first_imgOn the weekend of August 5 and 6, areas of Haywood County will be filled with cyclists and runners participating in the Lake Logan Multisport Festival.  On Saturday, August 5 residents and visitors can expect bike traffic in the following areas:Bethel/Cruso: 7:00 AM-12:00 PMCanton: 7:15-9:30 AMClyde: 7:45-11:00 AMLake Junaluska: 8:30-10:45 AMCrabtree/Ironduff: 8:00-10:45 AMOn Sunday, August 6, the races will be concentrated in the Bethel/Cruso and Canton areas from 7:00 to 10:00 AM.Public safety officers will be staffing all of the key intersections.  We ask all motorists who will be in these areas during the race to be patient and give plenty of space to any cyclist on the roads.last_img

In London, voting for identity

first_img16 April 2009 At 4am, London is dark and raining. While my taxi snakes me through the deserted streets, a trainee Jesuit priest is camped outside South Africa House. In the radio studio the BBC journalist asks why we vote, why it’s important, and that hackneyed scribbler question: how does it make you feel? Why did Matthew Charlesworth, our priest in the darkness and first London voter, queue in that deserted square? Obligation, duty, a desire to count and be counted as a South African. All the reasons that emerge from everyone I speak to, and my motivation too. Eventually every South African overseas is treated like a traitor. Someone who cut and ran and now talks the country down from the discomfort of a damp and foreign shore. Yet here we are in our thousands filling in forms, fishing out unused ID documents and lining up around the block to contribute our one, small, indelible cross. At the back of the queue is Heinrich Volmink, who travelled down from Glasgow in Scotland because it is a great honour and a patriotic duty to be here. So much passion and purpose swirls through this five-deep line. We stand only 25 metres from where Mandela gave his last speech to London – perhaps ever. He spent nine hours on the “freedom bus”, continues Heinrich, because my ancestors could not vote. Not everyone is as happy. Like a creature of caricature, a man stands with an old South Africa flag shirt. I suppose he too exercises a choice. We watch him like we would an exhibit. One foot in the old world and a vote in the new, I think. I doubt he will find peace, anywhere. Shame. After three radio interviews and breakfast, it’s time to vote. The early morning bankers, accountants and the priest have retreated to their terminals. Now the backpackers, students and out-of-work consultants shuffle forward in unison. You mustn’t lower your standard, says one man to a girl 20 years his junior as he inquires about her job. He doesn’t have one: tough times. London is South Africa’s largest polling station. Over seven and a half thousand citizens – almost twice as large as the next biggest venue. But our queue is orderly. The mood is good-natured, but also reflective. Examining my compatriots, it’s clear that for most of us, democratic elections are all we have ever known. As you would expect, it’s a mostly white queue with the occasional darker face. Around them cluster journalists: the British ones asking who they are voting for. My vote is my secret, we all say. Throughout, I “tweet” from my phone. These micro-blogging sms’s capture the moment when a man claiming to be a Freedom Front Plus candidate marches up to the door demanding to see the electoral officer. I leave them in a huddle and fill in my forms. First an envelope with your name and voter district number. Then downstairs to check documents, receive a ballot and cast my vote. I get three calls in the voting booth. Your smile has stamina, I say to the official, and we all chuckle. It will be a long day, but so far it is going smoothly: if all your documents are in order. So why did I vote? To reaffirm my citizenship; to exercise my rights; to respect my heroes and dignify their sacrifices and yes, to make a difference. Though Rudi Talmakkies from Saldanha said it best: Obama gave people a totally new view. The youth realise they are part of the solution. For me, that works. Timothy Schultz is deputy head of communications and marketing at The Learning Trust, a not-for-profit company that runs all the education services for the London borough of Hackney. A South African who has lived in London for about eight years, Schultz is an active member of the Global South Africans network.last_img read more

