Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Warren Berger Tells How to Ask a ‘Beautiful Question’ - How to Amplify Innovation & Performance

Warren Berger Tells How to Ask a ‘Beautiful Question’ - How to Amplify Innovation & Performance | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger is about the importance of asking thoughtful, ambitious "beautiful questions"—the kind that can bring about change in the world around you.


How do you define a "beautiful question"?
 

Warren Berger:  The term is inspired by this line from the poet E.E. Cummings: "Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question."

The way I define a beautiful question in the book is: "An ambitious, yet actionable, question that can begin to change the way we think about something—and might serve as a catalyst to bring about change."


For example, when someone steps back and asks, Why are we doing things the way we've been doing them the past 20 years—what if we tried a whole new approach? That's a beautiful question.


- See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/08/warren-berger-tells-how-to-ask-a-beautiful-question.html#sthash.Y9LUzjHR.dpuf

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

In the consulting world, it's shared that a good consultant knows how to ask good questions.  This article amplifies performance and innovation by interviewing the author about breakthroughs (the cell phone, the Internet), helpful organizations (The Red Cross, the Olympics) that started with a question.

So the weird, the unusual, the provocative can end up being the beautiful when it comes to a great, powerful question.  ~  Deb 

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Tufts University Named Best Open-source School in America, Tools for Innovation

Tufts University Named Best Open-source School in America, Tools for Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

In May 15, 2014, researchers backed by Spanish software download site Portal Programas published a report naming Tufts University the number one open-source university in the United States. 

Tufts received an overall score of 100, followed by Utah State (93.01) and the University of Notre Dame (57.10).  Two other Massachusetts universities scored in the top 15:  University of Massachusetts Boston (4th) and MIT (14th), ranking Massachusetts only behind Utah in states where colleges and universities actively participate in open source projects and the operational use of open-source software.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'm a fan of Tufts open source tool VUE, a powerful tool for organizing, creating, linking, and curating. It's a great tools to help innovation.  A sample tool I created from VUE is here, a retreat planning flowchart, which was used in a faculty retreat to explain the retreat planning process.  ~  D

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Compensation Bloat? University of Michigan faculty question administrator pay in open letter

Compensation Bloat?  University of Michigan faculty question administrator pay in open letter | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

An open letter to University of Michigan's Board of Regents from about a dozen of the school's faculty criticizes the school's administrative pay and bonus system. "The University is in desperate and urgent need of fiscal reform." 


____________________
   
The authors argue that U-M is not transparent about its pay supplements...some administrators received...in excess of $50,000.

     

____________________


The authors argue that U-M is not transparent about its pay supplements, and that they are an unwise use of money from the general fund. Data obtained by the professors show that some administrators received salary supplements in excess of $50,000.

  

...Anthony Mora, a history professor who helped author the letter, said that while it's reasonable executive officers have higher compensation that most staff, U-M's compensation rates for those officers are between 27 and 41 percent higher than the rates' of administrators at peer institutions such as Berkeley, Texas and Virginia, according to a review done by the faculty.
 

"We want to have an open and candid discussion about the university's resources," Mora said. "I don't see this as an effort to be adversarial with the administration. I think people in the administration are genuine when they say they care about the university. But I do think there's an opportunity here for the faculty and the administration to work together."

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The escalating costs of higher education may no longer be taken for granted with such moves as these from the core of  the university system, the faculty.

The article also referenced the initially poorly implemented, cost cutting administrative shared services initiative (labeled AST, Administrative Services Transformation)  that did not include the faculty voice in its cost cutting planning and involved the use of several consulting firms with expenses totalling over 11 million for consulting services.  As as consultant myself, I know consultant have reasons to charge a high rate, but leaving the faculty voice out of a change initiative mystifies me.


I look forward to hearing where this letter leads in dealing with, perhaps, some unquestioned compensation practices.   ~  Deb


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 25, 2014 4:05 PM

Several faculty have taken up the gauntlet to question escalating costs - starting with higher education administrative bonuses.  Executive bonuses may no longer be taken for granted with such moves as these, perhaps prompted by the poorly planned, cost cutting administrative shared services initiative (labeled AST, Administrative Services Transformation)  which, incidentally, did NOT include the faculty voice in its cost cutting planning.


It also involved the use of several consulting firms with expenses totalling over 11 million for consulting services.  As as consultant myself, I know consultant have reasons to charge a high rate, but leaving the faculty voice out of a change initiative mystifies me.


