Climate Change · Cool Leaders · E-Mobility · Sport

It’s difficult to always be perfect when we go about our daily lives

By Lewis Hamilton

Recently I’ve been making many changes in my life to reduce my impact on the environment. The first step in this journey was to understand my personal impact on the planet so I could make changes to improve it. Since then, I have offset my carbon footprint from my Formula 1 career dating back to 2007, I have reduced travel where possible, I have gone plant-based and outside of the track, I try to use electric cars wherever possible. I also want to use my position as a racing driver to enforce positive and permanent change, which is why I’m working closely with Mercedes to slowly move their fleet of cars towards electric. This is my new dream car, the new EQS fully electric Mercedes. I can’t wait until it’s released!

It’s difficult to always be perfect when we go about our daily lives, but I’m continuing to learn how to be better and I’m committed to staying educated and informed so I can play my part. Small steps lead to big change, so it’s important we all take a moment to understand our footprint and the small changes we can make in our everyday lives to put our planet first. The last step for me will be when I step away from this sport and can focus fully on helping heal the world to provide a better future for our kids and our kids, kids.

Cool Leaders

Facebook is running the largest voting information campaign in American history

By Mark Zuckerberg

The US elections are just two months away, and with Covid-19 affecting communities across the country, I’m concerned about the challenges people could face when voting. I’m also worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalized, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.

This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest.

Facebook is already running the largest voting information campaign in American history — with a goal of helping 4 million people to register and then vote. In just three days, we already drove almost 24 million clicks to voter registration websites. Priscilla and I have also personally donated $300 million to non-partisan organizations supporting states and local counties in strengthening our voting infrastructure.

Today, we’re announcing additional steps we’re taking at Facebook to encourage voting, connect people with authoritative information, and fight misinformation. These changes reflect what we’ve learned from our elections work over the past four years and the conversations we’ve had with voting rights experts and our civil rights auditors:

• We will put authoritative information from our Voting Information Center at the top of Facebook and Instagram almost every day until the election. This will include video tutorials on how to vote by mail, and information on deadlines for registering and voting in your state.

• We’re going to block new political and issue ads during the final week of the campaign. It’s important that campaigns can run get out the vote campaigns, and I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims. So in the week before the election, we won’t accept new political or issue ads. Advertisers will be able to continue running ads they started running before the final week and adjust the targeting for those ads, but those ads will already be published transparently in our Ads Library so anyone, including fact-checkers and journalists, can scrutinize them.

• We’re going to extend our work with election officials to remove misinformation about voting. We already committed to partnering with state election authorities to identify and remove false claims about polling conditions in the last 72 hours of the campaign, but given that this election will include large amounts of early voting, we’re extending that period to begin now and continue through the election until we have a clear result. We’ve already consulted with state election officials on whether certain voting claims are accurate.

• We’re reducing the risk of misinformation and harmful content going viral by limiting forwarding on Messenger. You’ll still be able to share information about the election, but we’ll limit the number of chats you can forward a message to at one time. We’ve already implemented this in WhatsApp during sensitive periods and have found it to be an effective method of preventing misinformation from spreading in many countries.

• We’re expanding our voter suppression policies. We already remove explicit misrepresentations about how or when to vote that could cause someone to lose their opportunity to vote — for example, saying things like “you can send in your mail ballot up to 3 days after election day”, which is obviously not true. (In most states, mail-in ballots have to be received by election day, not just mailed, in order to be counted.) We’re now expanding this policy to include implicit misrepresentations about voting too, like “I hear anybody with a driver’s license gets a ballot this year”, because it might mislead you about what you need to do to get a ballot, even if that wouldn’t necessarily invalidate your vote by itself.

• We’re putting in place rules against using threats related to Covid-19 to discourage voting. We will remove posts with claims that people will get Covid-19 if they take part in voting. We’ll attach a link to authoritative information about Covid-19 to posts that might use the virus to discourage voting, and we’re not going to allow this kind of content in ads. Given the unique circumstances of this election, it’s especially important that people have accurate information about the many ways to vote safely, and that Covid-19 isn’t used to scare people into not exercising their right to vote.

