A lifelong Harvard perspective

first_imgAfter 18 years of service on Harvard’s two governing boards, including the past four as senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation, Robert Reischauer will step down on June 30, ending an official relationship with Harvard that began — unofficially — as a kid running around campus getting into trouble.Reischauer, son of the late Harvard Professor and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Edwin Reischauer, grew up in faculty housing near the Harvard Herbaria. He matriculated in Harvard College already well-versed in knowledge unknown to most classmates: the layout of Harvard’s subterranean steam tunnels, information that he delighted in sharing.Reischauer received a bachelor’s degree in 1963 before heading to Columbia University for graduate studies. Over his long career as one of the nation’s leading experts on the federal budget, Reischauer worked at The Brookings Institution, the Congressional Budget Office, which he directed from 1989 to 1995, and the Urban Institute, of which he was president from 2000 to 2011 and is now president emeritus. He was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers in 1996 and joined the Corporation in 2002.Reischauer was a key architect of the governance reforms, approved in December 2010, that ushered in historic changes to the structure and work of the Corporation. Among other things, those changes nearly doubled the size of the Corporation from seven to 13 members; added a more elaborate committee structure to focus on core fiduciary matters such as finance, capital planning, and governance; and introduced norms for Corporation members’ length of service, including a presumptive 12-year maximum.Reischauer, stepping down after completing his own dozen years of service, spoke with the Gazette to offer his thoughts on the institution and the challenges and opportunities it faces, and personal reflections on his long association with Harvard.GAZETTE: As you look back on your years of service — six years on the Board of Overseers, 12 years on the Corporation, four years as senior fellow — how would you describe your experience?REISCHAUER: I would recommend it to anyone. It’s an unbelievable opportunity, to be part of the governance of what I regard to be the greatest university in the world. I think that’s true from an intellectual and research standpoint, but also because so much of Harvard’s research and education is focused on making the world a better place to live in.You have a feeling [when serving on the governing boards] that you’re making a difference. In some organizations, boards give a stamp of approval to decisions that, by and large, are made by management, and the boards don’t fully engage with policies and initiatives that they’re endorsing. But I can say that has not been the case in my 18 years at Harvard. Presidents and other leaders have seriously weighed in and in many cases adopted suggestions, advice, and approaches that those of us on the governing boards have proposed.Harvard is an unbelievable institution. In the morning when I wake up and read the Gazette, read the Crimson, look at other postings [about the University], I want to jump on the plane and come up here and participate, learn, express an opinion on a controversial issue. There’s just so much going on, and the individuals who are engaged in the University are so talented.GAZETTE: How has the University changed over the course of your involvement?REISCHAUER: It has changed in very fundamental ways.First, I would say that there is an emphasis on teaching and learning, and how to innovate, that has grown over the last two decades. More professors are focusing on the learning process and seeking ways to make their teaching interesting and engaging to students.Second, there’s a lot of new, interesting research going on. This, of course, has always been true at Harvard, but today we’re harvesting the fruits of a period — one that has clearly come to an end — when federal and foundation funding for research was fairly robust.Third, Harvard is much more informed in its decision-making processes. It has analyses and information that have improved the quality of its policies and its decisions.Look at something like [Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity] Judy Singer’s work on faculty and faculty diversity: It looks at where the University’s faculty members come from and who they are, what countries they come from, their gender and family circumstances, all with an eye to how we can make Harvard an institution where they feel at home, where they feel they can be most productive.I think Harvard has become much more aware of the consequences of different decisions, what the institution’s risk profile is, how we can maintain quality and experiment with new approaches while avoiding excessive risk. This is a new emphasis, and, of course, I think the governance reforms have done a good deal to improve decision-making as well.GAZETTE: How have the governance reforms gone?REISCHAUER: The governance reforms have matured at this point. With Robert Rubin and me going off of the board [after 12 years each], the Corporation has begun the regular renewal process that the reforms envisioned.In addition, I think the Corporation has gained the capacity to be a stronger and more productive contributor to decision-making at Harvard today because its expansion has created a broader range of perspectives and deeper expertise than existed before the reforms. It has engaged, through its new committees, with individuals who have special knowledge in particular areas, including capital planning and facilities, finance, or alumni development. These individuals, who are not members of the governing boards but are part of the governing process, have added a great deal to the quality of the recommendations that are provided to the Corporation for decisions.GAZETTE: Could you say more about expansion of the numbers of fellows? How has that gone?REISCHAUER: The rough doubling of the size of the Corporation has naturally meant that we now have individuals with wider and deeper expertise than we could achieve with a smaller group. That’s not because the smaller group was not very talented, but because there is a limit to how much any individual can bring.The concern I had as we were going through the reform process was that the nature of the discussion at Corporation meetings would change. I was concerned that a larger body would lead to more reticence, or that members might coalesce into groups that had different views on a certain topic.The Corporation is very unusual. It is in some ways like a family sitting around a dinner table arguing, perfectly open in their discussion, knowing that they won’t be sent away if they don’t agree with the majority opinion. It’s very refreshing to see the range of advice and perspective focused on an issue or a problem.And that hasn’t changed at all. If you were a fly on the wall, you could not guess which fellows were on the Corporation before the expansion and which were new members. That was deliberate. We expanded very gradually to be sure that the candid, open quality of our discussions didn’t change dramatically. We brought in, as the first three new members, individuals who had a good deal of experience with Harvard and its governance. Susan Graham and Joe O’Donnell had both served for six years as Overseers and had been very engaged in other ways. Larry Bacow has three Harvard degrees and, having been president of a neighboring university [Tufts], had a lot of familiarity with the challenges and opportunities that Harvard faced.GAZETTE: What do you see as current challenges facing the University? We’re in the middle of a capital campaign, for one.REISCHAUER: That’s not a challenge; that’s an opportunity. I think the campaign is going very well, and the credit goes to the careful planning and consensus building that was done in the three previous years, during the quiet phase. Part of the credit also goes to Harvard’s alumni and friends who recognize that a gift to Harvard is an investment, not just in the University but in the betterment of humankind. It’s a recognition that what Harvard does affects the world in so many positive ways, that you’re being philanthropic well beyond the borders of Cambridge and Boston when you give to Harvard.I think the campaign so far is a tremendous success, and I have every reason to believe that will continue. We have great leadership — three members of the Corporation and several Overseers are among the co-chairs of the campaign — and we have a president who is enthusiastically involved and extraordinarily talented at presenting Harvard’s case. We have entrepreneurial deans and faculty members who are adept at describing needs in the Schools. But all of that doesn’t get you to the goal line if you don’t have alumni and friends who believe in the institution and its mission.GAZETTE: What are other challenges facing Harvard?REISCHAUER: One of the huge challenges facing the University is that the financial model that has undergirded high-quality research universities in the past will need to be reconsidered and adapted to sustain these institutions in the future.Federal funding for research is not going to grow at the rate that it has over the last 30 years. Tuition is not going to rise as rapidly as it has in the past, and the investment returns from our endowment will have a difficult time matching the returns of the past several decades.At the same time, opportunities to slow the growth of costs will not be easy to achieve. As we talk about digital learning and other innovations, we demand higher quality, but higher quality almost inevitably means higher costs.GAZETTE: In your different relationships with this institution, which have ranged from student to senior fellow, is there a particular memory that you have or a particular sense of Harvard as a place that has meant something to you personally?REISCHAUER: Well, as you may know, I grew up on Divinity Avenue in a house that has since been torn down. There were two yellow houses, built for past presidents of Harvard, and after World War II, they rented them out to faculty.Until I was in fifth or sixth grade, we lived in one of those houses, sharing it with another family. So, in many respects, I was a child of this institution. As I’ve told many people, I got my introduction to the Harvard steam tunnels through that house and became quite an expert in where they went. When I came here as a student, I introduced my roommates to the steam tunnels, and we traveled underground at night.Also, over near the Divinity School, there’s a building where the Harvard piano repair facility is today [Vanserg Hall]. What I remember most was that it had the machine with the cheapest Cokes: just a nickel. As little kids, we used to go and buy our Cokes there. Has there been change at Harvard? Yes, there has. The price of Coke has gone up.last_img read more

