Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 4, Year 2020

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Romani an Di st r i but i on Commi t t ee

VOL UME11 I S S UE4 2020









CONTENTS EconomyofCar e,Wel l bei ng,t heNeces s ar yTr ans f or mat i v eChange, HumanRes i l i ence,t heVi r t uet hatComesAf t erSc i ence, Compl i ance&Et hi cs 10 TheodorVal ent i nPURCĂREA

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TheDi s r upt edRet ai l andt heI nnov at i v eTec hnol ogy : Connec t i ngDat a. . .

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Li ght hous e2021 ,Longr unEx per i ence,Res k i l l i ng, Mobi l e&Decent r al ,I ndi aBus i nes sMont h,andUNGoal s2030

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Recenz i eş i coment ar i i l acar t eas c r i s ădePr of .Vas i l ePUŞCAŞ,i nt i t ul at ă “ I ULI UMANI UVăz utdeRomâni i Amer i c ani ” ,Edi t ur aŞc oal aAr del eană, Cl uj Napoc a,201 8 52 Ni c hol asDI MA Ro ma n i a nDi s t r i b u t i o nCo mmi t t e eMa g a z i n eVo l u me1 1 , I s s u e4 , Y e a r2 0 2 0


Editorial: Economy of Care, Wellbeing, the Necessary Transformative Change, Human Resilience, the Virtue that Comes After Science, Compliance & Ethics

We are continuing to witness business-model disruptions, increasing impact of disruptive technologies, rapid disruptive innovations, agile disrupt competitors, revitalized social contract in these times of consumers’ anxiety, economic scars, and interminable unpredictability. According to distinguish Romanian Researchers: “Exceptionality (change) combined with a crisis is strengthening the acknowledged state of facts that we are facing new challenges and opportunity which need our intellectual attention… We need not forget that a paradigm is not something separate from the human being... The pandemic overwhelmed us by making it obvious that if humans lose the life sustainability to a biological enemy the entire civilization may collapse… The signs of the new normal are multiplying… In the meantime, the entire economic and social life has to be reorganized aiming first at protecting the people, the workforce, the students and the pupils, the public and private sector… Thinking green is considered the salvation of mankind as carbon blacked the breathing air. Digital technology will contribute to reforming the way we relate to the state or employees as social distance will become permanent… What is uncertain does not come from the materiality of the economy but from how we act with responsibility… The uncertainty is the great enemy of coherence in human thinking.

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It is responsible for the chain of inequalities we produce as well as for the fact our decisions are incomplete. The economy as it is, is reflecting the quality of human interaction…” Napoleon Pop and Valeriu Ioan-Franc have concluded their rigorous analysis by highlighting that: “The magnitude of present crisis reached the compromise never expected to happen. The temporary suspension of the rules we followed so far explains the changes we need in our thinking on how to manage the economy by giving up its aim for profit that leads to the destruction of our natural environment, aim that, unfortunately, we are still trying to reach. Strange enough, by taking care of the destroyed environment we are actually heading to what is presumed to be economy of care for all of us, humans” (Pop and Ioan-Franc, 2020). Within the context of 2021 World Economic Forum (WEF) Meeting in Davos, the valuable strategic partnership of McKinsey’s with WEF is continuing to provide in-depth assessment of key issues (like the future of work, stakeholder capitalism, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution and manufacturing’s great reset). As a confirmation of the approach mentioned above, Liz Hilton Segel, a senior partner based in New York and managing partner for McKinsey in North America, argued that: “A better future is possible when businesses help build the skills for wellbeing… The actions businesses take through this current global crisis will make us stronger in the future. As we navigate the challenges of today, our capacity to foster wellbeing in the face of uncertainty will determine the strength of our leadership tomorrow” (Hilton Segel, 2021). The above mentioned ideas made us recall: • The arguments brought by other McKinsey’s representatives in 2015 with regard to the need of addressing challenges faced in an unpredictable world in a basically different way in order to extend beyond “managing the probable” (falling back on our standard operating procedures within the anxiety created by the hardest problems faced) and ensure “leading the possible” (by asking different questions, taking multiple perspectives, understanding systems while resisting the urge to disaggregate problems and to solve them immediately, and experimenting at the outer limits), based on intellectually alert of our own limitations, inquiring mind and openness to learning and development (Achi and Garvey Berger, 2015). According to this way of approaching the unknown while seeking certainty in a complex and non-static world, solutions are coming from treating problems as different, complex, and uncertain, better understanding the role of unforeseen ways (led not only from the front) on the path of ensuring the necessary transformative change; • Our article entitled “Confidence crisis and exiting naive realism through integrative thinking”, published by the “Romanian Economic Business Review” in 2009, in which we made reference, among other aspects: to hope in the virtue that comes after science (being known that virtues are born and developed in the land of senses matched correctly), and which is doing what is right (being required a substantial effort to go down this path); to the reputed Professor Roger

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Martin, Dean of Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and his in March 2002 designed analytical tool “The Virtue Matrix” (Purcarea, T., 2009). Recently, we found out from the inaugural edition of McKinsey’s Author Talks – in which Diane Brady, a senior editor in McKinsey’s New York office, had a significant informal conversation with the well-known management thinker Roger Martin about the subject of his latest book entitled “When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency” (Harvard Business Review Press, September 2020) – how important it is today to understand that: “To prioritize one thing and say, “This is the one thing we’re about,” is a recipe for disaster. In a complex, adaptive system, that’s pulling one lever and imagining that you know what that one lever is going to do. We’re not going to get where we need to be on diversity until such time as we make the most of diverse voices instead of the least” (Brady, 2020). Within this framework, Martin argued, among other aspects, that technology is creating probably more obstacles, given the fact that when processing large quantities of data (by using the scientific method) to determine the cause of a given effect we have to take into account that these data come from the past (not from the future). And we see a connection between Martin’s arguments and some of the ideas also recently expressed: • In “The World Financial Review” by the Provost’s chair and professor in management and organizations at NUS Business School, National University of Singapore, David De Crème, who is also the Founder and Director of the Center on AI Technology for Humankind at this school (De Cremer, 2021). De Crème underlined that you have to accept what has happened (because you can’t control it), and to connect it with the future by focusing on doing the right thing in the present (you can control); • By the renowned global influencer Colin Shaw, who highlighted the opportunity presented by COVID-19 pandemic to participate in a forced-perspective taking exercise, reviewing the lessons learned in 2020, such as our renewed appreciation for human resilience, and how surprising it is what we can accomplish in a crisis when the opportunity presents itself (Shaw, 2020). Things are appear to becoming more hopeful, if we look (thanks to The European Business Review) at the Preliminary Agenda of the (virtual) European Compliance & Ethics Institute (the 9th) Conference (Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics/ SCCE, Minneapolis, U.S., 15-17 March 2021), which includes trending topics like: anti-corruption, pandemic learnings, crisis management, data protection, implementing global trade compliance, investigations, risk management. Theodor Valentin Purcărea Editor-in-Chief

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References Achi, Z. and Garvey Berger, J., 2015. Delighting in the possible. [pdf] McKinsey Quarterly, McKinsey & Company, March, pp. 1-8. [online] Available at: <Delighting in the possible.pdf> [Accessed 24 January 2020]. Brady, D., 2020. Author Talks: Roger Martin on the high price of efficiency. [pdf] McKinsey & Company, December, pp. 1-3. [online] Available at: <Author-Talks-Roger-Martin-on-the-highprice-of-efficiency-vF.pdf> [Accessed 21 January 2020]. De Cremer, D., 2021. No Regrets! Accepting the Past to Survive in the Future, The World Financial Review, November 22. [online] Available at: <https://worldfinancialreview.com/noregrets-accepting-the-past-to-survive-in-the-future/?> [Accessed 25 January 2020]. Hilton Segel, L., 2021. What’s on the Davos Agenda? McKinsey and World Economic Forum: The Davos Agenda, January 24. [online] Available at: < https://www.mckinsey.com/featuredinsights/world-economic-forum/davos-agenda/perspectives/the-priority-for-workplaces-in-thenew-normal> [Accessed 24 January 2020]. Pop, N., Ioan-Franc, V., 2020. “BUSINESS AS USUAL” IS NO WAY TO REACH THE “NEW NORMAL”. [pdf] ResearchGate, Preprint · October 2020, uploaded by Ioan-Franc Valeriu on 06 October 2020. [online] Available at: < BUSINESSASUSUAL_eng_final.pdf> [Accessed 7 December 2020]. Purcarea, T., 2009. Confidence Crisis And Exiting Naive Realism Through Integrative Thinking, Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 4(2), pp. 45-58, June. Shaw, C., 2020. The Most Significant Things We Learned in 2020, LinkedIn, December 30. [online] Available at: < https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/most-significant-things-we-learned2020-colin-shaw/?> [Accessed 3 January 2020].

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Information and Communications Technology new paradigm of probabilistic computing could inspire our thinking through a future World of uncertainty -Part 3-

Prof. Eng. Ph.D. Victor GREU Abstract The paper analyses some aspects regarding the evolution and implications of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) probabilistic computing paradigm. When the data uncertainty level is high, as the consequences of COVID-19 19 pandemic, the ICT support is more than useful. For evaluating the potential of ICT to face this challenge, first we have considered the actual and emerging ICT advances that could provide real instruments and associated results to approach the diversity of problems with high uncertainty. ICT trends are among the complex evolutions of the associated technologies and concepts that continuously bring innovations aiming the performance, efficacy and efficiency improvements for the ICT services, products and applications that support Information Society (IS) on the way towards the Knowledge Based Society (KBS). Probabilistic computing (PC) is the actual new paradigm which is implemented by the ICT industry leaders, in order to support the most performant advances of ICT, where artificial intelligence (AI) is first pointed, but also linked with Bigdata or other ICT advances, like quantum computing (QC). The link between these advances is given by the ICT struggle to continue Moore Law, but PC is in the same time an emerging trend to improve AI toward human brain unreached features, like using fewer data (than machines) in order to generalize and decide. To reach such purposes, ICT innovations are made in both hardware and software areas, but also in new models and algorithms, more and more inspired from human brain, as the paper presents by analysing some relevant examples, including PC, QC and biological substrates for computation (cellular computing). The analysis revealed the role of “learning� in the innovation process, as the actual aim of AI/PC is to achieve the human brain ability to learn and re-create, including probabilistic programming, which is in the stage of providing the ability to self-develop and create new programs without human intervention. The analysis includes some elements which are linking the two emergent and unconventional computation concepts/technologies, i.e. probabilistic computing and quantum computing. Still, it is important to analyze such advanced instruments from all relevant implications, because we have to admit that in the more and more sophisticated world of soft/ICT, the logical covering of all scenarios is still necessary, but in the same time more difficult to achieve. All these challenges express the difficulty and complexity of innovation processes ICT/AI have to face toward further performance improvements, but also the high expectations from PC, just due to this context. The paper stressed the inherent care that should be considered for a sustainable progress of ICT/IS/KBS, including the necessary monitoring of all consequences (benefic or not) that could appear at planetary scale from the proliferation of using their services and products everywhere and everytime. Here climate changes, Earth resource fading or social contrasts, affecting Earth ecosystem and humankind life/evolution are crucial problems that should be considered. In this context, the learned lessons of ICT on the way of implementing the new paradigm of PC could bring benefic support also for people’s everyday life, when facing the uncertainities of World evolution/challenges. Our point of view and the paper focus is that the essence of those evolutions of the context factors is the fact that one of the main mechanisms that lead to complexity and difficulty to optimize the progress solutions is the increasing level of uncertainty that characterizes associated data of the analyzed processes to be optimized at

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planetary level, but at lower (individual) levels also. This way we agreed that some approaches of the models and technologies, used by ICT to implement the new paradigm of Probabilistic Computing (PC) could bring benefic support and learned lessons also for people’s everyday life, when everyone is facing the uncertainities and decision challenges in the general context of World evolution or of their own life context. The chances for maximizing the veracity of estimating the processes evolutions are given by trying to keep searching for the relevant data/information/knowledge, integrating the events results step by step and this way counting the average positive ones, i.e in a manner that is very close to Bayesian approach which forms the PC main premise. Starting from one of the remarkable PC basic models, <<to built reliable constructions from probabilistic parts>>, our opinion is that this important approach is in fact one of the pillars humankind could learn from ICT (but not exclusively from it), when facing the World uncertainties, everyday and everywhere on Earth and beyond. It is clear that such apparent paradoxical approach must be discussed for every application area, where this ideea from PC/ICT should be applied with the appropriate solutions (if they are identifyed!), in order to find the approaches and algorithms that provide reliable constructions from probabilistic parts or at least lead to safer ensemble (by compensating the expected points of failure!), instead of simple using the probabilistic (not very safe) parts. This basic PC model could be benefic for understanding the suggested approach/method which then should be applied from case to case, either in simple problems of decision or in probabilistic programming applications, but always innovating something in the case model, i.e. using our imagination to estimate and compensate the probable risk of fealure and finally increasing the success probability. As a main conclusion, we just have to imagine how humankind could evoluate from the actual trends of using everyday ICT advances, including probabilistic computing/ programming, considering also the emergent changes in business models and jobs transformations AI/ICT have already started to produce, but eventually using the above ICT lessons to better face the World uncertainties. Keywords: Probabilistic computing paradigm, Quantum computing, Probabilistic bits, Cellular computing, Bayesian programs, Probabilistic transistors, Probabilistic programming, Machine learning JEL Classification: L63; L86; M15; O31; O33

