Month: February 2021

Artivist Shares Three Ways You Can Add Social Impact to Your Life

first_imgI must admit that the term artivist, while easily recognizable as a combination of artist and activist, was new to me when I saw it used in the title of a recent DELL EXPERIENCE at SXSW panel.Apparently, it is at least 10 years old, however, since it appeared in academic writing back in 2008 when M. K. Asante wrote, “The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination.”Five such creative people (pictured above) shared with us last week how they blend their artistic skills and passion for social good in the areas of fashion, photography and music; and, one had advice for how others can do the same.Old Becomes New FashionReduce, reuse, recycle is not always the mantra of the fashion-forward. But two young designers are looking to change that.“There’s so much waste. Anything somewhat old is automatically garbage,” Sloane Lenz said of the fashion industry. “I like to help people see things differently and that not everything is garbage.”This desire, along with a childhood spent in a rural area of Texas where there was no fabric store, built Lenz’s aesthetic for using unconventional materials. At 15 she created a dress out of 600 plastic bags to wear to a concert and today she creates custom pieces for musicians, artists and actors.Similarly concerned with reusing materials, high school student and designer Najai McKenzie-Robinson searches for old denim at thrift stores that she disassembles, paints and reassembles into 80s- and 90s-inspired pieces that fit today’s unique styles.McKenzie-Robinson’s one to watch as she grows her business. She is part of the Student Inc program featured in Inc. Magazine last year, and was one of four students chosen among 100 high school girls in the Central Texas area to participate the ChickTech Austin program.©Von WongUgly E-Waste Transformed“What I’m good at is convincing people to believe in stupid ideas,” Benjamin Von Wong joked when telling the audience of his journey from engineer to viral photographer. He shared that after his first financial success in photography, however, he realized that he wanted to do something with more soul.That led him to focus on conservation-related projects which brought him to the attention of Dell and an invitation to our Legacy of Good Change Maker Brunch at SXSW 2017. From there, he put his power to convince to work with an idea and some pencil sketches.“Let’s be real, e-waste is ugly. No one wants to talk about it,” said Sarah Gilliam, Marketing Consultant on Dell’s Corporate Social Responsibility >, as she explained that what she saw in Von Wong’s idea was an opportunity to make something ugly beautiful and speak to our hearts, as well as our minds.I gave you a preview of the results leading up to SXSW, but the final photos — and your chance to win one — can be found on Von Wong’s blog. It took a lot of “low-fi” tools to like chalk and a yardstick, and even a leaf blower, to bring them to life. Because he believes people are inspired by the process as much as the end result of this photography, Von Wong created this video to take you behind the scenes.Von Wong explained that this #RethinkRecycleRevive project all started with pretty humble beginnings, and that it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many volunteers. Some even drove from as far as 12 hours away to help assemble the sets for these photos.“This idea that you could make a difference is something that people are really interested in and something they’re willing to put time and effort into,” he explained. For those who are interested leveraging their artistic skills to implement social impact Von Wong shared three tips:Make a commitmentFocus on you (not external things that could impede you)Take (little) risksWatch his full talk in the video below to hear him explain these more fully.Tourism Gives BackAnother photographer making a difference is Colby Brown. As his landscape and travel photography took him around the world, he came to realize that tourists never really know where our money is going. Are we supporting a local community with the dollars we spend there, or is it going to a larger corporation somewhere else?So he founded The Giving Lens, an organization that blends photo education with support for various nongovernmental organizations and causes spanning the globe.“I started giving lens with the idea of making it easier for artists to make a tangible difference in the world,” Brown said. They do this by taking teams of photographers of all skill levels on photo adventures to places like Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda, Morocco and Jordan.While trip participants get to see the world and improve their photography skills, they also partner with non-profit organizations to support the work they’re doing in the community. And The Giving Lens donates up to 50 percent of their profits to these groups doing incredible work.I’m adding one of these trips to my bucket list, even though my current photo skills are limited to my smartphone’s capabilities.Nature Sounds Become New MusicThe final social good artivist to speak at this event was the most surprising to me. I mean, would you expect to see the DJ at your favorite club use bird calls to make you move?That’s the unique way Ben Mirin blends his music producing skills with his love of the sounds of nature to inspire and teach people about the world.“My job as a producer is to be a vehicle for what is already singing around the world,” Mirin said. “We can use art to break down perceived barriers and allow anybody to get involved with saving the planet,” he said.A lifelong naturalist and musician, as well as a National Geographic Explorer, Mirin leads expeditions to record endangered wildlife sounds and samples them into his music to raise awareness.If you watch this replay of this event until the end, you can hear the results.last_img read more

