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    When Kellogg admissions officers review an application, they evaluate potential students based on six categories. Here, Beth Tidmarsh, director of admissions for Kellogg’s full-time MBA programs, demystifies what happens once you submit your materials and helps you think about how to formulate the story that will help the admissions team learn more about you.


    INTELLECTUAL ABILITY


    Our goal is to be sure you can handle the rigor in the Kellogg classroom. Your undergraduate GPA, course selection and GMAT score help us assess your readiness. But we’re also invested in finding creative thinkers who can solve problems. Qualitative evidence of intellectual ability is going to come out in your essays, your interview and your recommendations. We truly take a holistic look at our applicants rather than relying only on a number.
    Hard numbers like GPA and GMAT scores may seem like make-or-break factors, but one great test score doesn’t tell us nearly as much as seeing that you’ve taken challenging classes or broadened your knowledge base. And because each applicant is an individual, we recognize that someone with a liberal arts background may have different results than someone from an engineering background, but both could be wonderful candidates.
    We look for applicants who are well-rounded, and who have demonstrated academic success. If your scores or grades seem a little lopsided, we dig deeper into your application to look for evidence that you’ve taken steps to develop those skills. That tells us if you’ve taken charge of balancing out your skill set. If you feel any of your grades or scores require further explanation or context, please feel free to include that information. Standardized test scores are also valid for five years, and we accept both the GMAT and the GRE for the One-Year, Two-Year, and MMM Programs. (JDMBA applicants can only submit a GMAT score.)
    Other parameters Intellectual abilityWork experienceProfessional goalsLeadershipImpactInterpersonal Skills


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    WORK EXPERIENCE


    One thing that makes the Kellogg experience so rich is the wide variety of backgrounds — both personal and professional — in our student body. We admit applicants from diverse fields, with varying years of experience. We also analyze each applicant within the context of his or her own career path, rather than against each other. Our admissions officers are looking to understand how you’ve progressed and why what you’ve done is significant. Are you progressing faster than others at your same level? Did you get promoted more quickly? Have you taken on additional responsibilities?
    The quality of your professional experience, regardless of where you are in your career, is what will stand out. A great way to make your application pop is to help us understand what the standards are within your industry and your particular company or organization. Some workplaces or careers are very structured about how someone can advance through the ranks, while others provide opportunities for leadership in other, less formal ways. One tip we will share: Think about how you would explain your job to a 10-year-old or your grandmother. Jargon and acronyms will often create confusion, so avoid them whenever you can. This is a great place to show us how you can communicate ideas across fields and disciplines.
    By including your resume, you’re giving us a quick overview that highlights a few significant achievements of your work experience. Within your application, you can specify more about your day-to-day responsibilities, the nitty-gritty of how you operate in the working world. Capitalize on that extra space and don’t just copy your resume into the input fields! You have many chances to tell more about your career, so seize every one and make each part count in its own way.


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    PROFESSIONAL GOALS


    Ask any alum, and they will tell you that Kellogg was a pivotal point in his or her career. With your work experience, you’ve told us what’s led you to Kellogg. Outlining your professional goals will help us understand how a Kellogg MBA will bridge your past and future together.
    Since there many different candidates drawn to Kellogg, your reason for pursuing an MBA will be unique. Some applicants have a specific idea of how an MBA will help them grow within an industry they know already; others want to pursue a significant career pivot, while still others have more general long-term goals while remaining open to many paths that might take them there.
    The MBA program will expose you to a lot of great things to help you crystallize that path, but due to the nature of our programs, a lot starts happening very fast. (Have you heard about pre-term? We don’t waste a day getting you engaged.) Your time at Kellogg is going to fly by – and you are going to want to make the most of it by giving some serious thought for your reasons for pursuing an MBA. If you arrive without a clue what direction you’re headed, you’ll get overwhelmed pretty quickly. Knowing that our applicants have thought about the deeper reasons behind pursuing this degree — why they’re doing it, where they’re trying to go, how this education and their career fit together — helps students to hit the ground running once they arrive on campus.
    This is not to say that our students know everything about what they want or where they want to go on Day 1. Kellogg has many opportunities for you to explore and discover, but no student can tackle everything we offer. Our Admissions officers are checking to make sure you’ve got a plan in mind. We understand the plan may change over time, but do think about what areas and opportunities you would focus on if you were starting our program today.
    The most important factor in this case is honesty, both with yourself and within the application. Forget what you may think about what kinds of aspirations will impress an admissions officer: this is about your goals and your development.
    We want to see a clear narrative that explains why you want this MBA. No answer is wrong, so feel free to talk openly about how this program and community will help you achieve that goal.
    Other parameters Intellectual abilityWork experienceProfessional goalsLeadershipImpactInterpersonal Skills

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    Leadership

    Many people pursue an MBA to gain experience and improve their management and leadership skills. The Kellogg admissions team is looking for both demonstrated leadership in the past and an applicant’s leadership potential. Given the scope and range of our community, this means many different things. Someone with a military background will present different accomplishments than someone with a few years as a junior analyst, or a teacher. What showcases your leadership is going to depend on the path you’ve had and the organizations that you’ve been in, and we take that into account.
    A few things will be similar, though. We look for those who have taken up new responsibilities and opportunities in whatever way they can, however their career path has allowed. Maybe this means you’ve led an initiative within your company, or it could mean that you’ve secured promotions quickly, or that you’re deeply involved with a volunteer commitment. Your roles don’t have to be formal, just indicative of your drive. The better you can help us see how these activities fit in with your overall career narrative, the more clearly we can think about how you might fit in with the Kellogg community.
    We also consider timeliness. The further along you are into your career, the more we’re going to expect some demonstrated benchmarks. If you’re seven or eight years out of college, consider presenting more recent examples. Likewise, if you’re early in your career, don’t worry that you’re competing with more experienced applicants. Our admissions team is just as concerned with where our students are going as where they’ve already been.


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     IMPACT


    Our team understands how demanding work can be, but pursuing interests outside the office helps maintain a balanced and engaged life. Our admissions committee wants to understand what fulfills our applicants outside of work, and how they’ve made an impact within an organization or a community that matters to them. In the United States, we think of that as “extracurricular activity,” but it applies all over the globe.
    What matters here is quality of experience over quantity; two years of involvement with one activity means a lot more than eight brief commitments in eight different places. We like to see our applicants involved with something they’re passionate about. If it fits in with your personal career narrative — say you volunteer with a literacy organization, and you want to pursue education policy after Kellogg — that’s great. But for plenty of applicants, a personal passion or commitment is not directly connected to the career goals at all.
    We also recognize that some jobs may not leave a lot of room for involvement outside of work. There are opportunities for impact within the workplace, too. Did you lead recruiting efforts? Maybe you headed up a green building initiative. Having an impact on organizational culture or community is just as valid, important and interesting to us. Passion and engagement are universal features within the Kellogg community. There are a lot of ways to showcase that you’re the type of person who makes a difference.

