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Interest in early-stage nonprofits within Korea’s social impact ecosystem has increased in accurate years, and more and more are garnering financial and organizational support. As one example, in early 2023, Brian Impact Foundation, which focuses on big-bet philanthropy, donated a total of 12.6 billion won (about $9.7 million) to 15 nonprofits through its Impact Ground Project. Among the grantees, early-stage nonprofits accounted for 66.7 percent. The foundation has also started a capacity-development program for nonprofits in collaboration with Root Impact, an intermediate support organization.
The ultimate success of these young nonprofits—their ability to fulfill their missions—will depend on many things, but good governance is among the most important. The global environmental, social, and governance (ESG) phenomenon sheds light on the long-overlooked matter of governance in the realm of corporate management in Korea, and we must examine nonprofits with the same lens. Establishing practices that hold founders, C-level leaders, and board members accountable and responsible can guard against decision-making based on personal preferences and help ensure that organizations’ social mission comes first. It follows that the more successful nonprofits are at achieving their missions, the more support they’ll receive, and the greater the impact they’ll have on both the social impact ecosystem and society.
That said, preventing irresponsible management and less-than-transparent operation—cited as a major problem of Korean nonprofits in the past—can be challenging, especially as organizations grow. In this regard, the education-focused nonprofit Jump Corporation offers a useful case study of how early-stage nonprofits can develop effective governance practices and evolve them over time. Since its founding in 2011, Jump has experimented with a variety of governance approaches and identified a range of insights that can help other new nonprofits ethically and effectively pursue their missions. This includes the value of experimentation.
Jump’s mission is to create “a society in which anyone can benefit from learning opportunities,” with a focus on expanding educational opportunities for underprivileged teenagers throughout Korea. The organization uses a “triangular mentoring model” in which three different groups mutually benefit: University student volunteers assist teenagers with their schoolwork; professionals act as mentors and role models for the teenagers and provide career advice to the university students; and, as they make progress, the teenagers offer university students and professionals a rewarding experience. The program creates a system in which everyone benefits from learning and sharing—a model that was awarded 250 million won (about $200,000) through Google Korea’s Impact Challenge in 2016.
This model was the basis of several Jump programs, and in 2013, the organization used it to develop H-Jump School in partnership with Hyundai Motor Group. To date, 1,932 university student volunteers have taught 6,604 teenagers at 398 regional learning centers across the country, equivalent to 1,566,382 hours of cumulative learning time.
According to a 2019 survey of program participants, 66.7 percent of teenagers increased the number of hours they studied and 63.8 percent improved their grades. Moreover, 69.1 percent experienced greater self-esteem and 72.9 percent felt a greater sense of self-efficacy. University students and professionals meanwhile noted that the program helped them enhance their soft skills and better understand the viewpoints of various generations.
Successfully experimenting with and evolving its governance structure over the last decade has been central to Jump’s success. Adapting to organizational growth, embracing diverse perspectives, thoughtfully collaborating, championing leadership change, and committing to transparency have all moved the organization closer to achieving its mission. Here’s a closer look at each of these five lessons.
Nonprofits need to adapt their governance structure to suit each stage of their development. A structure that works at an organization’s inception likely won’t work as it evolves. For one, it’s simply not realistic to expect one or two people to make informed decisions about every aspect of a nonprofit’s increasingly complex operations. Inviting more people to participate in decision-making over time, based on their expertise and proximity to the work, and refining communication processes can Improve efficiency and foster growth.
In 2011, seven Korean Harvard University students established Jump with the common goal of expanding educational opportunities for underserved youth. Their focus was on problem-solving, and all of them eventually joined the board. In the beginning, the board emphasized practicality over formality; the directors communicated informally and on an ad-hoc basis, without any limitations on time or place. They were also deeply engaged in day-to-day matters.
The organization evolved and stabilized, and in 2013, the directors appointed a full-time chief operating officer to help manage Jump’s operations. However, this strategy was short-lived; the heavy demands of the job and uneasiness with working in a full-time capacity led the person in the role to leave in 2015.
