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Tech Sector’s Diversity Problems Run Deep; Though Well-Intended, Quick Fixes Do Not Provide Workplace Culture Change

New studies show the tech sector could generate an additional $300 billion annually if it can overcome systemic bias. Diversity and inclusion firm WMFDP sheds light on why companies are missing the inclusion mark and how to increase their bottom line.


(Portland, OR) March 14, 2017—The number of new devices connected to the Internet is estimated to reach 21 billion by 2020, but recent reports indicate that the tech sector’s diversity and inclusion practices have failed to meet a commensurate level of innovation.(1),(2) Detailed allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at Uber from a former high-performing female employee have shed a harsh light upon the situation,(3) and a look at the tech sector’s diversity metrics provides further insight.

From a 2016 report by Intel and Dalberg Global Development Advisors, almost two-thirds of tech workers are white. The industry could, however, generate an additional $300-$370 billion annually if the racial/ethnic diversity of their workforces reflected that of the national talent pool. (1)

“The problem isn’t going away, and it will take some intense soul-searching on the part of tech leadership to get to the root of what ails it,” said Bill Proudman, co-founder and CEO of leading diversity and inclusion consulting firm White Men As Full Diversity Partners (http://www.wmfdp.com/) (WMFDP), which has worked extensively with Dell and other Fortune 500 tech companies (http://wmfdp.com/clients/).(4) “A promise to make it go away doesn’t make it go away, and positive change is more powerful and resonant than negative change.”

A report from McKinsey & Company indicates that the top racially diverse tech companies are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns higher than the tech sector’s national median. African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans are underrepresented in tech by 16-18 percentage points compared with their presence in the U.S. workforce overall. Asians are represented at a higher rate in the tech workforce than in the overall private sector, but white employees are 1˝ times more likely than Asians to rise to executive rank. (1)

Among people of color in the industry, reports of isolation, discrimination and toxic work environments are numerous. People of color leave the tech arena at more than 3.5 times the rate of white men. At upper echelons, 2 percent of tech executives are Black and 3 percent are Latino. The industry’s investment in diversity efforts is estimated at $1.2 billion over the past five years, but racial and ethnic minorities have secured only 1 to 2 percentage points more of available jobs over the past 15 years.

“Typical diversity and inclusion efforts, while well-intentioned, focus on the negative—what not to say, how to tread ever so lightly,” said Proudman, whose firm brings a unique focus to the “dominant” group—white male leadership—through diversity and inclusion programs (http://wmfdp.com/diversity-planning/). “We have ‘white men’ in the title because it brings attention to the ingrained habits of bias.”

Proudman elaborated, “Tech leadership, while brilliant, is attuned to the ‘alpha male’ ethic, particularly in tech’s U.S. hub, Silicon Valley. Diverting that energy towards cultural growth and change is a vital step if one wishes to alter the landscape and generate equal opportunities. Positive change is good for people, good for the industry, and good for its returns.”

About White Men As Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP):
White Men As Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP) is a diversity and leadership development firm founded in 1996 by Bill Proudman, Michael Welp, Ph.D., and JoAnn Morris in Portland, Oregon. WMFDP takes an unorthodox approach towards eradicating bias and discrimination in the workplace. Its client list includes Alaska Airlines, Dell, Lockheed Martin, Northwestern Mutual, Chevron Drilling & Completions, The Nature Conservancy, Mass Mutual, and others. The majority of C-level executives are white and male, and they are frequently omitted from a vital role in diversity and equality. Proudman and Welp observed that these critical subjects were not being taken to the doorstep of these leaders—all to the detriment of struggling minorities and the economy as a whole. With a background that includes extensive field work in post-Apartheid South Africa in the early 1990s, Proudman and Welp have dedicated the last two decades to educating and engaging leaders of any race, color, gender or orientation. Welp is the author of the book, Four Days to Change. With an insightful foreword by Proudman, the book chronicles the journey from rural South Africa to the boardrooms of America—all to lay the groundwork of a global paradigm shift.

  1. “BREAKING THE MOLD.” BREAKING THE MOLD—Investing in Racial Diversity in Tech. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.


  2. Press, Associated. “Diversity in Tech: Lots of Attention, Little Progress.” VOA. VOA, 27 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.


  3. Cauterucci, Christina. “The Sexism Described in Uber Employee’s Report Is Why Women Leave Tech—Or Don’t Enter at All.” Slate Magazine. 21 Feb. 2017. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.


  4. “Clients.” White Men As Full Diversity Partners. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.



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New patent to save lives, improve mass transit security, public events

The new technology chemically detects the presence or absence and traces of an explosive substance on surfaces within seconds


TAMPA Fla. – Myakka Research Group, a technology research and development startup in Florida, filed a patent application revealing a new technology last month, which is designed to detect and identify explosive compounds quickly and easily.

The new technology was developed over the course of two years at Myakka Research Group’s Sarasota, Florida facility and is capable of chemically detecting the presence or absence of an explosive substance on a surface within seconds.

To the human eye, the patent-pending detection wipe looks similar to a sanitizing wipe, however when exposed to an explosive contaminant the wipes rapidly change color, even indicating what kind of explosive property is present. This is made possible through the use of colorimetric reactions and gives law enforcement agents critical, real-time information as they monitor for pre-detonated explosives or investigate post-detonation residue.

Leaders from Myakka Research Group believe the technology is a significant breakthrough in the fight against domestic terrorism because it gives law enforcement and security personnel the ability to rapidly screen areas or individuals for explosive materials, without the need for additional equipment.

“There is a major need for convenient and accurate on-site detection systems that are able to rapidly detect explosive compounds and their precursors,” said Chris Baden, CEO of Myakka Research Group. “The technology we have created is a critical step forward and when adopted can create an extra layer of security for systems already in place.”

Researchers from Myakka Research Group believe the chemical detection solution used in the wipes and with other methods of deployment is ideal for use by security screeners at airports, public transit hubs, entertainment and sports venues, and any public or private venue where there may be a threat.

For more information on Myakka Research Group, visit www.myakkaresearchgroup.com.

About Myakka Research Group
Founded in 2014, Myakka Research Group is a technology research and development firm headquartered in Sarasota, Florida. Myakka Research Group is dedicated to the discovery and development of sophisticated, next-generation detection systems. The firm’s products are designed to equip military, law enforcement agencies and security providers with solutions for counter terrorism operations and threat interdiction.

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EWC and DCPS Students Attend FlBlogCon

by William Jackson, M. Ed.
Edward Waters College @wmjackson


EWC and DCPS Students Attend FlBlogCon
Pictured left to right: William Jackson (instructor), R. Poole (EWC Student), E. Taylor (DCPS Student) J. Gregory (EWC Student)


Edward Waters College students and a students from Duval County Public Schools attend their first Florida Blogging Conference at Full Sail University. The students had a chance to attend the national and international Social Media and Technology Conference as guests of their instructor William Jackson, he teaches Educational Technology, Social Media and STEAM at Edward Waters College. Prof. Jackson has been teaching at EWC since 2004 in the Education and Urban Studies Department preparing future teachers how to integrate technology in the classroom and the business environment.

The students were able to attend workshops at FlBlogCon that focused on integrating Social Media and Technology in education, commerce, business, developing Branding and Marketing strategies. Providing students an opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom at Edward Waters College to real world careers.

Mr. Jackson has attended the FlBlogCon since it’s beginning 6 years ago and has spoken several times at the FlBlogCon for Educators, Bar Camp Technology Summit and WordPress Conferences in Central and South Florida, Preventing Crime In The Black Community and other national events.

Mr. Jackson is a national and international blogger on education and the integration of technology, STEM and STEAM connection with careers and preventing Bullying, Cyberbullying and Sexting. The students of Edward Waters College collectively each semester when they enroll in the class blogging on the WordPress platform to strengthen their writing skills, reading comprehension and ability to work in the growing diverse world of technology.

Students also use LinkedIn, Twitter and access Professional Learning Communities like @EduMatch and @EdCamps. Mr. Jackson regularly offers to take students on trips so they can be exposed to industry professionals and participate in conferences, workshops and summits that help build the students’ knowledge base, build their self-esteem and allow them to one day speak on their own as they grow towards their careers.

Mr. Jackson blogs at My Quest To Teach http://MyQuestToTeach.WordPress.com and posts student work at EWC Educational Technology http://ewceducationaltechnology.wordpress.com/

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The Digital Psychological Disconnect

Shoba Sreenivasan, Ph.D. and Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D.


