EXCLUSIVE: Stanton Moore Talks Galactic’s New Album, Buying Tipitina’s, & “Playing Like You Own The Place”

first_imgWhen Live For Live Music sat down with Galactic drummer Stanton Moore aboard Jam Cruise, we found him at a significant crossroads in his life and career. Moore just got married last year. Galactic is getting ready to release their latest studio album, Already Ready Already, on February 8th. And, as you’ve surely heard by now, he and his bandmates just finalized a deal to purchase iconic New Orleans venue Tipitina’s—a club they’ve been visiting as both patrons and performers for nearly three decades. With so many exciting new chapters beginning, it was no surprise that his spirits were high. There’s no doubt about it—it’s a good time to be Stanton Moore.…The most imminent of Galactic’s various new beginnings is Already Ready Already, the new studio album that has already generated buzz with several pre-release singles. However, the individual songs only tell part of the story. As Moore explains, the band approached this album as one larger, overarching, complete thought. “With this album, we bookended it with two instrumentals—[opening track] ‘Already’ and then [final song] ‘Ready Already’—so we’re still thinking of sequencing and still thinking of how an album fits together.”“We’re excited about it,” Moore continues. “It’s interesting. I think that the record has some of the strongest songs that we’ve put out to date, but then there’s also some songs that are a little bit more exploratory and a little bit looser and not as structured. So hopefully that’ll find a place with our audience to where it’s kind of satisfying two different expectations that they may have for us. People like the vocal stuff, but then they also like the instrumental stuff. So I think that what people can expect is a little bit of both when you listen to the whole record—if anybody does that anymore these days.”Galactic’s commitment to making their albums represent full, cohesive musical thoughts led them to a particularly fruitful period of creative productivity this time around. “We actually have a whole bunch of other songs,” Stanton explains, “A whole batch of other songs that we thought about putting on this record, but we’re like, ‘No, they don’t quite fit with this batch of songs. So let’s put out this batch of songs and let’s be ahead of the curve for the next batch of songs.’” That next batch of songs is slated to be released later this year as the band’s second LP of 2019.…Many groups’ bandwidths might be maxed out with so much time, energy, and careful thought dedicated to curating and releasing this truckload of new music. However, the members of Galactic just picked up a notable new side hustle—as the new owners of New Orleans’ Tipitinas, a club with which the band is uniquely familiar.A knowing yet mystified smile creeps across Stanton’s face as the topic of Galactic buying Tip’s comes up. “It’s something that’s … it is still a little surreal, but in the same token, it also kind of feels like we’re where we should be, in a way,” Moore muses. “It’s been a dream of all of ours, a collective dream, for 20 years. We’ve been joking about it with each other for 10 years—like, ‘Well, when we buy Tipitina’s,’ or ‘When we own Tipitina’s’—and keep in mind, we’ve been playing there for 25 years.”“We’ve been, hopefully, lovingly referred to by the staff and people affiliated with Tip’s as the Tip’s house band for almost 20 years now, and we’ve been playing New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras [at Tip’s] for the last 15 years or something, every year. We’ve been a band going on 20+ plus years now. I played there a couple times with some other projects before Galactic, as well. So it’s somewhere that we’ve been for a long, long time and we’ve always considered it our musical home. I think, at some point, every single one of us has been put down on record, in writing somewhere, as Tip’s being our favorite venue to play. People ask us, ‘Well, where’s your favorite place to play?’ And we always say Tip’s. For the last 15, 20 years. So we’ve been teasing ourselves about it. ‘Oh, well, you know, when we own Tip’s…’”Late last year, reports began to emerge that Tipitina’s could be sold amid ongoing financial missteps and legal issues facing its previous owner. Almost immediately, rumors began to surface that Galactic might buy the venue—a seemingly perfect, “if only this were true” scenario. Less than two weeks later, the band confirmed that they had indeed agreed to purchase Tipitina’s. However, while the story seemed to play out for the public as Galactic swooping in to save their beloved home, Stanton is quick to clarify that the purchase was anything but a spur-of-the-moment decision.“We’ve been talking to the owner for about two years, and we were in negotiations for seven months, so it’s not like we just woke up one day and were like, ‘We own Tipitina’s!’” Moore jokes. “We’ve used this analogy sometimes, but it’s like having a puppy. You have the puppy and you’re with the puppy every day, and so if somebody comes around and they haven’t seen the puppy in a year or two years, they’re like, ‘Oh my god, they’ve grown so much! Last time I saw them, they were, like, this high!’ And you’re like, ‘Well, yeah. I remember when she was this big.’ But when you’re with it the entire time, even working on something for so long, when the rest of the public gets wind of it or sees it, it’s like, ‘Yeah, we’ve been watching it every step of the way.’ So for us, at this point, we’ve worked so long and hard on it and the negotiations and trying to get there that it just kinda feels like this is where we’re supposed to be. It feels natural yet surreal at the same time.”Before Stanton and his Galactic bandmates entered into talks to buy Tip’s, they had zero experience running a concert venue. What they did have was a deep, intrinsic connection to this specific club. Empty jokes eventually evolved into genuine interest as the band began to ask themselves a crucial question: “Well, if not us, then who?”As Moore notes, “Who else would have the perspective of having gone there starting as teenagers, having worked their way up from feeling blessed to be the first band on the bill to headlining there to being regulars there to playing there more than almost anybody else? Having toured the world and being able to pull ideas from other places, you see what works. Knowing that place as well as we do from a musician’s perspective and a patron’s perspective, and then being able to go out and see all these other venues and other situations… Who else really has that perspective? Who is as passionate about this place as we are? Who’s been quoted as many times as us, saying that it’s our favorite place in the world?” Moore laughs, “So it’s like, ‘I guess, maybe it should be us?”[Photo: Marc Pagani Photography]…Galactic owns Tipitina’s. It reads like a fairy tale ending—but the story is far from over. Now that they own the place, they have to run the place. So how involved will the new owners be with the venue’s operations?“I would say, very involved with the visualization,” Stanton explains. “Very involved with the planning and the strategizing and the overseeing. We’re in multiple group texts, email threads, slack channels, conference calls, and physical meetings. Every day we’re dealing with stuff for Tip’s. None of us are gonna be behind a bar, stocking the bar, ordering the bar, or doing the bookings, but we’re overseeing that stuff. What we’re trying to do is make sure that we have the right people in place and we’re also trying to make sure that we give those people the resources they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability.”He continues, “We’re just doing things, specific things, to make sure that the staff feels appreciated—because we can’t do it without the staff. And when we’re in town, there’s usually at least one or a couple of us there at the shows. So the staff and the patrons have all been telling me that the vibe of the place feels great, they can tell that we care. We’re not experts. We’re not pretending to be experts at running a bar, or running a music club, because we are not—yet. But we love that place and value that place, I think, probably more than anybody else. I will say that.”Stanton likens this new challenge to Galactic’s gradual evolution as a band. “When we got on the road, we didn’t know how to be a band on the road, but we figured it out, and we’re still together, the five core members,” he explains. “As soon as we could, we hired a tour manager and a sound guy, right? So, luckily, Tip’s came with Tank and Mary, our two managers. Tank’s been there for about 15 years, and we know and love Tank and have been working with him for a long time. Now we’re just trying to give Tank and Mary and Nick, our talent buyer, the resources that they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability. We’re just smart enough to oversee everything, but also listen to them and listen to their input. They’ve been on the ground level, doing this, for years! So we just wanna try and help them do their jobs as best they can and not get in their way.”Moore pauses, smiling. “Our biggest motto right now is, ‘Don’t fuck it up.‘ We’re not going in there to renovate the club or change the vibe. Eventually, we wanna put in commercial grade toilets. We’re on our third trial sound system, and we’re trying to find the right system for the room. We’ve repainted the green rooms and replaced the couches and are definitely in the process of continuing to make all of that better. We want to create an amazing experience for the bands and the patrons so that every time somebody’s in there, people are turning to their friends and elbowing each other, being like, ‘Oh my god. Can you believe that this is happening in Tipitina’s?’ And that’s all we wanna do. We’re in the business of creating amazing experiences, and that place has already been doing that for decades. We know what it should be, from the back and the front. So now, we’re just gonna try to not fuck it up.”[Photo: Melissa Stewart]…Stanton Moore and the rest of Galactic have frequented Tipitina’s as patrons and performers for years. Now, when they go there, they go as venue owners. So how different is it playing shows at “their” venue now that it’s their venue?To illustrate the deep well of emotions evoked by playing at Tipitina’s as an owner, Stanton recounts a story from his wedding last year. “I had some of my favorite musicians from New Orleans there to play,” he explains, “And so I sat down and played drums for a few tunes, right? So people ask me, they’re like, ‘Man, what goes through your mind when you’re playing?’ And I used to say, ‘Play every gig like it’s your last.’ Right? Or, ‘Play every gig like it’s gonna be the only gig that you’ll ever be remembered for.’ … I used to try to play with that kinda attitude. And then I was like, ‘Well, it’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, so maybe try to ‘play every gig like it’s your birthday.’ Right? Then, at my wedding, I had so much fun playing … surrounded by all these people I love, playing with my favorite musicians. I was like, wow, another frame of mind that I can put myself in is, ‘Play your gig like it’s your wedding.’ Right?”“Now, after playing at Tip’s, it’s like, ‘Wow… Play the gig like you own the place,” Stanton declares, grinning. “So when I’m on the stage, I try to play with different varying degrees of that. Play like it’s your birthday, play like it’s your wedding, play like you own the place. You don’t wanna be cocky, but if you do own the place…”He trails off with a laugh. “It’s a really exciting time right now for me. Getting married, and then Tip’s, and the record coming out, and all of that. So it’s really great to have been doing this for so long and still have so many exciting things going on. It’s fun. It’s a good time for the band right now.”For a list of upcoming tour dates, head to Galactic’s official website. You can listen to the new Galactic album, Already Ready Already, on the platform of your choice when it drops on Friday, February 8th.last_img read more