„The most important questions of life are indeed, for the most part, really only problems of probability” Pierre-Simon Laplace

1. Teaching machines to probabilistically learn In spite of all daily evidences regarding World’s general technological progress and wellbeing, we also could see how the challenges for people’s lives and organizations/incumbents are also growing and become more complex, complicated and difficult to face, without considering the natural aim to optimally solve them. Perhaps the COVID-19 19 pandemic could and will be one of the most relevant examples, adding to the main list of climate changes, Earth resources fading, social unbalances etc. On the other hand, this World’s major sanitary crisis, generating other extended or potentially crises, including here economical, financial and educational ones, is undoubtedly an opportunity for reconsidering development/progress strategies and generating innovation in all humankind activity fields. Inherently, observing the words “all humankind activity fields” leads us to another item that greatly influences the same fields: Information and Communications Technology (ICT). As we have repeatedly mentioned and detailed [9] [20], ICT is the main driving factor of the World progress and particularly of the Information Society (IS) on the way towards the Knowledge Based Society (KBS).

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Now coming back to the above-mentioned major crisis, it is not just a coincidence that for most World’s big problems, ICT is always a leveraging factor for the optimal solutions. Further, we may consider that for the complex problems, where usually the data uncertainty level is high, as the consequences of COVID-19 19 pandemic, the ICT benefic support is more than useful. For evaluating the potential of ICT to face this challenge, first we have to consider the actual and emerging ICT advances that could provide real instruments and associated results to approach the diversity of problems with high uncertainty. Generally, these ICT trends are among the complex evolutions of the associated technologies and concepts that continuously bring innovations aiming the performance, efficacy and efficiency improvements for the ICT services, products and applications that support IS/KBS progress. In fact, as we have presented in [3], probabilistic computing (PC) is the actual new paradigm which is implemented by the ICT industry leaders, in order to support the most performant advances of ICT, where artificial intelligence (AI) is first pointed, but also linked with Bigdata or other ICT advances, like quantum computing (QC). The link between these advances is generally given by the ICT struggle to continue Moore Law, as we also have approached [20], but PC is in the same time an emerging way to improve AI toward human brain unreached features, like using fewer data (than machines) in order to generalize and decide. Although it is not always true, usually fewer data mean a higher probability to introduce fewer errors or noise in the process, leading to models similar with human brain operation and performances. To reach these purposes, ICT innovations are made in both hardware and software areas, but also in new models and algorithms, more and more inspired from human brain [16][17][19]. On this way, it is well known the role of “learning” in any developing process and the actual aim of AI/PC is to achieve the human brain ability to learn and re-create, including programming, as the next relevant example presents in detail [1]: „ The actual learning takes place inside large data centers using many computer processors churning away in parallel for hours or days …Many researchers start their adventures in machine learning by tinkering with the Modified National Institute of Standards and Technology (MNIST) database of handwritten digits, which is commonly used to train image-processing systems. One of the seminal publications in probabilistic programming came in 2015 from Brenden Lake, Ruslan Salakhutdinov and Joshua Tenenbaum, who described a computational model that can recognize, parse and re-create these handwritten characters. Their program learns quickly from limited samples and has an uncanny ability to use what it has already learned to create further new semantics, or meanings, much as a person would.” Here the news is that, step by step, the impressive results provide the ability to selfdevelop and create new programs without human intervention: “Their framework draws from three key areas in machine learning: compositionality, causality and “learning to learn.” Rich concepts are constructed compositionally from primitive elements (the most basic elements available in the programming language), which

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serve as building blocks. Probabilistic semantics that are robust to noise — that is, are stable despite the addition of random elements — help this framework capture the causality inherent in real-world processes. The model learns to learn by using previous experience with related concepts to facilitate the mastery of new concepts, thereby constructing programs that best explain observations under a Bayesian criterion. These priors embody a learned inductive bias — a set of assumptions that the learner uses to predict outputs, given inputs that it has not yet encountered — that captures key regularities and variations across concepts, and instances of these concepts in a given data domain. New programs can be constructed reusing pieces of existing ones, exploiting the causal and compositional properties of real-world generative processes operating on multiple scales. New program types can be broadly generated by choosing primitive actions from a library and combining these subparts into larger components and relationships to define simple programs. Running these programs and rendering them as raw data can generate new program types…” It is important to analyse such advanced instruments from all relevant implications, because we have to admit that in the more and more sophisticated world of soft/ICT, the logical covering of all scenarios is still necessary, but in the same time more difficult to achieve. In this case, at least the benefic implications are very clear pointed as concerning the performance, further development and the human factor cost: “One of the strengths of Bayesian probabilistic programs is that they are capable of writing new Bayesian programs themselves, with no need for human programmers. This socalled Bayesian program synthesis (BPS) framework separates modelling and inference, allowing the automatic synthesis of new programs via inference; the programs then feed into a modular framework and are integrated into larger models. Because Bayesian methods easily incorporate prior knowledge, effective inference can often be performed with a lot less data...” Here we have to notice the crucial observation that using prior knowledge is essential, as in the case of human brain the experience role is, because this way we can design and optimize these programming tools for a sustainable progress when incorporating the refined knowledge resulted from global evaluation of all consequences of ICT/IS/KBS development. As we have mentioned for years [18][6], the biological World will feed the scientist inspirations from nature’s million years research, which actually happens with impressive results, but these are also complex, iterative and long processes, where, fortunately, ICT with its advances are one of the main enablers, in a huge and benefic self-promoting circle. Many of the biological innovations try to find an alternative for the actual (silicon) advanced technologies and go further with Moore Law. Like an iceberg tip, the next example could be one of these revolutionary innovations, although at the beginning and having relatively limited applications fields [2]: “Synthetic biology uses living cells as the substrate for performing human-defined computations. Many current implementations of cellular computing are based on the “genetic circuit” metaphor, an approximation of the operation of silicon-based computers. Although this conceptual mapping has been relatively successful, we argue that it fundamentally limits the types of computation that may be engineered inside the cell, and fails to exploit the rich and diverse functionality available in natural living systems. We propose the notion of “cellular supremacy” to focus attention on domains in which biocomputing might offer

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superior performance over traditional computers. We consider potential pathways toward cellular supremacy, and suggest application areas in which it may be found.” The practical results of this idea are provided by replacing silicon by new, biological, substrates for computation (cellular computing), but hopefully with benefits for other useful areas: “Synthetic biology is a rapidly growing field of research which applies engineering concepts and principles to the rational engineering of living systems, such as bacteria and yeast. The promise of synthetic biology lies in its potential to provide new substrates for computation, production, pollution control and medical diagnosis (among many areas), and to harness the “wetware” inside the living cell for human-defined purposes. Synthetic biology is set to become a significant component of the multi-billion dollar bio-economy, but, in addition to tangible benefits such as cheaper drug production or more precise bio-sensing, many researchers in the field believe that the very process of re-engineering life will both require and inform a reexamination of our fundamental understanding of cellular processes” The importance of this technology relies on the fact that, although limited, the benefic applications fields include bio-economy, pollution control, medical diagnosis, drug production or precise bio-sensing, for human-defined purposes, i.e. some of the most needed directions for World sustainable progress. In order to generally estimate the stage and the complexity of the PC/QC/AI/ICT advances, starting from the unprecedented “tops” where we are already are, but on the other hand comparing soft and hard fields on this line, the next examples could bring relevant and more detailed elements for the emerging, but on a long road, probabilistic computing and quantum computing development. First, PC has the premises to bring reliable solutions and to improve performances just in the areas that are actually most needed for the progress of ICT, as it is next detailed[4]: “The potential impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has never been greater but we'll only be successful if AI can deliver smarter and more intuitive answers. A key barrier to AI today is that natural data fed to a computer is largely unstructured and "noisy". It's easy for humans to sort through natural data. For example: If you are driving a car on a residential street and see a ball roll in front of you, you would stop, assuming there is a small child not far behind that ball. Computers today don't do this. They are built to assist humans with precise productivity tasks. Making computers efficient at dealing with probabilities at scale is central to our ability to transform current systems and applications from advanced computational aids into intelligent partners for understanding and decision-making.This is why probabilistic computing is one key component to AI and central to addressing these challenges.” We see that PC has relevant premises to push AI to the next step of its amazing evolution, aiming some of the long desired human brain features: “Probabilistic computing will allow future systems to comprehend and compute with uncertainties inherent in natural data, which will enable us to build computers capable of understanding, predicting and decision-making.Today at Intel, we are observing an unprecedented growth of applications that rely on analysis of noisy natural data different and even conflicting information. Such applications aim to assist humans with a higher level of intelligence and awareness about the environments in which they operate. Cutting through this

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noisy minefield is central to our ability to transform computers into intelligent partners that can understand and act on information with human-like fidelity”. It is worth to notice the crucial role of PC/ICT to assist humans with a higher level of intelligence and awareness about the environments in which they operate, i.e. just what our paper aim is suggesting as a support for people when facing the World’s reality, where more and more they need a way to estimate and compensate the risk of failure caused by uncertainity. If the general model of PC approach seems not very complicated and also the expected results could be limited, for revolutionary improvements expected when linking PC and QC the situation could be different, as it is presented by [5]: <<Researchers from Purdue University and Tohoku University … created and used probabilistic bits (p-bits) to factorize integers up to 945.The work, led by Kerem Casmari (Purdue) and Shunsuke Fukami (Tohoku), seems to be well suited for classes of optimization (energy cost) problems “The key role is played by a probabilistic bit (a p-bit)—a robust, classical entity fluctuating in time between 0 and 1, which interacts with other p-bits in the same system using principles inspired by neural networks. Here we present a proof-of-concept experiment for probabilistic computing using spintronics technology, and demonstrate integer factorization, an illustrative example of the optimization class of problems addressed by adiabatic and gated quantum computing. Nanoscale magnetic tunnel junctions showing stochastic behavior are developed by modifying market-ready magnetoresistive random-access memory technology and are used to implement three-terminal p-bits that operate at room temperature.”>> Although it is just a simple application of the concept, the importance of this achievement for further development is huge: <<According to the paper, the p-bits are electrically connected to form a functional asynchronous network, to which a modified adiabatic quantum computing algorithm that implements three- and four-body interactions is applied. “Factorization of integers up to 945 is demonstrated with this rudimentary asynchronous probabilistic computer using eight correlated p-bits, and the results show good agreement with theoretical predictions.” The authors note decoherence and the current requirement for cryogenic operation, “as well as the limited many-body interactions that can be implemented” all pose challenges for typical quantum computers. “Probabilistic computing,” they write, “is another unconventional computation scheme that shares similar concepts with quantum computing but is not limited by the above challenges.”>> Here we have to notice the relevant example of linking the two emergent and unconventional computation concepts/technologies, i.e. probabilistic computing and quantum computing. It is aslo important to observe the advantages offered, at least in this case, by PC versus QC, where the cryogenic conditions will rise severe challenges for the versatility of QC applications, along with the limited useful interactions. All these challenges express the difficulty and complexity of innovation processes ICT/AI have to face toward further performance improvements, but also the high expectations from PC, just due to this context.