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     INTERPERSONAL SKILLS


    Our community values collaboration, involvement and giving back, and we look for that in our applicants as well. A significant part of the Admissions process is ensuring a good fit between student and program. If you thrive in team-based environments, Kellogg might be a good fit for you.
    The ability to work in teams doesn’t mean agreeing all the time, nor is it an easy approach. Team-based learning means you can push ideas, disagree respectfully and challenge each other, but also that you’re doing so in a way that’s both productive and conducive to a better outcome. Our ideal applicant likes to hear different viewpoints, respects others, can voice and challenge opinions and isn’t afraid to speak up, but can do so in a way that’s collaborative and would help further a group or a classroom conversation.
    If everyone came from the exact same environment and was used to working in the exact same way, no one would learn much from each other. The diversity of perspectives and opinions in our community creates a rich arena for debate. Bringing together all those different perspectives enhances everybody’s experience. Learning to synthesize and negotiate those differences is a vital component of the Kellogg experience, too.
    Some applicant’s backgrounds line up very well with business school, and they may have had more opportunities to demonstrate interpersonal skills. We recognize that some people may come from an environment that requires more independent work. Knowing that you want to grow in this area, explaining that you crave more teamwork and collaboration, expressing that you want to push yourself in that area — all of that is valuable information for our admissions team.

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    Facebook just took a huge shot at Google

    Facebook’s new search feature is a thinly-veiled shot at Google.



    Facebook is making a change this week that, if it works, may finally sound the death knell for Google Plus, the search giant’s rival social network.

    One of Facebook’s biggest weaknesses is that its internal search isn’t very robust. If you suddenly remembered your best friend posted about a cool new band on your wall a couple months ago and you wanted to go back and find that post, good luck. It’s the exact opposite experience you might have on Google services like Gmail, which turns your inbox into a vast trove of easily-searchable info.

    And that was one of the most promising things about Google Plus, when it launched three years ago: The idea that Google  might turn all your online social interactions into an easy-to-search repository. From a user’s perspective, that would be handy because the stuff your friends share directly with you is often more relevant to you than what you can dig up in a general web search.

    But Google Plus was even more crucial from Google’s perspective. With more of the content that’s most relevant to us appearing on our social networks rather than the broader web, it makes sense that we might think to search on social media before we search the wider Internet. If Google didn’t have an answer for that potential trend, it could result—in the very long run—in fewer people using its biggest moneymaker, search.

    Search remains a vastly profitable business for Google. Revenue from Google-owned websites made up 69% of the company’s total $16.52 billion in revenue for the third quarter of this year. Google doesn’t break out exactly how much of that is from the ads it sells against your search results, but several estimates are in the 50% and up range. And its Android platform for cell phones has helped it lock down mobile search, an area as hot as social.

    Still, Google’s search business is starting to slow. And that’s where Facebook  comes in. The social network announced an improved internal search feature this week that the company promises will make it easier to find stuff our friends shared with us in the past. The search upgrade is specifically designed to work well on mobile, an area where Facebook is already considered king in terms of driving traffic.

    If Facebook’s new search function works well, more of its users might be inclined to search there rather than heading to Google, especially on their phones. And that would give Facebook an opening to take a run at Google’s dominance in search.



    View at the original source

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    Transformational Tidal Wave Now Taking Shape In Emerging Markets Will Economically Change Our World

    The facts tell the story.  Since 2000 the rise of the world’s emerging markets has been one of the defining, but relatively little reported, features of the global economy.
    Consider this:  In the next ten years McKinsey & Co. predicts that the annual buying power of people living in just the world’s emerging markets will reach $30 trillion a year.  Twenty years ago less than 20% of the world’s population earned enough money to afford little more than the basic necessities of life.
    Over the past two decades, thanks to global urbanization, a rapidly expanding middle class, removal of trade barriers, leap-frogging technology, and other positive developments, the world’s consumer class has doubled to about 2.4 billion people. 
     McKinsey predicts that by 2025, this number will double again to 4.2 billion out of a global population of 7.9 billion, and that for the first time in history, there will be more people in the consuming class than those who are still struggling to get by, and that the emerging markets will become the dominant force in the global economy, accounting for 70% of global economic growth. Today they are well on their way to dominance by claiming 50% of the world’s GDP in purchasing power.
    We’re already seeing the impact.  China is now the world’s largest automobile consumer.  Recently its largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., launched a share offering in New York that attracted global attention, becoming the largest stock debut in history.  Sort of like a combination of Amazon and eBay, Alibaba is transforming life in China, where 80% of all on-line sales pass through one of its sites. 
     Alibaba now focuses its business in China, but following its splashy September debut on the world’s financial stage, their strategic direction likely will broaden.  Meanwhile, in another five years more than half of all Chinese households will be solidly in the middle class, up from 6% in 2010.
    Leading the global transformation taking place before our eyes in the emerging markets is a generation of consumers who are now in their 20s and 30s.  Last year these markets were home to 85% of the world’s population, 90% of which were under the age of 30.  This number is expected to grow at three times the rate of the developed economies now through 2020.  
    And while the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are home to almost half of the world’s emerging market population, 1.3 billion other folks live in non-BRIC emerging markets -combining for a population considerably greater than all those living in the developed countries.  It may be hard to believe but five non-BRIC emerging markets have populations of more than 100 million each – Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Mexico.
    So what does all this mean?  This economic transformation carries with it a lot of pent-up demand – for a better education for their off-spring, for better food and health care and for the finer things in life, especially to see and experience the world beyond their national borders.  For its part, Boeing sees a 5% increase in demand over the next two decades for more than 36,000 new aircraft.
    As businesspeople, we need to begin developing a deep knowledge of these markets, their people, their customs and their current and ancient history so as to better understand them and communicate more effectively with them. We need to design our products so that they appeal locally – city by city.  When crafting your needs/benefits message, think lifestyle.  And finally, start now to carefully build your relationships by finding the right local partners.

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    Why Large Companies Can't Innovate

    Large companies are trimmed to execute established business models. The demise of e.g. Eastman Kodak, Nokia, or Blockbuster illustrate that this is insufficient in the 21st century. Companies that want to escape this fate need to excel at execution AND the creation of new growth engines at the same time.
    There is nothing wrong with being good at execution. It allows companies to get the most out of a known and successful business model. The challenge is to improve one's existing business models while creating an organizational space to invent business models for the future at the same time. The reason this is so difficult is because both require very different cultures, skills, processes, and incentives. Watch the video below to understand how they differ.
    I often hear people say companies need to create an agile innovation culture. That's nonsense and even dangerous. It's great to have an outstanding execution engine as long as you are able to build an innovation engine as well. That's where you will experiment with new growth engines by relentlessly testing business models and value propositions.
    There are a couple of great thinkers on this topic. In The Other Side of InnovationGovindarajan and Trimble show that the execution and innovation engines need to work in partnership. In The End of Competitive Advantage Rita McGrath shows that the urge to hold on to one’s established competitive advantage is a vicious trap. She establishes the factors central to building the dynamic enterprise of tomorrow.
    Another favorite of mine is John Kotter. In the video below he shows that the organizational structure predominant today is over 100 years old. It was not built to be fast and agile, but to meet the daily demands of running an enterprise.  Kotter advocates a new system that he calls the "dual operating system" in which execution and innovation operate in concert.
    Dr. John Kotter on what he calls the "Dual Operating System"

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    12 GMAT Tips: before, during and after


    These 12 tips should help carry you through the stages before, during and after the GMAT test.
    EDHEC GLOBAL MBA

     

















    PREPARATION TIPS

    • Plan your test date well in advance

    Admissions offices will have a deadline for score submission and candidates often push back their test to that latest possible date. As test centres fill up quickly, this either means they find themselves having to sit the test far from home or else without enough time to re-sit if disaster strikes on the day.

    Make a revision schedule and stick to it

    Little and often works best. Rather than wade through an ominous revision book, opt for a free online revision course and set yourself a few daily drills. 

