Public Transit in 2023 with Paul Comfort

Public transport has been hit hard by COVID-19. With ridership significantly down, leading to considerable financial distress for public transport operators. The good news: there is growing evidence that public transport riders do not face higher infection risk than anyone else.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, most public transport operators have quickly stepped up and taken concrete action to make transit systems COVID-safe for staff and passengers. Paul Comfort, an expert on leadership, transportation infrastructure and trends, and former CEO of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), explains how we must keep the momentum going to preserve the appeal of public transport, for the sake of public health, economic recovery, and environmental sustainability.

About our Guest Paul Comfort

Paul Comfort is an expert on leadership,transportation infrastructure and transit trends. As  former CEO of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), he most recently led a revolutionary change from a 50-year-old school transit system to the world class BaltimoreLink, an efficient, high-frequency, connected rail and bus transit system in Baltimore, Maryland.

Paul has spent a career in public transport and local government, having served as County Administrator for two suburban counties in Maryland, and was elected as a County Commissioner. He has also worked in business development and operations management for many public and private transit operations.

He is currently Vice President of Business Development for Trapeze Group, serving as a brand ambassador to the transit industry, ensuring C-level success with their technology products and services and speaking and writing on transit trends and solutions. He also hosts the well-known podcast “Transit Unplugged”, interviewing top Public Transportation Leaders about their work, operations and transit trends. He is author of the highly recommended bestseller “Future of Public Transport” and a children’s book on Public Transport from steam locomotives to hyperloop and beyond

Collaboration in 2023 with Heidi Gardner

In 2023, companies and employees are no longer only working from the headquarters or their offices. Also, the way business partners collaborate has changed. Everyone in the business world is more aware of the depth and value, that each partner adds into their collaborative work. To know how and why collaboration became essential in 2023, listen to our episode with guest Heidi Gardner, the distinguished professor at Harvard Business School. 

Check out this episode!

About our Guest Heidi Gardner

Professor Heidi Gardner is a distinguished fellow of Harvard Law School and was a professor at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Gardner is author of the Washington Post bestselling book “Smart Collaboration”. She is founder of Gardner & Co a research and advisory company specialized on collaboration. Dr. Gardner’s passion about collaboration is fascinating. Her extensive research proves scientifically the impact of smart collaboration on business results. It looks like this could be a great step ahead in establishing the importance of smart collaboration for business success. A point that seems not to be clear to everyone. Dr. Gardner will talk to us about the impact of Covid-19 on our culture of collaboration. And how collaboration might help to cope with the tremendous economic problems Covid-19 caused in our economies around the world. 

Gender equality in 2023 with Titan Alon

Men and women are facing different realities in light of this pandemic. Even without a crisis, caring responsibilities usually fall heavily on women. The situation for single parents can be even more difficult, especially when having to juggle working from home and caring for children alone.

Host Agnes Kunkel and Titan Alon, Assistant Professor at UC San Diego for Economics, putting forward ideas for policymakers to take the gender perspective into account when it comes to making important decisions during and after the pandemic that will affect all our lives. And with fathers spending more time at home, it could be an opportunity for them to engage more in caring for their children.

Check out this episode!

You can find his Research Papers here:

About Our Guest- Titan Alon.

Titan Alon is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California SanDiego. He was the Louis A. Simpson Postdoc in Macroeconomics at Princeton University. He  worked as a research associate in the Macroeconomics Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He  received  the Bachelor in Economics from Harvard University, he earned a master in Economics  from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern. His actual research focuses on Macroeconomics, Labor, and Growth. He earned the Robert Eisner Fellowship for distinguished work in both teaching and research. The Northwestern Doctoral Fellowship and the NU Teaching award.

Alon has collaborated with the researchers, Matthias Doepke, Jane Olmstead-Rumsey and Michèle Tertilt, to author and publish two papers on the impact of the current Covid-19 recessions on gender equality as well as on women’s employment. In this interview we discuss with his the specifics and the conclusions of those two papers.

Remote Work and Cyber Security in 2023 with James Fair

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, most organizations made a quick transition to a remote workforce. This has also created new security vulnerabilities. In 2023, attackers will still seek to exploit the gaps opened when telecommuting employees use insecure devices and networks. Listen to James Fair, Senior Vice President of Technical Operations of Executech, why security is one of the top priorities to consider while shifting to remote work and how to maintain awareness and overall work hygiene of all employees, for now and in the future.

