their mechanical behaviour, especially under combined loading scenarios.' Prof. Milani, who is director of Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute at UBC Okanagan, says, 'Composite textiles are changing the way products are designed and built in advanced manufacturing sectors. As we continue to innovate in the area of composite textiles to include more polymer resin and fibre reinforcement options, this research will need to continue in order to provide the most up-to-date analysis for manufacturers in different application areas.' Read on...

UBC Okanagan News: Researchers improve textile composite manufacturing
Author: Nathan Skolski


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 may 2018

Consistent communication through various channels both internally and externally is the key for successful public relations. Eileen Sheil, ED of Corporate Communications at Cleveland Clinic, shares her PR experience and suggests key elements that PR teams should be focused on. Regarding her PR strategy at Cleveland Clinic, she says, 'We are trying new communication approaches that better reach our target audiences through the media and to our key stakeholders. Sharing our stories internally and externally about patient care, innovative procedures, medical research, opinions on important healthcare issues, and breaking news will help people know more about the work we do to help patients locally, nationally, and around the globe.' Following is her advice for PR teams - (1) Be Strategic About PR: Know the organization and industry; Know the company's narrative and be consistent in your communication; Conduct reputation research and develop a PR strategy; Know your audience; Research and alter strateg as needed. (2) Go Digital: Traditional media is essential but amplify the communication through latest digital technologies. (3) Measure The Value Of PR: The Barcelona Principles (initially developed in 2010 and updated in 2015) are used to measure the real value of PR; Focus on qaulity of coverage to build better reputation; Learn to use metrics, data and analytics to drive strategy. (4) Be One Communications Team And Build One Strategy: Internal and external communications are merging; Be consistent to all shareholders. (5) Know This Is A Journey: Teams should continue to evolve, learn and make their work better together. Read on...

PRWeek: 5 things every PR team should be doing
Author: Eileen Sheil


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 may 2018

Traditionally, businesses have been using corporate social responsibility (CSR) to contribute to society and tackle social issues through philanthropy, charitable giving, offering employees volunteer time etc. Recently, a letter to shareholders by an influential investor, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, rekindled the debate around purpose and effectivenesss of CSR. His messages was, 'To achieve their full potential, public and private companies need to do more than simply give of their time and money; they need to find more innovative and impactful ways to contribute to solving the broader challenges in society.' Katie Bouton, Founder and CEO of Koya Leadership Partners, explains the need to better integrate business goals with public purpose and balance financial obligations to shareholders. This can be achieved through 'Purposeful Engagement', a more impactful CSR strategy. Ms. Bouton suggests the key elements to integrate into this new operating strategy - (1) Articulate a Larger Purpose: Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, described their larger purpose as, 'Coffee is what we sell as a product, but it's not the business we're in. We're in the people business.' Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple, often talked about the company's larger mission of making high quality computers available to everyone. (2) Align Business Goals with Social Purpose: Larger purpose should be designed and implemented in a way that is integral to business success. Every employee should be engaged with larger mission. Measurements should be developed for every department and business line. (3) Integrate Resources to Maximize Impact: Lack of coordination and integration wastes resources. CSR efforts are often siloed in differenet departments. All departments should work together for a common purpose. (4) Build a Diverse and Inclusive Team: A McKinsey study showed companies with higher-diversity leadership teams and boards have 30% more success than those that don't. (5) Understand the Future Workforce: Millennials will make up over 50% of the workforce by 2020, according to PwC. Values and purpose are priorities for them. Purposeful Engagement becomes vital to attract and retain the talent for future. Read on...

Chief Executive: Beyond CSR - Leading With More Purposeful Engagement
Author: Katie Bouton


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 may 2018

Utilizing customer data to understand consumer behavior through analytics tools is key to improve products and services, and finally gain and retain customers. Restaurant and fast food industry is customer intensive with direct interactions with them. Restaurant sales were approximately US$ 800 billion last year and continue to grow. With hightened competition and increasing customer expectations it becomes challenging to serve what customer wants and keeps coming back for more. Advanced analytics can come to the rescue in this regard. Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry has low average ticket value, customer visit frequency is higher and cyclical, size of the meal matters and customer tastes don't vary that much. The restaurant industry's main goals remain - increase meal size, increase guest frequency and decrease customer lapsation. In today's environment, customers are digital-savvy and restaurants have their data. The value is in gaining actionable insights from this data that positively impact the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Here is what some restaurant chains are doing in this regard - (1) Identified taste affinity clusters: Created various segements of customers and looked at their past purchase behavior to identify taste preferences. (2) Buying behavior analysis: Looked at purchase behavior across different channels to identify which menu items can be added to the combo for someone that orders (mobile vs visit). Used advanced analytics to get a single view of the customer by integrating their POS, mobile, web and social data to identify the customer and hence provide consistent messaging. (3) NPS and Feedback Analysis: Integrated feedback received across all channels and layered it up with sentiment analysis. Customers were given lapsation score and offers were targeted accordingly. (4) Store location analysis: Used predictive models to identify the probability of a new store succeeding in a specific location vis-à-vis another store in the same area. They identified pockets of demand and the model prescribed a set of potential locations in a given geographic area. This data was used to score and rank comparable locations. Read on...

Analytics India Magazine: Advanced Analytics In The Restaurant Industry
Author: Santosh Kumar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 apr 2018

Artificial Intelligence is one of the fields that's getting most attention from technology companies. AI researchers specialize in neural networks, complex algorithms that learn tasks by analyzing vast amounts of data. They are used in everything from digital assistants in smartphones to self-driving cars. Those with AI skills are in high demand. But, the salary data related to AI hires hasn't been in public domain. Now OpenAI, a nonprofit AI research organization, had made the salaries of their AI researchers public as their nonprofit setup requires them to do so. Top OpenAI researchers were paid as follows - Ilya Sutskever (more than US$ 1.9 million in 2016); Ian Goodfellow (more than US$ 800000 after getting hired in March 2016); Prof. Pieter Abbeel of University of California at Berkeley (US$ 425000 after joining in June 2016). OpenAI was founded by Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) and other well-known names in technology. Element AI, an independent lab in Canada, estimates that 22000 people worldwide have the skills needed to do serious AI research - about double from a year ago. Chris Nicholson, Founder & CEO of AI startup Skymind, says, 'There is a mountain of demand and a trickle of supply.' There is scarcity of AI talent. Governments and universities are also seeking AI researchers, even though they may not match the salaries paid by private enterprises. OpenAI too cannot compensate equivalent to private tech companies as stock options are major attraction there. But OpenAI shares its research with the world, considered a positive approach in responsibile tech development. Mr. Sutskever says, 'I turned down offers for multiple times the dollar amount I accepted at OpenAI. Others did the same.' He expects salaries at OpenAI to increase as the organization pursued its 'mission of ensuring powerful AI benefits all of humanity.' AI specialists with little or no industry experience can make between US$ 300000 and US$ 500000 a year in salary and stock. Wojciech Zaremba, a researcher who joined OpenAI after internships at Google and Facebook, says, 'The amount of money was borderline crazy.' He says that tech companies offered 2 or 3 times what he believed his real market value was. At a London AI lab now owned by Google, costs for 400 employees totaled US$ 138 million in 2016. Top researchers are paid higher. Mr. Nicholson says, 'When you hire a star, you are not just hiring a star. You are hiring everyone they attract. And you are paying for all the publicity they will attract.' Other top researchers at OpenAI included Greg Brockman and Andrej Karpathy. In a growing and competitive tech field like AI it becomes challenging for organizations to retain talent. Read on...

The New York Times: A.I. Researchers Are Making More Than $1 Million, Even at a Nonprofit
Author: Cade Metz


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 apr 2018

Considering the large number of competing nonprofits in a big town with their limited budgets, it's always challenging for them to reach out and attract donors and manage fundraising effectively. There are more than 2300 nonprofits operating in Philadelphia (USA). According to a research report 'The Financial Health of Philadelphia Area Nonprofits', funded by The Philadelphia Foundation, more than 40% of the nonprofits in the area are working at a loss, operate on margins of zero or less and fewer can be considered financially strong. With more than half the nonprofits operating on slim-to-none budget with limited support staff, fundraising is a challnging task. But Drexel University professor, Neville Vakharia, created an online tool, ImpactView Philadelphia, that uses publicly available data on nonprofit organizations from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in combination with the most recent American Community Survey data released by the U.S. Census Bureau to present an easy-to-access snapshot of Philadelphia's nonprofit ecosystem. The tool intends to help nonprofits streamline their fundraising process. It makes information about nonprofit organizations, and the communities they're striving to help, more accessible to likeminded charities and the philanthropic organizations that seek to fund them. Prof. Neville says, 'Through the location intelligence visualizer, users can immediately find areas of need and potential collaborators. The data are automatically visualized and mapped on-screen, identifying, for example, pockets of high poverty with large populations of children as well as the nonprofit service providers in these areas. Making this data accessible for nonprofits will cut down on time spent seeking information and improve the ability to make data-informed decisions, while also helping with case making and grant applications.' Since the tool is open-source it can be easily replicated in other cities. Read on...

DrexelNOW: A Tool to Help Nonprofits Find Each Other, Pursue Funding and Collaborate
Author: Emily Storz


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 apr 2018

According to Big Commerce, 51% of Americans prefer to shop online, and almost everyone (96%) has made an online purchase in their life. But, with so many competing e-commerce websites and a large number of brick-and-mortar retail stores, the challenge for retailers is to differentiate themselves and, attract, acquire and retain the customers. Retailers can do the following to increase retail sales - (1) Run Beautifully Executed Google Shopping Campaigns: Organize shopping campaigns by best-selling items; Ensure your ad images are high-quality and crawlable; Include merchant promotions and product reviews. (2) Give Shoppers a Reason to Visit Your Store: Provide special in-store discounts to shoppers; Use the power of social media to communicate special in-store deals. (3) Use Social Media Targeting Capabilities to Your Advantage: Configure your social media campaign with detailed targeting to audience who will be most willing to buy the products. Targeting to right demographics is the key. (4) Don't Forget to Be Locally Relevant: Geotargeting; Ad copy and imagery with local appeal; Use local lingo. (5) Invest in Some Guerilla Marketing Campaigns: Use public places innovatively to attract attention and spread the word around. (6) Try Podcast Advertising: According to Edison Research, 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, which is a 14% year-to-year increase. Discover your audience's choice of podcasts and invest in running some advertisements to sponsor the commercial breaks. (7) Get Creative with Video: Use entertainment as a strategic tool in video to attract audience. Getting it viral is a challenge that every creative should take. (8) Celebrate All the Little Holidays: Embrace holidays and link your campaigns to them; Release special limited-edition products around them, run special events, or offer deals in festive holidays colors, it gets people excited. (9) Instill a Sense of Urgency: Urgency in messaging can pressure audience to shop; Run short-term limited-time offers and discounts. (10) Understand Your Seasonal Peaks and Plan Accordingly: Do advance planning for seasonal peaks. This includes adjusting ad spend, working with design for new creative, and executing seasonally relevant campaigns that will boost sales during these peak times. (11) Create Returning Buyers through Smart Remarketing: Remarketing allows you to remind shoppers, re-engage them and assist them in buying again; Think about the lifespan of the product that a customer have bought. Run a remarketing campaign and encourage to buy before the product is finished; Another remarketing tactic is to upsell based on the products customers have previously purchased. Read on...

Business 2 Community: 11 Killer Retail Marketing Tips to Drive Sales Year Round
Author: Margot da Cunha


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 apr 2018

According to Big Commerce, 51% of Americans prefer to shop online, and almost everyone (96%) has made an online purchase in their life. But, with so many competing e-commerce websites and a large number of brick-and-mortar retail stores, the challenge for retailers is to differentiate themselves and, attract, acquire and retain the customers. Retailers can do the following to increase retail sales - (1) Run Beautifully Executed Google Shopping Campaigns: Organize shopping campaigns by best-selling items; Ensure your ad images are high-quality and crawlable; Include merchant promotions and product reviews. (2) Give Shoppers a Reason to Visit Your Store: Provide special in-store discounts to shoppers; Use the power of social media to communicate special in-store deals. (3) Use Social Media Targeting Capabilities to Your Advantage: Configure your social media campaign with detailed targeting to audience who will be most willing to buy the products. Targeting to right demographics is the key. (4) Don't Forget to Be Locally Relevant: Geotargeting; Ad copy and imagery with local appeal; Use local lingo. (5) Invest in Some Guerilla Marketing Campaigns: Use public places innovatively to attract attention and spread the word around. (6) Try Podcast Advertising: According to Edison Research, 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, which is a 14% year-to-year increase. Discover your audience's choice of podcasts and invest in running some advertisements to sponsor the commercial breaks. (7) Get Creative with Video: Use entertainment as a strategic tool in video to attract audience. Getting it viral is a challenge that every creative should take. (8) Celebrate All the Little Holidays: Embrace holidays and link your campaigns to them; Release special limited-edition products around them, run special events, or offer deals in festive holidays colors, it gets people excited. (9) Instill a Sense of Urgency: Urgency in messaging can pressure audience to shop; Run short-term limited-time offers and discounts. (10) Understand Your Seasonal Peaks and Plan Accordingly: Do advance planning for seasonal peaks. This includes adjusting ad spend, working with design for new creative, and executing seasonally relevant campaigns that will boost sales during these peak times. (11) Create Returning Buyers through Smart Remarketing: Remarketing allows you to remind shoppers, re-engage them and assist them in buying again; Think about the lifespan of the product that a customer have bought. Run a remarketing campaign and encourage to buy before the product is finished; Another remarketing tactic is to upsell based on the products customers have previously purchased. Read on...

Business 2 Community: 11 Killer Retail Marketing Tips to Drive Sales Year Round
Author: Margot da Cunha


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 apr 2018

For the betterment and growth of any local industry, it is imperative that global best practices should be emulated and, modified and customized based on the local needs. Pratyush Sarup, interior designer based in Dubai (UAE), provides key insights from Milan Design Week 2018 for Middle East region - (1) The Power Of Simplicity: Prefer clean lines and minimal materiality in design. An installation by American artist Phillip K. Smith III portrays simplicity principle with use of only one material - glass. Applied along clean angles and a humble curve, the reflective surface offered a kaleidoscopic play on light, form and structure. (2) Divine Expression: History, culture, folk tales, nature etc can be inspiration for design. A collection of chairs by designer Lara Bohinc sought inspiration from the skies above. Aptly titled 'Since the World is Round', the spherical form that characterises the collection is derived from gravitationally curved trajectories of planetary and lunar orbits. Dubai-based designer Talin Hazbar has previously turned to 'Kahf al Baba', a folk tale that originates from villages between Khor Fakan and Fujairah for a lighting collection. (3) The Circular Life Of Design: Understanding sustainability is necesssary for the continued growth of design market. Innovative waste management solutions to waste generated by the textile design industry is at the heart of 'Really', a Danish company. They debuted their latest invention, the 'Solid' textile board. Developed from upcycled end-of-life fabrics from the fashion and textile industries, it's potential was showcased via a range of products created by top designers such as Benjamin Hubert, Christien Meindertsma, Front (Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren) and Raw-Edges (Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay). Designers can think about finding ways to repurpose waste into contemporary living solutions. (4) Join Forces: Collaboration is key to better outcomes. New York designer Lindsey Adelman and wallpaper maestro Calico (Rachel Cope and Nick Cope), as they were both working with similar surface techniques, decided to work together and presented a joint show 'Beyond the Deep' that explored the corrosive natural chemicals, like salt, to alter the appearance of surfaces. Coming together of diverse thought processes and creative expressions can fast-track creative economies. (5) Have Some Fun: Many top tier brands stepped away from their typical business-oriented presentations to explore alternative out-of-the-box ideas. Czech glass brand Lasvit took over Teatro Gerolamo, a 19th-century puppet theatre to present Monster Cabaret, its latest collection of accessories centred on mythical beasts, fantastical creatures and outcasts. Read on...

Gulf News: Milan Design Week - 5 takeaways for the region
Author: Pratyush Sarup


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 apr 2018

To apply the basic idea of 'Small Is Beautiful' as propagated by E. F. Schumacher to the social enterprises and create their collaborative network, have the potential to successfully tackle social causes at a large scale and maximize impact. Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO of New America, explains the working dynamics of social enterprises, the challenges of scale, issues of efficiencies when contrasted with private enterprises and how in a democratic setup a network of independent social enterprises can develop a collaborative system for larger impact. She says, 'In the private sector, companies reap economies of scale...In the social and political marketplace, however - at least in democracies - too much efficiency is dangerous. Tyrants are efficient, which is precisely why America's founding fathers built a system of checks and balances designed to favour resilience over efficiency...Outside government, a rich civil society is the bedrock of a well-functioning democracy. Alexis de Tocqueville made this point about the strength of American democracy in the 1830s.' Ms. Slaughter opines, 'Civic engagement requires the energy and innovation of multiple entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship is just one subset of a much larger civil society. But a thriving ecosystem of social enterprise cannot borrow wholesale from the capitalist playbook.' Rebecca Onie, co-founder & CEO of Health Leads, developed a model of healthcare that saves money and improves outcomes by attending to social as well as medical needs and achieved scale by convincing the US government to start experimenting with her approach. Ms. Slaughter suggests, 'Another path to scale in the social sector - one that preserves diversity and reduces competition for scarce resources - is through carefully designed networks of small or medium-sized enterprises that are focused on solving the same basic problem and are demonstrably having an impact in a particular community or region. This approach has worked well in global health through consortiums...The network form allows for small size and large scale simultaneously, preserving individuality and innovation while applying common metrics in the pursuit of a single large goal. Individual actors can form groups, connected to a central co-ordinator and cross-fertiliser.' Read on...

The Financial Times: Thinking big for social enterprise can mean staying small
Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 apr 2018

Business-to-business world have a different set of rules and dynamics than business-to-consumer when it comes to branding and how interactions happen with prospects and customers. Ryan Gould, VP of Strategy & Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing, explains how B2B world is fragmented, challenges related to inconsistency in branding and what can be done to improve, enhance and control it. He explains, 'The role of the B2B buyer has evolved along with the rest of the world, and importantly, power has gradually shifted to the hands of millennials. Despite 73% of millennials making purchasing decisions, we are still seeing the world of B2B approach these individuals as if they are the same buyer from 5, 10 and even 20 years ago.' Millennials are the new B2B buyers and B2B marketing had to evolve accordingly. Emphasis on branding and brand building becomes critical. Marketing efforts should be aligned, whether it is social media, email marketing, sales collateral, video etc, and focus on addressing the need of potential buyers and differentiate effectively from competition. Sales-driven nature of B2B sector still holds supreme with marketing becoming secondary to it. But with new buyers sales pitch is not sufficient and they seek better connect with brands they deal with. B2B marketers have to understand this dynamic to build strong business relations. B2B marketers also face challenges related to their budget and lack resources to accomplish all their tasks and had to shuffle between various roles. This gives them insufficient time to focus on brand strategy and to build an overall brand value. Fragmented nature of B2B business adds to the chaos with various departments working in silos. Branding consistency in this environment becomes a challenge and customers get confusing inputs. The brand in this scenario lacks uniformity in content, design and messaging. According to HubSpot, only 50% of B2B marketers are treating visual content as a priority. Marketers have to work on this and fully utilize the power of digital and develop creative strategies to have a better connect with millennial decision-makers. B2B organizations must prioritize branding as their target consumer market is sensitive to it. One statistics suggests that 23% of average revenue increases are attributed to brand consistency. B2B marketers should play their role accordingly - understand target audience, recognize the importance of branding, realize where brand is falling short and develop better brand consistency by using latest tools and solutions to have a connect with customers and establish trust. Read on...

The Drum: Why is inconsistent branding so prevalent in B2B organizations?
Author: Ryan Gould


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 mar 2018

Every nation had architects and designers at different periods of time that have influenced these creative fields and inspired the work of others after them. Following is the list of 10 select architets of the modern era - (1) Frank Lloyd Wright (USA): Inspired by buildings in American prairies, he created the simple and practical 'Prairie House' style as a reaction to the over-embellished Victorian aesthetic. (2) Norman Foster (UK): A disciple of both Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, he worked with Buckminster Fuller and made geodesic designs on his buildings facades as his trademark style. (3) Antoni Gaudi (Spain): Cathedral of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (Spain) is his most famous creation. It has a style that is a mix of Baroque, Gothic, Moorish and Victorian elements. He also derived influence from nature. (4) Daniel Libeskind (Poland): Notable works include Berlin's Jewish Museum, Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin and Imperial War Museum in England. (5) Renzo Piano (Italy): Has many unique and varied styles that range from the Neo-Brutalism of his Whitney Museum of American Art in New York's Meatpacking District, to the elegant Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. (6) Ben van Berkel (Netherlands): Notable works include Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, Theatre Agora and the Mercedes-Benz Museum. (7) Santiago Calatrava (Spain; Switzerland): Termed as sci-fi baroque architect by some, he has designed buildings that resembled the ribcages of dinosaurs. One of his recent creation is the Transit Hub for the World Trade Center. (8) Philip Johnson (USA): His modern architectural work includes Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. He is founding director of MoMA's (Museum of Modern Art, New York) Department of Architecture. (9) Eero Sarinen (Finland; USA): He is noted for his neo-futuristic style, later known as the Bauhaus's straight-line philosophy. This became the aesthetic for business and government office buildings around the world. (10) Frank Gehry (Canada; USA): His billowing forms quite literally seem to defy gravity. Design of the Guggenheim Museum branch in Bilbao (Spain) is one of the finest example of his style. Read on...

Architecture & Design: Our top 10 architects of the modern era
Author: Branko Miletic


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 mar 2018

Corporates often fund nonprofits to fulfil their commitments and responsibilities to the communities they operate in, and also to enhance their brand value and achieve a positive public relations. But, since the funds are limited and there are number of competiting nonprofits, corporates seek best value and return on their giving and investments. Nonprofits have to find ways to differentiate themselves and give an attractive proposition as part of their corporate fundraising effort whether they are considering cause sponsorship, 'pin-up' or point-of-purchase campaigns, corporate volunteering/employee engagement or cause marketing. Chris Baylis, president and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective in Ottawa (Canada), suggests ways to consider for successful corporate fundraising - (1) Corporate partnerships are not just philanthropy. Think beyond the good cause, clearly define your audience and understand the value of your brand. Determine the interest and buying power of your audience. (2) Use your cause to attract (and define) your audience and your audience to define and attract prospects. Use the cause as a valuable link to connect your audience and prospects. (3) Make your value known to the prospects and list every single asset you have to offer. Estimate the cost of similar exposure and services that prospects can avail elsewhere. Understand the value of your audience. (4) Logo placement, although more visible to the public, is just a small component of cause partnership. Think more of real value and outcomes. (5) Share fulfillment report with your partners and how it is tied to their goals. It explains the value they got in return, satisfies internal decision makers, helps in renewal of contract and build long-term partnerships. Read on...

The NonProfit Times: 5 Realities of Corporate Fundraising
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 mar 2018

Architecture and design of living spaces has to adapt to the changing behaviors and lifestyles of people, changing climate and environmental patterns, evolving social and cultural landscape etc. Following are architectural trends for 2018 - (1) Understanding how millennials occupy and use space (Piedad Rojas): Behavior and habits of millennials point to their inclinations for minimal spaces that are highly flexible. They seek small, modern, multifunctional and minimalist apartments. (2) Architects facing the construction of their own work - the urgency of being on site (José Tomás Franco): To attain knowledge, understanding and training about materials and construction processes is a growing trend. To reconnect with the materialization of projects and work in multidsciplinary collaboration with others is key to better architecture. (3) The challenge of current architecture to approach the rural context (Fernanda Amaro): Rem Koolhaas said in 2016, 'The current challenge of architecture is to understand the rural world'. He appeals to architects that the future is in intervening in 'bare, semi-abandoned, sparsely populated, sometimes badly connected spaces', since this is where architects are seeing accelerated processes of change, and must take the lead. The trend is now emerging that understands the need to go to these areas and get to know these communities in order to incorporate, from a contemporary perspective, their ways of living, materials, traditional techniques and vernacular forms to guide the architect to make friendlier, more respectful and harmonious decisions with the natural and social environment in which they are inserted. (4) Social architecture faces the return of the pendulum (Nicolás Valencia): The trend visualizes and values informal architecture, vernacular techniques and commitment to those who have been left behind in society. The selection of Alejandro Aravena as the Director of the XV Biennial of Architecture of Venice and winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2016, signifies this trend. (5) The post-digital era enters the graphic representation timeline in architecture (Karina Zatarain): By merging the available digital tools with the representative intention of collage, some contemporary architecture firms have chosen to move away from the dominant hyperrealism, instead creating a new trend - post-digital representation. This is just the beginning of a new stage of negotiation between the cold precision of technology and the expressive quality inherent in architecture. (6) Political Architecture - creativity faces the regulations and the future of cities (Fabián Dejtiar): Spanish architect Andrés Jaque mentioned in the XX Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism of Chile 2017, by default 'all architects are politicians' and the real question is what forms of policy architects are willing to defend. In this regard, political action is a tool to enhance, incorporate or transform creativity. The process of balancing creativity in the framework of regulations will influence the future of cities. (7) The revenge of women in architecture (Camila Marín, Pola Mora): This year, the Venice Biennial of Architecture will be directed by two women architects - Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara - and the list of curators in charge of the national pavilions already has a much higher female participation than in previous years. Architectural discipline will see concrete actions taken to empower women and bring them in more powerful and prominent position. (8) Learning from Bamboo to reinforce our sensitivity and efficiency (José Tomás Franco): Bamboo is a multifaceted material and has more than 1500 documented uses. In construction, its current use is related to resistance, versatility and efficiency, and is linked to the beauty of the organic and innate respect for the environment. (9) A glimpse of the direction of post-earthquake architecture (Karina Zatarain): Architecture plays an important role in response to the reconstruction needs after different types of natural disasters. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban received the Pritzker Prize in 2014 and is known for his experimental and innovative use of materials such as paper and cardboard in buildings, and for his efforts to help homeless people after natural disasters or in refugee situations. Team of architects from Hong Kong was awarded in World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Berlin for their post-earthquake reconstruction project. They developed a new and economical compacted earth construction technique that will be more resistant to seismic activity. Topics like seismic resistance of different local materials and self-construction are part of architectural discussions. Read on...

ArchDaily: The 9 Architecture Topics You Need To Know About in 2018
Authors: Marina Gosselin, Piedad Rojas, José Tomás Franco, Fernanda Amaro, Nicolás Valencia, Karina Zatarain, Fabián Dejtiar, Camila Marín, Pola Mora


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 mar 2018

Basic principles of business success remains the same, but with time new ideas, concepts and rules become game changers and critical to its success. Inspired by David Politis's book '66 Rules for Publicity Success', Sheryl Conner, entrepreneur, author of 'Beyond PR: Communicate Like A Champ In The Digital Age' and co-creator of Content University, explains how public relations has transformed and brought in new dynamics while some of its concepts remain the same. THE NEW - (1) New publishing platforms give more freedom to publish and provide metrics and analytics about how much interest and engagement the content has created. (2) Know the rules of publishing on varied platforms and understand the difference between owned (company blog), earned (national journals and publications), leased and rented (social media platforms) publishing space. (3) Search results are the greatest ally (and one of the most significant risk). (4) Visual content is becoming increasingly important. Text content with video/audio and compelling images provides effective multimedia experience to the audience. (5) Customer feedback is equal (or more) important to purchases than traditional analyst views. THE USUAL - (1) Press releases are still important. (2) Value add educative information for your audience is more valuable than promotion and hype. According to Conductor.com, a consumer is 131% more likely to purchase from a vendor who publishes an educational article they have read. (3) Meaningful and consistent messaging is vital. (4) Authenticity is more important than ever before. (5) Earned media is important. Remember what others say about your company is more valuable and add to reputation, than what you say yourself. Read on...

Forbes: The New Rules For Public Relations Success
Author: Cheryl Conner


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 feb 2018

Measurement and analysis of marketing data is becoming critical for understanding the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. The insights help in focusing efforts and money in the right direction. Marketing analytics tools and technologies continue to advance. David Sanderson, CEO of Nugit, explains what will be driving marketing analytics in 2018 and how marketers can keep pace with them - (1) Marketing analysts will need to use many new data sources: Combining data from internal data repositories with other sources like Google Analytics, SEO platform, CRM, Email, Social Media, Chat applications etc will provide better insights that will help to drive consumer interest, optimize pricing, and deliver an improved customer experience. Now analysts must also identify where important data resides, determine what needs to be extracted and devise a strategy for using new data sources to drive business decisions. (2) Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be essential for analytics: Speed of incoming data in large volumes make it difficult for human data analysts to process it effectively. In such a scenario, machine learning and AI tools come to the rescue and help analysts find patterns in customer data, elicit recommendations for optimizing performance, and allow non-professionals to access complicated analytics using simple language. (3) Analysts will become storytellers: Usual data analyst skill like SQL, Excel, business analysis etc, crunching data and making reports will not suffice now. Analysts have to do more - Obtain data from non-traditional sources; Clean data with programming languages such as Python; 'Polish' the data using data visualization tools and create attractive charts and graphs; Transform data into easy-to-understand stories which help non-analysts understand emerging trends and opportunities. Read on...

Econsultancy: The three trends driving marketing analytics in 2018
Author: Jeff Rajeck


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 feb 2018

As with most technology and design trends, there is always something new happening in web design intended to capture the imagination of the audience. Experts in the field suggest the following trends that will dominate 2018 - (1) Paul Jarvis (Designer; Writer; pjrvs.com): Bright and bold minimalism and engaging photographic content. (2) Jane Portman (UI/UX Consultant; Book Author; Founder of Tiny Reminder; Co-founder of Userlist.io): Polished web applications. High-end aesthetics need to get more affordable for SaaS founders globally. As SaaS craftsmanship gets more refined, another wave of frameworks and ready-made UI solutions are expected. (3) Josh Haynam (Co-founder of Interact Quiz Builder): Interactive content. Customers expect more personalized and entertaining experience when they interact with brands, that can inturn be delivered by content like polls, quizzes, and games. (4) Vytautas Alech (UX Designer; Product Developer): Asymmetry and brutalism inspired free-form. (5) Alexey Galyzin (Product and Lead Designer at Crello): Illustrations and animations. Illustrations set a tone for a brand and add playfulness to their content. While, animations allow one to translate more information in an efficient way, driving attention and helping to tell a story in a few seconds. (6) Paula Borowska (Freelance Designer): Consistency and focus on understanding the end users. More user research and interviews to understande target audience. More consistency of the message across all channels. The tone, the company message, the language used, the visuals etc need to stay the same. It increases customer loyalty. (7) Sunil Joshi (Co-founder and Lead Designer at WrapPixel): More video, fluid shapes, use of gradients, animated CSS and typography. Videos are becoming part of a brands presentation and communication. Videos can deliver a great deal of information quickly and visually. Read on...

Forbes: Top Web Design Trends To Watch In 2018
Author: Tomas Laurinavicius


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 feb 2018

As streaming video services on internet get popularity, advertising on television is seeing a decline. Now advertisers are shifting their dollars towards digital. In 2016, US revenues from digital advertising exceeded revenues from TV for the first time - US$ 72.5 billion (+22%) compared to US$ 71.3 billion from TV. This trend is also reflected in global markets. Some corporates are even focusing solely on digital advertising. The young (13 to 24 years age) are showing less affinity towards traditional advertising as they spend more time on Internet in comparison to TV. Only 36% of consumers noted that they cannot do without a TV screen. Meanwhile, 67% cannot imagine their lives without YouTube and 51% seem to lose meaning in life without Netflix. The same audience is watching 2.5 times more internet videos than traditional TV. Video-bloggers are the new influencers for the young population as they advocate brands and products while sharing their experiences with them in the form of effective video presentions. Video bloggers are becoming a guaranteed way for advertisers of reaching target audiences and getting predictable results. Influencer marketing is becoming more relevant. Return on investment from online videos is 77% more than from TV promos. The main trend nowadays is native advertising through opinion leaders. Traditional advertising is slowly getting outdated and a personalized Internet, along with personalized advertising, is becoming the real future. Read on...

The Next Web: Advertising in the digital age - Why online-first is the future
Author: David Geer


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 feb 2018

Charity requires commitment through time and money. But in the new world of technology there can be ways in which effortless charity has become a possibility. Here are few options that can be explored - (1) Amazon Smile: Buying through smile.amazon.com automatically contributes 0.5% of every eligible purchased made to a charity of choice. (2) Altruisto: A Chrome extension that works with over 1000 partner stores to make charitable donations from a portion of your purchases. Currently, the donations are distributed between three charities, Against Malaria Foundation, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and Give Directly. (3) Charity Miles: An app that converts activities into charitable donations. It logs miles, transforms them into money and donates to valuable causes. (4) CheckPoints: A rewards app that provides points when one engages in various activities like scanning barcodes, watching videos, taking surveys etc. The points collected can be redeemed and made into charitable donations. (5) Donate a Photo: A free app through which every photo submitted, limited to one per day, transforms into one dollar by Johnson & Johnson that can be donated to a cause or charity of your choice. Read on...

CNET: 5 ways to give to charity without even trying
Author: Rick Broida


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 feb 2018

Diversity and inclusion can be key to unlocking new ideas in creative disciplines. Current statistics suggest massive underrepresentation of minorities in design sector. According to the 2016 AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts)/Google Design Census, 73% of graphic designers are white, 8% are Asian, 7% are Hispanic, and 3% are African-American. This doesn't mirror the U.S. population, which, according to the 2016 U.S. Census, is 17% Hispanic, 13% African-American, and 5% Asian. Jacinda Walker, chair of AIGA's Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, is working to encourage diversity in design education, discourse, and practice. She is also founder of designExplorr that creates opportunities that expose youth to design. Her MFA thesis, 'Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines' presents strategic ideas to expose African-American and Latino youth to design-related careers. She provides actionable steps that can be applied for building diversity in design fields - (1) Develop a Diversity Plan: Assess requirement. Set specific goals. Develop strategy. Evaluate. Read 'Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession' by Kathryn H. Anthony. (2) Recruit Talent from Different Places: Seek niche online recruiting platforms that cater to underrepresented communities. (3) Hire Diverse Interns: Interns are potential employees. Target minority colleges to get them. (4) Use Diverse Imagery: Use diversity in marketing materials and website to attract minorities. (5) Visit a School to Talk about Design: Design educators emphasise the value of interaction of design professionals with students. (6) Mentor: Regularly meeting high school or college students to provide advice, guidance, and portfolio reviews is a necessary commitment. (7) Job Shadow: Allow students to come into the working environment so that they can observe, experience and learn in a professional setting. (8) Support Minority Business Enterprises: Build relationships with minority businesses and support them. Search them through special directories and databases. (9) Expand your Social Networks: Join various social media networks and explore special groups that focus on minority designs and designers. (10) Travel: Travel extensively and explore diverse cultures. It expands thinking and provides different perspectives. It builds emphathy and enhances creativity. Read on...

Fast Company: 10 Steps To Increase Diversity In Design Right Now
Author: John Clifford


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jan 2018

Philanthropic giving is often influenced by governmental tax policies, social sector needs, economic conditions etc. Bruce DeBoskey, Philanthropic Strategist and Founder of The DeBoskey Group, explains the transformations that will happen in philanthropy - (1) 'Trickle-down philanthropy' not likely: It is a philanthropic notion that lowering taxes for businesses and corporations will result in increase charity and philanthropic giving. The new federal income tax law doubles the standardized deduction and will likely reduce giving by US$ 20 billion in 2018. Wealthiest 5% only give to big institutions like universities and hospitals and less to local, social service and safety-net nonprofits. While middle class donors, without tax incentives now have less to give to their historical segment, local and smaller charities. Moreover, increased estate tax exemption takes away any tax incentive for all except a minority 1800 richest Americans, further reducing giving by more billions. (2) Trump-inspired giving will sustain: Last year politically-motivated 'rage philanthropy' was a big trend. This will continue in 2018 and most will likely continue to use philanthropy as an important and influential form of civic engagement.(3) Giving circles will continue to grow: There will be growth in collective giving. According to the report by The Collective Giving Research Group, giving circles are 'a highly accessible and effective philanthropic strategy to democratize and diversity philanthropy, engage new donors, and increase local giving.' (4) Impact investing will flourish: According to US SIF Foundation, that monitors sustainable, responsible and impact investing, trillions of U.S. dollars of assets are under management using environmental, social and governance factors. In 2018 more foundations will 'put their money where their missions are' and work to achieve their missions from the engine of their philanthropic assets. (5) Benefits of volunteering recognized: Ichiro Kawachi, professor of social epidemiology at Harvard's School of Public Health, says, 'Voluntarism is good for the health of people who receive social support, but also good for the health of people who offer their help.' Such research studies will inspire increase in volunteering opportunities and activities. (6) Philanthropic strategy to go 'mainstream': Philanthropy now is much more than just a monetary transation. It is considered as a strategic and intentional investment that can be transformational - for both society and the donor. Read on...

The Denver Post: On Philanthropy - Six trends to affect philanthropic landscape in 2018
Author: Bruce DeBoskey


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 jan 2018

Confluence of sales and marketing is not often seamless. It brings challenges and creates conflicts. Business leaders keep them in silos to avoid friction. But if done effectively, collaboration between the two can bring more benefits and success, saving time and money, and yielding more leads and conversions. Following are ways in which this collaboration can be achieved - (1) Buyer Personas: Both sales and marketing have information about customer segments they serve, albeit from different sources. By sharing the two they can have much better understanding of customers. Together, they can create a precise description of the buyer personas. These descriptions generate personalized content and service delivery. (2) Timing: When the messaging and content is shared is the key to its effectiveness. Through collaboration, marketing can utilize the feedback that sales team receives from customers and time their campaigns, and plan for future strategy accordingly. On the other hand, sharing marketing strategy schedule with sales will help them know when to follow-up with prospects. (3) Content Developent: When sales team creates content it takes away their valuable time from their critical sales activities. By collaboratively developing content, sales and marketing can pool in their strengths and expertise, and focus on customers effectively. This will give sales the content they need and marketing a blueprint to create high value content that inturns generate more leads for sales. (4) Proposals and Agreements: There are software platforms that can help marketing and sales collaboratively create documents like proposals, agreements etc. According to James Kappen, CEO and Founder of Proposable, 'Marketing can go a long way to taking some of the tedious work off the shoulders of the sales team. This includes generating branded proposals with consistent formats and messaging based on the insights the sales team shares with them. That way, marketing can use its expertise in branding, corporate identity, and value-focused content to deliver a more compelling proposal to the sales team to use. The shared information and understanding of the potential buyer elevate the relevancy and engagement that the proposal can offer, enabling more conversions.' Similar tools like Eversign provide the collaborative platform marketing and sales need to work together effectively. The result is that documents can be created, revised, signed and shared between those within the company and the prospect. (5) Analysis: End of the sales cycle can also bring collaborative benefits. Working together of marketing and sales blurs the process of attracting and acquiring customers, thus making the analysis of the role each played in the process difficult. Hence, it becomes beneficial to analyze lead generation data together. This gives everyone opportunity to find out how they are contributing to the whole process and generate the necessary return. Read on...

Forbes: 5 Places Where Sales And Marketing Can Collaborate In 2018
Author: Steve Olenski


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 jan 2018

Design evolves with time and new trends become visible accordingly. Here are 5 design trends that are expected to make a mark in 2018: (1) Explained Algorithms: For the last couple of years artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been most talked about in technology. Tech companies often kept the algorithms secret as protected IP. But now, considering the role of AI in serious decision-making situations, the need for openness and transparency in algorithms is becoming necessary. In this regard, AI community initiated the field of computer science termed as 'Explainable AI (XAI)'. David Gunning of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is building a system on XAI. This new field commits itself to make algorithms more accountable as their use involves sensitive user data. XAI expects to ensure that the relationship between technology and users is built on trust by explaining the working of AI and machine learning in critical decision-making. (2) Less Minimalism: Anti-consumerist in principle and aesthetically pleasing in practice approach to design, called minimalism, that has been at the forefront of design through lifestyle tidying guru Marie Kondo's life-changing concepts, will see a shift. More color and bolder concepts will bring new freshness. In home decor world, companies have replaced cleaned-lined Scandinavian design with chunky, gilded, colourful pieces. Online, people are celebrating ugly design with Tumblrs and Instagrams dedicated to a glittering and gaudy aesthetic. (3) Optimal Use of Technology: Excessive use of technology, specifically social media, has started taking its toll. User well-being is the new technology design mantra, as compared to the user time-spent. The idea is to build apps and technology that quietly augment our lives, not commander it. Some people who are propagating this 'Calm Tech' movement are former Xerox Parc employees Mark Weiser, Rich Gold, and John Seely Brown, who literally wrote the book on calm tech. Tristan Harris, an ex-Google ethicist, is also attempting to loosen technology's excessive grip on our attention spans through technology and app re-design. (4) No More Boring Hardware: New trends are beginning to surface in technology product design hardware, as compared to the typical - cold glass, shiny plastic, blunt shapes. Gadgets are now an inherent part of our living spaces and how they are designed influences the look and feel of our living environment. Some examples in this direction include Google's new smart speakers that were covered in a layer of soft polyester that came in white, grey, and a warm salmon hue and Microsoft Surface Pro tablet with a keyboard covered in teal and maroon Alcantara, the stain-resistant fabric that's used in luxury vehicles. (5) More Inclusive Design: Earlier products were often designed for an average user with a concept - 'If you design for everyone, you'll exclude no one.' But it is now changing and 'Inclusive' design ideas are becoming prominent. Companies like Microsoft and Google are developing a new design process that considers the problems of underserved populations as a lens for designing more thoughtful products and experiences for everyone. The idea is that by building products that are accessible to people with special needs, you're building better products. Read on...

GIZMODO: 5 Design Trends We'd Like To See More Of This Year
Author: Liz Stinson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 dec 2017

Marketing continuously evolves, and there is always something new for marketers to test, experiment and validate, and bring it to mainstream, whether it be ideas or technologies. Here are expert predictions for 2018 - (1) Zoe Burns-Shore (Head of Brand & Marketing, First Direct): 'Hopefully, more companies will start to realise digital marketing and marketing are one in the same, and the joy of all of that is seeing how everything works together, not in channel-led silos.' (2) Rachel Bristow (Director of Client Partnerships & Collaboration, Sky Media): 'It's no longer enough for brands to be passive about their brand identity as consumers are expecting more from the brands they engage with. Often this means taking a political viewpoint in order to be relevant and engaging...Although having a political voice can elevate a brand's purpose, it comes with a host of reputation risks which brands need to carefully consider. CSR also helps align a brand with a purpose while mitigating some of those reputation risks of being politically vocal.' (3) Harry Lang (Marketing Director at Online Sportsbook Pinnacle.com): '...I'm going with eSports...Now it's getting organised and brands are paying over the odds to jump on the bandwagon - the trend lines suggest it's only going to get bigger.' (4) Aedamar Howlett (Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Great Britain): 'We will add more choice and breadth to our portfolio...tap into macro consumer trends like healthy living, exotic flavours and on-the-go snacking...we will evolve the ways we communicate and engage our consumers. The trend for instant, real-time conversations and connections with brands will continue...also trialling chat bots and AI, as well as investing in editorial-style content-led media partnerships that tap into the mass appeal of social influencers to consumers...(there) is an evolution in the way marketers use and present data insights...(insights) will allow a more personalised, targeted approach for 2018.' (5) Craig Greenberg (Head of Strategic Planning & Insight, William Grant & Sons UK): 'As consumers are constantly bombarded with information across various channels, we will see more brands attempting to cut through the clutter to become memorable...it is brands that have a differentiator aligned with their brand heritage in a credible way that will win in the long term...consumers will seek brands that build on their identity, meaning a bigger push towards 'local' specificity in luxury brands...in a period of uncertainty, big brands may feel detached from a sense of place and strive to get closer to communities.' (6) Ben Rhodes (Group Marketing Director, Royal Mail): '...continued growth in retail ecommerce - and the associated need for more convenience and choice in delivery and return options...consumer trust in messaging received via physical mail to continue to grow, compared with digital channels.' Read on...

Marketing Week: What's in store for 2018? Marketers share their predictions
Author: Lucy Tesseras


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 dec 2017

Corporations and businesses are actively involving themselves in social and community development through corporate social responsibility (CSR), philanthropy, nonprofit partnerships, volunteering etc, to create social impact and a better world. Volunteering can play an important role in providing skills that help in building a solid foundation for a successful career. Ebony Frelix, SVP of philanthropy and engagement at Salesforce, says, 'Some of my most memorable character building experiences and important learning moments have come from volunteering. I really do feel that giving back deepens our connections, bringing companies, people and communities together.' During her early career at Salesforce she managed interns from a nonprofit and later on joined Salesforce.org to lead the company's volunteer programs in Americas. She adds, 'The role opened my eyes to the possibility that I could merge my passion for volunteering with my professional career.' Salesforce applies 1-1-1 model for CSR and philanthropic activities. Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce, at the time of founding of the company in 1999, set aside 1% of employee time for volunteering, 1% of equity for philanthropic donations, and 1% of products or services to give away to nonprofits. As a result of applying this model, Salesforce has given more than US$ 184 million in grants, 2.5 million hours of community service and provided product donations for more than 33000 nonprofits and higher education institutions. Business, technology and social impact are interconnected. Businesses realize that to do well, they have to participate in doing good. Consumers are now sensitive to ethical aspects of businesses and expect them to align with their values. Cone reports that 87% of Americans will purchase a product because a company advocates for an issue they care about and 76% refuse to purchase a company's products upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs. Ms. Frelix says, 'I'm excited about the intersection of the nonprofit and technology industries, and seeing innovative systems and products now accessible to nonprofits after traditionally only being available to large corporations.' Read on...

Forbes: How Volunteering Can Be The First Job That Sets You Up For Life
Author: Deborah Dugan


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 dec 2017

According to the website tate.org.uk, 'Emotional architecture is a style of modernist architecture conceived in the 1950s that embraced space, colour and light, creating buildings that encouraged meditation and reflection. It was conceived by the Mexican architect Luis Barragán and the sculptor and painter Mathias Goéritz who were frustrated by the cold functionalism of modernism. In 1954 Barragán and Goéritz published 'The Emotional Architecture Manifesto' in which they argued that architecture needs to be spiritually uplifting.' Emotional architecture emphasises and respects human wants and needs. Researchers Ann Sussman (architect), Janice M. Ward (designer) and Justin B. Hollander (academic at Tufts University), are developing a scientific approach to this strategy, gleaning useful insights on how people look at structures and spaces. According to them the best way to understand what factors catch the eye is to literally study its movements through biometrics. Researchers used the same eye-tracking and facial-expression analysis software used by advertisers, software developers, and automotive designers to study our near-subconscious reactions to what we see. Ms. Sussman says, 'At the moment, biometrics are predominantly used to get people to purchase things. We'd like to use them to improve public welfare, health, and well-being. We want to promote better place-making in the world and ease of walkability.' Read on...

Architectural Digest: Is Biometric Scanning the Future of Architecture Planning?
Author: Tim Nelson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 dec 2017

According to a recent survey by Create, a new marketplace for health systems, local health networks best serve the needs of today's healthcare consumer. The survey took a detailed look at the preferences of individuals when selecting and receiving healthcare. It finds that 1/3rd have received care from more than one health system, or network of affiliated providers. Simeon Schindelman, CEO of Brighton Health Plan Solutions, says, 'This data uncovers that individuals are already taking their own steps to make their care more localized and personalized, but they aren't reaping the cost and quality benefits of such a network model. The survey also finds that there is a strong discrepancy between how loyal healthcare consumers feel they are to their primary care doctors, and how loyal they actually are. Mr. Schindelman and his team observed that 'our current healthcare system simply does not meet the needs and expectations of today's consumer...To enhance healthcare for everyone, we must move away from the current one-size-fits-all health plan, and instead listen to the needs of individuals across the country.' He explains, 'Managed care executives are responsible for managing cost, utilization and quality of care provided, while pursuing strategies for value-driven solutions. As such, hearing the preferences and expectations of today's healthcare consumer is at the center of performing those duties...this survey also uncovers a value-driven solution that has not been explored in the industry: plans that prioritize local, integrated healthcare systems.' Mr. Schindelman suggests - (1) Offer personalized plans. (2) Stop giving people benefits they don't need or use. (3) Explore new ways of lowering costs that don't compromise quality. Read on...

ModernMedicine: Three ways to make healthcare consumers happier
Author: Tracey Walker


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 nov 2017

EDIT (The Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology), the 10 day event held in Toronto (Canada) showcased art, installations and projects, focused on innovation and design to build a sustainable future for the world. It included talks from David Suzuki, Ian Campeau (A Tribe Called Red), among others. Here are 5 selected ideas and innovations - (1) Prosperity For All: Curated by Canadian designer Bruce Mau, the main exhibit juxtaposed Paolo Pellegrin's photos of devastation throughout world, with people and inventions that are helping to combat issues such as famine, refugee crisis, smog and more. It highlighted Smog Free Project (Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde's smog free bike that works to purify the air around you while you ride), The Ocean Cleanup (Boyan Slat's creation that intend to remove 50% of the trash found in Great Pacific Garbage patch in just 5 years) and many more. (2) Art With Purpose: Dennis Kavelman, an artist and tech investor, collaborated with the Digital Futures team at OCAD University (Canada) to create a piece of work inspired by Andy Warhol. Expiry Dates works in two phases - It compiles answers from an online questionnaire, measuring your life expectancy against a myriad of points such as your fitness level, whether you smoke, if you're married and more. Then you sit for a self-portrait, which you attach to a QR Code with all your data. In a few minutes your heartbeat appears on the big screen, taken from a reading from your eye, and then your portrait appears along with your predicted date of expiry. Another piece of the installation, titled That's Not Very Many, uses a magnetized digital board to break down those days in months. (3) The New Housing: Living sustainably means looking at where we live and providing affordable housing for all. Exhibit included Mickey Mouse's Home of the Future that was a fully functional shipping container created by students at OCAD. The One House Many Nations home was created by grassroots organization Idle No More, that seeks to provide affordable housing based on traditional indigenous ideas, and consists of two modules that link together, one dubbed shelter and the other service, that can be pieced together based on the family or individual's needs as well as the landscape in which they live. (4) The Future Of Fashion: Fashion Takes Action's Design Forward award was given to a sustainable fashion label Peggy Sue Collection (founded by Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks), a line of eco-friendly cotton and denim. (5) Waste No More: Keeping in mind the concept of feeding many with minimal impact, Waterfarmers created an on-site aquaponics exhibit to show how fish waste can be used to fertilizer food. The idea is to utilize water that is housing fish to then fertilize plants, providing protein and vegetables in a sustainable manner. Read on...

CBC.ca: 5 design innovations that just might change the world
Author: Michelle Bilodeau


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 nov 2017

Nonprofits have big ideas for social good but limited resources to accomplish them. Nonprofit-corporate partnerships can be a solution to match the vision and commitment of nonprofits with the resources and practices of corporates for making a better world. According to Danielle Silber, director of strategic partnerships at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 'Whether it's tackling the Muslim ban or protecting green spaces, nonprofits have products and services that many companies realize they need to create a healthy business environment, and to contribute to a world their stakeholders - employees, investors and customers - want to live in.' Jessica Scadron, founder of Social Harmony, explains ways to make nonprofit-corporate partnerships successful - (1) A Shared Vision: Although companies and nonprofits have different reasons for partnering, both should agree on the partnership's purpose and outcomes. (2) Define the Partnership: Make sure each organization knows who is responsible for what, how decisions will be made, and which organization will lead the project; Appoint individuals to fulfil commitments; Cheryl Damian, SVP of Ketchum Social Purpose, says, 'Partnership terms are negotiated like any other contract. Not only does it drive accountability, it provides a clear understanding of roles and expectations...' (3) Monitor and Evaluate: Measure progress and figure out how to align metrics with disparate entities; Measurement is critical to the success of the project in order to quickly build on what works, learn from what doesn't, and keep momentum. (4) Communicate: Open dialogue will strengthen your collaboration and lead to better outcomes; Establish processes for communicating with your partner, and your internal team; Create a project work plan, schedule weekly check-in calls, and use technology to communicate. (5) Flexibility: Organizations have their own culture and they evolve and grow, and so do partnerships. Be flexibile and accomodating in approach and resolve conflicts with patience and understanding. Read on...

Triple Pundit: 5 Ingredients to Make Your Nonprofit-Corporate Partnership Succeed
Author: Jessica Scadron


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 nov 2017

Customer data is key for effective decision-making in marketing and advertising. Even though technology has provided tools to collect and analyze data, and obtain valuable insights, both brand marketers and agency buyers are unsure of the transparency and effectiveness of the data their partners are providing. According to the recent study, 'More Data, More Problems: Trust, transparency, and Targeting in 2017' by Bazaarvoice and Ad Age, more than 75% of survey respondents admitted they are not fully confident that the data they're utilizing is hitting consumers who are in-market to buy. Additionally, 65% of respondents claimed they do not fully understand the origin of their data sources. Here are 10 important questions that one should ask the advertising data provider before embarking on a marketing campaign and get the best value from it - (1) What are the sources of your data? (2) How far does your data reach? (3) What percentage of your data is created from a look-alike model? (4) Which intent signals or behaviors place a user into an audience segment? (5) How do you maintain your audience segments? (6) Can you explain the process behind how you define your audience segments - and the data that feeds into them? (7) In which categories does your data best perform, and why? (8) For which metric(s) does your data best perform, and why? (9) Can you reach the same user across their multiple devices? (10) Does your data drive brand consideration and/or sales, and can you accurately attribute the performance lift directly to your campaign? If so, how? Read on...

AdAge: 10 Questions You to Need to Ask Your Advertising Data Provider
Author: Toby McKenna


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 oct 2017

Over the years the dynamics of relationship between patients and healthcare providers have evolved into customers and healthcare businesses type. Rising cost of healthcare, multiple providers, privatization and technology are some important reasons for this transformation. Brad Dodge, President of Dodge Communications, and Andrew Pelosi, President of Partners & Simons, provide in detail what the patients as consumers of healthcare services expect from providers and how healthcare businesses can develop robust customer oriented strategies and fulfil the role of trusted partner in providing care services. They explain, 'Healthcare consumers have come to the realization that they have options. They don't have to settle for poor service, long wait times, limited hours, or confusing bills. Customer loyalty has to be earned - as in any other business. And consumers make it perfectly clear that if a provider can't deliver a better and more personalized experience, then they will switch to one that can. Moreover, the shift in mentality demands that providers be transparent and personal as much as possible. And from generation to generation, consumers are demanding clear communication and a trusted connection with their providers.' According to the Solutionreach Patient-Provider Relationship Study, 'The Ripple Effect Starts with Boomers', 43% of millennials are likely to switch practices in the next few years, 44% of Generation X are likely to switch primary care physicians in the three years and 20% of Baby Boomers are likely to switch in the next three years. Also, 70% of patients desire the ability to text the doctor's office, and 70% would like to receive text messages from their doctor, especially about appointments. Healthcare providers have to keep in mind expectations of these consumers and provide them personalized experience if they want long-term continuous relationships. Authors suggest - (1) Communication Drives Experience: 'The essence of creating a positive experience is making customers feel that they are heard and important — before, during, and after a transaction. Consistent, relevant communication between your company and customers is the answer to optimize that experience and engender trust. Honest communication with an emphasis on personalization builds the trust that all companies need to grow in this new information-driven, engagement economy.' (2) Entering the Engagement Economy: 'Consumers are demanding a more personalized relationship that requires a depth of knowledge of their wants, needs, and buying behaviors - and, ultimately, the best ways to engage them. Brands that succeed are the ones that manage engagement across the entire customer lifecycle. In most instances, the lifecycle and trust-building process starts very early in the customer's buying decision, even before they are considering a purchase.' (3) Who Are You Talking To: 'Creating a positive customer experience requires knowing your audience, engaging interpersonally, and meeting their needs. Answering those questions helps you develop an understanding that will be reflected in how you communicate with them across all channels, as well as what content you deliver. Also, organizations must be clear and concise; they must also offer up a valuable story; and they must be prepared to tweak that story as the marketplace changes.' (4) Focus on Delighting Customers: 'Focusing on ways to delight customers will go a long way in nurturing engagement and trust in your brand. Again, communicating and delivering valuable information to potential and existing customers can please them, especially when that information demonstrates an understanding of their pain points and goals.' (5) Harnessing Engagement: In an environment where trust is in short supply and customer engagement is spread across a broad digital ecosystem, companies must focus on their customers and on nurturing relationships through effective, relevant communication. Focusing on customer experience, needs, and preferences will not only enable brands to differentiate their products and services in a competitive market but also build the trust that results in loyalty.' Read on...

MarketingProfs: Engaging Customer Experiences Are a Make-or-Break Business Factor - The Case of Healthcare
Authors: Brad Dodge, Andrew Pelosi


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 oct 2017

Social enterprises are businesses driven by the purpose to do social good and work for the uplifment and betterment of society. Business corporations too are creating similar impact through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and often partner with social enterprises. The concept of doing good while making money is becoming mainstream. According to a survey by Rappler, '90% of millennials today value purpose as highly as salary and career progression in choosing their place of work. They prioritize impactful businesses that are sustainable and responsible in conducting their operations.' Thomas Graham, founder of MAD (Make A Difference) Travel and author of 'The Genius of the Poor', explains how a community of social entrepreneurs, 'Gawad Kalinga (GK) Enchanted Farm' in Bulacan (Near Manila, Philippines), is making a difference in the local community and market, what for-profit businesses can learn from their way of working, and provides an example of a growing social enterprise that is part of the system. Even Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International, visited the GK Enchanted Farm, a 42-hectare farm-village-university, not only to give back but also to meet the entrepreneurs there and learn more about how their values-driven approach has been able to make an impression in the market. Mr. Graham says, 'The greater goal of the farm, however, is not to convince everyone to become a social entrepreneur, but to demonstrate that doing business in the spirit of 'walang iwanan' (no one gets left behind) can be beneficial to everyone, no matter how big or small a business is.' Explaining the working model of a social enterprise in the GK farm, 'Plush and Play' (founded by a Frenchman Fabien Courteille), Mr. Graham says, 'Instead of conducting a more conventional business approach, which might involve extensive market research and a strict business model, followed by the importing of skills from elsewhere, Courteille instead spent his time living in the GK village, discovering the aspirations and talents of the community - in this case, sewing - and building a business plan out through unleashing the potential he saw before him.' Mr. Courteille comments, 'I did not choose an industry, but a beneficiary.' There are lessons that are to be learned from the working and progress of social enterprises. Mr. Graham says, 'Of course, 'Plush and Play' still has a long way to go before its volume of sales can compete with other mainstream brands in the Philippines, but there are lessons we can take from Courteille progress thus far. As consumers become increasingly patriotic and socially/environmentally conscious, having a great and authentic story to tell can set you apart, even in the most congested of markets. In this sense, doing good really does make good business sense.' He further explains, 'There are over 40 different social enterprises all at varying stages of growth and development, but what is to learn from them is valuable to any business: hard work, resilience, ingenuity, creativity, innovation, sustainability and taking care of one's employees and environment.' Read on...

