30 June 2015

Raising awareness of the public’s role in community safety

Author :

Often it takes a critical incident to bring community safety issues to the forefront of the media and public’s focus, however some startling figure released recently have highlighted the shocking reality.

In the past week alone; crime prevention through environmental design, domestic violence and methamphetamine abuse has been highlighted in main stream media.

The issue of women’s safety in the community was a key discussion point at the inaugural Brisbane Women of the World (WOW) event. The gathering will focus on city design and its impact on community safety.

This is an issue that speaks to me personally, as every evening in order to get home I walk through a poorly lit tunnel with poor exposure to the surrounding streets. This is just one example of how the design of urban environments has created hidden pocket in our streets.

Caroline Stalker from Achitectus, has told The Australian that cities would probably be very different if they were ­designed by women. Communities across Australia are being encouraged to get involved in the planning of their urban areas, with some council’s now requiring all building proposals to show how they will ensure safe access and exposure.

The prevalence of domestic violence is an issue we've all been told to be proactive about reporting, when the number of domestic violence incidents is articulated the pervasive nature of the issue is hard to miss. And due to several courageous women including, Australian of the year Rosie Batty, the public awareness surrounding domestic violence is thankfully growing.

According to the ABC, Australian police deal with approximately 657 domestic violence matters every day, which is an average of one every two minutes. When we take into consideration the systemic issue of underreporting domestic violence matters this figure becomes truly frightening.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research have reported in just two years, methamphetamine or 'ice’, possession has risen by 40.1 per cent. The Australian reported NSW Minister for Police, Troy Grant saying; these drugs are “causing devastation to individuals and families across NSW”.

The impact of drugs on local communities, particularly ice, has become a widespread issue with regional Australia feeling the impact particularly hard. But the question continues what can we do within our local communities to combat ice use?

It is excellent to see these community safety concerns being thrust into the spotlight, here’s hoping this will translate to drastically fewer incidents.

Join us at Akolade's 2nd Annual Holistic Community Safety on 29th September - 1st October in Sydney to hear more on how to drive safe communities through engagement and technology.

Having unfulfilled her childhood dream of becoming an international spy, Ellise is loving her position as Conference Production Manager at Akolade. Her favourite thing about the role is that it allows her to stay abreast of the latest news across a variety of industries while constantly learning from experts in their field.

29 June 2015

Summing up Supply Chain (part 2)… 15 minutes with Venson Automotive Solutions!

Author :

In the final interview I carried out with international professionals working in supply chain and logistics, this week I spoke to Mark, EFS Workshop Manager from Venson Automotive Solutions, UK. Working in the independent fleet management company, Mark on a day to day basis sees how supply chain impacts nearly all parts of their company. With the quick, fire round questions discussing implications of supply and demand planning; let’s hear what he had to say…

Holly: As a small business, how does your supply chain operate? 

Mark: Operations of the supply chain can be complex and time consuming if not managed correctly. The option to use suppliers as partners is one way to overcome such issues. Let your suppliers have access to your sales (both predicted and definite) and timescales of requirements so they can assist in the flow of correct materials and components. Furthermore they can use set pricing to cut down on timely phone calls to price check each contract.

Holly: What are the impacts of under-stocking and how do you deal with this? 

Mark: Should a situation whereby understocking has become apparent, then a review of policy and procedures would be advisable. For a small organisation, we need to explore our options and communicate with our suppliers who hold the stock. Working relationships and honesty with key suppliers will and does aid to a smoother running organisation and enhances greater communication between all. 

Holly: What are the impacts of over-stocking and how do you deal with this? 

Mark: Over-stocking is the area that needs to be avoided and any organisation which finds itself in this situation will need to address the impact on its core operations immediately. We all work in an ever changing technology based workplace and the risk of over stocking is that components can become obsolete very quickly. This causes working capital to be tied up and eventually, worst case scenario, being written off. If you find yourself in this situation, an immediate review of your whole purchasing / ordering system potentially needs addressing.
The who and why questions are for later, the first step is to create a pathway that ensures you don’t put your business at financial risk again. Engage staff and welcome change, get all employees pulling in one direction to create the required end goal.

Holly: How are errors avoided in your forecasting? 

