2016 Black Friday Report: Walmart Delivers Deals, Availability and Simplicity on Black Friday

Walmart issued the following statement on how the company delivered on its Black Friday plans for customers. The retailer also unveiled top products purchased on Black Friday and how customers shopped that day in stores and online.wmt_h_r_4c_highres

This Black Friday, we promised customers great deals, more availability of those items, an integrated offering with Walmart.com and the simple shopping experience our customers have come to expect from Walmart. I am proud to say that we’ve delivered on all fronts,” said Steve Bratspies, Chief Merchandising Officer, Walmart U.S.Our customers were particularly excited about the new technologies we offered this year. In addition to picking up Black Friday favorites like televisions and toys, they flocked to our stores for drones, virtual reality products and hoverboards.

Walmart Thanksgiving Shopping Events

Happy Walmart customer reacts to receiving a Hatchimal, one of the season’s hottest toys. (Photo: Business Wire)

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Fun Facts and Stats:

  • The week kicked off with customers visiting stores in the days leading up to Thanksgiving to grocery shop. This Thanksgiving, Walmart sold 150 million pounds of turkey and ham. Throughout the month of November, the retailer also sold more than six pies per second with the most popular pies being pumpkin and the Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie.
  • Black Friday is about offering great deals in stores and online. At midnight ET on Thanksgiving Day, customers started shopping on Walmart.com and the Walmart app. Thanksgiving Day was once again one of the top online shopping days of the year.
  • Then, at 6 p.m. the retailer kicked off the company’s Black Friday event in stores across the country. Millions of customers went home with the items they wanted. Top sellers included televisions, cookware, video games and systems, drones, toys and pajamas for the whole family.
  • More than 70 percent of traffic to Walmart.com during the retailer’s Black Friday event was driven by mobile.
    download-2

    (Image courtesy of Walmart)

    download-3

    (Image courtesy of Walmart)

    download-1

    (Image courtesy of Walmart)

It is not over. Walmart’s Cyber Week began at 12:01 a.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 25, and will continue with thousands of online specials every day throughout the week.

We will continue to focus on offering great prices on great products across the whole store and on Walmart.com for the rest of the holiday season,” Bratspies added.

Three, Two, One…Holiday! Amazon.com Launches Black Friday Deals Store and Curated Holiday Gift Guides

This Holiday Season, Customers Can Enjoy More Deals Than Ever Before On Everything From Hd Tvs To Stylish Kitchen Staples To Some Of The Most Popular Toys Of The Year

To Help Customers Find The Perfect Gift For Everyone On Their Shopping List, Amazon Offers Curated Holiday Gift Guides For Electronics, Home, Handmade, And Other Categories

Alexa, What Are Your Deals? New This Year, Prime Members Can Use Alexa Voice Shopping To Shop For Almost Anything, Including Exclusive Deals For Customers With An Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire Tv, Or Fire Tablet

Amazon.com has announced the launch of its Black Friday Deals Store and more than a dozen curated holiday gift guides, officially marking the start of the holiday countdown. Customers can enjoy tens of thousands of deals this holiday season on Amazon.com, with new deals as often as every five minutes on everything from HD TVs to stylish kitchen staples to some of the most popular toys of the year. In addition, Amazon offers curated holiday gift guides to help take the guesswork out of shopping for loved ones and make it easier for customers to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list.logo_white_

Customers love discovering the best deals on the most sought-after products, and our Black Friday Deals Store and curated Holiday Gift Guides offer them a place to do just that – plus enjoy the most convenient shopping experience with tons of super-fast shipping options,” said Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of North American Retail at Amazon. “This holiday season, we’re offering more deals than ever before and – for the first time ever – giving Prime members an opportunity to use Alexa voice shopping for purchasing their holiday gifts hands-free. They can make purchases simply by asking Alexa-enabled devices, like the new Echo Dot, while relaxing at home with family and friends.

Black Friday Deals Store

Available at www.amazon.com/blackfriday, the Black Friday Deals Store is the leading deals destination for customers with tens of thousands of deals, and new deals as often as every five minutes, now through December 22. Customers can enjoy more deals than ever before this holiday season, including low prices on top gifts such as electronics, toys, clothing, jewelry, kitchen items, and more. In fact, Amazon is offering up to 20 compelling Deals of the Day in a single day. Some examples of the great deals Amazon customers can take advantage of this holiday season include: $20 off the Kindle Paperwhite, savings on an LG 55” 1080p Curved Smart OLED TV, and up to 40% off select Magformers toys.