Since the pandemic means that many of us will be voting by mail, and since some states may still be counting valid ballots after election day, many experts are predicting that we may not have a final result on election night. It’s important that we prepare for this possibility in advance and understand that there could be a period of intense claims and counter-claims as the final results are counted. This could be a very heated period, so we’re preparing the following policies to help in the days and weeks after voting ends:

• We’ll use the Voting Information Center to prepare people for the possibility that it may take a while to get official results. This information will help people understand that there is nothing illegitimate about not having a result on election night.

• We’re partnering with Reuters and the National Election Pool to provide authoritative information about election results. We’ll show this in the Voting Information Center so it’s easily accessible, and we’ll notify people proactively as results become available. Importantly, if any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in, we’ll add a label to their post educating that official results are not yet in and directing people to the official results.

• We will attach an informational label to content that seeks to delegitimize the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods, for example, by claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud. This label will provide basic authoritative information about the integrity of the election and voting methods.

• We’ll enforce our violence and harm policies more broadly by expanding our definition of high-risk people to include election officials in order to help prevent any attempts to pressure or harm them, especially while they’re fulfilling their critical obligations to oversee the vote counting.

• We’ve already strengthened our enforcement against militias, conspiracy networks like QAnon, and other groups that could be used to organize violence or civil unrest in the period after the elections. We have already removed thousands of these groups and removed even more from being included in our recommendations and search results. We will continue to ramp up enforcement against these groups over the coming weeks.

It’s important to recognize that there may be legitimate concerns about the electoral process over the coming months. We want to make sure people can speak up if they encounter problems at the polls or have been prevented from voting, but that doesn’t extend to spreading misinformation. We’ll enforce the policies I outlined above as well as all our existing policies around voter suppression and voting misinformation, but to ensure there are clear and consistent rules, we are not planning to make further changes to our election-related policies between now and the official declaration of the result.

In addition to all of this, four years ago we encountered a new threat: coordinated online efforts by foreign governments and individuals to interfere in our elections. This threat hasn’t gone away. Just this week, we took down a network of 13 accounts and 2 pages that were trying to mislead Americans and amplify division. We’ve invested heavily in our security systems and now have some of the most sophisticated teams and systems in the world to prevent these attacks. We’ve removed more than 100 networks worldwide engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior over the past couple of years, including ahead of major democratic elections. However, we’re increasingly seeing attempts to undermine the legitimacy of our elections from within our own borders.

I believe our democracy is strong enough to withstand this challenge and deliver a free and fair election — even if it takes time for every vote to be counted. We’ve voted during global pandemics before. We can do this. But it’s going to take a concerted effort by all of us — political parties and candidates, election authorities, the media and social networks, and ultimately voters as well — to live up to our responsibilities. We all have a part to play in making sure that the democratic process works, and that every voter can make their voice heard where it matters most — at the ballot box.

Cool Leaders

The two sides of a world champion

By Lewis Hamilton

There are two sides to me. First, the one you see on TV. The competitive, cut throat, hungry racer in me that comes out when I close the visor. When the visor is down I come alive, all my fears, insecurities, and doubts are cast aside and my focus kicks in and will not break until the job is done. It feels like I get to have the superpowers I always dreamed of having, but behind the wheel.

Second, theres just me. Someone who is figuring life out day by day, just like you. Trying to find inner peace, manage time, balance work and life, finding time for family and friends, working on managing my emotions, and trying to find time for the other things I am passionate about. Like many of you, I’m just trying to be and do my best in everything.

I also have a lot of difficult days. Especially in the bubble that we’re currently in. You get lonely, you miss your friends and family, and with back to back race weeks it means there’s not much time for anything but work. So I’m grateful for the ones closest to me for helping me to keep a balance, even if it’s just thru text, phone or FaceTime.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, It’s never a bad thing to ask for help if you need it, or to tell somebody how you feel. Showing your vulnerable side doesn’t make you weak, instead, I like to think of it as a chance to become stronger, and better than we were. Where ever you are in the world, I hope and pray you know you are incredible, gifted, talented, beautiful and strong, and no matter what anybody says, you can do almost anything you put your mind to. All you have to do is believe and do the work. Love🙏🏾

Climate Change

There is always hope

By Greta Thunberg

If you ever feel sad or hopeless, just remember that there’s always hope. We have democracy. For instance, there are tens of thousands of newspapers and TV stations.
If only a few of them decided to start treating the climate- and ecological crisis like the existential crisis it is, more and more people would become aware of the alarming situation and start putting real pressure on leaders and policymakers. Then everything could change overnight.

