Branding the "Circular Economy" Model for Millennials

Last week, a friend and former client, Leszek Adamczyk, CEO of an innovative environmental software firm in Poland (ATMOTERM), sent me an enlightening article on how younger people in Europe are becoming more engaged in the "circular economy" model and adding fresh ideas for its growth. This article and additional research revealed three interesting insights that are relevant for all marketers. First, the importance of recognizing key global trends and their potential impact on society and business. Second, how the driving force from Millennials for a more sustainable environmental system represents an extraordinary opportunity to connect with them. And finally, how brand positioning principles can be applied to this circular economy model, like so many other worthwhile programs, to achieve broader adaptation and ensure its true benefits are delivered to society.

Millennials, the first digital generation, are very different from other market segments. Baby Boomers were accustomed to capitalizing on economic opportunities through consumption, investment, and competition, all bent on growth at any cost. However, Millennials are growing up in a world that is embarrassingly unequal, polluted, running out of resources, and with leadership they don't trust.

The concept of a circular economy is not new, although rapidly gaining in acceptance and respect today. The idea of ​​circular material flows as a model for the economy was first presented in 1966 by Kenneth Boulding in his paper, "The Economy of the Coming Spaceship Earth". China added this in its five-year plan in 2006, and the EU Commission created a manifesto in 2012, based on a report from McKinsey on the economic and business opportunities from this restorative, circular model, which connected that: "In a world with growing pressures on resources and the environment, the EU has no choice but to go for the transition to a resource-efficient and ultimately regenerative circular economy ".

So what exactly is "circular economy"? Wikipedia defines it as "a generic term for an industrial economy that is, by design or intention, restorative … and in which material flows are designed to either reenter the biosphere or circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere". The goal is to generate more value and economic opportunity with less material and energy consumption (the rise of the "shared economy" with examples like Uber and Airbnb contribute to this). In other words, a circular economy is all about closing resource loops. Currently we extract resources at an ever increasing pace, and turn them into a product which is ultimately disposed. However, this approach is unsustainable on a global level. Instead, we need an economic system that is waste free and resilient in design to restore our ecosystems.

There are six principles that are essential for a successful circular economy (source: "Circle Economy", a membership organization in The Netherlands):

1. Materials – All materials are cycled infinitely
2. Energy – All energy is derived from renewable or otherwise sustainable sources
3. Ecosystem – Human activities support ecosystems and the rebuilding of natural capital
4. Value – Resources are used to …

TomTom Spark Comparison – What's The Difference of Each Model?

Wearable tech looks like a trend that won't be wearing out soon. Just recently, TomTom has released their new product range, the TomTom Spark. With multisport capabilities (running, cycling, pool swimming), activity tracking, built-in heart rate monitor, and music player, it maybe the all-in-one wearable tech most runners are looking for.

This latest upgrade sort of blends the TomTom Runner and the TomTom Multisport into one watch and adding the latest tech that are becoming a standard feature set for most fitness watches today. The TomTom Spark has some similar designs with previous TomTom watches but it's lighter and has slightly smaller screen. Its strap is also noticeably slimmer and lighter.

What makes a TomTom Spark sparkle from each model?

The TomTom Spark comes in four different models.

  1. Spark
  2. Spark Cardio
  3. Spark Music
  4. Spark Cardio + Musicâ € ‹

To make it easy to remember, all models have the same core features: GPS, multisport capability, and 24/7 activity tracking. Adding the term "Cardio" means you get the built-in HRM and Heart-Rate Training Zone feature while adding the term "Music" means you get the music playback capability and Audio Performance Feedback feature. The TomTom Spark Cardio + Music would then mean you get the built-in HRM, Heart-Rate Training Zone, music player, and Audio Performance Feedback along the core features.

A Note to Triathletes

One thing you do need to consider is that TomTom use the term "multisport" to mean it has pool swim, bike, run and freestyle modes. This is different from Garmin and Suunto where "multisport" mode means you can link multiple sports together to create a "multisport" and then press the lap button during a session to quickly transition from one sport to the next.

Known for being a leader in GPS technology, TomTom is one of the first GPS watch makers to integrate an optical heart rate monitor and a music player in one watch. The TomTom Spark Music comes with 3 GB of storage you can use for your favorite songs and can be paired with a compatible Bluetooth headphones. For runners who are tired of carrying a smartphone with them while running, the TomTom Spark Music offers the perfect blend of features need for a running watch.

Standard Features

All Spark models have the following features:

GPS Tracking: Track your time, pace, distance and calories burned.

Multisport Mode: Train in run, bike, swim, gym and treadmill modes.