The directors decided to try something new. Instead of overseeing both day-to-day operations and relevant business decisions themselves, they handed both tasks over to Jump employees in 2016 and began to engage only in major decisions and policy-making activities. After a gradual transfer of responsibility to employees, governance became more systematic and pragmatic, as exemplified by quarterly board meetings.
Jump's current COO, Chorong Eun, who joined Jump in 2014 as the H-Jump School manager and was promoted to an operating director in 2016, explains the process: “At Jump, we were able to witness the synergy between [the board of directors and employees. This] led to excellent decision-making and business execution, because [they] carried out their own roles clearly. For instance, employees now have the practical knowledge and abilities to plan … projects and prepare grant proposals without largely depending on the board of directors. The board of directors has more time to look into Jump's long-term plan.”
Eun attributes several successes to this shift, including winning two grants from the AVPN Digital Transformation Fund for 200 million won (roughly $154,000) and the Impact Ground Project for 1 billion won (about $770,000). In addition, Jump launched a new pilot project with the KOICA-NGO volunteer group Edu-Corps program in the Philippines, Cambodia, and East Timor, which sends out Korean volunteers to collaborate with young locals to tackle educational and social problems in the community. Eun says, “These … are the positive outcomes of a smooth shift [of responsibility] between the board of directors and employees.”
In her SSIR article, “A Roadmap to Better Boards,” Kate Hayes, director of the nonprofit board leadership program Direct Impact, writes, “There’s a causal relationship between diversity and groups that are more innovative, creative, problem-solving, and better performing overall. If we want to optimize the social sector’s potential to create impact, diverse nonprofit boards are not a ‘nice to have,’ they are a ‘must have.’” Diverse boards include people directly involved in the organization's work, whose deep organizational knowledge and experience can help the board avoid bias, make more-informed decisions, and develop long-term strategies that align with their missions.
The inaugural board consisted of three women and four men with experience in areas including consulting, Internet technology, media, and corporate social responsibility. They were very interested in closing the educational gap in Korea, regardless of their own socioeconomic fortune. After several years of work on the triangular model, the Google Impact Challenge award in 2016 gave the group a push to advance, and they sought to diversify the board—not to correct a lack of diversity in the past, but rather to experiment with avoiding potential bias and enhancing decision-making for the future.
The organization added what it calls “alumni director” and “mentor director” to the board to represent university students and professionals, respectively. After an open recruitment process, the board selected two as members who could both relay the concerns of each group to the board and actively contribute to policymaking. And in 2018, a new “employee director” joined the board to represent Jump employees. Employees nominated candidates for the new position, then voted on who they thought should take the role.
Having volunteer, professional, and employee representatives on the board helps ensure that Jump’s decision-making processes include diverse perspectives and consider the needs of primary beneficiaries.
Every individual involved in a small early-stage nonprofit has significant influence over its success. If each person embodies the organization’s DNA, they are more likely to carry out its mission consistently and efficiently. If people have different understandings of what the organization aims to achieve and where it’s headed, it can waste time and resources, and turn away people who would otherwise engage.
Only members of the Jump community who truly understand Jump’s mission and vision are eligible to participate in decision-making. Student alumni, professionals, and employees who have this “Jump DNA” can apply to join the board through its open recruiting process. The CEO and co-founder of Jump, Euyhun Yi, calls this “openness within a closed community.”
Jump established this policy in 2014, but it soon came up against challenges. When Jump encountered operational and financial difficulties in the years that followed, some board members argued for bringing on prominent people outside the Jump community who could offer practical and prompt solutions. And in 2016, the CEO of a mid-sized company proposed that they join the board in exchange for a sizeable lump-sum donation.
The board ultimately rejected the proposal for fear that their interests and values might not align, and made a fresh effort to look for new project and funding opportunities. Between grant funding and the renewal of long-term contracts with significant corporate sponsors, Jump eventually achieved financial security. In the process, it learned the value of fostering qualitative growth that reflects the mission and vision rather than quantitative expansion.
