30 June 2011 South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has congratulated Christine Lagarde on her appointment as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, while calling for the body to give more say to emerging countries.“As the global economy continues to be plagued with persistent economic challenges, the role of the IMF has and will continue to become crucial to global co-ordination and crisis management,” Gordhan said in a statement on Wednesday.“I am confident that Ms Lagarde will be able to actively enhance that role even-handedly and effectively.”The French finance minister was named the first ever woman head of the IMF on Tuesday.The IMF should continue to focus on certain issues to “further strengthen its relevance and legitimacy among all member countries”, Gordhan said.This included transferring quota shared to emerging and developing countries to give them more weight in IMF decisions.He also called for a commitment that the next head of the IMF need not come from Europe.“Small countries should have appropriate voice. Since the global crisis, small countries have faced particular challenges that require greater attention from the IMF,” Gordhan said.He called for more diversity in IMF staff in terms of their nationality, gender, and academic and professional backgrounds and improved surveillance of important advanced economies.The IMF’s top job has been held by a European for 65 years.Sapa
My pal the great Paul Hebert had a fantastic piece over on Fistful of Talent titled ‘What HR Should be Thinking About in 2013’, an examination of some of the most important and interesting business and product/service challenges facing organizations, and how HR departments can or should be responding to these challenges. The entire piece is excellent, and I encourage you to read it all, but I wanted to call out two (related), trends Paul highlighted and compare them to another, different example where business, policy, and pragmatism seems to be at odds with what we ‘know’ to be sound business advice.Retro RobotFirst – the two bits from Paul’s piece at FOT:CUSTOMER-FACING EMPLOYEES ARE YOUR BRAIN AND YOUR BACKBONE.The crucial element in any customer experience is still people, no matter how much technology has transformed the landscape. The larger an organization, the more it relies on the thousand tiny decisions its frontline employees make on a daily basis. And listening to their collective wisdom is more important than ever.NOTE TO HR: Nothing really to add here – just go read that paragraph 100,001 times before starting your next initiative.HUMAN INTERACTION HAS NEVER BEEN MORE PRECIOUS.There’s almost no transaction that can’t be automated today, from buying groceries to learning about health issues. And customers are starting to resist. Look for places to act more human. 2013 reverses the trend toward automated everything, as humanity becomes the crucial differentiator between a beloved brand and a commodity.NOTE TO HR: This is my mantra for 2013 and on. Just change the word customer to employee in the previous paragraph. It truly is about BEING HUMAN. And you all SHOULD be the experts at it!Both of these trends or areas of focus boil down to essentially the same thing – the return of the importance of real and human interaction at the most important customer touchpoints -, which for many kinds of industries are often the responsibility of the most junior and lowest-paid employees. Think call center reps, cashiers, customer service agents, food service folks, the guy who parks your car at the valet – you get the idea. So the advice from both Fast Company and Paul makes perfect sense – listen to your front-line staff, make your organization more ‘human’, don’t jump to automation just for its own sake, etc. Hard to disagree with that line of reasoning. Or maybe not so hard. Take a look at an excerpt from another piece from the Wall St. Journal online titled, ‘Can the Tablet Please Take Your Order Now?’:”Carla Hesseltine is considering buying a few tablet devices for her bakery so customers can place orders for her signature M&M cupcakes on their own, straight from the counter.The reason: She fears the $7.25 an hour that she currently pays her 10 customer-service employees, mostly college students, could rise, perhaps to $9 an hour under a pledge by President Barack Obama earlier this month.In order for her Just Cupcakes LLC to remain profitable in the face of higher expected labor costs, Ms. Hesseltine believes the customer-ordering process “would have to be more automated” at the Virginia Beach, Va., chain, which has two strip-mall locations as well as a food van. Thus, she could eliminate the 10 workers who currently ask customers what they would like to eat.”Did you get all of that? A local cupcake shop thinks it smart, cost-effective, and beneficial to replace their front-line, low-paid workers, the ones that make up the vast majority of customer touchpoints, with a couple of iPads and a custom menu app that will allow customers to place orders without having to actually talk to any of the staff.And Ms. Hesseltine’s cupcake shop isn’t the only one thinking about how technology and automation can reduce or even eliminate or at least reduce the human interaction between customers and front-line staff. More from the WSJ piece:”Tarang Gosalia, of Cambridge, Mass., hopes he can get away with having fewer employees waiting on customers at the three