Insights On Leadership And Neighborhoods From Executive Director Of Providence Revolving Fund

In its fourth decade, the Providence Revolving Fund (PRF) preserves the architectural heritage of one of the nation’s oldest cities through lending, real estate development, advocacy and technical assistance. In preservation parlance, a revolving fund is a program or, in PRF’s case, an entity which works a pool of capital in a visible way to save endangered properties and strengthen neighborhoods—with monies returning to the fund to be used for similar reinvestment. The nonprofit’s potency is substantial for Providence neighborhoods, having made 470 loans to moderate- and lower-income families; purchased and developed 63 buildings; facilitated $33 million in financing and leveraged an additional $250 million.

Restoration work in progress assisted by the Providence Revolving Fund.COURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Now a new era dawns for the Providence Revolving Fund, with the hiring of Carrie Zaslow as executive director. The community development professional has a wealth of experience in capital management for housing affordability and revitalization of commercial corridors. She also served as vice chair and chair of the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission.

Restored and assisted by the Providence Revolving FundCOURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Tom Pfister: Some people view challenges with neighborhoods as insurmountable. Others are on the fence. What would you say to persons who are unsure about whether to volunteer for or work at organizations that focus on supporting the delicate balances of healthy, inclusive, livable neighborhoods?

Carrie Zaslow: I have a fundamental belief that everyone should be able to live in neighborhoods that are safe, that have performing schools, that have recreation and fresh food available, where residents can thrive, and that honors the history and culture of the neighborhood. With that belief, there needs to be a balance on a policy level that will prevent displacement of current residents even if the neighborhood becomes attractive to others. With that said, I would tell people that community development is hard work, often decades in the making, but it is also immensely satisfying—especially when you speak with the neighborhood residents, and you meet the family that finally has an apartment up to code, lead safe and at a rent they can afford, and they can finally take a deep breath.

MORE FROM FORBES

Pfister: What are the most common misconceptions about affordable housing?

Executive Director Carrie Zaslow of the Providence Revolving FundPHOTO BY IAN TRAVIS BARNARD / COURTESY OF PROVIDENCE REVOLVING FUND

Zaslow: The biggest misconceptions about affordable housing are that it’s housing for people with no jobs and no income, that it will decrease the value of homes nearby and be a burden to the community. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Over 51% of Rhode Island renters are cost-burdenedby housing costs—they are paying more than 30% of their income on housing. A teacher or emergency medical technician supporting a family can longer afford to buy a market-rate house anywhere in Rhode Island. The Providence Revolving Fund has made a priority of both creating and supporting affordable housing that protects Rhode Island’s historic housing stock, and creating affordable housing that is visually beautiful. Today’s affordable housing is well designed, energy efficient and healthy. Families living in healthy and stable conditions are able to increase their family wealth and see their children perform better in school.

Pfister: What lesson have you learned about genuine leadership that guides you?

Zaslow: It’s important to take calculated risks. To understand that true innovation means accepting the possibility of failing. That you can’t let missteps define you—you learn from them and move on. To be a great leader, you are able to extend this mindset to your entire team, so as to create an atmosphere that promotes creativity and innovation.

Pfister: When you worked in other capacities within Providence neighborhoods and organizations, what did you admire from afar, so to speak, about the Providence Revolving Fund?

Zaslow: I always saw the Providence Revolving Fund as a strong organization with a talented staff. I knew founding Executive Director Clark Schoettle and Associate Director Kim Smith, and I admired their work and commitment. The organization is unique as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that works with both homeowner-borrowers and real estate developers in the area of historic preservation, and then as a developer itself of affordable housing in historic districts. What stood out for me about PRF was its shared belief in the power of the culture of a neighborhood and the importance of preserving it.

Pfister: Here at the starting line of your tenure as executive director, what is the highest priority facing the Providence Revolving Fund?

Zaslow: Our highest priority is equipping ourselves to meet the evolving needs of Providence neighborhoods and that means growth. The Providence Revolving Fund is one of only four CDFIs working in Rhode Island, and the only one working on historic preservation. Demand for the work we do is high and we will be developing new ways to meet that need.

For more than 25 years, I’ve served as a practitioner in real estate: e.g., I’ve directed a revolving fund for historic properties; raised and underwrote capital for resident-led development in underserved neighborhoods.

[“Source-forbes”]

Insights from Cannes Lions Health Festival 2018

Tom Richards

Cannes Lions is one of the most coveted and respected creative festivals in the world. The trophies are recognised globally as the ultimate achievement in creativity and winning at the Cannes Lions Health Festival puts us among the world’s elite. Below we hear from Tom Richards,
Chief Creative Officer of the Havas Lynx Group, the agency named as this year’s Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year.