Mark: Forecasting is the sales and manufacturing crystal ball. We all know what we would like but reality and competitive market places dictate that is rarely the case. Market place studies, financial and wellbeing of a business sector are one areas of study to assess potential orders and focus areas. In reality we focus on our long term customers, their market place and their purchasing calendar. We are all constantly looking for the next BIG ONE and all strive to be better but in terms of forecasting. We must go with the definite plans and work our potentials alongside with a percentage win rate.   

Holly: Thank you Mark for your time! Hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

As a tomboy child, Holly enjoyed watching wrestling and was The Rock’s biggest fan. She is from a tiny farming village in the north of England and has moved to Sydney to enjoy the city lifestyle. As a conference producer at Akolade, Holly enjoys researching with and learning from key professionals within a range of sectors to produce timely conferences. Furthermore, Holly enjoys how each day in the life of a conference producer is always different and exciting!

23 June 2015

5 Tips for launching a successful crowdfunding campaign

Author :

In the last few years, crowdfunding has become an extremely popular means of raising money for individuals and organisations alike. The principal is quite easy: pick one of the many online platforms, make a video and write a text to promote your project. If you want to add an incentive, you can also organise rewards based on the amount of money someone donates.

Let me talk to you a little bit about Good On You. Good On you is an absolutely amazing organisation that makes ethical consumerism easy by rating thousands of brands based on their respect for the environment, human rights and animal rights. You can visit their website to check out how your favourite brands rank, read their entertaining and educative blogs and even shop for clothes! 

Now why am I saying all of this? First of all, because I am an extremely proud Good On You volunteer who believes in their cause. Second – and you’ve probably guessed – Good On You has just taken a giant leap into the world of crowdfunding in order to raise money to develop an app that will help you make ethical choices wherever you are.

Check out their amazing campaign and video here.

Here are 5 quick tips from Entrepreneur to launching a successful crowdfunding campaign:

1.  Keep your campaign under 30 days

Statistics show that projects shorter than 30 days have higher success rate. According to Kickstarter, this might be because shorter campaigns set a tone of confidence. 

2.  Make a budget and include it on your campaign page

Your budget doesn’t have to be super detailed, but it does show potential backers that you’ve thought through your project. Don’t set your minimum budget too high though, because many crowdfunding platforms have an ‘all or nothing’ policy: if you don’t reach your tipping point, you get nothing. On the other hand, you don’t want your tipping point to be too low either because your will be offering rewards and you don’t want the cost of the rewards to completely scrap any profit.

3.  Offer a lot of small rewards

Yep, we’ve said it: rewards for giving you money. Offer a reward depending on the amount of the pledge. For example, if you pledge to give Good On You $10, you get a personalised thank you email and project updates. If you pledge to give $80, your reward is 4 pairs of the amazing Conscious Step Socks. If you give $2000, you and your team will get to attend a half day workshop facilitated be Good On You CEO Gordon Renouf on what drives consumers to make ethical choices.

4.  Reach out to people you know before the launch

Contact anyone you know that might be interested. According to Entrepreneur, ‘once the funding window opens, it's important to reach the 20% benchmark as soon as possible’. Not only will this bring you so much closer to your tipping point, but it will also help set the pace to the campaign.
5.  Send out tailored messages and follow up individually

Customise your messages depending on who you are reaching out to, but be wary not to spam! The next step is to follow up with the people you have contacted, especially before the official launch.

Although Alexandra didn’t know much about conference production before first coming across this opportunity with Akolade, she has quickly become passionate about her job. Gaining in-depth knowledge in a variety of new fields without going through exam stress? Who could ask for more? If ever you speak to Alexandra and wonder what that funny accent is, it is from Quebec, French-speaking Canada. Do not hesitate to ask Alexandra about her former life on the 47th parallel; she will be thrilled to talk to you about snow storms, skiing and -35⁰c!