BusinessMirror: Big businesses could learn from social enterprises
Author: Thomas Graham


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 oct 2017

To interact with customers, keep them connected and build long-term beneficial relationships is the goal of every business. But, achieving it is a challenge and takes a lot of planning and work. According to Cody Burch, founder of Red Anchor Marketing, far too many business owners are limiting themselves to one offering, and missing the bigger picture of what they can do to serve their target audiences. He suggests that businesses should focus on customer experience and offer them multiple products and services to choose from. Mr. Burch provides five steps to establish a complete customer journey - (1) Start with the ideal/ultimate solution that can be provided to people and gives best result. Find the price for this offering and set it as the benchmark. (2) Take a step down from the ideal and design an offering. Repeat the steps until you have an array of offerings from low-cost/low-touch to concierge-level service. Mr. Burch stresses that businesses need a variety of solutions at various price points. (3) Be clear on the transformation you provide. Make sure that the solution you offer is presented in a way your market intuitively understands and values. (4) Cross-sell (products related to and that will enhance your current offering) and upsell (an upgraded offering). Even after the first sale, continue to cross-promote your products and services. (5) Think about your customer experience as a competitive advantage. Mr. Burch says, 'No matter how big or small your business is, you can create a memorable customer journey, one that serves your market, highlights your brand, and makes it stand out from the competition.' Read on...

Huffington Post: Your Customer Journey - Five Steps to Business Success
Author: Lain Ehmann


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 oct 2017

Design conscious renters and buyers seek well designed interiors when searching for living spaces, in addition to location, price and amenities. Mary Cook, founder and principal at Mary Cook Associates (MCA), explains the fundamentals of design that should be kept in mind for successful interiors. Moreover, answering the following questions focused on the end user is key to achieve best results - who is my client, where do they live and what does that mean to how they live? Design basics she suggests are - (1) Scale and Proportion: Balancing the scale and proportion of the elements of the interior (like furniture etc) with the overall space is key to achieving comfort. Also keep in mind the target market and adjust the elements accordingly. (2) Function and Livability: Effective design is achieved by understanding the various functions that take place in the living space. Also understand the requirements of those who are expected to occupy it. Designers should consider how the target market will experience and utilize the various spaces within the unit before implementation of their ideas. (3) Lighting: Lighting design is essential and proper balance need to be achieved. It is one of the often overlooked element of interior design. Comprehensive lighting plans that fulfil the needs of those who will occupy the space makes it attractive. Layered lighting is the key to achieving optimal illimination. A combination of natural lighting, foundational lighting and task-centered lighting brings the necessary balance and efficiency. Read on...

Multi-Housing News: 3 Common Design Mistakes That Keep Renters at Bay
Author: Mary Cook


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 oct 2017

Handling failures effectively is an important aspect of learning from the process of doing. When it comes to social entrepreneurship, understanding the dynamics of failure may be more complex then for-profit entrepreneruship. While pursuing social goals for the betterment of the world, it might be harder to reconcile and recuperate when one fails. Keep the following things in mind when one recovers from failure in the social sector - (1) You raised awareness: Understand the value of spreading a good idea and message. It can be a satisfaction in itself. (2) You learned what not to do: Lessons learned from the failed project can lay the foundation for success in future projects. (3) Your leadership will be refined: Leading a social impact organization is very challenging. Skills get honed and further developed during the process. Failure can bring humility, ownership, accountability and resiliency - the traits of an influential leader that can embark on the tough journey of bringing social change and serving others. Read on...

Forbes: 3 Ways Social Entrepreneurs Can Think About Failure Differently
Author: Tori Utley


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 sep 2017

Data can be gold for those who can mine and transform it into a valuable form. Mastercard is giving a new meaning to it and evolving a concept of 'data philanthropy.' Shamina Singh, president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, explains the idea of data philanthropy and how data can be utilized for social good and social impact. She says, 'The initiative first came up through a partnership with DataKind in the United States. They were set up to galvanize data scientists from around the world and plug them into social impact work. And so a number of our Mastercard data scientists signed up to DataKind programs, and this gave us the opportunity to form a much more lasting and strategic partnership between the organizations. It opened a new conversation about data for good, what it could look like, and who was doing what in this space. It was also around this time that we had the United Nations opening up to data and data initiatives, and companies like Microsoft thinking about data for good.' Explaining some of the elements of data philanthropy Mastercard is focused on, she says, 'One is working with actual Mastercard data and trying to figure out if there are uses with anonymized and aggregated data that will not only respect the rules of the road around privacy, but can be used for research. We first opened our data for use by Harvard University, who approached us with a proposal to use the data to understand how economies grow, with a specific focus on tourism data and understanding how tourism dollars move in a country. Using Mastercard transaction data, we were able to provide new insights into this area...The other area of data philanthropy is around data analytics. What we have found is that many social impact organizations or NGOs do not need Mastercard data at all. Instead, they need to understand their own data, but often don't have the capacity or resources to help themselves. In those instances, we provide either a grant to hire a data scientist, fund an expert consultant, or provide our own data scientists to build their capacity and ability to learn. The inspiration for this element of data philanthropy came from our work with an organization called DoSomething...' Providing information on how Mastercard data scientists are internally looking for insights, she says, 'We started something called the charitable donations insight, and that is something that one of our colleagues is doing where she is using Mastercard data and drawing insights to help nonprofits understand charitable giving. We asked what a spending poll would look like for not-for-profits and social impact organizations, and insights is the first attempt at that...What she realized is that a lot of the not-for-profits have to raise their own funds, but there is not a lot of science behind potentially where and how they should be doing this. So she thought if she could unlock some of the data around the charitable contributions that we know of, she could offer insights to assist them. The other thing we did, which was very interesting, was we created a dataset that organizations could pull down if they want to, and mix it with your own data to self-regulate your own work.' Read on...

devex: Q&A - How Mastercard uses data for better philanthropy
Author: Lisa Cornish


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 sep 2017

Team of researchers - Anatoli Colicev of Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan), Ashwin Malshe of University of Texas at San Antonio (USA), Koen Pauwels of Northeastern University (USA) and Peter O'Connor of ESSEC Business School (France) - in their paper 'Improving Consumer Mind-Set Metrics and Shareholder Value through Social Media: The Different Roles of Owned and Earned' published in Journal of Marketing, describe the impact of social media on stock market performance via three consumer mindset metrics: brand awareness, purchase intent, and consumer satisfaction. According to the research all the social media posts are not created equal. Owned social media (OSM), i.e. company's own posts, is likely to increase brand awareness and customer satisfaction but not purchase intent. While earned social media (ESM), i.e. what consumers say about brands on social platforms, is even more valuable, potentially increasing all three consumer mindset metrics. Prof. Koen Pauwels says, 'Consumers look to their peers before making purchasing decisions, which is why earned social media is so valuable. Both investors and consumers distrust companies who boast about themselves, because it's hard to know what weaknesses they're trying to hide.' The researchers also found that consumer satisfaction and purchase intent are primary contributors to firm value. While higher consumer satisfaction was found to increase stock market returns, greater purchase intent was shown to both increase stock market returns and lower idiosyncratic risk - risk that is endemic to a particular stock and not a whole investment portfolio. The researchers used time series analysis to decipher the link between social media posts on various platforms consumer mindset metrics, and shareholder value. Prof. Pauwels suggests that research findings could assist marketers to develop more effective social media strategies. He says, '...marketers and social media managers should craft their OSM messages to target customers to improve brand awareness and customer satisfaction. Due to the value-relevance of customer satisfaction, OSM that is targeted toward helping customers post-purchase, addressing their concerns, and reinforcing their purchase decisions is much more valuable than OSM crafted to persuade customers to buy the firm's products.' The research also found that brands with high credibility (reputation) are far more likely than brands with low credibility to increase purchase intent with their own posts. Read on...

News @ Northeastern: When it comes to social media, consumers trust each other, not big brands
Author: Jason Kornwitz


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 sep 2017

According to various studies corporate ethics and social responsibility (CSR) are becoming integral to the realm of businesses and corporations. Ethisphere Institute has been compiling list of 'World's Most Ethical Companies' since 2007. Robert Reiss, host of CEO TV Show and co-author of 'The Transformative CEO', interacted with business leaders to discuss the state of business ethics and CSR, particularly emphasizing on the concepts and their meaning, relationship between ethics and responsibility, best practices in building an ethical culture, and insights on measuring ethics. Here are their summarized responses - (1) Dan Amos (Chairman and CEO of Aflac): 'Ethics is a mindset, not an option.' Consumers respond to it in positive way; Ethics is a subset of CSR. Ethical companies will always display strong governance and compliance. Socially responsible companies are ethical but also understand their overall obligation to make the world a better place; Culture begins at the top. Communicate and celebrate responsibility regularly. Don't be partially ethical; Annual scientific CSR survey, work with Ethisphere and Reputation Institute to validate the direction of ethics and CSR programs. (2) Timothy Erblich (CEO of Ethisphere Institute): 'Good Ethics is Good Business.' Financial return of ethics is significant; CSR is a critical component of overall ethics quotient just like governance culture, transparency, customers, gender equality, philanthropy etc. Its all combined to build trust; Empower managers at the local level. Top leadership must be all in. Be committed and focus on integrity. Measure and communicate results. Incorporate culture at all levels and in all activites; Measure through peer-to-peer analysis and networking. Directly engage with employees. Routinely survey employees, customers and stakeholders. Join exclusive networks like the Ethisphere's Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA). (3) Rodney Martin (CEO of Voya Financial): 'Ethics is a reflection of our commitment to doing business the right way. We emphasize trust and transparency.'; CSR includes key aspects of company culture like ethics and transparency, diversity, inclusion and equality, environmental sustainability, governance, and volunteerism and philanthropy; Exemplary leadership is essential. It should be part of the core values. Building ethical culture must be centered on doing the right thing in a safe and open environment; Participate in Ethisphere Institute's annual World's Most Ethical Companies. It enables to benchmark the company with other industry leaders. Read on...

Forbes: Top CEOs Place High Value On Corporate Ethics And Social Responsibility To Drive Business
Author: Robert Reiss


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 sep 2017

E-commerce has disrupted traditional retail but at the same time pure-play e-commerce companies find it challenging to be profitable. Steve Dennis, strategic advisor, keynote speaker and founder of SageBerry Consulting, provides economic dynamics of e-commerce companies and analyzes the challenges to their road to profitability. He cites the case of e-commerce behemoth, Amazon, that accounts for 45% of US e-commerce and being in business for more than 20 years, still operates at below average industry margins. Some e-commerce companies are even investing to have physical retail presence. Regarding e-commerce among traditional retailers, Mr. Dennis says, '...it's clear that the e-commerce divisions of many major omni-channel retailers run at a loss - or at margins far below their brick & mortar operations.' According to him, increasingly high cost of acquiring (and retaining) customers online is one of the main dynamics that is an impediment to profitability. He explains, 'As it turns out, many online brands attract their first tranche of customers relatively inexpensively, through word of mouth or other low cost strategies. Where things start to get ugly is when these brands have to get more aggressive about finding new and somewhat different customers.' He provides three factors that lead to this - (1) Marketing costs start to escalate: To seek growth, advertising spend increases; Online platforms like Facebook, Google etc are utilized to gain broader audience. (2) More promotion, less attraction: Customers in the growth phase need more incentives, so gross margin on these incremental sales comes at a lower rate; Customers now expect discounts for future purchases, making them inherently less profitable than the initial core customers. (3) Questionable (or lousy) lifetime value: Customers that are acquired as the brand scales have lower incremental lifetime value, both because on average they spend less and because they are inherently more difficult to retain. Read on...

Forbes: Unsustainable Customer Acquisition Costs Make Much Of Ecommerce Profit Proof
Author: Steve Dennis


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 sep 2017

Education and learning has to keep pace with the happenings in industry, and equip students with the cutting-edge knowledge and skills, to assure their success in the highly competitive marketplace. Simon Biggs, Education Liaison Officer for Wales at Renishaw, explains how 3D printing is the new technology that is becoming mainstream part of the classrooms for engineering and mathematical learning. Mr. Biggs says, '3D printing is a well-established industrial technology for prototyping and manufacturing, particularly popular with the aerospace and defence sectors. Also known as additive manufacturing (AM), 3D printing is the process of making a solid 3D object from a digital computer aided design (CAD) file...3D printing is a rapid production method with minimal waste material. Its design flexibility means users can manufacture bespoke objects for a low cost...Understanding and using this growing technology can benefit children's learning, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects but also beyond these more traditional fields in music, design technology, history, geography and biology...Exciting and innovative projects are also a simple way to keep pupils engaged in STEM subjects, which is a vital step forward in addressing the STEM skills shortage.' Explaining the rise of 3D printers in schools and their use to develop new skills in students, he says, 'The increasing numbers of 3D printers in schools is not only due to the increasing recognition of 3D printing being a relevant and engaging educational tool, but also relates to the number and availability of low cost 3D printing machines...Advances in resources available for teachers and other education professionals are also making 3D printing more widely accessible...Using 3D printing as a production method enables students and pupils to move from the conception of an idea to producing a physical object with relative ease...Interrogating a physical object can make it easier for pupils to spot mistakes in designs. This allows them to gain valuable problem solving skills in a creative, hands-on way.' Read on...

The Engineer: The future of 3D printing in education
Author: Simon Biggs


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 aug 2017

Executive pay is always a topic of debate and more so when it is a case of nonprofits. Moreover, when nonprofit healthcare executives are in focus, the dynamics of the issue become even more complex. As healthcare is an essential aspect of everybody's life, rich or poor, and has a humanitarian dimension, the issue is an everyone's concern. In healthcare, just like in education, for-profit and nonprofit delivery models co-exist, but general population treats these sectors as noble and a large number despises the business-like profit-making approach. A debate is brewing up at the University of Vermont Medical Center (USA), a nonprofit healthcare provider, where CEO's salary is more than US$ 2 million. To justify the compensation, hospital board members say that their executive pay is in line with competitors and makes up a small portion of their budget. But there are other differing views. Sen. Chris Pearson (P/D-Chittenden) says, 'To see that the CEO of our hospital is getting US$ 2 million...it's just way out of whack with the Vermont economy.' State of Vermont has 14 hospitals, all of them nonprofits. Kevin Mullin, the state's chief health care regulator, decided to highlight the salaries of top officials in these hospitals. He says, 'I think it might be illuminating to the public.' Scottie Emery-Ginn, UVM's board chair, justifying executive compensation, says, 'Our health care professionals come from a national market...In order for us to get the best people and keep the best people, we need to pay competitively.' There are no clear rules on salaries of nonprofit employees. The IRS requires only that compensation be 'reasonable', which has been interpreted to mean comparable to similar organizations. A Wall Street Journal analysis of Form 990s found that, in 2014, 2700 nonprofits provided seven-figure compensation packages, and 3/4th of those organizations worked in the health care sector. Executive pay is a concern during the debates on cost of medical care. The US spends US$ 3 trillion annually on health care - more than any other country - and administrative costs are 20-30% of that sum. Sen. Pearson says, 'It obviously inflates our health care costs...When you have public-relations people at the state's largest nonprofit hospital making half a million a year, it undermines confidence in the entire system.' Views of other employees are important in this regard. Maggie Belensz, a nurse at UVM's neurological unit, says, 'It's difficult to hear those numbers as a nurse.' Laurie Aunchman, a UVM nurse and president of Vermont Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals, acknowledged the need to pay competitively but said the hospital should balance 'offering someone a million dollars or 2 million dollars' with investing money in 'taking care of the patient.' Mari Cordes, a UVM nurse and health care activist, says, 'We think it's an ethical issue. That excess money could be used to improve access to health care for everyone in Vermont...It could be used to provide support for people actually providing the frontline high-quality care.' Dr. Deb Richter, a universal health care proponent, described executive pay at Vermont hospitals as 'obscene.' Read on...

Seven Days VT: Million-Dollar Question - How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?
Author: Alicia Freese


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 aug 2017

Businesses invest heavily on external communication and PR, but internal PR can sometime take a back seat and get neglected, although it is as important and keeps organizations focused and uniformly branded. Lindsay Nahmiache, Co-founder and CEO of Jive PR + Digital, explains the value of internal PR and provides three creative ways to enhance internal PR strategy. She says, 'Effective internal PR benefits brand identity, boosts employee retention and paves the way for a connected culture where teams are focused on common collaborative goals.' Moreover, digitally evolved workplaces and remote collaboration has brought in new communication dynamics that need to be addressed with robust internal PR strategy. She explains, 'In my experience, creating a forward-thinking internal strategy requires consistent and open two-way communication that is fueled by team cohesion and recognition.' (1) Openness: Promote teamwork; Place trust in your team; Attend outing with employees and do team oriented activities; Start hashtags that reflect your office culture and encourage team member participation; Once a month organize socializing events during office time. (2) Consistent Two-Way Communication: Encourage questions and open discussions on best practices and solutions; Consistency is key for collective innovation and individual responsibility; Publicize internal PR through multiple channels; Hold scheduled weekly meetings with all employees in one place to ensure lines of communication are open about current and future projects; Give higher-level insight into new employee hirings, business decisions, holiday news and more during weekly manager meetings. (3) Team Recognition: Team members respond positively to recognition of their work because it confirms their impact on the bottom line; Take time to reward your team through informal or formal awards; Hold innovation challenges by creating opposing teams; Focus on client wins as much as you do with client struggles. Read on...

Forbes: Three Creative Ways To Boost Your Internal PR Strategy
Author: Lindsay Nahmiache


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 aug 2017

Students often take part in initiatives outside of the structured academic curriculum and pursue their independent learning interests. They create common interest clubs, publish magazines, develop websites etc. Architectural education is an area that demands continuous stream of ideas and creativity. Digital world of collaboration and speed sharing, and reaching out to wider audience is giving new meaning to student-driven platforms. KoozA/rch, Bartlett's Lobby, AA Files (Architectural Association's Journal), Yale School of Achitecture's Perspecta are some examples. Sabrina Syed, Co-founder of Volume64, shares the story of their design platform (Volume64) that evolved out of conversations among students. She explains, 'We test different micro-typologies and challenge architectural norms through our drawing experiments: isometric cubes of 4x4x4 meters - coined the CubeLab. In one season, around 50-70 drawings are produced by a constantly changing team of contributors. Our collaborators write, curate, and edit briefs which our team of contributors (regular and visiting) respond to in drawings that get released in 2-week installments, with 5-6 briefs marking a season...The idea of Volume64 was sparked when our co-founder Lloyd Lee attended a workshop on diagrams during his first term at the Architectural Association.' Mr. Lee says, 'What can we do without the decades of practical experience and necessary compromises in architecture? Can there be a space dedicated purely to the experiments and drawings resulting from this line of questioning? Volume64 finally came to light as we continued our conversations from these questions.' Ms. Syed further explains, 'Challenging everyday spaces, and thus questioning the perception of architecture, became the motivation behind Volume64. The idea of a platform developed: To express these small exercises that could challenge existing rules without the limitations of academic or professional submissions...Volume64 is run by a group of students in their final years of architecture education. Currently, our team members are from the Architectural Association, the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Edinburgh School of Architecture (ESALA). Collaboration is at the heart of the platform.' Jonathan Wren, Bartlett School of Architecture M.Arch, says, 'Cross-school collaboration has encouraged very different takes on similar briefs. [It creates] a lot of cross--fertilization of ideas, approaches, and methods that go beyond speaking with friends at other schools, reading about others' work or visiting degree shows.' Henry Schofield, Bartlett School of Architecture M.Arch, says, 'Volume64 is an essential tool for architecture students to not only exercise their ability to think and question but also to share and engage in a dialogue with their fellow contributors, in order to produce productive architectural content that contributes to the critical discourse of the platform...' Read on...

ArchDaily: This Student-Run Website Is Experimenting With Architecture Through Cubes
Author: Sabrina Syed


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 aug 2017

Rapid pace of innovation is the defining feature of the current era. According to the World Economic Forum, 'The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent.' Financing industry now have innovative lending platforms, both for-profit and nonprofit, for small businesses. But there are concerns regarding many products as they may trap small businesses in a cycle of debt. Gina Harman, CEO (U.S. Network, Accion), explains the challenges that nonprofit lenders face due to rapid innovation happening in the industry and shares insights from the conversation between industry experts - Kate Mirkin (Salesforce.org, Salesforce's nonprofit social enterprise); Prashant Reddy (DemystData); Patrick Davis (CRF, Community Reinvestment Fund); Shaolee Sen (Accion). Myth 1 - The only barrier to scale is the absence of technology: Technology investments get wasted if there are no capable people to deploy it internally and manage the necessary changes in business processes. Challenges are even more when multiple organizations are involved in the project. Establishing and maintaining discipline is essential. Right technology with right data is required to maximize its utility. Myth 2 - For nonprofit organizations, passion to serve more people outweighs fear of change: Nonprofits must overcome lack of investment in talent, knowledge and resources required to drive technological innovation. Nonprofit organizations in business lending industry must consider change necessary to better serve their stakeholders. Collaborative approach to manage technological change must be adopted between the organization and the key stakeholders. Myth 3 - Only organizations with large technology budgets can innovate: Small investments in incremental improvements can add real value to organizations. Even effective data utilization can bring transformative changes at low cost. Within the social impact and mission-driven space, an approach with shared purpose and collective interests can help organizations collaborate and pool resources to implement and utilize costly technological innovations to provide value to the group. Read on...

Huffington Post: 3 Innovation Myths that Nonprofit Lenders Should Abandon
Author: Gina Harman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 aug 2017

Design influences products and services from inception to completion. John Maeda, Global Head of Computational Design & Inclusion at Automattic, in his '2017 Design in Tech' report explains that markets are relying on intangibles like design for a higher ROI. Tracy Leigh Hazzard, CEO of industrial design firm Hazz Design, explores the value of design in today's market, and the details Mr. Maeda has provided in his recently released report. Mr. Maeda is spearheading the new convergence across the design & technology industries. Data shows that design is an all-encompassing process of offering something to the market that is complete in every way, and also inclusive. Linking design directly to ROI provides measurement of value that design offers to organizations and how sucessful it actually was/is. Design is about market relevance and meaningful results. Mr. Maeda says, 'We moved from 'tech-led' to 'experience-led' digital products as services on smartphones took over and gave access to everyone.' Designers are finding more acceptance in the technology industry and their headcount is increasing. Linda Naiman, Inc.com Columnist, says, 'Making inclusive design profitable hinges on the principle that if you want to reach a larger market, you have to reach people you're not already reaching by being inclusive. This new frontier of design requires some technical understanding outside of purely classical design. The hybrid designer/developer, referred to as a 'unicorn' in the tech industry, is often relied upon to bridge that gap.' Read on...

Inc.com: Why Design Is the Best Bottom-Line Strategy
Author: Tracy Leigh Hazzard


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 aug 2017

A research study by Strategy Analytics' AppOptix practice (AO) brings good news for B2B players as it finds that 50.4% of consumers use their personal smartphone for business purposes. Employees are using their personal smartphones to conduct business and installing public domain and company-sponsored apps for file sharing, data security, time sheets, expense reporting, and collaboration. B2B companies can identify these business users disguised as consumers to target their offerings. The study also found - 20.5% of business users utilize their personal smartphone over 50% of the time to conduct business; 20.8% of business users are compensated by their employer for their network/wireless operator charges. Author of the study, Prabhat Agarwal (Director, AppOptix), says, 'This research showcases and substantiates there are entry points for B2B players that are looking to offer business services to consumers...By analyzing combinations of apps, we can create probability profiles that identify likely users of business services.' Barry Gilbert (VP, Strategy Analytics), says, 'The business and enterprise user is a critical and lucrative market for mobile operators, device OEMs, and many enterprise software firms...' Read on...

Business Insider: 50.4% of Consumers Use Their Personal Smartphones to Conduct Business, Finds Strategy Analytics
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 aug 2017

Research paper 'Secular Trends and Technological Progress' by Prof. Enrico C. Perotti and Robin Döttling (Ph.D. student) from University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) finds intangible capital or assets have played a key role in shaping growth, asset prices and inequality in recent decades. Researchers explain, 'The transition to a knowledge-based economy and the associated shift from physical to intangible capital is a primary cause for the rising excess savings over productive investment in advanced economies, presented in the 'secular stagnation' hypothesis. Falling interest rates and rising long-term asset values can be interpreted as a direct consequence of this gradual process. Critically, the approach also allows (us) to interpret the growing share of income gained by innovators, the progressive reallocation of credit from productive to asset financing uses (primarily for housing) and the rise in household leverage.' Secular stagnation, with its low inflation and low growth, can be understood by the growth of information economy and the expansion of intangible assets. In the information economy companies rely more on intangible assets and over the years they have boosted their investment in intangibles like intellectual property from about 30% of company capital in 1980 to nearly 70% today. According to the researchers, both intangible capital and skilled labor have outpaced the broad economy in productivity growth. James Saft explains the implications of the research findings - Secular stagnation may be here to stay, at least until the intangible economy starts coming up with projects that require huge capital investment; Monetary policy may be fighting a losing battle to spark investment and build inflation and lower-skilled wage growth; Taxation and redistribution may end up the only way to let the market work in producing innovation and also reach a democratically acceptable allocation of the proceeds. Read on...

Reuters: How the knowledge economy causes secular stagnation - James Saft
Author: James Saft


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 aug 2017

According to Prof. Pritam Singh, Oxford Brookes University (UK), BRICS nations will lead the global economy and play vital role in spatial shift of the global capitalist economy. While speaking at expert session on 'Global Economic and Environment Crisis Faced by BRICS Economies' at Chandigarh University, Prof. Singh said, '...By 2050, if the Indian economy continues to maintain the current growth pace (GDP growth 7%), it will be the dominant global supplier of services while China would dominate the global manufacturing industry...' Read on...

The Tribune: BRICS nations to lead economy - Oxford professor
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 jul 2017

2017 'Consumer Email Habits Report: What Do Your Customers Really Want', a study of 1003 online respondents commissioned by Campaign Monitor and conducted by Market Cube, finds that nonprofit email marketers are lagging behind peers, and the preferences of constituencies, in their ability to provide personalized, relevant messaging. 81% of consumers in the report want touches of personalization in emails they receive from nonprofits. In terms of relevancy of emails to supporters and potential supporters, nonprofits lag behind substantially with only 42% respondents stating that they regularly receive relevant emails. Andrea Wildt, chief marketing officer for Campaign Monitor, says, 'Email personalization can be based on either personal demographics or behavior - how an individual is interacting with an organization...personally relevant emails resonate better with recipients - building a trust that is sometimes hard to foster when recipients are bombarded with so many contacts from so many senders.' According to Ms. Wildt, 'Nonprofits struggle to provide personally relevant emails due to overall lack of ability to capture data and use that data to segment. Resources available to nonprofits are often far more modest than those of retailers.' Further complicating matters for nonprofits is the disparate ways various age groups interact with emailed material. Ms. Wildt suggests, 'Nonprofits must take a multi-pronged approach to marketing (using different tactics/strategies/technologies to target specific age groups)...They are just not quite as mature at leveraging some of the technology. There is so much noise that nonprofits really need help cutting through. The competition for donors' wallets is still fierce.' Read on...

The NonProfit Times: Marketers Not Giving Consumers What They Want
Author: Andy Segedin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 jul 2017

According to 'Instructional Design Report 2016' funded by the Gates Foundation, there are 13000 instructional designers in US. The field is increasing in popularity as online education proliferates and the need to translate content into digital forms rises. Designing online learning experiences is becoming essential training employees, mobilizing customers, serving students, building marketing channels, and sustaining business models. Instructional design has deep roots in distance education, human computer interaction, and visual design. ontemporary instructional design sits at the intersection of three core disciplines: learning science, human-centered design, and digital marketing. Following are some lessons and resources for those starting out in the field of instructionl designs - (1) Start with a deep understanding of your learners: Start by developing an Empathy Guide similar to one put together by Stanford d.School or reviewing the free book 'Talking to Humans' by Giff Constable; Conduct observations and interviews with target learners; Synthesize finds into learner archetypes; Test instructional concepts and product ideas by building rough prototypes; d.School 'Protyping Dashboard', Design Thinking process courses by IDEO.org or free resources offered by IDEO's Teacher's Guild. (2) Ground yourself in the fundamentals of learning science: Research on learning and teaching; 'The ABCS of How We Learn', a 2016 book by Daniel Schwartz; 'How People Learn', the 1999 foundational text edited by John Bransford, Ann Brown, and Rodney Cocking; Online Stanford lectures on Education's Digital Future. (3) Determine the 'powerful ideas' you want to teach and build your curriculum using backwards design: For education technology read Seymour Papert's 'Mindstorms: Children, Computer and Powerful Ideas'; Then use 'Understanding By Design Framework' (ascd.org) to structure your curriculum. (4) Go study other great teachers and other great learning experiences: altMBA program by Seth Godin that runs using Slack; Angela Duckworth's delivery of messages on camera; Animations produced by Amnesty International; Interactive lessonas produced on Oppia; Screen-based technologies produced by groups like Paulo Blikstein's Transformative Learning Technologies Lab; Explore multiple approaches from diverse instructional materials available online. (5) Get a lay of the technological landscape, but don't let your LMS hold you hostage: Get familiar with various platform options, particularly with most popular ones - Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, and EdX; Check out the list of global MOOC platforms curated by Class Central; Read some critical perspectives from the likes of Digital Pedagogy Lab or the MIT Media Lab; Check out the blogs of online learning pioneers like Connie Malmud. (6) Don't try to migrate an in-person experience into an online format: Read 'Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology' by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson; Explore perspectives and research of Mitch Resnick and the late Edith Ackermann of the MIT Media Lab. (7) If you build it, they won't come. Understand the fundamentals of digital marketing: Check out blog post of Alex Turnbull (Founder of Groove) that explains 6-step marketing strategy for selling online course; Udemy has also created a great toolkit to help online course instructors market their learning experience. (8) Collect student feedback. Iterate. Share what you learned. Read on...

EdSurge: A Starter Kit for Instructional Designers
Author: Amy Ahearn


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jul 2017

Richard J. Weller, professor of landscape architecture at University of Pennsylvania, and team of academics have created an online project called 'Atlas for the End of the World', a collection of maps and graphics to help viewers see where and how urbanization is in conflict with biodiversity. According to Prof. Weller, 'We mapped that interface between urban growth and the world's most valuable diversity...That conflict is bloody, it's disastrous, it's happening all over the world.' The project is an answer to Ortelius's 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum' (Theatre of the World), printed in 1570 and thought to be the first modern atlas. Prof. Weller hopes that by 'mapping the intricacies of ecological conflict...architects, designers, and others can help create more ecologically sustainable relations between people and the planet.' Read on...

Nonprofit Quarterly: Data Activists Map the World's Ecological Conflict
Author: Cyndi Suarez


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 jul 2017

Technology is taking away traditional jobs from many industries. Even the workers in technology intensive graphic design sector face challenges from online artifical intelligence (AI) platforms that provide graphic design services. Canada-based Logojoy is one such platform providing personalized graphic services for small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. It's AI platform is intuitive and mimics the process of working with human graphic designer. Dawson Whitfield, founder of Logojoy, says, 'The magic of Logojoy is the groundbreaking algorithm, user-friendly interface, and premium design ingredients. Logojoy has close to 1000 design rules built into its algorithm.' According to EY's recent 'Millennial Economy Report', 72% of new businesses do not have the funding for graphic design services. Mr. Whitfield adds, 'As a graphic designer, many of my clients were looking for budget solutions for their businesses, so this is when I realized I could help a lot of people in the start-up and SMB spaces with this software.' Read on...

ITBusiness.ca: The next job being eaten by AI: Graphic Design
Author: Mandy Kovacs


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 jul 2017

Time management is a critical component of work-life balance. Content marketing is a busy and stressful job. Following are valuable tips for content marketers - SETTING THE STAGE: Make a plan before you start creating content; Use to-do lists; Set clear goals; Know who your audience is. INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY: Work when you feel alert and creative; Do similar tasks in groups; Do one thing at a time; Reuse your content; Take breaks. USING TIME WISELY: Find productivity tools that work for you; Automate chores; Delegate when it's appropriate; Prioritize tasks that give you the most ROI; Drop unnecessary tasks; Create evergreen content; Spend time on the right social media channels; Curate content; KEEPING THE WHEELS TURNING: Make an idea bank; Have a backlog of content; Listen to your audience; Stay on the same page as the rest of your team. Read on...

Search Engine Journal: 21 Awesome Time-Saving Tips for Content Marketers
Author: Amanda DiSilvestro


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jun 2017

Social media is a great digital marketing tool for businesses to connect and engage with customers, and for internal communication. Integration of social media within customer relationship management (CRM) modules can help to draw, close and create repeated engagements with customers. Inputs from different social media platforms can assist in lead generation and also set up post-sale engagement with customers. Following are some advantages of social media to businesses - (1) Business professionals can find and engage with peers and customers. (2) Responding to customer complaints, obtain feedback and engage with other customer communication has become much common on social media platforms. (3) Sales people seeking prospects and leads can utilize professional networks on platforms like Linkedin. (4) Companies with robust social media strategy can counter and overcome issues before they transform into crisis due to viral nature of social media. (5) Social media can be utilized as an effective recruitment tool. Somesh Misra, VP at Deskera, a global cloud-based ERP and CRM provider, says, 'In fact, CRM providers are developing functionalities in order to deliver the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 and built-in Web 2.0 technology. Embedding innovative features such as activity feeds, conversation threads, chatbots, etc. into CRM applications could open doors to new and immense possibilities in the field of software development as well as integrated digital marketing.' Read on...

DATAQUEST: Five ways social media can strengthen your customer relationship management
Author: Muqbil Ahmar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 jun 2017

Innovation Showcase (ISHOW) by American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is a hardware competition for socially minded projects. The purpose is to create awareness that hardware engineers too play a role in social innovation. K. Keith Roe, President of ASME, says, 'Our research showed a tremendous lack of support for hardware innovators seeking to enter global markets and make a societal impact.' Paul Scott, ASME ISHOW Director, says, 'From South America to West Africa to Southeast Asia, there are many talented folks that are changing paradigms with their work.' Currently, ASME ISHOW is held in US, Kenya and India. This year's American competition will be held on 22 June 2017. According to ISHOW website (thisishardware.org), 10 American finalists alongwith their projects are - (1) Hahna Alexander (SmartBoots: Self-charging work boots that collect status and location data and provide workforces in hazardous environments with actionable insights); (2) Jonathan Cedar (BioLite HomeStove: An ultra-clean cookstove that reduces smoke emissions by 90% and biomass fuel consumption by 50% compared to traditional open fire cooking, while also co-generating electricity from the flame to charge mobile phones and lights); (3) Matthew Chun (RevX: A transfemoral rotator that restores dignity to low-income amputees by enabling them to sit cross legged, dress themselves, get back to work, and more); (4) Shivang Dave (QuickSee: PlenOptika developed the QuickSee to disrupt the barriers to eyeglass prescriptions for billions of people worldwide so that they can get the eyeglasses they need); (5) Alexandra Grigore (Simprints: With a novel fingerprinting system, Simprints aims to create a world where lack of identity is never the reason why anyone is denied basic services in healthcare, education and finance); (6) Mary McCulloch (Voz Box: Millions of people, right now, are nonverbal. Current devices are too expensive and uncustomizable. The Voz Box is an innovative speech generation device that has customizable sensors and is affordable); (7) Erica Schwarz (Kaleyedos Imaging Device (KID): A revolutionary infant retinal imager that will empower neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) worldwide to decrease the incidence of visual impairment and blindness due to infant retinal disease); (8) Kenji Tabery (VeggieNest: Smart home gardening systems, and aims to address the growing market need for access to organic, affordable, and nutritious produce that enable global consumers to be food secure); (9) Team Sixth Sense (Team Sixth Sense: We have designed a system of sensor to attach to lower-limb prosthetics that works with NeoSensory's current technology to provide realtime vibrotactile feedback); (10) Quang Truong (EV 8 Cooler: Evaptainers creates low-cost mobile refrigerators that run on water. These are perfect for low income families who live off grid or cannot afford a conventional refrigerator). Read on...

Technical.ly DC: 10 engineers will showcase hardware's role in social innovation
Author: Nia Dickens


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 may 2017

Personalization and customization are key for better customer relationships. According to a new research commissioned by RICOH, more than 2/3 of European consumers say the best brands are those who treat them as individuals. The survey of 3600 consumers across Europe was conducted by Censuswide. Consumers were asked to rank brands in terms of the quality of the relationships with them before (reach), during (respond) and after (retain) purchase. Chas Mahoney, director at RICOH Ireland & UK, says, 'The research we commissioned shows 57% of consumers would also spend more with brands that make them feel like valued customers. This heightens the fact that driving business growth must be intimately linked to making interactions easy and ensuring consumers feel appreciated. ...The right technology along with streamlined digital processes are the most powerful tools in the battle to satisfy and retain today's consumers.' Read on...

Independent.ie: A survey has found who the 'customer relationship leaders' are and the results will surprise you
Author: Ellie Donnelly


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 may 2017

Volunteering for a charitable cause is not only a popular way to give back to society, but it also helps individuals to hone their skills and add to their experiences. There are number of platforms, both online and offline, like United Way, Points of Light, VolunteerMatch etc, that can assist in finding the right cause to volunteer. According to Basil Sadiq, marketing associate at VolunteerMatch, 'Our platform gives volunteers the ability to search for opportunities that adhere to their skill level or learning outcomes.' Following are some innovative ways to volunteer - (1) Strut your stuff: Volunteer for a community theater production; Share music with hospital patients; Share your voice with the community by giving tours; Interpreting exhibits at a local museum or zoo; Share your voice that can help people who use assistive communication technology. (2) Plan a party: Help in birthday celebrations to homeless kids and families; Contribute for hospice agencies and senior centers that plan events. (3) Get crafty: Knit and sew for those in need. (4) Make very special deliveries: Bikers can participate in logistics service for a charity. (5) Build and rebuild: Help veterans to build and maintain homes; Build and improve parks and playgrounds for kids. (6) Create Code: Address community problems with technological solutions; Write code and develop website for a cause; Help raise money for charitable causes by participating in computer games events. (7) Volunteer virtually: Blogging; Language translation; Virtual interaction with people in trauma and offer relief. (8) Hike or climb for a higher cause: Keeping and maintaining trails; Add service to a hiking vacation; Helping with outdoor adventures. (9) Help a pet get to a new home: Transport a rescued pet. Read on...

Reader's Digest: 9 Creative Ways to Volunteer and Really Make a Difference
Author: Catherine Holecko


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 may 2017

Nonprofit boards can be critical resource for the organizations if utilized effectively. Board members bring diverse set of skills, experiences, networks etc. But above all, the passion to do good for the society by supporting the causes of the nonprofits is one of their main driving force. Organizations have to devise mechanisms and methods to effectively use board's time to avail full benefits of the skills and passions. Members of the Forbes Nonprofit Council share the following advice - (1) Pamela Hawley, UniversalGiving: Cultivate a real relationship; Understand board members and their interests; Find out what they care about. (2) Elizabeth Cromwell, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce: Use a consent agenda; Board members are fully prepared and know the deliverables; Productivity is enhanced. (3) Gloria Horsley, Open to Hope: Hold smaller discussions online; Helps to timely address issues; Improves working partnership. (4) Eleanor Allen, Water For People: Engage board members through individual action plans; Customized to each member's strengths; Improves engagement and commitment. (5) Daniel Speckhard, Lutheran World Relief: Seek the board's help with strategy; Engage the board on broad, macro and strategic issues to set the strategic direction of the organization. (6) Peggy Smith, Worldwide ERC: Focus on transparency and efficiency; Stay in frequent contact with board members and perform due diligence on all information - financial, strategic and operational - before it's shared with the entire board. Read on...

Forbes: Six Ways Nonprofits Can Improve Board Relations
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 may 2017

According to design experts at 'ASEAN Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition' (Philippines), creative industry plays an important role in a country's economic growth. Some of the experts that participated include Prof. John Howkins (Author of the book 'The Creative Economy'), Nora K. Terrado (Chairperson, ASEAN 2017 Committee on Business and Investment Promotion-CBIP), Paolo Mercado (Nestle Philippines), Andrew Erskine (Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy), Katelijn Verstraete (British Council East Asia), Kenneth Cobonpue (Philippines), Anon Pairot (Thailand) and Colin Sean (Singapore). Ramon Lopez, Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), says, 'The goal of the event is to channel these (creative) assets into innovation , employment, trade opportunities, and mobilizing it to drive each of the economies in the whole Southeast Asian region.' Rhea Matute, executive director of Design Center of the Philippines, says, 'We really are committed to develop the creative quotient of the Philippines...This is really an important opportunity by which our designers, our creatives, can branch out beyond our borders to have a more open system of having dialogue with our ASEAN partners in view also of the ASEAN integration.' Moreover, the event was also intended to initiate a movement to have at least one Philippine city to be a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). UCCN currently have 116 cities from 54 countries covering seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts. It's goal is 'to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.' Following are some takeaways from the forum: (1) Working in the creative industry is a lucrative career. (2) The road to success is challenging yet fulfilling. (3) Always look around you, and be original. (4) Standing up with your decisions. (5) Government plays a big role in developing the creative industry. (6) School plays an important role, too. According to Colin Seah, Singapore-based architect and Ministry of Design's Founder and Director, 'At the school level, I'm not saying you need to train everyone to be a creative but if you introduce design education at an early stage, then what you do is two fold - you unlock any potential for people who may be seeking these professions. Secondly, you train and educate people who will eventually become patrons and consumers...then it becomes a cycle. You have good creatives, and you get people who can pay for creatives.' Read on...

InterAksyon: ASEAN Forum - Creativity is the driving force in economic growth
Author: Romsanne Ortiguero


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 may 2017

The way technology is applied and the transformations it brings, can be analyzed by viewing technology as a complement or a replacement to humans. Every industry is impacted by technological advancements. Gartner predicted in 2011 that 85% of all customer interactions with the enterprise won't involve another human. Artificial intelligence (AI) software is now capable of helping employees from both a people standpoint and a hard data standpoint, a combination of culture with productivity. Mario Martinez Jr., CEO of M3Jr Growth Strategies, interacts with Rob Käll, creator of Cien, an app that helps sales teams use AI to fix productivity, improve motivation, and increase sales effectiveness, and explores how AI can successfully help sales teams. Mr. Käll believes that AI can also solve one of the greatest challenges to sales - Motivation. He says, 'Productivity goes down as you grow your sales team. As you grow, it's hard to keep the passion.' Following are three factors that AI can assist to create successful sales team - (1) LEADS: According to Gleanster Research, only 25% of all leads are legitimate and deserve further attention. AI can help sort leads quickly and look out for good leads. Loren Baker, member of Forbes Agency Council, 'AI bots and other AI solutions will better prequalify inbound leads and assist with customer retention. Chatbots and messenger bots can lead the lead or concerned user down a path that lets the sales team know exactly what they need from a lead (qualification) perspective.' (2) PEOPLE: AI doesn't remove people from the process, it assists them to do better. AI helps select good leads and opportunities, offer personal advice, provide daily reminders, lead prioritization performance measurement comparison etc. AI can help to monitor and evaluate team members. (3) MACRO: In sales, macro factors are to be kept in mind - economic growth, competition, seasonality etc. AI can gauge macro factors and help plan accordingly. It can assist in predicting and calculating things. Mr. Käll says, 'How do you incorporate human behavior into a quantitative model? There are plenty of learning algorithms out there, but very few take human behavior into account...We give them the ability to see and understand how and why they achieve their goals.' Read on...

Business 2 Community: 3 Ways Sales Managers Can Use AI to Increase Sales Effectiveness
Author: Mario Martinez Jr.


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 apr 2017

The rise of the mobile phones and mobile internet users worldwide is expected to result in growth of mobile advertising. But according to Celtra and On Device Research, mobile ads are unpopular with users - 60% of clicks on mobile banner ads being an accident, 71% saying half the ads disrupt the mobile experience and 69% saying that mobile ads obscure content. The research also finds that top-performing mobile ads (top 20%) follow some common principles, when followed (6 or more) by brands will lead to better ad performance - Logo presence on every frame; Human presence; Product shots; Placing branding at the top; Caution with dual branding; Single clear message; Video; Humour; Interactivity; Strong call to action. Alex Saric, CMO of Celtra, says, 'To effectively tell their stories, brands must ensure quality creative in their ads...By combining the guidelines from this study with a compelling story, and enabling such quality ads at scale, only then will advertisers realize the full potential of their advertising efforts.' Alistair Hill, CEO of On Device Research, says, 'These recommendations are rooted in robust quantitative analysis and as such provide a useful check list for mobile marketers to reference before embarking on a mobile brand campaign.' Read on...

The Drum: Logo, human presence and branding are key to top-performing mobile ads, says Celtra
Author: Benjamin Cher


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 apr 2017

John Murphy, founder of Interbrand, first coined the term 'branding' in 1985 in his book 'Branding: A Key Marketing Tool'. He explains the value of brands and branding and its evolution through the years. According to him, 'Our view of a brand 25 years ago was quite prosaic and utilitarian. We viewed it as a business asset whose purpose was to enhance the earnings of the brand owner. We saw a brand as a product or service, or business, which had developed a personality that was appealing to consumers. This is still mainly true today, but with the development of branding has come a great deal of over-elaboration. Much of what is being offered by branding consultants today seems to be deliberately over-complicated...A good consultant makes the complicated simple, not the simple complicated.' He adds, 'A further trend, which I dislike, is to view branding as a kind of religious or life-enhancing process...It amazes me that brands, things developed to benefit their owners, have acquired such reverence. In practice, branding's reach has expanded greatly over the last quarter century, but the fundamentals have not changed much at all; and a great deal of the increased sophistication of the brander's art is illusory.' He cautions, 'Just remember that a brand is a differentiated product or service, or company, with a distinct persona. Treat it carefully and appropriately in order to reflect and enhance this persona. Even if you develop the most wonderful brand in the world, you may still suffer business failure. On its own, a brand can never guarantee business success; conversely, without a brand, business success may prove impossible.' Read on...

Campaign: Branding might be everywhere, but it's as simple as it ever was
Author: John Murphy


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 apr 2017

Among the many challenges that startups face during their early stage is that of hiring a first employee. With unspecific and variable requirements, and limited financial resouces, hiring a full-time employee could be a costly option. Autumn Adeigbo, ethical fashion advocate and founder of a fashion label, explains how first hiring or working with freelancers can be an optimum alternative for startups. It not only saves on costs associated with full-time employee, but also prepares the entrepreneur to select the best candidate in future based on specific needs. She shares 7 steps to successfully hire a freelancer - (1) Create A Job Description, Experience & Education Requirement: Be specific in creating a human resource document for every freelancer, advisor and intern needed during the first year of company's operation. (2) Work with an HR Mentor/Advisor: To obtain right guidance, get a mentor. Moreover, obtain information through articles and high quality content. (3) Source Your Talent: Use a combination of offline and online processes to reach out for the talent. Post requirements on focused websites and job boards, in addition to approaching your own network. (4) Interview The Candidates: Take time to prepare the questions to be asked. Browse their profiles diligently. Discuss specific requirements with the candidate. Seek for the right fit with balanced expectations. (5) Alert The Chosen Candidate & Sign Paperwork: Communicate to the selected candidate the period for which they would be needed initially and do the necessary paperwork. (6) Train The Candidate With Company Culture, Background, Rules & Expectations: Create a brand/company culture document to avoid ambiguity. Share brand's evolution. (7) Start Work & Review Their Early Performance: Observe and review the work and communication style for better understanding and working partnership. Read on...

Forbes: 7 Steps To Successfully Hiring Your First Freelancer
Author: Autumn Adeigbo


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 apr 2017

Sometimes a simple idea or a message can provide a direction and approach that leads to great long-lasting results. Same happened with Alan McCormick, a partner with a Dubai-based investment firm Legatum, when he was seeking investment ideas for philanthropic funding. He came across a simple message from Alan Fenwick, professor of tropical parasitology at Imperial College London - 'For a fraction of the amount being donated to treat HIV and other potentially fatal infectious diseases, the annual distribution of basic existing drugs to schoolchildren could help prevent widespread infection by a parasite that causes stunting of growth and malnourishment, and limits access to education - with life-long consequences.' The quote inspired Mr. McCormick and his firm to fund pilot programs in Africa to tackle neglected tropical diseases and finally create their own health-focused funding vehicle, The End Fund, with a small staff to co-ordinate and support programs. The programs have provided impressive return on investment and inspired others searching for ways to donate for maximum impact. According to Mr. McCormick, 'It's relatively tough giving away money and doing it well...Ideas need champions, so you need to create an organization...The End Fund model is about the ability to have people come together and collaborate, and bring their expertise.' Read on...

The Financial Times: Philanthropy - The search for the best way to give
Author: Andrew Jack


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 apr 2017

According to the findings of KPMG 2017 Global Technology Innovation report, US and China continue to be the most promising markets for technology breakthroughs that have global impact, with India and the UK progressing in third and fourth place with innovative tech hubs of their own. The report is based on survey of 841 business executives globally that focus on technology, and highlights the changing landscape of disruptive technologies, with perspectives on technology innovation trends, barriers to commercialize innovation, and insights into technology innovation leading practices. Although various countries are trying to emulate Silicon Valley to develop their own technology hubs, some are finding success in their efforts while others are facing macroeconomic and infrastructure challenges. Tim Zanni, Global and US chair of KPMG Technology, Media and Technology practice, says, 'What we have seen emerge over time is the result of countries and cities striving to replicate and build on the Silicon Valley tech innovation blueprint, and their increasing degree of success. One can debate whether or not replicating Silicon Valley is possible, but the benefits of the effort are undeniable.' Mr. Zanni states in the report that growing ecosystems as tech innovation has spread across all industries, is fueling the expansion of technology innovation development. Respondents of the survey consider the following as the top global technology innovation visionaries - Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX; Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba; Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google; Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; Bill Gates of Microsoft; Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook; Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Read on...

The Next Silicon Valley: US and China are top innovation hubs, followed by India and UK
Author: Nitin Dahad


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 mar 2017

According to CMS.gov website, 'Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO succeeds both in delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely, it will share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program.' ACOs promise to get patients more involved in their own treatments. These healthcare delivery systems are held accountable to meet cost and quality criteria. The study, 'A Multilevel Analysis of Patient Engagement and Patient-Reported Outcomes in Primary Care Practices of Accountable Care Organizations' (Authors - Stephen M. Shortell, Bing Ying Poon, Patricia P. Ramsay, Hector P. Rodriguez, Susan L. Ivey, and Thomas Huber of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health (USA); Jeremy Rich of HealthCare Partners Institute for Applied Research and Education, Los Angeles, CA; and Tom Summerfelt, Advocate Health, Chicago, IL), published in Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that adult patients who were treated in a primary care practice site that promoted a patient-centered culture reported fewer depression symptoms and displayed better physical functioning. According to Prof. Stephen M. Shortell, principal investigator of the study, 'These findings add to a growing literature on the importance of engaging patients in their care to achieve better outcomes that matter to patients like how they function physically and socially. In addition, it breaks new ground by identifying specific features of primary care practices that appear to be associated with achieving such outcomes through increased patient engagement.' He adds, '...more highly activated, engaged patients ask more questions to have their concerns addressed, and, as a result, are more satisfied with their care experience and more motived to achieve desired outcomes.' Prof. Hector P. Rodriguez, study co-investigator, says, 'Healthcare organizations will increasingly need to find ways to efficiently collect patient-reported data and strategies to use this information for monitoring treatment plans, engaging patients in their own care, and improving their health behaviors.' Read on...

UC Berkeley Research: How patients, ACOs, and researchers partner to achieve better health
Author: Jaron Zanerhaft


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 mar 2017

In recent years, more than 50 countries have increased their restrictions on foreign aid to non-government organizations (NGOs). One of the concerning aspects of the trend is that it's happening not only in authoritarian regimes but also in democracies. The research paper, 'Globalization Without a Safety Net: The Challenge of Protecting Cross-Border Funding of NGOs', by Prof. Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer of University of Notre Dame Law School, identifies this problem faced by NGOs and explores options for countering the restrictions. Some of the new restrictions are - additional registration and reporting obligations, requirements to obtain government approval before seeking or accepting funding and mandates that funding be routed through government agencies or used only for specific activities. Prof. Mayer cites three factors that led to crackdown on cross-border funding - (1) A steady rise over the years in the amount of money flowing from Western donors to NGOs in other countries. (2) An increase in funding designated for human-rights protections and pro-democracy efforts. (3) An overall swelling of nationalist feelings in many countries. Prof. Mayer says, 'I think it's part of the larger trend we see globally of countries becoming more suspicious of foreign influences and the influences of outsiders, and more suspicious of attempts to empower and encourage minorities within countries. They are concerned about the importation of foreign values and views.' The challenges created by restrictions may require alternate strategies. According to Prof. Mayers, 'It creates a huge burden on both the funders and domestic NGOs that seek to challenge these restrictions, because the landscape is constantly changing, and they have to customize their response to every country where they're involved.' Read on...

Notre Dame News: Professor offers options to counter escalating crackdowns on NGOs
Author: Kevin Allen


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 mar 2017

As crowdfunding becomes a mainstream strategy for individual fundraisers and nonprofit organizations, it becomes imperative to understand the industry trends that provide best fundraising results, and have potential to continue into the future. Christopher Moore, Marketing Mixologist at Floship, shares important trends shaping the industry and shows how to incorporate these ideas in crowdfunding campaigns - (1) Diverse Crowdfunding Platforms: Assess crowdfunding needs. Select the right platform to get specific target audience. Niche platforms are now available. (2) Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns: Many crowdfunding websites are specific to nonprofits. It's easier for nonprofits and charitable organizations to meet their fundraising goals through crowdfunding. The benefits include - Expanded social reach; High speed fundraising; Low-risk giving. (3) Fully Customizable Fundraising Experiences: Fundraising process is becoming more customizable. Campaigns could be specifically designed and promoted. Ways it is happening is - Brandable campaign pages; Fundraising model flexiblitiy; Variety of sharign options. (4) Crowdfunding Campaigns Paired with Events: Events add a real-world component to the online campaign. It boosts the fundraising potential. Following ideas can be used - Pick the perfect theme; Include a variety of fundraising activities; Simlify event registration. (5) Highly Visual Campaigns: To make an impact on online donors include videos, photos, graphics and to-the-point campaign story. Read on...

Business 2 Community: 5 Crowdfunding Trends That Are Here to Stay
Author: Christopher Moore


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 mar 2017

Norimasa Nishiyama of German Electron Synchrotron DESY, and international team of researchers from Germany and Japan (Ryo Ishikawa, Hiroaki Ohfuji, Hauke Marquardt, Alexander Kurnosov, Takashi Taniguchi, Byung-Nam Kim, Hidehiro Yoshida, Atsunobu Masuno, Jozef Bednarcik, Eleonora Kulik, Yuichi Ikuhara, Fumihiro Wakai, Tetsuo Irifune), have created a 2mm diameter disc of transparent silicon nitride, one of the hardest material known. The scientific report titled, 'Transparent Polycrystalline Cubic Silicon Nitride', was recently published in Nature. The transparent ceramic could be used for ultra-tough windows able to withstand extreme conditions. Windows that let users peer into engines and industrial reactors, or protect optical sensors from high pressures or heat are usually made of diamond, an expensive material that becomes unstable at 750°C. On the other hand, transparent silicon nitride ceramic can withstand temperatures upto 1400°C and is much cheaper. Read on...

Chemistry World: Super-hard transparent ceramic looks good
Author: Katrina Krämer


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 mar 2017

Tony Bacigalupo, founder of New Work Cities, on his website (Whatiscoworking.com) explains 'Coworking' as - 'The word "coworking" as it is known today originates with a concept put forth by Brad Neuberg in 2005...It is directly related to Neuberg's original concept and had since evolved into a decentralized movement centered around a core set of shared values: Community, Openness, Collaboration, Accessibility, and Sustainability...A Coworking Space is generally a phrase used to describe a business or organization that is dedicated to the full Coworking concept. These spaces represent a critical foundation of infrastructure for a new and growing workforce of people who work where, when, how, and why they want. A coworking space's relationship with its members is one that is primarily predicated on the values that drive the Coworking Movement, in direct and deliberate contrast to a more traditional relationship predicated on renting space from a landlord.' Kara Kavensky, President of Absolutely Consulting, shares how the coworking space 'The Refinery Center' in Marion (Indiana, US), created by Shelby Bowen (VP of Development at Envoy Inc.), is helping economic development of the city along with establishing a sense of community in local population. The space was developed with financial support from the Community Foundation and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jim Swan, owner of the building that was transformed, understood the concept and worked with The Refinery on their financial constraints of starting a coworking space. The Refinery offers low-cost monthly access without long-term leases. The amenities include Wi-Fi, a professional environment with other like-minded people, conference rooms, dedicated workspace, and an on-site cafe. According to Mr. Bowen, 'We listened to the needs of the community. We have not taken a cookie cutter approach to the coworking space. We offer very affordable monthly memberships starting at US$ 30/month and host a lot of meetings here at no charge. We are also a community center in addition to a work space.' Entrepreneurial events at The Refinery are facilitated by Indiana Wesleyan University with the help of the grant from Lilly Endowment. Carol Brown, Associate Dean of Life Calling & Career at Indiana Wesleyan University, says, 'This program is funded through the Lilly Endowment's "Accelerate Indiana" grant, which seeks to encourage entrepreneurial activity among students and local entrepreneurs. We fund internships, even if the company is a student-run business with the goal of creating jobs in Indiana.' Read on...

Inside Indiana Business: How Coworking is Impacting Economic Development
Author: Kara Kavensky


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 mar 2017

Seeking customer loyalty is a challenge that every business faces. But to achieve success at it consistently, requires precise understanding of what customers want and provide it to them. Hotels are utilizing big data analytics to gain insights into which amenities help them attract and retain customers. According to Anil Kaul, CEO of Absolutdata, which provides marketing and customer analytics to hotels, 'We want to help hotels determine which free amenities give them the best chance to boost their hotel's appeal, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction.' He explains two scenarios that hotels deal with while attracting customers - (1) 'When the customer first begins to seek a hotel. You want to offer a free amenity package that will convince him or her to choose your hotel over many other possibilities.' (2) 'Providing a great customer experience to your guest during his or her stay. Part of this customer satisfaction is achieved by offering the right free amenities. If you do this well, the guest is likely to return.' Based on Mr. Kaul's research and analytics on different types of hotels, Wi-Fi is at the top of guest's expectations, followed by free bottled water. To gather the data and compute a hotel's amenity analytics, the software uses a methodology that taps into the hotel's reservation system and then combines this data with survey data from customers on amenities and other elements of their stays. Read on...

