Tag Archives: Business improvement

Five reasons why “downtown universities” matter for economic growth

By Scott Andes – The value of the nation’s higher education system is usually expressed as just that—education. But while the educational mission of America’s colleges and universities is critical, often missed or neglected by local and national policymakers is the value of these institutions to economic growth. This is particularly true for those universities located near major employment neighborhoods of large cities.

Here are five reasons these universities matter for economic growth:

  1. Research universities are essential for innovation, and innovation is essential for economic growth.
  2. Universities located in urban areas produce more patents, corporate partnerships, and startups.
  3. Universities located within innovation districts build on existing urban assets.
  4. Downtown universities specialize in research.
  5. Downtown universities still have a lot of room to improve their outcomes.

As the country searches for new sources of innovation, jobs, and growth, policy makers should consider how some of its oldest institutions—research universities—are best positioned for the new economy. more> https://goo.gl/nXEPk4

Updates from GE

From Light To Bright: San Diego Is Building The World’s Largest Municipal Internet Of Things
By Bruce Watson -San Diego’s newest streetlights might not look all that special — and that’s exactly the point. Designed to blend in with the rest of the city’s outdoor lighting, they’re easy to overlook. Under the surface, though, the LED fixtures are actually data-gathering machines. They will allow San Diego to build the largest municipal internet-of-things network in the world.

San Diego’s digital lighting revolution started as a modest solution to a common problem. “We were broke,” David Graham, San Diego’s deputy chief operating officer, told GE Reports in February. “In the early 2000s, we went through about a decade of fiscal crisis, and we were trying to find ways to be more efficient, save money and reduce energy usage.”

One idea to save money was to replace the yellow glow of the city’s old sodium vapor streetlamps with efficient new LED lights. In addition to providing cleaner, broader-spectrum light, the new fixtures used 60 percent less energy and slashed maintenance needs because of their longer life spans. The city replaced more than 35,000 lights, yielding an estimated $2.2 million in savings per year.

But the new fixtures also brought to light new problems. “We know when a traditional light bulb isn’t working, because it burns out,” says Austin Ashe, general manager of Current, powered by GE’s Intelligent Cities program. “But an LED doesn’t burn out. It just degrades over time.” more> https://goo.gl/6fdyFY

The Coming Software Apocalypse

By James Somers – “When we had electromechanical systems, we used to be able to test them exhaustively,” says Nancy Leveson, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has been studying software safety for 35 years. She became known for her report on the Therac-25, a radiation-therapy machine that killed six patients because of a software error. “We used to be able to think through all the things it could do, all the states it could get into.

Software is different. Just by editing the text in a file somewhere, the same hunk of silicon can become an autopilot or an inventory-control system. This flexibility is software’s miracle, and its curse. Because it can be changed cheaply, software is constantly changed; and because it’s unmoored from anything physical—a program that is a thousand times more complex than another takes up the same actual space—it tends to grow without bound. “The problem,” Leveson wrote in a book, “is that we are attempting to build systems that are beyond our ability to intellectually manage.” more> https://goo.gl/XSu4jU

Updates from Siemens

Declarative Configuration when Change is Constant
By Dave McLeish – Change is a double-edged sword. To set the scene let’s first focus on recent change for the good as relates to our own domain of product lifecycle management (PLM). In the past few years, increased mobility with smart phones and tablets has provided new opportunities for mobile access to PLM. Adoption of familiar user interface (UI) patterns from everyday life (shopping cart, smart search) and enhanced possibilities for user experience through touch and virtual assistants have enabled more of the “extended enterprise” to embrace PLM. From the shop floor where there’s touch screen access to work instructions to executives empowered to simply search, sign off and interact with dashboards on their device of choice, increasingly the whole enterprise can contribute to and view the digital thread from product development to delivery.

At the heart of this change for the good is the rich web-based access to PLM that has been made possible by html5. Rich capabilities that have meant we can begin to reimagine how we collaborate and deliver products from inception, through realization and utilization. Zero-install rich, browser-based solutions remove the need for desktop install and reduce the IT deployment overhead through firewall friendly standard https requirements.

But developing in the browser has its challenges when targeting rich capabilities over high latency WAN and with limited memory resources. Arguably the greatest challenge is managing change. Whilst the emergence of HTML5 and CSS3 among other standards have provided a reliable basis for developing web solutions, the same cannot be said for much of the web development space. more> https://goo.gl/NjgcsC

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5 Mindsets to Bring Positive Change Across Society

By Raya Bidshahri – To contribute to human progress, it is not enough to be intelligent, resourceful, or well-connected. Those are all factors that play a significant role but aren’t the true driving forces of disruptive innovation. Stimulating positive change at civilization level also requires certain mindsets and ways of thinking.

Here are five mindsets that will allow us to leave a positive mark on humanity.

  1. Curiosity and Critical Thinking
    One of the tragedies of our education system is that it fails to nurture the childlike sense of wonder that we are all born with.
  2. Intelligent Optimism
    Nothing productive will come from blind optimism and ignorance of some of the brutal realities of our world.
  3. Risk-taking
    Paving a new way forward for humanity comes at a cost. More often than not, executing a radically disruptive idea is a risk.
  4. Moonshot Thinking
    Instead of looking to make a 10 percent gain or improvement in a current product or idea, moonshot thinking involves aiming for a 10x improvement of the status quo.
  5. Cosmic Perspective
    We’ve all heard of “thinking big” or ‘big-picture thinking.” Moving beyond that involves having a cosmic perspective.