24/7 Activity Tracking: Capture your steps, active minutes and calories burned.

Goal Setting: Set and track your progress on daily and weekly goals.

Automatic Sleep Tracking: Know if you're getting the sleep you need.

Water Resistant (up to 50 meters): Run in all weather conditions.

Wireless Syncing: Sync your workouts wirelessly with your favorite apps.

Customizable Straps: Change your strap color to match your workout gear.

Ultra-Slim Design: Sleek and slim design provides ultra comfort during all your workouts.

Indoor Training Mode: Track your performance on the treadmill or in the gym.

Interval Training: Improve speed and fitness with …

The Pros and Cons of the GROW Coaching Model

It is uncertain who originally developed the GROW model but it is thought by some that it was developed by Graham Alexander but made popular by Sir John Whitmore.

For those new to coaching the GROW model does provide a very useful framework. By helping the coachee really identify what they want from the conversation it does help prevent it from becoming an aimless chat. If the goal is ‘SMARTend’ up you have a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant goal with a Time Limit on it so both coach and coachee know exactly the direction the session should be going in.

This framework in also useful in a group coaching or even a business meeting context where the coach or facilitator at the outset can establish an overall common goal and for the session, then work through ‘where are now?’, options for the way forward and specific action.

But is this model always appropriate especially when working on a one to one basis helping your coachee make significant and sustainable change? Whilst of course it is good to have a sense of what the coachee wants from the conversation a good coach will often uncover other issues during the course of a coaching session and sticking rigidly to the initial goal may prevent the real issues to be tackled from surfacing.

Whilst the GROW model is intended to be flexible I have seen coaches focusing more on their ability to follow the model than just listen and follow the client. The Coactive coaching approach (see book Co-active Coaching by Laura Whitworth, Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl) is very different and it talks about ‘dancing in the moment’ with the client, listening carefully and using your intuition to just being with the client, following their energy and going where they want to go in the conversation.

The final stage of GROW is Way Forward in other words is the stage where the client identifies action to be taken. Whilst coaching is about taking a client forward not every session may result in specific action to be taken. If as coaches we are so intent on finding the action and focusing on the ‘doing’ we can overlook the importance of just raising a client’s awareness about who they are, what they are noticing, what they are feeling in other words ‘the being’.

I know of coaches who are so intent on getting their client to action that they fail to allow them to fully explore what is important to them and what their underlying issues are resulting in actions that their clients are not really committed to and rarely result in meaningful change. If the client spends sufficient time on ‘the being’ rather than ‘the doing’ then action will automatically fall out of the conversation and will be led by the client. And the way forward may simply be a commitment to go away and reflect further on some of the questions raised.

The advantage of the GROW coaching model in that …

The Most Powerful Business Model – Social Entrepreneurship

The Reasons Why We Can’t Ignore Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurship is quickly becoming the most powerful business model of the 21st century. It is an exciting process by which passionate and ambitious individuals build or transform a business to provide innovative solutions to social problems such as poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, clean air and water, and health care.

The world today is plagued by probably more problems than ever before in history. We face challenges like never before and the “to do” list is enormous and growing. Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon that operates in areas where traditional non-profit and government based support structures have not been successful.

Social Entrepreneurs are ordinary people who find innovative solutions to society’s social problems. They use traditional entrepreneurial models to bring social or community benefits. Social Entrepreneurs often have a personal experience of the need they are addressing and as such they are uniquely positioned to address some of our most pressing social challenges. They are passionate, driven and committed.

The recognition of Simon McKeon as 2011 Australian of the year has brought the term “Social Entrepreneur” in the national conversation. From the presidential campaign of Barack Obama to grassroots organisations, the concept of social entrepreneurship has received a lot of attention in recent times. It has been touted by many as the means of bringing real and lasting change to a broken and hurting world. Although Social Entrepreneur and Social Entrepreneurship are relatively new terms, examples are found throughout history. They have always existed but in the past they were called visionaries, humanitarians, missionaries, philanthropist, reformers, saints or simply great leaders. Attention was paid to their courage, compassion and great vision but rarely to the practical aspects of their accomplishments. Children learn that Florence Nightingale cared for wounded soldiers but not that she built the first professional school for nurses and revolutionised the hospital system.

Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss and improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating solutions to change society for the better. While a business entrepreneur might create entirely new industries, a social entrepreneur comes up with new solutions to social problems and then implements them.

But while they may read from a different bottom line, social and business entrepreneurs have a lot in common. They build something out of nothing. They are ambitious to achieve. They marshal resources – sometimes from the unlikeliest places – to meet their needs. They are constantly creative. And they are not afraid to make mistakes.

