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Best content from the best source handpicked by Shyam. The source include The Harvard University, MIT, Mckinsey & Co, Wharton, Stanford,and other top educational institutions. domains include Cybersecurity, Machine learning, Deep Learning, Bigdata, Education, Information Technology, Management, others.

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    Is your degree worth it?

    It depends what you study, not where

    A new report from PayScale, a research firm, calculates the returns to a college degree. Its authors compare the career earnings of graduates with the present-day cost of a degree at their alma maters, net of financial aid. 
    College is usually worth it, but not always, it transpires. And what you study matters far more than where you study it.
    Engineers and computer scientists do best, earning an impressive 20-year annualised return of 12% on their college fees (the S&P 500 yielded just 7.8%). 
    Engineering graduates from run-of-the-mill colleges do only slightly worse than those from highly selective ones. Business and economics degrees also pay well, delivering a solid 8.7% average return. Courses in the arts or the humanities offer vast spiritual rewards, of course, but less impressive material ones. Some yield negative returns. 
    An arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art had a hefty 20-year net negative return of $92,000, for example.

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    Gender Differences in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Interest, Credits Earned, and NAEP Performance in the 12th Grade

    As technical and scientific innovation continue to drive the global economy, educators, policymakers, and scientists seek to promote students’ interest and achievement in the STEM fields to maintain the nation’s competitive positions. Many researchers have studied differences in male and female students’ attitudes toward and performance in STEM courses and assessments. While some research shows that gaps in male and female performance on STEM-related assessments have narrowed or even closed, other research continues to report gender differences in student affective dispositions (i.e., interest) toward mathematics and science, as well as differences in student performance in mathematics and science, especially in math-intensive science fields.

    This Statistics in Brief describes high school graduates’ attitudes toward STEM courses (specifically, mathematics and science), credits earned in STEM fields, and performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics and science assessments in 2009.

    Key Findings

    • In 2009, compared to males, lower percentages of female high school graduates reported that they liked mathematics or science and that mathematics or science was one of their favorite subjects.
    • Compared to males, higher percentages of female 2009 high school graduates took algebra II, precalculus, advanced biology, chemistry, and health science/technology courses.
    • Generally, among 2009 high school graduates who had earned credits in specific mathematics and science courses, males had higher average NAEP mathematics and NAEP science scale scores than females.

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    23andMe Turns DNA Data Into Drugs in Startup’s Latest Twist

    23andMe Inc., the Google Inc.-backed genetic-testing startup that popularized a $99 DNA spit test, will expand from screening people for diseases to inventing new medicine to cure them.
    The Silicon Valley company has recruited a top biotechnology executive to help. Richard Scheller spent almost 15 years at Genentech, heading research and early development at the company that invented pioneering cancer drugs Herceptin and Avastin. He’ll lead 23andMe’s new therapeutics group.
    It’s the latest evolution for 23andMe, which went from a seller of novelty ancestry kits to one of the world’s biggest repositories of genetic data, doing business with major pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer Inc. and Genentech.
    Now it may compete with those giants.
    “Part of what we’re trying to do here is drug discovery in a more efficient model,” Chief Executive Officer Anne Wojcicki said in a telephone interview. “Pharma companies don’t have a direct relationship with consumers, so they’re always subjects. By engaging them and giving it to them as a prize, saying, ‘You’ve powered this study and you’ve made this happen,’ we can do things in a different way.”
    23andMe, named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in human cells, is recovering after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruling in late 2013 left the company unable to sell health analyses from its saliva tests, hurting sales. Since then the closely held company has worked hard to get back in the agency’s good graces, and last month gained approval for its first screening kit, which focuses on Bloom Syndrome.
    “We obviously like to stay busy, we were worried after the FDA approval we’d get bored,” Wojcicki said, making light of the company’s huge ambitions.

    Grow Faster

    “With an FDA-cleared product, we need to continue to accelerate growth,” she said. If 23andMe could find the causes of disease in its DNA data, why not try and find the cures? “I want to push the limits.”
    While it is unusual for a health data company to move into drug discovery and development, “obviously they have credibility in this area as a result of the partnerships they have with a number of pharma companies,” said Dan Bradbury, founder of BioBrit LLC, a life sciences consulting and investment firm in La Jolla, California. “I think they will be taken seriously but it will take a number of years to establish the capability” to develop drugs, he said.

    Potential Competition

    23andMe may run into conflicts and overlap with the drug company customers to whom it sells data. One of the last things Scheller signed off on before retiring from Genentech in December was a deal with 23andMe to help find new drug targets for Parkinson’s disease. Genentech, which is part of Roche Holding AG, was also an early investor in 23andMe.
    President Andy Page said 23andMe’s pharmaceutical partnerships will be unaffected, even amid potential competition.
    “The idea of multiple entities accessing the database concurrently is something we’re comfortable with,” Page said. 23andMe has also told its drug and biotech partners that they may be able to license some compounds in the future.

    Picking Targets

    23andMe hasn’t yet picked any disease areas or specific drug targets, and is still deciding whether to seek out big pharma partners to help run clinical trials or go on its own.
    When Scheller’s retirement from Genentech was announced, “I knew that I wasn’t going to stay retired very long,” he said in a telephone interview. “I wasn’t exactly sure about what I was going to do, but I knew I was going to get into human genetics.”
    He didn’t have to wait long. Wojcicki e-mailed on the day of the announcement and soon after visited Scheller at his home in Palo Alto.
    “We both had the same idea at the same time,” said Scheller. “I think before we had made a cup of tea we were in an agreement that this would be an exciting venture.”
    While large drug companies have labs full of chemists and rosters of doctors to help test drugs in patients, Scheller said 23andMe can outsource much of the work to contract research organizations, moving fast once they find a viable drug target.

    Outsourcing Research

    “There’s a whole industry grown up around supporting the industry,” he said. “It’s possible to get a whole lot of work done today with CRO collaborations.”
    While 23andMe is well-funded with backers that include Google and New Enterprise Associates, the company will raise more money this spring to fund the drug development project, Page said.
    How much they will need to raise will depend on how far the company plans to go on its own before looking for partnering companies, said BioBrit’s Bradbury. “If they’re purely doing drug discovery, they’ll probably need a few tens of millions a year to do that,” he said. “If they take things into the clinic, depending on the indication, then they’ll be looking at several hundreds of millions”
    An exact amount hasn’t been set, said Page, though he said they “anticipate a fair amount of interest.” The company has raised $126 million in four previous rounds of funding since its 2006 founding.

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    In Helsinki, 16-year-olds are trying out a revolutionary new way of learning in schools.

    Traditional 'subject' lessons have gone out the window in favour of certain 'topics'.

    It's a massive change to make, but could it actually work?

    Since the dawn of time (probably), school pupils have asked what the point is of learning such-and-such a formula in maths, doing this-and-that with a bunsen burner in chemistry, reading The Lord of the Flies 78 times in English or making a fruit salad in food tech.

    While there are many valid arguments about what exactly 'the point' is (Analytical skills! Common sense! Basic housekeeping!), Finland - arguably the best in the world for education - is in the midst of trying out a huge change to the way their schools are run.

    In short: it's out with the concept of teaching by subject, and in with teaching by topic.

    Pupils in Helsinki are the subjects of a pilot scheme that sees the traditional structure of a school day completely turned on its head. Gone is the idea of having an hour of maths followed by an hour of biology followed by an hour of P.E.; and in are lessons specifically tailored to certain vocations.

    The Independent, for instance, gives the example of 'cafeteria services'; which incorporates elements of maths, writing, communication and - for the sake of foreign customers - languages. Lessons on the European Union would include history, geography and economics.

    Marjo Kyllonen, Helsinki's education manager, told the newspaper:
    On top of changing how lessons are put together, it's also hoped that a 'co-teaching' approach will see more than one member of staff taking a session; with a small top-up in salaries expected for those who embrace the shift.

    It's an interesting premise, and of course there are questions to be ironed out: for a start, would university education get shaken-up further down the line? In a few years will we be saying goodbye to BA (Hons) English Literature and hello to BA (Hons) Writing Instruction Manuals?

    How much choice will pupils themselves have in what they learn, and how much will be compulsory? Does this help or hinder them later in life when they come to seek out employment - i.e. do things that are too vocational stick them very firmly in one lane for the rest of their lives?

    What will this mean for arts subjects; the benefits of which are huge but are already becoming more and more swept aside here in the UK?

    All eyes in the education industry will be on the Finns now to see what the results of these revolutionary amendments will be. I can't imagine every teacher, parent or pupil being completely on-board with it, but if the outcomes speak for themselves and it's all executed in the right way, it might just be a great move that the rest of the world will soon be copying.

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    Collaboration, from the Wright Brothers to Robots

    Watson and Crick. Braque and Picasso. The Wright Brothers. Wozniak and Jobs … and Jony Ive. Great collaborations all. Transformative. But what really made them work? How did collaborative relationships so ingeniously amplify individual talent and impact? Was there a secret to success?

    When I wrote the book Shared Minds: The New Technologies of Collaboration 25 years ago (!), I found technology central to the answers. The book was the first to explicitly examine how tools and technologies shape creative collaboration in science, business, and the arts. I argued new technology would invite and inspire new forms of collaboration. Like communication, collaboration would have to become more networked and more digital.

    But what I didn’t know — and couldn’t anticipate — was how overwhelmingly collaboration’s creative past would influence its innovation future. Successful collaborators don’t just work with each other; they work together through a shared space. 

    Shared space — whether physical, virtual or digital — is where collaborators agree to jointly create, manipulate, iterate, capture and critique the representations of the reality they seek to discover or design. This holds true for collaboration around products, processes, services, songs, or the exploration of scientific principles. Shared space is the essential means, medium, and mechanism that makes collaboration possible. No shared space? No real collaboration.

    James Watson and Francis Crick didn’t do a single experiment on their way to discovering the double helix and winning the Nobel Prize. But the shared space of their helical metal models proved indispensable to their collaborative success. Wilbur and Orville Wright pioneered wind tunnel designs and tests as shared space for flight design. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, and then Jony Ive, relentlessly prototyped digital devices like obsessive perfectionists.

