Steven Litt: «Planning commission nears approval of innovative zoning aimed at transforming downtown»

Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer. Cleveland.com

«No more parking garages or buildings with blank, windowless facades that turn sidewalks into scary dead zones.

»No more buildings with hallways, mechanical spaces, trash rooms or utility vaults fronting major streets.

»Those are some goals of the innovative new “Urban Core Overlay” zoning the administration of Mayor Frank Jackson wants the city’s Planning Commission to approve as part of its new thrust to update how it regulates development.

»Zoning functions as the city’s DNA, so changing it holds the potential to transform downtown over time as new developments fill acres of surface parking that now dominate much of the urban core.

»Widely adopted elsewhere

»Inspired by similar codes in scores of other U.S. cities, the new zoning provision would be layered over existing zoning in parts of the downtown, with the commission’s approval.

»The new language would require developers to make the city’s center more lively, walkable and densely developed. Those are goals sought both by the city and, increasingly, by developers, said Freddy Collier, the city’s planning director.

»The city’s original zoning code, dating back to 1929, can hamper or prohibit street-friendly approaches to architecture and urban design.

»As a result, developers have had to engage in costly and time-consuming appeals for variances – something Collier would like to minimize or eliminate.

»Among other things, the new overlay would require developers to:

»- Wrap parking garages with “liner buildings” including apartments, retail or offices or a mix of those uses. “Active” uses, such as retail, would be required on the ground level.

»- Fill 80 percent of a building’s frontage up to the property line to avoid unsightly spatial gaps.

»- Erect a building at least half as high as the width of street it fronts, to create a sense of spatial enclosure by reinforcing what planners call the “street wall.”

»- Design principal facades for nonresidential buildings that are at least 60 percent transparent at ground level with windows and doors.

The new language would require developers to make the city’s center more lively, walkable and densely developed.

»Members of the commission said at their meeting on Friday, at which city planners presented the new language for approval, that they liked much of what they heard.

»Ironically, however, they expressed concern that the new zoning language didn’t provide enough flexibility for developers to seek variances for the first floors of buildings from the Board of Zoning Appeals or the commission itself.

»Instead, the overlay language would require those variances to be sought through the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

»City planner Kyle Reisz told the commission that the new overlay takes a “carrot and stick” approach to require the kind of development the city wants.

»Suburbs out front?

»He also pointed out that suburban developments such as Westlake’s Crocker Park firmly require garages to be screened with retail or other uses along major streets.

»“We cannot let the suburbs beat us at our own game,” he said.

»The commission nevertheless tabled the measure and requested Collier and his planners to offer refined language on variance procedures and to bring back a revision at the next meeting, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19.

»At the meeting, Collier called the new urban overlay “mission critical.”

»He said he was especially eager to see the new language approved, because it would facilitate a new 1,200-unit apartment, office and retail development proposed by Weston Inc. and Citymark Capital on two blocks in the city’s Warehouse District.

»He said he’d like to see the project in a position to break ground soon.

»Eager to implement

»“We want to move this forward because time is of the essence for us and also for the project area,” Collier said. “It’s critical.”

»He said the zoning overlay could also be applied elsewhere in downtown.

»Commission member Lillian Kuri said she liked the code and wanted to approve it, but that it “will not go anywhere beyond this [Warehouse District] development” without a clarification of language on how to seek variances, short of going to court.

»Developer Fred Geis, who attended the meeting but is not engaged in the Warehouse District project, also urged more flexibility on variances.

»“There’s always exceptions to the rule, and that should always be considered,” Geis said.

»The new type of zoning focuses more on the shape and form of buildings rather than on strictly regulating and separating one land use from another, as does traditional zoning.

»Among other things, the new zoning overlay would prevent a repeat of eyesores such as the pair of 1970s-era garages that front 330 feet of sidewalk on the south side of Superior Avenue between East Ninth and East 12th streets.

»“Form-based” zoning has been advocated widely by planners and advocates such as consultants Jeff Speck of Washington, D.C.; Hazel Borys of Winnipeg, Canada; and former Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls, all of whom spoke in October at a conference on zoning co-sponsored by the city at the Cleveland chapter of the Urban Land Institute.

»In trial already

»The city implemented two “form-based” zoning overlays in discrete neighborhood retail areas on the West Side, in July and November.

»The urban core overlay proposed on Friday would be the next step in the city’s exploration of the new style of zoning.

»Collier said other areas being eyed for the new zoning include Opportunity Corridor, the swath of economically struggling neighborhoods that flank a new, $331 million boulevard under construction between I-490 at East 55th Street and University Circle.

»“We want to move to the point where we revamp the entire zoning code,” Collier said. “These demonstrations will show people the type of product and ease of process for developers seeking to save time and money.”»

The innovation execution


Manchan Magan: «Can the Midlands become our Northern California?»

Sunday Independent

«Longford-Westmeath can be to Dublin what Sonoma County in northern California is to San Francisco, an area exceptionally rich in resources and ripe for profitable, sustainable development, right beside a thriving metropolis of tech innovation and international commerce. Brandenburg serves a similar role for Berlin, as does Vancouver Island for Vancouver. These rugged, naturally beautiful areas, known for their ecological commitment, provide the breathing room and recreational space for innovative start-ups and creative entrepreneurs to explore new ventures on the threshold of the chaotic urban melee.

»Longford-Westmeath is ideally suited for this role, once it re-orientates itself towards innovation, sustainability and enlightened social services, just as Sonoma, Brandenburg and Vancouver Island have done. Five strands must be implemented simultaneously: 1) locally-owned renewable energy; 2) sustainable horticulture and artisan food; 3) adventure tourism that is heritage-rich; 4) start-up hubs for tech, arts and small enterprises; 5) and a social care system that is enlightened, holistic and community-led.

»Where will the funding come from? Primarily, a mix of public/private funding through a new network of regional-based public banks modelled on the German Sparkassen (like credit unions, but for SMEs), whose remit will be to fund local public projects and return the profits to the local area. EU Rural Development Funds and the EU's Life Programme will be a secondary source: both committed to promoting social inclusion and sustainable economic development in rural areas. (Both are currently well-funded as the ECB tries to flood the market with quantitative easing). In addition to this, investment funds such as Silicon Valley Bank have expressed clear commitment to fund innovative, long-term sustainable projects here; ideally combining a mix of visionary entrepreneurship with local government support.

»1) Energy: First step is to replace the turf-burning power stations with wind turbines, solar fields and farm-based biogas digesters that are at least 20pc locally owned. International companies, such as Apple in Athenry are already insisting on 100pc renewable energy. The Midlands will offer it. Prof David Connolly of Aalberg University estimates in Green Plan Ireland that transition to renewable energy will create 100,000 jobs in Ireland in projects such as district heating units to replace town gas and the installation of heat pumps in rural homes in lieu of oil burners. Ireland imports €6bn worth of petroleum annually and may have to pay millions in carbon taxes unless we divest now.

»2) Farming: Rather than risking the reputation of our grass-fed beef and dairy by doubling production, we must diversify, making Longford-Westmeath a centre of pioneering horticulture and profiting from some of the €850m spent annually on imported vegetables and fruit. We can gain world renown as a premium brand of organic frozen vegetables grown in the heart of Ireland - the Kerrygold of vegetables. Likewise, we can supply some of the 50 million apples, pears and plums bought here each year; not to mention walnuts, hazelnuts and Asian vegetables sought by our immigrant community.