I look forward to hearing where this letter leads in dealing with, perhaps, some unquestioned compensation practices, and perhaps stepping higher education back to a bigger picture of where the value generation resides and how it needs to be valued today.   ~  Deb

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Steve Blank's Lean Startup Model: Not Just For Startups, Rather For Surviving & Thriving in ANY Business

Steve Blank's Lean Startup Model: Not Just For Startups, Rather For Surviving & Thriving in ANY Business | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The principles of the lean startup pose big challenge to corporate behemoths – but Steve Blank argues that they are now “essential for the survival of business.”

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Via joostallard
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a challenge to how business is done.  This is not your dad's company strategy, or even the Fortune 50's strategy from last year.    It is predicted the Fortune 500 will swap itself out with new business within a decade.  It IS time to rethink which business principles you will follow. ~ D

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5 Ways to Bring Creativity Back to Your Culture

5 Ways to Bring Creativity Back to Your Culture | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
All too often, entrepreneurs build companies that stifle the very creativity they need. Here's how to get that creative spark back.


Excerpted:  Four changes (of five) you can make today to bring creativity back to your culture.

       

Offer Unlimited Vacation

Offering unlimited vacation won't make people skip work every Friday or leave people hanging at deadlines. Instead, it will give them control to choose when they decide to work and when they don't. Although this may seem trivial, being able to choose means everything in a creative culture.

   

Ditch the Meetings

The worst part about meetings is that they're incredibly easy to add. Even if you make an agenda, the number will only go up as you grow in size. As a result, little creative thinking will get done during the day.

    

Nix Department Goals

Department goals often help managers more than employees. Generally, you'll end up wasting valuable hours setting new goals and then even more time asking why you didn't hit them.
 

Worse still, each department relies on resources they don't control and departments they're not a part of to reach their goals. This can result in teams signing up for work they were unaware of, which can lead to arguments about whose goals are more important.

      

Give Plenty of Feedback

...A lot of companies make feedback a formal process, waiting until the end of the month, quarter, or year to share how they actually feel.


Creative cultures thrive on timely, spontaneous feedback. Whether it's good or bad, feedback helps teams raise their own expectations. It's the fuel you need to ignite a creative culture. And who doesn't want one of those?

     

Read more here.



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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I left off his "Let Employees Work Remotely" not because I don't believe it helps, it's just that it has been challenged because of the need to interact with others, examine blind spots, and building a culture does involve a certain amount of showing up.

~  Deb 

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Even the stodgiest retailer can win over millennials - Not your father's RadioShack

Even the stodgiest retailer can win over millennials - Not your father's RadioShack | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

One store no longer fits all. 
     
Today’s millennials—nearly 80 million individuals in the United States alone—represent a staggering force in today’s marketplace, spending roughly $600 billion each year. And their impact is only expected to grow through 2020, with estimates their total spending in the US will top out at nearly $1.4 trillion annually. 
     
Despite this, most retailers today are millennial-challenged...


Highlights:


  • Unlike previous generations that struggled to price and comparison shop, millennials have it down to a science, using sites like Hukkster.com to find unique products and discounted rates at the click of a button.
    
  • Showrooming:  ...Millennials, looking at products on the retail floor and then turning to the internet to make their actual purchase at the lowest price is a way of life. But retailers can’t afford to simply turn their stores into showrooms.   ....To survive, they must change their in-store experience—and fast. 
    
  • The sale doesn’t end at the register
    
  • Understanding how [your] brand and products fit into the broader fabric of their lives.


Read more here.
   

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I, for one, loved the Superbowl ad and all the in-your-face 80's iconic flashback  For two:  this article covers the complexity of bricks and mortar, showrooming, price shopping and the ongoing relationship with mobile- and tech-savvy millennials and anyone who uses tech as their right hand for shopping research.  ~  Deb

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Everything a 1991 Radio Shack Ad, worth $5K, I Now Do With My SmartPhone

Everything a 1991 Radio Shack Ad, worth $5K, I Now Do With My SmartPhone | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
There are 15 electronic gimzo type items on the page, being sold from America's Technology Store. 13 of the 15 you now always have in your pocket.


__________________
     
You'd have spent $3,054.82 in 1991 to buy all the stuff in this ad that you can now do with your phone.

       

__________________

      

That amount is roughly equivalent to about $5,100 in 2012 dollars.

