Sachin Tendulkar gifts Saina a BMW

first_imgCricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar gave away a brand new BMW car to India’s most successful shuttler Saina Nehwal at a function in Hyderabad on Sunday night.The batting maestro, who arrived here along with rest of the team to play the first test against New Zealand starting here Aug 23, gave away the car to Saina, who won a bronze medal in the London Olympics.The car was presented by Sachin’s close friend and former Andhra Ranji captain V. Chamundeswaranath to Saina, who became the first ever Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal.Sachin also gave away Maruti Swift car to young shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, who won the girls’ singles title in the Asian Youth Under-19 Championships last month. She is also the first Indian to achieve this feat.”I am very happy to receive the second car from the god of cricket,” said Saina, who was accompanied by her coach Pullela Gopichand.”I am glad to congratulate Saina and Gopi. This medal means a lot for India and it has not come without hard work, dedication, focus and vision. I congratulate you for making us all feel proud,” said Sachin while congratulating other medal winners at London Olympics.The cars were given away at glittering function attended by sportspersons, film stars and other eminent personalities from various walks of life.last_img read more

Freedom 251 smartphone scheme a fraud, says Cong MP

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) Alleging that Freedom 251 smartphone scheme was a “fraud”, Congress MP Pramod Tiwari in Rajya Sabha today strongly objected to the presence of BJP leaders at the launch of the scheme to sell smartphones at a price of Rs 251 and sought a reply from the government. “I am making a definite allegation. This government is going to do a big scam. This is going to be the biggest scam of the millennium during the rule of BJP. “The product has been launched by BJP leaders. This is a scam in which leaders of BJP are involved. They talk about Make in India but what they are doing is Make in Fraud,” Tiwari said during Zero Hour and expressed doubts over the claim of the company to provide mobile phones to consumers at just Rs 251. He said six crore bookings have already been made for the phone and even at the rate of Rs 251 each, the mobile company must have collected hundreds of crores of rupees. Demanding that the money collected by the company should be kept secure, Tiwari said even the Director of the company has said that the minimum cost of the phone is Rs 1400 and wondered how can the gadget be then sold at just Rs 251. Tiwari said if it is possible to get a phone at Rs 251, then how can others are charging Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for a mobile set. “Either this is wrong or that is wrong. The government has its share either in this or that. Government should answer,” Tiwari said. Ringing Bells, a NOIDA based start-up, which launched the mobile had said they had developed it with support from the government. Soon after the launch ceremony where a veteran BJP leader was present, doubts were raised about the genuineness of the companys claim to provide phone at the rate of Rs 251. PTI AMR ARCadvertisementlast_img read more


first_imgWith an aim to broaden the bench strength, the new With an aim to broaden the bench strength, the new selection committee, headed by MSK Prasad, have included a few youngsters — Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mandeep Singh and Manish Pandey — in the squad. Rahane feels it is a welcome move by the selectors to give new guys opportunity at the highest level. “I am really excited about the new guys coming into the team. Its really energising, everyone is looking in good shape. The guys have done pretty well in India A series and few guys did well in Ranji Trophy matches,” he said. “Its all about giving the new guys confidence and opportunity at the highest level.” Rahane also refused to think too much ahead and preferred to concentrate on the task at hand. “As of now it is important for us to focus on this series rather than thinking about the Champions Trophy. Its still a long way to go for the Champions Trophy. We will play one match at a time,” he said. Talking about his new role as vice-captain of the Test side, Rahane said he relishes the responsibility of Virat Kohlis deputy. “I dont believe in seniority or juniority. Its all about learning at every step and giving inputs. I really learnt a lot as vice-captain. “On the field it is important for you to stay alert all the time because there are plenty of things going on in a captains mind. So as a vice-captain it is important to stay alert all the time and whatever inputs you have you pass it on to your captain,” he concluded. PTI SSC CM BSadvertisementlast_img read more

