Sưu tầm – Can American Men and Women Ever Really Be Equal?

Enlightened Swedish dads, with their easy security in their masculinity, are literally a state-sponsored selling point. But nothing can really prepare you for them, not even living, as I did for a decade, in New York City’s performative-dad capital of Park Slope, Brooklyn. On the scrubbed streets of Stockholm are dads balancing Joolz strollers, looking up from their cell phones to shake stuffed animals in an infant’s face; bearded dads in beanies with newborns on their laps at a café; dads pushing a pink bicycle up a hill as a helmeted child sulkily hoofs it.

One of the first dads I spot upon arriving in Stockholm, a burly man in a crisp button-down, who tenderly holds a small child’s hand as they wait to cross the street, turns out to be international hockey superstar Peter “Foppa” Forsberg, a father of three. He is very polite as he offers me directions.

Liberated men are the vanguard of the decades-long Swedish war on gender inequality. The country’s last Prime Minister, who admittedly is also a man, adopted the label of “the first feminist government in the world.” Every year, Nordic countries jostle one another for the top spot in global gender-­equality rankings; over the next two weeks, more than one Swede will shamefacedly confess to me that the country recently dropped to No. 5.

Should you not have memorized the U.S.’s ranking on the most recent World Economic Forum scorecard, I’ll refresh your memory: it’s No. 49. Next to “days of paid parental leave” on America’s scorecard is a zero. Sweden allocates 480 days per birth, with three months assigned to each parent to encourage dads to take more. It also outranks the U.S. in women’s “economic participation and ­opportunity” by seven points and in “political empowerment,” which measures women in elected office, by 88 slots.

That women still make up only 20% of the U.S. Congress and 0% of the Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee was thrown into sharp relief, amid allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted one woman, accosted another and was present at the rape of a third. One of the Democratic women on the committee, Kamala Harris, was given the post only after Al Franken resigned under a cloud of harassment allegations.

After spending much of the past year reporting on sexual harassment and assault, including allegations against TV host Charlie Rose, I have arrived in Sweden feeling pretty bleak about men. I spent months talking to women about the men who (allegedly) did it and the (mostly) men who (definitely) enabled it, some of whom pretended in public to care about women. As a feminist, I’m supposed to believe that equality is attainable and that men can be partners, but recent revelations and presidential elections have cruelly tested my optimism.

Maja, Martin and their child Pim in Stockholm; Martin plans to take eight months of leave
Maja, Martin and their child Pim in Stockholm; Martin plans to take eight months of leave
Elin Berge—INSTITUTE for TIME

Sweden itself has been having a reckoning with sexual abuses of power, one that has challenged its self-conception as a beacon of gender equality. “When you’re living in the most gender-equal country in the world, people try to sometimes hush down, because it doesn’t fit the image,” says Member of Parliament Birgitta Ohlsson. Sweden’s generous welfare state hasn’t staved off the rising popularity of a party that blames everything, including sexual violence, on immigrants. In September, the neo-fascist Sweden Democrats won almost 18% of the vote and are vowing to block formation of a new government unless they get a say in policy.

And those directions from the famous hockey player? They’re so I can go with Swedish journalist Kajsa Heinemann to a lecture on how women here are stressed from doing far more at home than men. The lecture is in Swedish, but the lopsided pie charts tell the story loud and clear. Sweden has realized that traditional parenting supercharges the gender gap and that in order to achieve equality, men have to transform too.

So I’ve set out to understand what the country most focused on gender equality might teach the U.S., even if it means learning that it’s harder than Americans hoped. Maybe it’s no accident that the gut-wrenching truths of #MeToo have come at a time of massive political upheavals, of establishments of all natures being tossed out. Why not reveal a giant for an ogre, when anything seems possible in politics, including the absolute worst? Then again, we have a chance to imagine something better. What will it take for American women and men to be equal? If we can’t find out in Sweden, who knows where we can?

This is where you say Sweden is a small and homogeneous country. It’s also a mixed economy of capitalism, state ownership and regulation, which means higher taxes than Americans are used to, though probably not as high as you might think, depending on how wealthy you are. By contrast, the U.S. is large and diverse, and its government just passed tax cuts. Paid parental leave? We don’t even have federally mandated sick days. Five years ago, when New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the ­FAMILY Act, which would have guaranteed 12 weeks of paid leave, it didn’t get much traction.

And yet looking to Sweden is an American tradition dating back to when President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a delegation to study how the country charted a path between American capitalism and Soviet communism. A quarter-century later, another American arrived in Sweden. Her name was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and she did not yet call herself a ­feminist—her time in Sweden would help change that.

In the U.S., Ginsburg had been demoted for becoming pregnant and expected to quit at childbirth. By contrast, Sweden sought to encourage women to be both workers and mothers. They’d implemented a child allowance in 1947 and nationwide paid maternity leave in 1955. Ginsburg was energized by Swedish writer Eva Moberg’s article demanding to know why women had two jobs and men had only one. Men had to liberate themselves too, she argued, to do what women already did, which was everything. By the early ’70s, Ginsburg had begun her effort to convince the Supreme Court that gender discrimination was unconstitutional—and many of her clients were men who were harmed by gender stereotypes.

In 1970, noted communist Richard Nixon started talking up affordable child care. A year later, Congress passed by a wide, bipartisan margin a child-care bill. When it got to Nixon’s desk, though, adviser Pat Buchanan persuaded him to block it to protect his right flank. In his veto, Nixon said he could not “commit the vast moral authority of the National Government to the side of communal approaches to child rearing over against the family-centered approach.” It turned out to be a rehearsal dinner for the marriage of antigovernment and self-described “pro-family” activists, who would spend the ’80s rejecting an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, telling women that feminism was to blame for all ills and stacking the courts with abortion opponents.