Employees also have the Jump DNA. In recognition of the organization’s social value and impact, Jump was nominated as the Social Progress Credit recipient in 2017, a program led by the Center for Social Value Enhancement Studies(CSES) that awards cash incentives to organizations that have created social impact. While the money could have been allocated entirely as bonus compensation, Jump employees voluntarily proposed to put 50 percent of it into savings in case the organization needed cash in the future. This collective decision by employees, which was somewhat controversial for a Korean nonprofit but received the board’s approval after a year-long debate, provided the resources for Jump to build the Songjeong-Dong Community House in 2023. Jump will use the building to host various cultural educational programs for local residents and provide space to small business owners in the local community
In these ways, Jump has managed to achieve steady and gradual growth with the help of its community of like-minded individuals. The organization’s 1,932 university student volunteers, 540 experienced professionals, and 34 officer employees also represent the next generation of leadership and form a strong foundation for sustainable governance.
Like all organizations, nonprofits have life cycles, and each phase—from introduction to growth to maturity—requires a different kind of leadership. Unfortunately, many nonprofits don’t change how they lead to meet the moment, even though it significantly affects whether they will continue to exist. A common example of this is founder’s syndrome: long-term management by a sole representative who doesn’t delegate authority or refuses to adopt new skills or ways of thinking, thereby inhibiting growth or causing the organization to fail altogether.
Yi, Jump’s founding CEO, will likely transition out of his role in 2023. While it’s rare for an organization to undergo a leadership transition during a growth phase, the decision stems from the right reasons—to prevent founder’s syndrome, and support the accountability and longevity of Jump. In 2019, Yi shared his transition plans with the board of directors and employees, and since then, he has been preparing to empower his successor to effectively lead Jump through the next phase of its lifecycle.
When everyone in an organization is on the same page, they can communicate more effectively. A culture of transparency also helps ensure that the personal interests of decision-makers don’t have undue influence over policies and other important decisions.
Having witnessed the demise of nonprofits brought on by individual self-interest and a lack of information transparency, Yi made the decision when he came on as CEO in 2011 to upload Jump’s business plans, information on board-level decisions, and details about operations to a shared folder that employees could access any time. Access to this information has allowed employees to better understand the organization and its social mission, ultimately enabling them to carry out the purpose more effectively. Everyone on the team can provide the same level of information to clients, for instance, and sharing information online has helped reduce the length of weekly meetings.
Jump is currently considering ways to more productively and efficiently communicate with employees about the vast amount of information it has accumulated over time. Yi says, “Transparency in information serves as an organizational safety net for our decision-making process.”
Jump’s experience navigating organizational change underlines the importance of good governance. The organization’s openness to trying new approaches, such as giving employees access to leadership-level information and changing board and employee responsibilities over time, has contributed greatly to its success so far. While the same lessons may not apply directly to all early-stage nonprofits, Jump provides an example for other early-stage nonprofits inside and outside Korea’s social impact ecosystem of how a socially minded organization can evolve while staying true to its mission.
Read more stories by Kelly Hyunjung Shin, Yumin Jo & Jinwoo Cheong.
Thirty percent of Americans are overweight. There are many influences on overeating including genetic predispositions, overweight friends, and family. The good news is these influences can't force you to overeat since your actions come from your thinking and you can change your thinking.
In most (but by no means all) cases, being overweight results most directly from eating too much no matter what influences surround this problem. The simple (even if only partial) solution involves eating fewer calories. The difficult aspect involves putting this into practice.
Step 1. Apply the Problem Separation Technique (PST). Ask yourself: do I have an emotional problem such as anxiety, stress, guilt, or depression about my practical problem of eating too many calories?
