News Article | May 15, 2017
We’re all creatures of habit for good reason. While the brain comprises 4% of our body mass, it consumes at least 20% of the body’s blood glucose to do all the hard work of thinking and running our bodies. That extra drain on resources makes the brain an inefficient system, so it conserves energy by routing neural messages along the most efficient and least resistive pathways. “It’s similar to pathways in the woods; you can move more quickly on a well-worn path than if you need to forge a new one,” says Karen Gordon, CEO of 5 Dynamics, teamwork consultants whose clients include LinkedIn, IDEO, and Harvard. The fact that our brain prefers the path of least resistance has implications on teamwork. Based on the research of differential learning diagnostician W. Michael Sturm, Gordon says there are four strengths–or paths–people use when moving through a process: While 5 Dynamics has an assessment that identifies an individual’s strengths, you can probably determine preferences by thinking about what you enjoy doing and the tasks that give you energy. “Those that drain your energy are where you don’t excel,” says Gordon. Understanding your strengths and the strengths of others can help you connect on a higher level. When each team member can complete tasks and feel fulfilled and challenged, you can create a team environment that avoids burnout and fosters success, says Gordon. Using strengths can take away friction that can show up in relationships. “You can identify a good place to lean in, and a place where a teammate might be comfortable in the space,” she says. “Before, you might have felt like someone wasn’t carrying their weight.” Identifying someone’s weakness helps with inclusion. If someone doesn’t enjoy brainstorming, for example, it doesn’t need to exclude then from the process, says Gordon. “Let them know that they can hang in for a while, and that it’s okay if they need to step away if it’s draining,” she says. “It’s about energy: What gives you energy or what takes it away. It also appreciates differences; what may give you energy is taking away someone else’s.” Strengths help foster good working relationships, too. “If I deal with someone who is high in the examine category and cares about numbers and what can be proven, I don’t want to go into his office with half-baked ideas,” she says. “I need to do research and homework and come in with facts and data. When I do that, I respect his working style and meet him in a place that’s comfortable for him.”
News Article | May 18, 2017
The Circular Materials Challenge is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's $2 million New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, launched in collaboration with The Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit, to help build a circular economy for plastics by developing new materials, redesigning packaging, and eliminating waste. The prize is funded by Wendy Schmidt, Lead Philanthropic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy initiative. The challenge has been scoped in close coordination with the initiative's more than 40 participants, including Core Partners Amcor, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, MARS, Novamont, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Veolia. "If we want to effect broad systems change, we need to rethink the way we make plastic items," said Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation. "That's why we are calling for scientific and technical experts from around the globe to help us keep these materials in the economy, and out of the ocean." About 13 percent of today's packaging is made of layers of different materials fused together. This multi-layer construction meets important needs like keeping food fresh, but also makes the packaging hard to recycle. The challenge, therefore, invites innovators to find alternative materials that can be recycled or composted. The judging panel for the challenge consists of senior executives from major businesses, widely recognized scientists, designers and academics. Solutions will be assessed against a broad range of criteria carefully crafted in collaboration with the challenge partners and participants of the New Plastics Economy initiative. "The collective expertise, technologies and support of our business and innovation community is critical to forging this kind of change," said NineSigma CEO Dr. Andy Zynga. "We are thrilled to help the Ellen MacArthur Foundation reach experts that can contribute upstream solutions that will redefine the future of plastics in support of a circular economy." Responses to the Circular Materials Challenge are due by October 20, 2017 at 5:00 PM US EDT. Solution providers can submit proposals through NineSigma's Open Innovation community NineSights.com. For more information and updates on the challenge, please visit https://ninesights.ninesigma.com/web/circular-materials. About the New Plastics Economy initiative The New Plastics Economy is an ambitious, three-year initiative to build momentum towards a plastics system that works. Applying the principles of the circular economy, it brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies, cities, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, students, NGOs, and citizens. The initiative is supported by Wendy Schmidt as Lead Philanthropic Partner, and MAVA Foundation, Oak Foundation, and players of People's Postcode Lottery (GB) as Philanthropic Funders. Amcor, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, MARS, Novamont, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Veolia are the initiative's Core Partners. About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was created in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Foundation works across five areas: insight and analysis, business and government, education and training, systemic initiatives, and communication. With its Knowledge Partners (Arup, IDEO, McKinsey & Co., and SYSTEMIQ), and supported by Core Philanthropic Funder (SUN), the Foundation works to quantify the economic opportunity of a circular model and to develop approaches for capturing its value. The Foundation collaborates with its Global Partners (Danone, Google, H&M, Intesa Sanpaolo, NIKE, Inc., Philips, Renault, Unilever), and its CE100 network (businesses, universities, emerging innovators, governments, cities and affiliate organisations), to build capacity, explore collaboration opportunities and to develop circular business initiatives. By establishing platforms such as the New Plastics Economy initiative, the Foundation works to transform key material flows, applying a global, cross-sectoral, cross value chain approach that aims to