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    Shaping ideal futures: Writing a letter to the future

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    The recent Covid-19 crisis and measures have created an extraordinary situation that has affected \nmost people around the globe. Adapting to and coping with this unpredictable situation has \nproven challenging for many. Apart from the direct effects such as a loss of income, normalcy, \nand postponed healthcare, many people have experienced a loss of meaning in life, negatively \naffecting their mental health and well-being. This had led many people to experience a \ndownward spiral of negative emotions, prompting immediate, survival-oriented behaviors and \nlearned helplessness. An effective way to counteract this is to restore a sense of autonomy by \nwriting about how to make the world a better place. This can be achieved by letting people \nreflect on an ideal world free of constraints, and contrasting this with the idea of the world that \nwill come to pass if nothing changes. Prior research in the field of positive psychology has \nshown that brief interventions can help counteract many of the aforementioned negative \nconsequences and even aid in developing a more positive future outlook that they act upon. In \nthis paper, we highlight an intervention, that seems especially promising in this respect: Letters \nto the future. Writing about how and when one will contribute to this ideal future, is key in \nensuring that this comes a step closer to becoming reality. Acting upon dreams and plans, can \nalso have real-world positive consequences. In sum, based on positive psychology, goal-setting \nand life-crafting theory, we propose an intervention that offers ways to increase positive \nemotions, enhance social support, increase action repertoire and potentially kickstart societal \nchange. As this intervention can be done online and is scalable, we propose to use the \nintervention on a wide scale to improve mental health and well-being worldwide, and at the same \ntime make the world a better place

    Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) with R (version 3.3.3)

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    Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) is an approach and data analysis technique for identifying necessary conditions in datasets. It can complement traditional regression-based data analysis as well as methods like QCA (see [the NCA website]( for more information on NCA). This guide helps a novice user without knowledge of R or NCA to install the free R and NCA software on the user\xe2\x80\x99s computer and to perform an NCA analysis within 15 minutes. The main instructions are: \n \nI.\tInstall R \n \nII.\tInstall NCA \n \nIII.\tLoad data \n \nIV.\tRun NCA. \n \nDetails of the method can be found in: \n \n- Dul, J. (2016) Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA). Logic and Methodology of \'Necessary but not Sufficient\' causality. *Organizational Research Methods* 19(1), 10-52. [Sage]( \n \n- Dul, J. (2020), *Conducting Necessary Condition Analysis*, Sage Publications, ISBN: 9781526460141. [Sage]( \n \n- Dul, J., van der Laan, E., & Kuik, R. (2020). A statistical significance test for Necessary Condition Analysis. *Organizational Research Methods*, 23(2), 385-395. \n[Sage](

    SHE LEADS: Navigating the Funding Landscape for Female Social Entrepreneurs

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    Geerke Versteeg and Yvette Watson established the online platform The 2B Collective to immerse users in a gamified environment, teaching them about climate neutrality, circularity, and inclusivity. With a mature product, a new business model, and a committed team, the most recent financial results bolstered their confidence in scaling the venture. However, limited financial resources posed a challenge. Investor discussions revealed a focus on short-term returns rather than long-term social impact, compounded by post-pandemic market instability. This case is about Geerke and Yvette, both passionate about sustainability, and how they navigate challenges as female entrepreneurs in a male-dominated industry, while trying to stay true to their mission, values, and identity

    Model Formulations for Pickup and Delivery Problems in Designated Driver Services

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    Designated driver services use company vehicles to deliver drivers to customers. The drivers then drive the \ncustomers from their origins to their destinations in the customers\xe2\x80\x99 own cars; at the destinations the drivers \nare picked up by a company vehicle. We typically see teams of drivers assigned to company vehicles serving \ncustomers. When, however, the drivers may be dropped off by one vehicle and picked up by another, a \nchallenging, novel pick-up and delivery problem arises. In this paper, we introduce two formulations to solve \nthis problem to optimality using a general purpose solver. In particular, we present a three-index and a two- \nindex mixed integer program formulation to generate optimal, least-cost routes for the company vehicles and \ndrivers. Using these MIPs, we find that the two-index formulation outperforms the three-index formulations \nby solving more instances to optimality within a given run time limit. Our computational experiments also \nshow that up to 60% cost savings are possible from using a flexible operating strategy as compared to a \nstrategy in which drivers and company vehicles stay together throughout a shift

    Is Society caught up in a Death Spiral? Modeling Societal Demise and its Reversal

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    Just like an army of ants caught in an ant mill, individuals, groups and even whole societies are sometimes caught up in a death \nspiral, a vicious cycle of self-reinforcing dysfunctional behavior characterized by continuous flawed decision making, myopic single- \nminded focus on one (set of) solution(s), denial, distrust, micromanagement, dogmatic thinking and learned helplessness. We \npropose the term Death Spiral Effect to describe this difficult to break downward spiral of societal decline. Specifically, in the \ncurrent theory-building review we aim to: (1) more clearly define and describe the death spiral effect; (2) model the downward \nspiral of societal decline as well as an upward spiral; (3) describe how and why individuals, groups and even society at large might \nbe caught up in a death spiral; and (4) offer a positive way forward in terms of evidence-based solutions to escape the death spiral \neffect. Management theory hints on the occurrence of this phenomenon and offers turn-around leadership as solution. On a societal \nlevel strengthening of democracy may be important. Prior research indicates that historically, two key factors trigger this type \nof societal decline: (1) rising inequalities creating an upper layer of elites and a lower layer of masses, and (2) dwindling (access to) \nresources. Historical key markers of societal decline are government overreach, overintegration (interdependencies in \nnetworks) and a rapidly decreasing trust in institutions and resulting collapse of legitimacy. Important issues that we aim to shed \nlight on are the behavioral underpinnings of decline, as well as the question if and how societal decline can be reversed. We \nexplore the extension of these theories from the company/organization level to the society level, and make use of insights from \nboth micro-, meso-, and macro-level theories (e.g., collapsology, the study of the risks of collapse of industrial civilization) to \nexplain this process of societal demise. Our review draws on theories such as Social Safety Theory, Conservation of Resources \nTheory, and management theories that describe the decline and fall of groups, companies and societies, as well as offer ways to \nreverse this trend