Clipper Race Update: Bonds Forged in Hard Work and Shared Values

first_imgAbout Marek Omilian, crew member, Visit SeattleMarek Omilian, 53 from Seattle, USA, is undertaking the full 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation on board Visit Seattle. The father of two grew up sailing centre-board boats in the Sea Scouts in his native Poland, and after immigrating to the USA in his twenties, he began sailing keelboats and has been racing in the Puget Sound since 2015. Being a Dell Ambassador was a natural fit for Omilian, who has a computing and analyst background and runs his own valuation and management consultant firm. Other than the pride of arriving in his home port of Seattle, Omilian is hoping his Clipper Race experience will challenge him both physically and mentally, and create life-long friendships with his teammates. And, of course, result in winning the coveted Clipper Race Trophy. This is the sixth entry in a series of blogs by Dell Ambassadors competing in the Clipper Race, a 40,000 nautical mile race around the world in 70-foot racing yachts. You can find the first post from Marek Omilian, and the posts from Samantha Harper on Direct2Dell. For more background on Dell’s involvement, read our initial blog about this exciting race here.Oh, what a Race Leg 4 for Visit Seattle!Australia has been great to us and we enjoyed it very much. The iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was very special. Unforgettable experience, racing not just the Clipper Race fleet, but 100 other boats. Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, Airlie Beach have been outstanding stopover locations.I haven’t done the exact math, but we scored more than half of our 60 total points during the three races around Australia. This included a second place in Fremantle to Sydney and the win in Hobart to Airlie Beach races.On top of that, we have always been near the top of the fleet, adding points in the scoring gates and ocean sprint. I feel as we have found the winning approach. It took time, hard work, lots of sweat and tears (no kidding!), trial and error, learning and persevering. It’s like building anything – tangible (such as Dell Rugged) or intangible (such as an organization).There has been a lot of give and take by the crew members, everyone making their adjustments of goals and attitude towards others. All of this hard work has really not been about sailing. Of course, we are better sailors than when we left Liverpool six month ago, but so are all of the other crews on the ten other Clipper Race boats.It has mostly been about building a strong team culture based on core values everyone lives by. Some follow the core values right away, others need some time to internalize them and adjust by watching the rest living by them. It helps greatly to have a leader or leaders setting examples for others.I enjoyed being part of the learning and building process. It’s been one of the lessons I hoped to learn during the Clipper Race. Building organizational culture based on values is fully portable to anything I will do for the rest of my life.last_img read more