    Character, cognition, and creativity remain undeniably important. But they play out in the collaborative context of shared spaces where the real work gets done. It takes shared space to create shared understandings. That’s the key.

    Take, for example, when Tim Berners-Lee had just launched the World Wide Web at CERN — in no small part to help facilitate global collaboration in high-energy physics. It was clear that digital media offered radically different properties than, say, blackboards, whiteboards, and faxes for empowering shared space. Expanding the bandwidths of shared space accelerated opportunities for shared insight.

    A quarter century later, the diversity and intensity of digital innovation remains astonishing. But, looking back to look forward, three particular collaborative themes stand out. They’re important because they say more about the human aspects of collaborative relationships than the technological ones. As most digital innovators know, improving technological performance is easy, elevating human performance is what’s hard. Technology remains an indispensable ingredient. But enabling collaborators to get greater value from their shared spaces remains both the most rewarding and frustrating challenge. Here’s what managers need to be thinking about:

    Collaborative culture, behaviors, and norms. Knowing what I’ve observed and know now, if I rewrote Shared Minds, I would invest more care and thought into understanding collaborative cultures, not just collaborative relationships. What makes a scientific discipline or artistic community or academic institution or R&D group energized and excited about embracing shared spaces to make collaboration simpler, more accessible, more effective, and more satisfying? How does collaboration become as much a value and a behavioral norm as a core competence and pragmatic means to creative ends?

    By emphasizing great collaborations, I inadvertently minimized and marginalized broader cultural contexts. Companies and cultures that celebrate heroes and entrepreneurs and visionaries all too frequently communicate that collaborative relationships are inferior to individual genius. That may not be the intent, but it is surely an outcome. Of course, technology impacts culture, too. 

    We live in a time where undetected plagiarism is becoming harder even as public attribution and acknowledgement are becoming easier. All human behaviors live in cultural contexts. Living collaboration as a value is intellectually and emotionally different than just practicing it as a skill. This issue deserves top-management attention and respect from every organization that takes collaboration seriously. Being a holding company of shared spaces and collaborative talent is radically different from actually being a collaborative company.

    Collaborative scale. My historical examples of collaborative success were almost exclusively duos, trios, and small groups of intensely creative and committed individuals. The shared space dialogue or conversation dominated. I once half-jokingly remarked that perhaps the future of collaborative conversations would be “kilologues” and “megalogues”… and then came Wikipedia!

    Networked reality now offers the intimacies of small team shared spaces where a core three or four can iterate and innovate to their collective minds’ content. But it’s equally possible to craft, scale, and mass produce shared spaces that encourage millions — 100s of millions? — of individuals to collaborate. Is a recommendation engine a collaborative shared space? Is a Kickstarter? Should we think of crowdsourcing as a prototype for mass collaboration? Or is crowdsourcing less shared space than mass exploitation? That might depend, of course, on how one chooses to define “shared” and “sharing.” Sharing  — and its rules — are about as human a behavior as one can find. Scale has huge impact on how sharing is perceived and realized.

    Truly successful collaborations have an inherent quid pro quo — that is, the collaborators all know that their individual contributions are meaningful, essential, and acknowledgeable. That’s as true for Watson and Crick as it is for Jobs and Ive as it is for Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. But what happens to those quid pro quos as scale skyrockets into the millions or billions is unclear. The Internet does brilliantly at technically scaling individuals, teams, and organizations. But, emotionally and culturally, how exponentially do networked collaborations scale? That question represents a huge entrepreneurial and institutional opportunity for innovators. If you’re Amazon, Twitter, Facebook,, or LinkedIn, the answer could be worth 10X to your market cap.

    Synthetic collaborations. By far the biggest technical change (to me) since Shared Minds publication has been the pervasive rise of machine learning. The ability to extract and abstract meaningful patterns from humongous datasets is transforming how human beings create and recognize economic value. The onrushing internet of things only accelerates — or exacerbates — that trend. The unavoidable implication? Our best, most loyal, most indefatigable, most challenging, and most creative collaborators may be our machines. Centaur chess is the prototype here. There’s no inherent reason why smarter machines won’t be superb — or superior — collaborators in all kinds of shared spaces.

    The rise of synthetic collaboration revitalizes the importance of collaborative culture and scalability. Will tomorrow’s organizations encourage, value and/or reward person/machine collaborations the way they do purely human ones? Similarly, will the most effective human collaborators succeed by having intimate collaborations with two or three machines/devices/programs? Or will harvesting the collaborative contributions of millions of machines become the gold standard in new value creation and discovery? 

    Much the way the best machine learning programs make it relatively easy to “train” machines to become pattern recognition experts and recommendation engines, no great conceptual or technical leaps are required to anticipate machine learning software that can be trained to collaborate with other machines. Again, the internet of things may quickly evolve into an “internet of collaborative things” that learn how to create or discover new opportunities for value creation. Collaboration is a behavioral choice, as well as a cognitive capability. Machines now have both. Should they be imbued with collaborative temperaments, as well?

    Before the decade ends, oncologists, radiologists, and other medical specialists will be successfully collaborating with networked machine learning systems that recommend diagnoses and interventions that they would not have thought of on their own. The financiers, lawyers, accountants, and auditors won’t be far behind. 

    Neither will software developers nor cloud services managers. Arguably one of the most important professional decisions they’ll be making each and every day is whether they’d be more effective collaborating with people, machines or some particular, value-added combination. The best machines — not unlike the better humans — will help innovate shared spaces, not just better collaborate in them. In essence, smartphones will computationally evolve into smarter collaborators. Shared minds need not be human.

    That’s why the future of better collaboration is better technology … and the future of better technology will be better collaboration. Full circle.

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    Indian startup shows how the cloud can be used to transform education in rural India

    Classle, a Chennai-based startup uses a potent combination of cloud, mobile and social technologies to enable students to access learning material free of cost through their basic low-cost mobile devices.

    Many a times we do things beyond a formal classroom without realizing that we are learning in the process. For example, an individual surfs and accesses material on the Internet in the form of audio, video, wiki and then goes ahead to even create and store information. 

    Understanding the immense power of peer-to-peer learning, Classle, a Chennai-based startup has developed a cloud based education system for rural India. Classle gets lakhs of people together and enables them to connect to each other in thousands of communities available on open social network of Classle. People can connect with these communities to collaborate and share exchange resources in their chosen areas of interest. There are many features to collaborate in addition to make learning fun oriented. 

    The cloud-based system enables students to access learning material free of cost, through their basic, low-cost mobile devices. The impact - more than 55 academic institutions have partnered with Classle-- almost all of them are engineering colleges predominantly in rural areas. Some of them are GLA University, Mathura; Madanapalle Institute of Technology and Madanapalleand Excel College of Engineering, Thiruchengodu. Classle’s Carry Along Cloud Campus consists of a virtual campus set up on the cloud -- each one is private to each institute -- through which students can access information and study material to further their own knowledge and interact with other members of their student communities, while teachers provide them with material and assignments. 

    These cloud campuses also monitor the interaction of the students, thus allowing companies to study them and identify talent for employment. The firm’s cloud-based system lets students access study material and assignments on an online cloud network. As it is present on the online cloud, it helps students learn even outside the physical campus and classroom. It also allows teachers to identify weaker students more easily through their submissions and interactions, and thus, provide them with extra help outside the classroom hours. 

    Cloud removes obstacles One of the biggest challenges faced in the initial set up of the company was in securing startup funding, especially given that this was a new idea and no entrepreneur in the past had proposed such a business idea for rural India. “Most people believed that it was far stretched and difficult to implement as a scalable and sustainable business,” says Vaidya Nathan, Founder and CEO, Classle Knowledge. With this background, one of the most important things for Classle Knowledge was to find a technology solution that was very cost-effective and yet highly scalable. 

    After evaluating potential technology options, the firm realized that the cloud was perfectly suited to its needs and selected a cloud platform from Amazon Web Services.  With Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS), the firm was able to reduce their costs by storing non-critical, reproducible data at lower levels of redundancy than Amazon S3’s standard storage.  

     “Our infrastructure has been built hundred percent on the AWS cloud platform since our inception. It was a strategic decision that we made from a long term business perspective,” says Nathan. With the AWS cloud platform, Classle saves on 30 – 35 percent of its costs, as the firm has to only pay per use. 

    “This model is vastly different from the old world of maintaining our own on-premise infrastructure whereby we had to worry about maintaining infrastructure, putting people and resources and spending time on all the undifferentiated heavy lifting that really does not contribute to the business. 

    With the cloud, there’s no need for capital expenditure at all,” adds Nathan. Cloud empowers ambitious dreams Classle is working on multimedia apps and is aiming at a target of acquiring 5 million students in 18 months. “We are growing rapidly as a social learning network where we create a ‘Closed’ learning environment for many professional and academic organizations. All these learning environments are based on Classle Cloud Campus, which runs on AWS services and plugs into the Classle Learning Bus. 

    So if we think about the scale needed for this rapid growth, we will require a sound foundation and architecture that can handle the traffic in a highly scalable manner. This is where the global AWS cloud platform comes in,” says Nathan. Secondly, in 3-4 months time Classle will be moving into ‘lifelong learning’ backed by robust academic analytics and domain learning services to acquire a learner at any point in their life and serve their learning needs at all their learning moments. This will be driven by a combination of predictive analytics and recommendation engines.

    The interconnections in social networking and the analysis of how customers interact with one another is an important development area for Classle. To do this, the firm leverages the cloud and is already doing prototypes using Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) to serve this purpose in supporting its long term goal.

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    Growing a digital social innovation ecosystem for Europe

    This report coordinated by Nesta and commissioned by the European Commission, DG CONNECT is the first systematic network analysis of the emerging digital social innovation (DSI) ecosystem in Europe. 