19 June 2015

International Education: The Asian Boom

Author :

I remember on my first day of university, I sat along the side of the room and observed everyone around me. Although everyone in the room appeared to be normal students, something felt odd, very odd. Suddenly I realised the reason why the class felt unusual, everyone around me were of Asian appearance, except the three Caucasians sitting in the back corner of the room.
From that day on, I became aware that a large proportion of students were international students from across Asia: China, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
During my four years at university, it was becoming evident that the Australian university was making way to accommodate more international students. The university was constantly taking down old buildings to make room for more students housing and in my third year, they developed a policy to ensure all first year international students will have guaranteed accommodation on campus.
Statistics from the Department of Education shows that there has been a 629% increase in the number of international students studying in Australia since 1994. This number does not include the number of students who are receiving education from Australian institutes offshore. In 2011, Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the largest number of international students came from China, totaling up 27% of all international students.
 (Source: Australian Government - Department of Education and Training)
According to Study in Australia, Australia is currently the 3rd most popular international student destination (behind the United States and the United Kingdom) with over 22,000 courses offered across 1100 institutions. This popularity is due to the strong, proven track record where Australia has ranked highly for the quality of education, student satisfaction and global reputation, with eight out of the top 100 ranked universities coming from Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that in Higher Education, Management and Commerce, including accounting, sales and marketing, business and management are the most popular choices for international students, making up about 52% of all enrolments.
So how much does Australia value international education?
International education plays a vital role in Australia’s economy; it is currently Australia’s largest services export, contributing to $16.3 million in 2013-14. It supports nearly 130,000 jobs and is a significant source of skilled migrants and skilled labour for Australian companies operating overseas.
By introducing international students, Australian institutions have found that this has enriched campuses socially and culturally and built relationships which has helped maintain international trade, investment and goodwill.
The Australian government introduced a National Strategy for International Education, which is intending to be released in the second half of 2015. The strategy will focus on the value and importance building and improving Australia’s reputation for world-class education.
The National Strategy have listed the following goals:
  1. Creating a world-class education system
  2. Building on strong and emerging international partnerships
  3. Fostering an international outlook
  4. Attracting international talent
  5. Ensuring a positive and rewarding student experience
  6. Embracing opportunities to grow international education
Are you looking at building and strengthening your international ties?
If you want to hear more on how your institution can attract and engage more international students, join us in Melbourne this August at our Strengthening International Education Opportunities Conference.
Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 
In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable cat and dog.

18 June 2015

Rudimentary guide to building a new NGO

Author :

Point #1 on my bucket list is to set up my own NGO. It’s always been a dream of mine and I am positive I will do it someday… but I have a lot of work to do before getting there. There are so many steps and considerations that you have to keep in mind. But do not fear! I have done part of the work for all o you ambitious, visionary, entrepreneurial types out there.
1.      Find your passion

You like reading, travelling, coffee and yoga. But what are you PASSIONATE about? What makes you quiver with excitement? What makes your heart throb? What will you defend with your life when it comes up at dinner with your conservative one-track-mind uncles? Not sure yet? You have already failed.
You can’t base an organisation on something you like. You won’t be willing to spend sleepless nights and work your heart out – because that’s what will be necessary – for something you just ‘like’.
Have I not broken your spirit yet? Watch this video and Professor Larry Smith will blatantly tell you why you will fail.
2.     Work for an NGO before creating one

So you think you’re so cool that you can build your own NGO without even knowing how one works? Did you ever see a Prime Minister run a country when they had never even been in politics before? Well let me tell you, if such a PM has ever existed, then I am pretty happy I didn’t live in their country when they were in power. 
As Verge Magazine puts it, "as the director of an NGO, you'll need to know how to balance a budget, how to manage volunteers and how to write funding proposals, all the while remaining accountable to your board and your donors." You will probably agree with me when I say that I would much prefer learning about all of this and make my rookie mistakes when I am not the one accountable for it all.
3.     Find an idea

You have a passion and you have experience, so you’re on the right track. I hate to break this to you though, but do you know how many NGOs are out there? And more precisely, do you know how many NGOs out there are all working for exactly the same cause? I don’t know and frankly I don’t want to either because I feel like it would be enough to discourage any entrepreneur. So how do you break through the masses and win the Nobel Peace Prize? Well, you have to have one helluva good, original idea.
For example, this is the step where I am stuck at the moment. I know I am extremely passionate about climate change and sustainable development... but I am not quite sure what to do about it. It’s great to have a passion, but your passion has to have a vehicle. And personally, I don’t feel like rallying, marching and screaming clever slogans will be enough to be considered a good and original idea.
4.     Find a way to measure results

