Helping close divisions in the US: Insights from the American Well-Being Project

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Editor’s Note:The American Well-Being Project is a joint initiative between scholars at the Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis.

Issues of despair in the United States are diverse, widespread, and politically fueled, ranging from concentrated poverty and crime in cities to the opioid crisis plaguing poor rural towns. Local leaders and actors in disconnected communities need public policy resources and inputs beyond what has traditionally been available.

Scholars at Brookings and Washington University in St. Louis are working together to analyze the issues underlying America’s disaffection and divisions in order to provide policy ideas for a better, more inclusive future. Through on-the-ground community research in Missouri—a microcosm of America’s problems—as well as the application of ongoing policy research, we hope to develop approaches that can tackle factors like lack of access to health care, scarcity of low-skilled jobs, weak education systems, and hollowed-out communities.

Simply put, we are asking how has the American Dream been broken and how can it be restored?

WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT IS MISSING

In general, indicators such as economic growth and unemployment rates continue to improve in the U.S., as do some markers of well-being, such as longevity. Yet the aggregate indicators mask inequality of access and outcomes. Such indicators do not account, for example, for the decline in prime age male labor force participation, nor do they reflect the rising numbers of “deaths of despair” due to opioid or other drug overdoses, suicide, and other preventable causes. Such deaths are concentrated among less than college educated, middle-aged whites.

The past few decades have also seen a dramatic increase in the disability rate (the number of disabled Social Security beneficiaries), greater income inequality, and stagnating mobility rates. Different regions have had divergent fortunes, meanwhile, and many, particularly in the heartland where manufacturing has declined, are characterized by “left-behind” populations in poor health and with little hope for the future, and a hollowed out middle-class.

As such, the macro numbers simply do not capture the full picture of inequality, public frustration, and socioeconomic distress. Well-being metrics could be part of the solution in understanding trends among and across subpopulations.

Looking back on recent episodes of political upheaval, previous decades produced clear indicators that should have been seen as red flags for the current crisis. If we can better identify these risk factors in advance, then we can provide appropriate policy recommendations to those working in communities most affected, as well as anticipate the challenges of those populations and places at greatest risk.

HOW CAN RESEARCH AND DATA BE USED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL? THE APPLICATION OF SUBJECTIVE MEASURES

As we further explore metrics of well-being, the question will be how to analyze data in a way that is useable and valuable to local leaders. While well-being measures offer interesting insights, they are inherently subjective and focused on mindset rather than quantitative outcomes. Pairing well-being measures with traditional “hard” measures like GDP and employment rates has proven useful in the past.

As shown by research in Peru into the relationship of traditional economic and social measures to perceived well-being, status, identity, and inclusion, hope is a significant factor in determining success. People who are more hopeful tend to have better economic and social outcomes.

Communities should also strive to achieve a balance between hope and realism. Although our research shows that hope is a key determinant of well-being, excessive optimism can easily lead to disappointment.

Personal responsibility for success is also an important factor. To the extent that people blame themselves (or their neighbors) for the current social and economic challenges, pressure for policy responses is lost. Too much blame on individual agency makes a community unwilling to try to make things better through policy. The goal should be to achieve a healthy balance of outlooks, personal responsibility, and realistic understanding of chances for success.

Better indicators of people’s outlooks on life combined with indicators of opportunity and deprivation could help achieve this at the grassroots level. Novel approaches that combine quantitative and qualitative data can inform a range of community efforts. Scholars at Washington University have already taken the lead by using national data from call-in distress services for individuals and families, with the goal of identifying specific geographic information, down to the neighborhood level, on vulnerable areas.

Brookings scholars actively participated with the state of Colorado to implement a comprehensive system for monitoring mobility and opportunity—the Colorado Opportunity project, and in a separate effort, with the city of Santa Monica to design an effort to regularly monitor a range of well-being dimensions.

NEXT STEPS

Now is an opportune moment for local, regional, and state leaders to make positives changes in communities, rather than waiting for action at the federal level. And, given the complex nature of our crisis of divide and desperation, policies must be better targeted to different age, racial, and socioeconomic groups—and their circumstances, something best achieved at the local level.

Even if analyses and practices are adapted for specific geographic regions and demographic groups, local governance challenges will still make implementation difficult to achieve on the ground. Many communities lack local leadership and empowered community organizations. Nongovernmental organizations, state level governments, and even the private sector can help fill the leadership void in communities and support existing local efforts.

