The Boostzone Institute WEB REVIEW

N°16. May 2012

“ Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Niels Bohr (1885-1962), a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to

understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.

Editorial

Bilingual document (US, FR)

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This is your WebReview on the future of management and the world of work. The «perfect storm» which shaped evolution of the world of work - generated by sea changes in technologies, economy, society, governance in all its forms - is forcing Management to change. In order not to be submerged, the manager has to be «augmented», that is to say he has to use and master new tools and new knowledge at his disposal. It is a giant challenge that all executives face. This WebReview is a way to help you. It hands over to you the summary of the best articles we found during the last month on these changes. Thus, the Boostzone Institute aims to become your reference «curator», that is to say to select and enhance the information for you. Therefore any comment helping us to improve it is more than welcome.

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Contact: terry.zimmer@boostzone.fr

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N°16. May 2012
‘Huge’ water resource exists under Africa
BBC, Matt McGrath, April 20, 2012

Economy
Europe’s economic suicide

The New York Times, Paul Krugman, April 15, 2012

“Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater. […] Across Africa more than 300 million people are said not to have access to safe drinking water. [...] Demand for water is set to grow markedly in coming decades due to population growth and the need for irrigation to grow crops. […] The scientists say that there are sufficient reserves to be able to cope with the vagaries of climate change.”

Technology
Content curators are the new superheros of the Web

Paul Krugman, the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics and columnist in NYT warns: “Europe has had several years of experience with harsh austerity programs, and the results are exactly what students of history told you would happen: such programs push depressed economies even deeper into depression. And because investors look at the state of a nation’s economy when assessing its ability to repay debt, austerity programs haven’t even worked as a way to reduce borrowing costs.” […] “So it’s hard to avoid a sense of despair. Rather than admit that they’ve been wrong, European leaders seem determined to drive their economy — and their society — off a cliff. And the whole world will pay the price.”

FastCompany, Steven Rosenbaum, April 16, 2012

Demography: China’s Achilles heel

“What’s happened is the web has gotten better at making data. Way better, as it turns out. And while algorithms have gotten better at detecting spam, they aren’t keeping up with the massive tide of real-time data. While devices struggle to separate spam from friends, critical information from nonsense, and signal from noise, the amount of data coming at us is increasingly mind-boggling. […] Curation is the act of individuals with a passion for a content area to find, contextualize, and organize information. Curators provide a consistent update regarding what’s interesting, happening, and cool in their focus. Curators tend to have a unique and consistent point of view--providing a reliable context for the content that they discover and organize.”

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The Economist, April 21, 2012

“The government has made small adjustments to the policy (notably by allowing an only child who is married to another only child to have more than one child) and may adapt it further. But for now it is firmly in place, and very low fertility rates still prevail, especially in the richest parts of the country. Shanghai reported fertility of just 0.6 in 2010—probably the lowest level anywhere in the world. According to the UN’s population division, the nationwide fertility rate will continue to decline, reaching 1.51 in 2015-20. In contrast, America’s fertility rate is 2.08 and rising. […] This trend will have profound financial and social consequences. Most obviously, it means China will have a bulge of pensioners before it has developed the means of looking after them. Unlike the rest of the developed world, China will grow old before it gets rich. Currently, 8.2% of China’s total population is over 65… By 2050, China’s share will be 26%.”

24% of Web content is now in Chinese, will soon surpass English [Infographic]
TechinAsia, Steven Millward, April 21, 2012

“Clearly, Chinese is going to overtake English as the web’s number one language very soon. At its current rate of growth, that could well happen by mid-2014. Its growth has been stellar in the past 11 years, when most other languages have been static – that’s obviously because so few of its populace was online before. Today it’s still a fairly long way from its saturation point. Other languages are getting proportionally squeezed, such as the drop in the global share of Japanese, which is now at 8 percent and has been static since 2005. But, last year when we looked at languages used on global social media such as Twitter, we noticed the greater prevalence of Japanese, Korean, and Bahasa Indonesia.”