It’s about asking the right questions, being intelligently optimistic about the future, taking a risk with a moonshot, and maintaining a cosmic perspective. more> https://goo.gl/V2bVjb

Updates from Ciena

Optic Zoo Networks Keeps Vancouver’s Data Traveling at Blistering Speeds with Ciena

By Tony Ross – Optic Zoo Networks is a recognized brand throughout metro Vancouver due to our extensive carrier grade dark fiber network and infrastructure. Based on demand and to further accelerate our growth and better serve Tier 1 service providers, we knew it was time to take our offerings to the next level.

Our customers need to support bandwidth-hogging applications like virtual and augmented reality, as well as Internet of Things (IoT). However, in order for data to continue to flow with ease, we needed to ensure that Optic Zoo Networks was ready to support that growth. That meant offering new Carrier Ethernet Services (CES), and in turn, required that we build a Carrier Ethernet Network (CEN).

To continue to support top-echelon service providers, however, we needed to build a CEN that could scale instantaneously and meet the needs of organizations in a range of industries – from finance, healthcare, education, and more.

For example, customers that previously wanted to upgrade to higher levels of bandwidth had to go through inefficient processes, such as having to order a network loop that could take weeks. With our CEN, today’s 1G customers can easily upgrade to 10G tomorrow with a simple software upgrade. more> https://goo.gl/fh54t3

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Updates from Chicago Booth

Local communities are driving global politics

By Raghuram G. Rajan – We live in a strange time.

Countries are more prosperous than ever before, new technologies that promise to solve our most intractable problems are on the horizon, and yet there is widespread unhappiness in some of the richest countries in the world. White males of working age in the United States are killing themselves through alcohol, drugs, and suicide at a rate that is as if 10 Vietnam Wars were raging simultaneously.

The immediate reason appears to be economic despair, as moderately educated workers lose jobs because of trade and automation. But workers lose (and gain) jobs regularly.

Why are even well-educated workers, holding decent middle-class jobs, so disheartened now? What should we do?

What we are seeing is a consequence of the information-technology revolution that started in the early 1970s, magnified by trade.

Every past technological revolution has been disruptive, prompted a societal reaction, and eventually resulted in societal change that helped us get the best out of the revolution. We have felt the disruption of the IT revolution, which has sometimes been punctuated by dramatic episodes such as the 2007–10 global financial crisis; we are now seeing the reaction in populist movements of the extreme left and right.

What has not happened yet is the necessary societal change, which is why so many despair of the future.

We are at a critical moment in human history, when wrong choices could derail human economic progress. more> https://goo.gl/aLSuFh

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Do We Need to Rethink What College Means?

BOOK REVIEW

Bridging the Gaps. Authors: James Rosenbaum, Caitlin E. Ahearn and Janet E. Rosenbaum.

By Dwyer Gunn – There are two ways to look at America’s college-for-all movement. On the one hand, it represents a rare policy success: Today, 90 percent of high school graduates enroll in college within eight years of graduating from high school, up from 45 percent in 1960.

On the other hand, it serves as a cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of even the best-intentioned policy initiatives.

The book is actually named for them—the three gaps. And the gaps are really quite outrageous. When we interviewed students, the students talked about these three things: taking courses without getting credits, getting credits that didn’t count for credentials, and getting credentials that didn’t have payoffs in the labor market.

We found that such students were making bad choices because they didn’t have good information. And they were losing a lot of time and, ultimately, dropping out with no payoff. more> https://goo.gl/KKfJmS

Beyond “Amazon Idol” toward a real regional growth strategy

By Mark Muro and Amy Liu – Amazon’s request for proposals (RFP) for a second headquarters complex continues to rivet city lovers, economic development leaders, and the site selection crowd (and its critics). Like a reality TV show, millions are pulling for their favorite cities. And why not: winning the title could be life-changing for some lucky metro.

Yet there’s a problem here: while the fall’s “Amazon Idol” competition is garnering high ratings, the fact remains that it is a major distraction from the glaring need for the country to systematically think about a much larger development problem—the nation’s gaping regional prosperity divides.

At present, America possesses no strategy—let alone serious policies—for addressing the uneven allocation of growth across the nation’s 50 states and hundreds of metropolitan areas. more> https://goo.gl/FaHpZR

Moving To Blue Ocean Strategy: A Five-Step Process To Make The Shift

BOOK REVIEW

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, Authors: W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne.
Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth, Authors: W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne.

By Steve Denning – Instead of struggling to survive in the bloody shark-infested “Red Oceans” of vicious competition, why not move to the “Blue Oceans” where there was little or no competition?

What inspired the authors was not “dividing up markets or the globe,” but rather organizations and individuals that created “new frontiers of opportunity, growth, and jobs,” where success was not about fighting for a bigger slice of an existing, often shrinking pie, but about “creating a larger economic pie for all.” The book was a publishing sensation. It sold more than 4 million copies and has been translated into 44 different languages.

Now, 12 years later, the authors offer an exciting new book that synthesizes their experience in assisting with the implementation of Blue Ocean strategy.

In effect, Blue Ocean strategy involves market-creating innovation. It opens up new possibilities that are not available to organizations operating within the existing cost-value structure. It expands the universe as to what is possible, often enabling higher value at lower cost.

Perhaps the most important chapter is Chapter 3, which delineates the Blue Ocean mindset and the distinctive opportunity-based thinking that is at the foundation of Blue Ocean strategy.

It is a perspective that enables strategists “to ask a fundamentally different set of questions,” the answers to which “in turn enable them to perceive and appreciate the fallacies behind long-held assumptions and the artificial boundaries we unknowingly impose on ourselves.” more> https://goo.gl/hNPdDG