13 Innovative Companies Hiring Now

first_imgSpecialty’s Cafe & BakeryHiring For: Catering Assistant, Kitchen Utility, Delivery Driver, Kitchen Team Member, Closing Manager, Barista, Guest Services, Process Engineer-Planning, Payroll Assistant, Marketing Specialist, Field Recruiter & more.Where Hiring: San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL; Bellevue, WA; Sunnyvale, CA & more.What Employees Say: “Great working environment and co-workers and managers were easy to get along well with. Nothing better than coming to work feeling welcome. You get weekends off and holidays off as well so that’s a plus. Good starting pay.” —Former Cashier/BaristaSee Open Jobs According to the Harvard Business Review, truly innovative companies have employees who harness untapped trends, challenge the traditional, and are relentlessly curious. And while many job seekers might think that these types of companies are only located in major cities or tech hubs, they couldn’t be more wrong.If you are an innovator who thinks outside of the box to find unique solutions, there are companies — from Sioux Falls to Seattle to Saratoga Springs — eager to hire. Here are 13 companies looking for top talent like you.BechtelHiring For: Python Developer, Civil Field Engineer, Prime Contract Administrator, Structural Engineer, Quality Auditor, Senior Project Controls Engineer & more.Where Hiring: Monaca, PA; Glendale, AZ; Reston, VA; Waynesboro, GA; Pueblo, CO & more.What Employees Say: “Awesome Pay! Awesome Benefits! Awesome hours when working on government projects. Good people.” —Former EmployeeSee Open Jobs FedExHiring For: Courier, Handler, Senior Industrial Engineer, Senior Marketing Analyst, Learning and Development Specialist, Depot Operative, Hub Handler, Drivers, Senior Accounting Research Analyst & more.Where Hiring: Memphis, TN; Bowling Green, KY, Jacksonville, FL; Newark, NJ; Moon, PA; Indianapolis, IN; Huchins, TX; Beaver, WV & more.What Employees Say: “I enjoyed working for FedEx. The manager had an open door policy. The employee discounts were great also.” —Former Senior Customer Service RepresentativeSee Open Jobs Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan SocietyHiring For: Certified Nursing Assistant, Senior Living Universal Worker, Cook, Staff Nurse, Housekeeping Assistant, Foot and Nutrition Assistant, Charge Nurse, Director of Social Services & more.Where Hiring: De Smet, SD; Fargo, ND; Grand Island, NE; Socorro, NM; Sioux Falls, SD; Prescott, AZ; Waukon, IA & more.What Employees Say: “This company cares about their employees! You can live your faith out loud and truly care for the residents, not just the bottom line.” —Current Director of Senior LivingSee Open Jobs Four Seasons HotelsHiring For: Station Cook, Steward, Room Service Order Taker, Cocktail Server, Guestroom Attendant, Reservations and Communications Specialist, Engineer, Spray Technician, Flame Back Server, Director of Sales and Marketing & more.Where Hiring: Seattle, WA; Dallas, TX; Vail, CO; Scottsdale, AZ; Orlando, FL; Nevis, MN; San Francisco, CA & more.What Employees Say: “Great people, beautiful places, great environment to be in. Great perks and benefits, it’s almost as if you are a celebrity when you work for them.” —Former EmployeeSee Open Jobs BJ’s Wholesale ClubHiring For: Maintenance Team Member, Cashier, Recovery Clerk, Meat Cutter, Produce Clerk, Part Time HR Clerical, Overnight Stock Clerk, Tire Supervisor, Food Court Supervisor & more.Where Hiring: Saratoga Springs, NY; Burlington, NJ; Lancaster, PA; Willimantic, CT; Pelham Manor, VA & more.What Employees Say: “It is a good part-time job for young students like myself. They gave me good hours and had some flexibility with my schedule.” —Former EmployeeSee Open Jobs AloricaHiring For: Human Resources Generalist, Bilingual Spanish/English Customer Service Representative, Operations Customer Service Representative, Sr. Recruiter, Seasonal Temporary Team manager, Full-Time Team lead, Recruiting Assistant & more.Where Hiring: Omaha, NE; Las Vegas, NV; Sunrise, FL; Montgomery, AL; Rocky Mount, NC; Las Vegas, NV; Cutler Ridge, FL & more.What Employees Say: “Work in PJ’s & socks all day long, work from the comfort of your own home office, SUPER FLEXIBLE hours, schedule your own hours as needed, no boss hovering over your desk, friendly support staff, no shoes required, no make-up & hair worries, no wear and tear of vehicle, no weekly gas expense, no weekly lunch expense & no dry cleaning or ironing expense.” —Customer Service RepresentativeSee Open Jobs CenteneHiring For: Provider Network Manager, Business Analyst, RN Care Manager, Social Worker, Concurrent Review RN, Military Family Life Counselor, Contract Negotiator, Office Services Clerk & more.Where Hiring: Saint Louis, MO; San Rafael, CA; Smyrna, GA; Manchester, NH; Carbondale, IL; Orlando, FL & more.What Employees Say: “Centene cares about its members. They put a lot of emphasis on Employee Engagement. They provide a lot of training classes for personal growth and development. There is also a good system in place for annual reviews and bonuses. There are a lot of great employees here who have a lot of knowledge and passion that you can learn from. Great benefits!” —Current Lead Provider Data Management AnalystSee Open Jobs SafeliteHiring For: QA Leader, Auto Glass Repair Specialist, Store Manager, Technician Trainee, Warehouse Manager, Operations Manager, Portfolio Specialist, Order Entry Administrator, Field Technician, Technical Writer & more.Where Hiring: Baltimore, MD; Columbus, OH; Humble, TX; Silverdale, WA; Las Vegas, NV; Carbondale, IL; East Orange, VT & more.What Employees Say: “Lots of activities planned. Amazing work-life balance. Benefits are pretty great as well. Glad I get the opportunity to work for Safelite.” —Current Software EngineerSee Open Jobs Atria Senior LivingHiring For: Memory Care Caregiver, Server/Waitstaff, Med Tech, Driver, Dishwasher, Cook, Maintenance Technician, Housekeeper, Executive Director, Shift/Charge Nurse, VP of Operations Controller & more.Where Hiring: Louisville, KY; Foster City, CA; Lafayette, CA; Kennebunk, ME; Lafayette, CA & more.What Employees Say: “Having been with Atria since 2002, I am so proud of Atria’s culture and entrepreneurial approach to encouraging employee development and driving change. Our accounting leadership team includes managers, directors, and VPs that first began at the company as either staff or interns. I really love our Support Center gatherings where we get updates on the company and key initiatives, along with other ongoing events to interact with various departments. This is a place where your voice counts and you will get untold opportunities to make an impact. We have multi-departmental meetings and projects that look for the best way to serve our senior community.” —Current Accounting DirectorSee Open Jobs Epic Health ServicesHiring For: Talent Acquisition Specialist, Personal Care Assistant, Bilingual Administrative Assistant, Telephonic Nurse, Mobile Therapist, Nursing Supervisor Registered Nurse, Board Certified Behavior Analyst & more.Where Hiring: Trevose, PA; Westford, MA; Houston, TX; Denver, CO; North Brunswick, NJ; Valdosta, GA & more.What Employees Say: “Flexible schedules, OT available if requested. Spending so much time with the kids makes feel like family. I love my patients. Communication from office to field nurses have improved.” —Current Field NurseSee Open Jobs AccoladeHiring For: Regional Sales Executive, Regional Sales Executive of Strategic Accounts, Regional Sales Executive of Mid-Market, Medical Director, VP of Engineering, Senior Manager of Service Operations & more.Where Hiring: Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Seattle, WA; Plymouth Meeting, PA & more.What Employees Say: “The company mission is compelling and the culture is second to none. The CEO and senior leaders are available and approachable and are committed to consistent and transparent communication, including sharing both wins and opportunities. We have the privilege of working with smart, caring and creative peers who are all at Accolade for much more than “just a job.” You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to make a difference in the world while working in a fast-paced, innovative environment.” —Current EmployeeSee Open Jobs Check Into CashHiring For: Assistant Manager, Service Technician, Center Manager, Part-Time Customer Service Representative, Backroom Associate, Digital Marketing Designer, Lot Attendant, Corporate Recruiter & more.Where Hiring: Cleveland, TN; Perry, IA; Chattanooga, TN; Atlanta, GA; Lenexa, KS; Greenville, SC; Richmond, IN, Washington, MO & more.What Employees Say: “Great coworkers! Leadership who are interested in helping you develop professionally. A company culture that has made tremendous strides in the time I’ve been here. Work is interesting and focused on bringing the best possible service to the customer.” —Current EmployeeSee Open Jobslast_img read more