In 2002, the Pew Research Center used the phrase, “digital disconnect,” to describe the gap between internet savvy students and the then, not so-savvy school system that had not yet recognized the educational value of the internet. Another form of a digital disconnect may be a psychological one. The digital psychological disconnect; namely, that of diminished emotional awareness and connections, can emerge when a society interacts increasingly more with devices than directly with people. Some of the routes may be as follows: 1.) a digital community allows for blunt and truncated expression of one’s thoughts (e.g., text messages) and one’s emotions (e.g., emojis); or 2.) its anonymity emboldens people to express very harsh opinions about others or their endeavors; or 3.) it allows for instant cyberspace-available judgments about others that are widespread and difficult to delete; or 4.) a decrease of intimate and private expression of emotions regarding oneself and others.

If digital communication becomes the predominant way of interacting with others, we may risk losing the ability to “read” subtle facial expressions in communication, to recognize psychological boundaries, and to understand through seeing and experiencing how our communications impact others. More profoundly, if digital communication becomes the main mode of relating, it may lead to rendering face-to-face interpersonal interactions alien and uncomfortable, and therefore avoided.

Historically, we can readily observe how technological innovations have impacted as well as shaped our social interactions. For example, it can be argued that television strongly influenced our ideas of family (often in an idealized form), became the “babysitter” and in many ways changed family dynamics (e.g., many families were more likely to watch a television family interacting in a direct and disclosing manner than actually engaging in such communication with their own family members).

While the digital age imbues our life with instantaneous and wide-ranging connectivity, it also creates pseudo-connectivity, where “friends” may number in the “thousands;” yet, there may not be a single living, breathing person with whom there is a true emotional connection. Human psychology is “hardwired” toward a desire to fit in with others. Belonging remains critical to a sense of one’s well-being. Psychologically, that sense of “I don’t fit in” can be devastating. When one feels disconnected it may lead to feeling “less than” others. It may engender a sense of alienation, lack of validation, and feeling judged and rejected. Or, it can result in rage (think of the violence committed by the alienated, isolated individual). Or, it may contribute to being risk-aversive, and result in avoiding others for fear of rejection or discomfort.

Interestingly, disconnection was observed even before the digital age. In the 1950s, theologian Paul Tillich, noted this paradox: as Americans were experiencing burgeoning prosperity, there was also a growing sense of detachment and questioning. Tillich labeled this “non-being,” or psychological emptiness experienced as a sense of being cut-off from others, from the creative forces around oneself, and of the connectivity to others. While Tillich identified the post-World War II period as the “age of anxiety,” in the 21st Century, there may be an even more profound disconnection.

Yet, it must be recognized that the digital revolution has had a positive impact for many in their ability to form interpersonal relationships. For example, the increasing popularity of computer dating sites has resulted in numerous matches leading to marriage and long-term intimate relationships. In addition, persons seeking others with similar beliefs or hobbies have formed close bonds through their internet connections. An isolated or home-bound person who may not have had the means to meet someone with similar interests, can now reach out and find like-minded people through chat rooms. Clearly, any activity taken to the extreme or used exclusively runs the risk of limiting a person’s potential to develop other channels and opportunities for emotional connectedness.

The critical issue to consider is whether the next wave of technological advances will render in-person human connectivity irrelevant. Can all our needs be met virtually? Does the digital world that we now inhabit run the risk of creating a generation of emotionally avoidant, detached, and blunted people? Or, perhaps overly self-focused individuals who lack empathy for others; i.e., a society, composed at best of misfits and at worst of psychopaths? Some people may dismiss these concerns attributing them to technophobic fear-mongers. But that misses the point of the questioning—to be mindful of what we lose when we unthinkingly embrace technology. Positive emotional and physical connections to people lead to empathy, which is a profound dimension of the human experience. It is what promotes kindness, concern, and altruism; it feeds the human spirit and it is something we don’t want to lose.

Dr. Shoba Sreenivasan and Dr. Linda E. Weinberger are the authors of Psychological Nutrition. Learn more at www.psychologicalnutrition.com.

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The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents. Use at your own risk.

No Implied Endorsement:
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(BPRW) Global Leadership Forum Announces its Launch at the National BDPA Conference


(BLACK PR WIRE) -- ST. LOUIS & WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global Leadership Forum (GLF) today announced its launch and mission at the National Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) Conference.

GLF’s objective is to create, nurture and evolve a coalition of organizations to grow a highly competent, competitive and diverse science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-educated pipeline capable of leading in the 21st century. The Forum will also serve as the collective voice and unifying force amongst the participating organizations.

With a mission to unite and empower diverse talent to enable innovation and value creation, GLF’s goals are to: (1.) Increase the modern-day skills and technology literacy of diverse students in a way that enhances their learning inside and outside of the classroom; (2.) Educate and empower diverse students and professionals to become technologically proficient innovators and entrepreneurs. The organization strives to increase the number of diverse students pursuing careers in STEM-related fields, as well as increase the capacity for educational institutions to provide world-class STEM-related professional learning opportunities.

A part of its mission, GLF will form key partnerships with other institutions and organizations, which will allow schools and the public and private sectors to join forces to improve diverse STEM students’ and professionals’ career opportunities. All GLF partners will have access to top diverse talent through GLF-sponsored programs, as well as the opportunity to increase diversity within their organizations.

Partner comments on the GLF launch and mission:

“WWT is tremendously committed to diversity and STEM endeavors, and we’re incredibly proud to partner with GLF to actively support, encourage and sustain the next generation of workplace leaders,” said David L. Steward, Chairman and Co-Founder, WWT.

“Career Communications Group’s philanthropic arm, Foundation for Education Development, Inc. (FEDI), supports Global Leadership Forum’s mission and is committed to working with GLF to transform the futures of currently underrepresented youth through STEM education and career opportunities,” said Dr. Tyrone Taborn, Publisher and CEO of Career Communications Group.

“GLF will enable our collective missions to increase the number of competitive, diverse technologists in the talent pipeline,” said Douglas Ash, ITSMF Chairperson. “Moreover, GLF’s participating organizations will promote state-of-the-art programs that will produce workforce-ready diverse talent from entry- to C-level positions in the public and private sectors and foster entrepreneurialism in technology.”

Customer testimonials regarding working with participating GLF Partners:

“We collected 212 resumes. We made 28 offers and have 18 new employees that came out of the Career Communication Group’s Black Engineer of the Year week,” said Lt. General Robert L. Van Antwerp, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Procter & Gamble is proud to be an active participant in ITSMF. The personal and professional development we get is unmatched ANYWHERE else. The Leadership Academy Program, for example, enables us to provide development opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders today – all in an environment of support and trust. The ROI for our participation makes this one of the best investments we make in people development,” said Linda W. Clement-Holmes, CIO, Global Business Services, The Procter and Gamble Company.

“It’s associations like ITSMF that help open our eyes to the capabilities of today and also the possibilities of tomorrow,” said Robert Niblock, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

“Johnson & Johnson is excited to partner with BDPA in 2015,” said Johnson & Johnson Chief Information Officer Guillermo Ardon. “As we look to accelerate innovation to better serve the more than one billion people a day who rely on Johnson & Johnson’s products, we’re excited that our partnership with BDPA will help us strengthen our talent through diversity and encourage young minds to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

“We are proud to again partner with and support BDPA. The organization’s work to ensure a diverse talent pipeline for the future and to encourage young people to explore careers in science and technology aligns with our beliefs at Lilly,” said Eli Lilly senior director Tim Coleman, “Education is so vital to creating the professionals who will contribute to the discovery of innovative medicines of the future.”

To learn more about Global Leadership Forum, its mission, partners and impact, please visit www.glfnow.org.

About GLF’s Partner Organizations

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SENIOR MANAGEMENT FORUM (ITSMF)
ITSMF is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to cultivating executive-level talent among Black Information Technology professionals. Since its inception in 1996, ITSMF has offered leadership development programs and held quarterly Symposiums focused on preparing the next generation of diverse technology leaders in the global marketplace. Today, fifty-two percent (52%) of their members are from Fortune 500 companies.

BLACK DATA PROCESSING ASSOCIATES (BDPA)
A non-profit organization of professionals working in or having an interest in the Computer Science and Information Technology fields. BDPA has a diverse representation of Information Technology professionals. Included amongst the organization's members are programmers, analysts, engineers, managers, instructors and entrepreneurs, to name a few.

CAREER COMMUNICATIONS GROUP/THE FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, INC.
A 501(c)3 that was founded in 1993 to promote career opportunities in engineering, science and technology to historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields through professional and career development, educational programs, awards programs and career placement opportunities.

WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY (WWT)
An award-winning systems integrator that provides innovative technology products, services and supply chain solutions to customers and suppliers around the globe. WWT brings an innovative and proven approach to how organizations discover, evaluate, architect and implement technology.