     

A sample from Steve Cichon's list:

  • All weather personal stereo, $11.88. I now use my iPhone with an Otter Box.
  • Microthin calculator, $4.88. Swipe up on iPhone.
  • Tandy 1000 TL/3, $1599. I actually owned a Tandy 1000, and I used it for games and word processing. I now do most of both of those things on my phone.
  • VHS Camcorder, $799. iPhone.
  • Mobile Cellular Telephone, $199. Obvs.
  • Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says "You'll never drive 'alone' again!" iPhone.
  • Deluxe Portable CD Player, $159.95. 80 minutes of music, or 80 hours of music? iPhone.
  • 10-Channel Desktop Scanner, $99.55. I still have a scanner, but I have a scanner app, too. iPhone.
       

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a helpful perspective, looking back, of how far technology integration has come within a decade or so, and how much we take for granted today.  ~  D

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Zappos says Goodbye to Bosses & Bureaucracy - Hello to Holacracy

Zappos says Goodbye to Bosses & Bureaucracy - Hello to Holacracy | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The famed, unique Las Vegas-based shoe retailer...will eliminate traditional managers, do away with the typical corporate hierarchy and get rid of job titles, at least internally.

__________________
 
....bureaucracy ...was getting in the way of adaptability.”

    

__________________


The unusual approach is called a “holacracy,” replacing the traditional corporate chain of command with a series of overlapping, self-governing “circles.” In theory, this gives employees more of a voice in the way the company is run.


According to Zappos executives, the move is an effort to keep the 1,500-person company from becoming too rigid, too unwieldy and too bureaucratic as it grows.


“As we scaled, we noticed that the bureaucracy we were all used to was getting in the way of adaptability,” says Zappos’s John Bunch, who is helping lead the transition to the new structure.


Holacracy ...has a couple of high-profile devotees — Twitter cofounder Evan Williams uses it at his new company, Medium, and time management guru David Allen uses it run his firm — but Zappos is by far the largest company to adopt the idea.]


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'm intrigued to see this second emergence of holacracy.  Do we have an agile organizational structure developing here?

I'm sensing the far edge of a trend here, especially after facilitating Open Space events (self-led interest topics on a theme) in the last couple of years,.  I've mostly used them in a professional learning context, although three client organizations have used this organic, adaptible format for planning & strategy.  


In my view. it seems that these leaders are shifting perspective, letting go of some of the trappings of the 90's, to embrance more adaptive structures that can help fuel innovation.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, January 6, 2014 8:44 PM

Adaptive communication.  It's time for something far beyond Fredrick Taylor's scientific management 1920's style bureacraciy.  I'm sensing this is the calm before the storm of change to move beyond traditional management structures.  There will be more holacracies and their kin to come.  ~  D

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A more united United States of America: Sally Kohn's liberal views on Fox News & Today | TED Blog

A more united United States of America: Sally Kohn's liberal views on Fox News & Today | TED Blog | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Sally Kohn is both liberal and a lesbian -- and she worked at FOX News, contributing to the conservative network for three years. During that time, sparred with some of the most conservative minds on television.  In this TED talk, she gives a bold idea for pushing past political polarization.

She feels strongly that the only way to address the issues facing our country is to sit down and have a real conversation — no more talking past each other or walking out of press conferences.  


She comments:  If people come up to me on the street, it’s: ” I don’t agree with you but I really like you. You seem really cool, you seem fun, you seem nice.” And to me, that’s huge. That’s 90% of the way there. As opposed to, “Oh you’re another one of those crazy, angry [people].”


Her current articles for 2014 are listed on The Daily Beast. 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This 2013 article has lessons for our 2014 news and social media, which has all kinds of filter bubbles built into it.  For example, have your heard more about July 2014 Miley Cyrus' tattoo of her dog lately than about the recent July 4th gun violence in Chicago?  82 people were injured, of that 14 killed, yet few news organizations covered it in prime time compared to a star's tattoo.

If Sally was a token liberal at FOX news, her message is still getting out, via TED's blog, as well as her record of exposure at FOX.  

What do you think?   ~  D

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Harvard Woman Demos 3D Printed Makeup, Industry Disruption In Mind

Harvard Woman Demos 3D Printed Makeup, Industry Disruption In Mind | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
"We’re going to live in a world where you can take a picture of your friend’s lipstick and print it out," says the founder.


Grace Choi was at Harvard Business School when she decided to disrupt the beauty industry. She researched and realized that "The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bulls**t,"  Choi said at TechCrunch Disrupt this week.


"They charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is color."


Color printers are available to everyone, and the ink they have is the same as the ink makeup companies use in their products. She also says the ink is FDA approved.