No matter what you do, no matter how great your idea and your cause are, you need to find a way of measuring your success. If you can’t weigh your impact, there is absolutely no way that you will be able to see whether your hard work is leading to anything.
If you want to found an NGO, it is probably because you want to bring about change in a certain field. You must be careful not to measure your success based on how busy you are, how many networking sessions you go to or how many workshops you facilitate. You want to find a way to measure the change itself and to keep your organisation’s raison d’ĂȘtre in mind.
5.     Find your pals

You may have come this far with a small group of people driven by the same passion. If not, then you better go find them quickly. You’re intelligent, I am sure you can see why you can’t do this alone. There will be SO MUCH stuff you have to think about, and you would be pretty pretentious to think you are an expert at all of it (graphic designing, creating a website, managing finances, developing policies, finding volunteers, finding beneficiaries, etc., etc., etc.).
That being said, you can’t just pick any old friend that’s just looking to get out of their job in a cafĂ©. It is crucial for you to find trustworthy partners that are equally passionate about your cause. You will have so much on your plate that you can’t afford to deal with, a partner who questions all of your decisions (although you have to be able to take constructive criticism) or worry about a partner who is not doing a good job whereas they are meant to be helping you.
6.     Plant a money tree

I’m kidding, they don’t exist.
If a NFP is what you decide to go for, you’re probably expecting for money to be a little tight. I mean NFP does stand for NOT-for-PROFIT, so it’s not like you’ll have much financial leeway to work with. And when miracle! you do come into money, there will probably be discouraging amounts of paperwork to deal and there might be some strings attached as well.
Matador Network raises an interesting argument when it comes to funding: ‘The quality of the work a NGO does and the amount of its funding are often inversely related. That is to say, the NGOs with less money do better work per hour and dollar spent. The crucial point is to minimise your NGO’s need for money.’
I can already hear you saying ‘yeah but I need SOME money to live’. Fair point my friend, and here are three easy ways to fill your coffers:
1.       Add a PayPal donation button on your organisation’s website.
2.       Launch a crowd funding campaign. Big shout out to my team at GoodOnYou who is preparing to launch there’s!
3.       Team up with a larger NFP or charity that can receive tax deductable donations on your behalf. They can then use that money to give your organisation a hand.
7.     Build a network

Vicky Ferguson, director of Glad’s House in Mombasa, Kenya explains to The Guardian that ‘when you are starting out, you may be afraid to approach the ‘big boys’ but collaboration is crucial’.  
As we said in #5 you just can’t be extremely knowledgeable in everything. Through your organisation, you will be tackling complex issues that will need expert solutions. NGO/NFP does not only mean volunteerism and fundraising. You are going to need a professional backbone if you want any credibility, and this will come by seeking advice from the big players that are already established in the space you are entering. Don’t see them as competitors but rather as mentors that you can look up to for guidance.

As you grow, you’ll be relieved to have a solid network of professional acquaintances that you can turn to for counselling.  Remember, bigger organisations have started where you are. You can look at what they have done to see what has worked and what has failed and ultimately learn from their mistakes.

Although Alexandra didn’t know much about conference production before first coming across this opportunity with Akolade, she has quickly become assionate about her job. Gaining in-depth knowledge in a variety of new fields without going through exam stress? Who could ask for more? If ever you speak to Alexandra and wonder what that funny accent is, it is from Quebec, French-speaking Canada. Do not hesitate to ask Alexandra about her former life on the 47th parallel; she will be thrilled to talk to you about snow storms, skiing and -35⁰c!

