Fri, Jul 03, 2020 15:56 EDT
We are eating better, exercising more, seeing more wildlife and have rejoiced in the cleaner air. Many of us are spending more time talking to friends and family and enjoying the freedom that comes with working from home. Of course, the COVID-19 lockdown has been hard, and we have missed many simple pleasures, from hugging loved ones to a relaxed pub lunch with friends. Yet something fundamental has changed about British people's frame of mind - a YouGov survey found only 9% of Britons want life to return to 'normal' after the coronavirus outbreak is over. This shift in attitude has also become apparent in the way the British public has been prompted to confront mortality and funeral arrangements, according to a funeral industry pioneer. As part of the lockdown measures the UK Government limited the number of people at funerals to immediate family members to limit social contact and so reduce the spread of the deadly virus, with some councils banning any mourners from entering their crematoria. Whilst measures are being significantly reduced from the 4th July, there will still be restrictions on numbers, meaning mourners still have to decide whether to hold a smaller funeral without the comfort of being surrounded by friends and family, or to separate the two elements of a funeral so that the practicalities can be taken care of without delay but the 'proper' send-off is postponed until everyone can be together.
Bangor And Santander Universities Offer Support Through Enterprise Support Allowance During COVID Crisis
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 12:14 EDT
Bangor a Phrifysgolion Santander yn cynnig cymorth drwy Lwfans Cynhaliaeth Mentergarwch yn ystod argyfwng COVID Mae Prifysgol Bangor a Phrifysgolion Santander yn cefnogi myfyrwyr a graddedigion gyda'u busnesau a'u mentrau newydd trwy'r pandemig COVID-19. Mae cefnogaeth Prifysgolion Santander gwerth £25,000 ac mae wedi arwain at greu Lwfans Cynhaliaeth Mentergarwch Argyfwng COVID Prifysgol Bangor i fyfyrwyr sy'n entrepreneuriaid gael cefnogaeth ariannol yn ystod y cyfnod ansicr hwn. Mae'r gefnogaeth yn rhan o gynllun ehangach gwerth £4.5m ar draws nifer o bartneriaid prifysgol Santander i gynorthwyo amrywiaeth o fentrau er mwyn cefnogi entrepreneuriaeth myfyrwyr a lliniaru caledi yn ystod yr argyfwng COVID-19. Lansiwyd galwad gystadleuol am geisiadau gan fusnesau myfyrwyr a graddedigion a oedd yn gallu dangos y byddai'r gefnogaeth yn gymorth iddynt ddechrau menter newydd neu gynnal busnes newydd sy'n bodoli eisoes ac yn lleddfu rhywfaint o'r pwysau ariannol arnynt dros y misoedd nesaf. Rydym yn falch iawn o gyhoeddi bod 28 o grantiau wedi cael eu dyfarnu, gwerth rhwng £500 a £3000 i gyfrannu at gostau byw, ffioedd proffesiynol, prynu offer ac, mewn rhai achosion, cyflogi myfyriwr i ddatblygu'r busnes. Meddai Josef Roberts o Pai Language Learning sy'n darparu platfform i ddysgu ieithoedd ac sydd wedi ei leoli ym Mharc Gwyddoniaeth MSParc yn Gaerwen, " Rydym wedi bod yn gweithio ar ein busnes yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf ac roeddem yn paratoi i lansio'n swyddogol pan ddaeth COVID-19 a'r cyfyngiadau symud. Mae Lwfans Cynhaliaeth Mentergarwch Argyfwng Prifysgolion Santander wedi bod yn amhrisiadwy i ni fel cwmni newydd ac mae'n golygu y gallwn barhau â'n cynlluniau a gobeithio y byddwn yn gallu cyflogi myfyrwyr fel interniaid yn y dyfodol agos ." Meddai Matt Hutnell, Cyfarwyddwr Prifysgolion Santander, " Mae Santander wedi ymrwymo i gefnogi addysg uwch yn ogystal â chymunedau lleol ledled y Deyrnas Unedig ac felly rydym yn falch bod modd cyfeirio ein cyllid lle mae'r angen mwyaf ar yr adeg dyngedfennol hon. Mae prifysgolion yn gwneud gwaith gwych i gyfrannu at ymgyrch y Deyrnas Unedig yn erbyn COVID-19, ac felly rydym yn falch iawn o gydweithio â'r prifysgolion sy'n bartneriaid inni a chynyddu eu hymdrechion hwythau yn eu tro ac rydym yn edrych ymlaen at barhau i weithio gyda nhw i gefnogi myfyrwyr a'r gymuned addysg uwch ehangach gyda mentrau pellach dros y misoedd nesaf ." Meddai'r Athro Paul Spencer, Dirprwy Is-ganghellor Arloesi, Cysylltiadau a Chyflogadwyedd Prifysgol Bangor, " Rydym yn hynod ddiolchgar am y gefnogaeth barhaus gan Brifysgolion Santander yn ystod y cyfnod heriol hwn. Roeddwn yn falch iawn o weld cymaint o ddiddordeb yn y cynllun ac ansawdd y syniadau busnes a gawsom. Rwy'n credu ei fod yn tystio i ysbryd entrepreneuraidd ein myfyrwyr a'n graddedigion eu bod yn gallu addasu eu mentrau a manteisio ar gyfleoedd newydd er gwaethaf yr anawsterau gweithredu mae COVID-19 wedi eu hachosi. Hoffwn ddymuno'r gorau i bob un ohonynt yn eu hymdrechion ac edrychaf ymlaen at weld sut mae'r busnesau'n datblygu dros yr haf ."