Mandela and more at the Durban International Film Festival

first_imgStills from the documentaries (from left) One Humanity, The Vula Connection, Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me, and I, Afrikaner. (Images: Durban International Film Festival) • Nelson Mandela – a timeline • Nelson Mandela: a life in photographs • KanyeKanye wins Chicago film award • Albie Sachs awarded prestigious Tang Prize • Songbird Abigail Kubeka remembers songs for MandelaCompiled by Mary AlexanderIn the first Mandela Month since Nelson Mandela’s death in December, the Durban International Film Festival is set to present, from 17 to 27 July, a series of world-class documentaries celebrating Madiba, recalling the struggle against apartheid, and exploring South Africa’s 20 years of freedom.Held annually in the coastal KwaZulu-Natal city of Durban since 1979, DIFF is one of the oldest and largest movie festivals in Africa. This year’s event will be the biggest in its 35-year history, with 51 feature films, 66 short films, and 51 documentaries. View the full schedule.One HumanityDirected by Mickey Dube2014 – World premiereEnglishIn 1988, 600-million people across the world celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday, watching – live or on TV – a massive concert in London’s Wembley Stadium organised by the International Solidarity Movement Against Apartheid. At the time, Mandela was still in jail. Two years later apartheid was on its way out, and Mandela was free. It was 1990 and, on his first trip to the UK after 27 years in prison, Mandela came to Wembley to thank the crowds, appearing on stage in another massive concert, again watched by a record-breaking audience. One Humanity captures this rare historical moment of global musicians and broadcasters coming together for a profound human cause, relived through interviews with a lively selection of characters who illuminate the story of the two momentous broadcasts and the setbacks, threats and triumphs they went through.The Vula ConnectionDirected by Marion Edmunds2013EnglishOne night in 1979 political prisoner Tim Jenkin unlocked 14 doors inside Pretoria Central Prison and walked out of jail. He hadn’t stolen the keys, or bribed warders for them: he’d made them himself, out of wood. But this was just the beginning of Jenkin’s ingenuity in the struggle against apartheid. Fleeing to London, he became an unassuming backroom technician for the African National Congress liberation movement. Using very early computers, he cobbled together an unlikely communication system that allowed revolutionaries to talk secretly to each other, avoiding interception by the South Africa’s security police. Unfolding like a spy movie, The Vula Connection lifts the lid on one of the more exciting chapters of covert operations in South Africa’s struggle for freedom.Nelson Mandela: The Myth and MeDirected by Khalo Matabane2013 – African premiereEnglish, Afrikaans and French with English subtitlesFilmmakers in attendanceA new work from celebrated South African director Khalo Matabane, Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me explores his passionate and conflicted thoughts on South Africa’s greatest statesman. Matabane examines the icon’s message of freedom, forgiveness and reconciliation in the context of today’s South Africa. The film juxtaposes the filmmaker’s intimate reflections on the beatification of a complex human with those of global leaders such as the Dalai Lama, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Albie Sachs and Ariel Dorfman, as well as ordinary working-class South African. The result is a profound and thoughtful meditation on Madiba’s legacy.1994: The Bloody MiracleDirected by Meg Rickards2013EnglishAs South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom, it’s difficult to believe the Mandela miracle nearly didn’t happen. With violence almost tearing the country apart in the early 1990s, some were intent on derailing the first free elections. Now, for the first time, those responsible for countless deaths and widespread mayhem explain how they nearly brought South Africa to its knees. 1994: The Bloody Miracle is a chilling look at what these hard men did in an attempt to thwart democracy, and at how each has now made an uneasy peace with the rainbow nation.Letters to ZohraDirected by Saskia Vredeveld2012 – African premiereEnglishBorn in 1929 to a family of Indian immigrants, Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada devoted his life to non-violence and the struggle for freedom in South Africa. In 1964 he was convicted at the Rivonia trial alongside Nelson Mandela and spent the next 26 years in prison. In this personal documentary, the roughly 900 letters Kathrada wrote during his imprisonment carry us through a life inspired by the legacy of Gandhi’s passive resistance to oppression. The letters shed light on both the political and personal aspects of the struggle against apartheid, from the perspective of a hero whose story is entangled with that of Mandela.Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South AfricaDirected by Abby Ginzberg2014EnglishFilmmakers in attendanceIn 1988 antiapartheid activist Albie Sachs was recovering in London from a car bomb that cost him his right arm and the sight in one eye when he received a note that read: “Don’t worry, comrade Albie, we will avenge you.” He wondered to himself, “What kind of country would it be if it ended up filled with people who were blind and without arms? If we achieve democracy, freedom and the rule of law, that will be my soft vengeance.” This film explores the life and struggle of the lawyer, judge writer, art lover and freedom fighter, and looks at his role in the new South Africa.A Snake Gives Birth to a SnakeDirected by Michael Lessac2014 – World premiereEnglish, Afrikaans, Bosnian, Serbian, Albanian, Xhosa and Zulu with English subtitlesFilmmakers in attendanceA diverse group of South African actors tours the war-torn regions of Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia to share their country’s experiment with reconciliation. As they talk to people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors realise they must again confront their homeland’s violent past – and question their ability to heal and forgive. The film also features never-before-heard original music by jazz legend Hugh Masekela.Freedom Mixtape (1994-2014)Directed by Leli Maki2014 – World premiereEnglish, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa and Sesotho with English subtitlesFilmmaker in attendanceA youthful look at South Africa’s 20 years of freedom through the lens of music, Freedom Mixtape features interviews with groundbreaking artists from across the country – from the Belville Rock City wunderkinds to the Durban’s finest house rockers and Motswako hip hop. The film is a fresh take on the musical trajectory of post-apartheid South Africa.Future Sound of MzansiDirected by Spoek Mathambo and Lebogang Rasethaba2014 – World premiereEnglish, Xhosa, Zulu and Tswana with English subtitlesFilmmakers in attendanceDirected by performance artist Spoek Mathambo and filmmaker Lebogang Rasethaba, Future Sounds of Mzansi examines new musical innovation in South Africa. Featured artists include Aero Manyelo, Black Coffee, Christian Tiger School, Felix Laband, John Wizards, Sibot, DJ Spoko and Zaki Ibrahim, as we swim in the sounds of deep house, glitch hop, sghubu sapitori, Durban qhum, dubstep and Shangaan electro. The groove is thick and infectious and the future looks blindingly beautiful.FatherlandDirected by Tarryn Crossman2013Afrikaans and English with English subtitlesA controversial and intimate coming-of-age story, Fatherland follows three white Afrikaans boys as they undergo basic military training in the style of the apartheid-era SADF, as their fathers would have done. The children go through a gruelling transformation that tests their values, beliefs and identity. Each boy has his own, often conflicted, perspective on whether he should be questioning at all. At first, the goals of the “Kommandokorps” boot camp appear to be simply fitness and camaraderie, but it is soon revealed to be part of a much more frightening project of reconditioning the next generation of Afrikaners to uphold the nationalism of their forebears.The Last Boers of PatagoniaDirected by Richard Gregory2014Afrikaans and Spanish with English subtitlesThe Last Boers of Patagonia – also known as The Boers at the End of the World – is a portrait of an isolated culture facing extinction, far from the land of their forefathers. Refusing to live under British rule after the end of the Anglo-Boer South African war in 1902, 600 Afrikaans families sailed for the arid and freezing region of Patagonia at the southern end of South America. A century later most of their descendants have assimilated with the local population, retaining little of the culture of their ancestors. But there remains a handful of elders who speak Afrikaans every day, and through whom questions of identity, integration and erosion of culture are explored.Painting Cape TownDirected by Katey Carson2014EnglishA look into the ever-evolving graffiti scene in Cape Town that focuses on the city’s elusive graffiti artists and the impact of recent by-laws passed by the City of Cape Town. Painting Cape Town gets into the minds of the anonymous artists, behind their assumed names, exploring their relationship with the city. Established subculture figures such as Falko and Wealz130 share their experiences of the consuming passion to paint the surfaces of the city.Ndiyindoda: I Am ManDirected by Mayenzeke Baza2013Xhosa, English with English subtitlesIn Xhosa culture, being circumcised is as sure as taxes, just as Jewish boys will have a Bar Mitzvah. Ndiyindoda explores the complexities of a custom that has both shaped men and killed boys in South Africa.I, AfrikanerDirected by Annalet Steenkamp2013Afrikaans and Sesotho with English subtitlesFilmed over nine years, I, Afrikaner is a difficult and personal portrait of a family trapped in unresolved conflicts with a changing world. Examining the attitudes, experiences and emotions of four generations of “boere” as they forge a future in an uncertain landscape, the film raises issues of whiteness in rural post-apartheid South Africa. Each generational character is representative of an era – past, present or future. Set in the context of the contentious issue of land ownership, the film explores a symbolic and actual battle for ownership of space.Shield and SpearDirected by Petter Ringbom2014English, Zulu, Afrikaans with English subtitlesFilmmakers in attendanceA photographer documents the LGBT community, exposing hate crimes that go unnoticed. An artist paints a caricature of Jacob Zuma, provoking a lawsuit, death threats and a street protest. An Afrikaans musician bases a stage character on an archetypal African dictator. Shield and Spear explores a constellation of stories about art, music, identity, race, and freedom of expression in contemporary South Africa, looking at what comes after the jubilation and celebration of a newly won freedom.About DIFFThe 35th Durban International Film Festival will present more than 200 theatrical screenings and a full seminar and workshop programme, as well as the Wavescape Film Festival, Wild Talk Africa Film Festival and industry initiatives, such as the seventh Talents Durban, in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents, and the fifth Durban FilmMart co-production market, in partnership with the Durban Film Office.DIFF is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture.last_img read more