effect systems change. Learn more at www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org. About NineSigma NineSigma helps organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors find new solutions, knowledge and partners to accelerate innovation. The leader in creating 'unexpected connections', NineSigma has the largest open global network of solvers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning numerous industries and technical disciplines. The company helps for-profit and nonprofit organizations address problems of a global magnitude through its Grand Challenge innovation programs. Learn more at www.ninesigma.com. International Sustainability Unit The Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit (ISU) was formed in 2010 to address critical challenges to development and the environment. The ISU builds on the success of The Prince's Rainforests Project, established to help find a solution to tropical deforestation.With an international reputation for neutral convening, underpinned by rigorous analysis, the ISU engages key actors from Governments, the private sector, research communities and civil society to catalyze positive change across the global sustainability agenda. The ISU's Marine Program focuses on the global transition to a sustainable Blue Economy. The core components of this work include fish stock recovery, coral reef health and marine plastic pollution. During the last six years the ISU has brought together stakeholders from all sectors to accelerate solutions to some of the most pressing ocean-related challenges and build consensus on solutions for and a pathway towards a sustainable Blue Economy. www.pcfisu.org Wendy Schmidt Wendy Schmidt is President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, where she works to advance the development of renewable energy and the wiser use of natural resources. The Foundation houses its grant-making operation in The 11th Hour Project, which supports more than 150 non-profit organizations around the world in program areas including renewable energy, ecological agriculture, human rights, and our maritime connection through it 11th Hour Racing program. In 2009, Wendy Schmidt and her husband, Eric Schmidt, created the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), and in 2012 launched the research vessel, Falkor, as a mobile platform to advance ocean exploration, discovery, and knowledge, and catalyze the sharing of information about the oceans. Since 2012, Falkor has hosted more than 500 scientists from 27 countries. To further her commitment to ocean issues, in 2010 Wendy Schmidt partnered with XPRIZE, following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, to sponsor the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, a $1.4 million competition designed to identify efficient and innovative solutions to clean up surface oil spills. Wendy Schmidt once again partnered with XPRIZE in 2012 to design the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a $2 million purse, awarded in July, 2015, where competitors responded to the global need for accurate and available sensors to more broadly measure the signs of ocean acidification, one of the harbingers of climate change. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-ellen-macarthur-foundation-and-ninesigma-announce-1-million-circular-materials-challenge-to-catalyze-a-new-plastics-economy-300459986.html
News Article | May 22, 2017
Newly named Ford Motor Company president and CEO James Hackett answers questions during a press conference at Ford Motor World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S., May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's new chief executive officer transformed office furniture maker Steelcase Inc into a global leader, but in Michigan, he may be more revered as the man who turned around a troubled college football programme. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., whose family owns the Detroit Lions football team, pointed to James Hackett's accomplishments as the University of Michigan's interim athletic director in 2015 while a member of the automaker's board. Ford said at a news conference on Monday that Hackett hired Jim Harbaugh as head football coach and "left the department in much better shape than he found it." Hackett, an Ohio native who played football at the university under legendary coach Bo Schembechler, has run Ford Smart Mobility, a new unit established to oversee and coordinate the company's forays in autonomous driving, ride sharing and other ventures, since March 2016. Before that, as CEO of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Steelcase from 1994 to 2014, Hackett slashed thousands of jobs. He also began to reinvigorate and refocus the company on innovation, spearheaded by his 1996 purchase of renowned Silicon Valley design firm IDEO. Inspired by IDEO's open-space designs, Hackett and Steelcase "reinvented the workplace, starting in Silicon Valley, and redesigned America's offices," said Marc Weiser, managing director of RPM Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and San Francisco. Hackett joined Ford's board in 2013, ahead of his retirement from Steelcase. He left the board when he became chairman of Smart Mobility, where he has helped oversee Ford's acquisition of San Francisco ride sharing startup Chariot and its $1 billion investment in Argo AI, a self-driving startup focussed on robotics and artificial intelligence. Bill Ford described Hackett, who reports to him, as "a catalyst for innovation." The two got to know each other through Michigan business organizations and events, but Ford said travelling to Silicon Valley with Hackett gave him a new perspective. Technology industry executives, whose offices had been designed and furnished by Steelcase, treated Hackett like a star. "To see Jim navigate that so well and to be held in such high regard out there ..., it was a surprise," Ford said. Hackett's mission in his new role will include reshaping Ford's management structure, which remains a hierarchy patterned on the U.S. military. As part of installing Hackett as CEO, Ford's board also reshaped the management layer below him. Hackett said he asked Bill Ford to oversee government relations and communications. In the past, when the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford had not been the automaker's CEO himself, he has sought to avoid overshadowing non-family CEOs. Hackett said in an interview on Monday that he wanted the company to make much more extensive use of market data. For example, it could cut inventory by better matching vehicle production to consumer demand. "You don’t have to guess what models they're going to buy," Hackett said.