Cool Leaders

Welcome to Dollywood

By Erick Moore

In 1990, the high school dropout rate for Dolly Parton’s hometown of Sevierville Tennessee was at 34% (Research shows that most kids make up their minds in fifth/sixth grade not to graduate). That year, all fifth and sixth graders from Sevierville were invited by Parton to attend an assembly at Dollywood. They were asked to pick a buddy, and if both students completed high school, Dolly Parton would personally hand them each a $500 check on their graduation day. As a result, the dropout rate for those classes fell to 6%, and has generally retained that average to this day.

Shortly after the success of The Buddy Program, Parton learned in dealing with teachers from the school district that problems in education often begin during first grade when kids are at different developmental levels. That year The Dollywood Foundation paid the salaries for additional teachers assistants in every first grade class for the next 2 years, under the agreement that if the program worked, the school system would effectively adopt and fund the program after the trial period.

During the same period, Parton founded the Imagination Library in 1995: The idea being that children from her rural hometown and low-income families often start school at a disadvantage and as a result, will be unfairly compared to their peers for the rest of their lives, effectively encouraging them not to pursue higher education. The objective of the Imagination library was that every child in Sevier County would receive one book, every month, mailed and addressed to the child, from the day they were born until the day they started kindergarten, 100% free of charge. What began as a hometown initiative now serves children in all 50 states, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, mailing thousands of free books to children around the world monthly.

On March 1, 2018 Parton donated her 100 millionth book at the Library of Congress: a copy of “Coat of Many Colors” dedicated to her father, who never learned to read or write.

Music

Environmental noise for the multi-tasker

By Steve Lukather

Steve Lukather has some comments on the state of the recording business today. Steve was a founding member of Toto, has released solo LP’s and is one of the most successful studio guitarists in history. He has been involved in thousands of records (if a Michael Jackson song has a guitar on it, it’s Steve). Here is what he wrote.

“I just want to know something. ALL this pontificating about how Spotify and the like are the ’ answer ’ and how ’ the artists get paid’ etc. How much? Really? WHO keeps tabs and accounting? Maybe I just don’t know. I don’t see any money and have A LOT of stuff out there over 35 years of making records.

Have you done the breakdown on what an artist get PER tune on iTunes? Pitiful. Now IF you are with a label its even worse cause they take a huge share of that. The breakdown after all is said and done for most it’s pennies.

TOO many people can make records. Period. No catalog artists are made these days. One hit wonders galore. Sad really.

Now record companies don’t give budgets like the old days when the great records were made cause they cost MONEY!! They want to make money for nothing and own you for life and a piece of EVERYTHING an artist does. You can sell a million and still OWE them! My 25 year old son has buddies who have platinum records living in a one room studio apartment…Broke.

Of course back ‘then’ record companies cared about MUSIC and nurturing artists for a LONG term career and long term money.
Sure they got the Lions share but then they invested, believed and promoted it so there was SOME justification.

Now its ’Beats’ and how many facebook hits or Youtube hits you get .. ALL which either make NO money or short term dog-shit money with no real way to account for it and truly suck for the most part.

What the fuck ? People want to be famous NOT good! It is TOO easy to play ‘pretend pop star’ now. With all the fakery and auto tune-time correction -cut and paste etc.. fuck most young people don’t know how to play a song from top to bottom in a studio in tune and in time and with feeling?? Rare.

I am in the studios all the time and hear the stories from the producers and engineers.. and yet NO ONE cares that ’ so and so’ who sold a shit load of records ( how much IS that these days? ) cant sing or play. They make ‘McRecords’ for people who don’t even really listen. It’s background music for people to either find a mate or shake their heads while texting or skyping or doing other things. Environmental noise for the multi-tasker.

