Moving past any obstacles

first_imgTomer Rosner has a way of seeing hidden possibilities. Like the archetypal optimist turning lemons into lemonade, Rosner has managed to turn a Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) storage closet into an office.Tucked into a first-floor corner of the Littauer Building, the sparsely adorned and poorly lit room is nothing to brag about. But Rosner, a midcareer student from Israel, didn’t seem to mind the lack of ambience as he showed off the space where he does much of his coursework.“I can’t see it anyway,” he joked.In a school that hosts students from dozens of countries, and that is home to a vast array of languages, religions, and political beliefs, Rosner brings another kind of difference to the classroom. He is currently the only legally blind student at the Kennedy School. But that fact has hardly kept him from making the most of his year at Harvard.Rosner has experienced some challenges since moving to America last summer. Cambridge’s bumpy cobblestone sidewalks can turn a leisurely stroll into a complicated dance. He can easily get lost in the Kennedy School’s mazelike buildings. (“It feels like we’re in a Harry Potter book,” he said of the half-floors and tight spiral staircases.) And of course, there’s no easy way to learn graduate-level statistics if one can’t read a graph.“Being in a new environment is not easy for me,” Rosner said. “I’m used to having independence. But it’s a price I’m willing to pay to be here.”It has helped, he said, that the School has provided a mobility orienter, or guide, who taught him the walk from his University-owned apartment to campus. There also are special proctors who transcribe his essays or describe for Rosner those aforementioned pesky graphs.“It wasn’t obvious to me that I would get so much help,” Rosner said.And then there is the Littauer office’s pièce de résistance: a University-provided computer that reads documents aloud. Next to it sits a projector that magnifies documents to many times their original size, allowing Rosner, who maintains some sight, to read them. The technology has come a long way since he first lost his sight 28 years ago. Then, his father had to travel to the United States to purchase a primitive reading machine.“When I began to have these medical complications, my father said, ‘You will be like everyone else,’ ” he recalled. That attitude led Rosner through college, law school, and into an impressive career in Israeli public policy.Rosner is now studying for a master of public administration through the Wexner Foundation’s Israel Fellowship Program, which sends up to 10 Israeli civil servants to HKS each year to train them to be public-sector leaders.Despite his casual demeanor — at 41, he wears jeans and Converse sneakers to class — Rosner wields a great deal of influence in Israel’s government. He is the senior legal adviser to the State Control Committee and the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee in the Knesset, or parliament.“This position gives me the opportunity to be in the center of policymaking in Israel,” Rosner said. “Every day has its new issue, and I have to dig into it, study it, and know the implications” before advising Knesset committee members, most of whom have only two staffers to help with policy research.Over the past several years, Rosner has helped to craft major environmental legislation, including a law that forces corporations to pay for their pollution even if they are doing so within legal limits.“We’ve had what I would call an environmental revolution,” he said.He came to the Kennedy School to access the latest environmental policy ideas and to network with an international group of policymakers. He has strengthened his leadership skills, he said, by taking classes on crafting public narratives, ethics, and public speaking.After several months on campus, Rosner still exudes an infectious enthusiasm for Harvard life. He keeps vigilant watch over upcoming University events, and once penciled in six public lectures in a day. (Unsurprisingly, he couldn’t make them all.)“I didn’t imagine how diverse an experience this would be,” he said. “You can be in a class debating dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, and you’ll have both military officers and Japanese students in the class.”One eye-opening moment, Rosner said, was hearing a talk by the political economist Robert Reich in his Arts of Communication class last fall.“Everything we talked about in class, he did,” he said of Reich, who is considered a master public speaker.But the speech stuck with Rosner for another reason, too, said the course’s instructor, Marie Danziger.The 4-foot-10-inch Reich opens every public appearance with a self-deprecating joke about his height. After hearing Reich, “Tomer developed this repertoire of blind jokes,” said Danziger, a lecturer in public policy at HKS. “Almost every time he gave a speech in class, he would find some way — some charming, moving way — to acknowledge this difference that he contends with.”That strategy gave Rosner a way to connect with an audience he couldn’t see, Danziger said.“I don’t know how he did it,” she added, “but his last two or three speeches were perfect.”last_img read more


Fresh paths to success

first_imgCall it the American fantasy. For years, people have believed that a college degree provided the only safe path to achieving middle-class security and a stable career, and the nation’s high schools have been shaped to fit the idea that all young people could and should go to college.The facts tell a different story: Only three in 10 young people earn a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s, while more than 40 percent never even set foot on a community college or university campus. For the majority of young people who never earn a post-secondary degree, the American dream remains just that.The problem, three Harvard analysts say in a new report called “Pathways to Prosperity,” is that high schools don’t offer alternatives that prepare students to enter the working world, rather than four more years in a classroom. And while the new public education system they’re advocating — one that offers robust vocational and technical training programs alongside traditional college-prep schools — is a long way from broad reality, their vision is inspiring debate.“What we’re trying to do is cast a searchlight on the problem,” said Robert Schwartz, the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration and faculty dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), who spent three years working on the report with Ron Ferguson, senior lecturer in education and public policy at the HGSE and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), and Bill Symonds, a former BusinessWeek education reporter who now runs the Pathways to Prosperity Project at HSGE.“We’re trying to jump-start a more serious effort to bring together employers and educators from community colleges and high schools,” Schwartz said. “Employers in growing sectors are highly motivated to figure out how to get the workforce they need,” he said, “but there’s a huge social stigma attached to [vocational training] in America that we have to overcome.”The report is nothing if not timely. The recession hit teenagers and young adults the hardest; the percentage of Americans under 25 who have jobs is at its lowest level since the Great Depression.“The labor market has become a lot more unforgiving,” Symonds explained. “It’s becoming more and more difficult for young people to get meaningful work experience.”As part-time work dries up, the authors reason, students could benefit now more than ever from vocational training as part of the typical school day to learn the job skills they’ll need down the road.According to the report, 30 percent of jobs created over the next decade will require “some college” short of a four-year degree. These positions, in such fields as health care or construction, can offer entry into the middle class for those who are trained to fill them. Just as high schools encourage students to consider college, the authors write, they should also help prepare their graduates to enter apprenticeships, certificate programs, or community colleges that can teach those job skills.There are examples of vocational school success, as Symonds points out. In Massachusetts, students who attend vocational schools are now scoring higher on the MCAS and graduating at a higher rate than their peers in traditional high schools.“These schools work because we didn’t create them as a second-best option,” he said. “Some of these schools have waiting lists.”And of course, Europe has long made vocational training an option for students. American criticisms of the European system — namely, that it “tracks” students at a young age, based on their abilities — obscure the fact that it works, said Schwartz, who has worked with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on two studies comparing countries’ educational systems. European nations are outscoring America on international standardized tests, and employment rates for young people are higher.In Northern European countries, Schwartz said, 40 to 70 percent of students opt for vocational education over a college-prep curriculum. Even in Finland, a less socially stratified country that outlawed tracking in the 1990s, 43 percent of students choose vocational training.“We’ve relied on one institution, our higher education system, to get kids from high school into the workplace,” Schwartz said. “These other countries have built a parallel system, and I would argue that’s something we should be paying attention to. We have no serious alternative strategy.”Reactions to “Pathways,” which was released Feb. 1, have been mixed but rarely muted. A Washington Post education columnist called it “dreamy nonsense”; NPR’s “On Point” devoted an hour to the report.“The first few emails I got were negative — people accusing us of trying to deny college to disadvantaged students,” Ferguson said. “That was quickly eclipsed by people really thanking us for raising the issue. The college-for-all movement has been so strong that people who think we need more than just college for all have been afraid to speak up.”Symonds has received invitations from 18 states to address local school districts, community college presidents, state legislatures, and other groups, from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.Even the White House has paid attention. President Obama has long made improving community colleges, which provide the bulk of America’s technical training, a pillar of his higher education policy. But the administration is now considering the importance of career and technical education at the high-school level in preparing students for jobs.Arne Duncan, Obama’s secretary of education, called the report “absolutely pressing,” and the newly formed White House Council for Community Solutions has asked for a briefing on “Pathways.” In fact, when President Obama came to Boston last month he made a visit to TechBoston Academy, a high-performing pilot school for at-risk students that offers its students vocational training for careers in technology.But to Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard, promoting alternative educational paths is more than just smart policy. It should be a “social movement,” he said, to help students from all backgrounds succeed in work and life, especially poor minority students — a rapidly growing population that is most frequently left behind in traditional high schools.“We’ve got to persuade people across society that unless we pay more attention to adolescence, we’re headed toward having a fragmented society that is divided by race and social class,” Ferguson said. “We don’t claim to know how to fix everything in the report. But we’re already in trouble, and if we don’t do something, things are only going to get worse.”last_img read more


