Women: mapping inequalities

April 25, 2012

Professor Valerie Hudson just published a series of maps of “The worst Places to be a Woman” on Foreign Policy.
Look at Switzerland! Having worked in Equal Opportunities I’m not surprised to see that this very developed country is still having quite a lot of issues with equal opportunities for women. If you check out the full article you can see many other maps of gender inequalities: India and central Africa are always very “dark”, scoring low on all parameters. The scarriest ones are child marriage and maternal mortality. These maps make a good job in making very “visibile” the surprising inequalities that still exist. The map on “Women’s Phisical Security” surprisingly portrays Peru as the black sheep of America.

Communication and Education in Different Cultures

April 13, 2012

On May 11th I will be speaking about “Communication and education in other cultures” (Comunicazione e formazione in altre realtà culturali), with a special focus on India, at the conference  “Comunicazione e formazione per il progresso della società contemporanea”, taking place in Gravedona ed Uniti (Como), organized by the journal “Quaderni” (download the conference program 2012).
The conference includes a social program in the evening of the 11th, and Saturday 12th for the whole day, for visiting Gravedona.

For info and registration: info@mdemmedi.com

Visualizing information increases positive emotions

April 12, 2012

Our article “Augmenting Communication with Visualization: Effects on Emotional and Cognitive Response” has been published on the IADIS International Journal on WWW/Internet, Vol. 9 (2), pages 109-121, and it is now available online.

In this work, co-authored with Margaret Tan and Martin Eppler, we argue that mapping information visually with diagrams and visual metaphors has a positive effect on the emotional reaction toward the content. That means that people like the content better when it is presented in a visually appealing manner.

Paper abstract: We are witnessing an increased use of conceptual visualizations and information graphics on the Web. Addressing this rising interest in the interactive visual display of information, this study proposes to evaluate the effects of visual mapping on human communication. We acknowledge the emergence of new forms of communication deploying interactive visualization, empowered by ICT tools that augment abilities in creating visualizations. Yet their implications are still largely understudied. Beyond evaluating usability, this study focuses on assessing the new visual digital form of communication, in particular in the context of strategic communication in organizations, by analyzing the relationship between the emotional and cognitive response. We propose a model, building on theories from psychology, in which visualization has a positive effect on the emotional response toward the content, which in turn has a positive impact on the cognitive response. We test the mediation model proposed with an experiment, comparing a textual control condition to two visual representations, and find confirmation of our hypotheses. The study provides a contribution by showing that communication can be shaped and enhanced by using interactive visual mapping tools, which empower users to swiftly craft clear and convincing messages.

Muhammad Yunus in Switzerland, May 2012

April 12, 2012

Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, will be in Lugano and Zurich in May 18th and 19th 2012. The event is organized by Social Business Earth, the first social business in Switzerland funded by Samantha Caccamo. The event will start in Lugano, in the aula magna of the university at 5pm and will continue in Zurich the following day in Zurich at Hüb Zurich at 10 am.
Professor Yunus, from Bangladesh, is the founder of the Grameen Bank, the inventor of micro-credit and author of Banker to the Poor; A World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (2008) and Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs  (2010).

According to the organizers, the objective of the conferennces is “Raising awareness on the concept of Social Business in Switzerland to serve humanity’s most pressing needs and spearheading new initiatives in the private, public and social sectors through Social Business”. The keynote speaker will be Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Professor Yunus himself will grace the conference and interact personally with participants from various walks of life as he looks to promote his concept of social business throughout the world. Social Business aims to offer an alternative to profit maximizing businesses, utilizing economic tools to solve social problems in financially sustainable ways and fostering a more humane capitalism to change the world.” (Source: Social business earth).

Registration is now open.

Business Model Ideation @ EURAM

April 12, 2012

Our research on “Business Model Ideation: An Experimental Approach for the Evaluation of Team-Based Methods” has been accepted to be presented at the EURAM Annual conference in Rotterdam, 6-8 June 2012.

Abstract excerpt:
We have conducted a comprehensive literature review and develop a model to examine the effectiveness of different methods for the generation of business model ideas. The model comprises both objective and subjective effectiveness measures. In a first empirical application of the model in an experimental setting, we have compared the effectiveness of the business model innovation canvas, collaborative sketching, and brainstorming to generate novel business model ideas. The initial results suggest that the model is suitable for comparing different methods: it discerns key indicators of effectiveness, important tradeoffs between quantity and quality of ideas, and between satisfaction and the ability to select the best idea.

Collaboration Cards for Team Productivity

April 12, 2012

Collaboration Cards is a portable, interactive, and highly useful toolbox for team leaders, facilitators, trainers, and project managers, developed at the University of St. Gallen, =mcm institute.

They provide meeting facilitators and participants with ready-to-use cue cards, methods, exercises, inspiring quotes, and key questions to move meetings along productively and share what particpants know, more effectively through simple graphics and instructions.

Source (text and picture): www.collabcards.com

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