Sony plays a new game

first_imgSony plays a new gameOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Simon Kent looks at how the Consumer Business Group at Sony Europeintroduced experimental training methods to employees from the eastern areas ofthe continentWhen Sony Europe set out to develop leadership skills within its easternEurope managers, they wanted an event which would be a memorable experience.The intervention had to engage participants, giving them valuable experienceand learning they could take back to the organisation in their own country. According to Dipayan Roy, senior manager for training and development of theConsumer Business Group for Sony Europe, the final intervention, completed thissummer, had its genesis two years previously with an extensive competencyassessment exercise. This research helped the organisation identify areas whichwould be important to the development of the company in the future. “We used self-assessment, behavioural event interviews andconsultations among managing directors and many other people who worked withthese people on a daily basis,” says Roy. Faced with increasingcompetition and a rapidly changing market place, these managers were seen tohave a very specific and important role to play within their organisations.”The programme we wanted to design had to focus on giving these managersthe skills needed to lead change, rather than just enduring change,”explains Roy, “We needed something which would push them outside theirusual comfort zones but which would ensure the entire experience could betransferred back to the workplace.” Sony defined the required leadership competency as the ability to set avision and high standards and to convince others to strive towards thoseobjectives. “It involves motivation skills and the ability to empowerteams to make sure the desired results are achieved,” says Roy. At thesame time, given the shifting economies of eastern Europe, the company also neededa competency it called ‘building capability’ – an entrepreneurial skill throughwhich the managers could raise the capability of others while providingsupport. Having identified these two areas, the company turned to experientialtrainers Impact, which provided two development modules over four months.Addressing 25 participants from Sony sales, HR and other functions in Poland,the Slovak and Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia,the first of these modules lasted three days and focused on each participant’spersonal performance – increasing self-awareness. Experimenting The second module, lasting four-and-a-half days, addressed how eachindividual operated as a leader. While Impact’s characteristic experientialstyle of learning involved participants practically in experimenting withdifferent approaches to this skill, the second module featured a great deal oftheory, including an introduction to ’emotional intelligence’. “Therequirement for theory came from the participants,” notes Andy Ligema, anImpact facilitator on the project. “We didn’t use much theory in the firstmodule but by module two, there was a clear demand for material on leading andmanaging change.” While similar Western-based programmes have touched on the theory as well asthe practical aspect of leadership, it was clear Sony’s eastern Europeanparticipants had less knowledge in this area. “They hadn’t had muchexposure to these approaches,” says Ligema. “Some had virtually none,so we needed to introduce and demonstrate the concepts.” Most importantly, Sony ensured classroom learning was both supported by anddirectly affected the business by establishing individual projects for eachparticipant to begin and continue alongside the development intervention. Theprojects were split between initiatives which the managers had to address inthe course of their work and new initiatives derived by the individualconcerned. “We had the option of creating projects specifically for developmentpurposes” says Roy, “But this way we could identify things that wereimportant to those managers and assess what was not being done within theorganisation.” While the projects were revisited during Impact’s secondmodule, they were not designed to terminate with the development programme butto go on into the future, delivering business gains. “Not only did we set up these projects for each individual, but we madesure the business would champion each project,” says Roy. This approachincreased the value managers felt the organisation attached to theirdevelopment and made them realise the contribution they could make to thebusiness. It demonstrated that the organisation wanted to benefit from theirincreased leadership skills. Feedback from the course has been extremely positive. The managers involvedhave reported increased awareness of the impact they have on the people aroundthem, are more confident in their leadership and feel supported by theorganisation, not least through the network of managers the modules have established.”The fact the business projects identified are clearly moving forwardis extremely encouraging,” says Roy. “It shows the initiative has got the right balance. We have ourmanagers’ endorsement, while also improving performance within the organisationitself,” he adds. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Circumpolar response of Southern Ocean eddy activity to a change in the Southern Annular Mode

first_imgAnalysis of satellite altimeter data reveals anomalously high Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE) in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) during the period 2000–2002. Around 2–3 years earlier (1998), the circumpolar eastward wind stress (as quantified by the Southern Annular Mode; SAM) showed a significant positive peak, and we have shown previously that the ACC peaked around 1998 in response. An eddy-resolving ocean model is used to investigate the delay between wind forcing and the eddy response, and demonstrates that the lag is due to the time taken to influence the deep circulation of the ACC. Winds over the Southern Ocean have shown a strong climatic increase over the past few decades. If this increase in winds is also reflected as an increase in eddy activity (as our analysis suggests it might), then the increased poleward heat flux may have played a significant role in the observed warming of the Southern Ocean.last_img read more