How young students think

first_imgEducator Karen Daniels was “Lost,” but she was not alone. “Scared” soon found her, as did “Helpless.” And “Alone” was nearby.Actually, Daniels, the executive director of StepUP, an initiative between the Boston Public Schools and five university partners including Harvard, knew exactly where she was on Wednesday (July 27) — at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel in Boston, participating in a hands-on exercise designed to provide educators with new tools and perspectives on how children think, perceive, and learn.It was part of a weeklong seminar called “Mind in the Making,” developed by the Harvard Achievement Support Initiative (HASI) as part of the University’s commitment to public service. The seminar exposed Daniels and about 25 fellow teachers, principals, and instructors from the Boston area to cutting-edge work in child development and brain research.“Teaching practice improves when educators have a working knowledge of the significant research in child development, and are able to translate this knowledge into their teaching practice,” explained Joan M. Matsalia, program instructor and assistant director of HASI, the University’s development and grant-making effort to increase learning opportunities for Boston’s young people.Putting a hands-on philosophy into action, the seminar de-emphasized the traditional lecture-and-note-taking format to engage participants through lively discussions, exercises, and activities. For example, participants were given signs, such as “Angry,” “Disappointed,” and “Frustrated,” and told to find others with a sign similar to theirs; it was a physical manifestation of emotions that can mask a child’s true feelings. An angry child may, in fact, be a frustrated child, who can only express his or her anger by acting out.Or as program instructor Rita Spinola asked the group: “How does ‘mad’ show itself? Does it always show as ‘mad’?”“No,” came the rousing chorus. In fact, “People who could feel the same way can look very different,” Spinola said.In another exercise, participants wore headbands labeled with a trait they couldn’t see, such as shy, exuberant, thoughtful, critical, or uninhibited. Participants were instructed to treat each person according to their headband, forcing all to consider the force of preconceived notions.Additionally, the course used short videos featuring about 70 researchers explaining their work, including Catherine Snow, Harvard’s Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education, speaking about language and literacy, and Jerome Kagan, the Daniel and Amy Starch Professor of Psychology Emeritus, on temperament. Participants watched behavioral experiments that, for example, revealed that a child’s ability to consider the perspective of others may begin in infancy, not, as often assumed, years later as concrete reasoning develops.“We can teach better when we understand how we learn ourselves,” Matsalia noted.Participants also hashed out classroom strategies with each other, such as how to handle a girl who cannot let go of her anger (perhaps offer some self-soothing exercises), or how to encourage parents of troubled kids to show up for conferences with teachers (perhaps offer babysitting or a meal).Certainly, schools must focus on subject areas or prepare students for the state MCAS tests, but an overriding issue for many educators today is the social and emotional development of young children that puts them in a mindset to learn. This is particularly crucial with the exposure of youngsters to violence, which can manifest itself years later.“We’re seeing kindergarteners and pre-schoolers with serious post-traumatic stress issues, all kinds of things,” Daniels said. The challenge for educators then becomes “how can you create an environment that is warm, nurturing, safe, where this child can then grow and become a learner.”If education is in part about socializing children as future employees, parents, and leaders, teachers in minority communities must be aware of “code switching,” or what is normal behavior in home communities versus what is an acceptable way to walk, talk, dress and act in job-seeking or at a work place, said Spinola. “Those of us who can do that successfully, we get to have this other world, and those who don’t remain where they are.”Teresa Harvey-Jackson, principal of the Marshall Elementary School in Boston, came to the seminar looking for ways to help her teachers reach out to students. “I really want to empower them to own these relationships with children,” she said. “Kids work with teachers they have relationships with. Our kids want to please the adults.”Centhelia Jones, a kindergarten and after-school teacher with the Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston, said she wanted  “to learn new ways, new practices, on how to reach these children in a more positive way.”“Children come to school with a temperament. We have a temperament too. We’re not machines; we’re people,” she said. “We have to be role models for these kids, even at the point we’re ready to explode. So for me, coming here, it’s teaching me — even though I’m trying to learn for the kids — to see you’re the role model, you have to keep calm.”“Mind in the Making,” authored by Ellen Galinsky and her colleagues at Families and Work Institute in New York, was used as a framework in the development of the Northeastern University course “Mind in the Making: Social, Emotional and Intellectual Learning Are Inextricably Linked.” The course allowed seminar participants to earn four graduate or three undergraduate credits and was funded by Northeastern and HASI.In addition to Harvard, StepUP includes Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Tufts University.last_img read more


Saving women during childbirth

first_imgThroughout history, more women have died in childbirth than men have died in battle, Mahmoud Fathalla, founder of the Safe Motherhood Initiative, told attendees at the recent Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, co-sponsored by Harvard School of Public Health’s Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and Management and Development for Health (MDH), a Tanzanian nonprofit.Fathalla and other speakers urged the more than 750 audience members, who represented 59 countries and work in more than 110 countries, to continue working for the health of the 200 million women who become pregnant each year.Conference attendees collaborated on a maternal health manifesto that was published in The Lancet on Feb. 22. Ana Langer, director of the MHTF and professor of the practice of public health at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Lancet Editor Richard Horton, and Guerino Chalamilla, executive director of MDH, co-authored the piece, which incorporated ideas raised during the conference and feedback from the participants. The authors hoped to keep maternal and women’s health part of discussions during the High-level Dialogue on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held March 5-6 in Gaborone, Botswana. Representatives from the World Health Organization and United Nations met with government officials and experts from around the world to develop suggestions for the development framework that will follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Launched by the United Nations in 2000, the MDGs include two women’s health goals to be achieved by 2015: A 75 percent reduction in maternal mortality (from 1990 levels) and universal access to reproductive and sexual health services. Maternal mortality has been reduced by nearly 50 percent since 1990, but only 24 percent of developing countries are currently on track to achieve this goal by 2015. There is still much more work to be done, according to the manifesto authors. With less than a thousand days before the MDGs run their course, they sought to define a framework for maternal and women’s health goals in the next set of targets.The manifesto, which calls for “a new and challenging goal for maternal mortality reduction” that embraces “political, economic, and social rights for women,” reflects the collaborative spirit of the conference in a concrete way, Langer said. The writers state that as maternal mortality declines, policymakers need to focus on improving the quality of maternal health care while simultaneously ensuring that the care is delivered in a way that respects women’s dignity.“The manifesto will help make sure that women’s health stays high on the list of priorities that the world needs to keep working on,” Langer said. “It will hopefully also draw more attention to the agenda of the Women and Health Dean’s Flagship Initiative here at HSPH. This is an area where we are well-positioned to move the agenda forward.”To read the full story, visit the HSPH website.last_img read more


