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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.
All photos courtesy of Biofinity Energys®
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If you spend many, many hours a day staring into the glowing light of a phone or computer screen, you’re not alone. Our world is increasingly dependent on technology, and our bodies are struggling to adjust.


Spending so much time on screens can cause tired eyes, headaches, or blurred vision. Sometimes you might feel like closing your eyes or mashing the palms of your hands into your eye sockets, or lying on the floor underneath your desk and waiting for Friday to arrive. These symptoms are otherwise known as Digital Eye Strain – and research shows1 that many Americans—including kids!—are suffering from this but don’t know how to alleviate it!

Think about how many hours per week you spend on digital devices. Chances are, it’s more than you’d like to admit! Don’t worry, you’re in good company. Research shows that people over the age of 182 are spending the majority of the day engaged with some form of media, and most are unaware that their headaches may actually be due to all that screen time, not the content on the screen itself.3

The increase in screen time is especially hard on our eyes because we’re blinking less, which can lead to eye dryness, and our eyes can start to show signs of strain after just 2 hours of looking at screens.4 This is where Biofinity Energys® contact lenses come in: lenses that help address symptoms of digital eye strain like eye dryness and tiredness.

Whether you are a student, a working professional or simply a person who enjoys streaming shows, Biofinity Energys® could help your eyes feel less tired at the end of the day.5 While Biofinity Energys® is not a cure for the pile-up of emails or the headaches caused by the world events covered on the screen, it may help with eye tiredness and dryness associated with digital eye strain.

A study conducted by CooperVision revealed that a whopping 77% of patients fit with Biofinity Energys® say the lenses help their eyes feel less strained at the end of the day, even after a long day of using digital devices.6,7 Additionally, 8 out of 10 digital device users agreed that Biofinity Energys® contact lenses made their eyes feel less tired.8 These unique lenses feature Aquaform® Technology to lock in moisture and can help your eyes feel less dry. They also have a proprietary Digital Zone Optics® lens design to help with eye tiredness. These contacts are also made to work for day-to-day non-digital activities, making it easier to shift from online to offline events.

It’s time to level up your contact lenses! Talk to your eye care professional today to see if Biofinity Energys® contact lenses are right for you, or visit BiofinityEnergys.com to learn more and to download a free trial certificate.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/
  2. https://www.nielsen.com/insights/2018/time-flies-us-adults-now-spend-nearly-half-a-day-interacting-with-media/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/
  5. https://www.reviewob.com/how-many-americans-experience-digital-eye-strain/
  6. Prospective, multi-center cross-over dispensing study, with bilateral wear of both Biofinity® sphere and Biofinity Energys® lenses. Sites: CCLR, University of Waterloo; CORL, Indiana University; CRC, UC Berkeley.
  7. After one month of wear
  8. Among patients who use digital devices at least 4 hours per day at least 5 days per week and self-report symptoms of eye fatigue at least once per week.
via Nike

Nike's Forward hoodie

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As one of the world’s largest sports brands, Nike is in a unique position to play a significant role in creating a more sustainable world. Nike has taken on this monumental responsibility by relentlessly pursuing its waste-reducing Move to Zero policy. The company's ultimate goal is zero carbon and zero waste, all in an effort to help protect the future of sport.

“Athletes around the world are telling us that climate change is impacting them and their ability to perform at their best,” Seana Hannah, VP Sustainable Innovation, NIKE, Inc., said in a statement shared with Upworthy. “As part of our commitment to serve the athletes by offering more sustainable options and meeting our bold, science-based impact targets, we’re introducing a material innovation that can be adapted to different lifestyle and performance purposes.”

Over five years of research went into the development of Nike Forward and the company believes the positive environmental effects will be well worth the wait.


The all-new Nike Forward platform is the brand’s latest advancement in over 30 years of sustainability-minded innovations, and the most significant Nike apparel innovation since Dri-Fit.The proprietary technology is based on engineering innovations that deliver big results.

In short, Nike hacked existing needle punching machinery to connect multiple thin layers by entangling them together to make a new, uncompromising performance-ready textile.