Electronics Gift Guide

Available at www.amazon.com/electronicsgiftguide, the 2016 Amazon Electronics Gift Guide features more than 500 of this year’s hottest technology products all in one convenient location. Enthusiasts can explore new releases such as 360-degree cameras and buzz-worthy gifts like virtual reality headsets and 3D printers. The Electronics Gift Guide also features innovations from up-and-coming startups in the Amazon Launchpad program. Customers can browse more than 10 categories, including smart home, home entertainment, music, wearables, photography, gaming, gadgets and gizmos, and more. The Electronics Gift Guide also includes expert reviews and product demonstration videos to help customers find the perfect gift. And shoppers looking for budget-friendly gift ideas can find top gifts under $100.

Home Gift Guide

Available at www.amazon.com/homegiftguide, the 2016 Amazon Home Gift Guide is a curated list of more than a thousand of this season’s must-have products for the home. Filled with gift ideas for indoors and outdoors, customers can easily discover presents for everyone on their list, including cooks, bakers, home decorators, arts and crafters, smart home tech lovers, pets, backyard enthusiasts, kids and more, curated by experts in the industry such as Smitten Kitchen and Design*Sponge. Holiday decorators and party planners will find everything they need to set a festive scene at home. Customers can also shop the latest trends in the Home Gift Guide, including copper appliances, rose gold cutlery, and handmade ceramics, as well as browse products that are new this holiday season, including the KitchenAid Mini, NEST Fragrances Classic Candle (Hearth), Petcube Play Wi-Fi Pet Camera, and Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum.

Handmade at Amazon Holiday Gift Guide

Available at www.amazon.com/handmade, the Handmade at Amazon Holiday Gift Guide offers customers curated lists of genuinely handcrafted items sold directly by artisans. Featuring products for her, for him, and for kids, as well as handcrafted stocking stuffers for friends and family, the Gift Guide makes finding the perfect holiday present easier than ever. Heading into this holiday season, Amazon customers visiting the Handmade at Amazon store will see hundreds of thousands more handcrafted items, thousands of which are eligible for Free Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime. For shoppers looking for a personal touch, over half of the items listed on Handmade have options for customer personalization. With handcrafted items in categories from toys and games, to home décor, handbags and accessories and kitchen and dining, Handmade at Amazon is a one-stop-shop for artisan-crafted gifts this holiday season. Continue reading

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Find the Joy of Giving This Holiday Season With Magnificent Gifts From Macy’s

From Fashion And Tech To Home Goods And Stocking Stuffers, Macy’s Wide Assortment Makes Holiday Shopping A Breeze.

Plus Extra Help Is Always Available From The Gift Specialists At My Stylist@Macy’s

The holiday season is a celebration of happiness that brings loved ones together, and Macy’s has the perfect gifts to make family, friends, and all those near-and-dear feel special. Whether it’s the runway show-obsessed fashionista, the diehard athlete, the tech fanatic, or the master chef, Macy’s has an abundance of items at every price point sure to warm the hearts of those who mean the most.macyslogo-1

No [other] time of [the] year inspires the sentiments of love, caring and generosity quite like the holiday season,” said Kathy Hilt, Senior Vice President of My Stylist@Macy’s. “This year, we’ve truly topped ourselves with the most unique assortment of gifts for every person on your list. Plus, if you need a little help, Macy’s dedicated gift specialists at My Stylist@Macy’s make picking the perfect present easier than ever.”

The Gift of Style

find-the-perfect-gift-for-everyone-on-your-list-this-holiday-season-at-macys-stores-and-on-macys-com-i-n-c-international-concepts-slippers-39-50-photo-business-wire

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this holiday season at Macy’s stores and on macys.com; I.N.C. International Concepts Slippers, $39.50. (Photo: Business Wire)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With a roster of top brands and celebrated designers, Macy’s is the ultimate destination for items to elevate that special someone’s wardrobe this holiday season. For her, handbags, shoes, jewelry and always-on-trend athleisure items will inspire pure joy. Jewel-embellished slip-ons from MICHAEL Michael Kors are chic, sporty and rendered in luxe velvet, applying the must-have fabric of the season in a unique and unexpected way. A signature Mickey Mouse wristlet in a bright hue from Coach is whimsical, practical and stylish, while a funnel neck hoodie and tights from Nike, or Calvin Klein Performance logo joggers and sweaters can take her from yoga to brunch with flair. Give her the gift of both comfort and glamour with a pair of fabulous faux fur-trimmed glitter moccasins from I.N.C. International Concepts.