In fact, this new initiative has the world’s leading policy makers predicting that it will not only become the most purposeful, profitable platform of our time, but also a revolutionary change in thinking and planning for sustainable global improvement.

Social responsibility+Entrepreneurial strategies = Big Change.

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Here's How to Be a Good Role Model For Your Students

"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means." – Albert Einstein

There are many names give to the role of an educator, from a teacher to facilitator, faculty member, and instructor. Whether you are employed in part time or full-time capacity, in a traditional or online classroom, you are still teaching and directly involved in the developmental progress of your students. Everything you say to your students, along with every action you take, has a direct impact on your students. This is why follow-up and follow through are extremely important, along with an ability to listen with the express purpose of seeking to understand what your students are stating.

When a class starts you are highly aware of your students. Then classroom management duties begin to take more of your time. As the class progresses, you may take into consideration the perspective of your students; along with what motivates them, how they persist when faced with challenges, and what it is like for them to interact with the classroom environment. But have you ever considered how your students view you as an educator? Does it matter to you or influence how you teach when you are planning your class? Will you take their perspective into consideration when you are planning future professional development?

Most educators choose this type of work or career, even when the pay or working conditions are less than ideal. What if you decide to function from this point forward in a manner that is transformative for your students, so they are somehow better for having been enrolled in your classes? In other words, what if you could teach in a way that will have a long-term impact on your students? If you do influence them in this manner now or decide that you want to change how you teach, they will likely look up to you. This means they will remember you and your class, and more importantly, they will be transformed in some way, whether academically, professionally, or personally.

What Does it Mean to Be a Transformative Educator?

As an educator, consider this question: is performing in a transformative manner a matter of making consciousness choices in how you act while you are teaching, or is it a result of every interaction you have with your students? Not every student is going to have a positive experience while they interact with you, despite the best of intentions you may have set, yet when students know their instructors care they are more willing to put in the time and make an effort to try when it comes to being involved in the learning process. That extra effort on their part is sometimes all a student needs to get past potential barriers or hurdles.

My experience as an educator has taught me I always know where I stand with my students by the way they are responding to me, whether in class or through some form of communication such …

Strategic Muscle Building For A Calvin Klein Model – Workout Routine

It comes to no surprise that there is a growing movement away from the bodybuilding mentality. Many people would much rather have slim and fit bodies that resemble famous movie actors and models over massive bodybuilders. The desire to have a “GQ” look will not only help them look good in a suit, but on the beach as well. Over sized gym rats simply can’t do that. So what is it about the models of Calvin Klein that seem to personify the “Hollywood Look?” What does a Calvin Klein models workout routine consist of that most programs don’t?

Strategic Muscle Building To Create The Desired Look

Take a moment and evaluate the features of a Calvin Klein model. They have a decent amount of muscle mass but with very low body fat levels. Their muscles also look like they are constantly in a flexed state which is commonly known as muscle density. I guarantee that 95% of gym goers work out and harder and longer than they do, but don’t even come close to a visually stunning physique. Is it from good genetics? Do they have an exceptional trainer? What if they actually have a strategic muscle building program that will sculpt the proper physique? They need to look chiseled at any moment for a photo shoot, so what do they do different than everyone else?

It Is Not A Crime To Skip Out On The “Big 3”

The “Big 3” comes from the foundational exercises that are pumped out of the big bodybuilder magazines and forums. They consist of squats, dead lifts, and bench press. They do a great job of adding mass but will ruin the look of a model. Calvin Klein models have a very slim and toned physique. Having excess mass in the hips, thighs, midsection, and butt will not allow them to model fashionable clothes. Their legs are ripped but they also carry a slim waist. This can be done by skipping squats and dead lift. Tough cardio will sculpt a much leaner lower body without the bulk. Don’t worry you are not committing a “bodybuilding” crime by skipping out on your legs.

Upper Body Muscle Mass To Polish Off The Look

Most of their muscle mass is in the upper body but with a few exceptions. Calvin Klein models focus on the upper and inner chest muscles because it will sculpt a square and angular chest. This is why I would suggest dropping the traditional bench press and incorporate inclines only. The reasoning behind this is that the lower pecs tend to grow larger and faster than the upper portion. Paying too much attention on lower chest workouts can cause the muscles to sag which can resemble that of women’s breasts. Calvin Klein models also have arms that have a decent amount of size with wide, ripped shoulders. Wide shoulders with a tapered waist, creates a “V” in the upper body that every model needs. It is also important to notice that these models …

How the SaaS (Software-As-A-Service) Model Affects Business Process Improvement

An early question surrounding business process improvement (BPI) and the use of technology was:

Does the technology drive the processes?