Sotherby’s International Realty and Concierge Auctions form strategic alliance

first_imgMajestic Villa dominating Rome, 30.000.000 EUR through Italy Sotheby’s International Realty. Sotheby’s International Realty and Concierge Auctions have embarked on a strategic alliance in which Concierge Auctions will be the Preferred Auction Provider to Italy Sotheby’s International Realty and Italy Sotheby’s International Realty will be Concierge Auctions main reference for the Italian market. The alliance unites the esteemed Italian real estate brokerage with the industry leader in luxury real estate auctions around the world.“One of the core values of Italy Sotheby’s International Realty is to provide the highest standards of service and the broadest international exposure to real estate buyers and sellers,” said Lodovico Pignatti Morano, Managing Partner, Italy Sotheby’s International Realty. “Concierge Auctions has the largest footprint in international property auctions and over a decade of proven success in the high-end sector. Through its platform, our agents can now offer a proactive, time-certain solution to clients in the buying and selling of the world’s most distinctive properties. Concierge Auctions was founded 11 years ago as an enhancement to traditional brokerage methods alone to most effectively transact high-end properties. Today is an exciting time, as we continue to receive more interest than ever from buyers, sellers, and agents for our on-demand solution,” said Charlie Smith, European Advisor of Concierge Auctions. “Italy Sotheby’s International Realty’s respected reputation and vast knowledge of the Italian real estate market combined with our ability to market homes globally through our 24/7 digital platform is a transformation of the home buying experience for both buyers and sellers of high-end Italian properties. We’ve made a strategic decision to align with this esteemed brand, known for a tradition of utmost excellence for the most distinguished properties in Italy and throughout Europe.”conciergeauctions.comMajestic Villa dominating Rome Sotheby’s International Realty Concierge Auctions auction alliance auction providers auction August 22, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Auctions news » Sotherby’s International Realty and Concierge Auctions form strategic alliance previous nextAuctions newsSotherby’s International Realty and Concierge Auctions form strategic allianceThe Negotiator22nd August 20190202 Viewslast_img read more