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The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents. Use at your own risk.

No Implied Endorsement:
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Is Technology Slowing Us Down?

Ways That Technology Might Be Inhibiting Our Efficiency and Solutions to Maximizing its Benefits By BenoĂt Gruber, VP Corporate Communication Sage Enterprise Market Europe & Sage ERP X3


Welcome to the Digital Age. Gone are the days of typewriters, Polaroid cameras and rotary phones. Computers, digital cameras and smart phones have not only replaced their prehistoric counterparts in our ever-advancing technological world, but they are seemingly as much a necessity to one’s survival as food and clothing.

Why? Simply put, they are the normal means of communication, productivity and solutions in both the corporate world and our personal lives. As technology continues to advance, however so must our understanding of how it all works and how to use it correctly. Failure to utilise technology correctly can negatively impact communication and efficiency. Here are three signs that the technology you are using may actually be slowing you down, and solutions for improvement and maximizing its benefits.

Despite the use of technology, your tasks are taking you the same amount of time or sometimes longer to complete. Business solutions programs and management software can be of great benefit to companies and are being adopted at a rapid pace. If these systems are not implemented or maintained correctly, there can be costly consequences. There are a number of factors that could be contributing to the common problem of technological systems slowing down productivity.

The most obvious being a lack of training and knowledge of how to use the systems you are operating under. A system can only be as efficient as the user navigating it. It is of the upmost importance that when a computerised business program is implemented, that any and all individuals expected to use it be properly trained. There are often many hidden shortcuts among the obvious buttons and tabs of a program.

The amount of time it takes for a person to learn as they go can be a great cost to a business. Initial and ongoing training with system update demonstrations are essential to efficient use of business solutions programs. Another time ticker is a backed up system.

Just like a good old fashion filing cabinet, technological devices only have so much storage space. As this memory is used up, the systems become sluggish. We have all seen this happen with our smart phones, cameras, computers and even our digital video recorders. Without fail, our systems always slow down on us or get locked up just when we are reaching deadlines, trying to digitally capture important moments or even want to record our favorite television show.

This can be avoided! Schedule routine back-ups to other drives and delete old files that are no longer needed. Clean out your digital device, just as you would a filing cabinet. It is also important to run checks on computer system hard drives to look for viruses, adware and other debilitating files that the system may have picked up.

The best way to stay on top of this is to have a computer tech available to run routine checks and computer maintenance. Finally, you must make sure that you have implemented the most appropriate software systems for your business. The system must be adequate enough to handle all aspects of your business, yet not so complex that they are overwhelming or unnecessary to your operations and employees. Sometimes, less is more.

A customizable system is always a great option if you cannot find a standard program that suits your needs. Electronic communication is poor at times and taking longer than necessary. In business, effective communication is essential. To be successful, you need to communicate clearly and concisely to customers, business associates, and partners. Conversely, poor communication can lead to a drain on productivity and negatively affect the bottom line. Because of the disjointed nature of electronic communication, we may not be as clear and concise when communicating. Vague email messages requiring extensive clarification can greatly affect a companys workflow.

Instead of wasting time going back and forth, make an effort to communicate succinctly and as clearly as possible in all of your communications. To ensure written communication is effective, the following are a few practices to adopt: Prior to hitting send, take a moment to re-read your communication to ensure you are fully addressing the subject matter. Ensure the structure of the email is easy to follow by using bullet points rather than long paragraphs.

Make sure you are answering every question in your reply to others who are seeking answers in their initial email. At the close of the email, ask the recipient to confirm receipt of the email, ask them if they agree or disagree with your thoughts, and ask them to share their feedback. If you sense a lack of effective communication occurring via email, picking up a phone or speaking in person might be the best option to avoid wasting time and misunderstandings.

Effective business communication skills are crucial to successfully completing any project, whether that is selling a widget to the customer in front of you or completing a presentation with a colleague in a different department. By communicating clearly and concisely, you will be more efficient as well as a good example to your colleagues. Too many different technology devices are overwhelming and difficult to manage.

You have your laptop in front of you, a large monitor behind it, your smartphone to the side of your laptop and your office phone in the corner. As you try to focus on the current task at hand, text messages are buzzing in, emails are popping up on your monitor and the phone is ringing off the hook. Multitasking is especially true for younger generations, who have been juggling technology devices since they were able to walk.

How do you get anything done? The answer is that you probably do, but not efficiently! To increase productivity and use your time efficiently, here are some ways to manage your time and reduce distractions: Schedule specific times throughout your workday to read and respond to emails. Good times might be first thing in the morning, right after lunch and at the end of the day, before leaving the office. Do not make a habit of stopping to read an email every time it pops up.

Implement one form of communication for urgent matters only, such as inner-office instant messaging. Turn your smart phone ringer/vibrate off and use the Do Not Disturb function to limit notifications. Dedicate a couple times throughout the day to check for messages or missed calls. If your office phone rings while in the middle of a project or work task, let it go to voicemail.

You can check your message and return the call when you are not knee deep in thought and focus. You will find that you work far more efficiently without the constant texting, phone calls, and email notifications rattling your brain and disturbing your focus all day long. Your work will be of more quality and done in a timelier manner without such distractions.

The ongoing advancement of technology offers us diverse and instantaneous forms of communication, business solutions and entertainment options. Its use can be greatly beneficial to a company's productivity, success and growth with the proper training, maintenance, set limitations and efficient utilization of these technological systems.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BenoĂt Gruber joined Sage in 2008 and is, since October 2013, VP of Corporate Communications and Brand for Sage Enterprise-Market Europe and Sage ERP X3. He leads, defines and implements the strategy of corporate and digital communication in cohesion with the overall business strategy. He acts as a spokesperson and an expert in solution with opinion leaders, analysts, press and customers. He was previously VP Product & Alliances for Sage Mid-Market Europe solutions. In this capacity, he was responsible for global product strategy of Sage ERP X3 solution. He is in charge of Product Management & Marketing for Sage ERP X3 globally and ensuring the Operating Company teams are aligned behind the product strategy. He also serves as the solution expert when dealing with thought leaders, analysts, and press.

Prior to working at Sage, BenoĂt worked at SAP (from 2000-2008), where he held a variety of marketing and product management positions before becoming Sr. Industry Principle (Product & Business Development). He was a member of the EMEA Manufacturing Industries Business Group. Prior to working at SAP, BenoĂ®t worked in different management consulting, technology service companies dedicated for ERP, business intelligence, and new technologies. He also had his own company in the media and publishing sectors.

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BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com.



Five Tips to Unleashing Creativity

By: Neill Wallace


Computers, smart phones, the internet et al have made our work habits vastly different from less than a generation ago. Perhaps more importantly, technology has heightened the speed in which companies need to constantly adapt current strategy. As a result companies need to have innovative employees who have the time and engagement to generate ideas. Despite the changes, the working environment and long held management beliefs have stayed mostly the same. And it is the staid working environment and twentieth century beliefs that are keeping a lid on unleashing company creativity. Luckily there are some easy things that can be done to unleash creativity and make teams more dynamic.

1. Diversify your strategy team
I think it is the third commandment of leadership that states “only direct reports should make up your management team”. It is a commandment that many leaders stick to religiously. Yet it honestly doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Not every person that directly reports to you will be a creative genius. That does not mean that they don’t have good things to offer. It just means that coming up with innovative ideas probably just isn’t one of them. But I guarantee you that there are people among your team that are idea machines. So look beyond your current inner circle, find the talent, and have them join your management team.

2. Create an Idea Space
My last great idea came while waiting in the dentist’s office….said no one ever! And it is pretty understandable why. The blandness of a waiting room is hardly inspiring. Yet most company meeting rooms shockingly resemble a dentist’s waiting room (copies of old People magazines excluded). So create a space with a bit more of a creative energy inducing style. Caffeine generally amps people so put in a coffee machine. Install a white board so people can jot down ideas. Get rid of the desk chairs and put in a comfortable sofa. Change the lightening, and call the room what it is, an idea space.

3. Allow people time to think
Spending the money to create an idea space wont mean squat if your people don’t actually have the time to utilize it. If you follow the “everybody must be busy-busy” school of management then it is quite likely the room will get used more like a drop in coffee station than an idea space. It is important therefore that scheduling time to use the idea space becomes and remains a priority for you and your team.

4. Nurture the ideas
People will never try to generate ideas if they are constantly worried that they will be mocked for them. Or worse, they feel like their ideas are always being ignored. So remember, what might seem like a bad idea at the beginning can actually morph into a really good one. Rather than cut off every idea, open it up to a group discussion and see where it might lead. You might end up being very pleasantly surprised.