    Key Findings

    • The report identifies more than 1,000 rising examples of digital social innovation organisations across Europe, and the hidden links among them.
    • Social innovation in Europe is currently done by a few large organisations alongside a large mass of smaller organisations, but the majority of social innovators in Europe are disconnected from the bigger networks.
    • The largest and more interconnected community is focused around open hardware and open networks, and there is a large focus on awareness networks and new ways of making.
    • The open knowledge cluster is the second largest, with a focus on collaborative economy.
    • THe third largest network is grouped around Nesta and is focussed on funding, acceleration and open democracy. Other communities, such as those grouped around open data are developing connected communities.
    A growing movement of innovators in civil society, tech and social entrepreneurs are now developing inspiring digital solutions for a variety of social issues, in areas such as health, democracy, consumption, money and education.
    We have identified DSI organisations and projects as part of a larger social network and have mapped this network in a way that has not been possible before. 

    Digital technologies and the internet have transformed many areas of business – from Google and Amazon to Airbnb and Kickstarter. Huge sums of public money have supported digital innovation in business, as well as in fields ranging from the military to espionage. But there has been much less systematic support for innovations that use digital technology to address social challenges.

    Over the last 18 months Nesta, funded by the European Commission, has led a large research project into DSI. The project seeks to define and understand the potential of DSI, to map the digital social innovators, their projects and networks, and to develop recom­mendations for how policymakers, from the EU to city level, can make the most of DSI.

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    10 Fundamental Success Truths We Forget Too Easily 

    It’s surprising how easy it is to lose sight of the important things in life. Busy schedules and weekly routines have a tendency to put the brain on autopilot.

    Some of life’s essential truths need repeating. Keep this list handy and give it a read any time you need a boost.

    1. Life is short

    None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Yet, when someone dies unexpectedly it causes us to take stock of our own life: what’s really important, how we spend our time, and how we treat other people.

    Loss is a raw, visceral reminder of the frailty of life. It shouldn’t be.

    A great day begins with a great mindset. Remind yourself every morning when you wake up that each day is a gift and you’re bound to make the most of the blessing you’ve been given. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing is the moment it will start acting like one.

    2. Being busy does not equal being productive

    Look at everyone around you. They all seem so busy—running from meeting to meeting and firing off emails. Yet how many of them are really producing, really succeeding at a high level? Success doesn’t come from movement and activity. It comes from focus—from ensuring that your time is used efficiently and productively. You get the same number of hours in the day as everyone else. Use yours wisely. After all, you’re the product of your output, not your effort. Make certain your efforts are dedicated to tasks that get results.

    3. You’re living the life you have created

    You are not a victim of circumstance. No one can force you to make decisions and take actions that run contrary to your values and aspirations. The circumstances you’re living 

    in today are your own—you created them. Likewise, your future is entirely up to you. If you’re feeling stuck, it’s probably because you’re afraid to take the risks necessary to achieve your goals and live your dreams. When it’s time to take action, remember that it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of one you don’t.

    4. Great success is often preceded by failure

    You will never experience true success until you embrace failure. Your mistakes pave the way for you to succeed by revealing when you’re on the wrong path. The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box and see the solution that you’ve been missing. Success takes patience and the ability to maintain a good attitude even while suffering for what you believe in.

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    How machine learning will fuel huge innovation over the next 5 years  

    Machine learning is coming into a golden age, and with it we’re seeing an awakening of possibilities formerly reserved for science fiction.
    Machine learning (ML) is a computer’s way of learning from examples, and it’s one of the most useful tools we have for the construction of artificial intelligence (AI). It begins with the design of an algorithm that learns from collected data, creating machines that in most cases become smarter as data volumes intensify.
    We’ve seen a breakthrough in the field of ML in the last five years in part due to the recent wealth of big data streams provided from high-speed internet, cloud computing, and widespread smartphone usage, leading to the birth of the now popular “deep learning” algorithms. Heavily- used applications that have emerged with ML at their core include recommendation systems like those from Netflix and Amazon, face recognition technology as seen in Facebook, email spam filters like those from Google and Microsoft, and speech recognition systems such as Siri.
    While the depth of advancement is unknown, what we can say with high certainty is that development in this field in the past five years will be nothing compared to what we’re going to see in the five years to come. Based on machine learning’s current state, here are four predictions of what we could see in the near future:
    Image-Based Recognition: The technology for image and video-based recognition is on the horizon, and with it a whole new experience for users. Thanks to deep learning, we are now at the dawn of computers recognizing images, and the people and actions within them, with high accuracy based on the image alone and with minimum reliance on external data. It’s not just new pictures that will become recognizable either, but the entire history of digitized images and video footage. This will massively change how these assets are located and shared online. For example, YouTube might soon intelligently find content related to parts of a clip you watched and liked based only on the visual content of the video itself. The resulting efficiencies in both our work and personal time will be profound.
    Healthcare: Machine learning’s ability to analyze and store massive amounts of data should provide physicians with much-needed second opinions and lead to the detection and treatment of medical ailments on a mass scale. Packaged as smart, wearable computing devices, personal health monitors that detect various conditions as they arise should become widespread in the next five years, in a similar fashion to activity trackers like Fitbit. The advancements here could significantly accelerate our human desire to protect our own longevity and create major breakthroughs for the operations of the medical industry.
    Travel & Communication: By 2020, real-time translation technology may be fully accessible. We’ll see everything from an app on your phone that instantly translates foreign signs and texts to phone conversations that are immediately converted to a listener’s native language, without speakers even knowing the difference. As globalization booms, the language lines will soon be crossed. Business, in particular, stands to benefit enormously from the advancement here, with tech giants such as Google and Microsoft already taking the necessary steps to build such tools, making the need for a premium multilingual workforce obsolete.
    Advertising: Based on recent ML advancements, in just a few short years augmented reality technology should become the commonplace method for integrated branding. This will allow advertisers to seamlessly place products into existing content by properly identifying the depth, relative size, lighting, and shading of the product in comparison to the setting. This essentially makes any historical video property available for integration. The computer vision technology firm Mirriad has already been heralded (and won an Oscar) for its advancements in the field. Looking at online video, as companies continue to try and tap into hugely popular amateur content, this technology will revolutionize their capabilities.
    So while we have already seen enormous advancements in the fields above of late, a full-scale commercialization of machine learning technologies could be seen as soon as 2020. While I’ve only listed a few predictions above, almost all sectors of the economy stand to benefit enormously from the efficiencies of this new era of machine learning. We are already seeing a swell in consumer demand in experiences that require ML at their core, and the examples above only touch the surface of what is possible. If things continue on the trajectory we expect, the golden age of machine learning might very well make the next five years in technology the most exciting yet.

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    Two quantum properties teleported together for first time

    The values of two inherent properties of one photon – its spin and its orbital angular momentum – have been transferred via quantum teleportation onto another photon for the first time by physicists in China. Previous experiments have managed to teleport a single property, but scaling that up to two properties proved to be a difficult task, which has only now been achieved. The team's work is a crucial step forward in improving our understanding of the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and the result could also play an important role in the development of quantum communications and quantum computers.

    Alice and Bob

    Quantum teleportation first appeared in the early 1990s after four researchers, including Charles Bennett of IBM in New York, developed a basic quantum teleportation protocol. To successfully teleport a quantum state, you must make a precise initial measurement of a system, transmit the measurement information to a receiving destination and then reconstruct a perfect copy of the original state. The "no-cloning" theorem of quantum mechanics dictates that it is impossible to make a perfect copy of a quantum particle. But researchers found a way around this via teleportation, which allows a flawless copy of a property of a particle to be made. This occurs thanks to what is ultimately a complete transfer (rather than an actual copy) of the property onto another particle such that the first particle loses all of the properties that are teleported.
    The protocol has an observer, Alice, send information about an unknown quantum state (or property) to another observer, Bob, via the exchange of classical information. Both Alice and Bob are first given one half of an additional pair of entangled particles that act as the "quantum channel" via which the teleportation will ultimately take place. Alice would then interact the unknown quantum state with her half of the entangled particle, measure the combined quantum state and send the result through a classical channel to Bob. The act of the measurement itself alters the state of Bob's half of the entangled pair and this, combined with the result of Alice's measurement, allows Bob to reconstruct the unknown quantum state. The first experimentation teleportation of the spin (or polarization) of a photon took place in 1997. Since then, the states of atomic spins, coherent light fields, nuclear spins and trapped ions have all been teleported.
    But any quantum particle has more than one given state or property – they possess various "degrees of freedom", many of which are related. Even the simple photon has various properties such as frequency, momentum, spin and orbital angular momentum (OAM), which are inherently linked.

    More than one

    Teleporting more than one state simultaneously is essential to fully describe a quantum particle and achieving this would be a tentative step towards teleporting something larger than a quantum particle, which could be very useful in the exchange of quantum information. Now, Chaoyang Lu and Jian-Wei Pan, along with colleagues at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, have taken the first step in simultaneously teleporting multiple properties of a single photon.
    In the experiment, the team teleports the composite quantum states of a single photon encoded in both its spin and OAM. To transfer the two properties requires not only an extra entangled set of particles (the quantum channel), but a "hyper-entangled" set – where the two particles are simultaneously entangled in both their spin and their OAM. The researchers shine a strong ultraviolet pulsed laser on three nonlinear crystals to generate three entangled pairs of photons – one pair is hyper-entangled and is used as the "quantum channel", a second entangled pair is used to carry out an intermediate "non-destructive" measurement, while the third pair is used to prepare the two-property state of a single photon that will eventually be teleported.

    This schematic shows exactly how the polarization and the OAM was teleported via the comparative measurements and an intermediate non-destructive step. (Courtesy: Nature 518516/Wang et al.)
    The image above represents Pan's double-teleportation protocol – A is the single photon whose spin and OAM will eventually be teleported to C (one half of the hyper-entangled quantum channel). This occurs via the other particle in the channel B. As B and C are hyper-entangled, we know that their spin and OAM are strongly correlated, but we do not actually know what their values are – i.e. whether they are horizontally, vertically or orthogonally polarized. 
    So to actually transfer A's polarization and OAM onto C, the researchers make a "comparative measurements" (referred to as CM-P and CM-OAM in the image) with B. In other words, instead of revealing B's properties, they detect how A's polarization and OAM differ from B. If the difference is zero, we can tell that A and B have the same polarization or OAM, and since B and C are correlated, that C now has the same properties that A had before the comparison measurement.
    On the other hand, if the comparative measurement showed that A's polarization as compared with B differed by 90° (i.e. A and B are orthogonally polarized), then we would rotate C's field by 90° with respect to that of A to make a perfect transfer once more. Simply put, making two comparative measurements, followed by a well-defined rotation of the still-unknown polarization or OAM, would allow us to teleport A's properties to C.