find-the-perfect-gift-for-everyone-on-your-list-this-holiday-season-at-macys-stores-and-on-macys-com-kenneth-cole-reaction-wallets-48-each-photo-business-wire

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this holiday season at Macy’s stores and on macys.com; Kenneth Cole Reaction Wallets, $48 each. (Photo: Business Wire)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For him, a velvet sport coat from Alfani immediately adds panache to any look. Pair the coat with bar III slim trousers and a tie for a more formal approach, or layer with jeans and loafers or boots for a look that is relaxed, yet polished and urbane. Polarized aviators from Ray-Ban are a classic, but undeniably sleek and stylish way to protect his eyes from the sun, and a zipper slim billfold wallet from Kenneth Cole Reaction is an excellent way to update a staple he uses every day.

ysl-mon-paris-parfum-spray-122

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this holiday season at Macy’s stores and on macys.com: YSL mon paris parfum spray, $122

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Beauty and grooming are the finishing touches, and Macy’s has a wide array of fabulous products that are sure to delight. The Impulse Beauty artistry palette and 9-piece brush set allows her to experiment with countless looks in an awe-inspiring number of colors and shades. For him, Kiehl’s 4-piece Hydration Hits set gives the oft-coveted gift of smooth and healthy skin. Continue reading

“Sword Art Online The Movie – Ordinal Scale” Coming to Movie Theaters in Spring of 2017 for Nationwide First-run Release

[SAO] Feature Key Visual

“Sword Art Online The Movie – Ordinal Scale” Key Visual

Sword Art Online, the mega anime hit that has sold 16.7 million copies worldwide, will come back as an animated feature with a brand new original story by author, Reki Kawahara. Based on the wildly popular light novels published in Kadokawa’s Dengeki Bunko, Sword Art Online The Movie – Ordinal Scale is set to be released nationwide in spring of 2017. Since the first volume of the novel was published in April 2009, the series has proved extremely popular, spawning two TV anime adaptations, video games, comic books, and merchandise.

null

Preview still Image from “Sword Art Online The Movie – Ordinal Scale” Coming to Movie Theaters in Spring of 2017

The series takes place in the near-future and focuses on various virtual reality MMORPG worlds. In 2022, a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online (SAO) is released. With the NerveGear, a helmet that stimulates the user’s five senses via their brain, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds. On November 6, 10,000 players log into the SAO’s mainframe cyberspace for the first time and discover that they are unable to log-out. They quickly discover from Akihiko Kayaba, the creator of SAO and NerveGear, they must reach the 100th floor of the game’s castle and defeat the final boss if they wish to be free. Those who suffer in-game destruction or remove the NerveGear out-of-game will result in their real-life deaths.

One of the players, Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, is one of the 1,000 beta testers in the game’s previous closed beta. With the advantage of previous VR gaming experience and a drive to protect other beta testers from discrimination he isolates himself from the greater group and plays the game alone, bearing the mantle of “beater”, or “beta cheater”. As the players progress through the game Kirito eventually befriends a young girl named Asuna Yūki, forming a relationship with and later marrying her in-game. After the duo discover the identity of Kayaba’s program Heathcliff in SAO, who was discovered to be the leader of the guild Asuna joined in, they confront and destroy him, freeing themselves and the other players from the game.

In the real world, Kirito discovers that 300 SAO players, including Asuna, remain trapped in their NerveGear. Several months later, he is informed by Agil, another SAO survivor, that a figure similar to Asuna was spotted on a giant tree (known as “The World Tree”) in another VRMMORPG cyberspace called Alfheim Online (ALO). Assisted in-game by his cousin Suguha “Leafa” Kirigaya and Yui, a navigation pixie, he quickly learns that the trapped players in ALO are part of an evil plan conceived by Nobuyuki Sugō to perform illegal experiments on their minds. The ultimate goal is to perfect mind-control for financial gain and to subjugate Asuna, whom he intends to marry in the real world, to assume control of her family’s corporation. Kirito eventually stops the experiment and rescues the remaining 300 SAO players, foiling Sugō’s plans. Before leaving ALO to see Asuna, Kayaba, who has uploaded his mind to the Internet using an experimental and destructively high-power version of NerveGear at the cost of his life, entrusts Kirito with The Seed – a package program designed to create virtual worlds. Kirito eventually reunites with Asuna in the real world and The Seed is released onto the Internet, reviving the VRMMO industry.

