What have you learnt to forget?

Last year, during the heat of the summer semester, Ms. Alissar Nasrallah warmed the hears of my students with her keynote speech “What We Have Learned to Forget – The Human Behind the Business.” Alissar manages Prest, her family’s corporate gifting business. I first met Alissar when we were both extras on Star Trek Beyond; we struck up a friendship and I was fortunate enough that she was willing to share her insights and ideas with my class.

Acknowledging the connection between business and ethics, Alissar reflected on the importance of philosophical and humanitarian values and their role in business. The following is an essay version of her presentation — provided by Alissar.

We have segregated our life into two main categories: Business and Personal, forgetting that life has much more than that. We typically apply a “live in the moment” only between these categories with “don’t bring your home problems to your work” and vice versa. We got into the details of the norms and values “don’t be too friendly at work” “be too friendly at work to lobby well” “know where to stop” “your personality at work is different than your personality with your friends.”

The segregation got deeper, forgetting that this person is a singular one and that his life is much richer than being sized down to two sectors. Once we understand the big picture that makes us – what I call the big ‘I’ – we will know that this segregation is not needed and that our personality can be constant in all areas. We will know that the nuance is having clarity of how to act and when to act no matter where we are and whom we are dealing with. Enrich the big ‘I’ with humane values to find stability, clarity and to pave your way up in all your actions, words and thoughts.

An inevitable part of enriching the big ‘I’ is how we deal with the other ‘Is’. Because of the ferociousness of survival, we apply twisted strategies that, I believe, most are not filtered humanely – from networking (that comes from the basic human nature of relationships), plotting to defeat colleagues, human objectification and object humanization, etc.

Why not try to change the twisted strategies for once and see how the world evolves; we might like it better. Strategies are needed yes, and smartness is needed. Inhumanity is not. Depict negative connotations is everything you read, you see, you watch, you listen to and you think of. What we feed our mind will be unavoidably translated into our actions.

If you don’t believe in goodness to drive your actions and responsibilities towards others, you have to believe in the simple logic that says: if I encounter pain on you, you will most probably reply with pain. Put this on the whole population scale, having in mind the complex human psychic.

The world will be an unpleasant place to live in – an unsustainable place. We often use the term sustainability when we talk about the natural environment, and not the human environment. For us to live together sustainably, we need (not only want) to live well together which means we need to be good to each other. In the lines of this idea, I came up with a simple untwisted strategy that I called “Positively-Conditioned Objectives”.

Everything we do at any time has an objective, even if we are unaware of it. A coffee with friends has an objective of connecting, venting out, updating. Being aware of the objective allows us to eliminate anything unnecessary along the way. The objective is for us and the positive-conditioning is our responsibility towards others. “I want to be the best cook” is my objective – it is for me. “Supporting others along the way” is my positive conditioning – it is my responsibility towards others.

I am not only talking about big objectives. I am also talking about walking-in-the-park’s objective and having-coffee-with-friends’ objective. The biggest objective of all times is to live happily. And the biggest positive conditioning is to be loving. You can push this strategy down to your tiniest actions, thoughts and words. It is a compass to always know yourself, be aware of what you’re doing, thinking, saying and feeling all the while being responsible towards others for a sustainable, more pleasant collective life.

You can also watch a video of Ms. Alissar’s presentation below.

Size doesn’t predict significance!

The day after America celebrated its 170th Independence Day in 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit that would forever liberate legions of water-bound women: the bikini.

Proclaiming a two piece swimsuit wasn’t a bikini “unless it could pulled through a wedding ring,” Reard capitalized on the sensation of his invention and ensured its lasting success. Although comprised of only 30 inches of fabric, the impact of the bikini was felt worldwide — much like the shockwaves from the nuclear bomb tests that took place on Bikini Atoll (the suit’s namesake).

According to a Smithsonian article titled The Bikini’s Inventor Guessed How Much It Would Horrify the Public, “He chose the name because he hoped that the raunchy two-piece would elicit the same shock and horror that the atomic bomb did.”

The birthday of the bikini is a reminder to small businesses that they can overcome the odds and atomize their adversaries. No matter the size, the potential for success of an organization and the individuals that comprise it is unlimited.

The secret to their success is about captivating people with clever storytelling; once an organization uncovers clarity, embraces creativity, and commits to consistency in its communication, the possibilities are limitless.

It is with great gratitude and pride I announce that my paper, “Strengthening Your Social Media Marketing with Live Streaming Video” was accepted for presentation at the 1st American University in the Emirates International Research Conference (AUEIRC).

Live broadcasting via social media platforms, most notably Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope, is an emerging trend that has made a tremendous impact on our daily lives. Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a strong proponent of the technology and sees it as an avenue of opportunity for communication and community creation.

“Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together,” Zuckerberg shared on his Facebook page when Facebook Live launched.

The abstract of my paper, which is derivative of a similarly titled effort I presented at the 6th International Conference on New Challenges in Management and Business this past February, follows:

Live streaming video is an emerging option marketers can use to connect with and convert consumers to customers, especially via mobile devices. Mobile video is particularly promising: Cisco (2015) reveals 80 percent of Internet traffic will be video by 2019 and Brightcove (2016) reports that 74% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a branded video; 46% have done so. However, recorded video is costly and cumbersome to produce; live streaming video increases engagement and decreases costs (Piontek, 2015) while giving marketers increasing influence: Yeung (2016) reports that more than 110 years of live video is watched daily on Periscope. Facebook launched a popular live streaming service and YouTube is following suit (Hockenson, 2016). Recognizing that individuals and organizations alike can strengthen their social media marketing with live streaming video, this paper reviews the rise of social media, previews live streaming video, and shares live streaming video survey results.

The conference, which will take place on November 15 to 16, 2017 at the American University in the Emirates campus, will provide a platform for discussing recent trends in creative business and social innovation. AUEIRC will highlight the various aspects of creative business and social innovations that can scale for the benefit of communities.

AUEIRC aims to bring together academics, practitioners, researchers, policy makers and students to share and discuss challenges and solutions in contemporary disciplines. The scope of the conference includes a broad range of topics on areas that impact contemporary society. Topics of interest of the conference include:

  • Creative Business and Social Innovation
  • Creative Industries and Social Innovation
  • Education and Social Innovation
  • Governance and Legislation
  • Media for Smart Cities
  • Smart Technologies and Innovation

Accepted papers will be published by Springer in edited volumes following their specific fields as printed volumes as well as online in the digital library SpringerLink. Springer is a leading global scientific, technical and medical portfolio, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content through innovative information, products and services.

Addtionally, authors of some selected best papers will be invited to submit the extended version of their AUEIRC papers for peer review after the conference. These papers will be published in a special issue of the AUE journal “Smart City Challenges and Solutions” (SCCS).

If you’re interested in participating you can submit your abstract until June 15, 2017 at https://easychair.org/cfp/AUEIRC2017.