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Hoxeyville Music Festival Finalizes 2019 Lineup: Billy Strings, Dave Bruzza, Fruition, More

first_imgHoxeyville Music Festival has finalized the artist lineup for their 2019 event, set to take place from August 16th through 18th in Wellston, MI. The 18th annual edition of Hoxeyville will feature headlining sets from Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Railroad Earth, as well as two sets from Billy Strings.The three-day event will also see performances from Dave Bruzza (Unsafe At Any Speed set), Keller & The Keels, Fruition, Lindsay Lou, May Erlenwine & The Motivators, Larry Keel Experience, Airborne or Aquatic, The Crane Wives, Front Country, Trout Steak Revival, Luke Winslow-King and many more.Nestled on 150 acres of farmland surrounded by the Manistee National Forest, Hoxeyville Music Festival is a testament to pure north country peace and celebration. Hoxeyville is the Midwest’s premier Americana and Roots festival. It boasts two stages featuring nationally touring artists as well as the best and brightest Michigan talent with an intimate capacity of three thousand.The festival takes pride in building a supportive, safe, and family-friendly including kids’ tent programming, top-notch food, and easily accessible and traversable festival grounds. Hoxeyville is strategically located near various mountain biking trails and the Pine River—a national wild and scenic river, world-class blue-ribbon trout stream and a renowned paddle sports playground.Tickets for Hoxeyville Music Festival’s 18th annual event are on sale now here.For more information, head to Hoxeyville’s website.last_img read more