She demonstrated how it works, then brushed some of the freshly-printed makeup onto her hand. 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Choi shows just how susceptible the beauty industry is to disruption with her 3D printer and company, Mink.   As email and the internet disrupted the US Postal Service and the media industry, 3D printing attracts entrepreneurs who are ready to disrupt long standing, premium priced industries like beauty products.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, May 6, 2014 4:10 PM

Choi shows just how susceptible the beauty industry is to disruption with her 3D printer and company, Mink.   As email and the internet disrupted the US Postal Service and the media industry, 3D printing attracts entrepreneurs who are ready to disrupt long standing, premium priced industries like beauty products.  ~  Deb

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Disruptive Technology and Innovation Requires Change Management & New Talent Strategy

Disruptive Technology and Innovation Requires Change Management & New Talent Strategy | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
HR professionals know that anything that causes business disruptions is certain to have implications for human resource management, including the growth of 3-D printing.


I admit I'm looking forward to it. I think the 3-D printer is such a disruptive technology that I want to be in on the fun.


______________________
   

...The teenager found the plans on the Internet. Imagine, open-sourced body parts!

    

______________________

   


The news reports range from 3-D printing an iPhone case to high-heel shoes, or models of body parts on which doctors can practice.


...my favorite use of the technology so far goes to a teenager who used a 3-D printer at a local library to build a prosthetic hand for a boy who was born without fingers. The hand opens and closes and can even hold a pencil. The teenager found the plans on the Internet. Imagine, open-sourced body parts!


Implications for HR leaders? 
  

McKinsey recently issued a report highlighting some of the business disruptions that are likely to result from this new technology.



______________________

   

... there may be very specific, and difficult to find, talent requirements for such a shift, and begin to devise a talent-development and sourcing strategy to meet the [need]

   

______________________

   

3-D technology  -- aka additive manufacturing -- is likely to accelerate product development.  ... Value may not come from manufacturing a product; it may come from being able to add uniqueness to the design alone.

   

  • Don't wait until someone tells you it might have an impact: Know the business well enough to raise the issue if no one has mentioned it already. 
     
  • Help the executive team consider the strategic implications of the technology and whether it can be leveraged to the business' advantage or whether the business needs to be prepared to meet new forms of competition.
    
  • Recognize that there may be very specific, and difficult to find, talent requirements for such a shift, and begin to devise a talent-development and sourcing strategy to meet the skilled-worker needs of a new manufacturing strategy.

 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a quality article emphasizing the need to be ready for adaptive change, perhaps fast.  As author Susan R. Meisinger suggests, be "not only be prepared to manage the change, ...be leaders within the organization in embracing and driving change."  I'd add, create a learning environment now with leadership at all levels to empower your ability to change together.  Share what's important to be ready.  ~  D

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Twelve (12) Rising Innovation Trends From the 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2014 - Fast Co.

Twelve (12) Rising Innovation Trends From the 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2014 - Fast Co. | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The culture of innovation across the globe is more robust than ever. Here are 5 innovation trends excerpted from the full list of 12 from Fast Company's World's 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2014:

   

1)  EXCEPTIONAL IS EXPECTED   Google, the No. 1 company, did not land there for the range of its activities--despite the 29 achievements we list. ...today's smartest businesses tend to laser-focus on just a few goals; broad ambition can distract from the nitty-gritty required to turn goals into reality. Yet from Google Fiber to Google Glass to investing in new health technologies, Google executes at a high level repeatedly. That's why it tops the list.

________________________
     

How do you make meaningful change in the face of calcified institutions? Sometimes you just have to go around them.

    

________________________
      

    
2.   INNOVATION IS EPISODIC   ....From breakthrough change at Philips (No. 50), development of LED lighting has been under way there for 50 years--and a specific 11-month deadline provided the essential innovative exclamation point.
     

3.  MAKING MONEY MATTERS
….great businesses are self-sustaining. Dropbox (No. 4) and Airbnb (No. 6) are darlings of the venture set, but they also charge real customers real money for a product with real value. Unlike …pre-2008 whose business models rely on advertising for revenue (Facebook, Twitter, et al.), these enterprises are transaction based--and are reaping the rewards.

     


5.  SUSTAINABILITY HAS FOUND A NEW GEAR
…Today, energy efficiency, alternative fuels, and recycling are core advantages for successful enterprises. Brazil's Braskem (No. 41), a $19 billion petrochemical giant, uses sugarcane rather than oil to create in-demand plastics. Levi Strauss (No. 30) produces more than 10% of its clothing with recycled materials, on its way to 100%. ....You don't have to own a Tesla (No. 20) to see the impact.


