Tuesday, May 3, 2016


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Italian center addresses global food and nutrition issues

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 29, 2016

Eating Planet

Eating Planet

Photos: Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition

Obesity costs the global economy $2 trillion annually. Contrasting that food waste costs another $2.6 trillion globally, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). To put the issue of food into a human perspective 795 million people are believed to suffer from hunger or famine while at the same time 2.1 billion people are obese or overweight, according to the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation in Italy. The organization and its members are among the high level thinkers across the globe concerned about the issues of food and nutrition.

In late February 2016, the Foundation launched the new edition of Eating Planet: Food and Sustainability: Building Our Future designed to provide “a comprehensive tool summarizing business perspectives on the global problems of food sustainability.” The first edition was published in 2012.

“These proposals can now be used as a starting point to truly correct the imbalances and distortions that are affecting the planet and the life of every one of us," said Paulo Barilla, vice president, Barilla, in a promotional email about the book.

Danielle Nierenberg, cofounder, Food Tank Barbara Buchner Matt Russell jamieoliver Paolo De Castro

Contributing authors (left to right) Danielle Nierenberg, Barbara Buchner Matt Russell and Paolo De Castro

The report, to be published in several languages, focuses on the need for decision-making tools to guide research and innovation in the sector. The various authors suggest priority initiatives for decision makers and citizens, including many initiatives that have already been established by BCFN’s other action platforms such as the Milan Protocol and the Youth Manifesto.

The 301-page English language edition is divided into four main sections: Food For All, Food for Sustainable Growth, Food for Health, and Food for Culture. It is peppered with colorful photos and graphics.

Among the numerous contributing authors are Barbara Buchner, head of Climate Policy Initiative in Europe; Paolo De Castro, Italian politician, economist and agronomist; Carlo Petrini, president, Slow Food; Ricardo Uauy, professor, Public Health Nutrition at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology; Shimon Peres, President of Israel from 2007 to 2014; and Danielle Nierenberg, president, Food Tank.

Eating Planet

Click to buy Eating Planet - english edition

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Unilever to target Latinos with social media campaign

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 20, 2016

Unilever 100porcientotu campaign image

Unilever 100porcientotu campaign image

Photos: Unilever

To promote its Personal Care brands among Hispanics on social media Unilever staff launched #100PorCientoTu, a new bilingual campaign designed to promote “self-expression and individuality” in 2016. In developing the campaign executives relied on research from the company's Consumer Marketing Insights (CMI) team.

Company representatives declined to identify details such as campaign elements or specific channels, except to say that it “will be supported by earned and paid media.” Planned components to date are the sponsorship of Nicky Jam’s The Fenix Tour concert in New York City and the Hispanicize conference in April.

“With #100PorCientoTu, Unilever is merging two Latino passion points, music and style, to inspire Latinos to be their best selves, always,” said Brian Critz, brand director, Multicultural for Unilever U.S. by email forwarded via the company's public relations company. “At Unilever, we’ve adopted a total market approach to reaching Latino consumers, recognizing that there is a wide range of nuance when connecting with Latinos.”

Brian Critz, Unilever

Brian Critz, brand director, Multicultural for Unilever U.S.

When asked about the target audience for the campaign he said, “With the #100PorCientoTu campaign, we want to celebrate the diversity and dynamism of the Latino community in the U.S., especially among millennials, whose identity is deeply tied to their culture, self-image and aspirations.”

Unilever hired a team of beauty and grooming influencers and experts like Denise Bidot, described as an international plus sized model, and Marcos “Reggae” Smith, described as a celebrity barber, and Leonardo Rocco, described as a celebrity stylist, to provide their views on beauty and grooming trends and tips at the campaign's English language website, 100PorCientoTu.com. Some of the company's Personal Care brands are Axe, Dove, Suave, Pond’s, TreSemme, Degree and Caress.

According to a recent company press release, Unilever is a leading supplier of Food, Refreshments, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. In the United States, some of its brands are: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!; Unilever employs approximately 8,000 people in the United States; and in 2015, the company generated more than $8.5 billion in sales.

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Advisor shares his thoughts on personal finance wisdom

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 15, 2016

Simple Money

Simple Money

Photos: PR by the Book

Tim Maurer, director of personal finance, at Buckingham and the BAM Alliance, helps a team of 350 financial advisors nationally focus on the personal, non-numerical elements of financial advisory work such as behavioral finance, client interaction and communication. He dedicated a little over a year from idea to publication to Simple Money A No-Nonsense Guide to Personal Finance (BakerBooks, $15.99), a 285-page softcover book published this year, hoping, he says in the first chapter, for readers to find contentment, a richer life and a freer mind through the book.