5. Make strategy a team effort
Achieving some stupendous strategic goal might be a career target for you, but if it isn’t for everyone else then you are probably not going to get a lot of creative help and team engagement toward achieving it. So make your vision and goals a team effort. And if you don’t have a vision or goal, you now have the perfect idea space in which to develop and work on one. With your team, naturally.

About Neill Wallace:
Neill Wallace is a native of Tasmania, Australia who currently resides in Portland, Oregon. In 2004 Wallace took a position as a sales and marketing associate at a leading medical device company. Within ten years, he was promoted several times before finally leaving in 2013 as the head of global sales and marketing. During his career progression, he defied every convention on what it takes to succeed.

For more information, visit www.neillwallace.com

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Etiquette Expert's 10 Tips to Texting After Reporter Gets Caught Typing on Her Phone During The National Anthem

A reporter caught texting during the National Anthem at the White House Correspondents Dinner is feeling the heat after the video goes viral on twitter. Washington Post columnist Helena Andrews says she was just taking notes, but those claims aren’t sitting well with most Americans who are calling her disrespectful and unpatriotic.

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/04/27/

Jacqueline Whitmore, an internationally-recognized etiquette expert, author and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, who is also the founder of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, says it’s another reminder that no matter how much we rely on technology, people always need to use common sense and know when to put their devices down.


Her texting etiquette tips:

- Beware of your surroundings. Don't send a text message while you're in a movie theater, at a performance, at a religious service, or a meeting.

- Put people first. When you're with other people, put your phone on silent and keep it away unless the situation calls for it.

- Speak up. If you're with someone who will not stop text messaging during your conversation, kindly ask them if they will put their phone away.

- Don't use text messaging to give someone bad or sad news. Make a phone call instead.

- Keep it private. Don't text any confidential or potentially embarrassing messages. Text might end up in the wrong hands.

- Check before you send. Make sure you text the right person at the right phone number. It's possible to send a text to the wrong person by mistake. If you do send it to the wrong person, apologize. Also, acknowledge wrong numbers. If someone sends you a text message by mistake, let them know that you aren't the intended recipient.

- Always respond. When someone sends you a text message respond with a text message, or a phone call or email if the message warrants a longer conversation.

- Introduce yourself. If you send a text message to a person for the first time, always state your name. Simply type, "Hi John, this is your co-worker, Jackie."

- Be patient. If someone does not respond to your text message right away, don't lose your cool. If your message is urgent, pick up the phone and call.

- Use emojis only when they enhance the conversation. They're not always appropriate in business texts.

http://www.etiquetteexpert.com/
http://jacquelinewhitmore.com/

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IS TECHNOLOGY SLOWING US DOWN?

Ways That Technology Might Be Inhibiting Our Efficiency and Solutions to Maximizing its Benefits

By Benoît Gruber, VP Corporate Communication Sage Enterprise Market Europe & Sage ERP X3


Welcome to the Digital Age. Gone are the days of typewriters, Polaroid cameras and rotary phones. Computers, digital cameras and smart phones have not only replaced their prehistoric counterparts in our ever-advancing technological world, but they are seemingly as much a necessity to one’s survival as food and clothing. Why? Simply put, they are the normal means of communication, productivity and solutions in both the corporate world and our personal lives. As technology continues to advance, however so must our understanding of how it all works and how to use it correctly. Failure to utilise technology correctly can negatively impact communication and efficiency. Here are three signs that the technology you are using may actually be slowing you down, and solutions for improvement and maximizing its benefits.

(1) Despite the use of technology, your tasks are taking you the same amount of time or sometimes longer to complete.

Business solutions programs and management software can be of great benefit to companies and are being adopted at a rapid pace. If these systems are not implemented or maintained correctly, there can be costly consequences. There are a number of factors that could be contributing to the common problem of technological systems slowing down productivity. The most obvious being a lack of training and knowledge of how to use the systems you are operating under. A system can only be as efficient as the user navigating it. It is of the upmost importance that when a computerised business program is implemented, that any and all individuals expected to use it be properly trained. There are often many hidden “shortcuts” among the obvious buttons and tabs of a program. The amount of time it takes for a person to learn as they go can be a great cost to a business. Initial and ongoing training with system update demonstrations are essential to efficient use of business solutions programs.

Another time ticker is a backed up system. Just like a good old fashion filing cabinet, technological devices only have so much storage space. As this memory is used up, the systems become sluggish. We have all seen this happen with our smart phones, cameras, computers and even our digital video recorders. Without fail, our systems always slow down on us or get locked up just when we are reaching deadlines, trying to digitally capture important moments or even want to record our favorite television show. This can be avoided! Schedule routine back-ups to other drives and delete old files that are no longer needed. Clean out your digital device, just as you would a filing cabinet. It is also important to run checks on computer system hard drives to look for viruses, adware and other debilitating files that the system may have picked up. The best way to stay on top of this is to have a computer tech available to run routine checks and computer maintenance.

Finally, you must make sure that you have implemented the most appropriate software systems for your business. The system must be adequate enough to handle all aspects of your business, yet not so complex that they are overwhelming or unnecessary to your operations and employees. Sometimes, less is more. A customizable system is always a great option if you cannot find a standard program that suits your needs.

(2) Electronic communication is poor at times and taking longer than necessary.

In business, effective communication is essential. To be successful, you need to communicate clearly and concisely to customers, business associates, and partners. Conversely, poor communication can lead to a drain on productivity and negatively affect the bottom line.

Because of the disjointed nature of electronic communication, we may not be as clear and concise when communicating. Vague email messages requiring extensive clarification can greatly affect a company’s workflow. Instead of wasting time going back and forth, make an effort to communicate succinctly and as clearly as possible in all of your communications. To ensure written communication is effective, the following are a few practices to adopt:

Prior to hitting send, take a moment to re-read your communication to ensure you are fully addressing the subject matter.

Ensure the structure of the email is easy to follow by using bullet points rather than long paragraphs.

Make sure you are answering every question in your reply to others who are seeking answers in their initial email.

At the close of the email, ask the recipient to confirm receipt of the email, ask them if they agree or disagree with your thoughts, and ask them to share their feedback.

If you sense a lack of effective communication occurring via email, picking up a phone or speaking in person might be the best option to avoid wasting time and misunderstandings. Effective business communication skills are crucial to successfully completing any project, whether that is selling a widget to the customer in front of you or completing a presentation with a colleague in a different department. By communicating clearly and concisely, you will be more efficient as well as a good example to your colleagues.

(3) Too many different technology devices are overwhelming and difficult to manage.

You have your laptop in front of you, a large monitor behind it, your smartphone to the side of your laptop and your office phone in the corner. As you try to focus on the current task at hand, text messages are buzzing in, emails are popping up on your monitor and the phone is ringing off the hook. Multitasking is especially true for younger generations, who have been juggling technology devices since they were able to walk. How do you get anything done? The answer is that you probably do, but not efficiently! To increase productivity and use your time efficiently, here are some ways to manage your time and reduce distractions:

Schedule specific times throughout your workday to read and respond to emails. Good times might be first thing in the morning, right after lunch and at the end of the day, before leaving the office. Do not make a habit of stopping to read an email every time it pops up.

Implement one form of communication for urgent matters only, such as inner-office instant messaging.

Turn your smart phone ringer/vibrate off and use the “Do Not Disturb” function to limit notifications. Dedicate a couple times throughout the day to check for messages or missed calls.

If your office phone rings while in the middle of a project or work task, let it go to voicemail. You can check your message and return the call when you are not knee deep in thought and focus.

You will find that you work far more efficiently without the constant texting, phone calls, and email notifications rattling your brain and disturbing your focus all day long. Your work will be of more quality and done in a timelier manner without such distractions.

The ongoing advancement of technology offers us diverse and instantaneous forms of communication, business solutions and entertainment options. Its use can be greatly beneficial to a company’s productivity, success and growth with the proper training, maintenance, set limitations and efficient utilization of these technological systems.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Benoît Gruber joined Sage in 2008 and is, since October 2013, VP of Corporate Communications and Brand for Sage Enterprise-Market Europe and Sage ERP X3. He leads, defines and implements the strategy of corporate and digital communication in cohesion with the overall business strategy. He acts as a spokesperson and an expert in solution with opinion leaders, analysts, press and customers. He was previously VP Product & Alliances for Sage Mid-Market Europe solutions. In this capacity, he was responsible for global product strategy of Sage ERP X3 solution. He is in charge of Product Management & Marketing for Sage ERP X3 globally and ensuring the Operating Company teams are aligned behind the product strategy. He also serves as the solution expert when dealing with thought leaders, analysts, and press.

