Evanston and Skokie, their example is a New story of diversity, in doing so, defining a democracy-in-evolution competitive advantage for the U. S. The New Tales of Two Cities: Skokie and Evanston.
An interesting phenomenon happens on Cinco de Mayo, Latinos and non-Latinos, Mexicans and non-Mexican Hispanics celebrate.
As a Presidential Candidate you have good reasons to join the celebration by supporting comprehensive immigration reform, read Cinco de Mayo.
Civil and Materials, Chemical, Bio, Electrical and Computer, and Mechanical-Industrial young engineers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are designing: clothes to sense objects, waterways to combat Asian Carp fish invasions in filtering systems, lake waves to harvest energy, new processes to minimize shale production emissions,… to name a few of the 75 projects exhibits at UIC Expo26, Designing our World on April 21, 2015.
Over 200 engineering students are indeed designing our world. In doing so, they are demonstrating that the U. S. is ready to maintain its competitive edge in a multi-powers world.
She kept track of every dollar she made as a baby sitter; her father would match each dollar she saved. Today, Shari Greco Reiches, a women in numbers, has it all: A business, flexibility for her family, and financial success. How did she do it? At her Capital Management, LLC offices in Skokie, Illinois, Shari talked about how she got started, her journey and, in her words “the fallacy of perfect balance”.
No controversy could had derailed Super Bowl XLIX. Why did not the atmosphere affect the other team’s balls? It was no time to ask. Spoiler ad alerts on check and themed food ready, a record 112M+ watched the game on TV (128M during the last minutes), 1.3M Web-streamed and many posted 28M+ tweets. It was football time.
For me, it was culture observation time, through the eyes of football.
In his birthday, what would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say about complex and painful problems today? Listen-up.
2015 Strategy Essentials is a powerful, short read for senior management, marketing, public relations, branding, creative and related business professionals. Distilled through hundred of trends, I discuss a few mega trends with strategic impact for 2015.
Juxtaposition talks to stimulate thinking, futuristic views to visualize as plausibility, and novel initiatives to fill the spirit, last month’s Chicago Ideas Week 2014 delivered.
Visual summaries with suggested follow-up actions are in http://www.chicagoideas.com and there is plenty commentary via social media #CIW. The following are some personal observations.
Like crossed rubber bands, our minds pushed, pulled and eventually stretched throughout the week. The sensorial and mental talks balanced contemplative and doable ideas, each connected through the passion for finding a better way.
Food experimentation: Scott Heimendinger combined engineering tricks with culinary interests in absurd experimentation that is resulting in new concoctions. Who does not like to play in the kitchen? It was my favorite laboratory growing up.
Food provenance as birth of flavor: Acclaimed Chef Dan Barber, is looking deeper into earth and environment quality to add flavor to foods. Starting with nutrients on the ground to using the 87% of the wind fish that is usually discarded and turning it into succulent dishes, Barber reminds me of my Grandmother Esperanza. She fed the earth and looked far and wide for the best tasting seeds to grow. And she could make a gourmet meal from the smallest, unthinkable parts of any animal. Nothing would go to waste with the right flavoring.
Personal tech: Radio DJs joke that having our cell phones near to us is more important than sex. Teasing aside, our relationship with our electronic devices is personal. Our phones are becoming not just a tool, but an extension of ourselves, and that is without using that much robotics technology, just the rudimentary Siri.
Music universality: Music, rhythms do not know languages. Notes transcend our senses and drives our moods without notice. Tod Machover from MIT Media Labs demonstrated that even people who cannot communicate due to debilitating diseases, hear and feel music.
Music is underutilized.
Ambassador Robert Ford delivered a political overview that kept you wanting to know and understand more than news coverage, ‘expert’ commentators and party lines offer. It made me realize how little we know about deep, complex issues and how busy we are to find out, absorb or engage in meaningful dialogue about them. What are we afraid of?
Creative classes: A hands-on approach through classes and laboratories was a key feature throughout the week. I cannot draw a stick man even if my life depended on it, but it would had been nice to take a class by an artist. Take time to play, was the message.