TechRepublic: How big data analytics help hotels gain customers' loyalty
Author: Mary Shacklett


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 mar 2017

Researchers from Hokkaido University (Japan) have created 'fiber-reinforced soft composites' or tough hydrogels combined with woven fiber fabric. The study, 'Energy-Dissipative Matrices Enable Synergistic Toughening in Fabric Reinforced Soft Composites' (Authors - Yiwan Huang, Daniel R. King, Taolin Sun, Takayuki Nonoyama, Takayuki Kurokawa, Tasuku Nakajima, Jian Ping Gong), was recently published in Advanced Functional Materials. Researchers combined hydrogels containing high levels of water with glass fiber fabric to create bendable, yet tough materials, employing the same method used to produce reinforced plastics. They found that a combination of polyampholyte (PA) gels, a type of hydrogel they developed earlier, and glass fiber fabric with a single fiber measuring around 10µm in diameter produced a strong, tensile material. The procedure to make the material is simply to immerse the fabric in PA precursor solutions for polymerization. The developed fiber-reinforced hydrogels are 25 times tougher than glass fiber fabric, and 100 times tougher than hydrogels. Moreover, the newly developed hydrogels are 5 times tougher compared to carbon steel. According to lead researcher, Prof. Jian Ping Gong, 'The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly. The material has multiple potential applications because of its reliability, durability and flexibility. For example, in addition to fashion and manufacturing uses, it could be used as artificial ligaments and tendons, which are subject to strong load-bearing tensions.' Read on...

Hokkaido University News: New "tougher-than-metal" fiber-reinforced hydrogels
Authors: Jian Ping Gong, Naoki Namba


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 mar 2017

Richard Howells, Vice President of Solution Management for Supply Chain at SAP, says, 'New technologies get the most press before they reach maturity, part of a phenomenon Gartner calls the hype cycle. When people stop talking about new innovations...is just about the time they get deployed in a meaningful way.' Following are 7 supply chain developments he expects in 2017: (1) IoT will begin to disrupt the extended supply chain (There are 6 billion IoT devices in use today, and there will be 21 billion within the next three years). (2) 3D printing will begin to revolutionize R&D and manufacturing (Worldwide sales of 3D printers doubled in 2016, and 6.7 million will ship in 2020. While only seven percent of companies use additive manufacturing to produce end products today, 31% use it for prototyping, and 42% will rely on 3D printing for mass manufacturing in the next few years). (3) Robotics and augmented reality will infuse manufacturing (Robotics use will grow by 10% a year over the next 10 years. In some industries, robots will soon handle 40% of manufacturing). (4) Autonomous vehicles and drones will become proof of concept (In October 2016, Uber's self-driving truck made its first autonomous delivery...Amazon, for one, is actively pursuing 30-minute delivery, and companies from Google to Walmart are also investigating drones). (5) Cybersecurity needs will drive new technologies such as blockchain. (6) New Big Data tools will drive predictive analytics (With the emergence of IoT, Big Data is just getting started. That will drive a critical need for predictive analytics in 2017). (7) Focus on customer centricity and product individualization will only increase (Fully 90% of companies believe their customers value or strongly value individualized products. But 3/4 say it's hard to get a clear understanding of what customers are willing to pay for). Read on...

Digitalist Magazine: 7 Supply Chain Predictions For 2017
Author: Richard Howells


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 feb 2017

'healthymagination Mother and Child Program', a collaborative effort of GE and Santa Clara University's Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, provides mentorship and training aimed at improving and accelerating maternal and/or child health outcomes in Africa. The program was designed to help the social entrepreneurs acquire business fundamentals, improve their strategic thought processes and articulate a business plan that demonstrates impact, growth and long-term financial sustainability. According to Robert Wells, Executive Director of healthymagination, 'GE believes there is much for social enterprises and large businesses to learn from each other. As the center of the ecosystem, social entrepreneurs are key to building Africa's sustainable future.' First cohort of 14 social entrepreneurs that have completed the program are ready to present their social enterprises to a group of potential investors and supporters. Jay Ireland, President & CEO of GE Africa, says, 'This group of people are helping solve some of Africa's biggest health challenges through their initiatives aimed at improving mother and child care. This is another great example of the strong entrepreneurial spirit in Africa.' According to Thane Kreiner, ED of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, 'Addressing the global health challenges of women and children living in sub-standard conditions or facing high-risk pregnancies demands all the determination, diligence and creative solutions we can muster.' Following are the social entrepreneurs and their respective social enterprises - Daphne Ngunjiri, Kenya (AccessAfya.com); Habib Anwar and Zubaida Bai, Kenya (ayzh.com); Tyler Nelson, Rwanda (HealthBuilders.org); Pratap Kumar, Kenya (Health-E-Net.org); Steve Alred Adudans, Kenya (HewaTele.org); Stefanie Weiland, Uganda, Burundi and DRC (LNInternational.org); Julius Mbeya and Ash Lauren Rogers, Kenya (LwalaCommunityAlliance.org); Brian Iredale, Uganda (NurtureAfrica.ie); Segun Ebitanmi, Nigeria (Outreach Medical Services); Cobby Amoah, Ghana (Peach Health); Olufemi Sunmonu, Nigeria (ThePurpleSource.com); Yohans Emiru, Ethiopia (HelloDoctorEthiopia.com); Natalie Angell-Besseling, Uganda (ShantiUganda.org); Anne Gildea, Kenya (VillageHopeCore.org). Read on...

CNBC: 14 social entrepreneurs to improve maternal & child health in Africa
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 feb 2017

'Drop Shipping' is a practice adopted by retailers where orders are shipped directly from the supplier's warehouse. It gives retailers opportunity to provide more products on their website without keeping them in stock, thus saving on inventory. Some analysts predict that drop shipping will be a mainstream process this year. According to a retail industry survey by SPS Commerce, 40% of respondents said they expect more drop-ship vendors in 2017. This will also benefit logistics companies as small suppliers and manufacturers often outsource tasks like inventory management, shipping etc to them. Josh Miller, VP of business development at CTL Global Inc, says, 'The (supplier) gets the audience, the retailer gets the sales. Drop shipping accounts for about 20% of CTL's revenue, compared with 5% five years ago.' The downside of drop shipping is that retailer has to give control of inventory management, shipping etc to third parties, while in case of wrong orders retailers are still on the hook. Nikki Baird of Retail Systems Research LLC, that conducted the survey for SPS, says, 'It's a big trust issue. Heavy, bulky things are better to ship from the supplier. But the problem is that the retailer then doesn't have control or visibility as to how that process is going.' Moreover, retailers also run the risk of turning suppliers into rivals by sharing customer data. Moreover, number of manufacturers are themselves turning to ecommerce to sell directly to customers. Following are some expert comments on the dynamics of online retail - (1) Irv Grossman, EVP at Chainalytics: 'Retailers are looking at Amazon and saying I may miss an opportunity. They're concerned about market share.' (2) Cathy Morrow Roberson, head analyst at Logistics Trends & Insights LLC: 'Managing capacity as drop-ship orders ebb and flow could pose a challenge for logistics companies.' (3) Frank Layo, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon: 'The practice (drop shipping) also costs more than buying items wholesale, because logistics and delivery get baked into the price.' Read on...

The Wall Street Journal: 'Drop Shipping' Looks Set to Go Mainstream as More Retailers Get on Board
Author: Jennifer Smith


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 feb 2017

Society continues to face challenges to construct affordable, high-quality, innovative and future-focused built environments. Many building processes are sub-standard and obsolete, with sustainability concerns. Current research on integration of digital technologies within architectural and construction processes promises substantial contributions to sustainability and productivity. Research connections between diverse fields like architecture, structural design, computer science, materials science, control systems engineering, and robotics are required. Researchers during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2017 reveal latest developments in digital fabrication in architecture at 1:1 building scale. They explain successful integration of digital technologies in design, planning, and building processes to transform the building industry. (1) On Site Digital Fabrication for Architecture: Prof. Jonas Buchli, Agile and Dexterous Robotics at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), proposes a radical focus on domain specific robotic technology enabling the use of digital fabrication directly on construction sites and in large scale prefabrication. (2) The New Mathematics of Making: Prof. Jane Burry, Director of the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory at RMIT University in Melbourne (Australia), explores how these opportunities (Digital computation; Linking of design attributes to extraneous factors; Mathematical design models etc) for automation, optimization, variation, mass-customisation, and quality control can be fully realised in the built environment within full scale construction. (3) Building Materials for 3D Printing: Prof. Ronald Rael, Architecture at University of California at Berkeley (USA), reveals the development of new materials that can overcome the challenges of scale and costs of 3D printing on 1:1 construction scale. He demonstrates that viable solutions for 3D printing in architecture involve a material supply from sustainable resources, culled from waste streams or consideration of the efficiency of a building product's digital materiality. Read on...

ETH Zurich Global News: Digital Fabrication in Architecture - The Challenge to Transform the Building Industry
Author: Rahel Byland Skvarc


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 feb 2017

Although simulations and branching scenarios are valuable online training tools, but 'Virtual Reality' is a step ahead and provides learners ability to seamlessly immerse themselves into the learning environment without distractions. Christopher Pappas, founder of eLearning Industry, shares ways to use virtual reality (VR) in online training - (1) Take The Risk Out Of Compliance And Safety Online Training. (2) Allow Corporate Learners To Perfect Their Approach. (3) Offer Online Training For The Masses. (4) Prepare New Hires For Professional Success. (5) Provide Mistake-Driven Learning Opportunities. (6) Transport Corporate Learners To Another Locale. Read on...

eLearning Industry: 6 Tips To Use Virtual Reality In Online Training
Author: Christopher Pappas


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jan 2017

Creating long-term and sustainable partnerships between businesses and nonprofits, can play a valuable role in tackling social challenges facing communities. Hussein Farah, founder and executive director of New Vision Foundation, explains how nonprofits can build partnerships with corporations and derive benefits from these meaningful relationships for the communities they serve - (1) Have a strong and relevant mission that provides distinctive value to the community and relates to the values of a corporate partner and identifies it as a significant contributor. (2) Leadership of nonprofits should effectively and compellingly communicate the mission to the corporate partner. Strong marketing effort is required that embodies the mission and displays business sense. (3) Nonprofits should create a solid board that assists in dissemination of its value proposition on a peer-to-peer basis. Boards that include corporate members would be more effective in negotiating the terms of partnerships. Moreover, nonprofits must be clear in their expectations from corporate partners, who should beforehand know their resource commitments. Read on...

Star Tribune: Building partnerships between corporations and nonprofits can produce big payoffs
Author: Jack Militello


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 jan 2017

Team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) (Markus Buehler, Zhao Qin, Gang Seob Jung, Min Jeong Kang), has designed one of the strongest lightweight materials known, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a 2-dimensional form of carbon. The new material, a sponge-like configuration with just 5% the density of steel, can have a strength 10 times more. The findings, published in the journal 'Science Advances', show that critical factor of 3-D form is their unusual geometrical figure, suggesting that similar strong, lightweight materials can be made from other materials by creating similar geometric figures. 2-D materials have exceptional strength alongwith unique electrical proberties. But they are extraordinarily thin. Prof. Buehler says, 'They are not very useful for making 3-D materials that could be used in vehicles, buildings, or devices. What we've done is to realize the wish of translating these 2-D materials into 3-D structures.' Prof. Qin adds, 'Once we created these 3-D structures, we wanted to see what's the limit - what's the strongest possible material we can produce.' According to Prof. Buehler, 'You can replace the material itself with anything. The geometry is the dominant factor. It's something that has the potential to transfer to many things.' Prof. Huajian Gao of Brown University comments, 'This is an inspiring study on the mechanics of 3-D graphene assembly. The combination of computational modeling with 3-D-printing-based experiments used in this paper is a powerful new approach in engineering research. It is impressive to see the scaling laws initially derived from nanoscale simulations resurface in macroscale experiments under the help of 3-D printing. This study shows a promising direction of bringing the strength of 2-D materials and the power of material architecture design together.' Read on...

MIT News: Researchers design one of the strongest, lightest materials known
Author: David L. Chandler


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 jan 2017

Building a successful CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) program requires commitment, consistency, continuity and culture within an organization. Claudia Schiepers, Chief Marketing Officer of Greystone and winner of The CMO Club's CSR Award'2016, helped promote a culture-centric curriculum for CSR and shares valuable insights to inspire marketing leaders to develop a successful CSR program in their organizations - (1) Start from the ground up: 'We try to engrain it in everything that we do. I would say start small, test and grow it from within the company...It's all about making suggestions, trying things out and then rolling them out across the organization.' (2) Assemble a top-notch toolbox: 'We gave them a lot of tools. We have employee engagement data that we share with managers, (teaching) them how to have difficult conversations and great conversations. So, it's all about empowering the managers in your company to use the system, having your employees feel like they are involved in it.' (3) Give instruction: Developed a culture book that outlines standards of behavior when it comes to being charitable. 'We say, at Greystone, (caring) means being interested in or concerned about the wellbeing of others. It means that you actively listen, keep an open mind, seek to understand, treat people with respect and kindness. We don't allow yelling. Mentor others, foster other's development, lead by example.' (4) Know that if you build it, they will come: Strikes a balance between good PR and sincerity by publicly commending their local offices' good deeds on social media platforms. 'I think that makes the story more powerful because it is not a corporate driven initiative. We don't do it to get a pat on the back afterwards. I think that's the key for our social responsibility. That is the biggest return on the investment, that we get people that care about other people to join our company.' Read on...

AdAge: Four Tips for Building Sustainable CSR
Author: Drew Neisser


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 jan 2017

According to eMarketer's Sept'2016 ad spending forecast, digital will overtake TV ad spending this year for the first time (Digital - US$ 72.09 billion; TV - US$ 71.29 billion), and will represent 36.8% of US total media ad spending. Scott Symonds, MD of media at AKQA, 'In 2017, digital will become the single largest media investment channel, passing television for the first time...digital is no longer just a test or an innovation budget. It needs to be expected to work as hard or harder vs. every other investment channel.' Experts from across the industry suggest ways digital marketing will evolve in 2017 - (1) Artificial intelligence gets smarter: Tom Edwards, Chief Digital Officer at the agency within Epsilon, says, 'From leveraging machine learning to accelerate sentiment analysis and domain-specific insights to cognitive computing solutions that automate experiences without human intervention to the rise of voice-based user experiences that will continue to expand in 2017 to deep learning that will fundamentally change how brands approach SEO to predictive API's that will expose access to predictive models to further create seamless experiences for consumers, cognitive and intelligent systems will play a key role in how we approach marketing in 2017.' (2) Measurement takes priority: Brigitte Majewski, an analyst at Forrester Research, says, 'The fundamentals have to take priority. Measurement and data are the only way for marketers to get control of a situation they have completely lost control of. They have to understand what part of the mix is truly working and that takes measurement...Once marketers get control of their measurement and connect the dots with the data, they can really start to do orchestrated branded experiences told in a sequence that makes sense.' (3) Turning up the volume: Audio-driven experiences will become mainstream in 2017. Trevor Guthrie, Co-founder of Giant Spoon, says, 'Giant Spoon believes the rise of voice-based AI - Google Home, Amazon Echo, etc. - will have a profound impact on computing and how consumers interact with technology. The next wave of computing will be driven by voice, and clients need to begin to build a voice strategy for their brands.' (4) Reestablishing trust: Forrester's Majewski says, 'The biggest difference in 2017 is going to be a focus on transparency. But now marketers have gotten much smarter and they can legitimately ask hard questions that they might have let pass before. They will really dig into the numbers from agencies and platforms - they are not going to let things slide.' (5) A clearer picture for digital video: AKQA's Symonds says, 'As video becomes untethered from television in terms of its primary investment opportunity or most likely viewing occasion, we believe it will continue to have exciting emerging opportunities in and around the space including augmented and virtual reality, 360 video, live video, programmatic innovations, etc.' (6) Social pivots back to sharing: David Song, MD at Barker, says, 'It will no longer be about paid, earned, and owned social but rather, how a consumer engages with a brand through its social channels. Social channels are and will continue to become more important than client websites.' Epsilon's Edwards says, 'Marketers will need to shift their strategy from one of personification of the brand to a seamless experience that is about simplifying and predicting needs while also empowering consumers to create their own stories.' (7) Cleaning up the landscape: Anna Bager, SVP and GM of mobile and video at Interactive Advertising Bureau, says, 'The days of static display banners are numbered. Consumer expectations for rich, relevant ad and content experiences are growing.' Gabe Weiss, digital experience and transformation leader at SapientNitro, says, 'I feel like there's been a significant maturation of understanding within leadership that the old-normal approaches no longer work. They have bought into designing approaches that work for their brand and for their customers. They will be more committed to delivering their messaging in all forms of content and fragmented channels to make an impact. They will offer engaging and unique experiences and not just yell at their audiences.' (8) Getting the message: IAB's Bager says, 'In the U.S., the rapidly evolving messaging space represents a tremendous opportunity beyond social media platforms to engage with consumers in a native way.' (9) Mobile evolves into people-based marketing: Kurt Hawks, SVP of cross-device and video, at Conversant, says, 'Additionally, as the digital and physical worlds continue to converge, a focus will be placed on the intelligent and responsible use of location data to better understand and anticipate consumer needs and track in-store visits. Mobile will finally evolve from a device to a set of behaviors that inform people-based marketing.' Giant Spoon's Guthrie says, 'We're finally starting to see UIs truly built for mobile instead of just converting what we're used to on desktop. I don't simply mean 'make it vertical' or 'make it short and snackable.' A few companies are completely reworking the structure - not just the details of the content pieces.' (10) Looking towards a post-broadcast, post-digital future: Giant Spoon's Guthrie says, ' The digital media bubble will pop this year. Media will bifurcate into massive networks that roll up many properties for scale and synergy or niche publications charging premium prices based on the strength of their brand. Media's middle class of independent venture-backed digital publishers will either get acquired or fold.' Jeff Liang, Chief Digital Officer at Assembly, says, 'Digital marketers can no longer think inside the box to reach and engage with digital consumers effectively. They must quickly adapt to how audiences are using new forms of digital media to avoid getting lost in the sea of change.' Read on...

Marketing Dive: 10 ways digital marketing will evolve in 2017
Author: Chantal Tode


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 dec 2016

According to the recent report by Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), 'Impact Investing Trends: Evidence of a Growing Industry' (Authors: Abhilash Mudaliar, Aliana Pineiro, Rachel Bass), impact investors have demonstrated strong growth, collectively increasing their assets under management (AUM) from US$ 25.4 billion in 2013 to US$ 35.5 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 18%. The report provides compelling evidence that impact investing industry is growing, both in terms of size and maturation. More than 60% of AUM was allocated to emerging markets each year, and the top three sectors receiving the highest proportions of AUM were microfinance, other financial services and energy, respectively. Read on...

The NonProfit Times: Assets Under Management Grew For Impact Investing
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 dec 2016

10 biggest architecture trends of 2016 - (1) Minimalist interiors finished with cool-toned marble, uniform woodwork and block coloured walls (2) Prefabricated houses for long-term housing (3) Co-living and co-working spaces, largely targeting millennials (4) Shingles (Concept is broadly utilized with a huge variety of materials and scales demonstrating the versatility of the cladding) (5) Charred timber (Japanese wood-preservation technique known as shou sugi ban has been used to blacken the cladding of hotels, houses, pavilions and studios the world over) (6) London house extension boom resulting from inclination towards contemporary design (7) Sustainability (8) Backyard and garden studios are constructed by architects, designers, writers and artists as they seek to maximize limited inner city space (9) Skinny skyscrapers (10) Carbon fibre is tipped as building tool of the future. Experts suggest that when the material is combined with robotic construction techniques is paving the way for a fourth industrial revolution. Read on...

Dezeen: Dezeen's 10 biggest architecture trends of 2016
Author: Jessica Mairs


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 dec 2016

To identify common traits of entrepreneurs, Harvard Business Review (HBR) and Ernst & Young (EY) recently collaborated on a study to review three decades of entrepreneurship and 9200 winners of EY's Entrepreneur of the Year program. According to the report, winners over the past 30 years created more than 14 million jobs and contributed roughly US$ 1 trillion of revenue to the U.S. economy. Moreover, 46% percent of the winners were the founders of more than one business. The report found the following charachteristics that entrepreneurs share - (1) They recognize talent. (2) They are focused on growth. (3) They do their research. (4) They're purpose driven. Read on...

Entrepreneur: All Successful Entrepreneurs Share These 4 Qualities
Author: Nina Zipkin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 dec 2016

Gifts are an important tool for initiating and enhancing relationships, and it is often challenging to give just the right gift that connects well. According to Prof. Cassie Mogilner Holmes of University of California at Los Angles, 'What we found was that the recipient feels more connected to you as the gift giver after receiving an experiential gift rather than a material one.' Prof. Holmes is a social psychologist and marketing expert, and is a world's leading authority on consumer happiness. She says, 'Everbody wants to be happy. But we don't often know the best path towards that end. I am trying in my research to understand what are the ways we can think and behave that are most conducive to our happiness and well-being.' Prof. Holmes has been exploring the relationship between happiness, time and money for almost a decade. Her studies found that when your attention is drawn subconsciously to time, you are more motivated to engage with other people, and that will make you happier than if you were thinking about money. Prof. Holmes and her UCLA colleague, Prof. Hal Hershfield, posed the question of what people want more of - time or money - to thousands of Americans representing different ages, socio-economic levels, occupations, races and genders. According to her, 'We found that those who were more likely to choose having more time over having more money were happier.' She further explains that the psychology around these choices has less to do with age than with people's outlook on their futures and on time. She adds, 'Younger people who feel their time is expansive and that they have a very long future in front of them will enjoy greater happiness from extraordinary experiences. For older people who feel their time is limited and fleeting, they feel a need to savor the moment. These people extract happiness from even mundane, ordinary experiences, like having coffee with a friend.' Read on...

UCLA Newsroom: UCLA marketing prof probes what will make you happier
Author: Cynthia Lee


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 02 dec 2016

The rising tide of mobile devices brought with it the deluge of apps. As of June 2016, there were an overwhelming 4.2 million apps available on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. For an app to stand out among such a crowded app-place is not an easy task. Dima Rakovitsky, Founder and CEO of ROKO Labs, shares the following best practices for an aspiring app inventor - (1) Know Your Audience: Diligently figure out who will use the app and what problem will it solve; Focus on customer aesthetics based on the platform (iOS or Android) they use and design accordingly. (2) Validate Before You Build: Research the competitive market; Do customer surveys; Draw user flows; Professionally design the app and make a clickable prototype; Share it with potential users and seek suggestions and feedback. (3) Marketing And User Acquisition Plans: Make sure app has viral components; Create a marketing strategy supported with strong tactics; Have a marketing and advertising budget. (4) Make a Positive First Impression: It is key to acquiring and retaining users; Have a well-designed and memobrable app icon with short engaging description; To reduce churn rates, make sure your app is fast, intuitive and allows anonymous usage. (5) Easier is Always Better: Keep your app simple and accessible to everyone; Have understanding of UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience). (6) Consistency Is Key: The app should look and feel cohesive; Have unified color scheme and consistent typography; Make sure your app takes advantage of the unique features and norms of each mobile platform, but still coordinates with your website. Read on...

Alley Watch: 6 Tips for Aspiring App Inventors
Author: Dima Rakovitsky


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 nov 2016

Philanthropic giving continued to thrive in US and exceeded US$ 373 billion in 2015. Educational institutions got 12.86% (US$ 48 billion) of the total. As public funding to education gets reduced, colleges and universities are realigning strategic objectives and development goals to suit the funding priorities for donors and organizations. Donors have their own criteria to determine the funding goals that make an impact. According to Charles Koch, businessman and philanthropist, 'It is simply identifying organizations which want to make life better by empowering free will and enterprise. I decided that I wanted to give as many people as possible ideas so that they could transform their lives. That's been my motivation.' Michael Lomax, President and CEO of UNCF.org, recently shared his views on the potential for social modeling between UNCF and Charles Koch Foundation, and their US$ 29 million partnership for tuition assistance and career development. He says, 'The success of this program lies in our shared vision that a mind - and a life - is a terrible thing to waste. It is why our partnership's ultimate goal is to give students the opportunity to explore the values and skills of an entrepreneur, and better understand how an entrepreneurial mindset will benefit both them and their communities.' Nicholas Perkins, Founder and CEO of Perkins Management Services Inc, explains about his support to Howard University, 'Anytime that a minority company has an opportunity to partner with an historically black institution, that partnership should be the base from which growth and progress for that particular campus comes. So we always try to fit ourselves into that puzzle.' Educational institutions often find funding success by proactively tapping into the goodwill of graduates and stakeholders. Miami University of Ohio invested a substantial amount from its fundraising campaign towards enhancing academic programming in media studies, writing and gerontology. It launched 'Miami Plan', a 36-credit hour course mandate for all students to be immersed in and appreciative of the impact of liberal arts across all career paths. Gregory Crawford, President of Miami University of Ohio, says, 'For me, people don't expect a physicist to have such a passion for the liberal arts, but it had such a big impact on my life, my leadership style and my interests. I couldn't be more enthusiastic in sharing how it helped me to learn about human flourishing and in thinking more holistically, which was super important to me in the physics world.' He adds, 'Many of our own alums and donors understand the value of the education provided to them, and they love what we're doing with the Miami plan, so they freely invest in that vision.' Read on...

Education Dive: What inspires people, corporations to give to higher education?
Author: Jarrett Carter


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 nov 2016

Local climate conditions and natural environment defines the efficiency, effectiveness and aesthetics of landscape design. Arizona's (USA) climate is charecterized by abundance of sunlight throughout the year with warm days, refreshing night and dry air. Therefore, outdoor living spaces are given extra importance by residents. To cater to this requirement, and provide comfort and functionality, architects and landscape designers are giving special emphasis to trends observed by CreativeEnvironments.com - (1) Sustainability: Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) considers sustainability as one of the leading trends of 2016; Water-starved state like Arizona, with twenty year of draught, has more relevance; Xeriscaping; Use of native, draught-tolerant, desert-adaptive plants; Grouping plants based on their water consumption; Rainwater harvesting; Use of rain barrels to capture water flowing off the roof; Designs can include contours like depressions, berms, or basins that collect rainwater; Edible gardens with native plants. (2) Indoor Comforts: Extending the comforts of indoors to backyards; Outdoor living spaces like kitchens, seating areas, fireplaces etc; Use of technology like WiFi, TV sets, irrigation controlling advanced systems; Energy-efficient LED lighting. (3) Modern Design: Modern landscape design includes a minimalist approach to planting, as well as geometric pools and patios that are defined by straight lines and right angles. These are a natural match for desert environment that is generally admired for stark beauty, simplicity, and clean lines. The austerity of modern design allows nature to take center stage, accentuating rather than distracting from the beauty of the surroundings. Read on...

AZ Big Media: Top landscape design trends harness the beauty of Arizona
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 nov 2016

Research by Prof. Ali Besharat of University of Denver, 'The Effect of Review Valence and Variance on Product Evaluations: An Examination of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Cues' (Other authors - Ryan Langan of University of San Francisco; Sajeev Varki of University of South Florida), explores how the rating and variance in reviews affect the decision process. Researchers find that the nature of products, a product's brand, reviewers' credibility, and the structure of online customer reviews all significantly impact consumer decision-making and, subsequently, a company's bottom line in terms of sales. According to Prof. Besharat, 'In the case of high online review variance, we find that when brand equity is high - Nike for example - then reviewer credibility does not influence consumers' purchase intentions. But when a consensus among reviews exists (low variance), reviewer credibility emerges as a significant diagnostic cue.' Another research by Prof. Ana Babić Rosario of University of Denver, 'The Effect of Electronic Word of Mouth on Sales: A Meta-Analytic Review of Platform, Product and Metric Factors' (Other authors - Francesca Sotgiu of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Kristine De Valck of HEC Paris; Tammo H.A. Bijmolt of University of Groningen), confirms Prof. Besharat's findings and demonstrates that a wide variance in consumer opinions has a detrimental effect on product sales. According to Prof. Rosario, 'The reason why variability of reviews can harm sales more than negativity is that electronic world of mouth, in theory, is a way for consumers to reduce risk and uncertainty, which does not happen when other consumers' feedback is highly inconsistent.' Prof. Rosario's findings should be of interest to product and platform managers, internet and social media monitoring agencies. Read on...

University of Denver News: What Brand and Marketing Managers Need to Know About Online Customer Reviews; How They Influence Purchase Decisions
Author: Amy Jacobson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 15 nov 2016

One of the ways in which health systems, particularly in the resource-starved developing countries, can improve is by applying concepts that make social enterprises successful. Health systems serving the most vulnerable, bottom of the pyramid market, can learn from social enterprises that make challenging markets work better. Yasmin Madan, global marketing director at Population Services International (PSI), explains in an interview with Lizzie Cohen, that adapting the model of a social enterprise can ensure a more sustainable health system that continues beyond donor funding. She says, 'Any successful business has the consumer right at the center as its main audience and it generates value for the consumer as well as the market.' According to Ms. Madan, 'Social enterprises by addressing failures, by putting consumers at the center, by generating value, are strengthening health systems, or put simply - making markets work better.' Read on...

devex: The evolution of health systems - Service providers as social enterprise
Authors: Lizzie Cohen, Jacques Jimeno, Julie Espinosa


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 nov 2016

Organizations should continue to seek innovation to stay relevant and competitive. Achieving continuous innovation is challenging and organizations have to create an innovation-driven culture as a long-term strategy to sustain it. Manoj Vig, Enterprise Architect at Shire Pharmaceuticals, shares his views on innovation, how to establish innovation teams and what should be done to ensure innovation success - (1) Organizational DNA: Innovation is neither a project nor a process, it needs to be part of organizational DNA; Focus on teams and groups. (2) Collaboration is important: Collaborative environment helps innovation to sustain and succeed in innovation; Collaboration develops and refines innovative ideas. (3) Find zoom out team members: Include members with diverse set of skills and competencies, and those who can zoom out to get a bigger picture. (4) Innovation teams and performance engines: Innovation teams are necessary to provide performance teams to work better. Better coordination and partnership between the two for seamless and continuous innovation. (5) A crazy man's idea: Nurture ideation in organizations even though ideas may initially seem difficult or impossible; Encourage sharing and free flow of ideas. (6) Glocalization and reverse innovation: Innovation teams should learn from these concepts and seek out what has been successfully done as a prlect for a specific use case at one place and reconfigure it for a larger user base within the organization. (7) Innovation catalysts and champions: Look for innovation catalysts that will become part of a dedicated team and then find innovation champions within existing and potential user communities to work with catalysts to solidify the innovation-based culture thinking within the organization. (8) Don't worry, be crappy: As Guy Kawasaki once said the phrase to make a point that when something is done to be radically different and better, waiting for perfection is not a good strategy; Deliver products and services quickly and without fear of failure. Such products/services can be tagged as beta or in incubation for user awareness. This helps engage with users early, set the right level of expectations and create a positive feedback loop. (9) Don't just focus on problems: Solving current problems with users provide quick wins and credibility boosters and must be used by innovation teams to expand their focus and work towards identification of opportunities for users that did not exist before; Focus on creating new opportunities and disrupting current ways of doing things. Read on...

icrunchdata: 9 Tips to Establish Innovation Teams
Author: Manoj Vig


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 nov 2016

There is always a difference of opinion when it comes to whether entrepreneurship is an inherent trait or it can be taught and learned. Both sides seem to have reasonable examples to justify their perspective. For those who value the concept of entreprenuership in business or are contemplating to tread entrepreneurial path, here are some good reads - (1) 'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish' by Rashmi Bansal (2) 'Creativity Inc.' by Ed Catmull (3) 'Zero to None' by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel (4) 'Business Start Up 101' by Chris Gattis (5) 'The Four Hour Work Week' by Timothy Ferriss (6) 'How To Win Friends And Influence People' by Dale Carnegie (7) 'The Life and Business Lessons of Warren Buffett' by George Ilian (8) 'The Fountain Head' by Ayn Rand (9) 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill. Read on...

Entrepreneur: 9 Must Read Books on Entrepreneurship
Author: Saumya Kaushik


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 oct 2016

45% of increase in jobs has been recorded in the creative economy since 1997 and it made upto 2.6 million jobs in total. Web design demands creativity, attention to detail, and practice. To observe and understand the work of successful designers and learn from it can help budding designers to master the art of web design. Here are some ways to enhance web design skills - (1) Avoid slideshows and carousels: They provide more information than what visitors can absorb; Offer a concise value proposition, particularly on homepage; Provide meaningful and relevant content. (2) Simplify the navigation through your design: Complex website with too many options can be counterproductive; Uncrowd your sidebar and header; Minimize dropdown menus; Be mobile-friendly. (3) Use a sketchbook: Assists during brainstorming and helps to organize design process better. (4) Try the squint test: Continuous staring at screen harms visions, take a break and view the design with partially closed eyes. Squint few times, and the prominent aspects of the design will be clearly visible; Provides clarity on website's focal points and sections that are to be highlighted. (5) Black, white and gray should be your starting point: Beginning with shades of gray and then adding colors helps to create a website that lets user focus on the crucial aspects of the site; Also helps to prevent from overdesigning a page. Moreover, technology facilitates creativity and helps design better websites through following ways - Seamless integration; Breaking down barriers; Creative alliances; Informational accessiblity; Advanced graphic tools; Expert feedback; Low cost of failure; Massive marketing platform; Adapt to survive; Percolation of creativity. Read on...

Business 2 Community: 5 Ways Web Designers Can Create Amazing Websites
Author: Amy Hayes


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 oct 2016

According to Mapp Digital's whitepaper, 'Consumer Views of Email Marketing', more than 98% of consumers, aged 18-64, check emails at least one to three times a day. The survey for whitepaper included a national panel of 1765 consumers between the ages of 18-64, 70% had a household income of over US$ 35000 and participants were evenly distributed by gender and geographic region. The findings point out the importance of age in receptiveness of email marketing. Nearly 2/3rd (64%) of respondents aged 55-64 said that they will delete email, as opposed to 38% of 18-24 year-olds. 91% aged 18-24, and 83% aged 25-34 said that they use smartphones to view emails. It suggests that for effective email marketing, optimize for smartphones. Mike Biwer, CEO of Mapp Digital, says, 'Email marketing is still very relevant to brands, specifically for the hard-to-reach 18-34 year-old audience. The survey results suggest that this group of consumers are engaging with fewer brands on a more intimate level. Millennials and Gen Y are strong audiences for email marketers, but now more than ever, the email marketing experience needs to cater to what they want and how they want it.' Read on...

Enterprise Innovation: Email marketing still vital for targeting young US consumers
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 oct 2016

Conflicts and wars, apart from taking human lives, causing destruction and displacing ordinary people, also disturbs affected children's educational future and creates regional human resources imbalances. The ongoing Syrian Civil War has led to an estimated quarter-million young people getting deprived of college education. Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of UK and currently UN Special Envoy for Global Education, explains collaborative role of charities, philanthropists and nonprofit foundations to overcome educational deprivation of displaced students. He advocates the need of realizing the potential of social enterprises to fill the gaps in global education. He says, 'With 260 million children not in school worldwide, education needs more champions to match the enthusiasm of advocates in, say, the global-health and environmental movements. There is more room for innovation in education than in any other international-development sector, especially as digital technologies and the Internet become more accessible even in the world's poorest regions.' He shares how Catalyst Trust for Universal Education, an education focused social entperise founded by former New York University President John Sexton, is helping out in global education efforts. Catalyst Trust participates in PEER (Platform for Education in Emergencies Response) project intended to connect college-ready Syrian refugees with refugee-ready colleges. Explaining the future of PEER project, he comments, 'In time, PEER will serve as a conduit to higher education for displaced students worldwide, and it will cater to all education levels, by providing web-based information, points of contact, and much-needed counseling and support.' He advocates support to social startups like Catalyst Trust, that are working on various aspects of education globally. He encourages education reformers to learn from pioneering work of Sir Ronald Cohen on social-impact investing. He cites some specific pilot projects that individuals and organizations can support to make a difference in education - help refugee students in their education; human-rights education to determine how school curricula can best cultivate inter-faith understanding; help the two million students who are blind or visually impaired, and whose educational needs have long been neglected. With new technology, we can now leapfrog the 150-year-old braille system and instantly render text into audio recordings, making all types of learning materials accessible to the visually impaired. Mr. Brown concludes, 'For anyone who cares about education, our task is clear: to furnish millions of poor people, especially in the remotest parts of the world, with the innovations they need to transform and improve their lives through learning. As the Catalyst Trust intends to show, a little social enterprise goes a long way.' Read on...

Project Syndicate: Education Needs Social Enterprise
Author: Gordon Brown


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 oct 2016

In the world of charitable giving, generally 20% givers use techniques and expert knowledge to maximize their effectiveness, while the remaining 80% are unaware and together pay millions in taxes that would otherwise be used for charitable work. Robert G. Collins, Tampa Bay President of NCF (9th largest US charity), provides specialist philanthropic advice and shares some valuable tools and techniques to enhance value of giving - (1) Use a donor-advised fund (DAF): DAF works like charitable account where the giver gets a charitable deduction when assets are contributed. It is also similar to private grantmaking family foundations without the work and expenses of running a corporation. DAF enables the giver to give when it's convenient for them and decide the amount, timing and recipient of the gift at a later date. (2) Stop writing checks: Giving with cash are after-tax dollars exchanged for a charitable giving. Gift appreciated assets to gain a fair market value deduction, but avoid the capital gains taxes embedded in the asset. This way you get a double benefit i.e. giving pre-tax dollars and still getting the charitable deduction. (3) Plan ahead for tax events: Capital gains taxes are optional taxes - you don't have to pay them if you don't want to. If you are charitable and you have a taxable event expected in future, explore your charitable options today. (4) Have a charitable shareholder: Consider gifting a partial interest in your business or income-producing real estate to your DAF. It is critical that the DAF or charity you are giving to has expertise in taking in business interests. (5) Give generously through your estate: Check out givingpledge.org to find out reasons why many respected business leaders are leaving a charitable legacy. A DAF is a simple, easy solution for a family foundation legacy, but ask the fund sponsor whether they have rules about appointing successors. Read on...

Tampa Bay Business Journal: 5 things smart givers know
Author: Robert G. Collins


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 oct 2016

To avoid customer attrition in the digital age requires multiple service-centric online strategies. Cynthia Johnson, Managing Partner & Director of Marketing for RankLab, provides some of them - (1) Use Your Customers' Information to Benefit Their Experience: Ensure effective customer data collection using browser cookies, account login data in CRM and marketing automation tools; Personalization; Targeted product recommendations, send event triggered messages and auto-fill forms. (2) Make it Easy for People to Reach You: Display contact information prominently; Use multi-channel chat solutions. (3) Have a Mobile-Friendly Website Design: Mobile digital media time with 51%, exceeds desktop and other devices combined; Use responsive web design; (4) Pay Attention to Reviews and Rants on Social Media: Ensure monitoring of social chatter about your business; Use tools that can provide you with alerts when there are comments, reviews and inquiries on social media. (5) Above All Else, Listen and Respond. Read on...

Search Engine Journal: How to Avoid Digital Customer Service Fails
Author: Cynthia Johnson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 oct 2016

According to the IMF's October 2016 'World Economic Outlook' report, global economic growth will remain subdued this year (3.1%), as US slowdown and Brexit happened. Moreover, persistent stagnation in advanced economies could further give rise to anti-trade sentiments and populist call for restrictions on trade and immigration. Maurice Obstfeld, IMF chief economist, says, 'Such restrictions would hamper productivity, growth and innovation. t is vitally important to defend the prospects for increasing trade integration. Turning back the clock on trade can only deepen and prolong the world economy’s current doldrums.' IMF suggests - For near term growth, central banks in advanced economies should maintain easy monetary policies; Governments should spend more on education, technology, and infrastructure to expand productive capacity while taking steps to alleviate inequality; Many countries also need to counteract waning potential growth through structural reforms to boost labor force participation, better match skills to jobs, and reduce barriers to market entry. IMF found emerging markets and developing economies as the only bright spots, where growth will accelerate for the first time in 6 years to 4.2%. They are expected to grow 4.6% next year. Although, prospects differ sharply across countries and regions. Growth in emerging Asia, and especially India, continues to be resilient. India's GDP is projected to expand 7.6% this year and next, the fastest pace among the world's major economies. Sub-Saharan Africa's largest economies continue to struggle with lower commodity revenues, weighing on growth in the region. While, economic activity slowed in Latin America, as several countries are mired in recession, with recovery expected to take hold in 2017. Middle East remains in challenging conditions due to subdued oil prices, civil conflicts and terrorism. Commenting on the policy challenge, Mr. Obsfeld concludes, 'By using monetary, fiscal, and structural policies in concert - within countries, consistent over time, and across countries - the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.' Read on...

IMF News: IMF Sees Subdued Global Growth, Warns Economic Stagnation Could Fuel Protectionist Calls
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 sep 2016

According to the first experts' poll conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation (poll2016.trust.org), in partnership with Deutsche Bank, the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN) and UnLtd, the top nations for social entrepreneurs are - (1) United States (2) Canada (3) United Kingdom (4) Singapore (5) Israel (6) Chile (7) South Korea (8) Hong Kong (9) Malaysia (10) France. The poll included survey of about 900 social enterprise experts (social entrepreneurs, academics, investors, policy-makers and support networks) in the world's 45 biggest economies. 85% of the experts said the number of social entrepreneurs finding ways of combining business with social purpose was growing although there is little data tracking the sector. According to Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder of Pipeline Angels (US), 'If someone's interested in financial return on investment, that's not a good fit. We're about so much more. We're about doing good, we're about doing well.' Nearly 60% of the experts surveyed cited three major challenges in the growing sector - people do not know what social entrepreneurs do, which makes raising funds difficult and selling to governments is an uphill struggle. Anne Katrine Heje Larsen, founder and CEO of KPH (Denmark), says, 'There are still too many people who view social entrepreneurs as a bunch of hash-fuming utopian people in knitted sweaters. They couldn't be more wrong.' According to Ayşe Sabuncu, co-founder of Impact Hub Istanbulin (Turkey), 'People do not understand social entrepreneurs create money making businesses like any other business, and they question the philosophy of it if the entrepreneur ends up making profit.' Andy Carnahan, a Swedish social entrepreneur, says, 'A greater understanding of how for-profit businesses can be a driving force for social good would help. We need this (awareness)...among the public who don't realize how much good can be done by a for-profit business that has a social good built into its business model.' Poll found that India, Philippines and South Korea are among those where social entrepreneurs were finding it easiest to access investment. According to Prashanth Venkataramana of Essmart Global, 'A lot of people see India as an opportunity overseas, especially in America.' Bank of America's 2016 survey found that 85% of millennials were interested in having a social impact through investment. It also found that women were more interested in impact investing than men. Peetachai 'Neil' Dejkraisak of Siam Organic (Thailand) says, 'World-class social enterprises are run by women in Asia. They do a really good job balancing the social and financial objectives.' Rosemary Addis, chair of Impact Investing Australia, says, 'Individual enterprises are finding a niche and finding they can engage the market and sell their products or services. But as a sector, the concept of social enterprise and purpose-driven business has not yet got mainstream awareness. That's a job ahead to educate the public.' Read on...

Huffington Post: U.S. Is Best Country For Social Entrepreneurs - Poll
Authors: Pietro Lombardi, Ellen Wulfhorst, Pauline Askin, Nita Bhalla, Alisa Tang, Belinda Goldsmith


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 sep 2016

Patient focused care delivery driven by technological advancements is bringing transformations in healthcare ecosystem. Experts in a panel discussion 'Future of Health Care: Technology Innovations' shared their views on high level technology that has been in use in Pittsburgh (USA) as biotechnology, informatics and medicine are used to create a more responsive system for both consumers and health providers. Dr. Rasu Shrestha, Chief Innovation Officer and EVP of UPMC Enterprises, said, '...we'll go with a 'best of breed' approach, solutions that work best toward specific ends and, while doing so, invest in interoperability, or making those systems talk to each other. This was 10 years ago. No one else was doing this; this was before 'interoperability' became the buzzword that it is today in the industry.' According to Prof. Don Taylor, Assistant Vice Chancellor of University of Pittsburgh, 'The future of health care coordination rests, in part, with analytics, the ability to make data useful in the same way companies like Amazon and Netflix are able to suggest what movies to watch or what products to buy.' Ellen Beckjord of UPMC Health Plan, while describing the current state of digital health information, used the analogy of the cookbook that contains unorganized list of all ingredients that are disaggregated from recipes. She said, 'Just because it's integrated and all in one place doesn't mean it's actionable.' Kim Jacobs, VP of consumer innovation for UPMC Health Plan, said, 'Close to 60% of UPMC's telemedicine encounters led to emergency room avoidance.' According to Prof. Steven Handler of University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine, 'Telemedicine increases access to qualified professionals and reduces variability of care. It hits the sweet spot of medical devices, informatics and clinical medicine.' Read on...

Pittsburgh Business Times: Analytics key to future of health care coordination, panel says
Author: Lydia Nuzum


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 sep 2016

Comedian John Oliver in one of the recent episode of 'Last Week Tonight' on HBO described journalism industry's 'dire straits' and analyzed the depressing financial state of journalism in 2016 and the subsequent tendency for news outlets to focus on stories that get the most traffic. Moreover, he emphasised the importance of traditional reporting via newspapers that often get quoted by TV news channels. He says, 'It's pretty obvious without newspapers around to cite, TV news would just be Wolf Blitzer endlessly batting a ball of yarn around. The media is a food chain which would fall apart without local newspapers.' On the current financial situation of journalism, falling print advertising revenue and digital journalism, he says, 'A big part of the blame for this industry's dire straits is on us and our unwillingness to pay for the work journalists produce. We've just grown accustomed to getting our news for free and the longer that we get something for free, the less willing we are to pay for it...If journalists are constantly required to write, edit, shoot videos and tweet, mistakes are going to get made. It is clearly smart for newspapers to expand online. But the danger in doing that is the temptation to gravitate towards getting the most clicks.' Read on...

the guardian: John Oliver examines journalism's many problems: The blame is on us
Author: Adam Gabbatt


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 sep 2016

Researchers from Stanford University [Po-Chun Hsu, Alex Y. Song, Peter B. Catrysse, Chong Liu, Yucan Peng, Jin Xie, Shanhui Fan, Yi Cui] have developed a low-cost, plastic-based textile that, when woven into clothing, has the ability to keep the body cool more efficiently as compared to the natural or synthetic fabrics that are used today. The research was published in journal 'Science' titled, 'Radiative human body cooling by nanoporous polyethylene textile'. According to Prof. Yi Cui of Materials Science and Engineering, 'If you can cool the person rather than the building where they work or live, that will save energy.' The new material cools by letting perspiration evaporate through it, as fabrics normally do. But the other most innovative characteristic of the material's cooling mechanism is that it allows heat that the body emits as infrared radiation to pass through the plastic textile. Prof. Shanhui Fan of Electrical Engineering says, '40-60% of our body heat is dissipated as infrared radiation when we are sitting in an office. But until now there has been little or no research on designing the thermal radiation characteristics of textiles.' Researchers engineered the cooling material by blending nanotechnology photonics and chemistry to give polyethylene, the material used as kitchen wrap, a number of characteristics desirable in clothing material. It allows thermal radiation, air and water vapor to pass right through, and it is opaque to visible light. Prof. Cui says, 'If you want to make a textile, you have to be able to make huge volumes inexpensively.' According to Prof. Fan, 'This research opens up new avenues of inquiry to cool or heat things, passively, without the use of outside energy, by tuning materials to dissipate or trap infrared radiation.' Read on...

Stanford News: Stanford engineers develop a plastic clothing material that cools the skin
Author: Tom Abate


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 sep 2016

Journalism industry faces numerous challenges and is going through a difficult phase, as comedian John Oliver recently expained in his show on HBO. But there is also a ray of hope as the demand for good content is high and there is need of editorial skills. Journalism aspirants, who aspire to be Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein, may not feel happy about it though. Kayvan Salmanpour, chief content officer at digital marketing agency iCrossing, says, '99% of brands struggle with content because they publish without an editorial mindset. So I think (editorial is) hugely important - now more than ever.' He explains what brands can learn from media companies when it comes to content and suggests the following - (1) Hire an editor in chief who can have ultimate control of the content produced and can assure it's quality. Content represents the brand. (2) Create an editorial mission statement before anything else. There is need for clarity of objectives and everyone in the organization should be aligned to it. (3) Put the audience first as compared to brand/product first. Create content that is audience focused. Find the intersection between what the audience wants to read and what the brand stands for. (4) Don't try to be everything to everyone. Good content fits seamlessly between the brand and its target audience. It may even require conducting psychographic studies of the target audience and thinking about their habits in excruciating detail. Read on...

The Drum: Journalists, take heart - Content marketing needs you
Author: Lisa Lacy


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 sep 2016

Students have to be taught about entrepreneurship and innovation early in their educational stage to better prepare them to adapt to the technology-enabled disruptive future of the world of work. Experts predict that technology is transforming work so rapidly that 40% of the jobs of today will disappear within 10-15 years. According to The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), advances in computer technology and automation would result in around five million job losses. Prof. Stephen Martin, Chief Executive of CEDA, says, 'If we do not embrace massive economic reform and focus on incentivising innovation, we will simply be left behind in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.' Jo Burston, serial entrepreneur and founder of small business platform 'Inspiring Rare Birds', has created an education venture 'Phronesis Academy' with Prof. Richard Seymour of Sydney Business School. According to Ms. Burston, 'Phronesis in Greek means practical wisdom - it's all about learning in action. There is actually no right or wrong and there is no pass or fail because we know that in entrepreneurship those things don't actually exist...We need to have young people thinking as entrepreneurs as they go into businesses because businesses are wanting to innovate. So the people who can innovate and create new revenue lines are the ones who are going to be highly regarded in their positions and I think there's an entrepreneurial mindset around being able to do that.' Jayant Prakash, business teacher at Darwin High School, says, 'It's very important to know entrepreneurial skills because every day we get up in the morning and we are dealing in the world of business, we want our young people to be innovative in nature and this subject gives them the chance to develop ideas.' Read on...

Huffington Post: Why High School Is The Best Place To Nurture Our Entrepreneurs
Author: Cathy Anderson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 sep 2016

Multidisciplinary team of researchers lead by Prof. Amin Salehi-Khojin from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have engineered a process through a solar cell to mimic plants' ability to convert carbon dioxide into fuel, a way to decrease the amounts of harmful gas in the atmosphere and produce clean energy. According to Prof. Salehi-Khojin, 'The artificial leaf essentially recycles carbon dioxide. And it's powered entirely by the sun, mimicking the real photosynthesis process. Real leaves use the energy from the sun and convert carbon dioxide to sugar. In the artificial leaf that we built, we use the sun and we convert CO2 to (synthetic gas), which can be converted to any hydrocarbon, like gasoline.' Describing the process Prof. Salehi-Khojin said, 'The energy of the sun rearranges the chemical bonds of the carbon dioxide. So the sun's energy is being stored in the form of chemical bonds, which can be burned as fuel...Scientists around the world have been studying carbon reduction, as this type of reaction is called, for years.' Prof. Nathan Lewis of California Institute of Technology, who has been studying solar fuels and artificial photosynthesis for more than 40 years, says, 'UIC's development is only a small piece of an eventual solar fuel product that can be widely implemented. There's a lot of steps that need to occur to envision how these things would translate into a commercializable system, but it's a step for building a piece of a full system that may be useful.' Prof. Michael R. Wasielewski of Northwestern University comments, 'UIC's development could push renewable energy technology forward.' The research, 'Nanostructured transition metal dichalcogenide electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction in ionic liquid', was recently published in journal 'Science'. UIC News Center website (news.uic.edu) provides the following information about co-authors and collaborators of this research - Amin Salehi-Khojin, Mohammad Asadi, Kibum Kim, Aditya Venkata Addepalli, Pedram Abbasi, Poya Yasaei, Amirhossein Behranginia, Bijandra Kumar and Jeremiah Abiade of UIC's Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, who performed the electrochemical experiments and prepared the catalyst; Robert F. Klie and Patrick Phillips of UIC's Physics Department, who performed electron microscopy and spectroscopy experiments; Larry A. Curtiss, Cong Liu and Peter Zapol of Argonne National Laboratory, who did Density Functional Theory calculations; Richard Haasch of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who did ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy; José M. Cerrato of the University of New Mexico, who did elemental analysis. Read on...

Chicago Tribune: UIC researchers develop artificial leaf that turns CO2 into fuel
Author: Ally Marotti


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 aug 2016

Technology-driven transformations are clearly visible in human resources management. HR experts from Forbes Human Resources Council share their views regarding five areas where technology is impacting to make human resource practices more effective and efficient - (1) Digital Interviews Save Time And Money: Rohit Paul of Academy For Urban School Leadership, says, 'Digital interviewing allowed candidates to use whichever technology they preferred - phone, tablet or laptop - to record their responses and provided screeners with an opportunity to review on their own time. It saved my team hundreds if not thousands of hours.' (2) Everyone Can Connect Through Social Media: Ben Martinez of HireVue, says, 'Social media opened doors for human resources professionals years ago, allowing us to be more open and to connect with people in a different way...we use live-streaming apps like Periscope or Facebook Live for big meetings or Snapchat to share stories of our workdays.' (3) Paper Records Are Now Digital: Sarah O'Neill of Digital Trends, says, 'Technology has allowed everything from new hire paperwork to cases of discrimination to be easily trackable by including date/time stamps and reminders to help keep never-sleeping HR departments on track.' (4) More Focus Can Be Placed On Relationship Building: Angela Nguyen of Ad Exchange Group, says, 'With technology greatly helping to streamline (basic HR tasks)...professionals can now spend more time on what humans do better than machines. They can keep their ears to the ground, analyze what motivates employees, ensure that values from leadership align with the culture of the company, and refine ways to develop stronger and happier teams.' (5) Geographical Boundaries Are Eliminated: Sabrina McGrail of Techstars, says, 'It's now entirely possible to have a global team and talent pool...alignment to our values is stronger than it's ever been. That wouldn't be possible without tools like Slack and advanced video conferencing.' Read on...

Forbes: Five Ways Technology Is Impacting HR For The Better
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 aug 2016

The interactions and engagement of brands with their audience and customers now happens in real-time, thanks to social media and technological innovations. But the similar engagement with employees and worker is far off, and happens only through annual performance reviews or employee surveys. Michael Papay, Co-founder and CEO of Waggl, explains, 'Even organizations that really care about personal development typically run a 360-degree feedback process only every 3-5?...Most business and HR leaders agree that traditional methods of listening to and engaging with employees, while full of positive intent, have had little impact on driving business health, let alone business strategy. Yet, despite this shift in attitude, most organizations are still relying primarily on the annual survey to communicate with employees.' Waggl conducted a survey on its platform obtaining response from 575 people (business leaders, HR leaders and consultants) - 98% were positive about listening to employees and incorporating their ideas is critical to an organization's success; Only 38% were positive about hearing from employees once a year (via an annual survey) gives organizations the timely insights they need to be successful. Following were the response (526 answers, 7550 votes) about top human capital/people priority for 2016 - (1) Encouraging/engendering a growth/ownership mindset, we call it leadership at all levels. (2) Leadership development throughout the field, with a strong emphasis on personal accountability. (3) Agility, collaboration and trust. (4) Finding the right talent who are innovative and can take the organizations to the next level. (5) Influencing the company culture to have more authentic, people oriented people managers and reward and promote those who are successfully engaging their people, not the ones that get the best results but do not show the right leadership behaviors. Read on...

Business 2 Community: The Importance of Developing a People Strategy that Supports Your Business Strategy
Author: Michael Papay


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 aug 2016

Businesses work in ever changing environment and they have to effectively adapt to it for survival and success. Continuous learning and knowledge seeking approach can help owners and employees safeguard their business's future. Nowadays, with technology-enabled knowledge and learning available all the time online, they don't even have to leave their work and can get it whenever they have time. Flexibility and accessability are the strengths of online education. Currently, with a number of online initiatives by many education providers, the range of learning modules available in a number of diverse fields have multiplied. The choice is in the hands of the learner and acquiring new skills is just a click or tap away. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) provide courses on various topics of business, management, technology etc, and students can submit coursework, receive feedback and marks, and participate in duscussion forums with mentors and peers. Synchronised teaching allow students and teachers to connect and communicate in real-time from different locations. MOOCs have made massive progress since 2008, when they were first launched. Many traditional education providers have MOOCs as part of their online strategy. MOOCs incorporate various elements like forums, social networks, blogs, videos and written materials as part of their learning environment. With continuing advancements in communication technologies, MOOCs will also improve and transformation will also happen in their business model. Latest concept under research in online education is MiRTLEs (Mixed Reality Teaching and Learning Environments). The emphasis here is to enable students to virtually join a lecture through webcam. As the research in online education continues, there will always be availability of better learning environments that fulfil the needs of business owners and their employees. Read on...

Tech.co: 2 Ways Technology Revolutionized Online Education
Author: Marcelo Brahimllari


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 aug 2016

Entrepreneurs thrive in regions and countries that have developed better and facilitating entrepreneurial ecosystem than others. According to Alberta's Center for Innovation Studies, Canada has the second-highest level of entrepreneurial activity in the world. Andrea Stairs, Managing Director of eBay Canada, provide five traits of successful online entrepreneurs shared by winners of eBay Canada's 'Entrepreneur of the Year' award - (1) They are strategic. They map out their growth. A recent BDC survey of Canadian entrepreneurs found that successful businesses are much more likely (71%) to have a strategic plan than less successful companies (46%). (2) They think globally from the outset. (3) They focus on niches to differentiate themselves from the competition. (4) They are passionate and resourceful. (5) They are resilient. They learn from failure and pivot in the face of obstacles. Read on...

Huffington Post: 5 Traits Of Successful Online Entrepreneurs
Author: Andrea Stairs


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 aug 2016

Social media provides ease of connecting and sharing information with ones network and communities. Peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising works towards bringing the supporters and their networks together for financial contributions. Social media can be an effective tool to reach donors and networks to fulfil nonprofit's fundraising goals. Following 8 strategies can be utilized to successfully implement social media into P2P fundraising campaign - (1) Optimize online components - Ensure that all fundraising pages are functional, user-friendly and mobile responsive; WHY: Strong online fundraising gives a positive signal to supporters. Social media is an extension of online fundraising. Having a strong online background is needed to support individual fundraisers that may lack technological expertise; WHAT: A clear, straightforward, and simple fundraising page. A platform that allows individual fundraisers to create their own giving pages. Active social media accounts. (2) Tell a cohesive, simple story - Telling a story about the recipients of your aid is the perfect way to engage with social media while reaching your donors; WHY: Compelling stories add value to your nonprofit. They connect people to people, generating an emotional response that can lead to action; WHAT: An individual or a community to focus your story. An interview with your chosen subject. An accompanying photo. A short, postable format. (3) Use a multimedia approach - Pictures, videos and sound, capture our attention. They offer the user a diverse, vivid experience, one that can connect supporters more directly to the cause; WHAT: High-quality content. A posting schedule. (4) Strategize for each platform - Nonprofits often post the same content to each site with little adjustment. For maximum effectiveness the approach should differ for each platform; WHY: Different social media platforms offer different opportunities for engagement, and likewise, different opportunities to reach your donors in meaningful ways; WHAT: Hashtags. Character-limit copy. The right language. Specific calls to action. (5) Post, share, tag, and like - Active social media presence gives positive signals. It also helps in tracking the online conversations regarding the campaign; WHY: Liking and sharing supporters' fundraising milestones and accomplishments shows supporters that you're engaged with their work and appreciate what they've done for your mission. Posting the campaign's success at regular intervals inspires individual fundraisers to keep working toward long-term goals; WHAT: A social media coordinator. Tracking tools. The rules of operation. (6) Set goals for your fundraisers - Set goals in a way inspires your supporters and anyone who stumbles upon your campaign; WHY: Clearly displayed goal will show the supporters the level of progress they have made and how much more is needed. Similarly, an individual goal establishes each individual fundraiser's role in the campaign. Setting clear goals is the only way for your supporters to meet your expectations; WHAT: Fundraising metrics. Fundraising thermometers. Integrate fundraising goals into user-friendly pages for clear communication at different stages. (7) Provide toolkits to supporters - Right materials and tools helps to keep message consistent and clear for supporters and their networks; WHY: Providing toolkits helps supporters create the most effective tasks. Provide templates to easily relay the message; WHAT: Suggested copy. Images. Suggested posting schedule. Background information. (8) Generate friendly competition - Needed to push the campaign reach its goal within time and even go beyond its goal; WHY: Competition inspires to work effectively with vigour. It's easy for family and friends to get caught up in the fun and donate more to see their own reach the goal and get on top; WHAT: Leaderboards. Badges. Recognition. Read on...