Where will the funding come from? Primarily, a mix of public/private funding through a new network of regional-based public banks modelled on the German Sparkassen (like credit unions, but for SMEs), whose remit will be to fund local public projects and return the profits to the local area.

»Diversification will break-up the flood-prone fields into biodiverse, multi-crop patchworks of trees, orchards, vegetables and polytunnels, with pigs and rare-breed cattle grazing free range in woodlands and wetlands. Farmers' markets and online artisan shops can ensure a fair price, until such time as the quality and integrity of the Midlands brand earns it a premium on the international market.

»3) Tourism: our undiscovered wonderland of woodland estates, wild water realms and alluring peatland is ideal for community-led tourism aimed at discerning travellers. We will offer immersive outdoor activities with intelligent cultural insight and affordable boutique accommodation. By engaging with tourists in a genuine and intimate way, Longford-Westmeath will set itself apart from Ireland's more over-developed, impersonal tourist centres.

»4) Business: Attracting innovative business is a natural corollary of the proceeding steps. Yet, we also need to encourage small-scale start-ups and creative entrepreneurs with a network of enterprise hubs in prominently-situated, prestigious buildings in Longford, Athlone and Mullingar.

»5) Social care: Our care for the most vulnerable must be pioneering, with new, enlightened forms of nature-based, holistic childcare, eldercare and mental care running in tandem with more conventional clinical services. A network of self-sufficient community farms would have Men's Sheds, maker labs and outdoor-focused facilities for counselling and youth support. Engagement with nature would be at the heart of social, health and educational services.

»These steps can ensure the future viability of the Midlands for generations, but they require an enormous commitment from the entire community.

»Manchan Magan reports on travel for Newstalk's Right Hook, and has presented dozens of documentaries on world culture for TG4, RTE & Travel Channel. He lives in Collinstown and is running for the Green Party in the Longford-Westmeath constituency.»

An innovation


«Robert Penn»

Geographical Magazine. I’m a Geographer. Image: Tim Cochrane. This article was published in the January 2016 edition of Geographical magazine.

«Robert Penn is an author, journalist and TV presenter. He wrote and produced the BBC series Tales from the Wild Wood, and wrote It’s All About the Bike and his latest book The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees.

»At the heart of my story is the idea that how we value things made from natural materials is a reflection of how we value nature itself. In our recent history, we have removed things made from natural materials from our homes, things you’d use day in, day out, and I think that has an effect. If we have no deep, daily association with our woods and timber, we won’t value and protect our trees.

»Ash has been the most versatile and functional of the trees that grow in temperate climates around the world over the course of human history, and the respect that our ancestors would have had for ash was born out of how useful it was. If you look at how much we used it, and its versatility, and then you consider how our use has fallen off in the last 50 to 60 years, that’s a metaphor for our relationship with nature.

»There is inevitably a dilemma between my affection for a tree while it’s living, and felling it in order to convert it into lots of different things, which will be useful to many different people in different ways. That is a dilemma which has been familiar to man for a very long time. But you’re not killing these trees, you’re just cutting them down. You’re resetting the clock. This is a fundamental aspect of woodland management in Britain. You cut them down; they grow again. You also cut a tree down to allow sunlight into the wood, which increases and improves the biodiversity and ecology of that woodland.

»We have a contract with our woodlands. We have managed them for a very long time, and that means the ecology of the woodland is, in a sense, reliant on us. Generally speaking, research has shown that the biodiversity of our woodland declines if it is left alone.

»We are at a strange position in Britain with respect to woodland management at the moment: there are an awful lot of people who think that our woodlands ought to be protected by doing nothing with them, and that’s wrong. If you go back just 50 years, you would find that everybody understood that trees coppice, and that’s how you extend their lives. An ash tree, for example, will live as a single stem or ‘maiden’ tree for no more than 200 years. If you coppice it, it might live to 400 or 500. There’s a lime tree at Westonbirt Arboretum that was growing when the Romans were here. It’s 2,000 years old and has been coppiced every 25 years. If it had never been coppiced, it would have died long ago.

»We have lost a lot of knowledge about our trees and how to maintain our woodlands. At the talks I give, I ask people to put up their hands if they feel confident they can recognise an ash tree, and I generally get about 20 per cent who put their hand up. That is a radical change; if you went back 60 years you’d probably find 95 per cent of the population could recognise an ash tree.

We have lost a lot of knowledge about our trees and how to maintain our woodlands. At the talks I give, I ask people to put up their hands if they feel confident they can recognise an ash tree, and I generally get about 20 per cent who put their hand up.

»One of the lovely things about writing this book was finding craftsmen whose intimacy and understanding of the timber, of this fantastic natural resource, is profound. So the knowledge hasn’t been lost altogether; it’s just in fewer hands than it was previously. That gives me cause to go out and bang the drum about this and say we need to widen the knowledge base again.

»When I moved to the Black Mountains in south Wales 12 years ago, I wanted to associate myself with the landscape in a meaningful way. I wanted to understand the cultural inheritance the land provides, and I didn’t want to live like a refugee in my own country. I wanted a meaningful relationship with the landscape.

»I feel the urge to go travelling deeply. It comes in waves, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. When I rode a bike around the world, I rode in a westerly direction. I promised myself at the end of the journey that, at the other end of my life, I’d do it again in an easterly direction. I’m a way off doing it – maybe 15 or 20 years – but at some point in my sixties I expect to get on my bike and head east. That’s something I’d very much like to do.

»I run a community woodland group and lots of families come once a month for a very informal, mildly educational day. I try and impart a little bit of knowledge, but actually it’s mainly about mucking about in the woods, lighting a fire and toasting marshmallows. It’s only a small group, but it’s important. If lots of people were doing something similar then it may well be that the next generation will grow up to have an intimate relationship with our trees and woods again. I think that would be fantastic.»

An innovator


Becky Dickinson: «Reading, writing and mud: the growth of Forest Schools»


«The afternoon sun covers the playground in autumnal light. A group of four and five-year-olds gather around an open fire. The heat isn’t strictly necessary - it’s only September, but it wouldn’t be Forest School without a fire.

»After a pep talk on not entering the ‘fire circle’ (a precautionary bucket of water is on standby) the pupils from St George’s Infant School in Northam, Devon are let loose to explore the patch of wilderness behind their playground.

»The transformation is palpable and swift. Suddenly, they are children once more, not pupils - sitting in a circle listening to an adult - but children rolling down grassy banks, hunting for bugs and sliding in mud.

»This is Forest School - a Scandinavian import that is becoming increasingly widespread in primary schools across the UK. The approach, which was introduced to Britain in the early nineties, involves taking children into an outdoor, ideally woodland, environment to develop confidence and self- esteem through hands-on learning experiences.

»It’s not so much a practice as a philosophy, and one that might easily have disappeared under the greener carpet of Steiner schools and home educators when it first crept in. But, like IKEA, the idea seems to have caught on.

»Now, just over 20 years on, ask a five year old at St George’s what she does at school and the reply is likely to be: reading, maths and Forest School, with the latter often being the favourite.

»In Northam, Devon, a group of boys smear earth on their faces and belly-dive down a mud chute they’ve channelled into a small hill.

»“This is a racing place. You have to climb up,” enthuses four-year-old Fabian, proudly displaying his mud-caked hands.

»Five-year-olds, Tilly-Mae and Cameron, are stamping in puddles like born-again toddlers. Beth is observing a worm.

