headshot of Tel Ganesan
Courtesy of Tel Ganesan

Much of the national debate about immigration reform focuses on unskilled foreign-born workers.

But there’s another side: the highly-skilled foreign-born worker who has the knowledge and skills that businesses so badly need.

Tel Ganesan is the CEO and president of Kyyba, Incorporated. It’s an engineering services and software product company based in Farmington Hills.

Tech & Opportunity: Who wants to be Instafamous?

Feb 21, 2014

Of all the portmanteaus to emerge from our Internet age, "Instafamous" is probably the easiest to parse.

Photo-sharing service "Instagram" plus "famous" would be the branded definition. But instafamous also conveniently translates to "instantly famous."

Sylvain Labs, a branding consultancy based in New York, and Greencard Pictures followed teen Shawn Megira and his meteoric rise to instafame in the video below.

Tech & Opportunity: We need to encourage more kid-inventors

Jan 10, 2014
Pamela Aguilera / MIT Media Lab

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) started this week in Las Vegas. For people addicted to tech and gadgets, it's the mothership of invention. There's a lot of innovation at CES, as well as a lot of junk that will make this year's "2014 Technology Flops" lists come December.

But that innovation comes from the minds of real people, or inventors. How can we "grow" inventors? Can innovation be taught? What are the conditions that could help a child explore and grow up to be someone who innovates or invents things? Does it require tons of money and the latest tech tools?   

Higher education is abuzz right now with excitement over MOOCs---massive open online courses---that have the potential to open up classes typically held behind Ivory Tower walls to anyone with a computer and internet access.

Tech & Opportunity: can all kids be "digital natives?"

Nov 22, 2013
Marcus Kwan / Flickr

New technologies are also bringing new anxieties for parents. What is all this screen time doing to children's development? Assuming that just because a baby picks up an iPad or locks you out of your password-protected phone seems for some to be proof that anyone younger is a "digital native" and inherently able to program a DVR.

But, what all this talk about digital natives doesn't take into account are access to technology and the types of technology available to kids across the class spectrum. Some parents are concerned that their kids have too much access to technology. But what about parents who, because of finances, are afraid for their kids who have little to no access to the latest gadgets and learning tools?

John Spencer / Education Rethink

At the end of 2012 Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into a law prohibiting employers and schools from asking for social media usernames and passwords. But, California, once again ahead of the legislation pack, has taken the social media and privacy debate another step forward with a new "eraser" law, SB-568. But some critics of the law think it's, at best, a sideways step that will do more to limit web companies than protect kids from past mistakes. 

Under the new law, minors would be able to request web companies remove their online activity. The law goes into effect in 2015, giving companies time to either amend existing policies around kids and privacy or figure out how they're going to effectively implement the new law in California.

"K-12 isn't working...and we have to change the way we do it," says Joel Klein, former chancellor of NYC's public schools. His solution? Put a tablet in the hands of every K-12 student in the U.S. Proponents of the move say tablets help facilitate individualized, personal learning. Others caution that over-reliance on education technology will lead to less social interaction and more isolation.

user HikingArtist / flickr

If I told you less than 1% of adults in the United States are in jail, it might not seem like a very significant number. But if I told you 1 in every 107 American adults is behind bars, it’s suddenly shocking. Statistics almost always have a catch, and they aren’t always completely faithful to reality.


At the intersection of technology and opportunity, these statistics are no less immune to caveats.


Free online courses widen the digital divide

Aug 20, 2013

Charla Bear talks about the trend in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), an effort to provide free higher education to students online. Despite their appearance, they might actually do more to widen the digital divide than they do to democratize quality education. Like any form of online education, MOOCs favor those who have computers at home.

Online education is controversial. There’s disagreement on how much technology should be used in the classroom with some arguing the entire classroom should be flipped and kids should be learning solely through online tools. Online course enrollment has seen a 21% growth in the past year, so I want to investigate how some of these online tools can supplement, not replace, the classroom setting.