opinion

In Greta, a moment – and a champion – for autism

By STEPHEN SHORE // In just several months, Greta Thunberg, 16, has flayed international leaders, electrified climate advocates and served notice that her generation will bring new urgency to saving the planet. Her voice is forceful, her intensity unapologetic and her expressions candid. She’s also on the autism spectrum, diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, as Time magazine noted in naming her Person of the Year. For those on the spectrum, this is a profound moment –…


The pitfalls of remote work, and how to avoid them

By MITCH MAIMAN // Like many companies, IPS is discovering and depending on new ways to work, enabling business to continue during the COVID-19 crisis. For our company, the pivot has been broadly enabled by a few key factors. For one thing, IPS staff members are predominantly “knowledge workers,” meaning the majority of their work already involves modern computing and telecommunications technologies. And the modern telecommunications infrastructure includes ubiquitous broadband communication channels, featuring highly evolved…


Fail to plan, plan to fail: A post-pandemic blueprint

By MICHAEL H. SAHN // We are fighting a great battle against COVID-19. Healthcare providers – the people in the trenches, our heroic first responders – deserve our greatest admiration and deepest respect. But in a very real sense, all of us are on the front lines and exposed to the dangers of this crisis. We will prevail. But the costs will be staggeringly high, in both lives lost and economic damage. To recover, we…


The diversity dilemma: Making good hires look bad

By GREG DEMETRIOU // Major corporations, organizations and institutions make regular announcements when they tick off diversity accomplishments. XYZ Company welcomes its first African American CEO. Acme Corp. elevates a woman to its Board of Directors, first time ever. Widgets Inc. announces its first openly gay chief operations officer. These personnel announcements are plentiful, especially in business publications and their social media counterparts. And there is the smiling face of the newly crowned – forever…


Why Harry S. Truman was the ultimate COO

By TOM MARINER // Last week, I visited the 4-mile-wide dot called Key West at the end of the giant fishhook chain of islands hanging from the bottom of Florida. One of the local attractions in Key West is the Little White House, where Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, took the nation’s business when he wanted to get away and think. We took an educational tour with an enthusiastic, knowledgeable…


To slow diseases, smarter environments are going viral

By SAVERIO BELFIORE and THOMAS KING // We send our children off to school every day with the understanding that our school facilities are safe, clean and secure environments. But if we don’t properly maintain these “controlled” environments, they may become examples of “great science experiments.” Students spend up to eight hours a day indoors, with hundreds of other students in close proximity. Children are generally more vulnerable to environmental contaminants than adults, whether it be coronavirus,…


As climates change, a strong case for new land laws

By MICHAEL H. SAHN // We need a new, long-range vision for land-use regulation. The land we are regulating is changing rapidly, and this presents challenges and consequences we are only beginning to understand. Land-use regulations, codified in zoning laws, govern the way land is used and developed. The goal of zoning laws is to carry out a community’s long-range land-use objectives, in accordance with a comprehensive plan – in other words, to make sure…


Coronavirus and you: How to survive the bugocalypse

By ANTHONY SANTELLA // The deadly coronavirus that originated 7,500 miles away in China may have found its way to Long Island, where health officials announced last week that a person who passed through Nassau County was being tested for the virus. That individual has since tested negative – but results are still pending for more than 100 other cases across the United States While the majority of the more than 2,700 global cases, including…


Sound investments, on an Island filled with Wonder

 By TOM MARINER // A “blast from the past” from your most recent newsletter: A few years after Ray Kurzweil introduced the first Reading Machine, he cranked out his first “music synthesizer” with Stevie Wonder – a product of Kurzweil’s fertile brain and (in theory) a bet between the two that electronic stuff could not sound like a concert grand piano. The technical challenge was that large memory chips that digitally hold millions of pieces…


A simple code for collegians: programming for all

By MATTHEW WRIGHT // Has higher education gone soft on coding? Isolated in our computer science departments, it’s not reaching the wider student audience I believe it should. At Adelphi University, where I chair the Physics Department, teaching coding to all students – STEM majors, humanities majors and health-profession majors – is an experiment I have tried and have personally seen succeed. Computer programming is in high demand in the workplace, and it’s a 21st…


With red flags, Green Light Law not as easy as 1, 2, 3

By MARGARET GRAY and OLIVIA HEFFERNAN // Do you know about the Green Light Law? If you drive anywhere in New York, you probably should. As of Dec. 16, New York residents are eligible to obtain driver’s license regardless of their immigration status. New Yorkers should see public health and economic benefits as a result of Green Light, which passed the New York State Legislature in June. Efforts to derail the legislation, however, have left…


Focusing on people power, in a cyberworld gone bad

By ANGELA COLON-MAHONEY // The most important firewall a corporation can put up to protect its network starts with an employees’ job interview, and is measured by levels of employee engagement over time. We tend to forget the human element when it comes to technology and the safety of employee and company information. We know that one click is all it takes to expose a company’s deepest secrets, and it’s usually caused by a disengaged…


Hard hats and soft spots: Remembering Ken Morrelly

By RAY DONNELLY // Ten years ago Oct. 1, the region lost a strong, powerful voice in economic development, when C. Kenneth Morrelly passed away suddenly. He died on the cusp of realizing a project he’d been devoted to for many years, the Homeland Security Research Center. The project was a centerpiece of his time as CEO and president of LIFT, the Long Island Forum for Technology. October 1, 2009, was a red-letter day for the region’s…


A regular riot: Recalling RALPH, from LI to the moon

By PETER CRESCENTI // A recent Innovate LI newsletter headline – “Chefs of the future” – caught my attention: It had to be a reference to “The Honeymooners,” the classic episode in which Ralph and Norton do a live TV commercial for a crazy kitchen gadget. I had to know for sure. So, I emailed Editor Gregory Zeller, and sure enough, I was right. And we bonded like members of the Bensonhurst Chapter of the…


Region unites against LI’s nitrogen nightmare

By JOHN CAMERON JR. // Each summer, annual reminders of our region’s water-quality crisis – including fish kills, toxic algal blooms and others – reappear. While there are a number of causes for the poor quality of many of our coastal and inland waterways, “nitrogen loading” has been a main culprit. Nitrogen from fertilizer and human waste enters our waterways and causes the excessive growth of algae. which uses up dissolved oxygen and blocks sunlight….