To have seven shortlisted entries was incredible. To win two silvers and a bronze was amazing. To win Healthcare Agency of the Year is outstanding and exceeded all of our expectations. However, never ones to rest on our laurels, we came home not only armed with a new set of trophies for our cabinet, but also energised from being exposed to so much life-changing and inspirational work. In this article, I share some of the key learnings and trends with supporting case studies from the remarkable Cannes Lions Health Festival 2018.

Learning 1: Empathy

This is the new insight. It goes beyond profiles and stats. It’s about understanding your audience on a deeper level. Knowing what moves them, what drives them, what makes them feel.

Case Study: Ouchie 

Agency: Havas Lynx

Client: Chugai/Roche

Award: Silver Lion

When we think of arthritis we think of the old and frail. But Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA) actually affects a significant number of children. The painful flare-ups can leave them feeling extremely ill. Research showed they were too embarrassed to tell their teacher or carer that they felt unwell, describing how their condition left them feeling isolated from their classmates. The solution was simple: a patient support pack aimed specifically at children with sJIA, and a two-tone wristband to help them discreetly communicate how they’re feeling.

Learning 2: Craft

Take a great idea and make it absolutely shine. Beauty and impact in equal measure. Craft is often undervalued in the world of pharma, but when used appropriately it elevates the idea and execution to a space that cannot be ignored.

Case study: The AttackAgency: Havas Lynx

Client: AstraZeneca

Award: Silver Lion

Not your typical HCP film. Shot in 1:235 cinema formatting, with a tense and atmospheric style, it follows an elderly man who talks about an attack he had in the sea. He describes the impact – the pain, the chaos and the suffering – and we experience the attack with him through Jaws-style shots. The film ends with a big reveal: this wasn’t a shark attack, but a heart attack.

Trend 1: Problem Solving

Zone in on the core issue and find the best way to solve it. The end result should change perceptions or behaviours – or even laws. What’s great
about these ideas is that it doesn’t have to be a campaign, or even an ad, that answers the problem.

Case Study: Blink to Speak

Agency: TBWA/India

Client: Asha Ek Hope Foundation and NeuroGen

Brain & Spine Institute

Award: Grand Prix/Gold Lion/Silver Lion

Creating an affordable way to help patients speak.

The challenge for hospitals treating patients with ALS,
MNDS or spinal cord injuries is that current solutions are ultra hi-tech and extremely expensive, making them inaccessible. The solution: a new language based solely on blinking. Knowing that this is often the one movement that patients still have control over, Blink to Speak offered a

very simple way for patients to tell a doctor if they were uncomfortable, if they needed entertainment or if they needed to go home.

Trend 2: Technology

This isn’t just technology for the sake of it. It’s not about being showy or shiny – it’s about making life better. The below is a great example of tech that fits the problem at hand and integrates seamlessly into the context.


Case Study: Dot Mini

Agency: Serviceplan

Client: Becks DOT Inc

Award: Gold Lion

Because of the difficulty in translation and printing, only 3% of all text is available in braille. So they created an AI that could translate texts into braille – much faster than a human. They built it into a single device that could convert the texts into braille, using plastic ‘dots’ that move up and down with each sentence. The Dot Mini has access to hundreds of thousands of texts, and as the AI gets smarter, that number will only increase. Couple that with audio integration and you’ve got an absolute game changer.

Trend 3: Humour

I’m happy to see that pharma is finally taking steps into this territory. There’s still work to do as there’s seemingly a perception that most patients or doctors don’t have a sense of humour – but used appropriately, a bit of comedy can completely transform a healthcare campaign.

Case Study: No Needles

Agency: McCann Birmingham

Client: Dexcom

Award: Gold Lion

A radio campaign promoted a device that allows diabetes patients to monitor their blood sugar levels without needles.
And they made it funny. Very funny. The idea is that the world is already full of pricks – so, as a diabetic, the last thing you want is another one in your finger. The wryly-observed scripts give some examples of the sorts of pricks we encounter on a day-to-day basis. It’s an unexpected place to use humour – and that’s what makes it so good.

Find out more insights from the Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year at www.havaslynx.com

Tom Richards is Chief Creative Officer at the Havas Lynx Group

[“Source-pmlive”]

First Satellite to Collect Space Junk Deployed From ISS

First Satellite to Collect Space Junk Deployed From ISS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • RemoveDEBRIS mission is one of world’s first such attempts
  • The 100-kg spacecraft will attempt to capture simulated space debris
  • There are thousands of pieces of space debris circulating the planet

The first-ever satellite to test possible solutions in cleaning up space junk has been deployed by the International Space Station (ISS) and would soon begin experiments in orbit.