News Article | May 27, 2017
Modern life is wasteful. From the plastic packaging that fills our kitchens – and ends up in our oceans – to the 40m tons of e-waste we generate per year, our throwaway culture is alive and kicking. And it’s wreaking havoc on the planet. But a host of designers, researchers and startups are on the case, coming up with new ideas to cut waste and make life more efficient. Here are six of our favourites. What if that sandwich maker gathering dust at the back of your cupboard could list itself on eBay? That’s the vision of design consultancy IDEO, which has come up with a proposal for getting unloved appliances back into circulation, saving materials and money and diverting e-waste from landfill. The Use Me/Lose Me service would monitor your appliances via web-connected chips and if anything went unused for too long, ping you a text with its likely market value. By replying to the text, you would authorise it to upload the product’s details on to an auction site and manage the sale, payment and shipping process – leaving you just to remove it from the cupboard and take it to the front door, says IDEO portfolio director Chris Grantham. The key question, he says, is: “How can we make this easier than remembering to go to the dump on a Saturday?” When designer Marilu Valente set out to reduce waste in personal care packaging, she found inspiration in the shape of the carnivorous Nepenthes plant. Her resulting bottle design aims to tackle the problem of small, hard-to-recycle bits of plastic which often end up in landfill, or waterways, by doing away with the need for a separate lid. Instead of a cap, the bottle’s flexible, slender spout plugs into a cavity on the side, sealing the container when it’s not in use. Nepenthes, which is currently just a prototype, also unplugs at the bottom, making it easy to clean and reuse, says Valente. The self-funded designer, who has not yet settled on a material for the concept, says she is in talks with mould manufacturers and has been approached by personal care brands. If Dutch designer Dave Hakkens gets his way, all of us could soon be turning plastic packaging into new products via home or community-based plastic recycling machines. His open-source Precious Plastic device is designed to give ordinary people around the world the tools to turn plastics lying around their neighbourhoods into useful and valuable items, from clipboards to bowls. Hakkens shares blueprints, step-by-step instructions and useful templates online to help people build and operate the machines, which he says are easy to assemble using basic tools and low-cost materials. The technology, which was highlighted in a recent report on digital disruption by UK innovation foundation Nesta, can be used to start a business, he says – and he won’t be asking for a share of the profits. Taiwan-based startup Bionicraft wants to encourage urban dwellers living in small spaces to put their food scraps somewhere more useful than the bin. Its indoor, table-top ecosystem uses earthworms to turn food waste into soil, which is then used as a bed for plants, or can be removed for use in other plant pots. The system, is able to process up to 3kg of food waste per week, says founder Brooklyn Chao, who hopes it will also remind people to reduce waste by planning their meals better. Chao’s team raised around $60,000 (£46,000) on Kickstarter to fund project development and the first production batch, priced at $169 a go, will be ready to ship soon, says Chao. Also taking on the food-waste challenge are startups and researchers promising to radically extend shelf life. California-based Apeel Sciences is touting an “invisible, tasteless and edible” substance made from waste farm produce such as banana peel and broccoli stalks, which it says can roughly double the life of avocados, mangos and citrus fruits by providing a protective layer against oxidation and transpiration. Meanwhile, Australian researcher Kirsty Bayliss has found a way to use plasma technology – already established in medicine and dentistry – to ward off mould from fresh produce and grains. In lab tests the technique, which uses an electrical charge to generate the plasma, doubled avocado shelf life to 10 days, says Bayliss. She is hoping to trial the approach at scale in the avocado industry and expects eventually to develop a small device for use at home, or by smallholder farmers, with a price tag of around $100. When 14-year-old Benjamin Stern saw a video of a turtle snarled up in plastic waste, he decided to start a business focused on getting unnecessary plastics out of the bathroom. Now 18, the CEO of Nohbo is four years – and a couple of prototypes – into his project to develop packaging-free, single-use shampoo portions for travellers and hotels. First designed as a hard ball which lathered on contact with water, Nohbo had to be redesigned after some of the first commercial batch broke apart during shipping last year, says Stern. The latest version is a shampoo pod, encased in a film made from water-soluble polymer PVOH. The company aims to release the new line in Autumn this year, says Stern.