    Perfect protocol

    One of the most challenging steps for the researchers was to link together the two comparative measurements. Referring to the "joint measurements" box in the image above, we begin with the comparative measurement of A and B's polarization (CM-P). From here, either one of three scenarios can take place – one photon travels along path 1 to the middle box (labelled "non-destructive photon-number measurement"); no photons enter the middle box along path 1; or two single photons enter the middle box along path 1.
    The middle box itself contains the second set of entangled photons mentioned previously (not shown in figure) and one of these two entangled photons is jointly measured with the incoming photons from path 1. But the researcher's condition is that if either no photons or two photons enter the middle box via path 1, then the measurement would fail. Indeed, what the middle box ultimately shows is that exactly one photon existed in path 1, and so exactly one photon existed in path 2, given that two photons (A and B) entered CM-P. To show that indeed one photon existed in path two required the third and final set of entangled photons in the CP-OAM box (not shown), where the OAM's of A and B undergo a comparative measurement.
    The measurements ultimately result in the transfer or teleportation of A's properties onto C – although it may require rotating C's (as yet unknown) polarization and OAM depending on the outcomes of the comparative measurements, but the researchers did not actually implement the rotations in their current experiment. The team's work has been published in the journal Nature this week. Pan that the team verified that "the teleportation works for both spin-orbit product state and hybrid entangled state, achieving an overall fidelity that well exceeds the classical limit". He says that these "methods can, in principle, be generalized to more [properties], for instance, involving the photon's momentum, time and frequency".

    Verification verdicts

    Physicist Wolfgang Tittel from the University of Calgary, who was not involved in the current work (but wrote an accompanying "News and Views" article in Nature) explains that the team verified that the teleportation had indeed occurred by measuring the properties of C after the teleportation. "Of course, the no-cloning theorem does not allow them to do this perfectly. But it is possible to repeat the teleportation of the properties of photon A, prepared every time in the same way, many times. Making measurements on photon C (one per repetition) allows reconstructing its properties." He points out that although the rotations were not ultimately implemented by the researchers, they found that "the properties of C differed from those of A almost exactly by the amount predicted by the outcomes of the comparative measurements. They repeated this large number of measurements for different preparations of A, always finding the properties of C close to those expected. This suffices to claim quantum teleportation".
    While it is technically possible to extend Pan's method to teleport more than two properties simultaneously, this is increasingly difficult because the probability of a successful comparative measurement decreases with each added property. "I think with the scheme demonstrated by [the researchers], the limit is three properties. But this does not mean that other approaches, either other schemes based on photons, or approaches using other particles (e.g. trapped ions), can't do better," says Tittel.
    Pan says that to teleport three properties, their scheme "needs the experimental ability to control 10 photons. So far, our record is eight photon entanglement. We are currently working on two parallel lines to get more photon entanglement." Indeed, he says that the team's next goal is to experimentally create "the largest hyper-entangled state so far: a six-photon 18-qubit Schrödinger cat state, entangled in three degrees-of-freedom, polarization, orbital angular momentum, and spatial mode. To do this would provide us with an advanced platform for quantum communication and computation protocols".

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    New Ikea Furniture Will Charge Your Phone Without Wires

    Ikea are launching their first furniture range which can wirelessly charge phones and mobile devices, meaning charging cables could soon be a thing of the past.

    The range will integrate Qi wireless technology into special charging pads in the furniture, and users can then leave their devices on or around these pads to boost their batteries.

    Qi is the most widely used wireless power standard, with more than 80 smartphones carrying built-in technology. The technology works by embedding magnetic coils into furniture which then generate an electromagnetic field, which Qi-friendly devices can convert into energy.

    The Swedish firm will launch their new Home Smart range across Europe and North America in April this year. It will include desks, bedside tables and lamps fitted with integrated charging pads.

    Jeanette Skjelmose, Ikea’s business manager of lighting and wireless charging, said: “Our new innovative solutions, which integrate wireless charging into home furnishings, will make life at home simpler.”

    However, experts have pointed out that the furniture will only work with devices compatible with Qi, which is powered by the Wireless Power Consortium. Other providers of wireless power include Power Matters Alliance, whose technology is used by global firms including Starbucks and McDonald’s. Ikea plan to sell charging covers for incompatible models, including Apple’s iPhone range and some Samsung models.

    Environmental group Friends of the Earth have spoken out about the ecological costs of such technology, which is difficult to separate out from the furniture at the end of its life. Campaigner Julian Kirby told the BBC: “A key principle that manufacturers of furniture with built-in wireless charging technology should consider is that the furniture is designed to be easy to disassemble for upgrade, reuse, repair or recycling.”

    Wireless charging also generates excess heat which can damage smartphone batteries, according to Gizmodo.

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    Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It

    Since Michael Porter’s seminal work in the 1980s we have had a clear and widely accepted definition of what strategy is—but we know a lot less about translating a strategy into results. Books and articles on strategy outnumber those on execution by an order of magnitude. And what little has been written on execution tends to focus on tactics or generalize from a single case. So what do we know about strategy execution?

    We know that it matters. A recent survey of more than 400 global CEOs found that executional excellence was the number one challenge facing corporate leaders in Asia, Europe, and the United States, heading a list of some 80 issues, including innovation, geopolitical instability, and top-line growth. We also know that execution is difficult. Studies have found that two-thirds to three-quarters of large organizations struggle to implement t to understand how complex organizations can execute their strategies more effectively.

     The research includes more than 40 experiments in which we made changes in companies and measured the impact on execution, along with a survey administered to nearly 8,000 managers in more than 250 companies. The study is ongoing but has already produced valuable insights. The most important one is this: Several widely held beliefs about how to implement strategy are just plain wrong. In this article we debunk five of the most pernicious myths and replace them with a more accurate perspective that will help managers effectively execute strategy.

    Myth 1: Execution Equals Alignment

    Over the past few years we have asked managers from hundreds of companies, before they take our survey, to describe how strategy is executed in their firms. Their accounts paint a remarkably consistent picture. The steps typically consist of translating strategy into objectives, cascading those objectives down the hierarchy, measuring progress, and rewarding performance. 

    When asked how they would improve execution, the executives cite tools, such as management by objectives and the balanced scorecard, that are designed to increase alignment between activities and strategy up and down the chain of command. In the managers’ minds, execution equals alignment, so a failure to execute implies a breakdown in the processes to link strategy to action at every level in the organization.

    Despite such perceptions, it turns out that in the vast majority of companies we have studied, those processes are sound. Research on strategic alignment began in the 1950s with Peter Drucker’s work on management by objectives, and by now we know a lot about achieving alignment. Our research shows that best practices are well established in today’s companies. More than 80% of managers say that their goals are limited in number, specific, and measurable and that they have the funds needed to achieve them. If most companies are doing everything right in terms of alignment, why are they struggling to execute their strategies?

    To find out, we ask survey respondents how frequently they can count on others to deliver on promises—a reliable measure of whether things in an organization get done (see“Promise-Based Management: The Essence of Execution,” by Donald N. Sull and Charles Spinosa, HBR, April 2007). Fully 84% of managers say they can rely on their boss and their direct reports all or most of the time—a finding that would make Drucker proud but sheds little light on why execution fails. When we ask about commitments across functions and business units, the answer becomes clear. Only 9% of managers say they can rely on colleagues in other functions and units all the time, and just half say they can rely on them most of the time. Commitments from these colleagues are typically not much more reliable than promises made by external partners, such as distributors and suppliers.

    When managers cannot rely on colleagues in other functions and units, they compensate with a host of dysfunctional behaviors that undermine execution: They duplicate effort, let promises to customers slip, delay their deliverables, or pass up attractive opportunities. The failure to coordinate also leads to conflicts between functions and units, and these are handled badly two times out of three—resolved after a significant delay (38% of the time), resolved quickly but poorly (14%), or simply left to fester (12%).

    Even though, as we’ve seen, managers typically equate execution with alignment, they do recognize the importance of coordination when questioned about it directly. When asked to identify the single greatest challenge to executing their company’s strategy, 30% cite failure to coordinate across units, making that a close second to failure to align (40%). Managers also say they are three times more likely to miss performance commitments because of insufficient support from other units than because of their own teams’ failure to deliver.

    Whereas companies have effective processes for cascading goals downward in the organization, their systems for managing horizontal performance commitments lack teeth. More than 80% of the companies we have studied have at least one formal system for managing commitments across silos, including cross-functional committees, service-level agreements, and centralized project-management offices—but only 20% of managers believe that these systems work well all or most of the time. More than half want more structure in the processes to coordinate activities across units—twice the number who want more structure in the management-by-objectives system.

    Myth 2: Execution Means Sticking to the Plan

    When crafting strategy, many executives create detailed road maps that specify who should do what, by when, and with what resources. The strategic-planning process has received more than its share of criticism, but, along with the budgeting process, it remains the backbone of execution in many organizations. Bain & Company, which regularly surveys large corporations around the world about their use of management tools, finds that strategic planning consistently heads the list. After investing enormous amounts of time and energy formulating a plan and its associated budget, executives view deviations as a lack of discipline that undercuts execution.

    Unfortunately, no Gantt chart survives contact with reality. No plan can anticipate every event that might help or hinder a company trying to achieve its strategic objectives. Managers and employees at every level need to adapt to facts on the ground, surmount unexpected obstacles, and take advantage of fleeting opportunities. Strategy execution, as we define the term, consists of seizing opportunities that support the strategy while coordinating with other parts of the organization on an ongoing basis. When managers come up with creative solutions to unforeseen problems or run with unexpected opportunities, they are not undermining systematic implementation; they are demonstrating execution at its best.