Memorization unlimited: I do not remember the last time I had to memorize anything. We look things up, copy and paste into our super phone assistants and are ready. A technique for memorization by relating to space, familiar images and ignoring spelling but focusing on sounds spellbound the audience. We can indeed learn a forgotten art, which is more important than ever as computers could threaten our memorization abilities if we are not careful.
Honesty in lies: Penn & Teller, sophisticated magician duo, reminded us about being authentic and honest in what we do, even if it is all lies. Something to think about when using images, tweeting, and blogging without clear attribution to originators.
Yoga and meditation are no longer exports from Asian cultures and 1960s hippies. Meditation and yoga in the workplace, at home and instead of a sport is becoming popular as we seek quiet times from digital over stimulation.
Embracing Death: A talk about pop culture touched on the idea that is okay to talk about death as a normal life occurrence. My Mexicans friends know how to ‘talk, dance, embrace and celebrate death’ not just the Day of the Dead.
Diversity through representation: African-American speakers included a young politician, few entertainers and activists; also there were a couple of speakers with Latino sounding names and many women, the openly gay and transgender. It’s a good start.
“What’s better than nice?” said Emmy-Award nominated Joan Cusack concluding an iconoclastic interview during the Creative Process session.The existential ‘how to be happy’ —from within and by serving others—became a mantra for many speakers.
Anyone can take action, as did a young tinkerer when disassembled an ink jet printer to transform it into her eye shadow custom-printer. The presentation was an example of what I call in the innovation field the “DIY” or do-it-yourselves process tor innovation enabled through technology and knowledge accessibility.
Many entrepreneurs are doing the same with creative, artistic shoes, foods and levitating tables designs.
Several unique and heart-warming non-for-profit organizations tackling women health, hunger, penal injustices and other worthy causes are taking it upon themselves to help one person at a time, what governments cannot do.
We are in the Wild-Wild-West of technology. Even the most radical thinkers are starting to believe that it is time to reign in for order, quality and safety. I believe that adopting and following core common ways, values and principles will prepare us for the next stage in the digital revolution. Otherwise, we may miss it or blunder it unnecessarily.
In the marketing field, somebody mention ‘share of preference’. I advocate that given unlimited choices, marketers need to be early adopters of ‘share of preference’ and not wait until share of market to tell strategy decisions. Similarly, just as share of the cupboard is a better indicator of brand strength than market share in consumer package goods, share of performance —how much time does a consumer spend with your product— is going to become an important marketing metric to measure and track.
Another element that was common throughout was the concept of businesses whose value is to curate other products and services. For the curator, it is a high-margin model; for the curated it commoditizes brand equity. The issue is not discussed in these terms, yet.
Innovation inspired by cultural traits, customs, values, food and ancient ways of living abounded. The question that was not asked nor answered: when benefitting from these type of inspiration, are originators compensated? Based on a previous experience running a small online art business, ‘inspiration’ and sharing of cultures is prevalent by developed groups and countries. Who is going to protect those whose only assets are the way they live, their cultural heritage?
Management advice: Assign questions.
A last thought:
I believe the next technology revolution is about to start, with exponential growth never imagined. Discounting past lessons, structures and laws will diminish its success. Building on the good mastered, and creating-leveraging technology, investment, knowledge and imagination in new ways is the ideal combination. Every one and everything grows through maturity. Millennials also grow old.
People, all kinds of people, are and will forever be the greatest asset. The hundred of students invited is a good start. How can they stay engaged?
What does it mean to you Hispanic Awareness month?
1. If you have a son or daughter older than 18, he/she is 20% likely to marry a Latino/a.
2. If you move, your next door neighbor could be Latino/a.
3. If you sell Consumer products such as food, clothes, cars, baby products, housewares, Latinos are your lead users and main social media chatty advocates, over indexing In consumption by 15-50%.
4. If you need to take care of your loved ones: elderly parents, children and yourself when you get sick.
5. If you are in politics and need voters as 2000+ U. S. born Latinos turn 18 years old every day of the year.
6. If you are Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, your business may not exist or would be much smaller.
7. If you want your big or small city income to grow, even in Arizona.
8. If you would like to expand your business to take advantage of about one billion habitants in the Americas hemisphere.