As for “communal approaches,” being in Sweden underlined to me that, despite what one or two exceptional women has pulled off, no one can, or should, do any of this alone.

Mark Kahaian was born in Michigan the same year Nixon vetoed that bill. His father worked long hours; at home, he says, “it was just my mom doing everything.” He went into the music business and met and married a photographer, Anna Schori. They lived in New York City and had their first child. “It was cool,” he says. “Then we had another child. That wasn’t cool.”

StreetGaris board members, from left to right: Ronak Moaf Mirlashari, Ailin Moaf Mirlashari, Sofia Lindh, Maliha Khan, Manel Rodrick, Emma Strom and Dima Sarsour
StreetGaris board members, from left to right: Ronak Moaf Mirlashari, Ailin Moaf Mirlashari, Sofia Lindh, Maliha Khan, Manel Rodrick, Emma Strom and Dima Sarsour
Elin Berge—INSTITUTE for TIME

They were freelancers in a country where paid leave is treated like a favor, if you happen to have a full-time job with a company that offers it. After that, child care is an expensive patchwork: in 23 states it costs more than in-state public-college tuition, having risen by 65% since the early ’80s. No wonder so many American women—it usually is women—stay home in those early years whether they want to or not, paying not in money but in future income and mobility. Mark and Anna were both committed to their careers so they improvised: trading off, swapping babysitting with other parents and part-time nannies. Their first home-based day-care provider got shut down by the city, so they started paying $1,200 a month to the YMCA.

To keep the family afloat, Mark says, he “started working crazy jobs. I barely saw my kids.” Every conversation he had with other parents seemed to revolve around money. Worse, he felt guilty that he wasn’t pulling his weight at home. “I was aware that having kids is a complete trap for women,” Anna told me. “You can fall behind and be the main caregiver.” That’s borne out by statistics. One study of dual-earner heterosexual couples in the U.S. found that they split the household labor pretty equally until the baby came, when women’s total work hours, paid and unpaid, increased 21 hours while men added only 12.5. Studies have also shown that while college­-educated men and women generally start out earning nearly the same at work, the gap widens by 55 percentage points by the end of prime childbearing years. (The gap was 28 points for women without college degrees.)

The moment when Mark decided they had to move to Sweden, where Anna had been born and raised, was when their then 3-year-old son asked his parents if they could start eating more slowly. At this point in the story, Mark and I are sitting in a sunny café in Stockholm. I look down at what’s left of my cardamom bun, anxiously chewed to a nub. Then at the judiciously nibbled pastry before him.

Anna had left Sweden at age 20 because she found it stultifying. She is one of several Swedish women I talk to who seemed to find the country’s professed commitment to gender equality overly restrictive, or too self-congratulatory, or too heteronormative and too two-parent focused, or just kind of embarrassingly earnest. She’s proud, she says, of making parenthood work in the dog-eat-dog U.S. until the kids were toddlers.

Fathers and children in Stockholm play at a center where parents on leave gather to socialize
Fathers and children in Stockholm play at a center where parents on leave gather to socialize

But it turned out that while “having it all” was being put solely on the shoulders of each individual American woman—you’ve come a long way, baby!—Swedes were chugging away at the collective project of equality, which they realized from the start would have to be woven into everything they did, including their welfare state. And it would have to be for the masses, not just for those who got close enough to the glass ceiling to peer through it. In ­Sweden, gender equality follows the same logic as the country’s most famous capitalist exports, H&M and Ikea, which is that everyone should be able to afford nice things.

The Swedes realized jointly taxing married couples meant women worked less, so in 1971 they started taxing individuals. They figured out that if women felt overworked at home and their job, there would be fewer Swedish babies, so they implemented cheap, universal child care, with a national curriculum that included gender equality. (One Swedish woman told me her family spends more to park their car in Stockholm than on day care.) The government still pays a monthly allowance to each Swedish child of about $142 to cover the basics. Today, Sweden’s birthrates, though below replacement level, are among the highest in Europe—higher than the U.S.’s—even as a higher proportion of Swedish women than American women are in the workforce. When Americans are asked why they’re having fewer babies, lack of affordable child care—among other basic economic concerns—is at the top of the list, though you wouldn’t know it from how little it enters the public conversation.

Sweden, prodded by feminists, saw early on that maternity leave wasn’t enough and that giving only women leave created a system where women disproportionately did the household labor, so in 1974 it became the first country to implement paid paternity leave. One of the first Swedish public figures to set an example by taking paternity leave was at the time the Undersecretary of State. His name is Pierre Schori, and he’s Anna’s dad. He tells me he secretly thought his leave would be a good time to work on his book. “That was an illusion,” he says. In the end, bringing up a kid was enough work on its own.

Anna had her own point to make, which was taking a prestigious photography assignment when her child was 2 months old. In Sweden, she says, “If you don’t take the full parental leave”—all 480 days, of which women typically take about 75%—“you’re a bad parent.” But ask her, or ­literally all of the ­Swedish women I interview, about whether she would trade the Swedish system for America’s choose-your-own-­adventure one—well, no, not when one study found that nearly a quarter of American women who give birth go back to work within two weeks.

‘Not only have I not heard a catcall, I’ve not even seen guys be creepy.’
– Mark Kahaian

So in 2015, two decades after she left Sweden, Anna agreed, at 40, to give the country another shot. Since paid family leave doesn’t expire until a child is 8, both Mark and Anna could take leave for their two sons, now 9 and 4. Mark tells me incredulously that he gets text messages from the government reminding him to use it all. Oh, and their government-­run day care, which has educational content and an in-house chef with an impressive Instagram account? Their out-of-pocket costs are $18 a month.