News Article | May 29, 2017
In our 16th episode, we talk with Tom Kelly, a partner at IDEO, about the definition of innovation, how to take back your creative confidence, and the habits that can shape not only your current design team, but the up-and-coming design leaders of the world. The word “innovation” has gotten overused. Kelley says innovation, at the most fundamental level, is a fresh idea that’s feasible and adds value. Ideas alone are not innovation. In a world so full of screens and notifications sparring for our attention, it’s easy to get caught up in distractions. Kelley breaks down the significance of finding and protecting those quiet moments when you are most bombarded with creative ideas. Once you know when those moments are most likely to hit, it’s a matter of capturing those ideas for future implementation. Jared Erondu and Bobby Ghoshal are the hosts of High Resolution. This post and episode notes were put together by freelance writer, Gannon Burgett. Watch for High Resolution episodes to drop every Monday on TechCrunch at 8 a.m. PT. You can also listen on iTunes and Overcast.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Frequency and severity of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in the California-Nevada region have increased in recent years. These HABs affect plant operations and sometimes force temporary closures of water treatment plants due to severe taste and odor issues or cyanotoxins. Copper-based algaecides have been an important tool for many decades in management of source water. In some cases, copper has been over-used, leading to backlash. Doctor Hammond will discuss recent advances that have led to more efficient formulations of copper, which have superior performance and have less environmental impact. “Data from real world case studies will be presented, illustrating that a formulation of liquid copper yields superior results, superior pest control, and better cost-effectiveness at lower doses.” states Hammond. One such product, EarthTec, has been reported by municipalities to reduce taste and odor by directly removing or degrading the compounds responsible, such as geosmin. It delivers a low-dose of copper at only 60 Parts per billion. The use of advanced copper based products such as EarthTec QZ for the treatment and prevention of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissenids) will also be discussed by Dr. Hammond. Both products are approved by the EPA for control of in lakes and open waters. They are also approved for mussel control in pipelines and flowing waters. QZ is one of a select group of products that is both NSF-Certified for drinking water and EPA registered as a molluscicide. It has been in full-scale implementation at water treatment plants throughout the U.S. Data and case studies from some of these municipalities will be presented at the CA/NV AWWA conference in Anaheim, CA on April,11. David Hammond, Ph.D. is an environmental chemist with an interdisciplinary background in physical, biological and social sciences. As a scientific consultant, his clients have included Nike, IDEO, Amorim, agricultural producers, and the Green Chemistry Institute. Dr. Hammond has three patents for pest control agents and numerous peer-reviewed publications. He holds an M.S. from the Energy & Resources Group and a Ph.D. in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry, both from the University of California, Berkeley, where he specialized in Chemical Ecology. He was honored with the Macy award for excellence in entomology. Dr. Hammond currently serves as Senior Scientist with Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. For more information visit EarthTecwatertreatment.com / EarthTecQZ.com or call (800) 257-9283. You can follow EarthTec on LinkedIn.
News Article | May 4, 2017
SAN MATEO, Calif., May 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zuora, Inc., the leading provider of subscription commerce, billing and finance solutions, today released more details about Subscribed™, the highly anticipated conference for companies striving to thrive amidst the most disruptive business-model shift in a century. Subscription businesses are growing about nine times faster than those in the S&P 500. Those looking to capitalize on this trend, and to learn how to develop and nurture lasting customer relationships, will convene at the Zuora® “Subscribed” conference on June 5-7, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. Subscribed will feature keynote speakers Tom Kelley, Founding Partner of IDEO; Andy Mooney, CEO of Fender; Jamie Allison, Director, MS&S Global Mobility & Connectivity of Ford; Tom Bucklar, Director of Innovation & Digital of Caterpillar; Gytis Bardzukas, VP, Head of Product Management of General Electric. Additional sessions will be led by visionaries, disruptors and industry leaders representing every type of enterprise, from native subscription businesses to iconic Fortune 500 companies that are successfully embracing the shift to a subscription business model. Conference attendees will hear from Zuora Founder and CEO Tien Tzuo, as well as executives from CLEAR, HPE, Inspirato, Nutanix, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey, Symantec, Zoom Video Communications, and many more. “The rise of the Subscription Economy® is a once-in-a-century shift,” said Tzuo. “As with every disruption, there will be winners and losers, and Subscribed is an opportunity for any company in any industry to learn about what it takes to succeed in this new world. We’re especially excited this year to host companies like Ford, CAT, HPE and GE, which are completely transforming their businesses to exceed customer expectations with new subscription services.” Subscribed is more than just a conference. It's a movement formed by a rapidly growing community of visionaries which see that the world of business is changing and want to share and learn from others. In addition to the Subscribed conference in San Francisco, where the entire Subscribed community convenes annually, the festivities and opportunities will continue throughout the year with: Register here to attend Subscribed San Francisco on June 5-7, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis, and to learn more about the future of the global Subscription Economy and learn from those who have blazed the trail. The event will feature: Additional Resources “The Subscription Economy: A Business Transformation” by Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora SlideShare: “Drivers of Success in the Subscription Economy” MGI Research Forecast on Agile Monetization Platforms 2016-2020 Follow us online: Facebook.com/zuora @Zuora #SubscriptionEconomy About Zuora, Inc. Zuora is a SaaS company and the world’s foremost evangelist of the Subscription Economy. Zuora’s leading subscription relationship management platform helps enable businesses in any industry to launch or shift products to subscription, implement new pay-as-you-go pricing and packaging models, gain new insights into subscriber behavior, open new revenue streams, and disrupt market segments to gain competitive advantage. Zuora serves more than 800 companies around the world in every industry including Box, Komatsu, Rogers, Schneider Electric, Toshiba, Xplornet and Zendesk. The Subscription Economy Index (SEI) demonstrates that SEI companies are growing revenues approximately nine times faster than the S&P 500. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Zuora also operates offices in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, San Francisco, London, Paris, Beijing, Sydney and Tokyo. © 2017 Zuora, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Zuora, Subscribed and Subscription Economy are trademarks of Zuora, Inc. Third party trademarks mentioned above are owned by their respective companies. Nothing in this press release should be construed to the contrary, or as an approval, endorsement or sponsorship by any third parties of Zuora, Inc. or any aspect of this press release. To learn more about the Zuora platform, please visit www.zuora.com.
News Article | April 26, 2017
Leonard brings to her new role more than 10 years as senior design lead and creative strategist at global design and innovation firm IDEO. During that time she honed her human-centered skills across a wide range of projects – from retail and finance to hospitality and health care – for clients such as Nike, Marriott, Visa, and AT&T, helping them make a positive impact through design. Her diverse background also encompasses radio broadcasting and print journalism, as well as co-authoring the award-winning book Massive Change: The Future of Global Design with Bruce Mau, a modern, illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are impacting humanity worldwide. “We are thrilled to have Jen join our team. Her creativity, influence and design leadership will be integral to fulfilling what we’ve set out to accomplish at Taylor Design – creating design that empowers people to do what they do best,” said Randy Regier, president, Taylor Design. “I appreciate how design can be a force for positive change in our world,” Leonard shared. “So I’m excited to see this manifest in the projects at Taylor, whose focus areas include healthcare, education and technology. Through design we can positively influence people’s lives and empower both those who serve and receive.” Leonard is also the host and producer behind Brand New Ways, an interview-based podcast about change making and rule breaking. She received her design diploma from the Institute without