Monthly Archives: January 2017

BrainHQ Crushes Competition in First Review of Science Behind Brain Apps

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The first systematic review of study evidence that commercially-available, brain-training programs might help with healthy aging just published in Neuropsychological Review. The reviewers found that BrainHQ from Posit Science had by far the most and the highest quality studies.

The authors of this first systematic review conclude “current evidence supports that at least some commercially available computerized brain training products can assist in promoting healthy brain aging.”

The reviewers surveyed the brain training market and the academic literature to categorize the quantity and quality of peer-reviewed studies showing effects of brain training in healthy aging.

They looked at 18 commercially-available, brain-training programs, and found that 11 had no clinical trials or empirical evidence for review.

The reviewers found seven companies had studies that were relevant, and met the review criteria of being peer-reviewed clinical trials of computerized exercises with formal cognitive outcome measures for healthy adults aged 50 and older. This methodology resulted in 26 studies for review.

Of those 26 studies, 10 were trials of Posit Science exercises.  Eight of those 10 studies were judged to be of the highest quality. Posit Science far outpaced its nearest competitor, which had three studies of which only one was considered high quality.

The reviewers wrote: “Multiple peer-reviewed articles evaluating Posit Science programs have fulfilled the gold standard for clinical trials.”

Of the seven companies that the reviewers found had any relevant evidence from trials, Lumosity was found to anchor the lower-end, with what the reviewers described as one randomized controlled trial of “moderate quality.”

The reviewers noted that until five years ago there were relatively few studies of brain-training programs. Even now, the lack of a systematic review has left “clinicians with inadequate information from which to base recommendations for their patients at risk of cognitive decline.”

However, with this review the authors conclude that the evidence behind a majority of the programs evaluated supports “the notion that the human brain is plastic in later life, and can benefit from specifically designed brain training programs.”

“There’s been a lot of conflicting reports on whether or not brain training works,” said Dr. Ralph Martins, who led the review team.  “This systematic review shows that some brain training has lots of evidence of efficacy, which may surprise some health professionals. Personally, I was more surprised by the amount of brain training on the market with no evidence at all.”

“This review performs an overdue public service by differentiating between what has been shown to work and what has little or no evidence,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science, which makes BrainHQ. “It’s a strong response to those who have said that the evidence for brain training is ‘mixed’ – what’s mixed is the scientific quality of different brain training programs, some of which have strong evidence for efficacy and some of which have none.”

“This review marks a first step of treating brain training programs like we treat new pharmaceuticals – carefully evaluating which ones work, and then putting those to work to help people,” Dr. Mahncke concluded.

For more information, contact jeffzimman@positscience.com

Publicis Groupe Governance as of June 1, 2017

  • Arthur Sadoun named Chairman & CEO
  • Steve King to join the Management Board (Directoire)
  • Maurice Lévy nominated to take on role of Chairman of the Supervisory Board (Conseil de Surveillance)

The Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC 40] Supervisory Board (Conseil de Surveillance) has chosen Arthur Sadoun to succeed Maurice Lévy as Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe.

With the support of the Nominating Committee and Maurice Lévy, Elisabeth Badinter, the Chair of the Supervisory Board and President of the Nominating Committee, have led a thorough analy­sis. They concluded that the Groupe is rich with talent, leaving no need to search for an external candidate.

Beginning June 1, 2017, Arthur Sadoun will become Chairman & CEO, presiding over the Management Board (Directoire), which will also be strengthened with the arrival of Steve King, currently CEO of Publicis Media. Steve King will join current Management Board members Jean-Michel Etienne, Executive Vice President-CFO, and Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, Secretary General.

This management team will be able to count on the world-class leaders and the full range of the Groupe’s expertise in transformation including, Alan Wexler and Chip Register of Publicis.Sapient, Nick Colucci of Publicis Health, Jarek Ziebinski of Publicis One, and Rishad Tobaccowala for strategy and our client-centric approach.

One of the points of pride for the Supervisory Board and one of the reasons for Publicis Groupe’s success are the incredible expertise found across the Groupe, allowing clients access to The Power of One – an approach tailored to best fit client needs, at the service of their own transformations, in a constantly changing world.