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Another reality we have to consider is the fact that all these research advances difficulties became natural, as the exponential evolution of ITC peaked such huge achievements with an unprecedent speed. We have also to mention the inherent care that should be considered for a sustainable progress of ICT/IS/KBS, including the necessary monitoring of all consequences (benefic or not) that could appear at planetary scale from the proliferation of using their services and products everywhere and everytime. Here climate changes, Earth resource fading or social contrasts, affecting Earth ecosystem and humankind life/evolution are crucial problems that should be considered. In this context, the learned lessons of ICT on the way of implementing the new paradigm of PC could bring benefic support also for people’s everyday life, when facing the uncertainities of World evolution/challenges. 2. Facing a World of more and more uncertainty All ICT advances are aiming the IS toward KBS progress, but the fast pace in the complex and dynamic context of these evolutions generates challenges which are more and more difficult to solve, at research, incumbents and even at the individuals levels. Still, it is fair to mention from the beginning that these challenges are not caused exclussivelly by ICT evolution, but the IS/KBS context and even more, in the Earth ecosystem, where all the factors contribute in generating very complex and complicate decision problems which are associated with the political, economical, social or technological fields and also with the humankind behaviour and evolutions. By our point of view, for the paper focus, the essence of those evolutions of the context factors is the fact that one of the main mechanisms that lead to complexity and difficulty to optimize the progress solutions is the increasing level of uncertainty that characterizes associated data of the analyzed processes to be opimized at planetary level, but at lower (individual) levels also. This way we may agree that some approaches of the models and technologies, used by ICT to implement the new paradigm of Probabilistic Computing (PC), could bring benefic support and learned lesons also for people’s everyday life, when everyone is facing the uncertainities and decision challenges in the general context of World evolution or of their own life context. In order to approach or learn from the mentioned models and technologies, we should analyze some relevant details or conclusions from the ICT innovations in the general area of PC. On a systemic approach, perhaps one of the most relevant observations has to be taken from the main efforts of the researchers and analysts to estimate just the directions where generally ICT is going to, as it is well pointed by [7]: << Twelve years ago, IEEE Fellow, Marconi Prize winner, and beloved Spectrum columnist Robert W. Lucky wrote about the difficulty of predicting the technological future. We’ve reprinted his wise words here… “When I joined Bell Labs, so many years ago, there were two great development projects under way that together were to shape the future—the Picturephone and the millimeter

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waveguide. The waveguide was an empty pipe, about 5 centimeters in diameter, that would carry across the country the 6-megahertz analog signals from those ubiquitous Picturephones. Needless to say, this was an alternative future that never happened. Our technological landscape is littered with such failed bets. For decades engineers would say that the future of communications was video telephony. Now that we can have it for free, not many people even want it. The millimeter waveguide never happened either. Out of the blue, optical fiber came along, and that was that. Oh, and analog didn’t last. Gordon Moore made his observation about integrated-circuit progress in the midst of this period, but of course we had a hard time believing it. Analog switching overstayed its tenure because engineers didn’t quite believe the irresistible economics of Moore’s Law...”>> Further, the human experience from such events is also worth to notice and understand, because similar situations are often encountered in many fields and generally for many individuals in a diversity of contexts: <<…The irony at Bell Labs is that we had some of the finest engineers in the world then, working on things like the integrated circuit and the Internet—in other words, engineers who were responsible for many of the innovations that upset the very future they and their associates had been working on. This is the way the future often evolves: Looking back, you say, “We should have known” or “We knew, but we didn’t believe.” And at the same time we were ignoring the exponential trends that were all around us, we hyped glamorous technologies like artificial intelligence and neural networks.Yogi Berra, who should probably be in the National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame, once said, “It’s tough making predictions, especially about the future.” We aren’t even good at making predictions about the present, let alone the future.>> Without considering all above mentioned examples, as artificial intelligence, which is now again on top, it is useful to observe the confirmed difficulty to precisely estimate all the possible evolutions of such “hurricane” as ICT is[11][14][13][12][15]. Our point about the similarity with individuals lifes also here could be observed, this time for journalists: <<…Journalists are sometimes better than engineers about seeing the latent future embedded in the present. I often read articles telling me that there is a trend where a lot of people are doing this or that. I raise my eyebrows in mild surprise. I didn’t realize a lot of people were doing this or that. Perhaps something is afoot, and an amorphous social network is unconsciously shaping the future of technology. Well, we’ve made a lot of misguided predictions in the past. But we’ve learned from those mistakes. Now we know. The future lies in quantum computers. And electronics will be a thing of the past, since we’ll be using optical processing. All this is just right around the corner.>> More than the clear connection with QC, the last conclusion is a good lesson for the best practice, i.e. to consider the relativity and probability of each analysed field/event and learn from those mistakes. We consider also that the chances for maximizing the veracity of estimating the processes evolutions are given by trying to keep searching for the relevant data/information/knowledge, integrating the events results step by step and this way counting the average positive ones, i.e in a manner that is very close to Bayesian approach which forms the PC main premise.

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A confirmation of this approach, starting from simple innovation steps, is very relevant presented by [8]: “Probabilistic computation is, in a way, not new. John von Neumann himself dedicated a fair amount of research effort to what he referred to as reliable computing from unreliable components. On the other hand, however, traditional approaches to silicon technology have assumed “deterministic” transistors whose behaviours have a very high level of predictability – so high, in fact, that computational models (e.g., multiplication) built on top of transistor gates assume deterministic gate-level behaviour. The research being investigated in this project within ISNE at NTU, together with international collaborators, aims to explore a new approach for the nanoscale era: reliable computing from probabilistic components.” Here we have to observe that the main idea is not limited to Probabilistic Computing, but we can imagine that any construction (physical or virtual; hard or soft) could benefit from this approach: built reliable constructions from probabilistic parts. Our opinion is that this important approach is in fact one of the pillars humankind could learn from ICT (but not exclusively from it), when facing the World uncertainties, everyday and everywhere on Earth and beyond. It is clear that such apparent paradoxical approach must be discussed for every application area, where this ideea from PC/ICT should be applied with the appropriate solutions (if they are identifyed!), in order to find the approaches and algorithms that provide reliable constructions from probabilistic parts or at least lead to safer ensamble (by compensating the expected points of failure!), instead of simple using the probabilistic (not very safe) parts. Further, the ideea is detailed and applied when designing new models for probabilistic transistors: “Several important pieces of research into probabilistic computation are under way. Professor Krishna Palem’s seminal work in this area serves as the first opening effort: the so-called Probabilistic CMOS (PCMOS), a new theory of probabilistic transitions based on the physics of thermodynamics, and the mathematics of probabilistic logic (a recent thesis by Lakshmi Chakrapani). Associate Professor Xing Zhou aims to provide predictive compact models for probabilistic transistors. Associate Professor Vincent Mooney is working to link these predictive models to layout and gate-level design of computational primitives such as adders, multipliers and filters. Associate Professor Keck-Voon Ling is designing new models of probabilistic computation for these computational primitives and with these Voong primitives build commonly used DSP blocks. The ultimate goal is directed towards probabilistic computation: from algorithms to predictive circuit models and silicon realization.” Here we have to notice the crucial step of progressing from Probabilistic CMOS to digital signal processors (DSP) based on PCMOS. Another practical observation is extracted from the fact that the advances of ICT in high-performance computing and deep learning algorithms could ease the progress of PC as it is mentioned in [4]: “Research into probabilistic computing is not a new area of study, but the improvements in high-performance computing and deep learning algorithms may lead probabilistic computing into a new era. In the next few years, we expect that research in probabilistic computing will lead to significant improvements in the reliability, security,

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serviceability and performance of AI systems, including hardware designed specifically for probabilistic computing. These advancements are critical to deploying applications into the real world from smart homes to smart cities. To accelerate our work in probabilistic computing, Intel is increasing its research investment in probabilistic computing and we are working with partners to pursue this goal…” In fact, the practical benefits of such evolutions are two-fold: first for the improvements in the reliability, security, serviceability and performance of AI and second for the practical applications closed to individuals and communities (real world from smart homes to smart cities). Here the applications analyses could provide much more lessons and advices, for example just thinking how much the sensors and the security systems could benefits from such ICT advances, where people could further learn or be educated to act on such PC approach bases. Considering the capacity of software innovations to provide ICT progress using human intelligence and imagination, i.e. the main unlimited resources, PC will naturally benefit of it, as it next presented [10]: “What is probabilistic programming? How does it differ from other forms of programming? When people talk about Probabilistic Programming Languages (PPLs), they usually mean a system for building and reasoning about Bayesian models. Maybe the simplest way to think about this is as a way of reasoning about simulations. Say you have a simulation that you can run to make a simulated “world”. Every part of the simulation has some randomness. This includes the things you can actually observe, but also the underlying choices the simulator made for things that affect those observations. But those are random too, so they might depend on other random choices.Ok, so choices made along the way will affect the distribution of things downstream. But we can also use this to reason the other way! We observe some data, and ask “what choices along the way could have led to this?” Going beyond Bayesian models, here we have to observe that the innovations in the simulation processes could consider a new point of view, i.e. linking the choices made along the way (parameters selection) with the distribution of things downstream. Although both sides are random variables, just this way the probabilistic approach could be usefull in studying and then selecting the optimal choices, as further is suggested: “In the simplest case, say we have a simulation for biased coin flips where we pick a random probability of heads, say p ~ Uniform(0,1), and simulate 20 flips. Then we observe 15 heads and 5 tails. We can’t say for certain what p was, but we can find a distribution that’s updated based on the observed data...” It is sure that the real/life cases are more complicated, but the example could be benefic for understanding the suggested approach/method which then should be applied from case to case, either in simple problems of decision or in probabilistic programming applications, but always innovating something in the case model, i.e. using our imagination to estimate and compensate the probable risk of fealure and finally increasing the success probability. Further we just have to imagine how humankind could evoluate from the actual trends of using everyday ICT advances, including probabilistic computing/ programming, considering also the emergent changes in business models and jobs

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transformations AI/ICT have already started to produce, but eventually using the above ICT lessons to better face the World uncertainties. 3. Conclusions When the data uncertainty level is high, as the consequences of COVID-19 19 pandemic, the ICT benefic support is more than useful. For evaluating the potential of ICT to face this challenge, first we have considered the actual and emerging ICT advances that could provide real instruments and associated results to approach the diversity of problems with high uncertainty. ICT trends are among the complex evolutions of the associated technologies and concepts that continuously bring innovations aiming the performance, efficacy and efficiency improvements for the ICT services, products and applications that support IS/KBS progress. As we have presented in [3], probabilistic computing (PC) is the actual new paradigm which is implemented by the ICT industry leaders, in order to support the most performant advances of ICT, where artificial intelligence (AI) is first pointed, but also linked with Bigdata or other ICT advances, like quantum computing (QC). The link between these advances is generally given by the ICT struggle to continue Moore Law, as we also have approached [20], but PC is in the same time an emerging trend to improve AI toward human brain unreached features, like using fewer data (than machines) in order to generalize and decide. To reach such purposes, ICT innovations are made in both hardware and software areas, but also in new models and algorithms, more and more inspired from human brain, as the paper presents by analysing some relevant examples, including PC, QC and biological substrates for computation (cellular computing). The analysis revealed the role of “learning� in the innovation process, as the actual aim of AI/PC is to achieve the human brain ability to learn and re-create, including probabilistic programming, which is in the stage of providing the ability to self-develop and create new programs without human intervention. Another important issue is that the analysis presented some elements which are linking the two emergent and unconventional computation concepts/technologies, i.e. probabilistic computing and quantum computing. Still, it is important to analyse such advanced instruments from all relevant implications, because we have to admit that in the more and more sophisticated world of soft/ICT, the logical covering of all scenarios is still necessary, but in the same time more difficult to achieve. All these challenges express the difficulty and complexity of innovation processes ICT/AI have to face toward further performance improvements, but also the high expectations from PC, just due to this context. Anyway, we have to notice the inherent care that should be considered for a sustainable progress of ICT/IS/KBS, including the necessary monitoring of all consequences (benefic or not) that could appear at planetary scale from the proliferation of using their services and products everywhere and everytime. Here climate changes, Earth resource fading or social contrasts, affecting Earth ecosystem and humankind life/evolution are crucial problems that should be considered. In this context, the learned lessons of ICT on the way of implementing the new paradigm of PC could bring benefic support also for people’s everyday life, when facing the uncertainities of World evolution/challenges.

