Brand South Africa gives master class on nation branding

first_imgCivic-minded people are needed to help build the country of their dreams. This is an important aspect to nation branding, which is not the work of the government alone, a group of students from South Africa and the US hears.Students from Rutgers University in the US and South Africa’s Unisa explore the display at the Nelson Mandela Foundation before the Brand South Africa master class on nation branding.Students were encouraged to become more civic-minded and involved by Sello Hatang, the chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, at an engagement hosted by Brand South Africa with communications and marketing students from Unisa and Rutgers University, in the US, on 17 March 2016.The gathering took place at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Speakers from the foundation and Brand South Africa encouraged the students to play their part in creating the world they wanted. They also gave a tutorial on the philosophy behind nation building.Hatang set the tone for speakers who followed him. “What am I doing to build the country of my dreams?” he challenged the students to ask of themselves.Brand South Africa chief executive Kingsley Makhubela explained the difference between nation and product branding, saying the fundamental difference between the two was intent. A product created a designed identity where nation branding was about highlighting the best of who we were.He talked about international tensions and how conflict continued to shape perceptions about the world we in which we lived. It was the trial nations faced every day: how to shape a positive view of the country despite challenges. “What do you communicate? The challenges? Or the potential and values of the nation?”It was not a government’s concern alone. Citizens, including a country’s young people, had a responsibility to live the best values of their country. Makhubela reminded the students that it was their world as well and that they needed to become civically involved. Tension reshaped the world, but it was the passion of young people that remade the world.Brand South Africa speakers did not shy away from topical issues of the day. Dr Petrus de Kock, the general manager of research, explained that in an environment where bad news often shaped perceptions, it was the responsibility of Brand South Africa to counter this through research, and then share that research as widely as possible.The Rutgers students, especially, were visiting South Africa at a time in its history when the stream of negative news could, but should not, hide the facts about the strength of South Africa’s economy and democracy.He listed statistics about budget clarity, strength of the banking and financial systems, press freedom and independence of the judiciary to highlight strengths that were often overlooked.In his master class presentation on nation branding, Tshepiso Malele explained the rationale behind the idea. Every nation was unique and the purpose of nation branding was to distil that uniqueness and communicate it to as wide an audience as possible. The benefit was an enhanced country reputation and greater business and tourism engagement. He affirmed De Kock’s assertion that nation branding was not meant to be propaganda but information based on research and statistics. Ultimately, he said, a positive nation brand should benefit the people and institutions of the country.last_img read more

Geocachers Save Two Women Stranded in Desert

first_imgGeocachers Roy Joseph (Rojo464) and Paul Fox (Pauleefox) drove through the rugged desert of Eastern Utah searching for five geocaches on Tuesday the 17th of August.  But they never made it past their second find.  What they encountered instead led to grateful tears and news headlines.Roy and Paul had finished finding their second geocache and were looping around for a third – called “Bugy Softwear” (GCGMJT). The area of the desert that they searched is referred to as the Dolores Triangle.  It’s one of the most barren regions of the United States. The average temperature in August bakes the cracked ground at nearly 100 degrees F (38 C).    Bumping along in Roy’s jeep the two men stopped.  Just head of them, a mini-van sat wedged into the sandy soil.Desert rescuePaul says, “We saw the van in the gully from the road above it. Out here a vehicle in that position is either abandoned or there is somebody in need of help. Either way we needed to check it out.”Roy adds, “When we first saw the car we could tell it was stuck. But it looked odd with the towels over the sun visors.  We were concerned with who might be in the van.  With it being in such a remote area we knew we had to make sure the occupants could get back to town.”They drove the jeep next to the stranded vehicle.  Two women looked out. Roy says, “When we stopped beside the van the daughter said ‘Thank God’ and then started crying.”  A mother and daughter had been stranded in the van for two days.Roy Jospesh (Rojo464) and his wife LindaRoy says he’s prepared for geocaching in the desert and they were able to offer immediate help: “I have a backpack I carry with water, snacks, SWAG, a first aid kit, a short rope, and batteries.  In the Jeep I carry tools, spare parts, a tow strap, a first aid kit,  a fire extinguisher, extra water and some blankets.”This wasn’t his first encounter with someone needing help, but never before has the situation been this dire. “We have helped strangers get unstuck, hauled a bicyclist to the hospital, given water to hikers, but this was different – both these two women could have died.” After the rescue, the mother and daughter will be okay.Paul says the situation is a first for him: “In my 64 years I don’t believe I have ever been in a position to rescue damsels in distress before.”Paul Fox (Pauleefox)Both Paul and Roy have been geocaching for at least three years.  As the news broke, the reaction from the geocaching community flooded their email in-boxes. They say comments like Nancy Nagel’s post on the Facebook page hit home. She said, “I always say that geocachers are the nicest, kindest people! I am so proud!”Roy says, “We, too, have met some really nice people while geocaching but I am really surprised at the number of e-mails I have received from them.”Paul explains geocachers this way: “The geocachers I know and have met are not the type of people that I would be afraid to meet in a dark alley. It is always good to have  story to tell that puts geocaching in such a good light. Lots of people just don’t know what it is.”Both say they’re  ready for more geocaching.  Roy says, “I like being in the great outdoors, the exercise and the places geocaching takes me.”And no matter who or what they encounter, they’ll be prepared. Roy says he’s glad this unexpected encounter ended with hugs and heartfelt thanks: “We are just thankful that we were able to help the women before it became a more serious situation for them.”Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedAdd a Side of Geocaching to Your Other HobbyMay 31, 2015In “Community”Wild Canyon Games 2012 – Extreme GeocachingJune 8, 2012In “Community”August Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsSeptember 6, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