When asked by email via his publisher how he defines simple money, he said: “Money management is complex because we are complex. Therefore, it is in better understanding ourselves that we are able to make even the most confounding financial decisions simple.”

The book is divided into 21 chapters and five parts: Planning for Life, Planning for Today, Planning for the Inevitable, Planning for the Unexpected and Planning for Action. He wrote the first two parts of the book, Planning for Life and Planning for Today, for all readers. The remainder he wrote for those curious about a particular topic like investing, life insurance, retirement planning or estate planning. He starts outlining four basic concepts: Personal finance is more personal than it is finance; We need to know why; Simple not simplistic; and Enough is "enough."

Tim Maurer, author, Simple Money

Tim Maurer, author, Simple Money

“For many years, I’ve said that 'personal finance is more personal than it is finance,' a statement that resonates anecdotally with most,” he said when asked why he wrote the book. “But my research more recently, especially in the field of behavioral finance and the science of motivation, has proven the statement to be scientific fact. This inspired me to synthesize the best of behavioral finance and use it as a lens through which to reexamine personal finance. The challenge, of course, was in making it 'simple' enough to be practical. But that’s always been my passion.”

The biggest challenge he faced writing the book was that, “Although it’s not the first time I’ve shared it, I give the most detailed rendition to date of the story of my near-death car accident that forever shaped my view of life, work and money,” he said. “It’s an important story, and it’s good for me to tell it, but it’s not necessarily easy.”

Each chapter begins with an explanation of what makes the topic relevant to the reader and ends with summary points. In the book, he says that "One of the ways we can make financial decisions simple is to genuinely understand what motivates us." He goes on to say that although motivation is at the root of what we want too often it remains separate from our financial planning.

Simple Money

Click to buy Simple Money

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Documentary film explores interaction between humans and endangered Asian elephants

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 6, 2016

When Elephants Were Young

When Elephants Were Young

Photos, video: canazwest pictures

Canadian filmmaker Patricia Sims cares about endangered Asian elephants, a great deal. She and her collaborators dedicated five years to filming elephants and elephant handlers in Thailand at the end of which they produced When Elephants Were Young, an 86-minute documentary narrated by actor William Shatner. The film, in English and Thai with subtitles, will show at 5:30 p.m. April 8 at the Cinemark Palace, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton, and 12 noon April 13 at the Parisian 17, 545 Hibiscus St, West Palm Beach, as part of the Palm Beach International Film Festival in Palm Beach County, Florida.Scroll down to watch a trailer of the film.

Patricia Sims and Michael Clark

Patricia Sims and Michael Clark dedicated five years to the project

The film follows Wok, a young man, and Nong Mai, his young captive elephant, in their struggle to make a living begging on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand. When the opportunity arises to release Nong Mai to the forest Wok must decide, torn between his affection for the elephant who is also his only source of income, what is best. Can an elephant who has only known a life of captivity survive in the wild? The film zooms into the daily lives of its protagonists, examining the paradoxes of elephants in captivity.

According to Sims, When Elephants Were Young will appear in theaters across North America on World Elephant Day, August 12, 2016. Theater listings should be available in June. Around that same time it should become available globally on various video on demand platforms such as iTunes and Amazon. In Canada, it is slated for broadcast on the CBC Documentary Channel in fall 2016.

When Elephants Were Young

Asian elephants in Thailand from the film When Elephants Were Young

“There were many, many challenges, as is often the case with independent documentary filmmaking!” Sims said by email when asked about the biggest challenge she faced in the making of the film. “For sure, funding was a big challenge, and continues to be so even for this release stage of the film. There are many costs required to release our film, or any film, to the public. Often people are surprised to learn what is involved in the distribution stage for independent film, and what it takes to get a film out to the world.”

Patricia Sims and William Shatner

Patricia Sims, director, and William Shatner, narrator, When Elephants Were Young

The film's budget was under one million dollars. Sims relied on “a combination of self-funding, crowd-funding, and private funding and a lot of in-kind support from many generous people who wanted to help us tell this story, and support the elephant cause.”

When asked about the rewards and surprises along the filmmaking journey, she replied, "We’ve had many amazing surprises and rewards with this film! Unfortunately, I can’t mention what they are here because it will ruin the ending of the film’s story. People will have to watch the film to see what our biggest surprises and rewards have been!”

Sims was director and producer and she co-wrote the documentary with Michael Clark. She has a passion for large-brained megafauna such as dolphins, primates, and elephants. She and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation launched World Elephant Day on August 12, 2012.

As technology activist, cinematographer, and editor, Clark has employed his talents to portray the interconnectivity of life on this planet. He has won international awards for his work and his credits range from documentaries to episodic television, commercial and feature film productions. He seeks “to use digital and traditional media to inspire awareness, awe, and action for a mirthful, sustainable future.”

