10-Minute Summary – Kate Raworth Doughnut Economics Summary

Doughnut Economics Summary – If it’s human to err, economists are just like the rest of us – they make mistakes. Theories that dazzle in textbooks end up leading us astray in the real world. Towering thinkers turn out to have feet of clay.

But economic ideas can have extraordinary staying power. As the British economist John Maynard Keynes once wrote, “practical men” who prize their independent-mindedness are often “the slaves of some defunct economist.” Misleading claims remain on the shelf in the marketplace of ideas long past their sell-by date.

Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics takes aim at an idea that’s long obsessed both economists and policymakers: endless growth. But her mission isn’t just theoretical. She argues that if we don’t kick our addiction to growth, we’ll end up destroying our planet. The neverending economic expansion isn’t just a defunct idea – it’s dangerous.

What’s needed now is a bold, contemporary approach. Out with the old, in with the new. If we want to survive and thrive on Earth, it’s time to start thinking like it’s the twenty-first century.

Economics is the world’s lingua franca, spoken by both business and government. Yet many of its basic assumptions are flawed. Crises like the 2008 financial crash have proved as much – economists just didn’t see it coming. Then there are the slow-burning issues of climate change and global inequality.

If it wants to meet the challenges of the twenty-first-century head-on, economics needs to change. Fresh thinking is the order of the day.

So where do we start?

One idea that might help us out of our current predicament is the author Kate Raworth’s concept of the Doughnut.

Picture a classic doughnut with a hole in the middle. It’s made up of two circles – one, the inside edge, and the other, the outside. The former can be thought of as the social foundation, while the latter represents an ecological ceiling.

Between these two rings – in the dough, to stick to our metaphor – is what the author terms “a safe and just home for humanity.” A place defined by dynamic balance. Within it, all our social needs can be met without overburdening the planet.

Let’s unpack the first concept: the Doughnut’s social foundation includes everything that humans need in order to live.

That covers basics such as access to clean water and food, but there’s more to it than that.

We don’t just want humans to simply survive, we want them to thrive. A full human life is about more than just having enough to eat. It also requires more abstract social goods like support networks, a sense of community, political representation and gender equality.

And what about the ecological ceiling?

Essentially, this is the ecological boundary we have to respect if we also want the earth to thrive.

In 2009, a group of earth systems scientists, led by Johan Rockström and Will Steffen, identified nine processes vital to our planet’s ability to sustain human life. These processes are threatened by ozone layer depletion, ocean acidification, nitrogen and phosphorus loading, chemical pollution, freshwater depletion, land conversion, air pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.

The outer ring of the Doughnut functions as a “guardrail” to protect these key processes. If we cross it, we risk environmental catastrophe.

The problem, however, is that we’ve already leaped over the rail at least four times! Climate change, nitrogen and phosphorus loading, land conversion and biodiversity loss are already well underway.

The clock is already ticking and time is in short supply. If we want to get humanity into the Doughnut, we have to act now.

But before we do anything, we need to change the way we think about the world. And that starts by challenging our obsession with endless growth.

It’s worth remembering that economics wasn’t always about endless growth.

Take the ancient Greeks. For them, economics meant the art of managing a household. To master the discipline was to understand how to make the most of limited resources.

Making money and acquiring wealth was an entirely different kind of……..

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How To Implement GDPR And Change Your Business Culture Forever

Now that the new GDPR rules are firmly in place, businesses will find themselves on a continuum between two camps – those that are fully GDPR compliant and those that have taken few or no steps towards compliance. For GDPR compliant companies, the opportunities and competitive advantages are clear. Not only will they avoid the hefty potential penalties inflicted for non-compliance, but they will be well on their way to building authentic, transparent relationships with customers and a more people-centric business.

At its very heart, GDPR is all about protecting customer and employee data. It requires organizations to adopt stricter data protection policies, to document how they store, use and share personal data and review data governance principles regularly to ensure compliance. The ability to manage huge volumes of data is essential to a company’s success and requires a huge culture shift to ensure data breaches are kept from the door and a solid reputation remains intact.


GDPR as an opportunity and not a threat

How an organization deals with GDPR compliance will depend on how it is utilizing data, the industry it is operating in and how and where that data is stored. The road to compliance may be expensive and complex, but the long-term opportunities that compliance creates could be plentiful when the process is managed in the right way. This involves rolling up sleeves, diving deep into data protection and changing the way that teams and individuals think about personal data.

