Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

September is traditionally “Back-to-School” month in the United States.  For those who’ve already completed their early years of education, August is the time for heading off to dormitories and beginning the advanced, more focused portion of their academic pursuits.  The education sector is taking on new challenges as it proposes to address new methods for preparing a workforce for the future – which will involve a great deal of technology focused initiatives.  Take a look at this company and their achievements to bring superior skills to the student population…


Young Digital Planet


receives the



New Technology Leader


2015 award


The aim of the New Technology Leader program is to distinguish and promote companies that deliver innovative, high-quality solutions and invest in new technologies to address today’s customers’ needs.

Young Digital Planet is a part of Sanoma Learning – one of Europe’s leading learning companies and providers of print and digital learning solutions for primary, secondary and vocational education with over 1,600 employees. They cover all dimensions of education:

  • educational content – different subjects, curricula and language courses
  • delivery platforms, e-learning and publishing technologies – flexible solutions for everyday use,
  • products that support children and adults with special educational needs at schools and medical institutions.


Visit their full website by clicking the logo  Young Digital Planet

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Discovery, exploration, challenges and breakthroughs.  All these elements are part of the continuous changes that take place in the technology landscape around us.  To keep pace and bring us into the future, a new generation of curious minds must be engaged.  Governments and educational institutions across the globe are intent on making that happen!

Read about this program in Africa that seeks to tap into the wonderful reserves of ‘imagination’ within their people…

Botswana Ministry introduces e-nnovation

“Botswana’s Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) is developing ways of getting the local youth to chart the technology waters by coming up with programmes that allow them to be innovative for the benefit of the nation”


And here is the link to the detail page for applications and funding:

Botswana e-nnovation Youth

Empowerment Programme (eYEP)

Opportunities for Africans

There are programs of this sort to be found in all corners of the world – seek out similar opportunities in your area…  Your drive and talent are needed!

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August 25th, 2015

While there’s been a lot of hype that has induced fear among many that they may someday be passed over in favor of a machine, this shouldn’t discourage you.  While automation has certainly had an effect on everyday life – think of the changeover from horse-drawn carriages to mechanized vehicles – a.k.a. cars! – the horse hasn’t lost his/her ability to signifcantly contribute to the “labor force”.  It’s true that the role of the animal may have undergone a transformation; but, they certainly haven’t become totally obsolete!

Here’s a great article about what we humans may have to look forward to as technology continues its steady march forward:



Photo credit:

In a widely-circulated article in Harvard Business Review, Thomas H. Davenport and Julia Kirby outline what workers can do to ensure they thrive in an era of advanced artificial intelligence.

 Their five strategies for adapting to life in the robotic age are: Step up or find a job a computer cannot do; step aside or choose a career that requires specific human toolset like empathy; step in or monitor and modify the work of computers; step narrowly or find a specialty that wouldn’t be economical to automate; and step forward or develop the next generation of computing and AI tools.”


So, is your current curriculum preparing you to be one of the humans that will rise above the machines?  Or will you play a part in educating the children of today to do so?  There’s unlimited opportunity to be a difference maker – for yourself or someone younger than you – use your human smarts to identify ways that will benefit all of us!

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August 19th, 2015

My last post talked about spores.  In keeping with the ‘theme’, this one is about microbes.  Now, I did fairly well in biology (and didn’t pass out during frog dissection, like a couple of the guys in my class) Laughter   But, I have to admit, I didn’t much pursue further information about this branch of science until I began writing for this blog.  And, I must say, I’ve a renewed sense of interest in how all the stuff that surrounds us can be harnessed for amazing uses.

DARPA or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a US Government agency.  DARPA comprises approximately 220 government employees in six technical offices, including nearly 100 program managers, who together oversee about 250 research and development programs. The program within DARPA to use the extraordinary powers of biologic material is called Living Foundries.

“Biology can replicate, it can scale from one to millions to billions in hours; it can adapt, it’s programmable through its genetic code. No other technology that we know of can do these things,” Alicia Jackson, deputy director of the Biological Technologies Office at DARPA, says.


Read this piece, featured on Public Radio International (PRI) to learn about why

Microbes may hold the key



to future high-tech



meds and materials


DARPA is very actively recruiting scientists, either to build new programs or to work with them to build new technologies. One of the quirks of DARPA is that scientists can only stay for three to five years.  And your strength doesn’t have to be as a biologist – there’s a host of opportunities.  Maybe your future is to bring your innovations to life at DARPA?

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August 13th, 2015

A smile conveys SO much in your personal interactions.  It can be interpreted as a sign of love, encouragement or friendliness.  There’s a whole marketing blitz that’s currently hit the advertising world about products designed to enhance our smiles.  In former days, when dental hygiene was not as prevalent, there were few – old or young, rich or poor – who could lay claim to having a dazzling, perfect smile.  For some today, illness has robbed them of the confidence to display a toothsome grin to the world.

Enter 3-D Tech dentistry research, courtesy of scientists at U Alberta in Canada…  make sure to check out the video and the inspiring photos in this piece!

Designing 3-D smiles


for cancer survivors


Working with surgeons and prosthodontists at iRSM, …CT scan images of a patient’s head [are turned] into a 3-D model with the aid of computer software. iRSM has a very special advanced digital technology laboratory, the Medical Modelling Research Laboratory, which is equipped to design and simulate surgery at the Misericordia Community Hospital, Covenant Health Group in Edmonton.


University of Alberta offers both a Master’s degree & PhD in Rehabilitation Science – could your work dovetail?  Perhaps you’ll be leading the way in a pioneering technology that offers a new reason to SMILE!

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