Mark says his very breathing has changed. So has his experience of being a man. “There are so many layers that I keep discovering in the way that I relate with other men,” he says. And “not only have I not heard a catcall, I’ve not even seen guys be creepy.”

In Sweden, it’s not a secret that the country hasn’t yet achieved full equality. The statistics are right there on its official government website. Women are still paid less than men for full-time work (but, I discover, the gap is 8 points narrower than in the U.S.). There are alarmingly high Swedish rape statistics (although Sweden’s system encourages victims to come forward). Women are underrepresented on the boards of companies (but still represent twice the U.S.’s paltry 17%, according to Credit Suisse’s global study). The number of women in Parliament has declined since 2006 (but it’s still nearly half female).

Despite the country’s commitment to equality, most Swedish women I talk to are eager to tell me about what falls short. A 20-year-old premed student tells me about boys who dominate biology class even when they haven’t done the homework; a business-school professor describes an old-boys network of mentoring and promotion. Anna Akerlund, a producer at Sweden’s national radio station whom I visit a couple of weeks into her parental leave, says she was staggered by Sweden’s #MeToo moment, which happened in parallel with the U.S.’s in 2017. “My view of Sweden has changed,” she says.

In November 2017, after Jean-Claude Arnault, a prominent cultural figure with ties to the Swedish Academy, was alleged to have assaulted 18 women, several members left their lifetime appointments in protest, resulting in the cancellation of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. Arnault, who has denied the accusations, is currently on trial for rape. He has pleaded not guilty.

Martin Gunseus, 30, with 9-month-old son Pim, on Sept. 18 in Stockholm, two weeks into his scheduled eight-month paternity leave
Martin Gunseus, 30, with 9-month-old son Pim, on Sept. 18 in Stockholm, two weeks into his scheduled eight-month paternity leave

When #MeToo reached the highest echelons of Swedish society, it was no longer so easy to claim sexual assault was a problem brought by immigrants and refugees, as some on the right had. “It’s not a white-man problem, it’s not a brown-man problem, it’s a man problem,” says Leila Trulsen, the Swedish-born daughter of a Tanzanian immigrant and one of the 13 board members of the feminist group StreetGaris. The group, inspired by black women’s theories of intersectional feminism and dissatisfaction with traditional Swedish feminism, was formed five years ago in the wake of riots in immigrant communities. Its young founders, immigrants and the daughters of immigrants, are furious at how the men of their communities have been scapegoated as destroying Swedish culture, including with sexual violence. (President Trump told TIME in March 2017 of Sweden taking in refugees and immigrants, “what Sweden has done to themselves is very sad.”)

“The louder you speak about brown men violating women’s bodies,” says StreetGaris board member Dima Sarsour, 36, “the more space you will get.”

But beyond #MeToo, Sweden’s family-friendly policies and culture have hardly erased the expectations people bring to gender, or parenting. Member of Parliament Ohlsson, who had two children in the five years she served as a Cabinet Minister, made headlines for days with her quick return to work. One of the people who mentioned Ohlsson’s short leave to me was, incidentally, Anna Schori’s mother, a women’s-­rights advocate. “We’re not animals,” Maud Edgren-Schori said indignantly. Parental leave, she told me, was not about the parents, it was about the children, and in the beginning at least, children need their mothers.

Ohlsson wasn’t the only new parent in her office. “I had three colleagues in the government who were also going to be fathers for the first time or second time or third time, and there was not a debate at all about how they were supposed to deal with everything,” says Ohlsson. But the judgment only made Ohlsson more determined to challenge the status quo. “Baby No. 2, I delivered her Friday,” she says, “and I was back at the office on Monday.”

Ohlsson says gendered expectations are one of many reasons there are fewer women in positions of power than there could be, although to reiterate, Sweden still has more than America does. “You have other problems,” Ohlsson says bluntly of the U.S., “but in Sweden, it’s very obvious that people say to the very ambitious woman that you should tone yourself down a bit.”

‘I think being a feminist is also believing in change.’
– Anna Akerlund

Akerlund tells me she’s decided to talk herself into believing that she’s the dad, because none of the dads she knows feel guilty. “So if you just sometimes try to be the father, you can be a really good father,” she says as she breast-feeds.

But Sweden has acted swiftly to try to address these problems: it recently changed its rape law to require verbal and nonverbal consent. Meanwhile, even after the #MeToo-related resignation of multiple members in both parties, the U.S. Congress has yet to pass any legislation policing sexual harassment in its own ranks. And though men still make more money in both countries, the Swedish government designated three months of leave per parent, limiting how much they could take at the same time to avoid the burden falling on women. Now that those three paid months of leave are use it or lose it, more men take it.

Akerlund is optimistic about the moves. “I think being a feminist,” she says, “is also believing in change.”

For all the work left to do, it’s impossible to deny that Sweden has made progress over time. Pierre ­Schori, Anna’s dad, told me that when he took paternity leave back in the ’80s, women swarmed him, offering to help the clueless man cook and care for the kids. Now, he pointed out, the playgrounds are filled with dads.

The contrasts are clear among the families studied by Lucas Gottzen, a sociologist at Stockholm University who has conducted comparative research of parenting in the U.S. and Sweden. “U.S. mothers come home earlier than fathers, since they are working less,” he says. “When the father came home at dinner, the mom had taken care of homework and dinner preparation. In Sweden it tended to be, in a dual-earner couple, you would have a practice of parents alternating pickup.” American fathers wanted to be more involved, but that manifested itself mostly in helping their kids participate in sports.

“I would say culture is not changed overnight,” Gottzen says. But that change didn’t happen just by waiting for it.

