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General

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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 04 nov 2014

Every author has a unique way to pursue writing but there are few basic things that make the book interesting and appealing to the audience. Paulo Coelho, author of best-selling book 'The Alchemist', provide suggestions to writers - Show confidence in your book; Trust your reader by providing hints and avoid descriptions; Share your expertise and experiences; Don't focus on recognition and don't try to please your critics; Avoid too much notetaking; Don't overload your book with lot of research; Write a book that wants to be written and provides you with a continuum and steady flow from beginning to end; Focus shouldn't be much on style and don't try to innovate story telling. Just try to tell a good story . Read on...

Paulo Coelho's Blog: Writing Tips by Paulo Coelho
Author: Paulo Coelho


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 oct 2014

The evolution of global society and growth of interdependent world has facilitated 'networked' approaches to public value and new models of global problem solving. Moreover digitization of society has transformed its capability to organize for innovation, creation of wealth and public value. In an interview, Don Tapscott, an innovation and technology thought leader, suggests four pillars of the society that rely on each other for success and survival - (1) Critical role of 'governments' in achieving security and prosperity, and achieving harmonization, fairness and justice (2) Most countries in the world have chosen the 'private sector and corporations' as the dominant institution for the creation of wealth (3) The 'civil society' has emerged as a new and critical pillar with not-for-profit sector becoming a massive part of the economy and providing employment to substantial population (4) Internet has empowered 'individual citizens' from every walk of life to have an extraordinary effect on achieving social change. Read on...

DonTapscott.com: The New Interdependence: Four Pillars of Society
Author: Don Tapscott


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 aug 2014

The value of ideas is fully achieved when their creativity is transformed and translated into workable and actionable mechanism for the betterment of the world. But its also the case that most creative ideas evaporate within the brain without even providing any value. Writing is a creative activity that requires consistent flow of new ideas that can be shared with the audience. There can be reasons for the failure of creativity and incoming of new ideas, but there are also the possible fixes that can assist in overcoming it - (1) Because the Ideas aren't Finished (Fix: Talk about the ideas with others. Share them on social media. Get feedback); (2) Because it's too Hard (Fix: Just get started. Take small steps); (3) Because I'm Focusing too much on Other People's Stuff (Fix: Value other's work but build your own ideas on them. Add to them & nurture the right balance); (4) Because I'm too Busy with other Work (Fix: Include time for creative work. Prioritize. If it seems difficult to execute ideas due to time constraint, ask someone else to execute it); (5) Because I get Distracted (Fix: Create artificial pressure. Create a deadline. Realize the difference between productive & non-productive distraction); (6) Because I'm Afraid (Fix: Do other creative things. Share more with others. Create more meditative time. Allow to be vulnerable). Read on...

Fast Company: 6 WAYS YOUR BRAIN TRIES TO KILL YOUR IDEAS AND HOW TO FIGHT THEM
Author: Courtney Seiter


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 jan 2014

Harvard University's Center for Nonprofits estimates that US-based nonprofit organizations have about US$ 40 billion fraud losses every year. While a Washington Post analysis of filings from 2008 to 2012 found that top 20 nonprofit organizations have a combined loss of more than half-billion dollars due to unauthorized uses of funds. Professor Eugene Fram of Rochester Institute of Technology have some suggestions for the boards of charitables - Audit committee to review annual audits; Supervise executive compensation & other financial activities; Annual review of conflict of interest policies; Honesty background of new hires; Interactions with external auditors without the presence of management. He also suggest a list of questions that should be asked with the auditors to ascertain any financial wrongdoings and ensure fraud prevention. Alert, attentive and proactive boards can create environment of honesty and deter happenings of fraud. Read on...

Huffington Post: Nonprofit Fraud Robs Charities of Substantial Dollars
Author: Eugene Fram


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 jan 2014

To predict and prepare for the uncertain future is a challenging task. But to keep ahead and stay competitive and relevant, it is required not only to mitigate risks but also to anticipate to some accuracy what is going to happen next. As Wayne Gretzky, professional hockey player, rightly said, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." So it becomes important to have a strategic map to successfully participate in the future. Seth Godin provides three ways of coping with future: Accuracy (the most rewarding and also the most risky way is to predict correctly about the future and put all on one outcome thus involving high investment of time and money on information and decision making but without any guarantee of getting it right); Resilience (the best strategy to minimize risks and maximize gains by participating in a range of outcomes without predicting future on a specific outcome); Denial (considering that the future will be same as today and avoiding to participate in the changing environment thus losing the chance to gain and win). Read on...

