Archive for December, 2019

Thoughts on Spirituality

December 8, 2019

Spirituality

My thoughts on spirituality, Linda Holroyd, December 8, 2019

The end of the year, and the start of the new year, is a time of reflection. I find myself thinking about Spirituality. I’m sharing my thoughts below.

Spirituality is about the Head, the Heart and the Hands. 

From the Head, we can read our history books and study religions and religious beliefs and traditions. It helps us understand how people think, speak and act, and helps us understand what spirituality means for people who are not like ourselves. Spiritual growth for the head is about reading, researching, learning and integrating information about what’s important to others.

From the Heart, spirituality is about how we touch people emotionally, and how people touch each other. The goal is to bring peace, love, forgiveness, all these good things to human relations, especially when there have been breaches between people, conflict between groups. Thus, spiritual growth from the heart is about learning to better love, better accept each other as one, no matter how different we are from each other.

From the Hands, spirituality is about doing things great and small which would bring together people who are different from each other. Whether it’s about attending meetings together, resolving conflicts with each other, attending a party or a service or a wedding, the bringing together of people who are naturally different is inherently a spiritual task. The people who bring together others are priests, managers, leaders, facilitators. We owe them a great debt.

It could stop here, but it doesn’t.

Spirituality transcends what we as humans can understand. Far overshadowing our view of the head, the heart and the hands is a world beyond our ability to comprehend, control or even imagine. It’s expressed in the big things that make us feel small: 

  • in nature when we witness the miracles of birth, growth and death, when we witness the majesty of both sunsets and hailstorms, when we witness the terror of earthquakes and typhoons;
  • in people when the strength of the human spirit overcomes overwhelming odds; 
  • in the soul-stirring expressions found in art, music, dance, words;
  • in the wealth of data which helps us understand how small our world is, how insignificant we each are.

For me, it’s always been overwhelming to consider that level of spirituality. I think, ‘if we are so small and insignificant, then nothing we do matters’. Right?

I’ve always gone forward anyway, doing the small things within my power to support the head, heart, and hands of spiritual growth for myself and for those I may touch. As small and as un-pure are they sometimes are, I’d like to think that my thoughts, my words, my actions matter, for my own spiritual development, and for that of those around me.

In closing, I’d like to share a Hindu greeting – Namaste – “May our minds and hearts come together”. 

Smart Cities, Smart Buildings

December 8, 2019

SmartCities

FountainBlue’s December 6 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘Smart Cities, Smart Buildings’. Thank you also to our gracious host at Hyundai. Below are notes from the conversation.  

As usual, our executives in attendance for this month’s roundtable represented a wide breadth of companies, industries, experience and perspectives. They shared many common thoughts around this month’s topic.

They each agreed that it’s always about the data. (Of course it’s about the data.!) However, instead of thinking about the vast volumes of generated data (which has doubled in the last 3-5 years!), think about how best to filter that data so that it’s immediately relevant, as defined by individual users.

In the context of smart cities and smart buildings, remember that we are talking about 1) physical hardware – from networks to computers to robotics and sensors – and 2) the data generated by all these physical elements (see above), and then 3) the leveraging of that data through software and integrated solutions so that we address specific customer and market needs. 

Below are several specific use cases.

  • Automobile manufacturers are becoming smart mobility partners as well. It’s not just about selling cars, it’s about providing an experience which keeps drivers and passengers connected and safe. 
  • Robotics solutions will help deliver goods to the last mile, within city infrastructure – both physical and digital (networks). 
  • Provide transit for the last mile in crowded cities – transit which is flexible, customizable and safe. 
  • Occupancy maps for buildings and more sophisticated lighting and heating options will optimize building efficiency. The technology is available for the most part, but the adoption may be slow.
  • Doors becoming sensors may help manage security and access into buildings.
  • Sophisticated cameras can help proactively target the type of outlying behaviors worthy of action, and quickly mobilize relevant authorities. 
  • Connecting inanimate objects with each other – car-to-car, car-to-building, sensor-to-building, etc., can help address specific communication and collaboration and safety goals. It will also generate huge volumes of data which need to be managed proactively.
  • Provide low-friction shared mobility in collaboration with local cities, businesses, citizens while also respecting the privacy and security of all participants. Then leveraging aggregated and anonymized data to better understand how we can anticipate and serve individuals, groups, etc., and better anticipate the motivations and behaviors of individuals. There are many business implications if this is done well. 

Below are thoughts on how generating relevant data will lead to new businesses and better business models.

  • With volumes of collected data, you can not just understand who’s going where when, but also look at the patterns of behavior and see what might be impacting specific behaviors. These ‘movement maps’ is machine learning at its finest!
  • The ability to dynamically filter data based on a multitude of factors will create endless business opportunities, especially if the same data set can serve many different niche customers, and deeply serve individual customers.
  • Understanding past behaviors and data, and also current patterns of behavior will help businesses better anticipate and address needs. The possibilities are endless.
  • Having a standard set of protocols and formats will help integrate and manage data. Collaboration needs to happen in order to set these standards.

The group shared some final thoughts in specific areas:

  • Personalization is key – how do you both provide exactly and specifically what someone wants while also dynamically serving everyone else and their specific needs?
  • Security is fundamental. 
  • Privacy is to always be respected. 
  • Collaboration between government authorities, businesses, investors, users, etc., is essential.

We concluded with many thoughts on the Circular Economy and asked ourselves how can we all do good – serving those with some basic human needs, while also doing well? What’s the business case for serving those with the basic needs and who will help bring everyone forward. We didn’t have an answer, but agreed with Margaret Mead. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Gifts for All Seasons

December 1, 2019

Gifts

It’s that time of year, when you’re wondering why time keeps passing so quickly, and wondering what you’re going to give and receive, and how you’re going to make time to get what everything done and make everyone on your list happy.!

Good luck with that. May this year of holiday hectic-ness bring you also these gifts – Gifts for All Seasons.

  1. May you have all the material comforts which position you to reach higher and be a better version of yourself.
  2. May you adopt that gracious and appreciative mindset, which helps you enjoy the little things in life.
  3. May each unexpected surprise lead to glorious new adventures and opportunities.
  4. May the gifts of joy and laughter pepper your day-to-day activities, today and every day.
  5. May you adopt an open and accepting perspective for those you love the most and bother you the most.
  6. May you ever choose the gift of continuous learning.
  7. May you achieve dreams beyond your imagination, more than you thought possible.
  8. May you gain acceptance for your own shortcomings, and others for theirs.
  9. May you be surrounded by those you love, and sometimes also by those who are hard-to-love.
  10. May you embrace the gift of hope when life proves itself most challenging.

Wishing everyone a Happy, Safe, Peaceful and Restful end-of-2019.