LMH tutor in Lib Dem harassment claims

first_imgIn a statement released on Sunday, the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg maintained that “the allegations made on Channel 4 concerning Lord Rennard last Thursday were extremely serious and distressing to the women involved. It is critical they are investigated thoroughly and dealt with properly and they will be. In the meantime, I will not stand by and allow my party to be subject to a show trial of innuendo, half-truths and slurs. The important thing is that we respect the women who have come forward and do everything to get to the truth.”Lord Rennard has announced that he will step down from his position in the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords, and has resigned from the Federal Policy Committee, the body in charge of writing party manifestos. Lord Rennard’s lawyers dismissed the allegations as a “total distortion of his character”, adding, “Not a single complaint of misconduct was made against him to his knowledge during the 27 years he worked for the Liberal Democrat party. Despite the claim made by one woman in the report, Lord Rennard continued working closely with her for 10 years after the alleged event described.”Georgia Luscombe, Female Welfare Officer at Lady Margaret Hall, told Cherwell, “Allegations of sexual harassment against women in Parliament, particularly those in a subordinate role to their male counterparts and thus more vulnerable to exploitation, should be taken extremely seriously. Failure to do so would be damaging both to political parties’ reputation but also to women’s political aspirations.”Magdalen student Elizabeth Brierley said, “In their own Constitution, the Liberal Democrats reject discrimination of any sort and ‘oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality’, but this most recent scandal has shown that even the Liberal Democratic party tolerates misogyny. By covering up the situation and not dealing with the claims of abuse as they were made, the Lib Dem party has reinforced the prevalent male view that sexual abuse, and allegations thereof, are trivial. Furthermore, what has made this situation all the more tragic is that one of the women involved has said that she didn’t make a formal complaint because she didn’t want “any fuss”. It seems to me that it will only be when allegations of sexual abuse are no longer seen as a waste of time and a bit of a joke, that we might then be able to strive for real equality.” Alison Smith, a Politics tutor at Lady Margaret Hall, is among one of a number of women who have spoken out against Lord Christopher Rennard in the latest sexual scandal to shake the country. Lord Rennard, former Liberal Democrat chief executive and currently a peer in the House of Lords, has been accused by various women of sexual harassment in a programme broadcast by Channel 4 news last week. Smith alleged in the programme that Lord Rennard had inappropriately touched her and a friend at a party six years ago at the peer’s home. She claims to have reported the incident to senior members of the party came to no avail. In particular, Rennard has been accused of taking advantage of his position of power in order to approach young women at training events for female political candidates. Citing one of her reasons for making her allegations public, Smith told Cherwell, “We had to think of the safety of future generations of women entering politics. I felt this very keenly as a politics lecturer, because some of the talented young women that I teach will hopefully stand for public office in the future, and they could find themselves at such events within a few years”.The allegations, made by several women, refer to events which took place between five and ten years ago. They were reportedly brought up with senior Party leaders, including Paul Burstow, the Lib Dem Chief Whip, and the equalities spokesman Jo Swinson, now Minister for Women and Equalities. One woman claimed that when she informed senior party members about Lord Rennard’s advances on her, “they openly laughed and thought it was hilarious.”The Liberal Democrat Party has launched two investigations into the allegations of sexual harassment, and how the party has dealt with these allegations in the past. In an interview with the BBC, Vince Cable insisted that these investigations will have an “independent element”, and denied that he or Nick Clegg had any knowledge of the allegations before they were made public. Speaking to Cherwell, Smith insisted, “We need to change the culture where people are prepared to turn a blind eye to such damaging behaviour. The ‘Rennard Issue’ is the main reason why the Liberal Democrats have one of the lowest percentages of female MPs of any mainstream political party in any Western democracy.  Hopefully that culture will now change.”last_img read more

Beach Replenishment Update: Work Still at 52nd Street

first_imgA sign and temporary fence just south of 51st Street mark the edge of the beach replenishment project area in Ocean City, NJ on Wednesday, May 27. Check OCNJ Daily for updates and photos of the Ocean City beach replenishment project for 2015 in the south end between 36th and 59th Streets.DATE: Wednesday, May 27PROGRESS: As of Wednesday afternoon, the bulk of the work was still at 52nd Street — with the fence marking the edge of the project area just south of the 51st Street beach entrance. Access to the beaches at 52nd and 53rd streets is closed.The first two phases of the project (from 42nd Street to 37th Street, then from 42nd Street to 47th Street) are complete.WHAT’S NEXT: The project will proceed from 52nd Street to 47th Street (mid-May to mid-June), then from 55th to 59th (mid-June to mid-July).READ MORE: Ocean City NJ Beach Replenishment 2015 Daily UpdateFOR DAILY UPDATES by E-MAIL: Sign up for freelast_img read more

Another Stormy Pattern Returns This Week

first_imgRain is on the WayAfter a great weekend and temperatures in the 50s, a change in the weather pattern will keep Ocean City in a wet, unsettled pattern for most of this week. First, a weak disturbance will move through our area this evening bringing some rain. Rain amounts expected to be on the lighter side (around .25”)High pressure will build back in for Monday with a return to sunshine but a little cooler as temperatures climb into the upper 40s. Then we watch the next storm for Tuesday through Thursday. The track of the storm will remain to our west which is good news, this keeps us wet (not white) and reduces our coastal flooding threat. However, sea levels will remain high due to the full moon and a northeasterly flow developing by Tuesday. It is possible some minor tidal flooding could occur on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. Winds will switch to the easterly direction on Wednesday and then swing to the southerly direction Wednesday night and will become quite windy (25-30 mph with gusts over 30mph) as the storm intensifies to our west.Rain will be rather light when if first arrives later in the day on Tuesday. The heaviest rain will fall Wednesday night. Total rainfall could reach 1.5” and some street flooding could occur during times of heavy rain on Wednesday.Most of the rain should leave our area early Thursday morning. Winds will swing from the west bringing in cooler, drier conditions for the remainder of the week. Highs late in the week will top out around 40 degrees with lows near freezing.last_img read more