New voice at Memorial Church

first_imgLucy Forster-Smith majored in philosophy and theology while in college, but she also studied music and voice and dreamed of one day standing on a podium leading a large musical ensemble.“I wanted to be a conductor, or conduct a big orchestra,” Forster-Smith said by phone recently from her office in St. Paul, Minn.But she long ago traded her vision of a place on a musical podium for a concrete spot on the dais. She opted to become a minister and chaplain who helps guide people not in song, but in spirituality.“I do conduct,” said Forster-Smith, but “I do it in another way.”On Sunday, Forster-Smith was introduced to the Harvard community as the Sedgwick Chaplain to the University and senior minister to the Memorial Church.Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, said his own inexperience as a university chaplain inspired him to create this position “in order to recruit someone with a wealth of chaplaincy experience in a multifaith setting like Harvard. ““In seeking advice from those with similar roles at peer institutions like Yale and Princeton, Dr. Lucy Forster-Smith’s name came up every time,” Walton added. “Lucy’s career has been all about promoting peace, justice, and religious understanding on college campuses. Harvard is fortunate to have someone of her caliber in the community.”Forster-Smith attended Princeton Theological Seminary and has spent her career in higher education as a college and university chaplain. For the past 20 years, she has been chaplain and associate dean for religious life at Macalester College in St. Paul.Ordained in the Presbyterian Church, Forster-Smith is a past president of the Association of College and University Religious Affairs. Her 2013 book, “College & University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century: A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry on Campuses across America,” explores how college chaplains can support and mentor diverse, multifaith communities.Forster-Smith said she found the dual nature of the Harvard job appealing.“Being the senior pastor of Memorial Church and having the chance to really work in the context of a congregation was a huge draw for me. And then being a chaplain at a university like Harvard is just so exciting. The context, the energy of a place like Harvard is definitely a draw.”Forster-Smith said her multifaceted role includes helping people through challenges and difficult times, supporting a range of spiritual traditions, generating interfaith dialogues, and working closely with outreach and public service opportunities.Her approach to multifaith engagement, she said, is based on the notion of deeply honoring other people’s experiences and backgrounds and helping people “talk to each other about differences and similarities in religious traditions and to be very respectful of all of the ways that people approach the religious or spiritual dimension of their life.”“I can think of no better place for that to happen than in a college or university setting, because you are just bumping up against people all the time who have very different perspectives than your own,” she said.Forster-Smith said her own college chaplain inspired her to consider chaplaincy as a vocation when he told her she would do well in the role. A few years ago, she asked him what he had seen in her so many years ago.“He actually said to me that I was a person who always had a kind of curiosity and an imagination for life, and that I was always kind of pushing out of the normative patterns into territory that might be a little more unsettling.“I think on a college and university campus that is something that people look for. They look for people who are intellectually curious, who probe deeply into life questions and life assumptions and meaning.”Forster-Smith said she is also looking forward to tapping into her passion for music by engaging with the Memorial Church’s vibrant program in that area.“Being a music major in college and then having the chance to be in a context with … excellence in music is such a gift.”last_img read more