Elisabeth Badinter stated: “The highly respected professional qualities of Arthur Sadoun, his unique understanding of clients and their needs, his accomplishments both during his time at Publicis Groupe and before, and his human qualities, all make him the prime candidate. He will be able to count on Steve King, who is joining the Management Board, as well as Jean-Michel Etienne and Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, members of the Management Board. On behalf of the Supervisory Board, we have every confidence in this team to meet the challenges ahead.

The Supervisory Board and myself would like to particularly note the exceptional work accomplished under the stewardship and thanks to the personal commitment of Maurice Lévy over the last 30 years; our Groupe has profoundly transformed itself, ranked today not only as the 3rd group globally but above all as the 1st when it comes to the engine of the future: digital. It would be too long to list all of the accomplishments achieved under his direction. It suffices to say that, over this period, our headcount went from around 3,000 people to nearly 80,000; our revenue has multiplied by nearly 50 and our market capitalization by close to 100. I would like to warmly thank him and tell him how much the Supervisory Board and myself are grateful to him.

Succession is never an easy task and this is the reason why I very much insisted that Maurice Lévy remain at our side to provide Arthur Sadoun with guidance in and recommendations for his difficult task. Therefore, I have proposed that Maurice Lévy join the Supervisory Board as Chairman, if the shareholders agree with my recommendation and that of the Supervisory Board at the next Annual General Meeting.”

Effectively, the Supervisory Board has proposed that Maurice Lévy, upon completion of his mandate, join as Chairman. This proposition will be submitted to a vote by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on May 31, 2017.

Maurice Lévy declared: “First of all, I’d like to warmly congratulate Arthur. I am extremely happy with this choice, which is the most appropriate and judicious for the future of our Groupe, and congratulate Arthur warmly. It’s not just any choice, it’s a measured and well thought out choice that opens new doors for the future of our amazing Groupe. I have known Arthur for many years. We have worked very closely together. He is a seasoned professional with an inspiring vision of our industry and of our clients’ needs. He knows them well, he understands them well and he knows how to deliver the solutions and services they need to grow, develop and transform by selecting the best talent. He has the intelligence, the energy and the passion necessary to master our trade in a connected world that is changing and evolving constantly. He’s also a man with admirable human qualities. It is all this together that will drive him, with the help of his team, to lead the Groupe on the path to success and to rise above any obstacle. In handing him the “keys to the future”, (as Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the founder of Publicis said to me) the Supervisory Board has made an excellent choice. I have every confidence.

Particularly since Arthur will be able to count on a first-rate team. The Supervisory Board has made a point to highlight Steve’s path, talent and unquestionable accomplishments in various fields. I have always greatly admired Steve and thought of him as a friend, as he has been able to meet every challenge and make necessary change with talent and impact. His promotion to the Management Board, alongside Jean-Michel Etienne and Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner, who both know the Groupe inside-out, is well deserved and will allow him to provide his support and professionalism to the Groupe’s development. The Management Board, in its new form, is balanced and based upon high standards of rigor and expertise. I feel most confident this team is fit for the Groupe’s lofty ambitions. In direct support of the Management Board, talented leaders head our Solutions to best serve our clients and help them grow. It’s another reason to feel confident.

We owe where we are today to our clients, and we thank them for their trust. In order for us to continue to be worthy of this trust, we need to put in place the strongest team possible to drive the future. This has now been done. They can count on these world-class talents.

Finally, I am extremely thankful to Elisabeth Badinter, who has placed her trust in me over the last 20 years. The harmony that has always existed between the Supervisory and Management Boards, the friendly, transparent and trustful collaboration between Elisabeth Badinter and myself, have, without a doubt, been the secret to the success of Publicis. Elisabeth Badinter has placed an enormous amount of trust in me by proposing I take over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, for which I thank her deeply. In this position, if the shareholders so vote it, alongside the members of the Supervisory Board, I will do my very best to accompany the new team who, under Arthur’s leadership, I am sure, will go above and beyond to take Publicis Groupe even higher.”