By implementing the right compliance design principles and collecting only relevant data, companies can streamline and eliminate data storage and collection processes, prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks and significantly reduce costs. At the same time, enhancing the quality and integrity of data that flows through an organization’s internal systems can improve a company’s competitive edge and bottom line. For example, higher quality data collection enables an organization to perform sophisticated modelling and data analysis techniques and make better business decisions.

Embedding a new culture of data protection

GDPR cannot be a process that is shaped overnight. It requires buy-in from every department and every employee. It requires organizations to ensure ‘data protection by design and by default’. In other words, that data protection practices are baked into all processing activities and business practices, from design to execution. Data protection and privacy issues should be considered first which requires education and culture change. This organizational shift should begin in the boardroom and filter down through all stakeholders and members of senior management. So, what can organizations do to bring about this new data privacy culture?

Assign budget and responsibility for GDPR compliance.

Create maps of data flows internally and externally and document how personal data is used, stored and processed. Create transparent security and data protection policies that are endorsed by senior management and are simple enough for all to understand. Implement effective tools and processes that allow policies to be managed and executed and that protect the organization from the risks associated with personal data processing. Create training and awareness initiatives that educate staff about how to comply with security and data protection policies. Implement procedures and processes that address data breaches and non-compliance issues. These should document fully the organization’s responsibilities and how to report and respond to such an issue. Ensure that clear data processing records are maintained to demonstrate compliance to data protection supervisory authorities and external stakeholders.

Culture shift without the culture shock

It is essential that the entire organization is on-board with the responsible and compliant collection and treatment of personal data. This can be a challenge during the initial stages of GDPR implementation. A good place to start is for senior management to educate teams on the importance of data protection and how the law translates to each individual department. No employee will want to be responsible for a fine of up to 4 percent of global revenue. They need to understand their role in protecting data, and be aware that this is a very real risk now that GDPR is firmly in place.

A growing common practice in many organizations is the contractual change to employees’ employment contracts to reflect GDPR requirements. This not only formalizes GDPR in employee mindsets but also showcases how critical GDPR is within the organization and how seriously a staff-related data breach will be treated. While a change in contract alone will not bring about a culture shift – and could very well create a culture of fear and resentment – when coupled with education workshops, programs and incentives, contract changes could prove to be an effective step.

Building a GDPR framework is an ongoing process that begins with induction and education, and should be reinforced routinely and whenever any data protection issues occur. From creating personalized staff awareness workshops to investing in business automation and data protection solutions, there are many ways an organization can raise awareness and create a robust framework for compliance.

A simple process change just won’t cut it

GDPR legislation demands an organizational shift across all departments, from legal to sales and marketing to IT. It affects every employee, every data set and the entire customer journey. It affects technology infrastructures, internal processes and revenue. A simple process change won’t quite cut it, and while raising awareness may seem like a daunting task, a people-centric culture will strengthen GDPR readiness and your organization.

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Vodafone expands IoT range for businesses

Vodafone has launched a number of business focused Internet of Things (IoT) devices as it looks to bring more connectivity to the workplace.

The operator has unveiled two new “digital building” solutions that Vodafone says can help the likes of airports, office and shopping centres get a better, smarter insight into how their businesses function on a day-to-day basis.

The new products include remote video monitoring and an energy management platform that allows companies to become greener as well as smarter, as Vodafone predicts that the number of IoT connections in buildings is set to increase from 0.1 million in 2016 to 2.1 million by 2024.

Vodafone business IoT

The first new offering is Vodafone Building Surveillance, a video monitoring platform that works alongside existing CCTV services to monitor multiple sites remotely.

The service includes a smart analytics dashboard to set up alerts for certain incidents, such as if motion is detected in a specified area, with all footage being watermarked and stored securely in the cloud.

Also launching is Vodafone Building Energy Management, which monitors systems such as lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration and heating into a single cloud platform that can be managed remotely and on multiple devices.

This also comes with a dashboard offering insights into business KPIs and real-time performance, allowing users to tweak how individual systems operate in order to save energy, reduce costs and improve operational efficiency.

“Digital Building solutions present a significant opportunity for organisations to embrace new technologies to ensure space, resources and costs are optimised,” said Anne Sheehan, director of Vodafone UK Enterprise.

