STREETFILMS - Journey Around Copenhagen’s Latest Bicycle Innovations!
The energy embodied in the stuff of our lives represents a major—maybe the major—way that we contribute to environmental problems.
And that’s why we created this special report, The New Energy Cycle. The way that things—food, phones, cars, houses—get made and then disposed of doesn’t get enough attention.
A new series at The Atlantic’s website: The Energy in Things
Addressing the needs of child welfare professionals
by Steve Frank, IBM Vice President, Curam Software Sales On August 26, I had the pleasure of participating in a webinar focused on the challenges facing child welfare organizations and the ways in which the IBM Cúram Solution for Child Welfare can help address these challenges. Child welfare professionals and organizations are faced with a daunting task. They are literally making life and death decisions about children and their families every day. Even a decision that might, on the face of it, seem innocuous and straightforward – “Should I go visit the Smith family today?” – can have significant implications. The fact that caseworkers may be juggling caseloads of 20 or more families; that the families they serve may be receiving multiple services from various government and non-government organizations; and that each of these programs and services can have different eligibility requirements makes the job even more taxing.
Child welfare organizations need a solution that address these, and many other, challenges. They require tools that help them communicate and collaborate with the families they serve and the professionals they partner with. They need a flexible solution that allows them to quickly and easily respond to changes in workload, changes in policy and legislation, changes in eligibility and other rules, and changes in business processes. Child welfare organizations need to be able to track, measure and monitor client and programmatic outcomes. They need to quickly and accurately assess client needs and identify needed programs and services based on those needs. And they need to support new, inexperienced workers with decision support tools.
If you missed the August 26 webinar, and would like to learn how the IBM Cúram Solution for Child Welfare can help meet the challenges confronting child welfare organization worldwide, a replay is available on demand. We also have a series of brief videos demonstrating the capabilities of the IBM Cúram Child Welfare Solution. The videos focus on: case collaboration among case workers, providers and partners; integrated assessments and outcome planning; a view of child/family prior history; and work allocation and task re-direction
You may also be interested in joining us at two upcoming events. On September 21-24, IBM Cúram is sponsoring the 47th IT Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) Annual Conference, an affiliate of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). If you are attending the conference, please take the time to stop by our booth, join us at our reception on Monday night, or set up a one on one meeting with an IBM Cúram executive. Additional information is available at our conference website.
On October 20-21, we will be convening in Washington, DC, for the IBM Health and Social Programs Summit. This event will bring together a global network of thought leaders, industry experts and practitioners to discuss industry trends and directions, and compare best practices and leading technology innovations in the fields of Health and Social Programs. To learn more, go to our Summit registration site where you will find an overview of the event, a list of speakers, the Summit agenda, and registration information.
Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics by Josh Lerner, Executive Director of The Participatory Budgeting Project“Oscar Wilde reportedly once said ‘the problem with socialism is that it takes up too many evenings.’ Josh Lerner’s wonderful book takes seriously this quip and proposes solutions. The central argument is provocative and strikingly original: popular engagement in democracy can be increased and deepened by making the process of democracy fun. The book is filled with fascinating empirical discussions of the innovative use of games in grassroots democratic activity as well as insightful theoretical treatments of the dilemmas of democratic participation. It should be read by both activists and scholars interested in reinvigorating democratic life.”
—Erik Olin Wright, Past President, American Sociological Association, and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Most schools in rural India lack basic facilities like desks. Students have to sit on the floor with their backs hunched for hours. Aarambh, an NGO that works with children, worked with agency DDB Mudra Group Ahmedabad to create a desk that doubles as a school bag made from discarded cartons. Help Desk plays an important role in improving the quality of education in rural India, and has just been awarded a D&AD White Pencil 2014.
Pictures courtesy of D&AD/DDB Mudra Group
The German city of Hamburg has announced an ambitious plan to create, and link, an amazing 27 square miles of new and existing green space all over the city. The plan, called the "Green Network," will effectively remove all cars from the city centre and promote cycling and public transport - and it is planned to be in place by 2034.
If fully realised, the network will cover some 7000 hectares, over half the size of Boston or San Francisco.
As the number of patients who receive opioid prescriptions to treat non-cancer pain has increased in the past decade, so too have the number of overdoses. A new study, however, finds that states that legalized medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010 had 25% fewer annual overdose deaths than the rest of the U.S.
More specifically, the research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, found that overdose deaths from opioids decreased by an average of 20% one year after the law’s implementation, 25% by two years, and up to 33% by years five and six.
The study comes at a time when the CDC has warned that opioid overdoses are “skyrocketing.” Since 1999, deaths from prescription painkillers have increased 400% among women and 265% among men.
While we’re at it:
- Marijuana use linked to less violence
- Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with an 8-to-11-percent drop in traffic fatalities
Or we could just use violence to prevent people from peacefully consuming a plant. Whatever…
‘Smart Cities’ Should Mean ‘Sharing Cities’ | TIMEBut when mayors and developers focus on technology rather than people, smart quickly becomes stupid, threatening to exacerbate inequality and undermine the social cooperation essential to successful cities. After researching leading cities around the world, we’ve concluded that truly smart cities will be those that deploy modern technology in building a new urban commons to support communal sharing.
I think there are some general and important deeper issues around technical systems and their application we need take into account when applying technology to greater social systems like e g cities. Technological systems that solve problems by becoming more integrated by excluding and replacing humans makes the greater system more, closed, vulnerable and stupid, while technical systems that encourage and support human collaboration and ingenuity make the greater system more intelligent and adaptable. If we use technical systems to support systems in right way we can maintain the properties that makes systems like cities and ecosystems different from almost all other systems: the ability to adapt and internally rewire themselves from within. When we destroy that property by stupidly rationalizing by building integrated and excluding technical solutions we degrade them and make the inherently unscalable, inefficient and inadaptable. A situation which is extremely dangerous in the longer term.
From this standpoint the sharing economy is an important rewiring of our social systems to withstand the technification of society which the traditional IT-systems approach and the old capitalist logic is leading to.
When someone mentions solar technology, invariably we think of rows upon rows of rectangular panels. A system being developed by Switzerland’s Airlight Energy together with IBM IBM +0.1% Research rethinks the traditional shape, with intriguing environmental and efficiency implications.
Officially dubbed the High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (aka HCPVT) system, the technology is designed look like a 32-foot-high sunflower. The dish measures roughly 430 square feet, covered with 36 elliptic mirrors that concentrate sunlight into liquid-cooled receivers containing an array of PV chips. (It’s the same sort of cooling technology used in IBM supercomputers.) There’s an advanced tracking system that turns the dish throughout the day to optimize sunlight capture.