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 11:50 EDT
The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and its magazine, FloraCulture International (FCI), had a massive response from ornamentals growers from around the world who joined its free webinar on 30 June 2020. The event was titled: Supporting Growers Coming Out of The Covid-19 Crisis , with more than 300 people registering from 48 countries and more than half attending the live event at 4pm (CEST) facilitated by experienced webinar organiser, Jungle Talks. Traumatic and immediate has been the impact of this invisible virus on the global green industry. The livelihoods of many growers have been squeezed by the impact on their traditional marketplaces, the transport supply chain and the health and safety of workers Providing a scholarly overview of the global shifting landscape was Dr Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, Texas A&M University, USA. He admits that quantifying the nature of the impact has been difficult as "the data is lagging" and somewhat confusing. For example, sales for 68% of American growers were up from February to June, for 9% they were flat and for 24% they were down, compared to the same period in 2019. He adds: "this has been a very mixed type of crisis, where some benefit while others have been hurt." Dr Hall's presentation guides the audience on how leaders, no matter what industry, should be thinking in the "crucible of crisis". He discusses how leaders should be managing people, from customers to suppliers to essential workers and concludes with how leaders need to think and react. He sees now as the pivotal moment in time where we need to look forward to shifting, realigning, and "reimagining ourselves towards new opportunities". Sharing his personal view on how the recovery for horticulture will look, he says it will be "more of an inverted square root symbol". Illustrating with his fingers, "where we, were before 'the great shutdown' and then we drop precipitously, and we'll have a small v-shaped recovery, but then a more prolonged recovery as we deal with the shift to the new normal to get us back to where we were, here." Telling their stories on handling the crisis and their future were Toine Overgaag of Westerlay Orchids, California, USA and Arie van den Berg of Van den Berg Roses, the Netherlands. As president of Westerlay Orchids, Overgaag is a hands-on executive who believes the best way to inspire team members is by encouraging personal engagement through empowerment. He has been president of Westerlay Orchids since 2009, a period in which the company's sales volume, of potted orchids to supermarkets, has quadrupled to around three million a year. He says: "We were in a strong position and had been planning a pretty significant expansion. Then the supermarkets hit the brakes." Overgaag talks about the need to act quickly to make the changes to ensure the survival of the business and not cut product purchases or change capital expenditure. One example was to move the accounts payable to a later date of 6o days. "Not something we like to do," adds Overgaag. The other was to apply for the paycheck protection scheme offered by the United States government. More importantly, Overgaag sought to protect the wellbeing of his employees. "We were very, very serious, about this and we still are constructively paranoid about this invisible enemy. We put safety over business concerns, and we expanded our sick leave dramatically. We broke out people in the production area into work teams and devised different shifts. We educated them on protection with the goal that no one could catch Covid-19 on the premises." With the orchid stock that was not moving Overgaag did not waste time in delivering it to the people that needed picking up. They created a target to donate 100,000 potted orchids to hospital staff to lift their spirits rather than waste the beautiful orchids. 91,000 have been donated to date. The response to the coronavirus pandemic also meant Overgaag is now looking towards a digital platform for promotion and online markets. As the owner of a thriving, international rose growing business on three different continents, Arie van den Berg's family business Berg Roses felt the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic happening in China at the start of 2020. In his unique position, with nurseries in the Netherlands, China and Kenya, Van Den Berg shared stories of how Covid-19 impacted his subsidiaries in different countries, in different ways, and what they did to manage and overcome the crisis. Despite the differing obstacles he helped his workforce navigate the crisis, and the substantial structural changes occurring at the flower auctions, Van den Berg says the most significant uncertainty that he has not been able to manage is the route to market. He says: "I think how we contract with airline and trucking services will change. I think the way that these entities operate will also change, and we will all consider risk more as a factor in our business operations." Concerning the future all speakers are aware there are ongoing threats from Covid-19 on the horizon and the relationship between growers and wholesalers has changed. They all emphasise the need for growers to look more to their core assets by supporting the workforce and telling the public on social media about the importance of living green. In summary, growers should not just concentrate on the short-term fixes but look to new opportunities and ways to thrive which Dr Hall terms as "the new, new normal". Commenting on the event, AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe said: "We are delighted with the response from the industry to this webinar and look forward to providing more such services to help growers through these times." View the webinar, free of charge on YouTube https://youtu.be/GNiOjj0v0T8 ENDS For further details contact: Rachel Wakefield, AIPH Communications Executive Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +44 (0) 1235 776160 Website: www.aiph.org & www.floracultureinternational.com & www.jungletalks.com Follow AIPH on: LinkedIn #AIPH ; Facebook: @theAIPH ; Twitter @AIPHglobal Follow FCI on: Facebook: @FloraCultureInternational ; Twitter @FloraCulture_ International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) Since 1948, AIPH has united horticultural producers in an international community that thrives to this day. Much has changed in that time. Technologies advanced, cities rose from the ground, and we have become more connected than ever. As a result, our essential bond with nature has been weakened. AIPH strives to reignite and uphold an appreciation of plants that we believe is a basic human instinct. We support the work of grower associations globally and together we champion a prosperous industry, growing plants that enhance lives, advance societies, and sustain our planet, for this generation and the next. FloraCulture International magazine (FCI ) FCI is a publication specific to the international floricultural industry. It is distributed directly to individuals and through FCI Partner Associations, (consisting mainly of growers, breeders, wholesalers, landscapers and some retail), on a bi-monthly basis from the Americas to Australasia in both printed and digital forms. FCI has long been a valuable source of news and information for growers around the world. Jungle Talks Jungle Talks strives to be a decisive factor in the worldwide horticultural web. It is the partner behind the scenes which delivers content and connects parties on all levels and around the world, by organising webinars, trade missions, study clubs and pieces of training.