Crowdfund Insider: 8 Social Media Strategies for Nonprofit Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Author: Abby Jarvis


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 aug 2016

According to WordStream.com, 'Marketing analytics is the practice of measuring, managing and analyzing marketing performance to maximize its effectiveness and optimize return on investment (ROI). Understanding marketing analytics allows marketers to be more efficient at their jobs and minimize wasted web marketing dollars. Beyond the obvious sales and lead generation applications, marketing analytics can offer profound insights into customer preferences and trends. Despite these compelling benefits, a majority of organizations fail to ever realize the promises of marketing analytics.' It is imperative for marketers to overcome analytics related challenges and bring customers closer to the brands and serve each one of them in the best possible way. Ensuring better data quality, effective knowledge and skills to analyze data, focus and clarity of goals, collaborative approach and creativity, will provide what marketing analytics promises. In KPMG's 2016 Global CEO Outlook, 84% of CEO's indicated their concern about the quality of the data they use to make decisions. Moreover, Forrester Research noted that 58% of the work in a business intelligence initiative is spent on trying to find the right data and integrate it for analysis. Openprise released a study on marketing data management, noting barriers to data management success included - Poor data use/accessibility (54%); Poor data quality (44%); Poor database integration (37%). Study by Ascend found similar challenges to data-driven marketing, listing integrating data across platforms and enriching data quality and completeness as the top two challenges. Finding the right data and analyzing it properly and gain valuable insights is the key to effective data-driven marketing. This requires specialized knowledge and expertise for marketers. eMarketer points to an IAB study that found that 34.8% noted a lack of internal experience at the functional and operational level as a major obstacle to deploying and deriving value from data-driven marketing. Moreover, collaborative approach and focus are other critical factors required to get maximum results. Amar Doshi, VP of Product at 6sense, says, 'Marketing can't operate in a silo if the enterprise wants to be successful at data-driven marketing. It takes a team that includes resources across the organization to work together.' He adds, 'Marketers are also trying to do too much and, as a result, not doing anything well.' The key is to agree on performance goals and metrics. CMO Solution Guide suggests to always be testing and measuring. But in all these processes and focus, importance of creativity should never be forgotten. Robert Glazer, founder and managing director of Acceleration Partners, says, 'Marketing needs to do both, but too often it's choosing the data over creative. Focusing on creative doesn't mean ignoring data. In fact, data plays an important role in directing creative. Incorporating both data and creativity means maintaining a balance between insight-driven ideas and compelling execution. Smart marketers bring their creative team and data geeks together.' Read on...

diginomica: Why do marketers struggle to do analytics well?
Author: Barb Mosher Zinck


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 aug 2016

Team of multidisciplinary researchers from Case Western Reserve University (USA) [Victoria Webster; Roger Quinn; Hillel Chiel; Ozan Akkus; Umut Gurkan; Emma L. Hawley; Jill M. Patel; Katherine J. Chapin], have created a 'biohybrid' robot by combining sea slug materials with 3D printed parts, that can crawl like sea turtle. Scientists suggest that in future, swarms of biohybrid robots could be released for such tasks as locating the source of a toxic leak in a pond that would send animals fleeing. They could also be used to search the ocean floor for a black box flight data recorder, a potentially long process that may leave current robots stilled with dead batteries. According to Ms. Webster, PhD student and lead researcher, 'We're building a living machine - a biohybrid robot that's not completely organic - yet. For the searching tasks, we want the robots to be compliant, to interact with the environment. One of the problems with traditional robotics, especially on the small scale, is that actuators - the units that provide movement - tend to be rigid.' Researchers also explain that if completely organic robots prove workable a swarm released at sea or in a pond or a remote piece of land, won't be much of a worry if they can't be recovered. They're likely to be inexpensive and won't pollute the location with metals and battery chemicals but be eaten or degrade into compost. Read on...

think - CWRU Blog: Researchers build a crawling robot from sea slug parts and a 3-D printed body
Author: Kevin Mayhood


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 04 aug 2016

According to Wikipedia, 'Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) became popular in 1960s and is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a self-regulatory mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and national and international norms.' While BusinessDictionary.com defines CSR as 'A company's sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship - (1) Through their waste and pollution reduction processes. (2) By contributing educational and social programs. (3) By earning adequate returns on the employed resources.' According to a Global CSR Study conducted by Cone Communications/Ebiquity, 91% of global consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit but also operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues. From integrating a social mission into cross-departmental activities to engaging in sustainability practices, there are myriad ways in which organizations can adopt both a good business and commerce-driven model. A new report from PSFK Labs, 'Impact Debrief', explores how brands can innovate around this decades-old concept of CSR to elevate their social impact and influence. The study provides 5 key ingredients for creating social innovation - (1) Identify And Unite Around A Relevant Social Problem. (2) Promote Cross-Functional Integration. (3) Incentivize And Empower Employees. (4) Create Value By Maximizing Sustainability Efforts. (5) Deliver Transparency. Read on...

PSFK: The 5 Fundamentals For Corporate Social Innovation
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jul 2016

Packaging is an important component of product handling, logistics, advertising, marketing and selling. There are variety of materials that are currently in use for packaging. Environmental challenges arise due to the waste generated through discarded packagings. The packaging industry is exploring better materials that can reduce environmental footprint. In spite of scientific breakthroughs in developing new packaging materials, there are issues related to their performance and price, inhibiting their mass adoption and usage. Bryan Shova, packaging designer and industrial design director at Kaleidoscope, explains sustainability aspects of packaging. He says, 'I dream of the day when material science and manufacturing can deliver on the promise of zero environmental impact, high performance, premium finish and low costs.' He explains, 'The viability of true sustainability is a complex economic challenge, and the ugly truth is that few consumers, brand owners or municipalities are willing to pay the premium price for cutting-edge sustainable packaging solutions. True solutions will come through "systems thinking" that requires the material supplier, manufacturer, retailer, consumer and the municipality to share in the premium costs and labor required to design, collect and recycle packaged materials.' He provides 10 principles for designing sustainable packaging - (1) Start with commodity materials that are commonly recycled. (2) Design the package from a single material. (3) Focus on the product-to-package ratio. (4) Design for assembly at the point of manufacture. (5) Avoid gluing and laminations. (6) Design for distribution. (7) Eliminate secondary and tertiary packaging when possible. (8) Design for disassembly. (9) Clearly mark the materials on the packaging components. (10) Use Lifecycle Assessment. Read on...

Packaging Digest: 10 ways to design sustainable packaging with intent
Author: Bryan Shova


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 jul 2016

Prof. Henry Chesbrough of University of California at Berkeley, coined the term 'Open Innovation' in his book "Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology" that was published on 2003. According to website OpenInnovation.net, 'Open Innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology.' Organizations are now more commonly adopting open innovation. As Prof. Chesbrough suggested in his research few years ago that nearly 80% of organizations were already dabbling with open innovation in some form or other. In 2015, Carlos Moedas (European Union's Commissionar for Research, Science and Innovation), outlined the goals for his organization as 'Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World'. Recently EU published a paper to highlight its commitment to an open and transparent approach to innovation and related policy initiatives. In terms of supporting open innovation throughout Europe, the EU's focus is in four key areas - PUBLIC SECTOR: By providing a regulatory framework that supports and incentivizes open knowledge and cooperation; FINANCIAL SECTOR: By ensuring that innovation-friendly funding is available; INNOVATIVE BUSINESSES: By reducing market fragmentation throughout Europe to help companies commercialize their work; ACADEMIA: By supporting the development of co-creation capabilities and the ease with which research finds its way into business. Supporting 'Open Science' is a key part of the EU's desire for more effective and open innovation as it facilitates the free movement of knowledge throughout the continent. In this regard, EU is focusing efforts in five key policy areas - Fostering and creating incentives for open science; Removing barriers to open science; Mainstreaming and further promoting open access policies; Developing research infrastructures for open science; Embedding open science in society as a socio-economic driver. The final component of EU's open innovation strategy is to foster international cooperation in research and innovation. Horizon 2020, is one such program in the direction of making open science a norm globally. Moreover, international cooperation is key to tackle issues like climate change, driverless technology etc. The paper concludes, 'Science and innovation are global endeavours and researchers should be able to work together smoothly across borders, particularly on large-scale common challenges. The strategic approach to EU international cooperation aims to develop common principles and adequate framework conditions for engaging in cooperation.' Read on...

Huffington Post: Open Innovation, Open Science And Open To The World
Author: Adi Gaskell


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 jul 2016

In today's highly competitive and fast paced world of business, innovation can be a differentiating factor and a source of strategic advantage. It can help businesses to stay ahead on the success curve. Risk-taking is an important component of innovative thought process and activity. Val DiFebo, CEO of Deutsch New York, suggests three ways to encourage employees to take risks and build an innovation seeking organization - (1) Explore Unchartered Territory: Encourage risk-taking by rewarding and applauding new ideas and by listening and building when teams want to do things that don't exist. Explore the uncharted territory strategically and patiently. (2) Support the Ideas: Provide support financially and practically. But budget carefully for risks involved. Be realistic when evaluating returns on these investments. Encourage employees to take calculated risks. (3) Be Passionate: It takes courage and passion to introduce new idea. Ask employees to bring ideas they are passionate about. Asking people to be a bit vulnerable encourages risk-taking and can be tremendously rewarding, as well as provide an element of team bonding. Accepting failures of the past and learning from them minimizes the risk of repeating them in future. A smart risk is well thought out and demonstrates that employees have looked at other options and genuinely believe that the risk is worth the gain. Read on...

Fortune: The One Thing Every Company Gets Wrong About Innovation
Author: Val DiFebo


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 15 jul 2016

Local communities require participation from its members for their better development. Individuals have to be proactive and should make valuable contribution, and work as a team to make a difference. Pawel Alva Nazaruk, social entrepreneur and owner of Better World International, suggest 7 ways to support communities and change neighbourhood - (1) Support Children - They Are Our Future: Support a child or team for a community activity. (2) Build A House - Sweat And Get Dirty: Find opportunities to help build homes for the disadvantaged. (3) Shop In Your Community - Keep Your Money In Your Local Area: According to American Independent Business Association, 48% of each purchase made in your local independent businesses stays in your community. Also helps create more local jobs. (4) Clean Up Your Neighborhood: Start from the area around your home and then organize a community cleaning event. (5) Take Part In Your Local Political Process: Vote for local representatives. Organize around issues of community development and support the best candidate. (6) Support Community Events: Support activities like farmers market and community gardens. Engage in events that create fun and build a healthy environment in community. (7) Be Friendly: Develop better relations with neighbors and other members of the community. Introduce yourself to the new member who joins the community. Be helpful, caring and supportive to members who are in need. Read on...

Huffington Post: 7 Ways To Support Your Community
Authors: Pawel Alva Nazaruk, Ray V. Bennett Jr.


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 04 jul 2016

Team of researchers from IIT-Madras (India) and University of Nebraska at Lincoln (USA), are developing an ingestible capsule, that can stay in human body for close to a week, with sensors that will take readings of an individual's calorie intake, that can eventually help in diagnosis of diseases like cancer and permit sustained delivery of drugs. According to Prof. Benjamin Terry of UNL, 'The capsule, made of biocompatible materials, works like a parasite by latching on to the intestinal wall.' The sensors communicate their readings to an external device through low-intensity radio waves. Prof. P. V. Manivannan of IIT-M, says, 'The device is kept a metre away from the body. We use only low intensity waves that don't harm the body.' According to experts, biosensors could help monitor factors that influence digestive health. Prof. Terry adds that the mechanism could also serve as a long-term vessel for capsule endoscopes, the ingestible pill-shaped cameras that permit physicians to record images of the gastrointestinal tract. Read on...

The Times of India: From IIT-M - Capsule in body to count calories, diagnose cancer
Author: Ekatha Ann John


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 jun 2016

E-Commerce strategy once was a source of competitive advantage and differentiating factor in business. But now it is an essential strategy for businesses to connect and engage with their customers and, market and sell their products and services online. AJ Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Alumnify, suggests 4 affordable marketing strategies to boost e-commerce efforts and stand out from the competition - (1) Start Testing More On Facebook: Utilize split testing or A/B testing to evaluate advertising effectiveness and save cost. Continue the process until best results are achieved. One tactic you can implement in your testing is to prequalify leads. (2) Use The Right Influencers: Word of mouth generates twice the number of sales as paid advertising. Invest in reputation marketing and word of mouth marketing. Use the right and relevant influencers. (3) Invest In Your Email Marketing Campaign: 44% of customers click on promotional emails and then make a purchase. Build email list and invest in email marketing campaign. Finally get a group of brand ambassadors from the list and initiate word of mouth marketing through them. (4) Retargeting In The Right Style: Use retargeting to highlight and establish that unique selling point to convince them to buy and not go to competitors. Use data analytics to understand customer behavior. Segment your adds based on user interactions with site. Keep testing advertising effectiveness until best results are achieved. Continuous testing of marketing strategies and improving upon them will help in differentiating from competitors and attract customers. Read on...

Forbes: 4 Marketing Strategies To Take eCommerce To The Next Level
Author: AJ Agrawal


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 jun 2016

There are almost 50 million people living in poverty in the United States, almost 15 percent of the population. Although there are continuous efforts by governments, organizations and individuals to eradicate poverty, but the challenge is huge and at times results are not what are expected. Sometimes there is also lack of coordination between nonprofit agencies and difference in approaches to tackle poverty, even in same locations and dealing with same people. Kavitha Cardoza of WAMU shares her views on poverty with Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey. She says, 'As someone who grew up in India, where you interact with tons of poor people every day. But here (US), poverty is so hidden. Think of people who work minimum wage jobs - office cleaners come in overnight; if you have a maid at home, she comes in when you're at work. And if you think of say, a McDonald's, everyone is wearing a uniform and looks the same. We have sanitized poverty.' She explains, 'We tend to see poverty as fixed when it's really fluid. Of course it's about not having enough money, but we tend to forget all the challenges that go along with that. It becomes about food and housing and transportation and healthcare. And each of those problems leads to more problems.' Moreover, owning a cell phone, a TV or a kid having fancy sneakers, shouldn't be questionable in a poor situation, as they may serve a purpose contrary to typical perceptions. She quotes Greg Kaufmann, Editor of Talk Poverty, who says, 'Put yourself in a poor parent's place. People don't want their children to seem poor, they don't want to seem poor. Clearly, we have so much stigma attached to poverty. Kids get teased. Again as a parent, you can't get what middle class kids get - the sports camp or the music class, and so wouldn't you want to try to do something for your kid? And maybe actually that pair of sneakers is the cheapest thing you could do.' Speaking on lack of coordination and cooperation among charities that are helping poors, she says, 'There isn't a lot of incentive to collaborate...Part of it is each has different ideas about tackling the same problem, they want to do it their way and they all have different governance structures. And different ways of measuring success.' She quotes Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, which works with lots of human services organizations throughout the area, who says, 'The biggest challenge is charities compete with each other for funds. And that does sometimes create incentives for people not to work as closely or to be jockeying among themselves for the attention of funders...And the funding models that are in place to fund nonprofits in some sense encourage that inefficiency.' She quotes Katherine Boo, author of 'Behind the Beautiful Forevers', a book about poverty in Mumbai, who says, 'Journalists often cover poverty by going to a nonprofit and doing a story on someone who is doing well, they've had challenges, now they're fine. The story ends with everything tied up in a neat little bow. That's doing listeners a disservice because then they think that's how it is. There are no relapses, no challenges, no one who doesn't make it. And that's just not true.' Read on...

WAMU.org: How Traditional Nonprofits Run Into Problems Trying To Tackle Poverty
Author: Kavitha Cardoza


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 jun 2016

Women are more prominently visible in some professions, but not in all. According to the International Interior Design Association, 69% of the 87,000 design practitioners in the United States are women. But the dismal stat is that, only 25% of firm leaders are female. Although Zaha Hadid, Odile Decq and Jennifer Siegal have reached the top and inspired other women to walk in their footsteps, but there are challenges that women face to get there. Here are views of the four creatives that have worked hard to be leaders in design and architecture - (1) Nicole Hollis, Principal and Creative Director of NICOLEHOLLIS: CHALLENGES - 'Working on construction sites can occasionally be challenging...Also, getting out of my office and working together on site, rather than via email or phone, generates a lot of mutual respect.' OPPORTUNITIES - 'I believe that women have the same opportunities as men. Often having quiet determination and hanging in there during the tough times can be more of a factor than gender.' (2) Lisa Bottom, Design Principal at Gensler San Francisco: CHALLENGES - 'I learned early on that my proclivity for hard work would serve me well. I had to work harder than most of the men and ensure that all my delivered product was the best I could produce.' OPPORTUNITIES - 'The Co-CEO of Gensler, Diane Hoskins, is a woman. Our most recent Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Gensler, Robin Klehr-Avia, is a woman, and the Managing Directors of many of the Gensler offices are women. Gender is no longer the determining factor for success in a design career.' (3) Anne Fougeron, Principal of Fougeron Architecture: CHALLENGES - The challenge is to convince people that you are as capable as your male colleagues. There seems to be an underlying assumption that men understand and know more about construction than women!' OPPORTUNITIES - 'I think women are primed to take over and be the new emerging voice in the field of architecture...We must remember to always ask for what is rightfully ours.' (4) Kendall Wilkinson, Principal of Kendall Wilkinson Design: CHALLENGES - I never thought about being less or more because of my gender, I always knew that I had something to bring to any table, regardless of the audience.' OPPORTUNITIES - 'Doors are opening in so many areas related to design now. More and more, you are seeing women in construction be it electricians, project managers, or even general contractors...our industry is undergoing disruption which I think will lead to interesting new paths for both women and men.' Read on...

7x7: 4 Creative Women Taking the Lead in Design & Architecture
Author: Anna Volpicelli


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 jun 2016

According to the survey by U.S. Trust (a subsidiary of Bank of America), of 684 high net worth (HNW) individuals, all with investable assets of US$ 3 million or more, there is increasing interest and activity in social impact investing, particularly among women, Millennials and Gen Xers. The survey also found the 7 out of 10 HNW Americans have more confidence in the private sector to solve social and environmental problems than the public or nonprofit sector. Moreover, another 6 in 10 believe that private capital invested in social and public programs can produce superior outcomes, all while ownership and interest in impact investing climb. Jackie VanderBrug, Managing Director of U.S. Trust, says, 'Understanding how and why individuals make impact investments is an increasingly important component of nonprofit management. I think that nonprofit executives that look at impact investing as a trend to be welcomed and embraced are going to be the ones ahead of the curve. Impact investing is not going away. It's fundamentally changing how investments are being made by individuals and fund managers. Understanding that and what it means to your donor base, constituency and board members is an important part of a nonprofit executive's job.' The survey report also finds that, environmental protection and sustainability is the issue that matters most to HNW investors, followed by healthcare equality and access; disease prevention, treatment and cure; access to education; and assistance for veterans. Ms. VanderBrug further adds, 'This is not about confusing philanthropy. Our clients are extremely philanthropic and we don't think that that should stop. My experience is that most individuals who are interested in impact investing are also very philanthropic. They understand that all sectors of the economy need to work.' Read on...

The NonProfit Times: Big Donors Losing Faith In Charity To Solve Problems
Author: Andy Segedin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jun 2016

Designers need continuous flow of creative ideas and motivation in their work. Sometimes they reach a state of creative block when they lack internal motivation and inspiration to generate ideas. In such situations an external source of inspiration would be of assistance. Following are 8 online resources for designers that can provide the spark of creativity and rekindle inspiration - (1) Designspiration: A design portal that has architecture, typography, illustrations and print. Features the work of global artists and innovators. (2) Dribbble: A hub for creatives to connect, share and inspire one another. Includes typography, website design, logos, illustrations and graphics. Designers can also be hired through the site. (3) Awwards: Recognizes best designed website from around the world. Jury comprises of renowned designers, bloggers and agencies. It rates websites and gives score comprised of different elements, including creativity, design, content and usability. (4) Siteinspire: Has some of the best filtering of any design portal. Can choose from multiple categories, and follow designers and their work. (5) Smashing Magazine: Includes editorial and professional resources for designers and developers. Have blogs from designers. (6) The Best Designs: Includes web design works of best designers. Helps find, connect with and share work with other designers. (7) Behance: Have archives of graphic design, photography, interactive design, art direction, illustration and more. (8) Adobe Kuler: As color is one of the most important aspect of design, Adobe Kuler can help one share, create and browse color schemes from designers and users around the world. Read on...

Business 2 Community: 8 Incredible Online Resources for Creative Design Inspiration
Author: Brittney Ervin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 jun 2016

Family-owned businesses exist through out the world. According to Wikipedia, 'A family business is a commercial organization in which decision-making is influenced by multiple generations of a family - related by blood or marriage - who are closely identified with the firm through leadership or ownership...Family business is the oldest and most common model of economic organization.' During the formative stages, these businesses reflect the decision-making and working style of the owner and the ideas follow a top-down approach. But as the organization grows and become successful, and the management systems evolve there arise a need of outside professionals and top managers to bring fresh ideas and expertise, take over some tasks and roles from the owner, and further accelerate the growth of business. But according to Prof. Marleen Dieleman of National University of Singapore, an expert in strategy and policy, 'Unfortunately, this arrangement frequently does not end well because of a simple, crucial mistake: While they may invest considerable time and money in finding, hiring and training the right outside professional, all too often owners of family businesses assume that an outsider can do the job without the owner changing their own behavior.' If the owners are unable to embrace the change, the approach generally fails. With regards to Asian family businesses, she says, 'In Asia most family firms are built around strong, hands-on family leadership, but are weak in systems.' So to successfully strengthen managerial systems through hiring an external professional, Prof. Dieleman suggests four steps that family firms should consider - (1) Take Stock: Introspection is the first step in the process. Owners should ask themselves critical questions regarding the whys and wherefores. (2) Set Up Formal Corporate Governance Rules: Before hiring an outside professional, build proper procedures and systems. Clearly define responsibilities, performance targets and authority levels. (3) Implement New Routines: Owners should feel comfortable with a hands-off approach and should not overstep their boundaries. This requires awareness, acceptance, training, and practice for all parties involved. It shouldn't be just designing the system, but the discipline to stick to the new rules and roles. (4) Hire Multiple Outside Professionals: Once the system is in place and implemented, then hire for clearly defined roles. Accept increased overheads and cost of professionalization. It may require a team of professionals to fulfil the multiple roles that owner single-handedly performed. Read on...

CNBC: Family business owners must be ready to stop meddling
Author: Marleen Dieleman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 jun 2016

Dr. Amantha Imber's new book, 'The Innovation Formula: The 14 Keys for Creating a Culture where Innovation Thrives', provides an authoritative curation of insights into innovation. Dr. Imber is an innovation psychologist and founder of Australian innovation consultancy Inventium. The book draws upon author's experiences, academic journals and research studies on innovation. It begins with an 'innovation culture audit' based on a survey of 28 questions, that will help assess an organisation's readiness and journey on the innovation path. The tips and case studies are classified into four levels or units of analysis: individual, teams, leadership and organization. These levels have a total of 14 key factors of innovation. (1) INDIVIDUAL LEVEL: CHALLENGE [Imagination breakthroughs (GE), Personal development hacks (Inventium)]; AUTONOMY [Design changes (Etsy, Vimeo)]; RECOGNITION [Innovation Awards (Intuit)]. (2) TEAM LEVEL: DEBATE [Voice of Youth (Infosys), Reverse mentoring (GE, Cisco, HP)], SUPPORTIVENESS ['Flat' teams (Mirvac]; COLLABORATION [Experts from other business units (Pfizer)]. (3) LEADER LEVEL: SUPERVISOR SUPPORT [Design thinking (Disney)]; SENIOR LEADER SUPPORT [CEO office hours (FourSquare), Customer Meetups (Etsy)]; RESOURCES [Hack Days (LinkedIn), Innovation Champions (Pfizer), Toolkits (Adobe, Nestle, CBA)]; GOAL CLARITY [Innovation KPIs (Mirvac)]. (4) ORGANIZATION LEVEL: RISK-TAKING [Annual failure report (EWB), Dare To Try awards (Tata, Pfizer)]; COHESION [Buddy Program (Buzz Products)]; PARTICIPATION [Hack Weeks (Etsy)]; PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT [Central atrium (Circus Oz), Participatory office design (Mirvac)]. Dr. Imber cautions, 'Creating a culture won't happen overnight.' She sums up, 'Innovation is a learned skill.' Read on...

Your Story: The Innovation Formula - 14 tips for business creativity and growth
Author: Madanmohan Rao


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 jun 2016

Creativity and innovation help organizations thrive, grow and, stay relevant and competitive. Fast Company developed a list of 100 most creative and innovative professionals for 2016. The list includes individuals from 13 countries and has 50% representation of women. Here are selected few in HUMAN RESOURCES, ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CORPORATE CULTURE (The numbering is retained as in the original list) - (15) Carlos Mario Rodriguez (Director of Global Agronomy, Starbucks): For keeping Starbucks and farmers everywhere, full of beans. (22) Anna Young (Co-founder, MakerHealth): For enabling nurses to create their own solutions. (25) Kakul Srivastava (VP of Product Management, GitHub): For seeing the people behind the code. (26) Yasmin Belo-Osagie (Co-founder, She Leads Africa): For developing female entrepreneurs across Africa. (33) Abby Falik (Founder & CEO, Global Citizen Year): For channeling teenage wanderlust toward social good. (39) Alex Wolf (Founder & CEO, BOSSBABE Inc): For leading a millennial girl gang. (42) Dani Rylan (Founder & Comissioner, National Women's Hockey League): For giving women a shot at a professional sport. (48) Mary Roach (Author of 2016 book 'Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War'): For finding innovation on the front lines. (49) Wendy Davis (Founder, Deeds Not Words): For continuing to stand up for gender equality. (50) Quincy Delight Jones III (CEO, WeMash): For fostering harmony between mashup artists and copyright holders. (55) Adam Grant (Professor of Management and Psychology, The Wharton School, U. of Pennsylvania): For pinpointing the secrets of success. Author of the book 'Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World'. (59) Tony Long (Founder & Director of FabLab, Northrop Grumman): For luring DIY to defense. (64) Amy McDonough (VP, FItbit Wellness, Fitbit): For bringing exercise to the enterprise. (65) Neha Narkhede (Co-founder & CTO, Confluent): For teaching businesses to read Kafka. (71) Ivan Askwith (Founder, Askwith & Co.): For knowing how to get fans more of what they want. Specializes in community building and crowdfunding projects that empower fans. (73) Kate O'Keeffe (Director, Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs, Cisco): For enabling huge companies to figure out the future, faster. (77) Bill Johnson (President, Corrisoft): For helping ex-offenders and detainees, get their lives back. (79) Markus Kressler (Co-founder and Managing Director, Kiron University): For providing refugees with a pathway to employment through higher education. (85-86-87-88) Jerry Stritzke (CEO, REI), Diógenes Brito (Product Designer, Slack), Shannon Schuyler (Chief Purpose Officer, PwC), Michael Fenlon (Global Talent Leader, PwC): For taking radical steps to improve corporate culture. Read on...

Fast Company: The 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2016
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 jun 2016

According to the new research by Prof. Eliza Forsythe of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, when hiring slows during recessions, the brunt of job losses is borne by job-seekers in their twenties and early thirties. Prof. Forsythe is an expert in labor economics. She says, 'Younger workers are less likely to be hired during recessions and, when they are hired, they tend to find lower-quality jobs and earn lower wages. More-experienced workers see neither of these effects. In fact, the evidence indicates that these more-experienced workers actually crowd young workers out of the labor market during recessions.' Prof. Forsythe explains that this disproportionate affect on young workers during recession make it difficult for them to acquire skills and experience, and establish their careers. Moreover, it also has negative effects on overall economy. It can become difficult for firms to get trained workers when older workforce retires. Explaining the plight of students who graduate during recession, Prof. Forsythe gives an example of Great Recession when the market for new lawyers collapsed. She says, 'In more recent years, hiring has recovered, but firms prefer to hire new graduates rather than those who happened to graduate during the recession and couldn't find jobs.' Prof. Forsythe suggests that clear understanding of hiring patterns and labor market mechanism during recession, is crucial for the design of effective labor market policies. She says, 'Since there are these long-term consequences, it means we might need to do more active interventions for young workers during recessions to make sure that they're not left behind.' Read on...

Illinois News Bureau: Research - Young workers hit hardest by slow hiring during recessions
Author: Phil Ciciora


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 jun 2016

Creativity and innovativeness are some of the most sought after skills and qualities that are required in all types of industries. These abilities keep the wheel of businesses and organizations running, and stay competitive. Fast Company developed a list of 100 most creative and innovative professionals for 2016. The list includes individuals from 13 countries and has 50% representation of women. Here are selected few in MARKETING, BRANDING, ONLINE COMMUNITIES, MEDIA and ENTERTAINMENT (The numbering is retained as in the original list) - (1) Lin-Manuel Miranda (Composer, Lyricist & Performer. Rap Musical 'Hamilton'): For making history in entertainment. (2) Divya Nag (Head of ResearchKit and CareKit, Apple): For moving Apple into the doctor's office. (3) Jill Soloway (Writer, Director, Producer at Topple, Amazon Studios): For televising the revolution. (4) Jean Liu (President, Didi Chuxing): For building China's biggest ride-sharing business at breathtaking speed. (5-6) Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (Co-Creative Directors, Valentino): For turning a storied fashion house into a US$ 1 billion juggernaut. (7) Cindy Holland (Vice President of Original Content, Netflix): For offering Netflix viewers a lot more to binge on. (10) Amit Agarwal (VP and Country Manager, Amazon India): For extending Amazon's reach, one vendor at a time. (12) Katie Nolan (Host of Sports-Comedy Show Garbage Time): For shaking up sports. (13) Mark Fields (President and CEO, Ford): For steering Ford in a more adventurous direction. (15) Carlos Mario Rodriguez (Director of Global Agronomy, Starbucks): For keeping Starbucks and farmers everywhere, full of beans. (17) Rachel Tipograph (Founder & CEO, MikMak): For making infomercials binge-worthy. (18-19-20-21) Sarah Schaaf (Community Director, Imgur), Alex Chung (Founder and CEO, Giphy), Adam Leibsohn (COO, Giphy), Nick Bell (VP of Content, Snapchat): For creating and curating the most clickable content on the Internet. (25) Kakul Srivastava (VP of Product Management, GitHub): For seeing the people behind the code. (27) Baba Ramdev (Founder, Patanjali Ayurved): For disrupting India's US$ 49 billion consumer packaged goods market. (28) Martin Lotti (VP, Global Category Creative Director, Nike): For stretching Nike in new directions. (29-30-31) Will Ruben (Product Manager, Facebook), Laura Javier (Product Designer, Facebook), Jasmine Probst (Content Strategy Manager, Facebook): For seizing the moments through Facebook Moments photo app. (35) Sara Wallander (Concept Designer, H&M): For putting a new face on H&M through eco-conscious beauty products at low cost. (37) Kathleen Kennedy (President, Lucasfilm): For restoring the Force to "Star Wars". (38) Dylan Field (Co-founder & CEO, Figma): For redrawing digital design. (39) Alex Wolf (Founder & CEO, BOSSBABE Inc): For leading a millennial girl gang. (40) Chance The Rapper (Musician, Chance The Rapper): For generating music that's priceless. (41) Jennifer Bandier (Founder, Bandier): For turning leggings into art. (42) Dani Rylan (Founder & Comissioner, National Women's Hockey League): For giving women a shot at a professional sport. (43) Jill Szuchmacher (Director, Google Fiber Expansion, Alphabet): For shaking up the hidebound business of broadband. (44) Zainab Salbi (Host of The Nida'a Show): For being a voice of change and foster frank communication in the Middle East and North Africa. (45-46) Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer (Co-founders and Co-Chief Executives, Everplans): For helping us make arrangements through a mobile-optimized consumer platform to build a digital vault of everything. (47) Chris Young (SVP & GM of Intel Security Group, Intel): For expanding Intel's arsenal through products with focus on bettering customer's security infrastructure. (50) Quincy Delight Jones III (CEO, WeMash): For fostering harmony between mashup artists and copyright holders. (51) Jeff Turnas (President, 365 by Whole Foods Market): For lowering the grocery bill. (52-53) Heben Nigatu (Social Producer, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), Tracy Clayton (Co-Host, Another Round, BuzzFeed): For mixing comedy with commentary. (55) Adam Grant (Professor of Management and Psychology, The Wharton School, U. of Pennsylvania): For pinpointing the secrets of success. Author of the book 'Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World'. (60) Ryan Coogler (Director, Marvel Studios): For being a knockout filmmaker. (63) Emily Oberman (Brand Designer & Partner, Pentagram): For giving Snoop's product line some California cool. (64) Amy McDonough (VP, FItbit Wellness, Fitbit): For bringing exercise to the enterprise. (65) Neha Narkhede (Co-founder & CTO, Confluent): For teaching businesses to read Kafka. (66) B. J. Novak (Co-founder, Li.st): For putting everything in order. Allowing people to create and share content in the form of list on Internet. (69) Ricardo Vice Santos (Co-founder and CEO, Roger): For being a fresh voice in messaging. Lets users exchange recorded sound snippets. (71) Ivan Askwith (Founder, Askwith & Co.): For knowing how to get fans more of what they want. Specializes in community building and crowdfunding projects that empower fans. (76) Susan Salgado (Managing partner, Hospitality Quotient): For spreading hospitality. (80) Asako Shimazaki (President, Muji USA): For importing the cult of Muji, Japanese housewares brand, to the United States. (81) Cassidy Blackwell (Brand Marketing Lead, Walker & Company Brands): For combining razor-sharp storytelling with product marketing. (82-83) Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson (Co-founders, ATX Television Festival): For getting television fans off the couch. (84) Nicole Van Der Tuin (Co-founder and CEO, First Access): For turning mobile phone payments into credit histories. (91) Kamasi Washington (Jazz Saxophonist, Kamasi Washington): For breathing new energy into jazz. (94) Moj Mahdara (CEO, Beautycon): For seeing beyond the cosmetic. (96) Sally-Ann Dale (Chief Creation Officer, Droga5): For energizing brands. (98) Ahmed Abdeen Hamed (Research Assistant Professor, University of Vermont): For discovering drug links in hashtags through computer program that data mines social media. (100) Lilly Singh (Entertainer, YouTube): For creating a unicorn business. Read on...

Fast Company: The 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2016
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 may 2016

As the need for intensive and intermediate care increases, the hospitals must have spaces that can fulfil the requirement. The multi-organizational collaborative EVICURES project at Seinäjoki Central Hospital in Finland was undertaken to develop a new design model for future intensive and intermediate care needs. The result of research conducted by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland on evidence-based design (EBD) and user orientation were applied to design work. Currently, there are no ICUs with single patient rooms in Finland. According to Kari Saarinen, Project Manager of the EVICURES project and Chief Physician at ICU of Hospital District of South Ostrobothnia, 'The international trend is that the need for intermediate care in particular is increasing. More and more demanding methods are being used for treating patients, and the share of elderly patients is increasing.' Regarding the project, he adds, 'The operations will be more cost-efficient and of higher quality, when the equipment and nursing staff are concentrated into one place. We also expect the solution to have remarkable effects on patient healing.' The hospital staff, management, patients and their families, the hospital district, and other cooperation partners participated in the design work. Tiina Yli-Karhu, Design Coordinator at Hospital District of South Ostrobothnia, says, 'A user-oriented approach was an essential foundation for the whole project. This way we can all together make the major change about to happen easier, when the nursing staff is moving from facilities for multiple patients to working alone in single rooms.' Using the Human Thermal Model tool, VTT performed questionnaire studies and measurements to evaluate the individual thermal sensation and comfort of both the staff and patients, that were utilized in HVAC design. Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences used CAD methods to model a virtual space in accordance with the architectural drawing, which VTT utilised for improving user-friendliness. From this 3D model, VTT developed a Unity3D game for computer and tablet, allowing the staff to move around in the ICU facilities virtually and to experience realistic interactive care situations in the new working area in advance. Finland's first single-patient intensive and intermediate care and cardiac unit designed in accordance with this model will become operational in 2018. Read on...

VTT Research News: A new treatment room design model for future hospitals
Author: Nykänen Esa


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 may 2016

A number of studies have strengthened the common belief that being around trees and close to nature improves one's mental and physical well-being. Research by Prof. Bin Jiang of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (now at University of Hong Kong) and his team, further emboldens the belief regarding the soothing aspects of green environment on stress levels and blood pressure. The study was undertaken to determine the dose-response curve between tree cover density and stress recovery. It included 158 volunteers in mildly stressful situations. The experiment utilized virtual reality headset to view 360-degree videos of an urban space with varying amounts of tree canopy visible. Results obtained from the tests showed a positive linear association between the density of trees and the self reported recovery from stress. Prof. Jiang comments, 'These finding suggest that viewing a tree canopy in communities can aid stress recovery and that every tree matters.' Researchers found that regardless of age, gender, and baseline stress levels the greater the exposure to trees, the less stress the subject felt. Read on...

Total Landscape Care: University study - Stress falls as exposure to trees increases
Author: Jill Odom


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 may 2016

Technology continues to transform healthcare in a substantial way. Digital health expansion is visible and growing as technology infrastructure is getting better. Ryan Beckland, Founder and CEO of Validic, explains that optimizing the full potential of digital health will be the key to real progress, and building strong infrastructure to support patient engagement and data exchange capabilities will help make sustainable changes to care delivery and to achieving the full transition to value-based care. He predicts four major trends for 2016 - (1) Patients' expectations for care and care delivery are changing, and will force the industry to change: Patient expect accessability, affordability and better experience; Seek digital services. (2) We are going to see the evolution and increased sophistication of remote clinical technology: Advancements in wearables as sensors detect new data points; Digital therapies in the form of ingestibles and implantables; Platforms and applications are becoming smarter tools for consumers; Consumer empowerment through analytics and valuable health information. (3) Providers are going to begin seriously tackling long-standing interoperability and data access challenges: More investments in infrastructure for better connected systems. (4) There is going to be a shift in payment models to drive an outcome-based healthcare economy: Prevalent fee-for-service will transition to reimbursement for value instead of volume. Read on...

HealthcareITNews: Healthcare Innovation and the Four Key Digital Health Trends Expected for 2016
Author: Ryan Beckland


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 may 2016

Altimeter Group's April 2016 report, 'The Race Against Digital Darwinism: Six Stages of Digital Transformation', defines 'Digital Transformation' as, 'The realignment of, or new investment in technology, business models, and processes to drive new value for customers and employees to effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.' According to Brian Solis, an analyst at Altimeter, 'Many conversations around digital transformation are focused on the IT side, and technology does play a big role, but there's a human side of the story and it's driven by the customer experience.' He explains that most digital transformation happens without top leadership, and it actually develops from the middle of the organization, from change agents, who act as lawyers, cheerleaders, and politicians, as they have to gather evidence, rally everyone together, and convince people to work together. The report provides six stages for digital transformation - (1) Business As Usual: Digital is present but not prioritized; Leadership is change resistant; Roadmap focuses on technology, not customer experience; Customer strategies and processes are siloed; Teams are not collaborating. (2) Present and Active: Occurence of early adopters experimenting with new technologies; Teams operating independently; Focus on customer experience starts to develop; Change agents are present and engage with colleagues to share latest digital trends. (3) Formalized: More collaboration happens between change agents and early adopters; Decision making driven by data, analytics and insights starts; Conversations revolve around customer experience, digital vs traditional; Need for formal vision regarding digital transformation and executive sponsorship for it; Education and training for digital begins. (4) Strategic: Most parts of the organization are now aware of digital transformation efforts and mapped processes; They start to get streamlined; Change agents become prominent; Role of CDO (Chief Digital Officer) or CCO (Chief Customer Officer) emerges; Data and analytics become more important; More collaboration is visible; Digital investments become ROI focused. (5) Converged: Digital efforts converge and get streamlined; Customer experience efforts now influence all processes; Change agents become leaders; Top leadership gets actively involved in digital transformation; Governing body is established to oversee changes; More collaboration between IT and customer experience teams. (6) Innovative and Adaptive: Digital transformation and innovation become interwoven into the fabric of the organization; An omni-channel system develops and provides consolidated information on customer data and its effects; New teams and roles evolve that prioritize digital. Read on...

TechRepublic: Altimeter report outlines 6 stages necessary for digital transformation in business
Author: Conner Forrest


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 may 2016

According to the latest report by PwC, 'Connecting the World: Ten Mechanisms for Global Inclusion', providing internet connectivity to the remaining 4.1 billion people and bringing them online would increase global economic output by US$ 6.7 trillion. It will lift 500 million people out of poverty over five years. The report says that affordability, rather than infrastructure and availability, is the main barrier to internet adoption in most areas. Therefore, the report suggests that improvement of existing technology or even simply installing existing technology in developing nations, will be sufficient to achieve the essential cost reduction. The report was prepared for Facebook, that itself advocates cost reduction through Internet.org project. Facebook's approach of limiting the low-cost access to a subsection of the web, giving access to select sites like Wikipedia and Facebook, termed as 'zero rating', has critics in 'net neutrality' advocates like Tim Berners-Lee, who says, 'I tend to say 'Just say no.' In the particular case of somebody who's offering...something which is branded internet, it's not internet, then you just say no.' On the other hand, Jonathan Tate of PwC argues, 'Facebook's approach is worth it in the long term. While zero rating provides access to a slimmer version of the internet than the full web, it's a crucial stepping stone to full access. The important thing here is to get things moving.' Efforts like Google's Project Loon and Facebook's Aquila, are geared to achieve total connectivity by creating 'disruptive technologies'. Read on...

the guardian: Connecting everyone to internet 'would add $6.7tn to global economy'
Author: Alex Hern


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 may 2016

Companies partner with public relations firms to build and enhance value of their brands. Chuck Cohn, Founder and CEO of Varsity Tutors, suggests identifying the right PR firm that is affordable, free of conflict of interest, have a skilled staff, understands your industry, provides the appropriate level of attention and support as you grow. He explains four criteria to consider while getting a PR agency on board - (1) Timing: Assess the need for PR; Are products and services mature enough; Is website optimized for sales; Is the content PR worthy. (2) Agency Type: Search for the right fit of agency for the business goals and desired outcomes. (3) Agency Staffing: Interact with the right people in the firm who will handle the account and not just the pitch team; Seek continuity in the team for a long-term. (4) Agency Size: Depending on the budget and specific requirements choose the optimum size PR agency. Read on...

Entrepreneur: What to Consider When Evaluating Potential PR Partners
Author: Chuck Cohn


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 may 2016

As more innovation shifts towards entrepreneurial startups in the pharmaceutical industry, a number of executives are changing their stable big pharma tracks and joining the riskier, but more dynamic and rewarding world of small biotechs. They are somewhat championing the title of the book, 'Small is Beautiful' by E. F. Schumacher, in the pharma context. The shift also seems like a typical case of siding with David and abandoning Goliath in the race for developing breakthrough innovative drugs. Victoria Richon, as vice president of oncology drug development at Sanofi, experienced constant reorganization - teams shuffled, priorities shifted and processes changed - a usual situation at big corporations. After joining as president of a startup, Ribon Therapeutics, she says, 'At a small company, it's so much more about the science, and that's so much more satisfying to me.' The number of such career jumps are on the rise. According to pharma experts, startups have cash and they generate more innovative drugs (64% of drugs approved in 2015 originated from startups - HBM Partners). Graham Galloway of Spencer Stuart says, 'The shift is further fueled by rapid consolidation among the giants, shake-ups inside R&D departments, and succession planning inside big companies.' Some of the other prominent executives who made this big to small move include - Doug Williams, from Biogen to Codiak BioSciences; Don Nicholson, from Merck to Nimbus Therapeutics; Jeremy Levin, from Teva Pharmaceuticals to Ovid Therapeutics. Jackie Bandish, a biotech recruiter, puts it correctly, 'For many of these guys, a small company can be a breath of fresh air.' To compete in such an environment, giants are also modifying their strategies. Some are trying to become more entrepreneurial, others are enhancing their R&D. Moreover, they are also deliberately leaving early scientific research for startups, so that they can make deals later, licencing the drug (Small firms received US$ 5.6 billion in upfront licensing payments in 2014 - BIO.org) or outrightly acquiring the startup. High-risk and high-reward is the mantra for startups. Tony Coles, formerly with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck, got a US$ 62 million payout as CEO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, when it was acquired by Amgen. While former Amgen executive, Terry Rosen, sold his startup Flexus Biosciences within 17 months of its inception for US$ 1.3 billion. According to PwC MoneyTree report, venture capitalists invested a huge US$ 7.4 billion in biotechs last year. But Greg Vlahos, parter at PwC, says that the pace has slowed a bit and expects a funding to top US$ 5 billion this year. Prof. Erik Gordon of Ross School of Business at University of Michigan, being positive on executive moves says, 'If anything, the flow of people to biotech startups may accelerate. because that's where they can make big stuff happen.' Jeff Jonas's motivation to move from Shire to a startup Sage, echoes with the trend. According to him, 'It's the chance to work unfettered - where everyone is rolling in the same direction - and the chance to do something big and unexpected. Who wouldn't want that kind of privilege?' Read on...

Fortune: Big Pharma Innovation in Small Places
Author: Jennifer Alsever


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 may 2016

Online education is continuously evolving and over the years have gone through many iterations. In recent years, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have been trying to change and tranform online education with active involvement of traditional education providers and their expanded reach to global learners. Although, inspite of their popularity with millions of users, providers are still struggling for success as the learner drop-out rates are high. Instructional designers, faculty members and education providers are experimenting with improvements in learning design environments to provide better value to learners. Prof. Curt Bonk of Indiana University is the author of the book, 'The World is Open', and conducts research in the field of self-directed open learning environments and online motivation. According to him, 'The MOOC is just one idea of many that are causing us to reflect on changes in higher education today. There are a lot of derivatives of MOOCs, and there will continue to be more. Community-building, sharing and peer support are three key aspects of success in building new types of course experiences.' In a video chat hosted by consultant and futurist Bryan Alexander, Prof. Bonk shares his own online learning experiences, his research and explores trends in the design of open courses. He says that in future, the majority of learning is going to be informal and self-directed. But government is still emphasizing on traditional education and less attention is paid to adult learning and informal learning. To better design learning environments it is important to understand self-directed learners and their experiences. According to him, 'Professional development could be what changes the discussion around open education and MOOCs. This could be for doctors, dentists, lawyers and physical therapists. They could take modules in the summer at their own leisure as part of a cohort that does community-building. That is the game changer.' He emphasises on a feedback process, collaborative approach, continous design improvements and redesign, if the need be, for better online course development. Commenting on faculty and their use of technology, he says, 'Instead of focusing on the technologies themselves, focus on what the faculty members want to do to foster feedback, goal setting, relevance or autonomy.' On using videos in learning, he says, 'We are moving from an age of Wikipedia to Videopedia.' Read on...

Campus Technology: The Keys to Designing Successful Open Course Experiences
Author: David Raths


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 may 2016

'It's an exciting time to be an edtech company,' says John Doerr, long-time partner and now chair at one of the prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He has been at the firm since 1980 and led investments into some of technology industry's most successful companies like Google, Amazon, Twitter, Sun Microsystems, Compaq etc. Some of his investments are now focused on education technology companies and organizations. Although he sees the present environment to be conducive for entrepreneurs, but he points out, 'Building a huge company requires tremendous capital to get established.' Moreover, referring to billion-dollar-valued companies, he says, 'I'm concerned about the obsession with unicorns.' For him most VC's don't see edtech companies to fall in this unicorn category. He says, 'Edtech companies will attract edtech investors - but not general purpose investors. On the other hand, edtech entrepreneurs shouldn't want just any VC. Interview your venture backers - the way you'd interview a potential VP.' He considers 'augmented reality' to be the next wave of technology. According to him, 'inclusion' is another area that companies and industry overall should work on as a mission. Read on...

EdSurge: John Doerr's Passions and Cautions
Author: Betsy Corcoran


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 04 may 2016

Shifts in healthcare systems, driven by policy, regulations, rising costs, technologies etc, signal towards a complex and uncertain future to deliver better and affordable health solutions to people. Stephen K. Klasko, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health in Philadelphia and Jack Welch, Executive Chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute and former CEO of General Electric, explain the challenges that healthcare leaders face in coming years and how they can prepare themselves with knowledge and skills, and take actionable steps to successfully navigate the evolving healthcare landscape. According to them, 'Historically, physicians have pursued MBA programs to learn leadership, management and other critical business skills not gained in medical school. But shaping individuals who can make a difference in the changing health care field requires even more specialized training that will foster critical, game-changing thinking.' They believe that understanding and managing 'transformation' is the single most important concept that will guide healthcare leaders to ensure the survival and success of healthcare systems of tomorrow. They further suggest that physician leaders should assume the role of 'Chief Meaning Officers' as they guide their organizations through change and transformation. To achieve this they have to first develop clarity in their vision and then develop a comprehensive roadmap that they should communicate to their team. Mr. Klasko and Mr. Welch explain about creating a mind map through a three step process and bringing the right people in the team. They say, 'An environment of trust allows everyone around you to join in building the future of your rapidly changing business. Add speed and flexibility to this mind map, and you've imagined the kinds of skills needed to create a new generation of physicians prepared to lead in the new age of health care.' Read on...

Hospital & Health Networks: Transforming Today's MBA for Tomorrow's Doctors
Authors: Stephen K. Klasko, Jack Welch


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 may 2016

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the Web Foundation, is concerned about governments not providing open access to their data online. He says, 'The lack of free access to government data - or 'data poverty' - is contributing to widening inequality around the world...Inequality and poverty are about more than income. They are also about information.' Openly published data can help fight corruption and improve services for citizens. It can also be of value in understanding and fighting global warming and related issues like deforestation, floods, fall in crop yields etc. The study by the Web Foundation found that that more than half of the 92 countries it studies now have open data initiatives in place. Moreover, fewer than 10% of the datasets surveyed were open, and most of these are in the rich world, and almost non in African countries. Anne Jellema, CEO of the Web Foundation, says, 'Trying to use traditional data sources to tackle complex development challenges like climate change and hunger is like tunnelling through rock in the dark with a teaspoon. It takes ages and you may come out in the wrong place. Making development data open is vital for fast and accurate collaboration on the SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), and the urgency now is to move from promises to implementation.' Read on...

Information Age: Sir Tim Berners-Lee - Data poverty is the next frontier of inequality
Author: Ben Rossi


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 may 2016

Vinod Khosla is one of the most visible face of PIO (Person of Indian Origin) entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. He initiated his entrepreneurial journey in 1982 with Sun Microsystems, evolved into a top venture capitalist with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and now runs his own venture capital firm, Khosla Ventures, where he focuses on assisting entrepreneurs to build companies in the areas of energy, technology, internet, education, digital health etc. He shares 10 points from his accumulated wisdom for entrepreneurial success - (1) Be Persistent. (2) Keep Innovating. (3) Add Value. (4) Have The Guts To Follow Your Beliefs. (5) Try And Fail, But Don't Fail To Try. (6) Transcend What's Traditional. (7) Shake Things Up. (8) Build A Great Team. (9) Dare To Be Great. (10) Be Brutally Honest. Read on...

Inc42: 10 Keys To Success From Vinod Khosla, Self Made Billionaire And VC
Author: Meha Agarwal


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 apr 2016

As web technologies continue to evolve along with user expectations, businesses have to keep pace with them for successful digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). User experience optimization (UXO) and user experience design (UXD) are at the core of online marketing and SEO strategies. UXO keeps customers hooked to the website and UXD is the process that is used to create the website with customers in mind. Optimal UXD utilizes best usability principles to provide best user interface by keeping customer interactions at the core of design. Dan Makoski, VP of Design for CapitalOne and most currently Chief Design Officer at Garage Partners, says, 'Experiences are personal moments felt by people, something that can't be owned by designers; however, we can design for it. The experience of the people we design for is what determines the success of the products, services and relationships that we create.' Don Dodds, Managing Partner and Chief Strategist at M16 Marketing, suggests a list of 38 tips for website design, content creation and online marketing strategies for better user experience. Here are some selections from the list - (1) Top of the page is critical for user attention. (2) Make sure content is visible and readable for everyone including colorblind users. (3) Provide symmetry in object placement. (4) Place objects in logical order for better user flow. (5) Keep site navigation panel consistent. (6) Design for ease of use and easy comprehension. (7) For better loading use content before images. (8) Keep pages as short as possible for ease of content utilization by user. (9) For long pages use sticky menu that moves with the scrolling. (10) Make sure your pages load quickly, preferably in couple of seconds. (11) Make it easy for users to undo an action or back out of a navigation option. (12) For mobile content, do not require a double-click to activate an element. (13) Pay attention to contrast when designing your mobile content. (14) Link anchor text should tell the user exactly where the link will take them. (15) Use fonts that are easy to read. (16) Most website visitors scan your content first before reading it. Use elements like bold text, headlines etc to attract attention to the content that is most meaningful to users. (17) Avoid pop-ups, banners and slideshows as much as possible. (18) Always be truthful regarding what you can offer. Avoid false advertising and misleading information. (19) Use icons that are simply designed and easy to understand. (20) Establish a brand image and include it everywhere you've established a presence online. Read on...

Huffington Post: 38 Design Tips for Creating an Amazing User Experience
Author: Don Dodds


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 apr 2016

Financial services industry has vast amount of consumer data and firms can utilize analytics to gather purposeful insights for better customer relationships and business success. Consumers are now more digitally connected than before. But according to Boston Consulting Group, despite the huge availability of data and better analytics tools, banks are far from realizing big data's full potential. Some of the reasons are - Competing priorities like regulatory changes that happened during financial crisis; IT complexity due to multilayered systems and siloed data; Lack of coordinated vision. Jim Marous, Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand and Publisher of the Digital Banking Report, suggests steps that traditional banking and financial institutions can take to take advantage of consumer data and analytics - (1) The Partnership Between Banking and Fintech: A win-win is created by combining data and technology skills of many of the entrepreneurial financial technology firms with the data from the larger legacy firms. (2) Removing Friction from the Customer Journey: Focus on providing better digital experience at each step of customer interaction by leveraging advance customer insights that go far beyond simple demographics to include channel preferences, lifestage insights and even geolocational information. (3) Making Data Actionable: Beth Merle, VP of Enterprise Solutions at Epsilon, says, 'Banks need to stop talking about gathering big data and starting using big data to make a difference for the consumer. We need to see the integration and synchronization of data sources, enabling real-time determination of relevant data points for analysis, communication, and decision making, the 'trifecta' of big data. (4) Introduction of Optichannel Delivery: Financial organizations have to go beyond multichannel and omnichannel strategy and provide 'optichannel' experience by delivering solutions using the best (optimum) channel based on the customer's need and preferred channel. In the future, the integration of processes from the consumer's perspective is foundational to the optichannel theme. According to Nicole Sturgill, Principal Executive Advisor for CEB TowerGroup, 'Rather than looking at channels independently, banking needs to develop and provide financial tools that are integrated in daily life.' (5) Exploring Advanced Technology: Jim Eckenrode, Executive Director of the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, says, 'By enabling the collection and exchange of information from objects, the IoT (Internet of Things) has the potential to be as broadly transformational to the financial services industry as the Internet itself.' In the process of leveraging customer data legacy firms face multiple challenges that they need to overcome to reap financial benefits and establish data and analytics expertise that would be hard to replicate by competitors. Some of these challenges include - Lack of talent; Lack of resources; Lack of urgency. Despite advanced data analysis being one of the top challenges mentioned in the recently released State of Financial Services Marketing, only the largest regional and national banks (over US$ 10 billion) ranked improving data and analytics capabilities in their top three priorities (47%), compared to community banks and credit unions (only 8%). Read on...

The Financial Brand: Data Analytics Critical to Success in Banking
Author: Jim Marous


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 apr 2016

According to a recent study by Prof. Leanne Cutcher of the University of Sydney Business School, a leading expert on intergenerational employment, ageism in the workforce is built on a faulty premise and the most innovative companies are the ones where the age of employees does not matter. Prof. Cutcher says, 'When we say baby boomers are not good with technology and Generation Y don't have enough experience, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because people who have good ideas then don't share them because they have been told they are too old. But you are just going to replicate the same ideas where you start labelling people as either too old or too young for a role. Where that is happening, it is stifling knowledge exchange.' Michael Shaw, Executive Vice President Healthcare at Siemens Australia, comments, 'Siemens takes the best people for the job. Personally, for me it's not important if the person is in their 20s or in their 60s, I am simply looking for the best minds with the best attitude.' Another study by Australian Seniors Insurance Agency (ASIA), based on survey of 1200 people across Australia, found that age discrimination at workplace is rife. According to the study, close to half the Baby Boomer respondents claimed they have been turned down for a job since they turned 40, and 3 out of 5 people over 50 said that they faced substantial obstacles in attempts to find a job. The research also found that more than 3/4 of Baby Boomers adapt well to technological innovations, and 73% are actively seeking training opportunities. According to Simon Hovell, spokesman for ASIA, 'The findings point to what many organisations, academics and economists have known all along - Baby Boomers are a real asset to the workplace.' Read on...