17 June 2015

Thinking of a career in Supply Chain? Hear straight from the graduate’s mouth how supply planning could be the job for you…

Author :
During university whilst studying Psychology, my career path was very unclear. With the job climate for my generation growing ever more challenging year by year, it is vital for university students now to establish a career path, gain relevant work experience and be determined to succeed.
A career in supply chain can offer a range of options from an endless choice of sectors. It can be an extremely stressful and ever-changing career choice however, for results driven and data orientated people, an extremely rewarding one at that. This week, I spoke to successful university graduate, Lee Hunter, Factored Supply Planner at Molson Coors on how he broke through into the supply chain and logistics sector and experiences so far as working as a supply planner.
Holly: Hi Lee, I hope you are well! It’s been a long time since we were both back in university together not waking up before 11.30 am every day! It’s great to see you're doing well and on the road to success. Let’s start general for the first question, when did you realise you wanted to work in logistics and supply?
Lee: Hi Holly! Yes I think we both miss those days!
I actually got interested in supply chain and logistics through generic business interest through school/A Levels etc. I found that learning about logistics and supply chains was more interesting and logical than maybe marketing was so made my choice to follow the operations route. Without a supply chain the marketeers wouldn’t have a physical product to sell anyway, so I guess knowing it’s a vital business area with so many varying styles and opportunities across different industries interested me too.
Holly: It’s great you realised the importance of supply chain so early on in your career! How did your experience at university help you get a career in supply chain?
Lee: I suppose it was the broad range of modules in first and second year which gave the basic foundations to supply chain/logistics but also confirmed my interest in the subject area. My degree included a 1 year sandwich placement with a vast range of companies openly looking our universities students (Nottingham Trent University) which let me experience working in a supply chain environment. Final year I specialised in Global Supply Chain Strategies with support from tutors etc so it was from here I really progressed and dedicated a career in supply and demand planning was definitely for me.  
Holly: I think in every degree, the modules the university provides has such a huge impact on what we decide our career choices will be. What advice would you give to other students planning on pursuing a career in supply chain?
Lee: Make sure you get the basic understandings as everything else supply chain related just builds on top of those, so if you like it/find it interesting you can dig further into specific areas of supply chain, like logistics… And getting work experience is a must!
Holly: Now that you're out of university and settled into your role as supply planner, what is the favourite thing about your job?
Lee: The responsibility. Still being relative fresh-faced and wet behind the ears, I have ownership of approximately £10 million worth of stock and help contribute a total of £20 Million to the business's top line… which has its pressures but is very enjoyable! The mix of products in my portfolio keeps me on my toes and the odd wine sample is always a nice treat!
Holly: I think with every new job, once that level of responsibility starts to rise, we take true ownership and pride in our jobs which ultimately is profitable for the company! Finally, just to give our readers and future people interested in becoming a supply planner, can you give an overview on what you do on a daily basis in your role?
Lee: My full title is: Factored Supply Planner for Wines and Spirits for UK&IRE on-trade customer base. In short, making sure we have the right amount of product in the right place at the right time at the right price/cost to the business is a large part of my daily routine. This involves working with and buying from 40+ suppliers from around the world (NZ, AUS, Chile, and Italy) and all of the fun associated with HMRC and Customs!
Holly: Well Lee, it has been a pleasure chatting with you again and I wish you all the best in your job!

As a tomboy child, Holly enjoyed watching wrestling and was The Rock’s biggest fan. She is from a tiny farming village in the north of England and has moved to Sydney to enjoy the city lifestyle. As a conference producer at Akolade, Holly enjoys researching with and learning from key professionals within a range of sectors to produce timely conferences. Furthermore, Holly enjoys how each day in the life of a conference producer is always different and exciting!

15 June 2015

Battling ‘ice’ out of our communities: What is our government doing?

Author :

“Methylamphetamine is wreaking havoc in every state and territory. It is ruining lives, families and communities”
Chris Dawson, CEO of the Australian Crime Commission

The use of drugs has taken centre stage over the past few months with numerous media releases highlighting the shocking statistics of much Australians are willing to spend on drugs and how many of them are addicted to it.

Methamphetamine which is also known as ‘ice’ is a drug that is causing the most concern to the nation. Ice usage in Australia has increased to 50% among users aged 14 years or older compared to 22 percent in 2010.

The use of the highly addictive drug 'ice' is higher in country, rural and regional than cities. Adding to this concern Professor Richard Murray mentioned in an article that "The striking change is that we're seeing use trending away from relatively low-grade stimulants to the high-grade crystal form of ice."

What did our geographic neighbours do?