“As a global leader in IoT services (with more than 68 million IoT connections) we are well placed to work with our customers to create solutions that deliver real business benefits fast.”

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Article Credit: TR

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8 Features to Look for in an IoT Solution

The number eight has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture. This is because of the way the pronunciation of the word sounds. Pronounced as “ba,” the number sounds a lot like “fa” – the word for prosper, wealth or fortune in Chinese.

While there is a whole host of other numbers that supposedly bring good fortune in equal measure, this makes sense to us because there are eight things that really matter if you want to prosper in leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive innovation.

Below are the eight features to look out for when evaluating IoT solutions.

1. Modular and Future-proof

Ensure that your IoT platform can connect with any device, sensor or machine over any network and provides flexible deployment choices with SaaS, PaaS, on premises, hybrid or edge. It should also be low-code and future-ready with solutions for enterprise integration, API management, predictive analytics and machine learning, as well as business process and portfolio management. This flexibility allows you to start an IoT deployment quickly, while also allowing you to scale and grow.

2. Open and Independent

As the name suggests, IoT implies that anything can be connected and smarter. So why would you even consider working with an IoT platform vendor who might lock you in to a specific architecture, or force you to depend on a narrow set of enterprise applications, sensors, controllers, protocols or deployment configurations?

Your platform will need to be independent enough to avoid vendor lock-in, and open enough to work with what you have today – including IT, OT, protocols and infrastructure – and what you may have tomorrow.

3. Supports Rapid Start for Instant IoT

You should be able to register and connect your devices in minutes with an easy-to-use control panel to set up rules, connect to key apps and realize the benefits of IoT immediately. The IoT solution you select should also allow you to easily create a free trial account in the cloud at any time.

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Article Credit: IOT

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Focus on security and standards to reap IoT rewards

Unlocking real value from connected devices requires more than blind investments in the technology.

Organisations are now investing billions in the Internet of Things (IoT) to create business efficiencies and improve productivity. Gartner claims that over a third (37 per cent) of the 8.4 billion connected “things” in use globally will be implemented inside companies.

Last year, we undertook research among IT leaders in the UK, US, Sweden and Denmark to find out their views on the IoT, including the challenges and barriers, opportunities and benefits. While those in the Oil & Gas and Utility sectors are leading the way in terms of IoT projects, there are clearly some roadblocks. To stay ahead of the competition, they must focus on technologies that offer maximum security and performance alongside support for open interoperable standards.

The research looked at IoT in relation to smart cities, utilities and industrial IoT (IIoT). The IoT utilities sector could be worth as much as $15bn by 2024 while in smart cities, it is predicted to reach a staggering $147bn by 2020, and IIoT projects could hit $195bn by 2022. Over half of the IT leaders investing in IoT already have a fully implemented strategy, while a third are rolling one out.

With a long track record of using SCADA and ICS platforms to drive business and operational efficiency, Oil & Gas firms are most eager to embrace IoT, with 88 per cent considering enablement as a priority.

Utilities are not far behind, while over three-quarters of firms investing in IoT say it is a top priority. The fact that it plays into several other key areas, such as IT automation, data analytics and organisational connectivity, could be the reason for this. While power providers see it as a great way not only to improve safety and quality of life for citizens, but also to improve efficiencies and service reliability.

Take Oklahoma Gas & Electric, which has deployed a robust IoT network, helping to reduce operational costs, lower emissions, minimise the number of service vehicles on the roads and empower consumers to manage their own energy supply. The beauty of the firm’s expandable IoT network is that it had also been used to connect 250,000 LED street lights — improving service levels, reducing energy consumption and accelerating resolution of outages.

Such initiatives are not just confined to the US: smart lighting projects, for example, can be found all over the world, in cities including Glasgow, Paris, Copenhagen and London.

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Article Credit: ITProPortal

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Is Blockchain The Way To Save IoT?

The internet of things (IoT) was a hot topic in tech a few years ago, with everyone and their mother pitching IoT platforms, “smart” products and automated, real-time, interconnected “things” everywhere. Though IoT is still humming along, the hype has been somewhat curbed by high deployment failure rates and the shadow cast by IoT-enabled cyberthreats like the Mirai botnet.