Boundaries, at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Canada, and studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, The University of Western Ontario, in London, Canada. Her undergraduate degrees are in Sociology (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada) and Anthropology (The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada). About Taylor Design: Taylor Design is a full-service design firm that collaborates with clients to learn together and develop powerful user-based solutions, places and services that drive value and are effective, valid and delightful. The firm’s three practices in architecture, environments and strategies are united in their use of design as both a point of view, and a unifying method for its work. With offices in northern and southern California, Taylor Design’s dynamic and effective strategy-based practice assures that decisions made at every stage of the design process have a positive impact on organizations and communities. Clients of the firm have included: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; UC Berkeley; UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco; Stanford University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; San Mateo County; Scripps Health, San Diego; UC San Diego Health System, San Diego; UC Irvine Health, Orange County; Hoag Health Network, Orange County; as well as numerous service areas for Kaiser Permanente, among others. For more information about Taylor Design, visit Irvine, CA, April 26, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Taylor Design, a solution-oriented architecture, environments and strategies firm, has announced that Jen Leonard has joined the firm as Strategies Practice Leader. In this role, she will focus on bringing her human-centered design experience to Taylor Design collaborating across its Irvine, San Francisco and San Diego offices, and inspiring new ways of approaching design challenges.Leonard brings to her new role more than 10 years as senior design lead and creative strategist at global design and innovation firm IDEO. During that time she honed her human-centered skills across a wide range of projects – from retail and finance to hospitality and health care – for clients such as Nike, Marriott, Visa, and AT&T, helping them make a positive impact through design. Her diverse background also encompasses radio broadcasting and print journalism, as well as co-authoring the award-winning book Massive Change: The Future of Global Design with Bruce Mau, a modern, illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are impacting humanity worldwide.“We are thrilled to have Jen join our team. Her creativity, influence and design leadership will be integral to fulfilling what we’ve set out to accomplish at Taylor Design – creating design that empowers people to do what they do best,” said Randy Regier, president, Taylor Design.“I appreciate how design can be a force for positive change in our world,” Leonard shared. “So I’m excited to see this manifest in the projects at Taylor, whose focus areas include healthcare, education and technology. Through design we can positively influence people’s lives and empower both those who serve and receive.”Leonard is also the host and producer behind Brand New Ways, an interview-based podcast about change making and rule breaking. She received her design diploma from the Institute without Boundaries, at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Canada, and studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, The University of Western Ontario, in London, Canada. Her undergraduate degrees are in Sociology (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada) and Anthropology (The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada).About Taylor Design: Taylor Design is a full-service design firm that collaborates with clients to learn together and develop powerful user-based solutions, places and services that drive value and are effective, valid and delightful. The firm’s three practices in architecture, environments and strategies are united in their use of design as both a point of view, and a unifying method for its work. With offices in northern and southern California, Taylor Design’s dynamic and effective strategy-based practice assures that decisions made at every stage of the design process have a positive impact on organizations and communities. Clients of the firm have included: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; UC Berkeley; UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco; Stanford University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; San Mateo County; Scripps Health, San Diego; UC San Diego Health System, San Diego; UC Irvine Health, Orange County; Hoag Health Network, Orange County; as well as numerous service areas for Kaiser Permanente, among others. For more information about Taylor Design, visit www.WeAreTaylor.com Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Taylor Design
News Article | February 10, 2017
