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Accenture puts $200m in skills

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Supporting its vision to improve the way the world works and lives, Accenture is committing more than US$200 million over the next three years to help equip disadvantaged people with job skills for the digital age.

“As a technology leader, we have an obligation to apply new scalable technology solutions to help solve complex societal challenges,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO. “Our investments will continue to empower Accenture to produce socially minded partnerships and programs that will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of people throughout the world, now and for the future.”

Accenture’s commitment will help support Skills to Succeed, Tech4Good, Accenture Development Partnerships and related Accenture initiatives.

The company’s Skills to Succeed initiative advances employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, leveraging digital innovation to help close employment gaps at scale. Together with a network of nonprofits and other ecosystem partners, Accenture has since 2010 equipped more than 2.2 million people with the skills to get a job or build a business, with a goal of equipping a total of more than 3 million people by 2020.

In South Africa, Skills to Succeed has already equipped thousands of people with job skills since 2015, with the vast majority of them gaining employment in digital, software development and business process services. One Skills to Succeed programme in the country is CE3 in rural KwaZulu-Natal, which serves as a catalyst for local economic development. The programme strengthens existing businesses, creates employment opportunities and builds new businesses through, among other things, the provision of clean, affordable electricity.

Examples of other Accenture’s Skills to Succeed partnerships include:

  • Helping Youth Business USA develop a platform that uses artificial intelligence and analytics to connect young entrepreneurs from under-represented communities with the resources, skills, training and mentoring needed to grow their business.
  • Working with Rede Cidadã and Instituto Ser Mais in Brazil to provide low-income populations with the business and technical skills they need to build meaningful, lasting careers in technology, including the opportunity to be hired by Accenture.

Accenture’s Tech4Good projects use advanced technologies to help solve critical challenges facing business and society. For instance, the company collaborated with The Grameen Foundation India, using technologies from AI to augmented reality, to help disadvantaged people improve their financial literacy to enhance their financial and social well-being. In collaboration with Club Egalité, Accenture Labs in Sophia Antipolis, France, is developing a virtual-reality game that helps primary and middle school students explore future-proof jobs and develop critical skills for the digital economy, with the goal of encouraging an interest in STEM careers.

Accenture Development Partnerships works across government, business and civil society, applying business and technology solutions to build capacity and strengthen programs for development organizations around the globe. For example, Accenture collaborated with the Spanish Ministry of Employment and a consortium of nonprofit partners and corporations in 2013 to create Emplea+, an online program that helps marginalized individuals develop technical, digital and soft skills needed for employment.

“The opportunity to improve lives requires collaboration across business, government and non-governmental organizations,” Nanterme said. “As leaders weigh new technologies and applications, we all must ask ourselves: Does this benefit the next generation? If the answer is yes, it’s the right thing to do.”

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Smash hits the Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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