»It strikes me how young these children actually are and how easy it is to forget that, once they become swallowed up in compulsory education. Unshackled by school uniform, it’s as if they’ve been released into their natural state, given licence to act their age and re-engage with play, nature and physical energy.

»Teacher, Louise Trask, leads Forest School at St George’s and is passionate about the benefits.

»“It’s about them taking a journey, taking risks, developing self esteem and the way they get on with other children. Building activities to support those areas then strengthens what they do in the classroom.”

It’s about them taking a journey, taking risks, developing self esteem and the way they get on with other children. Building activities to support those areas then strengthens what they do in the classroom.

»Louise, whose mother is Danish, was inspired by memories of her childhood cousins routinely leaving for school with waterproofs and wellies in line with the Scandinavian culture of ‘friluftsliv’ or open air living. It’s something she is keen to bring to her own pupils through Forest School.

»She says: “You build a different relationship with the children because you’re not at the front of the classroom, it’s much more child-led. When they discover something, or realise they can do something, it’s that complete wow moment. You don’t get that in the same way in the classroom.”

»The first UK Forest School was set up in 1993 by a team from Bridgwater College in Somerset. Inspired by a field trip to some Danish nurseries, they employed the principles of an outdoor focused, child-centred and play-based approach in their own school and were stunned by the way in which the children blossomed in confidence and creativity.

»In 1995, the college began offering Forest School training courses. The take-up has grown exponentially and John Blaney, project and development manager for Bridgwater College Forest School, estimates they have trained around 10,000 early years practitioners, with many more attending information days.

»One school with a deep rooted Forest School programme is Great Bedwyn Primary in Wiltshire. Forest School co-ordinator, Fiona de Pass, says: “In an age where we are concerned that children are more sedentary, Forest School supports all the physical development curriculum goals, encouraging the children to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and use their local area.

»“This in turn inspires respect for the natural environment and gives the children a real sense of belonging to their local community. All the children take an active role in assessing for danger and regulate themselves following simple rules that are learnt as they work.”

»As adults increasingly lament the “cotton wool” generation and parents worry about the pressures on young school children, Forest School seems to provide an antidote to technology and testing. And while the pupils may not realise they are learning, activities are often linked to work they’re doing in the classroom. Fiona recalls one particularly successful session.

»“The children had read The Enormous Crocodile story and their task that day was to set cunning traps. The sheer ingenuity was outstanding and the literacy that developed as a result of the outdoor learning was remarkable.”

»The teachers are keen to see Forest School rolled out nationally. “It’s one thing to teach subjects, but teaching them to be lifelong learners has a bigger impact,” says Louise Trask.

»And John Blaney is keen to promote Forest School in urban areas, too. He recently spent a week training 22 teachers in inner London, teaching them how to make the most of playgrounds no bigger than a domestic garden.

»He says: “Even in a very small area, just roofed by the sky, you can use it as an outdoor classroom, bring wildlife in and really engage the children. A good practitioner with a passion for the outdoors can achieve wonders.”

»As home time looms at St George’s, a whistle summons the children back to ‘base camp.’ They resume their place around the fire and cook bread and marshmallows over the coals.

»Arming a bunch of four and five year olds with smouldering sticks may not seem hugely sensible, but allowing children to manage risks is central to the Forest School ethos and they respond with due caution; the promise of a toasted marshmallow, an added incentive.

»Fortunately, there are no burnt fingers, only sticky ones. Then the sky thickens, and it starts raining. No-one goes inside. Fabian is babbling about Bear Grylls, clearly feeling something in common with the adventurer and survivalist.

»Just before they traipse back indoors, the pupils are asked to rate how much they’ve enjoyed the session with a thumbs up or thumbs down. It’s a unanimous vote of approval.»

Public Administration and innovation


Newsletter L&I, n.º 101 (2016-04-25)

n.º 101 (2016-04-25)

Administração Pública e inovação | Administración Pública e innovación |
Administration Publique et innovation | Public Administration and innovation

Um inovador | Un innovador | Un innovateur | An innovator

Uma inovação | Una innovación | Une innovation | An innovation

A execução da inovaçao | La ejecución de la innovación | L’exécution de l’innovation |
The innovation execution


Liderar Inovando (BR)

«Em boas mãos: Rússia e Irã desenvolvem logística de transporte de carga comercial» ( ► )
«Supera Parque inaugura laboratório de compatibilidade eletromagnética» ( ► )
«Frederico Bussinger: “O novo, nos portos, pode ser o velho”» ( ► )
João Benedetto: «Inovação em tecnologia de dados auxilia crescimento do varejo» ( ► )

Liderar Inovando (PT)

«João Almeida Lopes, Presidente da Associação Portuguesa da Indústria Farmacêutica (Apifarma): “Desconheço países com quotas de genéricos tão altas como as nossas”» ( ► )
«BMW introduz robots autónomos na sua logística» ( ► )
«Santarém recebe Roadshow Portugal Global» ( ► )
«Cascais: da eficácia à eficiência nos resíduos» ( ► )

Liderar Innovando (ES)

«Hidalgo siembra semilla logística con centro de innovación» ( ► )
«Los estudiantes imaginan cómo será la cadena de suministros del mañana» ( ► )
«La innovación revolucionará el Salón Internacional de la Logística y de la Manutención (SIL) 2016)» ( ► )
«Megacamiones que siembran dudas» ( ► )

Mener avec Innovation (FR)

«VNF lance un centre d’innovation fluviale» ( ► )
«Prix de l’innovation logistique de la SITL 2016 : 5 lauréats récompensés» ( ► )
«Avec les robots collaboratifs, la robolution gagne les chaînes logistiques de la Deutsche Post» ( ► )
«Trois start-up marocaines qui incitent au partage» ( ► )

Leadership and Innovation (EN)

Sandy Verma: «Tapping into the power of the IoT: Three questions to ask your team» ( ► )
«Kaleido Logistics launches Logistics Tech Accelerator» ( ► )
Dhruvil Sanghvi: «Technological innovations and new trends in logistics, supply chain management» ( ► )
«Robots set to aid postal workers with deliveries in Germany» ( ► )

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional


«Robots set to aid postal workers with deliveries in Germany»

Pakistan Today

«Germany’s Deutsche Post is testing robots that could help postal workers cope with increasing numbers of parcels on their delivery rounds, a company manager said on Thursday.

»The volume of parcels being delivered by Deutsche Post in Germany is rising steadily as more and more Germans buy goods online from retailers such as Amazon.com and Zalando. That is making up for declining letter volumes, but posing problems due to the larger size of items involved.

»“Robots could be used in deliveries in three to five years time,” said Clemens Beckmann, head of innovation at the groups parcel and letter division. “The technology is there.”

»The robots, which look like a table on wheels on which goods can be placed, would follow delivery workers, helping them to transport and carry heavy parcels. If the postie stops walking, the robot stops too, and it only starts again when they move on.

»Deutsche Post is already conducting trials of the robots at its depots. It is also considering the idea of using robots as mobile pick-up points that would go and collect parcels from customers.

»However, that is a long way off because that would require rules on autonomous driving.

»Still, Deutsche Post is already testing robotics elsewhere, such as moveable shelves in warehouses, and is considering drones to help monitor inventory levels in large depots in China and watch over valuable goods.

»Around 80 percent of the processes in logistics sites are still done manually, Deutsche Post said.

»“Delivery chains in which people and robots work together will soon be normal and will allow for faster and more efficient processing of goods,” Beckmann said.»