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True Confession: ‘What If I told Him I Loved Him?’

first_imgIt was one of those days, the sun had just begun to set as I made my way home from my office feeling very exhausted and wondering how I was going to make it home on time to release Alice; my son Abraham’s nanny off her duty. While standing at the intersection of Carey and Lynch Street not knowing which way would be best to stand in order to quickly catch a cab, there to my surprise a green Range Rover pulled over right in front of me.At first, I hesitated because the vehicle had tinted windows and I was afraid of entering in an unknown car not knowing what might happen to me. But taking into consideration how difficult it was trying to catch a taxi at that particular hour, nearing dusk, I walked to the vehicle. To my surprise there sat in the driver’s seat my long lost ‘crush’ Joe who I had not seen in a little over five years. Seeing this guy again after so long brought back a fresh memory of feelings I had for him which, I had thought, with time would heal but I guess I was wrong because looking into his face brought a shiver into my body that only one that has an emotional control over me, could. I was really excited to see my old crush once more with hopes and thoughts that maybe it was fate that brought him back into my life, most especially the fact that I was now a single woman. Quickly, I hurried into the car with so much hope! As I entered the vehicle I noticed another guy sitting in the passenger’s seat who I later found out was his new best friend. And then the conversation started:Me: Gosh! It’s been ages! Where have you been all these years?Joe: I was in Ghana for a while and came back last year.Me: Wow and you did not even bother checking up on me after all my inquiries about you?Joe: No it’s not like that, I have been asking about you but most of my friends didn’t seem to know you. Plus I lost all my contacts when I lost my phone.Me: Anyway it’s all in the past now. I’m so glad to see you. So do you still live on Duport Road?Joe: No, I moved on the Old Road (hesitating a little when he said that).Me: Oh good! You’re not far from me because I live right at the Airfield shortcut.My expectation was high, hoping, now that we’ve seen each other again, maybe it was fate and this time around we could actually start something intimate; remembering how he had chased me for over seven years and at that time I had told him I was saving myself for marriage. I was 80% sincere about my response to him but half of it was also due to the fact that I was afraid of getting my heart broken. He had recently come out of college and wasn’t ready for any kind of serious relationship, at least that was what I thought. But it still didn’t change the fact that I had feelings for him and all I did was to suppress those feelings at the time. Seeing him all over made me realize how much I still wanted him. So engrossed in our conversation, I had totally forgotten that there was someone else in the car with us; until Joe began to struggle with his response when I asked him where exactly on the Old Road he was living. And that’s when his friend decided to break the ice!Friend: But are you not going to tell her the truth?Me: Tell me what truth?Friend: (Thrusting a wedding invitation card in my hand) He’s getting married in two weeks and he lives with his fiancé on the Old Road.I couldn’t believe what I heard. My heart sank because my hope was shattered. My entire soul left my body for at least 30 seconds; disappointment was an understatement! My ears could not believe what they had just heard; my heart refused to send the message to my brain, that my long-lost love was getting married to another woman. Immediately my mind shut down with only seven thoughts of “What If” questions for me to consider.What if he was the one for me? What if I had not refused his love? What if I hadn’t told him I was keeping myself for marriage? What if I tried to change his mind? What if I told him that I loved him? What if I offered him all that he ever wanted; my body, soul, heart and mind? Would all of these make any difference now that I knew he had found love elsewhere? What if this was all an illusion, a hallucination of what my mind wanted it to be?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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DONEGAL STARS TO APPEAR ON BBC TV SHOW TONIGHT