And now: President CEO

first_imgDonald John Trump, the 45th U.S. president, will be the first to go straight from the boardroom to the Oval Office without any political experience or military service.During the 2016 campaign, Trump parlayed his fame as a celebrity real estate developer into a winning pitch to voters as a Washington outsider. Emphasizing his decades of experience as a wheeler-dealer building luxury hotels, casinos, and golf courses around the world, Trump pledged to use his business savvy and hard-charging leadership style to “drain the swamp” of the Washington bureaucracy and deliver results for the American people.The United States is not a company, of course, and its citizens are not employees, but voters still were drawn to his promises of a fresh approach to governing. So what skills and perspectives might the wealthy businessman draw on as he transitions from CEO to commander in chief?To get a better sense of the months ahead, The Gazette asked Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty members how Trump’s nearly 50 years of experience in building a global corporate empire might shape his approach to the presidency. Their insights follow.Real estate rarely a zero-sum gameJohn D. MacomberSenior lecturer of business administrationYou have to start by distinguishing between a branding operation that’s supported by other activities, like Disney Hotels, and pure real estate [companies], like Boston Properties and Vornado. Trump is primarily a branding operation.There are many sectors in real estate. Hospitality is one of them. In hotels, there are usually three parts to every deal. Usually, there’s one entity that owns the land and owns the building. There’s a different entity that likes to do operations like housekeeping and food and beverage. And there’s a third entity that has the brand. Companies like the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, we say they “flag” a hotel. They don’t manage it; they “flag” it. Trump has a few hotels, but mostly the properties are owned by other investors and he’s the “flag,” the name.Given that case, that would inform a world view that has a high sensitivity to perceptions in what we call in real estate “the real economy.” Are the rooms full, and in which locations? Hotel people have a high sensitivity to what they perceive as “the financial economy.” They don’t know the inner workings, but “what are the interest rates?” They have high sensitivity to transactions and to partners, because everything’s a bespoke, one-off transaction. Typically, people like this also see the shared value. They seldom get into a zero-sum negotiation. They think, “How can we help each other?”You’d expect someone like this to be very transactional, with a very high sensitivity to perception of current events, with a very high sensitivity to perceived financial prices, if not the inner workings of the financial market, and extremely high sensitivity to brand: What are people thinking? And you’d expect a much lower sensitivity to administration, to structure, to organizational dynamics, to long-term view, and to capital spending.The incoming president has a really good sense for what people want to buy in that demographic. But going forward, one would expect that the temptation would be to continue to play your strong suit and try and express your own taste and your ideas because it’s worked for you for 50 years.The second issue you’d expect of anybody in this situation would be that they’re probably quite confident in their own judgment. Having a very long record of reinforcement in making good decisions, for anybody, that would make them think they’ll be expert in other areas, whether it’s aviation or welfare or defense.I think an early indicator will be: Can he persuade a different group of people? He’s so good at persuading the people he knows, but can he persuade Congress to act? If he’s a good communicator and good negotiator and good creator of shared value, he’ll figure out something that works for House Speaker Paul Ryan and for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. A second thing to look for is how much leeway does he really give to someone like Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson or to Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Department nominee, or to Vice President Mike Pence? It looks like he’s a person who hasn’t delegated a lot in the past. So those would be early things to see. And then there’s what he’d do in a crisis. From what’s been reported by the press, the crises in the past, he’s been able to bluster through. There may be different crises here, where it’s not a question of, say, talking firmly to your bankers.For the most part, it looks like he’s always had the choice to walk away. In most of these project negotiations, he’s had a chance to do that. In the presidency, there will probably be negotiations — with Congress, with other nations, or with agencies or with all the people a president deals with — where you have to make a deal, and walking away is not a choice. It’ll be interesting to see how well he can create shared value in that context.A lot of negotiations are also about leverage, and for the most part, he’s gotten himself in a very favorable position where he usually has the negotiating leverage. He may not have the leverage going forward. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles that. And can he use those negotiating skills and those communication skills and create shared value skills in a situation where there’s no walk-away option and he doesn’t have the leverage. “Command and control” management modelNancy F. KoehnJames E. Robison Professor of Business AdministrationI study business leaders, government leaders, religious leaders, social activists, and other individuals — past and present — who exercise real, worthy impact. As a historian, I don’t see huge differences among political and business leaders in terms of what makes them effective. Courageous, serious leaders are men and women who are animated by a big, honorable mission, who get things done to achieve that mission, who demonstrate consistent emotional awareness as they do this, who motivate others to try to be better and bolder in pursuit of this purpose, and who work (tirelessly) to become better leaders themselves while they are doing all these other things.Thus far, we have not seen much evidence — either along the campaign trail or since the election — that Mr. Trump meets most of these criteria. But I think many voters perceived him as being successful in getting things done. Some of this perception was likely a result of his public confidence. Some may have resulted from his bluntness and his stated intent to cut through the red tape of Washington, along with its perceived stagnation, dominance by big money, and the sense that so many Americans have that the federal government is run by a small number of people calling all the shots.I think his hard-charging tone, coupled with his willingness to single out certain groups — from the media to Muslims to women to Hispanics — as responsible for many of the nation’s problems unleashed reservoirs of frustration, anger, and fear among certain groups of Americans. History makes it clear that all leaders have to be able to understand and respond to emotional currents among the people they influence. And I think Trump did that on the campaign trail in ways that served his political purposes very well. It is much less clear that inciting such animosity — and indeed hatred — among certain groups of Americans toward their fellow citizens will serve our country well. Certainly, history offers no such assurances. In fact, leaders who have risen to power by relying heavily on collective anger and discrimination toward other groups have proven to be despots, tyrants, and men who destroy the values and institutions that lie at the heart of democracies.Homing in on Trump’s reputation as a hard-charging man of action, we can perhaps think about his management style as one of “command and control.” This is a description in which the company, organization, or enterprise runs as a kind of military operation in which everyone lines up and falls in line. Although in the early 20th century many businesses were structured along such lines, “command and control” organizations have become much less common — outside of the military — in the last 40 or 50 years. Today, businesses and other enterprises are flatter, much less hierarchical, and much more diverse than the companies that first grew to great scale and came to define the modern industrial economy. This evolution is partly a result of globalization and the fact that many large organizations have become much more interdependent and complex; one-size-fits-all no longer works so well. This development is also a function of social, economic, and political change. Leaders now have to deal with a much broader set of stakeholders, including citizens, consumers, and labor around the world in a way that they simply didn’t half a century ago.At the same time, business has become responsible for much more than simply “selling high and buying low” and “delivering a healthy return for shareholders.” Today, companies are being held accountable for a whole host of social and political issues, from labor practices to environmental policies. In this context, hard charging and “command and control” are perhaps overly blunt instruments. I write and teach about individual leaders concerned with an honorable purpose, men and women who succeed against great odds. The people I study — from the explorer Ernest Shackleton to Abraham Lincoln to the environmentalist Rachel Carson — all have a great deal of deftness, meaning they understand the precept: “In this particular situation, what do I need to do to move my mission forward?” They also have great reserves of emotional awareness, which they apply to themselves and the people they are trying to influence. From this perspective, it seems to me that if you’re always on a hard-charging default drive, then it’s very difficult to pause and summon up the suppleness, care, and emotional acuity that leaders need in high-stakes situations.I think the incoming president has been very successful in terms of how he’s managed the American media to his ends. I can count on two hands the number of leaders I have seen in my lifetime who could walk into a room, take the measure of a large crowd so quickly, and then move into that energy and bring them along to embrace his agenda at a given moment. He has done this over and over, not only among his political supporters, but also among reporters and other members of the press.Despite these skills, which require some foresight, he appears to be extraordinarily reactive in his emotions, in his declarations, in the very heavy hammer that he wields across the board on different subjects as they come up, in real time, using social media. This is unprecedented. There is nothing in American history that compares with this aspect of his behavior: a public candidate and now president-elect, who is not only willing but eager to raise the public temperature so significantly, so often, and on such a widespread basis.When I reflect on strong leaders, I usually see an important connection between a given individual’s decisions and his or her respect for the organization for which that person is responsible. Government leaders make choices affected by laws and the founding documents of a nation; judges issue decisions anchored in precedent; CEOs consider the values and mission of their companies; even disruptive entrepreneurs struggle to build an organization that will execute a larger end and then endure. This connection is critical because a worthy leader wants the people whom he or she motivates to respect the organization and to serve that enterprise from such a place. This means a leader is always working to deepen the sense of integrity that his or her followers accord the organization, including its values, its charter, and those charged with serving as stewards of these critical aspects. We have yet to see Mr. Trump evidence such respect or incite it among his fellow Americans.Anyone we would say was an effective leader had the respect of his or her organization and toggled always back and forth between “what does this mean for the trajectory and the integrity and the character and the identity and the stability of my organization?” and “how is that related to my actions?” And that critical umbilical cord is, from my vantage point, not in sight here. I don’t see it. And I’m most troubled by that.