    • Learn to recognize question types

    The same type of questions pops up in each exam and if you can learn to spot their disguise, you’ll know to tackle them in the same way.

    Don’t under-estimate each section

    Because of their logical way of thinking, Engineers and Scientists naturally find the Quantitative section easier than those in more creative roles such as Marketing or HR but this said, no one should under-estimate the Maths. While the level is little higher than Grade 11, you will need to brush off your algebra and geometry cobwebs and perhaps review some technical vocabulary, especially if English is not your mother tongue. For the Verbal section, full marks even for native English speakers are rare so remember The Hare and the Tortoise.

    Don’t ease off the revision when you hit your target score.

    Increase the amount of revision you do towards G-Day. On the day of the test, nerves can take over and candidates typically lose 30-40 points.

    Do nothing new a week before the test

    A week from the test, don’t take on new question styles. If you can’t master them your stress level will rise and your head will swim. Concentrate on what you know already and review and review and review.

    G-DAY 

    Warm Up

    The integrated reasoning section comes before the quantitative and verbal sections so if you’ve got the confirmation from your targeted business schools that they don’t use this section, use this section as a warm up for the rest of the test. Focus your attention and try to do your best but use it to steady your nerves at the same time.

    Know your CAT

    Remember the GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test (the questions get harder or easier depending on how you do in the previous question). Spend time on the first 5 questions – they are the most important. If you get them wrong, the CAT algorithm will make the subsequent questions easier and therefore worth fewer points. 

    • Keep your eye on the clock.

    After the first few questions, pace yourself well and note that even native English-speakers find it hard to get through the verbal section in time. Divide the remaining time over the remaining questions and check you are on time every so often. In the Quant section, one hour from the end, you should be at Q7, 45 minutes from the end, you should have finished Q15 etc. Give yourself longer for the last few questions if possible as it’s also important that you complete the test entirely and wild guessing at the end also costs points.

    Copy Carefully

    You’re allowed a dry erase board for scrap paper but copying hastily from a screen to paper can lead to careless mistakes such as inversed digits. Verify you’re working with the right figures before you start the calculation. 

    Eliminate wrong answers (P.O.E.)

    The Process of Elimination is just a fancy way of guessing and it’s the best way to handle difficult questions that you know you just can’t work out. Eliminate the answers that just can’t be right – if everything else ends in a 0, don’t choose the 3, if everything else is negative, don’t pick the positive. 

    AFTER THE TEST

    • Once completing the test, the computer will immediately issue a test taker copy of your score report. Show consideration to your schools by sending them this by scan while waiting for the official score to arrive 2-3 weeks later. Most schools will appreciate this gesture. If you’re disappointed with the results, know that you can retake 31 days later.


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    How the Sydney siege unfolded

    Police tape is stretched near the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place following a hostage standoff on December 16, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.
    A 16-hour hostage situation in a Sydney cafe has come to an end with three people dead, including the hostage-taker. The BBC looks at how events unfolded.
    09:45 Monday local time (22:45 GMT Sunday): Police are called to the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney's Martin Place in the central business district.
    Police confer on Philip St near the Lindt Cafe, Martin Place on December 15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Police attend a hostage situation at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place.
    10:09: Australian TV stations broadcast footage of hostages holding a black Islamic banner up to the window. The gunman can also be seen, wearing a bandana. The number of hostages inside the cafe is unknown at this time.
    Police cordon off several city blocks, and buildings in the area are evacuated or put on lockdown.
    This image taken from video shows a man believed to be the gunman, Man Haron Monis, inside a cafe in Sydney, Australia Monday, Dec. 15, 2014.
    This image taken from video shows people holding up what appeared to be a black flag with white Arabic writing on it, inside a cafe in Sydney, Australia Monday, Dec. 15, 2014
    12:30: Prime Minister Tony Abbott goes on national television to promise a thorough police response to the "deeply concerning incident". Hundreds of officers, commandos, negotiators converge on the area in an unprecedented operation.
    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott briefs the press on the governments response to the siege at the Lindt Chocolate Café
    An armed policeman is seen in Phillip St on December 15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Police attend a hostage situation at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place.
    Reports emerge that the gunman has made attempts to reach out to media through the hostages to voice his demands. One hostage was made to call local radio station 2GB, which refused to broadcast the requests.
    Tweet
    16:00-17:00: Five hostages, three men, then two women, sprint to safety from the building.
    Two hostages run to safety outside the Lindt Cafe, Martin Place on December 15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia
    A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014.
    18:30: Police confirm negotiations are under way with the gunman. They urge patience, saying their ultimate goal is to get everyone out safely and that could take some time.
    21:00: Chris Reason, journalist at 7 News Sydney, which has its office across the street from the Lindt cafe building, reports what he can see later at night.
    Tweet
    01:00 Tuesday local time (14:00 GMT Monday): A 50-year-old cleric from Iran, Man Haron Monis, is identified as the hostage-taker by police. He had been given asylum in Australia.
    Man Haron Monis, gunman in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe siege in Martin Place, Sydney, is photographed outside the Downing Centre Court, Sydney, February 10, 2010.
    Mr Monis, who is known to police, is currently on bail for being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and is also facing more than 40 sexual and indecent assault charges, it emerges.
    He has been convicted of sending hate mail to the families of dead Australian soldiers.
    Man Haron Monis, gunman in the Lindt Chocolat Café siege in Martin Place
    02:10: Several more hostages escape and moments later commandos storm the cafe. Shots are fired and police are seen throwing stun grenades into the building.
    The exact sequence of events inside the building is not clear.
    Hostages run towards armed tactical response police as they run to freedom from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.
    02:40: Police officially confirm that the siege has ended.
    Tweet from NSW police
    05:30: Police confirm three people are dead; two hostages, 34-year-old Tori Johnson and 38-year-old Katrina Dawson, and hostage-taker Monis. Four other people are injured.
    A family handout image obtained on 16 December 2014 of 38-year-old Katrina Dawson. Dawson was one of two hostages killed in a dramatic 16-hour siege at the Lindt cafe in Sydney, Australia.
    An injured hostage is carried out of a cafe in the central business district of Sydney on December 16, 2014.
    In the central business district on Tuesday morning, people begin laying flowers at a memorial at Martin Place.
    Flowers are left as a sign of respect at Martin Place on December 16, 2014 in Sydney, Australia


    View at the original source

    #sydneysieze, #illridewith you,

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    Peshawar live: Over 100 children among 126 dead in Taliban attack in Pakistan,

     122 injured


     
    The Taliban attacked a military-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday,
     killing over 100 students, because they wanted revenge for the Pakistani
     military targeting their own families, a spokesman said.
    "We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is 
    targeting our families and females," said Taliban spokesman 
    Muhammad Umar Khorasani. "We want them to feel the pain."
    Schoolchildren being rushed to hospital in Peshawar after Taliban's deadly attack.
    "In CMH (Combined Military Hospital) there are around 60 and there are 24 dead in Lady Reading (hospital)," Pervaiz Khattak, chief minister of the
     province where Peshawar is located, told local television channels. 
    Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has left for Peshawar to supervise operation. According to Reuters, Pakistan Taliban has said,"We targeted 
    school because army targets our families, we want them to feel our pain." 

    Police officer Javed Khan says the gunmen entered the school on Tuesday morning. He says army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and
     exchanged fire with the gunmen. 

    Pakistani television showed soldiers surrounding the area and 
    pushing people back.
    Peshawar has been the target of frequent militant attacks in the past.
    Military officials at the scene said at least six armed men had entered 
    the military-run Army Public School. 

