Business leaders call for ‘patience and civility’ ahead of US election, tying economic health to democracy
Business leaders are calling on Americans to be patient and civil ahead of the 2020 presidential election, citing the importance of maintaining confidence in democracy during the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 50 executives across the fields of tech, finance, retail, and real estate signed onto a statement released Wednesday by the Leadership Now Project, a group founded by Harvard Business School alumni focused on protecting democracy.
“America has successfully held elections through previous challenges, like the Civil War, World Wars l and ll, and the 1918 flu pandemic… we can and must do so again,” the group said in the statement. “As business leaders, we know firsthand that the health of America’s economy and markets rests on the founding principle of our democracy: elections where everyone’s vote is counted.”
The statement was backed by big names in business, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, and General Assembly chief executive Lisa Lewin. Massachusetts executives on the list include Seth Klarman of Baupost Group, Tricia Glynn of Advent International, Trinidad Grange-Kyner from Tufts Health Plan, and Eric Spindt from Commonwealth Financial Group.
The group emphasized that it could take weeks or more until election results are confirmed because of the number of citizens voting by mail this year. They asked Americans to stay calm, “making it clear that they will refuse to accept any results called too early or based on insufficient data.”
The statement also called on journalists to “avoid calling the election before sufficient data are available,” and asked business leaders to “promote patience and civility among employees, communities, and the American people.”
LinkedIn’s Hoffman wrote that “election results inaccurately or prematurely reported by journalists, elected officials
YouTube.com/Fashion released programming Tuesday focused on Black leaders in fashion as part of its broader commitment to amplify Black voices and perspectives.
The platform spotlights 12 designers and fashion industry leaders, including Virgil Abloh, Grace Wales Bonner, Naomi Campbell, Stella Jean, Jerry Lorenzo, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Kenneth Nicholson, Tremaine Emory, Laduma Ngxokolo, Andrea Iyamah, Samuel Ross and Felisha Noel, and includes runway shows, films, interviews and behind-the-scenes content.
The programming can be found on a dedicated shelf on the fashion homepage, and is part of larger partnership efforts to elevate Black fashion leaders and grow their YouTube presence.
“This year has been an incredible moment for all industries, including fashion, to reflect on the ways it attends to diversity and representation,” said Derek Blasberg, head of fashion and beauty, YouTube.
“YouTube is the home for diverse voices and perspectives and we have a unique opportunity to use our platform to spotlight Black fashion talent and grow their audiences on YouTube. This past year alone, we’ve seen incredible content that lifts up diverse voices and the programming we’re debuting today and in the coming years builds upon this work. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to not only support but center on our Black creators, brands, designers and fashion professionals,” added Blasberg.
Among some of the programming is Off/White men’s fall 2020 collection designed by Abloh, the Louis Vuitton men’s spring 2021 show in Tokyo, designed by Abloh; A-Cold-Wall’s spring collection, designed by Samuel Ross, and “Thinkin Home,” a 2020 film by Jeano Edwards and Wales Bonner. In addition, fashion designer Felisha Noel shares her story of going from the finance industry to owner and founder of a Brooklyn-based women’s wear brand, Fe Noel.
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Dueling surveys from Kaseya showed that IT department leaders share their underlings’ worries about security and productivity.
IT infrastructure and security management company Kaseya have released a two-part report featuring insights gleaned from surveys of both IT leaders and IT practitioners. The two reports—”Technical Priorities for IT Practitioners” and “Strategic Priorities for IT Leaders”–show that members of both sides of IT departments share broad concerns on a variety of issues including data protection and security.
The researchers behind the study spoke with 878 respondents in July 2020, more than 500 of whom were IT practitioners and 335 were IT leaders. According to the survey responses, IT leaders are more concerned with ensuring that operations are always up and running amid coronavirus-related budget shortages, while the managers and technicians working daily with technology are more focused on maintaining productivity using limited resources.
“Our 2020 IT Operations survey makes it clear that IT leaders and practitioners are trying to do as much as they can today with far fewer resources than usual,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer at Kaseya.
“Understanding the new challenges that IT leaders and practitioners will face in 2021, we are committed to continuing to evolve and improve the solutions we make available to manage and solve those challenges.”
SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)
Data protection and security were something both sides of the IT coin could agree on, with both leaders and employees highlighting the startling increase in cyberattacks since the onset of the pandemic and the need for more focus on protecting organizational data.
According to the survey, “Improving IT security” was the top priority in 2020 for more than half of IT practitioners and 60% of IT leaders. “Cybersecurity and data protection”
Chinese astrology has it that 2020 is a “metal rat” year, and is associated with turbulence. Covid-19 has certainly provided a quantum of it. With a steep market dive in the first quarter, and sharp worldwide economic contraction, Asian business has had a rough ride. As star signs go, 2020 has so far lived up to its ratty astrological reputation.
The results of a survey conducted from August to September of Hong Kong-based Asia Business Council’s members, who are the chairmen and CEOs of some of Asia’s leading multi-national companies, collectively valued at nearly $3 trillion, and with some 3 million employees, offer insights against the turbulent backdrop of a year dominated by Covid-19. With a response rate of 83% (58 out of 70 members), the results showed a latent optimism and the confidence to re-tool investment focus. Though the outlook for job growth remains uncertain, not surprisingly, these leaders ranked public health and geopolitics as top concerns for their businesses.
A lot of numbers follow here, but they are very telling. When asked their outlook for business conditions in Asia over the next 12 months, and in spite of significant declines in their own revenues, half said they expect to see an improvement, while 33% expect conditions to worsen. Though not a table-pounding endorsement, this is a significant change from 2019, when 55% expected conditions to worsen.
Only 16% of members foresee a prolonged downturn or depression, and just 5% anticipate inflation. The wide distribution of an effective vaccine for Covid-19 is viewed as a pre-condition for a return to pre-pandemic economic levels–an opinion expressed by 91%—that speaks well of the latent, “coiled-spring” potential of
The digital transformation underway across all sectors of the economy means that demand for technology professionals is soaring.
Even before the pandemic, it was clear that demand for technology skills and leadership was on the march. A study conducted by Faethm in association with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) reveals that although automation and AI are going to transform all industry sectors and displace some workers, over the coming 15 years as many as 5.6 million new jobs could be added to the Australian economy – a quarter of them in technology-related roles.
The annual Digital Pulse report – prepared by Deloitte for the ACS – suggests that the nation’s technology workforce will grow by just over 3 per cent for the next five years, and reach a million people by 2027. It’s an encouraging trajectory but an organisation like Iress, a fintech which is founded on solving complex problems with technology, needs capable, intelligent people who like solving complex problems now. It needs people who are skilled at collaborating with colleagues both face to face and online, and schooled in agile approaches to problem-solving. And it needs leaders to help them do that.
The challenge for organisations as they navigate their skills requirements is to pay careful attention to different career trajectories. Is an individual best placed as an expert or leader? Where does their passion lie? What are their aspirations and how can they be nurtured?
A resilient, next-generation workforce emerges by balancing the skills equation carefully – nurturing leaders and investing in the skills of experts.
Iress chief technology officer Andrew Todd says: “In my experience, career progression has often been a path of becoming a technical specialist in the role – whatever the technical speciality might be – then you become a team leader, a