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The Jauntee Announces Extensive 2019 Spring Tour

first_imgBoulder, Colorado-based jam quartet The Jauntee has announced an extensive 2019 spring tour, which will see the band team up with Everyone Orchestra, JAZZ IS PHISH, and Andy Frasco & The U.N. at various stops throughout the run of shows.The Jauntee will open up the tour with a performance at Winter Park, CO’s Ullr’s Tavern on March 30th, followed by stops at Norman, OK’s The Deli (4/11); Houston, TX’s Last Concert Cafe (4/13); Dallas, TX’s Pizza Fest @ Deep Ellum Art Co (4/14); Jackson, MS’s Martin’s (4/18); Montgomery, AL’s Commerce Beer Works (4/19); Macon, GA’s The Hummingbird (4/20); Greenville, SC’s Love The Earth Music Festival (4/21); Atlanta, GA’s Smith’s Olde Bar (4/24); Nashville, TN’s 3rd & Lindsley (4/25); Greenville, SC’s Gottrocks (4/26); Black Mountain, NC’s Pisgah Brewing Co. (4/27); Birmingham, AL’s Zydeco (4/28); Athens, GA’s Nowhere Bar (4/29); and Virginia Beach, VA’s Doc Taylor’s on May 2nd.The Jauntee will then continue north with more scheduled performances at Baltimore, MD’s 8×10 (5/3); Albany, NY’s Parish Public House (5/4); Burlington, VT’s Nectar’s (5/8); Poultney, VT’s Green Mountain College (5/9); Boston, MA’s Thunder Road (5/10); Gettyburg, PA’s Garryowen (5/12); Kent, OH’s Outpost (5/14); Columbus, OH’s Woodlands Tavern (5/15); and Cincinnati, OH’s Stanley’s Pub (5/16); followed by three tour-closing performances in Colorado at Denver’s Spread The Word Music Festival (5/18), Colorado Springs’ Meadowgrass Music Festival (5/25), and Keystone’s Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (5/26).For ticketing and more information, head to The Jauntee’s website.The Jauntee 2019 Spring Tour:3/30 – Ullr’s Tavern – Winter Park, CO*4/11 – The Deli – Norman, OK4/13 – Last Concert Cafe – Houston, TX~4/14 – Pizza Fest @ Deep Ellum Art Co – Dallas, TX^4/18 – Martin’s – Jackson, MS4/19 – Commerce Beer Works – Montgomery, AL4/20 – The Hummingbird – Macon, GA%4/21 – Love The Earth Music Festival – Greenville, SC^4/24 – Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta, GA#4/25 – 3rd & Lindsley – Nashville, TN$4/26 – Gottrocks – Greenville, SC4/27 – Pisgah Brewing Co. – Black Mountain, NC4/28 – Zydeco – Birmingham, AL$4/29 – Nowhere Bar – Athens, GA&5/2 – Doc Taylor’s – Virginia Beach, VA5/3 – The 8×10 – Baltimore, MD5/4 – Parish Public House – Albany, NY5/8 – Nectar’s – Burlington, VT5/9 – Green Mountain College – Poultney, VT5/10 – Thunder Road – Boston, MA5/12 – Garryowen – Gettysburg, PA5/14 – The Outpost – Kent, OH5/15 – Woodlands Tavern – Columbus, OH5/16 – Stanley’s Pub – Cincinnati, OH5/18 – Spread The Word Music Festival – Denver, CO5/25 – Meadowgrass Music Festival – Colorado Springs, CO5/26 – Arapahoe Basin – Keystone, CO* w/ Everyone Orchestra~ w/ JAZZ IS PHSH^ JauntGrass Set% w/ Opposite Box# A Regal Ball$ w/ Andy Frasco & The U.N.& ft. members of Universal SighView Tour Dateslast_img read more

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Harvard Business School honors eight for service to society