9. If you do not like to grow, harvest and ship your food; wash your car, cut the grass, or serve, cook and clean your own dishes at a restaurant.
10. If you want to defend Your country, as many Latinos have done during decades.
Celebrate Hispanic heritage month, celebrate an intrinsic part of America history and future.
Oh, it passed. Prepare for next year.
-Hispanic youth account for 20% of all 18-24 years old and are making big strides in college enrollment, accounting for 16.3% of all 4-year college enrollment. Pew Hispanic Research.
-As of 2005, the proportion of Hispanics in the $75,000 income household level increased to 18%, higher in New York, Miami and Chicago. Many dynamics explain this such as the polling of income among family members, younger age generation growing income opportunities and sheer growth rates as a percentage of the population. Source: Hispanics in the United States: A Demographic, Social, and Economic History
-Hispanic consumers act as accelerators in growing categories and brakes in declining ones, The Hispanic Imperative 2012, Nielsen.
-800,000 Hispanics turn 18 years old every year, Pew Hispanic Research.
-Hispanics increasingly account for a larger proportion of any city revenues and taxes. Arizona is one example, per Arizona Daily Star.
-Hispanic population accounts for 56% of the total population growth in the last ten years.
This week marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. September 16 was Mexican Independence Day celebration. During this Hispanic Heritage Month I am thinking about Puerto Rico, a part of the U.S. often ignored unless in tourist ads.
Cristóbal Colón was in such awe when he set foot on Borinquén (Taíno Indians name) that he called it ‘La Isla del Encanto’, the Enchantment Island. The island-nation preserves its natural beauty in the middle of a bustling society. Sustained economic development, although superior than most of Latin America, lags its potential. I am referring to the potential to raise a stagnant economy and living conditions of Puerto Ricans as well as an investment that could complement the U.S. economy.
How? Here are some examples:
Ready talent: About 25% of the 3.5M Puerto Ricans living on the island are bilingual and many, through Pell Grant aid, are also college educated yet underemployed. This relatively young, educated and English-speaking population could become a catalyst in filling hundred of thousands open high-tech jobs both at the professional and trade levels.
Culture: Puerto Ricans have lived in a dual – American and Latin – society for over 100 years, already mastering multidimensional approaches to the challenges of an increasingly diverse society. They are also primed as easy bridges between Latin America and the U.S.
Puerto Rico is a good economic partner for the U.S. Stable politically, Puerto Ricans are proud of who they are, but also value the relationship with the U.S. Setting aside referendums for full statehood, during the last century over 95% of the population consistently voted for a relationship with the United States.
Facing economic challenges that are exponential in nature versus the mainland, Puerto Ricans demonstrated integrity in the way they have handled investors during the recent crisis. Some are taking note. Quoted The New York Times this week: “hedge funds, including Perry Capital, Fir Tree Partners and other members of the self-styled Ad Hoc Group of investors, have bought $4.5 billion of Puerto Rico government guaranteed and tax-supported bonds — or roughly 10 percent of the total — making them a financial and political force on the island.”
Armed forces: Already active in the Armed Forces since the 1920s, Puerto Ricans are passionate patriots. Building on multi-cultural and multi-lingual background, soldiers could become an asset in learning Arabic languages and connecting with diverse groups around the world.
Geography: Most of Puerto Rico has rich, moist soil. My mother used to throw seeds out of the window and the next week plants were growing. The land is ready for a sustainable, yet organized way to produce exotic fruits and vegetables, organic produce or to build biomes that would mimic world forests as laboratories for new medicine discoveries.
I would not want to see all pristine land disappear, but there are many undiscovered treasures in real state at prices that are frankly a bargain. Investors need to think beyond the tourist industry.
Deep ports: The name Puerto Rico means rich port. The San Juan Bay is one of the deepest points in the Atlantic Ocean. Could these ports house ships from a new local assembly or manufacturing center? There are plenty tourists ships.
Investment through high interest debt is an opportunity but not enough. The ecosystem in support of the investment must also be addressed.
As a Puerto Rican I know that on the island, you think small. The investor side and the local governments often ignore the potential that a small and rich island can offer. It is time to change that.
Let’s do not ignore Puerto Rico’s beauty nor its economic potential enchantment.