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Why Brand Authenticity Is Most Important for Hispanic Millennials

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 30, 2016

By Jay Gronlund
President, The Pathfinder Group

Jay Gronlund

Jay Gronlund, president, The Pathfinder Group

Photo: Jay Gronlund

Before the internet, marketers had a relatively free reign for making questionable competitive claims, creating a brand image of superiority and hence demanding a premium price. But the internet has changed the ground rules. Instant access to endless information and objective feedback from friends has enabled consumers to seek and find the truth behind such promises. This has also led to an atmosphere of extensive mistrust of companies, CEO’s and even many established brands, especially among Hispanic Millennials. Today consumers want authenticity.

We are living in an age of growing skepticism and ebbing loyalty for many established brands. A recent poll by Havas, a reputable marketing agency, showed that consumers in America trust only about one fifth of all brands (least trusted - snacks and household gadgets). A report from the research firm, Mintel, indicated that about half of American shoppers trust smaller companies to do the right thing, compared to only 36% for large ones. The impact of these changing attitudes is already being felt by major brands. Catalina, a big marketing consulting firm, reported that 90 of the top 100 consumer packaged goods brands lost market share in the first half of 2015.

Click to read the entire Why Band Authenticity Is Most Important for Hispanic Millennials

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Makeup artist focuses on toxic free products

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 18, 2016

The Green Beauty Rules

The Green Beauty Rules

Photos: cover by Don Flood and author photo by Michele LoBosco

Do you worry about artificial ingredients in your cosmetics and personal products but are reluctant to stop wearing makeup? After attending a presentation by Ken Cook, founder, Environmental Working Group, Paige Padgett, a makeup artist, had concerns about the ingredients in the products she used so she began to explore toxic-free alternatives.

When asked by email how she defines the term she said, "That is difficult as it's different for everyone. For me it's about being sustainable. Organic and natural are ideal but sustainable takes it a bit further. Ingredients should be sustainable which includes being non-toxic.”

From concept to publication she dedicated two years to The Green Beauty Rules: The Essential Guide to Toxic-Free Beauty, Green Glamour and Glowing Skin (HCI Books, $21.95), a 256-page softcover book peppered with full color photos published in 2015. In it, her first book, she promises a step-by-step guide and a sample clean beauty routine of approximately 200 chemically-safe beauty products, ranking 3 or lower on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Green beauty, she explains in her book, doesn't mean organic, all natural or completely chemical free; and minerals, for example, can't be certified organic so mineral-based products aren't organic. The main reason she wrote the book was because there were no books on that subject for women who use makeup and want to use green cosmetics, she explained by email.

Paige Padgett, author, The Green Beauty Rules

Paige Padgett, author, The Green Beauty Rules

“There are a few on the market that are fun but none from a makeup artists perspective that talks about chemicals and give a step by step guide to green your routine and beauty tutorials,” she said. When asked how she became an expert she said she never she studied chemistry but, “Rather I am one of the few professional pioneers in the industry. However, I have attended several dozen conferences, seminars, workshops, talks events on the subject over the years as well as chemistry courses interviewing prominent people in the industry and writing for magazines on the subject.”

According to her bio, Padgett, the founder of PaigePadgett.com, was one of the first makeup artists to create a completely green makeup line. The biggest challenge she encountered in the book project was the time and cost of photography. The biggest surprise? “That when you write a book you are not finished. You have to market the book forever,” she said.

She believes in green beauty that is chemically safe, cruelty free and eco-friendly. That means avoiding petrochemicals and nanoparticles, she says. In the book she explains that they have been linked to allergies, skin irritation, cancer, serious health issues, neuro and respiratory damage, birth defect, and disruption of the endocrine system. In a chapter titled The Nasties she lists examples of those products and why readers should not use them. The chapter includes a list of 20 of the most common harmful chemicals often present in beauty products. For example, she says parabens are hormone disruptors found in 99 percent of cosmetics.

In the book, she provides suggestions for shopping venues, vegan and gluten-free brands, and products under $15. She also shares information on nail care, hair care, bath and body products, sun care and hair removal products, as well as products for travel, and organic fragrances.

The Green Beauty Rules

Click to buy The Green Beauty Rules

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Listen to podcast with Ray Zinn, author, Tough Things First, about how doing tough things first may be essential to getting ahead

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 7, 2016

Ray Zinn, author, Tough Things First

Ray Zinn, author, Tough Things First

Photo: McGraw Hill

A podcast interview with Ray Zinn, author, Tough Things First (see Former Silicon Valley CEO shares his secrets to success), is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, he discusses how doing tough things first may be essential to getting ahead with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast. During the podcast, he discusses how doing tough things first may be essential to getting ahead with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.