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 11:45 EDT
Motorcyclists planning to get back on the road this weekend as travel restrictions are lifted are being asked to take care, particularly on country roads. Despite making up just two per cent of Scottish road users, bikers make up a disproportionate number of those who are killed and seriously injured every year, with a high number of incidents happening on rural roads. One in five crashes on Scotland's non-built-up roads involve motorcycles, and of those, three in five result in a death. A total of 85 per cent of all biker deaths were on rural roads in 2018. The message comes from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), as it launches its Better Bikers campaign, which aims to increase the uptake of post-test training for Scottish motorcyclists. Nick Lloyd, the charity's head of road safety, said: "With the easing of restrictions ahead of the weekend we're expecting to see a large increase in the number of leisure rides and drives across the country, and we're really concerned that this might lead to a sudden spike in motorcyclist casualties. "Those who already ride rural roads will know of their dangers - sharp bends, blind corners, other motorists and poor road surfaces - but it's likely to have been a while since they experienced these conditions, so may need to re-familiarise themselves. There are also likely to be those who are not as experienced on rural roads who will be getting out and about this weekend, so they really need to be aware of the inherent dangers. "We are also urging drivers who are planning trips this weekend to be vigilant on country roads and be looking out for bikers at all times." As part of the campaign, RoSPA has launched a digital hub at www.BetterBikers.org.uk , which will host information, advice and resources on how to handle country roads and the dangers they present. It will be updated over the summer, but it currently includes a pre-ride maintenance checklist for your bike, and a video on the positions to take when approaching bends. There are also links to organisations that can help bikers to upskill. Nick added: "Motorcyclists are generally the best-trained motorists on the road due to the extensive nature of the test and licence requirements, but despite them being very vulnerable on the road, few then continue with their learning once they've passed. We want them all to be even better bikers. "The fact is, further training will make you an even better biker, improving your rides by giving you planning and observation skills, making you smoother and putting you in more control, with the added bonus of increasing your safety." To find out more about the campaign, see www.BetterBikers.org.uk
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 11:42 EDT
Costa Cruises announces a further pause for all its cruises until Aug. 15, 2020, and the cancellation of all cruises in northern Europe for the remainder of the 2020 summer season. The decision is linked to the uncertainty about the gradual reopening of ports to cruise ships and the restrictions that may still be in place for the movements of people due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In addition, the company is also communicating the cancellation of all future cruises of Costa Victoria. Costa is taking steps to inform both travel agents and guests affected by these changes. They will be guaranteed a reprotection in accordance with the applicable legislation, which offers the highest guarantee in this contingency situation. In the meantime, Costa is working alongside all relevant authorities to define health protocols for a potential restart of cruises as soon as possible.
Marketing Professionals Urge Apple to Adopt Standards Promoting Interoperability and More Predictable User Privacy
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 09:57 EDT
Following Apple's announcement that it has decided to maintain IDFA and extend its influence on the AppStore by limiting the action and management of application publishers, IAB Europe in partnership with the following associations listed below, sent a letter to Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. This letter which can be seen here alerts Apple in particular to the potential economic and competitive risks of such a decision. 16 associations who co-signed letter to Apple: BVDW (Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft) CPA (Collectif pour les acteurs du marketing digital) Digital New Deal (Think Tank) EMMA/ENPA (European Magazine Media Association/ European Newspaper Publishers' Association) EPC (European Publishers' Council) FEDMA (Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing) Bertrand Gié, President - Geste (Les éditeurs de contenus et de services en ligne) IAB Europe IAB France IAB Tech Lab MMAF (Mobile Marketing Association France) NME (News Media Europe) SNCD (Syndicat national de la communication directe) SRI (Syndicat des régies internet) UDECAM (Union Des Entreprises de Conseil et Achat Média)
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 09:16 EDT
As Devon Air Ambulance prepares to open their shops next week, they explain the significant changes that have been made to the way you can shop and to their donation of goods process. The safety of everyone including shop staff, volunteers and supporters is paramount and they must be 'Covid Secure' before finally opening their doors. The Government announced that to ensure the utmost safety of everyone connected to the retail outlets, including those just visiting the premises, that FIVE mandatory steps must have been followed before they can resume trading or operating, thus making them Covid-Secure. These included carrying out a full risk assessment of your operation, developing hand washing and hygiene procedures, helping people to work from home, maintaining a 2 metre social distancing rule where possible and where 2 metre distancing is not possible, making sure that additional measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. Devon Air Ambulance now meets this criteria and is almost ready to open the doors of their 19 outlets across Devon, however, like many retail outlets there are changes in the way you can shop and the way to donate any unwanted items. For the first time they have introduced a new Facebook shop - one for each individual location, so those in the local community can browse items for sale and call at the shop to collect them. They will also have an increased offer in their window displays where many more items will be displayed to choose from. As is the case in many shops, customers will not be able to browse the shelves as they have previously as a safe and controlled shopping environment could not be maintained if this were the case. Chrissie Peel, Retail Operations Manager at Devon Air Ambulance told us: "We are delighted to be able to open our shops and welcome our supporters once again into an area that they feel safe and protected. We are looking forward to receiving their donations and giving them the opportunity to buy some amazing items. We have introduced some new ways to shop, particularly our Facebook shops which you can visit from the safety of your own home." She added, "We are also pleased to be launching our new eBay shop next week, new items will be added to that daily across many different categories, so lots to shop and a great way to support the charity". As with all charity shops, donations are vital to their success and contribute greatly to the cause. Those wishing to donate to Devon Air Ambulance will need to telephone their local shop when it opens to arrange a time slot to drop off their items. The Government has stipulated that donated goods must be set aside for 72 hours before they can be prepared for sale, to ensure minimum risk of contamination. This organised approach is necessary to ensure the shops don't reach capacity too soon and be forced to turn away much-needed donations. To stay up to date with the latest changes to shopping and donating items. Information is available on the Devon Air Ambulance website www.daat.org and will also be posted on their social media channels.