Between Jobs? Freelance to Earn Cash & Gain Experience

first_img 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Content Marketing Freelancer Gateway Blend Clayton, MO 23 hours ago 23h Senior UI/UX Designer Match Relevant New York, NY N/A 2.6★ See more Freelance jobs 4.3★ 5.0★ Freelance Producer Bubba’s Chop Shop Van Nuys, CA Consistent M-F Dog Walker for Growing Company Dogs Deserve It Chicago, IL 3.3★ Search More Jobs Copyeditor Rubenstein Public Relations New York, NY 23 hours ago 23hcenter_img 3.6★ Freelancers DePalma Studios Nashville, TN Freelance Digital Designer Teads New York, NY 3.9★ “So how’s your job search going?”Well-meaning friends, family members and distant acquaintances never fail to ask this dreaded question. And it stings, whether you’re in week one or month six of sending out resumes and hustling for interviews.Sometimes the process of finding your dream job takes longer than you’d like. But that doesn’t mean you have to watch your bank balance disappear while you wait for full-time work. You already have what you need to start freelancing in your field right now. Freelance work helps you develop your skills, earn a living and gain valuable experience, so your time between jobs is anything but wasted.Here are a few best practices to get you started.See the PossibilitiesThe freelance labor force has grown steadily in recent years. “Freelancing in America: 2017“, a study from the Freelancers Union and Upwork, reports high growth for freelancing:In 2017, 57.3 million Americans did freelance work (roughly 36 percent of the US workforce), contributing about $1.4 trillion annually to the economy (up almost 30% since 2016).For millennials, 47 percent of the generation did freelance work (higher than any other generation).If this growth rate continues, freelancers will make up the majority of the US workforce by 2027These numbers show that freelance opportunities exist for you. Focus on the projects you want to do by identifying the types of clients you hope to work with in advance.A No-Frills Guide to Starting Your Freelance CareerTreat Yourself Like a BusinessIf you’ve worked only for other people in the past, freelancing is a big transition. You are now responsible for convincing potential clients to hire you, selling them on your work and expertise. To do this, you must first see yourself as a qualified professional.Be intentional about how you describe your work. Don’t use minimizing language like “I’m just a freelance writer” or “I’m doing some design gigs on the side.” Instead say, “I’m a self-employed writer who specializes in science and technology” or “I run my own design business, creating responsive websites and mobile apps.”Define Why Someone Should Hire YouClients typically hire a freelancer because they have a problem. Ask yourself how you can solve this problem? What do you offer that adds value to their business? Why should they hire you instead of someone else?Make a list of your professional skills and strengths. Collect project examples, case studies and portfolio pieces that demonstrate your best work. Ask former colleagues and employers for testimonials. Use these pieces to develop a list of services you can provide freelance clients.Create Your Online Presence No matter what kind of freelance work you do, you need a website. Here you can showcase the work examples, testimonials and service descriptions you started to put together in the previous step. Your portfolio website is an important sales tool and a strong first impression to clients, demonstrating what you can do for them.Fortunately, you don’t need to be a web developer to create an attractive and functional website. You can choose from many different platforms to display your portfolio that require no design or coding expertise.Keep the content simple at first, but be sure to include information that highlights who you are and what you do: a brief bio, contact details and several strong work examples. If you don’t have many paid projects to include in your portfolio, create them now—  even if that means doing some pro bono work:Write a well-researched article on a topic that interests youDesign a logo for a friend’s company (or a fictional brand)Offer a free coaching session to a small business owner4 Tips for Building an Incredible Online PortfolioSet Up Systems for SuccessAs the owner of your freelance business, you need to manage all the financial and operational details that come with that title. This role intimidates many new freelancers, but don’t be afraid. If you do your homework and establish structured systems in the beginning, you can run your business with minimal stress. Start with these steps:Choose a business structure: For freelancers, this structure is usually a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC). Comply with any state requirements, register for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) and set up a schedule for self-employed tax paymentsTest out project management systems: Successful freelance work depends on you staying organized and keeping track of what’s due and whenInvest in good bookkeeping tools: Choose an accounting software that makes it as easy as possible to send invoices, track payments, manage cash flow and prepare for taxesConnect with Others When you’re ready to take on freelance clients, spread the word. Reach out to your existing connections — friends, classmates, former colleagues — and let them know what kind of services you offer. Share your new website on your social media profiles, and invite your connections to share with others.Finally, put yourself out there, both online and offline. Follow industry accounts and leaders on Twitter. Join professional associations, and seek out LinkedIn groups. Attend Meetups and networking events. You can even cold call and email businesses to pitch your services. When you snag your first freelance client, start building a pipeline of steady business right away.Freelancing is an excellent way to pay the bills and move your career forward when you’re between full-time jobs. And who knows? You may decide freelance work is a good fit for you long term. Freelance AllWork Chicago, IL 4.4★ Science Communicator (Freelance) Cactus Communications Remote Freelance Medical Interpreters Interpreters unlimited Colorado Springs, CO 23 hours ago 23h 4.1★ 23 hours ago 23h Available Freelance Jobs 23 hours ago 23h 4.3★ 23 hours ago 23hlast_img read more

Arsenal chief Gazidis insists Wenger contract ‘no sentimental decision’

first_imgArsenal chief exec Ivan Gazidis has defended securing manager Arsene Wenger to a two-year deal.In a fans Q&A, Gazidis denied the agreement was made for “sentimental” reasons.He is quoted by Arseblog: “The first thing to say is that it wasn’t a sentimental decision, the decision was mutual. The decision was made against the ambition to win the Premier League.”When we think about who might do that, we also consider who embodies the values of the club. Somebody who has a successful track record over a period of time. This job is a massive responsibility and we need someone who can carry the weight of that and has the experience to carry the weight of that.”We wanted somebody that plays attractive, exciting football that people want to watch. Giving young players a chance is another one of the values of the club. Sometimes that costs us in points, but the emotional investment we all feel in watching a player’s journey with the club is an important part of what we want to have at Arsenal.”So those are the qualities you look for in a manager and you look around the world and there are some fantastic coaches and maybe some of those would be interested in coming to this fantastic football club. One day a new coach will come here and take advantage of those opportunities. But when the board is looking for those qualities, we are looking at the man across the table.”We understand there is disagreement in that amongst the fanbase, but the board has to make decisions focused on what it the right decision and not what’s the popular decision. We will all be judged on what the club is able to deliver and we are very conscious of that.”last_img read more

Google AdWords for Nonprofits: 10 Tips About Keywords

first_imgWith a content network that reaches over 75% of unique internet users in more than 20 languages and over 100 countries, Google AdWords can be a powerful marketing tool. Though the efficiency of the program continues to be debated, Google Grants could offer your nonprofit free ads and assistance setting up an account! It should be noted, however, that while Google Adwords is one potential source of advertising for nonprofits, the volume of response from its campaigns to date have been lackluster.Google provides the reach, but it is up to you to write an ad that pulls net surfers in. Just how exactly do you go about writing an ad with a low cost and high ROI? An article from SiteProNews, by Leighton James explains 10 costly mistakes to avoid when launching your AdWords campaign.We’ve taken this advice from SiteProNews and added a nonprofit twist. If you need more detail on what not to do, make sure to check out the article. Otherwise, read on for our modified list of the do’s and don’ts of writing an ad for Google AdWords.1. Create a short list of targeted keywords: Generic terms lead to high fees and low ROI. Instead of writing a long list, take time to identify your target group beforehand and think of terms that will appeal directly to them. Online strategist Riche Zamor highlights the importance of conducting keyword research prior to launching an ad. Though you can pay someone to do this for you, MSN and Google offer free tools to do your own research. Cross checking keywords with multiple search engines to see the number of results and types of ads that it generates is also a good idea. Another aspect to consider that may not come to mind is seasonality. Google Trends allows you to see how keywords fare over time and to pinpoint when during the year searches for the keyword are most popular.2. Identify what is unique about your nonprofit: Identify your marketing strategy and highlight what sets you apart in your ad. Conduct a competitive analysis of the organizations you will compete with using the selected keywords, and look into possible variations of your selected keywords until you find a combination that places you in the first several ads that appear. If you need ideas for related keywords, Google’s Keyword Tool allows you to search for synonyms and get new keyword ideas.3. Use keywords in your ad text: Good ads spell out exactly what they are promoting. Well-placed keywords in both the title and body of the ad ensure that when people click they know what they are getting.4. Direct users to the specific area of the site, not the home page: People want to find what they are looking for without hassle. Directing potential donors to your donation landing page makes it that much easier for them to give. Links to your home page can be helpful if you are working on brand name recognition, but otherwise direct people immediately to the relevant page that matches your ad.5. Separate ad groups: Split up your keyword buys into different categories. For example, you could have one ad group devoted to recruiting activists, and another for reaching out to recruit potential donors. This distinction allows you to better track the progress of each campaign.6. Take advantage of single ad groups: Keep everything organized by creating containers to hold related ad groups. Keyword buys that relate to each other can be grouped into logical categories that will help you organize, but more importantly that allow you to track the success of each keyword.7. Use various phrase keyword-match types: Selecting various keyword types allows you to either expand or refine when your ad appears.The negative keyword option lets you select keywords for which you don’t want your ad to appear.The phrase match option allows your ad to appear only when terms are searched in the order you have specified.Broad match is less specific and targeted, and can incorporate related or relevant keywords.8. Use the AdWords ad serving service: This provides a platform that displays ads with highest click-through rates more frequently than ads with lower rates in the same ad group.9. Track your results: Which keywords were successful and which didn’t get results? Take advantage of Google Analytics to get in-depth reports on various aspects of your campaign. Use it to assess and evaluate your performance. Was it successful? Did it meet or fall short of your goals? There are many ways to track success, some more sophisticated than others. Google’s Website Optimizer is a tool used to track your progress.10. Modify bids before entering the contact network: AdWords allows advertisers to set different bids on the content network then appear on the search network. By modifying bids you can potentially pay less per click while still getting the same amount of traffic.Source: Frogloop, Care2’s nonprofit communications and marketing blog: read more

