Editorial: Moving to a New Collaborative Perspective and Way of Thinking, Synchronizing Technology with Innovation and Employees: Culture, Learning and Wellbeing, Elevating Socialization
We are witnessing the reshaping of the practice of management by technology, organizations starting to shift to a new (dynamic, collaborative, influence based, indirect, emergent, network oriented, externally focused) perspective and way of thinking in front of new identified possibilities (to create for products and services spanning traditional boundaries) and relationships (they can have between their products and services, on one hand, and consumers, on the other hand), appreciating the recommendations to consider the organizationsâ€™ specific strategic choices founded on their particular situation, aspirations, and capacities. (Fuller, Jacobides and Reeves, 2019) And this, by also taking into account: â–Ş What Richard Straub, the Builder of the Peter Drucker Forum, reminded us recently with regard to the practical aim of Professor Peter Drucker as a social ecologist to craft a balance between continuity (on one hand) and change and innovation (on the other hand); (Purcarea, T. (2019)
▪ How innovation was defined by Professor Peter Drucker, the Father of Management, as “the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth,” being entrepreneur’s work to innovate and to successfully manage innovation, and purposeful innovation meaning a systematic search for sources of innovation opportunities; (Drucker, 2014) Peter Drucker was also considered to be the Grandfather of Modern Marketing by Philip Kotler (the Father of Modern Marketing) ten years ago, on the occasion of Drucker Celebration in November 20, 2009, in Vienna; (Kotler, 2009) it is worth remembering, within this framework, that a Peter Drucker’s Family friend in Vienna, the great economist Joseph Schumpeter (being wellrecognized Schumpeter’s tremendous influence on Drucker) has coined in 1942 the term (concept in economics) “creative destruction”; ▪ What James McQuivey, Forrester’s Vice President, Principal Analyst, serving CMO professionals, and author of “Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation,” (McQuivey, 2013) stated in 2014: “companies must disrupt their products and processes in order to enable the next customer experiences”; (McQuivey, 2014) ▪ How Lisa Bodell, an award-winning author and CEO of Futurethink (who as a futurist and expert on the topic of change serves as a global council member of the World Economic Forum), showed two years ago that it is very important to understand what is happening at the intersection of innovation and disruption; (Bova, 2017) ▪ What presupposes a better understanding of the “Management’s next frontier: Making the most of the ecosystem economy”, in the opinion of McKinsey’s representatives businesses needing a new set of managerial skills and capabilities in order to engage in digital ecosystems, knowing that an ecosystem must have a compelling value proposition (which is attractive, open, and relevant to multiple businesses) to be successful (within this new framework, the investment in building an ecosystem relationship-management capability with dedicated staff being an unavoidable requirement); (Meffert and Swaminathan, 2017) ▪ What Frances Frei, the Harvard Business School technology and operations management Professor stated a year ago (on the occasion of the inaugural Brainstorm Reinvent conference held in Chicago, co-sponsored by McKinsey and Fortune, where the most-discussed learning was that the key to successful reinvention is culture ): “If you’re born for innovation but neglect the people, bad things will happen;” (Sneader, 2018) ▪ How “Visual Capitalist” attracted our attention on the fact that: In today’s world economy’s
never-ending state of flux “as consumer preferences, technology, trade relationships, interest rates, and currency valuations change – so does the final composition of the world’s $86 trillion economy” (see the figure below); (Desjardins, 2019) as countries are engaging with global markets more than ever before in today’s increasingly connected world, the megatrend of the global wealth shifting towards emerging markets is influencing deeply everyday life, society, and business; (Ghosh, 2019)
Figure no. 1: The $86 Trillion World Economy in One Chart (the HowMuch.net’s diagram uses nominal GDP to measure economic output, the data coming from the World Bank’s latest update published in July 2019) Source: Desjardins, J. (2019). The $86 Trillion World Economy in One Chart, Visual Capitalist, September 5, 2019 (work cited)
▪ What WISE, the World Innovation Summit on Education (the theme of WISE 2019 was “Unlearn, Relearn, What it means to be human”), at its 10th anniversary edition, brought to us with regard to: the application of the learning content by doing in a collaborative sense, exploiting entirely the power of new technology to improve this significant process of learning both at school and work, also considering the impact on our own behavior and actions impact on others’ wellbeing, adequately contributing to our own through developing relationships; the increasingly importance of the workplace as a social entity within the current context of pulling apart hierarchies and loosening of the predominant “ego-system” towards an “eco-system”, learning and wellbeing appearing as being linked by mainly by the need to elevate socialization. (European Business Review, 2019) ▪ How businesses can create value on the basis of a strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition (because every business is profoundly intertwined with ESG concerns), being necessary to better understand the key ways it can do so (top-line growth, driving consumer preference; cost reductions; reduced regulatory and legal interventions; employee productivity uplift; investment and asset optimization), as demonstrated recently by McKinsey’s representatives (see the figure below): (European Business Review, 2019)
Figure no. 2: A strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition links to value creation in five essential ways Source: Henisz, W., Koller, T. and Nuttall, R. (2019). Five ways that ESG creates value, McKinsey Quarterly, November 2019 (work cited)
The above mentioned informed and enriched topics (but not only) have been approached recently (December 12, this year), on the occasion of the General Assembly of the scientific Association Romanian Distribution Committee, participants discussing and debating in greater depth different viewpoints, some of the major ideas that emerged as a result of the debate being mentioned in the News on December 14, 2019. Traditionally, the Romanian Distribution Committee events are built to surround you with peers who are eager to learn and distribute the latest and most relevant knowledge at the confluence of knowledge management and information technology within the new capabilitiesâ€™ requirements (digitization, automation along with AI, Robotics and IoT â€“ a cross-functional team effort, analytics, and innovation), generating commitment to change and action, turning insights into action, proactively addressing the full scope of changes to be experienced while operating models, cultural priorities, and integration architecture, making organization more efficient and effective on the basis of processesâ€™ codification and lessons learned, including by mapping the customer journey and creating a comprehensive view of the touchpoints and micro-moments (so as to know how to win the shift to mobile while dealing with an Omni channel world) in this journey. (Purcarea, 2019)
It is well-known that the first foray of our scientific Association into boosting competitiveness and collaboration (including by approaching the significant issue of talent development) stems back almost 24 years when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) highlighted the need for new indicators of human capital, training and labour requirements (underlined by the central role of learning) while focusing on indicators for the knowledge-based economy (OCDE/GD(96)102), the indicators of the knowledge distribution power and other characteristics of innovation systems being considered key (considering the importance of tacit and codified knowledge, diffusion and creation of knowledge, know-how and know-who).
The above mentioned debate also revealed that there is no doubt that in todayâ€™s fastchanging world there is a true challenge of knowing how to obtain the organizationâ€™s distinct competitive advantage and improved resilience, by better and faster understanding the real need
of encouraging the development of the skills and talent, taking into account the above mentioned new capabilities’ requirements as demonstrated by recent and reputed studies highlighted on this special occasion. Theodor Valentin Purcărea Editor-in-Chief References Bova, T. (2017). At The Intersection of Innovation and Disruption is People, The Huffington Post, What’s next, 10/06/2017. Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/at-the-intersection-of-innovation-and-disruption-is_us_59d7b27ee4b0705dc79aa75a Desjardins, J. (2019). The $86 Trillion World Economy in One Chart, Visual Capitalist, September 5, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-86-trillion-world-economy-in-one-chart/ Drucker, P.F. (2014). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Practice and Principles, 1st Edition, First Published 15 September 2014, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London, New foreword by Joseph Maciariello (First published by Butterwoth-Heinemann 1985), pp. IX-XII Fuller, J., Jacobides, M. and Reeves, M. (2019). The Myths and Realities of Business Ecosystems, MIT Sloan Management Review, February 25, 2019. Retrieved from https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-myths-and-realities-of-business-ecosystems/ Ghosh, I. (2019). An Investing Megatrend: How Emerging Wealth is Shaping the Future, Visual Capitalist, December 5, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.visualcapitalist.com/emerging-markets-wealth/ Henisz, W., Koller, T. and Nuttall, R. (2019). Five ways that ESG creates value, McKinsey Quarterly, November 2019. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/five-ways-that-esg-creates-value? Kotler, Ph. (2009). Peter Drucker, The Grandfather of Modern Marketing, Peter Drucker Society of Austria, November 20, 2009. Retrieved from: http://druckersociety.at/repository/201109/Grosser_Festsaal/1530-1615/10.0.1%20Kotler.pdf McQuivey, J. (2013) Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation, Amazon Publishing; Unabridged edition, February 26, 2013 McQuivey, L.J. (2014). Digital Disruption: Unleashing The Next Wave Of Innovation. Retrieved from: http://www.softtek.com/webdocs/others/application-innovation-2014/Digital-Disruption-McQuivey.pdf Meffert, J. and Swaminathan, A. (2017). Management’s next frontier: Making the most of the ecosystem economy, McKinsey’s Article October 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/managements-next-frontier? Purcarea, T. (2019). Aligning Marketing and Sales within the Evolving CMO Responsibilities: Ensuring Greater CX, Customer Success, and Value, Holistic Marketing Management, vol. 9(4), p. 35 Purcarea, T. (2019). Romanian Distribution Committee: The pressure of new capabilities’ requirements, News, December 14, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.crd-aida.ro/2019/12/romanian-distribution-committee-the-pressure-of-new-capabilities-requirements/ Sneader, K. (2018). Want to reinvent your business? Start with culture, McKinsey, October 4, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/new-at-mckinsey-blog/want-to-reinvent-your-business-start-with-culture *** Learning and wellbeing: A visit to the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE), European Business Review, November 30, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/learning-and-wellbeing-a-visit-to-the-world-innovation-summit-on-education-wise/
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Using the information and communications technology data deluge from a semantic perspective of a dynamic challenge: What to learn and what to ignore? -Part 2-
Prof.Eng.Ph.D. Victor GREU Abstract The paper analyses the influences of the Data Deluge (DD), as huge flows of data leveraged or created, in all activity field, by the complex proliferation and exponential development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as main driving factor of the progress of the Information society (IS) toward Knowledge Based Society (KBS). As a consequence, the paper further approached the dynamic processes where the ICT generates the data, by the complex symbiosis of ICT with humans. In a systemic approach, the paper shortly analyses the revolutionary impact of DD on science, but also the way the most of DD is generated (including the challenge of the technologic progress necessary for accomplish this task), resulting that the DD has leveraged a new reality, called eScience, considered the fourth paradigm, after experiment, theory and simulations, where scientists were no longer interacting directly with the phenomena, which not only open the exploration of (inaccessible) new fields, but provide the base of data-intensive science - one of the mechanisms where the World spiral development is produced using the multiplication force of ICT/DD. The concrete features of this new era (visible at CERN, climate change forecasting or critical national infrastructures), represent fundamental trends in solving the most critical challenges of DD and include Big data analytics, real time processing/storage on site and the integration of ICT advances like Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud, Edge, Fog etc. Among these trends, the new phase of AI is now the ICT most important hype, remarkable by machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL) and further the emerging cognitive computing, but their overall results are also highly dependent on human intelligence (HI) for delivering the optimal knowledge refining. The long road from data to knowledge or decisions has many steps, depending on (the amount of) data, but also on specific field/algorithm and humans, as the highly performant applications need usually (for training) sample data with specific content (not only simple/unstructured â€Ś more data), which often ask human supervision, although AI/ML not only tend to get closer to HI, but for specific task to replace humans. Another side of DD challenges is about the most complex and complicate issues of extracting and especially evaluating knowledge gain in the diverse processes involving the design and use of DD/AI/ML at Earth scale. This is about how to manage DD evolution, in each main field of applications, in order to keep them efficacious and efficient. A preliminary conclusion is that such approach could lead to partial reasonable solutions, but it eludes just the most important and difficult issue, from our point of view, i.e. the global effects (influences) of ICT/DD exponential evolution at Earth ecosystem scale. Even mathematically, the subsystems could be optimized by some criteria, but at system level not only it could appear a suboptimal solution, but we could expect to considerable vulnerabilities and risks. Besides the huge benefits, the exponential ICT development (without excluding other connected technologies) could generate at Earth scale less desired consequences like carbon footprint, human dependences, wastes pollution etc., in the general World context of climate changes, resources fading, clean environment, social unbalances and so on. The most relevant case is that DD leverages many applications for climate changes forecasts and this is a benefic influence, but here it could be a vicious circle, because these applications represent only a little part of DD sphere and many others could be less benefic or knowledge providing, like streaming to much video content for entertainment or games, while all applications from sphere contribute to carbon footprint. The analysis should be extended this way to all applications, i.e. it is necessary to evaluate them all, counting, case by case, at two levels: first at local level, the specific benefits and challenges and second, at global level, the complex connections by which they could be added or influence others in superposition (less benefic) processes or consequences.