7. CONFLICT ISN'T REQUIRED
How do you make meaningful change in the face of calcified institutions? Sometimes you just have to go around them. …DonorsChoose.org (No. 9) …avoidied unions and politicos by crowdsourcing direct assistance to teachers. Bloomberg Philanthropies (No. 2) uses data to answer questions other foundations aren't asking and SHoP Architects (No. 33) manages to both create cutting-edge designs à la indie firms and get them built at the appropriately industrial scale.


See the full list of 12 here.

 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

These qualities are a good list to compare to other global company innovation lists, such as from Forbes.  Money is high on the list of 12, yet other qualities bear a look, compared to Forbes rankings based on the difference between their market capitalization and a net present value of cash flows from existing businesses.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, February 26, 2014 3:18 PM

This is a good list to compare to other global company innovation lists, such as from Forbes.  Money is high on the list of 12, yet other qualities bear a look, compared to Forbes rankings based on the difference between their market capitalization and a net present value of cash flows from existing businesses.  ~  D

Richard Platt's curator insight, February 26, 2014 11:43 PM

Pretty sure that I don't agree with some of what's on this list, but hey have a look, everybody's entitled to an opinion

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The End Of The Smartphone Era Is Coming

The End Of The Smartphone Era Is Coming | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Google and Microsoft are getting ready.

There's a big difference between what Microsoft is working on and Google Glass, though.
 

The most recent word out of Google is that Google Glass isn't going to use "augmented reality" – where data and illustrations overlay the actual world around you.
 

Google Glass is actually just a tiny screen you have to look up and to the left to see.
 

Microsoft's glasses seem to utilize augmented reality. In a patent illustration we've embedded below, you can see that the glasses put data on top of a live action concert and a ballgame.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-end-of-the-smartphone-era-is-coming-2012-11#ixzz2sSTxhykq 


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

My current Galaxy S4 smartphone has a gesture option, to execute commands without actual touch.   It's not that far away from taking the enormous computing power of smart phones to a new platform, closer to the body, to deliver.  Computing power will only continue its exponential climb.  (Moore's Law - the number of transistors onintegrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.)  ~  D

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Iwami Nanjiroh's curator insight, June 5, 2014 7:01 PM

スマートホーン時代の終わりがきている。

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Manufacturing, US Department of Energy & the Power Electronics Innovation Institute at NC State University

Manufacturing, US Department of Energy & the Power Electronics Innovation Institute at NC State University | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have tapped NC State to lead a $140 million advanced manufacturing institute that will unite academic, government and industry partners in an effort to revolutionize energy efficiency across a wide range of applications, including electronic devices, power grids and electric vehicles.

Learn about the next generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute at NC State University and the game-changing promise of wide bandgap semiconductors. 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This has tapped the attention of the president, connected to work by the FREEDM Systems Center launched by NC State and the National Science Foundation in 2008.  The FREEDM Center is described as building the electric power grid of the future naming 56 corporate and academic partners,   It is described as the model for the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute.

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Scaling Up in the UK: Zapp App Enables Millions of Shoppers to Pay by SmartPhone

Scaling Up in the UK:  Zapp App Enables Millions of Shoppers to Pay by SmartPhone | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Millions of consumers will be able to use a smartphone app to pay for purchases this year in the latest shift away from cash and card payments.

 

Known as Zapp, the app is due to launch in the autumn and will be available to 18 million UK current account holders with HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank.

 

The mobile payment system will only work for online purchases initially, but Peter Keenan, chief executive of Zapp, said he expects it to be enabled for at least one in five store payments from late 2015, meaning that consumers can "leave their wallets at home".


From another article about smartphone app payments in the US from The Verge:

There are two primary means of paying with your phone at a brick-and-mortar store: scan to pay using a QR code, and tap to pay using Near-Field Communication, or NFC. As the market battle rages over which pay-by-phone technology will win out, LevelUp has decided to hedge its bets with a new piece of hardware that supports both.  

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Via JWT_WOW, 15marches
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Mobile is getting even bigger, scaling up in the UK.  As for leaving your wallet at home?  Eventually.  Google Wallet and Square, and now LevelUp are 3 apps in the USA for paying by smartphone.  They are in limited use.  The UK will be a new test of scaling BIG for smartphone app payments.  ~ Deb


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