Martin Gunséus, 30, with his son Pim, 9 months old in Stockholm, on Aug. 18; Tobias Rosengren and his son Hugo outside of Öppen Förskola in Årsta, Stockholm, a meeting place for parents on parental leave.
Martin Gunséus, 30, with his son Pim, 9 months old in Stockholm, on Aug. 18; Tobias Rosengren and his son Hugo outside of Öppen Förskola in Årsta, Stockholm, a meeting place for parents on parental leave.

One afternoon after I get back from Sweden, I call up Nima Sanandaji, the author of The Nordic Gender Equality Paradox. The book maintains that the region’s famously egalitarian approach has held women back from top management jobs, partly by discouraging entrepreneurship but also by encouraging mothers to take more time at home. He tells me excitedly that American conservatives are running with his ideas to counter the growing interest in the Scandinavian welfare state. But unlike some critics on the right who say that even in a welfare state women would choose stereotypical gender roles, Sanandaji says the government isn’t giving them enough choices to succeed. “The policies that stand in the way of women are old-fashioned social democracy,” he says.

Women would be better off with lower taxes, he argues, because they could hire more household help—presumably other, lower-paid women. Shrinking the size of the government, where most workers are women, would mean more women could make more money in the private sector, he says. Sanandaji also argues that you can’t say the welfare state created equality in Scandinavia. If you go back to the Vikings, local culture was still far more egalitarian than in the rest of Europe.

So, I say, that might explain why the Nordic countries tried these gender-equal policies first, or why they have more of them, but why does that mean it can’t be tried anywhere else? What about the other countries that don’t have that cultural history but still have better-than-zero paid leave and child-care policies? France? Canada? Australia? Israel?

To my surprise, he doesn’t disagree. He just wants people to know that “this model is not perfect. It has unintended consequences of limiting women’s upward mobility.” For example, employers, he says, might be less likely to hire a woman for a prime position out of the assumption that she’s going to take a long leave.

That kind of discrimination happens in the U.S. too, I say, except women are (illegally) passed over on the assumption that they’ll cut back or leave the workforce entirely after having kids. At least the Swedish woman won’t lose her health insurance or her paid leave, as the pushed-out American woman would. And isn’t that why Sweden wants more dads to take leave, so that women alone don’t suffer the parental penalty?

Sanandaji seems skeptical that all this dad stuff will work, but he has another idea: employers could get a little subsidy or tax credit when their employees are on leave. Oh, and he thinks the government-funded preschools should be open later to accommodate moms who work long hours to climb the ladder.

So he wants more government spending? “I’m a pragmatist,” he says. “I’m not a raving lunatic libertarian like you might have in the U.S.” His bottom line: “We don’t have to abolish the Nordic welfare model. We only need to adjust it.”

In fact, Sweden is already adjusting. “The Sweden you visited is the Sweden where massive reforms have been done,” Sanandaji says. “They have reduced the tax burden and added a tax deduction for household services. They’ve allowed privatized, for-profit services. One of the reasons has been this idea that this stuff is hindering women’s careers.” He concedes that the center-right government that was in power until 2014 wanted to cut taxes anyway, and all this gender-equality stuff “was kind of useful for them.”

Ulrika Casselbrant, 38, breastfeeds her 8 week old child, Vera, on a commuter train in Stockholm on Aug. 19, 2018.
Ulrika Casselbrant, 38, breastfeeds her 8 week old child, Vera, on a commuter train in Stockholm on Aug. 19, 2018.

“I think the American system is a bit odd,” he volunteers. “You do pay a lot of taxes, but you don’t get much from the public sector.” Part of it, he says, is that studiously neutral Sweden doesn’t spend what America does on the military. Before we hang up, he gives me some advice. “If I were an American,” he says, “I would say, ‘For the taxes we already pay we should at least get public preschool.’”

now that I’ve begun to understand the Swedish model, warts and all, I still want to know: How can we be more like them? My last stop is the office of Leif Pagrotsky, a former Cabinet Minister from Sweden. “We do this for our own needs, based on our own values,” he demurs, when I ask. Pagrotsky points out that limited government is a deeply rooted American value. True, I reply, but U.S. government has always helped some people.

He sighs. “I will say this,” he says.

I hold my breath and wait.

“Some things are possible,” he says eventually. “Some things are within human reach to do.” 
If we learn nothing else from Sweden, let it be this: it doesn’t have to be this way.

No, Sweden doesn’t have a magic bullet. The pressure to conform to the Swedish way leaves some people out, especially newcomers; it can be inflexible and unsympathetic to parents who want to work more or parent less intensively, which has slowed women’s march through the workforce. It is no inoculation against sexual abuses of power.

And yet. The fact that Sweden hasn’t entirely eradicated sexism doesn’t mean there’s no point in ­trying—it just means that this is a generations-long shift that requires trial and error, and a commitment to gender equality from every man and woman in the country. Above all, the shift will require Americans’ learning to love something many have long hated: Big Government. The brutal reckonings of our time have made clear that the current way isn’t working; if we can see that for what it is, there may be hope for Americans yet.

By Irin Carmon

Full link: http://time.com/longform/gender-equality-america/?utm_source=time.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the-brief-gender-equality&utm_content=2018092911am&eminfo=%7b%22EMAIL%22%3a%221eLQ3nz9tkRy7AoaFTE5osEFAz5azrR8%22%2c%22BRAND%22%3a%22TD%22%2c%22CONTENT%22%3a%22Newsletter%22%2c%22UID%22%3a%22TD_TBS_655A9F23-6021-42DF-A471-C1880D9266DA%22%2c%22SUBID%22%3a%22120795682%22%2c%22JOBID%22%3a%22890217%22%2c%22NEWSLETTER%22%3a%22THE_BRIEF_SPECIAL_EDITION%22%2c%22ZIP%22%3a%22%22%2c%22COUNTRY%22%3a%22VNM%22%7d

 

Sưu tầm – Mapping heavy industry’s digital-manufacturing opportunities

Manufacturing digitization could boost heavy-industry profit margins by three to five points—but only if people can make the new technologies work at scale. The first article in a new series looks at the opportunity and the sector’s progress.