Callebaut invests in Spanish venture

first_imgBarry Callebaut has opened a new factory in Spain, dedicated to the production of frozen pastry – “haute patisserie” – in the Alicante/Valencia region.Barry Callebaut Pastry Manu-facturing Iberica is an 80:20 joint venture between cocoa and chocolate product manufacturer Barry Callebaut and master pastry chefs Paco and Jacob Torreblanca. The new factory forms part of Calle-baut’s strategy to expand its offering to professionals in ’ready-to-serve’ convenience products, said Philippe Janvier, vice- president gourmet Europe, of Barry Callebaut.Paco Torreblanca will create the desserts, while his son Jacob takes on the role of production manager. Callebaut is respon-sible for international dis- tribution. The factory employs around 40 people and is capable of producing up to 30,000 pastries per day.last_img read more

The Ragbirds Trace The Trajectory Of Love On ‘The Threshold & The Hearth’ [Stream/Review]

first_imgOn their newest release, The Threshold & The Hearth, Ann Arbor’s multi-cultural fusion band The Ragbirds celebrate the ties that bind us all with a concept album about the progression of new love. The band is no stranger to family, as it is comprised of the Zindle siblings, T.J. and Erin, along with Erin’s husband, percussionist Randall Moore. Not only that, but the material on The Threshold & The Hearth was written and recorded in the wake of the birth of the couple’s daughter. The joy of new life and the wonder of fresh eyes seeing the world for the first time infuses the entire album with an uplifting quality of hope, for the one and the whole.Blending elements of African, Latin, Middle Eastern, Celtic and Americana music with an effortless charm, The Ragbirds are amazingly sonically diverse. T.J. Zindle clearly cut his chops on the guitar licks of the seventies and eighties greats, and his range of influences allows him to switch back and forth between harder charging material and cleaner, more pop-oriented leads. His sister Erin uses her fiddle playing and bright, sweet voice to draw in listeners with her inescapable good cheer. The rhythm section of Moore, bassist Dan Jones and drummer Jon Brown have the most work to do, managing to mix so many different patterns and influences into such a strong and cohesive spine that both drives and compliments the material. With years of honing their playing skills and world spanning tours under their belt, The Ragbirds focus their considerable talents to incredible effect on The Threshold & The Hearth.You can listen to the album here, and follow along with our review below.“Lemon Grove,” the lead track, begins the cycle of the love story at the heart of the piece with a slightly on-the-nose track about birth and the importance of nurturing and strong roots for a successful life. On the second track, “Cosmos” we hear Erin Zindle at her best, with a lyrical look at the micro and macro workings of the universe paired with a scat singing, toe tapping musical score that features her fine fiddle work. “The Curse Of Finger Pointing” opens with one of the most complete takes on the band’s sound, with gypsy-esque percussive elements, clean guitar lines and Erin’s sing-song voice layering in progressively before each is afforded the opportunity to separate from the whole and shine individually. The infectious nature of the music of The Ragbirds can be hypnotic, and smart song placement helps keep the listener from being overwhelmed by the more lush and dreamlike material. The frenetic burst of “Sometimes Honestly” snaps the smiling reverie with a whip smart beat and a confessional set of lyrics that delve into the dichotomy of human nature. Straying further away from their more diverse sound on the album’s next track, “Alleyway Saints,” we see an example of the more traditional rock road that The Ragbirds could just as easily have trod.Continuing to show their admirable musical dexterity, the haunting piano ballad “Strange Weather” is the sparsest song in this collection and one of the most beautifully done. Comparing the pressures of the atmosphere and their effect on the weather with the romantic and social pressures that threaten all romances at one point or another Erin Zindle’s palpable vulnerability and connects the song with everyone who’s ever swam in the changing tides of the seas of love.The fictionalized couple’s struggles continue in “Tough Love,” as a jamming back beat allows Zindle to express the age old feminine wish for their partners to listen to their problems, not to solve them. The music fits the sentiment perfectly, as the more composed and unified moments regularly give way to varied tempos and solo sections. The frustration she’s expressing escalates into full argument, and the importance of communication is expressed beautifully. In “Breakdown” we find the lovers driven apart by their issues, and the jangling, discordant overtones echo the turbulent emotions before finally unifying with a well thought out use of choral effects on the vocals to illustrate the strength of harmony. At last, in “On Your Side,” the lovers reunite and are strengthened by their trials and the song itself is one of the most powerful statements on hope and love the band makes on The Threshold & The Hearth. The remaining tracks focus on the twilight of love, and the comfort and ease that familiarity can bring. On The Threshold & The Hearth, The Ragbirds show a wisdom and confidence in their abilities that is truly impressive. The conceit of the piece, following a twenty year cycle of a romance and the trials and victories that happen along the way, rewards the listener with a true musical journey. The love brought into being over the course of the album is more than just a result of the connection between the characters, it’s a spot on metaphor for the cycle of life itself, set to a beautifully rich and diverse set of sonic styles and instrumentation. It takes so many different factors and circumstances for love to work, and it’s all wonderfully exemplified by The Ragbirds in a fresh, heartfelt and truly idiosyncratic way.The Ragbirds’ new album, The Threshold & The Hearth, is available HERElast_img read more