“Push” and “pull’ marketing to build public support John A. QuelchCharles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration and professor in health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthMarketing is important in campaigning. It is equally important in governing. In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency with an uplifting call for hope and change. He leveraged online media to attract volunteers and donors, building a swell of grassroots support. In 2016, Donald Trump also leveraged new media, notably Twitter, to generate grassroots support around his call to make America great again. Effective communications and wise targeting of resources against key voter segments, notably in swing states, were equally important in both cases.Marketing in the world of politics is different from marketing in the world of commerce. In politics, you need majority support or at least a plurality to be successful. In commerce, you can be highly profitable as a niche brand appealing to a narrow segment of the population. In fact, being all things to all people is a recipe for disaster. The other noteworthy distinction is that the presidential marketer needs to win the vote on one day every four years, whereas the commercial marketer needs the cash register to ring every day.Nevertheless, public opinion is important to any president, and President Trump enters office with a low popular approval rating. That will require him to hone his communications skills and to win over many people who remain skeptical of his motives and competency. He must consciously set out to escape the Washington bubble and stay in touch with the ordinary voters from whom he draws much of his energy and confidence. Their continued enthusiasm to lobby their senators and representatives will be important to his ability to legislate his campaign promises.Governing as president therefore requires a combination of “push” and “pull” marketing. Coca–Cola pushes its products through retail distribution and at the same time advertises directly to consumers to generate demand that pulls the product off retail shelves. In the same way, President Trump must push his agenda through Congress, but strong popular support backing the agenda will help persuade legislators to vote accordingly.A likely force benefiting small business Karen MillsFormer administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and now a senior fellow at HBS and at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School Having a businessman in the White House has the potential to change the conversation in America around small business. Indeed, President Trump’s business background, if applied in the right way, could help him understand the needs of American small business. There are certainly thousands of small businesses that hope this will be the case.However, to do this right, President Trump needs to step up the focus on small business and ensure this critical part of our economy is part of every economic discussion his team has. So far, his attention seems to be on big business — aside from his nomination of Linda McMahon as SBA administrator. Big business often has significantly different needs from small business. Small businesses have a more difficult time accessing capital, providing health care to their employees, navigating complex regulations at every level of government, and much more. His promises to cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulation for small businesses could be a good start. But on both of these fronts, the policy details will matter when it comes to what small businesses need to grow and succeed.On the regulatory front, as I have written in a recent working paper, small business lending falls through the cracks of our current oversight framework. Small businesses and lenders should push President Trump to streamline the current “spaghetti soup” of regulation that is supposed to ensure greater access to capital, transparency, and borrower protections. Small businesses could also benefit from more incentives for large companies, which stand to get significant tax breaks under a Trump administration, to give more of their supply chain contracts to U.S.-based small businesses. In addition, National Federation of Independent Business surveys show that access to affordable health care is a top small business priority. Obamacare began to address this issue through the SHOP [Small Business Health Options Program] exchanges, but “Trumpcare” could go further in ensuring affordable rates for small businesses.Small businesses should advocate for President Trump to treat them like the customer, something that can be done by leveraging technology and innovation in ways that streamline interactions with federal agencies, like online form filing.Stars align to fix a broken tax systemMihir DesaiMizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance and professor of law at Harvard Law SchoolThe stars are in alignment for a major tax reform under President Trump. Thirty years of inaction on tax reform, along with significant changes in the economy and other countries’ tax policies, has made the U.S. tax system unwieldy and problematic in many ways. Most obviously, the corporate tax has become a dominant factor in the market for corporate control (i.e., so-called inversions), financing patterns (i.e., cash holdings), and profit-shifting activities (i.e., transfer pricing of profits).In short, it’s broken and we have the worst of all worlds relative to the rest of the world. We have high marginal rates that distort incentives, especially on profit-shifting, and only middle-of-the-pack average tax rates. The ratio of tax-induced distortions to revenue is creeping higher every year.The individual tax side of things is not quite as broken, but is overgrown and not serving our needs. We have numerous overlapping and confusing incentives on education, health, and child care expenses that ultimately limit the uptake of these programs. We have enacted several stealth tax increases that are quite large by phasing out deductions and exemptions. And, broadly speaking, the tax system may not reflect the apparent current support for more redistribution. One reason for that is the top bracket used to contain 0.1 percent of the taxpayers and now has 1 percent of the population. This creates resistance to increased top marginal rates.Finally, the usual guiding lights of equity and efficiency in tax policy now have to be complemented with a third concern: complexity. In the globalized world, there are ever-more margins on which economic agents can respond to complexities through planning. The overly complex system, especially on the international corporate side, is becoming a planner’s paradise.What will President Trump do? His plan during the campaign was admirable in some ways. The simplicity of the rate structure for individuals, the expansion of the standard deduction, the limitation on deductions, and the reduced corporate rate were broadly sensible. But, there were critical mistakes, including repeal of international deferral and a minimum tax for corporate foreign source income. It was fiscally irresponsible and not attuned to current tastes for redistribution.Given the relative inexperience of most of the current Trump economic team on these issues, I would expect that House Speaker Paul Ryan will dictate the broad outlines of any proposed legislation. His proposal, also known as the Ryan-Brady plan, is not just a renovation or a gut-rehab, it’s a teardown. It shifts the base of taxation to consumption from income through a “destination-based cash flow tax.” In effect, it is a form of value-added tax (VAT). Corporations will face a considerably lower rate, will not be allowed to deduct interest payments, and will be allowed to expense investments. The easiest way to understand that is: Because all business-to-business transactions are effectively deductible, the tax base becomes business-to-consumers transactions. In other words, consumption.One of the most important wrinkles in this system is that export revenue would be exempt from taxation, and the costs of imports would not be deductible under what is known as “border tax adjustments.” This has the potential for being incredibly redistributive across sectors, as exporters would have tax losses as far as the eye can see and importers would have much larger taxes due, unless exchange rates adjust to neutralize these changes in taxation, as economic theory would suggest.Will they? It’s hard to say because nothing on this scale has ever been attempted. Moreover, the plan has numerous question marks over how it would work. How would financial institutions get taxed? Would pass-through entities have their current treatment? Most importantly, it’s not clear it would pass muster with the World Trade Organization.The key advantage to Trump of the Ryan-Brady plan may well be the ability to characterize the border tax adjustments as tariffs. The box he put himself in regarding protectionist measures can be escaped by implementing the plan and labeling those adjustments as tariffs even though they’re not really functioning in that way. From an economic perspective, that deceit is preferable to the realities of tariffs. In recent tweets on auto companies, he’s already changed his language to a “border tax,” from tariffs.I think the risks of such a dramatic tax change are too great to justify the teardown. I’d prefer to see corporate tax reform proceed in a revenue-neutral way, with reduced rates and a shift to territoriality funded by changing the treatment of pass-throughs and by aligning the characterization of profits to tax authorities and capital markets. On the individual side, I think a significant expansion of the earned-income tax credit, unification and simplification of various credits and deductions, and a new top bracket for individuals making more than $1 million would help enormously.How does Trump’s business background condition his policy preferences and methods? It’s critical to realize that real estate development is quite unique in business, and the traits that allow you to succeed, to the degree he’s succeeded, in that field are not necessarily representative of the traits required elsewhere in business.Real estate development requires much more sharp-elbowed negotiating, coalition building between organizations, and marketing savvy than most types of business. It also tends toward monumental efforts rather than incremental change. Those skills might help him quite a bit in the Washington of today. Unfortunately, they could also result in a tweet-driven assemblage of hollow gestures (saving jobs via jawboning) without any real substance.These interviews have been edited for length and clarity. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more


