Monthly Archives: November 2016

Europes Digital Innovators

Dr. Till Wahnbaeck, CEO of Germany’s hunger-fighting NGO Welthungerhilfe, recently penned a piece for The Guardian in which she reiterated the critical need for innovation. But what, exactly, is innovation? Her explanation is a surprisingly simple one, “Innovation is the answer to a simple question: Is there a better way?”

Apply this concept to the digital world and its meaning is exponentially amplified. Because we are just dipping a toe into the digital pool, there’s no question that there is a better way. In other words, the answers are limitless. The bigger issue? Finding the people with the ken and capacity to drive these answers. Here’s a closer look at why digital innovation matters, along with three strategies for positioning yourself to become a digital innovator in this brave new world.

Why Digital Innovation Matters

Contemporary business success largely hinges on an organization’s ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital space. Take companies like Amazon and Netflix, for example.  Their business models inherently rely on continuously expanding and enhancing their digital products and services to remain competitive. But this evolution doesn’t happen on its own.

Says global management consulting firm North Highland Worldwide Consulting’s Alex Bombeck, “Everyone recognizes the importance of digital in today’s business environment, but the landscape is littered by companies that have been left behind the digital curve. Leaders must figure out how to meet the high expectations of customers and deliver a unique human experience, or risk becoming obsolete.”

In addition to the usual suspects of leadership like vision and managerial skills, the next generation of business leaders will also need to understand the fundamentals of digital innovation, including the economic and technological factors powering it; the intersection of former, current and future business models; differences between digital models and how they interact with each other; best practices for organizing and leading digital product and service innovation efforts;  the role of crowdsourcing; and other topics.

Echoes North Highland Global CIO Ben Grinnell of what it takes to thrive in the new digital world, “To enable digital transformation, old legacy systems are not going to cut it. Silos must be broken down and an agile mindset needs to take hold. This means building cross-functional teams that can be nimble, move fast and quickly produce results.”

Three Steps to Becoming a Digital Innovator

Now that we’ve covered how important digital innovation is, along with why having the right skill set is critical for people looking to innovate in the digital space, a final question remains: How do you prepare yourself to become one of them? These three steps are a great starting point:

1. Be international.

Digital innovation has no physical borders. And with companies like Turner increasingly prioritizing international digital innovation, it makes sense for those looking for an inside edge to cultivate a global perspective — preferably through first-hand experience.

In fact, according to a recent Erasmus Impact Study which looks into the effects of international study on the skills and employability of students, 65 percent of employers consider international experience important in job applicants, while a full 92 percent are looking for transversal skills developed through international experiences, including “openness to and curiosity about new challenges, problem-solving and decision-making skills, confidence, tolerance toward other personal values and behaviors.”

2. Know the best course of study.

We’ve already established that international experience is a major plus. What else should you be looking for in terms of degrees and certifications? Not only will you need training in key digital technology areas, but you’ll also need to develop innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

Another plus? Real-world experience, which will allow you to practice applying your newfound skills while simultaneously building a network of professional relationships.

A Global Journey

Hear a voice from the past, from across an ocean, from the future, or maybe even one that you could hear on your own street.  Whether it’s the crack of a new book’s spine, the worn, well-loved pages of a favorite, or the soft glow from your e-reader, the act of reading a book transports you.  To another place.  Another time.  To a group of people whom you don’t know.  And everyone is looking for something.  Join us on our journey around the world—in books.  Find something that speaks to you and tuck in.

Written in 2006, Adichie’s wrenching tale chronicles five people’s lives as they navigate politics, power, academics, journalism, women’s rights, marriage, and the struggle for daily survival during Nigeria’s Civil War in the late 1960s.  How blurred are the lines between life and death?  What does it mean to be in love?  How does war affect humanity—and its soul?

A Chinese classic on feminism, circa 1827.  While the Qing Dynasty period wasn’t known for embracing femininity, the author was. Ruzhen offers us a subversion of gender roles in a fantasy classic—often with a humorous twist.  He believed in equal rights for men and women and wrote Flowers in the Mirror as one fantastical version of what that kind of world could look like.

Travel to Barcelona, on Zafón’s meticulously detailed streets with young Daniel in 1945, just after the Spanish Civil War.  Pick up an obscure, tattered book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and join Daniel on a dangerous mystery that will take you throughout past and then-present Barcelona—and the heartbreak of the human spirit.  Also Try Zafón’s 2009 prequel, The Angel’s Game, written in 2008, seven years after Shadow of the Wind.

Plan Study in the UK

For many aspiring international students, Brexit is a giant and unknowable elephant in the room: What will the UK’s vote to leave the EU mean for the country’s higher education system and opportunities for foreign students there? While it’s true that some things are bound to change, it’s also true that it would take a lot more than Brexit to wipe away the UK’s esteemed history and ongoing reputation as a world leader in higher education. The overall takeaway? Whether or not Brexit went the way you hoped it would go, there are still many reasons to choose the UK as your international study destination — especially in one of these nine top areas.