The fact is that the issues of despair in America have no one answer, nor does the responsibility fall on a single sector, institution, or group of people. It will take a concerted effort from many stakeholders, focusing on an immense set of challenges that differ from community to community.

Our collaboration between Brookings and Washington University aims to help those taking the lead by providing valuable data, analyses, and policy ideas.

[“Source-brookings”]

Key Insights on the Online Tutoring Services Market in the US| Technavio

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LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 25, 2018– projects the to post a CAGR of more than 9% during the forecast period. The increase in tutoring support for test preparation services is a key driver, which is expected to impact market growth through 2018-2022.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180525005427/en/

Technavio has published a new market research report on the online tutoring services market in the US from 2018-2022. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The US education system is merit-based, wherein the student population must write at least two competitive exams during their education tenure. This increased the demand for test preparation services. There is a direct relation between the changes in exam structure and the demand for test preparation courses and materials.

This report is available at a USD 1,000 discount for a limited time only:

Save more with Technavio. Buy2 reports and get the third for FREE:

In this report, Technavio highlights the growing customization of tutoring services as one of the key emerging trends to drive the online tutoring services market in the US:

Growing customization of tutoring services

Personalized training is a significant development in the online tutoring services market in the US. Vendors are increasingly trying to tailor and align courses to the needs of the students. A variety of learning tools are available for differentiated instruction. The application of analytics is helping the online tutoring service providers to design content based on the insights gained from analytics.

According to a senior analyst at Technavio for research , “The need to keep students engaged and provide them with specialized training will lead to the growth of the market. The use of analytics will enable content designers to understand learning patterns and create content to provide effectively train and mentor students. It also helps provide real-time assessment of student performance.”

Looking for more information on this market?

Technavio’s sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report such as the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more.

Market segmentation and analysis through 2022

This market research report segments the by end-user (higher education institutes and K-12 schools) and product (test preparation service and subject tutoring service).

The higher education institutes segment dominated the market in 2017, accounting for close to 66% of the market in 2017. The market share of this segment is expected to decrease by close to 5% over the forecast period in favor of the K-12 schools segment.

In 2017, test preparation service accounted for more than 56% of the market. The market share of this segment is expected to increase by a further 3% by 2022. The online tutoring services market in the US is growing because of the failure of the academic system to cope with the needs of the students.

About Technavio

is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focuses on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions.

With over 500 specialized analysts, Technavio’s report library consists of more than 10,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies, spanning across 50 countries. Their client base consists of enterprises of all sizes, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. This growing client base relies on Technavio’s comprehensive coverage, extensive research, and actionable market insights to identify opportunities in existing and potential markets and assess their competitive positions within changing market scenarios.

If you are interested in more information, please contact our media team at .

[“Source-wlns”]

Microsoft’s new workplace mixed reality apps pop up in the Store

Microsoft's new workplace mixed reality app previews pop up in the Store

During its Build 2018 developer conference last week, Microsoft introduced two new mixed reality apps designed for the workplace. At their reveal, Microsoft said the apps would be available in a limited-time preview starting on May 22. However, both apps have now been spotted by noted Microsoft watcher WalkingCat in the Microsoft Store a little earlier than expected.

The first app, Microsoft Remote Assist Preview, is available only for HoloLens users and is intended as a way for workers to remotely collaborate with experts on their Microsoft Teams contact list. Within the app, workers can take advantage of video calling, image sharing, and mixed reality annotations. Combined, the features are meant to enable workers to keep their hands free while being guided through a task.

The next app, Microsoft Layout, is a design app for mixed reality. Users can use Layout to view 3D models in a room at real-world scale, allowing them to see how a room will look in the physical space around them or in a virtual space. The layouts can then be shared and edited with others in real time. We briefly tried out Microsoft Layout with a Windows Mixed Reality headset and it works as advertised, though it’s slightly buggy in its preview form.

Both apps represent Microsoft’s determination to make HoloLens and mixed reality apps a reality in the workplace. That’s something we’ve already seen with companies deploying HoloLens to help out in everything from operating rooms to automobile design studios. However, there’s quite a bit of room left to expand as the mixed reality space continues to grow.

If you have a HoloLens or Windows Mixed Reality headset, both apps are listed in the Microsoft Store now.

[“Source-“windowscentral]

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You don’t have to be a Harvard business grad to have a successful career as an entrepreneur. Similarly, you don’t have to be an intense CrossFitter to get in shape, but there are plenty of ways in which having a strong body and mind will benefit you in both life and business.

We often underestimate how strong we are in both our body and our mind. Many of us lack the confidence to put ourselves to the test. But to achieve our goals, we need to push ourselves, trust our instincts and be disciplined in going after what we want. To make big gains, start by taking a detour to the gym.

Here are the five insights you will gain if you become as committed to the gym as you are to your business.

1. You are tougher than you think.

It takes a great deal of work to transform your body or your business. When you put in the hard work at the gym, it improves your energy and stamina, and helps you stay focused. But more than that, getting a good sweat on can actually make you more resilient to stress.

Exercise reorganizes the brain so that it doesn’t allow stress and anxiety to interfere as much with brain function. In essence, exercise can make both your body and your mind stronger and more flexible. The harder you push yourself, the more you realize that you are stronger and tougher than you think. If you dig deep, you can go farther and faster than you thought possible.

We all know that resilience is a cornerstone to building a successful business. Being able to bounce back from a difficult situation is key to being able to move forward and eventually flourish. An entrepreneur must stay levelheaded during the lean times, as well as when business is bountiful.

What better way to teach yourself to be nimble and juggle priorities than to train your body to be resilient in the gym? Along the way, you’ll build confidence, and gain adaptability and flexibility.

Related: This Entrepreneur Lives in the Back Room at a Gym While Building His Business

2. It’all about mindset.

Any given year around January 1, if you ask people what their New Year’s resolution is, many will say they want to get in shape or lose weight or be healthier. But how many people actually accomplish this goal?

Many fall short because they don’t get themselves into the right frame of mind to accomplish their goal. They don’t follow through, set realistic expectations or commit to healthy habits to make it happen. They fail to develop the right mindset.

They will probably keep setting the same goal — and keep failing — year after year, unless they do something to shake things up and change their habits. If you want to succeed, you have to believe you can. Then you have set about making real changes to put you on the right path. Finally, you need to keep going for the long haul.

The same thing is true for an entrepreneur who wants to build a successful business. Often there isn’t a huge difference between one entrepreneur and another. Their mindset and determination are what set them apart. If you want to create a successful business, you have to stop letting fear or lack of confidence hold you back. You have to have purpose and a vision to succeed.

3. More is possible with strong core.

When you work out, you’ve got to do more than just exercise your arms and legs. To truly get in shape, you’ve got to build your core muscles. Without a solid core to support you, you’ll end up with a lot of physical ailments and injuries, and unable to accomplish your workout regime.

The same thing goes for business. You’ve got to build the core of your business. Why are you doing this? Who are your customers? What makes you stand out? You need to decide what your business is focused on and then make sure you keep that focus, even as you build other elements.

Having a strong foundation will allow you to expand and contract as needed with market fluctuations. If you fail to build your core, you will flop.

Related: 5 Elements That Shape the Core of a Strong Startup

4. It’marathon, not sprint.

You can’t just show up on day one and expect to kill it. It doesn’t work like that, either in business or at the gym. Your strength and endurance can only be built slowly.

If you push yourself too far, too fast, you may hit burnout before you reach your goal. What matters is being persistent, showing up day in and day out. Sometimes the biggest accomplishment is being able to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving toward your goal.

You have to know when to press forward, when to work on gaining strength, when to throttle back and when to give it your all. Any transformation you go through will be painful. But if you want to accomplish your goals, you’ve got to push through the pain.

It’s easy to do nothing: to sit on the couch and accept being average. But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. The same thing goes for the gym.

Related: My Journey From Couch-Surfing Kid to Tech Engineer

5. Get your creative juices flowing.

When you work out, you’re giving your body a chance to exert energy, to burn off stress, to focus on the here and now and let go of issues that have been plaguing you.

A good workout session can feel like a chance to purge your body through sweat, but it can also be cathartic for your mind. Working out reduces stress and helps you focus. But more than that, it’s also a great way to open yourself up to new ideas.

The gym can be a great place to get both your brain and your body working outside the box. It can give you that mental spark you’ve been looking for. One study shows that those who work out regularly do better on tests of creativity than those who are sedentary. Moving your body can help you overcome mental blocks and go deeper into a problem.

Scientists now recognize that intense exercise helps your brain produce brain-derived neutrophic factor, an important protein that helps stimulate the process of neurogenesis, which is the growth of new brain cells. What more do you need to know to convince you to hit the gym?

[“Source-entrepreneur”]