Arthur Sadoun said: “First, I’d like to deeply thank Elisabeth Badinter, Maurice Lévy and the Supervisory Board for their trust.

I’m also extremely grateful to Publicis Groupe’s clients and teams around the world, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working for the past 10 years. 

Leading the company founded by visionary Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and made into a global communications leader by Maurice Lévy is an immense honor and an incredible challenge. A challenge that I’ll meet with open arms, thanks to the continued contribution of Maurice’s wisdom and experience, and the support of Steve King, the Management Board and the talented individuals who make up Publicis Groupe. 

Thanks to each of them, I’m taking on this new role with confidence, determination and one objective in mind: accelerating our transformation and development through The Power of One to continue to make Publicis shine like Marcel and Maurice have done for the past 90 years.”

About Publicis Groupe – The Power of One
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] is a global leader in marketing, communication, and digital transformation, driven through the alchemy of creativity and technology. Publicis Groupe offers its clients seamless access to its tools and expertise through modular offering. Publicis Groupe is organized across four Solutions hubs: Publicis Communications (Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, BBH, Marcel, Fallon, MSL, Prodigious), Publicis Media (Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest | Spark, Blue 449, Performics), Publicis.Sapient (SapientNitro, Razorfish, DigitasLBi, Sapient Consulting) and Publicis Health.These 4 Solution hubs operate across principal markets, and are carried across all others by Publicis One, a fully integrated service offering bringing together the Groupe’s expertise under one roof. Present in over 100 countries, Publicis Groupe employs nearly 80,000 professionals.

www.publicisgroupe.com | Twitter:@PublicisGroupe | Facebook: www.facebook.com/publicisgroupe | LinkedIn : Publicis Groupe | http://www.youtube.com/user/PublicisGroupe | Viva la Difference!

Contacts

Publicis Groupe
Peggy Nahmany Corporate Communications + 33 (0)1 44 43 72 83 peggy.nahmany@publicisgroupe.com
Jean-Michel Bonamy Investor Relations + 33 (0)1 44 43 77 88 jean-michel.bonamy@publicisgroupe.com
Chi-Chung Lo Investor Relations + 33 (0)1 44 43 66 69 chi-chung.lo@publicisgroupe.com

Photo of Arthur Sadoun & Maurice Lévy by Arthur Delloye
Press Kit

President Zuma granted an extension to comment on Public Protector’s Provisional Report

President Jacob Zuma has been granted an extension until the end of February 2017 by the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to comment on the Provisional Report on the Complaint of Mr Paul Hoffman Pertaining to Alleged Maladministration, Corruption, Misappropriation of Public Funds and Failure by the South African Government to Implement CIEX Report and Recover Public Funds from ABSA.

The Presidency received the Provisional Report from the Office of the Public Protector toward the end of December last year.

After studying the provisional report, the President requested an extension until the end of February 2017, in order to finalise consultations with all relevant role players.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA’S HIGHER EDUCATION READY TO TAKE ON 2017 – EDUCATION MINISTER

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says the sector is ready for the 2017 academic year.

We are not saying that there aren’t any glitches, but we are ready to absorb the numbers that we [have capacity] to take, said Nzimande when briefing the media on the outcomes of engagements with higher education stakeholders to discuss preparations for the 2017 academic year.

The Minister held the meetings between Jan 17 and 24 with a range of higher education stakeholders, including university student leaders, university vice chancellors as well as the Executive of the South African College Principals’ Organization representing Principals of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, and the Technical Vocational Education and Training College Governors Council (TVETCGC) representing TVET College Councils.

During the engagements, stakeholders discussed the need for the country to ensure, over the medium to long term, that Post-School Education and Training (PSET) is funded at an appropriate level, and that sufficient financial aid is made available to support all academically deserving, financially-needy university and college students, through loans, grants and bursaries, while keeping student fees affordable.

Significant progress made for the poor

Nzimande said significant progress has been made in expanding access to higher education for the poor through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), with more than 1.7 million students funded since 1994.