The innovation execution


Dhruvil Sanghvi: «Technological innovations and new trends in logistics, supply chain management»


«Most companies in this domain have tried to innovate with the use of tech and yet do their operations in a manual way by putting hundreds of resources on board. For example, we recently observed that many hyperlocal logistics startups have central team, city teams, area teams, analyst teams and a team to coordinate among all these teams! Even after so much manpower, things go wrong on the field and ultimately create a chaos. India has always identified as one of the most unorganised markets when it comes to logistics and supply chain and these manpower intensive approaches are not adding any value to it.

»The Big Data way

»Big Data and predictive analytics has far greater role to play in saving costs and optimizing operations. The data can be generated from multiple mediums; it could be through GPS Trackers, RF sensors, Mobile devices and it becomes very important to collect this data and store it. Petabytes of data is going to be processed daily, so we need to make sure that all the data is being crunched properly to produce useful insights which can help companies to take required actions.

»This is where the smart technology comes into picture. The cutting edge technology has enabled the industry players to come up with products which could help us to cater to all the legs of logistics ranging from First Mile, line haul or last mile. For example the delivery scheduler helps to schedule the deliveries keeping in mind the no of deliveries, availability, capacity and the time slots in the best possible manner. It is integrated with Warehouse Management System (WMS) for schedule based loading/unloading.

»The reverse logistics is efficiently planned on the route of forward logistics. The major benefits include:

»1. Optimize Operations To Meet Time Bound Deliveries

»2. Measure Performance And Track SLAs With Transporters

»3. Pay Delivery Boys Based On Distance Travelled

»4. Measure Daily Planned vs Actual Number of Deliveries

»In the pursuit of continuous innovation and to learn from the best in this industry we have partnered with professors at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Illinois in the US to bring best of the skills in data sciences domain to Indian market.

»Survival of the techiest – Hyperlocal space

»On demand and same day deliveries will continue to rise and with the lack of funds in this market, it is going to be the most challenging space to watch out for in 2016 as well. Companies which have tech in their DNA are going to have advantage over others. While companies which are driven by people with operational or non-IT background are going to partner with SaaS companies to leverage the power of technology.

On demand and same day deliveries will continue to rise and with the lack of funds in this market, it is going to be the most challenging space to watch out for in 2016 as well.

»For example: The Last Mile Delivery Solution supports multiple flavors of deliveries for example, single pick up with multiple delivery, multiple pick-up with single delivery, single pick up with single delivery and multiple pick-up with multiple deliveries.

»Having seen promising results and believing that complete automation is possible to reduce operational cost by a huge extent, many companies have decided to launch their own automated operations. The new products that are being introduced is targeted specifically to those entities who could focus on their core business and outsource last mile delivery part to the experts. This helps the operators in three ways:

»1. Collect more data to improve the accuracy of ETA prediction, route planning and dispatch optimization

»2. Increase the market size by offering a completely automated delivery fleet to the clients

»3. Without undertaking any operations hassle and maintaining more than 2 percent net margin with bigger topline revenues.

»Mapping tier 2 and tier 3 cities – the real challenge

»In India when we talk about tier 2 and tier 3 cities, addresses are still not well structured, unlike most of the western countries. In that case, how to identify nearest vendor or nearest delivery boy? How to ensure the address provided is the correct address? Unless the address is provided correctly, maps would not be able to detect location. The solution to this problem is Geocoding. Geocoding is nothing but the process of associating an address or a name of a place with coordinates on the map.

»The system automatically segments the address entered by the customer into different blocks and then try and locate the correct coordinates on the map. Providing the option of updating location manually where someone would check for the customer address and pinpoint it on the map and lock the coordinates has been a big boost for the players. Another way is using reverse Geo Coding technique wherein one is able to connect with individual customer via smart phones in real time, grab their GPS signal and translate it in to coordinates when they place an order. Channel partnerships with startups like Zippr who have taken up this challenge and are building an ecosystem to map the complex addresses in India will help the logistic sector specialists a lot.

»Gaining competitive advantage

»More and more traditional companies would start leveraging technology to gain competitive advantage. One of the most liked and used feature is what we call “control room”. This is a combination of dashboards which can be viewed on large screens and gives a NASA-like centralised control room feeling where the operations team can sit and assist their field team to make better decisions on a minute-by-minute basis. The Heat Maps are enabling companies to identify bottlenecks in their current network. Heat maps provide information on those areas where maximum delays are happening.

»The tech teams of the companies and startups are developing more interesting features like these and the future of the sector looks promising.

»The author is CEO and Co-founder, LogiNext Solutions.»

An innovation


«Kaleido Logistics launches Logistics Tech Accelerator»

American Journal of Transportation (AJOT)

«“An international programme that emphasises one more step on the open innovation ecosystem, which the company is driving.”

»Kaleido Logistics, together with RocketSpace, has launched the first acceleration programme for startups in logistics, named Logistics Tech Accelerator. This initiative will connect logistical challenges of companies with tech and disruptive startups. Its purpose is to promote industrial innovation in the sector, as well as combine Kaleido’s tech approach to disruptive logistics solutions and open innovation ecosystem with the startups environment knowledge of RocketSpace.

»Logistics Tech Accelerator is part of the open innovation ecosystem that Kaleido drives, its main objective being to identify and put together the expertise and knowledge of various companies, organisations and the best startups, assuming together the challenge of rethinking logistics.

»Since 2008, Kaleido has maintained on building its innovative history, applying technology to its activities and always aiming for logistics efficiency. It has continued developing other products and services, which are added to its portfolio. The unique approach to business allows the company to offer tailored solutions, the most relevant milestone being the recent achievement of its open innovation ecosystem.

»“A tech approach to all logistics projects is a must and part of our core business,” said Xoán Martínez, CEO of Kaleido. “To accelerate our initiatives, it’s critical to evolve toward an open innovation approach where we can pair our global logistics knowledge with the industry’s brightest startups to create cutting-edge tech solutions.”

»This four-month programme challenges the startups to accelerate their projects in order to achieve scalable and measurable results. In addition, it will provide acceleration, piloting, and plunge in the real market, training, relationships and funding rounds. Those startups interested in participating can apply or find more information here.»

An innovator


Sandy Verma: «Tapping into the power of the IoT: Three questions to ask your team»


«For most business leaders, the question is not whether to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, but how best to use them. What do you need to know to turn the IoT into a competitive advantage for your business?

»The IoT is not new. Organisations began using sensing, diagnostic and communications equipment to track spacecraft, weather balloons, wild animals and other important ‘things’ more than two decades ago.

»What is different today is the pace of IoT innovation, which is opening up new possibilities for a much wider range of businesses and industries.

»According to AT&T’s latest Cybersecurity Insights report The CEO’s Guide to Securing IoT (PDF), 85 per cent of global organisations are considering or exploring an IoT strategy. One-quarter of these have already piloted or implemented IoT projects.

»The promise of bottom-line benefits will continue to drive IoT adoption, but success is not as simple as just connecting devices to the Internet. Asking the following three questions can help you ensure your team is on the right path:

»1. How can we transform our business processes with IoT to deliver value?

»Companies used to deploy IoT solutions to either improve efficiency or save cost. With advances in information and communications technology, organisations can now look at IoT services as a way to increase customer satisfaction and enable new business models or revenue streams.