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By our point of view and the paper focus, the essence of those evolutions of the context factors is the fact that one of the main mechanisms that lead to complexity and difficulty to optimize the progress solutions is the increasing level of uncertainty that characterizes associated data of the analyzed processes to be optimized at planetary level, but at lower (individual) levels also. This way we may agree that some approaches of the models and technologies, used by ICT to implement the new paradigm of Probabilistic Computing (PC) could bring benefic support and learned lessons also for people’s everyday life, when everyone is facing the uncertainities and decision challenges in the general context of World evolution or of their own life context. The chances for maximizing the veracity of estimating the processes evolutions are given by trying to keep searching for the relevant data/information/knowledge, integrating the events results step by step and this way counting the average positive ones, i.e in a manner that is very close to Bayesian approach which forms the PC main premise. Starting from one of the remarkable PC basic models, <<to built reliable constructions from probabilistic parts>>, our opinion is that this important approach is in fact one of the pillars humankind could learn from ICT (but not exclusively from it), when facing the World uncertainties, everyday and everywhere on Earth and beyond. It is clear that such apparent paradoxical approach must be discussed for every application area, where this ideea from PC/ICT should be applied with the appropriate solutions (if they are identifyed!), in order to find the approaches and algorithms that provide reliable constructions from probabilistic parts or at least lead to safer ensemble (by compensating the expected points of failure!), instead of simple using the probabilistic (not very safe) parts. This basic PC model could be benefic for understanding the suggested approach/method which then should be applied from case to case, either in simple problems of decision or in probabilistic programming applications, but always innovating something in the case model, i.e. using our imagination to estimate and compensate the probable risk of fealure and finally increasing the success probability. As a main conclusion, we just have to imagine how humankind could evoluate from the actual trends of using everyday ICT advances, including probabilistic computing/ programming, considering also the emergent changes in business models and jobs transformations AI/ICT have already started to produce, but eventually using the above ICT lessons to better face the World uncertainties. REFERENCES [1]Michael Kozlov, Ashish Kulkarni, Probabilistic programming and the art of the possible, May16, 2019, https://www.weareworldquant.com/en/thought-leadership/probabilisticprogramming-and-the-art-of-the-possible/ [2] Lewis Grozinger et al, Pathways to cellular supremacy in biocomputing Nature Communications volume 10, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13232-z [3]Victor Greu, Information and Communications Technology new paradigm of probabilistic computing could inspire our thinking through a future World of uncertainty - (Part 1), Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 2, Year 2020. [4]George Rajna, Probabilistic Computing for AI,

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https://www.academia.edu/36610944/Probabilistic_Computing_for_AI,https://vixra.org/abs/1 805.0240 [5]John Russell, Is Is There a Probabilistic Computer in Your Future, September 23, 2019, https://www.hpcwire.com/2019/09/23/is-there-a-probabilistic-computer-in-your-future/ [6]Victor Greu, Searching the right tracks of new technologies in the earth race for a balance between progress and survival, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 3, Issue1, Year 2012. [7]Robert W. Lucky, Back To The Elusive Future We looked back for inspiration on looking forward, IEEE Spectrum, Jan 2020. [8]*** , Probabilistic Computation: Algorithms, Circuit Models and Silicon Realisation, http://www.ntu.edu.sg/ISNE/research/Pages/probabilistic.aspx [9]Victor Greu, The information and communications technology is driving artificial intelligence to leverage refined knowledge for the World sustainable development – (Part 2), Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 1, Year 2019. [10]Javier Rodríguez Chatruc, Federico Carrone, Probabilistic Programming with Julia An interview with its creator, Chad Scherrer, https://notamonadtutorial.com/soss-probabilistic-programming-with-julia-6acc5add5549 [11]Will Knight, Intel’s New Chips Are More Brain-Like Than Ever, January 9, 2018, https://www.technologyreview.com /2018/01/09/67469/ intels-new-chips-are-more-brainlike-than-ever/ [12]Florin Enache, Victor Greu, Petrică Ciotîrnae, Florin Popescu, Model and Algorithms for Optimizing a Human Computing System Oriented to Knowledge Extraction by Use of Crowdsourcing, 2020 13th International Conference on Communications (COMM), (Politehnica University of Bucharest, Military Technical Academy, IEEE Romania), https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9141972 [13]Vikash K. Mansinghka, MIT Probabilistic Computing Project, 2020, http://probcomp.csail.mit.edu/ [14] ***, Intel Scales Neuromorphic Research System to 100 Million Neurons, March 18, 2020, https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-scales-neuromorphic-research-system-100-millionneurons/#gs.8os7kd [15]Victor Greu et all, Human and artificial intelligence driven incentive-operation model and algorithms for a multi-purpose integrated crowdsensing-crowdsourcing scalable system, Proceedings of International Conference Communications 2018, (Politehnica University of Bucharest, Military Technical Academy, IEEE Romania), June 2018. [16]Michael Irving, Intel's new neuron-based computer matches brain of a small mammal, March 19, 2020, https://newatlas.com/computers/intel-neuromorphic-computer-pohoikisprings/ [17] Mudassir Khan, Big data analytics emerging trends, technology and innovations for the future business in the global market, International Journal of Scientific Research and Review, Volume 8, Issue 2, 2019. [18] Victor GREU, Information and Communications Technologies are Learning from Nature’s “Research” to Push the Performance Limits, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1, Year 2014 [19]Sandeep Ravindran, Building a Silicon Brain, Computer chips based on biological neurons may help simulate larger and more-complex brain models, Apr 30, 2019, https://www.thescientist.com/features/building-a-silicon-brain-65738, [20] Victor Greu, Extending information and communications technologies’ impact on knowledge based society through artificial and collective intelligence – (Part 3), Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 3, Year 2018.

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GLOBAL RETAIL TRENDS: RETHINKING THE STRATEGY OF DOING BUSINESS by Cosmin TÄ‚NASE

ABSTRACT Clearly, this year’s pandemic has created massive challenges for all retailers around the world. For some, it may have presented opportunities. The past few months have brought unprecedented uncertainty, complexity and change to the industry. In its wake, some of the retailers will thrive while others struggle to survive. Interestingly, COVID-19 has accelerated key fundamental trends that were already influencing the sector: business model evolution, the value of purpose, the ruthless focus on reducing cost and the increased power of the consumer. Rather than stoping these trends in their tracks, the recent shifts in retail fundamentals has made these trends even more acute and urgent. Keywords: Innovation, Competition, Opportunity, Business Model, Consumer Environment JEL Classification: L81, M31

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The pandemic, for the most part, has put physical retailing on pause. Indeed, with a significant proportion of the world's consumers currently under some form of lockdown and all but essential services (generally food and pharmacy) permitted to operate, physical retailing is in a precarious state. Given that physical stores have been the foundation of the retail experience, the implications for today's retail business model are massive. Even before the upheaval, it was becoming increasingly clear that store-based retailing had passed its zenith. And while many physical stores will certainly return to growth, it is clear that the days of being able to drive growth through physical stores alone are over. Those with no existing online or delivery channel will struggle to survive this challenging time. At the same time, the challenges related to COVID-19 are also forcing retailers to rethink the complexity of their value chain. Companies now need to be good at not just buying and selling products, but also at things like online fulfillment, home delivery, data analytics, AI, machine learning and process automation. The capabilities required to succeed in retail continue to expand. Given the current capability shortages and cash flow challenges, retailers should now be looking to refocus on the core retail fundamentals of buying and selling whilst partnering to deliver the other required skills. Many are looking to platform companies to help deliver some of those important capabilities. Retailers (particularly small and medium sized ones) are also looking to them to drive footfall. Indeed, what this difficult time has clearly demonstrated is that online platforms are quickly becoming the shopping malls of tomorrow. Retailers need to be in the right malls — and, just as importantly, in the right location — to see footfall today and (very likely) in the new consumer environment. Generally speaking, most retailers now have three main options: 1. Creating their own platform. Only a handful of market leaders currently have the strength (in capabilities, balance sheet or brand) to develop a platform ecosystem compelling enough to truly compete against the existing heavyweights. However, for those that can, the added value of controlling the data, route to market and capabilities that come with a platform will be extraordinarily valuable. 2. Leverage platforms. Those without the scale to become a platform themselves will likely need to partner with one. As part of their business model planning, retail execs are starting to think carefully about what part of the value chain they should own and what parts could be better delivered through partnerships (where all parties put some skin in the game). 3. Business as usual. Being able to partner while expanding and maturing your omnichannel capabilities will be pivotal. Prior to COVID-19, consumers were increasingly jumping channels as they moved through the sales journey and retailers will need increasing sophistication in their omnichannel approach in order to ensure customer experiences are seamless going forward. In this environment, business as usual would be challenging at best.

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Over the coming year — ongoing challenges with supply, demand and business continuity will force many retail groups to rethink their future business models and make the respective choice. And that, in turn, should spark a new wave of innovation and competition across the industry. As it became clear many countries were going into lockdowns, many traditional food retailers moved quickly to enhance and expand their delivery services. Marks & Spencer, a leading UK retailer of food and non-food items, for example, partnered with food delivery service Deliveroo to expand delivery services from their M&S stores located at some service stations. Before the COVID-19 pandemic M&S agreed a joint venture agreement with Ocado (a home delivery service) to increase their delivery reach for their food business which could prove to be a decisive step for the future. While most food retailers have been building their delivery channels for some time, the closure of physical stores coupled with heightened demand for same- day/online food delivery required organizations to make radical shifts in their business models. Partnering with Deliveroo allowed M&S to scale up their services which not only drives cash flow but also reinforces the brand with customers. Therefore, a number of food retailers have been able to rapidly shift their business model assumptions and seek out partnerships with non-traditional players in order to keep parts of their business in operation. These services, while created out of necessity, will likely mature into a strong go-to market channel for the brand in the future. From the outset of COVID-19, the vast majority of governments and businesses have been clear that they plan to put people ahead of profits. And, as companies around the world moved to retool their business models to support government response requirements, it quickly became clear that brands were already being judged by their actions and their purpose. The upheaval only accelerated a trend that was already well underway. What COVID-19 has demonstrated is that customers want businesses to stand for something bigger than just the products they sell or the dividends they return to their shareholders. They expect the retailers they purchase from to reflect their values and to care about the same societal issues they do. And COVID-19 has given retailers ample opportunity to demonstrate their purpose. This year is expected to see retailers start to focus on improving transparency across the entirety of their business. Particular focus, not surprisingly, will be on those that help society respond and recover to the current health troubles. Those going the extra mile to support their customers and their employees through this challenge will undoubtedly come out the other side with greater brand loyalty. That being said, customers expect their brands to do more than just talk a good talk. Recent backlashes against perceived instances of corporate 'greenwashing' suggest that consumers are setting a rather high bar for retailers to pass. In 2020 there can be already seen that the leading retailers move from having a purposeful brand promise to using their purpose as a guiding growth principle and decision-making lens. Simply put, smart retailers use this critical period as a way to demonstrate that they live their purpose rather than just talking about it. Now every cost is coming under the microscope and every drop of cash is being aggressively preserved. The memory of this event will remain in the collective consciousness of retailers for some time; the desire to eliminate costs will likely be insatiable. Most retailers recognize that conventional forms of cost cutting are no longer enough to shore up margins and rebuild the business. Even after the aggressive costcontainment strategies rolled out in the immediate aftermath of the response to COVID-19, most retailers

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recognize they will need to go further if they hope to return their business to profitable growth in the years ahead. It is therefore expected to see a flurry of investments focused on improving the value of existing assets over the coming year. Some of the more obvious places for investment include new technologies to improve the efficiency of supply chain management, inventory management and shipping and receiving. These are areas that could yield significant value if the right technologies and operating models are brought to bear. There are certainly a multitude of tools and technologies on the market that offer as much. But this year, retailers started to take a closer look at the value of their other assets — namely their stores, their employees and their customer loyalty. Due to COVID, all three are now in flux and their value propositions and expectations are rapidly shifting. Ensuring the right costs are being incurred to achieve the right objectives will be key. Retailers need to increasingly leverage data and analytics to identify their most profitable stores, configurations and products and, based on this, make some important decisions. Given the massive recent changes in customer expectations and demand, all previous analytics will need to be reviewed. Stores that were profitable before may no longer be so in the future. They will likely also view their employees in an entirely new light. Rather than simply stocking shelves and overseeing cash registers, employees will be engaged as valuable customer experience agents and ambassadors for the brand's purpose. Head office jobs may also start to shift as companies look to take advantage of new remote-working models and virtualized ways of working. The most advanced will likely start to manage their customer experience and loyalty as if it were as asset, carefully nurturing and measuring their stock of loyalty in order to enhance its value and improve its resilience. There is no doubt that margins will continue to come under pressure as markets start to rebuild from COVID-19. Yet rather than simply slashing costs and hiking prices, expect to see retailers start to look for new ways to secure value from their existing assets. In today's environment, customers care less about breadth of assortment and more about availability. And that could change the way many retailers operate. Indeed, as countries moved into lockdown status and grocery store shelves emptied, many grocery retailers started exploring ways of narrowing their focus down to a decreased range of high-demand items — creating 'minimum viable ranges'. In doing so, supply chain efficiency and working capital measures are increasing significantly; few customers have so far complained. Once again, COVID-19 has accelerated a shift that had already been underway across the retail sector. For some time now, customers have had an almost unlimited selection of items online. Before the upheaval, consumers could find those, and hundreds of other different ketchup brands, flavors, sizes and packages with just a few taps on a smartphone. In the near future, customer expectations will once again shift. Our view suggests that only two types of retailers will likely survive: those offering a limited yet curated selection and those offering unlimited selection. Those in the middle may be the ones that struggle most. We also expect to see retail leaders think more clearly about their investments into three key areas: customer loyalty programs, customer data, and technologies aimed at making the shopping experience easier, safer and more efficient.