first_imgTomaí Ó Conghaile, Máire Bhreathnach, Moya Brennan agus Daithí Murray who will appear on tonight’s show.The new series of I Lár an Aonaigh starts tonight at 10pm on BBC Two with a strong Donegal influence.The first episode, which starts at 10pm, features Moya Brennan, the First Lady of Celtic Music.Moya lets us in on her exciting new animation project, which has just been unveiled, and reveals the details of her yet-to-be-announced tour dates – including a gig in Derry City. The show also feature the new Acadamh Ceoil Caoimhín Uí Dhochartaigh (The Caoimhín Ó Dochartaigh Music Academy) that has opened at Derry’s Cultúrlann, including interviews with Cultúrlann CEO Gearóid Ó hÉara and Liz Doherty, Buncrana’s renowned fiddler & Doctor of Traditional Music at University of Ulster, Magee.The Acadamh Ceoil is a bespoke music academy specialising in traditional music, build in the renovated former Great James Street Presbyterian Church and manse.The former church is an atmospheric performance space (where Other Voices has been filmed), while the manse is a learning space where traditional instruments and singing are taught for all ages and abilities, along with masterclasses and workshops for more accomplished musicians and music teachers. Other exciting projects on the horizon include a foundation degree in music accredited by the University of Ulster and programmes with Musicians Without Borders.Nora ‘Frank’ Ní Raghallaí from Rannafast, County Donegal allowed the cameras into her home to explore food waste in the kitchen of her adoptive home in Cullyhanna, County Armagh, and offered some tips on the things she does to cut down of food waste. Beidh I Lár an Aonaigh, irischlár Gaeilge BBC NI, ag teacht ar ais don tríú sraith Dé Luain 2 Samhain ag 10 i.n. ar BBC Two NI. Beidh Máire Bhreathnach agus Tomaí Ó Conghaile, láithreoirí an chláir, ar ais le tuilleadh comhrá bheoga, scéalta spéisiúla agus an chuid is fearr den cheol áitiúil.I gcuideachta Mháire agus Thomaí, beidh Lynette Fay, Dáithí Ó Muirí agus Conall Ó Máirtín agus beidh siad ag cur meascán de scéalta, de chomhrá agus de léirithe i láthair don lucht féachana. Beidh aíonna sa tsraith sé seachtaine seo fosta, mar shampla Moya Brennan ó Chlannad, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, tráchtaire CLG, agus Seán T Ó Meallaigh, aisteoir i Vikings.Chomh maith leis sin, beidh seisiúin cheoil in I Lár an Aonaigh, seisiúin a taifeadadh ag stiúideonna Start Together san Oh Yeah Music Centre i mBéal Feirste. Tá léirithe eisiacha taifeadta ag bannaí ar nós Rainy Boy Sleep, New Portals, Breaking Trad, Inni-K agus bannaí eile nach iad faoi choinne I Lár an Aonaigh, agus beidh siad seo ar fáil ar BBC ar líne ag bbc.co.uk/gaeilgeMar a dúirt léiritheoir na sraithe, Michael Fanning: “Tá an-áthas orainn sraith eile de I Lár an Aonaigh a thabhairt ar ais. Tá réimse leathan scéalta spéisiúla sa tsraith seo, ó Chogadh Cathartha na Spáinne go mórcheist na cibearbhulaíochta. Tá cuma iontach maith ar na seisiúin cheoil agus ní taise don fhuaim é. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh muid ag roinnt seisiúin eisiacha ar líne ó na bannaí atá againn – mar sin de, bí cinnte iad a sheiceáil ag bbc.co.uk/gaeilge agus ar leathanach Facebook BBC Gaeilge!”Is léiriú teilifíse de chuid Below The Radar é I Lár an Aonaigh do BBC NI, le maoiniú ó Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann.Series producer Michael Fanning said: “We are delighted to be bringing back another series of I Lár an Aonaigh. This series features a wide range of interesting stories from the Spanish Civil War to the issue of Cyber Bullying. The music sessions look and sound great. We’re also sharing exclusive online sessions from our bands – so make sure you check them out at bbc.co.uk/gaeilge and on the BBC Gaeilge Facebook page!” I Lár an Aonaigh is a Below The Radar TV production for BBC Northern Ireland with funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Irish Language Broadcast Fund.DONEGAL STARS TO APPEAR ON BBC TV SHOW TONIGHT was last modified: November 1st, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BBCdonegalMoya BrennanTV showlast_img read more

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49ers mailbag: What to make of Garoppolo’s completion rate?

first_imgSANTA CLARA – After four straight days of applying sunscreen, rotating notepads and studying 49ers practices, it’s safe to break out the first mailbag of training camp (questions submitted via Twitter and Instagram):Is Jimmy G struggling as much as his completion percentage may indicate? (@DalmatianDiva)First, be happy his left knee looks healthy. He’s enduring a lot of reps after September’s ACL Armageddon. His 50.0 completion percentage (24 of 48) reflects more than rusty passes sailing …last_img read more

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Warriors’ Eric Paschall out vs. Kings, will return Wednesday in Portland

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Warriors rookie forward Eric Paschall (hip) will sit out Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings but will return for Wednesday’s game in Portland, head coach Steve Kerr said.Paschall, 23, will miss his second-straight game with left hip soreness. The Warriors are being careful with their standout rookie, deciding it best to give him another game off as to not risk long-term injury.In 25 games (19 starts), Paschall has averaged 16.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in …last_img read more

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Conjuring Up Evolutionary Implications from Current Data