hair-salon franchises and one frozen-yogurt outlet he owns by using Square, a three-year-old technology brand designed to streamline credit-card transactions. He is planning to test it out starting in June to see if it will make accepting payments easier and faster for his staffers—and therefore allow him to downsize. About 70% of the 35 employees who work for his combined businesses currently earn $8 an hour, the minimum pay required in his state. Raising prices to offset the higher payroll costs strikes him as too risky, because he worries his sales may suffer.Some entrepreneurs see a promising market in selling technologies to small businesses that might help them to streamline operations and do away with low-wage workers, or retrain them for higher-skilled jobs. An automatic hamburger flipper currently in development could replace low-wage line cooks at a beachside burger joint, for example.”FastCompany could very well be correct, that ‘”2013 reverses the trend toward automated everything, as humanity becomes the crucial differentiator between a beloved brand and a commodity”, but as the examples from the WSJ piece tell us, at least for small businesses, (and I bet many large ones as well), cost, compliance, and even the lack of available talent are still conspiring to drive organizations to at least consider further automation and technology-driven substitutions for human interaction.Technology can be liberating, it can free up time and resources for people and organizations to actually provide better customer experiences, but it also can be really dehumanizing at the same time. When tablets replace counter help, when robots are the new short-order cooks, when the check-in, check-out and everything in between becomes just a series of user interfaces, touch screens, and customer-machine interactions, we are moving in the opposite direction from humanity as a differentiator.I think the real challenge for HR and business in 2013 (and beyond) isn’t deciding whether or not to automate, but rather making the critical decisions about where and how the organization can afford to automate and where it can’t.
An investment in ecosystem partners to bring cutting-edge, customized, accelerated solutions to drive innovation and growth across data centric markets.It’s no secret that the pace of innovation is accelerating faster than we’ve ever seen before. A new era of data-centric computing innovation is being driven by not only a massive volume of data being created, but also a revolutionary change of data forms and formats which require end-to-end data processing. No single technology can solve every problem at the same time. From CPU and GPU, to FPGA and ASIC, to neuromorphic computing and quantum computing, Intel is planning future end-to-end computing innovation in a comprehensive way to fully unlock the value of data.Across many industries in the data-centric world, one of the most constant aspects is change—changing standards, changing product requirements, changing ways of deriving and adding value. Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) help customers maximize performance and keep pace with ever-changing workloads and evolving standards. That’s why developers who are tackling the toughest data-centric challenges are adopting Intel FPGAs. Combined with Intel’s end-to-end computing technology, FPGAs can unlock the power of data and are being used in fields such as artificial intelligence, cloud service, enterprise, 5G, autonomous driving and visual processing applications.More: Programmable Solutions Group NewsThe global tech innovation race has shifted into overdrive with the recent opening of Intel’s FPGA Innovation Center, a strategic project jointly launched by my team at Intel, the Programmable Solutions Group, and Intel China. Located in Chongqing, western China’s emerging Silicon Valley, the Innovation Center has been created to help our ecosystem partners in developing cutting-edge customized accelerated solutions to drive innovation and business growth across cloud, communications and embedded markets.Driving the Next Wave of Tech InnovationLaunched in collaboration with strategic partners including Dell EMC, AW Cloud, Zhi Xin Technology, and Terasic, the Innovation Center serves as an incubation hub for new startups and will help cultivate FPGA talent and application research working with Chinese FPGA research and development professionals from top universities. Housed in over 10,000 square feet of office space, it will also be the launch pad for top industry summits, thought leading training/events/seminars and global innovation competitions.This is truly an exciting time to be a part of Intel and to be working with FPGAs. The recent announcement of the new 10nm Intel® Agilex™ FPGA family is an important step in the continued investment in technology and ecosystem development, driving innovation across cloud, networking, and the intelligent edge. As markets are transforming, our customers are in a race to drive innovative solutions as fast as possible, which in turn is driving the need for fast time to market and highly customized hardware and software solutions—perfect for FPGA and CPU usage and ecosystem development.With the launch of our FPGA innovation center in China, Intel is shaping the data-centric future with computing and communications technology to power the world’s most exciting innovations.Stay tuned for more updates on our progress.