Soon after, at the prompting of a government official investigating strange occurrences in VR, Kirito takes on a job to investigate a series of murders involving another VRMMORPG called Gun Gale Online (GGO), the AmuSphere (the successor of the NerveGear), and a player called Death Gun. Aided by a female player named Shino “Sinon” Asada, he participates in a gunfight tournament called the Bullet of Bullets (BoB) and discovers the truth behind the murders, which originated with a player who participated in player-killing in SAO. Through his and Sinon’s efforts, two suspects are captured, though the third suspect, Johnny Black, escapes.

Kirito is later recruited to assist in testing an experimental FullDive machine, Soul Translator (STL), which has an interface that is far more realistic and complex than the previous machine he had played to help develop an artificial intelligence for the Ministry of Defense (MOD) named A.L.I.C.E. He tests the STL by entering a Virtual Reality cyberspace created with The Seed package, named UnderWorld (UW). In the UW, the flow of time proceeds a thousand times faster than in the real world, and Kirito’s memories of what happens inside are restricted. However, Black critically injures Kirito with suxamethonium chloride but the MOD recovers Kirito and places him back into the STL to preserve his mind while attempts are made to save him. Continue reading

More than Two Dozen Policymakers, Regulators To Speak at CES 2016

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, announced that 27 international, federal, state and local government officials will speak at CES 2016®. Among the policymakers delivering remarks or speaking on panels: Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta, every member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee, Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Emmanuel Macron. In total, more than 160 top policymakers, regulators and staff are expected to attend. Owned and produced by CTA, CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology.Print

CES has become a must-attend event for government officials who sit at the intersection of public policy and  technology,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association. “CES is the ideal gathering place for policymakers and regulators to engage with the tech companies and entrepreneurs driving innovation and the global economy. As an industry, the tech sector understands the importance of showing government officials how emerging and disruptive technologies are improving our world and changing the way we live and work. And we understand the need to explain that pro-innovation policies allow for the next generation of tech breakthroughs.”

A full listing of all government officials speaking at CES 2016 conference sessions follows:

Tuesday, January 5

Hyperdata and the Mobile Future
Peter Marx, CTO, City of Los Angeles

Roadmap to FDA Approval: What You Need to Know

Bakul Patel, associate director for digital health, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA

Wednesday, January 6

FAA Press Conference featuring CTA, 3D Robotics, DJI and Google

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta

SuperSession: Insights with the FTC and FCC 

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

SuperSession: An Inside Look: Industry Innovators and Government Join Forces

Tom Kalil, deputy director for policy, White House OSTP

U.S. CTO Megan Smith, White House OSTP

Internet of Things: Myriad Benefits and New Challenges 

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV)

Alan Davidson, director of digital economy and senior advisor to the secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce

FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

Germany’s State Secretary for Justice and Consumer Protection Gerd Billen

When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies

Ann Barron Di Camillo, director of US-CERT, Department of Homeland Security
2016 Preview: FTC and FCC Commissioner Roundtable 

FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny

FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel

Cyber Security Starts at the Top

Suzanne Spaulding, under secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Thursday, January 7

Beyond Smart Cities: The Future of Urban Mobility 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx

Innovating Privacy: New Frameworks for Changing Technology

FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen

SuperSession: Global Innovation

France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Emmanuel Macron

U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)

Rules for Drones: Best Policies and Practices

Marke “Hoot” Gibson, senior advisor, UAS Integration, FAA

Managing Low-Altitude Airspace for Safety and Privacy

Parimal Kopardekar, Ph.D., principal investigator, Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management (UTM), NASA Ames Research Center

LIT Reception and Dinner

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

Friday, January 8

What’s Next for Patents? Promoting Innovation and Preventing Abuse

U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) 

Michelle Lee, Under Secretary, U.S. PTO

CES 2016: A Star-Studded Show

Celebrity Guests To Promote Latest Innovations And Trends At Global Stage For Innovation

CES® 2016 will feature Hollywood stars, professional athletes, TV personalities and celebrity chefs discussing and promoting technology that is revolutionizing the way consumers live, work and play. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ – formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®CES 2016 is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, and will run January 6-9, 2016, in Las Vegas, NV.
Print
YouTube vloggers turned entrepreneurial powerhouses, Justine Ezarik, aka iJustine, and Joey Graceffa, will serve as Ambassadors for the Entertainment Matters Program at CES. Presented by Variety, Entertainment Matters is the CES program designed to help the Hollywood community navigate the most influential technology show in the world.