The Sydney Morning Herald: Companies that use older workers are the most innovative - New research
Author: Anna Patty


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 apr 2016

To build human-like machines that can demonstrate ingenuity and creativity, the race is on to develop next generation of advanced AI (Artifical Intelligence). AI is already tackling complex tasks like stock market predictions, research synthesis etc, and 'smart manufacturing' is becoming a reality where deep learning is paired with new robotics and digital manufacturing tools. Prof. Hod Lipson, director of Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University, has embarked upon exploring a higher level of AI and develop biology-inspired machines that can evolve, self-model, and self-reflect - where machines will generate new ideas, and then build them. To build self-aware robots is the ultimate goal. Prof. Lipson explains, 'Biology-inspired engineering is about learning from nature, and then using it to try to solve the hardest problems. It happens at all scales. It's not just copying nature at the surface level. It could be copying the learning at a deeper level, such as learning how nature uses materials or learning about the adaptation processes that evolution uses...We are looking at what I think is the ultimate challenge in artificial intelligence and robotics-creating machines that are creative; machines that can invent new things; machines that can come up with new ideas and then make those very things. Creativity is one of these last frontiers of AI. People still think that humans are superior to machines in their ability to create things, and we are looking at that challenge.' He is working on a new AI termed as 'divergent AI', that is exploratory and involves creating many new ideas from original idea, and is different from 'convergent AI' that involves taking data and distilling it into a decision. ON SELF-AWARENESS IN AI: He says, 'Creativity is a big challenge, but even greater than that is self-awareness. For a long time, in robotics and AI, we sometimes called it the "C" word-consciousness.' ON AI IN MANUFACTURING: He comments, 'When it comes to manufacturing, there are two angles. One is the simple automation, where we're seeing robots that can work side-by-side with humans...The other side of manufacturing, which is disrupted by AI, is the side of design. Manufacturing and design always go hand-in-hand...When AI creeps into the design world through these new types of creative AI, you suddenly expand what you can manufacture because the AI on the design side can take advantage of your manufacturing tools in new ways.' ON TWO COMPETING SCHOOLS OF THOUGHTS IN AI: He explains, 'There's the school of thought that is top-down, logic, programming, and search approach, and then there is the machine learning approach. The machine learning approach says, "Forget about programming robots, forget about programming AI, you just make it learn, and it will figure out everything on its own from data"...I think the machine learning approach has played out perfectly, and we're just at the beginning. It's going to accelerate.' Read on...

Singularity Hub: The Last Frontiers of AI - Can Scientists Design Creativity and Self-Awareness?
Author: Alison E. Berman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 apr 2016

Businesses apply different set of strategies and tactics when they market and sell to other businesses or directly to consumers. Daniel Scalco, CEO of Digitalux, provides 5 important B2B (Business to Business) marketing strategies that should be considered to increase leads, ROI (Return on Investments) and finally sales - (1) Dig deeper when targeting your demographic: Use 'hyper-targeting' to narrow down audience. (2) Get feedback: Strategy should be data driven; Use survey process into marketing methods. (3) Extend your funnel: B2B marketing strategy cycle to go from a prospect, to lead to consumer is much longer than B2C; Nurture leads by extending funnel through better content, webinars and social media to engage with target audience. (4) Invest in an explainer video: eMarketer study found that B2B buyers consider video as top 3 most useful content for marking purchases; Inform potential customers through a story-based video. (5) Create goals and milestones: Break down the journey to reach marketing goals into smaller steps or milestones for effective execution. Read on...

Huffington Post: 5 B2B Marketing Strategies You Need To Consider
Author: Daniel Scalco


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 apr 2016

This year's World Health Day, that falls today (07 April 2016), has the theme 'Beat Diabetes!'. The World Health Organization has singled out tackling diabetes as one of the most critical healthcare challenge but at the same time tried to give a strong message that it is not too hard to manage if people can put their thoughts and actions in the right direction. Alex Jones, health economist at the social enterprise Oxford Policy Management and researcher at University of the West Indies, provides historial perspective on how international health organizations and governments over time have developed and implemented different types of policies in tackling global health issues. Sometimes they have utilized a single disease approach and at others they have been more holistic and tried to improve health systems around the world. He further explores two approaches and provides opinion on their long-term benefits. According to him, 'A quick look back through history reveals a disturbingly cyclical pattern: As an international community we've been flip-flopping between the two approaches - vertical and horizontal - for at least the last century.' He explains, 'As far back as the 1920s, the sector saw the growth of what was known as the 'Social Medicine Movement' - based on the consideration that ill health could actually be a consequence of poor social conditions...Throughout the first half of the 20th century the Rockefeller Foundation became one of the most influential organisations in global health, implementing programmes in over 80 countries...it always kept the aim of combating specific diseases through targeted campaigns. Post-war politics saw the creation of a number of international agencies that pursued similar vertical programmes...The failure of the GMEP (WHO's Global Malaria Eradication Project) and the relative success of Mao Zedong's community-led 'Barefoot Doctors' programme in China both helped to swing the global health pendulum towards a more horizontal 'systems' approach. In 1975, the WHO launched its Primary Health Care strategy and in 1978 (after sustained advocacy from the Soviet Union) the famous Alma-Ata conference was held...this was a pledge to build up basic health systems around the world...and heralded the birth of the 'Health for All'...The beginning of the 80's, however, saw the pendulum swing firmly back towards vertical interventions...the last ten years have seen a swing back to the ideals of Alma-Ata and the mantra of putting people - rather than pathogens - front and centre of health initiatives...In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly formally recognised and unanimously endorsed the idea of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).' While explaining the current state of health policy focus and interventions, he comments, 'Given the benefit of hindsight, there's a strong risk that today's current focus on UHC might not survive the constant push towards seemingly more feasible, targeted interventions. This apparently inevitable swing to the vertical, however, misses the point on two key fronts: First, history shows us that morbidities are integrated, both with each other and with our ways of life. Second, when something new comes along, a health sector built around a few target pathogens simply cannot deal with it.' Finally, he suggests, 'Let's continue to focus resources where significant advances in disease eradication are possible, partnering with those who can make this happen - but let's take care not to do this at the expense of overall systems strengthening.' Read on...

The Financial Times: Healthcare for all: A zero-sum game?
Author: Alex Jones


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 mar 2016

Food wastage is becoming a substantial cause of concern around the world. France recently passed laws to restrict throwing away or destroying food and UK's biggest retailer, Tesco, pledging to give all leftover food to charities. According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations website (fao.org) - Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes, gets lost or wasted; Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries. Governments, food chains and retailers, charitable organizations and social enterprises, need to come together to find ways to restrict and minimize food waste and make substantial part of it available to where it is required most. Following are some valuable suggestions - (1) Logistics: Efficient coordination between supermarkets and charities is essential. Supermarkets shouldn't just dump food at charities. Elaine Montegriffo, CEO of SecondBite, says, 'It is not just having enough trucks and storerooms...Some organisation has to take responsibility for coordinating donations so the right food reaches people in useable condition.' (2) Education: Create awareness about food labels and other specifications among consumers. Ronni Kahn, CEO of OzHarvest, says, 'Consumers need to understand what date marks mean.' (3) Food consumed at home should have minimal losses and consumer buying and eating behaviors need to be transformed. (4) Growing less food: Ms. Montegriffo says it's counterintuitive but if producers and retailers were not throwing away 1/3 of the food produced, the cost of producing it would drop. If supermarkets did not over-order food, their costs would reduce. (5) UK's model of collaborative understanding and commitment, between environment ministry, sumpermarkets, manufacturers and packaging companies has been effective and can be emulated. (6) Denmark's model with an organization buying surplus food from other supermarkets and selling at discount can also be helpful to reduce food waste. (7) Legislative measures can be considered and that should evolve with deliberations among various stakeholders. A number of organizations in Australia, for example retailers like Woolworths and Coles, and charities like OzHarvest, SecondBite and Foodbank, are currently working towards achieving minimal food wastes through the following 6 methods - (1) Reasonable and achievable long-term targets through diverse strategies like food donations, commercial composting, fertiliser, electricity production and animal feed. (2) Using food charities. (3) Buying ugly fruit and selling at cheaper rates. (4) Supermarkets are ordering less by using supply chain technologies and ordering systems. (5) Good incentives: Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt introduced an incentive for businesses to reduce food or garden waste in landfill. (6) Talking about food waste and seeking collaborative solutions through participation from wide array of public and private organizations. Read on...

The Age: Seven solutions to supermarket food waste
Author: Deborah Gough


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 mar 2016

According to the latest study 'The State of Consumer Healthcare: A Study of Patient Experience from Prophet and GE Healthcare Camden Group', that incorporates responses from 3000 consumers and 300 senior leaders (Vice President or higher) at healthcare provider systems that employ at least 20 physicians, patient experience is one of the main concern as 81% of consumers surveyed indicate that they are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. Moreover, the study also points towards a large gap between consumer expectations and what providers believe regarding their service offerings. Jeff Gourdji of Prophet says, 'There is a misperception among providers about how well they are truly meeting consumer expectations.' CEO's surveyed in the study also said that patient satisfaction is not currently among their top five priorities. According to Helen Stewart of GE Healthcare, 'The common misperception is that focusing on the patient experience means spending less time on other cost and revenue initiatives...Investments to improve the patient experience can drive both growth and cost reduction.' Paul Schrimpf of Prophet says, 'Providers are struggling to adapt to the rising culture of 'consumerism', which has heightened people's expectations. The power has shifted to the consumer in nearly every industry, and now it's healthcare's turn.' Laura Jacobs, President of GE Healthcare Camden Group, explains, 'Creating better and more holistic experiences doesn't just mean happier patients. It translates to increased capacity, lower operating costs, improved financial performance, and higher employee satisfaction and retention. For healthcare providers, the key to profitability and longevity lies in their ability to deliver a superior consumer experience.' Read on...

BusinessWire: 81% of Consumers are Unsatisfied with their Healthcare Experience, According to a New Study by Prophet and GE Healthcare Camden Group
Author: Saige Smith, Katie Lamkin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 mar 2016

Organizations invest money, time and efforts in branding to build their credibility and reputation. In the online world with expanded global reach, social media and changing dynamics of customer relationships, there are further challenges that the organizations face to keep and sustain their brand image. Moreover there are also steps that are required before embarking upon creating and developing a brand. John Lincoln, Co-founder and CEO of Ignite Visibility and professor at University of California San Diego, explains 8 branding mistakes that should be avoided for brand value and business success - (1) Not Getting a Trademark. (2) Not Vigorously Searching Google and Doing Proper Research. (3) Not Coming Up With a Good Domain Name. (4) Picking a Name That Competes With a Well-Established Brand. (5) Picking Color Schemes and Visuals That Aren't Relevant to What You Do. (6) Not Checking Cultural References Around the Name. (7) Not Checking the Name's Translations in Other Languages. (8) Check Potential Stigmas Associated With the Name. Read on...

Huffington Post: 8 Branding Mistakes That Can Result in Major Setbacks
Author: John Lincoln


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 mar 2016

Gender equity and women empowerment are issues that are often discussed at various forums. Women are trying and working hard to make their mark in different fields and professions. Philanthropy and nonprofits are getting women in leadership roles. 'Inside Philanthropy' has created a separate section on their website where it exclusively covers developments related to women and girls. Recently the website listed influential women in U.S. that are making an impact by participating in various different capacities in the field of philanthropy, charity and nonprofit sector. The categorised list currently includes the following women - MEGA-DONORS: (1) Karen Ackman, Co-founder, Pershing Square Foundation; (2) Jody Allen, Co-founder, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation; (3) Laura Arnold, Co-chair, Laura and John Arnold Foundation; (4) Connie Ballmer, Chair of Philanthropy, Ballmer Group; (5) Jennifer Buffett, Co-president, NoVo Foundation; (6) Susan Buffett, Chair, Sherwood Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and Buffett Early Childhood Fund; (7) Priscilla Chan, Co-founder, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; (8) Alexandra Cohen, Co-founder, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation; (9) Barbara Dalio, Co-founder, Dalio Foundation; (10) Susan Dell, Co-founder and Board Chair, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation; (11) Melinda Gates, Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; (12) Lyda Hill, Founder, Lyda Hill Foundation; Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective; (13) Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective; (14) Pam Omidyar, Co-founder, Omidyar Group; (15) Barbara Picower, President and Chair, JPB Foundation; (16) Lynn Schusterman, Chair, Schusterman Family Foundation; (17) Marilyn Simons, President, Simons Foundation; (18) Cari Tuna, Co-founder and President, Good Ventures; (19) Diane von Furstenberg, Director, Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation; (20) Alice Walton, Walton Family Foundation and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; (21) Shelby White, Founder and Trustee, Leon Levy Foundation. FOUNDATION LEADERS: (22) Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; (23) Patricia Harris, CEO, Bloomberg Philanthropies; (24) Carol Larson, President and CEO, Packard Foundation; (25) Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; (26) Clara Miller, Director and President, F.B. Heron Foundation; (27) LaJune Montgomery Tabron, President and CEO, W. K. Kellogg Foundation; (28) Sally Osberg, President and CEO, Skoll Foundation; (29) Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation; (30) Julia Stasch, President, MacArthur Foundation; CORPORATE FUNDERS: (31) Suzanne DiBianca, President, Salesforce Foundation; (32) Deb Elam, President, GE Foundation; (33) Sally McCrady, President, PNC Foundation; (34) Kathleen McLaughlin, President, Walmart Foundation; (35) Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation; (36) Michele Sullivan, President, Caterpillar Foundation; THE CATALYSTS: (37) Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Founder and President, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation; (38) Melissa Berman, President and CEO, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; (39) Jean Case, CEO, Case Foundation; (40) Hillary Clinton, Former Secretary of State and Candidate for U.S. President; (41) Amy Danforth, President, Fidelity Charitable; (42) Kriss Deiglmeier, CEO, Tides; (43) Kim Dennis, President and CEO, Searle Freedom Trust; (44) Jane Greenfield, President, Vanguard Charitable; (45) Donna P. Hall, President and CEO, Women Donors Network; (46) Ruth Ann Harnisch, Founder, Harnisch Foundation; (47) Vanessa Kirsch, Founder and CEO, New Profit; (48) Kim Laughton, President, Schwab Charitable; (49) Michele Lord, President, NEO Philanthropy; (50) Teresa Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation; (51) Jacki Zehner, President and Chief Engagement Officer, Women Moving Millions. Read on...

Inside Philanthropy: Meet the 50 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Philanthropy
Authors: David Callahan, Kiersten Marek


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 mar 2016

According to the recent forecast available at IDC.com, the big data technology and services market will grow at 26.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to US$41.5 billion through 2018, or about six times the growth rate of the overall information technology market. While on the other hand, McKinsey estimates 1.5 million more data managers will be required by 2018 in the US alone. The demand for talent with big data and analytics skills may far exceed the supply. A new field of study has emerged in educational institutions to fulfil anticipated talent shortage. Business schools are partnering with companies that are at the cutting edge of big data technologies to structure big data and analytics focused programs. Some are providing MOOCs to impart knowledge and train business professionals for the data-driven world. While others are leveraging the strengths of their computer science departments to bring technology know-how to the business classrooms. Massimo Beduschi, CEO of WPP in Italy, says, 'The big data wave is surging through every sector - and profound digital transformations are making it mandatory to leverage analytics.' MIT Sloan School of Management has launched master's in business analytics and the senior lecturer and associate dean at the school, Jake Cohen, says, 'Recruiters have said they are looking for training in advanced business analytics...people who can take insight to action.' Prof. Soumitra Dutta, dean of Cornell University's Johnson School of Management (US), says, 'Many schools have courses linked to digital technology, one way or another.' Cornell is partnering with Twitter and Linkedln for analytics in their MBA program. Prof. Dutta is concerned at slow pace of transformation towards blended technology and business management education. Radhika Chadwick, a partner at Ernst & Young, comments, 'I applaud that we have universities tackling this, but we need to do it at a higher speed.' Stanford Graduate School of Business have electives like digital competition, business intelligence from big data, and data-driven decision-making. Maeve Richard, director of Career Management Center at Stanford GSB (US), says, 'Most of the curriculum is about looking for opportunities to be transformative.' University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School (US) offers a program track and MOOCs on business analytics. According to Prof. Peter Fader, co-director of Wharton's Customer Analytics Initiative, 'Now we have all this data, how do we actually build strategies? How do we use the data and the models to run businesses better?' Prof. Juergen Branke of UK's Warwick Business School, that was one of the pioneers and had a program since 2008 developed in partnership with IBM and SAS, advocates for new education and skills to managing effectively in the digital economy. Prof. Jeffrey Camm, chair of business analytics at Wake Forest University (US), says, 'Managers need to understand analytics, how it converts data to valuable insights, and also understand issues such as data privacy, and the ethical use of data and analytical models.' Commenting on slow development and adoption of new curriculum, Prof. Jim Hamill, director of futurdigitalleaders.com and teaches digital leadership module at University of Edinburgh Business School (UK), says, 'Most senior deans and professors are not 'digital natives'. They are baby boomers.' According to Prof. G. Anandalingam, dean of Imperial College Business School (UK) that launched a Data Observatory in partnership with KPMG and offers a degree in business analytics, 'Big data is changing the way everyone operates...need to be able to make sense of all the valuable information.' Prof. Juan José Casado Quintero, director of masters in business analytics at IE School of Business (Spain), developed with IBM, says, 'Companies are struggling to fill their data science positions.' Prof. Gregory LaBlanc, faculty director at Haas School of Business at University of California at Berkeley (US), that works with Accenture, says, 'There is huge unmet demand for data science.' Industry-institution collaborations are a win-win for both, as they provide companies access to talent and to universities the expertise and knowledge of latest business practices and market technologies. Read on...

BusinessBecause: Future Of Big Data - These Business Analytics Degrees Are Bridging The Gaping Skills Gap
Author: Seb Murray


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 mar 2016

Instances like female architect Denise Scott Brown getting the AIA Gold Medal and women heading some of the best architecture schools in US, may show that architecture profession is making efforts towards gender equality. But Architectural Review's fifth annual 2016 Women in Architecture Survey of 1152 female practitioners (68% based in UK), tells a different story. According to the survey - One in five women worldwide say they would not encourage a women to start a career in architecture; About 40% (in UK) and over 40% (in other countries) thought that they would be paid more if they were male; 72% say they have experienced sexual discrimination, harassment, or victimization on the job; 67% believed that the building industry does not accept female authority. Read on...

Fast Company: Survey - 72% Of Female Architects Have Experienced Harassment Or Discrimination
Author: Diana Budds


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 mar 2016

In most organizations, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is not a clearly defined strategic activity at the senior executive and top internal stakeholder level, even though a number of them have CSR and sustainability departments. According to a research study by London-based economic and strategy consulting firm, Economic Policy Group (EPG), 71% of companies in the U.S define their CSR spending as in-kind donations and free product giveaways. Another 16% define it as cash donations, and the remaining 13% as employee volunteering and giving. Large organizations often consider investments in social programs as not providing direct returns. One of the most difficult challenge for sustainability teams is to sell embedded CSR and sustainability programs internally to the top executives and senior managers and advocating that isolated initiatives like philanthropy and volunteering are not enough for corporations to be socially responsible. Organizations have to effectively integrate CSR and sustainability into the overall strategy to drive long-term growth and success. Sustainable thinking should be imbibed into corporate culture and strategic thought processes. Jeff Sutton, Vice President of thinkPARALLAX, provides 7 benefits of integrating sustainability into overall business strategy - (1) Increase in sales. (2) Innovate and differentiate. (3) Enhance and build reputation. (4) Future-proofing. (5) Recruit and retain. (6) Cut costs. (7) Unify teams and align decision making. Read on...

Triple Pundit: Securing Buy-in From the Top - 7 Benefits of Integrated Thinking
Author: Jeff Sutton


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 05 mar 2016

According to American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) survey of 803 US-based landscape architects, people are overwhelmingly concerned with water conservation. Some of the highlights of the survey include the following top 5 trends - (1) 88% reported that clients seemed most interested in rainwater or graywater harvesting elements. (2) Native plants. (3) Native or adaptive drought tolerant plants. (4) Low-maintenance landscapes. (5) Permeable landscapes. Nancy Somerville, CEO of ASLA, says, 'It does reflect a much greater awareness from the population as a whole, about critical issues like water conservation and energy efficiency, as well as water efficiency, and stormwater issues.' James Brown, Governor of California, considering the expected 5th consecutive year of drought, in addition to other measures also ordered that 50-million square feet of state-owned lawns be replaced with drought tolerant landscaping. According to Prof. Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland, 'People are starting to think about how their house and property fits into the broader urban landscape context, and how they might contribute to more sustainable built environments than we've had in the past.' The survey also observed that the creative shift towards water conservation is already visible. Lush, maximalist gardens and fountains, are being replaced by cool, sculptured minimalism. Prof. Pavao-Zuckerman adds, 'There are non-profits springing up devoted to teaching homeowners how to install water-saving elements themselves.' Read on...

WIRED: Saving Water Is So Hot Right Now in Landscape Design
Author: Margaret Rhodes


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 feb 2016

According to World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution has become the world's biggest environmental risk, linked to over 7 million deaths a year. A global team of scientists (Farid Touati, Claudio Legena, Alessio Galli, Damiano Crescini, Paolo Crescini, Adel Ben Mnaouer) from Canadian University Dubai, Qatar University, and the University of Brescia (Italy), have developed a technology, known as SENNO (Sensor Node), that enables high-efficiency air quality monitoring, to help promote a cleaner environment and reduce the health risks associated with poor atmospheric quality. The technology promises to make air quality monitoring cost-effective. The research paper, 'Environmentally Powered Multiparametric Wireless Sensor Node for Air Quality Diagnostic', was published in Sensors and Materials journal. Prof. Adel Ben Mnaouer of Canadian University Dubai (CUD), says, 'Sensor networks dedicated to atmospheric monitoring can provide an early warning of environmental hazards. However, remote systems need robust and reliable sensor nodes, which require high levels of power efficiency for autonomous, continuous and long-term use...Our technology harvests environmental energy...it optimises energy use by the sensory equipment, so as to function only for the time needed to achieve the operations of sensor warm-up, sampling, data processing and wireless data transmission, thereby creating an air quality monitoring system that measures pollutants in a sustainable and efficient way.' Read on...

The Gulf Today: Dubai professor develops innovation to combat increasing air pollution
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 feb 2016

According to a study by Prof. Sachin Modi of Iowa State University (USA) and Saurabh Mishra of McGill University (Canada), a strong marketing department is crucial to helping a firm leverage its efforts to be socially responsible. Study results show the combination of marketing and CSR can provide shareholders with a 3.5 percent gain in stock returns. Researchers defined CSR as discretionary firm activities aimed at enhancing societal well-being and analyzed six different types of CSR activities - environment, products, diversity, corporate governance, employees and community - to determine whether marketing of these efforts increased long-term firm value and stock price. Firms often consider CSR as a cost and have to make an investment and may not always see the benefits. Prof. Modi says, 'What we want to show is that if a firm is good and has some complimentary capabilities, it can gain a lot from CSR activities...The return is dependent upon the type of activity. Firms benefited from five of the six types of CSR efforts studied, with the exception of charitable giving and philanthropy...We're not saying firms shouldn't give to charity, because it is a very important component, all we're saying is we don't see a financial return.' Prof. Modi further suggests, 'Our hope is that firms see it is important to be socially responsible. It's not a choice of one versus the other. Firms have to do multiple aspects of being socially responsible.' Read on...

ISU News Service: Marketing key to return on corporate social responsibility investment, ISU study shows
Author: Angie Hunt


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 feb 2016

As digital get seamlessly interwoven into the fabric of life, it will not remain anything extraordinary. In future, advancements in digital technologies will converge to enhance physical experiences that involve our bodies, feelings, emotions, actions and reactions. Auro Trini Castelli, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at gyro, explains how the 'Physical Revolution' will be driven by the following five trends - (1) Sensors will be the new devices (Virtual Reality; Motion and Gesture Recognition Technologies; Haptic Technology). (2) Surfaces will be the new screens (Interactive digital screens on walls, floors, ceilings, walkways etc). (3) Smart cities will make us smart citizens (Interactive city systems and digital environments). (4) Only meaningful interactions will survive (Well-integrated interfaces that get activated when required; Focus on human experience). (5) The world will be printed (3D printing for mass customization; Laser cutting; Computer modeling). In this experiential world, architects, designers, engineers, technologists, marketers, advertisers etc have to increasingly think and create with focus on providing solutions that appeal to all five human senses. The success will depend on how invisibly the digital will become part of the physical and improves every aspect of human interactions and experiences. Read on...

AdvertisingAge: The New Revolution Will Be Physical, Not Digital
Author: Auro Trini Castelli


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 feb 2016

There is an established relationship between built environment and human health. It is important to understand how architectural design, interior design, building technologies and materials etc, interact with external natural environment. Health-centric design approaches are now being utilized for built environments like hospitals, schools, office spaces, homes etc. Urbanization is another aspect that has public health related consequences. According to the study, 'Walls talk: Microbial biogeography of homes spanning urbanization' (by Jean F. Ruiz-Calderon, Humberto Cavallin, Se Jin Song, Atila Novoselac, Luis R. Pericchi, Jean N. Hernandez, Rafael Rios, Oralee H. Branch, Henrique Pereira, Luciana C. Paulino, Martin J. Blaser, Rob Knight, and Maria G. Dominguez-Bello) published in journal Science, certain aspects of a house's design could have an influence on the types of microbes found inside, with more urban homes separating humans from the outdoors and keeping out the environmental microbes we once evolved to coexist with. Researchers speculate that these changes may be having impact on public health. The study focused on four communities of Amazon Basin with similar climates and outside environment, but with different levels of urbanization. Prof. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello of NYU School of Medicine, 'We humans build the environments we live in and spend most of our time (in), and these may be very different to the natural environments. Very little is known about microbes of the built environment.' According to Prof. Graham Rook of University College London, who was not part of the study, 'There is increasing evidence that exposure to microbial biodiversity from the natural environment is important for health.' Prof. Humberto Cavallin of University of Puerto Rico's School of Architecture, comments, 'As we move from rural to urban...houses become more isolated from the outside environment and also become more internally compartmentalized according to the function of the spaces.' Prof. Jean Ruiz-Calderon, a biologist at University of Puerto Rico and lead author of the study, says, 'The results of the study reveal that microbes from house walls and floors differ across habitations. With increasing urbanization, houses contain a higher proportion of human-associated bacteria...and decreasing proportions of environmental bacteria...walls become reservoirs of bacteria that come from different sources depending on the use of the spaces.' Prof. Dominguez-Bello adds, 'We are in environments that are highly humanized, and therefore a lack of ventilation and high concentrations of human bacteria may...facilitate human-to-human transmission of microbes.' Prof. Ruiz-Calderon warns, 'As we alter our built environments in ways that diverge from the natural exposures we evolve with, we need to be aware of the possible consequences.' Read on...

The Washington Post: The hidden health consequences of how we design our homes
Author: Chelsea Harvey


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 feb 2016

Corporations can find themselves in situations where their profit seeking goals can develop conflict with their ethical and sustainability related direction. According to Wikipedia, 'Corporate sustainability is a business approach that creates long-term consumer and employee value by creating a "green" strategy aimed toward the natural environment and taking into consideration every dimension of how a business operates in the social, cultural, and economic environment. It also formulates strategies to build a company that fosters longevity through transparency and proper employee development.' Most reputed organizations now have sustainability department that manages sustainability issues and integrates them with overall business objectives. Sustainability and marketing departments are trying to develop a converged approach to influencing customer behavior and persuading more responsible habits. But it can be a challenging task to align strategy and resources of both these departments. 73% of 1000 listeners of a webinar 'Influence customer behaviour through integrated marketing and sustainability' on website ethicalcorp.com believe that their organisation has not successfully integrated marketing and sustainability to influence customer behaviour. To do so they can utilize the following tips - (1) Start at the top: Senior managers should be made aware of all sustainable efforts in the organization to drive their support and channel effective internal and external communication through them. (2) Ensure internal integration: Continuous and consistent sharing of ideas between different departments help in integration. According to Rupert Maitland-Titterton of Kellogg Company, 'Our marketing and sustainability departments report to one and other and see each other every day. This ensures that ideas are shared and a feeling of inclusion rather than "us and them" is created.' (3) Understand your customer: Customers demand more sustainable and responsible behavior from companies. Both departments should focus on customer-centricity and develop collaborative approach to fulfil consumer expectations. (4) Keeping messaging consistent: Have long-term sustainable goals, communicate regularly and involve customers in achieving them. Dr. Kirstie McIntyre of HP says, 'Companies need to make it part of the value proposition.' David Brunt of AkzoNobel suggests seeking a 'win-win' situation. (5) Make sustainability the norm: Sustainability should be integrated seemlessly into every process and product so that the overall organization is marketed as a sustainable one. Read on...

Ethical Corporation: How marketing and sustainability can drive customer behaviour change - 5 top tips
Author: Liam Dowd


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 feb 2016

Collaborative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches are needed to tackle complex real world problems that require large amount of resources, diverse set of perspectives, and extensive expertise and skills. A similar joint effort is being utilized to create 'Human Rights Methodology Lab' by Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGC) at NYU Law School, Human Rights Institute (HRI) at Columbia University Law School and Human Rights Watch (HRW). The lab will bring together leading human rights investigators, advocates, and scholars with experts across disciplines to develop new approaches to the investigation of human rights abuses and to propose concrete improvements in advocacy-oriented human rights research. According to Prof. Margaret Satterthwaite, co-chair and faculty director at the CHRGC, 'Rigorous, interdisciplinary methods are essential to making human rights advocacy more effective. Improving methods helps us solidify the evidence base for our advocacy, and gives us tools to help understand the dynamics behind violations, their scope and intensity, and ultimately, their causes.' Prof. Sarah Knuckey, co-director at HRI, says 'The lab will bring together small, carefully curated groups to develop methods for human rights projects during their early stages of development. There are currently too few formal spaces for human rights advocates to critique and experiment, and the lab responds to the needs of researchers to innovate, test and share new research tools and techniques.' According to Amanda Klasing, senior women's rights researcher at HRW, 'The chance to discuss methods with experts in other disciplines is an invaluable resource. It allows researchers to develop innovative projects with data and approaches that can help us improve our advocacy for ending abuses.' In addition to above persons, the other convener of the lab is Brian Root, quantitative analyst at HRW. The lab will also have participation and assistance of Holly Stubbs, a researcher at Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR). Read on...

Human Rights Watch: Innovative Lab Launched to Strengthen Human Rights Work
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 feb 2016

Team of researchers from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Prof. Dipanjan Pan (Bioengineering), postdoctoral researchers Manas Gartia and Santosh Misra, along with Dr. Leanne Labriola, an ophthalmologist at Carle Foundation Hospital, are collaborating to develop a portable sensor that can quickly and inexpensively detect whether the eye injury is mild or severe. The device measures the levels of vitamin C in the fluids that coat or leak from the eye. According to Prof. Pan, 'The sensor takes advantage of the fact that the ocular tear film - the viscous fluid that coats the eyeball - contains low levels of ascorbic acid, which is just vitamin C, while the interior of the eye contains much higher levels. So the concept is, if there is severe damage to the eye that penetrates deeply, the ascorbic acid will leak out in high concentration.' Dr. Labriola says, 'The new device will change the standard of care for evaluating eye traumas. This technology has the ability to impact a large number of patients, particularly in rural settings, where access to an ophthalmologist can be limited.' Researchers suggest accident sites and battlefields as other places where the device will be of great use as chances of eye injury are high there. Prof. Pan comments on the new engineering-based medical college coming up at UIUC, 'This is a perfect example of physicians and engineers working together to find solutions to current problems in healthcare.' The team is further collaborating with a U of I industrial design professor to build a housing for the sensor that will be portable and easy to use and have founded a startup to bring the device to market. Read on...

Illinois News Bureau: Portable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injury
Author: Diana Yates


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 feb 2016

Reviews and recommendations related to products and companies are an important part of consumer buying decisions. Nowadays, technology has transformed word of mouth into word of clicks and taps, bringing consumers closer to other consumers and brands. Online communities around interests, products, and brands have mushroomed. Social media has further brought quality, quantity and speed into the recommendation and review process. According to a study by McKinsey, social media recommendations induced an average of 26% of purchases in 2014, that's up from 10% in 2013. Kishore Kumar, serial entrepreneur and CEO of AllThingsMine, explains how social media networks are assisting cosumers in their buying and purchasing decisions and what companies need to do to effectively utilize these channels for their product marketing and competitive strategies. According to him three aspects of social media influence consumers, and companies have to incorporate them to expand their product sales - (1) Social Referrals: Brands have to encourage and invest in social media referrals. Adweek infographic suggests that 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Recommendations from friends and trusted sources are more valuable than product advertisements. (2) Access to Reviews: Consumers research before buying products and reviews are an important source. Companies should provide product reviews and give incentives to those consumers that leave a review. (3) Social Media Accessibility: Social media is freely available to anyone with an internet connection. Consumers can now purchase products directly from their social media feeds when people in their network recommend them. Companies need to effectively tap this potential and reach out to larger public through influencers. Read on...

Young Upstarts: How Social Networks Impact Buying Decisions And The Modern Consumer Society
Author: Kishore Kumar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 jan 2016

Good designers often seek a balance between comfort and fashion while designing their clothes. They design to improve human lives. For most people jeans provide comfort and also fulfil their fashion quotient. Professor Elazer Edelman, a cardiologist and director of Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center, is going a step further and utilizing scientific approach to create 'FYT Jeans', that are designed for health and comfort. These jeans, developed in collaboration with designers from Portugal, are particularly suited for people who sit for long hours, like office workers. Initially the project was targeted for wheelchair dependent people, to provide them safe clothes. According to Prof. Edelman, 'There are a variety of modifications to the design around the knee...The zipper on the back is a very important and innovative design.' FYT Jeans don't bunch up behind the knee. He further adds, 'It's extra material, extra pressure. It's uncomfortable and it can actually be unsafe. It's everything from a little irritation to when people have diabetes or poor circulation, developing sores that never heal.' While explaining the future of healthy clothings, he says, 'You could certainly embed all kinds of sensors in them, and you could even give something, or embed something that was itself therapeutic.' Read on...

CBS Local: MIT Professor Designing Jeans Made For Sitting
Author: Kathryn Hauser


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jan 2016

According to a study, pharmaceutical promotional and marketing expenditures, that include direct-to-consumer advertising (like TV ads), promotions to physicians, journal advertising, distributing free samples etc, increased from US$ 11.4 billion in 1995 to US$ 28.9 billion in 2005. But a recent research study titled 'Does Increased Spending on Pharmaceutical Marketing Inhibit Pioneering Innovation?' by professors Denis Arnold and Jennifer Troyer from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, found that the more pharmaceutical firms spend on marketing drugs, the less likely it is that the firm will produce breakthrough drugs that offer major advances in treatment. Conversely, the more pharmaceutical companies spend on research and development, the more innovative are the results in terms of the development of pioneering drugs according to FDA classifications, i.e. drugs that will improve public health. Authors of the study comment that the research has important policy and ethics outcomes. Prof. Arnold says, 'This article is the first using empirical data to demonstrate that aggressive marketing of pharmaceutical drugs and truly innovative new drug development are at odds. The current patent regime, that provides equal patent protection for drugs regardless of their innovativeness, can be manipulated by firms to increase sales and drive up costs for society without improving public health.' According to Prof. Troyer, 'The effects of increased spending on R&D are large for pioneering drugs. For firms producing at least one pioneering drug over the period (1999-2009), increasing permanent R&D spending by 1% results in an almost one pioneering drug approval per firm.' Read on...

UNC Charlotte News: For Pharmaceutical Companies, More Marketing Equals Less Innovation
Authors: Kirsten Khire, Buffie Stephens


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 jan 2016

Product returns are an important part of customer-retailer relationship dynamics. In 2014, customers returned US$ 280 million worth of products across all US retailers. The latest research by doctoral student Ryan Freling (University of Texas at Dallas), Prof. Narayan Janakiraman (University of Texas at Arlington) and doctoral candidate Holly Syrdal (University of Texas at Arlington), conducted the meta-analysis of existing studies on return policies to quantify the policies' effect on consumers' purchase and return behavior. The study challenges the underlying assumption that all return policies affect purchases and returns in a similar manner. The study suggests that this is not the case, as retailers tend to impose restrictions to dissuade returns or offer leniency to encourage purchases by manipulating five return policy elements: time, money, effort, scope and exchange. The study found that overall lenient return policies positively affect purchase and return decisions. According to Mr. Freling, 'In general, firms use return policies to increase purchases but don't want to increase returns, which are costly. But all return policies are not the same...Return policy leniency should depend on the retailer's objectives. If a retailer wants to stimulate purchases, offering more lenient monetary policies and low-effort policies may be effective.' Read on...

UT Dallas News Center: Researchers Examine Effect of Return Policies on Consumer Behavior
Author: Brittany Magelssen


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jan 2016

Social entrepreneurship takes initiatives to solve world's complex social problems through creativity, innovation and passion. Education and healthcare are two areas that require huge amount of resources and efforts to improve quality and access. In a number of cases various government, non-government and private organizations have to pool their resources and efforts for better outcomes in education and healthcare. Richard Barth, CEO of KIPP Foundation (US-based Education Social Enterprise), and Jonathan Jackson, Co-founder and CEO of Dimagi (Technology and Healthcare Social Enterprise that operates globally), explain how their two organizations are finding common ground, pooling their expertise and resources, utilizing technology and collaborating to find solutions to uplift their communities. Through their experience the organizations have observed that education and healthcare are substantially connected to each other. They explain, 'Dimagi and KIPP learned that the same child struggling with poor health is often unable to access a good education. There's no single solution that will improve their quality of life, and we can't fully address one challenge at the expense of the other.' This prompted the organizations to invest in each other's areas of expertise. Dimagi is branching out into education, and KIPP is incorporating healthcare into its approach. Since their interactions and relationships with communities in which they operate are central to their work, therefore, their collaboration will play an important role in effective application of solutions. The collaborative and partnership model can be applied by social enterprises working in different areas to maximize their impact and save efforts and resources. Read on...

The Seventy Four: Social Entrepreneurship - Connecting the Worlds of Education and Health Care
Authors: Richard Barth, Jonathan Jackson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 jan 2016

Home interior design concepts continue to evolve with both designers and customers seeking new ways to update and upgrade the living environment. Following are the 25 latest design trends that include materials, strategies and concepts for modern homes in 2016 - (1) Two-tone kitchen cabinets (2) Outdoor fabric used indoors (3) Colored stainless steel appliances (Black stainless steel is one of the preferred color) (4) Extra-large-format tile (5) Separate bidet unit in bathroom (6) Deep kitchen drawers (7) Formal dining rooms (8) Niche appliances in kitchen (Steam ovens, warming drawers, induction cooktops, kimchi refrigerators etc) (9) Heated entryway floors (10) Workhorse islands (Becoming central features in modern kitchens with deep storage, prep sinks, room for sitting etc) (11) Statement mirrors in bathrooms (12) Barely there kitchens (13) Living rooms that ditch the tech for family (14) Kitchens that embrace openness and raw materials (15) Surprising backsplash and countertop pairings (16) Fully decorated living rooms that don't go overboard (17) Special kitchen features (18) Sunrooms (19) Punched-up white kitchens (20) Bold powder room wall coverings (Use of dazzling prints, textures and custom graphics) (21) Mixing modern materials, finishes and colors in the kitchen (22) Attention-seeking bedrooms (23) Bathrooms that feel more like living spaces (Use of graphic wallpaper, ornate chandeliers and furniture-like pieces etc) (24) Fireplaces and fire features (25) Farmhouse entryways. Read on...

Houzz: 25 Design Trends Coming to Homes Near You in 2016
Author: Mitchell Parker


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 jan 2016

Social media has provided opportunities for publishing industry and their reporters, editors, journalists and columnists, to promote and market their content. In many cases this has resulted in the elevation of individual personal brands to iconic status with huge following, immensely benefiting the individuals and their employers. In some other cases it has also created challenging situations and adversely affected their careers. There are a number of academic studies that has been done to understand the role of company branding and personal branding. But Prof. Avery E. Holton of the University of Utah and Prof. Logan Molyneux of Temple University, assert that questions about the trend's impact on journalists' personal identities were largely left unanswered. Their study, 'Identity Lost? The Personal Impact of Brand Journalism', explores this issue and is based on interviews of 41 reporters and editors from various US publications. The authors suggest that publishing groups may need to reconsider how social media is used for branding, promotion and identity creation. Journalists find it challenging to balance their jobs and personal online identities and often have to choose one over the other. According to the authors, 'This choice presents a paradox: If journalists choose to present too much of a personal identity, they risk punishment by their employers. If they present only a professional identity, they risk offending their audiences.' Read on...

Journalist's Resource: Journalism branding - Impact on reporters' personal identities
Author: Denise-Marie Ordway


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 jan 2016

Concerned authorities try to provide affordable housing to their marginalized communities. In regions with extreme climate conditions it becomes even more challenging to manage costs related to energy consumption. Nanaimo Aboriginal Center (British Columbia, Canada) in partnership with the city administration is planning to build an affordable housing complex that will abide by the energy efficiency standards. The project will use passive housing design, that is more economical and is an alternative to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design). According to Chris Beaton, Executive Director of Nanaimo Aboriginal Center, 'You build your building so it's oriented to the sun and during the winter, you're allowing in the heat of the sun to warm the interior of the building. You put in robust insulation...then you vapour barrier it so no cold air is coming in and you're not losing heat during the winter.' Read on...

Nanaimo News Bulletin: Affordable housing project aims to use passive house design
Author: Karl Yu


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jan 2016

According to a recent study by business psychologists at OPP, based on an online survey of over 300 people (71% female and with average age of 47 years) Modern features such as shared space and open-plan floors appeal mainly to extroverted workers and made introverts uncomfortable. The study explains that modern features like shared space and open-plan floors appeal mainly to extroverted workers and made introverts uncomfortable. John Hackston, Chartered Psychologist and Head of Research at OPP, says 'Despite changes in technology many people still work in an office. Understanding how personality interacts with the office environment is key to improving job satisfaction and productivity.' He suggests some of the simple changes that can be made - Allowing staff more storage for personal items when hot desking; Creating smaller neighbourhoods within open-plan offices; Not overdoing clear desk policies as clearing away all personal items can be demotivating to some people; Providing quiet zones for people to work in when needed. Read on...

Workplace Insight: Modern office design principles favour extroverts, study claims
Author: Mark Eltringham


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 jan 2016

According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics website (bls.gov), 1987 United Nations conference defined sustainable development as, 'Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' A report from the National Association for Environmental Management describes sustainability as, 'Company's strategies for acting as a responsible corporate citizen, ensuring its operations are financially sustainable and minimizing its environmental footprint. Sustainability initiatives may include natural resource reduction, supply chain management, worker safety and health initiatives, stakeholder engagement and external reporting.' Sustainability professionals are often employed by companies to achieve their goals by ensuring that their business practices are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Sustainability is a diverse field and to pursue right careers requires thorough search starting from CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) or sustainability departments of corporations, nonprofit or social startups, or social impact or social consulting firms. But apart from these usual approaches, Katie Kross (Managing Director of the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE) at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business), provides some other out of the box ideas for professionals seeking sustainability careers and want to make social impact - (1) Mission-driven brand manager (2) University sustainability director (3) ESG (Environmental-Social-Governance Investing) portfolio analyst (4) CSR account executive for a creative agency (5) Post-graduate intern at an environmental NGO (6) Foundation program officer. Read on...

Triple Pundit: 6 Sustainability Careers That Haven't Occurred to You Yet
Author: Katie Kross


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 04 jan 2016

Economic predictions are hard to make and it is even harder to guarantee their correctness. Falling of oil prices since summer of 2014 and sharp decline in China's economic growth that started recently, were events that analysts hardly predicted and took the world by surprise. And just now the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia, largest producer of oil, and Iran, may see another swing in the oil prices. But there are signs and signals that can be observed to make a studied judgement regarding the direction of the global economy and how to be prepared in the best possible way to cushion against the shocks. Here are the top five new economic trends for 2016 - (1) The Global Economy Will Continue to Be Powered by America: With other developed economies growing even more slowly and collapse of economic growth in China, US seems to be a ray of hope. As US has largest trade deficit in the world, the other big economies depend on it. (2) China Will Stay Stuck in Second Gear: China's capital investment, both government and private, was enabled by growing debt, rather than profits. The wealth in China must shift to Chinese households, and away from powerful government officials and managers of public enterprises. Which is politically hard to happen soon. (3) Commodities Will Be Cheap: Bloomberg commodities index fell 26% in 2015. Collapse in Chinese growth is the main reason. (4) Europe will edge closer to crisis: European debt crisis continues. Unemployment rate for euro area remains at 10.7%. Imbalances that caused the crisis still are there. Euro binds together diverse set of economies, giving unfair advantage to some. (5) India will become the new growth king: IMF expects Indian economy to grow at 7.3% in 2016. It has advantage of demographics with large workforce and in next 10 years it will grow larger than the Chinese workforce. Read on...

Fortune: These 5 Trends Will Shape the Global Economy in 2016
Author: Chris Matthews


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 dec 2015

The technology-enabled interactions of consumers and businesses have provided opportunities to capture data and utilize analytics to improve business processes and enhance products and services for customers in variety of industries. The analytics industry ecosystem is mushrooming with numerous vendors, from niche providers to one-stop solutions that include capture, storage, access and study of data for valuable insights. Suhale Kapoor, Co-founder of Absolutdata Analytics, captures various aspects of the analytics industry and its evolution in 2015 and explains what are the expected trends in the year ahead. Trends in 2015 - Growth of new startups and digital marketing tools; Increased use of analytics and Business Intelligence (BI); Rise in use of social media and social advertising on mobile; Rapid expansion of Internet of Things (IoT); Video content; Content marketing and predictive analytics; End-user experience and integration of online and offline content to improve service standards. Trends for 2016 - Shift towards cloud; Streaming architectures will hasten data computations; Visuals will come to rule; Data integration tools will assume more importance; Centre of Excellence (COE) will equip a business in understanding the peculiar needs and challenges for a data scientist; The Internet of Things (IoT) is all poised to bring about a data revolution; Non-analysts will start to dabble in data. Read on...

DATAQUEST: The Analytics Sector - Emerging trends and forecast for 2016
Author: Suhale Kapoor


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 dec 2015

Although Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data Analytics (BDA) are being successfully utilized for incremental innovation, but they are insufficient to provide breakthrough innovation, which is more challenging and requires uncovering latent needs, or even creating needs and meaning. Soren Petersen, author of the book 'Profit from Design', and Finn Birger Lie (Co-founder and Chairman of Northern Analytics AS), explains how combination of BDA and Small Data (SD) when integrated at the early stages of new product development process can create breakthrough innovation. The conventional design process includes steps that combine analysis and synthesis, prototyping, testing and learning to create unique and valuable insights. While more advanced design processes, like Design Thinking, include an element of design research or Design Science Research, to enable design teams gain better understanding of the current and future market, and technologies, leverage this knowledge, and then create roadmap that includes the concurrent building of new capabilities that assist them to design future offerings. Mr. Petersen says, 'Innovation is often ambiguous. The 'Market-Technology Risk Matrix' provides a useful mapping of new ventures and offerings according to their position in the market (Recognized Needs, Clarifying Needs and Realizing Needs) and their technology level (Current Technology, Applied New Technology and Development of New Technology). Different combinations of Big Data Analytics (BDA) and Small Data Analytics (SDA) may prove more productive, depending on where design identifies insights within the Market-Technology Risk Matrix.' With grounded research and vertical thinking, BDA can support incremental innovation, while through lateral thinking, SDA can utilize a combination of hypothesis and grounded research to support breakthrough innovation. Read on...

Huffington Post: Creating Breakthrough Innovations Through Design With Big and Small Data Analysis
Authors: Soren Petersen, Finn Birger Lie


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 dec 2015

Concepts regarding the success and failure of business teams are continuously evolving based upon the behaviors of individuals and changing business landscape. Earlier the main philosophy was that team strength, performance and resilience came from a homegeneous, assimilated group of people that worked together in machine-like processes. It was considered a sure recipe for success and a lot of top executives when departed from one organization took their most loyal people with them to the other. Some industries still consider this concept as part of their human resources strategy. But overall business environment with technology, market diversity and globalization as main drivers, has shifted the power of teams towards diversity, complimentary strengths, diversity of views, beliefs and ways of working. But to effectively manage diversity in teams can be a challenging task. Paul Keijzer, CEO and Managing Partner of Engage Consulting, suggests the following to keep the team together and get the best out of them - (1) Intent, Intent and Intent: Be convinced that a team with diversity provides better outcomes. Invest time and energy to bring team together. Accept differences and be tolerant and patient. (2) Share the Passion: Clarity and passion about the goal is key to keep the team motivated. (3) Take a Personal Deep Dive: Know and understand people who are part of the team. Take time to help team member know each other well. (4) Agree How You Want to Work Together: Put together team's rules of engagement. Assist team in sharing what team members expect from each other. (5) Get the Best Out of Conflict: Avoid personal conflicts and let everyone know the value of constructive conflicts. Develop clear rules for conflict resolution and identify positive conflicts. (6) Have Fun: Enjoy being part of the team. Find the right balance of emotions. Use humour and laughter. Have respect for each other and contribute positively to the environment. And finally pool all your strengths to get the work done successfully for which the team got together in the first place. Read on...

Business 2 Community: How to Be Part of a Team With People You Don't Like
Author: Paul Keijzer


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 dec 2015

Design education promises to inculcate and enhance creativity within students and equip them with skills to build and develop products, services, spaces and environments in diverse industries. Given below is the select list of America's top design academics and educators from the disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture, that was created with inputs from design professionals, academic department heads and students - Amale Andraos (Architecture, Planning & Preservation at Columbia University); Alan DeFrees (Architecture at University of Notre Dame); Dawn Finley (Architecture at Rice University); Steve French (Architecture at Georgia Tech); Geraldine Forbes Isais (Architecture & Planning at University of New Mexico); Charles Graham (Architecture at University of Oklahoma); Aki Ishida (Architecture & Design at Virginia Tech); Kent Kleinman (Architecture & Interior Design at Cornell University); Sharon Kuska (Architecture & Civil Engineering at University of Nebraska); Alison Kwok (Architecture at University of Oregon); Mohsen Mostafavi (Architecture & Design at Harvard University); Daniel Nadenicek (Planning & Landscape at University of Georgia); Guy Nordenson (Architecture & Structural Engineering at Princeton University); Juhani Pallasmaa (Architect & Lecturer from Helsinki. Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis & University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); James Rose (Architecture & Design at University of Tennessee); Hashim Sarkis (Architecture & Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Jeff Shannon (Architecture at University of Arkansas); Robert Shibley (Architecture & Planning at SUNY Buffalo); Christine Theodoropoulos (Architecture & Environment Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo); James Timberlake (Architecture at University of Pennsylvania); Ada Tremonte (Architecture & Interior Design at Drexel University); Rod Underwood (Architecture &' Planning at Ball State University); Adam Wells (Architecture at University of Houston); Jim West (Architecture, Art, & Design at Mississippi State University); Keith Wiley (Architecture & Environmental Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo). Read on...

DesignIntelligence: 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 dec 2015

To keep pace with the happenings in the world of business and management, books written by entrepreneurs, business leaders, experienced professionals, learned academics, theorists, practitioners, subject-matter experts etc, provide valuable insights, diverse perspectives, latest practices and examples of what it takes to succeed. Here is a top ten list of leadership and management books of 2015 - (1) 'Work Rules!' by Laszlo Bock: Explores recruitment and various other aspects of HR and management. (2) 'Power Score' by Geoff Smart, Randy Street and Alan Foster: Provides mantras for business success. PxWxR - Priorities, Who (right people), Relationships. (3) 'Hiring For Keeps' by Janet Webb: Explains in detail the 'right fit' for hiring. (4) 'Triggers' by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter: Explain the relationship between beliefs and behavioral change and how to avoid the resistance to change by using triggers, the stimuli that reshape thoughts and actions. (5) 'Transitions at the Top' by Dan Ciampa and David Dotlich: Explores the role of stakeholders within the organization in the success and failure of the new executive's transition. (6) 'The 27 Challenges Managers Face' by Bruce Tulgan: Describes how organizational emergencies can be tackled successfully with minimal damage by applying a proactive, structured and rigorous approach to accountability on a frequent basis as part of the organizational processes. (7) 'The Wallet Allocation Rule' by Timothy Keiningham, Lerzan Aksoy and Luke Williams: Explains the approach where companies should accept that customers frequent their competitors and not focus merely on customer loyalty. Understanding these other relationships can help them gain a bigger share of their spending. (8) 'Leadership BS' by Jeffrey Pfeffer: Describes the shortcomings of the leadership industry and claims that it misleads on many fronts. (9) 'Your Strategy Needs a Strategy' by Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes and Janmejaya Sinha: Explains that strategy systems should adapt to specific situations and offer five approaches depending on the organization's environment. (10) 'I Know How She Does It' by Laura Vanderkam: Studied lives of working women and suggests how to make the best use of one's time. Other notable mentions - 'The Automatic Customer' by John Warrillow: Describes how to create a subscription business in any industry; 'Shadow Work' by Craig Lambert: Explores commitment to sustainability by large, reputed organizations. Read on...

The Globe and Mail: Top 10 leadership and management books of 2015
Author: Harvey Schachter


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 dec 2015

Public relations need to continuously evolve with the changing behavior of society, advancement in technologies, and new ways of communication and reaching out to public. The industry is undergoing shifts in business models, traditional firms are finding shrinking revenue streams and there is excessive competition along with the wave of consolidation. To navigate successfully in this environment, PR firms have to move ahead with the latest practices and technologies. John Hall, co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co., explores 7 digital PR trends that firms should keep into consideration in 2016 - (1) The traditional press release is no more: Utilize social media. Develop relationships with industry leaders and influencers. Attract journalists and other outlets through quality visuals in the messages. (2) Thought leadership will become a growing PR budget priority: To position as a leader in a particular space is not an easy task. Need to build original content around the brand. For thought leadership the content has to be valuable, educational and engaging. (3) Content amplification will become (even more) critical: First focus on the quality of content. Then amplification for the targeted audience will be easier. Distribution avenues will also expand. (4) Negative brand advocates will be prevented through content: Train the PR team to handle all types of situations and experiences. Learn from the book 'Hug Your Haters' by Jay Baer where he advocates a proactive approach to handle negative people. Moreover use content to educate and engage the team. Give them knowledge to effectively tackle clients and avoid negative brand advocacy. (5) Online reputation management will be necessary: Create and publish quality content to achieve better online reputation management and getting the message to the right audience. Credible online reputation will attract publishers and journalists to use your content. (6) True influence will win over number of followers: High quality smaller network wins over ineffective large following. Focus on developing a network and building influrnce among a targeted, valuable audience and social following. (7) Use of paid promotion and social ads will continue to rise: Content Marketing Institute's 2016 content benchmark report found that more than 50 percent of B2B marketing professionals use social ads and promoted posts to distribute content. The effectiveness ratings for each of these methods have increased since last year. Read on...

Forbes: 7 PR Trends You Need To Know In 2016
Author: John Hall


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 15 dec 2015

Healthcare systems in US are taking initiatives to achieve sustainable designs in their buildings. They are targeting high levels of energy efficiency as part of their new facility design. They are trying to balance both sustainability and bottom line and seek to positively impact their communities. They consider sustainability design as a continuously evolving process so that they can adjust, tweak, and redesign, and achieve higher standards. Alan Eber of Gundersen Health System, one of the industry's green leaders, says 'Our goal was to achieve 115 kBtu per square foot per year. The average for hospitals in our region is about 250 kBtu so it was well below half of what the average hospital uses.' Mr. Eber adds, 'One of the biggest design lessons on the project was the potential to reduce energy use with the geothermal heat pump. The system takes excess heat in the hospital and puts it back into the system so burning fossil fuels isn't required to heat the hospital, resulting in a huge energy savings.' Another health organization, Ascension Health, adopted new design standards and achieved an Energy Star rating of 97 for its new facility, through a combination of technologies such as energy recovery air handling units and a variable air volume turndown in non-critical spaces to minimize fan, cooling, and reheat energy. According to Gerry Kaiser of Ascension Health, 'We use a lifecycle approach to justify what might be a slight upfront premium to put in the kind of systems and equipment that it does. Once the hospital is open, it's very difficult to get money spent on upgrading equipment, whether it's five or 20 years old. We try to design our hospitals to last and to perform knowing that no one wants to spend money on the unglamorous things in the future.' Palomar Medical Center (PMC), for which the work started in 2002 and got completed in 2012, utilized the latest concepts, best practices and technologies available at that time. Building Information Management (BIM), Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and sustainable design were at the initial stages of their development. Thomas Chessum of CO Architects says, 'PMC took advantage of the technology of the time, such as passive shading systems, heat-load reduction, and daylighting, to reduce its energy consumption, since LED lighting was still cost-prohibitive and active building programs like chilled beam systems weren't yet mainstream.' PMC had two main directives in their design process - (1) Create an environment that promotes health and healing. (2) Reduce the impact on the natural environment in construction and operations. Healthcare systems around the world have to effectively merge sustainability into their design processes and collaboratively work with the architects, engineers, designers, and their stakeholders like health staff and patients, and community at large, to provide better health solutions with reduced ecological footprint. Read on...

Healthcare Design: Hitting The Mark In Sustainable Design
Author: Anne DiNardo


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 dec 2015

It has been observed in many cases that science fiction writers have talked about products that became reality later on. For example earbud headphones were first mentioned by Ray Bradbury in his classic novel 'Fahrenheit 451'. Emphasis on technological development and advancement is also part of economic agendas of many nations. Japan is one country that gives siginificant importance to merging technology with social and economic development. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his economic roadmap, often termed as 'Abenomics', puts technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), big data, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) at the core of his revitilization strategy. Japan leads the world with its strength in robotics by bringing out the first personal robot 'Pepper'. But the robot lacks the expected intelligence as it couldn't pass the Turing Test which is a benchmark in AI to determine how close the machine thinks like humans. Although Japan's strength in industrial robotics is visible but it lags the advancements in IoT, big data and AI. According to Prof. Mitsuru Ishizuka of Waseda University and University of Tokyo, 'Japan is considerably behind the United States in 'deep learning', a central technology in AI, although the country is working hard to catch up...These companies (Google, Facebook, IBM etc) can invest big money in AI and add the resulting new values to their services. In Japan, there are much smaller companies with specific AI technologies.' IBM developed Watson, an AI computer, and over the years it has evolved into multiple applications. The computer's core framework reflects human decision-making (observe, interpret, evaluate, decide) but its data crunching abilities are incomparable. William Saito, Japanese entrepreneur and professional cook, utilized Watson to prepare some unique recipes. Citing Watson's strengths in IoT, big data and AI, Mr. Saito comments, 'Combine Watson with a refrigerator, for instance. You go to your refrigerator and it gives you a recipe based on the food in the fridge prioritized by expiration date.' Japan's focus on creating cyborgs (humans with mechanical parts) is also understandable considering its ageing population and growing need for assisted living. Toyota is collaborating with Stanford and MIT on technologies with emphasis on creating automobiles that assist the driver for safer travel, contrary to the approaches of Google and Tesla Motors that are working on driverless cars. Mr. Saito believes that Japan has to come out of its 'Galápagos Syndrome' and strike a balance between logic and creative thinking and move from electro-mechanical robotics to thinking and self-learning machines. Prof. Masakazu Hirokawa, AI researcher at University of Tsukuba, expresses similar views on Japanese model that focuses more on technology that addresses social issues and is less about creating global solutions. He comments, 'We have the hardware to be able to do it, but the important thing is developing the software...I'm trying to create algorithms that help robots learn and predictively determine what and how humans want them to act through experience-based inferences.' Read on...

