Join us at Cycle for Survival!

Cycle for Survival
Many of us know what it’s like to have a friend or family member diagnosed with cancer. You might feel helpless, depleted, filled with sadness, but there’s one other thing I’m sure you also felt: an insatiable desire to do something about it, to help in any way possible.

Two years ago, my oldest son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Luckily the tumor ended up being benign, but I still felt that need to do something. Even now after the tumor has been successfully removed and his condition improved, the feeling does not go away. We all want to do something positive with our lives and make some sort of tangible, positive change, however sometimes it’s hard to find the time or the right opportunity. Well here’s your chance: Cycle For Survival.

Cycle For Survival is not just a fundraising event, it’s movement to beat rare forms of cancer. Since its founding in 2007, Cycle For Survival has raised over $100 million to fund clinical trials, research studies, and major research initiatives in pursuit of a cure to various forms of rare cancer.

Many people may not realize this, but almost half of all people fighting cancer are rare cancer patients. Unfortunately, many of these patients end up not having access to treatment options because research on these rare forms of cancer is so underfunded…which is exactly why Cycle For Survival is so important.

One of the reasons why we at 4th Bin love Cycle For Survival so much is because 100% of every dollar raised is directly allocated to rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center within 6 months of the events. Cycle for Survival cares about one thing and one thing only: saving lives.

In 2016, Cycle For Survival raised an incredible $30 Million for rare cancer research, but now’s not the time for complacency. Each year, Cycle For Survival aims to surpass the fundraising total from the year prior…meaning we’ve got a lot of money to raise! My colleague John Kirsch and I are participating this year as members of Team PEDS for peds.

This December, Cycle For Survival is running its “December Challenge”. The goal is to raise $1.5 million in the month of December alone to fund supercomputer equipment that will help us unlock key clues in the hunt for treatment and cures to rare cancers.

We would like to kindly ask your for any donations to the cause. My fundraising goal is $2,000, and, while I’m well on my way there, I don’t want to simply hit it…I want to blow it away. Want to get even more involved than just a donation? Join team PEDS for peds! More information on our fundraising efforts and on Cycle For Survival can be found here: Cycle For Survival: PEDS for peds.

BAN e-Trash Transparency Project

e-waste
Just because you gave your e-waste to a recycler doesn’t mean it was actually recycled, according to the Basel Action Network’s (BAN) e-Trash Transparency Project. In partnership with MIT, BAN, an industry watchdog group, placed GPS tracking devices inside of 205 pieces of e-waste like CRT television, printers, and LCD screens. The e-waste was supposed to be recycled safely, however a large chunk of it ended up overseas in what are essentially e-waste junkyards.
ban-tracker-map
The report shows that around 40% of the donated e-waste found itself in foreign countries, often passing through the hands of supposed recyclers on their way to their destination. It is expensive to recycle e-waste which has led many scam recyclers to collect e-waste from businesses and organizations at little to know charge. They then ship the e-waste overseas for a small profit. There it’s dumped into the e-waste junkyards where low-wage workers must sift through the equipment for the relatively valuable resources left inside. Real, environmentally sustainable electronic recycling can be profitable; however, the sale of recycled materials rarely, if ever, covers the actual cost of recycling in the United States.

This is dangerous for several reasons. Primarily, e-waste is filled with harmful toxins like arsenic, mercury, and lead. The low-wage junkyard workers are paid as little as $0.60 per hour and become exposed to the toxins when digging through and breaking down the electronic equipment. In places like Hong Kong, “New Territories” emerge, described by BAN as “furniture factories, scaffolding vendors, large metal fabrication, auto and bus body workshops, illegal gasoline vendors, a great deal of general import and export staging, and a very high percentage of electronics junkyards.” A truly astonishing amount of the e-waste found in these New Territories has come from the United States.
tracked-device-stats
What’s even more shocking is that a number of the e-waste equipment shipped overseas passed through the hands of e-Stewards certified recyclers. The e-Stewards certification program that was founded by BAN awards an e-Stewards certification to e-waste recyclers who have exhibited safe recycling practices. There are 60 e-Steward certified facilities currently in the United States, however, not all have been faithful.