first_imgEight members of the Harvard Business School (HBS) M.B.A. Class of 2010 have been named winners of the School’s prestigious Dean’s Award. The recipients, who will be recognized by HBS Dean Jay Light at Commencement ceremonies on the HBS campus, are Maya A. Babu, Sean A. Cameron, John W. Coleman, Robert M. Daly Jr., Andrew D. Klaber, Whitney F. Petersmeyer, and the team of Richard Chung and Philip Wong.Established in 1997, this annual award celebrates the extraordinary achievements of graduating students who have made a positive impact on Harvard, HBS, and broader communities. True to the M.B.A. program’s mission, they have also contributed to the well-being of society through their leadership. Nominations come from the HBS community, and the recipients are chosen by a committee of faculty, administrators, and students.“This award reflects the remarkable activities and achievements of our students outside the classroom,” said Light. “Recipients have set their sights on making our campus and the world a better place. We are happy to honor their accomplishments and confident that this kind of leadership and stewardship will continue throughout their lives.”Maya A. Babu: Bridging business and health careA joint-degree candidate at Harvard Medical School and the Business School, Maya A. Babu has demonstrated extraordinary ability, leadership, energy, and charisma while making significant contributions to the Harvard community, the state, and the nation.Babu plans to practice neurosurgery as well as shape government health policy. At HBS, Babu was on the board of directors of the weekly student newspaper, The Harbus, focusing on strategic issues facing the publication. She also served as one of the paper’s section representatives and wrote several articles, including one on the H1N1 virus.She also entered the HBS Business Plan Contest with a social venture entry called the Hope Project, which aims to pair mentors with at-risk high school students to help them gain entrance to college.While at Harvard, Babu co-founded a chapter of AcademyHealth, a leading professional society for academicians, professors, researchers, and statisticians interested in health policy. The Harvard chapter features a monthly speaker series, networking opportunities, and training sessions on topics such as statistics and data interpretation.Babu served as national chair of the American College of Physicians Council of Student Members, representing more than 22,000 medical students. Additionally, as chair of the Global Health and Policy Committee of the American Medical Association (AMA), she worked with AMA leaders to develop service projects and provide funding for World AIDS Day.She is currently a delegate to the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Finance Committee, where she helps oversee investments, investment policy, and the organization’s multimillion-dollar budget. She is the longest-serving student on the Committee of Legislation, which takes positions on laws affecting public health and medicine.For the past two years, Babu has participated in research at the Massachusetts General Hospital, working with a team of neurosurgeons exploring whether socioeconomic status has an impact on the nature of trauma patient care. In keeping with her research interests, she has been the lead author of three articles, including one in the April issue of the Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law titled “Undocumented Immigrants, Healthcare Access, and Medical Repatriation Following Serious Medical Illness,” an examination of diminished access to care for underserved populations.Sean A. Cameron: Raising the barNo more than an hour after being elected “ed rep” (as in education representative) for his first-year section in the fall of 2008, Sean A. Cameron appeared at the door of an HBS administrator to discuss possibilities for making the classroom experience better. His zeal and focus on learning have never wavered during his two years in the M.B.A. program.The ed rep’s role is to maximize the educational experience of the rep’s section, a diverse group of 90 students who take all first-year required courses together.Cameron led and organized successful section review sessions for midterms and finals, worked one-on-one with students, and offered resources to enhance learning. He provided an important avenue for students to share feedback with HBS faculty members on course content and process. One faculty member said he was particularly impressed by Cameron’s initiative to engage his section on various educational issues.And this year, as chair of the Education Committee, Cameron advised, mentored, and motivated a group of first-year ed reps. He also made significant innovations and improvements in their training.Cameron served as co-president of the HBS Investment Club and as a finance and economics tutor to first-year M.B.A. students. He also designed and taught a new tutorial course to Harvard undergraduate students on financial investments.During the January term, Cameron and two other M.B.A. students traveled to the Philippines, working on a research project to find ways to use the country’s hydropower efficiently to enhance rural electrification.Richard Chung and Philip Wong: Enriching experiential learningHundreds of students have participated in the School’s faculty-led international Immersion Experience Programs (IXP) since they began four years ago, but Richard Chung and Phil Wong decided to take the School’s offerings in a new direction.They worked together to create the Global Impact Experience (GIX), a student-led program that focuses on the identification of market-based solutions to global poverty. Chung’s vision was the driving force behind the program. During his first year at the School, he was intrigued by the idea of leveraging business skills to create sustainable solutions to the challenges of international development. In 2009, he started a pilot version of the eventual program in which three teams of students consulted for the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Philippines, Morocco, and Jordan on business development-related projects. A faculty member who supported Chung’s nomination characterized him as “the perfect person” to help catalyze student action to address global development issues.Wong joined Chung in leading the planning and management of the GIX program during its second year, when the program was officially integrated into the Business School’s 2010 January term offerings. With his passion and energy, Wong worked to improve and institutionalize GIX processes. The two student leaders connected participants with faculty mentors, gained the support of the School’s librarians to provide pre-trip research preparation, and created mechanisms to ensure the program’s sustainability under a new leadership team that would succeed them. Throughout their efforts, their objective remained making sure that student learning and community impact remained a central feature of the program.Indeed, the program has now enabled first- and second-year students with a passion for international development to use their business acumen on a real-world project abroad. Students have worked on projects to design government incentives for private-sector investment in wind power and improve the supply chain of an oil cooperative in Morocco, to analyze the impact of privatizing hydroelectric plants in the Philippines, to create a framework for evaluating public-private partnerships in Bangladesh and Uganda, and to assess the value of green building standards and develop a new incentive program for newly privatized public utilities in Jordan.John W. Coleman: Leading the wayJohn W. Coleman has taken on numerous leadership roles and had an enormous impact on the lives of many members of the Harvard community during his three years as a joint-degree candidate at the Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School.He has been active in HBS student government as a member of the HBS Senate. In that role, he led the Community Impact Fund, a Student Association initiative that provides financial support for student-led initiatives that have direct and tangible impact outside the School.Coleman also served as the Business School’s representative to the Harvard Graduate Council, a student government body for all Harvard graduate and professional Schools that aims to foster a sense of community and enhance the quality of life of graduate students University-wide. In addition, he was president of the HBS Business, Industry and Government Club and an active member of the HBS Christian Fellowship, where he is helping to create an official Christian Fellowship Alumni Organization to better connect HBS students and graduates.For the past three years, as a founder and member of the Board of Advisers of the Leadership Institute at Harvard College, an organization dedicated to fostering leadership skills among undergraduates, Coleman spent countless hours mentoring students, leading instructional programs, and moderating panel discussions.An HBS Social Enterprise Summer Fellow, Coleman worked last summer at the Housing Partnership Network in Boston to help stabilize families and communities affected by the financial crisis.Reflecting his longstanding interest in communications and speech, Coleman was the M.B.A. Class of 2010’s Class Day student speaker, and he is now collaborating with two other HBS students to collect and edit material for a book titled “Regaining Leadership: How a New Breed of MBAs Is Rebuilding Capitalism from Within.”Robert M. Daly Jr.: Making A BETTER worldAs a student in Harvard’s M.D./M.B.A. Program, Robert M. Daly Jr. has already left his mark on far more than the Business and Medical School campuses. He has put his education and talents to good use to help disenfranchised communities receive quality medical care, including sexual minorities — gay and transgender individuals — in India.After completing the first-year of the HBS curriculum in 2006, Daly began his medical studies and learned of a nonprofit organization in Mumbai called the Humsafar Trust that focused on the needs of sexual minorities and needed help developing a five-year strategic plan to improve its impact in the face of numerous challenges, including an ever-growing number of HIV-positive and AIDS cases.He traveled to India to learn of the trust’s efforts firsthand and began work on what came to be a 55-page document that was implemented in 2007 and that helped the organization reach higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness. The number of HIV tests it now performs each month, for example, has doubled from 250 to 500. It distributes more than 700,000 condoms a year and reaches out to 60,000 gay individuals with a variety of educational programs. Daly also advised the trust on budgeting and devised tools to help it measure results — something that philanthropies cared about when they were considering grants.While working with the trust, Daly also addressed the difficulties faced by the hijra community, a group that traces its origins to cultural roles in India in the fifth century B.C. and whose closest Western analogy is the male-to-female transgender community. Stigmatized by society and turned away by most hospitals, members of this community commonly resort to prostitution to survive. Almost 70 percent of those in Mumbai’s hijra community have contracted HIV/AIDS.According to a fellow student who nominated Daly for the Dean’s Award, “Bobby responded by working with the Humsafar Trust and two other Harvard Medical School students to create an innovative solution — a business plan for mobile testing vans equipped to provide hijras with HIV education and on-site testing, treatment, and counseling for sexually transmitted infections.”In the midst of all this, plus intensive course work and preparation for his medical boards, Daly has also been a leader of the Harvard Medical School Entrepreneurial Society, advised fellow medical students on the advantages of the dual-degree program, and helped answer questions about the residency process. This summer he will begin his residency in internal medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan.Andrew D. Klaber: A multitude of interestsAndrew D. Klaber is a J.D./M.B.A. candidate with a deep commitment to public service and leadership. Indeed, one HBS faculty member who nominated Klaber for the Dean’s Award described him as “the most exceptional social entrepreneur I have met during my time at the School.” Klaber is a person of many extraordinary accomplishments who has had a remarkable impact on many people.At HBS, Klaber was active as a leader in student clubs and other activities. He was co-president of the Harvard J.D./M.B.A. Association and the HBS Jewish Student Association. In the former role, he played a key part in organizing a 40th anniversary celebration for the dual-degree program.Klaber continues to serve as president of Orphans Against AIDS (OAA), an all-volunteer organization he founded while an undergraduate at Yale. Today, this international nonprofit provides academic scholarships and health care to more than 600 children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in Africa and Asia. His HBS section donated part of the proceeds of a charity auction to OAA. And Klaber did some strenuous fundraising of his own. Last year, he ran the Boston and New York City marathons to raise money.Klaber started the organization after he spent a summer in northern Thailand, where he was shocked to see many teenage girls forced into prostitution after their parents had died of AIDS. As a young leader working to bring positive change to the developing world, he was invited to speak at the 2008 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland — a gathering that brings together top business, political, and intellectual leaders to discuss the world’s most pressing issues.Klaber was a founding member of Harvard Business School’s M.B.A. Oath, a voluntary HBS student-crafted pledge that asks graduating M.B.A.s at Harvard and elsewhere to re-examine and reaffirm the obligations they hold in the business world. No stranger to rowing (he was a member of Yale’s national championship lightweight crew), he captained the combined Law School and Business School eight that won the International Graduate School Regatta and was the top graduate school finisher at the Head of the Charles Regatta from 2006 to 2009.After Commencement, Klaber will work in investment management.Whitney F. Petersmeyer: important issuesWhitney F. Petersmeyer has spent much of her extracurricular time at Harvard Business School “promoting integrity, trust, and the ambition to make a difference” — the watchwords of the 20-member Leadership and Values (L&V) Committee to which she was elected as a first-year student and that she headed during her second year.As head of the committee, Petersmeyer effectively ran weekly meetings and provided advice and guidance for her colleagues. But she went far beyond that. She revitalized a speaker series on L&V issues, provided formal opportunities for end-of-year reflection, and updated a handbook for her successors detailing the chair’s tasks and responsibilities. In addition, last fall she worked with the School’s Joint Committee on Diversity to organize and facilitate a training session for all newly elected section officers.Petersmeyer complemented her efforts on behalf of leadership and values with her advocacy of the M.B.A. Oath, a pledge “to create value responsibly and ethically” that was developed by a group of HBS students in 2009 and has been signed by business school students around the world since then. Petersmeyer argued eloquently for its adoption in a Bloomberg BusinessWeek op-ed she co-authored last December. “We see the M.B.A. Oath as an important ‘first step’ of a long journey toward improved business leadership,” the editorial said.Petersmeyer also was a two-time participant in the New Orleans Immersion Experience, a yearly on-site effort by Business School students, faculty, and staff members to help the city continue its recovery from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.The U.S. education system got her full attention last summer, when she worked as a research analyst for Teach for America, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of urban and rural public schools. Recently named an HBS Leadership Fellow (a Business School program that encourages M.B.A. students to take jobs in nonprofit and public-sector organizations by partially subsidizing their salaries for a year), she will return to Teach for America after graduation.last_img read more