Step 2. If the answer is yes, then determine if you have a secondary disturbance: a secondary disturbance means you're disturbing yourself about disturbing yourself. To put it another way, when your primary disturbance lies in your eating, Secondary disturbance means making yourself disturbed about eating too much and about gaining too much weight. Here's how it may manifest: suppose you notice you're eating more than is desirable. Primary disturbance: You tell yourself, "I must satisfy my craving for food right now and eat, I can't stand feeling deprived." Secondary disturbance: then as you are compulsively eating you think, "I must stop eating." You have a must about a must! Disturbing yourself about your problem doesn't help and only makes you feel worse. The demand often here is something like "I must not overeat." Demanding this of yourself is unrealistic, doesn't help, and only tends to make matters worse. A more realistic view would be something like, "I prefer not to overeat but clearly there's no law of the universe stating I must not. If I do, I do, I'll try to eat less next time."
Step 3. Remind yourself that you can accept yourself and still enjoy life and be productive with the extra pounds. Then why lose the weight? Because your life can be even better, satisfying, and more healthful without carrying around the extra pounds.
Step 4. Recognize eating too much and eating unhealthy food is a choice. You can choose to eat the ice cream or choose not to. You can choose to stop eating when you've had enough or choose to continue eating. You're not compelled to eat even though it may feel like you are and have no control. If you're skeptical imagine this: you are about to feast on your favorite ice cream. Someone shows up with a gun pointed at your head and threatens: "if you eat the ice cream I'll shoot." Clearly you decide to skip the ice cream.
Step 5. Go for unconditional self-acceptance (USA). You accept yourself unconditionally whether you overeat or you stay on your diet. Refuse to rate your total self based on the rating of your behavior. Whether you diet successfully or unsuccessfully you're still the same imperfect human who acts imperfectly. You always have been and you always will be.
Step 6. Go for unconditional life acceptance (ULA). You accept your life unconditionally with its frustrations, discomforts, and difficulties.
Practice implementing the above steps regularly. It's hard, but hard doesn't mean impossible. The good news: overeating is a choice. You can choose to stay on a reasonable eating regimen or choose not to. It's up to you!
The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.
Feb 06, 2023 (IssueWire via Comtex) -- New York City, New York Feb 6, 2023 (Issuewire.com) - Get to know Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner & Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Janet James-Melvin, who serves patients in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Janet is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner & board-certified family nurse practitioner with over 15 years of clinical and advanced nursing practice experience. She is the Owner & Operator of Samaritan Psychiatry and Wellness in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Her clinical experience includes PTSD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD, and schizophrenia. She also has a special interest in treating individuals dealing with autistic spectrum disorders.
Utilizing evidence-based and natural solutions, Janet's philosophy and approach to practice are holistic. Her practice experience includes adolescents, adults, and geriatric clients in both post-acute, long-term care, and private practice settings. Her primary goal is to help each individual restore emotional, mental, and physical balance to their life.
Academically, Janet earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Arizona State University, and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. She then completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Arizona State University in 2023.
Having taught at the university level, she continues to intern with nursing students to promote advancement in the field of nursing.
Attributing her success to the grace of God, Janet is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Association.
Psychiatric nursing or mental health nursing is the appointed position of a nurse who specializes in mental health and cares for people of all ages experiencing mental illnesses or distress. In the United States, a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse trained to provide a wide range of mental health services to patients and families in a variety of settings. PMHNPs diagnose, conduct therapy, and prescribe medications for patients who have psychiatric disorders, medical organic brain disorders, or substance abuse problems. They are licensed to provide emergency psychiatric services, psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients, treatment plans, and patient care. They may also serve as consultants or as educators for families and staff.
A Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC) is an advanced practice registered nurse who holds board certification and works autonomously or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, to deliver family-focused care. Given the rather broad nature of the "family" patient population focus, FNPs offer a wide range of healthcare services that revolve around the family unit; from health promotion and disease prevention to direct care and counseling across the lifespan.