Katrina’s wake: happy facts and fundraising lessons

first_imgOn NPR this morning, I heard an unusual story about New Orleans – it chronicled the way people’s lives and life outlooks are improving there on this anniversary of Katrina. The relatively rare reporting of good news was probably great news to people in New Orleans:After hearing so many of the positive changes and innovative projects post-Katrina, we’ve decided enough is enough. It’s time to put an end to the negative press in mainstream media. We know that the levees broke. We know that our city is dysfunctional. We know that. But do you know about Prospect.1? Or about the influx of young professionals into New Orleans? The world needs to know about the NEW New Orleans. And to quote Brad Pitt, “If you’re going to rebuild something, why not rebuild it right?” Amen brother.This is the sentiment behind New Orleans 100, an effort to highlight the most innovative and world-changing ideas to take root in the city since Katrina. All Day Buffet, which is leading the effort, is working via social media to spread the word about these ideas and to “combat top-down media during the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.”Here’s what I like about this effort:-It’s a list (and lists are always good, sticky ideas)-It’s collaborative and celebrates many organizations-It’s specific and tangible-They did a nice pitch to me as a bloggerWhile we’re on the topic of Katrina, if you’ve never read it, check out the White Paper we did here at Network for Good on disaster giving. It shows how it fast – and fleetingly – people give in response to a crisis.P.S.: I hope Gustav stays away.last_img read more

Respectful Maternity Care: A Basic Human Right

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on April 11, 2017May 8, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Every woman around the world has a right to receive respectful maternity care. The concept of “respectful maternity care” has evolved and expanded over the past few decades to include diverse perspectives and frameworks. In November 2000, the International Conference on the Humanization of Childbirth was held in Brazil, largely as a response to the trend of medicalized birth, exemplified by the global cesarean section epidemic, as well as growing concerns over obstetric violence. Advocates emphasized the need to humanize birth, taking a woman-centered approach.The concept of “obstetric violence” gained momentum in the global maternal health community during the childbirth activism movement in Latin America in the 1990s. The Network for the Humanization of Labour and Birth (ReHuNa) was founded in Brazil in 1993, followed by the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Humanization of Childbirth (RELACAHUPAN) during the 2000 conference. In 2007, Venezuela formally defined “obstetric violence” as the appropriation of women’s body and reproductive processes by health personnel, which is expressed by a dehumanizing treatment, an abuse of medicalization and pathologization of natural processes, resulting in a loss of autonomy and ability to decide freely about their bodies and sexuality, negatively impacting their quality of life.Disrespect and abuse (D&A), a concept closely related to obstetric violence, has been documented in many different countries across the globe. In a 2010 landscape analysis, Bowser and Hill described 7 categories of disrespectful and abusive care during childbirth: physical abuse, non-consented clinical care, non-confidential care, non-dignified care, discrimination, abandonment and detention in health facilities. A 2015 systematic review updated this framework to include:Physical abuseSexual abuseVerbal abuseStigma and discriminationFailure to meet professional standards of carePoor rapport between women and providersHealth system conditions and constraintsSome evidence suggests that ethnic minorities are at greater risk of experiencing D&A during facility-based childbirth. Other factors that might influence a woman’s risk include parity, age and marital status. Women who have experienced or expect mistreatment from health workers may be less likely to deliver in a facility and to seek care in the future.Respectful maternity care (RMC) is not only a crucial component of quality of care; it is a human right. In 2014, WHO released a statement calling for the prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth, stating that “every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth.” WHO also called for the mobilization of governments, programmers, researchers, advocates and communities to support RMC. In 2016, WHO published new guidelines for improving quality of care for mothers and newborns in health facilities, which included an increased focus on respect and preservation of dignity.While a number of interventions have aimed to address this issue, many women around the world, including those living in high-income countries, continue to experience aspects of disrespectful and abusive care during childbirth. As facility-based birth and the use of skilled birth attendants continue to rise, a focus on quality and RMC remains critical for improving global maternal health.Access resources related to respectful maternity care >>Share this:last_img read more

3 key tax reform changes for freelancers

first_imgThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (otherwise known as tax reform) has brought with it many changes for freelance taxpayers. Three of the key ones are highlighted below—with some helpful hints to mitigate your tax burden.The “backdoor” Roth IRA is still availableThe “backdoor” Roth IRA rules allow you to recharacterize your traditional IRA as a Roth IRA tax-free in order to by-pass the Roth IRA contribution limits. Here’s why you might want to do this:A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account in which you only pay taxes on contributions and all future growth is tax-free. The theory is that by paying taxes now, you can avoid higher tax rates in the future when you start using your retirement funds. However, if you earn more than what is allowable under the tax law, you cannot directly contribute to a Roth IRA. According to the IRS:To contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have earned income.You must be under age 70½ in 2018 because traditional IRA contributions cannot be made in a year that you are 70½ or older.The modified adjusted gross income amount for contributing to a Roth IRA in 2018 phases out from $189,000 to $199,000 if you’re married filing jointly, and between $120,000 to $135,000 if you’re single.If you’re under 50 years old, you can only contribute up to $5,500, and if you’re over 50 the IRS gives you a $1,000 catch up.If your income is over this threshold, this is where the Roth IRA “back door” strategy comes in. You simply make a non-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA, then convert the contribution to a Roth IRA. Next, you’ll need to use the income phase-out rules above to determine how your conversion will be taxed.Essentially, if you don’t already have an IRA prior to doing a backdoor Roth IRA conversion, your after-tax contributions will be the same, regardless of whether you receive a deduction for the initial traditional IRA contribution or not.In addition, any funds in a Roth IRA aggregated through the back door conversion strategy are classed as converted funds, not Roth IRA contributions. This means that if you are under age 59½, you must wait five years to access those funds penalty-free. This stipulation does not apply if you make direct Roth IRA contributions, which are immediately available, tax and penalty-free.Key changes for popular itemized deductionsThe new tax reform rules also eliminate some favorite deductions for freelancers including:Unreimbursed qualified employee education expensesTax preparation and investment services fees,Professional duesThese are just some of the miscellaneous deductions that are being eliminated; your tax professional can expand the list for you based on your unique needs.Moving expense deductions are also eliminatedIt used to be that if you relocated for work, you could potentially deduct the related expenses if they qualified under the IRS guidelines. Unfortunately, this deduction is now eliminated for everyone except armed forces members.These are just three of the key tax reform changes which may apply to freelancers. It’s important to keep up to date on these new rules so that you can take action now to reduce your tax burden and make sure that you are accurately tracking any tax deductions you may be eligible for.Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-employed individuals across the country. He offers a free consultation to members of Freelancer’s Union and a monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues to freelancers on his website,, which also features a new blog, how-to articles, and a comprehensive freelance tax guide.Jonathan is happy to provide an initial consultation to freelancers. To qualify for a free consultation you must be a member of the Freelancers Union and mention this article upon contacting him. Please note that this offer is not available Jan. 1 through April 18 and covers a general conversation about tax responsibilities of a freelancer and potential deductions. These meetings do not include review of self-prepared documents, review of self-prepared tax returns, or the review of the work of other preparers. The free meeting does not include the preparation or review of quantitative calculations of any sort. He is happy to provide such services but would need to charge an hourly rate for his time.last_img read more

Should the U.S. Mint Ditch the Penny?

