Net Positive

Net Positive is part of a movement, a way of life focused on giving back to our society, to our environment, and our economy. For more than twenty years, the Forum for the Future has worked tirelessly in order to integrate the combined efforts of local economies, governments, and social structures in an attempt to achieve increased levels of sustainable living on a global scale. The Net Positive Project is a culmination of these efforts and years of experience, already changing the way countless individuals do business. As a non-profit, charitable organization, the Net Positive Group is able to focus on a specific set of goals that a governmental organization may not have. The first and most important priority we have as part of the Net Positive Project is to make sure that we put more into the global economy and environment than we have taken out over the years. Sustainable living is an attainable goal due to recent developments in agriculture and technology. And to those of us working under the umbrella of the Net Positive Group, it is the only acceptable goal. As we have expanded over the course of the last decade however, this umbrella has expanded to include both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Now, rather than focus on traditional metrics of success such as profit and income, groups associated with Net Positive take into account a broader definition of what success can mean. Some of the largest companies in the world are a part of the …

Piedmont Pays

In 2008, Piedmont Payment Services was founded by Tim Johnson, an agent for a health insurance company. One day, one of his clients was bought out by another company, and he discovered that the change in payroll policy was going to lose him a lot of business. If this trend continued, he would end up losing a significant portion of his income and most of his clientele. Finding and providing a solution to this problem is the sole purpose of Piedmont Payment Services. Today, Piedmont Payment Services has two main ways by which they collect insurance premiums when the payroll deduction service is not offered by an employer to its employees. The first way they collect the health insurance premiums is through the use of a simple Electronic Funds Transfer. The second way that Piedmont collects these insurance premiums is through the direct deposit method. An Electronic Funds Transfer involves a monthly transfer of funds designed to mimic the results of a payroll deduction service from the perspective of the client. Normally, once a month you are billed via bank draft, credit card, or debit card by the insurance provider in order to pay the insurance premiums. Piedmont Payment Services ensures that this Electronic Funds Transfer takes place only after the clients paycheck was deposited, and then transfers the funds on again to the insurance provider when necessary. As a result, the Piedmont clients never have to deal with the insurance company themselves, we do it for them. The direct …

Finding Your Niche for Success – How Four Innovators Found Solutions that Created New Markets

Trending Today features the inspiring stories of innovators and entrepreneurs who have founded successful companies and share their struggles and lessons learned along the way.  In a recent episode, we profiled several entrepreneurs who identified a problem, developed a solution and subsequently built a company around the innovation.  Here’s a look at how four successful companies discovered a niche in the marketplace: The use of quantum physics to relieve pain is now an alternative to pills, injections and drugs thanks to a group of visionaries who advanced the technology of energy medicine. Luminas CEO Matt Case is a partner in Bionatus, LLC., which focuses on developing breakthrough scientific discoveries with significant global impact. Using his background in chemical engineering, he discovered an emerging technology that uses quantum physics to store the energy signatures of natural pain and inflammation remedies. In 2011, Matt and his partners founded Luminas, headquartered in Irvine, California, to refine the technology into a pain patch that enables the body to choose and conduct which electrons it needs to reduce inflammation. “Electrons are imprinted into the patch and work naturally with your body’s own electric field to activate the innate healing energies in natural remedies that relieve pain and restore balance. This is energy your body already knows how to absorb and use without side effects,” says Matt. Each Luminas pain patch is charged with electrons captured from natural ingredients. Athletes are using this breakthrough technology for faster recovery times and for pain management. “The Luminas pain …

Global Warming

Global warming is a term misused by most individuals when talking about the repercussions of the use of fossil fuels. The effects that the human race has had on the global climate patterns are not so simple as just an increase in temperature. As a result, the use of the term ‘global warming’ simply confuses the general public, and helps spread misinformation about the changes in weather patterns that scientists predict will occur. However, it is useful when discussing climate change as a catch-all term for the negative effects on climate patterns caused specifically by people rather than a natural phenomenon. For this reason, it is commonly used by scientists when they are attempting to inform the general public about what damage will be done to the environment. The most important factor contributing to the global warming phenomenon is a dangerous buildup of greenhouse gasses like CO2 in the atmosphere, exacerbated by the use of fossil fuels across the world. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the adoption of the use of coal as a source of energy, large amounts of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere. While this gas is released into the atmosphere naturally by a variety of sources, the amount of it being produced was always very small when compared to the amount of nitrogen and oxygen. Even large volcanic eruptions only produce a relatively small amount of greenhouse gasses, having no significant impact in the long term on weather patterns. But, the …

Holiday Trends for 2018

Every year, the holiday season is the high point of most industries in terms of sales and profits being generated. Retail outlets depend on this phenomenon, recouping a large percentage of their annual overhead costs all in a few months. A variety of industries also experience an increase in profits during the holiday season, from the healthcare industry to car sales. Beginning in October with Halloween and ending with New Year’s Eve, the holiday season is the time of year that most people spend the most amounts of money, and companies make the most amounts of money. While the holiday season is has remained incredibly productive for the global economy over the last few decades, the way that money is being spent has begun to change. Ecommerce is slowly but surely becoming the dominant way that business transactions are completed. The market has shifted, and the industry in which this is most evident is the retail industry. The American mall is dying a slow death, as internet shopping siphons away more and more of the business that sustains it. About thirty percent of all holiday related sales take place online, with Amazon and Ebay dominating the ecommerce market. The vast majority of people buying gifts or looking for a deal have begun to use the internet to find whatever product they are looking to buy. While for now they still primarily go out and buy these products from stores, it has become evident that soon almost all shopping will take …