    "We were standing outside the school and firing suddenly started and there was chaos everywhere and the screams of children and teachers," 
    said Jamshed Khan, a school bus driver.

    A teacher said that the attackers targeted the school while exams were taking place.

    "After half an hour of the attack, the army came and sealed the school,"
     a teacher told a private television channel outside the besieged school.





    "We were in the examination hall when the attack took place," he said. 
    "Now the army men are clearing the classes one by one."

    Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani told Reuters his group
     was responsible for the attack.

    "Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions 
    not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel," he said.

    "It's a revenge attack for the army offensive in North Waziristan," he said, referring to an anti-Taliban military offensive that began in June.


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    Big Data Drawing Big Student Enrollments





    How does Netflix recommend TV shows and movies for you? How does the Center for Disease Control predict the spread of infectious diseases? Why does my computer now only display ads for MBA programs? What are the most dangerous intersections for a cyclist in Los Angeles?
    All of these questions can be answered by some (relatively) simple big data analysis. Business analytics and big data analysis courses are popping up at MBA programs at a frenzied pace. Florian Zettelmeyer, a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, has been pondering the implications for a decade.
    When Zettelmeyer was at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Harrah’s casino chain was just starting to dabble in using big data to make c-suite decisions. At the time, Harrah’s had 29 casinos across the country with 29 different managers. The problem was establishing a new incentives program to get people in the doors. They were examining data from each casino as a whole. The adoption of big data analysis allowed them to examine each individual customer and their actions once inside the doors, switching the central value from the actual casino to the patrons. Management could make better decisions for their individual casinos instead of an over-arching decision with little specificity or relevance. Scary, huh?
    A CORE PHILOSOPHICAL SWITCH
    Big data is old news for statisticians, engineers, and (obviously) data analysts. But the reason it is increasingly essential to an MBA education is what Zettelmeyer labels as the core philosophical idea. And a wealth of business schools have jumped on this bandwagon, offering majors and minors in the field within their traditional MBA programs or MS degrees in business analytics. The programs range from online offerings, such as Indiana University’s Kelley School MS in Business Analytics for just $36,000 to a concentration in it at such schools as the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business or NYU’s Stern School.
    “Data analytics is a job management problem and a leadership problem,” Zettelmeyer says. “An MBA program should help answer the question, what do you need to be effective as a manager in the current business environment? Right now, being a good leader means possessing at least a working knowledge of data science.”
    Zettelmeyer’s main point is it is a leader’s job to strategically decide which problems should be examined through the data. Once the problem is identified, someone has to interpret the data. Interpreting for interpreting’s sake can produce some intriguing insights, but is largely unhelpful unless there is a calculated problem to be solved. Zettelmeyer teaches all of his courses in a problem-solution format. That is, what is the problem? And how is data mining and analysis going to bring a solution?
    According to Zettelmeyer, managers need to combine data with intuition to make decisions. More importantly, they have to know what they are seeing. Then, they need to communicate the data in persuasive ways. And so the Kellogg curriculum was forged from the stone of Bay Area entrepreneurship and Big Tech. Kellogg professor, Brian Uzzi teaches multiple classes focusing on social implications of analytics and has helped shape Kellogg’s evolving curriculum alongside Zettelmeyer and other faculty members. Two years ago, the faculty members drafted initial curriculum, gathering a list of Kellogg alumni in the Bay Area and then connecting with the Silicon Valley tech giants. The faculty gave course descriptions and syllabi to execs from Facebook and others, gathered feedback, filled holes in what the companies felt the needs really were, and finished the curriculum.
    “We prepare students to understand customer to customer dynamics,” Uzzi says. “We train them to be able to pull data from Twitter API and do a marketing analysis. By the end of one class period, our students can do something that would cost $70,000 for a consultant to do on their laptops in less than an hour. They leave our program feeling like they can get the best job imaginable and be able to have a startup on the side.”
    FROM ENGINEERING SCHOOLS TO A B-SCHOOL NEAR YOU
    While the actual master’s degree in analytics still remains at the engineering school at Northwestern, the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business is one of the business programs to house a one year master’s degree in business analytics. And it has been well-received. The program started its inaugeral class of in March. According to Yehuda Bassok, chair of the Data Sciences and Operations department at Marshall, they had about 80 applicants. This year they are expecting up to 500.
    Bassok says the benefits and use of big data analysis goes beyond marketing problems and figuring out how to increase profit. It can also monumental in areas like public safety issues. One of the projects students have worked on in the fledgling program is addressing pedestrian and cyclist safety issues for the city of Los Angeles.
    “All of the data for streets and intersections of where there are cyclist and pedestrian accidents are compiled by the City,” Bassok says. “Our program teaches students how to take that unstructured data and structure it. Is there a connection between the structure of an intersection and the accident? How serious were the accidents? Structuring the data might lead to a simple and low-cost solution.”
    ‘AN MBA IS A SWISS ARMY KNIFE’
    The University of Rochester’s Simon Business School also recently announced a new MS in Business Analytics program.
    “An MBA is a Swiss Army Knife,” says Simon Dean Andrew Ainslie. “There are a ton of topics covered and is appropriate for someone wanting career mobility. The one year masters program is for someone wanting a more focused and specialized education.”
    Ainslie says it is part of a large cycle. Big data was very much a part of business education in the late 90s during the boom of dotcom companies. The bust caused big data to fade away for a while. Now, with companies like Google and Amazon dedicating large amounts of resources to it, big data is regaining traction. It could also be gaining popularity in business schools to fill a decreasing part-time population.
    “There has been a slow, steady 20 year decline in Americans taking the GMAT,” Ainslie says. “The part-time programs have taken the hit and are dying out. The popularity of big data allows schools to offer a new and attractive program.”
    SOLVING A GLOBAL HEALTH CRISIS TO DRAFTING A FANTASY TEAM
    In 2009, when the nation was rife with panic over the spread of the H1N1 virus, researchers at Northwestern were inspired by the website, Where’s George, which tracks how dollar bills move around the country. They used similar computer algorithms except the two mammoth datasets of air and commuter traffic trends replaced dollar bills. The result was an eerily close prediction of how many H1N1 cases would come about and where.
    Dustin Pusch heads up the program at George Washington’s School of Business. He says the purpose of their program, which can be taken in two years as a part-time student or one year as a full-time student, is to prepare students to manage a business problem from start-to-finish with only analytic decision making. The school partners with Deloitte and Catalyst Consulting to create and solve the problems.
    Another way George Washington students can delve into the galaxy of big data is through the Washington Nationals. Students mainly work with the Nationals’ marketing department, but are also exposed to the moneyball side of the sport.
    “The cat’s out of the bag for the sports world,” Pusch says. “You are not going to be as successful as a sports franchise unless you are doing it. They run big data sets for player evaluation. The concepts we teach are absolutely applicable to this. I just use the concepts to better draft my fantasy teams.”
    ALL ABOARD THE BIG DATA BANDWAGON?
    The beauty of George Washington’s program is that students get a basic skill set and then the autonomy to create a program specific to their goals and interests.
    “We have a corporate advisory board made up of representatives from organizations such as Deloitte, IBM, the Nationals, the Federal Treasury, JP Morgan, and others,” Pusch says. “They all weigh in on the development of the program. The importance we are seeing is not just the technical skills. We also have to emphasize soft skills and being able to communicate the analytics.”
    Regardless of interest, the world is rapidly moving towards big data and being able to analyze and communicate it effectively and efficiently.
    “Business, marketing, finance, the spread of infectious diseases, everyone is starting to use big data sets to make predictions and evaluations,” Zettelmeyer says. “General Electric is using big data to make decisions on building and scheduling railroads and locomotives across the country. Analytics are everywhere and managers need to know how to synthesize and make decisions with them.”
    BUSINESS ANALYTICS PROGRAMS OFFERED AT BUSINESS SCHOOLS
    School Degree Length of Program Cost
    Chicago (Booth) Concentration in Analytic Management Can be earned during two-year MBA $61,520
    NYU (Stern) Specialization in Business Analytics Can be earned during two-year MBA $60,744
    Northwestern (Kellogg) Program on Business Analytics Can be earned during MBA $61,596
    Indiana (Kelley) Boasts major and minor in analytics in MBA program, plus an online MS in business analytics Online program can be earned while at home $36,000
    University of Southern California (Marshall) MS in Business Analytics Full-time, 1 year or part-time, one class per semester $47,000
    The George Washington School of Business MS in Business Analytics Full-time, 1 year or part-time, 2 years $50,000
    University of Texas-Austin (McCombs) MS in Business Analytics Three semesters $34,000 (in-state) or $40,000 (out-of-state)
    Arizona State University (W.P. Carey) MS in Business Analytics 9-month full-time or 16-month part-time $31,300 (in-state) or $46,700 (out-of-state)
    University of Minnesota (Carlson) MS in Business Analytics Three semesters $39,825 (in-state) or $54,900 (out-of-state)
    Michigan State University (Broad) MS in Business Analytics One year, full-time $51,980 (in-state) or $54,980 (out-of-state)
    University of Rochester (Simon) MS in Business Analytics 11 months (non-internship track) or 17 months (internship track) $62,678
    Southern Methodist University (Cox) MS in Business Analytics Full-time, 1 year $48,386
    Drexel University LeBow College of Business MS in Business Analytics  1 year, full-time (45 credits) $42,750
    University of Cincinnati, Lindner College of Business MS in Business Analytics Full-time, 1 year $19,280 (in-state), $24,118 (out-of-state)
    University of Miami School of Business Administration MS in Business Analytics Full-time, 9 months $53,7000
    Melbourne Business School (Australia) Master of Business Analytics Full-time, 1 year $48,000
    View at the original source