JapanToday: Artificial Intelligence - Can Japan lead the way?
Author: Richard Jolley


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 dec 2015

Experts suggest that computers have to think more like humans to make artificial intelligence and smart machines more successful. Scientists are now able to create an algorithm that captures the unique human ability to grasp new concepts from a single example in a study involving learning unfamiliar handwritten alphabet characters. Cognitive and data scientist Brenden Lake of New York University says, 'We aimed to reverse-engineer how people learn about these simple visual concepts.' According to Prof. Joshua Tenenbaum of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 'Standard algorithms in machine-learning require tens, hundreds or even thousands of training examples to yield similar results.' Prof. Ruslan Salakhutdinov of University of Toronto says, 'This new work would help guide progress in artificial intelligence by leading to next-generation intelligent machines that hopefully will come close to displaying human-like intelligence.' Prof. Lake suggests that the approach used in the study might also be applicable to machine learning for many other tasks like speech and object recognition. Read on...

The Japan Times: Scientists coax computers to think more like people
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 dec 2015

According to the recent Morgan Stanley Research report, 'Can Demographics Reverse Three Multi-Decade Trends?', by Prof. Charles Goodhart of London School of Economics, Manoj Pradhan of Morgan Stanley, and Pratyancha Pardeshi of Morgan Stanley, the age of the abundant labor available to the global economy for the last few decades is coming to an end, spelling the end of the deflationary super-cycle and the era of zero interest rates. The demographic 'sweet-spot' was the result of plummeting birth rates and longer life spans from 1970 onwards. Moreover the collapse of the Soviet Union and China's entry into the global trading system made the conditions even sweeter. The working age cohort was 685 million in the developed world in 1990. The work pool of globalized market was more then doubled by China and eastern Europe together adding 820 million. Prof. Goodhart says, 'It was the biggest 'positive labour shock' the world has ever seen. It is what led to 25 years of wage stagnation.' But now the shift is expected to happen leading to scarcity of labor and rise in wages. The balance of power will shift towards workers and there would be a reversal in the rise of inequality that has been happening within economies. 'We are at a inflection point,' says Prof. Goodhart. The report explains that healthcare and ageing costs will drive fiscal expansion, while scarce labour will set off a bidding war for workers, all spiced by a state of latent social warfare between the generations. Prof. Goodhart comments, 'We are going back to an inflationary world.' In a recent speech, Andrew Haldane of The Bank of England, cautions that we may be stuck in a zero-interest trap for as far as the eye can see, with little left to fight the next downturn. Mr. Haldane said, 'Central banks may find themselves bumping up against the 'Zero Lower Bound' (ZLB) constraint on a recurrent basis.' The report made few assumptions. It discounts the role of automation and robots in offsetting the labor shortages. It also doubts the effects of demographic dividend of India and Africa, with increasing working age population, by citing lack of infrastructural support to repeat the 'China Phenomenon'. The report also debunks the claims made by French economist Thomas Piketty in his book 'Capital in the 21st Century', that the return on capital outpaces the growth of the economy over time, leading ineluctably to greater concentrations of wealth in an unfettered market system i.e. the rich will further gain from investments while the condition of the poor will continue to worsen. Read on...

The Telegraph: The world economy as we know it is about to be turned on its head
Author: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 dec 2015

U.S. spends a total of US$ 2.8 trillion on healthcare and surprisingly about half of it is spent on just 5% of the general population. To expand healthcare reach the general solution is to spend more money. But Prof. David S. Buck of Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Primary Care Innovation Center (PCIC) in Houston (Texas, US), explains that spending more money, specifically in Harris County, has yielded poor outcomes, no coordination between healthcare providers and no safety net system for those most in need. According to him the healthcare system is non-existent in the region and it is merely a grouping of medical silos. The nonprofit PCIC is working towards creating a true healthcare system to reach the most vulnerable and most medically expensive residents, and provide affordable and better healthcare overall by reducing hospital costs. PCIC is first identifying 'super-utilizers', a small group of patients that are extremely sick and costly. These patients utilize most of the healthcare services and are generally treated in emergency rooms. Health staff after identifying these 'super-utilizers' will work with them individually and develop a treatment and care plan for better management of their health issues. This will finally reduce their hospital emergency visits and lower healthcare costs. Delay in treating small problems leads them to become emergencies and bring inefficiencies in the health system along with increased difficulties to patients. Prof. Buck suggests an integrated database of these patients for timely and effective treatment and care. According to him, 'Developing a safety net takes time, commitment and shared data...If hospitals share data, it won't just improve the institution's bottom line; it'll improve care for the community...We also need school systems to share data, so that we can learn how health and social factors are linked, and improve the health of students and their families.' Read on...

Houston Chronicle: Medical data-sharing could curb cost of 'super-utilizers'
Author: David S. Buck


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 dec 2015

While peer recommendations and other customer's views have an important influence on purchasing decisions, but an experiment by Cranfield University's Prof. Hugh N. Wilson, Prof. Emma K. Macdonald and doctoral student Shane Baxendale, identified another influential touchpoint that is mostly ignored by marketers: observing what other customers actually do. They analyzed brand touchpoints of 14000 people from N. America and Europe over a week. The data was collected as text message by using research agency MESH Experiences's real-time experience tracking approach. The people were asked to report their experiences of a brand in one of four categories: mobile handsets, soft drinks, technology products, and electrical goods. The results collected from 69000 text messages found that observing other customers in influencing purchase decisions is as important as word-of-mouth recommendations for mobile handsets and soft drinks, and even more important in case of technology products and electrical goods. The experiment overall found that peer observation was equal in importance to the costly brand advertising. Similar thinking that Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, psychologist and economist, termed as 'System 1 Thinking' also applies in consumer behavior: with many decisions to take, it saves effort to assume that if others are using a product, it's probably good. For marketers, the researchers have the following suggestions - (1) It's important to think about distinctive branding for the product in use not just for the purchase moment. (2) If decision-making is made by the group rather than the individual, marketers can try to win the group. (3) Expose normally invisible customer behaviors to their peers. (4) Build in peer observation to product launches. Read on...

Harvard Business Review: What Really Makes Customers Buy a Product
Authors: Hugh N. Wilson, Emma K. Macdonald, Shane Baxendale


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 dec 2015

According to Wikipedia, 'Employee Experience' is defined as 'What an employee received during their interaction with careers' elements (e.g. firms, supervisors, coworkers, customer, environment, etc.) that affect their cognition and affection and leads to their particular behaviors.' Professor Kaveh Abhari of University of Hawaii at Manoa conceptualized 'Employee Experience Management' (EEM) as 'An approach to deliver excellent experience to employees, which leads to the positive customer experience by emphasizing on their experiential needs.' Successful and future-focused organizations are both customer- and employee-centric, and they shift away from thinking of work as just a utility and emphasise on creating 'beautiful experiences', a term used by Pat Wadors (Chief Human Resource Officer of Linkedin). Jacob Morgan, entrepreneur and author of 'The Future of Work', defines three employee experience environments that all organizations must focus on - physical, cultural and technological. Here he explains the nature of physical environment and its impact on employee experience. Physical environment includes - Demographics; Workplace Perks; Workplace Layout; Workplace Creative. There is a strong correlation between employee well-being and employee productivity and performance, and physical workspace is one of the largest factor for well-being. Mr. Morgan's suggestions regarding the physical aspects of work environment include - (1) Focus on multiple ways of working: According to Gensler employees need spaces to focus, collaborate, learn, and socialize. Organizations need to shift away from having a single floor plan to integrating and incorporating multiple floor plans. (2) Make the space reflect the culture: Organizations should make efforts to build an environment that reflect their values and culture. (3) Look at how employees work: Engage with employees and ask what they value and care about at work and make investments in those areas. (4) Treat physical space like software: Just the way software is continuously iterated, upgraded and evolves, organizations should use the same process to bring necessary transformations in the work space. Read on...

Forbes: How The Physical Workspace Impacts The Employee Experience
Author: Jacob Morgan


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 nov 2015

The fast-paced world of fashion and related consumption leads to generation of large amount of waste that leaves a substantial ecological footprint. According to the nonprofit GrowNYC, in the city of New York the average person throws out 46 pounds of clothings and textiles every year (totals 193000 tons for NY). While Council for Textile Recycling found that US generates 25 billion pounds of textile waste per year (82 pounds per person) and estimates that it will increase to 35.4 billion pounds by 2019. But only about 4 billion pounds (15%) gets donated and recycled and the remaining reaches landfills, contributing 5.2% to all trash generated in US. Elizabeth Cline, author of the book "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Price of Cheap Fashion", says 'There is so much waste being created and that has changed really dramatically in the last 15 years with the rise of fast fashion and disposable consumption.' Adam Baruchowitz, CEO of Wearable Collections, which coordinates textile recycling in partnership with GrowNYC, acknowledges the increasing rise in textile waste. While Nate Herman, VP of international trade at American Apparel and Footwear Association, have a contrarian view and explains 'People are actually buying less than they did 10 years. While there has been a lot of press about [wastefulness], the numbers don't bear that out.' But he acknowledges that the industry is trying to effectively handle the clothing's end-of-life issues. Some companies provide small credit to consumers who trade-in used garments, while others donate used clothings to charities. Some companies provide support and contribute to the recycle programs where used textiles end up in producing materials used in other industries like insulation in buildings. Moreover, there are a number of startups that are working to give a second life to used clothings. A small number of fashion companies are also incorporating recycled materials in their new line of clothings. Eco-friendly strategies are considered costly by the industry. According to Jill Dumain, director of environmental strategy at Patagonia, 'It's an industry-wide dilemma, for sure, on how do we do something at scale that the industry can participate in...The end result is that you have smaller-scale production that ends up to be more expensive.' She suggests that awareness about recycling is necessary and at the same time there need to be a thinking among consumers not to treat clothes like a cheap disposable item. Slow fashion might be the way forward. She further explains, 'I do think consumption is a big part. People need to learn how to buy less and companies need to learn how to be profitable in selling less.' Read on...

CBS News: Is the fast fashion industry ready to change its wasteful ways?
Author: Michael Casey


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 nov 2015

Nonprofit organizations intend to bring social change and serve communities by involving themselves in the areas of education, healthcare, environment, poverty alleviation etc. Large number of these organizations are professionally managed and utilize business practices for efficiency and effectiveness to make better impact in the society. Elizabeth Gore, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell and Chair of the Global Entrepreneurs Council at United Nations Foundation, explains how working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector benefits individuals and is a viable career option - (1) Since nonprofit sector is an organized industry, individuals with an undergraduate degree in fields like business, engineering etc can pursue master's in nonprofit management and pubic policy. (2) Volunteering gets your foot on the door and provides global experience in a number of areas. (3) You don't have to build your own thing and your game changing charitable idea can be developed by utilizing the infrastructure of the existing nonprofit. It has better chance of success as there are networking opportunities in such an environment. (4) Most national nonprofits and humanitarian groups have an attractive pay structure and value talent. It would be sufficient to cover ones expenses. (5) As the nonprofit industry involves working with committed individuals, it helps in building long-term relationships and lasting friendships. Read on...

Cosmopolitan: 5 Surprising Things to Know About Jobs That Give Back
Authors: Elizabeth Gore, Danielle Kam


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 nov 2015

Successful companies provide exemplary customer service. Companies have huge amount of data regarding their customers that they can utilize to achieve better understanding and insights and serve their consumers in the best possible way. But the big question is, how many metrics can customer service professionals focus on to get the best results. Piyanka Jain, President and CEO of Aryng, explains 'There is a better way to drill into the treasure trove of data you have, to find the root causes of your most important metrics slipping - and you don't need to use any complicated systems to do it. 80% of the business problem faced by most front line managers can be solved by using simple business analytics methodologies - (1) Aggregate Analysis (2) Correlation Analysis (3) Trend Analysis (4) Sizing and Estimation. If you and your team can learn to master these four techniques, you can solve most of the business problems you will encounter in your day-to-day workflow. And it can be all done using simple tools like Excel, with the data you already have at hand.' She further povides three simple steps that are to be followed - (I) Determine your team's analytics aptitude (II) Learn how to ask intelligent questions and derive actionable insights from your data (III) Practice and learn to become more proficient with your business analytics. Ms. Jain has devised a framework, 'BADIR Process', that include steps that most analytics projects follow - Real 'B'usiness Question; Hypothesis-driven 'A'nalysis Plan; Collecting Relevant 'D'ata; Deriving 'I'nsights; Making Actionable 'R'ecommendations. If the 'BADIR' framework is utilized in a way as explained, the analysis will find the following biggest drivers of customer dissatisfaction - (1) Multiple calls needed to get an issue resolved. (2) Hold times greater than 150 seconds while the agent looks for the answer. (3) Unprofessional agents. The analysis would show that addressing these drivers would bring customer satisfaction (CSAT) up from 57% to 69%. These important driver metrics should become the part of the daily dashboard - (1) First Call Resolution (FCR) (2) Agent Hold Time (3) Professionalism Among Agents (graded on scale). Read on...

Harvard Business Review: Improving Customer Satisfaction with Simple Analytics
Author: Piyanka Jain


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 nov 2015

Anomalies in a business may arise due to exceptional situations and can be ignored by the management due to their minimal chance of repeat occurence in the similar form. But extraordinary and perfection seeking businesses don't just leave these anomalies as one of a kind happening. They often try to understand and explore them, do due diligence to find the reasons and causes, analyze them and gain insights. One such anomaly was observed by Yves Morieux and his colleagues from Boston Consulting Group while conducting interviews to probe why employees feel disengaged and dissatisfied at work, and to find out falling productivity in spite of organizations using tools and technologies to make workers efficient. They found a senior manager crying during the interview while mentioning the lack of recognition that he received at work. This anomaly promted Mr. Morieux and his team to dig deep into the case. Mr. Morieux says, 'Before we put the guilt on the abnormal psychology of people, we should first have a concrete understanding of what they want to be recognised for.' They found that similar sentiments were expressed by other people who were interviewed. The conclusion was that the workers were not recognized for their cooperation and collaboration with colleagues that was done for the betterment of the company and sometimes they were actively disadvantaged by it because it reduces the efficiency of their own performance. The cooperative efforts are ignored by performance evaluation systems and therefore their value is not recognized. Mr. Morieux explains, 'If there is anything on earth that you can't measure, it's cooperation. We discovered that the real value added by that person wasn't in his own silo, but in making his team cooperate with other silos like the back office, finances and IT, and this wasn't being captured because your evaluation is based on key performance indicators (KPIs) which don't measure cooperation.' Cooperation is the key to achieve superior results for the organization. But individual performance and productivity can get affected in the process of helping and supporting others. Based on his understanding of such situations, Mr. Morieux designed his strategy of 'Smart Simplicity'. It is built on six key rules that allow people to use their intuition, judgement and energy and to encourage cooperation. Three of the rules are about giving people more power, autonomy and knowledge, while the other three involve feedback and accountability, to make sure they use that autonomy in the best interests of the company. He suggests that organizations should address the root causes that prevent people from cooperating. They should utilize social sciences based on game theory instead of obsolete scientific management tools. Read on...

BDLive: Recognition leads to a happy workforce
Author: Lesley Stones


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 nov 2015

Prof. Nouriel Roubini, an economist at New York University, came to fame as 'Dr. Doom' when he predicted the US housing bubble crash of 2007-2008. Following are seven ideas about the global economy that he shared in a recent event - (1) Aging population and the end of the 'golden era': Worldwide economic slowdown; Governments and private sector is saving more and spending less; Aging population is changing consumption model; Individuals are inclined towards saving. (2) China - expect a "bumpy landing" but no crash: Slowdown but no complete collapse; 5-6% potential growth next year. (3) On Silicon Valley: Localized technological and scientific innovation at specific hubs like Silicon Valley; Not leading to productivity growth, that is key to the growth of global economy. (4) Are robots taking over our jobs?: Shrinks demand for labor; Will bring changes to labor force structure and therefore structure of the economy. (5) The central banks are broken: Government policies are not optimal; Instruments of monetary policy seem ineffective; Fiscal policy instruments are not used to their full potential; Need for structural reforms globally, which is a challenging task. (6) The hyped-up Grexit: Lot of attention to Greek exit; Greece is only 2% of European GDP; Grexit will have political implications and potential to transform Eurozone. (7) Commodity super cycle: End of commodity super cycle; Economic slowdown in China; Supply issues like innovative shell gas, oil tech, and significant reserves in Latin America and Africa; Low demand for raw materials. Read on...

FinBuzz: 7 ways the global economy is going to change, according to Nouriel Roubini
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 nov 2015

Marketing technologies are changing the nature and dynamics of strategies that marketers use to reach, engage and serve their customers. Moreover these technologies continue to evolve and marketers have to keep pace with these advances to stay ahead of the game. The four key innovation areas in marketing technology in which all marketers should have deep understanding and continue to emphasise in their strategies are - (1) Use Advanced Analytics (2) Optimize the Mobile Experience in Real-time (3) Cut Down on Call Center Time to Value (4) Maximize the Voice of Customer (VOC). Marketers should be able to collect, analyze and act on omnichannel data throughout the whole customer funnel (customer journey & engagement process) for each of the mentioned areas to achieve success. This will finally help build better customer profiles, prioritize business actions, analyze macro trends, optimize customer engagement and customize offerings to get better outcomes. Read on...

MarTech Advisor: 4 Advanced Use Cases of Marketing Technology Innovation
Author: Rohit Roy


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 oct 2015

The Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia (chiefscientist.gov.au) recently released a report, 'Boosting High-Impact Entrepreneurship in Australia', prepared by Colin Kinner (Director of Spike Innovation). The study highlights entrepreneurship as the key to a high-growth, innovation-led economy, able to capitalise on Australia's investment in research and skills. According to Ian Chubb, Australia's Chief Scientist, 'Knowledge is the foundation of the high-growth industries of the future - but it must be knowledge efficiently acquired, skilfully managed and creatively applied.' He considers that entrepreneurship can be taught. He says, 'To be a more innovative country we need to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset at every level of education - starting in schools, continuing in higher study and enduring throughout working lives.' The report finds that Australia has one of the highest rates of business creation in the world, but few startups have the capacity to grow beyond the local level. The report lists the following core skills that today's high-impact entrepreneurs need - (1) Business model innovation (2) Product development (3) Sales (4) Financial management (5) Legal management (6) Intellectual property management (7) Platform economics (8) Capital raising (9) Employee Share Ownership Plans (10) Building and managing teams (11) Managing rapid international growth. Read on...

Business Insider: The 11 core skills needed to be a high-impact entrepreneur, according to the chief scientist
Author: Chris Pash


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 oct 2015

According to recent research regarding consumer psychology by marketing professors Gina S. Mohr of Colorado State University, Margaret C. Campbell of the University of Colorado, and Peeter W. J. Verlegh of the University of Amsterdam, 'Consumers remember and like products better after seeing covert marketing, such as a product placement in a sitcom, but reminding them that product placement is "marketing" eliminates the effect.' Prof. Campbell, the lead invesigator of the study, comments 'Frankly, we were a bit surprised at the power of covert marketing across a variety of studies. Even though most US consumers know that marketers pay to surreptitiously get their brands in front of consumers, consumers are still influenced by covert marketing efforts.' Prof. Mohr adds, 'In the US there has been some reluctance to incorporate disclosures for fear that it may interfere with creative content. This research suggests that product placement disclosures need not occur at the time of product placement to be effective.' Researchers suggest that the study provides support for the idea that requiring disclosure after exposure to covert marketing would give information to consumers that helps them make better decisions. Read on...

domain-b: Consumers resist influence of covert marketing when paid placements are disclosed
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 oct 2015

User experience is one of the most critical factor to be considered while designing a product or service. Great designs make customers feel good, enjoy and above all fully utilize the desired functionality of the product or service for their benefit. Scott Sundvor, co-founder of 6SensorLabs, explains that there are generally two schools of thought in the product design process - 'Design-First' approach, that promotes the process of initially designing look and feel of the product and then make engineering fit that design, and the other is 'Engineering-First' approach, in which the engineering aspects of the product are considered first while the industrial design works under constraints of the engineering specifications e.g. hardware, components etc. Apple generally applies the design-first approach and gives substantial importance to the aesthetics of the product, and of course without compromising on the engineering. Mr. Sundvor suggests that startups and companies with relevantly less funds as compared to Apple can find success by following the engineering-first approach. They should focus on the utility of the product i.e. providing better usability and functionality. Hardware startups that pursue crowdfunding to generate capital often sell products with a different initial industrial design while ship something else. This generally happends due to lack of convergence of engineering and hardware aspects with the industrial design. In other cases it might happen that original industrial design was not manufacturable or the cost to manufacture it was too high. Startups and companies on low budget can avoid such problems by focusing first on making the product work and then create aesthetic aspects of industrial design around it. Engineering team and industrial design firm should work together closely. Product leader should be created within the product/engineering team to coordinate collaboration between the two and should gather feedback from all sources including user's perspective and engineering constraints. The selection of the right industrial firm could be a challenge and should be done by doing thorough research based on budgetary constraints, product requirements and the design firm's capabilities. Once the selection is made product/engineering team should pitch their product vision and specifications to the industrial design firm. The design firm should be convinced regarding the long-term viability of the product. To raise funds after this would depend on the high-quality prototype design that comes through a partnership with the design firm. Startups should be prepared to spend right amount of money to create this prototype and if they don't have much funds they should consider giving equity to the design firm. This is the critical stage of product development and startups shouldn't shy away from pulling all the strings to get a good design firm to work on their product vision and specifications. Read on...

ReadWrite: Which Came First - Product Utility Or Design?
Author: Scott Sundvor


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 oct 2015

According to Pew Internet Project's research on social networking, as of January 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites. While as of September 2014, the usage statistics of popular social networking sites is - Facebook (71%); Twitter (23%); Instagram (26%); Pinterest (28%); LinkedIn (28%). Moreover research by Full Impact Studio found that social media has surpassed Google as Americans' 'number one daily activity'. All these stats point towards the relevance and importance of social media to reach people. Brands and businesses have to carefully carve out their marketing strategies on social media, and engage with their target audience accordingly. Social media can be utilized to gain subscribers, promote a service or sell a product, and helps build a business's social brand. Following are the five social media branding strategies for business suggested by Full Impact Studio's infographic - (1) Choose channels that best support your brand image: Facebook (For brand awareness and promotion. Biggest and most influential); Instagram (For heavily visual brands. Targets young adults); Pinterest (For Visual brands. To reach women); LinkedIn (To connect with corporate influencers and promote business-related content) (2) Provide exemplary customer service: Timely engage with customers and provide effective answers and solutions. (3) Don't forget about Google+: Still relevant considering that its part of Google ecosystem. Posted content's visibility on Google search. Connected to YouTube. Acts as free ad space for each post when searched on Google. (4) Deliver interesting and engaging content: Regularly update. Keep content fresh and relevant. Include articles, updates, audios, videos and visuals. (5) Get involved and make connections: Attract audience and build relationships through relevant engagement tactics like contests, giveaways or meaningful advocacy. Make them feel part of the community. Read on...

Business 2 Community: Infographic - 5 Social Media Branding Strategies for Business
Author: Deanna Zaucha


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 oct 2015

To transform cities into 'HUBs' of something requires deliberate collaborative efforts and partnerships between the people and government. There are numerous examples from US and around the world where residents, local businesses, city administration, civil society and governments have come together to create ideas and concepts, developed a concrete roadmap, and carefully executed strategy, that lead to the evolution of a city or region to become great at doing something and attract other people, businesses and investments that helped develop and grow its economy. They worked relentlessly as a team towards the shared vision and goal. Kansas City in United States is one such example where the city and its citizens built upon its strength and made it into a hub of 'Social Entrepreneurship.' Josh Schukman (Founder of Social Change Nations), explains five essential elements that helped transform Kansas City and how other cities can replicate and implement this model - (1) Capitalize on the strengths of area universities. (2) Rally local foundations. (3) The effort must be driven by the social entrepreneurs themselves. (4) Embrace the startup culture. (5) Remember this is a long term play. Read on...

Huffington Post: How to Make Your City a Hub For Social Entrepreneurship
Author: Josh Schukman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 oct 2015

Business environment is consistently evolving due to shifts, both inside and outside the organization, in areas like technology, processes, customer behavior, regulations etc. To succeed in this ever changing environment businesses have to effectively manage change and consistently innovate. According to Andrew Blau of Deloitte and Touche LLP, 'We have seen four new features of the world that are game changers for business and innovation. These four truths are making what was once difficult, expensive, or complex now easy, cheap, and simple.' (1) Coordination and collaboration between individuals and teams has become better and easier, resulting in development of new processes and business models. (2) Improved financial services has made it easier to aggregate, organize, move and exchange money. (3) Improvements in making and manufacturing things, from small batch prototypes to mass production of complex objects. (4) Better access to learning and knowledge resources. These four drivers are leading to the increased pace of three V's of new business formation - volume, variety and velocity. Mr. Blau explains, 'New types of organizations are emerging - organizations that are established not over multiple generations, but that can emerge and grow to dominance within a decade. As we witness new companies developing at exponential rates, we are also seeing the accelerated pace at which long-established organizations stumble when faced with disruption...In short, a new generation of businesses is forming around these trends.' To better prepare and respond to the changes that are happening and uncertainties of the future, organizations have to develop a set of tools and systems, and safeguard themseleves from vulnerabilities of strategic risks that threaten to disrupt their busness models. This system should include people, processes and capabilitie to - Accelerate discovery; Scan ruthlessly; Confront biases; Prepare for surprise. Mr. Blau concludes, 'Strategic risks can destroy huge amounts of value very quickly, and they can threaten the existence of the institution or entire lines of business. Identifying these potential risks early can only be to an organization's advantage.' Read on...

Deloitte Perspectives: Truths and consequences - Four drivers of change that threaten business as usual
Author: Andrew Blau


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 oct 2015

According to a recent report by Commonwealth Fund, 'U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective: Spending, Use of Services, Prices, and Health in 13 Countries', based on data by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and other cross-national analyses, the US spent US$ 9086 per person on healthcare in 2013, which corresponds to 17.1% of GDP. This was about 50% more than the second highest spender (France-11.6% of GDP) and almost twice of what UK (8.8%) spent. In US if the patients are unable to pay their healthcare bills, it either becomes a bad debt for the patient or is written off as 'charity-care', adding up to US$ 57 billion in uncompensated care. To study and analyse this aspect of healthcare, researchers from Northwestern University - David Dranove, Craig Garthwaite, and Christopher Ody - argue that there is room for efficiency improvement in the charity-care system and the supply and demand for charity care are not geographically inclined. This means that hospitals that have more resources available for charity-care, ones mostly located in high-income areas, are not located in the places where people most need it, i.e. the low-income areas. To rectify this situation, researchers propose a 'floor-and-trade' system, in which all hospitals are required to provide some charity-care to low income patients. One of the researcher, Craig Garthwaite, comments 'As the Affordable Care Act has rearranged the flows of patients to hospitals and decreased the number of uninsured Americans, it's a good time to reconsider how hospitals commit themselves to serving their surrounding communities.' Read on...

The Atlantic: Who Pays Hospital Bills When Patients Can't?
Author: Bourree Lam


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 oct 2015

According to Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), 'Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return...The growing impact investment market provides capital to address the world's most pressing challenges in sectors such as sustainable agriculture, clean technology, microfinance, and affordable and accessible basic services including housing, healthcare, and education.' The recent report by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 'Great Expectations: Mission Preservation and Financial Performance in Impact Investments', based on the evaluation of financial performance of 53 impact investing equity funds that include 557 individual investments, explores the two most important aspects of impact investing - financial returns and long-term impact. The study suggests that - in certain markets segments - investors might not need to expect lower returns as a tradeoff for social impact. According to authors of the report, Wharton finance professors David Musto and Chris Geczy, certain market segments of funds in the sample yield returns close to those of public market indices. Prof. Geczy explains, 'Our research fills a near-void of rigorous analysis of private investment and social impact outcomes and most importantly the link between the ideals of doing well and doing good. The study examines the tension between profits and purpose, also bringing to bear analyses characterizing relative performance as well as statistical certainty about the result. It represents an exciting initial advancement in our ongoing social impact research agenda.' Read on...

GlobeNewswire: New Wharton Research Shows "Doing Well While Doing Good" Is Viable Investment Strategy, Investors Seeking Social Impact Can Receive Comparable Returns
Author: Peter Winicov


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 oct 2015

Transformation in healthcare industry is increasing the demand for 'out of the box' executives and leaders that can adapt to the pace of change and at the same time bring in new ideas and innovate. These executives have diverse experiences in different industries. They can be from industries that are creating better and advance ways of doing business for example technology organizations that are influencing business processes and models in many industries. Recruiting for some select positions like CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers), CHROs (Chief Human Resources Officers), CIOs (Chief Information Officers) etc from mainstream healthcare can sometime stifle innovation as these executives may bring traditional set of experiences and perspectives from within the healthcare industry. Moreover healthcare industry is known for slow adoption of latest technologies and processes due to regulatory and systemic issues. Hence the leaders and executives from other industries have a better chance to drive innovation. But healthcare recruiters have to be cautious while seeking candidates from outside the traditional healthcare industry. Kimberly Smith (FACHE), managing partner of the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, provides some basic rules they should apply while recruiting for such positions - (1) Know where the need of innovation is and in which area the person will have most impact. (2) Understand whether the new roles are required or current leadership framework needs modification or not. (3) Perform thorough research for sources from where the candidates can be recruited. (4) Clearly define the roles, responsibilities, demands, deliverables and expectations from the new hire. (5) Be specific in defining the competencies, skills and experiences that are saught in the change and innovaiton agent. (6) Be sure of the readiness and need for out of the box candidate. Have diverse set of candidates. Explore how the person can be onboarded before extending an offer. (7) Have a clear onboarding plan for this candidate. Make sure how the nontraditional hire would be smoothly integrated and assimilated into the organizational structure and culture. Ms. Smith concludes, 'The act of looking outside the box to recruit requires forethought, a comprehensive evaluation process and a commitment to helping the executive to adjust. Going outside the box doesn't mean that hiring diligence should go out the window - in fact, just the opposite.' Read on...

Executive Insight: Recruiting "Out of the Box" Healthcare Executives
Author: Kimberly Smith


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 05 oct 2015

Human resources component of organizations is getting transformed through technology-enabled innovations. There are a number of technological solutions that human resources practitioners are using in areas like workforce management, recruiting, learning management, performance management, analytics, compensation management, wellness, succession planning, collaboration, onboarding, workforce planning, talent management and mobile. According to March'15 survey by Human Capital Media Advisory Group, that polled 127 HR professionals at various levels in organizations of various sizes and industries mostly located in US (85%), a little more than half of talent and HR managers say that their companies have increased spending in HR technology as compared to last year. About 50% of the respondent said that HR systems provide data that helps them to make better talent management decisions. While most of the HR practitioners consider technology as useful but they also heavily scrutinize the technologies that are available and thoughtfully make decisions about which technologies should be considered for investment. Most popular and useful technologies - Mobile HR Software (38% already use, 26% plan to purchase); Talent Management Suite (37% already use, 24% plan to purchase); Workforce Planning (27% already use, 27% plan to purchase). Least popular technologies - Wellness Software (59% no plans to use, 14% already use); Succession Planning (56% no plan to use, 23% already use). The survey also points out that most HR managers (77%) agree that their staff has the skills and expertise to effectively use the HR technologies that are implemented in their organizations. Read on...

Talent Management: Firms Boost HR Tech Spending
Author: Elyse Samuels


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 oct 2015

Mainstream financial institutions are exploring to integrate potentially disruptive blockchain technology that is behind virtual cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Blockchain is a decentralized public and transparent ledger of all bitcoin transactions. While traditional banks work through a centralized electronic banking system. Now 13 of the leading global banks have joined a project to collaborate on the use of blockchain-based distributed ledger. R3, a New York-based innovations firm, is one of the leading project partner and seeks to establish a set of standards that banks can use. The project will research and experiment shared ledger solutions to meet banking requirements for security, reliability, performance, scalability and audit. Financial executives, Niall Cameron of HSBC, Satoshi Murabayashi of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and Robert Sams of Clearmatics are positive about the project and its usefulness for the financial sector. Read on...

CNBC: How Wall Street is embracing bitcoin
Author: Matt Clinch


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 sep 2015

India's Central Statistics Office (CSO) recently revised the methodology to calculate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The new growth numbers brought a bit of surprise, both in the local as well as the global economic circles, as they made India the fastest growing economy in the world, beating China to take the top spot. According to recent WSJ survey of US economists, China's GDP figures are often seen with skepticism. But when India Real Time asked about India's official GDP numbers to a group of international economists, they seem generally comfortable with its economic direction, even though they haven't fully figured out the official data. Following are the views of some global economists - (1) Shaily Mittal of MNI Indicators (London): 'Although reliability of data can be questioned to some extent, there is no denying the fact that India seems to be growing at a much healthier pace. Overall we remain positive on India.' (2) Chua Han Teng of BMI Research (Singapore): 'The repeated surprises under the new GDP series for the past two quarters and the subsequent revisions to previous data have given rise to more questions than answers regarding India's economy.' (3) Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree (New York): 'Overall there has been a big boost in investor attitudes towards India. Recent changes have helped steer India in the right direction.' (4) Kilbinder Dosanjh of Eurasia Group (London): 'Brazil, Russia and South Africa are virtually in recession. If you look at the components within BRICS, India is actually doing very well regardless of the methodology.' (5) Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank (Singapore): 'GDP numbers probably leave unanswered questions about mis-stated growth. But the broader macro-stability objectives of the RBI dilute the direct risks.' Read on...

The Wall Street Journal: What Do International Economists Really Think of India's Rosy GDP Readings?
Author: Anant Vijay Kala


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 sep 2015

According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 'Nearly 170 million tons of building-related construction and demolition (C&D) debris was generated in the United States in 2003.' Although C&D waste has potential for recycling and re-use but considering its high volume and accumulation leading to adverse impact on environment, builders and developers continue to seek ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency. This need for eco-friendy materials is bringing wood back as a sustainable construction material in the designs of architects and engineers. Developers are utilizing prefabricated wall technology in their constructions and utilizing other environment-friendly materials and processes to show their commitment to greener and better environment and get LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification granted by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Alex Knecht, President at Pacific Wall Systems says, 'One of the greatest advantages to using prefabricated wall panels is simultaneous construction. While your grading and foundation crews are working, so are we.' Mr. Knecht adds, 'Assembling the frame components in a controlled environment allows us to deliver a superior product on the client's production schedule. As real estate becomes more valuable and building continues to go vertical, on-site lumber storage is practically non-existent. Having your wall panels delivered just in time is very attractive, especially on tight job sites.' Prefabricated wall panels result in 90% reduction of waste on average and saving of 50% on framing labor alone for developers. According to Norm Dowty, Vice Presidentl at R&H Construction, 'I think it is a trend and as you have more congested urban sites, prefab and panelization can really expedite things...other thing that makes it more viable is computerized drawings. They can do the prefab planning digitally, execute it off-site and bring the panels on-site.' Read on...

Multi-Housing News: Developers' Eco-Friendly Solution for More-Efficient Construction
Author: Andie Lowenstein


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 sep 2015

Nonprofits and charitable organizations need to evolve their processes, systems and strategies alongwith the technology-driven changes that are happening in businesses, governments and the world in general. Effective, efficient and timely fundraising and financing of projects is critical for the survival and success of nonprofits. According to the report 'The Business of Nonprofits: Amplify Your Fundraising Success With New Technologies and Proven Business Practices' by 121Giving.com, based on the survey of 450 nonprofit executives and program directors in the US that was conducted in July 2014, '54% of nonprofits raised less than 25% of an intended goal during their last online fundraiser. Additionally, more than 1/3rd of those surveyed describe their adoption of technology as "struggling" and 74% state that they collected less than US$ 5000 in valued goods from a donation drive.' The survey also found that fundraising, donor solicitation and financing of daily operations are challenges for many nonprofits. Moreover, the results of the survey indicate that most nonprofits still rely on traditional processes and outdated technologies that fail to deliver fundraising outcomes required to succeed in today's competitive digital-driven environment. Other main findings of the report are - 54% of nonprofits do not ask retailers for discounts on products; Only 2% of nonprofits raise money online to buy products in stores or online; 22% ask the community to donate products; 68% of nonprofits pursue grants to cover expenses for their programs; Only 7% of nonprofits use online crowdfunding tools to raise funds. Liz Deering, co-founder of 121Giving.com, says 'Nonprofits are wasting precious time, dollars and resources to raise funds and procure the products they need to run their operations.' The report points out that nonprofits are indeed making attempts to improve their operations through proven business practices (33% of nonprofit leaders upgraded hardware or software in 2014 to improve programs). The report also highlights the opportunities for nonprofits to reach their campaign goals through - Adopting latest business practices; Focusing on project-specific funding needs while seeking grants; Ask, negotiate and bargain like a business to obtain product discounts; Using data and analytics for measurement; Utilizing social media connected individuals and communities to publicize initiatives and programs; Investing in technologies to improve efficiencies and reduce labor intensity of core operations. Read on...

PRWeb: Are Nonprofits' Operations Keeping Pace With Advances In Fundraising?
Author: Sara Leiter


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 sep 2015

Timely access to funds is one of the critical component for the survival of nonprofits. Their funding sources are limited and mostly include endowments and grants. Moreover, to obtain funding from traditional sources like banks and financial institutions is difficult. They should find innovative ways to raise and create funds and achieve long-term sustainability. According to Ryan McCrary, founder of Great Outdoor Adventure Trips (GOAT), 'Most nonprofits see rapid growth right away but quickly stagnate. GOAT, a youth development organization for at-risk students, followed that format. To continue growing, nonprofits must innovate like any other company.' He suggests creating a side revenue stream, that may be in the form of a business, which can support the nonprofit. Creating a monthly donor group is another approach that he suggests. Moreover he argues that nonprofits shouldn't shy away from generating profits and should re-invest them in the company. Individuals who have ideas and solutions to do social good can also model their startups as for-profit social enterprises. Moreover, they can also join board of existing nonprofit and share their ideas and assist it to innovate and grow. Read on...

Upstate Business Journal: Nonprofits face unique startup challenges
Author: Benjamin Jeffers


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 sep 2015

Design thinking is used by organizations to spur innovation. It is often a source for product innovation teams to generate radical new product ideas and concepts. Once applied effectively and become a part of organization's culture it can emerge as a sustainable competitive advantage. According to Professor Michal Herzenstein, who teaches marketing at University of Delaware, 'Radically new products are products that allow consumers to do something that they couldn't have done before. They are products that create a shift in consumption - how consumers respond to and use products.' Her chapter 'Optimal Design for Radically New Products' alongwith Prof. Steve Hoeffler of Vanderbilt University and Tamar Ginzburg of Vanderbilt University, appears in PDMA Essentials book titled, 'Design and Design Thinking' by Michael I. Luchs of College of William and Mary, Scott Swan of College of William and Mary, Abbie Griffin of University of Utah. Prof. Herzenstein provides six processes that product innovation teams need to implement to create ideas for radically new products. Large organizations can use them in an ascending sequence with a focus on communicating the goal of achieving breakthrough product to innovation team. While smaller companies and startups can pick any process that they feel will assist them to learn more about developing radically innovative product ideas. The six processes are - (1) Communicate the Challenge Goal Toward Radically New Products. (2) Shift Time Frames to Future and Past. (3) Promote an Emerging Technology Focus Across the Product Consumption Chain. (4) Promote the Use of Analogical Thinking. (5) Look for Novel Ways to Solve Simple Problems. (6) Leverage More Ideators Via Crowdsourcing. Read on...

Product Innovation Educators Blog: 6 Processes for Generating Ideas for Radical Innovations
Author: Chad McAllister


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 sep 2015

People are one of the most critical asset that organizations have and managing them successfully is not an easy task. Organizational leadership can fail to get the best out of their people as a result of poor people management skills. Organizations can also lose their best talent as a result of their leadership's inability to understand and handle their team members. People have diverse behaviors, views, opinions, working abilities, skills etc and to make them work as a cohesive team towards a common goal require special set of skills. Following is the 12-step process to enhance people management capabilities - (1) Outline Your Goals: Write down the reasons you want to improve. (2) Determine Where You Want to Improve: Take professional assessments and personality tests. (3) Talk to Your Team: Ask your team for feedback on your leadership related information and share with them your intent to improve. (4) Get Organized: Outline areas that need to be organized and use software tools that can help you to organize. (5) Take a Leadership Course: Spend time in a classroom or online course to get knowledge and develop skills on leadership. (6) Read Management Books: They provide new perspectives and ideas on leadership and management. (7) Learn How to Listen: Understand and embrace five aspects of good listening- receiving, understanding, remembering, evaluating, and responding. (8) Practice Praising and Rewarding: Provide honest feedback to your employees and particularly be specific while praising and be generous and rewarding. Appreciate their performance. (9) Find a Mentor or Coach: Seek an experienced mentor or executive coach who can enhance your capabilities in specific areas that you need to improve. (10) Learn How to Effectively Communicate with Anyone: Master the four communication styles to understand people at workplace and communicate accordingly- Thinkers, Socializers, Directors, Relators. (11) Be More Transparent: Embrace transparency and frequently share relevant and important information with the team to build trust. (12) Create a Feedback System: Seek your employees perspectives and views. Solicit their suggestions and inputs. Read on...

Business 2 Community: The 12-Step Process For Improving Your People Management Skills
Author: Rob Wormley


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 sep 2015

In a highly competitive market, brands can utilize excellent customer service strategies to differentiate themselves. Listening to voice of the customer, understanding their behavior and analyzing their interactions, can provide companies the needs and wants of the customer. Companies can use these insights to better serve their customers and that has direct impact on their bottom line. According to Defaqto Research, '55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience.' Study published in Journal of Marketing (2004 Edition) by team of researchers, Prof. Eugene W. Anderson of University of Michigan (now at University of Miami), Prof. Claes Fornell of University of Michigan and, Prof. Sanal K. Mazvancheryl of Georgetown University (now at American University, Washington DC), quantified the consequence of quality customer service on shareholder value. Study points out, 'Among 200 businesses represented in the Fortune 500 across 40 industries, a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction increased a firm's value by US$275 million.' Danny Wong, co-founder of Blank Label and digital marketer, explains the importance of customer feedback and how ecommerce stores can turn this into a competitive advantage through effective engagement, building relationships and developing better products and services. According to him, 'Develop an intimate understanding of what your customers know, want and need to establish a competitive edge that helps you improve how you do business and the value you offer to end consumers. Start by categorizing reasons for why your customers purchase your products i.e. their primary motivations.' He suggests stores to source high-impact feedback and utilize the following tactics to expand the scope of their customer research - (1) Audit the reviews competitors receive (2) Conduct surveys (3) Dive into your analytics (4) Encourage user-generated content (5) Track public conversations. Once the research is at hand, stores need to summarize actionable takeaways and use the following three steps to build a strong business case for doing anything - (1) Quantify its impact (2) Measure its market opportunity (3) Get leadership buy-in. To implement new changes the stores can use gradual strategies to first consider the high-impact initiatives that are easy to do and then to implement moderate changes and finally move on to more resource intensive projects for long-term meaningful outcomes. Companies should incorporate excellence in customer service into their corporate culture and should consider the opportunity of every interaction with customers to build lasting relationships. Read on...

Huffington Post: How to Leverage Customer Feedback to Improve Your Ecommerce Store
Author: Danny Wong


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 sep 2015

Timing of talent management initiatives and their implementation is critical in defining their success for an organization. Excellence in talent management is to ensure consistent supply of right talent, for right roles and at the right time. Kevin D. Wilde, Executive Leadership Fellow at Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota), explains 'Over time, I improved by watching and learning from the masters of timing in my organization. The best teachers were often sales professionals or skillful research and development product advocates. The best ones displayed excellence in situational scanning, product readiness and personal preparation.' Situational Scanning: Constant scanning of company environment and key stakeholders. Product Readiness: Ability to judge the readiness of new talent proposal. Finely tuned sense of what degree of product readiness is necessary for success. Personal Preparation: Being ready for the demand of courageous leadership. Ability to take the challenge, thoroughly prepared, committed and humility to be open to learn and adjust when required. Read on...

Talent Management: Be a Master of Timing
Author: Kevin D. Wilde


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 sep 2015

The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 will be held in New York from 25 to 27 September 2015, to adopt the post-2015 agenda for sustainable development. The 2030 agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were adopted by 193 UN member states in 2000 to root out poverty from the world. The 17 SDGs continue to build upon MDGs to end poverty alongwith fighting inequality and injustice. These goals will also include tackling the concerns of climate change, global health and hunger. Helen Clark, UNDP Adminstrator and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, says on the UNDP.org, 'World leaders have an unprecedented opportunity this year to shift the world onto a path of inclusive, sustainable and resilient development...If we all work together, we have a chance of meeting citizens' aspirations for peace, prosperity, and wellbeing, and to preserve our planet.' The 17 SDGs are - (1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere (2) End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (3) Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (4) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (6) Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (7) Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (9) Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (10) Reduce inequality within and among countries (11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (12) Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development (15) Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss (16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (17) Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Read on...

UN Sustainable Development: Transforming our world - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 sep 2015

Retailers need to identify their most valuable customers to specifically target and focus their specialized marketing campaigns for building long-term customer relationships with them. Most valuable customers are to be retained for maximizing profitability. But according to the study 'Engaging Customers Across the Lifecycle Journey: How Clienteling Helps Enhance Customer Relationships' by Yes Lifecycle Marketing and Retail TouchPoints, based on the survey of nearly 200 retail marketing executives, most retailers are still struggling to utilize customer data effectively to find and nurture these important customers. Main highlights of the study are - 52% say identifying and engaging their most valuable customers is one of their top business challenges; Nearly 1/3rd of respondents (32%) say they're not able to integrate or analyze their data in a timely fashion; Employee access to data is uneven and most who need it don't have it (44% of C-level executives have customer data while only 27% of store managers and 13% of store associates have access); Only 27% of retail marketing executives have their customer's lifetime spend on file and only 18% have data related to shopping preferences of customers. Read on...

Direct Marketing News: Infographic - Retailers Fail to Fully Leverage Customer Data
Authors: Elyse Dupre, James Jarnot


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 sep 2015

Innovations in certain industries take longer for adoption and proliferation in the consumer market. Consider the case of healthcare industry where innovations take years to diffuse into the market. Sandeep Acharya, Vice-President of strategy and new business at One Medical Group, explains how the healthcare innovation works, provides reasons for longer time the innovation takes to reach healthcare consumer and suggests the role that consumers can play to bring changes in healthcare and accelerate the pace of innovative products and services to reach them. The three main reasons why innovation in healthcare takes longer to reach consumers are - (1) In healthcare, the consumer is not the payer: Most patients don't pay their healthcare bills directly. Large corporations are payers and in order to generate revenue for the innovative service they have to agree to imburse patients for it, and doctors have to recommend it. The process may take years for entrepreneurs to pass through. (2) All healthcare is local: Healthcare decision makers - physicians, hospital systems, insurance companies and regulators - vary from state to state and sometimes even cities. For healthcare innovation to get adopted more broadly, entrepreneurs have to navigate a different set of decision makers for every new market they want to serve - each with its own rules, politics and dynamics. (3) The healthcare industry is used to moving slowly: Healthcare industry has seen too many great ideas stall. Over time, optimists became skeptics, and some even became cynical. When it comes to change, many in the industry have accepted the slow pace as a given. But to bring the necessary change in the pace of healthcare industry, consumers need to be proactive. They should expect more, demand more, provide timely & impartial feedbacks & reviews, do thorough research and be informed about latest health products and services. Read on...

USA TODAY: Why is healthcare innovation taking so long?
Author: Sandeep Acharya


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 sep 2015

According to Wikipedia, 'Talent Management refers to the anticipation of required human capital for an organization and the planning to meet those needs. The field increased in popularity after McKinsey's 1997 research by Steven Hankin and the 2001 book "The War for Talent" by Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod...Talent management is the science of using strategic human resource planning to improve business value and to make it possible for companies and organizations to reach their goals. Everything done to recruit, retain, develop, reward and make people perform forms a part of talent management as well as strategic workforce planning.' Research from Bersin by Deloitte points out, 'Organizations with strategic talent management programs in place generate more than twice the revenue per employee, have a 40 percent lower employee turnover rate, and have a 38 percent higher level of employee engagement than those without.' Contrary to these findings, many business executives underestimate the value of strategic talent management processes in their organizations. A recent white paper, 'Designing Talent Management to Meet an Organization's Strategic Needs' by Chris Miller (Program Director of Executive Development at Kenan-Flagler Business School of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) suggests the importance of formal talent management processes and identifies the business factors that support the need for creating them. According to him, 'Employers are starting to realize that they should broaden talent management to all organizational levels to develop a deeper talent pool. Deeper talent pools can help widen an organization's leadership ladder and can help channel talent into skill-specific jobs.' He further adds, 'Organizations that have strategic workplace plans are generally more agile in assessing and meeting change than their peers, giving them a competitive advantage.' The paper advises HR and talent management professionals to follow the 4 basic steps to convince senior leaders regarding the value of a formal talent management process - (1) Create a Narrative (2) Create Absolution (3) Identify Current and Future Business Needs (4) Find Champions. Read on...

ATD: 4 Steps to Creating a Formal Talent Management Process
Author: Ryann K. Ellis


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 sep 2015

Technology in education transforms many aspects of teaching and learning. Considering wide landscape of education (Primary Education, Secondary Education, University Education, Distance Education, Continuing Education etc), technological interventions may have different outcomes in different areas. Moreover, outcomes also depend on how technology is implemented. Generally around the world, and specifically in developed countries, there are trends to equip classrooms in schools with computers, laptops and tablets, with an intent to better engage students, enhance their learning and bring them into a digital age. But according to a recent report by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), that covers the period between 2000 and 2012, 'The impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) for education is "mixed, at best". Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results from 31 countries show no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in ICT for education.' The report highlights that frequent use of computers in classroom can be a distraction and have weaker learning outcomes. OECD analyst Francesco Avvisati says, 'Technology is most effective when students use the Internet in the classroom for guided research and project work.' Commenting on the content of the report, Professor Jim Slotta of Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto says, 'If you read this report as saying that it's up in the air about whether technology is helpful for learning, that's the wrong reading.' He further adds, 'Personally, my feeling is that the research on how to use technology well for learning is just beginning to turn over some interesting, useful new leaves in the book...Technology is most effective in the classroom when it is used to develop skills similar to those that adults are using in everyday life, such as finding resources, critiquing arguments, communicating with peers, solving problems and working with data.' According to Mr. Avvisati, 'It is important that educators remain in the driver's seat...The key to any technology rollout in the classroom is clear goals and training for teachers, but ultimately it is about training good teachers.' Read on...

The Globe and Mail: Computers in classroom have 'mixed' impact on learning: OECD report
Author: Affan Chowdhry


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 sep 2015

Gaming technologies can transform the architecture practice with their ability to create interactive visual spaces. Architects at Tsoi/Kobus & Associates in Cambridge (USA) are utilizing processing system that powers virtual reality games to put clients inside development projects before they are built. Using a cloud based system, architects can create the building and then ask clients to visualize it through entering it with a pair of virtual reality goggles. Client gets a immersive first-person view, can walk around the building and make suggestions to tweak designs. The process can be used before the contract for the building project is awarded and could eliminate the need for creating life-size physical models. Architect Luis Cetrangolo was responsible for bringing the system to the firm. Read on...

The Boston Globe: Architecture firm turns to virtual reality to show off building designs
Author: Katie Johnston


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 sep 2015

Social enterprises seek to develop innovative solutions to the real world problems and engage with local communities. With democratization of technology and availability of funds more entrepreneurs are able to create social enterprises and become part of the development landscape. Along their evolution to sustainability and during the process of scaling up, social enterprises face a range of challenges. Accelerator programs can play an important role in assisting them to overcome obstacles and grow. According to Anya Lim, co-founder and MD of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, 'More than the financial resources, we need mentorship and guidance. We felt that being in an accelerator program will increase our accountability to implement changes for growth more efficiently and effectively.' Manny Alkuino, CEO and chairman of Sidlakpinoy, also acknowledges the role of accelerator in helping to reach next level in terms of both operations and social impact. Both these organizations are part of Philippine-based Impact Investment Exchange Asia's Impact Accelerator program. Following are the suggestions they share with other social entrepreneurs who are working to scale up their enterprises - (1) Do it at the right time. (2) Have a clear company ethos and a solid team. (3) Know your numbers. Know your market and details of issues you are tackling through proper research. (4) Engage your team and stakeholders in the process. Read on...

Devex Impact: 4 tips for taking your social enterprise to the next level
Author: Liana Barcia


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 sep 2015

Human resources are a source of competitive advantage for organizations. They compete with each other to acquire and retain the best talent. Start-ups and small companies find it more challenging and difficult to attract and retain talent as compared to large and established corporations. According to Gallup's '2013 State of the American Workplace Report', 'Employee engagement in the workplace can affect retention and even a company's bottom line. Millennials are the most likely of all the generations to say they will leave their jobs in the next 12 months if the job market improves.' Other highlights of the report are - 'Opportunities to learn and grow' at companies as an important factor for millenials and members of Generation X deciding to stay with a company; 70% of American workers are 'not engaged' or else are 'actively disengaged' at their jobs, costing U.S. companies US$ 450 billion to US$ 550 billion per year; 22% of U.S. employees are engaged and thriving at work. Gregg Pollack, serial entrepreneur and founder of Code School, explains that policy-driven culture of 'self-improvement' and 'betterment' is a competitive advantage and how better employee engagement at workplace can minimize the chances that they will leave. He says, 'People want to be engaged at work, and one way to increase engagement is through policies that help employees nurture personal growth.' Following are some employee engagement concepts that he implements in his company - Giving a day in a month to employees to encourage them to work on something that would make them better at their job. This may include exploring a new technology, learning a new language, reading a book, building a tool that helps business or taking an online course; Paying employees to attend conferences; Paying for learning materials like books, online courses and workshops. Read on...

Entrepreneur: Why a Culture of 'Personal Betterment' Is a Competitive Advantage
Author: Gregg Pollack


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 sep 2015

Healthcare industry in US is undergoing transformation driven by multiple factors that include technology, changes in consumer behavior, rising costs, legislation etc. Employees are becoming more independent in making their healthcare decisions that were earlier influenced by their employers. Healthcare providers are now dealing with more proactive consumers. Healthcare marketers need to understand consumer preferences, adapt to the changing needs, create products and services that fulfil needs and satisfy customers and utilize consumer insights to develop effective marketing progams. Brent Walker, Chief Marketing Officer of c2b Solutions, explains the drivers that are leading to shifts in healthcare and how marketers should adapt and succeed in this new healthcare scenario. According to him, in addition to rising costs, the three main reasons that we are evolving towards consumer-driven healthcare are - (1) Demographic and Socio-Economic Realities: More pronounced health issues and chronic conditions of aging Baby Boomers; Lack of health insurance for a sizeable population; Heterogeneous population; Expensive healthcare products and technologies. (2) Legislation: Healthcare system is adapting to Affordable Care Act; Health insurers have to deal with individual consumers; Healthcare providers are investing in infrastructure; Integrated Electronic Health Records and Big Data technologies; Reimbursement based on medical outcomes and patient satisfaction. (3) Technological: Digital media is a catalyst of consumerism; Informed consumers due to internet and mobile apps; Improved transparency; Better ability to assess cost and quality, and research about products and services with more choices; Inclination towards prevention and wellness. He explains three implications that healthcare providers have to plan for - (1) Massive investments are required for technological upgrade and update of systems to facilitate integrated patient record sharing and also reporting care quality. (2) Business models must change. Physicians are leaving smaller firms to join large healthcare systems due to IT investments and scale necessary to control costs and manage risks. (3) New competitors are entering as a result of advancement in technologies and consumer-driven approaches. In this changing healthcare landscape marketers have to continuously evaluate and assess their direction. He suggests four dimensions to do so - (1) Data: Right data to understand and reach the target audience. (2) Systems: Infrastructure to understand consumers, create insights and build valueable customer-firm relationships. (3) People: Have consumer marketers in team with experience in latest web and mobile technologies. Combine industry experience with consumer insights and customer behavior understanding skills. (4) Processes: Newer sales methods. Analytics and measurement of marketing effectiveness. Focus on analyzing consumer acquisition, retention and satisfaction. Read on...

Forbes: The New World Of Healthcare Marketing: A Framework For Adaptation
Authors: John Greenfield, Kimberly A. Whitler


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 sep 2015

The relationship between consumers and businesses is continuously evolving. Technology is playing an important role in creating a shift in consumer behavior. Smartphones are providing consumers with connectivity that is driving this change. Ori Karev, US CEO of Gett, explores the reasons that are leading to transormations in consumer dynamics and how they interact and connect with brands. According to him, 'Consumerism has shifted from a world of physical images and personal communication to a world of imagery and perception. Regardless of industry, product or service, vendors that enable instantaneous access and deliver on their digital promise will survive.' Consumers have become more pragmatic. They have access to tools and services to research for best solutions at best prices that are available with just a tap on their phones. Online consumers have become more like business-to-business consumers. But they do have emotional attachment to brands that can provide them with the best experience. The power is shifting towards consumers and businesses are getting more and more consumer dependent. Mr. Karev explains, 'On-demand industry has gone through such a rapid change of behavior within a mere five years. The swift change stems from two factors: the availability of smartphones, and people's desire to maximize the convenience and efficiency of procuring services and products.' He further points out that certain fundamentals of consumer-seller relationship will remain - 'Shoppers want to do business with companies that are fair, so this treaty must hinge on veracity, transparency, credibility, honesty and good will.' Today people place most value on fulfillment and satisfaction. They have concerns regarding how a vendor treats its employees and suppliers and would get influenced by these factors while making purchases. Online research, decision and purchase behaviors have now made consumers a strong part of businesses. Companies that understand and fulfil the consumer expectations - real-time, always-on support; competitive pricing; respect and transparency towards vendors and suppliers; ethical corporate culture - in the current on-demand environment will be the one that survive and succeed. Read on...

ReadWrite: The Changing Face Of Today's Consumer
Author: Ori Karev


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 sep 2015

Technology provides automation, efficiency and scalability to businesses, thus improving processes and saving costs. Moreover technology also has a sizeable impact on the human resource aspect of businesses as it takes over certain tasks and works that were earlier performed by humans. Technology's affect is now even felt in knowledge related work. So will the technology replace humans and be the competitive advantage? Prof. Thomas H. Davenport of Babson College and Julia Kirby of HBR argue that although technology has a critical role to play in success of businesses but people will continue to remain as the source of enduring competitive advantage. While citing example of Southwest Airline, they explain, 'Industries like airlines have been obsessed with asset utilization as the key to competitiveness. And making the minute-by-minute decisions required to maximize asset utilization is unquestionably done better by smart machines. But optimizing asset utilization isn't enough to sustain a competitive advantage. Once smart machines are built to solve problems in asset efficiency (or indeed any area of operations) they very rapidly spread and become pervasive across an industry. Therefore, they cease to provide a competitive advantage.' They also cite Geoffrey Colvin's book 'Talent is Overrated' in which he makes a point that talented people always succeed in the context of a system. And star employees often get more credit then they're due. Boris Groysberg's research also points in the same direction that high performance may not be replicated in a different environment. It's often a well-designed system that brings out the best in people and makes them valuable. They mention Geoff Colvin's recent book 'Humans are Underrated', in which he explains that effective organizational system isn't just a mechanistic one of capital investment. It's a human system that relies heavily on unique human capabilities. So collectively, human talent is not overrated; it is extremely valuable. There are unique human capabilities like empathy, storytelling etc, that will keep them employable even if technology is taking over jobs. And even in cases where humans are competing with technology, there will still be certain tasks and decisions that will remain with humans. Prof. Davenport and Ms. Kirby conclude, 'To create an enduring competitive advantage, you will always need people. And you need a system that engages them and allows what is unique and valuable about individual people to be leveraged - not a system that compels people to perform standardized acts in the same way and therefore commoditizes them as undifferentiated human resources.' Read on...