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Conclusion Retailers need to improve the sophistication of their loyalty programs, moving away from traditional points-based systems to instead create integrated and unified rewards programs that allow multiple product and service offerings to be bundled together in a way that encourages consumers to dwell in their ecosystem. Secondly, retailers need to explore a wider range of models and approaches for gathering and analyzing customer data. Integrated reward programs may be part of that solution. So, too, will participation in various platform plays. But expect retailers to start thinking more about how they can partner with others in their customer's ecosystem to not only deliver value and improve relevance, but also to capture greater and richer sources of customer data. There can be also expected to see retailers increase their investments into new and emerging technologies. Voice ordering via smart speakers, for example, is allowing innovative retailers the opportunity to deliver a more convenient on-demand ordering experience (particularly relevant in a shopping environment dictated by isolation measures). Others are exploring how blockchain might help improve the value of their loyalty programs. Ultimately, the shift towards reduced choice will likely lead to more efficient supply chains, lower costs and better customer satisfaction.

References [1] Avery, J., T. Steenburgh, J. Deighton & M. Caravella (2012). Adding Bricks to Clicks: Predicting The Patterns Of Cross-channel Elasticities Over Time. Journal of Marketing [2] Bilgicer, T., Jedidi, K., Lehmann, D. R., & Neslin, S. A. (2015). Social Contagion and Customer Adoption of New Sales Channels. Journal of Retailing, 91(2), 254–271. [3] Clarke, K. & Belk, R. W. (1979). The Effects of Product Involvement and Task Definition on Anticipated Consumer Effort. Wilkie, W. L. (ed.), NA – Advances in Consumer Research [4] Martin, P., Rene, V. (2020) – Trending in Retail – Preparing for the new reality, KPMG [5] Grewal, D., Levy, M., & Kumar, V. (2009). Customer Experience Management in Retailing: An Organizing Framework. Journal of Retailing, [6] Verhoef, P. C., Kannan, P. K., & Inman, J. J. (2015). From Multi-Channel Retailing to OmniChannel Retailing – Introduction to the Special Issue on Multi-Channel Retailing. Journal of Retailing

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The Disrupted Retail and the Innovative Technology: Connecting Data...

Drd. Ioan Matei PURCĂREA Abstract Retailers are under pressure to make better decisions for the future by better using new analytics technology, improving resilience and agility of the supply chain network. As businesses are moving forward being accelerated by e-commerce, retailers need to transform their Omni channel business within the customer-first approach, considering the evolving digital behaviour. Now it’s time for effective shopper marketing, aligning loyalty strategy with the evolving consumer needs, expectations, and channel and moment shopping preferences. It is also essential to ensure speed and convenience at the checkout, and to remove friction from CX, with the help of the innovative technology, confirming a better understanding of the shoppers by taking retail organization to the next level. Keywords: Disrupted Retail; Innovative Technology; e-commerce; Omni channel; Shopper Marketing JEL Classification: D21; D83; L21; M21; M31; O31; O33

Making better decisions for the future by better using new analytics technology, improving resilience and agility of the supply chain network. Businesses are moving forward being accelerated by e-commerce. Transforming the Omni channel retail business within the customer-first approach, considering the evolving digital behaviour Responding customers’ increasing service requirements (within the context of ecommerce acceleration) in the near-term presupposes an improvement in delivery’s flexibility and accuracy (customers expecting instantaneous delivery) with the help of lean processes while adapting a business to the Industry 4.0 standards, better ensuring customer’s logistics

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planning (forecasting, visibility, cost containment, reaction to change, integration, resource allocation etc.), reducing the gap between planning and execution (considering, for instance, the impact of e-commerce acceleration within the context of COVID-19 pandemic). Within the framework of the struggling to improve the supply chain performance, it is essential to increase the end-to-end visibility across inventory planning, forecasting and warehouse operations. There is a close connection between developing Industry 4.0 capabilities (the optimization of the forecasting and replenishment processes thanks to AI applications) and making the shifts in inventory planning, data becoming more actionable with the rise of advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics (the increasing use, for example, of: Warehouse Management System/WMS solutions integrated with forehanded automation solutions like autonomous mobile robots/AMRs; commercial off the shelf/COTS; custom planning tools), and businesses becoming more and more aware of the need of having mobile access to their current system (Reuters Events, 2021). Expressing consumers’ evolving digital behaviour, the continuous turning to ecommerce is putting pressure on the digital experience with a retailer, consumers expecting not only to easily find what they are looking for, but also clear communication, including proactive information. If they are subjected to efforts because of restraints or constrictions, it is more likely to abandon the shopping experience, being driven to the competition without reaching out for eventual assistance (GoMoxie, 2020). A retail and loyalty-marketing executive (also a best-selling author of a book – “The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy” – inviting to look at the next generation of consumer intimacy by harmonizing it with trust), former President and CEO of LoyaltyOne (part of the Alliance Data family), has recommended retailers (starting from a report by Toshiba and Retail Dive) to pave the way for a better shopper experience in 2021 by learning from the 2020 lessons, considering the most significant shopper behavior shifts (Pearson, 2021). Consequently, retailers need: to ensure an easier return process and a more environmentally positive return policy; to improve engagement (while moving excessive inventory) by offering bonus points and extending qualification periods for their reward programs’ status levels; to more precisely predict emerging preferences by making technology investments allowing the smartly use of the collected (real-time location) data and information; to rethink stores’ formats, improving appearance and organization across all channels, holding shopper’s interest intensely covering all senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and... emotion). An interesting opinion coming recently from UK (Carter, 2021) has underlined (within the framework of the retail’s current digital-first trajectory) the role of the big players’ Omni channel strategies as a differentiator (this being presented as the next logical step), being expected: that household name brands make shopping seamless across all channels by capitalising on technology-led shopping experiences (becoming experiential hubs); stores’ repositioning as brand showrooms for consumers and reimagining shopping experiences by ensuring real-world choices for consumers (like delivering on the same day or overnight products at homes), including within the context of the increasing use of both the social platforms (as every moment is becoming more and more conducive to shopping

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through multiple digital touchpoints), and e-commerce (as the primary channel). It is worth remembering that we underlined in our last RDC Magazine issue both the powerful impact on e-commerce of the disrupting technologies (which are the supporting structure of the Industry 4.0 concept), and the impact of e-commerce acceleration within the context of COVID-19 pandemic (Purcarea, 2020). A Survey Report Fall/Winter 2020 (being surveyed 92 retail industry executives in July 2020 and more than 1,000 consumers in June 2020) from Radial (a leading provider of Omni channel commerce technologies and operations, that is targeting seamlessly orchestrated CX by transforming the Omni channel retail business complexity) revealed that within the context of COVID-19 pandemic BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), BOPAC (buy online, pick up at curbside), pop-up fulfilment centers and dropshipping, as Omni channel fulfillment options were expanded, the majority of global respondents (60% of consumers) planning to avoid in-store shopping the holiday season (Radial, 2020). Most retailers (80% of respondents) felt anxious about a second wave or the aggravation of the new coronavirus crisis, being also concerned not only about the significant shifts to consumer spending (63%), but also about both timely order fulfilment (42%) and meeting customer service capacity (42%). Beyond the impact of pandemic, the shopping shift to eCommerce in 2020 represented a continuation of the trend from the 2019 pointed end. The Radial report recommended retailers to lighten or relieve the above mentioned concerns by enhancing inventory visibility and order management, and also by combining a customer-first approach with an advanced Omni channel strategy, proving agility and responsiveness in right meeting consumers where they are.

Figure no. 1: Top 10 US Ecommerce Retailers, Ranked by Sales Growth, 2020 Source: Liu, C., 2020. The haves and have-nots: Divides deepen across retail amid the pandemic, eMarketer, Dec 28 (work cited)

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It is also worth mentioning within this framework that during the holiday season (December 2020 retail sales) Amazon delivered, for instance, over 1.5 billion packages globally, confirming pandemic-driven trends in consumer shopping (Business Insider, 2021). According to eMarketer (Liu, 2020), the shift to e-commerce has contributed to the growing divide between the haves and have-nots, and retail’s future has been modified in a significant way by the new habits formed in 2020. For example, many of the big big-box stores included in October 2020 in the eMarketer’s top 10 US ecommerce retailers (like Target, The Home Depot, Walmart, Costco) have seen their e-commerce sales increasing rapidly above the usual level, while other department stores (like Macy’s) didn’t move at the same rate., as shown in the above figure.

The need of effective shopper marketing and of aligning loyalty strategy with the evolving consumer needs, expectations, and channel and moment shopping preferences The shifting shopping habits due to pandemic concerns are requiring from businesses effective shopper marketing as solution while facing unpredictability. Field Agent’s expertise underlines the need for innovation (valorising the lessons learned in 2020 by both retailers and CPG brands), pledges for effective shopper marketing and flexibility in engaging customers, and draws attention to different aspects such as: the impulse buying of tomorrow, the partnerships meeting consumers across different channels (by offering relevant tools and platforms), more agile and responsive supply chains, brands’ availability across multiple channels (Field Agent, 2021). On the other hand, it is important to see the connection with the above mentioned approach of a recognized retail and loyalty-marketing executive. A recently released Loyalty Industry Data Study by Clarus Commerce (based on an in October 2020 conducted survey of 300 American marketing and loyalty professionals representing different retail categories offering different types of loyalty programs) highlighted retailers need of going beyond only a traditional rewards program (offered by 59% of respondents), by focusing on their unique customer needs and providing them clear value, considering what consumers really want (not only instant benefits and amazing CX, but also the before mentioned clear value). From the above mentioned 59% of respondents offering only a traditional rewards program, 95% retailers have expressed their intention of launching in 2021 a premium loyalty program supporting greater program innovation and agility, which allows better adaptation to customers’ evolving needs, expectations, and channel and moment shopping preferences. It is also interesting to note that this 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study has also revealed that retailers are neglecting customers’ wanted loyalty benefits which have proven in the past to be essential (such as: free shipping, instant discounts, free giveaways, faster shipping, surprise rewards, holiday discounts, exclusive deals, personalized offers, exclusive in-store experiences), as shown in the figure below:

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Figure no. 2: Today’s retailers are overlooking the loyalty benefits that customers want — which are often the tried-and-true, essential benefits, like free shipping Source: Clarus Commerce, 2021. Insights, Challenges & Plans from Today’s Retailers. 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study, p. 11 (work cited)

Retailers’ need for speed and convenience at the checkout, and to remove friction from CX, with the help of the innovative technology It is well-known within the context of the current pandemic (which has limited considerably the in-store shopping) that in order to reduce consumers’ surface exposure throughout the course of in-store shopping there is an obvious growth of the consumers’ option for contactless or other digital forms of payment, consequently being a clear escalation for frictionless commerce technology (Nunez, 2021). One of the innovative technologies which have expanded in retail is Amazon’s Just Walk Out software/autonomous checkout solution (RDC Magazine has made reference to this technology over the last years), brought by Business Insider Intelligence to our attention recently, within the context of the partnering of the e-commerce giant with the airport retailer Hudson deploying the solution at Dallas Love Field Airport (in the Hudson Nonstop stores). Business Insider also underlined the contribution of other autonomous checkout players, such as Toshiba (which has introduced recently the cloud-based software system Elera allowing retailers to customize an IT system enabling touchless point-of-sale and promotional offerings), AiFi and Standard, all of them helping improve CX.