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 07:45 EDT
Addressable and Connected TV earmarked as key drivers for future video investment IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, announced today the results of its annual Attitudes to Digital Video Advertising research. The study found that nearly 60% of advertisers are investing in digital video to build their brand or gain competitive advantage whilst 40% of agencies invest to tell brand stories. Since 2016, the study has provided insight into the growth and adoption of digital video advertising across Europe, the ways in which video is being traded on both the buy-side and sell-side, and what the future holds. IAB Europe used an online survey with the help of the European national IAB network to ensure a representative sample across European markets. The survey received approximately 300 respondents between March and April 2020. A key finding of the study is that advertisers not only see digital video as a secondary touchpoint to TV but also to build their brand and drive sales. Whilst both agencies and publishers said that they rely on this secondary touchpoint as a means to achieve reach and scale. Mobile continues to drive brand spend; advertisers are increasing their spend in mobile video with 75% of advertisers now investing more than 41% of their digital video budgets in mobile compared to 50% of advertisers in 2018/19. Outstream investments are increasing too; 45% of advertisers allocated more than 21% of their video budgets to outstream compared to 36% in 2018/19. The results also highlight a continued trend towards cross-media planning. In 2020, media agencies stated that 86% of campaigns have at least some aspect of cross-media planning compared to 81.5% in 2019. However, cross-screen measurement is still cited as the top barrier to investment in digital video by buyers hindering further cross-media investment and planning. Future video advertising opportunities lie in addressable and connected TV viewing with just over 54% of advertisers and 99% of agencies citing addressable TV or connected TV as key digital video growth areas for the next 12 months. Two thirds of publishers also agreed that the key area of digital video growth will be connected TV advertising. To provide more education and insight into this emerging new channel, IAB Europe recently released a Connected TV Guide to help planners and buyers of media, across both linear and digital backgrounds, navigate the opportunities that this new living room platform creates for marketers. Phil Sumner, VP Insights Northern Europe, Teads commented: "The Attitudes to Digital video report once again highlights how digital video has become an essential brand and sales building vehicle. Unsurprisingly, mobile continues to drive digital video forward as the user experience and level of creativity available continues to flourish. Formats such as outstream now form an essential part of advertisers' creative arsenal. Increased levels of cross media planning reflect its increased importance but once again, cross screen measurement is highlighted as a major miss and barrier to growth." Emma Newman, CRO EMEA at PubMatic added : "It's exciting to see the strong connected TV growth highlighted in the study. Without question, OTT is ripe for innovation and we expect to see programmatic gain ground in the coming years. Programmatic technology will enable publishers to respond to real time changes in viewer behavior and increases in inventory availability, while providing advertisers increased scale and flexible, transparent, automated buying models. All while delivering a great, TV-like experience for viewers." Fal Patel, Head of Business Development, Nielsen said: "It is interesting to see that Digital Video Advertising continues to mean a different marketing opportunity for Advertisers compared to Publishers and Agencies and this disparity can lead to confusion on how you would measure the effectiveness of a digital video campaign. What is absolutely critical for the industry is to align on a single metric which measures digital video, consistently across publishers and devices to future proof this media channel." The Attitudes to Digital Video Advertising Report and Infographic can be accessed here which includes further insight into the digital video advertising market in Europe.
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 06:17 EDT
Bluesky Upgrades its Great Britain Flying Programme to Highest Ever Resolution Aerial mapping company Bluesky International has announced plans to photomap the whole of Great Britain in high resolution. At 12.5 centimetre resolution it is highest level of detail for nationwide aerial photography coverage to date. Bluesky has already captured the whole of England at 12.5cm resolution and will now also be upgrading its Wales and Scotland coverage to the higher resolution as part of its ongoing 3 year national update programme. Bluesky is already the first, and only, commercial organisation to successfully capture and maintain complete aerial photographic coverage of England, Scotland and Wales as well as the Republic of Ireland. "Advances in capture technology and processing systems mean that it is now viable to make this improvement in resolution across the whole of Great Britain and not just in selected areas. This allows us to deliver even better national products and services to the geospatial community," commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky International. "In simple terms the resolution of imagery determines what you can see and identify within the digital dataset, in other words the level of detail," added Tidmarsh. "So, within a 12.5 cm resolution image each individual pixel relates to 12.5 centimetres in the real world. This means that features such as road markings, street furniture, vegetation and property infrastructure are all visible and easily identifiable opening up even more applications for the data." Headquartered in rural Leicestershire, close to its East Midlands Airport flying base, Bluesky International is the leading independent aerial survey and geographic data company in the UK. With national contracts with government and commercial organisations Bluesky already maintains seamless digital aerial photography on a countrywide scale, at a variety of resolutions, together with simultaneously captured Colour Infrared (CIR) imagery. 3D models of the earth's bare surface (Digital Terrain Model / DTM) and surface features such as buildings and trees (Digital Surface Model / DSM) are also created from the aerial photography by Bluesky's skilled and experienced team. Bluesky has also developed a range of derived products including the innovative National Tree Map and 3D Building Models. Once upgraded and processed all data captured by Bluesky as part of this new commitment with be available to view and download from its online Mapshop ( https://www.blueskymapshop.com/maps ).
New Guidance on Conflicts of Interests for Academy Trusts Issued by The Chartered Governance Institute
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 05:47 EDT
The Chartered Governance Institute has today published guidance on 'Managing conflicts of interests (including related party transaction) in academy trusts'. Louise Thomson, Head of Policy (Not for Profit) at the Institute says: "We have seen a number of academies get into difficulties in recent years over conflicts of interest or related party transactions, an area of governance that causes confusion and misunderstanding in many charities, academies included. Charitable status places a duty on those leading the academy trust to act in the best interests of the trust's charitable objects and avoid conflicts of interests. It is important that trustees are aware of this and able to recognise what constitutes a conflict or related party transaction, hence the reason for the guidance. "Avoiding all conflicts of interests and loyalty will not be possible or even preferable, so it is essential all academy trusts have robust and effective measures in place to manage real and perceived conflicts. If trustees and senior staff members can identify, avoid and manage conflicts of interest, this will allow them to demonstrate that public funds have been used appropriately, thereby protecting the reputations of the academy trust, its trustees and its senior managers." The guidance, which includes a specimen conflict of interests policy, covers the following areas: Definitions of what constitutes a conflict of interest and related party transaction Regulatory and ethical reasons why conflicts of interest and related party transactions should be managed Legal duties of charity trustees and company directors Prevention, identification, management and recording of conflicts of interest Decision making, reporting and recording of related party transactions How conflicts of interest and related party transactions relate to senior staff Whistleblowing Developing a policy Questions for trustees. Appendices relating to legal definitions of 'related' or 'connected' persons and the ESFA online procedure for related party transactions are also included. The guidance is free to download at www.icsa.org.uk/academytrustsconflicts
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 05:38 EDT