Prior to working at Sage, Benoît worked at SAP (from 2000-2008), where he held a variety of marketing and product management positions before becoming Sr. Industry Principle (Product & Business Development). He was a member of the EMEA Manufacturing Industries Business Group. Prior to working at SAP, Benoît worked in different management consulting, technology service companies dedicated for ERP, business intelligence, and new technologies. He also had his own company in the media and publishing sectors.

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(BPRW) Google to Sponsor Screening of Academy Award-Nominated “SELMA” for New York’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School

First-of-Its-Kind Effort Will Allow Nearly 500 P-Tech Students to See the Film for Free. Selma for Students Tickets in Boston, Detroit, New York and Northern New Jersey Are Sold Out


(BLACK PR WIRE) -- HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Paramount Pictures today announced that Google will sponsor a screening of the Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning film “SELMA” for students, teachers and administrators at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) at BAM Rose Cinemas on Friday, January 23rd.

The sponsorship marks the first time since the inception of the nationwide Selma for Students program that a company has provided the funds for an entire school to see the film. Nearly 500 students and staff at the STEM high school in Brooklyn will experience the film due to the contributions of Google and the support of software company Infor and Paramount Pictures.

“As the Founding Principal of P-TECH and as a proud Morehouse College graduate, I am thrilled that our most famous alum, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is at the center of the film ‘Selma,’ and I commend P-TECH teacher Zakiyyah Ali for her efforts in helping to make the ‘Selma’ experience a reality,” said Rashid Ferrod Davis, Founding Principal (P-TECH). “We are grateful for the generosity of Google, Paramount Pictures and the others who are making it possible for our entire student population, faculty and staff to see ‘Selma.’ Our Brooklyn students are pioneering a movement and the collective experience of seeing the film will be powerful and empowering for all of us.”

“It is imperative for me to keep alive the stories about how African-Americans have dealt with struggle and resistance to injustice. It is equally important for my students to see that activism is selfless work. As our students live in an age of activism, ‘SELMA’ and the digital technology used to make the film provide them with a visual blueprint on how generational cooperation works for the good of all people. At one point in time, our pioneers could only record their histories through griots with limited reach. Today, technology allows these heroic stories to be told in ways in which the reach is nearly endless,” said P-TECH history teacher Zakiyyah Ali, whose desire to bring ‘SELMA’ to her students led to the partnership with Google.

Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) is a new type of school (grades 9 through 14) that brings together the best elements of high school, college (New York City College of Technology) and the professional world (IBM). P-TECH enables students to begin their college and professional lives more quickly and with more support than the typical school-to-work pathway. Graduates of P-TECH have the opportunity to earn an associate in applied science degree and leave the school with the skills and knowledge they need in order to continue their studies or step seamlessly into competitive jobs in the Information Technology (IT) industry.

President Obama, Secretary Duncan and other dignitaries visited P-TECH in Fall 2013 in praise of its curriculum and model, which has been replicated. P-TECH offers college-level courses in math and science and offers students a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree in computer systems or electromechanical engineering.

The Selma for Students program has grown steadily since its launch in New York City on January 8th. To date, African-American business leaders in 32 locations across the U.S. have raised funds for free admission for middle and high school students to see “SELMA.” More than 300,000 students nationwide will experience the critically acclaimed film for free.

Due to the program’s popularity and the ongoing efforts of the organizers, student tickets in Boston, Detroit, New York and Northern New Jersey are sold out. Philadelphia expanded its program and added 3,000 more tickets to meet the overwhelming demand, while the business leaders in Northern New Jersey raised additional funds to send 1,000 students in Trenton to see the film.

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which is distributing “SELMA,” is coordinating the programs with participating theaters in the U.S. For a list of participating theaters in select cities offering free admission to students during this program and for information on group sales, visit www.SelmaMovie.com/studenttickets

Middle and high school students who present a current student ID or report card at the box office of any participating theater will receive free admission while tickets last.

To help get the word out about the program, tweet using the hashtag #SelmaForStudents.

Directed by DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” is nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Song for “Glory” by Common & John Legend. The film earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Song for “Glory” and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.

Paramount Pictures, Pathe, and Harpo Films present “SELMA.” Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey, the film is executive produced by Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid McKeown, Nik Bower, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes and Nan Morales. The film is written by Paul Webb. “SELMA” is directed by Ava DuVernay.

“SELMA” is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay’s “SELMA” tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper.

“SELMA” is playing in theaters nationwide. To learn more about the film, go to http://www.selmamovie.com

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

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Infographic: Tech World Remains Male-Dominated | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista


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    Here is an exciting opportunity for black female entrepreneurs to take their early stage tech startups to the next level.



    digital undivided

    Kathryn Finney

    digital undivided

    MC Hammer and Kathryn Finney

    digital undivided



    digital undivided

    Corey Booker and Kathryn Finney



    The digitalundivided FOCUS Fellows program is an intensive weeklong program that has a impressive track record of success: Over 30 percent of the black female startup founders who participated in the program have raised at least $50,000 in venture or angel funding and 10% have raised more than a half of million dollars. In contrast, studies have found that less than one percent of startups backed by tech investors were founded by African-Americans. Profiles of past FOCUS Fellows can be found here

    The FOCUS Fellows program takes place in New York City from September 30-October 5 and coincides with FOCUS 2014, the world’s most diverse tech conference.

    The female entrepreneurs selected to participate in the FOCUS Fellows programs will receive:
    • The opportunity to pitch to VC and angel investors with a track record of investing in companies led by diverse founders


    • Exclusive one-on-one mentoring from top industry experts including a session with entrepreneur Kathryn Finney, the founder of digitalundivided, which presents FOCUS. Kathryn has been honored as a White House Champion of Change and in 2013 was included in both Black Enteprise Magazine’s 40 Stars Under 40 and Ebony Magazine’s Power 100.


    • Intense business development and pitch training


    • Access to the digitalundivided network and other FOCUS Fellows


    • Round trip transportation and accommodations in New York City for the program


    • A full pass to the FOCUS conference


    Deadline for applications for the FOCUS Fellows program is August 1, 2014. For more information and the online application, visit here.


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    RISINGSTARS BOOT CAMP PRESENTED BY TECHSTARS BRINGS TOP ENTREPRENEURS AND INVESTORS TO NEW ORLEANS TO MENTOR MINORITY ENTREPRENEURS AS PART OF POWERMOVES.NOLA JULY 3-5

    Participating Boot Camp entrepreneurs will also be in the running for a $50,000 PowerMoves.NOLA fellowship, a $25,000 cash award, and up to five may be selected for Risingstars mentorship program


    RISINGSTARS BOOT CAMP


    New Orleans, June 12, 2014 -- Some of America’s leading entrepreneurs and investors will mentor 20 early-stage minority entrepreneurs participating in the Risingstars Boot Camp presented by Techstars, an intensive, two-day session that serves as one component of the new, multi-faceted PowerMoves.NOLA initiative to be held July 3-5 in New Orleans. PowerMoves.NOLA was created to provide access to capital, mentors and advisers for high-growth minority entrepreneurs. The goal of the Risingstars Boot Camp presented by Techstars is to extend startup opportunities to demographic groups that are currently under-represented in the technology startup community.

    Mentors participating in the Risingstars Boot Camp will include:

    David Drach, Vice President of Business Development, Techstars. Drach is responsible for corporate relationships at Techstars and helped build the powered by Techstars programs. Previously Drach was Managing Director of the Emerging Business Team at Microsoft, focusing on startup and venture engagement across XBOX, Windows, Office and Bing. Drach helped create and grow the Microsoft BizSpark, BizSpark + and BizSpark One startup offerings from Microsoft. Dave helped build Great Plains Software which exited to Microsoft for $1.2B.

    Fred Hutson, Founder and CEO of Pigeonly. Fred used his time behind bars for trafficking marijuana to plan and develop a business idea that would affect the lives of people no one else was paying attention to – inmates. He founded Pigeonly, a platform that identifies and organizes data on the nations's incarcerated. Pigeonly has raised $2 million dollars in venture capital funding and currently employs 12 people and is growing. Fred is an alum of the Techstars Risingstars Program.

    Jerry Johnson, Managing Director of RLJ Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on generating long-term capital appreciation by investing in profitable and growing businesses founded in 2006 by Robert L. Johnson and The Carlyle Group. He joined RLJ Equity Partners from American Capital, a publicly traded alternative asset management company with more than $20 billion of assets under management. Previously, Johnson was with Bank of America and also served as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

    Shaun Johnson, Co-Founder of the Startup Institute. Shaun Johnson is a technologist, early adopter and helper of people. He is the co-founder of Startup Institute, an edtech company equipping individuals with the skills, access and mindset needed to make an immediate and positive impact on the startup venture they join. Startup Institute has locations in the US and in Europe. Shaun also serves as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Georgetown University's Entrepreneurship Initiative.