Creating an Extraordinary Workplace: A Q&A with Ron Friedman

first_imgOver the past decade, researchers have had powerful insights into how we can work more effectively. But much of that research isn’t being applied in the workplace, says Ron Friedman, Ph.D., who spent years studying human motivation and teaching psychology at the University of Rochester, Nazareth College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Friedman, @RonFriedman on Twitter, is the founder of ignite80, a consulting firm that helps leaders build thriving organizations.In his book The Best Place to Work (Penguin Group, 2014), the author turns academic science into practical tips that leaders at every level can use. We talked to him recently to find out more.  What are some key elements to creating “the best place to work”?In The Best Place to Work, I focus on three major themes, all of which contribute to creating an extraordinary workplace.First, psychological needs are at the heart of employee engagement. If you want motivated employees, create conditions that fulfill an individual’s basic psychological needs. That means helping them feel competent, connected and autonomous in the way they do their work.Second, organizations are better off acknowledging the limits of the mind and body. We’re not machines. We have limited mental bandwidth and require restorative experiences (like midday walks, exercise or even naps) to produce our best work.Third, integrating work and family life. For too long, companies have encouraged employees to seek “work/life balance.” That may have been possible 20 years ago, but today technology has rendered that notion obsolete. Instead of pretending that work and personal time are separate, one of the lessons of this book is that organizations are better off when they actively seek to blend the two worlds.What are some affordable things a company can do?Here are three recommendations for creating a psychologically satisfying work experience:Help employees expand their skills. When we view our workplace as a vehicle for growth, we feel a stronger connection to our organization. Offering a reading budget, encouraging employees to scan industry blogs during the day and inviting employees to take an online course that helps them build their competence are all ways of creating the experience of growth at work.Foster more meaningful relationships between colleagues. Feeling a connection to our co-workers is vital to our engagement and productivity at work. Instead of leaving friendships to chance, organizations should consider offering seed money for after-work activities that allow employees to connect over existing interests (like bowling, cooking or exercise). Find ways of making work more autonomous. We experience autonomy when we have a sense of choice on the job. To promote autonomy, it’s vital for leaders to provide a rationale when tasks are presented and to offer flexibility on how and when the work is performed. You can also grow autonomy by providing employees with options on where they work.One chapter is about “how to turn a group of strangers into a community.” Why should managers encourage friendships among co-workers?Friendship is the single-most overlooked factor when it comes to building an extraordinary workplace. It can be a powerful motivating force. For one thing, when you and your colleagues are close, failing to perform your duties generates more than a dissatisfied customer or an unhappy manager—it means letting down your friends. Closer connections also foster more honest dialogue. Studies show that friends are more willing to ask for help and more comfortable speaking up when a colleague is on the wrong track.In my book, I offer a number of recommendations for fostering close workplace friendships, including introducing new employees not just by their professional experience but also by describing what they like to do for fun. That gives people a way to connect over hobbies and shared interests, which sets the stage for long-term friendships to blossom.How can managers make work more meaningful for employees?One of the best things you can do to make work meaningful is to show your employees how their work improves the lives of others. We live in a world in which we’re all highly specialized, and, for many of us, it’s hard to identify how our efforts make a difference. It can feel like we work in an e-mail factory, and it’s hard to find meaning when you’re staring at a computer all day long.It’s a leader’s job to bridge the gap between the abstract and the concrete. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, but it can be done when you make it a continuous focus.Dori Meinert is senior writer/editor for HR Magazine.To read more on the SHRM Book Blog, please click here.last_img read more

What Does It Mean to Be a Strategic Leader?