Unite, the UK's construction union, is warning that the large increase in construction deaths could be related to a steep fall in proactive inspections and prosecutions being undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive. It was revealed this week that construction fatalities increased by 33 per cent in a year from 30 in 2018/19 to 40 in 2019/20, a third of all work related deaths. A freedom of information request by Unite has uncovered that the increase in deaths corresponds with at least a 25 per cent decline in proactive (unannounced) construction inspections. In 2018/19 there were a total of 9286 proactive inspections compared to just 6381 in 2019/20, a decline of 31 per cent. In March 2020, the HSE ceased making proactive inspections due to Covid-19. Notwithstanding this development, the fall in construction inspection still amounts to a massive 25 percent reduction in the number of inspections when compared to the corresponding 11 month period in the previous year. Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: "These figures are alarming and raise serious questions about the safety of construction workers. "Each of the fatalities was a terrible tragedy, a loved one went to work one day and never came home again. "It is simply no coincidence that the drop in inspections has occurred at the same time that there has been a steep rise in deaths. "We need to be honest, the constant cuts to the HSE since 2010 have had an awful impact on workers' lives. The simple way to protect construction workers and to help stop the loss of life in our workplaces is to restore funding to the inspection and safety agency. "It has always been the case that there are employers in construction that are prepared to cut corners on safety to boost profits - only the threat of action by the HSE keeps them in check. "With the added problems of the Covid-19 pandemic, regular inspections by the HSE have never been more important. "For employers who are trying to ensure that they follow the complex rules on social distancing, there is a real danger they could take their eye off the ball when it comes to other safety measures. "With the unscrupulous employers, the rogues will consider the current crisis a good excuse to play fast and loose with all safety requirements in the unfortunately correct assumption that they are unlikely to be caught. "Over the past decade, the HSE has been cut to the bone. The recent meagre increase in funding it has received is a drop in the ocean compared to the funding it has lost. "If the HSE is going to keep workers safe and healthy, able to deal with the twin challenges of Covid-19 and workplace safety, then it must be given the resources by the government to do so." The sharpest decrease in inspections was in the South West where inspections declined by 54 per cent but the most alarming decrease was in London which accounts for 30 per cent of the UK's construction work and where inspections halved. There were also sharp declines in the West Midlands (-49 per cent), South East (-48 per cent) and Eastern England (-33 per cent). Unite's FOI also revealed that the total number of enforcement notices issued by the HSE concerning breaches of safety laws has declined by 30 per cent in 2019, while the number of prosecutions heard in courts for serious safety failures was down by 24 per cent. Notes: During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.
The Relaxation of Planning Rules Could See A Big Change to UK High Streets - For Landlords and Developers Opportunity Knocks
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 05:30 EDT
The relaxation of planning rules announced by the Prime Minister, could lead to big changes on the British High Street say leading tax and advisory firm, Blick Rothenberg. Heather Powell, Property partner at the firm said: " This will allow owners of recently vacant properties to change their use without applying for planning permission. This could lead to a huge change in our high Streets, retail Parks and commercial areas. She added: " Landlords who feel they have been beaten up both by the government and by tenants have now been given a huge advantage, they will soon be able to not only evict tenants but switch to a more lucrative use of their properties." Heather said: " Landlords hands have been tied in negotiations with tenants due to the restrictions imposed about the collection of rent. If tenants do not pay up after the end of September (and how many non-paying tenants will be able to pay the March, June and September rent in full in October?) the landlord can now evict them and switch the use for their properties." She added: " The Prime Minister clearly hopes many properties will be converted to new homes, but alternative uses are much broader. Landlords can convert their premises to cafes, offices - or new homes. If they do not have the appetite or expertise to undertake the work themselves, they can sell to a developer. "For passive investors, or those who have invested via SIPPS, sale to a developer may be the only option, but it will allow them to exit from an investment where returns have plummeted." Heather said: " "For owners of Retail Malls this could be the lifeline they need to avoid Intu's fate. Large regeneration schemes that have fought their way through the planning system have shown what is possible. "Landlords should be assessing their options now - and developers should be speaking to their funders and investors so that they are well placed to take advantage of these opportunities. It might event be good news for the Intu shareholders - they may just get a few pence back on their shares!"
Fri, Jul 03, 2020 05:23 EDT
The University of Glasgow, in collaboration with the NHS and Scottish tech companies, will lead a £3.37m project to transform bowel cancer screening in the UK by developing a precision diagnostic tool that uses artificial intelligence to predict which patients will develop future polyps and tumours. The INCISE* project - made possible with £2.3m of government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) industrial strategy challenge fund and a further £1.1m from University of Glasgow and industry partners - will improve cancer detection while reducing the number of people needing repeated colonoscopy - a procedure patients find unpleasant, which also carries a risk of complications. It will also improve access to colonoscopy for others and reduce costs to the NHS. The UKRI funding is part of £16 million of new funding announced today by Science Minister Amanda Solloway. Bowel cancer screening is used to find tumours and pre-cancerous lesions, or polyps, in patients without symptoms. The aim of screening is both to identify cancers early - making them easier to treat successfully - and if possible to remove them while they are still polyps. In Scotland, adults at an appropriate age are invited to submit a stool sample by post, and if traces of blood are detected, they are invited to have a colonoscopy, which is a more detailed test. At colonoscopy, around one in 20 people are found to have cancer, while one in three have polyps. Around half of these patients will go on to develop new polyps, so all are currently scheduled for a future colonoscopy. Current guidelines help clinicians decide when each patient needs a further colonoscopy. However, these guidelines are not accurate, meaning that many people undergo unnecessary and invasive procedures. The new precision tool will identify patients who would benefit the most from colonoscopy, so they are seen earlier and any cancer can be treated sooner. INCISE will combine polyp tissue and data from the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme to train algorithms that predict patients' future risk. Researchers will combine information about specific changes in the polyp's structure, seen under the microscope and analysed using deep learning, with new analysis of the genetic mutations that cause polyps to grow. Professor Joanne Edwards, Professor of Translational Cancer Pathology at the University's Institute of Cancer Sciences, said: "We are thrilled to receive this support and funding from Innovate UK, which will help us develop a programme that will hugely benefit both patients and our NHS. "UofG has wide experience in all aspects of colon cancer. By combining our knowledge with industry partners and the NHS, we can harness the power of artificial intelligence to assess which patients are prone to polyps and need further colonoscopies. "By better predicting the needs of individuals, we can help patients avoid procedures that do not benefit them, while reducing the burden and cost to the NHS." Industry partners for the programme include Canon Medical Research Europe, OracleBio (who will develop the deep learning digital pathology methodology) and BioClavis (who will identify the gene signatures that predict polyp behaviour). The team from Canon Medical will integrate the results of the programme into their 'clinical cockpit' - a digital suite that integrates patient data to help physicians and other clinical specialists. This is also being developed for other diseases as part of iCAIRD*, Scotland's £15.8m UofG-led artificial intelligence health research centre, which involves partners from across academia, the NHS and industry. The funding, delivered through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, is part of a government programme in data to early diagnosis and precision medicine. Led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) Innovate UK, it forms part of the government's commitment to increase research and development investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: "It's great that the UK Government and Cancer Research UK have joined forces to provide £16 million funding to speed up life-saving cancer diagnoses across the UK. "Here in Scotland this will help fund a cutting-edge project led by the University of Glasgow on bowel cancer, which sadly remains the second largest cause of cancer related deaths. "This all-important funding will allow our world class academic and research teams in Glasgow to develop the specialist technology needed to detect this life threatening disease not only earlier but with more accuracy. This will make a real difference to individuals and their families and help save lives not just in Scotland but the wider UK." UKRI is partnering with Cancer Research UK, which is making a £3m contribution to the cancer-focused projects. *INCISE stands for INtegrated TeChnologies for Improved Polyp SurveillancE. *iCAIRD stands for Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics.