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Congo: Rape as Strategy

first_imgResearchers from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative have been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for several years examining the roots of the violence against women that has plagued this war-torn region.last_img

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Harvard Kennedy School announces James R. Schlesinger Professorship

first_imgThe John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is pleased to announce the establishment of the James R. Schlesinger Professorship of Energy, National Security, and Foreign Policy, an endowed professorship honoring one of the most accomplished public servants of our time. The professorship, which was funded by Schlesinger friends and admirers from around the world, including a generous gift from MeiLi and Robert A. Hefner III, will focus on contemporary policy issues, with an emphasis on foreign policy, defense, strategy, energy, and intelligence.Schlesinger, a Harvard alumnus (A.B. 1950, A.M. 1952, Ph.D. 1956) who helped shape American security policies for more than four decades, served the United States as secretary of defense, secretary of energy, director of Central Intelligence and chair of the Atomic Energy Commission. Since leaving his cabinet-level positions, he continues to answer the call of public service, most recently chairing the Commission to Investigate the Department of Defense’s Treatment of Detainees and vice chairing the Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. At Harvard, Schlesinger served on the Board of Overseers and chaired its visiting committees to both Harvard Kennedy School and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He also serves as chair of the International Council at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.“Jim Schlesinger is a monumental figure in American foreign and energy policy,” says David T. Ellwood, dean and Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School. “Harvard is honored that his friends have chosen to recognize his considerable impact on American foreign and energy policy through this professorship.”“Jim Schlesinger has been a great son of Harvard and a great inspiration for those of us who have had the honor to work with him,” says Graham Allison, director of the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government. “Who could better symbolize ‘energy and national security’ than the first secretary of energy and one of two people ever to serve as both director of CIA and secretary of defense?”last_img read more