Gone are the days of loving , dissecting, discussing the inner workings of ’AN ALBUM”… sitting in silence while it plays.. looking at the liner notes and the few photo’s IN the studio .. imagining what a magic place it music be to make such music…Gone. You need a fucking jewelers eye to read the credits IF one even cares. Most don’t. So if you keep blaming the ‘old antiquated artists’ who are the only REAL ones left.. who MAY make a great record once in awhile but may be overlooked cause the media chooses to care more about who is super gluing meat to their bodies and other ridiculous HYPE and bullshit to get attention rather than LISTENING hard to the music being made we might be in a different place.

When we were kids ( yes I will be 108 this year) there were only a handful or artists and they WERE great cause they HAD to be.
You could choose not to like some but outside the teenage fodder most deserved their success and NO ONE sounded alike! No one!
We live in a McWorld that moves way too fast and now even the drugs suck. I mean when I was young and got high I never got naked foaming at the mouth and tried to eat someone’s face off.

Time to put on Dark Side of the Moon and chill. Have a nice day and may real music come back and fill our ears. ( there IS some great stuff but you know what I mean ..)
REAL music played by REAL musicians. They ARE out there.
They just don’t get a lot of press anymore, or at all.”

Cool Leaders

7 Reasons Every iPhone User Should Be Worried About the App Store’s 30% Tax

By Pavel Durov

I hope you all liked the latest Telegram update – our 8th major update this year. This new version of Telegram could have become available to you several days earlier. But it didn’t, because of Apple’s desire to control every mobile app in the world. Few iPhone users realise how the policies of Apple make their lives worse. That’s why I decided to write the post below.

In the last few months, many prominent app developers voiced their disapproval of the App Store policies Apple imposes on all apps. Why should that concern you if you own an iPhone? Here are 7 reasons.

HIGHER PRICES. Apple’s 30% commission makes all apps and digital goods more expensive for you. It goes on top of the price you pay to developers for any services and games you buy on your phone. You pay more for every app, even though Apple already charged you a few hundred dollars more for your iPhone than it cost to make. In short, you keep paying even after you have paid.

CENSORSHIP. Some content in apps like Telegram is unavailable to you because Apple censors what is allowed on the App Store, which it fully controls to enforce the 30% tax. Apple even restricts us – app developers – from telling our users that certain content was hidden for iPhone users specifically at their request. Apple should realize how ridiculous their attempt to globally censor content looks: imagine a web browser deciding which websites you are allowed to view.

LACK OF PRIVACY. In order to install an app from the App Store, you must first create an Apple account and log in using it. After that, every single app you download and every push notification you receive is tied to your account, making you an easier target to track. Since the main reason you have to use an Apple account to download an iPhone app is Apple’s desire to enforce their 30% commission, the cost of their greed also includes your private data.

DELAYS IN APP UPDATES. You get new versions of your apps several days or weeks after they are actually ready, because Apple’s review team is notoriously inefficient and often delays approval for no apparent reason. You would think Apple could use the billions of dollars it receives from third-party apps to hire additional moderators. Somehow they are unable to do even that, and us – big apps like Telegram – typically have to wait several days or even weeks to publish updates.

FEWER APPS. Apple’s 30% commission on apps goes on top of all the other expenses developers must pay for: government taxes such as VAT (~20%), wages, research, servers, marketing. Many apps would have been net profitable in a world without Apple’s 30% commission, but being forced to surrender 30% of their revenue to Apple makes them unsustainable. As a result, many of them go bankrupt and lots of great apps you could have enjoyed just don’t exist.

MORE ADS IN APPS. Because Apple makes selling premium services and accepting donations one-third less meaningful for developers, many of them are forced to show ads in their apps in order for their companies to survive. Apple’s policies skew the entire industry towards selling user data instead of letting them adopt more privacy-friendly business models like selling additional services to their users.

WORSE APPS. Billions of dollars are taken from developers who could have otherwise spent those funds on improving the quality of the apps you use every day. Instead, this money rests idly in Apple’s offshore bank accounts and does nothing for the world, while app developers struggle to find resources for the research and development the world needs.