Learn More about Janet James-Melvin:
Through her online profile, https://todaysnurse.org/network/index.php?do=/4149168/info/ or through Samaritan Psychiatry and Wellness, https://www.samaritanpsychiatryandwellness.com/about
Your Health Contact
Source :Janet James-Melvin
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For brands hunting for customer insights to drive decision-making, Improve customer experience (CX), and ultimately spur growth, market research has long been part of the toolkit.
Whether it’s actually helpful or not is another question. In a typical market research project, brands invest (often heavily) in conducting research that amounts to a one-time snapshot of existing customer sentiment and, perhaps, competitors’ prevailing differentiators. While this research can yield useful insights, it usually fails to recognize the wants of potential customers, or adequately correlate data that reveals exactly why customers are with competitors.
Brands can easily miss the forest for the trees when relying on traditional market research. They get bogged down in addressing complaints while missing out on the fundamental reasons for why a customer chooses one brand over another. At the same time, market research projects are prohibitively expensive to repeat with regularity, and offer limited insights that begin to go stale from the moment research is completed.
Some marketers instead leverage social listening platforms for more continuous analysis of customer behavior (and customer engagement with specific features or brand offers). This strategy can collect useful customer reviews and feedback, and tends to be much more affordable than commissioning one-off market research studies.
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However, this approach still leaves marketers blind to competitive activity and the adjustments that are best poised to win over those potential customers. Social listening platforms also require largely manual processes to sift insights from firehouse data. Talented data analyst teams doing this time-consuming work may very well identify correlations across that data, but that talent doesn’t come cheap. The shortcomings of both traditional market research and social listening platforms mean that rich opportunities to meaningfully and agilely Improve customer experiences regularly go undiscovered.
The answer to legacy market research and incomplete social listening platforms—as it is across the broader technology landscape — might very well be artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.
With AI deployed to round up continual marketing insights from the right data sources, brands can remove the guesswork from researching and correlating relevant customer experience data. AI-driven automation addresses the biggest limitations of traditional market research head-on: transforming the cost, cadence, and quality of insights collected. Marketers that would otherwise budget out expensive research projects periodically — and adjust their customer-facing practices only that often — should be seeking real-time, always-on insights that show clear correlations.
If traditional market research is like deciphering meaning from a still photograph taken at one moment in time, bringing AI and automation into this marketing practice is like allowing brands to leverage a continuous live video feed of shifts in customer needs and sentiment. Smart use of AI also curbs the need for expensive data teams, enabling marketers and business managers to directly implement insight-based improvements.
Simply put, analyzing customer sentiment data with AI reaches beyond the human capacity for recognizing correlations and customer trends. By collecting continuous marketing intelligence — including customer feedback across social media, review sites, surveys, service interactions and other touchpoints — a smart, AI-driven approach enables brands to be far more responsive and confident in aligning business practices with what customers actually want. Deploying an AI-centric strategy can then also perform the same analysis on competing businesses to discover useful insights, such as identifying practices that win those competitors’ positive customer sentiment and may be worthwhile to emulate.
For example, a hospitality business that implements AI-based customer sentiment data analysis might find that a direct competitor’s customers make many positive mentions calling out the hotel’s high-quality breakfast options. Automated analysis would then present this actionable insight as an easily digestible key takeaway: by investing in a breakfast menu that matches or exceeds the quality of that competitor’s, the brand has a likely path to a more satisfying customer experience, improved ratings, and long-term customer and revenue growth.
In the same way, a coffee chain might discover that competitors are winning positive customer sentiment for their variety of alternative milk options, and adapt their offerings to capitalize on that clear opportunity.
When harnessed correctly, small findings like these hidden within noisy data can nevertheless transform a brand’s competitiveness in their market.
Stas Tushinksiy is the CEO at Instreamatic.
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Ongoing market volatility has left many investors grasping for an investment lifeline to help them stay afloat amidst stormy economic conditions. Conventional approaches to long-term investments follow the 60/40 model (opens in new tab), which allocates 60% of your portfolio to stocks and 40% to bonds. But that strategy may no longer produce your desired results, as both asset classes have performed under their historical averages during the last two decades.