first_img(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 What does observable reality imply about unobservable reality?  Some scientists say, a lot.  But is unobservable reality really real?  Or is it an oxymoron?  A couple of recent articles in the science media show scientists observing things in the present, then saying they have “huge implications” for things no scientist ever observed.    In one article, some Yale geologists measured the angle of magnetization in rocks in Australia in the present.  That’s the data.  The implication they drew was that a supercontinent in the unobserved past called Gondwana underwent a 60-degree rotation 525 million years ago.  According to Science Daily, one of the scientists exclaimed, “this could have had huge implications for the Cambrian explosion of animal life at that time.”    A picture of a professor and his post-doc working in a Frankensteinish lab accompanies another article in Science Daily.  They are looking at space dust.  That’s the data.  They are trying to tally up the chemicals in meteorites and dust samples brought back from space missions, and detected in spectra from the Herschel space telescope, and make their tally available to researchers around the world.  What is the significance of dust?  The article announced the implications: “Because space dust contains the basic ingredients that form planets, the University of Central Florida physicists’ analysis could provide important clues about how the solar system formed and how life emerged.”  The postdoc is learning her lessons well.  “A complete understanding of the mineralogy of cosmic dust is essential to understanding the formation and mineralogy of planets and, ultimately, to unraveling how life emerged in the universe,” she said.    An evolutionist at the University of Dusseldorf found organisms deep in the Mediterranean that can live without oxygen.  That’s the data.  It led Bill Martin to propose a radical idea about the origin of life and its subsequent evolution that shows all the other evolutionary biologists are wrong: the origin of complex life did not revolve around oxygen.  The tale told as a “hydrogen bombshell” in New Scientist conjures up the union of a bacterium and an archaeal microbe to form mitochondria.  It conjures up the Cambrian explosion.  It conjures up images of the rise and fall of oxygen, the interactions of that gas with microbes directing the course of evolution.  For example,One is that the initial rise in oxygen did not cleanse the oceans, but converted them into a stinking mess, full of hydrogen sulphide.  Far from having few refuges, anaerobes had whole oceans to themselves.  What’s more, these conditions lasted for more than a billion years, right through the period when the eukaryotes are thought to have evolved.Notice that the qualifier “the period when the eukaryotes are thought to have evolved” refers to the period, not the evolution.  Evolution was nowhere doubted in the article, though controversies about the “how” of eukaryote evolution surfaced at one point.  Author Nick Lane1 admitted that Martin and his colleague “leapt straight in at the deep end” by suggesting that the “ancestor of mitochondria… was a versatile bacterium capable of living in a variety of environments” using hydrogen or oxygen, and that by combining its resources with a bacterium, it made a “primordial pact that gave rise to the eukaryotes.”    In answer to his critics, Martin revealed something about the inability of drawing implications from other people’s data.  His critics, who “think the transformation from aerobic mitochondria to hydrogenosomes has little or nothing to do with the origins of eukaryotes,” typically use gene studies to make their point.  “Single gene studies are subject to so many artefacts that we can conclude almost nothing about deep evolutionary history from them,” Martin argued.  “Line up the same genes from the other end and you derive a totally different tree.”    Rather than learning that lesson from his own data, Martin and Nick Lane feel that if the hydrogen hypothesis is right, “the implications for complex life are striking.”  Reaching for the stars, Lane wrote, “The existence of animals that don’t need oxygen means that oxygen is not the be-all and end-all of complex life in the universe.”  Furthermore, “There was no magisterial progression from simple to complex life as oxygen levels rose; no inevitability about it,” he ended.  “Instead, there was a symbiotic union between a bacterium that could make hydrogen and an archaeal host cell that could exploit that hydrogen: a freak event that changed the world.”    Amazing, is it not, the implications that can be derived from magnetic field lines, dust, and Mediterranean microbes. 1.  Incidentally, Nick Lane, who authored the article in New Scientist, whisked by the problem of the origin of ATP Synthase (08/04/2010) by referring to it dismissively as, “the usual ATP-generating machinery driven by oxygen.”  In a book review in Science four years ago (see 03/31/2006), David Nicholls was stunned by Lane’s simplistic account of the emergence of ATP synthesis with the words, “all that the cells need to do to generate ATP is to plug an ATPase through the membrane.”  Reeling from the shock of that sentence, Nicholls responded, “Any bioenergeticist who has followed the elucidation of the extraordinary structure and mechanism of the mitochondrial ATP synthase over the past decade will pause at the word ‘all,’ because the ATP synthase—with its spinning rotor massaging the surrounding subunits to generate ATP—is without doubt the most amazingly complex molecular structure in the cell.”  Nick Lane’s book had the audacious title, Science, Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life.  For more examples of Lane’s glittering generalities in action, see 05/31/2010, 10/19/2009 and 06/15/2009.They should be weeping over the Cambrian explosion and the inability of evolution to account for the “emergence” of complex life and body plans, and they should be blushing over reducing science to “freak accidents,” but instead they are rejoicing in their own freak imaginations.    What are the implications of following their example?  If they can do it, so can we.  We can take observable reality and make up stories about unobservable realities that exist only in the imagination.  Here’s your assignment: assume a stupid thing, observe a fact, and make up a story about what it means about unobservable reality.    Here are a couple to get you started.Assumption: Everything happens according to the will of Elvis.  Data: I got a junk phone call from an airline company.  Implication: Elvis wants me to fly to Memphis.Assumption: Aliens planted gnomes on Earth to direct the course of evolution.  Data: Flies come into the house when the windows are open.  Implication: 128.523 million years ago, flies were change agents the gnomes used to pressure mammals to grow long tails as fly swatters.    See?  It’s fun.  You, too, can be a scientist.  Send in your suggestions.last_img read more

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Branson school for small business

first_img27 October 2005For the first time anywhere in the world, international tycoon Sir Richard Branson has lent his name to an educational institution – in the heart of Johannesburg.Cida City Campus, the country’s first virtually free tertiary institution, providing specialised accredited business administration degrees to disadvantaged students, officially launched the Branson School of Entrepreneurship on Wednesday.Entrepreneurship will be one of the 11 courses Cida students study in their first year at the foundation college, which bridges skills such as computing, mathematics and English, and will be offered as an elective course after that.A first batch of foundation year students has already put forward business ideas for which they will be given seed money.British entrepreneurs Tom Bloxam and Leo Caplan have each donated £100 000 (R1.2-million) to the school.“They will get a tiny bit of seed money in the first year, more in the second year and even more in the third year; and the best ideas will get even more at the end,” Branson said. The money will be in the form of a loan, which the students will have to pay back into the business seed-money kitty for use by those following them.Many of the students needed little encouraging, Caplan said at the launch. “I was at Cida this morning, and was ‘pitched’ by no fewer than four students,” he said.Walking in their footprintsTo mark the occasion Branson, with leading South African and British entrepreneurs, left his footprints behind when he placed his feet in concrete to represent “walking in the footprints of global entrepreneurs”. These symbols of inspiration will be placed at the entrance of the school at 27 Harrison Street.The building, donated and renovated by First National Bank, will be named the Nelson Mandela First National Bank Building, as it was here that the former president held meetings in his early years.Cida CEO Taddy Blecher said the school has been established to help qualified students start up and manage their own businesses.“The South African economy is dependent on entrepreneurial activity for creating economic growth and jobs, yet few young South Africans choose to start a business after their studies,” Blecher said.“A myriad reasons explain this, including the lack of role models, no access to capital or training to help them identify viable business opportunities, and the misconception that starting a business is for those who have no other choice. The school has been created to tackle these issues and arm financially disadvantaged students with entrepreneurial skill.”All students will study a module in entrepreneurship in their first year. Thereafter, they will able to specialise in entrepreneurship, entering the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in their second year at Cida.Social entrepreneurshipThe school will also focus on campaigns to boost the image of entrepreneurship as a viable career, and will offer students modules in social entrepreneurship to address social issues.“Being an entrepreneur is not only about making money,” Branson said. “You can also tackle social problems with an entrepreneurial mind. No one should develop Aids, no pregnant mother should be passing on HIV to her baby, and millions should not be dying of malaria. These are just some of the issues we will lead the school into discussing.”Branson pointed out that only 2% of entrepreneurs in South Africa have success with their businesses. “That’s a perilous situation, especially if you consider that many of them have some formal education in entrepreneurship.”Having a school like this will give people a better chance, he added. “Many will succeed and many will fail, but the confidence with which they leave there will be unparalleled.”Branson hopes that the students, by studying companies such as Virgin and working with their staff, will learn that taking a great idea and having the courage to run with it can build great 21st century businesses. “I believe that increasing entrepreneurship in this country is the golden highway to economic freedom – plus it’s an exciting and fun way to make a living.”Start-up funding for the venture comes from Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of Branson’s Virgin Group.“We have come a very long way in this country,” Blecher said. “We overcame apartheid, but the next stage of the struggle in South Africa is the need for economic democracy. We can only truly be free when we build an equal economy.”Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