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N°16. May 2012
Parlement en open-source
OWNI, Rodolphe Baron, 11 avril 2012

Big Data, grande illusion ?

internetACTU, Daniel Kaplan, 11 avril 2012

Daniel Kaplan, délégué général de la Fondation pour l’Internet Nouvelle Génération (FING) présente dans cet article les thèses d’Alan Mitchell, directeur de la stratégie du cabinet britannique Ctrl-Schift. Selon ce dernier, ‘le principal déficit que rencontre notre société ne réside pas dans la capacité de traiter un grand nombre de données, bien au contraire. Le défi est celui de la logistique de l’information : comment transmettre exactement la bonne information à, et depuis, les bonnes personnes, au bon format, au bon moment. Une affaire de ‘Toutes Petites Données’ (Very Small Data).” Si Daniel Kaplan admet en fin d’article que le propos est un peu fort et moins pertinent pour les sciences dures, Mitchell adresse néanmoins une mise en garde pertinente quant à la tendance des entreprises à élaborer des stratégies d’approches massives, centralisées et consommatrices de capital.

Le mardi 10 avril 2012 s’est déroulé à Paris le premier GouvCamp à l’Assemblée Nationale. Cette initiative, la première du genre en France, vise à élaborer le droit en associant le peuple ainsi que toutes les parties prenantes. Ce projet est un défi politique mais également méthodologique et logistique. Ainsi, « l’appropriation collective des logiciels libres » semble, selon Cyrille Béraud, Président de la Fédération québécoise des communautés et industries du libre, un préalable afin d’éviter que le projet ne se résume qu’à un objet marketing. Le pari est ambitieux et l’enjeu est grand puisque il vise à donner «de la visibilité aux propositions de lois déposées devant le parlement tout en leur assurant le soutien de la société civile». Ce GouvCamp fait de la France une initiatrice en Europe et comble un peu le retard pris sur le Canada et les Etats-Unis.

Society
Occupy movement turning to shareholder meetings

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Reuters, Rock Rothacker, April 18, 2012

“A group called 99% Power -- a reference to those not among the top 1 percent of earners -- says it plans actions at 36 shareholder meetings, with the first big push coming at Tuesday’s Wells Fargo & Co gathering in San Francisco. The protests could give another jolt to the 2012 annual meeting season, which has already featured a shareholder vote of no confidence in Citigroup Inc’s executive compensation plan. […] «It’s one of the rare places where you can engage the CEO and the board members who most of the year would blow you off,» said Goehl, an 99% Power organizer.”

rawEarth, Flickr

Open or closed society is key dividing line of 21st century, says Hillary Clinton
The Guardian, Jane Dudman, April 17, 2012

“Nations will be divided not between east and west, or along religious lines, but between open and closed societies, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has said.” […] “We now have tools that previous advocates of open information could not even dream of. We are releasing enormous quantities of public data, making complex budgets available online, and connecting leaders with citizens, as we have seen in this past year of the Arab awakening.”

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N°16. May 2012
300 propositions, innovations et curiosités sociales venues de l’étranger

Governance
Are jobs obsolete?

Centre d’analyse stratégique, 13 avril 2012

CNN, Douglas Rushkoff, September 7, 2011

Le Centre d’Analyse Stratégique est une institution française attachée au bureau du premier ministre qui vise à éclairer le gouvernement en vue de réformes gouvernementales dans les domaines économiques, sociaux, environnementaux et culturels. Son département «Questions Sociales» qui assure une mission de veille sur les politiques sociales d’autres pays publie un rapport de 164 pages contenant 300 mesures sociales étrangères. Les domaines traités vont de la santé à l’éducation en passant par l’égalité homme/femme ou la lutte contre les fraudes. Les objectifs affichés par l’ouvrage (apprendre, surprendre, se déprendre) sont pleinement remplis.