Boing Boing: Strategies for the future: accuracy vs. resilience vs. denial
Author: Cory Doctorow


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 jan 2014

'Corporatization of governance' - trying to run government like a business might be a popular thought seeking acceptance in political circles but it is important to understand the implications and outcomes of its application. Another important thing would be to understand what models of business are to be considered in this regard. According to the author this type of agenda might include free trade, privatization, weakening labour rights, deregulation, slashing government services and taxes on large corporations, and the advent of the surveillance state. The basic difference between the government and business is regarding the interests they serve - public or private. Article provides perspectives and views on various aspects of this model of governance by sharing specific instances from the Canadian politics. Read on...

The Rossland Telegraph: The problem with running government like a business
Author: Murray Dobbin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 oct 2013

Creative destruction is an important business and economic phenomenon that happens in all industries where the new and the innovative displaces the old and makes it obsolete. Journalism is adapting and evolving itself to face the changes and disruption due to innovations in ways information is created, shared and disseminated. Author is optimistic that the current dynamics in the field of journalism and newspaper industry will not diminish its economic sustainability. The examples of what does and does not change in journalism are: Although internet creates disruptive business models for newspapers, magazines and books but a sizeable population still likes to read words from paper; Newspapers may not vanish completely but will remain as lower and less important news sharing medium; Internet will have wider range of topics and speedier response but newspapers, magazines etc will hold importance due to their attractive story telling and analysis aspects; Internet journalism is a form of evolution of traditional journalism; Video and mobile content is transformative but written word still holds its value both in internet and print with internet having advantage on the long-form writing as it has no space constraint; Print journalism is expanding and diversifying into various other media formats with multichannel news offerings; Journalism platform is evolving and adapting. Although there is decline in print but rise in online and mobile modes; Journalism has to continue to experiment, adapt, evolve and participate in the various social and technological changes to survive and remain relevant. Read on...

New Statesman: Journalism is going to survive this era of creative destruction
Author: George Brock


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 sep 2013

According to the latest annual MDG report, although some targets for MDG'15 have been met and some others are on track, there is a lot more to be done on the eight MDGs. The progress is uneven across regions and countries and in some cases even within countries. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the ones lagging behind in most areas. Targets for safe drinking water and reduction of extreme poverty to half have been met. But the areas of concern are related to health, education and environment. More progress has to be made on reducing infant mortality and maternal mortality rates in line with the MDG targets. The report also suggested that the world should start thinking beyond MDG'15. Work has already started on post-2015 development program and proposed goals include ending extreme poverty by 2030, universal access to food and water, promoting good governance, and boosting jobs and growth. Read on...

the guardian: Environment, education and health need urgent progress, says MDG report
Author: Mark Tran


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 mar 2013

Large scale social change at national and international level is only possible through effective 'Collaboration' between multiple stakeholders like government, social organizations, businesses, educational institutions and civil society. To have successful collaboration, mechanisms and processes have to be evolved to bring various entities together towards the same goal and purpose. This may include clarifying and simplifying measurable and achievable goals and objectives; an honest and non-controversial leadership; commitment from key organizations; course correction and accountability mechanism through expert feedback; outcome based approach and efficient evaluation process. Evolving 'Collaborative Leadership' is essential for the better future of our world. Read on...

Huffington Post: Save the World With Collaborative Leadership
Author: Jeffrey Walker


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 mar 2013

United Nations theme for 2013 International Women's Day (8th March) is "A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women". Around the world the day is the time to understand and reflect upon the progress that the societies and communities have made in empowering and uplifting the status of women and girls. While at some places the condition has improved but at others a lot is to be desired and done. Individuals, families, communities, organizations and nations should come together to make this world a better place for each and every person by providing 'Equal Education and Opportunities for All'. Read on...

Brookings: International Women’s Day in India and Around the World - Progress and Strategies for Action
Author: Xanthe Ackerman, Urvashi Sahni


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 feb 2013

What leads to 'anger among poor people' and how they can let it out in positive ways? If the socio-economic conditions of the common people are neglected by the governments and the people in power for a long period of time, it leads to resentment and anger. Which probably is their right if their children are dying of malnutrition, their farming lands have been taken without proper compensation, they get displaced from homes without rehabilitation etc. Is it possible that people in power think that if the condition of the poor and rural population is made better it will give them more negotiating power? The debate is going on in most developing and poor nations and leading to strife, violence and even civil war at some places. How can there be more empathy, more understanding, more sharing, more inclusiveness or is it against the principles of growth and economic development? Searching for answers. Read on...

the guardian: Poor people have got a right to be angry
Author: Jonathan Glennie


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 jan 2013

Countries ridden with violence and conflicts were the once that lagged behind most in terms of achieving MDG'15 (Millennium Development Goals'2015). The focus of MDGs was poverty, illiteracy, disease & hunger. Now the experts are meeting to define the agenda for the next set of MDGs. As suggested by an expert these should be focused on peace, security and freedom from fear. Long term prosperity can only be achieved through peace, respect for human rights and proper enforcement of law and justice mechanism. Read on...

Project Syndicate: A Peace Agenda for Global Development
Author: Graca Machel



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