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The A to Z of South African culture

first_imgSouth Africa is more than a cultural melting pot, it’s a big warm potjie of culture, full of different ingredients and yummy surprises, and developing its rich flavour over centuries. Get a taste of cultural alphabet soup from archaeology to Zulu, with a dash of Corne, jukskei, kwaito and quagga on the way.Brand South Africa reporterA is for ArchaeologyMapungubwe in Limpopo is one of the richest archaeological sites in Africa. A Shona capital inhabited between 1200 and 1650, the city was a centre for the trade in gold and ivory with the Islamic areas of the East African coast, India and China’s Song Dynasty. The Iron Age site, discovered in 1932 but hidden from public attention until only recently, has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.Blown away by MapungubweB is for BattlesTwo globally important wars took place on South African soil in the 19th and early 20th centuries: the Anglo Boer War and the Anglo Zulu War. In both, small indigenous populations fiercely opposed the heavy might of the British Empire, winning important battles before the vast imperial military machine brought them to submission.In the Anglo Zulu War, Zulu impis armed only with spears famously took on and trounced British forces armed with the most modern firepower of the time. The British were only able to defeat King Cetshwayo kaMpande’s nation after British troops were rushed to South Africa from around the Empire.The Anglo Boer War is considered the world’s first modern war. Guerrilla tactics, camouflage uniforms, concentration camps and attacks on civilian targets, all the ugly signatures of 20th century warfare, were first used in that campaign. The war killed 22 000 British soldiers, 7 000 Boers, 24 000 black men, women and children, and 22 000 white women and children, many of whom died in almost 200 concentration camps.Honouring black dead in Boer WarC is for Corne and Twakkie“So to all you golden kids out there who always believed in the Dream and shared in the Love, we just want to say: Come on! Believe it! Thanks.”Meet Corne and Twakkie, comedians and stars of The Most Amazing Show (T*M*A*S). If you’re not South African, you’ll probably find them scary. If you are you’ll find them scary anyway, but you’ll laugh a lot too. As they would say, Corne and Twakkie are totally not kak.They’re like a bad seventies flashback: mullets, insane facial hair, tight shiny shorts last worn on a high school hockey pitch in 1974, and wonderfully mangled SA English.According to their website, Corne – the Love Captain – is 6ft 4in (23in x 4in), “the fabulous host of The Most Amazing Show and part-time healer at the Dai Maharaj Centre for Healing through Eastern Eroticism.”His co-host Twakkie is 4ft 6in, and has 84 broken bones and eight metal plates. “He made a name for himself as a stuntman in the golden decade of the 1980s and still struggles to cope with the unbearable stress of stardom.”Corne & Twakkie: Most AmazingD is for DanceIn one field especially, the new freedoms of post-apartheid South Africa have brought new life – dance has became a prime means of artistic expression, with dance companies expanding and exploring new territory.Music and dance are pulling in new audiences and a number of home-grown productions, particularly those aimed at the popular market, are wowing audiences both at home and abroad.Among these are entrepreneurial producer Richard Loring’s African Footprint, which performed in London at the 2000 Royal Variety show, the musical Umoja, which has toured the world to huge critical acclaim, and the drumming feast Drumstruck, which has taken New York by storm.Afrofusion: dance in South AfricaE is for EarthThe rock formations around Barberton in Mpumalanga and Mapungubwe in Limpopo were formed in the earth’s kindergarten period, dating back billions of years. The Magaliesberg is said to be the oldest mountain range on earth. The magnificent Drakensberg range of mountains, which runs the length of the country, has been named a Unesco World Heritage site.And then there’s the Vredefort Dome. Two billion years ago a meteorite bigger than Table Mountain hit the earth 100km southwest of Johannesburg, causing a 1 000-megaton blast that vaporised 70 cubic kilometres of rock and may have changed the earth’s climate to make multicellular life possible.The resulting crater, known as the Vredefort Dome, is the oldest and largest clearly visible meteorite impact site in the world. Although now considerably eroded, the original crater was probably 250 to 300 kilometres in diameter. The Vredefort Dome is also a Unesco World Heritage site.The world’s biggest meteor craterF is for FestivalsSouth Africa has a celebration for every event, place, art form, food, drink and agricultural commodity. There’s the Ficksburg Cherry Festival, the National Arts Festival, countless mud-and-dust music festivals, hundreds of mud-and-manure farm shows, the Lambert’s Bay Kreeffees (crayfish festival), Hantam Vleisfees (meat festival) and more.The Prickly Pear Festival in Uitenhage offers traditional food such as potjiekos, home-made jam, braais and bunnychow. The Philippolis Witblits Festival celebrates a proud local tradition – witblits (Afrikaans for “white lightning”) is South African moonshine.And every year, southern right whales travel thousands of miles to the Cape south coast to mate and calve in the bays. To celebrate the season the villagers of Hermanus put on a major festival which includes the best land-based whale watching in the world.A feast of South African festivalsG is for GoldblattSouth African photographer David Goldblatt has documented his country for over 50 years, “exploring with a critical view the context in which evolve both the life of its people and the construction of its landscape,” according to the Hasselblad Foundation says.In early 2006 he was named the recipient of the 2006 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, widely regarded as the most important photographic prize in the world.His photographs have been exhibited in Europe, the US, Australia and South Africa, and form part of collections in world-class museums such as the South African National Gallery, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the New York Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.Premier photo award for GoldblattH is for HandicraftsNo doubt about it – South Africans are a crafty bunch. The country’s people produce a remarkable range of arts and crafts, working from the pavements and markets of the big cities to deep rural enclaves, with every possible form of traditional artwork – and then some.The country has a wide range of craftwork styles: tribal designs, Afro-French wirework, wood carvings, world-class pottery and bronze casting, stained glass, basket weaving, clay and stone sculpting, paper from elephant dung and ornaments made from waste.South Africa’s arts and craftsI is for Indigenous ArtThe massive Drakensberg range of mountains is the world’s largest art gallery – indoors or out – and a monument to the San Bushmen hunter-gatherers who lived there from the Stone Age until the late 19th century.Living in the sandstone caves and rock shelters of the Drakensberg’s valleys, the San made paintings Unesco describes as “world famous and widely considered one of the supreme achievements of humankind . outstanding in quality and diversity of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings . which throws much light on their way of life and their beliefs.”In 2000 Unesco named the Drakensberg as a World Heritage site, for both its natural beauty and the unique cultural heritage of the mountains’ rich store of San art.