The latest revolution may have started in the world of software and services, but now heavy industries1 are also embracing the power of the newest wave of digitization in manufacturing. Leading companies in sectors including mining, chemicals, steelmaking and pulp and paper are applying new data sources and new digital technologies to boost the throughput, efficiency, reliability, and productivity of their manufacturing operations.

These companies are embarking on their digital journeys from very different starting points. In recent years, we’ve visited hundreds of plants and spent time talking with managers and operations personnel about their current technologies and their digital ambitions. From that work, we have defined four broad levels of digital maturity: three that exist today, and Digital 4.0, a hypothetical future state based on technologies and approaches that are still under development (see sidebar, “Four stages of digital maturity in heavy industry”).

Today, average digital maturity levels vary by sub-sector, although there are also considerable differences at the company and plant level (Exhibit 1). For sites and sectors operating at lower levels of maturity, that means there are opportunities to improve EBITDA by 3 to 5 percentage points or more. For more mature sites the potential might be lower, although a one- to three-percentage-point increase in EBITDA is still a substantial improvement. The chemical industry can be used as a good reference point, where the average impact of recent large-scale digitization programs has been in the order of 3 to 5 EBITDA percentage points, although some companies have achieved remarkable performance improvements, such as throughput increases of over 30 percent.

Most heavy-industry sectors are at the middle stages of digital maturity.

The digital landscape

Today’s Industry 4.0 manufacturing opportunities for heavy industrial players are concentrated in four main areas (Exhibit 2). These levers represent the current sweet spot for digital investments, since they rely on relatively mature technologies and can deliver proven value.

Four levers help business units capture digital value and overcome industrial changes.

To help companies decide where to focus their efforts, we have developed a heat map of digital opportunities by sector (Exhibit 3). In the first three of the four main areas, our experience suggests companies can expect their investments to pay back in three years or less.

A heat map identifies the most promising digital opportunities in heavy industry.

Data analytics

The largest sources of value for all sectors except mining extraction come from the application of data analytics to improve throughput, yield, energy efficiency, and quality. Most heavy industrial players companies have rich historical data resources collected from their manufacturing operations. Advanced analytical techniques can help them learn from this data: combing through it to extract valuable insights into the underlying drivers of manufacturing performance, balancing the complex trade-offs between variables, and enabling higher levels of real-time control performance. In today’s high-demand market, throughput is clearly the winning value proposition, as extra output not only adds to the full profit margin, but also dilutes the full cost base. Downturn markets will benefit more from a focus on costs, such as energy, yield and quality.

The use of data analytics to increase asset reliability is often heralded as a major digital opportunity, but so far, the approach has fallen short of expectations—except where large fleets of similar assets are present, like rolling stock in mining. Most industrial operations tend to lack the quantities of data needed to apply these predictive-maintenance techniques: big assets do not yield enough failures and small assets are more cost-effectively served by a redundancy strategy. Our experience suggests that, while digitization can deliver significant value in maintenance and reliability activities, doing so requires companies to adopt other levers in addition to analytics. This is especially true for the digitization of the workforce, as this creates new sources of data: each human coordinates a multi-sensor flow into the data environment, opening a new world for maintenance strategy, management, and execution.

The digital workforce

Supporting an organization’s human workforce with new digital tools can deliver tremendous value in the long term. Digital approaches in this area can include tools to accelerate and simplify planning, scheduling, and permitting activities, boosting workforce productivity while providing significant health and safety benefits. Workers can also benefit from real-time access to documentation, decision-support, and troubleshooting tools. And the flow of information runs both ways: when staff record their activities and observations in digital form, that data can be stored and analyzed as an additional source of insights for future improvements—the base for the next wave of data analytics.

Asset network value maximization

Thinking about manufacturing assets as an integrated network, rather than a collection of individual machines, helps companies eliminate bottlenecks, improve responsiveness, and streamline their end-to-end value chains. Heavy industry players see a smaller improvement opportunity here than some other industries, since many already run highly integrated manufacturing operations. We believe most could still capture value from the use of digital tools to optimize schedules, cutting lead times, trimming in-process inventories and ensuring that capacity is put the most profitable use available.

Robotics and cobotics

Robotics is a major opportunity area in the medium term, thanks to the rapidly falling price and increasing capability of robot systems, but low-cost multifunctional mobile robots suitable for heavy industrial environments are not yet available. Whenever autonomous guided vehicles can be applied, however, a clear business case is likely to be found.

Creating a digital vision

Heavy industrial manufacturers won’t be able to grab the available digital value in one hit. The scale and complexity of their assets means they will need to apply new digital tools and approaches at multiple places across their operations. Like any large-scale transformation effort, success will require companies to develop a clear, compelling vision of the kind of digital organization they want to create.

It will also require them to be honest about their current strengths and weaknesses. Digitization is about much more than technology, it can only be achieved if a company’s people are willing to change their way of working, and if they have the right skills and expertise, along with a true “digital” mindset. In this regard, the digital transformation is very similar to the lean or manufacturing-excellence transformation that many companies have already undergone, with very similar success factors.