The situation is so bad that one would expect Apple’s 30% cut to be unsustainable. Yet it’s been around for more than 10 years and is still there. In my Telegraph post here, I’m explaining how Apple has been able to trick consumers and regulators into inaction for so long.

History

Americans of all races and classes coming together to fight against racism

By Robert Redford

“I have a lot of vivid memories of growing up in Los Angeles in the 1940s, but one in particular keeps coming back to me today, in these troubled times. I remember sitting with my parents — actually, my parents were sitting; I was lying on the floor, the way kids do — and listening to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt talking to us over the radio. He was talking to the nation, of course, not just to us, but it sure felt that way. He was personal and informal, like he was right there in our living room.

I was too young to follow much of what he was saying — something about World War II. But what I did understand was that this was a man who cared about our well-being. I felt calmed by his voice. It was a voice of authority and, at the same time, empathy. Americans were facing a common enemy — fascism — and FDR gave us the sense that we were all in it together. Even kids like me had a role to play: participating in paper drives, collecting scrap metal, doing whatever we could do. That’s what it was like to have a president with a strong moral compass. It guided him, gave him direction, and helped him point the nation toward a better future.
Maybe this strikes you as simple nostalgia. I’ve got a touch of that, sure (who doesn’t right now?). But I’m too focused on the future to sit around pining for the old days. For me, the power of FDR’s example is what it says about the kind of leadership America needs — and can have again, if we choose it.

But one thing is clear: Instead of a moral compass in the Oval Office, there’s a moral vacuum. Instead of a president who says we’re all in it together, we have a president who’s in it for himself. Instead of words that uplift and unite, we hear words that inflame and divide. When someone retweets (and then deletes) a video of a supporter shouting “white power” or calls journalists “enemies of the state,” when he turns a lifesaving mask against contagion into a weapon in a culture war, when he orders the police and the military to tear gas peaceful protestors so he can wave a Bible at the cameras, he sacrifices — again and again — any claim to moral authority.

Another four years of this would degrade our country beyond repair. The toll it’s taking is almost biblical: fires and floods, a literal plague upon the land, an eruption of hatred that’s being summoned and harnessed, by a leader with no conscience or shame. Four more years would accelerate our slide toward autocracy. It would be taken as free license to punish more so-called “traitors” and wage more petty vendettas — with the full weight of the Justice Department behind them. Four more years would mean open season on our environmental laws. The assault has been ongoing — it started with abandoning the historic agreement that the world made in Paris to combat climate change, and continued, just last month, with using the pandemic as cover to let industries pollute as they see fit. Four more years would bring untold damage to our planet — our home.

America is still a world power. But in the past four years, it has lost its place as a world leader. A second term would embolden enemies and further weaken our standing with our friends.

When and how did the United States of America become the Divided States of America? Polarization, of course, has deep roots and many sources. President Donald Trump didn’t create all of our divisions as Americans. But he has found every fault line in America and wrenched them wide open.

Without a moral compass in the Oval Office, our country is dangerously adrift. But this November, we can choose another direction. This November, unity and empathy are on the ballot. Experience and intelligence are on the ballot. Joe Biden is on the ballot, and I’m confident he will bring these qualities back to White House.

I don’t make a practice of publicly announcing my vote. But this election year is different. And I believe Biden was made for this moment. Biden leads with his heart. I don’t mean that in a soft and sentimental way. I’m talking about a fierce compassion — the kind that fuels him, that drives him to fight against racial and economic injustice, that won’t let him rest while people are struggling.

As FDR showed, empathy and ethics are not signs of weakness. They’re signs of strength. I think Americans are coming back to that view. Despite Trump — despite his daily efforts to divide us — I see much of the country beginning to reunite again, the way it did when I was a kid. You can see it in the peaceful protests of the past several weeks — Americans of all races and classes coming together to fight against racism. You can see it the ways that communities are pulling together in the face of this pandemic, even if the White House has left them to fend for themselves.

These acts of compassion and kindness make our country stronger. This November, we have a chance to make it stronger still — by choosing a president who is consistent with our values, and whose moral compass points toward justice.”