»For example, water scarcity is intensifying worldwide. With rapid population growth and large-scale urbanisation, access to freshwater is only going to become more problematic in our region. Smart city solutions that use IoT and acoustic technology to detect leaks in water mains are now being developed to help detect water loss and minimise damage caused by leaking pipes.

»The aim is to be able to rapidly retrofit these new IoT solutions into existing mains networks to give communities greater visibility into their water supply and, in the longer term, to also motivate the public to conserve water. As this shows, even complex legacy systems need not be a barrier to IoT success.

»2. Will our IoT plans generate a real return?

»It can be illuminating to look ahead to how your industry, customers and business may change in the next two to five years and to consider how the IoT can support these changes to deliver a real return.

»In the logistics sector, overcapacity is expected to remain an issue in the next few years as Asia’s manufacturers cope with muted global trade and slower economic growth in China. Transport providers are thus seeking a competitive edge by using connected devices to efficiently track shipments in the air or on land or sea, providing operational visibility and access to valuable real-time information.

Transport providers are thus seeking a competitive edge by using connected devices to efficiently track shipments in the air or on land or sea, providing operational visibility and access to valuable real-time information.

»In a 2014 global survey of shippers and logistics providers by EyeForTransport Reports and AT&T (PDF), 80 per cent of companies seeking to expand their existing IoT solutions expected to see a return on their new deployments within two years.

»As a business leader, you understand your industry and your customers, and you know which connections will drive maximum value for your business. What you are unlikely to have is the in-house talent to design, test and build IoT solutions that leverage this knowledge.

»Since the IoT decisions you make today will impact your business tomorrow, it makes sense to access expert outside help and use your resources strategically.

»3. What security risks do our IoT deployments bring, and how will we mitigate them?

»While cybersecurity is already top of mind for many organisations, IoT deployments can amplify the risks. For a start, the scale of connected devices greatly increases the complexity of cybersecurity and the volume of data that needs protecting. The challenge intensifies as IoT devices are deployed to control infrastructure, such as factory operations and supply chains.

»The connected car is one example of IoT that many of us will directly experience. Machina Research estimates that there were about 125 million IoT connections in the global automotive sector by the end of 2014. By 2024, this will have grown to 1.2 billion.

»The world is welcoming IoT-connected cars and their promise to improve safety, reduce operational costs and streamline traffic flow. However, the possibility that a hacker may be able to unlock and enable a car’s ignition, or remotely take over mission-critical systems such as brakes or steering, is too frightening to ignore.

»The answer, for the automotive sector and other industries, is to build multiple layers of security controls into IoT devices and their connecting networks. In the connected car, this will mean separating critical safety systems and engine control units from infotainment and tethered device connections.

»Here, as in all industries, the entire IoT ecosystem will need to be involved from the start; security has to encompass not just your own devices, data and applications, but those of your partners and customers as well.

»Focusing on IoT as a strategic advantage

»The technical and security challenges of an IoT implementation can be considerable, but they are not insurmountable. For most companies, putting time and effort into achieving the strategic advantages that IoT can bring will deliver great value for your organisation, even in light of these challenges.

»Finding a skilled and experienced partner to help you manage your devices, connectivity, platforms and applications can lead to a successful IoT experience.

»Sandy Verma leads AT&T’s Internet of Things Strategy & Solutions in Asia Pacific. Verma, based in Hong Kong, joined AT&T in the United States in 2001.»

Public Administration and innovation


Newsletter L&I, n.º 100 (2016-04-18)

n.º 100 (2016-04-18)

Administração Pública e inovação | Administración Pública e innovación |
Administration Publique et innovation | Public Administration and innovation

Um inovador | Un innovador | Un innovateur | An innovator

Uma inovação | Una innovación | Une innovation | An innovation

A execução da inovaçao | La ejecución de la innovación | L’exécution de l’innovation |
The innovation execution


Liderar Inovando (BR)

«Redução da violência não se resume a policiamento» ( ► )
«Ranking de Competitividade dos Estados: para comparar e cobrar» ( ► )
«TSYS conclui a aquisição da TransFirst» ( ► )
Fábio Saad: «Que legado as startups deixarão para a cultura corporativa?» ( ► )

Liderar Inovando (PT)

«BNU Macau: “Somos a plataforma para entrar no mercado da China”» ( ► )
«Bon Bon é poder jantar no novo estrela Michelin português» ( ► )
Ana Pimentel: «Liderar antes dos 30. Do que é que eles têm medo?» ( ► )
Bruno Mourão com Elsa Pereira: «Pela primeira vez em quase 250 anos, uma mulher lidera Bolsa» ( ► )

Liderar Innovando (ES)

Ricardo Rodríguez Vargas. Omar Williams López Ovalle. Opinión LJA: «Esfera Pública: Innovar, la clave para competir» ( ► )
«Lucy Crespo y su objetivo de innovar a Puerto Rico» ( ► )
«¿Quiere innovar? Adiós a su zona de confort» ( ► )
«Conozca a los 40 menores de 40». Selección de El Financiero (Puerto Rico) ( ► )

Mener avec Innovation (FR)

Bernard Planchais: «Comment innover en politique en s’inspirant
de l’industrie» ( ► )
«Le Patronat de Guinée (PAG), distingué meilleure Organisation Patronale 2015 en Guinée» ( ► )
Regine Turmeau: «5 conseils à retenir de “Le leadership humainement intelligent de demain”» ( ► )
«Inauguration de l’African Leadership College Campus à Maurice – Graça Machel: “Jeter les bases des futurs leaders africains”» ( ► )

Leadership and Innovation (EN)

James Hasik: «Innovating Faster, Cheaper and Smaller at the Pentagon» ( ► )
«Koo Govender - CEO of the Dentsu Aegis Network» ( ► )
Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, James I. Rogers & Tom Waldman: «Remote Control Project Briefing - ‘Drone Chic’» ( ► )
«Leadership When Things Go Wrong» ( ► )

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional


«Leadership When Things Go Wrong»

Executive Education at ESMT (European School of Management and Technology). IEDP (International Executive Development Programs)

«“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill was supposed to have said. It was good advice but perhaps not too helpful. What leaders under pressure really need are strategies and techniques to be able to the handle errors and mistakes that inevitably beset all organizations at some time.

»The concept behind a unique program at ESMT is that active ‘error management’ should be an integral part of corporate practice, but that most companies are not even aware that error management exists or they misunderstand it as a system for error avoidance.

»“In management we tend to focus on success stories. But I was more interested to learn why strong organizations were involved in disasters or bankruptcies, especially when their managers had a solid professional background. By looking at a number of cases, the issue of error communication came up repeatedly.” says Professor Jan Hagen, author of ‘Confronting Mistakes’ and leader of the ESMT program.

In management we tend to focus on success stories. But I was more interested to learn why strong organizations were involved in disasters or bankruptcies, especially when their managers had a solid professional background.

»Beyond reducing pressure and handling mistakes effectively, the other aspect to error management is that innovation – key to 21st century business success – involves error. The process of innovating new business models and processes is one inextricably linked to making errors. Several studies have shown that companies can learn as much of business value from negative outcomes than positive ones; so companies that exclusively focus on error prevention policies rather than active error management also risk stymieing innovation.

»Drawing on the experience of the high-risk aviation industry, which focuses on preparing its staff to solve life threatening situations, ESMT’s Leadership under Pressure (LUP) program offers ways to proactively manage pressure, errors, and crises in complex organizations. It shows how a diagnostic concept is the first step toward a modern working environment in which critical situations serve as learning opportunities.