    Such real-time adjustments require firms to be agile. Yet a lack of agility is a major obstacle to effective execution among the companies we have studied. When asked to name the greatest challenge their companies will face in executing strategy over the next few years, nearly one-third of managers cite difficulties adapting to changing market circumstances. It’s not that companies fail to adapt at all: Only one manager in 10 saw that as the problem. But most organizations either react so slowly that they can’t seize fleeting opportunities or mitigate emerging threats (29%), or react quickly but lose sight of company strategy (24%). Just as managers want more structure in the processes to support coordination, they crave more structure in the processes used to adapt to changing circumstances.

    A seemingly easy solution would be to do a better job of resource allocation. Although resource allocation is unquestionably critical to execution, the term itself is misleading. In volatile markets, the allotment of funds, people, and managerial attention is not a onetime decision; it requires ongoing adjustment. According to a study by McKinsey, firms that actively reallocatedcapital expenditures across business units achieved an average shareholder return 30% higher than the average return of companies that were slow to shift funds.

    Instead of focusing on resource allocation, with its connotation of one-off choices, managers should concentrate on the fluid reallocation of funds, people, and attention. We have noticed a pattern among the companies in our sample: Resources are often trapped in unproductive uses. Fewer than one-third of managers believe that their organizations reallocate funds to the right places quickly enough to be effective. The reallocation of people is even worse. Only 20% of managers say their organizations do a good job of shifting people across units to support strategic priorities. The rest report that their companies rarely shift people across units (47%) or else make shifts in ways that disrupt other units (33%).

    Companies also struggle to disinvest. Eight in 10 managers say their companies fail to exit declining businesses or to kill unsuccessful initiatives quickly enough. Failure to exit undermines execution in an obvious way, by wasting resources that could be redeployed. Slow exits impede execution in more-insidious ways as well: Top executives devote a disproportionate amount of time and attention to businesses with limited upside and send in talented managers who often burn themselves out trying to save businesses that should have been shut down or sold years earlier. The longer top executives drag their feet, the more likely they are to lose the confidence of their middle managers, whose ongoing support is critical for execution.

    A word of warning: Managers should not invoke agility as an excuse to chase every opportunity that crosses their path. Many companies in our sample lack strategic discipline when deciding which new opportunities to pursue. Half the middle managers we have surveyed believe that they could secure significant resources to pursue attractive opportunities that fall outside their strategic objectives. This may sound like good news for any individual manager, but it spells trouble for a company as a whole, leading to the pursuit of more initiatives than resources can support. Only 11% of the managers we have surveyed believe that all their company’s strategic priorities have the financial and human resources needed for success. That’s a shocking statistic: It means that nine managers in 10 expect some of their organizations’ major initiatives to fail for lack of resources. Unless managers screen opportunities against company strategy, they will waste time and effort on peripheral initiatives and deprive the most promising ones of the resources they need to win big. Agility is critical to execution, but it must fit within strategic boundaries. In other words, agility must be balanced with alignment.

    Myth 3: Communication Equals Understanding

    Many executives believe that relentlessly communicating strategy is a key to success. The CEO of one London-based professional services firm met with her management team the first week of every month and began each meeting by reciting the firm’s strategy and its key priorities for the year. She was delighted when an employee engagement survey (not ours) revealed that 84% of all staff members agreed with the statement “I am clear on our organization’s top priorities.” Her efforts seemed to be paying off.

    Then her management team took our survey, which asks members to describe the firm’s strategy in their own words and to list the top five strategic priorities. Fewer than one-third could name even two. The CEO was dismayed—after all, she discussed those objectives in every management meeting. Unfortunately, she is not alone. Only 55% of the middle managers we have surveyed can name even one of their company’s top five priorities. In other words, when the leaders charged with explaining strategy to the troops are given five chances to list their company’s strategic objectives, nearly half fail to get even one right.

    Not only are strategic objectives poorly understood, but they often seem unrelated to one another and disconnected from the overall strategy. Just over half of all top team members say they have a clear sense of how major priorities and initiatives fit together. It’s pretty dire when half the C-suite cannot connect the dots between strategic priorities, but matters are even worse elsewhere. Fewer than one-third of senior executives’ direct reports clearly understand the connections between corporate priorities, and the share plummets to 16% for frontline supervisors and team leaders.

    Senior executives are often shocked to see how poorly their company’s strategy is understood throughout the organization. In their view, they invest huge amounts of time communicating strategy, in an unending stream of e-mails, management meetings, and town hall discussions. But the amount of communication is not the issue: Nearly 90% of middle managers believe that top leaders communicate the strategy frequently enough. How can so much communication yield so little understanding?

    Part of the problem is that executives measure communication in terms of inputs (the number of e-mails sent or town halls hosted) rather than by the only metric that actually counts—how well key leaders understand what’s communicated. A related problem occurs when executives dilute their core messages with peripheral considerations. 

    The executives at one tech company, for example, went to great pains to present their company’s strategy and objectives at the annual executive off-site. But they also introduced 11 corporate priorities (which were different from the strategic objectives), a list of core competencies (including one with nine templates), a set of corporate values, and a dictionary of 21 new strategic terms to be mastered. Not surprisingly, the assembled managers were baffled about what mattered most. 

    When asked about obstacles to understanding the strategy, middle managers are four times more likely to cite a large number of corporate priorities and strategic initiatives than to mention a lack of clarity in communication. Top executives add to the confusion when they change their messages frequently—a problem flagged by nearly one-quarter of middle managers.

    Myth 4: A Performance Culture Drives Execution

    When their companies fail to translate strategy into results, many executives point to a weak performance culture as the root cause. The data tells a different story. It’s true that in most companies, the official culture—the core values posted on the company website, say—does not support execution. However, a company’s true values reveal themselves when managers make hard choices—and here we have found that a focus on performance does shape behavior on a day-to-day basis.

    Few choices are tougher than personnel decisions. When we ask about factors that influence who gets hired, praised, promoted, and fired, we see that most companies do a good job of recognizing and rewarding performance. Past performance is by far the most frequently named factor in promotion decisions, cited by two-thirds of all managers. Although harder to assess when bringing in new employees, it ranks among the top three influences on who gets hired. 

    One-third of managers believe that performance is also recognized all or most of the time with nonfinancial rewards, such as private praise, public acknowledgment, and access to training opportunities. To be sure, there is room for improvement, particularly when it comes to dealing with underperformers: A majority of the companies we have studied delay action (33%), address underperformance inconsistently (34%), or tolerate poor performance (11%). Overall, though, the companies in our sample have robust performance cultures—and yet they struggle to execute strategy. Why?

    The answer is that a culture that supports execution must recognize and reward other things as well, such as agility, teamwork, and ambition. Many companies fall short in this respect. When making hiring or promotion decisions, for example, they place much less value on a manager’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances—an indication of the agility needed to execute strategy—than on whether she has hit her numbers in the past. Agility requires a willingness to experiment, and many managers avoid experimentation because they fear the consequences of failure.

     Half the managers we have surveyed believe that their careers would suffer if they pursued but failed at novel opportunities or innovations. Trying new things inevitably entails setbacks, and honestly discussing the challenges involved increases the odds of long-term success. But corporate cultures rarely support the candid discussions necessary for agility. Fewer than one-third of managers say they can have open and honest discussions about the most difficult issues, while one-third say that many important issues are considered taboo.

    An excessive emphasis on performance can impair execution in another subtle but important way. If managers believe that hitting their numbers trumps all else, they tend to make conservative performance commitments. When asked what advice they would give to a new colleague, two-thirds say they would recommend making commitments that the colleague could be sure to meet; fewer than one-third would recommend stretching for ambitious goals. This tendency to play it safe may lead managers to favor surefire cost reductions over risky growth, for instance, or to milk an existing business rather than experiment with a new business model.

    The most pressing problem with many corporate cultures, however, is that they fail to foster the coordination that, as we’ve discussed, is essential to execution. Companies consistently get this wrong. When it comes to hires, promotions, and nonfinancial recognition, past performance is two or three times more likely than a track record of collaboration to be rewarded. Performance is critical, of course, but if it comes at the expense of coordination, it can undermine execution. We ask respondents what would happen to a manager in their organization who achieved his objectives but failed to collaborate with colleagues in other units. Only 20% believe the behavior would be addressed promptly; 60% believe it would be addressed inconsistently or after a delay, and 20% believe it would be tolerated.

    Myth 5: Execution Should Be Driven from the Top

    In his best-selling book Execution, Larry Bossidy describes how, as the CEO of AlliedSignal, he personally negotiated performance objectives with managers several levels below him and monitored their progress. Accounts like this reinforce the common image of a heroic CEO perched atop the org chart, driving execution. That approach can work—for a while. AlliedSignal’s stock outperformed the market under Bossidy’s leadership. However, as Bossidy writes, shortly after he retired “the discipline of execution…unraveled,” and the company gave up its gains relative to the S&P 500.

    Top-down execution has drawbacks in addition to the risk of unraveling after the departure of a strong CEO. To understand why, it helps to remember that effective execution in large, complex organizations emerges from countless decisions and actions at all levels. Many of those involve hard trade-offs: For example, synching up with colleagues in another unit can slow down a team that’s trying to seize a fleeting opportunity, and screening customer requests against strategy often means turning away lucrative business. The leaders who are closest to the situation and can respond most quickly are best positioned to make the tough calls.

    Concentrating power at the top may boost performance in the short term, but it degrades an organization’s capacity to execute over the long run. Frequent and direct intervention from on high encourages middle managers to escalate conflicts rather than resolve them, and over time they lose the ability to work things out with colleagues in other units. Moreover, if top executives insist on making the important calls themselves, they diminish middle managers’ decision-making skills, initiative, and ownership of results.

    In large, complex organizations, execution lives and dies with a group we call “distributed leaders,” which includes not only middle managers who run critical businesses and functions but also technical and domain experts who occupy key spots in the informal networks that get things done. The vast majority of these leaders try to do the right thing. Eight out of 10 in our sample say they are committed to doing their best to execute the strategy, even when they would like more clarity on what the strategy is.

    Distributed leaders, not senior executives, represent “management” to most employees, partners, and customers. Their day-to-day actions, particularly how they handle difficult decisions and what behaviors they tolerate, go a long way toward supporting or undermining the corporate culture. In this regard, most distributed leaders shine. As assessed by their direct reports, more than 90% of middle managers live up to the organization’s values all or most of the time. They do an especially good job of reinforcing performance, with nearly nine in 10 consistently holding team members accountable for results.