You’re looking for a new challenge: how about jumping into an ice pool, crawling through electrified wires, and dragging yourself up a steep incline in a muddy field? Not tempted? Tough Mudder – an extreme assault course – might not be for everyone, but it has pulled in 2.5 million participants since launching in New York in 2010. In 2015, it made $100m (£79m) in global revenue. Those taking part can choose to raise money for charity, or simply get involved for personal achievement. The business has evolved into a lesson in savvy branding. Co-founder Will Dean, alongside his partner Guy Livingstone, has struck up sponsor partnerships with a number of companies such as Merrell, Jeep, Volvic and Virgin Active as well as Help for Heroes (the official UK charity partner). The brand has also secured two US television series. The first of these is with CBS sports and follows a select few taking part in Tough Mudder’s most extreme event: The World’s Toughest Mudder. Dean says: “CBS has been approaching me for about six years. When they [initially] got in touch we weren’t sophisticated enough.” But last year Tough Mudder and the network settled on an idea. Taking place annually in Nevada, the Toughest Mudder event runs for 24-hours. Participants do as many laps as possible to vie for a $100,000 prize. The winners cover more than 100 miles of mud and obstacles, although they can choose to take rest breaks. “You get these crazy characters who appear to only sleep for an hour or two,” says Dean. In the UK, the three-part series aired on Sky Sports in January. Sky and Tough Mudder are working on another series that will focus on participants in UK races. Meanwhile, a different series was made with the US-based CW channel, which is due to air later in 2017 on Sky Sports Mix. This consists of five shorts followed by a one-hour special and focuses on the stories of participants in the usual Tough Mudder events. People featured in this include a female Iraq war veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder and a man living with multiple sclerosis. All of these shows play on Tough Mudder’s camaraderie. Dean claims 10,000 people have been tattooed with the Tough Mudder logo. “It’s a tribe, as a [business] we think about tribal values and what it means to be a tribe.” Dean dreamt up Tough Mudder while completing an MBA at Harvard Business School and launched it a year afterwards. In his 20s, he started taking part in marathons. He found that when he told someone he’d ran one, the first question was always: what was your time? “Then they’d always reply with something like ‘Oh, my brother in law did it 10 minutes quicker’,” he says. “You’d feel like saying ‘I know I didn’t win’.” This piqued his interest in starting a physical event that wasn’t all about speed. The Iron Man brand, which puts on a range of triathlons and runs, offered Dean a proven business model. “I didn’t even know Iron Man was a company, it kind of seems dumb looking back, but I thought maybe it was a not-for-profit or just enthusiasts putting things on. Then to find out it was owned by a private equity group I thought ‘Oh wow’. “I started thinking ‘I wonder if I could take the Iron Man model and apply it to something different’.” Hitting on an idea he could get behind Dean set to work testing it out. “When we first started it was pretty amateur. Finding a venue was hard enough. I had this beat up 15-year-old car and I’d drive around fields in New York [looking for a venue]. I eventually found this ski hill – it was literally one lift on the side of a hill – in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “Back then it was just Guy and I. The night before the event we had headlamps on and were banging signs into the ground. With hindsight, we were so disorganised.” Building the brand hasn’t been straightforward, or without controversies. The earliest of these saw Dean accused of stealing the idea by the founder of another assault course brand called Tough Guy, which Dean reviewed as part of his MBA. Dean has always denied this. However, the dispute was settled out of court in 2011 with money paid to Billy Wilson, founder of Tough Guy. Dean says: “When you start a business, it genuinely feels like the world is against you, like people are out to get you.” But now the business, which is completely self-funded, is a sophisticated machine running events across the world including the US, Europe, Australia and Asia. There is a team of four engineers in New York that design Tough Mudder obstacles. The business then works with design company IDEO to test them. Dean says: “They do anthropological design, so they see how people interact with things, how they use space.” Tough Mudder aims to make each obstacle physically and mentally challenging and to require an element of teamwork. It has warehouses in Southampton in the UK and the US Midwest. “For a big event we have four trucks and trailers, they come in and it’s basically a travelling circus,” says Dean. Taking the brand across borders has required minor tweaks, says Dean, such as the music played and food served. However, he does note a difference in customer behaviour. “Germans buy their tickets a year in advance. They then ask lots of customer service questions, six times more than the Australians ... Australians sign up really late. Americans buy everything [in terms of kit] for Tough Mudder. They’ll spend like $1,000. Whereas the English spend like £20 and they’ll turn up in their old PE kit.” Since 2010, the Tough Mudder community has raised more than $12m (£9.5m) for charities, including more than £2.5m for Help For Heroes. Dean, who lives in the US, was awarded an MBE for services to charitable giving through sport in the New Year’s honours list. Was this his proudest moment? “It’s nice to get recognised in the honours,” he says. “My parents were very happy to go to Buckingham Palace.” But, he adds, what gives him a real boost are the stories of Tough Mudder “heroes” who’ve faced adversity and can gain a sense of achievement from taking part. One example he gives is of a group of fathers of the children who were killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in 2012. He saw one of the fathers speak about taking part. “By no means am I suggesting that they did a Tough Mudder and everything was fine, clearly things will never be fine again; but we offer something that people can focus on, can train for, they can some gain confidence knowing that they’ve done that.” Sign up to become a member of the Guardian Small Business Network here for more advice, insight and best practice direct to your inbox.