So what can be done about this? E-Stewards and BAN have already announced that they’re going to continue the GPS tracking program in order to deter further dumping…but there’s also something businesses and organizations can do. Remember that recycling e-waste is expensive. Therefore, be aware of recyclers offering to pick-up and recycle your e-waste free of charge.

As BAN puts it, “Real, environmentally sustainable electronics recycling can be profitable; the sale of recycled materials rarely, if ever, covers the actual cost of recycling in the United States.”

4th Bin is proud to be an e-Steward certified recycler. We have pledged to never illegally ship your organization’s e-waste overseas to these junkyards and New Territories. In the current age of precarious cyber security, it’s more important now than ever to have your e-waste recycled responsibly.

Why the CTO is the New COO

cto-is-coo
The business world is evolving at a rate which we have never seen before. Technological innovations are being implemented across a wide range of industries, from finance with the FinTech revolution to advertising & AdTech, all the way to the medical profession and MedTech. Technology’s pervasive presence in business is inescapable and virtually every industry is taking the steps necessary to stay current and not get left behind.

A major problem arises when a business become technologically complacent: new companies come along, providing the same services as their predecessors, but do so more efficiently and with fewer costs. Commonly referred to as “disruption”, the resulting apotheosis of young businesses and startups typically comes down to their eagerness to make technological innovation a centerpiece of their respective business models. Adapting to new technologies has become vital to the success and survival of business and this is starting to be reflected in corporate offices. The CTO is the becoming the new COO.

Being at the forefront of technological innovation and being technologically literate used to be considered assets in C-level executives. Now they’re necessities. A company needs to be driven by an individual who has total command of emerging technologies. Some of the high level challenges facing today’s COO include alignment of vision and strategy across all business units, marketing, information security, managing customer satisfaction, ensuring industry specific compliance requirements and hiring, managing and retaining a workforce of changing habits (i.e. remote). Each of these challenges often involves extensive use of technology as part of the larger strategy to achieve the respective goal

Even the nitty gritty daily operational tasks now involve technology. For example, sales force productivity is driven by data and workflow tools such as services like Salesforce and G Suite (Google’s business services) and the ability to merge these systems together. Business needs in the workplace demands that the COO have a developed understanding of these pieces of tech.

Just look at the world around us. Technology and digital services are prevalent everywhere. Politicians’ email are hacked and leaked. A presidential candidate tweets post-debate responses at 3am to considerable fanfare. Companies are constantly having their data breached resulting in high level executives being fired and/or sued. And these are just the high profile uses of technology. Imagine all of the untold and top-secret stories.

With the immense need for proper cyber security, the CTO is the one who best understands that, unless data and sensitive information are secure, the company cannot survive. A recent study by tech market research firm Vanson Bourne found that 82% of the companies who participated reported a lack of cyber security skills within their organizations. Not only is it likely that the CTO will have some cyber security skill, even if they do not, they’re more likely to recognize the dearth of cyber security talent within an organization and, in turn, take the necessary steps to alleviate this issue.

Just as the role of COO is paradigmatically different from what it was a decade ago, so is the role of the CTO. Formerly relegated to managing small teams and implementing esoteric technological concepts into a core product or service, the CTO now manages large teams and divisions tasked with providing essential services that keep the business afloat.

The CTO also has to have a command of what the market wants and needs. Look at Apple. They released dozens of amazing, cutting-edge computing products in the 80s and 90s that were unique at the time. But no one wanted them. (Remember the Apple Pippin? The video game system from 1995 was priced at $599 and sold just 42,000 copies until it was discontinued in 1997.) A piece of technology is only as great as a person’s desire to use it. One can think of countless examples of other amazing pieces of technology that were total busts on the consumer market.

From Marketing and daily operations, to team leading and cyber security, it’s clear that CTOs must become integral parts of executive teams at companies of all sizes. As the responsibilities of the COO and CTO continue to merge, it will become more and more clear that the unique skills and capabilities of the CTO provide companies with the highest potential for profit, security, and success.