    But although execution should be driven from the middle, it needs to be guided from the top. And our data suggests that many top executive teams could provide much more support. Distributed leaders are hamstrung in their efforts to translate overall company strategy into terms meaningful for their teams or units when top executives fail to ensure that they clearly understand that strategy. And as we’ve seen, such failure is not the exception but the rule.

    Conflicts inevitably arise in any organization where different units pursue their own objectives. Distributed leaders are asked to shoulder much of the burden of working across silos, and many appear to be buckling under the load. A minority of middle managers consistently anticipate and avoid problems (15%) or resolve conflicts quickly and well (26%). Most resolve issues only after a significant delay (37%), try but fail to resolve them (10%), or don’t address them at all (12%). Top executives could help by adding structured processes to facilitate coordination. In many cases they could also do a better job of modeling teamwork. One-third of distributed leaders believe that factions exist within the C-suite and that executives there focus on their own agendas rather than on what is best for the company.

    Many executives try to solve the problem of execution by reducing it to a single dimension. They focus on tightening alignment up and down the chain of command—by improving existing processes, such as strategic planning and performance management, or adopting new tools, such as the balanced scorecard. These are useful measures, to be sure, but relying on them as the sole means of driving execution ignores the need for coordination and agility in volatile markets. If managers focus too narrowly on improving alignment, they risk developing ever more refined answers to the wrong question.

    In the worst cases, companies slip into a dynamic we call the alignment trap. When execution stalls, managers respond by tightening the screws on alignment—tracking more performance metrics, for example, or demanding more-frequent meetings to monitor progress and recommend what to do. This kind of top-down scrutiny often deteriorates into micromanagement, which stifles the experimentation required for agility and the peer-to-peer interactions that drive coordination. Seeing execution suffer but not knowing why, managers turn once more to the tool they know best and further tighten alignment. The end result: Companies are trapped in a downward spiral in which more alignment leads to worse results.

    If common beliefs about execution are incomplete at best and dangerous at worst, what should take their place? The starting point is a fundamental redefinition of execution as the ability to seize opportunities aligned with strategy while coordinating with other parts of the organization on an ongoing basis. Reframing execution in those terms can help managers pinpoint why it is stalling. Armed with a more comprehensive understanding, they can avoid pitfalls such as the alignment trap and focus on the factors that matter most for translating strategy into results.

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    How Leaders value quality of Life in the Organization.

    This study was quite successful in terms of response rate of participants. What does this say about how leaders view Quality of Life?
    Isabelle Panhard: It was challenging to reach out exclusively to top-level leaders – in the corporate segment this meant reaching out to the C-suites of companies with more than 1,000 employees. But the interest leaders took in the topic of Quality of Life helped us succeed. A key mark of interest is that 82 percent of leaders asked to receive the survey results – usually this rate is around 50 percent in surveys we conduct.
    Thomas Jelley: Quality of Life tends to be one of those subjects on which everyone has a point of view. We asked leaders to consider Quality of Life – not at large, but in the specific context of their organization. By guiding the conversation in this way, we didn’t get stuck in subjective or abstract notions. On the contrary, we went through quite concrete measures and I think that this approach really helped leaders to make the link between Quality of Life and performance as they were interviewed.
    What else was unique about the approach of this study?
    I.P.: For me, our approach by country and sector produced surprising results. For example, leaders in Brazil and India were more concerned regarding Quality of Life in their organizations than their counterparts in the UK or France. So we see that it is more a question of cultural differences rather than a country’s level of development. But what I found even more interesting is the difference between the three environments that we surveyed. We can see that university – and above all, healthcare leaders – are particularly engaged in Quality of Life and more convinced of its importance. Specifically, 77 percent of healthcare and 75 percent of university leaders viewed Quality of Life as a strategic investment, compared to 56 percent of corporate leaders.
    Many leaders identified social interaction as a key component of Quality of Life. Can you explain why?
    T.J.: It’s very consistent with what we’ve been seeing at the Institute. In this dynamic environment, where the work is less about place and time – as technology allows us to work any place and any time – employees are facing important questions about organizational culture. How can we create a sense of belonging? How can we make sure that we still have the glue that brings people together around a common purpose? Technology affords us many ways of interaction but there is still nothing quite like face-to-face interaction.
    I.P.: 74 percent of leaders declared they implement social interaction initiatives in their organizations. For them, this appears to be a key dimension. Office coffee breaks or overnight accommodations for families in hospitals –these factors help to strengthen bonds between individuals and contribute to their Quality of Life.
    Do you find that any of these findings begs further investigation? 
    T.J.: This gives us new areas to look into further in the future.
    I.P.: We found that there is often a gap between the strong conviction of the importance of Quality of Life and the current internal structure in organizations. Many leaders told us that there is no dedicated budget, function or program. In other words, they are convinced but they haven’t structured anything yet. But things are progressing; I think that in 10 years, there will be a Quality of Life director in every organization.

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    The Science of Resilience


    When confronted with the fallout of childhood trauma, why do some children adapt and overcome, while others bear lifelong scars that flatten their potential? A growing body of evidence points to one common answer: Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed rela­tionship with a supportive adult.

    The power of that one strong adult relationship is a key ingredient in resilience — a positive, adaptive response in the face of significant adversity — according to a new reportfrom the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a multidisciplinary collaboration chaired by Harvard’sJack Shonkoff. Understanding the centrality of that relationship, as well as other emerging findings about the science of resilience, gives policymakers a key lever to assess whether current programs designed to help disadvantaged kids are working.

    “Resilience depends on supportive, responsive relationships and mastering a set of capabilities that can help us respond and adapt to adversity in healthy ways,” says Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard. “It’s those capacities and relationships that can turn toxic stress into tolerable stress.”

    As a growing body of research is showing, the developing brain relies upon the consistent “serve and return” interactions that happen between a young child and a primary caregiver, the report says. When these interactions occur regularly, they provide the scaffolding that helps build “key capacities — such as the ability to plan, monitor, and regulate be­havior, and adapt to changing circumstances — that enable children to respond to adversity and to thrive,” the report continues. The developing brain is buffered by this feedback loop between biology and environment.

    But in the absence of these responsive relationships, the brain’s architecture doesn’t develop optimally. The body perceives the absence as a threat and activates a stress response that — when prolonged — leads to physiological changes that affect the brain and overall systems of physical and mental health. The stress becomes toxic, making it more difficult for children to adapt or rebound.

    The experiences of the subset of children who overcome adversity and end up with unexpectedly positive life outcomes are helping to fuel a new understanding of the nature of resilience — and what can be done to build it.

    Here’s what the science of resilience is telling us, according to the council’s report:

    • Resilience is born from the interplay between internal disposition and external experience. It derives from supportive relationships, adaptive capacities, and positive experiences.
    • We can see and measure resilience in terms of how kids’ brains, immune systems, and genes all respond to stressful experiences.
    • There is a common set of characteristics that predispose children to positive outcomes in the face of ad­versity:
      • The availability of at least one stable, caring, and supportive relationship between a child and an adult caregiver.
      • A sense of mastery over life circumstances.
      • Strong executive func­tion and self-regulation skills.
      • The supportive context of affirming faith or cultural traditions.
    • Learning to cope with manageable threats to our physical and social well-being is critical for the development of resilience.
    • Some children demonstrate greater sensitivity to both negative and positive experiences.
    • Resilience can be situation-specific.
    • Positive and negative experiences over time continue to influence a child’s mental and physical development. Resilience can be built; it’s not an innate trait or a resource that can be used up.
    • People’s response to stressful experi­ences varies dramatically, but extreme adversity nearly always generates serious problems that require treatment.

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      Love, Romance and Quantum Entanglement?

