This paper deals with the influence of money on the quality of life, in the light of the major importance it has on all aspects of our lives. Bearing in mind that money is an everyday, inseperable and unavoidable companion, with all its advantages and power, as well as its numerous challenges, risks and temptations, it inevitably affects all segments of the quality of life. The relation between money and quality of life, therefore, can be viewed not only theoretically, but also at a practical level. In the times we live in, which have been labelled the digital age, with ever increasing change, the key questions which arise are whether and to what extent do people really manage their money, and to what extent does money manage people and their lives, do people own money or does money own people? Although it sounds paradoxical, money causes people financial worries, whether they have it or whether they do not and so can significantly influence their quality of life. Standard macro-economic indicators, traditionally used as measures of the well-being of society, do not always give a real and complete picture of the quality of life, as this encompasses the way of life, as well as the standard of living. The quality of life includes the whole spectrum of factors, not only economic, but also many others which lead to satisfaction, both material and spiritual. These can include financial and material living conditions, employment, health, education, leisure time and social activities, economic and physical safety, human rights and freedoms, protection of the environment and overall life satisfaction. This paper analyses the direct and indirect connections between effective and efficient money management and the aforementioned factors which are decisive in forming the quality of life.
The results of the conducted pilot research indicated the basic local problems of the residents of Zabrze city. The purpose of the next research was to answer the question: how to improve the quality of life of residents in a city with significant air pollution. Activities aimed at this goal are inscribed in the idea of "smart city". The article presents the results of pilot measurements of air pollution with toxic gases in the Zabrze city in the Silesian agglomeration (Poland). Field studies at selected locations in the city concerned measurements of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. The aim of these studies was to identify areas of the city with significant air pollution with toxic gases in order to plan further detailed research. Made measurements showed the appearance of the local problem of accumulation of pollutants in several areas of the city. The results obtained were compared with surveys conducted among residents of the Zabrze city. The aim of the survey was to examine the respondents' awareness of: the location of areas with noticeable air pollution and health problems resulting from air pollution in the place of residence. The article also presents a plan of possible actions for the city of Zabrze within the framework of the "smart city" idea to improve the quality of life of the local city community in conditions of increased emission of gas pollution in the city.
Cosmin Serbanescu, Adrian Vintilescu-Belciug and Lacramioara Corches
Developing a suitable mechanism to stimulate the effective redeployment of capital to social activities can be designed using the corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept. Informational asymmetry about the real state of social risks influences the effectiveness of allocations in social protection. Reducing information asymmetries can be achieved by providing the corporations with socially determined risk profiles based on predetermined patterns. Offering concrete lines of action following the risk profiles approach which to base investment decisions of companies in CSR can maximize the results of such a mechanism. In a previous study the authors have developed a theoretical model for determining the poverty risk profile. This study aims to present the practical application of the theoretical model and to provide comments on some errors. Hence, the authors analyzed Buzau county municipalities in presenting the highest risk level determined by the theoretical model and related causes and performed an impact assessment of an investment in CSR based on a model. Specifically, the authors evaluated the impact of reducing the risk of poverty for a suitable investment in CSR. In the second part of the study, the authors analyzed the types of errors that can be found in the municipalities risk profile model due to the granularity of the data. Thus, for the error of over-inclusion, the authors assessed social allocative efficiency at the community level using benchmarking analysis, Data Envelopment respectively and analyzed the data of the under-inclusion error in Buzau county villages. The paper aims to analyze the relative limits on quantitative models and risk of poverty and the practical implementation of these types of models in the development of corporate social responsibility. The study provides also a useful tool which can be made available to companies in order to increase the vulnerable groups’ life quality and the satisfaction of shareholders, stakeholders and related parties following redeployments according to specific CSR mechanisms.
Georgios Lampropoulos, Kerstin Siakas and Theofylaktos Anastasiadis
Due to successive technological advancements, developments and innovations, the global industrial landscape has drastically transformed over the last years. The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) aims at transforming traditional industries into intelligent ones by incorporating innovative technologies. Industry 4.0 enables physical assets to be integrated into intertwined digital and physical processes thus creating smart factories and intelligent manufacturing environments. Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly growing technology that has drastically contributed to the Industry 4.0 realization. IoT pursues to pervade our everyday environment and its objects, linking the physical to the digital world and allowing people and “things” to be connected anytime, anywhere, with anything and anyone ideally using any network and service. IoT is regarded as a dynamic and global network of interconnected “things” uniquely addressable, based on standard and interoperable communication protocols and with self-configuring capabilities. Despite still being at an early development, adoption and implementation stage, Industry 4.0 and IoT can provide a multitude of contemporary solutions, applications and services. Hence, they can improve life quality and yield significant personal, professional and economic opportunities and benefits in the near future. This study scrutinizes IoT in the Industry 4.0 context. More specifically, it presents related studies, describes the IoT concept and explores some of the numerous IoT application domains. Moreover, it presents and analyzes the concept of Industry 4.0 and the benefits it offers as well as the relevant key technologies (e.g. industrial internet of things (IIoT), cyber-physical systems (CPSs), cloud computing, big data and advanced data analytics). Furthermore, it describes the concept of intelligent manufacturing and highlights the main IoT and Industry 4.0 challenges and open research issues. Finally, the need for innovation in the industrial domain and the impact and benefits that IoT and Industry 4.0 provide to everyday life and industries is described.
Dorin Sumedrea, Alina Florea, Mihaela Sumedrea, Adrian Asănica, Radu Coman, Mădălina Militaru, Emil Chiţu, Mădălina Butac, Florin Cristian Marin and Mirela Calinescu
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Ilchenko Angelina, Xiang Xiao Gang and Stepanov Vladimir
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The level of economic thinking and financial culture of population should be considered one of the most important components of society’s economic life quality. Here, a key factor is economic and financial socialization of an individual, which can be achieved mainly by modelling appropriate training process technology to promote and ensure financial awareness at the early stages of training in high school and later on in colleges and universities. This paper focuses on one of the options of a unique subject matter (course) in Financial Education, for which testing started in 2008 and is successfully continuing in the Department of Business Management of Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education (Haifa, Israel) against the backdrop of a multicultural environment. The study shows the dynamics of the formation of the main teaching methods of the new course. In parallel, we analysed the results of the final examinations of students to further adjust the content and pedagogy of the educational process. The results once again confirmed the urgent need to improve the financial literacy of students in accordance with the challenges of economics and culture in the twenty-first century.
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