    Tuan Pham, Director of Techstars in Boston - Pham enjoys meeting and helping founders, and leveraging Techstars to build a more vibrant entrepreneurial Boston community. Prior to working with Techstars in Boston, Pham led Silicon Valley Bank's early stage practice in New York and Boston.

    K.J. Singh, Director of Techstars in New York - Singh is currently the Director of Techstars, NYC. In his current role, he sits on the selection committee for Techstars NYC and advises companies on product/market fit, fundraising strategies and other strategic issues. Prior to Techstars, KJ was a management consultant with Booz & Company. Previously, he was an investment-banker with Redwood Capital Group and started his career at JPMorgan. He holds a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

    One Boot Camp entrepreneur will be selected as a PowerMoves.NOLA fellow, and will receive a $50,000 investment, office space, technical assistance. One entrepreneur will also receive a $25,000 cash prize from PowerMoves.NOLA. In addition, up to five entrepreneurs will be selected to join the Risingstars mentorship program.

    Boot Camp participants will receive intensive hands-on guidance and coaching on their business models directly from the mentors. Mentors will focus on all aspects of an individual participant’s business model, including developing a strong business value proposition, selecting effective customer development strategies, achieving product/market fit, identifying early adopters and establishing sustainable revenue streams while controlling costs. The Boot Camp will culminate with a Demo Day presentation to potential investors. The event is provided to the entrepreneurs at no charge.

    “With their collective knowledge of startups, and successful track records, this amazing group of mentors put together by Risingstars Founder Tom Chikoore will ensure that all participants walk away from the weekend as winners, with information and advice they can put into practice immediately,” said Leslie Jacobs, CEO of the New Orleans Startup Fund. “At PowerMoves.NOLA, we are focused on supporting early-stage, high-growth, minority-led companies. Providing these tech entrepreneurs with high quality mentors to guide them is a great way to keep us moving toward that goal.”

    “Through Risingstars we are creating opportunities for those who are underrepresented in the tech startup community," said Risingstars Founder and Director, Tom Chikoore. "We're fortunate to have a highly qualified group of mentors – and partners like PowerMoves.NOLA - who are equally committed to supporting entrepreneurs.”

    About PowerMoves.NOLA
    PowerMoves.NOLA is a national initiative designed to increase the number of America’s venture-backed minority businesses by leveraging the entrepreneurial ecosystem, resources and culture of New Orleans. This year, PMN will offer an intense two day Risingstars boot camp presented by Techstars for twenty early stage tech entrepreneurs of color and three pitch events for twenty high growth, minority-founded startups. Over the weekend, these forty entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas, expand their networks, and foster connections and relationships that will help them grow their businesses. And in providing this forum, PMN will showcase the innovation a diverse entrepreneurial community can provide America.

    Headquartered in New Orleans, PowerMoves.NOLA's mission is to address the generational challenges of wealth and economic development with innovative ideas, fresh approaches, and an overall commitment to equity and diversity as a growth strategy.

    About Techstars
    Techstars is the #1 startup accelerator in the world. Once a year in each location, Techstars funds about 10 companies and surrounds them with about 100 of the best and brightest web entrepreneurs and investors in the world. So far, about 80% of the companies that have been through Techstars have subsequently raised a total of about $500M in angel or venture capital, and 24 of them have already been acquired.

    The Techstars Risingstars program extends technology company startup opportunities to demographic groups that are currently underrepresented in the technology startup community.

    Contact: Lynn McReynolds, 410-268-0275
    McReynolds Elek Communications/Urban Media Solutions
    lynn@mcreynoldselek.com

    Bernard Bell, 240-535-5918
    Urban Media Solutions
    bernardedgarbell@gmail.com

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    Social Media for Girls and Women by William Jackson, M.Edu.


    Presenting and speaking to 30 Journey Into Womanhood (JIW) young ladies is an opportunity to empower girls and young ladies to the benefits and the dangers of using Social Media platforms to communicate with friends, build relationships and exchange information. The need to understand the value and dangers of Social Media participation can been seen in media reports showing the results of Cyberbullying, harassment, stalking, Catfishing and child abductions that started with innocent chatting online and lead to abductions, sexual assaults, forced prostitution and even murder.

    Social Media for Girls and Women


    Stated by Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, M.D., “The digital world is an evolving landscape that parents have to learn to navigate.” Social Media is a representation of society and parents should be cautious. Education is the key to understanding how SM platforms work.

    Marketing thru Social Media

    Social Media content can provide a Marketability opportunity to promote talents, abilities, skills and putting girls in a positive situation for scholarships, Internships and jobs. Girls as teens and young adults are afforded a chance to Brand themselves intellectually, creatively, analytically and other skills that show leadership abilities, teamwork skills and academic successes. There still needs to be caution when friending, collaboration and sharing information with unfamiliar people. Good rules of thought for girls and young women is “Think before you post” and “Everyone is not your friend,” on Social Media: content posted either in text, pictures, video or other formats cannot be deleted once posted online. SM tools for girls as a good measure to remember, using Social Media platforms: girls should always Market and Brand themselves for success.

    Somebody Is Watching You

    They never know who is watching them, potentially waiting with a college scholarship, Internship, or job. SM platforms can build a girls or woman’s Brand as an expert in fields that are looking for young talent and innovative thinking. Technology has opened opportunities for young women to work in tech careers never thought possible and even start their own companies. Nonprofit or not for profit entities managed by women are seeing the benefits of using social media successfully, they are starting to see pay offs not just in building connections, there are growing collaborative associations and partnerships.

    Social concerns like mental health, physical wellness, pregnancy, dating, bullying/cyberbullying, breast cancer and other personal issues are generating a social presence because of Social Media. Creating a presence on Social Media has the potential to create a following and make social change effective and efficient. Issues addressing Mental Health are brought to light through organizations like, Jax MHAAC. Applying SM tools allows the sharing for information, encouraging volunteering and promoting events such as the Mental Health in the African American Community Program http://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/ the-sensitive-debate-on-mental-health/

    Managing Your Content

    The young ladies of Journey Into Womanhood are learning through dialogue, discussion, debate and even role playing the importance of proactive action in managing their content and displaying the importance of intellectualism and intellectual abilities that can shine on networking sites like LinkedIn http://LinkeIn.com Competition is stiff and unforgiving when seeking jobs or starting a career. Youthful intellectualism, academic success, community involvement and even spiritual awareness are valuable in Marketing, Branding and Promoting. A young girl and woman’s content sets their foundation for public respect and notoriety or social scandal or character self-assassination.

    Sharing again PBS Frontline documentary “Digital Nation” 2007 each generation that is involved in the creation of digital content is creating a paradigm shift in how higher education and businesses find information on future employees. Recruitment procedures have drastically changed because of Social Media platforms. Recruiters are “Googling” students, schools, families and getting results that may embarrass and offend parents. Parents should Google their children and school districts should begin hiring Social Media counselors to provide professional development to students in middle and high schools. “Guilt by association” in the digital realm can change a reputation in an instant displaying alcohol, drugs, and sexual situations can potentially change a student’s value of “Human Capital” to “Human Liability.”

    Your Profile Is Your Foundation

    Girls must be cautious and responsible when creating a profile that the world will see. Their lives could literally be at risk, educational and professional careers. The Social side of Social Media is influential because of the opportunity to be popular, funny, cool and attractive to people. The profile of girls may be an exaggerated, perfect versions with cute photos, or the ones where life is perfect and pure. French blogger Garance Doré stated, “we put an edited version of ourselves online.” This version is not accurate and truthful. In realistic terms we all do that.

    Girls and boys do edit themselves, girls try to show the best things from physical attributes to abilities and talents. Using Social Media girls and woman can now measure their popularity in the form of “Likes” and comments. Research from the University of Wisconsin has found people looked at their perfect Facebook profiles they felt a rush of self-esteem, but the esteem did not last long because of the occurrences of life. Social Media encourages and provides a platform to show a better version of ourselves, especially if we are Branding ourselves and Marketing our abilities and skills. Girls and woman should realize that they will have to interact with others for real and present a face that is trustworthy, compassionate and “real.”