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When Armageddon loomed

first_imgThe black-and-white image is as familiar as it is iconic. The Oval Office photograph captures the solitude and solemnity of the U.S. presidency and the overwhelming sense that the young John F. Kennedy carried the weight of the nation on his ailing back.The picture, taken from behind, shows Kennedy with his head bent and his hands outstretched on his desk. It actually was taken in February 1961, only a month after he took office, yet it would come to symbolize the pressures of the Cuban missile crisis that unfolded more than a year later. The 13-day standoff in October 1962 between the United States and the Soviet Union, which had installed nuclear weapons in Cuba, is when analysts say the world came closest to nuclear Armageddon.The photo, christened “The Loneliest Job” by The New York Times, whose photographer George Tames snapped it, is part of a new website at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) marking the 50th anniversary of the crisis. The site is devoted to providing background on the conflict and encouraging reflection on the lessons learned from an event that eventually was viewed as a deft dance of diplomacy and an enduring teaching tool for current and future leaders.“Because it was, I think everybody agrees, the most dangerous moment that human beings have lived through and survived so far, it has a compelling character,” said Graham Allison, HKS’s Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and director of its Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. “We are very interested as a center and as a School in what lessons you can learn from history that you might apply to help deal with current problems; I think the Cuban missile crisis is an excellent illustration of that.”The site draws from the Belfer Center’s trove of material about the crisis and from other sources. It includes a historical timeline, archival photos, original documents, video clips, an assessment of present nuclear fears, and teaching tools for educators, such as a lesson plan with guiding questions, worksheets and simulations. It also includes lessons learned by key players involved in the incident. Visitors to the site are invited to offer their own lessons gleaned from the dangerous stalemate. In collaboration with Foreign Policy magazine, the Belfer Center is sponsoring an essay contest for students in grades six to 12, for the public, and for international-affairs scholars and practitioners.“We are very interested as a center and as a School in what lessons you can learn from history that you might apply to help deal with current problems; I think the Cuban missile crisis is an excellent illustration of that,” said Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.“The website is designed around the lessons and the learning opportunities,” said James Smith, the Belfer Center’s director of communications, who, together with a team led by Arielle Dworkin, the center’s digital communications manager, helped to develop the site. “We want to remind people that the lessons are still relevant, that there are current crises where the key lessons from the original Cuban missile crisis are still very useful today.”Allison, an authority on the crisis, wrote in the publication Foreign Affairs in June, “The lessons of the crisis for current policy have never been greater.”His 1971 treatise “Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis” is widely credited with transforming the field of international relations. (Based on the release of new material about the crisis, he rewrote the book in 1999 with author Philip Zelikow.) The work explores the nature of the crisis from three decision-making perspectives: the rational actor, governmental politics, and organizational behavior.During an interview in his Harvard office, Allison offered his take on the lessons from the crisis. The first is that nuclear annihilation is possible. In the aftermath of World War II, tensions escalated between the United States and the Soviet Union. As worries and distrust mounted between the two superpowers, so did nuclear arsenals, bomb shelters, and public service announcements that trained countless schoolchildren to take refuge under their desks in a nuclear attack. The crisis in Cuba looked like a struck match.From the outset of the conflict, said Allison, it was clear that both President Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev were “willing to take action that they knew could end in a nuclear war.”Secondly, the world learned that such disaster was preventable, thanks to what Allison calls a “combination of wise policy and good fortune.” Both leaders, he said, “having peered over the precipice and seen and felt what a nuclear war could actually mean, determined first to escape the brink by actions both of them took … and never to go there again.”Their decisions had lasting repercussions. The choices the two men made led to what Kennedy referred to at the time as the “precarious rules of the status quo,” said Allison, to which each subsequent generation has strictly adhered. The U.S. and Soviet leaders who followed assiduously avoided provocations and “surprises that could have ended up in confrontations that could then move inexorably to a nuclear war.”Allison said that while the threats of nuclear terrorist attacks that could devastate a city remain horrific, they are of a scale far smaller than during the Cold War. Then, the world faced a “genuine nuclear war that might have succeeded in extinguishing the species on Earth.” Today the risk of that kind of nuclear annihilation, he added, “has now shrunk to nearly zero.”Of course, the world still has nuclear-armed states to contend with, including the worrying case of Iran, a country many fear is well on its way to developing nuclear weapons. Allison has called the situation in Iran “a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.” Iran’s leaders insist its interest in nuclear technology is purely to generate energy, but critics point to Iran’s use of deep underground centrifuges used in the production of nuclear fuel as evidence that the country is ramping up its ability to enrich uranium and develop a nuclear weapon.Oct. 23, 1962: U.S. Navy low-level photograph of medium range ballistic missile site in Sagua La Grande, Cuba. Credit: National Security ArchiveIn dealing with Iran, the lessons from the Kennedy administration remain relevant, said Allison. When approaching negotiations with Iran’s leaders, the United States administration should ask itself, “What would Kennedy do?”According to Allison, Kennedy wouldn’t rest until he had the best choice available. Kennedy’s advisers offered him an either-or scenario, to attack Cuba or acquiesce. But Kennedy refused both, judging each option “as bad as the other.” Instead, he “concocted a very imaginative but strange combination,” said Allison, consisting of a public deal (remove your weapons, and we will not invade Cuba), a private ultimatum (you must respond within 24 hours, or we will conduct action ourselves), and a secret sweetener (if the missiles in Cuba were withdrawn, within six months the United States would remove its missiles from Turkey, near the Soviet border).President Barack Obama’s advisers are likely offering him similar advice on Iran, said Allison: “Either you are going to attack Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear bomb, or you are going to acquiesce to Iran becoming a nuclear-armed state.”“The United States will simply have to accept the unacceptable, the recognition that Iran now is capable of enriching uranium and building a bomb,” Allison said, but then added that Washington also can craft a deal reminiscent of Kennedy’s. The Obama administration, Allison said, “should demand as a price for that the supreme leader’s solemn commitment that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon, combined with transparency measures that would give the United States maximum confidence that they are not cheating, and thereby minimize the likelihood that they decide to cheat, and a credible threat of devastating consequences if Iran violates these terms.”If another foreign conflict is any indication, it appears that Obama may have already learned the lessons of the Cuban crisis. Journalist Michael Lewis’ profile of Obama in October’s Vanity Fair describes how the president grappled with the growing humanitarian crisis in Libya last year as Moammar Gadhafi “and his army of 27,000 men were marching across the desert toward a city called Benghazi and were promising to exterminate some large number of the 1.2 million people inside.”During a meeting of top advisers to explore what Gadhafi might do and how the Pentagon might respond, Lewis wrote, “The Pentagon presented the president with two options: establish a no-fly zone or do nothing at all.” In the end, Obama, after taking the unusual step of turning to junior staffers in the room to solicit their opinions, left the meeting, but not before “he gave his generals two hours to come up with another solution for him to consider.”Like Kennedy 50 years earlier, Obama took the third option — the one that only emerged after he insisted on finding another way.last_img read more