first_imgIdentifying Strategic Leadership What Is Strategic Leadership? In addition to being a catch all for labeling leadership gaps that we do not understand, there are two contributing factors as to why thinking and acting strategically has become more important and prevalent: Business volatility and lack of development. In early 2016, leadership research firm DDI evaluated more than 15,000 assessments they administered over the past several years and “strategic direction” was listed among the weakest areas for CEOs, executives, and senior leaders. Similarly, think-tank leadership firm Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) published a report in 2015 entitled The Leadership Gap and outlined “strategic planning” as one of the greatest weaknesses in leaders today. First, a significant contributor to the need for more strategic behaviors in leaders are the dynamic environmental factors leaders face today. Economic volatility, uncertain markets, global competitors, rapid changes in technology, and evolving workforce expectations have made leaders jobs more unpredictable and difficult than ever. One formula for business success will not work, therefore agility is critical. Originally posted on blog.hrps.org on December 1, 2016. Reposted with permission. This research mirrors client experiences we have witnessed. Not surprisingly, we have a client now in which we are assessing strengths and gaps for the top executives in the company, and you guessed it—strategic focus is one of the largest gaps in addition to building organization talent. Clearly, research and practice demonstrate that senior leaders need to understand strategic leadership. More importantly, to help them develop this competency we need to demystify what this means. To be strategic, it does not mean you must be a Harvard M.B.A., an out-of-the-box thinker, the company contrarian, or that you cannot execute and deliver business results. Strategic leadership is truly a mixture of skill, behaviors, and perspectives. It is a balance of science (e.g., data analytics) and art (e.g., curiosity). From our experience, strategic leaders demonstrate the following: Companies love to label or typecast leaders over time. As an executive coach and former CHRO, I wish I had a dollar for every time we labeled a senior leader as not being “strategic” enough to get to the next level. Some consultants often use elaborate assessments to create a false sense of precision of their potential. Often when succession planners and executive assessment pros cannot articulate improvement opportunities, we default to the generic, “he lacks a strategic mindset” excuse. Strategic focus is the most mystical and illusive leadership capability in the corporate world, but we need to better understand, define, and develop what it means when we say our leaders need to be more strategic. When assessing and developing executives to build their strategic capabilities, we tend to focus how well they can apply those previously described behaviors across four broad categories: We are not identifying, recognizing or promoting strategic thinking early in people’s careers. Past performance in execution is not a great predictor of future performance in leading strategically. Many leadership academy companies have excellent management training programs that focus on leading people, global economies, and financial acumen. You will find little formal development for these aspiring executives on thinking strategically, decision-making agility, anticipating change, developing alternatives, or market trending. Why Is Strategic Leadership So Important? We assess and develop future leaders on managing through predictable times. In corporations today, we all too often wait until employees are in the c-suite or have been identified as a succession candidate then we cast the leader as great executer but is not strategic enough. Didn’t we reward and promote this person earlier on the results they achieved? We have seen most of our clients abandon five-year strategic plans and look at the world through a 24-month lens. Leaders are increasingly expected to identify new opportunities, options and alternatives to environmental circumstances they may only vaguely understand. No scenario exists where business heads merely execute in a predictable environment and be successful. Rather they are forced to evaluate a deluge of incomplete, sometimes contradictory information to identify new markets and products that do not even exist today for customers who don’t even know they need them yet. A second factor that contributes to the gap that exists today is the current approaches we use to develop and prepare leaders. Let’s be honest, we reward and promote the typical high potential that is smart and gets results. If I am the highest performing sales person, I make more money or become a manager. If I am the most efficient accountant and find the greatest productivity gains, I might become a controller. The programmer that develops software that is a big seller often becomes the IT manager. Market. How do you stay current on market, technology, regulatory, and global trends? Where have you incorporated data analytics to identify patterns to anticipate the future? Have you identified key market drivers? Do you have a realistic view on competitive strengths, gaps, and movements?Business. Do you know how and where money is made in your value stream? How are you leveraging various functions across the organization? How do you weigh and make investment tradeoffs? How well do you understand levers to pull to drive growth or profitability?Organization. Do you understand the capabilities required for your business? How are you building those capabilities? How are you personally invested in developing key talent in the organization? How are you aligning the organization?Self. Do you truly know your strengths and weaknesses? How do you seek feedback from others? How do you compensate for gaps in expertise? Are you continually trying to develop your skills or expertise?While becoming a true strategic leader is a tall order for many aspiring executives, and even current CEOs, it is critical given the unpredictability and complexity markets we operate within—whether globally or locally. Companies no longer develop five-year strategic plans due to the volatility of a variety of economic, social, and political factors. This places a greater premium on strategic behaviors than elaborate vision statements and strategic plans. Today we must we clarify what we mean and better prepare our leaders to navigate the uncertain future. Curiosity for external trends, patterns, how money is made, and about peopleChallenges status quo and poses disruptive questionsContinually weighs short-term and longer term decisions and implicationsTakes a broad perspective and considers multiple optionsRegularly balances the interests of all stakeholders such as investors, customers and employeesMaintain self-awareness of personal strengths, weaknesses and behavioral tendenciesAt the end of day, thinking and acting strategically is the ability to use current trends and information to inform future outcomes as well as identify and decide on trade-offs for competing needs to move a business forward. Agility as a leader is very important. It is unreasonable (and maybe ineffective) for anyone to operate only at a strategic level. Leaders do need to execute plans and deliver results!Research shows that successful business leaders effectively flex from strategy to tactics. One client describes strategic leaders as those who can “zoom in” and “zoom out” easily. We know that driving execution is a greater predictor of profitability and growth than any other leadership behavior. To navigate today’s unpredictable and volatile world, however, having a results orientation alone will not guarantee long-term success.last_img read more

