The Most Secret Room on Earth.

The Most Secret Room on Earth.

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Geneva, 2012. “With your keycard, you can access every room, in any part of the compound. Offices, meeting rooms, plenary rooms, technical areas, and everything in between. There are only two rooms you cannot get access to, and both need a special analog key to get in. These rooms are not marked on any floor plan and have no name. Don’t try to enter these rooms, your keycard will be useless anyway”. In 2012, I was just named Head Architect for the International Labor Organization renovation project in Geneva. The warning from my boss sounded like the Bluebeard fairy tale: someone was hiding bodies in a forbidden room, and no one could ever see them. But who could possibly be the Bluebeard at the United Nations and whose bodies were…
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How Science-Fiction Became Reality.

How Science-Fiction Became Reality.

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“Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus.” (Agent Smith, The Matrix) Our system collapsed long before many realized. I’ve always thought I read and watched too many dystopian stories. It made me a bit paranoid, but not in denial. Here are ten of the best science-fiction stories you should both read and watch to help you make sense of what has happened, and most importantly, what’s yet to come. Between paranoia and denial, the choice is yours. Enjoy! #1. The Matrix (The Wachowskis) Denial “You take the blue pill, the story ends”. So many people are confined, yet keep…
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Business Continuity: What to do when a microscopic life form impacts your entire planet.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Business Continuity: What to do when a microscopic life form impacts your entire planet.

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I’ve been working with all sorts of companies for the past decade, gathering data, dissecting processes, and unlocking opportunities they would never have imagined. The one pattern I discovered is not even how unprepared companies are in general, but how many of them lack a proper long-term vision and purpose. The first step to becoming resilient is your purpose as an individual and your vision as an organization. In an unprecedented situation in modern history, businesses all around the world are forced to rethink their way of working because of tiny, microscopic life form -a virus- called Covid-19. There will be a before and an after Coronavirus. This Kafkaesque episode will teach us a few things, as individuals and companies, such as becoming more resilient and agile. It might also very…
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Robert Beal, Picasso and us.

Robert Beal, Picasso and us.

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I met Robert Beal about five years ago in New York through a friend in common. I was finishing my second Master’s degree at Columbia University, and he was just retiring from his family enterprise, one of the most successful real estate companies in Boston: the Beal Companies, more recently renamed Related Beal after the 2013 partnership with Related. Robert passed away a week ago. He and I were 45 years apart, yet he is one of the most inspiring friends I’ve ever had. Our favorite topics included modern art, architecture, politics, Europe, and the world. There is no generation gap when you talk about timeless topics. His legacy lives forever. A décor worthy of the Titanic, French and eclectic at the same time, fresh flowers, dimmed light, and mirrors all around to…
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How a Kosher meal on Emirates changed my life forever.

How a Kosher meal on Emirates changed my life forever.

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The flight to Dubai was packed. I was nervous, and traveling by myself again. I’ve never been to the Emirates, let alone to far-East Asia. The Geneva-Dubai flight was only the first leg of a longer trip to South Korea and Japan. It was in the summer of 2013. I planned to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi for 3 days before continuing to the far East. Whenever we board a flight, we always hope it won’t be full so we can have more space. In my case, I pray for someone interesting to sit next to me. After take-off and routine announcements by the crew and captain, meal service began. I keep kosher, so I pre-ordered a kosher meal as I usually do on any flight I take, no matter…
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See, Space and Sun – Why Office Light Sucks

See, Space and Sun – Why Office Light Sucks

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Ever asked yourself why you get so tired every day at work? You already stopped the carbs, took your vitamins, and went for a run before going to work, but nothing seems to work. Have you ever considered lighting? Photons around us have the power to make us feel good or contribute to serious fatigue. Let’s review the most important (yet underrated) lighting factors to promote the best work environment at any company: Window seat Having your desk by a window is a must. Good natural light sufficient to work comfortably generally travels up to 20 feet (6 meters) into the building. Beyond this distance, you will need to supplement with artificial light all day long. Since natural light is the best type, the farther you sit from the windows,…
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5 Ways to Reduce Noise at the Office.

5 Ways to Reduce Noise at the Office.

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Whether you work in an open space or a private office, noise can quickly become a problem. As an office manager, head of operations or CEO, your job is to ensure a productive work environment for all. As our ears get easily distracted, here are 5 easy tricks to avoid noise disruption for you and your team: 1. Noise canceling headphones Buying a pair of noise canceling headphones for the whole office might seem like an expensive solution, but think about the long-term benefits. Noise is very much psychological, and who doesn't like gifts? If people complain about noise or you know the sound conditions of the space are not good, showing employees you care with a high tech gift can go a long way, improving workplace culture and developing…
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7 Tips to Improve Air Quality at Work

7 Tips to Improve Air Quality at Work

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend 87% of their lives indoors. Whether you work in an office, a school, or any other indoor facility, air quality is crucial to ensure a good work environment for everyone. Air quality is a broad term usually encompassing bad smells, contaminants, bacterias, allergens, and even the proportion of the gases composing the air itself. Here are 7 tips to improve air quality and ensure a productive work environment. 1. Clean the invisible. This is one of the most underrated solutions to improve air quality. Just because the space looks clean does not mean it is. Bacteria might be invisible to the human eye, not because they are small, but because they might form in isolated areas such as under a sink,…
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SquarePlan Announces Partnership with G|Code

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Technology as a unifier between individuals of different backgrounds, skills and beliefs, sits at the core of SquarePlan’s message. So when we discovered G|Code while researching co-living communities in Boston, it was an immediate fit. G|Code offers the Roxbury, MA community a home for minority women, and the opportunity to learn, share, and employ their technical skills out in the real world.  Bridgette Wallace, founder and CEO, devised the 24-month intensive program, or Cohort Development, for 5-7 enterprising young women with an interest and aptitude for computers or technology. In her words, “...sustainable community development addresses the combined determinants of economic viability and promote income and opportunity equity.”  How they’ll get there, is through encouraging shared experiences via communal living, residents who learn and work while preserving the character of…
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