Bond yields historically had an inverse relationship with the stock market to help offset loss. But in 2023, inflation and other global economic factors caused both bonds and stocks to fall. Anyone relying on the 60/40 model is likely finding themselves in deep water. Modern market conditions require a fresh approach to long-term investing in order to properly protect your retirement savings.
When the 60/40 model was originally developed, the S&P 500 historically averaged a 12.1% (opens in new tab) return (from 1957-1999). Since 2000, the S&P 500 has averaged a 6.3% (opens in new tab) return. For anyone using the 60/40 model, 60% of their portfolio is now yielding half of its historical average.
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Current investors are faced with slower worldwide economic growth, high inflation and rising interest rates, which demands an updated investment approach.
In addition, computer technology has allowed the stock market to move at lightning speed as billions of dollars are traded in nanoseconds, leading to more volatility. When the market crashed in 2020, stocks lost a third of their value in just 33 days (opens in new tab). During the Great Depression, it took four years to see that same level of loss. Wall Street is a whole new ball game, and if you don’t adjust your investment tactics accordingly, you may find yourself trying to recover from unnecessary market losses.
To make headway in a volatile market environment, investors need to create consistency in their investment approach to prevent emotions from getting in the way of decision-making. Buying low and selling high is counterintuitive to most people. To make it effortless, look to utilize dollar-cost averaging (DCA), which has you invest equal payments monthly. This allows you to buy into the market at different levels and smooths out the risk of buying “all-in” right before a big market drop or from missing out on an eventual upswing.
Seek out low-cost investments that will prevent “fee drag” from decreasing your long-term gains. Fees from brokers, advisers and fund companies can significantly reduce the value of your retirement account. ETFs and index funds are low-cost investment options that can lower your fee drag while still providing broad exposure to the market.
If you are within 10 years of retirement, consider “sweeping the gains” from your portfolio after significant profits in the market. Put those gains into a protected investment vehicle, like an annuity, to ensure you won’t lose all of your profit if the market drops when you want to retire. It takes only one bad market year like 2008 or 2023 to delay your retirement plans, but thinking proactively can provide significant protection and allow you to keep a portion of your gains.
Portfolio hedging is a strategy to reduce investment risk and protect your portfolio against volatility and capital loss. A hedge is an investment intended to move in the opposite direction of a risky asset in your portfolio, providing inverse exposure.
Rather than being highly concentrated, you can hedge your portfolio by investing in at least a dozen different asset classes. This will prevent correlation between your assets, reducing the risk of all your investments dropping in tandem during volatile times. A broadly diversified portfolio consists of not only traditional equities, fixed-income and cash assets, but also real estate, precious metals, commodities and emerging markets.
One strategy you may want to consider is the use of options to mitigate risk in your portfolio. Options can provide protection from losing significant capital if structured properly. Of course, options are complicated and should be used only by a highly experienced investment professional, as they are leveraged instruments that can be used to increase or decrease risk in a portfolio. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and seeking a financial professional is highly advised.
The stock market is a key component of your investment strategy, but it is a volatile one, so make sure to balance it out with safer options. Deferred index annuities (opens in new tab) deliver you equity exposure through the performance of index funds, like the S&P 500, while still protecting your principal and removing any downside risk.
A deferred index annuity can be customized with riders to fit your needs. For those who hope to retire within the next 10 years, consider adding a living benefit rider to provide guaranteed growth and guaranteed income for life. The protected account will grow by a guaranteed minimum rate, called the roll-up rate. Most current carriers typically offer a roll-up rate well above other fixed-income opportunities. At worst, your investment will earn this higher-than-average rate of return, but if the index fund yields greater gains than the roll-up rate, the protected account value will “lock in” the higher rate.
By providing a guaranteed income with opportunity for further growth, a deferred index annuity can bring peace of mind and certainty to your retirement income plan.