first_imgMy birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Technology has transformed the way we dine out in groups. Gone are the days when friends take turns treating each other to nights on the town. Now that apps make money accessible everywhere, tabs are paid down to the cent… Full Story,Occupation: Copywriter Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 29 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck (BiWeekly): $2,100/mo after HSA and 401(k) removed Monthly Expenses: Rent: $462.50 Car lease: $300 Insurances: $85 All other expenses Utilities: $200/mo Pet supplies: $30/mo Phone: $50/mo Streaming services: $15/mo… Full Story,Occupation: Digital advertising Age: 30 Location: San Francisco Bay Area Income: $5,200 month net post 401K, health insurance / HSA, and taxes Total Debt: $0 Monthly Expenses: Rent and utilities: $1,800 Auto: $275 including car insurance Internet/mobile: $120 10:00 am:… Full Story,The holidays are time for family. Here are some fun ideas from our friends at Quotacy on how to make the most of this holiday season with your loved ones, with a bit of humor. ?   With the rise… Full Story,Occupation: Social Media Manager Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 26 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck: $2,500/month after health/vision insurance deductions Monthly Expenses Rent: $700 Car Insurance: $65 Renters Insurance: $16 Utilities: $75 (Internet, Electric, Gas) Dental Insurance (not through work): $15 Hulu:… Full Story,On November 30th, The Financial Diet is kicking off their nationwide book tour for The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide To Getting Good With Money in New York.  Join us when the tour hits your city and don’t forget… Full Story,Occupation: Data Analyst Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 31 Location: Menlo Park, CA Paycheck (BiWeekly): $1,700 after auto-savings, 401k, ESPP purchase, renters & auto insurance and health care removed I have everything removed automatically as I have trouble with in-the-moment spending…. Full Story,Occupation: Account Services & Freelance Writer Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 39 Location: Longmont, CO Paycheck (3): $4,700/mo includes salary and three freelance clients (side hustles) Monthly Expenses Rent: $900 Car loan: $275 Credit card payment: $450 All other expenses… Full Story,If you’re still in college or a recent grad working with a limited budget, the idea of implementing a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming and very expensive. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself shelling out lots of cash… Full Storylast_img read more

5 Big Developments from Day 1 of the Paris Climate Conference

first_imgMore than 150 heads of state converged in Paris yesterday to kick off COP21 climate negotiations and show their resolve to tackle the climate challenge. In their opening speeches, leaders made it clear that they came to act. Many national leaders from developing and developed countries joined together to launch major new initiatives, some in partnership with the private sector.There is lots of hard work to be done over the coming days to ensure that we reach an agreement that is strong, durable and equitable. But heads of state achieved their mission of demonstrating solidarity and commitment to reach such an agreement.Here are five big developments from the first day of the Paris climate talks:1. In a flurry of speeches, world leaders demonstrated a commitment to reduce emissions and reach a strong, durable and equitable agreement in Paris. They emphasized the impacts of climate change already being felt by the most vulnerable and framed the agreement as an opportunity to increase the well-being of current and future generations.Leaders made strong links between tackling climate change, promoting sustainable development and eradicating poverty, emphasizing the role of forests and renewable energy. While many countries reiterated their climate plans already put forward to the UNFCCC, some announced new financial pledges and cooperative initiatives that will provide crucial momentum for the next two weeks. And a number of developed countries, including many island nations, articulated their understanding that climate change is an existential threat that must be addressed.For snapshots of heads of states’ specific remarks skim our live blog which captures the entire sequence of speeches.2. Twenty countries and 27 representatives from the private sector announced a multi-billion dollar clean energy fund and commitment to increase R&D investments. U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande and 18 other world leaders launched Mission Innovation, an unprecedented commitment to accelerate public and private clean energy innovation worldwide. These 20 countries — representing 80 percent of global clean energy research and development — each committed to double their R&D investments within five years. Simultaneously, Bill Gates unveiled the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of 27 private investors putting money on the table to help new, clean energy technologies come to market.As we mentioned in our media statement, this announcement is a major boost to the Paris talks. These unprecedented partnerships will unleash significant funds for clean tech and spur innovation to deliver clean, affordable energy to billions of people. This should add confidence that countries can meet and even exceed their stated climate goals, and that they can take on bolder commitments in the years ahead.India’s role in this initiative was also noteworthy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to stand with fellow leaders of emerging economies to make the case for international cooperation to encourage clean energy access and advance economic development.3. Modi and partners unveiled a new International Solar Alliance to scale up solar development around the world. The new alliance, spearheaded by India and created in partnership with several African countries, intends to bring together some 100 countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, most with abundant sunshine but without the initial resources to exploit this source of clean energy. Also mentioned in a separate WRI statement, by aiming to mobilize $1 trillion in investment, the alliance should drive down the costs of solar power, making it affordable for a growing number of communities. The international alliance brings together developing and developed countries to expand energy access, accelerate solar power deployment and stimulate economic development.The partnership is another example of Modi’s continuing ability to show his strong commitment to expand renewable energy in India and will undoubtedly complement India’s efforts to build 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022.4. Vulnerable countries outlined their vision of success for Paris that includes a 100 percent renewable energy future.  The Climate Vulnerable Forum’s declaration calls for a Paris outcome that empowers a new form of development based on 100 percent renewable energy and a full decarbonization of the global economy by 2050.  The declaration demonstrates vulnerable countries’ readiness to act as well as the need for all other countries to respond to climate change. This call to action is both needed and inspiring. As the moral compass of the climate negotiations, vulnerable countries have the credibility to significantly shape the final outcome in Paris.5. Important finance pledges were announced to help developing countries cope with climate impacts and make the transition to clean energy. Ministers from donor countries announced $248 million in new funding for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which provides support to the poorest countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change. The new pledges came from 11 countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.Developing countries came to Paris calling for support to help cope with devastating impacts of a warming world. The $248 million pledged today for the Least Developed Countries Fund will help fill a critical need and brings us a step closer to reaching a global agreement. The fund is now well positioned to approve dozens of shovel-ready adaptation projects that had been held back simply because of insufficient funds.Other financial commitments were made as well. For instance, Australia said it would provide $1 billion to build climate resilience, Japan committed to increase its contribution to climate finance by 1.5 times, and Canada pledged $2.65 billion in climate finance over five years.Packed into the sometimes soaring speeches and major commitments of the conference’s first day was a real sense of momentum and the realization that global action is urgently needed. Over the coming days, more commitments are expected that with continue to build on this momentum. Coalitions representing cities, forests, business and many more will come forward with innovative ideas about how to unlock new economic opportunities and reduce carbon emissions.Ultimately, negotiators need to follow-through on the aspirations of the heads of state to forge an agreement that brings all parties together and puts the world on a pathway to a stronger, better and more resilient future.And what do negotiators need to deliver at COP21 to put us on the right path? Our short animated video succinctly outlines the three ingredients of a strong agreement in Paris:last_img read more