Or …

Does the process drive the technology?

While many believe that the process should drive the technology because you only want to spend your limited technology budget on the most efficient process possible, an interesting change is occurring in the information technology (IT) environment with the increasing use of the Software-as- a-Service model.

The SaaS model is the next generation of software implementation models. Over the last decade, companies moved from the traditional software model (where the company provided the infrastructure to host the application, customized the solution to the company specific requirements, provided the necessary IT support, and dealt with major upgrades every three to five years) to the Application Service Provider, or ASP, model (where the vendor hosted a software application on their hardware and leased out a unique instance to a company, which allowed a certain degree of customization).

The ASP model did not require companies to purchase on-site hardware, and provided the opportunity for a less expensive and quicker software implementation. In moving to the ASP model, companies hoped to reduce the total cost of ownership for a technology implementation.

Today, the SaaS model is rapidly growing and quickly defining the way companies implement software applications. You can think of SaaS as the next generation ASP, with a key difference being that all customers reside on the same instance. In this model, the vendor has responsibility for increases in capacity and scalability. They continually perform research and development, thus enabling them to provide more frequent enhancements to customers without the need for major upgrades. SaaS sales increased from 2010 to 2011 by 21% and estimates indicate that sales will more than double by 2015.

While companies enjoy reducing their technology investment, they do not necessarily want to use the same exact product that their neighbor uses. The SaaS model though depends on application standardization to keep costs down, which means limited or no customization. So, how do companies balance the financial benefit of the SaaS model with the need for unique business processes since companies differentiate themselves from competitors by their business processes, among other things?

A company has to identify what truly differentiates the business from the competition. What are the core competencies of your company? Accept that not all business processes are created equal and focus resources on building (or improving) business processes around your differentiators. For example:

  • If research and development sets your company apart, focus on processes like idea generation, market research, and product development.
  • If service delivery differentiates you, focus on processes like order processing, order fulfillment, and customer support.
  • If retaining employees is critical, focus on employee-centric processes like recognition and succession planning.

Take advantage of the lower cost offered by the SaaS model for non-core business processes, but keep improving the business processes that differentiate you from your competition.

Copyright 2012 Susan Page

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The Difference Between A Model And A Beauty Queen

There is a huge difference between beauty pageants and modelling. Pageant kids are brought up believing that the spotlight is all about them; how they look, what they can do and how they come across as an individual. They are taught to sell themselves. Unfortunately, in the real fashion world, it is all about the product and selling the product. Although fashion and runway models do need to have specific aesthetic qualities and certain skills, their main purpose is to make a product look good, excite the customer and make them want to buy.

Pageant mums are known for being extremely competitive. They all want to be at the top of the game, knowing the most about the industry, winning the most titles and crowns and having the most beautiful, talented, world-peace loving child in the whole entire world. But what these mums don’t realise is that they are selling their children false hope when they promise them that, one day, all of the late rehearsals, dance classes, American history lessons and hair tugging will be worth it. This is not the case. So many young pageant princesses dreams are crushed when they discover that all those years of intense training; skipping rhythmically down the runway, smiling all teeth bared and cutely flipping their hair as they wink and flirt with the audience, has actually moulded them into exactly what a fashion agency is not looking for in a high-fashion model.

A huge amount of time, effort and money is put into beauty pageants. A lot of pageant mums will hire pageant coaches and dance coaches, both at a great cost. They will then spend a fortune on outfits for each of the different rounds. Elaborate, custom-made ball gowns, one of a kind swimwear pieces, costumes, props and stage fixtures for the talent show, crowning gowns etc. Then there’s the foot high, 30 inch long hair pieces, custom moulded dental flippers to hide any baby/imperfect teeth, copious pairs of diamond encrusted shoes, fake lashes, jar after jar and tube after tube of bright pink blusher, thick stage foundation, lipstick and glitter. All of this is used to enhance the pageant princess’ features, body and overall image and make them look as un-lifelike as possible, all in the hope of being crowned Queen of Pageant.

Fashion designers will also invest an enormous amount of time, effort and money into a fashion show for their clothing. This money will be spent on lighting, sound engineers, stage support, models, stylists and hair and make-up artists, all geared towards ensuring that their clothes attract the audience of buyers and celebrities.

Unlike pageant girls, runway models do not try to steal the show. The point of a fashion show is to sell clothes, not people. If the model blew kisses, danced around the stage like a fairy, distracting the audience and did not make the dress look good, the designer would not sell their clothes and therefore not have a business. This is why pageant …

Proposed Tougher Approach to Examination for Utility Model and Design Patent Applications in China

Proposed tougher approach to substantive examination for Utility Model and Design Patent Applications in China.