Deferred index annuities are almost like a “personal pension” that work alongside other fixed-income sources like Social Security. Choosing the right annuity for you can be complicated, so consult a financial professional to make sure your annuity plan aligns with your personal goals and values.
The only thing certain about the future is uncertainty: Market downturns are inevitable. But if you adjust your long-term investment strategy by investing consistently, hedging your portfolio and leveraging safer tools like deferred index annuities, you will be better equipped to weather the storms ahead.
Listening to the comments of the Aspen City Council members at their meeting of Feb. 13 was a revelation to me and the general public of an exercise in a “do nothing” policy by our present council in public transportation options.
It’s all talk and no constructive action. That’s the way it’s been for the last 20 or more years since we demonstrated the possibilities of a light-rail option for our Roaring Fork Valley. Yes, indeed! “It’s all blow and no go!” by our current Aspen City Council.
With our present “do nothing&#8221; council, Aspen citizens, working folks, and visitors will never experience a first-class public transportation system.
The accurate proposal by police chiefs to decriminalise first-time drug possession offences in the UK is not likely to cause a significant change in the using or taking of recreational substances.
By viewing use as a health and not a criminal issue, the proposal takes a different line from the government’s white paper policy, which would impose harsher penalties and ban drug users from driving and foreign travel, as well as increase stop and search powers.
But these harsh penalties are not what deters most users in the first place. So while it could be thought that removing the penalties for possession could make drug use more appealing, recreational drug users tend to take it for enjoyment notwithstanding the potential consequences — so drug use
Tile has a bunch of tracker sizes and shapes.
Life360's Bluetooth tagging device Tile is launching a new anti-theft mode designed to get around a tricky issue: criminals knowing when an item they've stolen is being tracked.
The new anti-theft mode makes a user's Tile undetectable in Scan and Secure, the company's in-app feature that allows iPhone and Android users to locate nearby Tiles. That feature was initially launched to combat the rise in stalking with Bluetooth tagging devices, but now the company say that approach hasn't stopped stalking and has, if anything, made a criminal's job easier to get away with.
"It seemed like the actual problem of stalking wasn't actually being necessarily solved," said Life360 CEO Chris Hulls. "But what was happening was that there's this new vector that's opening up for thieves, where so much of the reason people buy Bluetooth tags to begin with is to protect their items from theft. And now, if you have a Tile or an AirTag, a smart thief will almost certainly be able to find it."
That's because if a thief learns there is a Bluetooth tag on an item that they stole, they're able to easily remove the tag and prevent victims from tracking down valuables.
Bluetooth tagging devices like Life360's Tile, Apple's AirTag and Samsung's Galaxy SmartTag have come under pressure to increase safety features as stalking cases rose. But robberies are also on the rise throughout the U.S., and according to Hulls, there's been a negligible number of stalking cases. During the first half of 2023, there was a 5.5% increase in robberies throughout the country, according to the Council on Criminal Justice.
"Theft is the primary reason people buy these products," Hulls said. "Our new anti-theft mode is a tradeoff. ... It gives consumers choice, they can turn off all the anti-stalking features, so their Tiles become invisible," he added.
Tile is taking a new approach to stalking prevention. If a user chooses to use the anti-theft mode, they must go through an ID verification process, which will register the user with Tile and sync their ID with their account.
"From our research, the real issue with stalkers is how do you remove anonymity?" he said.
Scan and Secure didn't address that issue, he said, and it didn't have any enforcement mechanism. That's changing now too, with Life360 threatening stalkers with a $1 million penalty the company will pursue against any individual convicted in a court of law for using Tile devices to illegally track any individual without their knowledge or consent. If someone is convicted in court for stalking using Tile, in which the ID verification makes prosecution easier, Tile would sue that person for violating the terms and services.
But there is a user privacy issue in the changes as well. Life360 is increasing collaboration with law enforcement so that if anti-theft mode is enabled, users must acknowledge that personal information can and will be shared with law enforcement at the company's discretion, even without a subpoena, to aid in the investigation and prosecution of suspected stalking.