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On the other hand, a survey (of 872 randomly selected U.S. adults ages 18 and older) commissioned by Bolt and executed by YouGov, conducted on November 23-24, 2020 to determine why shoppers decide to create or not create customer accounts, revealed among other aspects that from the point of view of shoppers: speed and convenience at the checkout are representing the primary value of the customer accounts; more valuable than even discounts (and also rewards, ease of managing orders and returns, exclusive product offers) is to remove friction at this significant point at which goods are paid for in supermarkets or similar stores while saving usual information with regard to payment, shipping preferences, and buyer personal information – their main concern in creating customer accounts remaining security (Bolt, 2021). According to this retailer’s guide to shopper preferences 65% of respondents stated that when shopping online they typically prefer creating a customer account, only 35% expressing their preference for checkouting as a guest. As a result of both consumers’ shopping and purchasing habits’ fast change, and retailers’ digitization impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, the payments industry is in full evolution with regard to create and implement the best solutions to the current rapid adoption by consumers of contactless, Omni channel, and online payments, as shown recently by Insider Intelligence (2021). The Payments Ecosystem Report by Insider Intelligence (see below chart and data pulled from this valuable Report) provides a rigorous analysis of this ecosystem, clarifying significant aspects such as: Payment networks (which act as hubs enabling funds to flow from the payer’s factory inspector to the recipient’s etc.); Payment Gateways (made increasingly prominent in the ecosystem by the merchants both building out their online presence, and unifying software across channels etc.); Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) and Merchant Service Providers (MSPs) both forced to change their business models within the context of the adoption of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) and other turnkey solutions by more merchants (including some larger sellers) etc.

Figure no. 3: The Payments Ecosystem Source: Insider Intelligence, 2021. Consumers are embracing contactless, omnichannel transactions—and payments providers must adapt. PAYMENTS & COMMERCE. REPORT PREVIEW. The Industry’s Biggest Shifts, Trends, and Evolution—and What the Pandemic’s Impact on Digitization Will Mean for the Payments Landscape, Insider Intelligence <newsletter@insiderintelligence.com> January 31 (work cited)

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According to CX professionals, real contactless experience (so-called by them a magic one) is difficult and expensive to create, but it is expected now more than ever by consumers who are empowered by it, feeling safe and happy (Petrova, 2021). Conclusions Recently eMarketer brought to retailers’ attention the need of having a firm understanding of their shoppers, better considering the importance of personalization and retention, and improving communications’ individually tailoring to customers, by investing more in the new marketing technology and data-collection tactics offering greater insights (Kats, 2021). Retailers have already, for instance, a great experience in using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems, new insights being open by item-level data (based on its unique digital ID every single item can be tracked throughout its supply chain journey), the basis for any satisfied Omni channel customer (who is expecting an effortless CX, online, in-store or in-between) being built by reliable stock information integrated across the entire retail operation, as demonstrated by Detego (2020), while highlighting the strong correlation between RFID implementation and effective Omni channel services (see also the below figure).

Figure no. 4: OMNICHANNEL Source: Detego, 2020. Solving Retail’s Top Ten Needs with RFID, September 11, p. 9 (work cited)

Allow us to remember that at the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Summit in Berlin, in June 2017, it was presented and demonstrated the concept of “Simple Links” (the basic concept being “to create, manage and analyze digital links between items and their containers as a dynamic hierarchy, then to infer item-level tracking and monitoring information for any item based on searching the hierarchy for the best available track, monitor and prediction data at a given time”), which has been seen as an important opportunity for business models built around the “platform” concept, as shown in the figure below (Hagedorn, Hunt and Burger, 2018). Globally recognized for his expertise on the matter, Ruediger Hagedorn, End-to-End (E2E) Value Chain Director, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), has expressed recently an opinion on the evolution of the continuous work on Simple Links on the occasion of the Academic & Business Partnership 2020 SCM for ECR Conference, co-hosted by him. Within this special framework Ruediger Hagedorn has shown, among other aspects concerning the

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above mentioned concept, how “existing ID systems can be connected by embedding the original ID in the link or – should the ID already be coded on an item/resource – by assigning links to each code”.

Figure no. 5: Simple Links Platform Source: Hagedorn, R., Hunt, C. and Burger, A., 2018. Simple Links. Integral control of your company’s logistics through simple links, The Consumer Goods Forum, February, p. 9 (work cited)

More recently, a principal analyst of Futurum Research (also CEO of Broadsuite Media Group) – and contributor to Forbes CMO Network – has analysed the trends to watch at the well-known US National Retail Federation (NRF) 2021 event (January’s Chapter 1 being held digitally, of course, and led by the same theme “Forward Together” like the June’s Chapter 2), highlighting the following aspects: 2020 surging digital channels; improving supply chain connection by turning to technology; improving CX and Omni channel, based on gaining better insight into customers by collecting data from multiple sources (investing in business intelligence platforms); taking a retail organization to the next level by improving data approach (feeding real-time data into retailers’ CRM and CX systems based on AI and Automation); considering retail specific clouds (Newman, 2021). On the other hand, the feature-rich website Retail Technology Review (dedicated to the products and solutions needs of end users within the retail sector) has underlined both retailers’ pressure to prioritise e-commerce improvements which enhance the entire consumer shopping journey, and how retailers can benefit from Google Cloud’s Product Discovery Solutions for Retail (including Recommendations AI, Vision API Product Search etc.) by considerably improving their websites and mobile applications on the basis of the high-quality product search functionality achieved on this way (Retail Technology Review, 2021).

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And allow us to end by citing from an invitation (entitled “Lessons for Retail Marketing From Holiday 2020”) to a remarkable recent Tech-Talk Webinar moderated by eMarketer (sponsored content presented by Salesforce): “Meeting the needs of buyers was not possible without connected data, hyper-personalization, and triggered communications to customers, employees, and suppliers” (eMarketer, 2021). We totally agree with this idea.

References Bolt, 2021. Ecommerce Customer Accounts. A Retailer’s Guide to Shopper Preferences. [pdf] Bolt Consumer Report pp. 1-10. Available at: <Bolt-Customer-Report-EcommerceCustomer-Accounts-EM10191.pdf> [Accessed 13 January 2021]. Business Insider, 2021. December retail sales deflate as consumers minimize holiday spending—but there's still hope for a retail bounce-back, January. [online] Available at: <https://www.businessinsider.com/ecommerce-provided-major-boost-for-december-retailsales-2021-1?> [Accessed 20 January 2021]. Carter, T., 2021. 10 years of technology rolled into one: what will retail look like in 2021? Retail Technology Review, Jan 20. [online] Available at: <https://www.retailtechnologyreview.com/articles/2021/01/20/10-years-of-technologyrolled-into-one-what-will-retail-look-like-in-2021/> [Accessed 28 January 2021]. Clarus Commerce, 2021. Insights, Challenges & Plans from Today’s Retailers. [pdf] 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study, pp. 1-16. Available at: < 2021-loyalty-industry-data-studyclarus-commerce.pdf> [Accessed 25 January 2021]. Detego, 2020. Solving Retail’s Top Ten Needs with RFID. [pdf] September 11, pp. 1-22. Available at: <2021-loyalty-industry-data-study-clarus-commerce.pdf> [Accessed 5 January 2021]. eMarketer, 2021. What the Holiday Season Brings for Retail Marketing in 2021. [online] Available at: <https://on.emarketer.com/Webinar-20210129-Salesforce-RetailMarketingTechTalk-Hybrid_Busemailpage?> [Accessed 27 January 2021]. Field Agent, 2021. 2021 in Retail: 4 Leaders Share New Year Lessons and Predictions, Jan 14. [online] Available at: <https://blog.fieldagent.net/2021-in-retail-leaders-share-lessons-forthe-new-year?> [Accessed 14 January 2021]. GoMoxie, 2020. 2020 Online Behaviors & Expectations Index, Retail Edition, September, pp. 1-17. [pdf] GoMoxie used SurveyMonkey Inc. to field this survey in September 2020 with 1,063 adult consumers in the United States, pp. 3-28. Available at: < goMoxie-RetailSurvey-2020.pdf> [Accessed 21 January 2021]. Hagedorn, R., Hunt, C. and Burger, A., 2018. Simple Links. [pdf] Integral control of your company’s logistics through simple links. The Consumer Goods Forum, February, pp. 1-11. Available at: <CGF-Simple_Links_White_Paper.pdf> [Accessed 5 November 2020]. Insider Intelligence, 2021. Consumers are embracing contactless, omnichannel transactions— and payments providers must adapt. PAYMENTS & COMMERCE. REPORT PREVIEW. The Industry’s Biggest Shifts, Trends, and Evolution—and What the Pandemic’s Impact on

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Digitization Will Mean for the Payments Landscape, Insider Intelligence <newsletter@insiderintelligence.com> January 31, 22:00. Kats, R., 2021. Do retailers have a firm understanding of their shoppers? eMarketer, Jan 21. [online] Available at: <https://www.emarketer.com/content/do-retailers-have-firmunderstanding-of-their-shoppers?> [Accessed 22 January 2021]. Liu, C., 2020. The haves and have-nots: Divides deepen across retail amid the pandemic, eMarketer, Dec 28. [online] Available at: <https://www.emarketer.com/content/haves-havenots-divides-deepen-across-retail-amid-pandemic?> [Accessed 8 January 2021]. Newman, D., 2021. Exploring 5 Top Retail Trends At NRF 2021, Forbes, Jan 18. [online] Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/deloitte/2021/01/25/building-the-resilientorganization/?> [Accessed 30 January 2021]. Nunez, A., 2021. Amazon's autonomous checkout technology expands further into airport retail, Business Insider, Insider Intelligence, Jan 15. [online] Available at: <https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-ramps-up-just-walk-out-tech-expansion-2021-1?> [Accessed 17 January 2021]. Pearson, B., 2012. The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy, Portfolio, First Edition May 10, 2012. Pearson, B., 2021. 7 Must-Do Retail Resolutions For 2021, CustomerThink, January 10. [online] Available at: <https://customerthink.com/7-must-do-retail-resolutions-for-2021/?> [Accessed 19 January 2021]. Petrova, L., 2021. Contactless and Self-Service are Here to Stay, CustomerThink, January 2. [online] Available at: <https://customerthink.com/contactless-and-self-service-are-here-tostay/?> [Accessed 6 January 2021]. Purcarea, I. M., 2020. Digital transformation and the impact on e-commerce of the disruptive technologies which are the supporting structure of the Industry 4.0, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, vol. 11(3), pp 32-49, December. Radial, 2020. Retail’s response to the pandemic: Insights from Sellers and Consumers for 2020 and Beyond. [pdf] A Radial Survey Report Fall/Winter 2020, pp. 1-11. Available at: <89_ama_w_radi75_oidGr0BynbTmuQJzNU78tQ.pdf> [Accessed 4 January 2021]. Reuters Events, 2021. Reuters Events: Retail Supply Chain & Logistics Planning Report 2021. [pdf] In Partnership with Dassault Systèmes, pp. 3-28. Available at: <{c8c5b6ba-dddc4567-be02-feb2d7cdcdf2}_5212_13JAN20_Whitepaper_V2.pdf> [Accessed 21 January 2021]. Retail Technology Review, 2021. Google Cloud Launches Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, Bolstering Personalized Online Shopping, Jan 26. [online] Available at: <https://www.retailtechnologyreview.com/articles/2021/01/26/google-cloud-launchesproduct-discovery-solutions-for-retail,-bolstering-personalized-online-shopping/> [Accessed 28 January 2021]. Romanian Distribution Committee, 2020. New Knowledge in Action: The Academic & Business Partnership 2020 SCM for ECR Conference, Always at the Forefront of Market Innovations in the Omni Channel World, October 31. [online] Available at: <https://www.crd-aida.ro/2020/10/new-knowledge-in-action-the-academic-businesspartnership-2020-scm-for-ecr-conference-always-at-the-forefront-of-market-innovations-inthe-omni-channel-world/> [Accessed 22 December 2021].

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Lighthouse 2021, Long-run Experience, Reskilling, Mobile & Decentral, India Business Month, and UN Goals 2030 Bernd HALLIER

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, President of the European Retail Academy (ERA: http://www.european-retail-academy.org/), an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of both the Editorial Board of “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”, and the Editorial Board of RAU “Holistic Marketing Management” brought to our attention other great events happening in the last time, and allowed us to present them. It is also worth remembering that: immediately after visiting Romania for the first time on the occasion of the 24th International Congress of the International Association for the Distributive Trade (AIDA Brussels), Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier sent us, in May 1998, a memorable letter we have referred initially in the Journal of the Romanian Marketing Association (AROMAR), no. 5/1998, and also later, in 2010, in the first issue of the Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine; the Romanian-American University (RAU) has awarded Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier a “Diploma of Special Academic Merit”; the “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, has awarded Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier a “Diploma of Excellence”.

