To mark the end-of-year celebrations for 2016, the City of Luxembourg commissioned the artist Sumo to create a series of greetings cards based on three projects finalized over the course of the year: the panoramic lift linking the Pfaffenthal to Ville-Haute, the "Skatepark Péitruss", and the Place du Parc in Bonnevoie.
In order to integrate the works of the artist into the collections of the city's two museums, the City of Luxembourg acquired the originals for a total of €1,500, which was given to "Schrëtt fir Schrëtt", a non-profit promoting education for people with disabilities, during a reception at the Town Hall today. Anyone interested can find out more about the organisation throught their website: www.schrett-fir-schrett.lu
Image: Presenting the cheque today. © Charles Soubry
Luxembourg's Bridges and Highways Administration has confirmed that it is continuing a new phase of the redevelopment of the Pontpierre service area between the Leudelange-Sud interchange and the A4 motorway. Works began on Friday 17 March and will continue until 15:00 on Thursday 11 May.
As works go on, the access ramp of the Leudelange-Sud interchange from the N4 and towards Esch-sur-Alzette on the A4 motorway will be closed, and traffic coming from the CR163 and the N4 and towards Esch-sur-Alzette on the A4 motorway is being diverted via the Leudelange-Nord interchange.
In view of recent scandals surrounding imports of meat from Brazil, where officials have been accused of taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats, the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection has issued a statement saying that the competent authorities shall carry out the checks necessary to ensure consumers’ food safety.
The ministry reminds consumers that meat is required to indicate its origin, giving them the right and the knowledge to choose from where to purchase beef, pork, sheep, goat and poultry.
In the case of meat of Luxembourg origin, the Veterinary Services Administration checks are carried out at all stages, from the stable to the table, in order to ensure not only the food safety of the meat but also the animals’ health and welfare.
In view of the fact that 70% of organisational change management projects reportedly fail, the Project Management Institute hosted an event that aimed to find out why, and who is getting things right.
The event attracted more than 100 project managers, to hear the views of Ludovic Delépine, head of unit for the ICT Conception and Development Unit at the European Parliament, Ludwig Balmer, head of IT, and state personnel administrator, Anna Ciszek, change management leader at Goodyear, and Steve Quinn, head of business management investment funds services with Clearstream
According to PMI organisational change related projects are the fourth most common type of projects undertaken worldwide, whether they deal with installing new technologies, downsizing, restructuring, or trying to change corporate culture. Despite some individual successes, however, change remains difficult to pull off, and few companies manage the process as well as they would like.
Emphasising the need for taking control and mapping the direction of change management, and elaborating on the successful paradigm in European institution, Ludovic Delépine said “if you don’t drive change you enter into the circles of hell and abandon your hopes to quote Dante Alighieri.”
For large organisations, Mr Delépine found a useful and currently necessary tool in Business maps, a formal business framework aimed at describing how an organisation works at the highest description level.
Ludwig Balmer, presented the benefits of modelling frameworks, such as Prometa, for improving change outcomes and mitigating risks more effectively.
In the course of the ensuing panel discussion, the speakers agreed that the human factor is the most critical focus point. Anna Ciszek said “we need to understand human behaviors in order to make changes acceptable and adoptable and thus produce desired results”. In that connection, communication with all stakeholders is key.
The panel proposed a five-step approach for the successful management of cultural change projects:
- Strong support by senior leadership not only in words but in action since 70% of the success is dependent on them.
- Clarification of key desired people behaviours to drive change so people can visualise the desired manners.
- Focus not only on technical elements but on soft skills – “win the hearts of people”.
- Accountability of all hierarchical levels.
- One step at a time implementation to incorporate learnings as the projects goes on.
When the panel was asked about reasons why projects fail, they indicated the absence of clear rules for people to follow, the complexity of solutions proposed, the absenteeism of attention to the economies of the new system and the non-development of prototypes to gain support from the users.
Image: Ludvig Balmer, Ludovic Delépine, Steve Quinn, Anna Ciszek. Photo supplied
Handicap International, which has an office in Luxembourg, has set up a number of interventions in Iraq since the start of military operations there in October last year.
Among the camps in which Handicap International is working, Khazer, pictured above, is one of the biggest IDP camps opened in the frame of the Mosul Emergency Response. It currently hosts close to 30,000 people from Mosul and its surroundings. Over half of the population in Khazer is under 18 years old.
Already, 350,000 people have already fled the city of Mosul, adding to the existing population of 3 million internally displaced persons (IDP) in Iraq. Over the last six months, the organisation has provided emergency aid to more than 5,000 people.
The United Nations believes that the number of refugees from Mosul could eventually reach 700,000 people, and 5,000 have been fleeing the fighting every day since the launch of an offensive on the western part of the city on 19 February.
"People are fleeing in chaos, without the means to feed themselves, to take care of themselves and to take shelter. They have abandoned everything behind them and are in total destitution,” said Fanny Mraz, head of mission for Handicap International in Iraq.