News Article | February 22, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding FinLab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. officially launched its third annual $3 million challenge to identify tech-enabled innovations that improve the financial health of Americans. The $30 million, five-year virtual lab initiative unveiled Financial Health as the broad theme for its third-year challenge, with a special interest in solutions geared toward the unique needs of often overlooked segments, including people of color, the aging, people with disabilities and low-income women. FinLab provides each winning organization with $250,000 in capital, support from FinLab operating partners IDEO.ORG and ideas42, strategic guidance from its industry-leading advisory council, and resources from founding partners CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, including the JPMorgan Chase employee mentorship program. The importance of this new challenge topic was determined using CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Survey, JPMorgan Chase Institute research as well as research from other thought leaders. “The consumer impact of FinLab companies to date has been really astounding,” said Ryan Falvey, Managing Director at CFSI. “The 18 organizations supported by the lab so far have cumulatively grown to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health — 10 times the consumer base they served before joining the lab. First year Lab winner Digit, for example, has helped clients save more than $350 million. And EARN, part of the lab’s second class, found that 83 percent of its clients develop a habit of savings, with low-income households saving an average of $558 over six months. We expect this level of impact to continue with the next class of FinLab innovators.” “Technology can help us reach overlooked populations with more affordable and convenient financial products and services that can promote financial health,” said Colleen Briggs, Executive Director, Community Innovation, JPMorgan Chase. “But to unlock this potential, we want to see more innovators who understand these communities and are designing solutions that meet their needs and preferences.” Research shows that certain segments of the population are disproportionately struggling with their financial health. FinTech innovators interested in joining FinLab’s third year class can now complete and submit an application at http://finlab.cfsinnovation.com. There are two “rounds” for this year’s challenge, with deadlines set for March 16 and April 27, 2017. Winners will be announced on stage at the EMERGE Forum 2017, held June 15-17 in Austin, Texas. Also today, FinLab celebrated the culmination of its second cohort of nine fintech innovators. FinLab’s first and second challenges, focused on solving consumer cash flow issues and financial shocks, respectively, drew more than 600 total applications from companies and nonprofit organizations serving more than 10,000,000 Americans combined. To date, the Financial Solutions Lab has supported 18 financial technology companies offering innovative financial products to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health, a 10x growth since joining the lab. Collectively, FinLab companies have raised over $100,000,000 in capital since joining the program. The two FinLab classes to date include Albert, bee, EARN, EarnUp, eCreditHero, Everlance, Remedy, Scratch, and WiseBanyan from the just-completed Year Two, and Ascend Consumer Finance, Digit, Even, LendStreet, PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust, Prism, Propel, Puddle and SupportPay from Year One. “Creating new products is difficult, particularly in a space dominated by a few large players,” said Sameh Elamawy, co-founder of Scratch. “Having CFSI's knowledge and connections at our fingertips, as well as the resources of our mentors at JPMorgan Chase, has made a tremendous difference in our product design.” Leigh Phillips, CEO of nonprofit Lab member EARN, echoes those sentiments. "Our experience with the Lab has far exceeded any expectations we may have had," said Phillips. "In just a few short months, we've expanded our user base more than ten-fold across all fifty states and we can directly attribute those new savers to connections that the FinLab helped us make." “Working-age people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be living in poverty as those without disabilities (28.5% compared with 11%),”said Tom Foley, Deputy Director, World Institute on Disability. “Shining a light on the unique challenges that this population faces, in an effort to identify financial tools to support their financial health and stability, is critically important. World Institute on Disability applauds the Financial Solutions Lab and looks forward to being a part of this important work.” "It's no small feat to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health," said Andrea Levere, President of CFED. "As a member of the FinLab's Advisory Council, I've been greatly impressed with the quality and innovation of the companies supported by this program. I'm excited to see real financial solutions directed to helping consumers who are often overlooked." “We all need safe ways to help build, manage, and protect savings over our lifetimes. With increasing longevity and a growing aging population, it has never been more urgent to solve these challenges,” said AARP Chief Public Policy Officer Debra Whitman, Ph.D. “AARP applauds the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Solutions Lab for launching their competition to develop innovative approaches to help families build and maintain their financial resilience as they age.” “Now more than ever, older Americans are facing increasing levels of debt and financial insecurity,” said Laura Carstensen, Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “Innovation is critical to tackling this issue and we are encouraged to see the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Solutions Lab challenging the fintech industry to play an important role.” About the Financial Solutions Lab The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. The lab will launch a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges. It will provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health. For more information, visit http://finlab.cfsinnovation.com. About the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) CFSI is the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to building a more robust financial services marketplace with higher quality products and services. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI informs, advises, and connects members of its network to seed the innovation that will transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to www.cfsinnovation.com and follow on Twitter at @CFSInnovation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its JPMorgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com. ii JPMorgan Chase Institute, Coping with Costs: Big Data on Expense Volatility and Medical Payments. In its Coping with Costs report, JPMorgan Chase Institute defines “extraordinary payments” as large in magnitude: At least $400 in magnitude and more than 1 percent of annual income; and unusual: More than 2 standard deviations away from the individual’s normal monthly mean expense in this category. iii (NDI, Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, forthcoming)