Obamacare, back on trial

first_imgIn a move that caught many observers off guard, the U.S. Supreme Court last week announced it would review one of four cases currently challenging provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).Currently, qualified consumers can receive tax subsidies to help them purchase health insurance through the federal- or state-run exchanges. But the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell assert that the ACA’s language does not authorize assistance to those on the federal exchange, only to purchasers on state exchanges. Supporters of the law argue that while the phrase “established by the state” was imprecise, lawmakers clearly understood and intended to offer these subsidies to anyone who qualified, and not limit help only to consumers living in participating states. To apply such a strict “plain meaning” reading of the law, the supporters argue, would render many other ACA provisions absurd, threaten subsidies to more than 4 million people now receiving them, and deal a potentially fatal blow to the law’s goal to ensure that Americans have affordable health insurance.In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sided unanimously with the government’s position in King. But in a related case that same month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down, 2-1, an Internal Revenue Service regulation that permits subsidy payouts to consumers in the 36 states that don’t provide state-run exchanges. That ruling was later vacated by the full panel.Einer Elhauge, the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and founding director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, writes frequently about U.S. health care law and is the author of the 2012 book “Obamacare on Trial.” He talked to the Gazette via email about the court’s decision to take up this case, what is at issue, and implications for the ACA should the court rule in favor of the plaintiffs.GAZETTE: Were you surprised the court agreed to hear this case, given that there’s no circuit split?ELHAUGE: Yes. It is quite an activist move, indicating that at least four justices of the Supreme Court are not following ordinary rules of judicial restraint in this case, which counsel that the court is more likely to reach accurate decisions if it lets issues percolate in the lower courts and see if they end up divided. Perhaps the justices took the case because they figured that the disruption of removing these tax credits would be even worse later than now. But that itself suggests the justices must think there are high odds that they will remove the tax credits, especially since merely taking the case creates a risk that is disruptive to the insurance markets.GAZETTE: The plaintiff’s argument seems to center on the basic statutory interpretation of the phrase “established by the state,” while the government’s position is essentially “we know what we meant.” Is that a fair reading, or is there more at work?ELHAUGE: No, that is not a fair reading. It focuses on reading one statutory phrase in isolation, when in the whole act there is more text that cuts against the plaintiffs’ argument that tax credits should be denied than text that cuts in favor of the plaintiffs’ argument. So the plaintiffs’ argument depends upon a partial reading of text that is inconsistent with modern textualism itself. Plaintiffs’ argument also conflicts with evidence on legislative purposes and with the fundamental canon that any unclarity should be resolved by deferring to the agency. Moreover, although none of the parties raised this argument in the briefing, the plaintiffs’ interpretation is undermined by the canon of constitutional avoidance, which says the statute should be interpreted to avoid not only actual unconstitutionality, but even any serious constitutional doubts.The plaintiffs’ interpretation reads the statute as trying to coerce states into setting up state exchanges by threatening to withhold tax credits that are given to other states and are necessary to prevent individual insurance markets from unraveling given the requirement of community rating. Such coercion seems unconstitutional, or at least constitutionally doubtful, under the same principle that the Supreme Court used to strike down the part of Obamacare that threatened to withhold pre-existing Medicaid funds to coerce states into agreeing to the Medicaid expansion.GAZETTE: Given that members of Congress who were closely involved in the legislation filed briefs in the D.C. Circuit and Fourth Circuit cases saying they “well understood” the subsidies to apply to all states, critics contend the King and Halbig cases are pretexts by ACA opponents to give the court another opportunity to invalidate or gut the law. How do you see it? What is the compelling legal issue here? If this language wasn’t attached to the ACA, do you think the court would have taken it up?ELHAUGE: Supreme Court precedent suggests that the justices are unlikely to be persuaded by post-enactment statements by legislators of what they meant. Some justices think that interpretation should just be based solely on the text and that such individual legislator