Lighthouse 2021 Unanimously the Board of ERA approved a proposal of Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier to elect the Peace Nobel Laureate of 2006 Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yunus for the Hall of Fame. Professor Muhammad Yunus - born in Bathua/Bangladesh - got his BA and MA at Dhaka University/Pakistan and his PhD at the Vanderbilt University/USA. He was teaching as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Middle Tennessee State University. In 1971 Prof. Yunus

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joined Chittagong University at his old home-town. In 2006 he got together with the Grameen Bank the Nobel Peace Prize for the idea of micro-credits/micro-finance and its application (more at Hall of Fame).

Professor Hallier got to know Professor Yunus when both visited several times the Astana Economic Forum in Kazakhstan. Especially after the Corona Pandemic and its effects on all business along the international total supply chain in 2020/2021 Professor Hallier sees a need of micro-credits/finance for the poor countries which become the loosers in the widening gaps between oversaturated markets and developing countries. “We need Lighthouses like Professor Yunus to focus an equilibrium between economics, ecology and ethics for global harmony” Prof. Hallier stated at the nomination of Professor Yunus for the Hall of Fame 2021 of the European Retail Academy. “Also studying and teaching at different places in the world and looking for applications in business Prof. Yunus and his brother with his foundation is a hope and benchmark for young people” Hallier added.

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Long-run Experience In 1977 Germany’s first pioneer of scanning the Suedmarkt/Carl Doderer informed by a letter its suppliers about the possibility to use in future the EAN bar-code. Accidentally B. Hallier at that time received a copy as an assistant of the Board of Brinkmann Cigarettes responsible for automation/innovation. He immediately started a dialogue with the CCG (today GS 1 Germany) management to analyze the system and to take action from the side of the Branded Goods Industry to integrate the bar-code into the product-design of the brands because the print at the products saved costs at the store-levels for the manual instore-merchandise by staff of industry as well as retailers. The bar-code helped to identify products immediately at the cash-zone by scanners and decreased costs in inventories.

In 1984 Hallier changed from industry to retail becoming CEO of the ISB Institute for Self-Service, merging in 1988 ISB with RGH which owned 50 percent of the shares of the predecessor of GS 1 Germany. By this Hallier could follow very closely for 25 years the next

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development: the generation of chip-codes which enabled with bigger data-capacities and in connection with RFID optimizations in the distribution like shelf-management/ECR etc. “Also the METRO FUTURE STORE was pushed by a booth of more than 2000 square meters at our EuroShop exhibition” Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier remembers. Since 2019 Hallier is now involved in the QR-code development of the Two-dimensional Code Industry (ZIIOT) in China. “It will be an essential tool for AI and also revolutionize distribution by the link with the Internet of Things” Hallier forecasts. “I am thankful for nearly 50 years to be able to be so close to decisionmakers at the different sides of the table” he summarizes his long-run experience.

Reskilling The World Economic Forum points to the fact that the times of stable life-time employments are over. Due the heavy disruptions of the New Economy 04 - speeded up by the Corona Pandemic Production, Distribution as well as the Education Sector will have to redefine their business models in the age of digitalization. For Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier this can be seen also by the rotation of management: while he remembers in retail and industry many leaders who stayed at least for about ten years at the top of the company - now two or three years become the normal situation . “The hectic Reskilling of the Board by new company orientation is added to the necessary Life-Long Learning for the rest of employees” Hallier concludes.

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“The pattern within traditional company- and HR-structures in the last century was an accumulation of know-how over the time period: at about the age of 40 years either in private companies the next generation or in other companies a new manager-generation took over; their new know-how was executed within the next 25 years. Mostly their innovative ideas where introduced within the first five years - and the rest of time was needed to penetrate the prototypes (products/ organization) to get their impacts on a larger scale. Now the shareholders become often nervous concerning a return of investment before the real roll-out of innovation has started” Hallier claims. “The result are permanent take-overs (diversifications) or outsourcing (segmentation) or mergers (like also Retail Knowledge Consortia)! Reskilling/Life-long Learning are the necessary tools for HR to survive the Darwin Revolution of permanent quick adaption on all levels” Hallier summarizes the present situation in many companies. “Those being dropped out will be the army of affluent work-force: they will create the political danger for social revolutions - and will ask for more government-involvement to subsidize ailing companies. Education systems should be more focused on skill-training than on the transmission of learning contents. Repeated processes will be taken over by robots and AI” Hallier concludes watching innovation-cycles already for many years.

Mobile & Decentral In the mid 70ies of last century data-processing was based on punch cards and big central computers which needed cooling systems! Seeing a small newspaper-article about a test of mobile data-entry-units in the USA Bernd Hallier in 1975 at Brinkmann Cigarettes/Germany responsible for automation/innovation asked Bob Seidensticker of Liggett & Myers/USA to arrange a date with that IT-company to see applications in the field - which actually was realized in Florida in the same year.

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Back in Germany Hallier found with Willi Weber/Dieburg a tobacco wholesaler being interested in a joint design of an application for the control of sales and refilling of cigarette-vending machines. Microthek Germany as a start-up supplied the data-entry-units and the back-up was in the first trial an IBM/32 and then the new IBM/34 (64 K /17 mio byte disc) - the first one for a German tobacco wholesaler. In 1979 the national tobacco newspaper DTZ was invited to accompany the demonstration tour of the filling of the vending machines. While at that time on average a filler served 24 vending machines per day - due to prepacking by the individual data per column/machine the filler served 106 vending machines on that tour. The aim of

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“rationalization” was proved - but it was also the start of the optimization of each column/each vending machine; it was historically the first Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) project - and it was the start of IT in medium-sized tobacco wholesale-companies becoming independent from big central data-centers. In 1980 Brinkmann Cigarettes promoted nationally the Weber-solution as an example for an efficient vending-machine management by a booklet “Automaten’80” parallel Bernd Hallier wrote his PhD about the impact of decentralized IT of tobacco wholesalers for all activities (and job-changes) along the supply-chain in the tobacco sector.

India Business Month India with its 1.3 billion population is one of the hugest markets of the world, but according to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier it has to be seen that the sub-continent India is fragmented in 48 regions and that Indian religions and myth has to be understood to get a return on investment.

“The home-office during the Corona-Crisis could be used excellently to dedicate a month of research to India" Hallier claims promoting the digital MV-offer (Link)”... but of course intensive guided travel has to be added later; India could be understood only in a combination of ratio & emotion!” - having visited India permanently himself since 1974 and having among his Indian friends for example Kishore Biyani, founder of Pantaloon, Big Bazaas and the Future Group.

UN Goals 2030 For 2030 the United Nations have defined the ambition for the world-community to reach 17 aims for the sustainable development of the globe. The Thematic University Network Food (TUN) was started on 5 of those goals (see also : www.european-retail-academy.org/GGU /News 09.10.2017).

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Now Violena Nencheva from Sofia/Bulgaria starts as a far-distance trainee of the ERA-network a SURVEY in how far the UN Goals 2030 are on the screen of Universities and Companies. The questionnaire 1 with the first 4 questions can be ordered from violena.nencheva@gmail.com.

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● Nicolae GROSU – Spre Ipoteşti, Prof. ROMANESCU şi MIHAI EMINESCU

Note from the Editor-in-Chief As we remembered on another occasion, education means life and civilization transmission, it is how to be prepared for tomorrow, is learning from heart to heart to know how to grow your own flower, the School being the one that provides you with the necessary cultivation, and ensure the nation’s upbringing. School remains the place where each generation will pass on its values. According to Romania’s National Poet Mihai EMINESCU (described as “the unpaired poet whose work defeats time”, by Tudor ARGHEZI), wellknown also for his preoccupation with regard to “Education and School”, education means the culture of character.

• O coversaţie tradiţională cu Profesorul Ion BULBOREA despre Educaţie, Şcoală şi EMINESCU… (https://holisticmarketingmanagement.ro/profesorul-ion-bulborea-voceainteleptului-in-pustiu/) cu ocazia Zilei Culturii Naţionale (https://www.crdaida.ro/2019/01/ce-ti-doresc-eu-tie-dulce-romanie-fiii-tai-traiasca-numai-in-fratie/ ) a scos la iveală o semnificativă relatare – “Spre Ipoteşti” – a Profesorului Nicolae GROSU (https://gorjeanul.ro/educatiasi-lectia-de-viata-interviu-de-suflet-cu-un-prieten-si-un-colegdoresc-sa-le-transmit-gorjenilor-un-mesaj-privind-semnificatia-publicarii-acestei-cartipentru-realitate/ ), care a avut amabilitatea de a o pune şi la dispoziţia cititorilor noştri. Domnia Sa ne-a mai transmis (de la Londra) şi un paragraf din cartea “BLESTEMELE NAŢIEI ROMÂNE”: “Întru înțelegerea sensului valoric al societății românești trebuie ținut cont că personalitatea se formează prin trei procese – SOCIALIZARE, EDUCAȚIE, INSTRUIRE -, care sunt și simultane și consecutive, fiind logic că dacă socializarea este de alt tip decât educația și instruirea specifice societății românești... copiii socializați astfel nu au cum să treacă la tipurile respective de educație și instruire, ei... nu ca excepții individuale, rămânând socialmente needucați și neinstruiți, adică rebel-necivilizați, existența acestei categorii afectând semnificativ atât viața societății, cât și imaginea țării.”

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Nicolae GROSU – Spre Ipoteşti, Prof. ROMANESCU şi MIHAI EMINESCU În vara anului trecut, la Iaşi, a avut loc o conferinţă închinată geniului Poet național Mihai Eminescu. În disertaţia susţinută de Prof. Dr. Constantinescu s-au spus pe faţă cele mai tulburatoare Adevaruri despre Mihai Eminescu. În sală se afla şi venerabilul Academician Prof. Dr .Romanescu, 92 de ani, cea mai mare personalitate medicală în psihiatrie. După conferinţă, Prof. Romanescu se confesează Domnului Prof. Constantinescu şi îi spune următoarele: “Domnilor, după cum ştiţi eu am scris o carte cu titlul: Îl mai merităm noi, oare pe Eminescu? Ei bine, în urmă cu o lună de zile am primit un răspuns absolut cutremurător la titlul cărţii mele. Veneam de la Botoşani spre Iaşi cu o maşină şi la un moment dat am văzut venind din faţă nişte căruţe, care mergeau încet în mersul cailor, caii erau împodobiţi ca de sărbătoare, iar în căruţe oameni, femei, tineri, copii, îmbrăcaţi în costume populare, având în mâini lumânări mari aprinse. În faţă nu văzusem nici un mort, nici o cruce, am început să număr căruţele, cred că erau peste 30, am oprit maşina şi la ultima căruţă am întrebat pe cei din căruţă: Nu vă supăraţi, unde mergeţi, ce se întâmplă că nu am văzut nici un mort nici în faţa, nici la urmă, totuşi aveţi lumânări aprinse în mâini şi nu sunteţi supăraţi, sunteţi chiar bucuroşi, ce este cu dumneavoastră? Unde mergeţi? Am crezut că este un accident, ceva. Şi atunci am primit cel mai cutremurător răspuns din toată viaţa mea de 92 de ani pe care îi am: Mergem să-l cinstim pe Bădiţa Mihai Eminescu. Am oprit de tot maşina şi am început să plâng şi mi-am dat seama ce mare greşeală am făcut prin acel titlu neinspirat al cărţii mele. Atâta timp cât ţăranii de la Ipoteşti şi ţăranii în general vor aprinde lumini la propriu şi la figurat, chiar pentru Eminescu, EMINESCU TRĂIEŞTE, NU POATE SĂ MOARĂ DECÂT CU ULTIMUL ROMÂN. Eminescu va trăi datorită acestei pături de oameni sărmani, de oameni necăjiţi, dar care au şi capacitatea de a se bucura şi a se mândri cu ceea ce a fost Mihai Eminescu. Am înţeles imediat că Resortul şi Filonul de Aur al poporului român, NICIODATĂ nu va muri şi NICIODATĂ FII LUI NU VOR FI UITAŢI DE ŢĂRANII NOŞTRI.”

• “Constatăm că nu mai există o altă deosebire între oameni decât cea pe care o stabileşte banul” (Timpul, 10 iulie 1881). “Mita e-n stare să pătrundă orişiunde în ţara aceasta, pentru mită capetele cele mai de sus ale administraţiei vând sângele şi averea unei generaţii” (Timpul, 18 Aprilie 1879). “Oamenii care au comis crime grave rămân somităţi, se plimbă pe străzi, ocupă funcţii înalte, în loc de a-şi petrece viaţa la puşcărie” (Timpul, 1879).