    When creating a profile most SM sites ask for personal information: home addresses, birthdays, and phone numbers. Giving this information on unsecured sites can be dangerous and may be made public to anyone who visits a user’s profile page. The biggest threat of over sharing information is identity theft. Identity theft is growing common in the world of online social networking and commerce. Girls and women should learn and network to gain valuable information. To protect themselves, their families and their futures.

    ooOoo


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    Empowering Girls Empowers The World in the 21st Century by William Jackson, M.Edu


    Speaking and presenting at workshops, conferences and seminars nationwide, helping to contribute to the growing knowledge of using technology responsibly, building knowledge in Social Media in marketing and branding, preventing Bullying/Cyberbullying. Girls and young women have a world of potential as never before. The elements of STEAM in the educational system is expanding the opportunities of careers and creating deep passions for girls and women in careers once thought unobtainable.

    As I speak to groups such as Journey Into Womanhood, Emerging Young Leaders, Best of Bold and the Boys and Girls Club in their leadership conferences. Girls are becoming engaged in areas they would not have dreamed of exploring 10 to 20 years ago. Schools, businesses, industries, technology and the opportunity to be successful entrepreneurs have opened doors to girls and women as never before seen or experienced.

    Conferences like the Florida Blogging Conference Education - https://www.facebook.com/FLBlogCon are setting the foundation for not just educators, but students to use Blogging, Vblogging, Podcasting and other evolving technologies to help girls share their passions, abilities and talents. As a presenter at the Florida Blogging Conference Education as an educator girls and women are becoming entrepreneurs in digital businesses and creating jobs in markets that were not available 10 years earlier.

    History is laced with women that are trailblazers in fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics: STEAM. The successes for women and their influences are inspired by role models that range from; Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree), Barbara Charline Jordan, Sarah Jane Woodson Early (first African American College Professor) and numerous others in career fields that were once dominated by men are now being challenged by women that are intelligent, talented and creative.

    The sky is the limit for girls and women as educational resources and access to higher educational schools, vocational opportunities and even advancement in military service is accelerating the learning curve of girls and women. The expectations for success are higher and more demanding in a global economy that is laced with technology innovation and emerging technologies. Women are making valuable and long lasting contributions to their cultures, the nation and the world.

    There are still gaps in achievement for girls and boys, parents working with educators and administrators can make significant changes in behaviors and perceptions that play a part in a girl’s inner vision of their abilities and promotion of their talents. Stated by Professor Else-Quest, University of Maryland "Despite gender similarities in math and science achievement, female adolescents tend to believe their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) abilities are just not as strong as those of their male classmates." This is far from the truth. Girls and women are just as talented as boys and men and they must be nurtured and supported.

    Expectation continue to rise for girls and woman, Jenny Parkes, senior lecturer in education at the Institute of Education, University of London, said there are marked changes in girls' achievement in the latter half of the 20th century, in part thanks to successful influence of the way girls view themselves from successful women like Mae Jamison and Stephanie Wilson Black astronauts with NASA and Shawna R. Kimbrell, 555th FS, the first African-American female fighter pilot.

    Events like: Emerging Young Leaders (EYL) Summit (Empowering Our Youth for a Brighter Future Summit), Journey Into Womanhood Mentoring Program and other national programs for middle and high school girls to gain valuable tools that help in understanding and mastering their abilities and talents especially in the fields of STEAM and Technology. The Emerging Young Leaders Program, is a national initiative of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and has four core components, Leadership Development; Character Building; Educational Enrichment; and Civic Engagement. These areas are important to the development of girls and the continued advancement in a world of emerging technologies.

    Even nationally White House Council on Women and Girls found that women who work in STEM fields make about a third more than women in non-STEM jobs. Stated that “it is "especially disconcerting" that women make up only 25 percent of the STEM workforce, which is expected to grow by nearly 20 percent over the rest of the decade.”

    Women need to be involved and active in the development of new jobs and economic opportunities. Careers in technology, STEM, STEAM, and even vocational education with areas that integrate technology are growing. To continue to make contributions in the growth of our nation girls and women are an important part of the nation and its success.

    school.flblogcon.com

    ooOoo


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    "Learn2 Earn Experience"


    William Jackson

    William Jackson speaking at Mayor Alvin Brown "Learn2 Earn Experience". Speaking about Social Media and Technology. Over 100 high school students present.

    ooOoo


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    The Blerdy Blackness of Technology


    Thinking back on a trip to University of South Florida an Engineering Expo, seeing about 3000 youth and many of them Black brings a renewed feeling of high expectations for Black youth in education. The eight young men with me learned about new opportunities for their successes and the importance of education and influence of STEAM. Educational exposure is important to show Black youth their options and opportunities outside of sports, entertainment and service careers.

    The Blackness of technology is growing; it is a shining Black light of intelligence, creativity and innovation; basking in its diversification influenced by people of color. As an Engineering teacher I see a new world for learning and excited about my contributions as an educator. The engagement of technology allows Black children and children of color to expand their intellectual and creative abilities beyond sports, entertainment and the stereotypical elements that society deems appropriate for Black children. Black children are more than items for entertainment, objects to parade around in rap videos; they are more than being portrayed as gunman, thieves, in poverty, drug dealers in video games and movies that glamorize prison and crime. Black children, teens and young adults have Blerd skills and talents that should be encouraged, supported and importantly respected and cultivated.

    Wm Jackson, M.Ed.
    As President Obama has stated, America will not achieve the greatness it is destined if Black children and children of color are not educated to the best of their abilities. It is now cool to be a Nerd and Geek; to love Science, to read, enjoy the library and the intellectual enjoyment of attending technology conferences, workshops and seminars. It is not about embracing “whiteness” it is about embracing the empowerment and engagement of technology. What I tell my elementary engineering students mostly Black (Title One School), to be self-confident, to have high self-esteem and high expectations for their success with technology and education.

    The same success mentality about the Tuskegee Airman (Red Tails) should be used for today’s youth in science, engineering, medicine, technology and careers not created yet. Blacks still have to fight past the stereotypes, so when the word Blerd and others are used as Kat Calvin states that Blacks “want to OWN who we are, our history, our culture, our uniqueness.” The integration of STEAM Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics, in elementary schools has allowed Black children to explore new areas of intellectual growth. STEAM encourages reading comprehension, critical thinking skills and higher order rationalization that is needed in corporate careers and in scientific careers requiring research skills. Knowledge of engineering and math that even embraces the Arts.

    Blerds like Shareff Jackson (Philadelphia) #ScienceLooksGood; he shows the coolness and awesomeness to be a Blerd http://shareefjackson.com/ young ladies like Tiffany Duhart http://about.me/tiffanyduhart (Jacksonville, Fl.) whose Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram account names Brand and Market her abilities that women have Swaggalicious Blerdiness and possess #BlerdGirl powers. Women like Amanda Spann of http://Blerdology.com that mentor and offer girls opportunities to learn how to code and many other technology skills, HBCUKidz - http://hbcukids.com/ promoting HBCU’s, education and sharing resources. Ladies like my wife Cheryl, using technology to model for working moms Sister2Sister Catering http://sister2sistercatering.wordpress.com learning how to blog and post her recipes to help moms with families create nutritious meals. There are many others!!!! “Blacks cannot afford to be selfish with their talents and should network to become influential as tech entrepreneurs.

    Terms like Blerds, (Black Nerds), Bleeks (Black Geeks) and an association of complementary phrases: #Blerdology, #BlackLadyNerd, #BlerdMovement, #BlerdGirl, #Nerdlife, #BlerdSwag, #BlackGirls, #BlerdLife, # Swaggalicious #Swag, and #BlackHack show a growing influence. Blacks are creating and attending their own technology conferences: Blogging While Brown http://bloggingwhilebrown.com/ displaying the ability of Blacks to uplift and build their own up in support and recognition. Blogging While Brown has grown to become the premier blogging conference dedicated to education, collaboration, and innovation among Bloggers of Color. Black Bloggers Connect is a site loaded with Blacks (and other cultures) Blogging about everything imaginable http://blackbloggersconnect.com/ I encourage Blacks if you want to start blogging and need help, start here. Interested in technology utilize Blacks In Technology https://www.blacksintechnology.net/ and others.

    Shifting paradigms creating Blerdiness from elementary classrooms like mines to colleges like #FAMU, #SCSU, HBCU’s should be sure to integrate STEAM to prepare their graduates for careers. Education has changed with more schools, even elementary schools having computer labs, technology centers, students building Apps, involved in STEM and STEAM programs.

    Conclusion:
    I studied Malcolm X and his passion to be educated and sharing this with his children. Having a deep love of mathematics and stated his college was a library. When asked where the idea for his last name X came from, he said in a television interview that the “X stands for the unknown, as in mathematics.” That is a true Blerd…. As Black children grow and mature not only will their designation of self change, but the solidification of their place in a world where technology is life and life is technology. Blerds are developing a natural equilibrium with technology. They are developing their own Matrix, not waiting on others to define their existence.