TV/ radio host, producer and entrepreneur Ryan Seacrest will participate in a headliner conversation with Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia during the Entertainment Summit, presented by Variety, on Thursday, January 7, from 2:15-2:45 PM in the LVCC, North Hall, Room N258.

The C Space Storyteller conference track features actor, entrepreneur and radio/ TV personality Nick Cannon and celebrity Chef Morimoto. Morimoto will share his story on Tuesday, January 5, from 2:45-3:15 PM, while Cannon returns to CES on Wednesday, January 6 from 4-4:30 PM to reveal how digital media has influenced his brand and enabled career-changing opportunities. Both events will take place in ARIA, Level 1, Pinyon 5.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and studio analyst for Turner Sports Shaquille O’Neal, will participate in the Tech Investing in Sports conference as part of the Sports Business Forum, presented by Turner Sports. The session will be moderated by CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin on Thursday, January 7, from 11:30 AM-12:10 PM in Venetian, Level 2, Hall D. O’Neal will also participate in the NBA on TNT Live Broadcast with host Ernie Johnson, and fellow analysts Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. The broadcast will take place on Thursday, January 7, from 4-5 PM in Venetian, Level 2, Hall D and is open to all CES attendees.
 
The Sports Business Forum also will host The Commissioner’s Panel on Sports and TechnologyRobert Manfred, commissioner of the MLB, and Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, will participate in a discussion moderated by Turner Sports studio host Ernie Johnson on Thursday, January 7, from 9-9:40 AM in Venetian, Level 2, Hall D.

Under Armour will host a plethora of athletes and Olympians at their booth (Sands, Hall C, #74316) including: Tony RomoMichael PhelpsBuster PoseyCal Ripken Jr., Georges St-PierreDeion SandersNastia LiukinJake Dalton and Brandon Wynn.

The founder of The Chopra Foundation, Dr. Deepak Chopra, M.D., will participate in Harnessing the Power: Precision Medicine and Genomics, part of the Digital Health Summit, presented by Living in Digital Times. The session runs Thursday, January 7, from 1:45-2:45 in Venetian, Level 4, Lando 4303.

ABC’s Shark Tank and CEO, FUBU and Shark Branding Daymond John is among the panelists in the Making Disney Magic: Connecting Digital and Physical Worlds SuperSession, presented by the Consumer Technology Association, on Thursday, January 7, from 1-2 PM in LVCC, North Hall, Room N257.

Actress and singer Christina Milian will be at Monster’s booth (LVCC, Central Hall, #9405) on Friday, January 8, from 12-3 PM to discuss her relationship with Monster and her latest endeavors.
 
Retired NBA players Larry Johnson and Larry Nance, and retired Vincentian-American NBA player Adonal Foyle will all make appearances at ZTE’s booth (LVCC, South Hall 3, #31706) between Wednesday, January 6 and Friday, January 8.  The NBA National Championship trophy will also be on display at ZTE’s booth all day Thursday, January 7.

Celebrity magician Penn Jillette is partnering with Withings to discuss his recent weight loss – not with any of his famed magic tricks but with a strict diet, exercise and use of several smart, connected devices from Withings. Jillette will reveal his secrets at Withings’ booth (Sands, Hall C, #74300) on Thursday, January 7, at 11 AM.

Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 finalist Chef Dana Cohen will present a cooking demonstration at Haier America’s booth(LVCC, Central Hall, #12814) every hour from 10 AM-4 PM Wednesday, January 6Friday, January 8.

NFL legend and FitStar personal trainer Tony Gonzalez will be at FitBit’s booth (Sands, Halls C, #74108) for photo opportunities on Wednesday, January 6 from 1:30-2:30 PM.


Actress, best-selling author and activist Jenny McCarthy will conduct a live broadcast of her Sirius XM show followed by an autograph session at FCA’s Uconnect booth (LVCC, North Hall, #3534) on Thursday, January 7, from 1-3:30 PM.
 

CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for almost 50 years—the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry. And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM – formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® – the technology trade association representing the $285 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed.

Meet the 2015 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows

(All Portrait Images courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today announced the Class of 2015 MacArthur Fellows and it’s a list rich with diversity and achievement. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.logo@2x

The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.

Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.

The Foundation does not require or expect specific products or reports from MacArthur Fellows, and does not evaluate recipients’ creativity during the term of the fellowship. The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award in support of people, not projects. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.

How Fellows are Chosen

Each year, the MacArthur Fellows Program invites new nominators on the basis of their expertise, accomplishments, and breadth of experience. They are encouraged to nominate the most creative people they know within their field and beyond. Nominators are chosen from as broad a range of fields and areas of interest as possible. At any given time, there are usually more than one hundred active nominators.