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Dying stars source of life?

first_imgEven dying stars could host planets with life — and if such life exists, we might be able to detect it within the next decade.This encouraging result comes from a new theoretical study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars. Researchers found that oxygen in the atmosphere of a white dwarf’s planet could be detected much more easily than in an Earth-like planet orbiting a sunlike star.“In the quest for extraterrestrial biological signatures, the first stars we study should be white dwarfs,” said Avi Loeb, theorist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and director of the Institute for Theory and Computation.When a star like the sun dies, it puffs off its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core called a white dwarf. A typical white dwarf is about the size of Earth. It slowly cools and fades over time, but it can retain heat long enough to warm a nearby world for billions of years.Before a star becomes a white dwarf it swells into a red giant, engulfing and destroying any nearby planets, so a planet would have to arrive in the habitable zone after the star evolved into a white dwarf. A planet could form from leftover dust and gas (making it a second-generation world), or migrate inward from farther away.The abundance of heavy elements on the surface of white dwarfs suggests that a significant fraction of them have rocky planets in their orbit. Loeb and his colleague Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University estimate that a survey of the 500 closest white dwarfs could reveal one or more habitable Earths.The best method for finding such planets is a transit search — looking for a star that dims as an orbiting planet crosses in front of it. Since a white dwarf is about the same size as Earth, an Earth-sized planet would block a large fraction of its light and create an obvious signal.Researchers can study the atmospheres of transiting planets because as the white dwarf’s light shines through the ring of air that surrounds the planet’s silhouetted disk, the atmosphere absorbs some starlight. This leaves chemical fingerprints that indicate whether that air contains water vapor, or even signatures of life, such as oxygen.Astronomers are particularly interested in finding oxygen because the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere is continuously replenished, through photosynthesis, by plant life.Thus, the presence of large quantities of oxygen in the atmosphere of a distant planet would signal the likely presence of life there.NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scheduled for launch by the end of this decade, promises to sniff out the gases of these alien worlds. Loeb and Maoz created a synthetic spectrum replicating what JWST would see if it examined a habitable planet orbiting a white dwarf. They found that both oxygen and water vapor would be detectable with only a few hours of total observation time.“JWST offers the best hope of finding an inhabited planet in the near future,” said Maoz.Their paper was accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and will be available online.For more information, the full release can be found on the CfA website.last_img read more