5 Principles to Guide Financial Institution Action on Climate Change

first_imgFinance is a critical agenda item at the COP21 climate summit as country negotiators hone in on different pieces of the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, finance is also featuring prominently outside of the formal negotiations process, and a new initiative launched on Monday demonstrates the growing recognition that action by financial institutions – both public and private – is necessary to begin shifting the trillions of dollars needed to address the climate change challenge.Several institutions have already begun major initiatives, and some are already providing significant amounts of climate finance. For instance, the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), an association of national, bilateral and regional development banks from around the world, committed $85 billion of climate finance in 2014, according to their latest Green Finance Mapping Report.While impressive, the current commitments aren’t reaching the scale required to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). The New Climate Economy estimates $90 trillion (about $6 trillion annually) will be invested in infrastructure between now and 2030, and the shift to low-carbon investments necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change requires about $4 trillion (about $270 billion per year) in additional investment.Because dealing with climate change will not only require additional resources, but also a new way of making financial decisions, a group of financial institutions have been working since early 2015 to build consensus around a set of voluntary principles to effectively incorporate climate change considerations (both opportunities and risks) into their strategies, programs and operations. This process is often referred to as “mainstreaming climate change.”5 Voluntary Principles for Mainstreaming Climate ActionLaunched here in Paris at the start of this week, these Principles were spearheaded by several IDFC members and the multilateral development banks, but have recently been joined by other public and private financial institutions. The Principles aim to position financial institutions to capture opportunities while mitigating core business risks, and guide them through the process of mainstreaming climate change for better adaptation and promotion of climate-smart development through the following actions:COMMIT to climate strategies: Be strategic when addressing climate change. Financial institutions must make commitments from the top with senior management leadership defining explicit strategic priorities, policy commitments and targets.MANAGE climate risks: Be active in understanding and managing climate risk. Financial institutions should ask which climate risks are present in their portfolio, pipeline and new investments, as well as what are the most appropriate ways to help clients manage their risks. These aren’t easy questions to answer, but public resources can help the process.PROMOTE climate-smart objectives: Promote approaches to generating instruments, tools and knowledge on how best to overcome risks and barriers to investment in low-carbon and resilient investments. This could include developing new financial instruments, vehicles and products to raise additional financing and manage risks for climate-smart activities; engaging clients and other stakeholders (including rating agencies and accounting firms) on climate change risks and resilience; and sharing lessons learned with peers and others.IMPROVE climate performance: Set up operational tools to improve the climate performance of activities. Under this principle, financial institutions would track and monitor indicators tied to climate change priorities (see Principle 1 above), e.g. greenhouse gas emissions reporting, lending and advisory volumes supporting green investment, climate-related asset allocations, and each institution’s own climate footprint.ACCOUNT for your climate action: Be transparent and report, wherever possible, on the climate performance of your institution. Tracking and monitoring are important steps to improving climate performance, but performance transparency and reporting on financing increases in clean energy, energy efficiency, climate resilience or other climate-related activities and investments will help ensure targets are met and empower the full range of stakeholders outside the institution (e.g. investors, clients, civil society) to make informed decisions and hold institutions accountable.What’s Next?Twenty-six private and public sector financial institutions have joined the initiative as of the formal launch of the Principles on the COP21 sidelines. The hope is these principles will appeal to a wide range of financial institutions and guide them through a process that will help shift trillions of dollars towards low-emission and climate-resilient activities.With negotiators at the UN talks currently discussing how best to signal to investors about the need to align their portfolios with a below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) world, the launch of these principles is timely. However, civil society in particular has called for more leadership from financial institutions on the issue of climate change, and warned against a lack of ambition to create a fundamental change in business practice.As a concrete next step, the Initiative will form a Planning Group in 2016 to map out future work, including sharing knowledge about processes and tools to implement the Principles. Discussions around how to take the Principles forward have already started, revealing several key questions, among them: On accountability, how will progress with implementation be measured and by whom? On reach, how can an Initiative seeking to expand and reach financial institutions worldwide attract more developing country financial institutions to join?Answering these questions and putting these voluntary principles into actual practice across financial institutions will take time. However, the Principles have the potential to provide a useful roadmap to help guide institutions toward efficiently and transparently providing the trillions of investment needed to support the world’s low-carbon, sustainable development.last_img read more

Message from Bonn: The World is Committed to Climate Action and Paris Agreement

first_imgClimate negotiations just concluded in Bonn demonstrated that countries are fully committed to continue global climate action and implement the Paris Agreement. During the two-week meeting, delegates made important progress on an outline for a detailed rulebook (also known as implementation guidelines) for the Paris Agreement and started building a process for countries to take stock of progress, highlight opportunities for action and create a springboard for enhanced action. Delegates are now well-positioned to deliver a first draft of the negotiating text by the end of the UN climate summit in November, with the aim of adopting the guidelines in 2018.Uncertainty about continued U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement did not slow progress in Bonn. If anything, countries were emboldened to move forward and show that international climate action will not be deterred by the shifting political winds in any one country.The steady progress made in Bonn showed these two weeks was evidence of countries’ commitment to deliver on the progress made at the climate summit in Marrakech last year and finalize the guidelines for the Paris Agreement by the 2018 meeting in Poland, known as COP24.Designing the GuidelinesNegotiations moved forward on all tracks during the Bonn climate talks, with some areas maturing faster than others (e.g. transparency). Countries set out key issues in accounting for finance that countries have provided and mobilized. They also discussed various ways the Adaptation Fund could serve the Paris Agreement and the necessary steps to make this happen. There was progress on developing guidance for regularly communicating adaptation efforts and fruitful discussions on reporting emissions and financial support. Negotiations advanced on how to establish a committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance with the Paris Agreement. Delegates also continued to work through the complicated issues involved in designing a global stocktake (when countries gather every five years to assess progress thus far) that includes all core elements including mitigation, adaptation and finance. There was also clear recognition that all of the elements of the Paris Agreement are linked, and that understanding and mapping these linkages to develop a framework that is coherent and mutually reinforcing is essential to ensure the Paris Agreement reaches its full potential.The Paris Committee on Capacity Building met for the first time in Bonn. They consulted with stakeholders on how to address the lack of tools, technical expertise and organizational and institutional capacity in developing countries to both contribute to the design of the implementation guidelines and deliver on their climate commitments. The committee agreed on a comprehensive work program to guide and foster sustainable capacity building.Facilitative Dialogue to Help Take StockCountries made progress in discussions about the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018 (FD 2018), when countries will take stock of progress toward the Paris goals and highlight opportunities for stronger action. This can create a springboard effect by providing the motivation and confidence needed to enhance countries’ climate commitments (their Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) by 2020.Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, the new chief negotiator from Fiji, the incoming COP Presidency, is overseeing the FD 2018 process, with Ambassador Aziz Mekouar from Morocco. Khan introduced the Fijian concept of Talanoa to advance the discussions. Talanoa, Khan said, is a meaningful and rich conversation to share ideas, strengthen relationships and resolve problems. Bonn negotiators embraced the idea that the FD 2018 should be a process that must take place before and during COP24, rather than simply a moment for ministers to share statements at the climate summit. There is also an increasing sense that non-state actors such as cities and business can make important contributions and should play a role in the FD 2018 process.Progress and Lessons LearnedA Bonn highlight was hearing from countries about progress made in to curbing emissions and building resilience to climate impacts, along with lessons learned. Eighteen developed countries and seven developing countries took part in their respective peer review processes: multilateral assessment for the former, facilitative sharing of views for the latter. Countries managed to clarify assumptions, understand methodologies and to learn more about policies and measures underway. Canada highlighted its efforts on carbon pricing and clean tech innovation. India explained how it took advantage of the plummeting price of solar panels to expand solar capacity by 81 percent last year. France confirmed it is on track to surpass its 2020 targets. Morocco highlighted its large clean energy projects. The United States explained that while its climate policies are currently under review, emissions have fallen in recent years as the economy continues to grow.Next Up: G7 SummitThe next opportunity to show global leadership on climate change is the G7 Summit in Italy May 26-27. After positive discussions in Bonn and an outpouring of support for the Paris Agreement from businesses, cities and governments, climate change will be an important topic of discussion. The Paris Agreement raised the bar for what is considered strong climate language at these international gatherings, becoming a barometer for leaders to assess each other and to be assessed by their own citizens. Climate change has been a priority in every G7 and G8 communique over the last decade. G7 leaders must stick to that tradition and add to the momentum towards a more prosperous, climate-resilient world.Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to clarify that negotiations moved forward on all tracks and that Ambassador Aziz Mekouar of Morocco is overseeing FD 2018 with Ambassador Khan of Fiji.last_img read more