Nominations are evaluated by an independent Selection Committee composed of about a dozen leaders in the arts, sciences, humanities professions, and for-profit and nonprofit communities. Each nomination is considered with respect to the program’s selection criteria, based on the nomination letter along with original works of the nominee and evaluations from other experts collected by the program staff.

After a thorough, multi-step review, the Selection Committee makes its recommendations to the President and board of directors of the MacArthur Foundation. Announcement of the annual list is usually made in September. While there are no quotas or limits, typically 20 to 30 Fellows are selected each year. Between June of 1981 and September of 2013, 897 Fellows have been named.

Nominators, evaluators, and selectors all serve anonymously and their correspondence is kept confidential. This policy enables participants to provide their honest impressions independent of outside influence. The Fellows Program does not accept applications or unsolicited nominations.

Eligibility

There are no restrictions on becoming a Fellow, except that nominees must be either residents or citizens of the United States.

These 24 delightfully diverse MacArthur Fellows are shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Their work, their commitment, and their creativity inspire us all.”

And the 2015 MacArthur Fellows are:

CEO of the Ashesi University College Patrick Awuah. On the day of September 17th 2015 at Brekuso in the Eastern Region of Ghana. (Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. )

CEO of the Ashesi University College Patrick Awuah. On the day of September 17th 2015 at Brekuso in the Eastern Region of Ghana. (Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. )

Patrick Awuah, Education Entrepreneur, Founder and President

Ashesi University College, Accra, Ghana

Age: 50

www.macfound.org/fellows/929/

Patrick Awuah is an educator and entrepreneur building a new model for higher education in Ghana. Ashesi University, which Awuah founded in 2002, is a four-year private institution that offers a core curriculum grounded in liberal arts, ethical principles, and skills for contemporary African needs and opportunities. Awuah, a native of Ghana, was educated at American universities and began a successful career as a Microsoft engineer, but a vision for better higher education in Ghana drew him home. He saw a stark contrast between his college experience, which stressed critical thinking and problem solving, and the rote learning common in Ghana’s educational system. He was also convinced that a focus on ethical leadership in the next generation of Ghana’s leaders was the best means for combating pervasive corruption.

Students at Ashesi choose among degree programs in business management, computer science, management information systems, and engineering. All students participate in a four-year leadership seminar on ethics, collaboration, and entrepreneurship that concludes with a service-learning component. Fostering ethical leadership is central to the university’s ethos, and in 2008, students established an honor code holding themselves responsible for ethical behavior, the first of its kind in African universities. In addition, Awuah places an emphasis on ethnic, economic, and gender diversity in the Ashesi community, and the recently opened school of engineering will focus on gender parity in its admissions.

In a little over a decade, Ashesi is already firmly established as one of Ghana’s premier universities. Every one of its graduates has found quality employment, and almost all remain in Africa, where many have started much-needed information technology businesses. Awuah’s innovation in higher education is not only empowering individual students; it also has the potential to transform political and civil society in Ghana and other African nations by developing a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.

Patrick Awuah received B.S. and B.A. degrees (1989) from Swarthmore College and an M.B.A. (1999) from the University of California at Berkeley. He was an engineer and program manager at Microsoft (1989­–1997) prior to founding Ashesi University in 2002 in Accra, Ghana. In addition to serving as president of Ashesi, he is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.

Kartik Chandran Associate Professor, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University, New York,NY. Photographed at Columbia University and by the Hudson river. on September 19, 2015 in New York, NY.

Kartik Chandran Associate Professor, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University, New York,NY. Photographed at Columbia University and by the Hudson river. on September 19, 2015 in New York, NY.

Kartik Chandran, Environmental Engineer

Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering

Columbia University, New York, New York

Age: 41

www.macfound.org/fellows/930/

Kartik Chandran is an environmental engineer integrating microbial ecology, molecular biology, and engineering to transform wastewater from a troublesome pollutant to a valuable resource. Traditional facilities for biologically treating wastewater remove pathogens, organic carbon, and nutrients (where necessary) through decades-old technology that requires vast amounts of energy and resources, releases harmful gases into the atmosphere, and leaves behind material that must be discarded. Chandran approaches wastewater treatment with the goal of producing useful resources such as fertilizers, chemicals, and energy sources, in addition to clean water, in a way that takes into account the climate, energy, and nutrient challenges we face today. Continue reading