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 23:46 EDT
Global surveys provide a glimmer of hope for how accommodation providers can adapt themselves Various lobbying efforts are underway to reopen South Africa to international travel as soon as September this year, while insights from biweekly consumer surveys held in multiple countries by global professional services firm Deloitte, published last month, show that health and safety concerns, although gradually lessening, still overshadow discretionary travel. As northern-hemisphere economies reopen, anxiety levels around health and safety have dropped in Germany, Netherlands, Japan and Australia but they've risen in the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Spain and India. While the Tourism and Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) lobby for the reopening of international tourism, James Woolley, co-owner and director of Totalstay in South Africa says, "The South African aparthotel industry, is well positioned to mitigate the health and safety risks of travel because of its sheer nature." A pioneer in South Africa's aparthotel and luxury-villa industry, Totalstay is home to a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and villas in Seapoint, Camps Bay, and the Cape Town CBD. "Apartments offer a more self-sufficient way of traveling, with fewer public spaces and greater means of upholding social distancing," says Woolley. Fully equipped kitchens allow guests to prepare their own food, limiting contact with others. "Aside from guests being more separate in how they live, sanitation is better in serviced apartments: you're able to wash your own clothes, linen or kitchenware, minimising contact with the outside world, and make use of complimentary hand sanitisers in each apartment."
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 23:34 EDT
Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) are a diverse and growing market. IDTechEx Research has analysed the market in depth in their report, " Thermal Interface Materials 2020-2030: Forecasts, Technologies, Opportunities ". The highly granular and finely segmented market forecast from IDTechEx are shown below. The market is growing, and its composition is changing. Naturally, suppliers will have to adjust and reposition their TIM product portfolio to capture these rising markets in electric vehicles, 5G, datacentres, autonomous driving, etc. Inherently, the TIM market is also fragmented on the technology or solution level. In fact, there is no one-sizes-fits-all product. The radar chart below shows a high-level comparison of some of the common solutions, highlighting the diversity of solutions. The TIM material's menu resembles a toolkit for thermal engineers who can select the material with the right form factor, thermal conductivity, operating temperature, thickness, etc for their specific needs. For a detailed analysis of the existing and emerging TIM materials, please see the IDTechEx report, " Thermal Interface Materials 2020-2030: Forecasts, Technologies, Opportunities ". This article highlights some key material development trends. More specifically, approaches to increase the thermal conductivity (in W/mK) of TIMs are considered. This is an important trend because the IDTechEx assessment is that the market, in absolute terms, for high or ultrahigh thermal conductivity TIM materials, will inevitably rise. As such, suppliers will need to develop new solutions to extend their TIM portfolio into the high or ultrahigh thermal conductivity segment or risk being stuck in commoditized low-cost low-margin mature market segments and risk losing out on many emerging trends. This article is extracted from the comprehensive IDTechEx report on the topic, " Thermal Interface Materials 2020-2030: Forecasts, Technologies, Opportunities ". This report provides a highly granular view of the market, breaking IDTechEx forecasts down by 51 sub-segments. The major categories covered include consumer electronics, 4G and 5G, electric vehicle batteries, LEDs, data centres, power electronics, and so on. Furthermore, the report assesses the existing and emerging TIM technologies including alumina, boron nitride, graphite, vertically aligned graphite, PGS, graphene, carbon nanotube forests, boron nitride nanotubes, and more. This report is a must-read for those interested in the TIM market.