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    The Yale MBA Behind Big Data Platform Hadapt

    by Taylor Ellis on 
    Justin Borgman brings big data research out of the lab and into the marketplace
    Justin Borgman brings big data research out of the lab and into the marketplace
    At the age of 12, Justin Borgman knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. But when he arrived for his first year as an MBA student at Yale’s School of Management he didn’t have any startup ideas and almost went into venture capital, instead.
    Luckily, an internship in Yale’s Office of Cooperative Research, which helps to commercialize academic work, helped him rediscover his entrepreneurial ambitions. Borgman read a paper by Daniel Abadi, a computer science professor who was working on a solution to bridge the divide between different data platforms so they could interact with each other. Borgman was convinced that Abadi’s research held commercial potential. He met with Abadi and his PhD student Kamil Bajda–Pawlikowsk and eventually persuaded the two to cofound Hadapt, a big data analytic platform that allows customers to examine all of their data in one place.
    Borgman says this platform is especially useful to the ecommerce industry where companies are trying to keep track of every click, product review, and social media response. Hadapt enables these businesses to collect their information in one area so they can study consumer behavior. “We try to help people take advantage of the data they are already collecting, but just not making good use of,” Borgman says.
    Investors understand Hadapt’s advantage in the big data phenomenon. The startup raised $17 million in Series A funding from Atlas Venture, Norwest Venture Partners, and Bessemer Venture Partners. But Borgman notes that while they’ve achieved success now, securing their first check was a big challenge.
    “I think the first round of funding is the hardest for anyone because it seems so risky to investors,” he says. “There’s this weird psychological phenomenon that when you raise your first $500,000, you suddenly are less risky to investors even though nothing has changed from a business perspective. But literally from the day before you get the check to the day after you get the check, your level of perceived risk just drops dramatically. So how you get that first check was a struggle, and is probably a struggle for anyone. My lesson there is to persevere and network like crazy. Don’t be afraid to get rejected a bunch of times.”
    These highs and lows of the entrepreneurial experience make it one of the most emotionally taxing choices, Borgman says. The only way to survive the roller coaster is an unfaltering dedication to your startup. “You just have to commit,” he says. “You have to have this fire in your belly of commitment, drive, and determination that you are going to make this startup successful at all costs.”

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    The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide for Writing GREAT Blog Posts

    Blogging GuidepostAuthor and marketer Lynn Serafinn shares her 12-step template for turning info articles into rich content for your readers and effective marketing tools for you.

    As a marketing consultant, I work with non-fiction authors and social entrepreneurs . Almost without exception, my clients come to me with the same desire—they want to build their online marketing platform so they can ‘get the word out’ to the world about their ethical enterprise or book. For this to happen, it’s vital that we create, define or refine their ‘brand’.

    Your brand is not just about your book or what your business has to offer; nor is defining your brand just about getting the right name, logo and colours. Your brand is a profile of who you are. It’s about your values and your mission. It answers questions like:
    • What do you stand for?
    • What is the change you want bring to the world?
    • What value does your book or company bring to humanity and planet?
    Armed with this level of self-awareness, an author can then begin the greater work of communicating their brand to the public. In a nutshell, that’s what marketing is.

    One of the key methods I encourage my clients to use to communicate with their audience  is blogging. 

    Blogging, whether in writing or video blogging (or ‘vlogging’ as it is often called) is one of the most expressive, creative and effective ways to reach your intended audience and allow them to get to know your brand intimately. Unfortunately, most independent business owners I meet have no idea how to write an effective blog that a) reinforces their brand and b) ‘sells’ their enterprise without turning into a schmoozy sales letter.

    In this article, I’m gong to give you a 12-step template for writing an effective blog that cangive genuine value to your readers, build greater connection between you and your audience, and serve as a marketing piece for your ethical business without diminishing the integrity of your mission and your message.

    STEP 1: Choose Your Topics Strategically

    To make blogging work as a marketing strategy, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they looking for? What problems are they trying to solve? What do they love, hate, fear, desire? See the world through their eyes.

    Then, ask yourself this: How does your business address their problems? What expertise do you have that can meet their needs? Make a list of topics and break them into sub-topics. Try to come up with at least 20 ideas. If you blog only once a week, that’s nearly 6 months’ worth of value-driven content ideas. When I do this exercise with clients, they are often surprised to see how EASY it is to come up with rich, relevant ideas. They get excited because it opens up a whole new world of communication possibilities.

    What if you aren’t a naturally gifted writer? 

    This is no barrier to becoming a great blogger. A skilled Virtual Assistant can help you with editing and tightening up your ideas (such as those on our 7 Graces staff). OR, video blogging is a GREAT alternative, provided you know some of the keys to YouTube SEO (a topic for another article).

    STEP 2: Put Your Message in the Title

    I mentioned this in an earlier article called ‘Left-Brain Blogging for Right-Brain Marketers’. Many new bloggers do not understand the importance of landing the right title for your blog article. Being cute, colourful or poetic doesn’t necessarily work in blogging. If your title doesn’t say exactly what a reader will find in the article, they are unlikely to check it out. Remember, the viral nature of blogging is highly dependent upon people sharing your article on social media and bookmarking sites. Even if someone does share your post, if the title doesn’t speak to their followers and readers, they won’t be inclined to click their link to check it out.