»Key topics include:

»• Avoiding the blame game.

»• Maintaining control in dynamic and fluid situations.

»• Assessing different crisis stages.

»• Managing communication.

»• Driving decision-making processes in dynamic and high-workload situations.

»• Leading teams during crises.

»• Understanding the prerequisites for error management.

»• Overcoming potential obstacles.

»• Exercises in real flight simulators of Lufthansa Flight Training.»

The innovation execution


Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, James I. Rogers & Tom Waldman: «Remote Control Project Briefing - ‘Drone Chic’»

Oxford Research Group. Image by JIM Howard via Flickr.

«Policy Recommendations:

»Within the UK there is currently a bias depicting drones as precise, clean and value free. Our recommendations question this.

»1. Precision is a ‘myth’: We need to stop deceiving ourselves that progress is being made and costs are being avoided through precision. War is never cost-free. But it appears to be in most accounts of contemporary conflict. We term this ‘Drone Chic’. The stories we tell ourselves deceive us.

»2. No strategy: Drones are tactical devices and cannot substitute for an overarching and coherent national strategy. Yet we ignore the primacy of the tactical and celebrate false ‘victories’ through simply ‘proportionate and discriminate’ means. A form of Moralism has replaced Politics.

»3. The Victims: It is not just ‘death’ on the receiving end of the drone that demands attention. There are profound consequences for those living under the ever present and seemingly omnipotent machines hovering in the sky above. Drones are, we believe, ‘disheartening’. They change cultural practices and cause psychological damage.

»4. ‘Where are the women?’: More investigation is needed as to the gendered effects of drones and drone killing on the ground. What are the hard socio-economic implications for families when the men are killed? What are the psychological implications for those who witness drone strikes? Can the rise in female suicide rates in places such as Afghanistan be attributed in part to an increase in drone strikes?

»5. The Veterans: One of the important ‘stories’ we are told about drones is that they are accurate and precise. Yet the mounting evidence points, on numerous occasions, in ‘precisely’ the opposite direction. Do drone pilots ‘suffer’ trauma and PTSD from their duties?

»6. Future concerns: As drones continue to proliferate into the hands of both state and non-state actors, we must realize that drones can be used in a multitude of ways which may compromise our safety.


»The imperative that the human ‘costs’ of war should and can be kept to a ‘minimum’ underlies much of contemporary Liberal strategic thought. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, most usually tracked to the first Gulf War and the short but seemingly successful Western intervention in Kosovo. In both cases the use of airpower was depicted as accurate, effective and humane. Not only were these campaigns presented as ‘cost free’ for those attacking but certainly in the example of Kosovo much was made of the low ‘costs’ inflicted upon civilians and the accuracy of targeting. This despite some spectacular failures in mistaking targets[1] [Read the notes below the text]. The possibilities though of no cost/low cost was widely picked up and celebrated by any number of Western scholars. The more thoughtful, however, rejected any such easy analysis highlighting instead more disturbing aspects of contemporary warfare.[2] Arguably, the presentation of intervention as clinical and effective had led to a critical misreading of the consequences of what Michael Ignatieff termed ‘Virtual Wars’. Scathingly, Ignatieff termed Western actions in Kosovo as akin to a ‘turkey shoot’.[3] More ominously, the celebration of the primacy of airpower ignored the fact that for those on the receiving end there was a continued condition of vulnerability to the vicissitudes of Western targeting. For those on the ground – there was little if no immediate defence against modern air attack. In this respect, there was no new ‘Nirvana’ of accuracy and damage limitation, but rather a return to earlier periods of airpower.

»For instance, in the nuclear age air attack was expected to prevail, or at the very least, intimidate and coerce those on the other side to moderate behavior considered unhelpful. A constant sense of fear underlay mutually assured destruction (MAD). The point was to render the other side vulnerable and malleable. The threat of punishment literally hung in the air. At the beginning of the nuclear age this situation of vulnerability was described by Bernard Brodie in simple but telling terms: that nuclear weapons made defence against strategic bombing enormously more difficult and ‘disheartening’ to the defender.[4] (We will return to the issue of ‘disheartening’ in our discussion of the psychological effects of drone strikes.)

»That type of situation to a considerable degree characterizes the current use or threat of the use of drones. Opponents/terrorists in zones of conflict, whether it be in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Yemen, can be killed at the pleasure of the President or Prime Minister by drone strike. Enemies can be punished in an instant. Civilians killed around and about the actual intended victim are merely collateral damage. Those who perpetrate the attacks from Langley, Creech Air Force Base or other such facilities take no obvious risks but transfer the risk of death and injury to the people on the ground.

»One consequence is that some of those on the receiving end adapt their behavior. There is no ‘mutually assured destruction’ in the classical sense but there are a series of ‘possibilities’. So there are the escapades of disguise and deception: insurgents hide, mingle and roam amongst the people. ‘Targeting’ therefore becomes more complex and the potential killing of ‘innocents’ surely more likely: especially we suggest in the category of women and children. Here, though, we do not ignore the fact that on occasion – perhaps many occasions – there are considerable failures in the intelligence about those targeted and killed. Sometimes the ‘kill chain’ fails.[5] And forms of ‘retaliation’ exist and are utilized. Hence, a widespread use of IEDs, hostage taking and execution of foreign nationals.[6] There is as yet no direct air-to-air combat with drones – although there will at some point undoubtedly be yet more technological innovation in terms of drone warfare. The ‘enemy’ who has proved adept at adapting and innovating the IED will utilize drones.[7]

»This insurgent action may constitute a ‘deterrent’ strategy, one designed to cause political embarrassment to governments which cannot protect their aid workers or civil servants in troubled areas. There is also, to hark back again to the nuclear age, at least an option which seems to be increasingly utilised of ‘suicide - or -surrender’. Unable to ‘win’ within the theatre of conflict, suicide bombing is an obvious retaliatory weapon either within the region or in distant towns such as Brussels or Paris. Foreign cities may also be the destination for nomadic insurgents who move their activities away from simple rural or small town environments to more complex terrain in teeming urban areas such as Mumbai. [8] Criminality may, indeed almost certainly does, accompany this displacement.

»In short, Western states utilize drone technology to intimidate/avenge/kill enemies abroad. This, although presented as clean and cost free has, we argue, considerably complicated the terrain of warfare and has consequences not just in ‘human costs’ but raises a number of concerns about the West and war.

»What are the Concerns?

»‘A set of concerns were discussed and debated at the ‘Who Bears the Cost?’ workshop sponsored by Remote Control in St Andrews in September, 2015. In one noteworthy session Dr Tom Waldman utilized the Prussian General and philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz to establish a framework for understanding contemporary warfare and our own ‘delusions’. As Waldman argued, fighting in ways which seek to defray costs, states quite often end up over the longer term incurring multiple costs or provoking a different set of costs.

»So, adopting a Clausewitzian political perspective, Dr Waldman observed how the notion of ‘cost-free war’ inevitably unravels in war and highlighted an essential truth that war is not and cannot be risk or cost free. This report, building on Waldman, argues that while risks to ‘our’ side can be seemingly minimized – for example through flying at higher altitudes before dropping bombs, or using drones – the human costs remain high for those on the receiving end of military action, but also inevitably produce complex consequences for all of those involved.