Celebremos! Dell Team Members Reflect on Hispanic Heritage

first_imgAs a proud member of the Latino community, I always love this time of the year—Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). It’s a time to reflect on and appreciate the contributions that Hispanic Americans have made and continue to make on society.  And at Dell, the month gives us an opportunity to celebrate and give a glimpse to our heritage.Born in Panama and raised in South America, I was exposed to different cultures and economic environments. Despite the differences, the warmth and welcoming attitude of Latinos on each country remained constant and this experiences truly shaped the person I’ve become. Because of this, I’m passionate about giving back to the community. Through Latino Connection, Dell’s employee resource group (ERG) supporting Dell’s Hispanic and Latino communities, I am able to inspire the next generation of professionals with organizations like Girls Who Code and Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA).Over my years at Dell, I’ve learned I am not alone. I asked some of my fellow Latino team members, what their heritage means to them and how they are able to bring their authentic selves to work every day while also giving back to the community:“September 20 was the anniversary of Hurricane Maria and the impact of the hurricane on Puerto Rico, where I’m from, was devastating.  It’s taken over a year and we’re still going through the recovery.  The Dell team really stepped up to coordinate and deliver donations from Dell site locations to the Puerto Rico community was beyond heartwarming to me and my family. — Mariely Franzetti, Vice President, Support Services IT“I have had a number of opportunities during the 26 years I’ve been with Dell, but most recently I’ve had the opportunity to work with Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where I’ve partnered with Dell’s government affairs team to help build initiatives for the next generation of Latino leaders on the Hill.” — Ed Loya, Senior VP, HR Business Partner“I love working at Dell because of the people. Mexico is in my heart because of the family relationships that I have there. And here at Dell the interdependence among teams, the relationships that we forge, the values that we have here and the standards that we try to achieve, honestly makes Dell and these people feel like home and like family.” —Adrian Rodriguez, Head of Ethics and Compliance Fraud Investigations for LATAM“My Hispanic heritage has equipped me with the right mix of attributes for success: a strong work ethic, a relentless desire to make a difference, and the ability to value the power of teamwork and community. Through Latino connection, I have found opportunities to lead key initiatives, establish great friendships, strengthen relationship and create opportunities for our Hispanic community inside and outside of Dell.” — Artemio San Martin, Senior Manager, Support & Deployment Services Operations“I’m an advocate for inspiring the young Latina community to pursue their career dreams. As such, I helped establish the Day at Dell, an annual day when Latino Connection brings a group of girls to the Dell campus, learn about technology, have time with mentors and shadow some of our Latino Connection team members.”– Ana Villegas, Senior Marketing DirectorIt is evident that the Latino community at Dell values relationships, strong work ethic and the ability to give back to the community. At Dell, diversity is part of our company DNA and we truly feel empowered to bring our passions to work every day to make a difference. I’d encourage you all to join in Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations and share your stories about your Hispanic or Latino Heritage or learn more about this amazing community.last_img read more

Keep Focus on Workloads with a Future-Proof Infrastructure

first_imgWhen you have the reassurance that your IT infrastructure investments are protected, you can worry less about the critical workloads that keep your organization running. So far in our Direct2DellEMC series on optimizing your infrastructure for critical business workloads, we have been discussing how selecting the right technology provider can make the difference in organizations delivering superior outcomes. Today we will take that conversation one step further and explore the benefits of a total package – advanced technologies, coupled with guarantees, offers and assurances.Our advice is to center your decision-making around the use cases, applications and databases that have a most direct impact on your organization’s strategic differentiation. By keeping focus on the performance and simplicity required by the workloads that drive the unique capabilities your business relies on for differentiation, you can optimize your infrastructure with each investment. But before you take your next step in infrastructure modernization, consider if the strategy you are following is future-proof.As IT leaders have learned throughout their careers, eliminating unknowns increases the likelihood of positive outcomes down the road. The best way to sleep at night is to know that your investments are protected.In addition to our full stack of IT solutions and the services offered by our experts, we know organizations turn to Dell Technologies because of our establishment as a leader in the industry. And we remain one of the most trusted technology providers around the globe because in addition to helping your IT staff enact modernization efforts, we ensure that your satisfaction is guaranteed.To bring you that further peace of mind, we have made a set of promises through our Future-Proof Program that guarantee our resilient storage, data protection, networking and hyperconverged products deliver value throughout their lifespan. The program is designed to help you optimize the IT lifecycle through a series of guarantees, offers, and assurances. Future-Proof provides support from beginning to end by guaranteeing outcomes, maximizing investments and helping you navigate the future of IT.Future-Proof guarantees outcomes by going above and beyond expectations with guarantees that our world class technology capabilities will deliver as promised. Because we stand firmly behind our solutions, we hope you can plan to support your workloads confidently, assured that you will neither over- nor under-provision for your business needs.Future-Proof maximizes your investments by ensuring that you can easily purchase, exchange, and upgrade IT solutions to seamlessly modernize technologies today and into the future. Future-Proof also helps you to navigate IT futures with technologies and features designed to flexibly operate on premises or in the cloud, today and in the future. By eliminating future cost uncertainties for acquired solutions, you will be able to better budget for new IT needs as your workloads demand.Don’t forget that our advanced offerings across the infrastructure stack are available with flexible payment options through Dell Technologies On Demand, which includes value-added services with ProDeploy, ProSupport and Managed Services. These services can be bundled effortlessly and paired with all the financial consumption models and with the Future-Proof program.Dell Technologies has the right technology and programs to provide your IT staff with the peace of mind that 2020 demands. And the Future-Proof program enables customers to focus on critical business needs while Dell Technologies handles the rest. By delivering the performance, scalability and resiliency you require across our powered-up portfolio of infrastructure, we help ensure your IT investments will successfully support the workloads that your business depends on to grow.For more on this topic, please visit here.Past entries: read more