About our Guest: James Fair

James Fair is the Senior Vice President of Technical Operations at Executech. James is an Executech veteran. He’s been in the industry for over 30 years and at Executech for nearly ten years as well.

His adorable dog Lola kept him and his wife good fun company during the current covid restrictions. She always wants to play and is enthusiastic when she sees him. Taking care of her is a new task that he shares with his wife now.

Remote work and cyber security: Possible trends and vision for 2023 :

Research by Stefan Stefanovic

Possible trends for 2023:

• Permanent training and education of their employees working from home about cyber security will become high priority for all companies
• Companies will invest more money in the security of their IT systems
• The global cybersecurity market will experience high growth
• Personal data breaches may be on the rise
• Voice interfaces and chatbots – companies will increasingly start to prefer the interaction with their remote employees via these communication techniques
• Facial recognition will become a trend, although we will not see some greater regulatory control
• Big personal data concerns regarding the use of facial recognition technology
• Companies will have to improve their remote work policies and capabilities
• 5G wireless technology will become a trend – it will though raise cyber security concerns

Vision for 2023:

Before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the trend of working from home had certainly good outlook. After the pandemic is finally gone, this trend will undoubtedly continue to rise and slowly but surely become a standard of our working habits in the years to come. However, one of the biggest challenges regarding this new dimension of our everyday lives that will be put to big test is certainly the question of cyber security in home office. We are going to live in a world of even more sophisticated hackers and cheaters, who will want to steal data from companies and employes for various reasons.

New 5G wireless technology will certainly change our daily habits and working surrounding forever. The fact is that this technology brings lots of controversies. On the one hand, there are people who think that one of the biggest benefits of having 5G service is the dramatic increase in bandwidth. Greater bandwidth means that files will download faster, accessing the internet will be much faster, and there will be little to no lagging during streaming. On the other side, however, there are people who think that IoT, which is a major component of 5G network architecture, remains a major security risk. IoT devices are one of the most-attacked types of hardware. The problem here is that if an IoT device is plugged into the network, and it doesn’t have protection in it, it’s infected in three minutes or less,
Working remotely requires the employee to be in an area with reliable, high-speed Internet. Typically, that means the home office or a shared public workspace. But with 5G and its incredible speeds, workers may soon be able to have connections speedy enough to truly work remote – on the road, in a hotel room, at a park. Wherever you can get 5G, you can do the things telecommuters need to do in today’s workforce (collaborate in real time, share and transfer large files, have seamless video conferencing, etc.).

Taking into account all previously mentioned, it is undisputable that some tectonic changes in the field of remote work will start to happen in post-corona time. Not all of them will be for the benefit of remote employees. Facial recognition will be significant threat to personal data, which will give rise to the debates, no only among the lawyers, but it will trigger a general debate in the society about the acceptability of this log-in technique. Additionally, it remains to be seen in which way will the 5G wireless network affect our everyday lives and the way we work. Undoubtedly, its impact will be strong.

About our voice over artist- Rachel Dechamplain.

  Rachel Dechamplain is happy to be working on this project with Dr. Agnes Kunkel.

She is a Voice Artist from Ontario, Canada, who has been working on multiple project over the past few months. She also works as a full-time receptionist in a real estate firm, but is looking forward to making voice work her full time job one day soon..

Additional Readings.

How the COVID-19 pandemic will change our cities

Restaurants in 2023 with Alison Pearlman

Spontaneous visits at a restaurant are almost impossible. Tables have to be reserved at least one day in advance on the restaurant App, and you might even have to order and pay before you arrive. Digital menus are the new normal, and restaurants might even outsource their dishes. Is this going to be how restaurants will work in 2023? To gain more insights in our future listen to the Episode with Alison Pearlman, the brilliant thinker, writer and researcher in the area of restaurant business.

About our Guest Alison Pearlman

Our guest today is Alison Pearlman is the author of Smart Casual: The Transformation of Gourmet Restaurant Style in America and May We Suggest: Restaurant Menus and the Art of Persuasion. She is Professor of Art History at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. A brilliant thinker, writer and researcher in an area that touches everyone: food and especially food served in restaurants.