Walter “Walt” Elias Disney (1901-1966) was an American entrepreneur, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer. During his lifetime, he won 22 Academy Awards, and received four honorary Academy Awards. The Walt Disney Family Museum (San Francisco. www.waltdisney.org ) displays the 248 awards that Disney won during his career, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The original, 160-acre Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, turns 60 this year. Constructed in only one year, the invitation only 17 July 1955 opening day was followed by opening day for the public. Disney gave the following dedication speech:
“To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past ... and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America ... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
After seven weeks, the park had received more than 1 million guests. Ever since, Disneyland has been an essentially compulsory and unforgettable destination for individuals and families of all ages. Disneyland is also a magnet for visitors worldwide and a place where innovation reminds us of the past and inspires us to embrace an exciting future. Walt Disney had the vision and strength, courage and determination to be the first to build what is considered the pinnacle theme park. His many achievements set the standard and is what others measure themselves against in family entertainment - truly a legacy of international importance and one of making the world a better place. One of the greatest eulogies that a person can receive is that their existence made the world a better place. Walt Disney’s enduring legacy, Disneyland, is truly “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
- The editors of MIT Technology Review provide their listing of top companies that they believe have truly innovative technology and a business model that is both practical and ambitious. [“The 50 Smartest Companies.” 118(4):45-47, July-August 2015, www.technologyreview.com]. Leading the list is Tesla Motors with its spin-off extending its battery technology to applications which have the goal of remaking the energy grid for industry, utilities and residences. In their analysis the editors believe that biomedicine has enjoyed an outstanding year turning basic research breakthroughs into disease treating application success stories for patients. This is in contrast to the energy industry which was seen to be less innovative.
- In today’s world we are surrounded by noise. M. Charles Liberman in his article “Hidden Hearing Loss.” [Scientific American, 313(2):48-53, August 2015, www.scientificamerican.com] discusses how common sources of noise in everyday life can cause irreparable damage to our ears in unexpected ways. The authors discusses current research on the subject and how even temporary short exposure to loud noise can result in immediate and irreversible damage to fibers in the auditory nerve which conveys sound information to the brain. They call this “hidden hearing loss” because a normal audiogram test will not detect the nerve damage. This is not just a problem of the elderly but the damage is being discovered in the young. The author provides information on how to protect your hearing and links to further information.
- The cover story in Railway Age focuses on passenger rail as a safe, reliable, and growing method of transportation. Carolina Worrell and William Vantuono provide in their article “2015 Passenger Rail Guide” [pp. 34-44, June 2015, www.railwayage.com] dozens of examples of North American cities and larger jurisdictions who have developed outstanding rail systems. As the world population grows and more and more people live in dense urban areas, it is inevitable that automobile transport will not be feasible and rail systems will be the mobility method of choice by most individuals.
- Establishing and running a new business is challenging, exciting, and filled with opportunities and hazards. In “How I Spot Winners,” [Inc. pp. 86-102, July-August 2015, www.inc.com] twelve of Americas most successful founders describe how they became successful. You will draw inspiration and obtain valuable insights from their experiences. Continuing on with the theme of how to achieve success Joe Robinson in his article “Where There’s Willpower There’s a Way” [Entrepreneur, pp. 50-54, July 2015, www.entrepreneur.com] discusses how steely resolve and self-control can help you overcome challenges on your path to entrepreneurial success. Case studies and strategies to enhance your “willpower success” are provided. The author compares entrepreneurs to scientists who have multiple laboratory failures but realize that failure is part of the process to success.
- Dangerous infections that are resistant to antibiotics are spreading and growing stronger. In “How to Stop a Superbug: Part I” [Consumer Reports, 80(8):20-26, August 2015, www.consumerreports.org] important issues related to the seriousness of the problem, how superbugs spread through a community, the misuse of antibiotics, and the quest for new drugs are discussed. Interesting insets provide information on how to avoid infections, myths about antibiotics, and when to say no to a prescription.
- The cover story of the 1 July 2015 issue of FORTUNE [“Inside the Hack of the Century,”172(1):64-89, www.fortune.com] Peter Elkind provides insights into the cyber-invasion of Sony Pictures ¬ an event that terrified the corporate world. The author tells what really happened and why Sony should have seen it coming. A detailed case study of a serious world-wide problem.