As MIT’s vice president for research, Zuber is an experienced advocate for science. She is also comfortable in the spotlight. She has reached any number of “first woman to …” milestones, including principal investigator on a NASA planetary mission and head of an MIT science department. And although Zuber is not the first women to chair the board, NSF’s press release touts her as part of the first all-female leadership team at the agency, joining NSF Director France Córdova and the board’s new vice-chair, Diane Souvaine, a theoretical computer scientist and vice provost for research at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.“I’ve never realized I was first until after the fact,” Zuber told ScienceInsider. “This is not something I aspire to. And I long for the day when I’m not the first anymore.”Into battleZuber’s new job thrusts her squarely into the middle of the running battle between NSF and Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), chairman of the House of Representatives science committee. In addition to repeatedly ridiculing specific grants, Smith has championed legislation that would require NSF to certify that all of its research grants contribute to “the national interest.” Scientific leaders who oppose that provision view it as a mechanism for making ideology-driven decisions about what NSF should be funding, and Smith says it’s simply an attempt to ensure accountability.“My definition of science in the national interest is great science,” Zuber says. “Mediocre science is not in anyone’s interest. And the board is here to help NSF support the best science as determined by merit review.”Still, Zuber recognizes that the issue is not cut-and-dried. “There is a range of opinion about whether NSF was transparent enough,” she says. “NSF felt it was, but others thought it wasn’t doing enough. So the board decided that the best thing to do is talk about it, and not get defensive. And those conversations have led us to believe that there’s room for NSF to improve transparency.”Zuber says no legislator has turned down a request for a visit from a board member, and she has met personally with Smith. The meetings are no panacea, she concedes, but she thinks they have helped.“I hoped we’ve turned the corner,” Zuber says. “We’re trying to let legislators know what NSF has been doing, and hopefully they will express an appreciation for it. But even if they don’t think we’ve done enough, we want to be able to understand their concerns.”Of course, whether NSF is spending its money wisely is part of a larger debate about how much the federal government should invest in research. There’s an old saw about scientists always wanting more. And though Zuber doesn’t think research should be exempt from the current budget constraints, she believes that steady increases are warranted.“Everything is under scrutiny when budgets are tight,” she concedes. “But U.S. research and education are really what has kept this country at the forefront. It’s improved our quality of life and contributed markedly to our competitiveness. So I think that even in this environment, where flat is the new up, then research spending ought to still be up.” The new chair of the board that oversees the National Science Foundation (NSF) plans to continue the board’s stepped-up efforts to educate Congress on how NSF does its business.This month Maria Zuber, a planetary geophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, took over from Dan Arvizu as chair of the National Science Board. The presidentially appointed body has traditionally kept a low profile. But in 2014 Arvizu asked Zuber to design a bigger role for the board in response to criticism from Republican legislators that NSF was funding frivolous research.The board’s response has been face-to-face meetings with individual legislators that take place after the end of the board’s regular 2-day sessions at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Over the past 18 months Arvizu and Zuber have helped connect a small contingent of board members with a score of legislators from both parties. 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Donor management system (DMS) software allows nonprofits to put their donor data to work and manage fundraising and communications from one location. Ultimately, a DMS gives nonprofits the ability to learn what’s important to their donors, deliver a better donor experience, increase donations, and operate more efficiently with reduced costs. Choosing a Donor Management SystemAll DMS software tools have basic traits in common. But they vary widely when it comes to functionality and ease of use. Choosing the right software for your nonprofit can be tricky. Every nonprofit has unique needs, and you want to be sure that the software you pick will be simple to use, provide comprehensive insight into your donors’ giving activity and priorities, and enable you to plan campaigns effectively. To help you as you’re evaluating the options, here are eight questions to ask when choosing a donor management system for your organization. 1) Should we purchase an all-in-one DMS or mix and match providers?All-in-one systems are easy to use because the functions are all designed to work together. Additionally, your data will be kept consistent and up-to-date because it’s housed in one central location. Workflows are simplified, and upgrades are easy. However, depending on the functionality your organization needs, you may not be able to find an integrated system that has it all. In that case, you should be able to integrate additional software to expand capability. Some all-in-ones offer simple integrations via APIs, so look for one that makes integration easy.2) Have we considered the process of data migration and import?Not all DMS systems handle data migration and import the same way. In fact, some have difficult and costly migration and import processes. Find out what the processes require and if there is a fee involved. You’ll also want to see how much help the vendor offers, and if this help comes with a separate price tag. Ask questions like how long the process will take and what protections they have in place to ensure your data is not at risk. 3) Are we taking precautions with respect to data security?Speaking of data being protected, no