Scroll through Colonial life

first_img 2This diagram of how “to make a portable moon dial” is found in a mathematics notebook compiled by Harvard undergraduate Joshua Green in 1782. Collection of Houghton Library. In a few weeks, the Harvard Library will release a new website for its ongoing, multiyear digitization “Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.” Approximately 450,000 digitized pages of all the known archival and manuscript materials in the Library relating to 17th- and 18th-century North America will be available to the public.Launched in November 2015 with 150,000 images, the online collection documents life in the European colonies of the Americas and Caribbean, as well as in Great Britain, continental Europe, and Africa. These extraordinary materials enable viewers to see through the eyes of the influencers and common folk of the era, providing insights not only about revolution and politics but also economics, science, society, and much more. 12Faculty meeting minutes of Oct. 2, 1761, noting that Harvard College students were granted permission for “firing off their squibs and crackers & at night for a Bonfire & illuminating the College” in honor of King George III’s coronation during a day of rejoicing and displays of liberty. Harvard University Archives. 7Beginning in 1799, clients signed this beautifully inscribed subscription book for the Massachusetts Mutual Fire Insurance Co., agreeing to pay an assessment “in case losses should happen so as to consume the absolute funds.” Massachusetts Mutual Fire Insurance Co. records, Baker Library, Harvard Business School. 6This sketch for a tavern sign was included in an account entry for Dec. 31, 1797. Daniel Rea Jr., a house painter, was paid $10 to make the sign for Richard Hayman. Daniel Rea & Son account books, Baker Library, Harvard Business School. 10In 1743, Samuel Adams answered affirmatively to the question “Is it lawful to resist the supreme magistrate, if the commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved?” in this Commencement Quaestiones for master’s degree candidates. Harvard University Archives. 4Phebe Folger Coleman made this copy of a printed image of a couple enjoying each other’s company in her notebook. Coleman wrote these lines to her husband, Samuel Coleman, a whaling vessel captain: “Why should so much of our time be spent apart, why do we refuse the happiness that is within our reach? Is the acquisition of wealth an adequate compensation for the tedious hours of absence?” Collection of Houghton Library. 11Harvard undergraduate Fisher Ames owned this embroidered pocketbook from 1774. Harvard University Archives. 14This vellum document, dated 1702, is an official record of the transfer of land on Dock Street, near the East River in New York City, to Hendrick Van der Heul. The document was “Sealed and delivered” with several signatures on one side. Harvard Law School Historical & Special Collections, Small Manuscript Collection, Small Manuscript Collection. 18A manuscript containing recipes for medical disorders compiled by London physician Edward W. Stafford for Gov. John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Province, dated May 6, 1643. Stafford’s prescriptions include hypericon (St. John’s wort) for madness; a mixture of toad oil and powder with yellow wax for “King’s evil” (scrofula); and a drink of sweet milk, saffron, and bay salt for jaundice. Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. 5Rules and Articles of the Massachusetts Mutual Fire Insurance Co., incorporated in 1798, to provide insurance against fire “whether the same should happen by accident, lightning, civil commotion or foreign invasion” were ornately written in the company’s records. Baker Library, Harvard Business School. center_img 8Paul Revere, one of the founders and earliest subscribers of the Massachusetts Mutual Fire Insurance Co., was among the first to sign its subscription book in February 1799. Massachusetts Mutual Fire Insurance Co. records, Baker Library, Harvard Business School. 13This printed Massachusetts probate form from 1712 was attached to a manuscript copy of the last will and testament of Ebenezer Clapp of Milton. Clapp was declared “infirm in body … yet … of memory and understanding competent.” Harvard Law School Historical & Special Collections, Small Manuscript Collection. 3Elizabeth Lincoln sent this lock of hair to Samuel Norton, ca. 1780, with the final lines of “The Friend” by Anne Steele: “Oh may I make my friend’s distress my own — Nor let my heart unhappy grieve alone — In sorrow let me never want a friend — Nor when the wretched mourn a tear to lend.” Collection of Houghton Library. 9Official seals and calligraphy decorate Richard Saltonstall’s commission as a lieutenant colonel in the Provincial Army of Massachusetts. The commission was issued by Gov. Thomas Pownall on March 5, 1760. Harvard University Archives. 17A 1659 hand-drawn portolan chart depicts the coasts of North and South America for sailors to use for navigation. Collection of Houghton Library. 16Bills of lading detail the contents of shipments bound for Boston on the “good ship Lydia” that sailed from London in the spring of 1766. Harvard Law School Historical & Special Collections, Small Manuscript Collection. 1This copy of printed images in a notebook made by Phebe Folger Coleman (1771–1857) features a cameo portrait of John Hamilton Moore (center), whose research developed the theory and practice of finding the latitude, longitude, and variation of the compass. Collection of Houghton Library. 15A detail of the transfer of land on Dock Street. The first of eight wax seals attached is shown on the lower left. Harvard Law School Historical & Special Collections, Small Manuscript Collection. 19This detail shows the wax seal on the M.B. diploma conferred in 1797 on New Hampshire physician Lyman Spalding. Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.last_img read more