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The 1,000-robot swarm

first_imgThe first 1,000-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University.“Form a sea-star shape,” directs a computer scientist, sending the command to 1,024 little ’bots simultaneously via an infrared light. The robots begin to blink at one another, and then gradually arrange themselves into a five-pointed star. “Now form the letter K.”The “K” stands for Kilobots, the name given to these extremely simple robots, each just a few centimeters across, standing on three pinlike legs. Instead of one highly complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors.Just as trillions of individual cells can assemble into an intelligent organism, or 1,000 starlings can form a great flowing murmuration across the sky, the Kilobots demonstrate how complexity can arise from very simple behaviors performed en masse. To computer scientists, they also represent a significant milestone in the development of collective artificial intelligence (AI).The Kilobots, a swarm of one thousand simple but collaborative robots. Credit: Harvard SEASThis self-organizing swarm was created in the lab of Radhika Nagpal, the Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. The advance is described in the August 15 issue of Science.“The beauty of biological systems is that they are elegantly simple — and yet, in large numbers, accomplish the seemingly impossible,” says Nagpal. “At some level, you no longer even see the individuals; you just see the collective as an entity to itself.”“Biological collectives involve enormous numbers of cooperating entities — whether you think of cells or insects or animals — that together accomplish a single task that is a magnitude beyond the scale of any individual,” said lead author Michael Rubenstein, a research associate at Harvard SEAS and the Wyss Institute.He cited, for example, the behavior of a colony of army ants. By linking together, they can form rafts and bridges to cross difficult terrain. Social amoebas do something similar at a microscopic scale: When food is scarce, they unite to create a fruiting body capable of escaping the local environment. In cuttlefish, color changes at the level of individual cells can help the entire organism blend into its surroundings. (As Nagpal points out with a smile, an entire school of fish in the movie “Finding Nemo” also collaborate when they form the shape of an arrow to point the title character toward the East Australian Current.)“We are especially inspired by systems where individuals can self-assemble together to solve problems,” said Nagpal. Her research group made news in February with a group of termite-inspired robots that can collaboratively perform construction tasks using simple forms of coordination.But the algorithm that instructs those TERMES robots has not yet been demonstrated in a very large swarm. In fact, only a few robot swarms to date have exceeded 100 individuals, because of the algorithmic limitations on coordinating such large numbers, and the cost and labor involved in fabricating the physical devices.The research team overcame both of these challenges through thoughtful design.Most notably, the Kilobots require no micromanagement or intervention once an initial set of instructions has been delivered. Four robots mark the origin of a coordinate system. All the other robots receive a 2-D image to mimic, and then, using very primitive behaviors — following the edge of a group, tracking a distance from the origin, and maintaining a sense of relative location — they take turns moving toward an appropriate position. With co-author Alejandro Cornejo, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard SEAS and the Wyss Institute, the researchers demonstrated a mathematical proof that the individual behaviors would lead to the right global result.Programmable self-assembly in a thousand-robot swarm <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK54Bu9HFRw” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/xK54Bu9HFRw/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Courtesy of SEASThe Kilobots also correct their own mistakes. If a traffic jam forms or a robot moves off-course — errors that become much more common in a large group — nearby robots sense the problem and cooperate to fix it.To keep the cost of the Kilobot down, each robot moves using two vibrating motors that allow it to slide across a surface on its rigid legs. An infrared transmitter and receiver allow it to communicate with a few of its neighbors and measure their proximity. But the robots are myopic and have no access to a bird’s-eye view. These design decisions come with tradeoffs, Rubenstein explained.“These robots are much simpler than many conventional robots, and as a result, their abilities are more variable and less reliable,” he said. “For example, the Kilobots have trouble moving in a straight line, and the accuracy of distance sensing can vary from robot to robot.”Yet, at scale, the smart algorithm overcomes these individual limitations and guarantees, both physically and mathematically, that the robots can complete a human-specified task, in this case assembling into a particular shape. That’s an important demonstration for the future of distributed robotics, says Nagpal.“Increasingly, we’re going to see large numbers of robots working together, whether it’s hundreds of robots cooperating to achieve environmental cleanup or a quick disaster response, or millions of self-driving cars on our highways,” she said. “Understanding how to design ‘good’ systems at that scale will be critical.”For now, the Kilobots provide an essential test bed for AI algorithms.“We can simulate the behavior of large swarms of robots, but a simulation can only go so far,” said Nagpal. “The real-world dynamics — the physical interactions and variability — make a difference, and having the Kilobots to test the algorithm on real robots has helped us better understand how to recognize and prevent the failures that occur at these large scales.”The Kilobot robot design and software, originally created in Nagpal’s group at Harvard, are available open-source for non-commercial use. The Kilobots have also been licensed by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development to K-Team, a manufacturer of small mobile robots.This research was supported in part by the Wyss Institute and by the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

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Upholding complexity

first_imgAbout a year ago, Jacob Ming-Trent vowed never to play a slave again.“We need more complex storytelling,” said the actor during an interview on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, recalling the reasons behind the decision. “We need positive images that aren’t all tracking back to me picking cotton.”But then came an offer for a part in “Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3),” a new play by the Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks that follows the life of a Texas slave — Hero — who joins the Confederate Army with his master in return for the promise of freedom.It’s a complex drama, alternately fierce and funny. One read through the script and Ming-Trent was hooked. He signed on for two roles — as a member of a group of slaves, and as the talking “Odyssey Dog,” a conflicted companion to the protagonist of Parks’ three-hour epic.It was the playwright’s “different perspective” that convinced Ming-Trent to join up.“She was saying: ‘We have to reframe this. We can’t allow people who have told the story incorrectly or have left out important details [to] win the day. Sometimes, we have to go back in and say … ‘This is a little more complex.’”“Father,” which opened Friday, is part of the American Repertory Theater’s Civil War Project marking the 150th anniversary of the nation’s bloodiest conflict. The play is a collaboration with the Public Theater of New York, where it debuted in the fall to strong reviews; it was recently named a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History.In the first hour, “A Measure of a Man,” Hero struggles with the decision to follow his master into battle. Part two, “A Battle in the Wilderness,” finds Hero and his master separated from their regiment with a captive Union soldier. “The Union of My Confederate Parts” has Hero return to those he left behind to face the choices he made.Parks — a onetime MacArthur “Genius” and the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, for 2002’s “Topdog/Underdog” — said that in contrast to some of her past work, “Father” developed at a slow burn. Indeed, even now, after six years of work, she’s not done tinkering. Recently she inserted a stage direction for Hero to “hold up his hands reminiscent of ‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’” in reference to the protests that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.Still, the playwright bristled at the notion that “Father” is about race.“We should not be reduced to a four-letter word,” said Parks, taking a break from a recent rehearsal.Instead, she said, the play explores a range of emotions and relationships, and asks difficult, sometimes impossible questions about love, honesty, truth, and freedom.“It touches on things that we are going through, both we of 2015 who are of African descent, and those of us who are not.”Much of the play, said Ming-Trent, “is about freedom and what is freedom, really. And how do you become free? And once you’ve made the decision to be free or not to be free, what that does.”The play’s director, Jo Bonney, a white woman from Australia, engaged with the material without a second thought over her superficial distance from it.“In the end as a director you’re telling a story and the greatest gift that you can be given is a script that is a powerful piece of storytelling. For me, whether I am male or female or what my color is or my background, it’s still a great piece of storytelling and my job is to tell that story.”So far, so good, as least according to the judgment of a most trusted adviser — Eric Bogosian, the actor-director who also happens to be her husband.“I always bring him into first previews,” said Bonney, who praised Bogosian as a “primal audience member,” keenly able to gauge if her work is hitting its marks.“He was so excited to see these kinds of performances on stage,” said Bonney, “and storytelling that was this deep and this funny.”“Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)” runs at the A.R.T. through March 1.last_img read more

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