Harvard Business Review: Automation Won't Replace People as Your Competitive Advantage
Authors: Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 sep 2015

Collaborative approaches in tackling healthcare can play an important role in reducing costs and also lessen burden on already overstretched healthcare systems. In such a collaborative setting niche and focused nonprofits can share some responsibilities of healthcare providers and lessen their loads. The disruption of healthcare and enactment of Affordable Care Act have forced hospitals and physicians to evolve new ways of imparting efficient healthcare and redirect patient care from the acute care setting to primary care 'medical homes' that focus on prevention and coordinate patient care. The New York State Medicaid reform is a step in this direction and intends to bring nonprofits and government together to address issues that influence healthcare like food, housing, finances etc. Such coordinated preventative measures are expected to reduce emergency visits to hopsitals. Medicaid funding to such programs that have been undertaken by nonprofits would enhance their capabilities and they can more holistically work towards providing solutions to residents to live healthier lives. Moreover similar partnerships will also help in tackling chronic diseases. Shoshanah Brown, executive director of a.i.r. NYC, an organization that helps asthmatic children in poor neighborhoods, says 'Community-based organizations like ours that are close to the ground and are very much in the community can keep patients healthier.' Montefiore Medical Center in collaboration with YMCA conducts a program to prevent pre-diabetic patients from full-blown diabetes with a 16-week class. Patient with mental illnesses or substance abuse issues will also benefit from this reform for collaboration as healthcare providers can work with a housing group so that they have a safe place to live and stay out of hospital. Read on...

Nonprofit Quarterly: Could Collaborations Mean Better and Less Costly Healthcare?
Author: G. Meredith Betz


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 sep 2015

'Digital Marketing' utilizes online technologies and provides opportunities to add prospective customers at the top of the sales funnel and nurture them to build a strong customer base for products and services. Advancement in technologies have provided multiple ways and channels through which marketers can connect and engage with the prospects and build strong relationships. One of the most important aspect of digital marketing is the measurability of the campaign through analytics. The availability of metrics provides marketers with clear understanding of the audience, their interaction with the brands and success of the marketing campaign. According to Jamie Turner, founder of 60 Second Marketer and co-author of 'Go Mobile', the 7 essential channels of digital marketing are - (1) Responsive Websites (2) Search Engine Marketing (SEM) that includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search (3) Online Display Advertising (4) Video (5) Social Media (6) Mobile Marketing may include Mobile Website, Mobile Search, Mobile Display Ads, In-app Display Advertising (7) Email Marketing. The action steps required to leverage digital marketing include - Taking the initiative and start using digital marketing; Implement gradually with complete understanding and continuously analyze campaign progress; Use analytics to measure and track campaign results, make adjustments and optimize the process for better ROI. Read on...

Business 2 Community: Digital Marketing - The 7 Essential Channels
Author: Jamie Turner


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 aug 2015

As modern businesses and technologies evolve, their convergence brings organizational complexities. Business environment becomes chaotic and creates challenging situations that need to be overcome effectively to succeed. These challenges are giving rise to shifts in large organizations where design is becoming a center of focus. John Kolko, Vice President of Design at Blackboard, explains how these organizations are applying principles of design, not much of the aesthetic part, to the way people work. People would like to handle complexities efficiently and want their interactions with technologies and other complex systems to be simple, intuitive and pleasurable. These principles of design, termed as 'Design Thinking', involve empathy with users, a discipline of prototyping, and tolerance for failure, as core concepts to create these interactions and develop a responsive, flexible organizational culture. Mr. Kolko elaborates on the design-centric culture as one that transcends design as a role and imparts a set of principles to all people who help bring ideas to life - (1) Focus on users' experiences, especially their emotional ones. (2) Create models to examine complex problems. (3) Use prototypes to explore potential solutions. (4) Tolerate failure. (5) Exhibit thoughtful restraint. As design thinking is considered as an essential tool to simplify and humanize, most future ready organizations are utilizing it as part of their core strategy and competence. According to Mr. Kolko, 'Every established company that has moved from products to services, from hardware to software, or from physical to digital products needs to focus anew on user experience. Every established company that intends to globalize its business must invent processes that can adjust to different cultural contexts. And every established company that chooses to compete on innovation rather than efficiency must be able to define problems artfully and experiment its way to solutions.' The shift towards design as a core competence brings its own challenges - (1) Accepting more ambiguity (2) Embracing risk (3) Resetting expectations. Mr. Kolko further explains that, 'Organizational focus on design offers unique opportunities for humanizing technology and for developing emotionally resonant products and services...It helps create a workplace where people want to be, one that responds quickly to changing business dynamics and empowers individual contributors. And because design is empathetic, it implicitly drives a more thoughtful, human approach to business.' Read on...

Harvard Business Review: Design Thinking Comes of Age
Author: Jon Kolko


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 aug 2015

According to a report, 'Resourcing Social Enterprises: Approaches and Challenges', lack of standard definition and limited knowledge and awareness about 'Social Enterprises' among financiers and general public are the key sourcing challenges. The report focused on assessing the resilience of social enterprises in Western Australia. Lead author of the report, Professor Jo Barraket of Swinburne University, says 'Social enterprises are a hybrid form of business. It's still a relatively new concept to the market, and mainstream financial providers don't necessarily understand it...We don't have any consistent standard for social-financial accounts in Australia. So the tools that social enterprises have to communicate their business operations to external financiers are still underdeveloped and that makes it challenging.' Moreover Prof. Barraket adds that most social enterprises look towards generating funding internally similar to small and medium businesses. Accessing external equity is constrained depending on their legal form thus limiting external finance opportunities. Report also identified the governance structure as a further challenge, with financial resilience not considered as a top priority particularly in case of social enterprises that work within larger not-for-profit structures. Prof. Barraket explains, 'The boards in those contexts are quite rightly having to juggle requirements of larger charitable concerns, and therefore not always able to respond in the same sorts of ways that a small business that's not governed by such a large governance structure would do.' Prof. Barraket suggests that communication has to get effective between the supply and demand, those in the business of social finance understand the needs of social enterprises, and these enterprises have right tools to explain effectively to financiers. Moreover this change will take time and requires culture change and different thinking, both within the social enterprises and organizations that intend to support their development. Read on...

Pro Bono Australia: Social Enterprises Misunderstood - Financial Resilience Report
Author: Ellie Cooper


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 aug 2015

Wikipedia defines 'Social Enterprise' as, 'An organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being - this may include maximizing social impact rather than profits for external shareholders. Social enterprises can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit, and may take the form (depending in which country the entity exists and the legal forms available) of a co-operative, mutual organization, a disregarded entity, a social business, a benefit corporation, a community interest company or a charity organization.' Like any other organization the success of 'Social Enterprises' depends on variety of internal and external factors like leadership, teamwork, passion, infrastructural ecosystem, investor capital etc. Dick Gygi, a veteran social ventures leader & co-founder of 3 social enterprises, shares his experience and outlines factors essential for social entrepreneurs to lead their enterprises to success - (1) Get clear on the mission and stay mission-centered. (2) Test the business model for sustainability before you bet the farm. (3) Don't do it alone. Build a strong team and do your best. Then, delegate the rest. (4) Persevere. It takes more time and money than you think. (5) Measure desired outcomes - financial and mission impact. Read on...

Nashville Business Journal: 5 lessons learned in 10 years of leading Nashville social enterprises
Author: Dick Gygi


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 aug 2015

Entrepreneurs need to proactively get involved at the early and formative stages of their ventures. Core functions should be as much in their control as possibe as they are required to translate their vision and roadmap into a marketable entity. As the venture evolves and the need for assistants, experts and consultants arises, they may delegate some of their tasks and then may focus on the bigger picture and strategic aspects of the business. Hands-on traits are a necessity for entrepreneurs when they are building and developing their initial ideas. Martin Zwilling, startup mentor and venture capitalist, shares his experience and suggests the following attributes that entrepreneurs should have to succeed in developing a new business - (1) Be recognized for innovative actions as well as ideas. (2) Communicate a clear vision, as well as a path to the destination. (3) Capitalize on relationships inside and outside the company. (4) Track and measure both long-term and short-term objectives. (5) Able to adapt or pivot the business to respond to the market. (6) Provide constructive feedback and growth opportunities for the team. (7) Accept accountability for all decisions, with no excuses. Read on...

Entrepreneur: 7 Ways Founders Demonstrate They Can Run a Startup
Author: Martin Zwilling


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 aug 2015

According to The Data Governance Institute website, 'Data Governance is a system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related processes, executed according to agreed-upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and when, under what circumstances, using what methods.' While TechTarget.com explains, 'Data governance (DG) refers to the overall management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data employed in an enterprise. A sound data governance program includes a governing body or council, a defined set of procedures, and a plan to execute those procedures.' Angie Pribor of First San Francisco Partners provides 8 data governance design principles as logical steps before getting deep into the specifics of Master Data Management (MDM) - (1) Be clear on purpose (2) Use enterprise thinking (3) Be flexible (4) Simplicity and usability are the keys to acceptance (5) Be deliberate on participation and process (6) Align enterprise-wide goals (7) Establish policies with proper mandate and ensure compliance (8) Communicate effectively. Read on...

Information Management: 8 Data Governance Design Principles
Author: Angie Pribor


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 aug 2015

A facilitating environment is required for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish. Cities and their administrations can work towards building and developing this ecosystem through proper policies and infrastructure and attract investments and talent. A recent report 'CITIE' (City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship) by UK-based innovation charity Nesta, in collaboration with Accenture and Future Catapults, provides suggestions for policy makers and city administrators to create best possible environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in urban context. Following are some characteristics of cities that provide such an environment - (1) They act as customers: Open up their procurement processes to make them accessible to young city firms and small businesses. Provide them with public sector contracts. (2) They make for great hosts: Integrate the needs and requirements of startups into their development plans and have excellent infrastructure and collaborative spaces like accelerators and incubators to attract talent. (3) They advocate for startups and innovation: Provide visibility to local businesses by branding themselves as startup or innovative locations or hubs and attract international investors and corporations. (4) They act as connectors: Facilitate digital and physical connectivity through high speed internet networks and sustainable physical mobility solutions. (5) They have a long-term strategy: Provide consistency through a clear long-term strategy by having a focused public official overseeing technology, innovations and entrepreneurship. Moreover they should also have a public set of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure the success of their strategy. Read on...

Forbes: What Are The Key Traits Of Innovation-Friendly Environments? Some Cities Have Figured It Out
Author: Federico Guerrini


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 aug 2015

'Product Marketing' function in an organization is not very clearly defined and people more often confuse it with 'Product Management' or 'Marketing Management'. According to Wikipedia, 'Product marketing deals with the "7 P's" of marketing, which are product, pricing, place, promotion, physical environment, process and people. Product marketing, as opposed to product management, deals with more outbound marketing or customer-facing tasks.' Justin Topliff, Product Marketing Manager at Infusionsoft and Founder at ProductMarketingSummit.com, explains that product marketing managers are often a bridge between the product management and marketing management. Their role becomes significant when product managers and marketing managers become hyper-focused on their respective roles and as a result product management and marketing become siloed. The communication between the two functions get disconnected. Mr. Topliff describe 3 categories of responsibilities of product marketing department - (1) Research: Keep tab on industry, market and competition; Competitor profiling; Qualitative and quantitative research of customers and prospective users; Recommend and implement iterative product improvements. (2) Messaging, Positioning and Pricing: Humanize the technology in messaging; Train about product communication; Create effective marketing communication; Package and price products scientifically. (3) Product Launches and Lifecycle Management: Develop and execute go-to-market strategies; Coordinate with other deparments for product launch; Drive product consumption; Manage continuous improvement of product. Read on...

LinkedIn Pulse: What is product marketing? How is it different from product management or 'regular' marketing?
Author: Justin Topliff


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 aug 2015

'Dark Data' is the data that would be lost to public after researchers have utilized it for publishing their research papers. Team of researchers led by Professor Arcot Rajasekar of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are working on a project termed as 'DataBridge' to expand the life cycle of the dark data. The project will serve as an archive for data sets and metadata, and will group them into clusters of information to make relevant data easier to find. According to Prof. Rajasekar, 'You can reuse it, repurpose it, and then maybe someone else will reuse it, and see how we can enable that to get more science.' The researchers are also interested to include archives of social-media posts in the project. Prof. Laura Mandell of Texas A&M University at College Stations adds, 'People spend a lot of time cleaning their data, and we don't need to each be reinventing the wheel, performing the same tasks on the same data sets.' Thus saving time for researchers. Moreover according to Prof. Bruce Herbert, 'It could also extend researchers' "trusted network" of colleagues with whom they share data.' Read on...

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Researchers Open Repository for 'Dark Data'
Author: Mary Ellen McIntire


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 aug 2015

UN 'Millennium Development Goals' will now be replaced by a set of development objectives termed as 'Sustainable Development Goals' in September'2015. These include ending poverty, reducing child mortality and tackling climate change. Recent report by the 26-member Scientific Advisory Board to UN Secretary General points out that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) can help alleviate poverty, reduce inequalities, increase income and improve health. The report further highlights that countries with strong and effective STI systems invest upto 3.5% of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Thus governments have to set up a sufficient national minimum target investment for STI and achieve development. Specific investment areas that scientists recommended are - alternative energy solutions, water filters that reduce pathogens at the point-of-use and nanotechnology for health and agriculture. According to the report, 'A better informed and educated society would help establish policies that help long-term well-being over decisions that favour short-term economic and political interests.' According to the UNESCO website, UN Secretary-General's Scientific Advisory Board (2014) includes the following scientists - Tanya Abrahamse (South Africa); Eva Kondorosi (Hungary); Susan Avery (USA); Sir Hilary McDonald Beckles (Barbados); Joji Cariño (Philippines); Rosie Cooney (Australia); Abdallah S. Daar. (Oman); Gebisa Ejeta (Ethiopia); Vladimir Fortov (Russian Federation); Fabiola Gianotti (Italy); Ke Gong (China); Jörg Hinrich Hacker (Germany); Maria Ivanova (Bulgaria); Eugenia Kalnay (Argentina); Reiko Kuroda (Japan); Dong-Pil Min (Republic of Korea); Carlos Nobre (Brazil); Rajendra Kumar Pachauri (India); Shankar Sastry (USA); Hayat Sindi (Saudi Arabia); Wole Soboyeyo (Nigeria); Laurence Tubiana (France); Judi W. Wakhungu (Kenya); Ada E. Yonath (Israel); Abdul Hamid Zakri (Malaysia); Ahmed Zewail (Egypt). Read on...

Reuters: Investing in science can be "the game changer" for development - experts
Authors: Magdalena Mis, Leslie Gevirtz


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 jul 2015

In recent years marketing has been consistently evolving due to the changes driven by technological advances. These digital transformations are creating a resource crunch in marketing departments of organizations. They are facing more challenges and to effectively manage the digital require new skillsets. Initially digital was considered as a medium of communication like TV, Print etc. But according to Jean-Luc Ambrosi, a marketing expert and author of the book 'Branding to Differ', 'Blending traditional marketing skills with the new age of digital is not an easy affair...What has changed, however, is that digital is not simply a medium, it is many mediums with different media consumption patterns. Both a push and a pull mechanism, it is above-the-line, direct marketing, social media as well as point-of-sales, all under one big label.' Marketers now need multiple skills and to clarify roles and resource accordingly is becoming a difficult task for marketing departments. Mr. Ambrosi further explains, 'With the shift in emphasis around treating digital as a multi-medium platform, the solution may lie in building teams focused on the customer rather than the digital channel. With customer centricity at the core, marketing teams can treat digital for what it is: A multifaceted mechanism to interact with customers, and a means rather than an end.' The best sourcing solution would be to seek marketing specialists with the specific skillsets adapted to the digital environment. The basics of marketing should not be ignored while focusing on digital. Mr. Ambrosi advises, 'The under resourcing of digital activities is a function of the expansion of marketing activities in the digital ecosystem, rather than the disappearance of traditional marketing. Therefore, it should be answered via the adaptation of marketing specialist resources to digital rather than a shift towards technical digital specialists.' Read on...

CMO: Marketing skills in a virtual world
Author: Jean-Luc Ambrosi


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 04 aug 2015

Consumer psychology plays an important role in influencing their buying decisions. They buy products and services from companies that they trust and make them feel good about the purchase. As brands get more connected with their customers through technology, transparency and trust become critical factors in customer relationships. Customers intend to learn and understand more about the companies and their work culture. To keep customers closer and informed, and influence their behavior, brands can integrate the following - Treat your employees better; Invest in employee's future; Aesthetics of the workplace matter. Moreover as internet presence is a critical component of today's marketing strategy, brands need to have a robust digital strategy and in addition to providing relevant and usable information about the products and services offered, they should create a section that focuses on what the market wants to see - Being honest e.g. share customer interactions, that may not always be positive, through social media feeds; Try to share work-in-progress and engage customers in the process; Get involved with customers through effective social media strategy and share relevant content and information; Include wide array of stakeholders as the innovative ideas may come from anywhere like customers, interns etc. Companies should be careful in implementing fringe marketing tactics and should not go overboard in doing so. Read on...

Business 2 Community: Integrating Winning Trends In The Workplace
Author: Rachel Winstead


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jul 2015

Effective collaboration between private and public entities, by pooling their strengths and resources, can bring better and efficient outcomes of public and civic services for the citizens. An example of such a collaborative approach is the Small Business Portal that was launched in 2014 in San Francisco. For the project, Mayor's Office, Department of Technology, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Office of Small Business and Tomorrow Parter's (a design firm), came together to create a one-stop portal for people that provides information for starting, managing and expanding a company. The design firm utilized human-centered design principles to shape the innovation strategy and build a website that simplified and streamlined the process of starting a business. They took an 'inside out' and 'outside in' approach to understanding the challenges. Extensive research and focus groups were used and this finally led to establishing six main attributes for building a successful interface. According to Gaby Brink, founder and chief designer of Tomorrow Partners, 'They were filters for us to evaluate our design and establish clear guidelines for the various people developing content to ensure that we had a consistent voice.' The six key principles of digital design that represent their approach are - (1) Do the Right Thing: Sets the overall tone of the project. Sets clear expectations and make the process transparent. Assures the caring attitude. (2) Curate Content: Maintains the quality and availability of the right information to the diverse set of audience. (3) Make It Accessible: Responsive design and customization utilized to provide access to website on multiple devices and platforms. (4) Treat Constituents as Consumers: Users are to be treated as consumers, instead of taxpayers or voters, that civic authorities serve. (5) Dole Out Delight: Make the experience of the users pain-free, simple and as enjoyable as possible with a human approach. Shouldn't be a typical government portal. (6) Increase Trust: Make sure that the users feel that the government is working for them. Assuring that interacting with government is not a difficult and doubtful process. Jane Gong, Program Director of the Department of Technology, says 'From a user perspective, most of the time government thinks about putting together a website, it's copying from municipal code and pasting in some clip art. For the first time we did UX/UI research. This needs to be the approach of all government websites. It's time for government to take a step back and say we're here to serve people and make sure that we're accessible and responsive.' Read on...

Fast Company: 6 Principles Of Digital Design For Civic Innovation
Author: Diana Budds


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 jul 2015

Wikipedia article on 'Emotional Intelligence' explains it as, 'The ability to recognize one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior'. The article further categorizes EI into three models - (1) Ability Model (by Peter Salovey and John Mayer): Focuses on the individual's ability to process emotional information and use it to navigate the social environment. (2) Trait Model (by Konstantin Vasily Petrides): Encompasses behavioral dispositions and self perceived abilities and is measured through self report. (3) Mixed Model (by Daniel Goleman): A combination of both ability and trait EI. It defines EI as an array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance. While most people may believe that innovation and creativity are born traits and might not have any connection with EI, but Harvey Deutschendorf, author and EI expert, explains that EI plays an important role in innovative and creative thinking. He outlines 7 common EI-related traits that innovators have - (1) Innovators have their ego in check. (2) Emotionally intelligent people are confident, not arrogant. (3) They are continually curious. (4) They are good listeners. (5) They don't let their emotions affect their innovation efforts. (6) They can take direction. (7) They empathize with co-workers and customers. Read on...

Fast Company: 7 HABITS OF INNOVATIVE THINKERS
Author: Harvey Deutschendorf


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 jul 2015

Design is an important aspect of web and mobile strategy of businesses. It is necessary that users of the website and apps have ease of access to information regarding products and services, and can effectively interact and engage with it. Usability and other aspects of design become all the more critical when the website is a social platform like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. Continuous improvement and transformation of design on these platforms is driven both by internal and external necessities. The redesigns are generally due to the evolving and dynamic nature of technologies and the changing behavior of users and needs of the customers. According to Amy Parnell, Director of User Experience at LinkedIn, 'Our design principles focus on creating experiences that are approachable, streamlined, personalized and guided. We want to ensure the experience feels efficient and productive, helping our members to achieve their goals.' According to her, redesign at LinkedIn is based on data collected from multiple sources - market research, user research, site metrics and analytics and help center feedback. Internal feedback from employees is critical before the public launch. External feedback from customers is obtained to further refine or modify the design based on user requirements. Valuable content is needed to engage and retain customers. Read on...

Adweek: How Important is Design? Q&A with LinkedIn's Amy Parnell
Author: Justin Lafferty


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 jul 2015

Companies spend substantial time and money to create their brands. It is a continuous process to keep the brand value intact. Jarad Hull, CEO of Blueroof360, elaborates on the mistakes that companies should avoid while pursuing their branding journey - (1) A lack of passion: Be passionate about your branding and create an emotional connect with customers. Passion leads to genuine enthusiasm. (2) Inconsistencies: Create a consistent brand identity and showcase it to both employees and customers. As representatives, employees should maintain this branding consistency. (3) No focus: Keep focus and have a detailed marketing plan before embarking on a branding process. Concentrate on the target audience. (4) Trying too hard: Don't use excessive humor or get too trendy as it may repel customers. Engage them with meaningful and relevant messages. (5) No branding communication: Ensure that employees understand the branding strategy. Train them as brand representatives. Read on...

Inman: 5 branding mistakes you might be making
Author: Jarad Hull


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 jul 2015

According to Gartner forecast for global education sector, including higher education as well as primary and secondary schools, technology spending to grow 2.3% to reach US$ 67.8 billion in 2015. A report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicts that the global e-learning market will reach US$ 107 billion in 2015. The increasing cost of education alongwith the need to enhance its value and impact is encouraging education providers to experiment with new business models and utilize innovative technologies. The education technology industry is growing with enormous speed and startups are sprouting in a number of areas that includes content management platforms, online course delivery platforms, adaptive learning, digital assessments, mobile apps etc. This mushrooming of startups creates challenges and extraordinary competition for survival and success. Zach Cutler, founder of The Cutler Group, provides 5 challenges that ed-tech startups face and solutions to overcome them - (1) The edtech industry has exploded: Innovators have to search for unmet needs and provide niche solutions instead of using copycat models. (2) Funding for edtech startups is not extraordinarily high: Although EdSurge estimates that ed-tech investment reached US 1.36 billion in 2014, but it is not sufficient to fulfil the need of crowded startup situation. Startups have to create strong revenue models from even the early stage and survive through revenue generation initially. (3) The education industry is slow to move: Resistance to change is a common aspect of traditional education systems and administrations. Entrepreneurs need to have data-backed approach to demonstrate the real value of ed-tech to educators. (4) Most schools don't have excess money in their budgets: Resource crunch is a reality and innovators need to provide low-cost high-value models to get accepted. (5) Academia is more about theory and less about action: Entrepreneurs can add a co-founder with an academic background to communicate effectively with academic decision-makers. Read on...

Entrepreneur: 5 Challenges Facing Education-Tech Startups
Author: Zach Cutler


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 jul 2015

Over the years economists have used different terms to represent economic downturn or slow down in economic activity like 'Stagnation', 'Contraction', 'Recession', 'Depression' etc. Often these words have different perceptions and may have different impact on public's sentiments. Alfred Kahn, one of President Jimmy Carter's economic advisors and professor at Cornell University, even called 'recession' a 'banana'. In 1930s, Keynesian economist and professor at Harvard University, Alvin Hansen, outlined the term 'Secular Stagnation' in his book 'Full Recovery or Stagnation?'. According to him, 'American economy would never grow rapidly again because all the growth ingredients had played out, including technological innovation and population growth. The only solution, he argued, was constant, large-scale deficit spending by the federal government.' Although the term lost its prevalence during the economic boom of 1940s and 1950s, but recently Professor Lawrence Summers of Harvard University used the term to represent slow pace of the current economic expansion. He himself is an advocate of deficit-financed government spending. Ed Yardeni, President and Chief Investment Strategist of Yardeni Research, explains how the current economic situation is leading to 'Secular Stagnation' and what are the main reasons behind it. He says, 'I think it is mostly attributable to too much fiscal and monetary intervention by our governments. More of these policies will make things worse, not better.' He explains that global economic growth slowed down in June with contraction in emerging market economies. While Japan and Eurozone posted growth and US above global average, BRIC economies were the weakest. Only positive sign is the rise in employment m/m for the overall index. Read on...

Investing.com: Global Economy - More Secular Stagnation Ahead
Author: Ed Yardeni


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 jul 2015

Technology-enabled innovative models in healthcare hold promise to bring digital doctors, diagnostics, health monitoring etc in the hands of patients. According to Bob Wachter, author of 'The Digital Doctor' and professor at University of California at San Francisco, 'There are many things that patients can do to help themselves...if armed with good algorithms and good backup plans.' But he cautions that there is a limit to such interactions and patients need to know when to visit a doctor. Digital healthcare space is in the boom phase with US$ 2 billion invested in 2014, says Ahmed Albaiti, founder and CEO of Medullan. Moreover well entrenched healthcare organizations have also inclined their strategies towards a digital health future. To pursue their goals they are opening labs, practices and divisions exclusively focused on digital technologies and innovations. They are also partnering with entrepreneurs and innovators. All these transformations are contributing towards a new digital healthcare ecosystem. Brian Tilzer, Chief Digital Officer of CVS Health, says 'The recently opened Digital Innovation Lab at CVS is a warehouse-size space where innovators and entrepreneurs can come together, test new products and hash out ideas with each other.' The lab's current work includes - Connected otoscope; Connected blood pressure monitor; Apple Watch integration. According to StartUp Health's 2015 mid-year report, 'More than 7,500 startups around the world are developing solutions in digital health.' Read on...

USA TODAY: The digital doctor is in - Next wave in health care
Author: Trisha Thadani


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 jul 2015

Higher education is undergoing shifts due to involvement of technology, pressures of rising costs, newer methods of teaching and learning, and changing perceptions of its quality and value with customers demanding better offerings. In this transformative scenario traditional higher education ecosystem seems unprepared to manage the challenges. European Commission's 'Study of Innovation in Higher Education' observed, 'The blockages for innovation can be found both at the institutional level, such as the lack of institutional support for innovative practices, and at national/regional, for example influenced by different degrees of autonomy of higher education institutions. Regulatory frameworks are also a crucial potential blockage to some innovative practices'. Patrick Harker, President of the University of Delaware, notes that 'One of the biggest limitations of the design of education services is that we assume teaching is the same as learning, and the resistance to change reflects the belief that too much variety in learning approaches would disrupt our highly optimized, highly engineered teaching system.' Rahul Choudaha of World Education Services (WES) explains that the time is ripe for the development of higher education innovation ecosystem with expanded stakeholders. There is pressure on traditional institutions regarding the approaches to learning due to some of the recent innovations like adaptive learning, competency-based learning and MOOCs. According to Mr. Choudaha, 'Innovation is taking place at a much faster rate at the fringes of the education system than at its core. It is getting accelerated by the energy of entrepreneurs, employers, investors and most importantly, new types of learners who are open to experiment. The opportunity for higher education institutions and systems is to embrace outsiders as an important part of the innovation ecosystem.' He suggests that they should work towards building new partnerships and collaborations and include new stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem to adopt and accelerate innovations. Read on...

Huffington Post: Building an Ecosystem of Higher Education Innovation
Author: Rahul Choudaha


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 04 jul 2015

Professor Clayton Christensen of Harvard University on his website claytonchristensen.com, defines 'Disruptive Innovation' as 'A process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.' Eli Schwartz, Director of Marketing (APAC) at SurveyMonkey, explains that continuous customer feedback through surveys is an effective approach to be disruptive by staying in the customer's value perception. In a disruptive scenario, satisfying customer needs and obtaining their loyalty are two most important considerations. He cites an example of Uber's constant feedback process that successfully keeps the company closer to the customers and provides them ability to tweak the service offerings based on customer suggestions. He offers following tips on how to utilize Uber like feedback to disrupt the markets - (1) Gather feedback after every customer interaction. (2) Ask actionable questions and act on the feedback. (3) Make feedback an integral part of business metrics. (4) Use Net Promoter Score (NPS) i.e. a question where a customer is asked to rate their likelihood of referring a product or business to their friends. Read on...

Tech in Asia: A successful disruption requires customer feedback
Author: Eli Schwartz


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 02 jul 2015

Technology impacts and improves various aspects of healthcare delivery. Companies and organizations are embracing technological innovations to provide better healthcare services. According to Valter Adão of Deloitte Digital Africa, 'One of the most damaging myths surrounding digitisation is that it is an "all or nothing" process...Healthcare providers do not need to massively overhaul their practices to meet the oncoming wave of new technologies when they can integrate certain technologies within traditional healthcare structures, or adopt technological solutions in a gradual and modularised process.' While mentioning pace of technology adoption, he says that it is going to be sooner. Data management and analytics are two areas that will bring most transformations in healthcare. Patient records on cloud, wearables and monitoring devices and analytics to customize treatment to patients are some of the changes that will happen soon. Concerns of data security and privacy have to be resolved. Technology will also bring efficiencies in medical care processes through mobile devices and apps. Moreover improvements in printing technologies and 3D printing will also make a significant impact in healthcare. Heinrich Pretorius, OKI printing products specialist at DCC, says 'Printing technology is advancing to allow medical practitioners and facilities to use one printer for all their printing needs, as opposed to maintaining several different printers for different types of scans and imaging processes. Printing technology is also evolving to allow users to print directly from medical equipment without the need for time-consuming conversion software or external hardware.' Read on...

ITWeb: Healthcare tech adoption 'not far off'
Author: Michelle Avenant


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jun 2015

Technology's impact is not restricted to certain industries but every business and their processes are influenced by it. Moreover the increased connectivity and speed of communication has brought about newer challenges. For businesses to survive and flourish in this era of information and communication technology (ICT), newer type of leadership is required to effectively manage and grow businesses and to balance the pace of digital transformation both inside and outside of the organizations. Research points out the shortage of e-Leadership skills in Europe. According to European Commission demand for digitally skilled employees is growing by around 4% a year and that shortages of ICT professionals in the EU could reach 825,000 unfilled vacancies by 2020. Professors, Álvaro Arenas and José Esteves, of IE Business School in Spain define e-Leadership as 'the accomplishment of a goal that relies on ICT through the direction of human resources and uses of ICT...In the case of e-Leadership, both the goal and the resources involve using ICT. An e-Leader must be both business and ICT-savvy.' They mention previous studies that define e-Leaders as having T-shaped portfolio of skills (Vertical Skills- Specialized skills in specific fields like ICT, science, engineering, social sciences etc; Horizontal Skills- Transversal skills like negotiation, ciritcal thinking, design and systems thinking, business and entrepreneurship etc). Their study and research found three characteristics that represent e-Leaders - (1) Innovation is central in e-Leaders' organisations, and the e-Leaders are the force driving innovation. (2) e-Leaders exploit digital trends. SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud) tech were exploited. (3) e-Leaders envision and drive change for business performance. Their study also found that to develop e-Leaders requires a variety of educational ecosystem actions. There is learning need in some specialized and technical areas alongwith strong need for developing transversal skills. Multiple channels and formats are required to continuously update and upgrade e-Leaderships skills like MOOCs, blended education, short courses etc. Both traditional and new age learning systems are to be utilized for effective learning. Read on...

Forbes: Anatomy of an e-Leader
Authors: Álvaro Arenas, José Esteves


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 jun 2015

Technology-driven transformation of healthcare is happening in multiple ways. Shomit Ghose of ONSET Ventures explains how medical care is shifting from physician-focused dynamic to patient-focused dynamic through collection and assessment of individual data directly, independent of the physician encounters. According to him, 'Going forward, our cell phones and wearables will be by far our biggest source of health-related data, providing a continuous stream of information that promises, for the first time, to enable the practice of "continuous healthcare". This data is collected non-invasively and will specifically help us understand how patient behaviors affect patient outcomes.' He further explains, 'Continuous healthcare brings a brand new class of fine-grained behavioral data into the clinical assessment process. Further, the provision of this type of real-time data at population scale allows strong correlations to be made between best practices in health and best outcomes. Continuous data, when supplemented with other data sources, promises to revolutionize the current methods of population health, including the monitoring of disease and disease vectors in real time.' This data-driven continuous digital healthcare, with its ubiquitous nature and low-cost, has potential to serve communities and regions that are deprived of basic healthcare infrastructure and facilities of the present medical systems. But providers also have to overcome the concerns of privacy and security to realize the full benefits of digital healthcare. Read on...

VentureBeat: Continuous healthcare - Big data and the future of medicine
Author: Shomit Ghose


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jun 2015

Marketing strategies for startups are different from established companies as they have limited budget and resources. Over the years SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has evolved due to changes and improvements in search engine technologies. SEO strategies for today require a fresh look to keep business relevant in search engine results. John Rampton, entrepreneur and president of Adogy, provides 10 suggestions for startups to develop effective SEO to market their business - (1) Figure Out Your Target Keywords (2) Mobile Friendly is a Necessity (3) Simple is Usually Better (4) Develop and Follow a Marketing Strategy (5) Leverage the Power of Infographics (6) Prioritize (7) Figure Out Your Social Networking Channels (8) Link Building (9) Keep Your Content Relevant (10) Analytics are your Friend. Read on...

Forbes: 10 SEO Tips For Marketing Your Startup in 2015
Author: John Rampton


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 jun 2015

Companies are targeting their product and service offerings to the growing Millennial market. Pew Research predicts that this year Millennials, with 75 million people in US under 34, will overtake the Baby Boomers. But the question is: Should the companies consider Millennials as homogeneous entity and design their products and services accordingly? Authors, Timothy Morey and Allison Schoop of frog (a global product and strategy design firm), argue that to design offerings with exclusive focus on generational cohorts will result in meaningless or potentially damaging outcomes. There is little that unites them totally. According to them, 'A better approach is to design for archetypes that are representative of certain attitudinal and behavioral traits, and then combine these with social, market and emerging technology trends-all things that transcend age or generation. Defining an ideal customer for a potential product or service using broader human themes allows you to create solutions that resonate with a larger group of people.' They further explain, 'Far too many companies take a "product-out" view of segmentation, where they essentially ask their customers to line up around their products by demographics such as age or income. They should take an "outside-in" view that orients its products around their customers' attitudes and behaviors instead. Meeting the functional and emotional needs of a group of people is much more likely to generate transformative results than targeting a generational cohort with tenuous links.' Read on...

Harvard Business Review: Stop Designing for Millennials
Authors: Timothy Morey, Allison Schoop


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 jun 2015

Diversity in nonprofit boards and leadership is an essential element of governance. It helps in bringing different perspectives and expertise in the decision-making process and affects the culture and dynamics of the nonprofit boards. Team of researchers led by Professor Garry W. Jenkins of The Ohio State University undertook the study to understand the ways in which the composition of the nonprofit boards has evolved in recent years in US. They examined the biographies of governing directors in 1989 and 2014 of three sets of nonprofit organizations: major private research universities, elite small liberal arts colleges, and prominent New York City cultural and health institutions. According to Prof. Jenkins, 'The most striking finding was the sizable presence and growth on charitable boards of those whose primary professional background and skill set were drawn from the financial services industry. The tally indicates that the percentage of people from finance on the boards virtually doubled at all three types of nonprofits between 1989 and 2014.' Another important takeaway from the study is the presence of high percentage of board leadership positions from the finance sector (Liberal Arts Colleges - 44%, New York City Nonprofits - 44%, Private Universities - 56%). Prof. Jenkins while mentioning the 2012 figures for finance sector contribution to GDP (7.9%) and employment (6% of private non-farm workforce) explains, 'If nonprofit boards were composed of a representative group of people from society, one would expect trustees with a finance background to represent roughly 6 to 8 percent of board members. Instead, according to our research, trustees with professional backgrounds and skills primarily from the financial services industry represent about four times that number.' While answering about this shift in composition of nonprofit boards, Prof. Jenkins says, 'Nonprofit organizations are simply following the money. Driven by the heightened pressure and expectations to raise ever larger sums, nonprofit boards and managers are selecting new board members with an eye toward those with the greatest capacity for making "transformative gifts."' The dominance of financiers in the nonprofit boards also influences the working dynamics of the board with inclusion of specific practices, approaches and priorities (Data-driven decision making; Emphasis on metrics; Prioritizing impact and competition; Managing with 3-5 years horizons and plans; Advocating executive-style leadership; Compensation etc). Although these practices do have benefits for nonprofits, but at the same time too much financial and business-like emphasis in the functioning of the board may have adverse impact on charitable goals and objectives. For the long-term success and effectiveness of the nonprofit boards the need would be to balance the composition of the board with inclusion of individuals that have expertise and skills in different fields alongwith consideration of racial and gender diversity, minority representation etc. Read on...

Stanford Social Innovation Review: The Wall Street Takeover of Nonprofit Boards
Author: Garry W. Jenkins


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 jun 2015

The relationship between the management and the nonprofit board requires an optimum balance for better performance. Management has more information, thus giving them more power, in the functioning of the organization. However to stay relevant and effective, volunteer board members need to be proactive in seeking the information not only from the management but also from the other sources. There can be adverse consequences for the organization if the board members fail in this regard. Professor Eugene Fram of Rochester Institute of Technology, suggest steps to prevent management from overriding the board - Develop an understood difference between the policy/strategy development and managing organizational operations; Governance focus; Better collaboration and communications. Read on...

Huffington Post: Can Nonprofit Management Usurp Board Responsibilities?
Author: Eugene Fram


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 05 jun 2015

'Correspondent Banking' allows a local bank (respondent) to give its customers access to a faraway institution's services, such as currency exchange or sending money to an account abroad. Developing economies, in addition to such services, also get linked to the global banking system. Due to occasional misuse and illegal activity related to such a system some correspondent banks have retreated from certain regions or exited the line of business. According to Mark Carney, Chairman of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and Bertrand Badré, Chief Financial Officer of the World Bank Group, 'Anecdotal reports suggest that charities, and companies involved in remitting funds from overseas, are feeling the pinch. It would be wrong for regulators to ignore such consequences. Doing so would neglect the purpose of financial reforms by the Group of 20 leading nations intended to underpin an open and resilient global financial sector that serves real economies across the world.' Such an action by correspondent banks may even promote hidden illegal channels for financial transactions. The steps are now being taken to further investigate the situation and understand its scale and causes. Authors suggest, 'Authorities must ensure that they provide a clear and consistent interpretation and enforcement of international standards. They should work with the financial industry to pursue technical measures, such as the global Legal Entity Identifier system, which standardises identification, and Know Your Customer platforms that help avoid duplicating due diligence work...The financial abandonment of whole groups of customers - or even countries - is not something that can be ignored by the members of the G20...This is important not only for the countries directly affected, but for all of us as we seek to build a global financial system that can support growth for all.' Read on...

The Financial Times: Keep finance safe but do not shut out the vulnerable
Authors: Mark Carney, Bertrand Badré


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 jun 2015

Technology is transforming various aspects of education and learning through online courses, web content in various formats, teaching and learning platforms, online exams and assessments, personalization and customization etc. There are people whose ideas, innovations and expertise is influencing the education technology landscape with far reaching implications. Education website Noodle.com provides a list of 18 influencers in education technology - (1) Anant Agarwal, Founder and CEO if edX (2) Steven Anderson, Co-founder of #EdChat on Twitter (3) Adam Bellow, Creator of eduTecher and eduClipper (4) Laura Blankenship, Founder of GeekyMomBlog.com (5) Richard Byrne, Founder of Free Technology for Teachers (6) Rafranz Davis, Instructional Technology Specialist for Arlington, Texas (7) Vicki Davis, Creator of Cool Cat Teacher Blog (8) Jeff Dunn, Co-founder of Daily Genius and Edudemic (9) Lucy Gray, Co-founder of the Global Education Conference (10) Angela Maiers, Founder of Maiers Educational Services (11) Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy (12) Nichole Pinkard, Founder of the Digital Youth Network (13) Joel Rose, Creator of Teach to One: Math (14) Christopher Rush, Creator of Teach to One: Math (15) Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education (16) Shelly Sanchez Terrell, Co-founder of #EdChat (17) Sebastian Thrun, Founder of Udacity (18) Tom Whitby, Co-founder of #EdChat. Read on...

Tech.co: The 18 Most Influential People in Ed Tech
Author: Kira M. Newman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 may 2015

According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) website, 'UNDP assists partners to achieve sustainable, people-centered development through an integrated approach that links policy with planning and programming, for promoting results based management, instating quality safeguards, monitoring and evaluating impact and equally learning from failures and successes.' Innovation is an integral part of the development program and requires investments to fulfil the goals. UNDP has defined nine innovation principles - (1) Design with the User (2) Understand the Existing Ecosystem (3) Design for Scale (4) Build for Sustainability (5) Be Data Driven (6) Use Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Innovation (7) Reuse and Improve (8) Do no harm (9) Be Collaborative. In the context of development, innovation means to embrace complexity and accept diversity of solutions, and it implies that breakthroughs can only be created in partnership. As Millennium Development Goals are set to run their course, the agreement is now being sought on new development priorities. The Innovation Facility's 'Year in Review' report identifies six areas where UNDP will seek to innovate in 2015 and beyond - (1) What exactly, is the problem?: Social challenges are becoming increasingly complex. Focus is on understanding the problem based on available data. Big data analysis and embracing ethnographic methods to better understand diverse perspectives of the people affected by development challenges. (2) The best ideas come from surprising people and places: Looking for models and ideas beyond UNDP. Community solutions and open innovation challenges can encourage startups, NGOs and other partners to propose concrete solutions to problems or an opportunity. (3) Test, measure, improve: Test multiple ideas and approaches and select the one that gives better results. (4) Who wants your idea?: Before making investment, seek a clear business plan to identify probable partners (government, private sector or NGO) to bring the idea to scale. (5) Can we create shared value?: For post-2015 agenda large investment by governments alongwith substantial support from private sector are required. Through building local partnerships, opportunities for shared value to be explored. (6) Forget failure - learn!: Learn by testing ideas and failures to improve performance. Innovation involves calculated risks. To get success learn and improve. Read on...

Devex Impact: 6 ways to innovate for development in 2015 and beyond
Author: Benjamin Kumpf


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 may 2015

Staying close to the customer and fulfil his needs and wants has been the mantra of successful brands and businesses. Technology has brought the customer even closer and given brands the opportunity to better understand and analyze the customer behavior and focus strategies to satisfy him/her. Considering the highly competitive and fast paced world of fashion and luxury, established luxury brands need to think like disrupters by putting customers at the center of their strategies. Disrupters focus on 'jobs to be done' in the present. Clayton Christensen's disrupter framework focuses on consumers' social, emotional or functional problem, and turns business into its solution. This framework makes innovation independent of the latest technology or the hottest new gadget and firmly relies on human behavior. Thinking about customers and their behavior patterns provide brands insights into the future. Understanding the next generation of customers and removing friction from their brand experience with a well thought out solution will hold the key for the brand's survival. Following are four ways established luxury brands can succeed by staying close to the customer - (1) Create a seamless path from inspiration to purchase. (2) Make your brand narrative attainable, intuitive and immersive. (3) Evoke in your customers the feeling of belonging and being special. (4) Serve and reward. Read on...

AdAge: Luxury Brands Must Innovate or Die in the Digital Age
Author: Ana Andjelic


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 may 2015

As businesses continue to pile-up huge amount of data there are opportunities for data scientists to provide meaningful insights to help them grow and succeed. Even startups at their early stages have substantial data that can be utilized for business value. Tianhui Michael Li, Data Scientist and Executive Director of The Data Incubator, gives his view on how a skilled data scientist (DS) can be a catalyst of growth for entrepreneurial ventures - (1) Growth Hacking: DS can utilize social data and web analytics to implement low-cost, high impact marketing campaigns. (2) Customer Retention: Bain & Co. found that 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by 125%. DS can analyze customer behavior and target communication for customer engagement, retention and even identify brand advocates to bring new customers. (3) Personalizing Products and Services: DS can utilize sales, marketing and web data to identify customer needs and wants. This will assist in customizing offerings. (4) Marketing Optimization: DS can optimize every aspect of marketing and advertising from ad budget to ad clicks to actual conversions and purchases, and much more. Read on...

Entrepreneur: 4 Things a Data Scientist Can Do for Entrepreneurs
Author: Tianhui Michael Li


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 may 2015

The value of big data lies in extracting insights and its meaningful use in solving business problems. In recent times organizations have made big investments in technologies associated with it to store, analyze, report and visualize data. Stuart Frankel, CEO and co-founder of Narrative Science, provide his perspective on why these investments haven't got expected returns, limitations of human-powered data science as it is not a scalable solution, unaffordable data scientists and, opportunities and prospects of scalable automated solutions to analyze and interpret data, and obtain hidden insights for business value. According to him, 'Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to transform data and analysis into relevant plain English communication. AI is shortening employees' data comprehension-to-action time through comprehensive, intuitive narratives.' Following are some examples which he shares regarding use of AI in data analysis - Some mutual funds are using advanced natural language generation (Advanced NLG) platforms, powered by AI, to automatically write fund performance reports in mere seconds; In medical billing, AI scours thousands of billing records across hundreds of hospitals and generates narrative reports that immediately provide the desired analysis; AI solutions are improving customer experience. AI is the first technology to make personalized, "audience of one" communication a reality; Wealth management is beginning to use "Robo-advisors", the automated financial advisor that can offer a low-cost alternative to expensive, human advisor. Moreover AI is being embedded into existing advisory platforms, delivering personalized portfolio reviews and recommendations in natural language to customers. He further explains, 'The commonality across all of these new technologies is that they offer something additional humans cannot provide: the power of scale...In the near-term, the adoption of AI within business intelligence platforms and customer-facing applications will accelerate...The key to all of this is the intersection of AI and advanced natural language generation. We're at the beginning of the next phase of big data, a phase that will have very little to do with data capture and storage and everything to do with making data more useful, more understandable and more impactful.' Read on...

Harvard Business Review: Data Scientists Don't Scale
Author: Stuart Frankel


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 may 2015

Maintaining healthier and longer lives of human beings require efforts at global scale. There is need for cooperation and collaboration among young scientists from around the world. Basic scientific research is one of the critical component that leads to advances and innovations in healthcare. According to Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH), 'Rigorous, well-designed research is essential not only for the discovery of new ways to detect, treat, and prevent disease, but also for the most efficient development and cost-effective dissemination of such advances to the world's poorest peoples.' He cites examples of research-based technologies that are transforming the healthcare landscape - Point-of-Care diagnostics that include a DNA-amplification test which makes it possible to diagnose tuberculosis and detect drug resistance within 90 minutes; Mobile health technologies are already influencing healthcare in remote and poor regions. For example a quarter-sized, lensless microscope that, when connected to a mobile phone, can beam high-quality images of cells and microbes halfway around the globe to computers that can automatically interpret the images; Bioengineers has designed a 'paper microscope', a low cost use-and-throw device that doesn't need a power supply, to quickly and accurately diagnose malaria and other parasitic diseases in low-resource settings; Disease prevention through next generation of vaccines will only be possible through science-based technology and research; Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are fastest growing cause of deaths and would require creative scientific research to identify and implement the right tools to overcome them in resource poor regions. He further explains, 'Indeed, scientific knowledge does not travel only from developed countries to low-income countries - it is a two-way street from which the entire world stands to benefit. Recently, some of the most innovative and cost-effective advances have arisen from research reflecting the needs and ideas of people in poorer countries.' Read on...

Vox: Why the world needs more scientists
Author: Francis S. Collins


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 may 2015

According to a recent report by US Department of Agriculture, nearly 58000 high-skill agriculture-related jobs, requiring at least a bachelor's degree, are expected to open up between 2015 and 2020. But the report estimates that during the same time period fewer than 36000 qualified grads in related fields of study will enter the workforce. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack comments, 'Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world's most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.' 46% of the jobs in agriculture will have management and business orientation. Moreover 27% of the new high-skills jobs will require a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education. As per the data mentioned in the report for 2012-13 school year, female graduates outnumbered men in agriculture and life sciences, forestry and veterinary programs in US. This shows that women are better prepared for employment in agriculture sector which is becoming more high-tech and high-growth. In a 2014 interview with US News, Claudia Ringler, the deputy director of the International Food Policy Research Institute's environment and production technology division, said 'Improved land management strategies are very important - that includes no-till, precision agriculture and integrated soil fertility management. You need a mix of technologies and approaches.' Read on...

US News & World Report: STEM Skills a Necessity for 27 Percent of New Agriculture Jobs
Author: Andrew Soergel


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 may 2015

According to a survey by Talent Q (part of Hay Group), 9 in 10 employers believe that graduates with soft skills will become increasingly important as globalization speeds up. The majority of employers surveyed by the Hay Group in 2014 believe that entry-level graduates aren't prepared for the working world and 80% of them were struggling to find graduates with the soft skills they need. Lucy Beaumont, solutions director at Talent Q, says 'Despite what many employers think, our research demonstrates that today's graduates have just as much potential to succeed as any other generation, both in terms of cognitive ability and soft skills. It's up to the business to ensure that this potential is realized by recruiting and developing graduates in the correct way. This means focusing on hard and soft skills and looking for potential rather than relying on experience.' According to Penna's research 'Challenging misconceptions about Gen Y employees', there is a distinct mismatch between the career aspirations and expectations of 18 to 24 year olds and employers' views on this age group. Although this group showed a strong sense of loyalty too, but it was significantly underestimated by their employers. Read on...

Forbes: Graduates With Soft Skills Will Become Increasingly Important
Author: Karen Higginbottom


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 may 2015

Value of data lies with how it can be utilized for better and improved decision-making and subsequent beneficial actions. Governments collect and hold substantial amount of valuable data on variety of parameters. Open data movement intends to give wider digital access to public data to increase government transparency, efficiency and accountability. A report by McKinsey Global Institute estimates global economic value of open data at US$ 3 trillion. Open Data Research Network, funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre and led by World Wide Web Foundation, is exploring the emerging impacts of open data in developing countries and how it can help address specific challenges. In Chennai (India) researchers found that existing municipal data on the urban poor is unreliable. Lack of data on the number and location of public toilets, hinder public sanitation investments to reach vulnerable communities. Local officials with the help of researchers significantly improved their procurement processes by creating and connecting different open databases. Another case study in India focused on the extractive energy sector, where no publicly available data has hindered regulatory enforcement in the production of coal, oil and natural gas. In Phillippines, researchers looked at how business, media, civil society and other groups benefit from national open data policy introduced in 2011 that required local governments to disclose financial and procurement related data on their websites. This project identified where local governments can be more accountable. Read on...

Phys.org: Strengthening governance through open data
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 may 2015

Today's architects require knowledge and expertise of architecture-focused technology tools and softwares to stay ahead of the curve. Moreover they have to continue to upgrade and update their skills through variety of courses and tutorials available through traditional educational institutions, corporate training programs, paid online courses and free tutorials on internet. ArchDaily has compiled a categorised list of online tutorial websites that offer learning of architectural softwares - (1) General Purpose Tutorial Sites: Lynda.com (Online courses and video tutorials site); Visualizing Architecture (Alex Hogrefe has created a comprehensive list of tutorials for creating compelling images. Most techniques can be achieved using SketchUp and Photoshop); Ronen Bekerman's Blog (Provides case studies. Showcases their own work, explaining how they created a single render from the modeling stage to post-production). (2) Pre-Production (Modeling, Drawing and BIM): Autodesk's Youtube Channel; Bond-Bryan BIM Blog by Rob Jackson; Nick Senske on Youtube; Jose Sanchez's tutorials at Plethora Project on Unity3D game engine, Autodesk's Maya software, C#, Python and Javascript and also Rhino and Grasshopper; NYCCTfab on Vimeo (Tutorials by New York City College of Technology's Department of Architectural Technology Fabrication Lab, on Revit, Rhino and Grasshopper). (3) Production (Rendering and other forms of image creation): Simply Rhino Webinars; V-Ray Website. (4) Post-Production (Adobe Photoshop and other image manipulation software): Vyonix Tutorials; ARQUI9 Visualisation on Youtube. Read on...

ArchDaily: Architecture Software Tutorials - Which Are The Best Out There?
Author: Rory Stott


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 may 2015

In the Wikipedia article on 'Mentorship', Prof. Barry Bozeman and Prof. Mary K. Feeney, who are currently at Arizona State University, in their paper 'Toward a useful theory of mentoring: A conceptual analysis and critique' define 'Mentoring' as 'A process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé).' Entrepreneurs often need mentors at various stages of their venture's development. Sramana Mitra, Founder of One Million by One Million, suggests the following points regarding a good mentor - (1) Has superior knowledge and network in the industry that entrepreneur is venturing. (2) Is willing to tell what the entrepreneur 'need' to hear and not what he/she 'want' to hear. (3) Looks out for entrepreneur's best interest (4) Connects dots whenever possible to get entrepreneur further and grow. (5) Gives knowledge, advice, introductions without wasting anybody's time. (6) Pushes entrepreneur to do more, do better. (7) Will not sit next to entrepreneur and hold hand. (8) Is busy, active, in-demand. (9) Helps entrepreneur learn, become self-sufficient. Read on...

Huffington Post: An Entrepreneurs' Guide to Good Mentoring
Author: Sramana Mitra


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 15 may 2015

Chairman of a nonprofit board has a leadership position and the board's success depends on the capabilities and skills that he/she demonstrates while providing guidance and direction in critical areas. Jay Love, co-founder and CEO of Bloomerang, provides a selective list of 8 attributes of the chairman that have the largest impact on the success of the nonprofit board - (1) Personal Commitment to the Nonprofit (2) Exude Enthusiasm (3) Ability to See the Big Picture (4) Is Not 'Over' Committed (5) Relationship Magician (6) Results Oriented (7) Huge Rolodex: Knows Most People and the Right People (8) Existing Mutual Respect with the CEO/Executive Director. Read on...

Business 2 Community: 8 Attributes Of An Outstanding Nonprofit Board Chairman
Author: Jay Love


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 may 2015

Pervasion of technology in every aspect of society is leading to ease of access and instant availability of products and services to customers. There are multiple vendors vying for consumer's attention. This highly competitive environment makes the marketers job more relevant and challenging. They need to equip themselves with the right skills, tools and strategies to reach out effectively to their target audience. Christian Eriksen, Regional Director of Marketing and Solutions at SimCorp Asia, provide four tips to marketing professionals for efficiency, effective communication, partnerships and growth - (1) Buyer Personas: Know who you are selling to. (2) Buyer's Journey: Know where your buyers are at in the buying process. (3) Invest in Technology: Automation in marketing is key. (4) Partner with the Right People: Those who understand your brand and market. Read on...

CMO Innovation: Four tips for marketing professionals
Author: Christian Eriksen


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 may 2015

Adam Smith believed in laissez-faire world and his theory of 'invisible hand' of free markets has been a defining element of the capitalist economies. It explains that when markets are left alone, they allocate resources better and efficiently. This evolved into an economic school of thought that unregulated markets are inherently stable. According to Friedrich von Hayek, a free-market economist, the best way for an economy to recover after a slump was for it to be left alone. Deregulation was the main mantra in the global economy throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve (1987-2006), has been instrumental in this shift. Subitha Subramanian, chief economist at Sarasin & Partners, explains the reshaping of the free markets and the rise of the 'visible hand' in global economy in recent years. According to her, 'In 2007, the sharp collapse in asset prices and economic growth prompted a sea change in the attitude towards laissez-faire economics. Only expensive government interventions seemed capable of arresting the economy's plunge.' Works of economist John Meynard Keynes on the Great Depression is finding new relevance to understand volatility of markets. She further explains, 'The biggest distortion facing financial markets today comes from the repression of interest rates by the world's central bankers...Currency markets, too, are being subjected to large distortions owing to central banks introducing activist policies at different paces. In a laissez-faire world, wealth creation is a reward for risk taking and innovation. In a world of financial repression, it is linked to central bank policies pushing up asset prices, which disproportionately benefits the older and wealthier segments of society.' Rising inequality, shifting of tax systems away from economic activity towards wealth and assets, instability of credit-based financial system, shifting of geopolitical landscape away from US leadership and governance, and rise of regionalization and localizaiton, are all contributing to the reshaping of global economy by deliberate interference of policy makers who are seeking growth and stability. Read on...

The Financial Times: The rise of the visible hand in economic policy
Author: Subitha Subramaniam


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 may 2015

Digital revolution is affecting and impacting every aspect of human lives. Education is one sphere where the transformation is beginning to happen and schools are applying technology-enabled learning methodologies. But to truly accomplish what technology promises in education, the strategies have to go beyond just providing technology devices and softwares to students. It must try to provide students with enhanced learning capabilities and equip them with skills for success. Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education, provides his views and ideas on how educational technology and innovation will bring the changes in the learning environment of the future. According to him, 'Innovation in education isn't about the latest gadget or app, or about how adept a student is at using a smartphone to consume the latest Internet meme. It's about how technological tools can empower students to become who they want to be, and who we need them to be - the kind of children and young people who ask - What can I improve? How can I help? What can I build?' He provides following suggestions regarding what technology can do in education - (1) We must make education technology more equitable. (2) Teachers and students must be empowered as creators, not just consumers. (3) We must make teaching more sustainable. He further explains, 'Everyone has an essential role to play in elevating and supporting the teaching profession. Teachers must be willing to explore new ways of supporting and challenging themselves and their students. Students must assume more responsibility for their own learning. Principals must create school climates that honor innovation and experimentation. Elected officials and policymakers must be willing to incentivize policies and programs that lift up the profession - through more resources, support, and funding.' Read on...