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 19:05 EDT
'Green recovery' needs quick wins to deliver household savings and jobs PROMISES of a "green recovery" from the Coronavirus downturn must offer quick and tangible financial benefits and job opportunities, or the Net Zero agenda could face a backlash from voters, a report argues today. The Social Market Foundation think-tank is urging politicians to back up environmental rhetoric with early action on household finances and jobs, and a sustained argument that "greener is cheaper". Priorities for "quick-impact" projects should include directly employing people to reduce household carbon emissions and bills by insulating homes. Some environmental activists have argued that the crisis-management approach used to manage the virus should be applied to climate policy. Boris Johnson this week promised that Government plans will "deliver a stronger, cleaner, more sustainable economy after this pandemic." In a report drawing on conversations with senior politicians and officials, the SMF warned that promises of a "green recovery" should be handled with great care or risk losing public support for climate action. Directly linking the efforts made to mitigate COVID-19 and those required to reduce carbon emissions are unlikely to win public support, the SMF said. Doing so may even prove harmful to the Net Zero agenda, if voters believe that climate action will mean more of the economic hardship they face over the coronavirus. The SMF said that instead of appealing to the public's willingness to endure more economic and social discomfort to deliver environmental objectives, leaders should emphasise the benefits that could arise from decarbonisation, especially for household finances and employment. "Green recovery" policies should prioritise small-scale, quick-impact decarbonisation work, especially the decarbonisation of homes, the report concludes. Large-scale infrastructure projects bring economic benefits and will be necessary to achieve Net Zero in the long-term, the SMF said. But the quickest way to delivering short-term economic stimulus, employment and household savings would be a programme of home insulating and other adaptations, the think-tank said. The SMF report, entitled The Virus and the Climate , is part of the think-tank's Towards Net Zero project, which is sponsored by ScottishPower. The SMF retained full editorial independence. The SMF analysed polling data and previous environmental policies and concluded that despite increases in the number of voters who say they support climate action, support for the policies that will be needed to deliver Net Zero cannot be taken for granted. Unless policymakers develop and deliver a sustained argument that "greener is cheaper", there is a risk that voters facing economic hardship from the coronavirus recession will turn against climate policies, the report warns. Amy Norman, SMF researcher, said: "Voters largely accepted economic disruption to control the virus because they could see its immediate dangers. Assuming they would accept more hardship over climate change would be a big risk. "To win and keep consent for the Net Zero agenda, leaders must explain clearly how green policies will deliver financial benefits and jobs to people living in an economy under serious strain. "Big infrastructure projects have their place, but promising them before voters feel any benefits of a 'green recovery' risks losing public support. "Better insulation and low-carbon homes may not seem exciting but delivering them could mean more jobs and lower energy bills this winter. Quick, tangible wins like this are essential to maintaining public support during the long journey to Net Zero. " Keith Anderson, ScottishPower CEO, said: "If we're to have any chance of meeting government net zero targets, we need to stop talking about a green recovery and get to work on making it happen - building low carbon homes, getting people into electric cars and constructing new wind farms. We've set out ten practical steps that will help us do all these things in short order, with just small changes to existing government rules and regulations. "Decarbonising the ways we heat our homes will be a major step change for communities the length and breadth of the country. And it will be a game-changer for the economy - immediately creating jobs and stimulating investment, and delivering long-term low-carbon benefits. "Crucially, this can be done at little cost to the public purse, so it's a no-brainer. By acting now and doing what is needed from both an economic and an environmental perspective, we can all achieve a better future, quicker." Notes The SMF report will be published at http://www.smf.co.uk/publications/virus-and-climate/ at 00:01, 03/07/20 The think-tank's Towards Net Zero project is sponsored by ScottishPower. The SMF declares all its financial support and retains full editorial independence over all its outputs. The report draws on a private roundtable with politicians from Government and Opposition parties, officials and experts. All conclusions and recommendations are those of the SMF alone. The report's conclusions and recommendations are here: 1. Explicit comparisons between the efforts made to mitigate COVID-19 and those required to reduce carbon emissions are unlikely to win public support and may prove harmful to the Net Zero agenda . Voters were willing to accept significant curbs and hardship in response to the coronavirus because it presented a clear and immediate danger. Where they perceive the effects of climate change as abstract and remote, appeals to impose hardship of a magnitude similar to that caused by lockdown are unlikely to persuade. Rhetoric demanding households endure more disruption on a similar scale may alienate some voters and undermine consent for decarbonisation policies. 2. Instead of appealing to the public's willingness to endure more economic and social discomfort to deliver environmental objectives, policymakers should emphasise the benefits that could arise from decarbonisation, especially for household finances. Britain, like most developed economies, now faces a painful economic downturn that will reduce the living standards of many voters. The perception that the green agenda will cost them more money would be harmful to the Net Zero agenda. Instead, the scope for decarbonisation to generate employment and household savings should be emphasised. Priority should be given to developing policies that crystallise such savings for households adopting low-carbon adaptations. 3. The importance of clear, simple and repeated messaging must be given more recognition in formulating and delivering climate policy. The decarbonisation agenda is complex and often badly communicated. The term "Net Zero" is poorly understood and should have no place in official public-facing communications. The power of short slogans that are used repeatedly should be employed to support climate policy. Our suggestion is "Greener is cheaper". 4. "Green recovery" policies should prioritise small-scale, quick-impact decarbonisation work, especially the decarbonisation of homes. If Net Zero policies can be shown to mean jobs for people who would otherwise be unemployed and domestic improvements that reduce energy consumption and thus household costs during the next winter, the rhetoric of a "green recovery" will mean something to voters. On that platform, policymakers could build a sustained political argument that decarbonisation can deliver economic benefits to help offset the losses of the pandemic.
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 12:37 EDT
Verzekeraar Achmea heeft de samenwerking met LexisNexis met drie jaar verlengd. Naast de (inter)nationale media-monitoringsdiensten maakt Achmea gebruik van de data-analyse mogelijkheden van LexisNexis. Achmea gebruikt deze informatie om maatschappelijk relevante ontwikkelingen snel te kunnen herkennen en hier voor klanten op in te spelen. Achmea is tevens kennispartner van het internationale ontwikkelteam van LexisNexis. Via o.a. nieuwsbrieven en de Achmea Nieuws App worden zo'n 700 kenniswerkers bij Achmea realtime op de hoogte gehouden van actualiteiten over voor hen relevante thema's uit o.a. print- en online media, politiek, vakmedia, blogs en radio en televisie. Daarnaast beschikt Achmea over een eigen archief en de archiefdatabase Nexis. Inspelen op veranderende wensen "Achmea staat midden in de maatschappij en zet zich in voor een gezonde, veilige en toekomstbestendige samenleving. Uiteraard is het voor onze collega's van belang de actuele ontwikkelingen in de sector, maar ook daarbuiten, nauwgezet te volgen. Zo weten zij wat er leeft en kunnen zij nog beter inspelen op de veranderende wensen van onze klanten. Met de overeenkomst met LexisNexis stellen we hen hiertoe nog beter in staat", aldus Stefan Kloet , directeur Corporate Communicatie. Waardevolle inzichten voor de verzekeringsbranche Vice President Product Manon van der Velde van Nexis Solutions: "Wij zijn zeer verheugd dat de samenwerking met Achmea wordt voortgezet in de komende jaren. Het corporate communicatieteam van Achmea loopt vóór in hun werkveld. Het team zet sterk in op data-analyse om strategische inzichten te verkrijgen over wat speelt in de maatschappij. Het is inspirerend om te zien hoe Nexis Newsdesk hen ondersteunt bij pro-actief stakeholder en reputatiemanagement. Wij kijken ernaar uit om ook in de toekomst te blijven innoveren en een sterke partner voor Achmea te zijn."