In future articles, we will look in more depth at the different ways heavy industrial companies can approach the challenge of digital transformation, and at the resources, infrastructure and enablers they need to make it work.

By Olivier Noterdaeme, Christoph Schmitz, Malgorzata Sliczna, Ken Somers, and Joris Van Niel

Full link: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/mapping-heavy-industrys-digital-manufacturing-opportunities?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1809&hlkid=8f385e4e9c1646e9b886fa68f28f2d30&hctky=2618809&hdpid=583ad1e9-0446-4814-b8ab-f9b22ae97c97

 

Sưu tầm – Economic Conditions Snapshot, September 2018: McKinsey Global Survey results

Respondents express declining optimism on the economy, especially in emerging markets. The United States gains more attention as a destination for new business opportunities.

As they regard economic conditions at home and in the world economy, executives are warier than they have been all year. For the third quarter in a row, respondents to McKinsey’s newest survey of executive sentiment share less positive assessments of the economy’s current state,1 and their outlook for the months ahead is also cautious. Expectations for trade activity are declining, trade-related risks are still perceived as top threats to growth, and for the first time this year, less than half expect the rate of economic growth, both at home and globally, will increase over the next six months. The view from emerging economies is particularly downbeat. These respondents offer a more negative overall assessment of the global economy, economic conditions in their own countries, and their companies’ prospects. In a few cases, they are also more likely to cite the United States as the country with the best opportunities for their businesses, rather than their home countries or nearby economies.

Economic sentiment takes a downward turn

Respondents’ sentiment about conditions in their home economies continues to decline.

The newest results suggest concern over the momentum of the economy, and respondents’ economic sentiments are the most uncertain they have been all year. In their assessment of the global economy, 38 percent of all respondents say conditions have worsened in the past six months, up from 26 percent in June. At 31 percent, the share reporting improvements is even smaller; it’s the first time since December 2016 that a larger share of respondents say global economic conditions have worsened than have improved.2Sentiment on country-level performance also continues to decline (Exhibit 1). The share of respondents saying conditions in their home economies are worse now than six months ago is nearly equal to the share saying conditions are better.

The responses also signal increasingly cautious views on trade: 36 percent of respondents say that in the past year, the level of trade between their home countries and the rest of the world has decreased, up from 22 percent who said so in June. In a few regions (North America, most notably), respondents have reported sizable declines in their countries’ trade levels in the past two surveys. By contrast, those in India and in Latin America are the most likely to report an increase in trade levels, and they are the only two groups less likely to report declines in this survey than they were one year ago (Exhibit 2).

Across regions, those in India and Latin America report the most positive trade outcomes since last year.

Still, on all of these measures, respondents in emerging economies are notably more negative than their developed-economy peers (Exhibit 3). Overall, they are much more likely than their counterparts to say global conditions and conditions in their home economies have worsened in recent months. This is especially true in Latin America, where just six months ago, 62 percent of respondents believed conditions in their countries would be better by now. Just 17 percent say conditions have improved during that time. When asked about trade levels, emerging-economy respondents overall are most likely to report increases in the past year.3 Yet those in this group are also more likely than their peers to report declining trade: 44 percent do so, compared with 32 percent in developed economies.

Overall, emerging-economy respondents are more downbeat than their peers about the economy and trade.

Waning optimism

Looking ahead, respondents also report a progressively less positive outlook on the economy. Compared with the past two surveys, smaller shares predict that the global economy and their home economies will be better in six months than they are now (Exhibit 4). Nevertheless, respondents across regions feel more positive about their future than the present—except in Europe and in North America (and in the United States specifically). In North America, respondents report much more buoyant views than their peers on current conditions: 53 percent say their economies are in better shape now than six months ago, compared with 30 percent of all other respondents. But they are much more negative about their home countries’ prospects. Just 28 percent in the region believe future conditions will continue to improve, and a slightly larger share predict that domestic conditions will worsen.

Steadily smaller shares of respondents believe that economic conditions will improve over the next few months.

And while respondents still tend to expect the economy’s growth rate will increase rather than contract, their overall optimism about economic growth continues to decline. Currently, 44 percent expect the global economy’s growth rate will increase in the next six months (and 39 percent expect a contraction), down from 65 percent six months ago. Forty-seven percent say the same for their home economies, down from 61 percent six months ago. On their countries’ trade prospects, too, there is a marked decline in expectations. Forty-six percent expect trade levels will decrease in the next year, a share that has grown steadily since December 2017, when half that share expected trade would decrease.

This result may not be surprising, as trade issues still prevail as the perceived top threats to economic growth. As in our previous survey, trade-policy changes and changing levels of trade are cited first and third on the list of potential global risks, and trade-policy changes continue to top the list of threats to domestic growth (Exhibit 5). At the same time, a few other risks have come to the fore. The shares of respondents citing exchange-rate volatility as a global and a domestic risk have increased since June, with emerging-market respondents expressing greater concern. Volatile exchanges are cited as a domestic risk by 26 percent in this group, compared with 7 percent in developed economies—and up from 13 percent of emerging-economy respondents in June.

Trade-related risks still predominate as top risks to global and domestic growth.

Growing business opportunities in the United States—and concerns in emerging economies

For the third quarter in a row, we have asked private-sector respondents which countries will provide their companies with the biggest opportunities for growth in the next year. Six months ago, respondents tended to cite their own countries or those in nearby markets.4 But the latest results suggest that the best opportunities seem to be shifting away from local emerging economies (China and Brazil, for example) and toward developed economies, such as the United States. Respondents in developed Asia now identify the United States most often—and more often than China (33 percent, down from 55 percent in June) or even Japan, the two countries they cited most often in the past two surveys. In India, respondents now also cite the United States more often than their home country, which they identified most often in the past two surveys. And in Latin America, respondents are less likely to cite Brazil now than in March, though in both Latin America and in North America, Mexico has become a more attractive destination for business.