matter which provider you go with, you’ll want to have your donor data backed up in a secure location. Don’t keep this data on unsecured laptops or servers, as this makes your organization vulnerable. Look for a cloud solution with strong system controls.4) Have we evaluated the overall viability of each DMS provider?You need confidence that the vendor you choose will be around for the long term. The potential pitfalls are many for companies that aren’t well established or that don’t have experience with nonprofits. Startup software companies often run into cash flow problems, customer service issues, and other hurdles that sometimes result in a shutdown. Other software companies may have strong histories but lack an understanding of needs specific to nonprofits, meaning they’re unable to customize the software to your needs sufficiently. For each vendor you’re considering, look at how long they’ve been in business, what existing customers have to say about their happiness with them, whether they’re updating the product regularly and adding new features, and whether their product is built for nonprofits.5) How easily can we track data in the DMS and take action based on it?You need to be able to quickly and easily see donor information, track how your campaigns are performing, and find out if your communications are effective. You should be able to create visual reports and use your data to improve your campaigns and donor stewardship program.6) Does the DMS integrate with the other tools we need to use?If your nonprofit relies on other software functions that are outside what’s typically included in a DMS, your DMS will need to integrate with the other software you use. Be sure that integrations are offered and that they’re easy to set up. Find out if additional integrations create duplicate data or other problems, and ask if there are fees involved in setting up additional integrations.7) What is the pricing plan and structure?Unfortunately, hidden fees for training, data import, and other services are common. Ask about additional fees up front. Look for pricing structures that are clear and transparent. You don’t want to be surprised by charges based on confusing pricing tiers. Also, make sure that the pricing structure is flexible. Your DMS should grow with you, since your needs will expand in the future. 8) What about customer service?You should be able to get help when you need it, via a method that’s convenient for you — including phone, email, and chat. Find out if you can get answers in a reasonable amount of time. Ideally, the provider will assign a point person to help you onboard and get going in the new DMS. You should also have access to training or coaching opportunities to help you get the most out of the system, without being charged extra for training.A DMS is a powerful tool that will help you streamline operations and boost revenue, but you’ll only be able to get top results with a DMS that’s suited to your specific needs. Asking these questions will give you a clear picture of what each vendor can do for you, and where each falls short. Taking your time to evaluate your options thoroughly will give you confidence that you’ve made the best choice. Want to learn more about how a DMS can help your organization and what to look for in a DMS? Read our Buyer’s Guide to Nonprofit DMS Software.Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
The CW has finally announced its list of series renewals, and it’s a long one — though there are still a few question marks lingering around the fringes. Long story short: It’s a good time to be a superhero show.The network has confirmed the renewal of Arrow, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale and Supernatural for next season. Non-genre renewals include Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Dynasty and Jane the Virgin. The network has yet to make a decision on The 100, iZombie, Life Sentence and Valor. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter
Sidney Rice has a lot on his shoulders this year with the Seattle Seahawks. The problem is, he had surgery on both shoulders and so they are hardly ready for him to take on NFL hits.“This is going to be up to them. I know they’re going to protect me as much as possible,” Rice said of the team. “Preseason is important but it’s not as important as the regular season. They’re going to take their time and progress me along, bring me along as much as possible, and we’ll see what happens during the preseason games.”Rice’s first season with Seattle was marred by injury. He injured one shoulder during the preseason and said he was unaware that the other was also damaged. Rice played as best he could through the two shoulder injuries until a pair of concussions — the second one suffered in Week 12 against Washington — finally landed Rice on injured reserve.His first shoulder surgery on the right one came Jan. 3. His left shoulder was repaired Feb. 16. Still, it could be a while before the Seahawks put him at risk. Initially, they were going to place Rice on the physically unable to perform list for the start of training camp, but he was cleared to participate in drills over the weekend before the first practice.“We’re just going to go through this conservatively, I guess you can say, and lengthen the time of his recovery through this camp. That’s great that he’s working and getting the timing worked, but we won’t get him banged for a while,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We’ll see how that goes as we start to make progress. This is the best time for us to have our hands on him and really work him right and finish off his off-season, and I just think he’s had enough that he’s been through that it warrants taking our time here and not rushing him back.”Rice’s health is of the utmost importance for Seattle this year because of the questions that linger with the rest of its receivers. The competition to find who will start opposite Rice, along with determining the depth of the position, is one of the few true battles the Seahawks have to solve during the next month.“I’m the leader of this group now with Mike (Williams) gone and I just want to lead by example,” Rice said. “These guys know how to play football but we have to bring it every day, bring the right attitude.”