Amazon Launches Lulu Competitor

first_imgCreateSpace, which until last week was CustomFlix Labs, a company founded in 2002 and acquired by Amazon in 2005, today launched a print on demand book publishing service. The newly minted CreateSpace service line-up now includes print on demand books, DVDs, CDs, direct download video, audio books, and HD DVDs (Blu-ray coming soon). This puts Amazon in direct competition with Lulu, and to a lesser extent CafePress.The implications of this announcement for Lulu could be large. Until now, Lulu has been, to my knowledge, the only print on demand publisher that offered books, CDs, and DVDs with no set up fee and offered syndication to sites like Amazon.Where it really gets tricky for Lulu, is that Amazon offers a guaranteed way for publishers into Amazon’s catalog. Books published via third-party POD publishers were never guaranteed to get a listing on the Amazon site, though most books listed in the Books in Print catalog tend to get picked up by Amazon according to Lulu. CreateSpace also offers customers automatic extras like Amazon’s Search Inside! this book feature, and IMDb listing eligibility for DVDs.CreateSpace beats Lulu on price as well, and doesn’t charge for ISBN numbers for books (required for books to be sold on Amazon and listed in the Books in Print catalog) and UPC numbers for CDs and DVDs. Lulu, however, still offers far more printing options (such as hardcover and saddle stitch bindings), and offers the potential of selling products through Amazon competitors like Barnes and Noble — something that I tend to doubt Amazon will help authors with.Lulu was one of the companies I had marked in my mind as being ripe for acquisition by either Amazon or eBay. Amazon, it seems, has decided to build instead of buy by relaunching their CustomFlix site as a full-service on demand media publisher.Via WebProNews. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… josh catone 1center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#news#web last_img read more

How to Meet the Demands of the Socially Conscious Consumer

first_imgWhat Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Nearly 200 chief executives from some of the world’s largest companies met in August as part of the Business Roundtable. Discussing the most pressing issues facing modern corporations, their manifesto signaled a departure from old-school corporate philosophy. Its primary message? Shareholder value isn’t everything.Regardless of how far-reaching their call for change is, the reality is that consumer demands and shareholder demands are often at odds. Ignoring the former to appease the latter is a recipe for disaster.When Dollars Don’t Make SenseProfitability is no longer a matter of selling good products and making sound financial decisions. Today’s consumer-driven marketplace — increasingly wary of corporate motives — rewards transparency, authenticity, and benevolence. It penalizes companies that don’t live up to these values.As society grapples with issues like income inequality and environmental degradation, companies have found themselves needing to prove they care. For some, this means rethinking partnerships, processes, supply chains, and entire business models. For others, it means doubling down on marketing and PR messaging. But for nearly all, it means implementing corporate social responsibility initiatives. They have to demonstrate their commitment to employees, consumers, and the planet — even if it could mean smaller shareholder payouts.Elina Tang, a marketing professor and consultant for the American Council on Education, believes these initiatives are now a cornerstone of good business. “Today’s consumers want companies to be honest and transparent with what they do,” she says. “In addition to demanding products or services that are accountable for social and environmental impact, they are becoming more aware of the importance of CSR and are eager to be a part of it.”Companies able to show the world that their business decisions are grounded in shared values stand to build stronger customer relationships. Ignoring consumer perceptions risks losing customers. If you haven’t given much weight to corporate responsibility, it’s time to show the world you care. Here are three ways to do that while improving your business:1. Pursue value-aligned partnerships.Your company is only as good as the company it keeps. Any business supporting a cause should start by partnering with organizations fighting the same battles. One way is by establishing long-term community partnerships with charities and nonprofits that share your values and concerns. Partnering with reputable organizations to address societal issues can create valuable business opportunities. It’s equally important, however, to cut partnerships not based on shared values.Patagonia did exactly that with its announcement that it would no longer produce co-branded products with environmentally unfriendly firms. The company wants to be a beacon of environmental stewardship, making it selective about its corporate partners. By focusing on organizations prioritizing sustainability and social responsibility, the apparel maker is sending a strong message about its priorities.2. Invest in education.Generation Z is most likely to spend its money with brands supporting social causes. Gen Z is also the workforce of the near future and part of the solution to the oft-discussed skills gap. With businesses facing a critical shortage of STEM talent, advancing science, technology, engineering, and math education is a good cause — and good business sense.The Intel Foundation, a nonprofit funded by the Intel Corporation, sponsors programs like She Will Connect to further STEM education among girls. It demonstrates how a company can effect change among young people while promoting core values like innovation and technological expertise. Linda Ingersoll, chief engagement strategist at MDR, the education division of Dun & Bradstreet, believes corporate initiatives like these yield lasting results. “Lighting the STEM spark at an earlier age for skills that will be in high demand for the foreseeable future is one way you can support CSR initiatives, teachers, and their students, while contributing to your workforce pipeline,” she says.3. Make a social cause your differentiator.Donating to and supporting social causes benefits society, but it also generates consumer goodwill. Modern consumers want to do business with companies that share their values. That’s why businesses built around a specific mission — beyond shareholder value — often have an easier time attracting customers.Snack food company This Saves Lives, co-founded by actress Kristen Bell, is on a mission to end childhood malnutrition. For every snack bar it sells, it donates to areas most affected by malnutrition. From marketing to packaging, everything centers on fulfilling this mission, making its granola bars stand out among similar products. That’s good for business — and ends up being good for everyone.Corporate social responsibility isn’t a fad. It’s a consumer demand extending to virtually every company. Luckily, there are countless ways to improve the world while improving your business. If you want to be successful now and in the future, give consumers what they want. Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Remote Working Culture: The Facts Business Owne… Related Posts Tags:#company purpose#consumer demand#consumer insights#consumer trends#corporate social responsibility#CSR#social cause How to Make the Most of Your Software Developer… Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

