The Research Design Associates Blog

(problem solving)

Exploring the Freelance Economy Across Generations

Approximately 14 million jobs vanished in the wake of the 2008 economic meltdown. While many layoffs were directly tied to an overall decline in business and decreased corporate revenues, there were a certain number that resulted from a desire to shrink the labor force.Many people have had to shift to frelancing.

Most of the articles written about the Freelance Economy focus on the freedom enjoyed by the freelance worker: the freedom to work when and how they want, for whom they want and from any place they choose. Yet there can be a great deal of "free", non-billable time spent generating the work opportunities needed to pay our bills. There is true opportunity for those who fighre out how to fit their skills to a specific task rather that selling blocks of time.

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Code for America: Making Government Data Accessible

Making a difference in local government. What happens when you unleash geek-level talent to tackle data-driven real-world problems in local government? Ask the 8 cities where Code for America Fellows and their city partners developed more than 25 applications to meet specific goals in 2012.

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10.13.2013

Niche Businesses Survive the Recession

So much changed during the recession–many small businesses closed and never re-opened. But some hung on and are coming back stronger than ever. Two examples show how perseverance and strong business acumen helped two fledgling enterprises to profitability. Both are niche service providers who would normally have the odds against them: a concierge service and a food delivery service.

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10.5.2013

Global Shaper at Davos

Once each year, the sleepy Alps town of Davos, Switzerland becomes a mecca for thousands of people. Whether you’re a CEO, economist, media leader, artist, academic, politician or royal, somehow you fit into the mysterious ecosystem of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. I had the great pleasure, and potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, of going as one of 50 Global Shapers from across the world.

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2.7.2013

All Amendments Created Equal

Voters must hold your elected officials accountable for public policy action that comprehensively addresses the intersection of rights, mental illness and weapon possession. The status quo is unacceptable and our elected leaders must understand that reality. Interdisciplinary cooperation between those charged with law enforcement and those who provide services to the mentally ill has to be supported by integrated public policy. Only then can intervention reduce the risk of lethal violent outbursts from those suffering from mental illness. This is going got infringe on “rights” and increase health care costs. But these monies should be measured the dear costs of those in Newtown, CT, Colorado or yet to occur massacres in public space.

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12.19.2012

Probability is hard to understand and does not really get easier with use

While jumping to conclusions can allow fast, heuristic decision that are often correct and expedient; it can also lead to false conclusions when there is insufficient information, and little reality basis for the conclusion beyond immediate experience. Research that satisfies the premises of the statistical model force logical consistency in the math and offer an opportunity to improve information quality. Careful and thoughtful probability research can provide insights and answers well beyond verbal logic. It is a second set of information available to those who will slow the decision making process and grapple with the novel way of looking at the world.

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10.14.2012

Business communications, social networking, leadership and concentrated creative thought

He warned that multitasking, immediacy and constant interruption may be the enemy of solitude, concentration and long stretches of time without distraction or interruption are essential to formulate ideas, to think flexibly, creatively, and independently. And yet the impact of technologies on complex collaborative problem solving, rapid access to information and the sparking of innovative ideas among those with a collective vision can generate remarkable knowledge. How do we accomplish these focused actions and interactions while adapting to the new socially networked norms? Older brains (or those on the grey side of the digital divide) are going to have to adapt to the opportunity if their institutional memory is going to be reliant to the future.

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9.2.2011