“New technologies are wreaking havoc on employment figures […] We like to believe that the appropriate response is to train humans for higher level work. Instead of collecting tolls, the trained worker will fix and program toll-collecting robots. But it never really works out that way, since not as many people are needed to make the robots as the robots replace. […] I am afraid to even ask this, but since when is unemployment really a problem? […] America is productive enough that it could probably shelter, feed, educate, and even provide health care for its entire population with just a fraction of us actually working.”

Management
The real revolution in the Middle East: Women in business

CNN Money, Nina Easton, April 16, 2012

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Michel Serres : «Cette campagne présidentielle est une campagne de vieux pépés !»

Le Monde, Nicolas Truong, 12 avril 2012

Voici une interview remarquable de Michel Serres, jeune homme de 82 ans, philosophe, historien des Sciences et académicien français, qui estime que « la classe politique n’a pas encore pris acte des mutations de notre temps ». Selon lui, notre société a subi des changements anthropologiques tels, qu’ils ont rendus nos institutions caduques. Explosion démographique mondiale, allongement de la durée de vie, changement du rapport à notre corps, à la douleur, affaiblissement du rôle de la famille, des paroisses, émergence des nouvelles technologies… Pour accompagner toutes ces évolutions, Michel Serres propose tolérance et confiance envers la jeunesse et l’avenir ainsi que de l’imagination au pouvoir.

“Only about 28% of the adult female population is economically active -- the lowest in the world -- and most of those women are concentrated in low-level positions. According to the World Bank, different rules for men and women exist in all 14 economies in the Middle East and North Africa, and only 17.4% of firms in the region employ a high-level manager. Freedom House cites «cultural perceptions that women are less capable, more irrational, and better suited for domestic responsibilities.» […] Interestingly, women outpace men in education -- as 67% percent of university graduates in Kuwait, 63% in Qatar, and 57% in Saudi Arabia. Freedom House notes that women are becoming more visible in public life and in business. [...] Multinationals like GE (GE) are hiring small numbers of Saudi women. «We see women as a rich untapped talent in this part of the world,» says Joe Chalouhi, HR director for GE Energy in the UAE.”

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N°16. May 2012
Towards augmented manager
The new way doctors learn

Managing the wellbeing of home workers and remote staff
HR Magazine, Alison Clements, April 16, 2012

Time, Annie Murphy Paul, March 7, 2012

“How can you learn like one of Kerfoot’s Harvard Medical School residents? Most email programs allow you to schedule the sending of messages, making it easy to create a spaced-repetition course for yourself. Divide up what you need to know—the text of a speech, the material on an exam— into smaller units, no more than a few sentences long. Then put the information into emails scheduled to be sent to yourself at weekly intervals. To achieve the greatest memory-strengthening effect, mix up old and new material, and put the information in the form of a question to which you’ll have to recall the answer.” “An in-depth review entitled “The health and wellbeing of remote and mobile workers“, produced in 2009 by the Institute of Occupational Medicine and the British Occupational Health Research Foundation (BOHRF), alluded to a shortage of evidence around what ergonomic and psychological factors affect remote and mobile workers (RMWs). The review assessed a host of medical studies, and concluded challenges to RMWs can include social/professional isolation, a tendency to work longer hours, and the frustration of having unclear roles, and limited feedback from peers and line managers.”

Get to work by meeting procrastination head-on

FastCompany, Kevin Purdy, April 6, 2012

L’impact des technologies de l’information et de la communication sur les conditions de travail
Centre d’analyse stratégique, 1ier mars 2012

“Whatever you can process or deal with in two minutes, do it as soon as it pops up. But the real solution to procrastinating your cleanliness comes from actually wanting to deal with all that useless paper and unwanted emails and the like. […] If procrastination is the art of avoiding decisions in favor of something, anything else, then you should know how decision after decision saps your willpower. So if you need to clear out a whole bunch of messages, items on your desk, or other nuggets requiring your snap judgement, do them early in the morning, or after you’ve had a good bit of rest from the other pressures of your work.”