As a consequence, the most complicate and difficult problem of DD/ICT exponential evolutions management is how to obtain, using both DD/ML/AI/ICT and HI resources, that refined knowledge which could provide optimal solutions to every relevant phase of those evolutions, i.e. how to save the Earth and humankind from irreversible consequences using the most powerful tools of science and technology (HI/AI). More than these, the difficulty of this global problem is increasing with the level of complexity and with the speed of changes DD/ICT generate to IS/KBS. In this global problem, the engineers and other specialists involved in developing ICT systems, products and services have a prominent role (unfortunately not always decisive one). In fact, the fundamental problem of optimally refining the knowledge often starts at the technical designers, although the opportunity of developing big projects should involve many levels and different areas specialists, in order to get a multicriterial optimization at global scale. As opportunity means also what knowledge must be refined, this problem is similar with the (university) conscious professor’s dilemma, we all experience (desirably) every year at the beginning of school when we decide what to erase and what to introduce in our course, and generally when a course, book or knowledge become obsolete. The final conclusion is that in our ever-changing DD days, it is almost impossible to precisely know when and how knowledge must be refined (a relative and approximative decision), but this does not mean that humankind have to ignore these challenges, on the contrary, they have to continuously look for getting as much as possible close to optimum, by the available updated data/information and resourses, using AI/HI with desirable wisdom solutions. Keywords: Data Deluge, Big Data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, learning algorithms, human intelligence, Internet of Things, eScience, data-intensive science, computer algorithms, computing infrastructure, climate changes JEL Classification: L63; L86; M15; O31; O33
“Information is not knowledge.” - Albert Einstein 1. How Data Deluge could influence science, technology and people? The history is full of evidences of the continuous increase of the humankind preoccupation to create material forms for spreading information and refining knowledge, even in the ancient times when terms like data and information were not used like today. Before a further development of this idea, it is interesting to observe that in the same old times, instead of data or information, knowledge and wisdom were used, but with meanings very similar with their actual significances, which shows their perennial importance. Coming back to data and history, the evidences show that the mind creations were transmitted by written supports (like stone and paper) or other artefacts like paintings or even sculptures. It is easy to observe that all these formats had a material support, even in the impressing case of music, where sound was a case when the information had no material support till the invention of musical notes, although the speech and poetry had similar evolutions before writing being invented. The deep meaning of these examples could be, by our opinion, two fold, as when it was no usual material support all these mind creations were temporary received and stored in other … people’s minds. It is impressing to also observe that, although people did not know, they had to store data in their brains memory cells, just like we do today with all storage technologies (from tapes to hard/optical discs or solid state memories). The other meaning could be the way how these two storage supports (brain cells and modern magnetic, optical or other memory cells) reflect the spiral evolution. More than these, the actual importance of such observations is based on the fact that, in spite of the amazing progress of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as
main driving factor of the progress of the Information society (IS) toward Knowledge Based Society (KBS), the natural model of human brain is still a source of inspiration and innovation. In fact, as we have already mentioned , the nature research of millions of years generally is still an inspiration for the apogee semiconductor technologies of our days, which is just the most prominent example, among other scientific or technical fields of IS/KBS. Now we have just arrived to the main goal of our paper, intended to analyse how these ICT evolutions, including the actual phase of Data Deluge (DD), could influence the humankind and Earth evolution, by leveraging the refined knowledge creation, necessary for the actual and future complex context of IS/KBS. Essentially, DD consists in the huge flows of data leveraged or created, in all activity field, by the complex proliferation and exponential development of ICT in the context of IS/KBS. Concerning Data Deluge definition, there are many points of view, but its main association, in the technological field, is with Big Data (BD), which includes specialized equipment and services (hardware/software) intended to optimally process the huge amount of data provided by Data Deluge. Analysing DD influence at the Earth ecosystem scale is difficult because of the complicate and complex processes we have to consider when approaching the Data Deluge and generally the exponential ICT development and consequences, which could not include only benefic ones, but, at least, these challenges should be timely approached and continued . Coming back to the stone and paper information, one could ask: People always wanted to share their thoughts and experience in order to improve their lives, what is now the main difference? We consider that this is a good question because the perpetual knowledge dilemma (What to learn and what to ignore?) has not changed much, but in our days the difference is on the road from stone to … ICT electronic support. Here, our Einstein quote, “Information is not knowledge”, seems to be more than relevant and full of truth. The essential observation is that only after understanding the deep roots of this difference, we could forecast the ways Data Deluge influence should be approached and optimized in order to leverage the actual/appropriate refined knowledge creation, in a complicate global process of check, act and balance, just because ICT/DD and actual knowledge are dependent variables in global random processes. Apparently the support is only a part of the complex proliferation of data, but this view could change if we understand that ICT electronic support is more than “support”, as it inherently includes the huge sphere where ICT (and then Data Deluge) is spreading its influence (by products and services), with exponential pace of change, on whole Earth ecosystem, becoming the main driving factor of the progress of the IS toward KBS. More than this planetary sphere, we have to carefully analyse the dynamic processes where the ICT generates the data, by the complex symbiosis of ICT with humans. This way we have just arrived to the core of the mentioned complex processes at the World scale, because of ICT penetration to all activity fields and beyond, influencing Earth environment and eventually humankind evolution … everyday with an amazing speed.
The complications come mainly from these global and exponential changes, which are more and more difficult to control and to be estimated regarding all their (positive or negative) consequences. If all the above assertions could appear as subjective and not sustainable, it is useful to analyse some relevant examples, from the above sphere and core, which reflect the complicate and dynamic data/information/knowledge generation processes in IS/KBS, although these examples could be just the (ICT/IS/KBS) iceberg tip, as we already have mentioned . In technological terms, we could also say, for example, that Big Data is, metaphorically, only the iceberg tip of DD, as it will further result. Although even the science is in a flourishing and challenging époque, due, among others, just to ICT/DD, as any deep approach should start with a scientific point of view, a first example is just a global image of DD impact on this basic field : “Since at least Newton’s laws of motion in the 17th century, scientists have recognized experimental and theoretical science as the basic research paradigms for understanding nature. In recent decades, computer simulations have become an essential third paradigm: a standard tool for scientists to explore domains that are inaccessible to theory and experiment, such as the evolution of the universe, car passenger crash testing, and predicting climate change. As simulations and experiments yield ever more data, a fourth paradigm is emerging, consisting of the techniques and technologies needed to perform data-intensive science” The essence of this example is revealing the paradigm of computer simulations, which not only open the exploration of (inaccessible) new fields, but provide the base for generating the new fourth paradigm, i.e. data-intensive science - one of the mechanisms where the spiral development is produced using the multiplication force of ICT/DD: “For example, new types of computer clusters are emerging that are optimized for data movement and analysis rather than computing, while in astronomy and other sciences, integrated data systems allow data analysis and storage on site instead of requiring download of large amounts of data” In addition to the new fundamental approach, data analysis and storage on site, also applied at CERN and mentioned in , we must observe the connection of DD/ICT with one of the prominent challenges of our days: climate change - a crucial problem that Earth ecosystem is facing with and we all have to continuously debate. It is clear now not only the revolutionary impact of DD on science, but also the way the most of DD is generated (including the challenge of the technologic progress necessary for accomplish this task). An argument for this estimate is also well documented in , where CERN scientific centre data generation capabilities are detailed presented. For confirming the above assertion and our observations, another point of view is all relevant : ”In 2007 Jim Gray preached about the effects of the Data Deluge in the sciences (Hey, Tansley, and Tolle 2009). Whereas experimental and theoretical paradigms originally led science, some natural phenomena were not easily addressed by analytical models. In this scenario, computational simulation arose as a new paradigm enabling scientists to deal with these complex phenomena. Simulation produced increasing amounts of data, particularly from the use of advanced exploration instruments (large-scale telescopes, particle colliders,
etc.) In this scenario, scientists were no longer interacting directly with the phenomena, but used powerful computational configurations to analyse the data gathered from simulations or captured by instruments. Sky maps built from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey observations, or the evidences found about the Higgs Boson are just two successful stories of just another paradigm, what Gray called the fourth paradigm: the eScience.” Here it is worth to notice that the DD leveraged a new reality, where scientists were no longer interacting directly with the phenomenon, (the same fourth paradigm) which is also called eScience in . As the dynamic challenges we have mentioned changes everything with an amazing pace, even this estimation tends to become obsolete because another huge data flow, generated by Internet of Things (IoT), could surpass in the future the scientific one : “Critical national infrastructures, such as electricity grids, water and waste water systems, etc., also use IoT for system health monitoring to achieve the goal of early detection of faults in the target system in order to exercise timely mitigation plans… A large volume of data is collected from a large number of sensors and these data streams flow continuously. Thus, data storage and data analysis are major issues to be considered. Big data analytics have been widely used in recent years to analyse the data collected from IoT systems to achieve better fault detection and diagnosis … for the target system. Due to the computation intensive nature of big data processing, the analyses generally need to be performed in the cloud. However, channelling the data to the cloud may have significant communication latency. Also, a lot of the fault detection and diagnosis tasks need to be performed in real time. In response to such conflicts between timeliness and resource constraints, the new computing infrastructure that integrates IoT, Edge, Fog, and the Cloud have been developed. Preliminary computations that are required for timely decisions can be done in the nearby Edge gateways and Fog LANs (local area networks). Integrated analysis can be left to the Cloud and the more sophisticated and/or more accurate analysis results can then be channelled back to the Edge and IoT devices to provide improved decision making or to support changing trends.” Far from adding only the news of Big data analytics (as one of the branches of the Big Data), this example is the very relevant for showing (still only) a (deep/core) part of the DD/ICT iceberg, by pointing the ICT/IoT/DD crucial role in critical national infrastructures. On the other hand (i.e. another deep/core part of the DD/ICT iceberg), we can see now the sophisticated challenges (as conflicts between timeliness and resource constraints) the real time processing of such huge data flows rise for the implementation of the new computing infrastructure that integrates IoT, Edge, Fog, and the Cloud. It is important to notice that here, just like in the previous example, on site approach, involving new performant technologies (IoT, Edge, Fog, and the Cloud), is a fundamental trend in solving the most critical challenge of DD. Obviously, although these examples are very relevant, the list could be continued, but now it became clear that the mentioned DD/ICT iceberg should be further analysed not only in the sphere dimensions, but especially in the complexity (depth) of the associated processes involving the hardest part, i.e. where and how the refined knowledge could be generated.