“The rock art of the Drakensberg is the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, and is outstanding both in quality and diversity of subject,” Unesco says.Rock art image galleryJ is for JukskeiA game in which the player throws a wooden pin – known in Afrikaans as a skei – at a peg in the ground, jukskei is as South African as you get. The game is said to date back to 1734, and grew out of bored transport riders passing the time by plant a stick in the ground and see who could hit it from a distance with one of the pins from the oxen yokes.Out of this developed a complicated game of skill, still played by hundreds of South Africans today. During the apartheid era the game was closely associated with the cultural identity drive of the government and actively revived and encouraged by Afrikaner nationalists – doing the game more harm than good in the long term.In 2001 South Africa’s new government launched the Indigenous Games Project, which identified jukskei as one of seven indigenous games that should be encouraged and developed.Jukskei South AfricaK is for KwaitoAs the fog of apartheid clears, South African youth culture is finding its own voice in a style of music known as kwaito and spawning a new – and profitable – industry.Summarising the state of the kwaito industry is like trying to condense the history of US hip hop music into a few pages. Some broad brushstrokes will serve as an introduction, but to fully appreciate kwaito, you’ve got to hear it for yourself.Like hip hop, kwaito is not just music. It is an expression and a validation of a way of life – the way South Africans dress, talk and dance. It is a street style as lifestyle, where the music reflects life in the townships, much the same way hip hop mimics life in the US ghetto.Just as many of the influences on hip hop come from the streets of New York and California, kwaito is known as the musical voice of young, black, urban South Africa. It’s a mixture of all that 1990s South African youth grew up on: SA disco, hip hop, R&B, Ragga, and a heavy, heavy dose of American and British house music.Kwaito: much more than musicL is for LiteratureThomas Pringle, Rider Haggard and Olive Schreiner , Wilbur Smith, JM Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Athol Fugard, Credo Mutwa, Sol Plaatjie, NP van Wyk Louw, Andre Brink, Etienne Leroux, C.Louis Leipoldt, Can Themba, Breyten Breytenbach, Alan Paton, Eugene Marais and Herman Charles Bosman all wrote from these shores.South Africa has produced two Nobel literature laureates: JM Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer. The country has had a rich history of literary output. Until relatively recently, realism dominated the production of fiction – perhaps because authors felt an overriding concern to capture the country’s turbulent history and the experiences of its people.Fiction has been written in all of South Africa’s 11 official languages – with a large body of work in Afrikaans, in particular. Many of the first black authors were missionary-educated, and the majority wrote in either English or Afrikaans. One of the first novels by a black author in an African language was Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi, written in 1930.South African literatureM is for MbubeIn 1939 a tall, shy Zulu migrant worker named Solomon Linda stepped up to the microphone and produced a three-chord song with lyrics something like “Lion! Ha! You’re a lion!”, inspired by boyhood memories of chasing lions stalking the family cattle. The song was called Mbube, Zulu for “lion”.It’s estimated that Linda received a total of 10 shillings for the song. Yet the tune went on to become Pete Seeger’s runaway hit Wimoweh, then the Tokens’ The Lion Sleeps Tonight, on to at least 160 covers, before ending up in the voices of Timon and Pumbaa, the meerkat and warthog characters in Disney’s classic movie and Broadway hit The Lion King.Along the way, it is said to have earned some US$15-million (R90-million) in royalties – but not for Linda. The musician died in 1962 with less than R100 in his bank account. His widow couldn’t afford a headstone for his grave.In February 2006, Linda’s legacy finally received some justice. After a six-year battle his daughters, who had claimed almost R10-million from copyright holder Abilene Music, settled their dispute for an undisclosed sum.Linda’s Lion sleeps – at lastN is for Nguni CattleSo you think a cow is a cow is a cow? Think again. South Africa’s indigenous Nguni cattle, long the mainstay of traditional Zulu culture, are possibly the most beautiful cattle in the world, with their variously patterned and multicoloured hides everywhere in demand.For hundreds of years, the well-being of the herds and the Zulu people have been so closely connected that cattle have become a part of the people’s spiritual and aesthetic lives. This has given rise to a poetic and complex naming practice.The fine and subtle nuance of the isiZulu language captures the delicate interrelationship between cattle terminology and the natural world, where the colour and pattern of a hide or the shape of a pair of horns is linked to images in nature.The abundant Nguni herdsO is for Owl HouseIn the remote Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda is a fascinating world of sculpture in concrete and glass, fantastic figures and mythical beasts set around a house decorated with luminous paint and multicoloured panes of glass.This is the Owl House, created by the reclusive Helen Martins and her labourer Koos Malgas in the 1940s and now regarded as a masterpiece of visionary art.In her late forties Martins found herself divorced and alone, her parents dead, and back in the tiny town in which she grew up. The Owl House was her attempt to bring light, life and colour into her lonely grey world, and soon became a major obsession.Owl House: recluse’s masterpieceP is for PalaeontologyKnown in South Africa as the Cradle of Humankind, the region of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs has one of the world’s richest concentrations of hominid fossils, evidence of human evolution over the last 3.5-million years.Found in the provinces of Gauteng and North West, the fossil sites cover an area of 47 000 hectares. The remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and hominids – our early ancestors and their relatives – are captured in a bed of dolomite deposited 2.5-billion years ago. Although other sites in south and east Africa have similar remains, the Cradle has produced more than 950 hominid fossil specimens.Sites in the area supply crucial information about members of one of the oldest hominids, the