Heatwave = heat stroke = ER visit

first_imgGAZETTE: Do you get any pushback from other doctors?SALAS: There’s an increasing recognition of the connection between climate change and health, but oftentimes it’s viewed as just a public health issue that is separate from what health professionals do every day. The goal of the symposium is to show that it’s actually making it harder for us as clinicians to do our job, and there are things that we can do today — both in our clinical practice and at the level of the health care system — to improve the health of our patients and ensure that our health care systems will be resilient to climate change. This will allow us to provide care to our patients and communities at their time of greatest need. Meanwhile, we have to continue to push for the urgent, sweeping action addressing the root of the problem — reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, both in health care and on a global scale.GAZETTE: Who do you expect to be at this symposium? Is it just for doctors?SALAS: It’s vitally important that we engage the entire health community. This symposium is geared to those who provide care directly to patients, so, while it’s largely targeting doctors, nurses, midlevel providers, residents, medical students, and any other allied health professional can benefit. The goal is to engage those who are working clinically and the leaders who are creating and supporting their delivery of care. We can all add a climate lens to our practice and roles, to start to tease out how climate change is impacting our patients and our practice.We hope people will recognize that there are practical, tangible solutions that we can incorporate now that will improve patients’ health. For example, there are certain medications that cause patients to have an increased risk of heat-related illness. So if an individual is at high risk for heat exposure because, for example, they don’t have access to an air conditioner or they work outside during the summer, should they be changed to a different medication that has a lower risk profile? In addition, certain medications don’t work as well when left in extreme heat. I’ve seen estimates that a car interior can reach 140 to 170 degrees, which will only worsen with record heat. If you leave your albuterol inhaler in there, it may not work as well. We need to educate our patients so they keep them in a more temperature-controlled environment. Again, there’re a lot of items to weigh in these decisions and we need more research to truly understand what the risk-benefit ratios are. But we have to start having these discussions and getting the evidence we need to be informed. GAZETTE: Can you prescribe an air conditioner?SALAS: That’s a great question. A lot of communities subsidize heat, if people are unable to afford heat during the winter, because it’s felt to be a crucial necessity for survival. Now, as we face record heat known to have widespread health harms, I would argue that we must be ensuring access to cool environments — like providing air conditioners and subsidizing their use. First we need to have patient screening tools in place to identify who is at risk — like asking them if they have access to an air conditioner or the financial means to run it. There have been reported situations where people have been found dead in their homes, presumably from heat-related illness, without their air conditioners on. They likely couldn’t afford to turn them on. In addition, if the city loses power, what are the backup cooling plans? These issues are fundamentally related to health and thus something the medical community has to tackle.GAZETTE: Do you see this screening for climate effects transforming intake or discharge or occurring somewhere in the middle over the years to come?SALAS: A climate lens must be added to every aspect of our practice. Speaking as an emergency medicine physician, that includes everything from ambulance and triage protocols to the screening tools we use. It also impacts how we treat patients, the discharge instructions we provide, and the follow-up plans. Of course, these will vary depending on factors like the specialty, the time of year, and the relevant geographic exposures. Boston’s medical establishment is coming together to carry a message to area physicians and other health care workers: Climate change plays a role in many of the illnesses they see each day. A Feb. 13 symposium, “The Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice,” at Harvard Medical School (HMS) aims to help them anticipate those health effects to better treat and advise patients, and to discuss relevant issues with them when appropriate. The symposium is supported by HMS, area teaching hospitals, medical associations, and the New England Journal of Medicine. The Gazette spoke with organizer Renee Salas, an emergency physician, HMS assistant professor of emergency medicine, and climate change and health expert, about the need for the gathering.Q&ARenee SalasGAZETTE: How did you get interested in climate as part of your work? You’re an ER doc, which one would expect would focus your attention on what’s right in front of you, sometimes second by second. How did you get interested in climate, and when did you begin to think hard about the intersection of the two?SALAS: In October of 2013, I heard a lecture that framed climate change as the greatest public health emergency. I was starting a fellowship here at MGH, so I had gone through both medical school and residency, and I had heard nothing up to that point about how the climate crisis was impacting the health of my patients. I was blown away: How had I not learned about this before if it is having that large of an impact and was truly going to be making our jobs as doctors harder? It was a profound moment in my career and a fork in the road. I decided then and there that I was going to direct my career toward an academic focus on climate change and its impact on health and health care systems. I couldn’t imagine working on anything else. I decided to get a master’s of public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and I feel blessed to be able to work on my true passion.GAZETTE: Is climate change making things worse for patients who would be there anyway, or are there ER patients visiting who, without the changes already under way, wouldn’t be there in the first place?SALAS: As doctors, we want to have certainty — which can be elusive. If a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer as a 50-pack-a-year smoker, I can’t conclusively say that they have lung cancer because they smoked. There’s a chance that they would have had lung cancer even if they didn’t smoke. But I think, with our current understanding, we can clearly say that the two are linked. Patients present to my emergency department where it’s clear that different exposure pathways from climate change are harming their health and causing them to have difficulty managing certain conditions. And I do think that there are cases where they may not have even needed to visit an emergency department without an exposure, or combination of exposures, driven by the climate crisis. An example is that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing longer pollen seasons and higher levels. I have seen patients during times of high pollen who are having enormous difficulties managing their lung diseases, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, what we call COPD.GAZETTE: Can you tell us about any cases you’ve seen?SALAS: I was working an overnight shift here at MGH, and a young girl came in for an asthma attack. It was her third visit in a week, and her mother, as you can understand, was just exasperated by this situation. After telling her that her daughter needed to be admitted to the hospital, we had a conversation about the connection between her daughter’s condition and the high pollen levels as well as things she could do to reduce her daughter’s exposure.GAZETTE: Can you describe other examples?SALAS: Heat stress is another important exposure. I saw a young, otherwise healthy construction worker with heatstroke a few years ago, and he represents the type of person often thought to be invincible to illness from climate change. This summer, in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave, I saw an elderly man who was living with his wife on the top floor of a lower-income building without any air conditioning. He came in with a core temperature of nearly 106 degrees Fahrenheit. His older age and lack of financial means placed him at increased risk. “There’s an increasing recognition of the connection between climate change and health, but oftentimes it’s viewed as just a public health issue that is separate from what health professionals do every day.” Mercury levels in fish are on the rise GAZETTE: Those issues seem fairly straightforward. Are there other, more hidden, ones?SALAS: Those are examples where the link to the climate crisis is clearer, but there are situations where climate change can be insidious in the way it is impacting the health of individuals and our health care systems. I often describe our current understanding of the health impacts of climate change as an iceberg — and I understand the irony of using that analogy. We see the health harms as the ice above the surface of the water, but there is a larger mass underneath, which represents the associations between the climate crisis and health that we have yet to discover. Recent papers show that rising temperature is associated with bacterial resistance to antibiotics and a higher incidence of congenital heart defects. As a doctor, that gets me thinking about what other impacts might be. These are the types of connections we need to learn more about, and there are new methods researchers are applying called “detection and attribution” to help us better understand just how much of a role climate change is playing.GAZETTE: Is it important that doctors not just recognize these things, but also talk to patients and advocate in some way?SALAS: I personally feel that my job as a doctor is to improve my patients’ health and prevent harm if I can. That is part of our Hippocratic oath. Our role is also to empower them to be able to take care of their own health and the health of their family. Because climate change impacts health through so many pathways, we can connect climate change to every patient in some way. Even healthy teenage athletes who have no other medical problems are going to be practicing in hotter and hotter temperatures and need to learn how to protect themselves from heat and recognize the signs of heat-related illness. It is my role to tell patients how climate change is impacting their health. That’s going to largely differ for every patient. How far you take it, whether you go all the way back to rising greenhouse gases, is going to vary depending on the patient’s desire to understand what leads to some of these downstream impacts on their health. But it’s important to begin the conversation with the direct health impacts on that patient.GAZETTE: Do you have a sense that this is the kind of thing that all clinicians are going to be faced with more of in the coming years? Will the connections become more and more apparent?SALAS: Yes. While I’m not a climate scientist, I read their assessments closely. And one trend I’ve seen is that often things seem to be happening faster than previously anticipated. So I am concerned that we are going to also be increasingly facing the associated rising health threats if we don’t have rapid and urgent action. I think that the chronic exposure pathways that we already understand well will be responsible for an increasing amount of health harms. Right now those harms have fallen largely on the vulnerable, like children, the elderly, those with chronic medical conditions, the poor, certain racial minorities. However, as the exposures intensify, more individuals will experience these impacts. Meanwhile, those who are already suffering disproportionately will only continue to experience more illness and death. As mentioned before, I also believe that there may be new health harms, either new things that will occur or connections that we’ll discover.GAZETTE: Do you see other ways climate change will affect our health care system?SALAS: Our health care systems will experience more challenges as they face further disruptions. For example, power outages can occur during heat waves because of increased energy requirements on grids from cooling devices like air conditioners, leaving hospitals on backup generators. There has already been evidence of supply-chain disruptions like the intravenous fluid shortage after Hurricane Maria. The hurricane, intensified from climate change, disrupted a factory that produced nearly half of the intravenous fluids. This led to widespread shortages that even affected my practice here at MGH. I was handing patients cans of Gatorade to rehydrate them instead of putting in an IV and giving fluids. If this can happen for essentially water in a bag, what else do we need to worry about? While early work has started, there is still very little understanding overall of where those future health care system vulnerabilities are. That is why our symposium also includes health care leaders because we first have to better understand the system problems before we can determine how to best address them. Those conversations also have to occur collectively — as health care institutions working together in a city — because we are all in this together. “I am concerned that we are going to also be increasingly facing the associated rising health threats if we don’t have rapid and urgent action.” Related Harvard faculty members consider the Oxford Dictionaries’ ‘word of the year’ As water temperatures increase, so does risk of exposure to toxic methylmercury What weighed on us in 2019? ‘Climate emergency’ Toll of climate change on workers I’m honored to work with my amazing co-directors — Drs. Caren Solomon and Aaron Bernstein — and a phenomenal planning team from the Harvard Global Health Institute and Harvard C-CHANGE to start this critical conversation. And this is just the beginning. Every major teaching hospital system within Boston is co-sponsoring this symposium and sending representatives. As our city is impacted by climate change, it’s not just affecting one institution, it’s affecting all of us. We’re stronger together and we need collective action to tackle this. That is one of the most inspiring parts of working on the climate crisis — watching it break down silos and bring people together in profound ways. Unprecedented challenges require unprecedented action.The Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice Symposium will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Feb 13 at the Joseph B. Martin Conference  Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston.  For more information, visit the website.Interview was edited for clarity and length. Harvard economist says rise in number of very hot days will cut productivity and hike health risks, especially for many in blue-collar jobs last_img read more