How Tech Companies Can Effectively Help People Around the World, in Egypt and Beyond

first_imgTags:#international#web marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The current unrest in the Middle East is a complex, unfolding story – but to technologists it’s clear that tech and the Web are a key point of contention and enablement of contentious expression.Technology companies are making efforts to help the Egyptian protesters express themselves and self-organize. How can technologists seeking to help do so most effectively? This is likely to be a type of story we hear about many other places in the future. Sometimes using technology to help people across borders and cultures can be challenging. We spoke with a number of technologists that serve international constituencies every day and asked them for their best advice.This series is supported by Dell The Power To Do More, where you’ll find perspectives, trends and stories that inspire Dell to create technology solutions that work harder for its customers so they can do and achieve more.Companies large and small are getting on board to help information flow in and out of Egypt, contrary to the wishes of the government there. YouTube is pointing to videos about Egypt on every page on its site. Google and Twitter collaborated last weekend to build a speech-to-text service for Egyptians to post messages by phone. The independent media organization Alive in Egypt is working to translate those messages into English. Facebook, widely believed to be central in the protests, has not felt comfortable taking public action in support of them.As Cecilia Kang and Ian Shapira wrote in The Washington Post wrote yesterday:Facebook, which celebrates its seventh birthday Friday and has more than a half-billion users worldwide, is not eagerly embracing its role as the insurrectionists’ instrument of choice. Its strategy contrasts with rivals Google and Twitter, which actively helped opposition leaders communicate after the Egyptian government shut down Internet access.Though these questions are being asked by the press and the public because of the high-profile nature of events in Egypt, doing business across borders is a part of everyday life for many technologists and each day sets the stage for the future. Aaron Fulkerson, of enterprise collaboration and publishing service MindTouch, says he’s been “ecstatic” to see his open source technology used from Iran to Syria, China and Nepal.“I think that’s why most of us that came from an engineering background got into software. We wanted to change the world,” he says. Fulkerson argues that its everyday support for open technology that provides a foundation that can be relied upon in times of crisis. “Open standards and open source have been doing just that,” he says. “Things like TOR, HTTP, TCP/IP, REST, etc… this is why we all owe it humanity to use open and contribute to open source.”More Than Tech HerosIt’s not just about the technology, though. Providing meaningful support across cultures is also an exercise of will, self-awareness and communication skills. Tunisia, Jan. 19.“What Google and Twitter did over the weekend is spectacular,” says Lidija Davis, one of the human editors at the largely machine-driven international technology news portal Techmeme and a former Australasian television producer. “It just goes to show what a couple of days, some smart coders and brilliant technology can do to bridge this gap.”It’s not just about the tech heroes, though. There are everyday pitfalls that need to be watched out for, Davis says. “Don’t make any assumptions about the technological landscape in countries other than your own,” she says. “And be mindful of any misunderstandings when English is not the primary language.”Ultimately, the best strategies will no doubt be informed by both technical and human considerations. Thomas Vander Wal, a leading social technology consultant who focuses on effective collaboration, cites both hard and soft concerns.“First [step] is using a platform that does internationalization well,” he says. “Using technology that fits the region and capabilities is important. Currently the Google solutions are really good given what technology is available (due to other tech being shut down).“You should plan for cross-platform options: text, audio, video. Text-to-speech is good as well for those who are not literate. Sharing MP3 files of info is really helpful.“Another big thing though is to sort out what is a cultural no-no, that will save a lot of grief. Find somebody from the region to check and test what has been set up.”That all sounds like good advice, but it’s important to consider your efforts in the context of long-term efforts for self-determination that people around the world have been engaged in for a long time.“Enable Sustained Communication”John Smith, a consultant in co-ordinating international communities of practice, emphasizes that there are no simple solutions:“Remember that real change takes a while. We’re all moved by the big protests in the streets, but enabling sustained interaction and communication is more important than being there to capture the headlines. The time to pitch in and help is probably after the headlines have died down.“To enable sustained communication (locally and globally) we have to ask people what they want: how and what they want to make visible needs to be under their control. They may need secrecy or maximum visibility. People who are seriously working on social change have their own creative and effective sense of accountability to each other and to history. It’s our job to support it — as they see it.“Any help we can provide is just an ingredient: giving too much credit to one tool or one intervention is not only simple-minded, it’s probably plain-old deluded. People working in difficult situations have a lot of choices about what tools to use: anything we offer has to fit into a context that’s incredibly complex and locally coherent.“Often we need to make sense of what’s happening using multiple channels: both satellite TV and Twitter are useful, but they see different facets [of the situation].”Everyone always said that the Internet would shrink the world we live in. That has proven true; we’re likely just at the beginning of a period of intense internationalization and it makes sense to begin discussing now how to best deal with both historic and everyday changes.Lead photo by monasosh; Tunisia flag photo by Nasser Nouri.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Secret Maoist camp busted in Odisha; no arrests made

first_imgA secret Maoist camp was busted by Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Niyamgiri hills region under Kalyansinghpur police station limits of Odisha’s Rayagada district on Thursday.According to police sources, 15 gelatin sticks, 15 detonators, one Improvised Explosive Device in the form of a ‘tiffin box’, batteries and wires were seized from the spot. The Maoists using the camp could not be traced as they had managed to escape taking advantage of the hilly jungle terrain, said the sources.During their continuing anti-Maoist search operation, the CRPF personnel had unearthed this secret Maoist camp inside the jungle near Tuluba village in Niyamgiri hills region. The explosives seized from the spot suggested that the Maoists were planning to plant them to target security forces.last_img read more