»(We should be mindful not to confuse the closely related concepts of risk and cost. Political leaders have arguably been willing to take huge risks in recent years, one need only think of the decision of the Prime Minister Tony Blair to join the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The crucial point is that politicians have not, on the whole, been willing to accept the human costs on our side associated with those risks; especially as those risks rise for a number of reasons. This has occurred for a variety of reasons which can be listed as the nature of liberal society, the spread of 24-hour mass media and a general distaste for the costs of war on our side especially as the wars endure over many years with seemingly little resolution as in Afghanistan or worse in outright failure as in Iraq.)

»As a result, a handful of overarching themes or features in the general cost-averse approach to war emerge, most notably: casualty sensitivity, the desire for quick and easy wars, and the attraction of coercion. This is accompanied by pervasive short-termism and a preference to seek solutions through the application of advanced technology rather than political and diplomatic solutions. There is also a temptation to seek out evidence that drone strikes have little impact beyond the ‘killing’, that drone strikes do not bring about ‘blowback’ and, perhaps most dangerous of all, a prevalent view that those on the ground approve or at least do not disapprove of this type of Western intervention. So there are practical concerns but there are also profound academic worries. Much of the current research in the ‘Academy’ rests upon- and this is somewhat ironic- fieldwork carried out at a ‘distance’ by strangers. Many academics will not enter a zone of conflict, know little of the country and nothing of the ‘people’. Yet it is with confidence that the idea is perpetuated that drones do not have negative consequences for Western states or for those on the ground. Hence, our view is that a ‘drone chic[9] prevails in academic and government circles.

»Concern 1: ‘Drone Chic: Stories We Tell Ourselves’

»This emphasis on the offensive is accompanied by new narratives which seek to change the language of war. Hence, we see the use of language such as ‘disposition matrix’, ‘collateral damage’ or ‘signature strike’. In short we deceive ourselves that progress is being made and costs are being avoided through the construction and mythology of precision.[10]

»The costs associated with war are proverbially reduced to those of ‘blood and treasure’, referring to lives lost (which have been increasingly expanded to incorporate civilian casualties) and the economic costs of war.[11] But in the discussion of drones a second major process at play relates to the way ‘cost avoidance’ breed forms of cognitive dissonance and damaging institutional practices.[12] Critical perspectives detailing costs of all sorts are ignored and marginalized and there are pressures toward best-case reporting or deception. This leads, we argue, to a knotty problem of ‘counting casualties’ as well as ‘stories we tell ourselves’ about precision.

»Military casualties have been studied for many centuries. We know that civilian leaders (especially in democracies) are notoriously sensitive to the loss of military life. Studies of civilian casualties have only recently begun to appear; thus reflecting the interests and concerns of lawyers, NGOs, journalists and academics. However, in the case of drone casualties what is striking is the prevalence of journalistic or unofficial statistics challenging ‘official’ figures and explanations.[13] We suggest that this ‘difference’ between the claims of accuracy in official figures and those produced elsewhere are crucial to any understanding of the human costs of the drone or any claims about accuracy and precision. More needs to be done to account for the ‘dead’ and maimed. The warning here, though, is that the very nature of drone strikes, the lack of ‘politics’ in the debate over these strikes and the lack of a ‘conversation’ about the other side means that ‘we’ deceive ourselves as to the costs and consequences of the actions taken.[14]

»Concern 2: ‘Moralism has replaced Politics’

»With the end of the Cold War came a prevailing view that ideology had ended and on a deeper level it meant that politics was reduced to a form of moralism. Michael Oakeshott, for example, argued that the Twentieth Century had abolished war and that prudence had replaced idealism. Nowhere, we argue, is this clearer than in the moralistic nature of the drone debate – the prevailing wisdom is that not only do the use of drones keep ‘boots off the ground’, but at little cost to ourselves we can obliterate our enemies.

»But this hides the deeper problem, that the utilisation of drones provides an excuse. Although wars may be ‘lost’ and original political objectives unfulfilled, somehow drones are delivering what could not be accomplished through conventional war and the deployment of militaries – that is a defeat of the enemy. But, and this is what needs further investigation, drones are tactical devices and cannot substitute for an overarching and coherent strategy. Sir Hew Strachen has for a number of years argued that there is a ‘lost art’ to strategy.[15] We agree. The current challenge is that political leaders envisage drones as strategic – that is as game changing technology that cannot only alter the battle space, but alone they can achieve political ends.

»So there is confusion here. Drones can indeed kill people in increasing numbers but do little to address the underlying causes of conflict or the attraction of the terrorist cause. In fact, although it may be possible to decapitate the leadership of insurgent groups in the short term, as David Galula pragmatically pointed out many years ago, in most insurgent groups there are many others willing to take the place of those killed or assassinated precisely because the ‘hearts and minds’ of the people have not been won.[16] Indeed, alienation occurs and grievances proliferate. As perhaps one of the most serious commentators on war Basil Liddell Hart suggested, the humanisation of war rested …in the enlightened realization that the spread of death and destruction endangers the victor’s own future prosperity and reputation. [17]

»Concern 3: ‘Disheartening Drones’

»However, it is not just ‘death’ on the receiving end of the drone that demands attention. It is now clear after many years of drone use that there are profound consequences for those living under the ever present and seemingly omnipotent machines hovering in the sky above. This condition is what we describe as ‘disheartening’. Living under/with drones causes mass psychological and emotional damage: hence anxiety, insomnia and paranoia.[18] The belief prevalent on the ground that drones deliberately target rescuers after an attack has, for example, changed the pattern of social behavior on the ground. Hence, funeral rites have changed and those who would rescue family members or friends from the wreckage of a drone attack now hesitate and demur for fear of further retaliation.[19] In Pakistan, civilians report symptoms of trauma and psychological damage from living with drones. [20]

»Concern 4: ‘Looking in all the wrong places: Women and War’

»O darling, you’re American in my eyes. /

»You are guilty; I apologize.[21]

»Landay Poem, (Anon).

»Evidence is also mounting that drone strikes and the presence of drones have especially negative effects on women.[22] The ironies here abound as the Afghan War was justified by the first Bush Administration, in part, by the emancipation of the women of that country.[23] More investigation is needed as to the gendered effects of drones and drone killing on the ground and there are a myriad of questions which mandate future investigation. Not the least of these is how women cope with the after effects of drone strikes both psychologically but in hard socio-economic terms when the men folk are killed. Although it may be difficult to disentangle the negative effects of drones on women, who anyway suffer high levels of suicide and suicide attempts in countries such as Afghanistan, it is important to attempt such a study. [24] Our own project at the University of Hull utilizes the poetry and art of women on the ground to suggest that there is a distinctly female voice (however muted it may be) which points to a wholly negative narration of the impact of drones.[25] (Here too we are critical of much ongoing research which conspicuously ignores or sidelines female voices and experiences).

Our own project at the University of Hull utilizes the poetry and art of women on the ground to suggest that there is a distinctly female voice (however muted it may be) which points to a wholly negative narration of the impact of drones.

»So a series of policy questions follow. Might it be that within certain communities there is an acceptance of the futility of existence, a turn to suicide, self-harm and overall an increased brutality against groups such as women? In effect, does resistance become internal, local and targeted against the vulnerable? Our work thus far (and it is early in this research project) points to a series of complex interactions on the ground amongst peoples caught in ‘theatres’ regarded as primitive and expendable. Poetry such as landays, oral traditions and data/commentaries on suicides, violent acts such as rape, assault, forced marriages and migration can be utilised to construct a rather different version of what it means to be female under drones and drone strikes.