Gartner has warned that three-quarters of all IoT projects will take twice as long as planned to implement, and IoT security (or a lack thereof) has been called “a doomsday scenario waiting to unfold.” It turns out that IoT is hard! Tackling this complexity is core to capturing the promised benefits of IoT. In today’s increasingly digitalized world, the ability to make sensors, devices and computational “things” perform tasks and functions for us is becoming a necessity. Human beings just can’t manage the explosion of data and “interconnectedness” on their own — but we also don’t need bad bots running amok.

Establishing helpful IoT systems that run securely, efficiently and independently has proved incredibly difficult. Blockchain shows promise for easing that burden.

IoT Challenges

Cybercrime that exploits IoT devices and networks shows no sign of abatement. Thus security, privacy and identity verification remain foundational concerns in IoT deployments. Vast amounts of IoT data must be collected, transferred and delivered in a secure fashion amongst valid stakeholders, and processing now occurs at various layers within an architecture to trigger decisions at the right point. Misbehaving sources must also be detected and resolved, as device-related threats may include:

• Physical device attacks (unauthorized device control).

• Software attacks (malware such as viruses or worms).

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Article Credit: Forbes

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10-Minute Summary – Emily Chang’s Brotopia Summary

Brotopia Summary – For the past 30 years or so, the tech industry has been at the forefront of the global economy, with Silicon Valley regarded as the hub of successful business and innovation. Massive companies such as Google, Facebook, PayPal, Uber, Amazon and Apple are considered as some of the best places to work, in large part due to their push for more progressive work environments.

Undeniably, the number of male employees far exceeds the number of female ones. This is the new norm. And upon closer examination, the work cultures in these companies seem to have been created to service men and feed the “bro” mentality.

This is not good. As you’ll see, male-dominated workplaces have serious implications for business success and society as a whole.

What does a typical computer programmer look like? The first image that comes to mind is probably a nerdy-looking man who’s terrible in social situations but excellent at dealing with numbers. This stereotype, however, is in massive contrast to the reality of the early days of computing.

During the first part of the twentieth century, working with computers was considered a clerical job – like typing or operating a switchboard – and thus deemed “women’s work.” In other words, the first computer programmers were women.

It should come as no surprise to learn that women programmed the first computer for the US Army during WWII. Or that rear admiral Grace Hopper – who held a PhD in mathematics – programmed Mark I, a computer at Harvard University which helped in the development of the atomic bombs that would be dropped on Japan in 1945.

Another thing that many people don’t know is that astronaut John Glenn’s successful orbit of the earth in 1962 was made possible by the work of three female NASA mathematicians. The lack of recognition for their contribution inspired the 2016 film Hidden Figures.

Then, in 1967, an article titled “The Computer Girls” was published in Cosmopolitan magazine. The piece contained an interview with Hopper, who compared programming to organizing a dinner party. She said that women made good programmers because of their patience and attention to detail.

But sometime in the 1960s came a report that claimed men were better suited to programming.

Unsurprisingly, the report was written by two men, psychologists William Cannon and Dallis Perry, who were hired by a software company to characterize the perfect computer programmer. Of the 1,378 programmers they interviewed, only 186 were female. After their research, Cannon and Perry concluded one key trait was that they “didn’t like people.” By connecting good programming skills with antisocial behavior and introversion, the ideal employee was more likely to be male on account of men being three times more likely to receive the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder.

Since the release of that report, the industry was persuaded to hire antisocial men. Their dominance in the field has led to the false assumption that the majority of programmers should be men.

By the time commercialized computers entered the market in the 1980s, the male nerd stereotype was firmly established within society. Before we dig into that, however, let’s first look at when men started taking over the technology industry.

Two things happened in the late 1960s: the technology…….

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What are the Differences Between an ERP RFI and an ERP RFP?

We often hear questions about the differences between an ERP RFI and an ERP RFP. When should you use each, and what is its purpose?

An RFI, or Request for Information, is a procurement document used by an organization to:

  1. gather relevant information about available ERP options and
  2. help narrow down prospective ERP partners.

RFIs are therefore crafted and issued at an early, exploratory stage of ERP project development, and are often used in combination with a later RFP.

An RFP, or request for proposal is more targeted than an RFI. Instead of asking prospective ERP vendors for information, an RFP tells them your specific project needs/goals and asks them to send you a specific, customized proposal to meet your expressed needs. You’ll analyze these proposals and make a decision about which ERP partner to go with for your implementation.