Ray is an inventor, entrepreneur, and the longest serving CEO of a publicly traded company in Silicon Valley. He is best known for creating and selling the first Wafer Stepper (an industry standard piece of semiconductor manufacturing equipment), and for co-founding semiconductor company, Micrel (acquired by Microchip in 2015), which provides essential components for smartphones, consumer electronics and enterprise networks.

He served as chief executive officer, chairman of its Board of Directors and president since Micrel’s inception in 1978 until his retirement in August 2015. Some credit his philosophy on people, servant leadership, humanistic management and the ethics of corporate culture with Micrel’s nearly unbroken profitability. Ray holds more than 20 patents for semiconductor design. A proud great-grandfather, he is actively-retired and mentoring entrepreneurs.

To listen to the interview, scroll down until you see “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR Ray Zinn” and click on the play button below or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the March 2015 section of the podcast archive.

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Filmmaker explores dangers of advanced artificial intelligence

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 4, 2016

Our Final Invention

Our Final Invention

Photos: book cover courtesy of St. Martin's Press, and author photo courtesy of Ruth Lynn Miller

Filmmaker James Barrat was stunned when he stumbled on an issue he found so complex and important that he felt it necessary to write about it rather than produce a documentary. Four years later his book, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era (St. Martin's Press, $16.99), was published. He is now keen to spread the word about the Artificial Intelligence (AI) issue further through a film, provided he finds funding.

“The AI Risk issue struck me as hugely important and all but unknown,” the author said by email. “There were no books or films about it, and the only people discussing it were technologists and philosophers. They were working hard on solving the problem, but not on publicizing it. As a documentary filmmaker, I bring complex scientific and historical subjects to large audiences. That’s my expertise. So I felt uniquely positioned, even duty-bound, to spread the word. I wrote a book rather than make a film because even simplified AI Risk is a complex subject. An average hour-long documentary film contains just 5,000 words. I knew I could do a better job at bringing this subject to a wide audience with a book of 80,000 words.”

The softcover book, his first, is divided into an Introduction and 16 chapters. He wrote it for the general public convinced everyone should become award of AI issues. In the book, he says he believes AGI, an advanced super intelligence, could arise from Wall Street. That while an intelligence explosion might be missed by the average person, the secretive environment on Wall Street lends itself to the development of such technology. He also believes the developers of artificial intelligence may posses the same lack of moral fiber as the oft maligned financial executives who have repeatedly misbehaved without intense regulation. 

“Artificial Intelligence is the science and study of creating machines that perform functions normally performed by human intelligence,” he said when asked to define the concepts for non scientists. “These include the whole range of human cognitive abilities: logical reasoning, navigation, object recognition, language processing, theorem proving, learning, and much more. AGI is Artificial General Intelligence, or machine intelligence at roughly human level, in all its domains. ASI is Artificial Super Intelligence, or machine intelligence at greater than human level. We’re probably no more than two decades away from creating AGI. Shortly after that we’ll share the planet with ASIs that are thousands or millions of times more intelligent than we are. My book asks ‘Can we survive?’”

Where is the dividing line between an operating system and artificial intelligence? He describes an operating system as “simply the interface between you, a human, and the parts of the computer that process information. For example, Apple’s OS is functional computer window dressing that allows you to perform useful jobs with the computer’s processors, memory and other hardware. The OS isn’t intelligent.” Instead, Artificial Intelligence is a computer program or linked programs that perform acts of human-like intelligence in very narrow domains, such as search and navigation.

When asked if it is necessary for an entity to be self aware in order for it to be artificial intelligence, he said, "Artificial Intelligence is all around us – in our phones, our cars, our homes. It’s not self aware in any important sense. However, self-awareness may be necessary for AGI. In our own intelligence, self-awareness plays a large part. Our awareness of our bodies and minds and our environment impacts how we perform tasks, achieve goals, and learn. It remains to be seen if computers can emulate our intelligent behavior without self awareness. It may be possible. Probably it’ll be necessary for the computer to have some kind of self-awareness, for example, a mathematical model of itself and its environment.

But will it have anything like real consciousness? Will it know it exists? Good questions. I believe we’ll create wildly intelligent aliens. That is, they’ll be super effective at intelligent tasks, but they’ll perform them differently than we do, and they won’t possess an inner life anything like ours. For example, an airplane doesn’t fly like a bird or have other qualities of a bird, but it accomplishes the same essential feat much faster and for much longer, under harsher conditions. In the same way, a superintelligent machine will outperform us in every cognitive dimension. But it won’t have our mammalian evolutionary inheritance of empathy, or love. It won’t have an inner life at all unless we program one in. And we don’t have any idea how to do that.”

Our Final Invention

Click to buy Our Final Invention

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