» (Here this is a supplementary but intriguing question – what have been the cultural ramifications of the use of female soldiers in Afghanistan? So we know now that the US deployed female soldiers in Cultural Support Teams to try and ‘engage’ with the women of Afghanistan but there is as yet little work on how these female teams and indeed female drone pilots have affected cultural norms or grievances. A question to consider here is whether female drone pilots affect concepts of martyrdom.[26])

»Concern 5: ‘Looking in all the wrong places: Women and War’ [This title repeat the Concern 4 Title in the original publication]

»While the concern throughout our workshops has been predominantly with those on the receiving end of ‘precise’ strikes, increasing evidence appears to point to the negative effects upon the service personnel perpetrating attacks. From Vietnam onwards, a considerable number of studies on PTSD, suicide rates and domestic violence amongst veterans and those who serve have been undertaken. Nancy Sherman’s work, for example, has debated the issue of trauma.[27] Yet there needs to be yet more work on how the ‘mythology’ of killing impacts upon those who unleash this precise technology. In fact, one of the important ‘stories’ we are told about drones is that they are accurate and precise. Yet the mounting evidence points on numerous occasions in ‘precisely’ the opposite direction.[28] In itself this is ‘disheartening’ to those who carry out orders. [29] So what are and may be the longer term effects of such imprecise missions on those who execute them?

»Concern 6: ‘Law, Norms and Ethics’

»Finally, in all of this there needs to be an extension of the debate about the norms, ethics and laws which govern or should govern ‘killing’ at a distance in foreign states with which ‘we’ are not even at war. But the very existence of drones and the inevitably that more states (and non-state actors) acquire such technology raises a series of further challenges. While in our project we interrogate drones as killing machines and instruments of coercion we appreciate that in some, indeed in many other aspects of international and domestic politics, drones bring economic benefits and opportunities for developing regions not least in the ability to cross terrain rapidly and cheaply. Africa, for example, may prove to be an interesting ‘theatre’ for economic exploitation and opportunity.[30] However, in the excitement of utilizing new technology the darker side of drones in fighting insurgency and terrorism should not be ignored.

»There is no doubt that the debates over the utility of drones will continue. Within the UK, there is at the moment though an overwhelming bias towards seeing these weapons as precise, clean and value free. Our recommendations argue that far more work needs to be undertaken not just on the consequences of drone strikes for those on the ground, voices need to be listened to and an array of 'evidence' picked apart from those on the receiving end. Equally important though is a thorough appraisal of what drones mean for strategic not tactical thinking in zones of conflict.

» [1] For a list of those targets see BBC News, June 1, 1999. See also Joel Harerman, ‘Convoy Deaths May Undermine Moral Authority’ in Los Angeles Times, April 15, 1999.

»[2] Some scholars offered thoughtful and informed analysis of this type of warfare. See for example, Paul W. Kahn, ‘The Paradox of Riskless Warfare’ in Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository. For a critical analysis of the Kosovo Campaign see Benjamin S. Lambeth, NATO’s Air War for Kosovo: A Strategic and Operational Assessment. 16 November, 2001, The RAND Cooperation.

»[3] Michael Ignatieff, (2001). Virtual War: Kosovo and beyond, London: Vintage. p.5

»[4] Bernard Brodie, Strategy in the missile Age Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1959.

»[5] Scott Shane, ‘Drone Strikes Reveal Uncomfortable Truth: US is often unsure about who will die’ in The New York Times, April, 23, 2015.

»[6] On the adaption of the IED, see ‘Western Advisors Stunned by Remote Control Bombs’ in The Times, Technology, Friday 8 January, 2016.

»[7] For more on this issue see. James I. Rogers & Caroline Kennedy. (2015). IEDs, Drones & Future Threats. Defense Global. pp. 96-97. Also see. Mark Pomerleau, ‘Army Addressing an emerging threat: drones as IEDs in Defense Systems. July 10, 2015.

»[8] The Oxford Research Group has funded work on this type of displacement. Needless to say those who migrant are usually young men.

»[9] The phrase ‘drone chic’ is derived from Tom Wolfe and his mediation on the support for revolutionary causes amongst the fashionable in New York. See Tom Wolfe, Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s in New York Magazine, June 8, 1970.

»[10] James I. Rogers, (2014). Desiring Precision, APSA BPG Research Note. Retrieved from: http://britishpoliticsgroup.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/desiring-precision-de...

»[11] For instance, the Iraq War is estimated to have cost the US in the region of a trillion dollars. On the human costs of war see Taylor B Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson and Baruch Fischhoff, Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

»[12] See for example, Christopher L. Elliott, High Command. British Military Leadership in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Hurst, London, 2015.

»[13] See for example The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, September 25, 2015. Also see the work of Chris Woods and Airwars.org.

»[14] For a vivid account of the consequences of airstrikes on communities in war zones, see Carlotta Gall, The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001- 2014, (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

»[15] See comments reported in The Telegraph, Sunday 6 March, 2016.

»[16] David Galula, ‘Pacification in Algeria 1956 -1938/ RAND Corporation at www.rand.org -2006.

»[17] Quoted in Alex Danchev, Alchemist of War. The Life of Basil Liddell Hart. (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, p. 163.

»[18] See James Cavallaro, ‘Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US drone Practices in Pakistan’. Stanford, Calif, International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, Stanford Law School, 2012. See also Middle East Monitor, ‘US drone strikes have traumatized a generation of Yemenis and will push them towards Militancy’. 20 April, 2015.

»[19] See Scott Shone, ‘US said to target rescuers at drone strike sites’ in New York Times, 5 February, 2012.

»[20] ‘Every Person is Afraid of the Drones: The Strikes’ Effect on Life in Pakistan’. The Atlantic, September 12, 2012.

»[21] Poetry Foundation, 2013.

»[22] Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, ‘Embrace Me in Your Suicide Vest’ Unpublished paper for presentation at the Remote Control Workshop, St Andrews, September 2015.

»[23] Ann Jones, ‘The Missing Women of Afghanistan’ in The Nation, October 30,2014.

»[24] Edwin Mora, ‘Report: Suicide Deaths in Afghanistan Higher Than Murders, War Deaths Combined. In 2014 there were 4.136 self-immolation cases. See www.breitbart.com/afghanistan - 4- 13G

»[25] See the Poetry & Politics Project: http://www2.hull.ac.uk/fass/politics/research/research-projects-and-gran...

»[26] Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, ‘Women at War: How Women ended up in the front line in Afghanistan. May 28, 2015 at IDEAS.TED.COM

»[27] Nancy Sherman, The Untold War: Inside the Hearts and Minds of our Soldiers. New York: W.W.Norton and Company.

»[28] Andrew Cockburn, Kill Chain Drones and the Rise of High-Tech Assassins (London: Verso, 2015)

»[29] Ed Pilkington, Life as a Drone Operator: Ever step on ants and never give it another thought?’ in The Guardian, 18 November, 2015.

»[30] See Michele Olivier, Comments at the St Andrews workshop. September 2015. See also ‘Another African leapfrog: First drone highway could be operational in Rwanda by 2016’ Mail & Guardian Africa, Mgafrica. com/…2015 09.21.

»About the Authors

»Caroline Kennedy-Pipe is Professor of War Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Hull.

»James Rogers is an Associate Lecturer in International Politics at the University of York.

»Tom Waldman is a Lecturer in Post-war Recovery Studies at the University of York.»

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