    For your blog post to be an effective marketing tool, make sure you SAY what the article is about in the title. Put keywords in the title that will show up in searches if people are trying to find specific information. Finally, try to make your title no longer than 60 characters long (including spaces). The reason for this is that many search engines will cut off after 60 characters. If you need to make the title longer than 60 characters, make sure the crux of the message and the most important keywords are before the 60 character point.

    I give a lot of care and attention to creating titles for my blogs. Have a look at the title of this article as an example:
    • TITLE: The Social Entrepreneur ’s Guide for Writing GREAT Blog Posts.
    • It is EXACTLY 60 characters
    • The overall topic/message AND the audience is identified in the title
    • The title is keyword rich and the keywords are all relevant to the topic of the article
    • The title reflects a topic that is relevant to the needs and interests of my reading audience (social entrepreneurs looking for creative and ethical ways to marketing themselves online)
    FYI: 

    To demonstrate how a title needs to speak to your intended audience, I published a slightly different version of this article on my Spirit Authors site. As that article was aimed at non-fiction authors seeking to promote their books, the title was: “How to Sell Your Book or Service by Writing Great Blog Posts”. I included the words “or Service” because most non-fiction authors have service businesses (e.g., coaching, consulting, therapy, etc.) that are related to their book topic.

    STEP 3: Choose a Good, Royalty-Free Image

    Always include an image in your blog post that reflects the subject and feel of your article. I encourage you to put this image at the top of the article on the left-hand side. Make sure it is listed as the ‘featured image’ if your blog has that function.

    Search engines love rich media like images and videos, but images also make your article more attractive when shared on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and encourages people to ‘pin’ your post on Pinterest.

    Make sure your image is ‘royalty free’. Do NOT pinch images by doing a Google image search. This means you might have to pay for your images, but if you blog once or twice a week, the investment is no more than the cost of a cappuccino at your favourite coffee shop. Here are some good royalty free sites (some of these are my affiliate links):

    STEP 4: Start with a ‘Teaser’

    This is an important element most bloggers overlook. I recommend starting your article with a ‘teaser’ that summarises what you’re going to talk about in the article and WHY. This teaser should be only 1 or 2 sentences, preferably no longer than 160 characters in length (with spaces). Make sure the teaser is a complete, self-contained thought, and is not just the first line of your article.

    The reason for the 160 character teaser again has to do with search engines and sharing. When an article is displayed on search engines like Google and on social media sites like Facebook, you will see the title of the article and a short description of it. Unless you have your SEO (search engine optimisation) defined in your blog post, that description will typically be the first 160 characters of your article. Rarely (if ever) will your first 160 characters say anything of meaning about the context of the rest of the article. Putting in a ‘teaser’ ensures that people will know precisely what your article is about.

    Note how the 160 character ‘teaser’ in this article stands up on its own, enabling readers to know exactly what they will find if they click the link:

    Author, marketer Lynn Serafinn shares her 12-step template for turning info articles into rich content for your readers and effective marketing tools for you.

    Put your teaser in bold italics at the beginning of your article. This will set it apart from the main body of your post, and allow your audience to get a quick idea of what the article is about before reading.

    The teaser is also another chance for you to use relevant keywords, making your blog post more likely to be picked up in Google searches.

    BONUS TIP: 

    If you are a WordPress user, I recommend using a plug-in called ‘All in One SEO’. Then, in addition to entering your title and keywords, you can use this teaser for the meta ‘description’ of the post. Alternatively, if you use JetPack, you can enter the SEO for each blog post there.

    STEP 5: Present the PROBLEM

    After your teaser, start your article by presenting the ‘problem’ you are going to address in the article. Say what the problem is and why people need a solution to it. This doesn’t have to be very long or complicated; a few sentences or a short paragraph is perfectly fine.

    Then, after you’ve presented the problem, tell the audience how you intend to address this problem in the rest of the article. This is important because it helps ‘filter’ your audience: those who don’t care about the topic will click away and those who are really interested will keep reading. And here’s the secret: the more ‘filtered’ your audience becomes, the more defined they become. And the more defined your audience is, the more clearly defined your brand becomes in their eyes.

    STEP 6: Present the SOLUTION or ANSWER to the Problem

    This section is the main body of your article. It is the place where you demonstrate your wisdom or expertise by addressing the ‘problem’ you identified.

    How long does this need to be? That really depends upon what you ‘promised’ in the previous step. For example, at the top of this article I said I would give you a 12-step template, so that automatically defined how long this article would be. But I tend to write long articles and certainly your blog posts don’t need to be as long as mine. For example, I asked one of my clients to write an article explaining the meaning of two symbols from her book. Notionally, she only had to write one paragraph for each of these symbols.

    TIP: Don’t go off the topic in your blog post. 

    If you presented a problem, stick to it and don’t go off on a tangent. If you find yourself wanting to talk about things that aren’t really related to the problem you presented, save those ideas for a different article.

    STEP 7: SUMMARISE the Importance of What You Discussed

    After you’ve presented your ‘solution’ write a paragraph that summarises how you fulfilled the promise of the article, and highlights the importance or usefulness of the subject at a wider level. What can this bring us? How does it help us? How does it add to our lives? What’s the bigger vision?
    For example, my summary at the end of this article will talk about how good blogging can bring authors and business owners to ‘sell without selling’.

    STEP 8: SHORT Mention of Your Business Services

    After all that is done, give a brief mention of your business services, making sure it relates somehow the topic you just discussed. This should NOT be a ‘sales pitch’ but an invitation to the reader to get to know more about you and what you offer by letting them know you have more to give.

     Try to keep this to a single sentence (two at most).

    STEP 9: ‘Call to Action’ 1: SUBSCRIBE REQUEST

    In a single sentence, tell your readers what they can expect from future articles, and invite them to subscribe to your blog.

    TIP: Be SURE you have an email subscription box set up via Feedburner, JetPack or other subscription service).

    STEP 10: ‘Call to Action’ 2: ENGAGEMENT

    Always encourage your readers to leave comments on your site. This helps build stronger connection with them, and it also gives you feedback about how they feel about your content. Start your request by saying something like ‘I’d love to hear about your own experience’, or ‘I’d love to know what you think about this topic’, etc. Then, simply ask them to leave a comment in the comments box.
    TIP: I showed different approaches to Calls to Action, from a 7 Graces perspective, in a previous article called ‘Is Your Call to Action an Invitation or a Demand?’. I recommend reading that as your fine-tune your blog post.

    STEP 11: Make it Easy for Your Readers to Share and Follow

    Be sure to have links to your social media profiles like Twitter or Facebook, and invite people to connect with you. Be sure you also have a good sharing plug-in installed so people can share your article. If you want, you can encourage them to share the article by saying something like, ‘If you liked this article, please share it with your friends.’

    STEP 12: Bio and Headshot

    This is a step too many bloggers overlook. It is HIGHLY important for people to know something about the author of the article they’ve just read. Without this, they cannot form an opinion about the value of your content or your business. It’s wrong to assume that people know who you are just because they came to your website. It’s your responsibility to give them this information.
    I recommend ending EVERY blog post with a short bio and headshot. This is because your reader will be busy asking many ‘why’ questions:
    • ‘Why’ is this person talking about this particular subject?
    • ‘Why’ should I believe in what this person has to say?
    • ‘Why’ should I come back to this site in the future?
    • ‘Why’ should I check out what else this person/business does?