When asked about their own companies’ prospects, respondents remain more positive than negative, in contrast to their broader economic views. Yet since the previous survey, emerging-economy respondents have noted a few new pain points at the company level (Exhibit 6). On the employee front, emerging-economy respondents are more likely than their peers to expect their workforce size will decrease in the months ahead. In the past two surveys, the two groups were much more aligned: for example, six months ago, 17 percent in each group predicted a workforce decline. Their expectations for consumer demand are also more cautious, compared with the previous survey and with their developed-economy peers. And the same is true of their outlook on profits. One-quarter predict that company profits will decrease in the next six months, more than double the share who said so six months prior.

In emerging economies, respondents are less optimistic than their peers about their companies’ prospects.

Full link: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/economic-conditions-snapshot-september-2018-mckinsey-global-survey-results?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1809&hlkid=a20388e2798b461fa3958cfde74ce38a&hctky=2618809&hdpid=b9d1913c-9a3b-4da1-8c49-08daed8ae8d4

 

Sưu tầm – Fish-Oil Heart Medicine Is Rarest of Drug Breakthroughs

Amarin Corp.’s capsules are relatively cheap, have few side effects, and could help millions.

When medical breakthroughs are announced, they often affect a surprisingly small number of people. Many new drugs these days are targeting rare diseases or niche patient groups, and their impact is further restricted by price.

Monday’s results from Amarin Corp.’s test of purified fish oil Vascepa in people at risk for heart diseases are an exception — and one more likely than any recent drug outcome to affect the average person reading this column.

Vascepa was shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke by 25 percent in high-risk patients, much more than analysts hoped for, and without side effects. Add to that its relative cheapness, and it’s a result that could affect millions, change how heart disease is approached, and justify the more than tripling of Amarin’s share price Monday morning. In fact, it may be the rarest success of all: a breakthrough that cost-conscious, health-care gatekeepers don’t hamper, but embrace.

It’s been easy to doubt Amarin, which has been working on this trial for the better part of a decade. The scientific rationale is there: Omega-3 fatty acids like the one Amarin is testing can reduce high triglycerides, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But many previous fish-oil trials have failed. Vascepa’s purity enables a higher dose without raising cholesterol, as other fish oils can. Amarin bet that focusing on high-risk patients with persistently high triglycerides would reveal the benefit of that higher dose, and was proven correct.

Insurers already approve coverage of the drug for use by a small group of patients with very high triglicerides, but there is a strong case to be made to expand coverage more broadly. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and heart attacks and strokes are incredibly expensive for the health-care system. Preventing them not only saves lives, it saves money.

Other drugmakers have tried and failed to make a similar argument with other treatments, most notably so-called PCSK9 inhibitors drugs from Amgen Inc. and Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. These medicines are able to dramatically lower bad cholesterol beyond what older statins can manage, and can significant reduce cardiovascular events in a high-risk population. But their list price of more than $14,000 at launch has caused insurers to substantially restrict availability.

Amarin said on a Monday morning conference call that it will revisit its pricing, but right now Vascepa’s list price is about $2,400 a year, much lower than those other drugs. That kind of price, combined with the number of people that could benefit and the size and rigor of the trial, will make aggressive restriction difficult.

Some skepticism about previous failures and Amarin’s claims that its drug’s purity is difficult to replicate will remain, and the company didn’t disclose data on important secondary endpoints Monday. But in an industry where progress is too frequently incremental and inaccessible, this is a rare result where the real-world impact may exceed the hype.

By 

Full link: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-09-24/amarin-amrn-fish-oil-heart-medicine-win-is-rarest-drug-success?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=180928&utm_campaign=sharetheview

 

Sưu tầm – Elon Musk Steps Down as Tesla’s Chairman in Settlement With S.E.C. Over Go-Private Tweet

Elon Musk, under pressure from his lawyers and investors of Tesla, the company he co-founded, reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Saturday to resolve securities fraud charges. The settlement will force Mr. Musk to step aside as chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine.

The S.E.C. announced the deal two days after it sued Mr. Musk in federal court for misleading investors over his post on Twitter last month that he had “funding secured” for a buyout of the electric-car company at $420 a share.

The deal with the S.E.C. will allow him to remain as chief executive, something he could have jeopardized if he had gone to battle with the agency.

It is not clear why Mr. Musk changed his mind so quickly.

People familiar with the situation, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said lawyers for Mr. Musk and the company moved to reopen the talks with the S.E.C. on Friday. During that time, one of Tesla’s lawyers became instrumental in securing a deal with the S.E.C., according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The whipsaw events of the past few days followed a series of self-inflicted wounds by Mr. Musk.

His tweet about taking his company private, along with attacks on critics on social media, raised concerns with investors about whether Mr. Musk has become too focused on criticism from so-called short-sellers who had been making bets against him and Tesla. The company has recently been struggling to meet audacious production goals for its Model 3 sedan.

Clip: https://nyti.ms/2MBUNia

Mr. Musk is widely regarded by analysts and investors as the creative engine behind Tesla, and he has helped the company become one of the most valuable American carmakers. But Tesla has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past year, and has since scrambled to contain the fallout from Mr. Musk’s tweet.

The company, whose shares have been hit hard since the S.E.C. filed the lawsuit, did not immediately comment on the settlement. On Friday, its stock dropped almost 14 percent.

The terms of the settlement are slightly tougher than those that two people briefed on the talks said Mr. Musk had rejected on Thursday, which called for a two-year bar on serving as chairman and a $10 million fine.