Medium: What Can Technology Do for Tomorrow's Children?
Author: Arne Duncan


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 06 may 2015

According to Modern Healthcare Magazine, although healthcare workforce in US is dominated by women, but they don't hold top leadership positions - 78% of all healthcare and social assistance workers are women, and 77% of hospital employees are women. In 2014, of the 5767 hospitals and health systems in the United States, only 1508 (26%) are led by women CEOs. Modern Healthcare Magazine recently compiled a list of top 25 women in US healthcare selected from about 200 who were nominated - (1) Leah Binder, President of Leapfrog Group (2) Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (3) Marna Borgstrom, CEO of the Yale New Haven Health System (4) Deborah Bowen, President and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives (5) Mary Brainerd, President and CEO of HealthPartners (6) Ruth Brinkley, CEO of KentuckyOne Health (7) Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Health and Human Services Secretary (8) Debra Cafaro, CEO of Ventas (9) Christine Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the National Quality Forum (10) Pamela Cipriano, President of the American Nurses AssociationRead (11) Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (12) Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (13) Susan DeVore, president and CEO of Premier (14) Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, President and CEO of the National Patient Safety Foundation (15) Patricia Hemingway Hall, President and CEO of Health Care Service Corp (16) Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (17) Sister Carol Keehan, President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association (18) Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (19) Donna Lynne, responsible for Kaiser Permanente's Pacific Northwest and Hawaii regions (20) Patricia Maryland, President of healthcare operations and COO at Ascension Health (21) Elizabeth Nabel, MD, President of Brigham and Women's Hospital (22) Debra Osteen, Senior Vice President at Universal Health Services (23) Nancy Schlichting, CEO of the Henry Ford Health System (24) Lynn Simon, MD, MBA, President of Clinical Services and Chief Quality Officer at Community Health Systems (25) Penny Wheeler, MD, CEO of Allina Health. Read on...

Medscape: America's Top 25 Women in Healthcare
Author: Megan Brooks


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 05 may 2015

Big data has potential to transform how healthcare is delivered. But considering the huge volume and complexity of data, it is difficult to analyze with the usual data processing tools. In healthcare, big data is multi-structured and multi-sourced (Claims data; Clinical data; Status data). Specialized tools and softwares have to be used to make this big data actionable. Actionable data is standardized, predictive, preventive, timely, and comprehensive. Actionable data, which is ready for advanced analytics, can provide an organization with insights that improve patient care, reduce risk and strengthen the bottom line. Optum infographic shows how to make big data actionable and get value. Read on...

Forbes: Infographic - How To Make Big Data Actionable For Better Health Care Insight And Value
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 02 may 2015

Seven design experts and judges of the 2015 Innovation by Design Awards define what an innovative design means to them - (1) Richard Florida, founder of the Creative Class Group: Innovative design is strikingly elegant but simple and intuitive to use. (2) Mark Rolston, founder of argodesign: By its very nature it should surprise us. It exposes the intrinsic power of technology. It reminds us of the profound nature of invention...should make life more beautiful. (3) Bradford Shellhammer, founder of Bezar: Did this design change the world and change it for the better...I am much more interested in the problem design solves. (4) Andrew Dent, vice president of library and materials research at Material ConneXion: How is it solving the problem it was designed for? What new approaches have been taken in this solution? Is it really offering an improvement over other designs or is it just 'new'?...I always initially zone in on the materials choices. I feel that there needs to be at minimum an 'appropriateness' when selecting them. (5) Bobby Martin Jr., co-founder of Original Champions of Design: Innovation comes from pushing beyond the expected... Innovative design is thoughtful, appropriate and ambitious. Innovative design is risky, so not everyone can be an innovator. (6) Dan Gardner, co-founder and executive creative director at Code and Theory: Is the design timeless? Does the design demonstrate new thinking and/or solve a problem in a new way? Does it have broader impact and application beyond the specific instance of the design? Does the design affect behavior in a meaningful way? (7) Stuart Karten, founder of Karten Design: Innovative design is new and different. It introduces aesthetics that haven't been seen before...the product must be meaningful. It must respond creatively to a real market need...when 'inventive' tech-driven products have functionality that is driven by people and connects to human needs that innovation occurs. Read on...

Fast Company: What Is Innovative Design? 7 Designers And Thinkers Weigh In
Author: Suzanne LaBarre


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 apr 2015

According to the new research by Eduserv, 'Creating The Right Environment for Digital Transformation', most charities are aware of the importance of IT and digital transformation to improve the way they deliver services and engage with their volunteers. But there seems to be lack of clarity about how they will implement and accomplish this. Report observed three challenges that charity leaders are facing while driving digital transformation - (1) Strategy and Knowledge Gap: Many of those at the top of charities have yet to grasp that digital transformation is not about using technology or digital platforms to replicate existing activities but about fundamental transformation of the way charities go about doing their business. (2) Structure: Delivering on the needs of the digital-first charity requires different ways of organising and managing teams. Most charities are still relying on old structures and working relationships. IT and digital are failing to add value because they are seen as service providers and support functions rather than business partners. (3) Infrastructure: Charities are not only failing to put in place the right IT platforms but they are failing to invest in people with the right skills to support their digital future in their IT teams. To overcome these challenges, charities can do the following - (1) Embed digital capability at the top of organisation's leadership, so that digital is embedded at the heart of a charity's strategic thinking. (2) Build a digital-first culture throughout the charity. It is not realistic to expect digital and IT teams to drive change from the margins as support functions. Invest in IT and digital skills and tools. Read on...

Information Age: Digital transformation - the pressing three priorities for charities
Authors: Chloe Green, John Simcock


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 apr 2015

PR is undergoing transformational shifts. In this year's Agency Business Report, the main themes are integration, convergence and the enhanced value of digital and social media. The new PR firm is highly influenced by these factors as they change the dynamics of agency leadership roles, the structure of the firms, and the talent that is recruited and retained. Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, defines the largest PR firm in the world as, 'It's a Venn diagram where the overlaps of the four [media, PR, social media, advertising] are becoming more present. It used to be distinct valleys and now the roads are crossing. We're going to try to have stronger creative, stronger planning, and look at problems differently.' Inspite of recognition of advertising agencies for their PR work and some ad-shops 'integrating forward', most PR agency leaders still believe PR has a unique mentality and heritage to bring to the modern content marketing mix. They don't see the need to rebrand as something other than PR. According to Andy Polansky, CEO of Weber Shandwick, 'Some advertising firms, like Mullen, have a strong PR capability - others do it around the edges. The key is to develop depth and have a credible, strong offering. PR has never been held in higher regard by the C-suite, and there's a lot more dimension to our business now. We've emerged as leaders in content marketing and social.' He further believes the sweet spot for PR agencies is the ability to engage multiple constituencies across different platforms and stakeholder groups. Fred Cook, CEO of PR firm Golin, says, 'It's getting harder to define what a PR agency is...We're competing with different types of agencies in different categories. You can call yourself anything you want, but it is how your clients define you. Our clients still define us as a PR agency, but a PR agency that does a lot more than before.' According to Dave Senay, CEO of FleishmanHillard, the principles of PR have never changed. He cites Edward Bernays' definition of PR as informing, persuading, and connecting people with people. He points out, 'PR is no different than it's ever been. If you take the two schools of PR, the behaviorist or socially responsible or conscious side, they are converging like never before. The wind is completely blowing into our strengths.' He believes modern marketing communications is all about how and why people behave the way they do, which requires an understanding of their culture, media consumption habits, and the global push toward shared value. Online video is at the forefront of new PR services. Although it has been mostly associated with ad agencies, but PR firms are now effectively utilizing the medium to construct engaging narratives. The change in skill sets required at the "new PR agency" is changing the people who come into the business and inevitably resulting in legacy personnel leaving at the other end of the talent funnel. It is also evolving different workforce structures more suited to the new environment. Many agencies have restructured their practice offerings and tried to inculcate collaboration across disciplines, geographies, and offices. Compensation structures are being amended to better reflect overall results at agencies, rather than being based on individual office P&Ls. Bonus pools are increasingly tied to individual objectives aligned with strategy and client goals rather than offices. Skeptics about this new age of PR and subsequent delineation for PR agencies may highlight the issue of measurement and how these new skill sets are producing return on investment for brands and clients. But in reality the payback and return on investment of content-based executions built from smart data can totally be monitored in real time, via measurement and social analytics. Effectiveness is measured on criteria such as the number of people who link to, share, view, or create their own content using the source material. Social metrics are much more powerful because they show someone is actively involved in the content and sharing it with their community. Rob Flaherty, CEO of Ketchum, points out, 'And now with the Internet of Things you can link these metrics to visits in-store and to purchases, which is the Holy Grail for every communicator and marketer - and also for the new age of PR firms servicing those clients' needs.' Real-time marketing is fueling a new range of skills, services, and ways of working at PR agencies. Read on...

PRWeek: What is the new PR agency?
Author: Steve Barrett


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 apr 2015

To get a for-profit social enterprise started and make it self-sustaining requires different types of fundraising at different stages of the venture's growth. Lisa Curtis, founder of Kuli Kuli Foods, suggests the following stepwise process to effectively finance the enterprise - (1) Put the idea for an enterprise on paper and participate in business plan competitions to win prizes and also to learn, connect and promote it to increase the chances of future funding. (2) Join an accelerator program as it helps to build the necessary funding network or sometimes it provides funds directly. (3) After business plan competition and refining the idea through an accelerator program, get on with crowdfunding campaign. But before the launch of crowdfunding it is important to know exactly how much money is required and what the final product will look like. (4) Once the product is ready for the market, it becomes important to sustain the business without running out of money. At this stage acquiring a loan will be an important financial strategy. (5) Once the business starts to grow and idea has got 'proof-of-concept' from the market, the next step is to seek angel investors. One way is to do an accredited-only crowdfunding campaign. Moreover join an investor network, prepare a solid executive summary and keep on pitching to prospective investors. (6) Keep the focus on the main purpose of the social enterprise i.e. to make a positive impact on the world. This will provide the strength to carry on during the challenging times. Read on...

Triple Pundit: 6 Steps to Finance Your New Social Enterprise
Author: Lisa Curtis


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 apr 2015

According to the American Enterprise Institute, social enterprises 'differ from typical government programs in that they are a business, usually operated outside of government, with a concern for the bottom line. They are typically started by people who want to make a difference in society by helping others.' The new study by Mathematica Policy Research states that social enterprises might be one part of the answer to combating poverty in the United States. The research evaluated social enterprises in California and found these public/private businesses increased employment, decreased dependence on government and increased the likelihood individuals had stable housing. Read on...

MacIver Institute: Social Enterprises - A Solution to Employing the Hard-to-Employ?
Author: Nick Novak


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 apr 2015

According to CDC estimates, about 30 million of US population had diabetes in 2014, and more than 1/4th of them were undiagnosed. Moreover another 80 million were classified as 'pre-diabetic', meaning they have greater chance of getting diabetic in the next decade if they don't change their lifestyle. Diabetes costed US$ 176 billion in direct medical bills and US$ 69 billion in indirect costs, including disability, work loss and premature death, in 2012. Considering data-intensive nature of diabetes, patients have to continuously monitor, calculate and control their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. As there are numerous and complex factors that affect blood sugar - including food, physical activity, and sleep patterns - it's not always clear what exactly occurs between a good blood sugar reading and a bad one. According to Jeff Dachis, co-founder of digital marketing firm Razorfish and now founder of diabetes managing app called One Drop, 'It's math all day long...if I stay in range, I can stay considerably healthy and unimpacted by diabetes.' Adoption of wearable health devices is somewhat trying to solve the mathematical aspects of diabetes. Moreover the coming wave of wearable technology and social media and mobile apps show prospects to transform how people live with and manage diabetes. Companies are also developing innovative devices like continuous glucose monitors, which constantly measure blood sugar levels through a small sensor that is inserted under the skin, providing a lot more insight into how a good reading turns into a bad one. Another technological advancement is an 'artificial pancreas', an implantable device which would monitor blood sugar as well as automatically deliver insulin. Researchers are developing small implants that can do both, eliminating the need for daily finger pricks and injections. Google and Novartis AG are partnering to develop less invasive way to measure blood sugar, a contact lens that monitors glucose contained in tears and transmits the data through a tiny antenna. These technology devices although hold a considerable promise to overcome challenges regarding the management of diabetes but they will be expensive and will take time to be commercially available. Read on...

The Washington Post: How the data revolution could transform the way people live with diabetes
Author: Ana Swanson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 apr 2015

The survey of 924 nonprofit board directors conducted by team of researchers (David F. Larcker, William F. Meehan III, Nicholas Donatiello, Brian Tayan) from Stanford Graduate School of Business supports a long-held hypothesis that many nonprofit boards are ineffective. The study revealed that a significant minority are unsure of their organization's mission and strategy, dissatisfied with their ability to evaluate their organization's performance, and uncertain whether their fellow board members have the experience to do their jobs well. According to Prof. Larcker, the lead researcher, 'Our research finds that too often board members lack the skill set, depth of knowledge, and engagement required to help their organizations succeed.' Researchers offer following recommendations to improve nonprofit board governance - (1) Ensure the mission is focused, and its skills and resources are well-aligned. (2) Ensure the mission is understood by the board, management, and key stakeholders. (3) Establish explicit goals and strategies tied to achieving that mission. (4) Develop rigorous performance metrics that reflect those goals. (5) Hold the executive director accountable for meeting the performance metrics, and evaluate his or her performance with an objective process. (6) Compose your board with individuals with skills, resources, diversity, and dedication to address the needs of the nonprofit. (7) Define explicitly the roles and responsibility of board members. (8) Establish well-defined board, committee, and ad hoc processes that reflect the nonprofit's needs and ensure optimal handling of key decisions. (9) Regularly review and assess each board member and the board's overall performance. Read on...

Business Wire: Stanford Research Offers Nine Tips to Improve Nonprofit Governance
Author: Heather Hansen


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 apr 2015

The expansion and transformation of healthcare ecosystem with new models of healthcare delivery is creating rapid growth of required human resources. The industry now have new types of insurance companies, novel provider organizations and new health information technology companies. Physicians and nurses are having shifts in roles and responsibilities in order to effectively and successfully lead these organizations. They need different set of skills from the ones they acquired during their clinical training. Sachin H. Jain, chief medical officer of CareMore Health System and lecturer in healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School, suggests three skills that are critical for doctors and nurses as they transition to management and assume higher level of influence in the business of health - (1) Operations Management and Execution (2) People Leadership (3) Setting and Defining Strategy. Dr. Jain quotes one CEO's remark, 'Physicians and nurses run the risk of losing their clinical identities as they develop into executives.' On this, he comments, 'It would be a shame if they did. As they transition to careers in the business of health care, clinicians must hold on to the heart and practice of medicine as they continuously develop the core executive skills required to effectively lead and shape their organizations.' Read on...

Harvard Business Review: The Skills Doctors and Nurses Need to Be Effective Executives
Author: Sachin H. Jain


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 apr 2015

Professor Shree K. Nayar of Columbia University, research engineer Daniel Sims and consultant Mikhail Fridberg of ADSP Consulting, have invented a fully self-powered video camera that can produce an image each second, indefinitely, of a well-lit indoor scene. They designed a pixel that can not only measure incident light but also convert the incident light into electric power. According to Prof. Nayar, 'We are in the middle of a digital imaging revolution. I think we have just seen the tip of the iceberg. Digital imaging is expected to enable many emerging fields including wearable devices, sensor networks, smart environments, personalized medicine, and the Internet of Things. A camera that can function as an untethered device forever - without any external power supply - would be incredibly useful.' The team used off-the-shelf components to fabricate an image sensor with 30x40 pixels. In this prototype camera, which is housed in a 3D printed body, each pixel's photodiode is always operated in the photovoltaic mode. Read on...

Columbia Engineering: Columbia Engineering Professor Invents Video Camera that Runs without a Battery
Author: Holly Evarts


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 apr 2015

Using technology to bring social change and improve people's lives is a challenging task. 'One-size-fits-all' approaches to implement technology strategies may not be effective and provide expected results. There is need to have proper context, clarity of purpose and supportive environment to fulfil the promises that technology intends to bring for the well-being and welfare of the society. Professor Kentaro Toyama of University of Michigan, in his latest book 'Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology', argues that technologists undermine efforts at social progress by promoting 'packaged interventions' at the expense of more difficult reforms. Prof. Toyama has worked extensively in India and launched various projects that sought to use computers and Internet connectivity to improve education and reduce poverty. Following are selected excerpts from his Q&A session done by Brian Bergstein, deputy editor of MIT Technology Review - • 'There are already several randomized, controlled trials of schools with and without One Laptop per Child. Generally, what most of these studies show is that schools with laptops did not see their children gain anything in terms of academic achievement, in terms of grades, in terms of test scores, in terms of attendance, or in terms of supposed engagement with the classroom.' • 'I think it's perfectly sensible for parents to want a certain amount of exposure to technology for their children, both as a form of explorative play and as a way to get them used to technology that they'll undoubtedly encounter later in their life. I think the fundamental error people make is that, therefore, we should have the computer be the primary instrument of education for all children...I think one of the issues is we tend to think of education as being the content. We overemphasize the importance of content, as opposed to emphasizing the part that's really difficult in any good education, which is adult-supervised motivation - the motivation of the child to learn something.' • 'If you measure some positive benefit in the technology case, your conclusion is that technology helped. But it was always the people that we worked with, the partners that we chose and the people on the ground who interacted with the people that we wanted to support. All of those human factors were required for the technology itself to have an impact; whether the technology helped or not was really up to people.' Read on...

MIT Technology Review: Putting Technology in Its Place
Author: Brian Bergstein


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 apr 2015

According to MarketingTerms.com, 'Affiliate Marketing' is the 'Revenue sharing between online advertisers/merchants and online publishers/salespeople, whereby compensation is based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a hybrid model.' Wikipedia defines 'Customer Relationship Management' (CRM) as 'System for managing a company's interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.' Affiliate managers need to keep track of their affiliate relationships efficiently and they can use CRM tools to stay organized. According to Dustin Howes, Director of Marketing at Marketing Clique, 'Using the CRM creates full transparency of the current state of the affiliate program and the growth in the near future.' He provides the following ways CRM can be effective for affiliate marketing - (1) Document Hot Leads (2) Task Reminders (3) Institutional Memory (4) Predicting Affiliate Performance. Read on...

FeedFront: Growing your Affiliate Program with a CRM
Author: Dustin Howes


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 apr 2015

Entrepreneurs are always seeking new ways to leverage their position in the market to stay competitive and successful. Competitive advantage is not an easy thing to achieve for entrepreneurs. Here are few ways that entrepreneurs can gain competitive edge - (1) Positioning is better than prospecting. (2) Plans fail, movements don't. (3) Stand on the shoulder of giants. (4) Become a people developer. (5) Create raving fans and advocates. Read on...

Entrepreneur: 5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Gain a Competitive Advantage
Author: Peter Voogd


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 apr 2015

Adoption and implementation of business-IT strategies with emerging technologies like big data, cloud, social business and mobility, is a continuous long-term process. It involves multiple streams of projects with complexity and uncertainty. In such an environment CIO's will be challenged to manage a continuous process of incremental development. Jyoti Lalchandani, group vice president and regional managing director at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey, explains the approach of 'Failure Management' that IDC utilizes for project management. According to him, 'Businesses rushing to embrace emerging technology solutions may fail more often than not to extract full value from individual projects, but in the long run they will reap enormous value as long as they persist and stay focused on their strategic goals.' Failure management doesn't consider failure as an absolute end result but as a range of project outcomes. Some outcomes might lead to project termination but in other situations it would require some alterations and tweaking to get favourable results and returns on tech investments. Evaluation process is a must at key stages of project lifecycle. The stages are called 'value checkpoints' as they measure the business value return in addition to standard performance metrics. When projects are failing, there are three options for organizations, called 'Rule of Three' by IDC - (1) Stay the course (2) Kill the project or (3) Find a way to change the project's trajectory. Although most project planning methodologies focus on (1) & (2), but it is important to consider all three options and answer all questions to determine the optimum course of action. Read on...

Gulf Times: Manage failure to secure strategic advantage
Author: Jyoti Lalchandani


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 apr 2015

Technology-enabled learning is an important part of today's education landscape. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), interactive learning platforms, course management systems, learning analytics, mobile learning and education apps are some of the technological innovations transforming education. Following is a partial list of ways, identified by researchers and teachers, in which technology has influenced learning and education - (1) Critical Thinking: Technology fosters analogical, expressive and experiential thinking, and also problem solving ability. Authors of 'Meaningful Learning With Technology', David H. Jonassen, Jane L. Howland and Rose M. Marra, argue that students do not learn from teachers or from technologies. Rather, students learn from thinking. Thinking mediates learning. (2) Mobile Learning: Tablets and smartphones are driving mobile learning. In one survey, 73% of teachers said that they and their students use smartphones for educational purposes. (3) Access to Education: X-Prize is challenging entrepreneurs to develop open-source software that children can use to acquire basic literacy and arithmetic skills on their own. According to Matt Keller, director of the Global Learning X-Prize, 'It's based on the supposition, still unproven, that kids can teach themselves how to read and write.' (4) Deeper Learning: 'The most powerful uses are where people are producing,' says Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise and former head of the Office of Technology at the US Department of Education. (5) Continuous Feedback: At Utah State University researchers conducted a study to examine the use of frequent, anonymous student course surveys as a tool in supporting continuous quality improvement (CQI) principles in online instruction. (6) Unlimited and Immediate Learning (7) Creation and Contribution (8) Social Connectedness: Researchers at the University of North Texas found that university students who used text messaging to communicate with other students during group projects felt more socially connected and communicated more often with questions and ideas. (9) Global Awareness: José Picardo, head of modern foreign languages at Nottingham High School, says 'Options that would not have occurred to us before stand out as obvious if we understand how other people experience the world. That's why it is so important for students to have a deeper global awareness and understanding of other cultures.' (10) Understanding Learning: Professor Rich Lamb of Washington State University has figured out a dramatically easier and more cost-effective way to do research on science curriculum - through video games. Called 'computational modeling', it involves a computer 'learning' student behavior and then 'thinking' as students would. Prof. Lamb says, 'The process could revolutionise the way educational research is done.' Read on...

Innovation Excellence: 10 Most Powerful Uses of Technology for Learning
Author: Saga Briggs


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 apr 2015

Marketing strategy need to be communicated, accepted and implemented by the whole team to get the expected results. Oftentimes it is observed that a good plan and strategy fails due to lack of understanding and support by the members of the team. John Rampton, president of Adogy, provides three innovative techniques to bring the team on the same page regarding the marketing plan - (1) Make it a Game: Allen Graves, a content marketing strategist, suggests making the marketing strategy a game. The idea is based on Joe Pulizzi's 'Epic Content Marketing'. Make four small teams and a team is constitued with 4-5 members who don't generally work together and use a 10-step process to create strategy (i-Decide on a single product to market; ii-Research & document general audiences, buyer personas etc; iii-Define goals of the conent; iv-Detail the buying process and engagement cycles; v-Define the conent niche; vi-Develop a content mission statement; vii-Create a comprehensive content marketing plan; viii-Build a content calender to include at least 12 pieces of content; ix-Develop a strategy to market each piece of content; x-Define key performance indicators and how goals will be measured). Finally team answers the 10-steps in a PowerPoint presentation. (2) Implement an Internal Communication Plan: According to Kris Prendergast, a communication expert, 'Internal communication is the strategic process of gaining employee support for external branding efforts and marketing campaigns.' This can be achieved within the organization by internal newsletter or blog; internal social network; sales conferences and marketing conferences; team building/training events; and digital interactive capabilities. (3) Hold a Strategy Planning Day: John Jantsch, author of 'Duct Tape Marketing', suggests scheduling a strategy planning day, preferably on an offsite location and including a facilitator for the session. Brainstorming sessions would include a team leader, who assembles his own team & resources, and creates a framework and plan based on key themes like objectives, results, constraints, goals, projects and tactics. Read on...

Forbes: 3 Tips To Take Marketing Strategy to Whole Team
Author: John Rampton


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 01 apr 2015

For long-term success and continuous growth of their businesses, corporate leaders focus on innovation, performance excellence and risk management as their priority agenda. Their innovation strategy includes 10 types of innovation - product, service, platform, structure, process, business model, network, channel, customer engagement and brand. According to Andy Boynton, Bill Fischer and William Bole, co-authors of 'The Idea Hunter', as a long-term success mantra, corporate innovators need to cultivate habits of curiosity, deliberate observation, diverse information seeking and engagement with other creative people. Peter Sims, author and entrepreneur, explains 'In addition to idea flow, enterprise innovators need to nurture habits of taking 'little bets' via creative play, prototyping, learning and pivoting.' Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen, co-authors of 'The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators', suggest 'At an individual and organisational level, corporate innovation calls for skills in questioning, observing, networking, experimenting and making associations. Gerald Tellis, Director of the Centre for Global Innovation at University of Southern California, says 'In an increasingly competitive and globalised economy, it is only 'unrelenting innovation' that can help companies sustain a long term advantage.' According to Madanmohan Rao, research director at YourStory Media, large corporations can seek innovative ideas and creative solutions by partnering and collaborating with entrepreneurial startups in variety of ways. This will help them save time, money and effort that goes into in-house innovation. He provides 15 tips and suggestions for big organizations to tap startup innovation - (1) Acquisition (2) Accelerators (3) Calls to Collaboration (4) Hackathons and Hackdays (5) Startup Competitions (6) Conferences and Local Meetups (7) Startup Hotspot Visits (8) Customer Engagement Models (9) Thought Leadership Via Startup Media (10) Special Interest Groups (11) Startup Networks (12) Entrepreneurship Networks (13) Incubators (14) R&D Grants to Entrepreneur-focused Universities (15) Entrepreneurs in Residence. Read on...

YourStory: 15 innovation tips - how large corporations can successfully engage with startups
Author: Madanmohan Rao


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 01 apr 2015

Journalism is undergoing transformation due to innovative use of latest technologies. Journalism students view technology as an essential element of today's reporting and broadcasting. Here are some perspectives of students on technologies that they utilize and have potential to encourage innovation in journalism - (1) Alex Lucke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Using journalism education and tech background to develop a mobile app 'a Pandora station' for travellers that gives social-based recommendations for concerts and other activities. (2) Fernando Hurtado, University of Southern California's Annenberg Media Center: Mini-broadcasts that simulate the live coverage experience; Social media broadcasts. (3) Daniel Wheaton, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Use of overhead drones for filming and coverage. (4) Anne Li, Northwestern University's Knight Lab: Uses live Google spreadsheets as a powerful content management system through Tarbell, a site authoring tool. (5) Sam Hart and Alex Duner, Northwestern University: Utilize interactive plug-and-chug tools and templates that editors can use to quickly generate quizzes, flowcharts etc to tell innovative stories. (6) Tony Papousek, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Computer engineering student-turned-journalist, uses open source programming languages like Ruby, Python and R to build scraping tools and apps. He is inspired by story bots, algorithms that zip through massive databases of articles and churn out thousands of stories in seconds, without a single reporter. (7) Anna-Catherine Brigida, Reporter at Intersections South L.A. & graduate of University of Southern California's Annenberg Media Center: Wearable filming through augmented reality glasses like Google Glass and GoPro for reporting and storytelling. These tools make for storytelling experiences with perspective. (8) Jessica Oliveira, University of Southern California's Annenberg School: Mobile presence is important with smartphone and tablet app, and responsive website to reach large audience. (9) Jasmine Lee, New York University's Studio20: Streamlined collaborative communication using team-based apps. Task management app Trello, integrated with Slack, a team chatting app, that can also be used with collaborative tools like Google Drive, GitHub etc, for innovative workflow and purposeful collaboration. Read on...

American Journalism Review: How Tech-Savvy Journalism Students View Innovation
Author: Aysha Khan


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 mar 2015

Non-profit organizations need to focus on their mission and objectives, and design and implement effective governance practices and align them with the interests of their main stakeholders. They should keep in mind the laws of the land and regulatory processes while pursuing their charitable goals. Non-profit organizations in the state of Pennsylania in US have the following main stakeholders - (1) Attorney General: Has responsibility for ensuring that nonprofit charitable corporations and their boards of directors operate in accordance with their nonprofit mandates. (2) Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Has the authority to grant tax-exempt status to charitable nonprofit corporations, has an interest in ensuring that charitable corporations are governed appropriately. (3) General Public: That contributes to and supports a nonprofit corporation's goals and objectives has economic and mission-related interests in the organization's affairs to ensure that their donations, contributions and support are used to further the organization's charitable purposes. Board of directors of non-profit organizations plays an important role in corporate governance and oversees its effective working. The directors have to carry out their duties in a responsible and conscientious manner. Two principal fiduciary duties of the director are - Duty of Care (Calls upon a director to actively participate in the decisions of the board and to appropriately review data relevant to such decisions); Duty of Loyalty (Requires that each director of a nonprofit corporation make decisions based on the best interests of the corporation and not based on any personal interests). To design an appropriate corporate structure, two tools can be of importance to guide and direct the board in the right direction - (1) Carefully Drafted Bylaws: They identify, shape and inform the corporation's governance structure. They provide a clear roadmap of the corporation's internal management structure while retaining flexibility to respond to operational and governance changes that may occur over time. (2) Judicious Adoption and Use of Corporate Policies and Procedures: Conflict of interest policy; Whistleblower policy; Document reduction and destruction policy. Read on...

The Legal Intelligencer: Effective Corporate Governance in the Nonprofit Sector
Author: Noel A. Fleming


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 31 mar 2015

In US charitable giving was about US$ 335 billion in 2013. Recently released '2014 Charitable Giving Report' by Blackbaud covers a sample size of US$ 16 billion in US-based giving. The report shows 2.1% increase in philanthropic giving in 2014 (Total Growth in US economy was 2.4%). The main highlight of the study was the rise in digital-based giving, which increased a total of 8.9% from the previous year. This points towards the digital future of fundraising. Moreover there is clear indication of use of digital strategies by smaller non-profits due to its lower costs as compared to traditional methods of fundraising like postal mail, phone calls etc. Todd Cohen, founder of Philanthropy North Carolina, provides insights on the importance of peer-to-peer fundraising in the digital age. Read on...

NonProfit Quarterly: Fundraising Insights for Smaller and Mid-sized Nonprofits - From a Blackbaud Report
Author: Steve Boland


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 mar 2015

Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform and disrupt various industries like healthcare, infrastructure management, transportation, utility etc. Recent report by Verizon estimates that by 2025, organizations that extensively use IoT technologies in their products and operations will be upto 10% more profitable. According to Arun Kundu, Director of Professional Services at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, manufacturing sector will be hugely impacted by IoT. He says, 'IoT is creating opportunities to capture and interpret data leading to new services, avoiding commoditisation. And of course, manufacturers are always looking for ways to streamline processes and increase efficiency. IoT-enabled asset tracking not only provides manufacturers with better control of their logistics, but using the data can also enable them to offer their customers near real-time tracking of shipments, an appealing differentiator.' He further adds, 'The factory of the future will be more capital efficient and flexible. Updates from product design teams will be introduced more quickly, and customisations incorporated more easily. Schedules will reflect changes in demand within hours, not days. Managers will be able to see what stock and raw materials are on hand, and exactly where they are, from their tablet.' Remote monitoring of the conditions of the equipment and visualize indicator's of imminent failure, and production-line monitoring and automation leading to predictive maintenance are some other uses of IoT that Mr. Kundu mentions. Read on...

Business Standard: Internet of Things can have massive impact on manufacturing
Author: Rakesh Rao


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 mar 2015

Office environment with meetings, conferences and discussions that involve face to face interactions with fellow employees and clients is a norm for businesses. But in today's technology-enabled, round-the-clock business operations, situations arise where workers have to perform and manage their projects and job duties remotely. Remote project management requires experience and specific skills to get work done effectively and efficiently. Following are some tips for project managers who need to work out of office - (1) Be organized (2) Use a collaborative tool (3) Seek personal connection with team members (4) Over communicate (5) Keep senior management and customer informed. Read on...

CIO: 5 tips for remote project managers
Author: Brad Egeland


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 mar 2015

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 'With reduced demand for production workers, total US manufacturing employment dropped from approximately 19 million in 1980 to 11.5 million in 2010. Most of manufacturing job losses were in the section of the workforce without a high school diploma.' The recent report 'Making Value for America' by National Academy of Engineering (NAE), points out the changing face of US manufacturing and the challenges faced by the human resources employed in manufacturing. The report suggests need of collaborative approach between government, companies and educators to strengthen workforce training programs and enhance innovation and productivity. Manufacturing is to be considered an important component of the value chain and businesses that focus on the entire system of product and service delivery help make value for their customers and are less likely to be disrupted by new technologies or increased competition from emerging economies around the world. According to the report, 'While technological advances offer companies new ways to understand customers' needs and in turn increase demand for their products, automation and streamlined operations are likely to supplant an increasing number of workers in a variety of occupations.' Nicholas Donofrio, chair of the committee that conducted the study, says 'Advancing skills and creating skilled jobs are the best bet to aid the workforce that has been left behind by changes in manufacturing and the broader economy.' Read on...

Engineering.com: National Academy of Engineering - U.S. Must Take Action to Strengthen Manufacturing Innovation, Productivity, and Workforce Training
Author: James Anderton


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 mar 2015

According to Jim Manias, VP of Advanced Systems Concepts, 'In a world of application diversity, business processes must cross boundaries between various solutions and technologies. As a result, workload automation solutions have stepped to the forefront as the next step in the evolution of job scheduling. As data flow increases, processing volumes grow and the infrastructure becomes more complex, IT is increasingly relying on workload automation to automate and standardize file/data transfers, workflows, applications, and processes.' He suggests following tips for IT departments on what they can automate - (1) Provision Dynamic Virtual/Cloud Systems (2) Streamline Development and Operations (3) Self-Service Automation (4) Improve Big Data Analytics (5) On-Board and Off-Board Customers and Employees (6) Preventing Service-Level Agreement Breaches (7) Automate FTP/SFTP/FTPS (8) Automate Help Desk and Support Procedures (9) Streamline Reporting (10) Enhance Security and Compliance (11) Real-Time Calculations (12) Script Lifecycle Management. Read on...

CIO Insight: 12 Things Enterprises Don't Know They Can Automate
Author: Karen A. Frenkel


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 mar 2015

'Synthetic Biology' is an interdisciplinary and emerging area of research in biology. SyntheticBiology.org defines it as - (a) the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems and (b) the re-design of existing natural biological systems for useful purposes. 'Synbio' as it is often termed as, involves writing genetic code and inserting it into simple organisms to change their function. Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks sells custom-crafted organisms - mostly yeasts, baceteria and algae and they make synthetic scents that might be used in sprays and perfumes in future. Ginkgo was mostly funded initially by US government agencies. Jason Kelly, co-founder of Ginkgo, says 'Their belief was that the United States should be on the leading edge of creating tools to program cells - sort of like creating the base elements of the early Internet.' According to Professor Pamela Silver of Harvard Medical School, 'Synbio industry is going to grow quickly, especially in Boston.' Tom Knight, another founder of Ginkgo, explains 'Engineering biology has been an artisanal craft. You did things at a small scale, manually. We're moving into an age when we can start automating a lot of the processes and take advantage of economies of scale.' Read on...

The Boston Globe: Manufacturing's cutting edge - custom organisms
Author: Scott Kirsner


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 mar 2015

Web design is a constantly evolving field. New concepts, technologies and designs give rise to new trends, that some time stay and catch on user's attention while at other times they just fizzle out in popularity. But there are also designs that stay too long in use due their popularity at one point of time but in actuality they have already lost their shine. Repetition of old ideas and trends just because of being comfortable and familiar with them may lead to loss of customers and business. Ilya Pozin, CEO of Pluto TV and Ciplex, explains why the following five web design trends have become obsolete and should be replaced by new concepts - (1) Mobile versions of websites are not cool anymore. Innovative designers are using responsive design that allows the layout to adjust based on the contextual experience of users. It provides fully integrated experience irrespective of the width of the user's device. (2) Text-heavy websites are unable to hold user attention. More designs now have precise text integrated with visuals like images and videos alongwith interactive functionality. (3) SEO copywriting, which was large part of web design and promotion at one time, is now should be replaced by developing keyword informed and user-centric content. (4) Pay-per-click advertising is losing its popularity as new technology tools are available that utilize new mediums and new targeting capablities to reach precise customer segments. Some new concepts are contextual advertising, online video and highly targeted product ads. (5) Designs below 200 pixels per inch (ppi) is getting obsolete as new devices are adopting retina displays. If the design resolution is low it gives poor quality on these displays. Moreover most web design is now more simplified with flat user interface and avoids use of gradients and shadows that provided three-dimensional look. Read on...

Forbes: Let It Go - Say Farewell To These 5 Web Design Trends
Author: Ilya Pozin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 mar 2015

Customers are one of the most critical component of today's business ecosystem. Organizations need to understand and analyze customers with diligence and deliver the best customer experience and value to stay relevant and successful. According to Corrine Sandler, CEO of Fresh Intelligence Research, 'We are living in the age of the customer and customers are now the only source of sustainable competitive advantage - and the only thing you should be measuring.' She advocates digital transformation of businesses, use of big data and analytics tools to get customer and business insights and predictive analytics to anticipate customer's requirements. Moreover she emphasizes need of emotional engagement to achieve customer value. She points out an interesting customer behavior - 'About 96% of unhappy customers don't complain; however, 91% of those will simply leave and never come back. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.' Read on...

ITWeb: Customer intelligence boosts competitive advantage
Author: Regina Pazvakavambwa


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 mar 2015

The Dutch industrial and product designer, Hella Jongerius, is critical of design purely by profit, design without conscience and design without awareness. She advocates more holistic approach to industrial design with focus on quality and practical economics. She argues that design shouldn't view objects as isolated items and should interrogate their relationship with people. She suggests 6 steps for industrial designers to achieve this objective - (1) Design the materials. (2) Keep the design process hands-on. (3) Celebrate imperfection. (4) Make use of archives. (5) Have a signature style for differentiation and recognition. (6) Research extensively. Read on...

MarkLives: Hella Jongerius calls for new industrial design values #designindaba
Author: Herman Manson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 mar 2015

According to Project Management Institute (PMI), 'Project management is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result.' There is a distinction between 'business processes' and project management. Every task is not a project but project is composed of tasks. Online businesses can benefit from the effective implementation of project management as it can help to streamline the process, saving time, leveraging resources, maximizing profit, and meeting the client's and business's needs. The three key constraints that are balanced within project management are - (1) Schedule: Managing time factor or schedule, ensures that least amount of time is spend on a project. (2) Cost: Managing the cost factor can track what the client is paying and ensures that ROI (Return On Investment) is intact. (3) Scope: Managing the client's need or scope ensures that the needs are met effectively. Even if clients are not serviced by an organization, and its a product development entity, then project management processes can assist in increasing the profit margins, improve cost efficiencies and maximize earnings. Small businesses with limited budgets can utilize numerous online resources and services that can assist them in implementing project management. If they have somewhat more to spend they can also hire a project manager or even a project management consultant to guide and work through the project management implementation process. Read on...

Business 2 Community: Why Small Businesses Need Project Management
Author: Deborah Anderson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 mar 2015

Organizations grow and stay competitive by carefully planning and applying 'Learning and Development' (L&D) strategies and aligning them effectively with their business goals. Frank Jaquez, L&D head for H. J. Heinz & Company, suggests steps to successfully define and create L&D strategies - (1) Develop better understanding of the business. (2) Define priorities and develop the plan: Discuss variety of issues related to the team like its priorities, challenges, skills upgradation etc, with senior leadership and functional heads; Create strategy framework like L&D visions, business goals, L&D roadmap, resources required and project timeline. (3) Align leadership with the developed plan and effectively convince them the importance and need of the L&D plan to bridge the gap between business's strategy and performance. Read on...

ATD: Aligning L&D to the Business Strategy
Author: Frank Jaquez


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 mar 2015

Corporations utilize business strategy to achieve their long-term goals and objectives. Healthcare strategists work towards understanding the pulse of the customers and markets that they serve and mould their organization's actions to provide best solutions. In the process their goal is to grow and retain their customer base and maintain the financial health of their organization. Richard Miller, CEO of Virtua Health Inc, believes that balance of power in health economics will shift to the consumer in future as the Affordable Healthcare Act matures. According to him, 'They'll be buying their products and their insurance, whether in a public exchange or a private exchange. So the relationship to the customer may change when you aren't dealing with large employers insuring people.' The relationship with the consumer will be more direct and participatory. While explaining his organization's recent focus and strategy towards women's health, he says, 'They are the decision makers. So when you talk about economics and the consumer being front and center, I want to talk to the women in the community who are going to make the economic decisions in their families.' Read on...

philly.com: Business strategy - Marketing to women improves hospitals' health
Author: Jane M. Von Bergen


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 mar 2015

As life sciences industry and markets are continuously evolving, managers need to acquire new skills and expertise to adapt, perform and succeed. Health economics, biopharmaceutical supply chain, research & development and innovation are some of the areas that require special consideration in this regard. According to Professor Jan Rosier of Michael Smurfit GSB at University College Dublin, 'For years marketing has been a driving factor when launching new drugs. Now people in the industry need to look much more at how much a drug is going to cost, the impact of this and the effectiveness of the drug in this context. The cost of a drug and how it is linked to the treatment of diseases will come much more to the fore.' Read on...

Business & Leadership: Management skills need to move beyond marketing and profit in life sciences
Author: Sorcha Corcoran


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 mar 2015

According to Pew Research Center data, seven out of ten US adults say that they track at least one health indicator, and 21% of this group use some form of technology to track their health data. With numerous health platforms being launched in the market, that utilize sensors built in smartphones and wearable fitness devices to record physicial activity, the demand is expected to further increase in future. The huge data obtained from such devices will benefit biomedical research, drug development and human health. Professor Ida Sim of University of California at San Francisco says, 'Such technologies hold the potential to encourage the general public to participate in medical studies and make the research community more collaborative and open.' She is the co-founder of non-profit 'Open mHealth', where her team is leading the initiatives to build open source software that facilitates sharing and integration of digital health data. According to her, 'The data can be used to do variety of things like combining genomic information and behavior data from wearables to discover new insights into health and disease.' While explaining some of the challenges related to digital health data, she says, 'Making sense of data from various digital health devices is challenging when the devices don't represent data the same way. Currently, wearable devices and other healthcare tools describe the data they collect using their own languages that are not shared or integrated with other devices.' She further mentions her collaboration with Professor Michael McConnell of Stanford's Preventive Cardiology Clinic, where Open mHealth platform is utilized and digital health data is used to aid in the care of patients with cardiovascular conditions. While mentioning privacy issues related to patient data, she says, 'At Open mHealth, we believe that the focus should be on individual users having ownership of their own data.' Read on...

Stanford Medicine Scope Blog: Harnessing mobile health technologies to transform human health
Author: Lia Steakley Dicker


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 mar 2015

Successful entrepreneurs have diverse traits and skills, belong to different geographies, social and income groups, have different level of educational qualifications and expertise in different fields. But according to Thomas Smale, co-founder of FE International, inspite of all these differences all successful entrepreneurs possess the following common traits - (1) Full of determination (2) Not afraid to take risks (3) High level of confidence (4) Craves learning (5) Understands failure is part of the game (6) Passionate about his or her business (7) Highly adaptable (8) Good understanding of money management (9) Expert at networking (10) Ability to sell and promote. Read on...

Entrepreneur: 10 Traits All Successful Entrepreneurs Share
Author: Thomas Smale


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 mar 2015

Generation Z, cohort of people born after the Millennials, is now getting attention of marketers. According to research by Global Messaging, some of defining characteristics of this generation include - 86% use some kind of social media; 72% want to start their own business; 25% left Facebook in 2014; 66% list gaming as their hobby; 1 in 2 will be university educated; Communicate with images, emoticons and emojis. Marketers have to target this generation with innovative, directed and focused strategies to have an impact. Here are few suggestions - (1) Agile Marketing (2) Programmatic Mobile Marketing (3) Snackable Content Marketing (4) Text Message Marketing . Read on...

The Wall Blog: How to market to Gen Z
Author: Polly Becker


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 mar 2015

Gartner predicts that the global education industry (including higher, primary and secondary sectors) technology spending will grow 2.3% to reach US$ 67.8 billion in 2015. According to Jan-Martin Löwendahl, vice-president of research at Gartner, 'An increasing number of technical innovations and technology trends are emerging from within the industry, but most will emerge outside the industry, driven by major forces such as digital business and the consumerisation and industrialisation of IT.' Following are Gartner's top 10 strategic technologies for 2015 - (1) Adaptive Learning (2) Adaptive E-Textbooks (3) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (4) Big Data (5) Sourcing Strategies (Represent a collection of technologies and vendor services, from hosting to cloud, homegrown to open source, to subscription models for acquiring software/hardware capabilities) (6) Exostructure (Means acquiring the critical capability of interoperability as a deliberate strategy to integrate the increasing numbers of partnerships, tools and services in the education ecosystem) (7) Open Microcredentials (8) Digital Assessment (9) Mobile (10) Social Learning. Read on...

Memeburn: 10 technologies that will have a huge impact on education in 2015 and beyond
Author: Myolisi Sikupela


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 mar 2015

One of the most challenging tasks for nonprofits is to attract donors and obtain funds for their operations from external sources. Lack of funds can bring great causes and social movements to a halt. To raise money needs specific talent and skills. According to Dan McGinley, director of the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University in San Diego, 'A more effective technique to seek money is to approach a philanthropist the same way a salesman approaches a client... We're adopting the already proven practices of professional selling. The process includes building relationships and getting to know a person's interests, then showing that person how a particular product or nonprofit can meet those interests.' T. Denny Sanford, a successful businessman and philanthropist, advices to keep the process of asking for money simple and says, 'I want everyone to tell their story as if it is to their grandmothers and no more than a 10-story elevator ride. Short and sweet and easy to understand. Because (with) some of the technology people get too technical and talk way over everybody's head.' Read on...

U-T San Diego: Teaching nonprofits how to raise money
Author: Gary Warth


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 07 mar 2015

Entrepreneurs and customers are important components of the business ecosystem. Entrepreneurs create innovative products and services for the customers. A strong exchange and partnership between the two will assure that the activity of product and process innovation and improvement never stops. The efficient integration of what customers need and what entrepreneurs develop will lead to growth of businesses and markets. Read on...

ilmeps/read: Relationship Between Entrepreneurs and Customers to Drive Innovation
Author: Mohammad Anas Wahaj


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 05 mar 2015

In the world where products and services are designed to be simple and bring ease in human lives, Brian Millar, head of strategy at Sense Worldwide, brings out a contrarian view. According to him difficulty can sometime make lives and jobs more meaningful. To explain his perspective he mentions an influential book 'Drive', in which author Daniel Pink argues that humans are motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose and when things are designed to be simple, it takes away the fulfilment and satisfaction that come from mastery. He cites example of phishing scams that prey on trance-like state of people where clicking a link to reset password is not always thought about well. He also provides a case of shared space movement, a successful road safety design campaign, where ambiguity is brought back into road use at certain points, by making unclear who has right of way, for both padestrians and drivers. This resulted in slowing down of traffic and subsequent 43% fall in accident rates. He talks about his experience of an unsuccessful risk assessment sofware product that was designed to be very simple but since complexity was prevalent in investment banks for decision-making at that time, it was rejected. He argues that by incorporating a little difficulty in the design of that sofware might have resulted in a better outcome as the industry's practice relied on it. Read on...

the guardian: Why we should design things to be difficult to use
Author: Brian Millar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 mar 2015

In addition to just aesthetics, architects are now applying neuroscience, by studying how brain reacts to various environments through brain scanners, to design schools, hospitals, community spaces etc. Eve Edelstein, president of consulting firm Innovative Design Science, says 'Understanding the power and significance of design is not a luxury. It has a direct impact on wellness issues and a direct influence on activity within that space.' According to Betsey Olenick Dougherty of Dougherty + Dougherty Architects, 'Visual access to sky, trees and landscape stimulates brain function. Providing vistas throughout the facility and particularly in classrooms has been a major strategy in the design of this building (Corona del Mar High School, Newport Beach, California).' Justin Hollander, co-author of the book 'Cognitive Architecture' and urban planning professor at Tufts University, says 'Patterns matter. And edges matter. The research argues that not only do we need order but our brain likes hearing stories...When you go to Times Square, you're told a story. You go to Disneyland, it's a story.' He further adds, 'Humans have a clear bias for curves over straight or sharp lines. Studies have shown that curves elicit feelings of happiness and elation, while jagged and sharp forms tend to connect to feelings of pain and sadness.' Hospitals and care centers are now being designed based on how brains of Alzheimer's patients reacts or how lighting affects patient's sleep cycle. Neuroscience shows light triggers brain reactions far beyond vision. 'It has an impact on heart rate.' says Edelstein. Michael Arbib of University of Southern California Brain Project and the vice president of the Academy of Architecture and Neuroscience, says 'Smart architecture can learn from brain science. To use artificial intelligence to build buildings that can better interact with people...is going to be very applicable to a home.' Read on...

Al Jazeera: Smart buildings- Architects using brain science for design guidance
Author: Haya El Nasser


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 02 mar 2015

To create a business from an idea and managing it successfully, requires not only technical and managerial skills but also 'intangible' competencies that are essential for start-up's survival. Carla Young, founder and publisher of MOMeo Magazine, suggest skills that entrepreneurs should have particularly at the early stages of the venture's development - (1) Talking Money (2) Public Speaking (3) Selling (4) Managing (and Protecting) Your Time (5) Dealing with Criticism (6) Communicating with Crazy & Irrational People (7) Learning New Skills. Read on...

MOMeo Magazine: Essential Entrepreneurial Skills- The 7 Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Master
Author: Carla Young


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 feb 2015

According to National Council of Nonprofits, 'Nonprofit board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound governance and financial management policies, and ensuring adequate resources. The board of directors have three primary legal duties known as the "duty of care", "duty of loyalty", and "duty of obedience".' To make changes to various aspects of the organization and take decisive actions is a challenging task and requires experienced, capable and effective individuals to be members of the board. Professor Eugene Fram of Rochester Institute of Technology, defines three main groups of board members who are part of the decision making process - (1) Directors who want change (2) Directors opposed to change (3) 'Process Directors', individuals who are uncomfortable with major decisions and always want more data or information before voting. The third type of directors, although well-intentioned individuals, can sometime become obstacles in the board's decisiveness. According to Prof. Fram, 'The board has to be careful that these directors don't allow the board to continually examine one angle after another until they lose sight of the board's main job. They can keep action in limbo indefinitely!' Board chair have to optimize the board processes and don't let them go out of hand, as it may result in loss of talented volunteers. Read on...

Huffington Post: How Can Nonprofit Boards Overcome the Inertia of Certain Directors?
Author: Eugene Fram


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 feb 2015

The 2014 report, 'Culture of Quality: Accelerating Growth and Performance in the Enterprise' by American Society for Quality (ASQ), analyzed responses from more than 2,000 executives and quality professionals (members of ASQ) and showed that while 2/3rd of executives say their organizations exhibit a culture of quality, only half say that these values are clearly understood throughout the organization. According to Laurel Nelson-Rowe, Managing Director for Global Business Development at ASQ, 'Achieving quality goals requires a strong commitment: setting a compelling vision, companywide shared values and complementary performance metrics and incentives'. Based on the research findings, ASQ created a list of 10 signs that show the lack of 'culture of quality' in the organization - (1) Top executives rarely discuss quality (2) Lacks quality vision (3) Managers fail to consistently emphasize quality (4) Lacks feedback loops to continuous process improvement (5) Lacks formal mechanisms to assess customer feedback (6) Quality goals are not mentioned in performance metrics (7) Employees are not aware of organization's quality vision and values (8) Training and development do not emphasize quality (9) Quality visions and values are not communicated to new hires (10) Inconsistent quality causes frequent minor setbacks. Read on...

Entrepreneur: Infographic - 10 Telltale Signs That a 'Culture of Quality' Is Lacking at Your Company
Author: Laurel Nelson-Rowe


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 feb 2015

Nonprofit sector is an important contributor to economy and employs 10.7 million people (over 10% of the US workforce). According to the 2015 Nonprofit Employment Practices survey just released by Nonprofit HR, 50% of the 362 nonprofits it queried anticipate creating new positions in the coming year. Moreover the nonprofits are also avoiding layoffs, as only 7% are expected to do so in 2015. Lisa Brown Morton, President and CEO of Nonprofit HR, says 'The nonprofit sector is a huge, but often overlooked, economic powerhouse.' She provides important advice for those in search for nonprofit job - (1) Research groups that match your passions and values. (2) Get involved at a nonprofit to gain an edge over the competition. (3) Broaden your chances of getting hired by saying you're open to project work that's part-time or has an end date. (4) Don't assume you need to take a vow of poverty to work for a nonprofit. (5) Tweak your job-search tactics. Read on...

Forbes: 5 Tips To Get A Nonprofit Job Now
Author: Nancy Collamer


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 feb 2015

Designing for Internet of Things (IoT) is pushing the boundaries for designers and engineers to experiment and evolve out of their specific roles. Martin Charlier, design consultant and co-founder of Rain Cloud, provides his perspective on the future of interfaces and how to design for IoT. According to him, 'Products in today's world, especially, need to be thought about from variety of angles. A designer has to consider both the looks and working of the product while designing.' He stresses the importance of symbiotic nature of interaction design and service design. On working of cross-disciplinary teams, he says, 'Every field needs to know a little bit, have a basic understanding, of the other side... The key, though, is that they started working as one team together, before splitting up into their respective domain areas, so that there was a joined vision.' While discussing the role of human values in IoT design, he suggests, 'Designers need to start thinking about how they change people's behaviors and affect their lives.' Read on...

O'Reilly Radar: Design to reflect human values
Author: Jenn Webb


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 feb 2015

In recent reports it is found that execution, the way of translating strategy into results, is not only more challenging but enough is not even written about it in business literature. A survey of 400 global CEOs mentions that executional excellence was the number one challenge facing corporate leaders in Asia, Europe, and the US. Moreover studies have also found the difficulty associated with the execution, about 2/3rd to 3/4th of large organizations struggle to implement their strategies. Extensive and ongoing research by Donald Sull of MIT Sloan School of Management, Rebecca Homkes of London Business School and Charles Sull of Charles Thames Strategy Partners, in which a survey of about 8000 managers in 262 companies and across 30 industries has been done, found that several commonly held beliefs regarding strategy implementation are wrong. They provide five myths and explain relevant and accurate perspective and insights that will help managers to effectively execute strategy - (1) Execution Equals Alignment (Coordination and cooperation across all functions and units horizontally is the need in addition to hierarchical alignment from top down) (2) Execution Means Sticking to the Plan (Real-time adjustments, adaptiveness to the changes on the ground and seizing unexpected opportunities at the right moment with creative solutions on an ongoing basis are required apart from sound planning. The need to be agile within the framework of overall strategy is the key. Concentrate on fluid reallocation of funds, people and attention. Failure to exit when needed also creates a drag on execution) (3) Communication Equals Understanding (Explaining and making everyone understand with clarity the strategic objectives of the organization and how they relate and connect with the overall strategy is essential. Leaders need consistency in communicating strategic priorities and avoid confusing and conflicting messages) (4) A Performance Culture Drives Execution (In addition to performance, a culture that supports execution must also recognize and reward abilities and skills like agility, teamwork, and ambition. Excessive emphasis on performance can impair execution as it may lead to play it safe attitude and making conservative performance commitments. Culture of coordination and collaboration among team members is essential for execution) (5) Execution Should Be Driven from the Top (Effective execution in large, complex organizations emerges from countless decisions and actions at all levels. Concentrating power at the top may boost performance in the short term, but it degrades an organization's capacity to execute over the long run. Distributed leadership is where execution is propelled and achieved. It includes not only middle managers but also technical and domain experts who are part of the ecosystem that get things done. Although execution should be driven from the middle but it should be guided from the top. Top leaders should bring out structured processes to facilitate coordination and teamwork. Micromanagement and alignment traps should be avoided). Read on...

Harvard Business Review: Why Strategy Execution Unravels - and What to Do About It
Authors: Rebecca Homkes, Donald Sull, Charles Sull


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 feb 2015

In today's business world driven by social media, mobile and numerous other digital technologies, to seek customer's attention and stand out seems to be a logical digital powered brand strategy. But in the process of jumping on the digital bandwagon are brand strategists forgetting the golden rules of human strategy and customer connection. Umair Haque, author and Director of Havas Media Labs, explains why digital strategy shouldn't focus too much on ephemeral customer attention but on customer relations and not only seek their loyalty but try to be loyal to them and care for them as human beings. He suggests 4 mistakes of digital strategy and how to overcome them - (1) Titillating, not educating (2) Making zombies, not superheroes (3) Infecting, not connecting (4) Communicating, not elevating. Read on...

Harvard Business Review: Your Digital Strategy Shouldn't Be About Attention
Author: Umair Haque


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 feb 2015

Apart from providing excellent products and services, businesses have to ensure that their brand connects with customers with a uniform and consistent message. Small companies and startups have to be even more careful to provide the unified message all across the different media as they have limited budgets and are trying to build their reputation in a competitive business environment. As a small and emerging business make sure that you answer the following questions with diligence - (1) Are you presenting a universal message? (2) Is your theme always consistent? (3) Do you have clear brand guidelines? Read on...

Startups: Why consistency is crucial in on and offline branding
Author: Lucy Wayment


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 feb 2015

The report 'The Sales Organization Performance Gap' by Prof. Steve W. Martin of University of Southern California and Nick Hedges, CEO of Velocify, is based on surveys of about 800 industry participants and dismantles the myth of a lone, star performer, cowboy-type salesman without whom the organization can't generate revenues. According to Mr. Hedges, 'The goal of the study was to identify the differences between a "good" sales organization and a "great" one. When we quantified what made the great sales organizations work, we found the underlying factor was a team process, a team culture.' Prof. Martin says, 'Another differentiator between good and great sales operations is that the latter are quick to recognize a poor fit in the team and rectify it. That usually means terminating employment.' The study also found that, 'The best sales organizations are not a collection of individuals trying to succeed as a team. Rather, they have a high level of morale and camaraderie. They are united for a greater purpose than themselves.' Read on...

CMSWire: No Cowboys Here - Teamwork, Culture Leads to Sales Success
Author: Erika Morphy


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 feb 2015

Recent research by Bell Pottinger Digital suggests 15 top digital trends that are going to change the way brands communicate in 2015. The data is obtained through searching the web (blogs, social media, comments etc) and finding out the most talked about and mentioned trends online in 2014. According to James Thomlinson, Partner and Managing Director of Bell Pottinger Digital, 'While technology will be one of the biggest drivers of marketing change in the New Year, the key focus for brands will be on delivering truly integrated strategies.' The following 15 trends are ranked in order of percentage increase throughout the year 2014 - (1) Near Field Communication (NFC): Increase- 358%, Mentions- 42530 (2) Internet of Things (IoT): 283%, 1126700 (3) Wearables: 220%, 1793574 (4) Internal Communications: 167%, 6597; (5) Storytelling: 145%, 82618 (6) Branded Content: 73%, 165898 (7) Beacons: 64%, 348468 (8) Personalization: 49%, 68443 (9) Big Data: 41%, 5032773 (10) Content Marketing: 41%, 3216165 (11) Augmented Reality: 38%, 400242 (12) 3D Printing: 35%, 1160336 (13) Real-Time Marketing: 16%, 252537 (14) Mobile: 6%, 1433582 (15) Gamification: 4%, 384938. Read on...

Bell Pottinger Newsroom: Infographic - 15 digital trends for 2015
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 feb 2015

Continual business transformation