Two named to lead Overseers

first_imgMartin Chávez ’85, S.M. ’85, an investment banker, computer scientist, and entrepreneur, has been elected president of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers for the 2020–21 academic year. Beth Karlan ’78, M.D. ’82, a physician and scientist with expertise in cancer genetics and women’s health, will serve as vice chair of the board’s executive committee.Both elected as Overseers in 2015, Chávez and Karlan will serve in the board’s top leadership roles for the final year of their six-year terms. They succeed Michael Brown ’83, J.D. ’88, co-founder, past CEO, and now senior adviser of the public-service organization City Year, and Lesley Friedman Rosenthal ’86, J.D. ’89, chief operating officer and corporate secretary of The Juilliard School.“Marty Chávez and Beth Karlan are widely admired leaders and deeply dedicated alumni,” said President Larry Bacow. “Marty’s expertise in technology and finance, and Beth’s expertise in biomedical research and health care promise to serve Harvard especially well in these challenging times. We are fortunate to have two such experienced and devoted Harvard citizens to lead the board. I look forward to working even more closely with both of them during the next academic year.”The Board of Overseers is one of Harvard’s two governing boards, along with the President and Fellows, also known as the Corporation. The board directs the visitation process, the primary means for periodic external assessment of Harvard’s schools and departments. Through its array of standing committees, and the roughly 50 visiting committees that report to them, the board probes the quality of Harvard’s programs and assures that the University remains true to its charter as a place of learning. More generally, drawing on its members’ diverse experience and expertise, the board provides counsel to the University’s leadership on priorities, plans, and strategic initiatives. It also has the power of consent to certain actions, such as the election of Corporation members.Marty Chavez ’85, S.M. ’85, has been elected president of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers for the 2020–21 academic year.Chávez has built his career on using data, mathematics, software, and machine learning to solve complex problems for clients and others. He recently retired from Goldman Sachs, where he served in senior roles, including chief information officer, chief financial officer, and global co-head of the securities division, the firm’s largest operating unit. During nearly two decades at Goldman Sachs, where he remains a senior director, Chávez was also a member of the management committee, co-chair of the Americas Diversity Committee, and a leading member of the firm’s Hispanic/Latino and LGBT networks. This spring, he is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaching a course on “How Software Ate Finance.” Earlier in his career, Chávez was co-founder and CEO of Kiodex, a provider of digital risk-management tools, and co-founder and chief technology officer of Quorum Software Systems.“It is an immense honor to be elected president of the Board of Overseers,” said Chávez. “Harvard transformed me and guided me from my roots in New Mexico to the worlds of finance, technology, bioscience, and academe from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Under the extraordinary leadership of President Larry Bacow, and alongside the members of the governing boards, administration, faculty, students, and alumni, I will do my part to guide the University through and beyond this most challenging time.”As a Harvard Overseer, Chávez chairs the board’s standing committee on finance, administration, and management, while serving on the executive committee, the committee on natural and applied sciences, and the joint committee on inspection. He has also chaired the visiting committee for information technology and served on the visiting committee for the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.Chávez, who concentrated in biochemical sciences, received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1985 and concurrently earned a master’s degree in computer science. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in medical-information sciences from Stanford.In addition to his Harvard Overseer service, Chávez is a member of the Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows, the board of trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study, and the board of directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Previously, he served on the boards of Friends of the High Line, amfAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research), and the Santa Fe Opera, among other organizations.Since retiring from Goldman Sachs, Chávez has served as an adviser and board member to multiple startups and projects, including the Digital Dollar Project, Paige, RealityEngines, and Recursion Pharma.Beth Karlan ’78, M.D. ’82, will serve as vice chair of the board’s executive committee.Beth Karlan is a distinguished physician-scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she joined the faculty in 1989. A professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, with special interests in heritable forms of cancer, she directs the cancer population genetics program at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also vice chair of women’s health research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Geffen School. Until 2018, she was director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, director of the Women’s Cancer Program, and director of the Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.“In these unprecedented times, I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with Harvard’s leadership and my colleagues on the Board of Overseers to help identify innovative ways for Harvard to continue advancing its commitment to scholarship, leadership and education of the highest caliber,” said Karlan. “As a physician-scientist and caregiver, I bring my clinical experience and perspective to our discussions of strategies that support students’ personal transformation and promote their wellness — especially in the midst of this pandemic.”As a Harvard Overseer, Karlan chairs the board’s standing committee on natural and applied sciences and additionally serves on the executive committee, the committee on Schools, the College, and continuing education, and the joint committee on alumni affairs and development. She is also member of the visiting committees for both Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Karlan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1978 and received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1982. Long an active alumna, she is former vice president of the HMS Alumni Council and past chair of the HMS Alumni Fund Committee.An authority on cancer genetics, with a focus on ovarian, breast, and other heritable cancers, she is the author or co-author of more than 300 publications, editor of several medical textbooks, and editor in chief of the journals Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecologic Oncology Reports.An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, Karlan serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board, chairs the scientific advisory committee of the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, and is past president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. Her work has been recognized with the National Cancer Institute’s Director’s Service Award and the OncLive Giants of Cancer Care award, among other honors. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more


Dell Announces Expanded Vostro Portfolio Designed for Small Business Professionals

first_imgDell Technologies World 2019 is upon us, followed closely by National Small Business Week, making it the perfect time to announce the launch of the latest additions to our Vostro portfolio, the Vostro 13 5000 and Vostro 15 7000, designed with the needs of small businesses in mind.Michael Dell founded Dell Technologies in his college dorm room with a revolutionary idea and a great deal of dedication and hard work. These are key ingredients that company founders must possess to start – and successfully grow – a small business. Here at Dell, we understand the challenges facing small businesses today and have built our products and advisory services to enable them to scale, thrive and remain a competitive force in the marketplace, starting with our Vostro line.This is why we are thrilled to launch our new Vostros. The Vostro 13 5000 is the thinnest and lightest Vostro ever, designed for on-the-go business professionals. This portable 13” notebook is just 14.9mm thin with a weight as light as 1.18kg (2.6lb) and is encased in an aluminum cover that is both durable and sleek. The FHD display is surrounded by a 3-sided narrow border, which was made possible with the new 2.7mm HD webcam. While the HD camera provides a clear viewing experience, Waves MaxxAudio Pro boosts volume and SmartByte software ensures video-conferencing applications receive network bandwidth priority to reduce buffering, making it the perfect laptop for on-the-go business professionals who need to attend meetings from anywhere.To add to the lineup, the Vostro 15 7000 is our newest 15” laptop catered to professionals who need a high-performance computer that looks stylish, while keeping cost down. Encased in aluminum and featuring a narrow border FHD display, it is both durable and sleek. With up to Core i7 Intel Coffee Lake-H 6-core processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, a 97 WHr battery and an optional triple drive expandability storage option, this performance laptop is ideal for content creators or businesses that run intensive applications and need plenty of storage & performance when working on large projects.Vostro laptops come with security features that are easy to use for any business user. With an optional single-sign on fingerprint reader and built-in hardware-based Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip, users can instantly authenticate their systems and feel confident their data is well protected against malware and cyber threats.Dell also knows that small businesses rely on their technology partners for continued support. Therefore, we are offering the option of Dell Pro Support, which provides our customers with 24×7 direct telephone access to advanced-level technicians who are locally based relative to each small business.Small businesses play an incredible part in the nation’s economic growth and that does not go unrecognized. According to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), micro businesses make up 92 percent of all U.S. businesses. As we head into the Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week, on May 5, a special time when we celebrate the impact of small businesses nationally, we’re excited to kick it off with new Vostros designed to enable and empower small businesses and entrepreneurs.The Vostro 13 5000 will be available on dell.com on May 16 starting at $849. The Vostro 15 7000 will be available on dell.com on May 16 starting at $1149.last_img read more