1. Marine Biology

Home to diverse marine life and some of the world’s best marine facilities, the UK is a terrific destination for students aiming to enrich their knowledge of the biology of marine organisms. Boasting five of the top 20 best universities for earth and marine sciences, according to QS World Universities, the UK also lays claims to plenty of other world-class marine biology programs, universities and institutions.

Popular UK marine biology degrees include the Master of Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen, the MRES in Marine Biology at Plymouth University, and the MSC in Freshwater and Marine Ecology at Queen Mary University of London.

2. Medicine

The UK has been a leader in the field of medicine for hundreds of years, and many of the world’s major medical discoveries happened here. Whether you’re looking for a breadth and depth of coursework, clinical contact, the development of a global network, or access to the some of the planet’s most brilliant professors and researchers, you’ll find it here.

Degree options in medicine are also diverse, including the MA Science, Medicine, Environment & Technology at the University of Kent, the Master in Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Aberdeen, and the Master in Cancer Medicine at the University of Aberdeen.

Are You Interest on International Masters Degree

There’s no magic to a master’s degree—but the right one at the right time and in the right place can make a significant difference in your overall happiness, salary, and career opportunities.  What can sweeten the pot? How about an international master’s degree?  Graduate studies abroad can give your undergraduate degree a big boost, but adding more years to your education is a big decision. So, what in it for you?

You Can Improve Your Career Opportunities

Do your research.  If your prospective master’s degree is tied to a specific type of job that you want, then you’ll definitely have a broader reach of opportunity.  Consider occupational therapy, in which a master’s degree is the key to success, or business management, where that MBA will certainly give you a competitive edge.  Public school teachers will experience almost immediate benefits with a master’s.  In some fields, where a master’s is a terminal degree, such as an M.F.A., you’ll be able to teach at the university level.  Clinical psychology is another great example of pursuing a master’s in a specific field so that you can do the job you want.

You Can Earn a Better Salary

A graduate degree doesn’t always mean extra money, but in some fields, it’s the only way to make more of it.  If you choose to study medicine or law, of course, you’ll need an advanced degree, but those of you who have your bachelor’s and are contemplating the endeavor?  You can plan on making at least $400,000 more over your working lifetime with a graduate degree.  Teaching is one profession for which you’ll automatically get paid more. Graphic design, marketing, finance, and therapy are other fields in which you’ll definitely see a better salary—and more professional marketability – with a master’s degree.

Touch From Abroad

Not joining the throngs headed “home for the holidays” on planes, trains, and automobiles?  No fear. We’ve outlined some tips and tricks for those of you have don’t have data plans, those of you who do, and those of you who have none of the above, so that you can easily stay in touch with your family and loved ones—without actually being there.   Step 1?  Don’t worry.

If you don’t have a data plan

Here’s the key: access WiFi when you can.  Use internet cafes, hotels, stores, libraries, and other “hot spots” where you know you’ll be able to access the internet.

A trick and an App…

1. Type your emails whenever you want and save them as drafts.  When you get to WiFi, all you have to do is hit “send.”  Huge timesaver. (That’s the trick).

2.      Have you met Boingo?  Boingo Wi-finder is an app that helps you find thousands of free WiFi and Boingo hotspots around the world.  Easily.  You don’t have to wait until the internet café opens or until you pass advertised WiFi.  Boingo tells you where to go.  It’s reasonably priced, and you don’t have to buy a plan for a year.  You can buy one of their “AsYouGo” plans for an hour, a week, a day, a month if you want, and have access to free WiFi and Boingo hotspots to connect with your family and friends. (That’s the app).

If you do have a data plan

It’s a beautiful thing: you can send emails any time you want.  That’s not a trick.  That’s a reality.

Fun Apps to consider:

1. Skype

Probably the most well-known and it works well.  It’s a free download for phones, tablets, and computers, and you can also call cell phones and land lines (what are those?!) for a small fee.  Biggest plus?  Lots of folks already have accounts and use it.  It boasts free Skype-Skype video and voice calls.  You can instant message, screen share, and operate from a Mac or PC phone, tablet, or computer.

2. Viber

For starters, the app is free.  Everything is free if your family and friends have Viber, too.  For a small fee, you can contact non-Viber users, too.  You can call, text, and photo message, and you can use it from your phone, tablet, or computer.  Mac or PC?  Doesn’t matter.

3. WhatsApp

Avoid SMS fees by messaging friends and family for free.  You can also talk internationally for free, and have free face-face conversations.  You don’t use your cell plan’s voice minutes, but you may have to pay for data.  Double check your plan if you don’t want the “hidden” data charges to show up on your bill.