In a bid to improve the quality of Utility Models and Design Patents granted in China, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has put forward proposals to impose tougher examination requirements for Chinese Utility Model and Design Patent applications.

Currently, a design patent (also known as a registered design in Europe) application in China does not undergo substantive examination. This means that, although the Chinese Patent Law requires a design to be new and distinctly different from any one of the existing designs known anywhere in the world, in practice, a Chinese Examiner does not conduct any searching during examination of the design application. Based on the current Examination Guidelines, the Examiner is only required to examine the application based on the application details and what is considered to be common knowledge of a general consumer.

Equally, although a Utility Model (also known as a petty patent in the US or innovation patent in Australia) application is required to be novel, creative and of practical use under the Chinese Patent Law, the level of examination requirement is similarly low.

Considering an Invention Patent application, which is the equivalent of a standard patent available in countries or regions such as the UK, Europe or the US, typically takes around 3 to 6 years to grant, grant of a Utility Model can be obtained quickly, typically between 10 to 18 months. A Design Patent can be even quicker. As such, filing such applications in China has been a faster, cheaper and easier way to obtain patent protection for an invention, compared to an Invention Patent. Both forms of patent protections have been proving popular. In 2011, SIPO granted 408,000 Utility Models and 380,000 Design Patents.

However, this may all be about to change. In a public consultation issued in February 2013, SIPO has indicated that the lack of substantive examination for both types of applications have caused patents to be granted to inventions or designs that are already known, or caused patents to be granted to inventions or designs more than once, ie double patenting.

In order to improve the quality of Utility Models and Design Patents, SIPO is proposing to amend the Examination Guidelines such that Examiners are encouraged to conduct searches on existing technologies and designs when examining such applications. Furthermore, the Guidelines proposed to be amended such that Examiners are not restricted as to how such information are obtained.

It is envisaged that if SIPO is to implement its proposed changes to tighten examination procedures for both types of applications, the costs and time required to see such applications through to grant are also likely to increase.

Early indications suggest that SIPO may already be implementing changes and Examiners will be improving enforcement of the novelty requirement for such applications. However, even with tighter examination requirements, for an invention with a short commercial life and somewhat limited novelty, a Utility Model application should …

The ADDIE Model – Why Use It?

If you are new to training development and have been thinking of putting together any type of training program, it is important to know and understand the most basic training tool used by professional trainers; it is called the ADDIE model.

The ADDIE model is basically a generic, systematic, step-by-step framework used by instructional designers, developers and trainers to ensure course development and learning does not occur in a haphazard, unstructured way. It is designed to ensure:

(1) learners will achieve the goals of the course,

(2) allows for the evaluation of learner’s needs,

(3) the design and development of training materials, and

(4) evaluation of effectiveness of the training program using processes with specific, measurable outcomes.

Background

ADDIE came about with the development of the Cold War after World War II as the United States military struggled with itself to find a way to create more effective training programs for increasingly complex subjects. The result of this struggle for increased effectiveness bore fruit in the form of Instructional Systems Design which in turn, led to the design models that are in use today. You will often hear ADDIE referred to as Instructional Systems Design (ISD), Instructional Systems Design & Development (ISDD), Systems Approach to Training (SAT) or Instructional Design (ID). Most of the current instructional design models you will find in the workplace today are variations or spin-offs of the original ADDIE model.

The Model

The literature on ADDIE estimates that there are well over 100 different ISD variations in use today, with almost all being based on the generic ADDIE model, which stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation; with each step or phase leading into the next as illustrated below:

Analysis ‘ Design ‘ Development ‘ Implementation ‘ Evaluation

One commonly accepted improvement to the ADDIE model that almost everyone uses whether consciously or unconsciously, is the use of what is often referred to as rapid prototyping which attempts to catch design flaws while they are still easy to fix. This is done by receiving ongoing feedback throughout all phases of the ADDIE model and making changes while moving forward.

During the Analysis phase, we define and develop as clear of an understanding of the audience’s needs, constraints, existing knowledge, skills and the desired outcome of the training that we can. The Design phase endeavors to identify specific learning objectives, topic content, presentation methods and media, learner exercises and assessment criteria to be used. The Development phase creates and begins production of the learning materials to be used in the training. Implementation delivers the material by actually presenting and/or delivering the developed plan to the intended learning group or audience. After delivery, the Evaluation phase assesses the effectiveness of the topic content and training materials utilized in the training program and makes improvement changes for the next implementation or presentation. Let’s take a look at each phase individually.

The Phases

The Analysis phase is the most important phase in the ADDIE model. It identifies areas requiring …