    Closing Thoughts

    Short-term sales might come from sales pages, but long-term customers come through TRUST. Writing effective blog posts on a regular basis is one of the best (and easiest) ways I know to build that trust. The more your audience gets to know you, your ideas and what you stand for, the more they come to trust your advice and your integrity.

    The beautiful thing about blogging is that it is a way to ‘sell without selling’. When you share your wisdom, insight, experience, information or expertise on your blog, you are not only giving value to your audience, but you are also building awareness about yourself as an ethical business and service provider. Thus sales become an organic—rather than an aggressive—by-product of this interaction between you and your readers.




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    Here are the world’s worst cities for air pollution, and they’re not the ones you’d expect














    In 2010, some 223,000 people around the world died from lung cancer caused by exposure to air pollution, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday. And more than half of those deaths are believed to have been in China and elsewhere in East Asia. Here are the world’s worst cities for air pollution, according to the WHO.

    air-pollution-by-city
    Exposure to air pollution is getting worse in parts of the world, especially industrializing countries, according to the WHO. The WHO’s key announcement yesterday was that it has included outdoor air pollution on its definitive list of the world’s known carcinogens—an addition that, it hopes, will get governments to do something about it. Air pollution is the world’s worst environmental carcinogen and more dangerous than second-hand smoke, for instance, the health body said.

    As the chart above shows, the cities with the worst air are often not big capitals, but provincial places with heavy industry in them or nearby. Ahwaz, for instance, in southwestern Iran, far outstrips infamously polluted cities like New Delhi or Beijing, with 372 parts per million of particles smaller than 10 micrometers (PM10), compared to the world average of 71. Life expectancy for the city of 1.2 million residents is the lowest in Iran.

    Why so bad? In Ahwaz, Iranian meteorology officials have blamed the US for the spike, claiming the presence of US forces in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s destroyed agriculture and caused desertification. But researchers cite heavy industry in and around the city, like oil, metal and petrochemical processing, and blame the desertification on the draining of marshes and a national project that has diverted local water away from the city.

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    Volvo's bike helmet concept alerts riders and drivers to each other 

























    You know what will go perfectly with those futuristic rocket-powered, heartrate-monitoring bikes? 

    This smart helmet that Volvo wants to create. It's a two-way system that works by uploading both cyclists' and drivers' locations to Volvo's cloud. While a connected car's in-dash system makes that possible, the helmet needs to be linked to a bike app like Strava to do so. Bicyclists can then be warned that there's a car coming their way or crossing their path by warning lights built into the helmet.

    Drivers, on the other hand, will be alerted via a heads-up display on the windshield if a bicycle's nearby, which is especially useful if it's coming from a blind spot. It's an intriguing idea, but if it works is another matter, as not everyone drives a Volvo -- also, some people might not be too keen on uploading their locations to the cloud. Several automakers have shown off V2X (vehicle to environment) systems that connect locally and directly, but they aren't on the market yet. If you'd like to know more about the concept then stay tuned for more details, because we'll be seeing it in person at CES 2015.


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    A Look Into Entrepreneurial Approaches to Social Change


















    My first experience with the world of startups dates back to the early 1980s, when I had the privilege of joining the world's first online service, or what today would be called an "Internet company." One more stop at another startup effort and I finally had the chance to be part of building the company that quite literally brought America Online.
    We didn't just build a Fortune 500 corporation, we helped usher in the digital revolution. But I believe our success, in the face of competitors who had deeper pockets and wider networks, rested on a critical point: We were on a mission that went beyond making money. The early team at AOL undoubtedly believed in the power of the Internet to democratize access to ideas, information and communication andlevel the playing field. It was that sense of mission that drove our passion and perseverance.
    Fast-forward to today and a new breed of entrepreneur is increasingly on the rise -- one that is also driven by more than just financial incentive, but by a desire to change the world. Social entrepreneurs are adapting innovative solutions to address some of the most pressing societal issues and complex problems. They are building long lasting, profitable businesses while addressing issues like education, hunger, financial literacy and much more. They understand that an entrepreneurial approach and a solid business model could be key to solving big challenges -- and they're building companies out of bold and innovative ideas.

    The Rise of the Social Enterprise

    As Julius Caesar once told his armies, "Fortune favors the bold." Social enterprises are thriving across the globe, from Nairobi-based Sanergy, started by MIT grads who have built and deployed nearly 400 "Fresh Life" toilets in urban slums while converting waste to energy and fertilizer for thousands, to Oakland, Calif.-based Revolution Foods, founded by two moms who have transformed the way kids eat in 1,000 schools across the U.S.
    As social entrepreneurship continues to grow, a new opportunity has bloomed for investors who want to generate both a financial and a social return -- impact investing. Thanks to pioneering investors and organizations like DBL Investors, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Rockefeller Foundation, and B Lab who have supported the development of infrastructure and measurement systems, created certification programs and invested directly in companies, the impact investing market is poised to become a mainstream phenomenon.
    Emblematic of the kind of momentum we are seeing in the market, in June of this year nearly 30 corporations, banks, foundations and individuals -- including Prudential, the Omidyar Network and Capricorn Investment Group -- announced at the White House their joint commitment to invest more than $1.5 billion into companies and funds that strive to generate positive financial and social returns. U.S. government agencies, including the Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury, alsoannounced programs to support impact investments and social enterprises.
    The social investing sector has tremendous potential and much of it has yet to be explored. Over the past two years, we've engaged in hundreds of conversations with current and potential impact investors to understand both the opportunities for the space, as well as the hurdles for bringing more capital into companies and other vehicles that blend profit and purpose. One of our biggest takeaways is that people simply don't know where to start. That's why we released "A Short Guide to Impact Investing,"designed to help investors better understand ways to capitalize on companies and growing markets that can deliver both financial and social returns.
    In addition, we heard an overwhelming request for more examples of what works for companies and investors in this space who are developing innovative new models and approaches. As a result, the Case Foundation, in coordination with ImpactAlpha, has created a series of profiles on social entrepreneurs, along with the investors who have backed them, who are changing the landscape of business for good.
    Each week, Entrepreneur.com will publish a profile of entrepreneurs who are pioneering social change, as well as the investors who are backing their ambitious efforts.
    We are thrilled that Entrepreneur is helping us shine a spotlight on these stories through this new Impact Profiles series. It is our hope that three decades from now, we'll be sharing the stories of companies who have successfully solved our global hunger challenges, closed the opportunity gap, and supported a new generation of small business owners, all while delivering positive financial returns, creating jobs and building iconic companies in the process. They will succeed where others said they could not.

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    If Mary and Joseph tried to reach Bethlehem today, they would get stuck at an Israeli checkpoint




    Why is it that the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, or countries such as Sudan, has attracted the attention and anger of politicians in the west, yet the Christians of Palestine don’t get a look-in?