statements are never relevant because they do not necessarily reflect the views of Congress as a whole. But even the justices who find individual legislator statements to be relevant require them to be made during the process of enactment so that those statements could have been considered by other legislators voting for the bill.If this was not the ACA, I do not think the court would’ve taken the issue without a circuit split. I think the justices who decided to take the case saw the compelling issue as textualism versus purposivism, which has been a running debate on the Supreme Court for decades. But in fact that is not the real issue here, since textualism does not support the plaintiffs’ interpretation if one looks at all of the text of the statute.GAZETTE: Is there any case law or other indications that suggest how the court may come down on this?ELHAUGE: As noted above, the case law indicates that the court should hold that the ACA provides tax credits to federally facilitated exchanges. Whether it will so hold is another matter. On the one hand, if the arguments made to the court remain unchanged, the fact that the court took the case without any circuit conflict suggests it is more likely that the court will wrongly hold that the ACA denies tax credits to federally facilitated exchanges. On the other hand, because no one in the briefing raised the constitutional-doubts issue I note above, the Supreme Court has not had a chance to consider that argument yet, so maybe making that argument would alter the outcome.GAZETTE: This is now the third challenge the court has agreed to hear in the four years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Is this unusual, and what does it suggest about either the law and/or the court?ELHAUGE: I am not sure how unusual it is. There were also three Supreme Court cases challenging Social Security, which came even faster, so this may be just par for the course for fundamental legislation. However, the textual unclarity at issue in this case would probably have been removed had the statute not been enacted in haste through the reconciliation process after Scott Brown was elected senator.GAZETTE: How disruptive would a win by the plaintiffs be to the future viability of the act? Is it potentially fatal?ELHAUGE: I think it all depends on what the states that do not now have their own exchanges do. One issue is that some of the federal exchanges actually consist of state-federal partnerships, and those might be considered exchanges established by the state even if the plaintiffs won. If they would be, the rest of the states could avoid losing the tax credit by simply announcing that the state has decided to establish an exchange that is implemented through a partnership with the federal exchange. If the state has to do more, I think many states would do so, not only because they would be denied the same tax credit given to other states even though all the states are paying in taxes, but also because without the tax credits in those states the individual insurance markets would collapse, given the requirement of community rating.It would not surprise me if many states decided to establish their own exchanges while the Supreme Court case is pending, just to avoid the risk of such market collapse. Creating a state exchange now is easier than it would have been the first year because now the federal exchanges could simply transfer all the information and software to states that want to create their own exchanges.GAZETTE: What are some of the fixes that Congress could implement should the court rule in the plaintiffs’ favor? How likely is that to happen given the tension around the ACA and the new Republican majority in Congress?ELHAUGE: It will be pretty interesting. So far, the states that have refused to create their own exchanges are mainly Republican states. If the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, I think all the Democratic states that have not created state exchanges yet would do so. I think it is likely that even many Republican states would create their own exchanges to avoid being denied tax credits and having collapsed insurance markets. And if all of them did so, the problem would go away. If some Republican states refused, then the Republican states would be paying taxes into the federal Treasury for Obamacare without receiving their share of tax credits.If the Republican majority in Congress tried to fix the problem by extending tax credits to federal exchanges, that would override the plaintiff victory. If the Republican majority in Congress tried to fix the problem by also denying tax credits to state exchanges, or by a repealing Obamacare altogether, then I think [President] Obama would simply veto the amendment. The Republicans would not be in the best bargaining position because if they didn’t agree to what Obama would want, then Republican states would continue paying taxes without getting tax credits, in a way that transfers money to Democratic states. So I think Obamacare survives either way the Supreme Court decides this case, but it would certainly be a more bumpy ride if the court rules for the plaintiffs.last_img read more