"So much of why people buy these devices to begin with is to protect against theft. So, we think this really threads the needle elegantly," Hulls said.
Technology safety advocates aren't convinced.
Kathleen Moriarty, chief technology officer at the Center for Internet Security, said via email that a closer tie to identity should Improve the integrity of the solution by adding in a human factor and sense of responsibility, but as is the case with any new release, "limits and boundaries will be tested in unexpected ways."
For example, if a Tile can be discovered by its authorized owner, to track down the belonging in which it was placed, the Tile is emanating a signal to make that possible. Although the application designed for Tile use will only make that visible to the Tile owner, the signal may be discoverable with other tools.
"Without insight into the technical details, the protections to prevent detection are not clear. Typically confidence from technologists is higher for standards-based solutions due to the rigorous review process by a number of experts. The solution holds promise and time will tell as it gets tested in real-world scenarios," she said.
Adam Dodge, CEO of digital safety education company EndTAB and a member of the World Economic Forum's Digital Justice Advisory Committee, was more critical of the approach in an email exchange. "This update denies stalking victims access to the most essential of safety measures, the ability to verify and locate a tracker to stop the abuse," Dodge wrote.
He says Life360's new safety commitments — identify verification, fines and promises to cooperate with law enforcement — do not offset the increased risk created for victims, and he noted that the features and new company policies only come into play if the Tile tracker is found, something that anti-theft mode now makes much less likely.
"We have to remember that bad actors care most about getting caught. From that perspective, this new feature is a homerun," Dodge said. "I'd rather see Tile's new commitments to safety implemented on their own, as opposed to a way to blunt the risks created with anti-theft mode."
In his view, if the problem of stalking wasn't being solved, companies like Life360 should solve for it specifically through innovation and new safety features. "The irony is that, by making Tile trackers undetectable, it is now easier for stalkers to stay anonymous," Dodge wrote.
This story has been updated to include comments from Adam Dodge, CEO of EndTAB, and Kathleen Moriarty, chief technology officer at the Center for Internet Security.
Michael Cera can't help but miss his son while he's away filming.
The Superbad star, 34, revealed in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that becoming a father has changed the way he approaches work, with family now being his highest priority.
"I think the only thing that it affects is that you just want to spend as much time with them as possible," Cera said. "So when I was 20, I would have been way happier to go off to some weird city and live in a hotel for three months. And when you have kids, you want to be with your family. And you miss them a lot."
When asked which of his TV shows or films he would introduce to his son first, he said: "He's only a year and a half old, so he hasn't seen anything yet. But I have a couple of animated movies."
Though he added that 2016's animated film Sausage Party was off the table, noting that it would come "a little later."
In March, 2023, Cera's Life & Beth costar Amy Schumer, 41, accidentally revealed during a joint Entertainment Tonight interview that he welcomed a child.
"Michael has a baby, too," Schumer said. "Is that public knowledge? I just outed him, I just outed his baby."
The Arrested Development star the confirmed the happy news, telling ET, "We're right at the beginning of it. We're doing the very basics right now."
A few days after Schumer spilled Cera's baby news, the new dad gave some details to Extra about his first child.
"He's just a little 6-month-old baby," Cera said at the time of his son with his longtime partner Nadine.
Since then Schumer has gone on to reveal to PEOPLE her best advice for parenting that she's given friends Cera and Jennifer Lawrence. "It's just about failing," says Schumer, who shares 2-year-old son Gene David with husband Chris Fischer. "It's like stand up. You mess up so bad."
"It couldn't go much worse than what we named our son initially," she teases of originally naming her son Gene Attell. "But they're doing great. They really are both just such clear, natural parents."
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Cera has mainly kept his family and relationship with Nadine, whom he reportedly married in 2018, out of the public eye.
The actor will pay a visit to the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival for the debut of the Dustin Guy Defa drama The Adults.
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