The Britain-built satellite, named RemoveDEBRIS mission, is one of the world’s first attempts to tackle the build-up of dangerous space debris orbiting the Earth, the British space agency said in a statement late on Friday.

The 100-kg RemoveDebris spacecraft will attempt to capture simulated space debris using a net and a harpoon while also testing advanced cameras and radar systems.

The experiment is important as there are thousands of pieces of space debris circulating the planet, many travelling faster than a speeding bullet, posing a risk to valuable satellites and even the International Space Station itself, the report stated.

Once the experiments are complete, it will unfurl a drag sail to bring itself and the debris out of orbit, where it will burn up as it enters the earth’s atmosphere.

“If successful, the technologies found in RemoveDEBRIS could be included in other missions in the very near future,” said Guglielmo Aglietti, Professor at the University of Surrey.

The RemoveDEBRIS mission is led by the varsity and built by the world’s leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), with technology on board designed by Airbus.

It was launched on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from Florida in April.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Continuous Testing Insights from 2018 DevTest Research

Continuous Testing Insights

The year is far from over, but there already several interesting DevTest surveys worth your attention. These studies don’t just quantify the obvious; they actually report some unexpected findings regarding how far and how fast we’re advancing, and offer some very specific advice on what’s needed to improve.

We strongly recommend that you spend some time reading all three of these surveys in their entirety. However, in case you’re short on time (or impatient … or both), we wanted to highlight the findings that are most pertinent for readers practicing or researching Continuous Testing.

 

Sauce Labs – Testing Trends for 2018: A Survey of Development and Testing Professionals

 

[Read the complete report]

 

2018 marks the fourth annual “Testing Trends” report, which is based on a global survey of more than 1,000 technology professionals responsible for developing and testing web and mobile applications.

 

Key findings in terms of testing include:

 

  • 87 percent report that management supports test automation initiatives.
  • 45 percent expect to increase spending on test automation in 2018 (55 percent at large companies).
  • The number of respondents with high levels of test automation dropped to 28 percent in 2018 from 32 percent in 2017 .
  • The release cadence is actually slowing, with hourly deployments dropping to 5 percent from 14 percent and daily deployments dropping to 27 percent from 34 percent.

 

In other words, everyone recognizes the value of test automation and most companies are willing to invest in it. However, test automation rates are actually decreasing, while Agile and DevOps adoption are steadily increasing. In the 2017 report, test automation rates increased slightly, and delivery speed also increased slightly. The 2018 reported a similar correlation: Test automation rates decreased, and the release cadence slowed down.

 

GitLab – 2018 Global Developer Report

 

[Read the complete report]

 

This expansive survey polled 5,296 software professionals from around the world. The majority of respondents were software developers or engineers who worked for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB) in the hardware, services and SaaS industries.

 

Testing wasn’t a common topic in this development-focused research, but it did earn a prominent spot in the report. Testing was the No. 1 response to the question, “Where in the development process do you encounter the most delays?” A dubious honor—but not a surprising one. Last year’s DevOps Review polled an entirely different audience and came up with the exact same finding.

 

VersionOne – 12th Annual State of Agile Report

 

[Read the complete report]

 

The 12th edition of the world’s longest-running Agile study found that while 97 percent of the 1,492 respondents’ organizations are practicing Agile, 84 percent report that their Agile adoption is not yet mature.

 

Respondents feel strongly that two testing-related items would help them increase process maturity across both Agile and DevOps:

 

  • 83 percent want end-to-end traceability from business initiative through development, test and deployment.
  • 82 percent want better identification and measurement of risk prior to deployment.

 

Respondents also reported a relatively high level of adoption of development testing and “shift left” testing techniques. Adoption levels were reported at:

 

  • Unit testing – 75 percent.
  • Coding standards – 64 percent.
  • Pair programming – 36 percent.
  • TDD – 35 percent.
  • BDD – 17 percent.

 

Testers might also be interested in the survey’s feedback on Agile management tools. Usage rates were reported at:

 

  • Atlassian Jira – 58 percent.
  • VersionOne – 20 percent.
  • Microsoft TFS – 21 percent.
  • HP (now Micro Focus) Quality Center / ALM – 14 percent.

 

The most highly recommended tools were VersionOne, Jira and CA Agile Central. HP Agile Manager, Hansoft and HP Quality Center /ALM were the least likely to be recommended.

[“Source-devops”]