This One Chart Shows the Radical Changes Needed to Achieve Sustainable Cities

first_imgThe Sustainable Development Goals commit to ending poverty in all its forms by 2030. To realise this aspiration, governments need to provide under-served urban residents with decent housing, safe drinking water, reliable sanitation and clean energy. Ultimately, the number of slum dwellers should be declining by 50-60m people a year even as urban populations rise.The Paris Agreement commits to eliminate net global emissions by 2050. To decarbonize cities, governments will need to mobilise large-scale investment in renewable energy, public transport, energy-efficient buildings and solid waste management. Much of this investment will be needed in urban areas, which need to reduce emissions by 4-5 per cent every year.The way that urban land is used will be key to achieving all of these global agreements. In more compact, connected cities, people have better access to jobs, services and amenities. They also don’t have to travel as far, which reduces transport emissions that cause climate change and affect air quality. Cities therefore need to avoid sprawl and pursue more efficient, inclusive urban forms.From Agenda to ActionThe Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement were signed in 2015; the New Urban Agenda, in 2016. Now is the time to move from setting goals to taking action. But it’s important to be clear-eyed about the radical change needed to deliver these targets.‘Bending the curve’ will require more than incremental policy change or individual infrastructure investments. There is a need to shape urban growth in ways that meet the needs of city dwellers, reduce resource consumption and sustain economic development.Cities are where these changes must happen – but cities can’t do it alone. National governments need to create enabling frameworks that coordinate all the different actors in cities. Private finance will be key to meeting the shortfall in infrastructure investment.And communities like Molokoane’s must be involved in planning and implementation. After all, it is residents themselves who best know their city and must live with the consequences after all the conferences end. This article originally appeared on CityMetric.Rose Molokoane picked up the microphone at the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur in February, and challenged the room full of policymakers, practitioners and researchers.“I’ve been a part of every World Urban Forum, and government is always talking about needing to work together better,” said the deputy president of the Shack/Slum Dwellers International. The audience, many of them from government themselves, sat up a little straighter.We have heard leaders talk about trust, about integration, about inclusion, she continued. “Well, we don’t know who they’re talking about because they’re not talking to us.”Going the Wrong WayMolokoane is one of 881 million people living in slums, without access to basic services like water, sanitation and housing. If current patterns of urban growth continue, we project that the number of slum dwellers will reach 1.2 billion by 2050.This is not the only worrying trend in cities. More than 70 percent of carbon emissions from final energy use can be attributed to urban areas. As urban populations and economies grow, greenhouse gas emissions are rising steadily.Cities are also becoming more sprawling: the amount of land being used for urban purposes is expected to triple between 2000 and 2050. This is leading to the loss of natural ecosystems and productive agricultural land. Sprawling cities are also less energy efficient, as residents have to spend more time travelling to reach jobs, services and amenities.Bending the CurveMolokoane and other activists were involved in drafting the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement and New Urban Agenda. These global agreements envision a more equitable and sustainable world.But cities are not on track to achieve these goals. The number of people living in urban poverty is increasing, as are cities’ environmental footprint. There is therefore a need for transformational change to “bend the curve” towards greener, more inclusive urban development.last_img read more

A Lesson From La La Land: Create a Content Portfolio

first_img Warner Bros’ revenue last year video Webinar: Advanced Business Blogging  — a bubble disconnected from the business of selling  fencing in Littleton, MA , or  software applications Download the free webinar webinars Photo:  Originally published Aug 13, 2009 8:15:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 La La Land Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack leads Consider the distribution of  It’s  andy castro a portfolio of films Real Estate in Chapel Hill, NC Here’s what I mean: Hollywood movie execs have no idea which movies are going to be blockbusters. So the smart ones don’t try to pick. Instead, they create  If you want to make a blockbuster, plan on making lots of bombs in the process. and sales. So, what’s in your portfolio?  . The more diversity you have in your content portfolio, the better your chances of producing content that generates traffic, slidedecks You should also take the portfolio approach to different media types. Blogging is important, but don’t make it your only focus — try  (see the graph below); their four biggest movies accounted for more than half of the ticket sales. and Not so fast. , Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. , right? If you’re a small business owner or a marketing professional, chances are you don’t pay too much attention to Hollywood. There is a least one big lesson marketers and small business owners can learn from Hollywood: As a marketer or small business owner, you should think of content the way Warner Bros thinks of its movies — as pieces of a portfolio. to learn how to create a thriving blog. . Most of the films in their portfolio end up bombing, but that’s ok because it only takes one blockbuster to pay off their investment in the rest. , Instead of trying to pick one or two winning blog articles every month, write one or two dozen shorter articles. This will give you a better chance of publishing a blockbuster.last_img read more

How to Kill Your Viral Marketing Contest

first_img Social Media Marketing Book extended play . The opening slot on Slash’s Monster Energy Bash Well, I’ve been a huge Slash fan since I first heard GNR in L.A. in 1987. Over the years, I’ve dressed up as Slash for Halloween (alongside a beautiful Axl), photographed him in venues large and small, and attempted to play with the world’s most fun GNR tribute band, Mr. Brownstone. Topics: (votes in our case). In fact, the contest organizers gave a magnet for traffic, inbound links, viral interest and ultimately conversions This is a guest article written by Ilya Mirman, VP Marketing at Cilk Arts, a HubSpot friend and customer. You can follow Ilya on Twitter Live Webinar: The Science of ReTweets With Dan Zarrella Your Next Record viral marketing tools and techniques Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Let’s jam?! $10,000 in new gear and endorsement deals from Ernie Ball Music Man The ” Reserve your spot now DM me Remove the “need to register in order to vote” hurdle. You’ll be glad you did. There will be a ton more traffic and votes, which will further help separate the wheat from the chaff. (And yes, I’ll be first to admit that “Motel Detroit” is chaff.) You’ll also get: The good news is that the contest will go on for several more weeks. So, Vote for Filthy Knuckle . our band page A $10,000 Guitar Center shopping spree What to do NOW? , produced by producer Mike Clink (of Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth, Mötley Crüe) some great advice on how to promote your band for a 30 minute overview of the Science of ReTweets! Originally published Mar 16, 2010 8:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 BUT: The contest organizers — perhaps unwittingly — added a HUGE speed-bump into the mix.  In order to vote, fans must first REGISTER, answering all sorts of questions and sharing data they might not want to share just yet (e.g. their contact info, demographics, etc.). The result is that this inevitably reduces the pass-along value. Rather than Filthy Knuckle is Born Viral Campaigns An editorial feature on your band in Guitar World magazine Date and time: , and we wrote/recorded/mixed three songs in an evening. (Two of them suck, but one has actually grown on me: “Motel Detroit.” I think it’s sloppy, but has an arc…) The Speed Bump viral spreading So when I heard about the contest, I thought it’d be a blast to participate. With a couple friends, I formed the “supergroup” I have three suggestions: Filthy Knuckle 1. Guitar Center: And while some friends have certainly helped spread the word about Filthy Knuckle, I know the hurdle has cost us at least one substantial endorsement: that of my brother, 2. HubSpot blog readers: Friday, March 19, 2010 at 1:00pm ET  ! (Seriously — there’s no better way to communicate the problem with the registration hurdle than hijacking the contest in a fun direction.) A 3-song , and you have a shot at the greatest prize in the universe:  to learn what makes tweets contagious and how to create tweets that will go viral and increase your reach and authority.. . No, it’s not because he still holds a grudge for his broken thumb or stitches on both eyebrows acquired during the decade that I was bigger than him. Rather, he didn’t want to impose on his 26,000 Twitter followers to go through the contest registration hassle. Photo courtesy of Tim Griffin. And then it was off to the races: use all the things HubSpot has taught us about turning comedian Eugene Mirman Many of the bands have figured this out and have found a bit of a way to game the flawed system: since we are all registered, it’s far easier for us to vote for each other than to get unregistered friends (and their friends) to vote. As a result, we are seeing bands offering to trade votes, become each others’ fans, etc. The top band has 15 fans…we have 11. WTF?! (with each person voting and then telling at least one other potential voter about it), we now have a dramatic reduction filter of 95-98% at each connection, given that the vast majority would not bother to register. So for all the work and investment Guitar Center and Slash put into promoting this, building widgets for people to share via Facebook and MySpace, every visit when that hurdle is in place represents a missed opportunity. (By the way — how’s Filthy Knuckle doing? Ridiculously awesome, for some strange reason. With a Buzz Factor of 99.59, we are in the top 20 out of the 3,500 bands. I seriously can’t figure that out, because these are real musicians, many with a great sound.) 3. Slash: Join Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist and author of the ” contest has all the makings of an absolutely kick-ass idea. Submit your band’s songs, promote it using Slash (the legendary guitarist from Guns N’ Roses) will write, record and perform your single. into @IlyaMirman in the age of the Internet — network, embed, drive press, etc., — and they’ve come up with “Buzz Factor,” a metric based on band views, plays, etc.last_img read more