The Purpose and Parts of an ERP RFI

When you send out an RFI, you likely have a general idea of what you need and want from an ERP vendor, but are still open to new ideas and perspectives. Your RFI questions can therefore be more open ended.

An effective RFI gives you an overview of the ERP vendor landscape, letting you see what might available in terms of technology and support. You use the information you learn in the RFI to decide which vendors to get to know better through additional meetings and demos, on-site visits, or proof-of-concept examples. Here are the primary goals of an ERP RFI:

Explore Cultural Fit

As in all business relationships, the “cultural fit” is a critical factor to consider. You’ll want to explore working styles and collaborative approaches to see if there’s a good match between your own company and the potential ERP vendor. Many abas USA customers, for instance, say they like working with us because we’re not too corporate, not too massive, we’re relatable, and have responsive, likable employees who connect well with our customers’ own employees. These “soft” factors matter a lot in partnerships as important as those between an ERP vendor and a manufacturing or distribution business.

Explore Functional Requirements

This is the most significant part of an RFI and will be the most detailed. Here you’ll explain your ERP project goals and system requirements to vendors.

For example, maybe you want to begin selling your products online in a Webshop. Or maybe you’re planning M&A activities that will require you to integrate other companies into your ERP. Or maybe you want to improve your quality management processes in production and distribution. Maybe you’re ready to start the move to the cloud and mobile processes.

Regardless of your plans, the RFI is the place to start assessing which ERP systems will be able to meet your requirements.

Ask Smart Questions

Keep RFI questions focused on your strategic goals. Here are some examples:

  1. What is the typical ERP implementation time frame for a company of our size?
  2. What experience do you have working with businesses in our industry or with our manufacturing process type?
  3. How do you track and communicate project progress from a work-completed and a financial standpoint?
  4. When we place a call to your support organization, who is the first person we talk to and what is their background and experience?
  5. How are you different relative to other ERP providers in the market?

The responses you get to your RFI will not only demonstrate each vendor’s expertise but will also help educate you for the upcoming steps of the process.

The Purpose and Parts of an ERP RFP

An RFP is much more specific to your particular needs. You’ve moved beyond the “getting to know you” phase with the RFI and have narrowed the choice down to just a few eligible ERP vendors. You’ve seen extensive demos and asked specific questions about the software. Now it’s time for the RFP, which will ask vendors to commit to pricing, timing of the implementation and more. With the RFP, you want the prospective ERP vendors to show you exactly what they can do, how they’ll do it, when they’ll do it, the value your company will gain, and for what size of investment.

Be Clear and Specific About Your Project Requirements and Goals

In order for an ERP vendor to create a viable proposal, you’ll need to be specific about your requirements and timeline for implementing your ERP system. Which features and functions need to be included? What deployment method will you use (cloud ERP, hybrid ERP, on-premise ERP)? Which mobile apps do you need? What reporting or business intelligence (BI) capabilities are you looking for? How do you want the ERP to integrate Business Process Management / automated workflows? The more the vendor knows about your requirements, the better they can craft a proposal to meet your needs.

You’ll also want to think about ongoing maintenance. Include specifics about the service level agreement (SLA) and support options, cost and frequency of upgrades and training options to make sure your users and system will continue to grow and change as your company does.

For more information, contact an abas representative today, or take this Quiz, which will help you decide if your organization might benefit from a new ERP system.

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AI Is a Matter of Survival

Anxieties about artificial intelligence range from the threat of sudden joblessness to robot insurrection. But if companies and governments shy away from investing in and developing AI technologies, then they could face a worse fate: obsolesce, or even annihilation.

At Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo. on Tuesday, a panel of executives and leaders from GMIntel, Slack, and the U.S. Navy discussed a coming wave of AI automation—and why neglecting this tech revolution could spell doom for laggards.

Naveen Rao, who leads AI products at Intel, compared the situation to a dog-eat-dog, Darwinian model of the natural world. “AI recapitulates what happens in evolutionary systems,” he said.

Animals use their senses, brains, and bodies to acquire food and other necessities, Rao said. Similarly, companies collect information about their users, products, and environments, and process that information in order to survive and grab more market share.

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An AI may kill your job, but it’ll also create millions more

Artificial intelligence will create as many jobs as it displaces in the UK, but its impact will be felt disproportionately across different sectors, according to PwC research. According to the firm, AI is set to create 7.2 million jobs over the next 20 years, slightly more than the seven million predicted to be lost to automation.

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