Last year alone, NSFAS supported about 480,000 poor undergraduate students to access TVET colleges and universities, disbursing loans and bursaries totalling R14 billion. This figure will rise to R15.2 billion this year.

As stated in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, government will provide an additional R9 billion for NSFAS over the three-year period ahead.

NSFAS will be funding more than 200,000 first-time and continuing students at TVET colleges in 2017.

However, the Minister acknowledged that money alone is not going to solve the problems, as there were many issues raised by students during the summit held in Durban in 2015.

Speaking to SAnews, the CEO of Universities SA, Ahmed Bawa, said the stakeholders are happy that government has stepped in and they have arrived at a common understanding on how to deal with the issue of historic debt relating to NSFAS students.

He said the universities will work closely with the students and families to ensure that the successful students are given an opportunity to continue with their studies.

We are very happy that there’s such a lot of progress made with regards to NSFAS students. That’s a huge advance, and we are all hoping that over a period of time, the facility would be expanded to include students from the missing middle, Bawa told SAnews.

Hellen Ntlatleng, the President of South African Colleges Principals’ Organisation, also acknowledged the serious improvement and interventions by government since 2009.

We have increased pass rates at colleges and have even increased our interaction with industries. They take us more seriously than before. A lot of government institutions are now partnering with us, and we have moved from job seekers to job creators.

With the Department of Small Business Development, we have created Centres for Entrepreneurship in nine provinces. We are building incubation centres where we are teaching our students how to become entrepreneurs.

For me, that’s excellent and shows great improvement, said Ntlatleng, who is also a principal at Ekurhuleni West TVET College.

She also reassured parents that TVET colleges are ready for the 2017 academic year and that the students will get excellent service all the time.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Set to Return From Annual Vacation

HARARE, ZIMBABWE � Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was expected to arrive home Friday after his annual holiday in Asia.

Mugabe, one of the world’s longest-serving heads of state, will head right into a fresh debate, both inside and outside his party, on whether it is time for him to step down.

No members of the media were invited to the airport to cover Mugabe’s arrival late Friday.

It may not be the homecoming Mugabe expects.

Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, believes it is time for President Robert Mugabe to step down. (S. Mhofu/ VOA)

Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, believes it is time for President Robert Mugabe to step down. (S. Mhofu/ VOA)

Time for a change

I would simply say: President Mugabe, welcome, said Raymond Majongwe. You did a lot for this country. But I think for now, the time to go is now.

Majongwe is the head of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe. He is one of the thousands of civil servants still waiting on their year-end bonuses. The government has delayed their salaries repeatedly over the past year.

Majongwe said Mugabe’s opulent holidays abroad are increasingly out of step with economic realities.

[We] are in a country that has no roads, no drugs; education is under trial, Majongwe said. Everything is not there; water drainage systems. It is just a catastrophe.

A flower pot sits in the middle of a road in Harare, probably to alert motorists of a deep pothole or to protest against dilapidated roads in Zimbabwe. (S. Mhofu/VOA)

A flower pot sits in the middle of a road in Harare, probably to alert motorists of a deep pothole or to protest against dilapidated roads in Zimbabwe. (S. Mhofu/VOA)

A year of protests

Zimbabwe has been dealing with a severe cash shortage, and the United Nations says as many as 5 million people still need food aid until March, when the harvesting starts.

Last year saw unprecedented protests in the capital over human rights and the economy. Veterans of the country’s liberation war, a key source of support, left Mugabe’s side.

This week, South African opposition leader Julius Malema even called for Mugabe to resign.

The president has also lost some support from within his own party as competition heats up over who will succeed him.

Birthday celebration in works

In an interview with VOA, a senior member of the ruling ZANU-PF, Kudzai Chipanga, dismissed the critics and said the party is planning festivities for Mugabe’s 93rd birthday next month.

The celebrations are important to Zimbabweans, Chipanga said. Just like Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, because they look up to Jesus as our savior, but locally, we view our president R.G. Mugabe as our local savior, as our liberator.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

Before the president left for vacation in December, he accepted his party’s nomination to run for another term in the 2018 elections.

Source: Voice of America