      One of history’s greatest engineers Nikola Tesla, who invented the means to transfer and to distribute electricity over long distances, once said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” The same holds true for Love, Romance and Quantum Entanglement; the world in which we live; our interactions with each other; and indeed our interactions within.
      Quantum Entanglement & Quantum Coherence
      Much like Love and Romance, Quantum Entanglement occurs when two entities or systems appear to us to be separate but through Quantum Coherence act as one system, with states being able to be transferred wholesale from one entity to the other. Quantum Entanglement is at the heart of understanding how events across significant distances operate at the macro- and micro- level in a correlated way despite considerable distance between them.
      The Source
      More than a century ago, in 1910, the American ‘New Thought’ author Wallace D Wattles wrote in “The Science of Getting Rich”: “Everything you see on earth is made from one original substance, out of which all things proceed… there is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe… a thought, in this substance, produces the thing that is imaged by thought… man can form things in his thought, and, by impressing his thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.” In other words, thoughtware, software and hardware are interchangeable. To confirm this point, the latest 3D printers can now print almost anything solid from scratch.
      Pure Energy
      Scientific experiments in Quantum Physics and particularly those at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research — CERN — at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland, continue to demonstrate that once we break everything down to its core, pure energy is behind everything. When we go down to the sub-atomic level we do not find matter, but pure energy. Some call this the unified field or the matrix. Others talk about pure potentiality: all being energy. Others feel this potentiality as love and romance.
      Vibrating Field
      This pure energy vibrates a field around it. A vibrating field of energy, which attracts — like a magnet — and attaches to energy of the same vibrating frequency. The more vibrating energy that is compressed into this field of energy, the more intense the vibration gets within that field. Eventually the energy field manifests into matter: particle-by-particle. As the father of Quantum Physics, Max Planck, once said, “All the physical matters are composed of vibration.”
      Action at a Distance
      In Quantum Mechanics, non-locality refers to "action at a distance" arising from measurement correlations on Quantum Entangled states. The dividing line between the micro world of Quantum Processes and the macro world of classical physics is fading. Evidence is being increasingly acquired of the relevance in nature of Quantum properties and processes including Quantum Entanglement. Recent science has shown that Quantum Coherence and Entanglement may provide a viable explanation for a series of mysteries in nature: how photosynthesis in plants works, how birds keep orientation while migrating, and more including love and romance.
      A table may look solid and still, but within the table are billions and billions of subatomic particles “running around” and “popping” with energy. The table is pure energy and movement. Everything in this universe has its own vibrational frequency. It is the law of vibration in action. However we can’t see it so it appears separate and solid to us. This is actually an illusion! Our frequency of perception of electro-magnetic waves defines what we can and cannot see within the visible spectrum of light. However, at a different frequency, like X-rays, the entire solid object would appear to be completely like a sieve.
      Unified Field
      Every object in the Universe moves and vibrates — everything is vibrating at one speed or another. Nothing rests. Everything we see around ourselves is vibrating at one frequency or another and so are we. However, our frequency is different from other entities in the universe, hence it seems like we are separated from what we see around ourselves — people, animals, plants, trees and so on. But we are not separated — we are in fact all living in a continuous ocean of energy. We are all connected at the highest level: the unified field.
      Frequency Control
      At the very leading edge of biophysics today, scientists are recognising that the molecules in our bodies are actually controlled by these frequencies. In 1974, Dr Colin W F McClare, an Oxford University Bio-Physicist, discovered that frequencies of vibrating energy are roughly one-hundred times more efficient in relaying information within a biological system than physical signals, such as hormones, neurotransmitters, other growth factors and chemicals.
      Vibration as Sound and Light
      What’s most interesting is that, if a frequency is vibrating fast enough, it’s emitted as a Sound and if it is vibrating much faster, it is emitted as a colour of Light. If we wanted to convert Sound to Light, we would simply raise its frequency by forty octaves. This results in a vibration in the trillions of cycles per second. So, if a pianist could press a key way above the eighty-eight keys that exist on a piano, that key would produce Light. This could create a chord of Light in the same way they can create a chord of sound. And it would be seen as colours of Light because it would be moving at the speed of Light.
      When two frequencies are brought together, the lower will always rise to meet the higher. This is the principle of resonance. So, when a piano is tuned, a tuning fork is struck, and then brought close to the piano string that carries that same musical tone. The string then raises its vibration automatically and attunes itself to the same rate at which the fork is vibrating. This principle of resonance works for biological systems too.
      Consciousness and Awareness
      Everything has a vibrating energy field and behind the field is pure energy. This pure energy has a source that is found within everything throughout the universe. What is this source? Consciousness. Yet, the source of consciousness behind everything can be measured by the amount of awareness it has within any given energy field. In other words, there are different levels of awareness to every state of consciousness.
      Vibration Frequency
      The lower the vibration frequency, the slower the vibration; the higher the vibration frequency the faster the vibration. The difference between the manifestations of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of connectivity result simply from different levels of vibrating energy or frequencies. So, while the feelings of fear, grief and despair vibrate at a very low frequency, the feelings of love, joy, romance and gratitude may vibrate much quicker at a higher frequency, and meditation states higher still, as demonstrated by the frequency of the electro-magnetic waves generated by the human brain in a number of scientific experiments around the world.
      Layers Stacked On Top of Each Other All The Way to Full Consciousness
      In short everything can be stripped away in layers in this order:
      1. Physical — 
      The lowest layer is Matter;
      2. Vibrating Field— 
      The layer above Matter is a Vibrating Field of Energy;
      3. Pure Energy— 
      If we peel away the Vibrating Field of Energy we have the layer of Pure Energy;
      4. Consciousness
      Above the layer of Pure Energy is Consciousness; and

      5. The Source— 
      The highest layer is Supra Consciousness, which is the Source of Everything.
      Layers of Awareness Within Consciousness
      Consciousness also has layers: the layers of awareness depend on their frequency of vibration. Those layers are defined in this order:
      1. Action-and-Reaction— 
      This is the lowest layer of awareness. This is, in fact, the layer of physicality and physical objects.
      2. Stimulus Response — 
      This is the next layer above objects. We find this layer of awareness in cells. At this level, the cells are only aware of the group as a whole, a herd, and responding together with no realisation of self or others. For example, nests and hives have this level of consciousness.
      3. Stimulus Individual Response— 
      This layer has even more of an awareness than Stimulus Response. This amount of awareness is the recognition of individuals. In this layer of awareness, families are created through realising individuals inside the group or the herd. Monkeys and mammals similar to them have the awareness to develop families and demonstrate this layer of awareness.
      4. Discernment or Judgment Response— Stimulus response means reacting to things. To see similarities and differences between things, is a higher order of consciousness and it allows the ability to make decisions about things, rather than just reacting to stimuli. This is the power of discernment or judgment. The mind or ego is the tool that notices similarities and differences between things. Anything that has a mind or ego has this layer of awareness or consciousness within it.
      Consciousness Layers Reveal Significance
      Every layer of consciousness above the lesser ones, has the awareness of all the lower-level layers too. For example, when we are trapped in a traffic jam, we feel much like part of a herd. We are feeling the layer of Stimulus Response. Yet when we are feeling like we are an individual, there is an extreme difference in our awareness. This understanding of higher levels of consciousness is very important. The importance lies within the fact that Consciousness is the Source of Everything and we have the awareness of every layer of consciousness in existence. This is significant because it allows us the privilege to attract and to attach to any energy field. We have the ability to vibrate at different frequencies and manifest different energy fields into matter depending on our level of consciousness.
      Using the principle of resonance, we can actually increase the speed at which the energy field of our bodies and minds vibrates, through higher frequency thoughts of love, joy, romance and gratitude and accessing even higher consciousness states via meditation. Modern science demonstrates that when pure energy slows down, lower dimensional matter is created; conversely when the vibration field speeds up, the higher dimensions of consciousness can be accessed. 
      And the higher our consciousness is raised, the closer to the Source we become, perhaps in a similar fashion to quantum entanglement of distant photons acting as one. “In the beginning was the Word”, the primordial vibration of sound and light, which according to thousands of years old Vedic science resonates to different phonetic sounds at different levels including the original “Aum” and different quantum entangled frequencies of light stimuli at differing energy vortices or chakras. 
      Are love and romance any different from quantum entanglement? Probably not!

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      10 Fundamental Success Truths We Forget Too Easily 

      It’s surprising how easy it is to lose sight of the important things in life. Busy schedules and weekly routines have a tendency to put the brain on autopilot.

      Some of life’s essential truths need repeating. Keep this list handy and give it a read any time you need a boost.

      1. Life is short

      None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Yet, when someone dies unexpectedly it causes us to take stock of our own life: what’s really important, how we spend our time, and how we treat other people.

      Loss is a raw, visceral reminder of the frailty of life. It shouldn’t be.

      A great day begins with a great mindset. Remind yourself every morning when you wake up that each day is a gift and you’re bound to make the most of the blessing you’ve been given. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing is the moment it will start acting like one.

      2. Being busy does not equal being productive

      Look at everyone around you. They all seem so busy—running from meeting to meeting and firing off emails. Yet how many of them are really producing, really succeeding at a high level? Success doesn’t come from movement and activity. It comes from focus—from ensuring that your time is used efficiently and productively. You get the same number of hours in the day as everyone else. Use yours wisely. After all, you’re the product of your output, not your effort. Make certain your efforts are dedicated to tasks that get results.

      3. You’re living the life you have created

      You are not a victim of circumstance. No one can force you to make decisions and take actions that run contrary to your values and aspirations. The circumstances you’re living 

      in today are your own—you created them. Likewise, your future is entirely up to you. If you’re feeling stuck, it’s probably because you’re afraid to take the risks necessary to achieve your goals and live your dreams. When it’s time to take action, remember that it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of one you don’t.

      4. Great success is often preceded by failure

      You will never experience true success until you embrace failure. Your mistakes pave the way for you to succeed by revealing when you’re on the wrong path. The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box and see the solution that you’ve been missing. Success takes patience and the ability to maintain a good attitude even while suffering for what you believe in.

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      Because I’m Happy


      As policymakers, administrators, and teachers, we want the children in our classrooms to be happy, of course. But how much does their happiness really matter when it comes to learning? According to a new study by HGSE lecturer Christina Hinton, Ed.D.’12, the answer is clear: It matters a lot.
      Hinton examined the interplay of happiness, motivation, and success in a K–12 setting, and she also looked at the school factors that support student happiness.
      Using both quantitative and qualitative measures, she found that from elementary school to high school, happiness is positively correlated with motivation and academic achievement. She also found that the culture of the school and the relationships that students form with their teachers and their peers play an influential role in their happiness.
      In order to conduct the study, Hinton collaborated with theSt. Andrew’s Episcopal School near Washington, D.C., which educates students in grades K–12. “We developed surveys to collect data on students’ happiness and motivation,” Hinton says. “We also collected qualitative data on happiness and motivation to dig more deeply into the construct. In addition, we collected data on students’ grade point averages. We then analyzed this data to explore the relationships among happiness, motivation, and academic achievement.”
      Her analysis found several key associations that open the door to further research on how schools can optimize students’ learning experiences. Among them:
      • Happiness is positively associated with intrinsic motivation (a personal drive to learn) for all students, and also with extrinsic motivation (outside sources like rewards, praise, or avoiding punishment) for students in grades K–3.
      • Happiness is also positively associated with GPA for students in grades 4–12.
      • Happiness and standardized test scores did not seem to be related, but further research is needed to confirm this.
      • Happiness is predicted by students’ satisfaction with school culture and relationships with teachers and peers.
      The finding that happiness is positively correlated with GPA is significant, Hinton notes, because GPA provides a broader picture of academic achievement than standardized test scores, encompassing multiple types of abilities and the influence of social dynamics.
      Moving past quantitative scores, the study examined the relationship between happiness and achievement from the students' perspectives, as well as the source of the happiness that students report feeling in the classroom. “We asked the students what supports their learning, and then we coded the responses for themes,” says Hinton. “Students often reported that happiness, or positive feelings like enjoyment or fun, promotes learning.” They cited many reasons for their positive feelings, including feeling safe and comfortable at school and having secure relationships with their teachers and their peers.
      These findings set the stage for important future research, Hinton says, as well as for exploring interventions that can successfully boost students’ overall happiness — and their performance in the classroom.
      “In this study, we found that a network of supportive relationships is at the heart of happiness,” Hinton says. “If schools want to support student well being and achievement, they should take seriously nurturing positive relationships among teachers and students.”