Lessons in Web Site Optimization Using Website Grader

first_img Company: Mesiro & Fink – Website Grader Score: 6 Put a telephone field on the form No Blog! Website Design Attach the social media efforts Add geographical keywords was an easy fix and one to surely juice up their SEO presence.    .  Please submit your site and we’ll look forward to talking to you live! weekly With a score of 96, you’d think there might not be much room for improving. Wrong!  Mike and I both found a few areas we thought this website could do better.   to the title tags. Company: BT-TelConsult – Website Grader score: 44 the knocked-out white on black background, a favorite of designers around the world, yet notoriously difficult to read.   Start a blog 2.   A company of this size is perfectly poised to leverage their army of consultants in talking about the Telecommunications vertical.  They could have tons of blog posts that would help them with the next key point. Use more pictures Originally published Mar 30, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 1. .  The form is nice and visible but the immediate need for someone with their skill set might necessitate a telephone call instead of an email. Move away 5. This is a big company.  British-Telecom could afford to do just about anything they wanted, right?  Well, it appears that they might want to consider a few tweaks to their site if they want people to contact them. and we’ll do everything live!  2. Our first effort at a live HubSpot live optimization event Tuesday, April 6 at 1 PM for our next Live Optimization Webinar 3. This new site has a very passionate business manager, Katherine.  We were able to talk to her about this site at great length and it was great to have an opportunity to understand how a creative person sees the web.  There were a few points we wanted to help Katharine with and most of them had to do with design.  to their blog and make sure the posts are more educational and less self-promotional in nature. 1. was better than we expected (thank goodness!).  We were prepared with a few web sites to review with the 1500 registrants of our This is a new site and we wanted her to do more than a few things in order to optimize it. email form Our suggestions for improvements: 2. on their Home Page.  So many offers, it is very distracting. of portraits and wedding photography in the site, especially on the home page.  The beautiful butterfly is nice, but it is not their business.   webinar 1. , more frequently which would give them more inbound links Join us on that has some excellent content on it directly into the website.  The content would be a terrific lead generation tool for this site. Contribute more actively Reduce the amount of Call to Action clutter Connect the blog 3. from frames in the web site.  The difficulty of having two bars to navigate can be confusing. they are making to the website and make sure the name of the firm is being used in their Twitter handle.  Currently, they are using a more generic name to tweet. Eliminate .  With a blog providing regular content they will be able to generate more inbound links. This is a three-month-old site and has been nicely optimized by an SEO firm they hired, so their score of 6 came as a bit of shock to Cynthia when we talked to her during the webinar.  She’s concerned that this site is not generating the number of leads that they expected.  Here’s a few things that Mike & I thought might be helpful: 3. Stop using Information Mapping in the title tag and on every page, and Topics: 4. more content start utilizing descriptive, long-tail keywords and we were able to call two marketing managers and discuss what they were trying to achieve with their website and get real-time feedback.  be better if someone was looking for consulting help?   1. They had a telephone number on their site (if you looked for it) but wouldn’t an 3. Only 162 indexed pages.  Clearly, they need 2. Company: Information Mapping – Website Grader score: 96 (currently just 29!). Company: Photos by Orion – Website Grader Score: 21 Mike and I enjoyed it so much that we’re going to do this Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Premier League: Manchester City down Arsenal, Liverpool get routine win

first_imgManchester City, the Premier League champions, and Liverpool, who are strongly fancied to challenge them this season, put down markers with impressive wins in their opening games of the new campaign on Sunday.City won 2-0 away to Arsenal, who were sixth last season, and the country’s highest spenders Liverpool demolished West Ham United 4-0 at Anfield.The champions, attempting to become the first team since Manchester United in 2009 to retain the title, were too good for an Arsenal side playing under new Spanish manager Unai Emery.England’s Raheem Sterling went past two weak challenges to put City ahead in the first quarter of an hour with his 50th league goal.Soon after debutant Riyad Mahrez was substituted in the second half, having earlier forced Petr Cech into a good save, Bernardo Silva added the second goal in the 65th minute from an assist by Benjamin Mendy.We’ve got more work ahead of us yet – but we’re just getting startedNext week, we go again #ARSMCI FC (@Arsenal) August 12, 2018City have now lost only one away game in the league — at Liverpool — of their last 21, and manager Pep Guardiola was delighted with them.”We made a good performance in general and day by day we will get better and better,” he said.Emery, meanwhile, will know he has much to do, even before a difficult local derby with Chelsea next weekend.”In the first half we needed less respect for City and then more aggressive pressing,” he said. “Second half we got better.”advertisementEarlier, Liverpool strolled to their usual victory over West Ham, whom they have now beaten 4-0, 4-1, 4-1 and 4-0 in the last four meetings.Four goals, three points, two full debuts and one clean sheet.5 talking points from #LIVWHU FC (@LFC) August 12, 2018Last season’s Premier League top scorer Mo Salah was on target again, giving Juergen Klopp’s side the lead after 19 minutes with a tap-in.Poor defending cost the London side a second goal just before the interval, to Sadio Mane, who added a third after 53 minutes from an offside position.Substitute Daniel Sturridge made it four just seconds after coming on near the end.West Ham’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini gave debuts to five of their 10 close-season signings but his revamped team rarely threatened Liverpool’s expensive new Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson.In contrast, midfielder Naby Keita, who cost Liverpool 50 million pounds ($63.84m) from RB Leipzig, was excellent throughout.”We played as good as possible today and we extended a really good pre-season into the Premier League,” Klopp said.The result continued West Ham’s dreadful record at Anfield, which now extends to one win in 46 league games. Liverpool have not conceded a goal in their last six home games in the league — since West Ham scored against them in February.Sunday’s other game was a goalless draw between Southampton and Europa League contestants Burnley.last_img read more