CBD Gummies: Wellness Snack Delivering Taste, Natural Ingredients, Value

first_imgAs avid users of CBD products, my partner and I have benefited from their wellness effects — from migraine relief to minimal joint pain. Each week, there seem to be more CBD-infused products available.CBD gummies are one recent find that appealed to us. While some companies like Charlotte’s Web and Sunday Scaries offer these gummies as supplements, NatureBox provides a selection of CBD gummies that are snacks instead of supplements, offering a satisfying way to silence those mid-morning and mid-afternoon periods of hunger.Why CBD?Whether it is a supplement or a snack, more people are becoming genuinely interested in why CBD is a beneficial wellness solution.Numerous studies have pointed to the wellness benefits of CBD, including the ability to assist with emotion regulation, pain and inflammation relief, and improved sleep. And, it doesn’t interfere with your focus or adversely impacts your appetite.Factors That Define Best CBD GummiesMany factors go into making a good CBD gummies product.The first factor is the source, which is where the hemp comes from and the process of the CBD extraction. As a bioaccumulator, hemp absorbs whatever is in the soil — and that includes pesticides. Therefore, it’s essential to select a brand that is transparent about where their CBD comes from. One way is to provide a third-party lab report.The second factor is the ingredients. It’s vital to use high-quality CBD along with clean extractor methods. Again, that lab report will provide this information. Beyond CBD, look at all other ingredients, including the use of sweeteners as well as artificial colors and flavors.Considerations should include the amount of sugar added as well as coloring and flavoring sources. The best CBD gummies are low in added sugar and use natural colors and flavors. Any vegetarians or vegans like my partner also must pay attention to the appearance of any animal products like gelatin. Instead, vegan thickeners include pectin, cornstarch, and tapioca.The third factor is whether the CBD gummies are coated or infused. The best CBD gummies are infused. Coated items are not ideal because the CBD may not be evenly distributed across each gummy. In the process, the user will not get the same level of benefit. Infusing the gummies with CBD ensures even distribution and protects the CBD from heat and light, which can diminish its effect.We decided to compare the top three CBD gummies on the market today from brands that include Charlotte’s Web,  NatureBox, and Sunday Scaries. Here’s what we liked and didn’t like about each CBD gummies brand.Charlotte’s WebCharlotte’s Web offers a range of CBD products (capsules and oils) that include CBD gummies. The company has been around since 2013, which makes it one of the most established.What we like.Their CBD gummies have full-spectrum, whole-plant hemp extract. They are the cheapest, but it may be due to the ingredients used. The first three ingredients are sugar. They have the most natural product with apple pectin rather than a fruity flavor. This ingredient also makes their gummies pliable and easy to chew. CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from… They only use natural coloring from Curcurmin or Red Beet extract. Both work as antioxidants to reduce inflammation, detoxify the liver, and improve digestive health. We couldn’t find any third-party lab reports or transparency about their products. Once we purchased their products and we asked for this information, they did provide us with some lab report findings. It took a while to get the products, so their shipping process seems slow. NatureBoxNatureBox is a recognized brand in the healthy snacks market. They sell subscription boxes and a la carte snacks to individuals and businesses. In the last year, it launched a wellness snack line that includes CBD gummies.What we like.They use American-grown hemp and provide transparent information. There is a third-party lab report about the CBD gummies. These gummies are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and calcium. A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas They are so popular they sell out quickly. There are many flavors, quantities, and package combinations.What we don’t like.They only offer one dose amount, which is 5mg of CBD/gummy. However, they recommend you take two so you get 10mg of CBD. They taste tough and are difficult to chew. Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy Although they offer a third-party lab report for their products, there are no specific lab tests for their gummies. They are gluten-free and vegan. Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. The company offers free shipping and a fair return policy.What we don’t like.There is only one concentration available (10mg per gummy). You get more chews per bottle compared to Sunday Scaries. Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite The resealable bag is convenient, and the size is perfect for taking them anywhere.What we don’t like.Currently, there are only three flavors but there have been reports that more options will launch soon. 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of… They have 0.0 THC without being an isolate. They use Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract Related Posts Sunday ScariesSunday Scaries offers a wide range of CBD products made from organic, domestically-grown hemp. But, their core product is CBD gummies.What we like.They have full-spectrum, whole-plant hemp extract. There are few servings in the bottle so if you go with these, do the monthly plan, which takes the cost from $39 per bottle to $31 per bottle.Overall ThoughtsWhile all three have good features, one stands out the most. In returning to the factors listed at the start of the article, NatureBox offers the best CBD gummies. They win for their ingredient quality, hemp sourcing, value and price, and company transparency.We look forward to more CBD infused choices soon and already enjoy their other healthy snacks. The CBD gummies contain baobab, which adds a citrus flavor and provides fiber as a superfood. Sunflower oil, which is rich in Vitamins A, C, and D with fats that help the body absorb the CBD. They offer three different formulas that include “Sleep,” “Recovery,” and “Calm.” There are non-vegan and vegan options (although this version is much more expensive than the non-vegan version). The flavors are relatively good and don’t taste medicinal. The first ingredient is cane sugar, plus they use artificial colors and flavors. Tags:#CBD#cbd gummies They are fairly priced. There are numerous dose amounts available to help you start with a low dosage and get accustomed to them before using a stronger dose.last_img read more

Watch this origami fish grabber nab a deep-sea squid

first_img By Frankie SchembriJul. 18, 2018 , 2:00 PM As anyone knows who has tried—and failed—to pluck a stuffed animal from the pile in those popular arcade games, using a mechanical hand is tough. It’s even tougher when the prey isn’t a plush toy, but a living creature. Now, scientists studying the deep sea have built an underwater robot that can gently scoop up delicate fish, squid, and even jellyfish, with a folding container inspired by the Japanese art of origami.To create a robot hardy enough to work reliably in the open ocean, yet flexible enough to scoop up fast-moving animals, the scientists wanted to simplify their design and reduce the number of moving parts. With the origami design, only one motor is needed to fold five identical 3D-printed “petals” that are attached to flexible joints into a 12-sided box.The team used the new box to capture and release moon jellyfish in an aquarium and squid and Stellamedusa jellyfish in the open ocean at depths of 500 to 700 meters. In the ocean, scientists mounted the joystick-controlled arm to a remotely operated vehicle. The joystick operator used a video feed to make sure the animal didn’t get squished during the folding. That’s good news for deep-sea creatures that are too delicate or gelatinous to be caught with traditional techniques such as nets and suction samplers, the researchers report today in Science Robotics.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In the future, the scientists hope to attach sensors to the device so it can serve as a mini–underwater lab that would let researchers examine animals without having to remove them from their environment. They say their folding robot might one day even be used in space—for example, to attach solar panels to satellites. But for now, the robot will help scientists investigate the deep ocean, the largest and least explored environment on Earth. Watch this origami fish grabber nab a deep-sea squidlast_img read more

Mikmaq Maliseet leaders discuss Ottawas cuts during gathering

first_imgAPTN National NewsMi’kmaq and Maliseet leaders met this week in Nova Scotia.APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin was there and spoke with some leaders about the issues facing the Atlantic nations.last_img