Burundi ruling party selects hardliner as secretary-general

first_imgNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Burundi’s ruling party has selected as the former president of the country’s senate to be the new secretary-general. Reverien Ndikuriyo was picked Sunday by the ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy, known by its French acronym CNDD-FDD. Ndikuriyo was named to the position at the party’s convention in Gitega, Burundi’s capital. He replaces President Evariste Ndayishimiye who was secretary-general until now. Ndayishimiye, was named to the ruling party’s highest position, chairman of the Council of Elders. The new secretary-general was the president of Burundi’s senate between 2015 and 2020 and is known as a hardline member of the party who has made hostile speeches against the opposition.last_img read more

Mossimo Giannulli loses bid to finish prison term at home

first_imgBOSTON (AP) — A federal judge has denied fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli’s request to serve the remaining three months of his prison term in the college admissions bribery scheme at home. Giannulli had argued he should be released to home confinement for the rest of his five-month sentence because he spent eight weeks under “extreme” conditions in solitary confinement after reporting to prison in November. But U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said Giannulli failed to demonstrate an “‘extraordinary and compelling’ reason warranting his release,” though he noted that the quarantine was “longer than anticipated.”last_img read more

Philippines protests new China law as `verbal threat of war’

first_imgMANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines is protesting a new Chinese law that authorizes its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels and destroy other countries’ structures on islands it claims. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the Chinese law “is a verbal threat of war to any country that defies” it. He says failure to challenge the law “is submission to it.” China’s Coast Guard Law, which was passed on Friday, empowers the force to “take all necessary measures, including the use of weapons, when national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction are being illegally infringed upon by foreign organizations or individuals at sea.”last_img read more

Ruth Dayan, Israeli fashion designer, dies at 103

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — Ruth Dayan, the Israeli fashion designer and peace activist who was married to one of the country’s most revered generals, has died at the age of 103. Dayan founded the Maskit fashion house in 1954, whose designs were inspired by the cultural heritage of Jewish immigrants as well as Israel’s Arab community. She was also an active proponent of peace with the Palestinians and supported charitable causes. She was the first wife of Moshe Dayan, the one-eyed commander who was defense minister during the 1967 war. They were married from 1935 until their divorce in 1971 and had three children together. Israeli media reported her death on Friday.last_img read more

Pushed by China, Guyana cancels Taiwanese investment office

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Guyana’s government has cancelled permission for Taiwan to open a trade and investment office in the South American country after coming under pressure from China. The cancellation came Thursday after Foreign Minister Hugh Todd met with the ambassador of China, which insists that Taiwan is legally a part of its territory and not an independent nation. The government issued a statement clarifying “that it continues to adhere to the One China policy.” Todd told The Associated Press on Friday that government had initially not seen anything wrong in allowing the Taiwanese to set up an office purely to push trade and investment.last_img read more