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 12:28 EDT
Unite, the UK's leading manufacturing union, has said that the announcement that 295 jobs are set to be lost at Airbus' Filton workplace is yet another body blow to the entire South West economy - and is warning that the eventual jobs toll could be much higher. Around one in ten workers (10 per cent) at the Filton site face losing their jobs but the union is concerned that the fallout across the region will be felt far beyond the site; with every job lost at an employer such as Airbus, a further four jobs will be lost in the supply chain. Unite described the initial announcement on Tuesday (30 June) that the company was intending to cut 1727 jobs in the UK as 'economic vandalism '. The aerospace sector is vital for the economic wellbeing of the South West. The sector employs 26,600 worker in high-value, highly skilled work. The regional economy benefits to the tune of £1.3 billion in gross value added from aerospace. Unite regional secretary for the South West Steve Preddy said: "The job losses at Filton are yet another body blow to the South West's economy. "And these job losses at Airbus will see many more follow in our communities because for every job lost at Filton a further four could be lost in the regional supply chain. "We are very fearful that the reality is that some 1,500 jobs could be lost from the South West aerospace sector. "Jobs are being shed at a rapid rate as a direct result of the government's failure to provide specific support to the UK's world-class aerospace sector needs to help it recover from this pandemic. "Unless the government intervenes and provides specific support to the sector, similar to the support that France and Germany has given to their aerospace industries, then further job losses are inevitable. "It is essential that all the region's politicians come together at this critical time to press the government to give this sector and our region the support so desperately needed. "The South West aerospace is world-class in its standing and of crucial importance to the region's efforts to recover post pandemic. We appeal to the government, do not let it be lost on your watch." Unite has launched a campaign, Protect UK aerospace which has specific demands of: Survive, Recover and Rebuild for the sector. Notes: Airbus job cuts 'vandalism' - but UK government sits on sidelines while a national asset is destroyed During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 11:40 EDT
For Immediate Release Secure Clean Building Services Releases White Paper on Coronavirus and Cleaning July 2, 2020 - Chicago, IL - Secure Cleaning Building Services, one of the leading contract cleaning companies in Illinois, has just authored a new White Paper entitled, "Cleaning in the Post-Coronavirus Environment." The White Paper is designed to help facility managers, as well as cleaning contractors, better understand how professional cleaning will change going forward, all due to the coronavirus. Written by company founder and CEO Rick Vanderkoy, "one of the points I tried to make is that 'looks clean' and 'good enough' clean will not suffice in the post-coronavirus world. Managers will demand cleaning that stops the spread of infection." He also stresses that C-suite executives, who typically had minimal involvement in building operations, including cleaning and maintenance, will now be very involved in how well their facilities are cleaned and maintained. "Top executives are now responsible for their staff's health and welfare, continued business operations, brand reputation, and the bottom line," he writes in the White Paper. "Whereas effective cleaning has played a relatively minor role in C-suite responsibilities in the past, it now plays a commanding position." Vanderkoy also thinks that in a post-coronavirus era, what he calls "priced-based" cleaning will be a thing of the past, replaced with "quality-based" cleaning. Years ago, according to Vanderkoy, many facility managers believed cleaning was a commodity, meaning there was not a lot of difference between one cleaning contractor and another. However, managers have slowly been moving away from this belief, but now, it is pretty much dead and gone because of the virus. "Today, they view quality cleaning as an investment. It pays dividends by protecting the health of building users and by keeping businesses and facilities functioning." The White Paper can be downloaded here or by contacting the company at https://www.securecleanbsi.com/home/contact/. Images are located here . About Secure Clean Secure Clean Building Services, Inc., in business since 1974, is one of the leading commercial janitorial companies in the Greater Chicago area. We offer a full range of services for some of the most well-known companies in the state. Family owned and operated, we've built a solid foundation on cost-effective, high quality and reliable cleaning management. Our services are provided by trusted, accountable employees (not subcontractors) who take pride in bringing a clean environment to both your visitors and employees. We are committed to bringing you top quality service, with peace of mind, to fulfill all your commercial cleaning and maintenance needs. For more information, visit https://www.securecleanbsi.com or call 888-609-1410.
Thu, Jul 02, 2020 10:41 EDT
Technology policy expert Marc Rotenberg will join the Michael Dukakis Institute on Leadership and Innovation to launch a new Center on Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy. "We are thrilled that Marc Rotenberg is joining us," said Governor Michael Dukakis . "We have worked with Marc over the last several years. We are all very impressed by his breadth of knowledge and his passionate commitment to fundamental rights and democratic governance." In 2018, Governor Dukakis called for a Global Accord on the Use of Artificial Intelligence and co-founded the AI World Society. Governor Dukakis also coauthored, "The concepts of AI-Government" and "Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security." Governor Dukakis works closely with many international organizations. The Center on AI and Digital Policy, directed by Marc Rotenberg, will promote the new Democratic Alliance on Digital Governance and assess country practices for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy. Marc recently led global campaigns to establish a human rights framework for AI and to seek a moratorium on face surveillance. "Marc's global leadership on AI policy is widely admired," said Dukakis Institute co-founder and Director Nguyen Anh Tuan. "We share a common commitment to safeguard democracy as new technologies emerge." Tuan is recognized globally for his pivotal role as a Vietnam Government reformer. He successfully fostered freedom-of-expression, vigorous open debate and private enterprise in Vietnam. Tuan launched the first Internet Service Provider in Vietnam and founded Vietnam's preeminent online newspaper. "It is an honor to work with Governor Dukakis, Tuan, and the fellows and scholars at the Institute," said Marc Rotenberg. "We have a lot of work ahead. We must ensure that new technologies -- and AI in particular -- promote a better world." The formal announcement of the Center on AI and Digital Policy was made at the Institute's event on July 1 st , 2020 - "Democratic Alliance on Digital Governance - Protecting and Strengthening Democracy in the Aftermath of COVID-19." The event will feature political leaders, scholars, and thinkers from around the world. About the Michael Dukakis Institute The Michael Dukakis Institute was born in 2015 with the mission of generating ideas, creating solutions, and deploying initiatives to solve global issues, especially focused on Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence. Led by Chairman Michael Dukakis and Director Nguyen Anh Tuan , the Institute has emerged as a powerful voice in global policy, bringing together world leaders, scientists, thinkers, and innovators. A top priority now for the Institute is the development of a Social Contract that ensures that AI and other technological innovations advance the goals of democratic governance.