    Victims\xe2\x80\x99 Fundamental Need for Safety and Privacy and the Role of Legislation and Empirical Evidence

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    Various laws, guidelines and other types of regulation have been created that introduced new rights worldwide for victims of crime. Many of these rights focus on active victims who wish to step into the open and to orally express their views and experiences in court. Rights and wishes to remain in the background and to preserve one\xe2\x80\x99s privacy received less attention. This article focuses primarily on the wishes of victims that reveal their intention to not play an active role in the criminal process, and on victims who fear an invasion of their safety and privacy. According to the literature, such wishes and needs can be considered to be fundamental. The article questions the empirical basis for the present victim legislation: are the new laws that have been created over the decades founded on empirically established victim needs, or on presumed victim needs? The article concludes with a plea for a more extensive use of empirical findings that shed light on victim wishes in the legislation and the criminal process

    How manufacturing firms respond to energy subsidy reforms?

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    Energy prices increased several folds due to the 2010 Iranian Energy Subsidy Reform. This study assesses the impact of the reform on the performance of manufacturing firms using a detailed micro-panel dataset at the 4-digit ISIC level for the period 2009 to 2013. Since the reform universally affected all firms, the analysis relies on a quasi-experimental framework implementing first an explorative before-after design with structural fixed-effects and second a difference-in-difference analysis exploiting energy-sensitivity. The subsidy removal caused a shrinkage in output and manufacturing value-added of at least 3 and 7%, respectively. This results in a deterioration of profits by nearly 9%. Manufacturing firms have been affected through three channels: increasing costs of direct energy inputs, pass-through costs for inputs from upstream firms and an energy-price-induced demand contraction. To successfully implement an energy subsidy reform while maintaining growth in the manufacturing sector, not only the direct but also the indirect, pass-through effects have to be considered since capital or technology-led responses to mitigate negative repercussions in the short-run are unlikely at large scale. The results can inform price reforms that aim to mitigate climate change

    Board Structure Variety in Cooperatives

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    This paper investigates why agricultural cooperatives exhibit different principles for the allocation of decision rights between the Board of Directors and the Management. A mass-action interpretation of the Nash equilibrium in an investment proposal game shows that, on the one hand, board structure variety is an equilibrium outcome while, on the other, the Traditional model (the board has full control) and the Management model (the professional management makes up the Board of the cooperative society) perform better than the Corporation model (the Management is in full control of the cooperative firm)

    Demand Management for Attended Home Delivery \xe2\x80\x93 A Literature Review

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    Given the continuing e-commerce boom, the design of efficient and effective home delivery services \nis increasingly relevant. From a logistics perspective, attended home delivery, which requires the \ncustomer to be present when the purchased goods are delivered, is particularly challenging. To \nfacilitate the delivery, the service provider and the customer typically agree on a specific time window \nfor service. In designing the service offering, service providers face complex trade-offs between \ncustomer preferences and profitable service execution. In this paper, we map these trade-offs to \ndifferent planning levels and demand management levers, and structure and synthesize corresponding \nliterature according to different demand management decisions. Finally, we highlight research gaps \nand future research directions and discuss the linkage of the different planning levels

    A Data-driven Approach to Enhance Worker Productivity by Optimizing Facility Layout

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    The facility layout problem (FLP) is the problem of determining non-overlapping positions \nof departments on the shop floor to minimize material handling costs. Traditional methods for \nsolving FLPs consider pairwise (from-to) flows to optimize layouts. This paper shows that these \ntraditional methods underestimate the total travel distance of a layout, when departments have \nmore than a single input/output point and some flows consist of visits to more than two de- \npartments. To accurately calculate the traveled distances, the actual routes of the workers and \ntransporters (so-called connected movements) in the system need to be determined. The con- \nnected movements of the workers in a facility can now be captured using the Internet of Things \nnetwork and stored in the cloud server for analysis. We propose a mixed-integer non-linear \nprogramming model for the FLP that minimizes the total travel distance using these connected \nmovements as the input data. Because of the complexity of the problem, a biased random key \ngenetic algorithm is used to find the layout. To ensure the validity of the method, a case study is \ncarried out at a fertilizer production company that implemented an Internet of Things network \nto capture worker movement data to minimize worker productivity loss via an improved layout. \nBy using these connected movements, the best layout for the case company is found. The results \nof the proposed data-driven optimization method indicate that leveraging connected movements \ncan reduce the total travel distance by 10.6% compared to the best possible layout generated \nby the traditional pairwise method in the case study


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