The Ministry’s new team remains headed by Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Donnella Bodie, who is now joined by:Mr. Reginald Saunders,Under Secretary, General Administration and the Scholarship and Educational Loan Division;Ms. Serethea Clarke, Acting Under Secretary,Human Resources and Examination & Assessment Division;Ms. Isla A. Deane,Deputy Permanent Secretary, General Administration;Mr. Donovan Turnquest,Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, General Administration and Understudy for the Physical Plant Division; andMs. Joan Darling, Financial Controller.Minister Lloyd presented to the new team during a series of staff meetings last Friday at the Ministry’s Headquarters on University Blvd, New Providence, advising his audience that, “ while change is often regarded as something negative, in this fast paced, fast moving world, if you’re not growing, you’re going backward.”During the meetings, Minister Lloyd advised the new leadership team that the people of The Bahamas, through its Government, insists on an ambitious transformation agenda for the education system, and that the team must be aggressive in pursuing that agenda, ensuring that they “bear fruit in the shortest possible time”.Education reform is high on the list of priorities enunciated by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis upon coming to office on May 12, 2017. In an address to Parliament, the Prime Minister laid out the FNM Governments comprehensive vision for a 21st Century Bahamas, which included, among other plans, “ education, healthcare, housing, child, youth and community development.”Minister Lloyd also thanked former members of the education team, including former Director of Education Mr. Lionel Sands, a 47 year veteran educator, now at the Ministry of Labor, and former Deputy Director, Mr. Joel Lewis, a 30 year education veteran, now with the Department of Local Government. Release: Ministry of Education Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, January 23, 2018 – Nassau – Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, on Friday, January 19th 2018, announced the appointment of and introduced to the Ministry of Education’s staff, a new executive team at the Ministry and Department of Education.The Department is now led by Mr. Marcellus Taylor; Acting Director. His new team comprises:Mrs. Eulease Beneby, Acting Deputy Director, School Management and Registration;Ms. Sharon Poitier, Acting Deputy Director, Curriculum; andMr. Julian Anderson, Acting Deputy Director, Technology and Innovation. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Posted: December 16, 2017 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Lilac Fire finally 100% contained after 10 days of battling SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — After 10 days of destruction, the Lilac Fire was 100 percent contained Saturday, fire officials announced.”A big thank you to our local, state and federal cooperators,” Cal Fire San Diego tweeted around 6 a.m. “We couldn’t do it without our great partnerships and teamwork.”In total, 1,659 firefighters and other personnel helped battle the blaze.The Lilac Fire destroyed 157 structures — many of them dwellings in the Rancho Monserate Country Club mobile home park in Fallbrook — and damaged 64 more. No human deaths were reported, but at least 46 horses died, many of them stabled at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall.The Santa Ana winds that fueled the massive blaze returned earlier this week and were set to return again Sunday, though weaker than they were when the fire started.A fire weather watch was issued for San Diego County on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties will be under a red flag warning during the same time period.Locally, fire agencies are bracing for any new fires, while in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, fire crews are continuing to battle the even-larger Thomas Fire.That blaze, which broke out 12 days ago and is still only 40 percent contained, has now grown to the third-largest in California’s history at more than 259,000 acres burned. Full containment is not expected until early January.The 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County still holds the record as the state’s largest wildfire at 273,246 acres, while the 2007 Witch Fire and 1970 Laguna Fire, both in San Diego County, are also among the 10 largest in California history. , December 16, 2017