Michelin Star

Approximately one hundred years ago, brothers Edouard and Andre Michelin published a guide for French motorists, in an attempt to increase the demand for both cars and tires. It contained maps, instructions on tire replacement, and the locations of mechanic shops and hotels. After twenty years, the focus of the Michelin Guide changed, now containing more information specifically about restaurants. The brothers hired people to go to these restaurants and report back on the quality of the establishments, and developed a system designed to rank them. By the mid-1930’s, this system was streamlined into a simple form, giving from one to three stars to restaurants deemed suitable. One star meant that the restaurant was good for the type of establishment it could be categorized in, such as a diner or a steakhouse. Two stars meant that the restaurant was good enough to merit a small detour, and the food was very good. And three stars meant that the restaurant was excellent, worth making an entire trip solely in order to eat at there. The first American version of the Michelin Guide was not released until 2005, containing reviews of upwards of five hundred restaurants. By 2013, the Michelin Guide covered more than twenty countries, with fourteen different editions in print. Famously, the Michelin reviewers sent out to inspect restaurants remain completely anonymous. They have no contact with any members of the press, and are encouraged not to tell even their own families about the work they do. They simply write …

Global Shirts

There are a variety of industries that require their employees to wear a standard uniform while they are working. The casino, restaurant, hospitality, and formal wear industries all generally require employees to wear the same outfits so that the customers they serve can more easily identify them as employees. Global Shirts is the company that supplies these various organizations with the shirts they require their employees to wear on a day to day business. Global Shirts controls every aspect of the production and distribution of the shirts offered to customers, starting with the design. There is a large variety of the type of shirts offered by Global Shirts, including several different styles of button up and collared shirts. The design of these shirts is specified to each individual customer, allowing them to customize the shirts they wish to purchase in several different ways. They are able to include the logo of their company, and decide everything from the placement of seams to the amount of buttons on the shirt they are ordering. Long sleeve, short sleeve, and traditional polo shirts of every kind are offered for sale to our customers. Global Shirts. not only designs the shirts we sell, but we manufacture them as well. Because we manufacture the shirts ourselves, the quality of the shirts is unmatched by any of our competition. Every shirt produced has break-resistant buttons, allowing the employees who wear them to keep wearing their shirts for years at a time. There are a variety of …

Research Chef’s Association

The Research Chefs Association was founded in 1996, by a group of researchers and chefs working together in order to achieve their goals. They shared a vision, and dedicated their time and energy towards a scientific study of food preparation and development. The Research Chefs Association has many members who can be considered to be part of a movement in the culinary world known as molecular gastronomy. Molecular gastronomy is a discipline of the food science industry focused on the chemical and physical reaction that take place during the preparation of food for human consumption. But the Research Chefs Association has a wider focus than just molecular gastronomy, aiming to research all aspects of food science. This includes not just the actual cooking of food, but also the scientific principles and engineering behind the preparation of food, but the processing and storage of food products as well. Furthermore, the Research Chefs Association, or RCA, believes in developing an understanding of the business and regulatory aspects of the food industry as well. There are a variety of subjects that any individual member of the RCA can be expected to be familiar with, ranging from the presentation of a finished meal to the FDA regulations governing the food service industry. The RCA refers to their research and standards by the term Culinology, a trademarked term that refers to their aim of combining the culinary arts with the chemistry and biology that are needed to understand the principles of food science. A large …

7 Lessons in Leadership and Entrepreneurship

(Trending Today Host Karen LeBlanc interviewing interior designer Stacy Garcia, Founder of a global licensing and design company) In more than a decade covering business as a journalist, I’ve interviewed dozens of executives, entrepreneurs, small-business owners, philanthropists and community leaders. I’d like to think the wisdom I’ve gleaned from probing their career paths and personal histories functions as a type of DIY business degree based on the practical advice of those who’ve built something of value in the marketplace. I keep a notebook where I often write down these nuggets of insight—quotes and ideations about success and leadership. (Trending Today Host Karen LeBlanc at International Builders Show talking design trends with Wellborn Cabinets Inc.) As the host of Trending Today, my notebook is filling up fast with expert business insight from the innovators, luminaries, disruptors, and leaders we feature on the show. I look forward to sharing with you, new entrepreneurial insights in each episode. Meanwhile, I’m opening up my notebook to reveal my top seven takeaways for success from all the brilliant business minds I’ve had the privilege of interviewing. Venture Outside Your Comfort Zone: The overarching advice I hear in my interviews with successful people is to push beyond your comfort zone. An executive with a leadership consulting firm once said of her career path: “If I had stayed in the status quo, I would’ve grown bored with my job. Instead, I said yes to new challenges even if was hard work or I had no clue what …

Astrophysics

Astronomy is a broad term often misused by the average individual, that refers to the study of literally everything that takes place outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is one of the oldest forms of science that was ever developed, studied in some form by every civilization in recorded history. Most often, astronomy is confused with astrology, a nonsensical method of fortune telling that is loosely based on the position of the Earth in relation to the other planets and constellations. Astrophysics is a more specific branch of astronomy, that focuses on what it is exactly that astronomers are observing in the night sky, rather than where they are located and how they are moving through space. Astrophysics is a complicated subject, and those who study it must be familiar with essentially every discipline in physics. It encompasses everything from quantum mechanics to thermodynamics, as a result of the sheer variety of phenomena that are being studied. Every single thing happening in the universe falls under the umbrella of astrophysics. This includes stars, galaxies, cosmic background radiation, and even the fabric of space itself. Because astrophysics is focused on things so far away from the scientists themselves, almost all of the work being done is theoretical in nature. Astrophysicists such as Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson have helped make the general public more aware of the things that they study, from the theory of General Relativity to the origins of the universe itself. As a result, in the last …