2. Learning from data – a dynamic challenge: from knowledge
machine learning to
Everyday and everywhere we can see the ICT products and services spreading with an amazing pace, bringing benefits and surprising us with their (most of them pleasant) consequences. This simple observation could mean, in the same time, that our further analysis could be much extended in the direction of DD direct influences, but for a sustainable progress of ICT in IS/KBS it is mandatory to see the whole picture, i.e. including the role of humans, especially of the human intelligence (HI), in the complicate and complex processes associated with ICT/DD exponential development, which actually has another emergent hype: the new phase of artificial intelligence (AI) performances. In short view, the actual AI phase is remarkable by machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL) and further the emerging cognitive computing (CC), as we have already approached them . The link of DD/BD with AI/ML is perhaps one of the actual most prolific, dynamic and complex process of ICT/IS/KBS, as it tends to reach incredible level of performance, pointing the HI, but it also produces a huge range of applications – all including the analyse and processing of large amounts of data. The long road from data to knowledge or decisions has many steps, depending on … (the amount of) data, but also on specific field/algorithm and … humans, all of large diversity, as it is well presented in : <<The collection of “Big Data” and the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) has made a perfect environment for new AI applications and services to grow. Applications based on AI are already visible in healthcare diagnostics, targeted treatment, transportation, public safety, service robots, education and entertainment, but will be applied in more fields in the coming years. Together with the Internet, AI changes the way we experience the world and has the potential to be a new engine for economic growth… Although artificial intelligence evokes thoughts of science fiction, artificial intelligence already has many uses today, for example: • Email filtering: Email services use artificial intelligence to filter incoming emails. Users can train their spam filters by marking emails as “spam”. • Personalization: Online services use artificial intelligence to personalize your experience. Services, like Amazon or Netflix, “learn” from your previous purchases and the purchases of other users in order to recommend relevant content for you. • Fraud detection: Banks use artificial intelligence to determine if there is strange activity on your account. Unexpected activity, such as foreign transactions, could be flagged by the algorithm. • Speech recognition: Applications use artificial intelligence to optimize speech recognition functions. Examples include intelligent personal assistants, e.g. Amazon’s “Alexa” or Apple’s “Siri”…>> Beyond the impressing diversity of the potential impact, it is worth to observe the basic dependence on Internet and also the crucial fact that AI changes the way we experience the world and has the potential to be a new engine for economic growth, although when
comes the personal assistants issue (and similar services) we have to point the interfaces where, more than otherwise, the efficacy and efficiency of products and services, referring to the potential knowledge gain, will strongly also depend on … humans sitting on both sides (designer/user): “…The Internet Society recognizes that understanding the opportunities and challenges associated with AI is critical to developing an Internet that people trust. This is particularly important as the Internet is key for the technology behind AI and is the main platform for its deployment, including significant new means of interacting with the network...” Further, the intimate mechanism of processing data and delivering knowledge will be determined by ML/DL algorithms: “…Algorithms, developed by programmers to instruct computers in new tasks, are the building blocks of the advanced digital world we see today. Computer algorithms organize enormous amounts of data into information and services, based on certain instructions and rules. It’s an important concept to understand, because in machine learning, learning algorithms – not computer programmers – create the rules. Instead of programming the computer every step of the way, this approach gives the computer instructions that allow it to learn from data without new step-by-step instructions by the programmer. This means computers can be used for new, complicated tasks that could not be manually programmed…” Perhaps the most important observation here is the fact that AI/ML are highly useful for new, complicated tasks that could not be manually programmed, i.e. AI/ML not only tend to get closer to HI, but for specific task to replace humans. Still, we have to point that this trend has a very long road to walk because of the critical role of data: “…The basic process of machine learning is to give training data to a learning algorithm. The learning algorithm then generates a new set of rules, based on inferences from the data. This is in essence generating a new algorithm, formally referred to as the machine learning model. By using different training data, the same learning algorithm could be used to generate different models. For example, the same type of learning algorithm could be used to teach the computer how to translate languages or predict the stock market. Inferring new instructions from data is the core strength of machine learning. It also highlights the critical role of data: the more data available to train the algorithm, the more it learns. In fact, many recent advances in AI have not been due to radical innovations in learning algorithms, but rather by the enormous amount of data enabled by the Internet.” In fact, as the highly performant applications need usually sample data with specific content (not only simple/unstructured… more data), which often ask human supervision (in general ML could be unsupervised or supervised) or even creation, the overall results are also highly dependent on humans, in many ways which should be further analysed. At a global scale, in the last years, AI/ML applications which benefit from DD/BD are in aggressive expansion, even beyond above mentioned scientific fields, as, naturally, the economy is the largest domain of human activity, where ICT/IS/KBS are based : “IBM’s recent announcements of three new services based in Watson technology make it clear that there is pressure in the enterprise software space to incorporate
new technologies, both in hardware and software, in order to keep pace with modern business. It seems we are approaching another turning point in technology where many concepts that were previously limited to academic research or very narrow industry niches are now being considered for mainstream enterprise software applications. Machine learning, along with many other disciplines within the field of artificial intelligence and cognitive systems, is gaining popularity, and it may in the not so distant future have a colossal impact on the software industry...” A deeper vision of ML and of subsequent processes involved in data analysis is further present as: “...Basically, a machine learning system learns by experience; that is, based on specific training, the system will be able to make generalizations based on its exposition to a number of cases and then be able to perform actions after new or unforeseen events. The discipline of machine learning also incorporates other data analysis disciplines, ranging from predictive analytics and data mining to pattern recognition. And a variety of specific algorithms are used for this purpose, frequently organized in taxonomies, these algorithms can be used depending on the type of input required …” As we have mentioned above, in order to achieve higher performances or very special applications, besides other data analysis disciplines, AI/ML processes are human supervised and this often supposes contributions of experts or highly trained personnel (for building expert systems): <<…One of the more important applications of machine learning is to automate the acquisition of knowledge bases used by so-called expert systems, systems that aims to emulate the decision making process of human expertise in a field. But the scope of its application has been growing. In Applications of Machine Learning and Rule Induction, Langley and Simon review some major paradigms for machine learning scenarios, all based on a very important premise: To improve performance on some task, and the general approach involves finding and exploiting regularities in training data. The major approaches include using neural networks, case-based learning, genetic algorithms, rule induction, and analytic learning. While in the past they were applied independently, in recent times these paradigms or models are being used in a hybrid fashion, closing the boundaries between them and enabling the development of more effective models. The combination of analytic methods can ensure effective and repeatable and reliable results, a required component for practical usage in mainstream business and industry solutions. >> It seems now that the DD/AI/ML picture is more and more enlarging and, naturally, this could bring inherent complications and challenges, in design, development and use . Let just observe, from the above, only the price of effective and repeatable and reliable results, as the apparent benefits need now that independent paradigms or models to be used in a hybrid fashion, closing the boundaries between them and enabling the development of more effective models. These details still show only the scientific and technological challenges of building the most advanced AI/ML systems which use DD to extract knowledge or provide assistance for decisions in management. To the list we could add storage, capacity and latency problems the use of DD have to face    .
Another side of DD challenges is about the most complex and complicate issues of extracting and especially evaluating knowledge gain in the diverse processes involving the design and use of DD/AI/ML at Earth scale. Although this face of DD seems (and almost is) very difficult to approach, the paper space could still allow a side (essential) of the problem, which is about how to manage DD evolution, in each main field of applications, in order to keep them efficacious and efficient. We have to admit, though, that such approach could lead to partial reasonable solutions, but it eludes just the most important and difficult issue, from our point of view, i.e. the global effects (influences) of ICT/DD exponential evolution at Earth ecosystem scale. As a matter of fact, even mathematically, the subsystems could be optimized by some criteria, but at system level not only it could appear a suboptimal solution, but we could expect to considerable vulnerabilities and risks. To be more clear, we just recall what repeatedly we have presented  , that besides the huge benefits, the exponential ICT development (without excluding other connected technologies) could generate at Earth scale less desired consequences like carbon footprint, human dependences, wastes pollution etc., in the general World context of climate changes, resources fading, clean environment, social unbalances and so on. Of course, one could simple ask: Which is the connection of these consequences with the knowledge extraction from DD? The most relevant case is that DD leverages many applications for climate changes forecasts and this is a benefic influence, but here we obviously have a vicious circle, because these applications represent only a little part of DD sphere and many others could be less benefic or knowledge providing, like streaming to much video content for entertainment or games, while all applications from sphere contribute to carbon footprint. The analysis could be extended this way to all applications, i.e. it is necessary to evaluate them all, counting, case by case, at two levels: first at local level, the specific benefits and challenges and second, at global level, the complex connections by which they could be added or influence others in superposition (less benefic) processes or consequences. This way we have just arrived to the core of the most complicate and difficult problem of DD/ICT exponential evolutions management: how to obtain, using both DD/ML/AI/ICT and HI resources, that refined knowledge which could provide optimal solutions to every relevant phase of those evolutions, i.e. how to save the Earth and humankind from irreversible consequences using the most powerful tools of science and technology (HI/AI)? Unfortunately, this complicate question does not have a single (true) answer, as we already approached before  , but people surely have to continuously try to find partially optimal solutions. More than these, the difficulty of this global problem is increasing with the level of complexity and with the speed of changes DD/ICT generate to IS/KBS. On the other side, it is sure that the engineers and other specialists involved in developing ICT systems, products and services have a prominent role (unfortunately not always decisive one).
In fact, the fundamental problem of optimally refining the knowledge often starts at the technical designers, although the opportunity of developing big projects should involve many levels and different areas specialists, in order to get a multicriterial optimization at global scale. Still, the next example is very relevant even beyond the engineering level, as it is presented in : “I was listening recently to some engineering graduates talking about their current research efforts. As I was forcibly immersed in the minutiae of opaque mathematics, the thought came to me that this was really difficult work for potentially small gains. But on the heels of that came another thought: These engineers were really skilled. I was greatly impressed by their depth of knowledge and facility with analysis. How did they learn so much in their few years of university training? After all, there is so much more to know now than there used to be, and every year it gets ever more overwhelming …” As usually, most of situations in ITC seem to have only impressing good parts, like above, their depth of knowledge, but besides the fact that every year it gets ever more overwhelming, knowledge meets the actual high dynamic challenge, we repeatedly mentioned before , as how to update it, globally, by optimally refining it, which is also further approached: “…One explanation is that, as new knowledge accumulates, some old knowledge becomes irrelevant and falls off the knowledge stack. Almost all the college course work I took long ago is now useless in itself, although what remains is an engineering mind-set and a mathematical grounding. Perhaps every course should have a sell-by date. Indeed, in retrospect I now realize that a number of the courses I took were already well past their sellby dates when I took them. I remember too when the technical library in the lab where I worked was shut down and all the books were offered free to the staff. Almost all of them went unclaimed; no one wanted them. The problem is that we never quite know when a particular course or book will become obsolete...” Considering that opportunity means also what knowledge must be refined, we apparently arrived to the (university) conscious professor’s dilemma, we all experience (desirably) every year at the beginning of school: What to erase and what to introduce in our course? As a matter of fact, the example shows much more than this, first, as the constructive and optimistic part, we have to notice that what remains is an engineering mind-set and a mathematical grounding - which, by the way, is not little! A second and the most challenging part is that we never quite know when a particular course or book will become obsolete. By our opinion, this way we could only agree that, in our ever-changing DD days, it is almost impossible to precisely know when and how knowledge must be refined (a relative and approximative decision), but this does not mean that humankind have to ignore these challenges, on the contrary, we have to continuously look for getting as much as possible close to optimum, by the available updated data/information and resourses, using AI/HI with desirable wisdom solutions. 3. Conclusions
Data Deluge (DD) essentially consists in the huge flows of data leveraged or created, in all activity field, by the complex proliferation and exponential development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as main driving factor of the progress of the Information society (IS) toward Knowledge Based Society (KBS). For this complex explosion of data, ICT electronic support is more than â€œsupportâ€?, as it inherently includes the huge sphere where ICT (and then Data Deluge) is spreading its influence (by products and services), with exponential pace of change, on whole Earth ecosystem. As a consequence, the paper further approached the dynamic processes where the ICT generates the data, by the complex symbiosis of ICT with humans. In a systemic approach, we have shortly analysed the revolutionary impact of DD on science, but also the way the most of DD is generated (including the challenge of the technologic progress necessary for accomplish this task), resulting that the DD has leveraged a new reality, called eScience, considered the fourth paradigm, after experiment, theory and simulations, where scientists were no longer interacting directly with the phenomena, which not only open the exploration of (inaccessible) new fields, but provide the base of dataintensive science - one of the mechanisms where the World spiral development is produced using the multiplication force of ICT/DD. The concrete features of this new era (visible at CERN, climate change forecasting or critical national infrastructures), represent fundamental trends in solving the most critical challenges of DD and include Big data analytics, real time processing/storage on site and the integration of ICT advances like Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud, Edge, Fog etc. Among these trends, the new phase of AI is now the ICT most important hype, remarkable by machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL) and further the emerging cognitive computing, but their overall results are also highly dependent on human intelligence (HI) for delivering the optimal knowledge refining. The long road from data to knowledge or decisions has many steps, depending on (the amount of) data, but also on specific field/algorithm and humans, as the highly performant applications need usually (for training) sample data with specific content (not only simple/unstructured â€Ś more data), which often ask human supervision, although AI/ML not only tend to get closer to HI, but for specific task to replace humans. Another side of DD challenges is about the most complex and complicate issues of extracting and especially evaluating knowledge gain in the diverse processes involving the design and use of DD/AI/ML at Earth scale. This is about how to manage DD evolution, in each main field of applications, in order to keep them efficacious and efficient. A preliminary conclusion is that such approach could lead to partial reasonable solutions, but it eludes just the most important and difficult issue, from our point of view, i.e. the global effects (influences) of ICT/DD exponential evolution at Earth ecosystem scale. Even mathematically, the subsystems could be optimized by some criteria, but at system level not only it could appear a suboptimal solution, but we could expect to considerable vulnerabilities and risks. Besides the huge benefits, the exponential ICT development (without excluding other connected technologies) could generate at Earth scale less desired consequences like carbon footprint, human dependences, wastes pollution etc., in the general