Ross Bell, the head of the New Zealand Drug Foundation mentioned that the NZ government initially further criminalised ice use by increasing sentences for drug dealers and investing more in customs control and were also involved in banning the chemicals which are used for making methamphetamine. However this didn’t seem to work too well and in 2009 the NZ government decided to invest more in treatment for addicts and the number of people using drugs started to drop and today NZ’s rate of meth use is half that of Australia.

In economic terms this approach does make sense because increasing the legal and policing response will only make finding ‘ice’ into a treasure hunt where the price will be pushed up and where the ‘ice’ black market will thrive.

What is Australian government doing?

Well, the government is committed to curb the use of drugs through various ways including increasing the number of roadside drug testing, improving the ability to confiscate the assets of serious criminals and in investing more in treatments, rehabilitation and education.

The Abbott government has recently announced it will invest $20 million from 2015-2016 to renew the National Drugs Campaign in an effort to discourage people from using illicit drugs and raise awareness.

Additionally in May this year, the ACT government committed $800,000 funding boost to drug treatment and support services as part of the growing response to ice use.

Matt Noffs from the Noffs Foundation, a Sydney-based organisation for at-risk young people suggested in an article that the government could introduce regulation of methamphetamine which could include an "ice room" similar to the heroin injecting room in Sydney's Kings Cross, where substitute drugs will be available to addicts.

Where to from now…

The government still has a long way to go in tackling this issue and this will continue to be a concern for communities across Australia. Battling ‘ice’ out of Australia is not going to be a smooth sailing fight therefore we will have to wait and watch till the government make its moves…  

When Aranei was seven she truly believed she could one day train turtles in the Galapagos. Unfortunately she came to the realization that such a thing could never happen. A couple of years later, she decided to be a conference producer and has never looked back. The best part of her role is exploring different sectors and getting in-depth insights from thought leaders and well-experienced specialists from varying sectors.         

12 June 2015

What does the future hold for Australia’s aged care system?

Author :

Have you ever wondered what Australia will look like in the next 40 -50 years?
Aside from significant advances in technology and the environmental impacts of climate change one thing is increasingly evident- we are living longer.

The number of Australians over the age of 100 is projected to be a staggering 40,000 in 2055, up from roughly 5000 today.

The Government’s 2015 Intergenerational report has further highlighted the impact of the ever growing silver tsunami. With Australians living longer than ever before, Australia’s economy and aged care system will be dramatically impacted without significant preparation.
An ageing population
 Image from The Treasury

So what are we doing in the short term to prepare for this crisis? 

The federal Government has announced it will spend more than $16 billion on ageing and aged care services in 2015-16.

With discussion around Hockey’s 2015 budget still abound, it is an interesting time to take stock and reflect on what immediate changes the aged care sector can expect. 

6 key budget announcements:

1. Home Care Packages will now be allocated to individuals rather than through providers.
2. From February 2017, more than 80,000 people receiving home care packages each year will be able to choose who provides their care.

3. From July 2018 the Government intends to establish a single care at home programme, providing improved services to more than 850,000 older people each year.

4. The independent Aged Care Commissioner will handle aged care complaints.

5. By 2021 there will be 2,000 new short-term restorative care places available to help older people to stay independent and living in their homes longer.

6. An existing fund will be redesigned into a Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund to support older people living with dementia or who have diverse needs.

The Government’s Aged Care Agenda is increasingly moving away from a welfare based system to one that places older people at the centre of their care.

Australian aged care is transitioning into a consumer driver model that enables older people to make their own choices about the care services they receive. Aged care is as a result becoming more competitive and market driven.

The positives? Such a system will inevitably push care providers to offer the most relevant, high-quality and innovative services possible.

What are your impressions of the future direction of our aged care system?

From a young age Luana wanted to become a teacher. She would line up her teddies in a row and teach them for hours on end. However, she eventually grew tired of their nonchalance and has ended up leading a team of producers instead- which she finds far more fulfilling and stimulating!  
Luana comes from an experienced production and management background. She has produced and topic generated events across Asia and Australia.
Luana enjoys learning about emerging trends and drivers for change and loves the notion of the 'butterfly effect'- that change can start small but grow immeasurably through a ripple effect.