In response to a crisis of this magnitude, Handicap International has set up rehabilitation, psychological support and mine risk, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war (ERW) awareness education in villages and camps on the outskirts of Mosul.
Four mine and ERW risk education teams, four psychological support teams - including two psychologists to respond to the most severe cases of trauma - and four rehabilitation teams are deployed in displacement areas.
Handicap International also intervened in six IDP camps and at the Qayyarah hospital in the outskirts of Mosul, and plans to expand in the coming weeks, including two hospitals in Mosul itself. Since last October, the organisation has provided functional rehabilitation care to nearly 800 people and psychological assistance to more than 4,500 people.
Image: © E. Fourt
St George’s International School, Luxembourg, has become one of the first British international overseas schools to receive recognition under the new COBIS Patron’s Accredited Member system.
On 1 April this year, The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) is instituting a new external validation system designed to support whole-school improvement and development. The scheme works on a five year cycle and is available to both COBIS members and all other British Schools overseas. According to COBIS the scheme is rooted in self-evaluation with professional validation from expertly trained and informed peer school improvement partners and peer accreditors.
After a three-day visit, Dr Martin Coles, COBIS’ lead improvement partner, and Peter Simpson, COBIS’ director of accreditation, issued their report for which St George’s received outstanding reviews virtually across the board.
St George’s said that they agreed to participate in the initial pilot accreditation programme, not only because it was an honour to be approached by the largest educational association of international British schools overseas, but also because the accreditation strongly aligns with St George’s values, providing them with the opportunity to demonstrate the school’s dedication to educational excellence.
St George’s International School, Luxembourg, currently teaches 750 students aged from three years to 18 years and over, representing more than 50 different nationalities.
A copy of the report can be viewed by following this link.
Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Étienne Schneider yesterday signed a declaration of European cooperation in the context of high performance computing (HPC).
The signing ceremony of the EuroHPC declaration officially kicked off the collaboration between the signatory states (Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands), a network of which the Grand Duchy was the initiator.
Considered as a project of strategic interest in achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, the HPC project will ultimately bring the computing capacities necessary to ensure the EU's competitiveness in the development of the digital economy in Europe.
At the signing ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Étienne Schneider said "It is essential that we establish an independent European digital industry and a digital value chain around the EU Data, software and hardware of our own. This is one of the key objectives of the project of strategic European importance around the HPC in which Luxembourg is involved alongside other Member States and we want to move forward together.”
At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Étienne Schneider signed a letter of intent in Rome to formalise the collaboration of several Member States, including Luxembourg, in the area of intelligent mobility, so-called “Smart mobility”, and more particularly in the development of connected and autonomous vehicles. The objective of the Grand Duchy is to participate in the European strategy for the mobility of tomorrow.
Grainne Corr is joining the team of corporate coaching company, CoachDynamix, as a corporate coach. Grainne is a certified advanced coach, accredited in emotional intelligence, and has a certification in professional coaching practices and ethics.
Grainne is looking to getting started. "I am excited to start a new challenge with Luxembourg's leading coaching company and look forward to working with Executives to develop their potential and improve performance," she said.
She has lived and worked in the Financial sector in Luxembourg for over 20 years and has experience in client services, transfer agency, fund accounting, human resources and coaching.
Cactus opened its first store dedicated entirely to the virtual universes of video games at the Hobbi Center in Diekirch on Saturday last, with Level Up, now the largest gaming store in the country.
On an area of approximately 240 m2, the company says that the pop-up store houses an unprecedented gaming offer in Luxembourg, with portable and lounge consoles, the latest video games, t-shirts, socks, mugs, figurines, in short all a gamer’s heart’s desires in one place.
The new shop will be open from Monday to Saturday, between 08:30 and 19:00.
Luxembourg airfreight company, Cargolux Airlines, has signed an agreement with German company Trinkaus-Solutions for the use of its squAIR-timber product, the first airline in the world to introduce the lightweight material in its operations, which it now uses on all its pharma shipments out of Luxembourg.
The cardboard fibre composite beams only contain raw materials from sustainable sources, and is fully recyclable, which, the company said that it particularly appreciates.
“Cargolux is proud to be at the forefront of developments again with Trinkaus-Solutions’ innovative products”, says Lars Syberg, Cargolux EVP Global Logistics. “The use of modern, environmentally-conscious tools in air cargo underlines our standing as a green cargo carrier at a time when many of our customers put more emphasis on working with a partner who is aware of its responsibility towards the world we live in.
“In addition, Trinkaus-Solutions provides us with products that make Cargolux more efficient and faster with the added advantage of lower costs. It’s an all-round winner for us,” a spokesperson said.
Trinkaus-Solutions says that the beams have a load capacity of up to 10 tons. At the same time, they are around 80% lighter than conventional wooden beams, with a weight of only 1.2 kilograms per meter. They are also resistant to humidity.
Cargolux estimates that the use of squAIR-timber has the potential to reduce its fuel consumption by roughly 1,200 tons per year, lower fuel consumption of Cargolux’s aircraft, which directly results in lower aircraft engine emissions.