World context of climate changes, resources fading, clean environment, social unbalances and so on. The most relevant case is that DD leverages many applications for climate changes forecasts and this is a benefic influence, but here we obviously have a vicious circle, because these applications represent only a little part of DD sphere and many others could be less benefic or knowledge providing, like streaming to much video content for entertainment or games, while all applications from sphere contribute to carbon footprint. The analysis should be extended this way to all applications, i.e. it is necessary to evaluate them all, counting, case by case, at two levels: first at local level, the specific benefits and challenges and second, at global level, the complex connections by which they could be added or influence others in superposition (less benefic) processes or consequences. This way, the most complicate and difficult problem of DD/ICT exponential evolutions management is how to obtain, using both DD/ML/AI/ICT and HI resources, that refined knowledge which could provide optimal solutions to every relevant phase of those evolutions, i.e. how to save the Earth and humankind from irreversible consequences using the most powerful tools of science and technology (HI/AI). Unfortunately, this complicate question does not have a single (true) answer, as we already approached before  , but people surely have to continuously try to find partially optimal solutions. More than these, the difficulty of this global problem is increasing with the level of complexity and with the speed of changes DD/ICT generate to IS/KBS. It is sure that for this global problem, the engineers and other specialists involved in developing ICT systems, products and services have a prominent role (unfortunately not always decisive one). In fact, the fundamental problem of optimally refining the knowledge often starts at the technical designers, although the opportunity of developing big projects should involve many levels and different areas specialists, in order to get a multicriterial optimization at global scale. As opportunity means also what knowledge must be refined, this problem is similar with the (university) conscious professorâ€™s dilemma, we all experience (desirably) every year at the beginning of school when we decide what to erase and what to introduce in our course, and generally when a course, book or knowledge become obsolete. The final conclusion is, by our opinion, that, in our ever-changing DD days, it is almost impossible to precisely know when and how knowledge must be refined (a relative and approximative decision), but this does not mean that humankind have to ignore these challenges, on the contrary, we have to continuously look for getting as much as possible close to optimum, by the available updated data/information and resourses, using AI/HI with desirable wisdom solutions. References  Gordon Bell, Tony Hey, Alex Szalay, Beyond the Data Deluge, SCIENCE VOL 323 6 MARCH 2009 Javier D. Fernandez, Mario Arias, Miguel A. MartÄąnez-Prieto, Claudio Gutierrez, Management of Big Semantic Data, November 2013, https:// www.researchgate.net/ publication /259173878
Victor Greu, Using the information and communications technology data deluge from a semantic perspective of a dynamic challenge: What to learn and what to ignore?– (Part 1), Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 3, Year 2019. Shuai Zhang, Wenxi Zeng, I-Ling Yen, Farokh B. Bastani, Semantically Enhanced Time Series Databases in IoT‐Edge‐Cloud Infrastructure,2019, CERN Open Days 2019 | 14–15 September, 2019, https://arxiv.org › pdf ***, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Policy Paper, April 2017, ISOC https://www.internetsociety.org/resources/doc/2017/artificial-intelligence-and-machine-learning-policypaper/ Victor Greu, Extending information and communications technologies’s impact on knowledge based society through artificial and collective intelligence – (Part 3), Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 3, Year 2018. Jorge Garcia, Machine Learning and Cognitive Systems: The Next Evolution of Enterprise Intelligence, 2014, https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/07/machine-learning-cognitive-systems-next-evolution-enterpriseintelligence-part. Robert W. Lucky, The Expiration Date of Knowledge, IEEE Spectrum, March 2017. 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. Maria Girone, Tackling Tomorrow’s Computing Challenges Today at CERN, ISC 2018, Published in: Technology, Aug 1, 2018 Tony Hey, Anne Trefethen, The Data Deluge: An e-Science Perspective, http://www.computing.surrey.ac.uk/courses/csm23/Papers/DataDeluge.pdf], Wiley, 2003. Bhupinder Kour, The Rise of Machine Learning and AI is Improving Lives in 2018, https://www.smartdatacollective.com/rise-of-machine-learning-ai-improving-lives/ Victor Greu et all, Human and artificial intelligence driven incentive-operation model and algorithms for a multi-purpose integrated crowdsensing-crowdsourcing scalable system - paper submitted to International Conference Communications 2018 (Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania Military Technical Academy, IEEE Romania), June 2018. Seth Earley, There Is No AI Without IA, 2016, IEEE IT Professional (Volume: 18, Issue:3, May-June 2016) Niko Mohr, Holger Hürtgen, Achieving business impact with data - A comprehensive perspective on the insights value chain, Digital McKinsey 04.2018 Copyright © McKinsey & Company www.mckinsey.com 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. Mike Sirius, How artificial intelligence and innovation will interact, June 5, 2017, Idea Drop Ltd,http://ideadrop.co/artificial-intelligence-innovation/ Rohit Akiwatka, Introduction to cognitive computing, may 2019, https://channels. theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/ introduction-to-cognitive-computing Victor Greu, The Exponential Development of the Information and Communications Technologies – A Complex Process Which is Generating Progress Knowledge from People to People, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 4, Issue2, Year 2013 *** , Transforming data into knowledge, Collective Learning group at the MIT Media Lab, 2017, https://www.media. mit.edu/ groups/collective-learning/overview/. 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 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 Victor Greu, Information and communications technologies go greener beyond IOT- behind is all the earthPart1, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2, Year 2016
Online Product Localization: Challenges and Solutions in Global Online Marketplaces
by Cosmin TÄ‚NASE
Abstract Currently, the digital economy contributes decisively to an increase in competitiveness, especially as a digital transformation involves migrating to new technological models where digital marketing is a key part of growth and user loyalty strategies. Int ernet and Online Marketplaces have become important factors in campaigns, which attract and retain customers. It could be said that the Internet has been the factor that has most inďŹ‚uenced the cultural, economic and social changes seen at the beginning of the 21 st century. Now, the consumer is the focal point of business activities and the tar get of Internet strategies. Vendors must market their products with the intention of appealing to the culture of their audience in order to successfully reach their customers . Keywords: Online Shoppers, International Marketplace, Language, Search Engine JEL Classification: L81, M31
While physical storefronts still hold a strong presence globally, advances in technical and increased accessibility to the internet have consumers fulfilling their shopping needs elsewhere. In 2019, there are 2.14 billion online shoppers estimated across the globe, and this number is forecasted to rise to 3 billion within 4 years, by 2024. Whether looking for a specific item or browsing many products to find the right one, consumers have unlimited options in doing so online. With the forecasted number of smartphone users growing to over 3.2 billion in 2019, there is only a stronger indication that shoppers will move from in-store to online as they then have ability to search for an unlimited amount of products in every vertical all within the palm of their hands. Mobile shopping apps have added an additional level of convenience. As users are more likely to download an app that offers product ranges broader than one store can offer, marketplaces stand to benefit from this emerging trend. Recently, the use of online marketplaces has exploded both on mobile and desktop, capturing 62% of all online shoppers. The most popular US online marketplaces are also extremely popular globally, mentioning eBay, Amazon, and Google Shopping, along with sites like Alibaba and Aliexpress from China that draw users from all over the world. Whether a marketplace is vertical, horizontal, small, or large, nationally diverse users come to see what international sellers can offer them. International market- places are also extremely beneficial for the seller as they increase the online presence and accessibility of their products. Th is can boost sales and in fact Amazon claims that sellers often report a 50% increase in sales when they join the Amazon marketplace. Vendors cannot solely rely on the popularity of marketplace shopping online in order to increase their sales. With expansion comes competition to produce the best user experience and products to this international audience that is continually growing. This then begs the question, how do you reach customers in different locales while using a global marketplace and ensure that they receive an optimal user experience despite cultural and linguistic barriers? Localization efforts need to be taken in order to target products towards the audience but as marketplaces are made up of culturally diverse audiences, difficulties in this process can arise. Localizing products in a large online marketplace can be challenging not only in translating the content accurately but also considering the sociocultural distance and diverse cultural values that exist between seller and customer and among customers themselves. Why is Marketplace Localization Important? First, one must consider the pros and cons of product localization, the process of adapting linguistic and sociocultural aspects for individual cultures, versus standardization, creating uniform product standards on a global scale. Why canâ€™t a merchant simply standardize their product feed and display it on various marketplaces? Specifically, if
English is the second most spoken language among native and non-native speakers worldwide, it seems to be an easy decision to standardize the product feed to reach that large demographic. In fact, if you browse various international marketplaces in differe nt locales, you will find a large amount of products that are either entirely in the English language and also those that have only translated product titles but the remaining product metadata is in English. One advantage of standardization as having easier control, monitoring, and coordination with a single tactical approach since the same products and advertising strategies are adopted. However, the vast majority of users prefer to shop in their own language as it provides a stronger sense of trust and familiarity, particularly in an online marketplace where smaller vendors compete with globally r ecognized and credible brands. If almost half of these online shoppers are more prone to show interest in products listed in their target language, language standardization may affect clicks, conversions, and overall user engagement from this large portion of online shoppers. Apart from personal preferences, issues of cultural distance come into play with standardizing a product for one global audience. The Sociocultural environment in an international marketplace includes a multitude of languages, cultures, colors, and symbols that will not appeal to every user equally. Products sold on a marketplace are essentially advert isements for that product and the brand as a whole. The representation of those products in their title, description, attributes, images, and other metadata need to be adapted both linguistically and culturally dependent on the audience the seller hopes to reach. For example, if the product, even if translated to the target language, has a description that tells a narrative rather than presenting the main functions and specs of the product, it may not have much success in a low context, individualistic culture that would prefer to know the funct ionality of the product outright. This concept can also extend to the title of the product. Consumers from a high context culture may overlook the product if the title is simple and generic and those from a low context culture may find longer titles to include too much extraneous information to be relevant to their search needs. Interpretation of the product image can also be affected by these contextually di fferent cultural values. If the product contains multiple images showing the product in use by othe r consumers so that a buyer can relate to the usability, this may appeal to a high context culture. On the other hand, a low context culture may prefer direct images of product use and angles. While product representation in different cultural environments is important to consider, it is also important to localize these produ cts to benefit search optimization and reliability of product data. Particularly relevant to this topic is the actual accurate
translation of all pertinent info for that product. Are the concept, object, and term all in agreement? Additionally, is the metadata accurate and are the keywords being used properly so that the audience can find and engage with the product among the many competing products also available in this marketplace? There is fault in using too many keywords to draw a larger audience by reducing reliability and trust that the product is indeed what it claims to be. This outdated search engine optimization tactic appears spammy and, in fact, is against Google Webmaster’s definition of quality content. These questions can help determine if users can easily find the product in search and then click through to consider for purchase. Highly impacted by elements of trust, click-through rate is a vital metric that sellers must optimize in order to have online success. A major factor in click -through rate is target keyword and placement within a product title as it appears in a shopping ad. Therefore, to have an optimized title, the target keyword must be placed upfront as it is the first word users see. For example, products using both “backpack” and “mochila,” the placement of that keyword in the title can significantly alter click-through rate. If “backpack” appears later in the title, users looking for “backpack” may gloss over that product as it does not target the user’s search intent. In an even more severe case, if a title is too long and the keyword “backpack” is placed too far back in the title, Google Search may cut it off, rendering it invisible to the user. The best option is to target the keyword that the majority of users are seeking, in this case “backpack,” as the majority of the audience would be searching for that term in the English language. It is necessary to determine if benefits outweigh the efforts for this level of localization. If the product’s popularity is much higher in a country than another, it may not be worth the efforts. Additionally, if the product type already has lower clicks and impressions, this detailed level of localization may not be best spent on these product types. On an individual level, localizing one product type for an audience may seem more effort than it is worth but if that product has many associated products, the level of importance grows. The target audience is important to consider as well. For example, it is likely that a mobile phone vendor on Amazon.de would target all German speaking users, but it may be the case for more locally based vendors that the only audience they intend to target is entirely within one country. It is therefore necessary that a merchant looks into the analytics for these products in order to determine the level of localization that will be the most beneficial and feasible given the merchant’s resources and global sales goals. Conclusions There are indeed many factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding to sell internationally on online marketplaces. Linguistic accuracy is important not only to potential customers but also to follow marketplace guidelines that ensure the product is
visible to consumers. Vocabulary choices are also important so that user search results display the product. Issues also go beyond text. Image and symbolic aspects of the product must also be culturally and linguistically adapted. While the marketplaces and products are mostly for tangible goods, online marketplaces also exist with the intent of selling of intangible goods, such as services. As internet behavior evolves, the focus on localized search and optimized results only deepens. Determining which level of localization is required should however be largely dependent on target audience, effort levels, and overall impact on successful marketing and purchase of a product. References  Kestenbaum, R. (2017). What are online marketplaces and what is their future? Forbes: Forbes Magazine. www.forbes.com/sites/richardkestenbaum/2017/04/26/what-are-online- marketplaces-and-what-is-theirfuture/#2e2312a73284.  Morsello, J. (2018). #LSA18: the changing face of local SERPs. LSA Insider. www.lsainsider.com/ lsa18-the-changing-face-of-local-serps/archives.  Nguyen, L. (2016). Standardization versus localization with impacts of cultural patterns on con- sumption in international marketing. European Journal of Business and Management, 8(35).  Pymnts. (2017). Online marketplaces catch up to offline world. PYMNTS.com. www.pymnts.com/ news/retail/2017/online-marketplaces-catching-up-to-offline-world/.  Reiffen, A. (2016). Google shopping feed optimization: speak your customers' language and write more compelling product titles. Search Engine Land. searchengineland.com/google-shopping- feedoptimization-speak-customers-language-write-compelling-product-titles-266170.  Statista. (n.d.). Number of smartphone users Worldwide 2014–2020. Statista. www.statista.com/ statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/.  TranslateMedia. (2015). Selling through international online marketplaces. www.translatemedia. com/us/blog-us/selling-through-international-online-marketplaces/.  Wallace, Tracey. “The 2019 Omni-Channel Retail Report: Generational Consumer Shopping Behavior Comes Into Focus.” The BigCommerce Blog, 13 Jan. 2019, www.bigcommerce.com/ blog/omnichannel-retail/.
New Technologies, Shopping Evolution, and the Next Retail Revolution Theodor PURCĂREA
Abstract We are witnessing a true retail world’s effervescence within the challenges retailers are facing, struggling to keep up with trends and meanings, including the continuously reshaped consumer behavior. It is worth seeing what 2020 will represent on the most competitive market, U.S., within the context in which consumers’ disloyalty reached historic levels, and brand engagement will be transformed by A/VR technology. And as the competition between Walmart and Amazon is continuing at a new level, looking at the back to basics approach of Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab is really helpful. There is always a need for a better understanding of the store of the future as a brand story, the use of AI, and what shoppers want from retailers. Keywords: Retail world’s effervescence; New technologies; Shopping evolution; Retail reimagined JEL Classification: L81, L86, M31, Q55
Retail world’s effervescence within the challenges retailers are facing, struggling to keep up with trends and meanings, including the continuously reshaped consumer behavior
On December 5, this year, we remarked the opinion expressed by the co-founder of and the chief data scientist at SmarterHQ (a personalization platform powering highly relevant crosschannel experiences) with regard to the shopper behavior being fundamentally different this time of year, being necessary for marketers to update their used algorithms to accommodate behavioral shifts, shopping behavior being very different during the holidays (quicker decisions, typical browsing abandoning, more price-shopping etc.). (Abbott, 2019) On the same day, thanks to The Next Brick we also saw an opinion arguing that as the usually major retail events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are appearing to become non-events by offering deals early and then extend the promotional period, in order to continue to win retailers need to be more creative so as to offer relevant deals based on customer insights collected by them in the months leading up to the holidays. (Nicasio, 2019) On the other hand, a senior business adviser at Yahoo Small Business looked at the challenges faced by small business marketers struggling to stand out in this already crowded field, recommending them among other aspects to use Black Friday and Cyber Monday data to run flash sales, time-based promotions, and more in the run-up to Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. and the New Year (considering trending items and trending searches). (Melo, 2019) A Yahoo Small Business research (online conducted survey among 1,008 consumers in the US, age 18 and over, between June 10-12, 2019) revealed that 75% of those surveyed want to shop at and support small businesses (appreciating the small business experience), but 63% feel they get better prices and value at larger retailers, and in order to better compete against larger retailers there were identified some areas for SMB retailers to focus on (marketing and promotion, expertise in their field, human touch, payment choice, stay ahead of the tech curve, keeping customers and their data safe). A few days later, we received an e-mail (7th GDSS in Seattle, Werner Studer < firstname.lastname@example.org > Mon, Dec 9, 10:42 PM) informing us that the preparation of the 7th Global Department Store Summit (GDSS) on 28-29 May 2020 in Seattle, USA, is in full swing. This reputed coming world’s leading industry gathering – the 2020 Summit, being titled “Retailing form the Outside-In” – is co-organised with Nordstrom and Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (www.igds.org), the largest association for department stores worldwide (founded in1946, IGDS comprises today 43 members, from 37 countries, generating together total sales of over US$ 100bn in 2018. IGDS is the organiser not only og the Global Department Store Summit (GDSS), but also of the World Department Store Forum (WDSF), successfully held in London (2008), Moscow (2009), New York (2010), Shanghai (2011), Paris (2012), Istanbul (2013), Singapore (2014), Rome (2015), Zurich (2016), Toronto (2017), London (2018) and Tokyo (2019). And this (and not only, as we will see below) is in our opinion a clear
evidence of the retail worldâ€™s effervescence within the challenges retailers are facing, struggling to keep up with trends and meanings. It was interesting to read on the same day thanks to ChannelAdvisor UK that: shoppers are enabled to fulfil all their needs in one place by marketplaces (for products: Amazon, eBay and Zalando; for services: Airbnb and Uber) which are becoming retail hubs, in 2020 being expected to see more marketplaces combining functionality to offer complementary services alongside products for the so-called â€œexperience-seekingâ€? modern consumers; many consumers are more and more looking for more ethical ways to consume (this shopping revolution being driven by marketplaces), while eco, ethical and sustainable products are offered by new emerging marketplaces (such as Bazar and Mamoq); shoppers are also provided (their behavior being considerably impacted) with an enriched shopping destination thanks to (niche) marketplaces focused on curated offerings, like Yumbles (Indie food), Cosmetics Megastore and FeelUnique (beauty), Colizey (French sports destination) etc. Indeed, the evolution of the buying behavior is very interesting, this being also confirmed by an October 2019 CivicScience survey which revealed how likely are US internet users to order an individual low-cost item (Primeeligible items less than $5) using Amazon Prime versus buying in-store (see the figure below): (Kats, 2019)
Figure no. 1: How likely are US internet users to order an individual low-cost item using Amazon Prime versus buying in-store Source: Kats, R. (2019). Amazon Continues to Entice Consumers with Free Shipping, Even for Simple Toiletries, eMarketer, Dec 18 (work cited)
Apple retail is also proactively taking into account this evolution of the buying behavior, Apple Stores (across the globe they have 510 retail stores, in 2019 being completed 23 entirely new store spaces) being thought as spaces conducive to creative experiences. (Steeber, 2019) The well-known program of these creative sessions – Today at Apple – held every day at every Apple Store, was very successful in 2019, bringing the best CX to more Apple’s customers than ever before (at the end of the year nearly half of their stores across the world were equipped for the full program experience), Apple’s session offerings being refocused around three categories: Skills (which introduced essential knowledge in an approachable way for anyone), Walks (the most popular type of session, being extended beyond the store and inviting customers to explore their surroundings), and Labs (which moved from rudimentary tutorials to more immersive content). (Steeber, 2019) We are in the era of “Living Retail” (defined by RELEX Solutions as a state of constant flux, being imperative for retailers to plan for every possible future they might encounter, beyond just the static vision of the today predicted future), both industry disruptors (as demonstrated by Deloitte four years ago) and customer expectations putting constant pressure on retailers. There is clear evidence of: the Omni channel shopping evolution (increasingly seen as both a convenience and an indicator of service quality); the unprecedented pressure on supply chain efficiency, accuracy, and data visibility, being recommendable as the best starting point to prioritize agile supply chain structures so as to meet the expectations for instant gratification; how more and more consumers are conducting research on the go, feeling no longer limited to a handful of brands whose value they trust; only their ability to adapt can be controlled by retailers. (RELEX Solutions, 2019) It is also worth mentioning within this framework some aspects from: ▪ “Greater China Consumer & Retail Practice” according to the vision of McKinsey & Company, considering (beyond China’s slowing GDP and the trade dispute with the United States) the fact that the latest research from their Chinese Consumer Survey (online research covering consumers’ general attitudes and purchasing behavior) revealed five emerged trends (young, free-spending consumers in lower tier cities are today’s growth engine; most Chinese consumers are increasingly discerning, savvy, and frugal about their spending; the health conscious movement is here to stay; Chinese consumers continue to be more sophisticated travelers; highend Chinese brands are increasingly appealing) regarding their consumption patterns and leisure habits, and attitudes toward life, success, money, and health. Approx. 5,400 respondents from 44 cities (representing approx. 90% of China’s GDP and more than half of its population) were included in this survey sample. We remarked, among other aspects, that: “Platforms like WeChat and Douyin (Tik Tok in English) now offer new direct-to-consumer channels or mini-programs that brands can use to influence and engage with consumers and drive sales”; “Multinational companies should respond to the desire for Chinese products with innovation, introducing Chinese elements to their products and their branding in ways that feel sophisticated and authentic.” (Ho et al., 2019)
▪ eMarketer report “China Mobile Payment Users 2019”, which forecast that 577.4 million users (accounting for 49.6% of China’s population) made a purchase via proximity mobile payment within a six-month period in 2019, being expected that more than half of the population will utilize in 2020 this payment method (rising to 60.5% in 2023). In the opinion of Man-Chung Cheung, eMarketer research analyst and author of the report, this steady march toward a cashless society is enabled by the leading payment systems Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, which have introduced into the daily habits of Chinese consumers QR code-backed payments. It is known that often by a simple QR code scan proximity mobile payments are widely used in offline retail, some of the most common places for such payments among mobile payment users were at supermarkets and convenience stores (62.5%), shopping malls (50.5%) and even street stalls (45.8%).
Anticipating what 2020 will represent on the most competitive market, U.S., within the context in which consumers’ disloyalty reached historic levels, and brand engagement will be transformed by A/VR technology
The reputed data analytics company Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN; a global measurement and data analytics company providing the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide ) is well-known for its understanding of consumer behavior (exploring for more than 90 years what is important to shoppers for more than 90 years, and offering the most holistic and predictive view of consumer purchasing habits), manufacturers and retailers needing relevant data and insights being always eager to know Nielsen’s truly complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace so as to adapt, innovate and grow accordingly. On the occasion of the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo (the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives; Nielsen being cited in Gartner’s March 2019 report entitled “Best Practices in Developing Retail Curbside Fulfillment”), Orlando, FL, U.S., Oct. 22, 2019, Nielsen made known its predictions for technology, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail for 2020 and the decade ahead, anticipating that “2020 will represent an inflection point for trust and transparency, 5G and time to purchase in the U.S. retail and consumer landscape”. (Doonan, 2919) Nielsen also expressed the belief that the next retail revolution is on the horizon, and the way consumers search for and purchase items will be shifted forever by this revolution (see the figure below):
Figure no. 2: The 2020 vision for U.S. retail and beyond, Nielsen Source: The 2020 vision for U.S. retail and beyond, Nielsen, CPG, FMCG & RETAIL, 10-28-2019 (work cited)
And this within the context in which Nielsen revealed in the last time a lot of other significant aspects, such as: given the hyper focus consumers are putting on expediency, convenience stores (more involved in the technology adoption because of digital transformation and consumer’s growing desire for frictionless retail) will grow faster than all other offline channels over the next five years across the U.S. retail landscape, their future being shaped by important factors (more automated and increasingly unmanned; an image upgrade of the food service; increased focus and need for quality employee training for CBD and food service; prime target for private label disruption; creative with experiential retail; personalization and customization; re-imagined grab-and-go packaging to be more sustainable); (Williams, 2019) holiday shopping (the largest single point of entry for new consumers in the online space being holydays) will be driven by new shoppers (more and more shoppers are expecting free or reduced shipping thanks to Amazon, while Walmart and others are reacting by touting free nextday delivery without a membership) and nuanced category sales (right pricing and promotion mix plus a satisfying experience, as shoppers are more and more diversifying their spending) – holiday season’s winners being those brands and retailers activating the levers for new online shoppers and category differentiators; (Nielsen, CPG, FMCG & RETAIL, 11-22-2019) with regard their purchasing behavior consumers are increasingly factoring a product’s sustainability attributes , even redefining what constitutes healthy (so as to include the health of the world at large); (Nielsen, CPG, FMCG & RETAIL, 11-25-2019) on the basis of informative, personalized and compelling experiences consumers are reached out where they are and with what they need (both assessing products from home, and in stores thanks to navigation apps or electronic shelf beacons etc., also using virtual assistants to take on tasks and decision making etc.), companies being enabled to do it by A/VR technology (virtually replicating the physical instances of shopping), combining fun and function, and extending real-world access to consumers online, instore, on-the-go, in-the-moment and in new markets, protecting and respecting their personal data. (Tavolieri, 2019) In the continuously full battle between Walmart and Amazon, looking at the back to basics approach of Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab. Better understanding the store of the future, the use of AI, and what shoppers want from retailers Known as being focused on in-store innovation and how to bridge the digital and physical retail environments (so as to achieve Omni-channel integration), the Future Stores Event (launched by Worldwide Business Research LLC in 2013) continues to be the leading in-store experience event. This June 2019 Event agenda included significant daily sessions (transformative store experiences; in-store engagement & customer-centric innovation day; retail disruptors & experiences of the future). The 2020 event (09 – 11, February) will be located at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, FL, USA. Within this framework dedicated to retail renaissance participants have real opportunities to find out best practices in, for instance, creating the retail store experience of the future. A hot topic at Future Stores Miami 2020 will be the virtual reality, this technology being seen as having much potential for the retail industry beyond staff training.
This event’s “Tech Briefing” is citing a viewpoint expressed by the innovative startup VirtualAPT: “The store of the future will leverage digital technology to simplify problem solving, product discovery and inspiration, and overall store navigation”. Recently, Future Stores presented an interesting case study entitled “Walmart’s AIPowered Store of the Future Is Nothing Like Amazon Go”, a back to basics approach by Walmart sharing its version of the future of brick-and-mortar retail – the Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL), which can track Walmart’s inventory in real time (ensuring with the help of visual technology that every item on every shelf having sensors is always in stock). This Walmart’s AI approach: incorporates several of the established best practices associated with good inventory management, one hand, while for Walmart’s customers it’s a fun and educational way to engage with this IRL experience, on the other hand; in other words, AI is used to monitor inventory, also easing customers’ movement through the store, optimizing both Walmart’s consumers’ and associates’ experience. In a recent eBook entitled “Retail and AI: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Industry”, DataRobot, the leader in enterprise AI and the category creator and leader in automated machine learning, argueded that within the connected, complex, and competitive today’s retail marketplace retailers are forced to keep pace with the connected consumer and embrace emerging trends in shopping, being as responsive as possible, and accordingly using AI primarily to address the expectations of the empowered consumer, managing product and supply, and operational efficiencies. According to DataRobot: there are enormous opportunities for retailers to capture better business intelligence about everything from inventory to staffing to delivery and operations; Retailers Should Embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (see the figure below):
Figure no. 3: Diffusion curve: The evolution of new technologies Source: Retail and AI: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Industry, Retail Overview, DataRobot, 2019 (work cited)
There is no doubt that in order to meet new consumer demands the role of the physical store is evolving, and that in the crowded retail landscape retailers are challenged by the shopping (as a full spectrum of activities) evolution, what shoppers want from retailers being always interesting to follow, as the third edition of the Connected Shoppers Report (based on Salesforce’s broadest consumer study to date - insights from over 10,000 global shoppers) demonstrated. (Garf, 2019) There is no doubt that shopper relationships are earned by differentiated products and experiences, consumers are needing to feel understood and special, and shopping’s future is going beyond the retail industry’s physical and digital properties, shopping at the edge (thanks to voice, social media, gaming consoles, and chat) advancing, while physical stores are continuing to be seen by shoppers (who tend to buy more here than initially intended, and attend an unique in-store experience) as central hubs for new products discovery, experience, and fulfillment. It is also interesting to see within the second wave of retail disruption that, as underlined in November this year by the Director of Content from RetailX, in order to continue scaling their growth the DNVBs (digitally native vertical brands which are both selling products online, and manufacturing and shipping them) – such as Glossiers, UNtuckits, Allbirds, Caspers and Everlanes – are having to find new paths leading to physical retail. (Medina, 2019) While also in the same month, on the occasion of a RetailWire’s discussion, the Director of Retail Market Insights stated: “I honestly never expected all – or even many – of these DNVBs to thrive in the long run. The evidence is overwhelmingly clear that sustained success almost always requires an Omni channel approach (digital and physical touchpoints). Heck, even Amazon realized they needed physical locations. Rather, I look at most DNVBs for what they truly are: inspirational and aspirational executions that help shape retail strategies for the future”. (Dennis, 2019) Instead of Conclusions In our last issue from September 2019 we highlighted retailers’ struggling to continuously improve the retail shopping experience in brick and mortar stores, balancing the brick and mortar and online presences (including considering the contribution of the click-andcollect services). We also took a look, among other aspects, at Amazon’s valid plans for the future, Walmart’s Omni channel push, and the expansion of the D2C retail. (Purcarea, 2019) On Monday, October 21, 2019 (2:06 pm) we received an email entitled “Retail: The End or a New Beginning?” from “The Next Brick Team” <email@example.com>. After beginning by making reference to retailers’ migraine millennium (as a result of the separation of shopping from buying determined by the Internet aided by Smartphones) and how many brands however are brainstorming innovative ways to reinvent retail, they finally recommended an article published a few days before with regard to the undergoing dramatic and fundamental transformation of the store (from storing to exploring), and in which the author argued that the with the reinvention of the Toys R Us brand was perhaps emerging the most profound example of this evolution.
And allow us to end just by citing the final paragraph from this article: “Regardless of the trajectory that the new Toys R Us will take, the path the developers are taking will become welltraveled by the New Retail voyagers going forward. These physical embodiments of unified commerce will become a technological, experiential, and immersive component of the retail path to purchase. The store will become an even more dynamic chapter of the entire brand story”.1 References Abbott, D. (2019). How Retailers Should Approach AI and Big Data During Holiday Seasons, MarketingProfs, December 5. Retrieved from https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2019/42182/howretailers-should-approach-ai-and-big-data-during-holiday-seasons? Dennis, E. (2019). Retail apocalypse? How about a disruptor meltdown? RetailWire, Nov 13. Retrieved from https://www.retailwire.com/discussion/retail-apocalypse-how-about-a-disruptor-meltdown/ Doonan, G. (2919). 5G, AR and frictionless commerce: Nielsen illuminates future of retail and consumer packaged goods, Nielsen, 10-22-2019. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/pressreleases/2019/5g-ar-and-frictionless-commerce-nielsen-illuminates-future-of-retail-and-consumerpackaged-goods/ Garf, R. (2019). New Research: 4 Trends Redefining the Retail Industry, According to 10,000+ Global Shoppers, Salesforce, Oct 15. Retrieved from https:// /blog/2019/10/retail-industry-trends.html Ho, J., Poh, F., Zhou, J. and Zipser, D. (2019). China consumer report 2020: The many faces of the Chinese consumer, Greater China Consumer & Retail Practice, McKinsey & Company, December. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/china/china-consumer-report-2020-themany-faces-of-the-chinese-consumer? Kats, R. (2019). Amazon Continues to Entice Consumers with Free Shipping, Even for Simple Toiletries, eMarketer, Dec 18. Retrieved from https://www.emarketer.com/content/amazon-continues-to-enticeconsumers-with-free-shipping-even-for-simple-toiletries? Medina, A.E. (2019). Are DNVBs the Brands of the Future? Design: Retail, November 12. Retrieved from https://www.designretailonline.com/news/opinions/are-dnvbs-the-brands-of-the-future/ Melo, M. (2019). How Small Businesses Can Hit a Home Run This Holiday Shopping Season, MarketingProfs, December 4. Retrieved from https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2019/42174/howsmall-businesses-can-hit-a-home-run-this-holiday-shopping-season? Nicasio, F. (2019). Have Shoppers Lost Their Enthusiasm for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? The Next Brick, December 05. Retrieved from https://www.thenextbrick.com/retail-trends/black-friday-cybermonday-analysis? Purcarea, T. (2019). Retailers’ Struggling to Adapt to the Changing Consumer, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, September 2019, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp. 35-47 Steeber, M. (2019). Apple Stores in 2019: The top new architecture and innovative designs, 9to5Mac, Dec. 18th. Retrieved from https://9to5mac.com/2019/12/18/apple-store-2019-retail-architecture-design/ Steeber, M. (2019). Today at Apple in 2019: Exploring a year of new experiences, 9to5mac, Dec. 19th. Retrieved from https://9to5mac.com/2019/12/19/apple-store-2019-today-at-apple/ Tavolieri, J. (2019). Augmented retail: The new consumer reality, Nielsen, CPG, FMCG & RETAIL, 1212-2019. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/augmented-retail-the-newconsumer-reality/
Stein, S. (2019). Why Everyone Will Wanna Be A Toys R Us Kid – Again, The Next Brick, October 17. Retrieved from https://www.thenextbrick.com/innovation-in-retail-stores/why-everyone-will-wanna-be-a-toys-r-us-kidagain?
Stein, S. (2019). Why Everyone Will Wanna Be A Toys R Us Kid – Again, The Next Brick, October 17. Retrieved from https://www.thenextbrick.com/innovation-in-retail-stores/why-everyone-will-wanna-be-atoys-r-us-kid-again? Williams, J. (2019). 7 important factors that will shape the future of convenience retail, Nielsen Perspectives, 11-21-2019. Retrieved from: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/7important-factors-that-will-shape-the-future-of-convenience-retail/ *** New Yahoo Small business research highlights opportunities for SMB retailers to better compete against larger online rivals, Small Business Yahoo, June 2019. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/post/185830336182/upgrade.html *** The 3 Top Marketplace Trends We Will See In 2020, ChannelAdvisor UK, December 9, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.channeladvisor.co.uk/blog/marketplaces/top-marketplace-trends-we-will-seein-2020/? *** The Age of Living Retail: Staying Ahead when Change is the Only Constant, RELEX Solutions, Industry Talk, Oct 14, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.relexsolutions.com/the-age-of-living-retailstaying-ahead-when-change-is-the-only-constant/ *** Change Agents in the Age of Living Retail: The Power Shift, RELEX Solutions, Industry Talk, Oct 30, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.relexsolutions.com/change-agents-in-the-age-of-living-retail-thepower-shift/? *** China Is Moving Toward a Cashless Society. Proximity mobile payments are now ubiquitous across retail categories, eMarketer Editors, Nov 25, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.emarketer.com/content/china-is-moving-toward-a-cashless-society? *** The 2020 vision for U.S. retail and beyond, Nielsen, CPG, FMCG & RETAIL, 10-28-2019. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/the-2020-vision-for-u-s-retail-andbeyond/ *** New shoppers and nuanced category sales will drive holiday shopping, Nielsen, CPG, FMCG & RETAIL, 11-22-2019. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/newshoppers-and-nuanced-category-sales-will-drive-holiday-shopping/ *** Identifying unique sustainability opportunities across categories to foster trust with consumers, Nielsen, CPG, FMCG & RETAIL, 11-25-2019. Rerieved from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/identifying-unique-sustainability-opportunitiesacross-categories-to-foster-trust-with-consumers/ *** About The Event, Worldwide Business Research’s (WBR). Retrieved from https://futurestores.wbresearch.com/about-us *** https://futurestores.wbresearch.com/agenda/agenda-day-1/2019 *** Retail. Reimagined, WBR. Retrieved from https://futurestores.wbresearch.com/ *** Future Stores Tech Briefing, February 09 - 11, 2020. Retrieved from wbrfuturestoresmiami2020techbriefing3uKSMBAzHlkOhkmd7rjLHGBp89HHb3QnCjVAnNFk0 *** Walmart’s AI-Powered Store of the Future Is Nothing Like Amazon Go, Future Stores, WBR. Retrieved from wbrfuturestoresmiami2020casestudy2YXWImjz9zNDHWsdLxlMxgqeF0WzKY4Vu4FdQ2w8C *** Retail and AI: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Industry, Retail Overview, DataRobot, 2019. Retrieved from DataRobot_Retail_and_AI_How_Artificial_Intelligence_is_Changing_the_Industry_eBook_v5.0-1
Tracking Innovation, Change Management, New Zealand, CZ Retail Summit, Social Responsibility, Ethical Payment, Hall of Fame 2020, Social Media, Promoting Entrepreneurs, Darwin Effect, In Search of Benchmarks, and 25th REAL CORP Bernd HALLIER
Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, President of the European Retail Academy (ERA: http://www.european-retailacademy.org/), an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine” attracted our attention on great events happening in the last quarter 2019, 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 24 th 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 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”.