    Wm Jackson, M.Ed.
    http://about.me/williamdjackson
    Educator, Speaker, Blogger
    Parent, Mentor

    ooOoo


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    New Mobile Social Video Network for the African American Audience


    5iveSpot Delivers Social Video Messaging and Urban Entertainment Network for the mobile smartphone community

    Las Vegas, NV (March 24, 2013) -- Introducing 5iveSpot, a mobile social network where users create and share personal video messages (vms) and view short form video entertainment on mobile devices. 5iveSpot's mobile network is dedicated to providing a social and entertainment connection for the African American mobile community. According to the "Nielsen State of the African-American Consumer" study done in 2012, African Americans are a tech savvy group where over 54% of all people own a smartphone. This speaks to a hyper-connected and socially progressive smartphone user base which exceeds 22 million people and growing. 5iveSpot, Co-Founder, D Daudi Cole, Jr. , comments, "The African-American community leverages the power of mobile to digest, interact and communicate and our mission and charter is to offer a digital platform that provides video touch points for this socially engaged and connected audience."

    5iveSpot
    5iveSpot is a one-stop social network where users can create, send and receive video messages up to 5 minutes, photos, or sms text, . Members can also enjoy a free subscription to the very latest and greatest in bite sized video entertainment from the 5iveSpot network of channels. 5iveSpot airs daily video content chosen from a vast community of broadcasters, contributor sites, bloggers and industry taste makers. The 5iveSpot network of entertainment channels include Music (Hip-Hop and Soul), Entertainment, Sports and Lifestyle/Culture channels that viewers can easily select to follow in the channels section of the 5iveSpot app.

    Co-founder, Dwayne Tasker, comments, "Our vision for 5iveSpot is to provide a simple, personal and technologically advanced tool to create and share video messages and cool life moments with family and friends. To deliver relevant and entertaining video content that represents the latest and greatest in black entertainment and culture." The 5iveSpot app makes it easy to join, create and share a video message spot (vms) or a favorite 5iveSpot video using your smartphone contact list, sms text or by posting your favorite videos on Facebook and Twitter.

    The free app is available for download via iTunes App Store at:
    https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/5ivespot/id570644341?mt=8

    and Google Play at:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ironroad.five_spot

    About
    5iveSpot is a mobile social entertainment network with locations in Las Vegas, NV & Bowie, MD.

    Press Contact
    Dwayne Tasker
    (855) 373-8463 Ext: 1
    info@5iveSpot.com
    dwayne.tasker@3rdvinedigital.com

    ooOoo


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    Power of Blerds and Technology


    The significance of technology for Blacks is seen in many aspects of society. Education, business, commerce, science, medical fields and even global marketing rely on the creating and sharing of digital content. Writing is important because of the ability to share information that engages, inspires and motivates, Blacks and the ability to write is important when competing in any aspect of business, education, medical field and science.

    New words and acronyms have developed from the insertion of technology into writing, the human language is evolving and Blacks must adapt to stay competitive. Tiffany Duhart, Social Media Consultant shared a new word with our traveling group of Bloggers, as we travel to Blogging conferences in Florida. She referred to us as “Blerds, ” I had to Google this term and once I understood the association to technology, intellectualism and education I and my wife Cheryl (Sister2Sister Catering) embraced our new titles as Blerds.

    Power of Blerds and Technology
    Blerds of Blogging
    The power of blogging has opened opportunities for many Blacks to share their experiences, talents and skills. Blerds are Black nerds: Nerds that enjoy sharing their technology talents, an epiphany for embracing technology. The growth of Blerds is seen in traditional media like CNN, Black nerds, aka "blerds," is a way to describe African American intellectuals in a time when it's finally cool to be something other than an athlete or rapper.

    Rise of Black Nerds
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/31/showbiz/rise-of-black-nerds/index.html Digital technologies embed themselves in the lifestyles of Blerds; people like myself and others in Blacks communities nationwide. Seeking information, resources, increased connectivity with the world, no longer are athletes, dancers and entertainers the only “cool” people in families. More Black families want to see Blerds rise and excel with the use of technology. To have Black youth grow to honor students, excel in math, reading and writing. Blerds are allowing intellectual exchanges, technology to span distances to connect like minds across this country. The nerdiness lines are transforming to the Blerdiness of multiculturalism. This can be seen on Social Media sites, BlogTalkRadio, Youtube and other sites that allow for the posting and sharing of content. Blerds are Blogging, Microblogging (Twitter) and Podcasting.

    Blerds and the Expansion of Knowledge
    Blerds support the expansion of knowledge, proficiency of reading and writing (creative thought process/critical thinking skills). Blogging requires a sharing of writers and readers involved in a symbiotic relationship that is dependent upon each other. Noted author and professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., has stated the importance of Blerds to the Black community. "It's good to see Black intellectuals do well," he stated "We as a (Black) people are a whole range of things, and we're finally starting to see that reflected intellectualism" (CNN 2012). Blerds open a new world, a world of digitized content on a multitude of subjects, creating cognitive Energon for the brain. Blogging is vital, African Americans; because of the wealth of information that helps in educational and professional growth. African Americans need to embrace their Blerds and follow them to a world of information that inspires, engages, enriches and empowers. These verbs show of the potential to expand knowledge. Blerds are in areas of politics, economics, business, medicine, education and sharing cultural diversity.

    Endless Opportunities
    The opportunities are endless as to what Blerds can do to empower critical thinking skills into youth. The very nature of the Internet is allowing Blerds to retrieve information, post information that may allows others to grow beyond consumers to producers of content. The capability for African Americans - Blerds to launch their own e-newspapers, e-magazines, BlogTalkRadio and even e-television shows at low cost is within the grasps of a person with computer technology. Blerds allow for the minds of African Americans to change and allow an impact in commerce, education, business and politics.

    It’s Fashionable to be Educated
    I’m an educator teaching Engineering at an elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida. To motivate my student’s involvement in STEAM Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics I try to get them to identify with Blerds in those areas to make a connection that will benefit them. The powerful statement, "It's fashionable to wear bowties and be educated," Dave Nemetz, TV content producer for Yahoo! "It's part of multiculturalism and with everything blending together, there's a certain subset of (black nerd life) that's becoming cool right now.” Rise of the Blerds.

    William Jackson, M.Edu.
    Blogging at My Quest To Teach
    http://myquesttoteach.blogspot.com
    Proud Blerd

    ooOoo


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BLACKS/AFRICAN AMERICANS & TECHNOLOGY
   














  1. African American Science and Technology...
    African American Science and Technology website.

  2. Blacks in Technology Summit...
    A transcript of remarks made by Steve Ballmer in New York, New York on May 11, 2002 as part of Blacks in Technology Summit.

  3. Byron Crudup Little Corner of Cyberspace...
    Sharing some interesting facts about a segment of history that has remained relatively unsung.

  4. Hinson's Afrocentric Resource Guide: Technology...
    A comprehensive guide to African American, Black, Caribbean and Latino resources on the web.

  5. Museum of African American Technology (MAAT) Science Village ...
    The purpose of the Museum is to provide exhibitions using the principles of Ma'at to generate a genuine interest in science and engineering among the young and the adult public.

  6. National Technical Association...
    The Minority Technical Voice - since 1925.

  7. Physics and The African Diaspora...
    Physics and The African Diaspora website information.

  8. Selected Internet Resources...
    Selected Internet Resources on African Americans in Science and Technology - Science Reference Services - Library of Congress.

  9. Steward Among Important African-Americans in Technology...
    David Steward, chief executive of World Wide Technology Inc., has been named one of the 50 most important African-Americans in technology by BlackMoney.com.

  10. Talking Technology with Leroy Jones, Jr....
    Talking Technology will be the place to discover and explore all of the new and exciting developments in our ever changing technological world.

  11. Technology And The African American Inventor...
    The purpose of this lesson is to create an awareness and understanding that important technological advances within our culture, in a variety of areas, are the result of the work done by a diverse group of people, many of whom are African Americans.

  12. Technology Versus African-Americans...
    The author argues that from the advent of African slavery to today's age of the internet, blacks and technology have been at odds.

  13. The Institute of Black Invention and Technology ...
    A showcase of inventions by black inventors, innovators, and scientists.

  14. US Black Engineer Magazine...
    Black Engineer Technology Engineering Entrepreneurs-USBE magazine provides news about black technology, black entrepreneurs, BEYA conference, black engineers and technologists from black community in US, UK, Caribbean and Africa.

  15. 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology ...
    50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology demonstrates the critical role that blacks play in the growth of cutting edge industries.










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