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      IMD business school and Cisco join forces on digital business transformation

      Cisco will make a contribution to IMD valued at $US 10 million to develop thought leadership and address business challenges in digital transformation

      March 26, 2015

      LAUSANNE/SAN JOSE (26 MARCH 2015)—IMD, the top-ranked business school focused on executive education, announced today a contribution valued at $US 10 million from Cisco to become the world leading destination for research, innovation and leadership to drive digital transformation to all aspects of enterprises, in every industry.
      Cisco intends to fund the Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation and create the IMD/Cisco Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, to be located on IMD's campus in Lausanne, Switzerland, and fully operational by summer 2015.

      The collaboration will combine Cisco's leadership in providing technology solutions for the Internet of Everything (IoE) with IMD's expertise in developing global leaders. According to Gartner Research, by 2020, 75 percent of businesses will be a digital business or will be preparing to become one, yet only 30 percent of these efforts will be successful due to lack of talent and technical expertise. Gartner reveals the number one reason companies fail in digital transformation efforts is a failure to re-imagine and reinvent the business from top to bottom before they begin.

      The partnership between Cisco and IMD will combine original research and Cisco Consulting's open innovation approach in order to generate practical insights that executives can apply directly to their businesses. By conducting original research, the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation will work to define digital business transformation, what it means for companies today, and how to stay relevant in today's competitive marketplace.
      The Global Center aims to become a world-leading hub of research and innovation, helping executives take advantage of digital opportunities and neutralize digital threats. Employing full-time researchers from both IMD and Cisco, the Center will produce cutting-edge thought leadership and organize learning events. It will also collaborate with Cisco's existing network of innovation centers around the world.

      Dominique Turpin, IMD President

      "IMD has had an excellent relationship with Cisco and its top executives for many years. We are extremely grateful to Cisco for funding this new initiative so generously, and are excited about the research to come. I would like to thank Cisco's leaders for the trust they have put in IMD, particularly Thierry Maupilé, an IMD MBA alumnus and Head of the Strategic Ecosystem Group at Cisco, for his crucial role in making this happen."

      Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategic Information Management at IMD

      "This new Global Center will operate at the intersection of technology and organizations. Its main goal is to help executives who are struggling with the 'how' of digital business transformation. These executives know that they must change and adapt to digital opportunities and threats, but they don't know how."

      Edzard Overbeek, Senior Vice President, Cisco Services

      "We are excited to be partnering with IMD, the prestigious school of business management, which attracts thousands of executives to its campus each year.IMD stands out among the top global business schools because of its unique applied model of management education, which will be instrumental as we seek to help our customers manage through rapid market changes due to digitization.Together, Cisco and IMD will 'write the book' on managing transformation in the new digital age."

      Stephan Strauss, Division President, DB Schenker, Germany

      "As a business leader in a traditional industry who needs to take his company on the journey of digital transformation, it is a challenge to take the best route.How to leverage digital technologies to create sustainable competitive advantage? In which way transform our business model and what should be the focus? How can we transform our culture and take our organization with us on that journey? What is the right pace?The IMD/Cisco Global Center for Digital Business Transformation will be a most valuable asset to work on addressing these challenges."

      Frank Vivier, Richemont Group Director of eBusiness, Switzerland
      Thomas Lindemann, Richemont Group HR Director, Swizerland

      "Richemont (the owner of several luxury brands, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, etc) congratulates IMD on its new Global Research Center on Digital Business Transformation. The digitization of the luxury goods industry worldwide is presenting significant change management challenges and opportunities. IMD's digital research and education initiative will provide a very timely contribution to the development of organizational competencies and leadership skills to both local and global luxury groups, thus benefitting the industry's competitiveness and growth."

      Tom Touchet, CEO, Smart City Media, USA

      We are in a period of prolific and profound change, driven by digital disruption and accelerated by the Internet of Things. That opportunity is the focus of virtually all business leaders. Understanding and leveraging and leveraging the impact of these new business models and their competitive dynamics is instrumental to our success. The creation of the Cisco-IMD Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, which is dedicated to tackling these issues, and to creating roadmaps for organizational change, is an important step towards this goal.

      Aparna M. Dogra, Temasek Management Services Pte Ltd, Singapore

      We are very excited to hear about the new IMD-Cisco partnered research centre on Global Digital Transformation. Forward looking companies that invest in new technologies and embrace digitally driven processes and business models are better positioned to compete in the fast paced digital age. We are confident that the cutting edge research coming out of the IMD-Cisco Research Centre will serve companies well in making such investment decisions and transformational changes to ensure that their businesses stay relevant and competitive.


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      Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

      FOR NEARLY A century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.
      The experiments involve an oil droplet that bounces along the surface of a liquid. The droplet gently sloshes the liquid with every bounce. At the same time, ripples from past bounces affect its course. The droplet’s interaction with its own ripples, which form what’s known as a pilot wave, causes it to exhibit behaviors previously thought to be peculiar to elementary particles — including behaviors seen as evidence that these particles are spread through space like waves, without any specific location, until they are measured.
      This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality.
      Particles at the quantum scale seem to do things that human-scale objects do not do. They can tunnel through barriers, spontaneously arise or annihilate, and occupy discrete energy levels. This new body of research reveals that oil droplets, when guided by pilot waves, also exhibit these quantum-like features.
      To some researchers, the experiments suggest that quantum objects are as definite as droplets, and that they too are guided by pilot waves — in this case, fluid-like undulations in space and time. These arguments have injected new life into a deterministic (as opposed to probabilistic) theory of the microscopic world first proposed, and rejected, at the birth of quantum mechanics.
      “This is a classical system that exhibits behavior that people previously thought was exclusive to the quantum realm, and we can say why,” said John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has led several recent bouncing-droplet experiments. “The more things we understand and can provide a physical rationale for, the more difficult it will be to defend the ‘quantum mechanics is magic’ perspective.”
      Magical Measurements
      The orthodox view of quantum mechanics, known as the “Copenhagen interpretation” after the home city of Danish physicist Niels Bohr, one of its architects, holds that particles play out all possible realities simultaneously. Each particle is represented by a “probability wave” weighting these various possibilities, and the wave collapses to a definite state only when the particle is measured. 
      The equations of quantum mechanics do not address how a particle’s properties solidify at the moment of measurement, or how, at such moments, reality picks which form to take. But the calculations work. As Seth Lloyd, a quantum physicist at MIT, put it, “Quantum mechanics is just counterintuitive and we just have to suck it up.”
      A classic experiment in quantum mechanics that seems to demonstrate the probabilistic nature of reality involves a beam of particles (such as electrons) propelled one by one toward a pair of slits in a screen. When no one keeps track of each electron’s trajectory, it seems to pass through both slits simultaneously. In time, the electron beam creates a wavelike interference pattern of bright and dark stripes on the other side of the screen.
       But when a detector is placed in front of one of the slits, its measurement causes the particles to lose their wavelike omnipresence, collapse into definite states, and travel through one slit or the other. The interference pattern vanishes. The great 20th-century physicist Richard Feynman said that this double-slit experiment “has in it the heart of quantum mechanics,” and “is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way.”
      Some physicists now disagree. “Quantum mechanics is very successful; nobody’s claiming that it’s wrong,” said Paul Milewski, a professor of mathematics at the University of Bath in England who has devised computer models of bouncing-droplet dynamics. “What we believe is that there may be, in fact, some more fundamental reason why [quantum mechanics] looks the way it does.”
      Riding Waves
      The idea that pilot waves might explain the peculiarities of particles dates back to the early days of quantum mechanics. The French physicist Louis de Broglie presented the earliest version of pilot-wave theory at the 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels, a famous gathering of the founders of the field. 
      As de Broglie explained that day to Bohr, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg and two dozen other celebrated physicists, pilot-wave theory made all the same predictions as the probabilistic formulation of quantum mechanics (which wouldn’t be referred to as the “Copenhagen” interpretation until the 1950s), but without the ghostliness or mysterious collapse.

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      Having a purpose in life may improve health of aging brain

      Having a strong sense that your life has meaning and direction may make you less likely to develop areas of brain damage caused by blockages in blood flow as you age. This research is reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
      When a blockage interrupts blood flow in a vessel within the brain, a stroke can result or brain tissue can be damaged. This damaged tissue, called infarcts, may contribute to dementia, movement problems, disability, and death as people age.
      “Mental health, in particular positive psychological factors such as having a purpose in life, are emerging as very potent determinants of health outcomes,” said Patricia Boyle. Ph.D., study co-author and associate professor of behavioral sciences at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Clinicians need to be aware of patients’ mental state and encourage behaviors that will increase purpose and other positive emotional states.”
      Researchers analyzed autopsy results on 453 people, average age 84, who volunteered for the Rush Memory and Aging Project and underwent annual physical and psychological evaluations until they died, at an average age of 90. None of the participants had known dementia when they started the study and all participants had agreed to organ donation at death.
      Among the participants, 114 had clinically diagnosed stroke. At autopsy, they found:
      • Nearly twice that many had macroscopic infarcts (visible to the naked eye) or microinfarcts (visible with microscope) (47.7 percent).
      • Participants who had reported a stronger purpose in life were 44 percent less likely to have macroscopic infarcts. The study did not find a significant relationship between purpose in life and microinfarcts.
      • Adjusting for vascular disease risk factors, including blood pressure, physical activity, blood pressure, depression, and diabetes did not change the relationship between purpose in life and infarcts;
      • The findings related to purpose in life were most significant in small infarcts in the blood vessels supplying deep brain structures (lacunar infarcts);
      • The relationship between purpose in life and infarcts was not influenced by Alzheimer’s disease or clinically diagnosed stroke.
      Although people’s scores on measures of purpose in life changed little during the course of the study, researchers believe that it can be improved.
      “Purpose in life differs for everyone and it is important to be thoughtful about what motivates you, (such as volunteering, learning new things, or being part of the community) so you can engage in rewarding behaviors,” said Lei Yu, Ph.D., study lead author and assistant professor of neurological sciences at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

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