Tracking Innovation According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier the combination of Research & Penetration is the success-story of the world leading exhibition EuroShop for shop fitting, retail technology, POSMarketing. His exchange-students are part of the communication training for applied sciences (see: YouTube video).
“Students not only use our Sites like www.european-retail-academy.org/EUCVOT as training tools - they develop it ongoing by adding their newest technical skills: by this they are the Young Stars of driving innovation. Such a development can be seen also by comparing the above YouTube with the last EuroShop/EuroCIS YouTube of 2019 (EuroCIS 2019 )”.
Change Management Prof. Dr. Theodor Purcarea reflects about the last 25 years of permanent changes in Romania, the EU and globally - and how to support the new requirements by their national Association Magazine of Distribution (“Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”) and the academic publication “Holistic Marketing Management Journal”.
Historically he sees the kick-off for Romania when 24 years ago the OECD highlighted the need for new indicators of human capital, training and labor requirements while focusing for the knowledge-based economy (OECD/GD (96) ,102), the indicators of the knowledge distribution power and other characteristics of innovation.
New Zealand The Centre for Advanced Retail Studies (CARS) of Massey University/New Zealand joins as a new member the ERA-network. CARS is the only research center in New Zealand focused on the retail industry.
CARS also serves as a mechanism to connect and to promote themes of AgriFoodBusiness, Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing, and Society. For Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier those topics fit exactly into the TUN-Thematic University Network (Food): TUN-Link
CZ Retail Summit For Central Europe the annual CZ Retail Summit in the city of Prague is according to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier a conference brand based on 25 years of experience. In 2019 a total of 1103 participants (among them 125 speakers) attended this outstanding event - initiated in the beginning of the transformation from socialism towards market economy. â€œIn the 90ies the success was in the cooperation between the VSE University under the leadership of Prof. Jiri Jindra, the national Government being present sometimes with several ministers and the retailers (starting later their own Trade Association)â€? Hallier stated explaining this light-house which had in 2019 also 72 commercial sponsors.
The VSE Prague later became co-founder of the European Retail Academy and in 2006 Prof. Jindra was as the first personality of the Hall of Fame honored for bringing academia, trade and government together in Central Europe (Hall of Fame). In turn in 2011 VSE Prague honoured Prof.Dr.Hallier by a Dr.h.c. in an outstanding ceremony (Award Ceremony - VSE Prague).
Social Responsibility According to the statistics of UNHCR about 70.8 million people are refugees; about half of them are children under the age of 18 years. For Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier it is a question of
Humanity to help to establish peaceful surroundings for all people for a decent life in their homecountries; but also to care for those who had to leave.
At the Art Duesseldorf exhibition/Germany he appreciated the Special Award of the Warsteiner Brewery's Partnerfonds for the PeaceBuilders Artist's Studio at the refugee-hotspot of the Greek island Lesbos. This organization has worked in the recent past with about 1.500 children and youngsters with art/craft projects to stabilize their mental health.
Ethical Payment In 1972 when Bernd Hallier was in Stellenbosch/Cape Province as an AIESEC-student exchange his South African partner was Roger Chennels from Eshowe/Natal - both having students’ dreams about the future of Africa. It was still the time of Apartheid (separation between the white and colored people as the collage of the 72-pics shows) , but the farm of the Chennels family was a kind of “free zone area” where white Liberals, Churchmen and Zulu-tribe-heads
met. Roger Chennels continued the spirit of his father Guy and became a lawyer: fighting for the underprivileged people.
It is worth mentioning that after the change of the political system in the week when in 2019 the South African “all-colored team” was becoming World Champion in Rugby for the first time: BBC was sending a report about Ethical Payment in the RooibosTea Industry with the following statement of Roger Chennels : “In short over 10 years we have negotiated a world first benefit sharing agreement under the Nagoya Protocol of the CBD which gives to the San and Khoi indigenous peoples a 1.5% royalty in respect of each kg of Rooibos processed, in acknowledgement of their traditional knowledge that contributed towards the Rooibos industry”.
Hall of Fame 2020 ERA President Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier announced the 14th honored personality of the Hall of Fame: standing as the main focus for 2020! It is the Nobel Peace Award Winner of 2004: Prof. Dr. Wangari Muta Maathari from Kenya - she got the Nobel Award for sustainable development, peace and democracy (see also Hall of Fame).
â€œAt the present time we have a renaissance of the fact-files about the limits of growth and the urgent need to optimize economics, ecology and ethics for a global house of harmony. On the other hand we have the disappointment about politics seeing that 50 years (half a century) have passed without any major changes for healing our world and common spiritual values. Prof. Maathari with her fights for better life should be a light-house for academia and decisionmakersâ€? Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier said in his laudatio.
Social Media Social Media platforms are becoming more and more important in the digital and global world. Within the ERA-network a special Site (EUCVOT) reports about experiences of exchange students with the focus "Communication" during their traineeships of vocational training. According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier the main elements are to create news, to place it in the media, to penetrate it and to check its results by ranking at Google and others.
The present two exchange students from Rovaniemi/Finland - Aleksi Kortesalmi and Jouko Miettunen - developed a YouTube video with the title “Pan Balkan Initiative” to explain the geopolitical frame and importance of the World Congress of Entrepreneurs’ efforts to optimize the cooperation between governments, entrepreneurs and schools/universities within the civil society (Youtube Video).
Promoting Entrepreneurs Starting in 2018 in Zagreb/Croatia as an initiative of the civil society now in Skopje a second World Congress of Entrepreneurs followed in 2019 being hosted by Northern Macedonia. The idea is to bring together scientists, entrepreneurs and governments in an annual event circling around the territories of ex-Yugoslavia.
“The Conference is an ideal platform for speeding up the knowledge transfer about innovations” Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier said. “I am very happy that we could integrate the competition for High Schools and Secondary Vocational Schools of Skopje into this event of great publicity! If we have an entrepreneurial youth and teachers promoting applied sciences we do not have to be afraid of the future” he added.
Darwin Effect In 2011 Prof.Dr.B.Hallier has been awarded the title “doctor oeconomiae honoris causa” by the Czech VSE University in Prague (YouTube) for his innovations in Applied Trade
Sciences and research on Trade Cycles as Sector Analysis. Those observations are now enhanced by statements about the time-lag between the innovative prototypes/initial kick-offs and the penetration status “major impact on operative business”.
Starting with the changes in Western Europe in 1800 with the dominance of harbors/Colonial trade towards industrialized manufacture and consumer cooperatives, from 1875 onward department stores, retail cooperatives, catalogue mail orders leapfrogged the trade sector all 25 years, followed after World War II by self-service supermarkets, big boxes/ shopping centers and in the beginning of this millennium by internet (B2B/B2C). The same timeperiods have been observed by Hallier in the development of the technical tool “barcoding” from the printed version (1975) via the chip-technology (2000) towards two-dimensional/QR codes and the Internet of Things. For Prof. Hallier this observation is a hint that for the penetration of innovation the real bottleneck are the human beings in their limited ability to adapt to changing environments quicker than one generation: he therefore speaks of the “Darwin Effect in Applied Trade Sciences”.
In search of Benchmarks Twenty years ago the image of innovative retail in China was created by the marketentrance of big boxes from the USA or Europe like Walmart, Carrefour, Metro or IKEA. The
latest newcomer in this category is Costco. For Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier there will be a change of mindset in the future. “Traffic jams are no incentives for longer shopping-distances. Small local shops with fresh assortments in connection with e-bike-delivery will be the hot topic in future in Asia” he stated in his 4 weeks China lectures.
In Foshan nearly 60 Chinese retailers attended his one-day-seminar about the successstory of the German discounter ALDI and its different approach in the UK or in Shanghai’s test market (Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4, Picture 5, Picture 6, Picture 7). Interviewed by CCTV in the ALDI store Hallier claimed that those missing China as a market will decline in global competence (see also CCTVplus). For him retail is changing its benchmark: innovation in this century will be driven by Asia!
25th REAL CORP Current discussions on “Low Carbon Cities” or “Smart Cities” seek to address future developments of cities under the condition of climate change employing amongst other things energy saving technologies; “green retreats” in mega-cities (like this roof-garden on top of an ecology-oriented supermarket in Heifei/China) are not only needed for personal relief but also as “micro-climate zones” for air-circulation within cities.
The 25th International REAL CORP Conference for city-and reginal planning will deal with those hot topics and be organized at the occasion of the 150ies anniversary of the University of Aachen/Germany from April 15-18th 2020 - a city connecting Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and being since Charles the Great for 1200 years the heart of Europe (Call for papers).
Léon F. WEGNEZ (by courtesy of) – “Shoplifting in Belgium”/“Vols dans les magasins en Belgique”, en sa qualité d’Administrateur Directeur Prévention et Sécurité (une de ses nombreuses qualités). Sharing with our distinguished Readers a well-known source of usable and useful knowledge… Prof. Dr. h. c. Léon F. WEGNEZ is an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of our “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine“. The distinguished Léon F. WEGNEZ was honored by the European Retail Academy (ERA) as the 2015 “Man of the Year”. Knowing our distinguished readers’ thirst for knowledge, we offer you, by courtesy of this remarkable personality, selections from this work published in Brussels. Recent articles worldwide on this topic (such as: Reagen, C., Schlesinger, J. (2019). Inside Home Depot’s efforts to stop a growing theft problem at its stores, CNBC (the world leader in business news and real-time financial market coverage), Nov 22, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/22/inside-home-depotsefforts-to-stop-a-growing-theft-problem.html; Thompson, S. (2019). Winnipeg grocer resorts to confronting shoplifters, says theft worst he’s ever seen, Global News, November 19, 2019. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/6187961/winnipeg-grocer-resorts-to-confronting-shoplifters-says-theft-worst-hes-everseen/; McClain, A. (2019). Shoplifting gets wild and goes viral, RetailWire (Retail News and Analysis), Dec 20, 2019, Retrieved from https://retailwire.com/discussion/shoplifting-gets-wild-and-goes-viral/); Chun, R. (2019). Rich robbers: why do wealthy people shoplift? The Guardian, Mon 4 Nov 2019. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/04/wealthy-people-shoplift-rob-steal-why?CMP=share_btn_link)
speak for themselves, retailers facing an increase of theft at their stores, and organized retail crime becoming more and more a higher priority.
● Prof. Gherghinica PETRE, Col. (r) Ing. Gheorghe PETRE – “Învăţarea – o punte între inteligenţa umană şi natura inteligentă” Opinii despre... adică opinii ca … o punte trainică în timp, care ne leagă prin clasa specială de matematică Gl. Prof. Dr. Ing. Victor GREU, Noiembrie 2019
Note from the Editor-in-Chief As we remembered on another occasion, according to the reputed President of Harvard University (1834-1926): “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” While according to the reputed American poet, essayist, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them”. On the other hand, as according to our great Nicolae Iorga “Many writers make out of their soul a book and other books from that book”, while in the opinion of our great Alexandru Vlahuţă “Books are eternal voices in space”, it is our honor and pleasure to share with our Readers a recent review of a challenging approach of learning – “Learning - a bridge between human intelligence and intelligent nature”, Authors Gherghinica & Gheorghe PETRE – made by one of our respected colleagues, Prof. Dr. Victor GREU.