Tesla, which is also settling with the S.E.C., will pay a $20 million penalty. The company was not charged with any fraud.

In addition, the company will add two independent directors and take steps to monitor Mr. Musk’s communications with investors. It will also create a permanent committee of independent directors to monitor disclosures and potential conflicts of interest.

Jay Clayton, the S.E.C. chairman, said the settlement with Mr. Musk and Tesla sent a message that “when companies and corporate insiders make statements, they must act responsibly, including endeavoring to ensure the statements are not false or misleading.”

In settling, Mr. Musk neither admitted nor denied misleading investors under the civil fraud charge, which means he cannot later say he did nothing wrong.

The settlement with the S.E.C. faulted Tesla for failing to make sure that information important to investors was disclosed in a proper and timely manner.

Mr. Musk had a good reason to reopen the settlement talks: The S.E.C., in suing him, had sought to bar him permanently from serving as a top executive or officer of Tesla or any other public company. Under the deal reached on Saturday, he will not only remain as chief executive, but will also stay on as a board member, just not as chairman.

“The total package of remedies and relief announced today are specifically designed to address the misconduct at issue by strengthening Tesla’s corporate governance and oversight in order to protect investors,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the S.E.C.’s enforcement division.

Mr. Musk, according to people familiar with the negotiations, had been concerned about whether settling a civil fraud charge might affect the ability of Tesla and the other companies he runs, including SpaceX and the Boring Company, to raise money from investors in private placements and the debt markets.

But a Tesla spokesman said the S.E.C. had granted waivers to all of those companies so his settlement would not be held against them.

Waivers in such a situation are not uncommon, legal experts have said.

A Tesla spokesman said that Mr. Musk, a billionaire, would be buying $20 million in Tesla stock. The amount of stock being bought by Mr. Musk matches the penalty the company has to pay under the settlement, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The S.E.C. reacted quickly after the Aug. 7 tweet, which caused an immediate surge in Tesla shares. Regulators served a subpoena on the company seeking information and moved to take testimony from Mr. Musk and others at the company, people familiar with the matter said.

Negotiations toward an initial settlement began about a week ago, after the S.E.C. said it was planning to send an official notice to Mr. Musk and Tesla that it was considering filing an enforcement action, those briefed on the talks said. By their account, all the parties thought a deal had been reached by Wednesday evening, and the plan was for a settlement with Mr. Musk and Tesla to be announced on Thursday.

Mr. Musk was said to have backed away from a settlement, in part, because he was concerned that he could not later tell investors that he had not done nothing wrong. But the settlement on Saturday requires him to do that.

In a so-called “admit nor deny” settlement, a settling party cannot later disavow the terms of the settlement.

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After Mr. Musk was said to have rejected the deal on Thursday, his lawyers asked the S.E.C. to wait a couple of days so they could talk him into it, but the regulators said no, said another person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly.

Once the S.E.C. sued Mr. Musk, his lawyers continued to talk to him about moving forward with a settlement and eventually he agreed, this person said.

In the meantime, Mr. Musk had conversations with investors and friends like Mark Cuban, an entrepreneur who has had his own battles with the S.E.C., and they gave him a sense of how difficult it is to fight one of these suits, even if he eventually won, said people familiar with the negotiations.

The parties worked much of Friday and Saturday to get a deal done.

The settlement clears a big headache for Tesla, but other problems remain.

The S.E.C. is continuing to look into the company’s past claims about its production goals. And now with Mr. Musk agreeing to step down as chairman, Tesla’s board must decide who should replace him.

By Matthew Goldstein

Full link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/29/business/tesla-musk-sec-settlement.html?emc=edit_na_20180929&nl=breaking-news&nlid=55316184ing-news&ref=headline

 

Sưu tầm – Facebook just announced it was hacked, and almost 50 million users have been affected

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Getty

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  • Facebook announced a major new security breach on Friday.
  • 50 million users accounts were affected by the attack, in which attackers were able to take over users’ accounts.
  • It’s not yet clear who’s behind the attack.

A hacker gained access to nearly 50 million Facebook user accounts by exploiting a weakness in the social network’s systems, Facebook said on Friday.

News of the cyber attack — which appears to be one of the most significant in Facebook’s history — sent shares of the company down roughly 3% in midday trading on Friday, adding to the pile of woes currently weighing on the company.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a conference call with journalists shortly after the news was announced, underscoring the severity of the situation.

“We do not yet know whether these accounts were misused but we are continuing to look into this and will update when we learn more,” Zuckerberg said in a blog post published on Friday.

The Silicon Valley tech firm said it discovered on Tuesday that an unknown attacker, or attackers, had taken advantage of a security flaw to take over users’ accounts. The flaw was related to the “View As” feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like through the eyes of another user, Facebook explained.

“This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts,” Facebook’s VP of Product Management Guy Rosen wrote in a separate blog post.

“Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.”

Facebook says it’s not yet clear who is behind the attack.

On the conference call, Rosen said that there was no evidence that users’ private messages had been compromised, but cautioned that that could change as the process continues. It’s also not clear on what grounds people were targered, or why.

The revelation comes a day after a famous Taiwanese hacker publicly declared plans to delete Zuckerberg’s Facebook accountand to livestream the feat. Facebook representatives said on the conference call that they did not believe the cyber attack was related to the Tawainese hacker.

By 

Full link: https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-security-attack-affecting-50-million-users-2018-9?nr_email_referer=1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BISelect&pt=385758&ct=Sailthru_BI_Newsletters&mt=8&utm_campaign=BI%20Select%20Weekend%202018-09-29&utm_term=Business%20Insider%20Select

 

Sưu tầm – The future of Amazon’s Alexa is visual