Cool Leaders

Unleash talent

By Steen Albrechtlund

A short tale of medieval virtue ethics or why the Beau Geste doctrine is ever so slightly exhausting.

Platons most important scolar, Aristoteles, study of character and ethics, is built around the premise that people should achieve an excellent character as a pre-condition for attaining happiness or well-being.

Aristoteles works has since been refined and further developed by numerous thinkers such as Aegidius Romanus and Erasmus of Rotterdam in the late medieval. The basic thought is that an individual at all time must strive for a higher level of sense and insights to become closer to a divine state. Romanus was advocating for a constant chase to achieve perfection.

The leadership literature today has a direct line straight back to Aristoteles, Romanus and Erasmus thoughts around impeccable morale and ethics. The likes of Covey, Horsley, Ole Fogh Kirkeby and Einer Aadlan are among the dominant preachers of modern virtue ethics in management. And their releases are sold in millions and millions of copies.

Both Aadland and Kirkeby recommends that leaders enter into a lifelong training camp and perform an askesis to become virtous, insightful, prudent, diligent and all round ethical lighthouses where their influence is imminent in every tiny corner of the organization like the eye of Sauron. This is the perfect human being propelled into commercial divinity. The perfect Beau Geste baby of the reformed Dr. Mengele.

First problem is that this is utterly unachievable. When you constantly search for perfection, you essentially end up searching for yourself in a constant loop where you will only find flaws and one day you will realize that it’s the same good old John Doe with Caitlyn Jenners make up. After you spend a fortune on books, seminars, boot camps to strive for leadership nirvana. What is the result of this extreme sport for perfectionists? Disillusion, resignation and burn out.

Second problem is bigger as seen from the perspective of an organization. You become intolerable for your team and the lust for perfection and control becomes a virus that paralyzes the greatest asset of a company: The people.

Modern companies are full of Beau Geste leaders and they prevent the company to unfold its full potential. The need to create and control processes, systems and decisions simply suffocate talent and cripple’s maneuverability. The C19 crisis has demonstrated that talent flourishes when they have space to perform.

A great leader must be insightful into own strengths and weaknesses and accept the virtue composition. Only in that way the leader can be truly credible as a human being and the fear of being exposed as a fake perfectionist will be reduced.

A great leader sets targets, milestones with the team. A great leader create the strategy with the team. And the rest of the time a great leader makes sure to nourish the right talent and remove all resistance and any obstacle in the company’s performance circuit. Unleash talent.

Steen Albrectslund is former CEO of Skagen Designs, Fossil Inc. and Fitness World.

COVID-19

Second wave prevention

Helsingin Sanomat asks this morning what can be done to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus, especially as Finland begins reopening its borders with the outside world.

HS writes that the first wave of the virus largely arrived to Finland through holidaymakers, especially Finns returning home from ski resorts in northern Italy, who continued their daily lives after arriving home without any mandate to self-quarantine. Mistakes such as these must be avoided if Finland is to prevent, or at least limit, the effects of a second wave, HS writes.

Jari Jalava, a leading specialist at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), told HS that it was surprisingly rare for infections to spread on airplanes, but they usually do spread at destinations.

“Trying to avoid infections there is rule number one,” Jalava said. “There you have to follow the same instructions as here. In other words, emphasis is placed on good hand hygiene, keeping distance, avoiding contact with sick people.”

Jalava added that tourists from Finland should carefully consider the destinations to which they intend to travel, and plan how to avoid any risk of infection. Self-quarantine on the return home is still recommended, especially for those coming from countries with a more severe coronavirus situation.

“Quarantine is the best way to avoid the spread of infections here,” Jalava said.

HS writes that authorities in Finland feel they are better prepared for the second wave than they were for the first. Measures, such as the mandatory wearing of masks by Finavia employees, that have been introduced to Finnish airports since February, are intended help minimise the risk of the virus spreading again.

“If the second wave of the pandemic is similar to the first, we will already have adequate safety and hygiene arrangements in place,” Finavia’s Communications Manager Annika Kåla told HS.