New innovation fund launches

first_imgLast spring, HCLIF awarded pilot grants to a group of projects to scale existing efforts and test new ideas. One was for a recording tool launched for students in my.harvard, the University’s student, teaching, and advising online portal, called This Is How You Say My Name. Thanks to a President’s Administrative Innovation Fund (PAIF) grant and HCLIF, all students at Harvard can now record their names and make those recordings available to any adviser attached to that student. These recordings are also available in instructor class lists, and the tool recently was added to the human resources dashboard Peoplesoft, so all faculty and staff can also take advantage of it.The HCLIF grant expanded This Is How You Say My Name across Harvard, and new search functionality developed by a team lead Carolyn Brzezinski, director of enterprise student systems at Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT), will make it possible for queries in my.harvard that could help prep administrators for events such as Commencement.Another pilot award last spring went to a team from Harvard Kennedy School to make a software platform called Teachly more widely available to the larger Harvard community. Teachly was created in 2015, when HKS Senior Lecturer in Public Policy Dan Levy commissioned a graduate student to help him translate a 23-sheet Excel workbook that he used to get to know his students into a simplified, accessible form. The resulting platform uses data about students, faculty behavior, and in-class interactions to maximize faculty’s understanding of their classroom environment. Ninety-three faculty across the Graduate School of Education, the Chan School of Public Health, and the Kennedy School now use Teachly, and the HCLIF award aims to make that number significantly larger.HCLIF applications are now open, closing Dec. 6. Visit for more information. This week, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging is announcing the official launch of the Harvard Culture Lab Innovation Fund (HCLIF), which will provide students, staff, faculty, and postdocs with competitive grants to pursue projects that aim to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Harvard.“I believe that the diversity of our community is one of Harvard’s great strengths,” said President Larry Bacow. “We have a responsibility to ensure that each member of our community flourishes so that each can do their best work here. I hope the Culture Lab Innovation Fund serves as a catalyst for creating and embracing new ways we can advance inclusion and belonging across campus.”“Our vision is that Harvard will be the world’s recognized leader in sustainable inclusive excellence by fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive,” said John Silvanus Wilson, senior adviser and strategist to the president. “We draw strength from the confluence of cultures on our campus. And, mindful of the kind of true excellence that can only come from diversity, we are working hard to ensure that our community feels a strong sense of belonging at this institution. To that end, the launch of the Harvard Culture Lab Innovation Fund is designed to create an opportunity for everyone to surface ideas that will strengthen our capacity to advance a University-wide culture of belonging.”For fiscal year 2020, the fund’s theme is advancing diversity, inclusion, and belonging through technology-driven solutions, and it will award grants to provide grants of $2,000 to $25,000, or more for a variety of projects including, but not limited to, research, programs, events, and the development of new databases or technologies.The criteria for judging submissions include: alignment with the goals of the Presidential Task Force Report on Inclusion and Belonging; application of inclusive design principles, innovation, and measurable impact; and how submissions aspire to the values of “One Harvard.” Applications close in December, and awardees will be announced in April. “The launch of the Harvard Culture Lab Innovation Fund is designed to create an opportunity for everyone to surface ideas that will strengthen our capacity to advance a University-wide culture of belonging.” — John Silvanus Wilsonlast_img read more