australopithecines – two-footed, small-brained primates that appeared about 5-million years ago.The Cradle of HumankindQ is for QuaggaExtinction is forever – or is it? On 12 August 1883 the last living quagga died at the Amsterdam zoo, and the world believed this unusual type of zebra had gone the way of the dodo.The quagga lived in the Karoo and southern Free State, unlike regular zebras, was striped on the front half of its body only, coloured a creamy light brown on its upper parts and whitish on its belly and legs.For the last 20 years a team of South Africans have been working to bring the beast back from the dead, with the third generation of specially bred foals now being born.Bringing back the quaggaR is for RobotSouth African English is both rich and peculiar. Here, cars stop at robots, not traffic lights. A pickup truck is a bakkie, sneakers are takkies, a hangover is a babbelas, and people greet each other with a heita or howzit.Eish! expresses surprise, frustration or outrage, and a juicy piece of gossip is likely to be greeted with a drawn-out see-ree-ous!. An particularly handy word is sharp (often doubled up for effect as sharp-sharp!), used as a greeting, a farewell, for agreement or just to express enthusiasm.Voetsek! means go away right now – or else – and a bliksem is what will happen to you if you don’t voetsek. Those who won’t voetsek and aren’t scared of a bliksem are known to skrik vir niks – unless they’re simply spookgerook.SA English is lekker, bru!S is for ShuttleworthWith an appropriate name, South African internet entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth used the millions he earned selling his company in his late twenties to become the first African in space. Joining a Russian crew on the International Space Station in 2002, SA’s Afronaut has gone on to become a major philanthropist, setting up the Mark Shuttleworth Foundation to promote science education and open-source software.Shuttleworth’s Go Open Source campaign aims to create awareness, educate and provide access to the software – which is created by volunteers and free for anyone to download, use and modify. Software developed by Shuttleworth companies includes Ubuntu, a leading open-source operating system used, among others, by Google.SA’s Afronaut back on earthT is for TsotsiTsotsi is the first South African film to win an Oscar, and has put the country’s movie industry firmly in the spotlight – and vindicated the government’s multimillion-rand strategy to increase the volume of local films and market South Africa as a film-making country.Based on acclaimed playwright Athol Fugard’s only novel, Tsotsi – the word means “thug” or “hoodlum” – tells the story of a violent young street criminal who finds redemption after he inadvertently abducts a baby during a car hijacking.The film cost $5-million to make and was filmed on location in Kliptown in Soweto, Gauteng. Written and directed by Gavin Hood, it stars Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto, Zola, Kenneth Nkosi, Mothusi Magano and Zenzo Ngqobe.Tsotsi puts SA film in spotlightU is for Unesco World HeritageDid you know that Table Mountain National Park has more plant species in its 22 000 hectares than the British Isles or New Zealand? Or that the Drakensberg has both the highest mountain range in Africa south of Kilimanjaro and the continent’s richest concentration of rock art?South Africa is home to seven Unesco World Heritage sites, places of “outstanding value to humanity”.Natural heritage sites are the St Lucia wetlands, the Cape Floral Region and the Vredefort Dome meteor impact site. Cultural heritage includes the archaeological site of Mapungubwe, and Robben Island, for centuries a jail for political prisoners – including Nelson Mandela.The Drakensberg mountain range, with its dramatic scenery and rich store of rock art, is a mixed natural and cultural World Heritage site.World Heritage in South AfricaV is for VillagesSouth African cultural villages allow tourists to experience first-hand the traditional ways of life of South Africa’s people, from the Basotho Cultural Village in the Free State, the Shakaland Zulu village in KwaZulu Natal, the Shangana Cultural Village and South Ndebele Open-Air Museum in Mpumalanga, and the Lesedi Cultural Village in Gauteng. Visitors get to eat traditional food, be entertained by traditional dance and music, and sleep in authentic dwellings. And the villages are more than a unique holiday experience: owned and run by local communities, they help uplift the often marginalised communities of rural areas.SA village tops ecotourism popsW is for WineThe vineyards of the Western Cape have been producing wine since the 17th century, with perhaps the most famous estate, Groot Constantia, established in 1685. Members of the British royal house, Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis Philippe of France, Frederick II of Prussia, the Lords Seventeen of the VOC, governors, admirals and captains coveted the Constantia label and treated their special guests to it.South Africa now has 100 200 hectares under vines for wine production, with the annual harvest some 600-million litres. The country produces 3,1% of the world’s wine and ranks as number nine in overall volume production.The Winelands are set in magnificent Cape mountain scenery, with estates offering wine tastings, restaurants and accommodation. Some of the world’s top eateries are to be found in the region.South African wineY is for YumTwo dances of the sea, four guises of salmon, iced peanut butter and kassler soup, chocolate risotto . yum, yum and yum again. And these are just the starters.Yum restaurant in Johannesburg has developed a new and funky South African cuisine, and was rewarded with an Eat Out Johnnie Walker Restaurant of the Year award in 2005.Yum has been in the top 10 restaurant list five times before. Owner and head chef Mario de Angeli (33) has no formal training, yet was named chef of the year in 2003.He describes Yum’s menu as “new South African cuisine, our interpretation of global food from South Africa – world food by South African people”.Yum: a new South African cuisineZ is for ZuluThe Zulu people are South Africa’s largest population group, with isiZulu the most common home language. They also have the country’s largest monarchy, headed by King Goodwill Zwelathini, and a rich and enduring culture going back centuries. Shaka, who ruled the Zulu in the 19th century, is possibly their most famous leader, an almost mythical figure and the stuff of legend – not to mention a fair amount of colonial fabrication.In the 19th century, the Zulu nation took on the British Empire and, armed only with spears, won stunning victories before succumbing to the relentless might of the empire. The war was the subject of the 1964 movie Zulu, starring Michael Caine. The nation has also given its name to a revered New Orleans social club: the 100-year-old Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.Zulus bring Zulus to New OrleansSouth Africa’s populationSource: South Africa History Online, Wikipedia, News24Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Automotive 2.0: The new road ahead to autonomous vehicles