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The total of Forward’s innovations reduces carbon output by an average of 75% compared to traditional Nike fleece. This is achieved using 70% recycled content by weight, solution-dyed fibers rather than traditional dye methods and the lower material basis weight of Forward. In plain language, the process is much simpler than traditional knit or woven processes, drastically reducing the number of resources needed to create the material.

But Forward isn’t just about reducing environmental impact during the manufacturing process. For the launch pieces, the brand also considered the end of its garments’ lives by removing metal zippers and aglets so they’re easier to recycle.

“Sustainability sits at the foundation of Nike’s business, and we believe circularity is the future of sustainability, “John Donahoe, CEO, NIKE, Inc. said in a statement.

The sustainability of the Forward platform has the potential to significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint for years to come. In keeping with Nike’s goals, Forward looks to “make the world better for athletes” while also being a superior product that “makes athletes better.”

Forward’s multiple thin-layer construction makes for warm and lightweight garments, and the flexibility of the platform will allow Nike to create a custom experience for athletes where materials can be adjusted to meet their unique needs.

via Nike

The first Forward garment that athletes across the world will be able to experience is an iconic grey hoodie, as Nike calls it, “the uniform of sport and style around the globe.” The Forward hoodie is manufactured using zero water in the dyeing and finishing processes. The company believes it’s a rare product where sustainability doesn’t come with sacrifices in comfort, style, or performance.

The hoodie is just the start of the Forward movement for Nike. "Today, it's a hoodie. Tomorrow, it could be anything,” Aaron Heiser, VP of global apparel product merchandising, said in a video produced by Nike.

The hoodie will help introduce the world to Nike’s latest revolution that it hopes will make an impact that will be felt for years to come.

For Nike, it’s just the latest advancement in the brand’s culture of innovation that underscores its commitment to taking action in creating a better world.

“We believe this platform has the potential to reset the way we think about material and apparel,” Aaron Heiser, Nike’s VP of global apparel product merchandising, said in a statement. “This is the biggest Nike apparel innovation since Dri-Fit 30 years ago and has huge potential to transform the industry in the way that Air and Flyknit did for Nike footwear.”

Nike Forward will launch in North America on September 29, 2022. Shop the collection at nike.com/nikeforward.

Buster Keaton's feats still hold up after a century.

There's no question that filmmaking has come a long, long way in 100 years. Thanks to green screens, digital effects and CGI, today's filmmakers can make almost anything they can imagine come to life on screen. Moviegoers have grown used to seeing magical worlds, supernatural powers and impossible feats in movies, we get quite finicky if the quality of the effects doesn't hold up to our high standards.

Sometimes we watch movies from decades ago and giggle at how undeveloped the special effects were. And sometimes we watch old films and marvel at what they were able to do with the technology they had available to them at the time.

That's where Buster Keaton comes in.


Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were both kings of physical comedy during the heyday of silent film, with Keaton being known for his expressionless physical feats and Chaplin being known for his goofy expressiveness. Both men excelled in their craft, and looking at Buster Keaton's stunts today is still incredibly impressive.

The man was fearless. And so physical. It's like watching "Mission Impossible" Tom Cruise mixed with peak Jackie Chan. But what's most impressive is that he did it all without the benefit of modern film technology. Naturally, there were some 1920s-era film tricks involved in some scenes, but he really did some incredibly difficult and dangerous things—things most people wouldn't even attempt.

Such impressive feats didn't come without a cost, however. Despite his stunt skills, he sustained some significant injuries throughout his film and television career, including broken bones, some severe neck damage and a near-drowning incident.

"He's like a human cartoon," someone commented, and it's true. It's like watching a real-life cartoon. Even today, nearly 100 years later, his physical comedy genius stands out among the best ever. Countless comedians and stunt performers have looked to him as an example and have used his performances as inspiration for their own.

It's not often that we can look back at something someone did a century ago and still hold it up as impressive by today's standards, but Keaton's feats fit that bill. What a treat that we got such a talent captured on film.

Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy.