Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - October 10 Edition

Las Vegas, Remembrance

“In 11 minutes of rapid gunfire into a Las Vegas concert crowd last Sunday night [October 1], a mass shooter killed 58 people attending a concert. As the NewsHour has done all week, tonight we remember the final 10 of those victims.

Health Care, Underserved Communities

Listen and read:

“The first teaching health centers began training residents in 2011. They operate primarily out of clinics in rural communities and other areas where primary care physicians are in short supply.

The ideal ratio of primary care physicians to patients is about 1 for every 2,000, Stewart said. The ratio in east Bakersfield “is more like 1 to 6,000, so we have a lot of catching up to do.”

Though teaching health centers remain relatively new, experts say they’re already succeeding: Their residents generally stay in the regions where they trained, putting down roots in communities with a big demand for health care.

In June, the Rio Bravo program graduated its first class of six doctors. Two joined the staff at a Clinica Sierra Vista clinic in east Bakersfield. The other four are practicing in clinics serving low-income communities in Sacramento, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.”

Business, Startups, Women

“…Julia Hartz, the co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite, summed up the sentiment for everyone. “It’s table stakes for building a great company,” she says. “If you want to build a once in a lifetime company that really matters, and really changes the space,” then social impact, philanthropy, and economic uplift need to be part of your thinking. “Legacies are built on the practices of your company,” she says. Renfrew agreed. “You can do well by doing good, and you should.”

While all four founders had stories to share about the nuts and bolts of building businesses. From working with investors, getting to profitability, and surveying existing customers for new product ideas—the idea of an expanded bottom line was essential. And, in many cases, unusual.

One example: Equity. When is the right time to share equity with employees? The Silicon Valley model, it was agreed, was old school. “Men hoard all the equity and give it out in snippets,” said Renfrew. “If you’re going to ask people to be committed to your mission, they should be included.””

Conservation, Environment


“People regularly approach Jane Goodall in airports, tears in their eyes, and tell her she’s their idol. She travels 300 days a year, and at 83, she speaks dreamily about her home in England, the house she grew up in, where her sister still lives with her own family. Goodall will be there soon for a rare five-day vacation, sleeping in the same room with her childhood books—Dr. Dolittle and Tarzan were among her favorites—and looking out the window at the trees she once climbed.

In the 1960s Goodall, perhaps the world’s most famous primatologist, taught us that humans and chimpanzees weren’t as different from each other as people then believed. Our closest relatives have individual personalities, eat meat, and even make and use their own tools. A 1965 documentary about that work, Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees, turned Goodall into a global celebrity, and she has been in the public eye ever since. She has used that attention to fund ongoing research in Gombe Stream National Park, in Tanzania, where she did her initial conservation work. But she has also gone beyond her role as a scientist to encourage children to become environmental and social advocates, to develop antipoverty programs in the areas around African nature preserves, and to promote environmental stewardship.

Goodall is on the road again now to publicize a new documentary, entitled simply JANE, which highlights her early-career insights. The film debuts Monday at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, with Goodall in attendance. 

Although immensely practical about the hard work it takes to keep up her social justice mission, Goodall retains the idealism that has propelled her for decades. “Every single individual makes a difference every single day,” she says in her quiet but determined British accent. “We get to choose what sort of difference we’re going to make.”

Goodall spoke to Scientific American about her past work, recent discoveries and plans and hopes for the future.”

Family Leave Policy, Work Place

“… the most revolutionary aspect of the plan is Amazon’s leave share program. Leave Share is more commonly seen in unionized workplaces, where employees can share their sick leave with one another, giving those who need it more time but ensuring work continues smoothly while they’re out. At Amazon, which isn’t unionized, instead of sharing paid leave with a co-worker, you can share it with your spouse, even if they don’t work at Amazon. Yes, really. If an Amazon employee is ready to return to work but has a spouse who hasn’t been able to take a full, paid parental leave, Amazon will allow the Amazon employee to share up to six weeks of their paid leave at the employee’s salary. That way, the spouse can take unpaid leave from their own jobs without creating extreme financial stress the Amazon employee would end up feeling too.

The reasoning behind Amazon’s leave share is sound: Parents succeed in the workplace when they have a supportive partner at home. When both parents spend time as the primary caregivers for an infant, studies show, they’ll continue to share caregiving responsibilities as the child ages. Since most workplaces today offer only maternity leave if they offer paid leave at all, it is difficult for fathers to take time away to take part in caregiving. In essence, Amazon is pioneering a new way to help its female employees by financially encouraging their partners to be more involved at home.

Studies show that women take on a majority of child care and household responsibilities, even when both parents work, which leads women to drop out of the workforce at a higher rate after having children. By promoting a shared environment at home, Amazon is likely to have higher long-term retention rates for women at the company.

Winter described the leave share program as a “game changer.” “Amazon has employees everywhere,” he said. “Not everyone has a spouse who has a luxury of taking paid leave. We decided it’s not just our employee that needs this, it’s choice and flexibility for our families.”

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