Opinii despre... “Învăţarea – o punte între inteligenţa umană şi natura inteligentă” Prof. Gherghinica Petre Col. (r) Ing. Gheorghe Petre adică opinii ca … o punte trainică în timp, care ne leagă prin clasa specială de matematică Gl. Prof. Dr. Ing. Victor Greu, Noiembrie 2019 JEL Classification: Y30
Într-o lume care ne stresează zilnic cu manifestări ale lipsei de preocupări pentru un viitor sustenabil, atât în ce privește factorii de decizie cât și atitudinea medie a indivizilor față de această situație în general și față de valorile umane perene în special, gesturi cum sunt cele prin care autorii au elaborat această lucrare sunt remarcabile. Lucrarea în sine, îndeosebi prin subiect și modul de abordare a acestuia, este foarte originală, după opinia mea, care are am urmărit într-o carieră universitară tocmai adaptarea conținutului și formatului informației către o eficiență educațională și socială maximă. Dincolo de relativitatea și subiectivismul unor asemenea opinii, chiar și în pofida particularității de a ne fi format împreună în atmosfera excepțională a clasei speciale de matematică de la Liceul teoretic nr. 2 (actual Mihai Eminescu), cred că, după formatul și țelul deosebit al demersului autorilor, impresionează indiscutabil pasiunea lor pentru matematică,
precum și modul atractiv prin care elemente, predominant din domeniul matematicii, sunt îmbinate sublim cu aspecte culturale interdisciplinare (citate filozofice inspirat alese, poezia lui Eminescu, abordări ecologice sau ale științelor naturii vii etc.), rezultând astfel un mediu, incluzând instrumente ale tehnologiei informației (gen WebQuest), mobilizator pentru “învățare” și perseverență, orientat către elevi. Astfel se poate spune că lucrarea este un demers binevenit în direcția abordării moderne a învățământului gimnazial și mediu, prezentă de mulți ani în țările dezvoltate, prin care se accentuează caracterul interactiv-aplicativ, lucrul în grup și în general implicarea inteligenței, imaginației și a voinței în detrimentul memorării. Modul în care astfel de abordări se pot aplica în mod concret în învățământul românesc, inclusiv la nivelul sugerat de autori (“clasa a XII-a … unele etape pot fi folosite și pentru elevii din clasele mai mici; Aria curriculară/disciplina căreia îi aparţine activitatea: Interdisciplinar”), reprezintă totuși o provocare deosebită și o speță aparte, având în vedere situația națională specifică, precum și cunoscuta inerție instituțională/legislativă și mai ales umană. Practic, în proiectarea unor astfel de modele și manuale moderne trebuie analizate, în afară de evoluțiile mondiale, dificultățile naturale legate de diversitatea capacităților subiecților, îndeosebi plecând de la actuala situație, materială, socială și organizațională din învățământul românesc, cu impact direct, pe de o parte asupra profilului mediu al elevilor, iar pe de altă parte asupra criteriilor obiective de elaborare a manualelor și a sistematizării cunoștințelor vizate - ce incumbă un efort și o anumită capacitate a cadrelor didactice. Fără a fi pesimiști, tocmai când ne dorim să “urnim pietrele”, trebuie observat că ne putem afla de multe ori într-un cerc vicios, deoarece implicarea inteligenței, imaginației și a voinței (subiecților) în detrimentul memorării, presupune în primul rând să putem conta pe un nivel mediu al acestor caracteristici individuale, adecvat în raport cu nivelul elementelor din lucrare, de exemplu matematice, atât de captivante pentru cine cunoaște și este pasionat. Desigur, pentru a ieși din astfel de dileme nu trebuie să cădem în sofismul ”Ahile și broasca țestoasă”, ci doar să progresăm sustenabil, cu perseverența pe care autorii o sugerează prin această lucrare și păstrând speranța că în timp, prin procese de tipul Plan-Do-Check-Act, situația se poate schimba cu un ritm rezonabil. Este foarte important să observăm că, dincolo de consecințele, relative, în învățământ, ale lucrării, aceasta reprezintă încă un mesaj, către o sferă mult mai largă decât învățământul, vizând, după părerea mea, revigorarea cultului pentru valorile umane fundamentale, care, adaptate epocii în care Pământul se află (schimbări climatice, epuizarea resurselor și alte sfidări), înseamnă încă un semnal de alarmă în sensul excelent formulat de extraordinarul savant Stephen Hawking, care a subliniat ce înseamnă adevărata inteligență (“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”) și a donat, împreună cu alți savanți, 10 milioane de dolari pentru o fundație care să apere specia umană de ... evoluții periculoase ale inteligenței artificiale (roboților). Spre exemplu, deși capitolul 6 nu și-a propus rigoarea științifică și tehnică specifică proiectării (în aspectele referitoare la rezistența materialelor, în cazul copacilor), acesta este
suficient de convingător pentru a arăta elevilor că inteligența sedimentată în materia vie este o sursă inepuizabilă de înțelepciune pentru inteligența umană, având în vedere “cercetarea științifică” realizată de natură prin evoluție, timp de milioane de ani. Astfel de aspecte, incluzând această obsesivă, dar esențială, concluzie, mă preocupă de mai mulți ani (arătam, întro carte de tehnologie din 1989, că tehnologiile post semiconductoare vor avea ca model de inspirație creierul uman și în general biotehnologiile) și pot fi regăsite în seria de articole din Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine -RDC- AIDA (International Association for the Distributive Trade) Bruxelles (exemple: 1/2014 - Information and Communications Technologies are Learning from Nature’s “Research” to Push the Performance Limits; 1/2012Searching the right tracks of new technologies in the Earth race for a balance between progress and survival; http://www.crd-aida.ro). În concluzie, cred că lucrarea este o bună pledoarie pentru învățare, exemplificată în principal prin bucuriile, aproape esoterice, pe care excelența în matematică le poate oferi, ca o referință de precizie și perenitate, într-o lume tot mai materialistă și derutată informațional de valul uriaș de date generate (Data Deluge), fiind relevant că circa 90% din datele existente pe Terra sunt generate în ultimii 2 ani, astfel că devine tot mai actuală, dificilă și de mare perspectivă problema: Ce să învățăm? (RDC 3/2019 - Using the information and communications technology data deluge from a semantic perspective of a dynamic challenge: What to learn and what to ignore?-Part1). Având în vedere generozitatea obiectivelor lucrării, dublată de eforturile necesare pentru menținerea aprinsă a acestor “luminițe”, deoarece mai sunt atât de multe de spus și făcut (numai amintindu-ne trecutul cu ochii largi deschiși la ce se întâmplă în prezent având șanse să întrezărim atât de încețoșatul viitor), doresc autorilor ce îmi doresc și mie: să avem grijă ... să putem ... continua!
● Emilia POENARU MOLDOVAN – A New Volume of Poetry: “Someone Like Me” Note from the Editor-in-Chief As we remembered on another occasion, it was said that POETRY “is what happens when nothing else can” (Charles Bukowski), and “might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings” (W.H. Auden). In the opinion of Leonardo da Vinci poetry “is painting that is felt rather than seen” (while “painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt”), and according to Goethe: “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words”. So let’s read a good poem, keeping in mind Baudelaire’s recommendation: “Always be a poet, even in prose”. And the last but not the least not to forget that: “Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason” (Novalis); “Once, poets were magicians. Poets were strong, stronger than warriors or kings — stronger than old hapless gods. And they will be strong once again” (Greg Bear). That is why it is our honor and pleasure to share with our Readers some thoughts about the Founder and Editor of the online Literary Circle of Cluj (established under the auspices of the Colorama Publishing House, Cluj-Napoca), Emilia POENARU MOLDOVAN, who is confirming the existence of a shared ethos and the creation of a community assuming its responsibility for creating culture, and stimulating authors’ own knowledge and powers of judgement.
Emilia POENARU MOLDOVAN – Un nou volum de poezii: “CINEVA CA MINE”
● Prof. Dr. Tudoriţa ALBU – “In Memoriam DUMITRU FĂRCAŞ”, Rupea, October 2019 Note from the Editor-in-Chief As we remembered on another occasion, in the opinion of Dr. Tudorita ALBU, 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. Dr. Tudorita ALBU advocates for promoting both the universal values (love, integrity, justice, support and respect relationships), and national ones (the passion for the recovery of these values and promoting the authentic being obvious). That is why it is our honor to share with our Readers her thoughts about a great Romanian artist, Dr. Tudorita ALBU being deeply grateful to have known such a unique person, Maestro Dumitru FĂRCAŞ succeeding in combining a truly divine grace and natural charm with his professionalism and dedication to our cultural heritage.
Prof. Dr. Tudoriţa ALBU – “In Memoriam Dumitru FĂRCAŞ”, Rupea, 25 Octombrie 2019
Rupea rămâne un simbol de păstrare a tradiţiilor, o permanentă (aşa cum am mai spus şi scris) “Lecţie de patriotism şi înaltă simţire românească”. În februarie 2008 aici s-a adus un omagiu regretatului Drăgan MUNTEAN (cel care a pus în valoare folclorul din zona Pădurenilor, Hunedoara, lăsându-ne moştenire cântece fermecătoare, valorificate la Rupea cu respect şi pricepere). Printre marile noastre valori care şi-au pus amprenta asupra acelui context încărcat de semnificaţie adâncă a fost şi un artist mângâiat de aripa geniului, însufleţind sunetele “taragotului de aur”, bun român, patriot desăvârşit, venit din Maramureş şi legat spiritual şi de Cluj, transmiţător incontestabil de tezaur naţional tinerei generaţii, Maestrul Dumitru FĂRCAŞ (căruia publicul de receptare totală a valorilor neamului românesc i-a cântat acolo la Rupea “La Mulţi Ani!”, în perspectiva apropiată a zilei de naştere a Domniei Sale).
Peste un an, în martie 2009, la Târgul internaţional de carte şi muzică de la Braşov s-a mai adăugat o filă de legendă…
La Rupea continuă datina străbună de omagiere a Măriei Sale Ţăranul Român… Primăria Oraşului Rupea şi Asociaţia Culturală Junii Cetăţii Rupea au organizat în ziua de 25 octombrie 2019, la Casa Orăşenească de Cultură Rupea, un eveniment cultural de mare anvergură “In Memoriam Dumitru FĂRCAŞ”. Români responsabili, truditori, iubitori şi păstrători ai tradiţiilor noastre strămoşeşi… Atmosferă unică, exemplară, despre care vom mai vorbi şi vom mai scrie… trimiţând vorba, cum spunea Marin Sorescu! Maestrul Dumitru FĂRCAŞ este expresia revitalizării culturii prin tradiţia muzicală, confirmând neîncetat că tradiţia este un mod de viaţă şi că folclorul este o reprezentare a acestui mod de viaţă, sunetul taragotului mângâiat de Domnia Sa reflectând bogăţia moştenirii noastre culturale. Puternica legătură sufletească între Maestrul Dumitru FĂRCAŞ şi taragotul Domniei Sale – confirmând că sunetul muzical este vibraţie care face să vibreze sufletele – a făcut posibilă depăşirea experienţei pur estetice, sonoritatea proprie Domniei Sale reflectând simbioza dintre Maestru şi taragot ca expresie a personalităţii Domniei Sale, punând în lumină talentul transmiţător de emoţie, configurând realitatea de esenţă spirituală deschizătoare de inimi spre frumos ca sesizare a Divinului în lumea senzorială… Maestrul Dumitru FĂRCAŞ şi taragotul Domniei Sale, un suflet şi o extensie a sufletului, vorbind sufletelor ascultătorilor, atingând sentimente şi gânduri, comunicând stări de spirit şi generând stări de spirit, emoţionând şi înălţând! Timbrul unic al muzicianului de suflet Dumitru FĂRCAŞ, originalitatea şi creativitatea Domniei Sale, căldura şi tandreţea Domniei Sale au oferit mereu experienţe mişcătoare impregnate de sensibilitate, de culoare, de putere evocatoare. Maestrul Dumitru FĂRCAŞ a fermecat întotdeauna audienţa, împărtăşind cu generozitate, naturaleţe şi prietenească delicateţe pasiunea pentru cântecul şi locurile iubite, pentru bucuria comunităţii. Continuăm să resimţim energia inspiratoare a Maestrului Dumitru FĂRCAŞ!