- Digital overload is fast becoming the number one problem in today’s world. Information overload resulting from a plethora of media is making it increasingly difficult to find focus on a task. In “Conquering Digital Distraction,” [Harvard Business Review, 93(6): 110-113, June 2015, www.hbr.com] Larry Rosen and Alexandra Samuel provide two viewpoints, discussing the issues and providing strategies to bring balance to your life while effectively using these essential tools for today’s workplace and personal life activities.
- The cover story and spotlight of the July-August, 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review discusses the revolutionary concept “It’s Time to Blow up HR and Build Something New: Here’s How.” [93(7/8), July-August 2015]. Three articles “Why We Love to Hate HR…and What HR Can Do About It,” “People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO,” and “Bright, Shiny Objects and the Future of HR.” investigate topics such as identifying and separating best practices from worthless ones, bringing HR into the inner organizational circle, and setting the stage while applying new ideas that have true impact.
- McKinsey & Company [www.mckinsey.com] is a leading global management consulting firm that has served businesses, government, non-governmental organizations, and not-for-profits who over nearly century have helped companies improve their performance and realize their goals. McKinsey is also an important publisher on management. Recent, [July 2015] articles include 1). “What ‘Digital’ Really Means.” Karel Dörner and David Edelman suggest that digital is about unlocking growth now and having a clear understanding of what digital means allows business leaders to develop a shared vision of how it can be used to capture value. 2). “Getting a Better Handle on Currency Risk.” Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller, and Werner Rehm discuss the volatility of exchange rates and provide strategies how to minimize potential losses by hedging their risks. and 3). “Growing Beyond the Core Business” where the key findings from a 2014 survey of 1,143 executives of large diverse companies on how they expand into product or service categories beyond their core business are provided.
- In a special Canadian Business report, “27 Skills Every Boss Needs to Know,” [88(9):33-44, August 2015, www.canadianbusiness.com]Alexandra Bosanac et al provide “how to” strategies needed to manage successfully. Each strategy is written by successful industry practitioners.
- “Women in Technology” is the cover story of the Spring 2015 issue of Technology Alberta [pp. 6-9, www.aset.ab.ca]. The authors discuss how women remain under-represented in technology based careers and as well the wage gap between males and females remains unequal. The article discusses the challenges for female technology professionals and the business case for gender equality. Importantly, the trend is moving toward equality as more and more women are choosing technology education and entering the workforce and advancing up the career ladder. Related to diversity in the workplace in Alberta Construction Magazine [“Finding Tomorrow’s Workers Today,” Joseph Caouette Summer, 2015] reports on outreach efforts being made to build a diverse construction workforce to meet the demands resulting from retirement and industry growth. In an online report [“Grade Nine Girls Hit Post-secondary Campuses to Discover Wonders of STEM,” www.sait.ca/about-sait/news/news/2015-5-6-explore-it.php] more than 650 girls from Grade nine classes around Calgary took over classrooms recently at SAIT Polytechnic, Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) during the 16th annual Explore IT event.
- Drone engineering is opening up incredible possibilities. In “Close Encounters of the Drone Kind” [Rick Adams, Wings, pp. 46-50, May-June 2015, www.wingsmagazine.com] describes how Transport Canada is making UAV’s in civil airspace a simple process. An excellent overview of the important issues, and comparison with the United States FAA regulations governing the use of unmanned aircraft in American civil airspace. On the same topic in the cover story of the July, 2015 issue of IEEE Spectrum, T.J. Diaz discusses the applications of drone videography [ʺLights, Drone….Action: An Expert Guide to Drone Videography,ʺ pp.36-41]
Terrance Malkinson is a communications specialist, business analyst and futurist. He is an IEEE Senior Life Member and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the World Future Society. He is currently an international correspondent for IEEE-USA InSight, an associate editor for IEEE Canadian Review, editor-in-chief IEEE TEMS Leader, and a member of the editorial advisory board of the IEEE Institute. Additionally, he leads a number of applied research projects. The author is grateful to the staff and resources of the Reg Erhardt library at SAIT Polytechnic and the Haskayne Business Library of the University of Calgary. He can be reached at email@example.com.