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Les effets des TIC sur les conditions de travail sont nombreux et souvent positifs, mais ils peuvent également se révéler défavorables. Ce peut être le cas pour le rythme et l’intensité du travail, le contrôle de l’activité, l’autonomie des salariés, l’affaiblissement des relations interpersonnelles et/ou des collectifs de travail. La propension des TIC à brouiller les frontières spatiales et temporelles, entre travail et hors-travail, peut également poser problème tout comme leur contribution à la surcharge d’informations. La question de leurs effets sur la santé au travail reste posée. Suite aux travaux menés conjointement par le Centre d’analyse stratégique et la Direction générale du travail pendant 18 mois, ce rapport inédit, présenté le 29 février, propose quatre axes d’action et vingt propositions destinés à l’ensemble des acteurs de l’entreprise et de l’écosystème des TIC.

Pretty pictures: Can images stop data overload?

BBC, Fiona Graham, April 16, 2012

Dr Lynda Shaw is a neuroscience and psychology lecturer at Brunel University in the west of London: “I’ve been interviewing a lot of senior business people lately, and they’re actually hiding... because they’re frightened they’re going to be asked questions they can’t answer, so they’re delaying making really quite important decisions,» she says. […] One answer may lie with the way data is presented to us. […] When tasks were presented visually rather than using traditional text-based software applications, individuals used around 20% less cognitive resources. In other words, their brains were working a lot less hard. As a result, they performed more efficiently, and could remember more of the information when asked later. Working in groups, they used 10% less mental resources.”

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N°16. May 2012

More notable links
- Stress in the workplace looks set to rise, finds pan-European opinion poll of 35,000 http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/news/1072222/stress-workplace-looks-set-rise-pan-european-opinion-poll-35 - What’s all the fuzz about money? http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/20124395428374962.html - Nomophobia: the fear of being without your cell phone http://holykaw.alltop.com/nomophobia-the-fear-of-being-without-your-cel?tu3=1 - Les nouvelles formes du travail sont-elles solubles dans le management ? http://www.internetactu.net/2012/03/30/les-nouvelles-formes-du-travail-sont-elles-solubles-dans-le-management/ - Notre surcharge informationnelle en perspective http://www.internetactu.net/2012/02/29/lift12-notre-surcharge-informationnelle-en-perspective/ - Mesurer les coûts d’une mauvaise gestion de l’information : est-ce possible? http://felixarseneau.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/couts-mauvaise-gestion-information/ - The no-hour workweek: Reinventing employee expectations for the modern Economy http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679563/the-no-hour-work-week-reinventing-employee-expectations-for-the-modern-economy - Can Tunisia become the Silicon Valley of the Arab world? http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/can-tunisia-become-the-silicon-valley-of-the-arabworld/255274/ - Images from space track relentless spread of humanity http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/world/road-to-rio/satellite-photos-urban-sprawl/index.html - Les défauts du management à la française vus de l’étranger http://vupar.org/2012/04/21/les-defauts-du-management-a-la-francaise-vus-de-letranger/ - When you share personal data with Facebook friends, you’re sharing your personal data with every app your friends use http://raganwald.posterous.com/when-you-share-personal-data-with-facebook-fr - How the developing world is using cellphone technology to change lives http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1150416--how-the-developing-world-is-using-cellphone-technology-tochange-lives#.T4HWrPPaOk-.twitter - Good piece from BCG: The digital manifesto: How companies and countries can win in the digital Economy http://www.bcg.com/documents/file96476.pdf - Great series shaping up: «Battle for the internet» http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/series/battle-for-the-internet - Mac OS X invulnerability to malware is a myth, says security firm http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/04/kaspersky-lab-mac-os-x-invulnerability-to-malware-is-a-myth.ars - The third industrial revolution http://www.economist.com/node/21553017

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Les fichiers images illustrant cette revue sont tous issus du site SXC http://www.sxc.hu/ et libres de droits. All pictures illustrating this review are from SXC http://www.sxc.hu/ and royaltyfree. © Boostzone Institute 2012 Fenixs Boostzone SARL - 24/28 rue de la Pépinière 75008 Paris - Tél. +33 (0)6 77 11 34 48 - www.boostzone.fr

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