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● Nicholas DIMA – Recenzie şi comentarii la cartea scrisă de Prof. Vasile PUŞCAŞ, intitulată “IULIU MANIU Văzut de Românii Americani”, Editura Şcoala Ardeleană, Cluj-Napoca, 2018 Note from the Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Dima’s American professional career (he received a doctoral degree from Columbia University in New York) includes working 20 years for Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, and teaching college, university and US Military schools for another ten years. Among his most rewarding achievements were meeting Kings, Presidents, and Prime ministers as a VOA reporter and editor, teaching American officers up to the rank of full colonel (for example, Professor and Director for European Studies at the US Army, J.F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, NC., 1985-1988), teaching in the US and Africa, and promoting democracy, education, and human values world-wide. His significant presence as visiting professor in Bucharest is of clear benefit for the RomanianAmerican University students to explore the pressing issues facing our globalized world, being involved in thought-provoking debate topics and learning to bring a relevant contribution thanks to a specific expertise. Nicholas Dima, also well-known as a Best Book Reviewer, always capturing the reader’s attention, sent to us a good book review, this valuable book being written by the former Romania’s Chief Negotiator with the European Union (EU), the reputed Professor Vasile Puşcaş (we mentioned previously both this official position held by him http://crd-aida.ro/RePEc/rdc/v8i4/1.pdf , and the fact that he was awarded the “Mihail Kogălniceanu” Prize by the Romanian Academy on December 2009 https://www.crdaida.ro/2009/12/in-ziua-de-17-decembrie-2009-in-aula-academiei-romane-a-avut-loc-ceremonia-de-decernare-apremiilor-academiei-romane-printre-cei-premiati-se-numara-vasile-puscas-florian-popa-theodor-purcarea-mon/ ).

Corneliu COPOSU (19141995), President (19901995) of the Christian Democratic National Peasant Party (PNŢCD), was

Personal Permanent Secretary of IULIU MANIU (1873–1953), the Founder of the National Peasant Party and former Prime Minister Corneliu COPOSU and Nicholas DIMA

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Vasile Puşcaş, “Iuliu Maniu Văzut de Românii Americani”, Editura Şcoala Ardeleană, Cluj-Napoca, 2018 Recenzie şi comentarii de Nicholas Dima Cartea “Iuliu Maniu Văzut de Românii Americani” a istoricului Vasile Puşcaş este alcătuită din diferite texte şi documente inţiate de marele lider Ardelean ori de personalităţi care l-au cunoscut şi vine să umple un gol în cunosştinţele şi cultura politică româneasca actuală. Iuliu Maniu a fost un mare patriot, un om politic de talie internaţională şi probabil cel mai important reprezentant al democraţiei din România. Parcurgând textele din carte îmi dau seama însă că Maniu a fost un idealist şi că în contextul istoric în care a trăit nu îşi putea aplica ideile şi convingerile. El a visat ca un înger, a trăit ca un om şi a murit ca un martir, dar rămâne pentru noi toţi un exemplu de naţionalism moderat şi de integritate morală. Cartea profesorului Puşcaş este foarte bine venită deoarece regimul comunist a făcut tot posibilul să distrugă memoria marelui om politic ardelean, iar cei care conduc ţara de trei decenii nu par să aibă capacitatea să înţeleagă ce înseamnă a fi om de stat. Am parcurs filele cărţii cu două sentimente contradictorii: De ce au eşuat ideile politice ale lui Maniu? Putea să fie oare şi altfel…? Şi, ce înseamnă în final democraţia? Este ea aplicabilă ori rămâne doar un ideal la care aspirăm? Nu am găsit răspunsuri, dar framântările prin care am trecut mi-au îmbogăţit viaţa, deşi mi-au lăsat un gust amar. La ce bun zbuciumul nostru dacă nu putem schimba nimic? Şi totuşi, acest zbucium oferă sens şi semnificaţie vieţii! Iuliu Maniu a pornit în viaţă ca un om simplu şi a urcat toate treptele devenirii intelectuale şi politice, dar nu a uitat niciodată originea familiei sale. El a luptat toată viatţa pentru drepturile şi demnitatea românilor ardeleni batjocoriţi şi persecutaţi de nobilimea maghiară. A militat neîncetat pentru emanciparea lor, pentru autonomie şi în final pentru o Românie mare şi suverană. În acest scop, încă de tânăr Maniu a jurat că va lupta, chiar cu preţul vieţii, pentru “libertatea şi unirea poporului român” (p. 97). Şi avea motive să lupte. Sabin Manuila, un alt lider ardelean şi colaborator al lui Maniu, scria: “Românii din Transilvania au trăit peste patru secole în cea mai neomenoasă

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subjugare religioasă, politică, socială şi politică cunoscută în istoria Europei (p. 133). Condiţiile de existenţă ale poporului românesc din Transilvania au fost, până la unire, fără îndoială tragice: Românii au fost scoşi prin silnicie în afara legii şi ţinuţi în afara istoriei…” (p. 143). Maniu îşi începe viaţa politică în 1906 în parlamentul de la Budapesta unde susţine neînfricat cauza românească. Ungurii din parlament îl ameninţă şi insultă continuu numindu-l “bandit murdar” (p. 98). Şi ca să scape de el, atunci când a început primul război mondial, l-au mobilizat şi în derâdere i-au dat gradul de soldat deşi avea 42 de ani şi avea studii de ofiţer. Cu toate acestea, Maniu şi-a făcut datoria cu demnitate pe frontul Italian şi spre încheierea ostilităţilor a fost avansat de Austrieci la gradul de sublocotenent. La sfârşitul războiului, atunci când imperiul era în destrămare, Maniu a organizat o armată de 70 de mii de soldaţi, majoritatea români şi împreună cu ei a menţinut ordinea publică la Viena. Ulterior, atunci când a luat conducerea Transilvaniei, în pofida fostelor persecuţii ungureşti, Maniu le-a acordat tuturor naţionalităţilor drepturi egale. Apoi, aşa cum îl evoca Romul Boilă, un alt mare ardelean, Maniu a sprijinit trupele române care aveau să treacă Tisa în urmărirea “bandelor comuniste secueşti” şi aveau să ocupe Budapesta (p. 101). Este demn de amintit că după război, atunci când România Mare a făcut reforma agrară, Secuii şi Ungurii din Ardeal au fost împroprietăriţi în mod egal cu Românii. Şi care a fost recunoştinţa lor...? Din cartea profesorului Puşcaş se desprind clar marile idealuri umaniste ale lui Iuliu Maniu. El a afirmat, de exemplu: “Democraţia face posibil ca fiecare om să-şi poată dezvolta însuşirile pe care i le-a dat Dumnezeu” (p. 145). De altfel, atunci când i s-a încredinţat guvernarea României, obiectivele sale au fost următoarele: democraţie sinceră, constituţionalism, naţionalism tolerant şi morală creştină. Aceste deziderate urmăreau “să salvgardeze interesele permanente ale ţării.” Ghidată de un astfel de spirit, în anii interbelici România îşi continuă procesul de emancipare, dar regele Carol s-a opus noului curs democratic şi treptat a instaurat dictatura personală. În perioada fierbinte premergătoare celui de al doilea război mondial, Maniu şi-a manifestat patriotismul în modul cel mai intransigent. Iată declaraţia sa în Consiliul de Coroană din 30 August 1940 faţa de dictatul de la Viena:

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“Nu putem permite să ni se răpească nici cea mai mică parte din Transilvania… Protestez în contra încercării de a se hotărî… soarta Ardealului fără a fi întrebat poporul român din Ardeal… Să nu se accepte hotărîrea adusă la Viena… Să o respingem cu toată hotărîrea şi cu orice risc…” Şi în continuare: “Se repetă cu Transilvania ceace s-a întamplat cu Basarabia şi Bucovina. A fost o mare greşeală care a pricinuit o demoralizare a opiniei publice, o descurajare a armatei, şi o imensă pierdere în ce priveşte avuţia materială şi mândria sufletească a poporului român… “Mai bine o înfrângere în lupte, decât o retragere ruşinoasă, decât pierderea unei provincii fără o lovitură de tun… “Cei vinovaţi pentru dureroasa pierdere a Basarabiei şi Bucovinei trebue chemaţi la răspundere cu atât mai mult că nenorocirea pe care o suferim acum cu Transilvania şi demoralizarea în care a căzut poporul român se atribue catastrofei de atunci, care ne-a adus pierderi şi prejudicii ireparabile” (pp. 283- 284). Dupa acea pierdere dureroasă, la începutul anului 1941, Maniu a adresat ţării următoarea încurajare: “Urez poporului român să-i fie sufletul stăpânit în anul care vine de un adevărat fanatism naţional, capabil să înfăptuiască cel mai mare bun pământesc: unitatea naţională” (p. 285). În timpul războiului Maniu s-a opus Axei condusă de Germania şi a militat pentru apropierea ţării de puterile aliate, cu care a menţinut o legătură continuă. Germanii au aflat de acele legături şi i-au cerut lui Antonescu să-l aresteze, ceea ce generalul a respins categoric. Altfel, Maniu şi-a pus toate speranţele în America şi Anglia, dar evenimentele au demonstrat că speranţele sale au fost nefondate. Cinismul politic a prevalat. Apoi, după nefastul act de la 23 august 1944, atunci când şi-a dat seama de consecinţele actului, Maniu a luat imediat atitudine împotriva comunizării ţării deşi era conştient că se expune unor primejdii letale. Într-o conferinţă ţinută în iunie 1945 şi adresată tineretului ţărănist Maniu a afirmat fără echivoc:

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“Naţiunea Română a avut mai multe ţinte de atins, prima a fost unitatea naţională. Odată unitatea naţională atinsă, mulţi credeau că putem dormi pe laurii victoriei. Vai însă de naţiunea care nu are noi şi noi idealuri de realizat. Naţiunile urmează marea lege a naturii: sau urmăresc un ideal si progreseaza sau n-au nici o ţintă şi sunt supuse disoluţiunii şi dispariţiei” (p. 122). Şi mă întreb retoric: Ce ţintă are România azi? Continuându-şi lupta “Maniu a socotit că singura nădejde a ţării este apelul la conştiinţa universală şi intervenţiile pe lângă puterile occidentale…” (p. 174). În acest sens, el a redactat şi trimis plângeri şi memorii aliaţilor, dar tranzacţia fusese făcută definitiv la Yalta… Şi în paranteză. După 30 de eram şi eu refugiat şi mă aflam la Washington unde locuia Constantin Vişoianu, unul din liderii ţărănişti trimişi de Maniu în occident să intervină pe lângă autorităţile Americane. Bătrânul Vişoianu care mă îndemnase să mă angajez la Vocea Americii îmi spunea cu tristeţe că la începutul activităţii sale în exil fusese foarte bine primit şi încurajat de înalţi funcţionari ai Departamentului de Stat. În ultimii ani însă îl mai primeau, şi doar de formă şi evident plictisiţi, doar unii mici funcţionari. În cine să mai ai încredere? Şi doresc să inserez aici o experienţă personală. Înainte de 1989 eram încurajat la Vocea Americii să susţin cauza Basarabiei româneşti şi în acest scop faceam lobby pe lângă marile instituţii federale din Washington. Treptat însă, după 1989, am început să fiu întrebat de ce mă preocupă pe mine republica Moldova, chipurile o altă ţară…? Ce se schimbase între timp? Revenind la Iuliu Maniu, îngrijorat de ce se întâmplă sub guvernul comunist condus de Groza, în decembrie 1946 a lansat următorul manifest: “Ţara noastra e bântuită azi de cea mai neagră urgie care s-a abătut vreodată asupra ei…. Teroarea, minciuna, falsul, încearcă să culce la pământ orice licărire de libertate, orice îndemn spre mai bine” (p. 289). …Şi curajosul om politic afirmă răspicat: “Acuz acest guvern al teroarei instalat la 6 marie 1945 de a fi călcat în picioare legile ţării şi libertăţile neamului… A provocat umilirea oamenilor, haos economic în toată ţara şi înfometarea maselor populare” (p. 290).

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Închei cu o evocare şi un îndemn transmise nouă de Iuliu Maniu: “Ne închinăm memoriei celor căzuţi eroic pentru apărarea drepturilor sfinte ale neamului… Partidul Naţional Ţărănesc se închină în faţa avântului spre libertate, a virtuţilor cetăţeneşti, şi a spiritului vostru de sacrificiu, şi vă cheamă la lupta neînfricoşată până la victoria finală (p.291). Iuliu Maniu a fost arestat în iulie 1947, a fost condamnat la muncă silnică pe viaţă şi a fost ucis în închisoare. Lupta trebue însă continuată PÂNĂ LA VICTORIA FIANALĂ! Prof. Dr. Nicholas Dima, USA, Ianuarie 2021.

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