    Tis the season of Nativity scenes. But here’s a question to consider: would Joseph and Mary even have been able to reach Bethlehem if they were making that same journey today?
    How would that carpenter and his pregnant wife have circumnavigated the Kafka­esque network of Israeli settlements, roadblocks and closed military zones in the occupied West Bank? Would Mary have had to experience labour or childbirth at a checkpoint, as one in ten pregnant Palestinian women did between 2000 and 2007 (resulting in the death of at least 35 newborn babies, according to the Lancet)?
    “If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed,” declared Father Ibrahim Shomali, a Catholic priest of the city’s Beit Jala parish, in December 2011. “Mary and Joseph would have needed Israeli permission – or to have been tourists.”
    Three years on, nothing has changed. Bethlehem today is surrounded on three sides by Israel’s eight-metre-high concrete wall, cutting it off from Jerusalem just six miles to the north; the city is also encircled by 22 illegal Israeli settlements, including Nokdim – home to Israel’s far-right foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman (the only foreign minister in the world who doesn’t live inside the borders of his own country).
    The biblical birthplace of Christ has had large chunks of land confiscated and colonised and its tourism-dependent economy has been hit hard: the city has one of the highest unemployment rates (25 per cent) and levels of poverty (22 per cent) in the West Bank. As a result, Christians continue to emigrate from one of the holiest places of Christianity – the Christian proportion of Bethlehem’s population has dropped, in recent decades, from 95 per cent to less than a third. Overall, in 1948, Christians in Palestine accounted for roughly 18 per cent of the Arab population; today they make up less than 2 per cent of the Palestinian population of the occupied territories.
    So here is another question to consider: why is it that the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, or countries such as Sudan, has attracted the attention and anger of politicians in the west, yet the Christians of Palestine don’t get a look-in? There are no motions, resolutions or petitions filed on their behalf; no solidarity expressed. Could it be because their persecutors aren’t Arabs or Muslims: it’s the state of Israel?
    The Israeli government, conveniently, blames the decline of the Palestinian Christian population on the intolerance of militant Muslim groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The problem for the Israelis is that the Christian exodus pre-dates the existence of Hamas – the creation of Israel in 1948 was marked by the expulsion of as many as 50,000 Christians from their homes – not to mention that Palestinian Christians in their own right have repeatedly refused to endorse their occupiers’ dis­ingenuous narrative. A 2006 poll by the Open Bethlehem campaign group found that 78 per cent of Christian residents of the city singled out “Israeli aggression and occupation” as “the main cause of emigration”, while a mere 3 per cent exclusively blamed the “rise of Islamic movements”.
    “Divide and rule” is the name of the (Israeli) game; trying to turn Palestinian Christians against Palestinian Muslims by blaming the latter for the persecution and emigration of the former; even trying to redefine what it means to be a Palestinian Christian. In February, the Knesset passed a law recognising Palestinian Christians in Israel as a minority distinct from Palestinian Muslims. Yariv Levin, the Likud politician who sponsored the law, said it would “connect us to the Christians, and I am careful not to refer to them as Arabs, because they are not Arabs”.
    Yet Arab Christians, and specifically Palestinian Christians, have always been at the forefront of efforts to resist Israeli expansionism: from politicians such as Hanan Ashrawi to diplomats such as Afif Safieh, who served as the PLO’s envoy in London, Washington and Moscow; from the New York-based academic Edward Said to the militant leader George Habash, who founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The current mayor of Bethlehem is Vera Baboun, a Palestinian Christian who has written of “the despair of decades of living under a foreign occupation”. The Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, is Christian, too. “We as Christians are part and parcel of the social fabric of [Palestinian] society,” Hassassian told me, adding: “I want to celebrate Christmas in a free country.”
    Palestinian church leaders – Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Greek Orthodox – came together in 2009 to declare the occupation a “sin against God” and urge a boycott of Israel. What a contrast with US evangelical leaders who shamefully line up behind right-wing Israeli governments and Jewish settlers as they wait for Armageddon.
    Palestinian Christians complicate the simplistic narrative of “Muslims v Jews”; they are an inconvenient reminder that the conflict in the Holy Land has nothing to do with theology and everything to do with freedom and self-determination. Whatever your view of Jesus or Muhammad, if you are a Palestinian resident of the West Bank you are a victim of the longest military occupation in the world.
    “There is no difference between Christian and Muslim,” remarks a character inSaraya, the Ogre’s Daughter, a novel by the Palestinian Christian writer Emile Habibi. “We are all Palestinian in our predicament.” 


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    Top 10 Universities in US



    If you are interested to study in US, it is no surprise because US beholds the image of being the leading destination for international students. You will be amazed by the sheer volume and variety of universities in the US, but can get puzzled when asked to choose from a lengthy list. To make things easy for you, here is a comprehensive guide on 10 best universities in the US.
    Top-10-Universities-in-US (1)

    Rank 10# Duke University


    It was founded in 1838. It merged with Trinity College in 1924.
    • Location – Durham
    • Specialty – Duke University underwent both physical and academic expansion when it got merged with Trinity College. The original campus is now known as East campus.
    • Student Strength – It has 10 schools and colleges with over 50,000 students

    Rank 9# University of Pennsylvania


    It is recognized for its excellence in scholarship, research and service. It was founded in 1740.
    • Location – Philadelphia
    • Specialty – The campus is the place where students and faculty can pursue knowledge without boundaries.
    • Student Strength – It is home to 20,600 full-time and 4,000 part-time students.

    Rank 8# Columbia University


    It is one of the most important centers of research along with a comfortable learning environment.
    • Location – New Work
    • Specialty – It has US president Barack Obama among its alumni. It awards the annual literacy Pulitzer Prize and boasts more Nobel Prize winners than any other institution.
    • Student Strength – It has 6,084 undergraduate students along with 13 graduate and professional schools.

    Rank 7# Yale University


    It is the America’s third oldest university, founded in 1701.
    • Location – New Haven
    • Specialty – It has nurtured five US presidents and 17 Supreme Court justices. The library of this university has around 12.5 million books.
    • Student Strength – It has total undergraduate enrollment of 5,430.

    Rank 6# University of Chicago


    It was established in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society.
    • Location – Chicago
    • Specialty – The Chicago School of Economics under the university developed Milton Friedman’s pro-market philosophy.
    • Student Strength – Over 5,659 undergraduates enroll under this university that has 125 research institutes and centers.

    Rank 5# Princeton University


    It is the fourth oldest university in the US, founded in 1746.
    • Location – Princeton
    • Specialty – It boasts of more than 30 Nobel laureates among its past faculty and alumni.
    • Student Strength – It is home to around 5,000 undergraduate, 2,500 postgraduates and more than 1,100 academics.

    Rank 4# Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT)


    Founded in 1861, it focuses on advance knowledge to serve the nation and the world of 21st century.
    • Location – Cambridge
    • Specialty – This university has produced more than 70 Nobel laureates in 150 years, eight of who are still associated with the faculty body.
    • Student Strength – It has more than 10,000 students along with 34 academic departments, divisions and degree programs.

    Rank 3# Stanford University


    It is the US’s most selective university, founded in 1891.
    • Location – Stanford
    • Specialty – The alumni of this university has founded multinational giants like Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Google.
    • Student Strength – It has 7,000 undergraduate and around 4,000 graduate students.

    Rank 2# Harvard University


    This university is acknowledged for its excellence in teaching learning and research in many disciplines, founded in 1636.
    • Location – Cambridge
    • Specialty – It is the oldest academic institute in the US. It has the global academy’s largest financial endowment.
    • Student Strength – Over 20,000 degree candidates.

    Rank 1# California Institute of Technology (Caltech)


    Caltech aims at expanding human knowledge and benefit the society through research integrated with education. Established in 1891.
    • Location – Pasadena, CA
    • Specialty – It manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, owns and operates a global network of astronomical observatories and research facilities.
    • Student Strength – It is home to around 2,300 students.
    All these above universities have world-class infrastructure, academic body, facilities and research opportunities that can help you to gain expertise in your subject or field of study.

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