first_imgWe are witnessing the rebirth of the automobile. It’s quite remarkable if we press pause to think about it. One could argue that much hasn’t changed since the first true gasoline-powered automobile was patented in July 1886 by Karl Benz. Now in the early 21st century, Google (now Waymo), Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, Ford, Volvo among others, are racing to market self-driving vehicles that will redefine our relationship with automobiles and the entire transportation industry as we know it.2021: That’s the year auto manufacturers have promised fully autonomous vehicles on the road. Unless you ask Ford, then that year is 2026. With the increasing level of activity in the autonomous space, and more companies, products, and partnerships expected to enter the fray, mapping the ecosystem proves a complex and ongoing commitment.See also: A pre-CES look at autonomous vehicles in 2017I spent the better part of 2016 and 2017 sifting through the entire ecosystem of self-driving manufacturers, automakers, startups, and investments to get an understanding of the companies and the trends driving the future of self-driving vehicles.The race to 2021 (or 2026) is officially the latest tech gold rush. With the incredible flurry of activity, that date is also ambitious considering the sheer volume of technological, societal and also governmental challenges to solve between now and then. The opportunities for innovation and invention are great for anyone working on those fronts. This is one of the reasons I set out to chart the territory.Among the mammoth challenges I faced in doing so was the process of capturing and organizing a constantly evolving industry of incumbent, new and emerging players. The resulting trend report, “The Race to 2021: The State of Autonomous Vehicles and a ‘Who’s Who’ of Industry Drivers,” tracked close to 80 companies in 11 distinct categories across 19 market applications.2021 or 2026, access to autonomous vehicles by the masses overnight is not as close as it sounds. Initial applications for self-driving cars will be strewn across vertical applications, limited to fixed public transit courses, university and business campuses, warehouses, military applications, construction, farms and fields, and inner-city transportation services where infrastructure and pedestrian laws have been adapted for safety. Over time, self-driving applications will expand as technology advances and prices come down. Initially, we identified 19 applications, but autonomous technology creates a new platform for inventors and entrepreneurs to define new mobile services…not just cars that drive themselves.To get from where we are today to the future, it helps to see the roads clearly. There are some givens but more so, many unknowns on this journey. It takes perspective, imagination and tremendous expertise to pave new roads. There are many challenges and opportunities ahead.Vehicles as Platforms – Opening up new revenue opportunitiesStartups and technology leaders are driving the accelerated innovation in autonomous technology, forcing incumbents to partner, acquire, or ramp up R&D to compete (e.g. BMW and Baidu; Fiat Chrysler and Waymo, an Alphabet company; and GM and Lyft). Toyota, Intel, and Mercedes-Benz have dedicated business units. Automakers are essentially getting into the software/hardware and utility business as future profits will depend less on manufacturing, selling and financing automobiles and more on monetizing driving and the free time passengers will have on their hands (instead of a steering wheel).Progressive automakers are repositioning their future foci away from just “making cars” to becoming mobility services and sharing companies, i.e. BMW, Daimler, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mercedes, Nissan, Tesla, VW, et al. To this trend, ride/hail companies are also attracting investments from traditional automakers to develop next-generation autonomous services.Cities must become smarter While automakers are racing to 2021 for the release of autonomous vehicles, hurdles beyond technology are also tied to the lack of city infrastructure, modernization and policies.Collaboration accelerates innovationIn what’s viewed as an atypical move, several competitive automakers are sharing mapping and environmental data to expedite the arrival of self-driving cars.Without doing so, automakers need to invest in costly third-party or proprietary technology, which requires thorough testing and results in longer development timelines.As Automotive 2.0 approaches, new jobs are being created along the way Leading automakers are struggling to attract and retain expertise and are “acqui-hiring” startups through acquisition, partnership or investment to get talent and accelerate development. Companies are racing to hire those proficient in AI, machine learning, robotics, and deep learning. Since the entire idea of the car is evolving, the design of cockpits, services, and interiors overall are ripe for innovation. This will create a need for designers, UX/UI specialists, and architects to re-imagine passenger experiences.3D mapping literally paves the way to the future of self-driving vehiclesMapping software has emerged as its own category among technology providers in the autonomous space, as 3D terrain mapping is a critical component to the effectiveness and safety of self-driving cars as they navigate their environments. Every curb, lane marking, traffic lights and signs, buildings, intersections, services, must be rendered in 3D to create a digital network and location index. Doing so, gives cars the ability to see the road in all conditions.Cars will become intelligent and create a virtual hive mind to improve transportationUnlike the interoperability conundrum facing the IoT industry, autonomous cars will be able to talk to one another (Vehicle-to-Vehicle aka V2V) to share road and environmental data. For example, cars will be able to report obstacles or hazards to following vehicles to optimize routes and prevent accidents. Additionally, Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) capabilities with allow for the exchange of information between vehicles and infrastructure and application services.Vehicles become data centersEvery aspect of the vehicle and its environment is generating unprecedented levels of data. Its estimated that one car will use 4,000GB of data per day. Machine learning, AI, deep learning, and data science overall, is need to translate everything into value. This will lead to improved or new services, increased safety, new conveniences, better parking, greater fuel efficiency, faster delivery times, cheaper insurance, integrated payment systems, personalized experiences, and disruptive innovation.Most consumers are not ready to give up drivingConsumers are skeptical and even wary of robot cars. Many believe that self-driving cars are inevitable but are content with driving. Concurrently, experts and consumers are concerned about the ethics of artificial intelligence in times of dire need.To help, automakers are ramping up their respective PR machines to introduce a more approachable narrative. New vehicles are also shipping with early driver-assist semi-autonomous features such as emergency braking, lane changing, self-parking, etc., to ease consumers into the future one feature at a time.Self-driving features is not enough to earn consumer trustConsumers are also wary of autonomous cars because they are not human. Consumers cite trust issues, fear, and ethics as reasons they have a hard time embracing the future. Cars become machines rather than traditional representations of status, ownership and pride. Consumers are aware that in certain scenarios, cars are programmed to react in ways that may injure or terminate other human beings. Automakers will need to tame fears and humanize the technologies before fully autonomous vehicle release and adoption is feasible.Social science can help humanize robot cars In addition to data science, social science is also becoming prevalent in autonomous development. Automakers such as Nissan and Audi are hiring anthropologists and social scientists to help build intelligent vehicles that can think and act more human. The aim is to teach self-driving cars to act more human in their control and on-road actions (e.g. honking, signaling other people or vehicles, moving closer to lane marketing before switching lanes). The idea is for vehicles to communicate intent and personality with pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.Autonomous car makers are also becoming data companiesCars are servers on wheels. Carmakers will also become data companies, borrowing cues from Apple, Google, and Facebook to convert data into insights and customize consumer services to deliver value-added experiences. Companies such as BMW iVentures and Toyota Research Institute are already partnering with data startups such as Nauto to share driver data as a means of more rapidly improving autonomous vehicle systems.Automotive 2.0: Redefining the Car for a New Generation of Services and ValueSelf-driving vehicles are coming soon via a self-driving truck (I’m sure). It’s not just about reacting to or living with them. It’s understanding the pieces that make up a new platform for transportation and mobile services.Even though we can neatly see the 11 categories of companies driving us toward a new future and the role they play in doing so, the incredible amount of technology, invention, design, and economies of scale happening under the hood is as or more important than the drivetrain itself. Add to that the incredible amount of innovation still coming to bring capabilities and prices to selast_img read more

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