More than 1,000 students have been kidnapped from schools in northern Nigeria since December. The kidnappers are Islamic militants, often referred to as ‘Bandits,” and they consistently grow stronger in Nigeria. Many of the kidnapped students have been released for large ransoms of all their families have, but many are killed in captivity. Negotiations of ransoms tend to end in killing of the hostages. The head teacher at one of the schools in Nigeria told reporters that many parents sold most of what they owned in an effort to raise funds totalling more that 30 million naira (about $72,900 USD). The hostages are as young as 4 years old, and are often held for at least three months without their parents.
The greatest number of victims, hostages never to be seen again, are young girls who are raped, sold off into slavery, and forced to marry their captors.
Save the Children International, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has observed these attacks. The group claims the increasing cases of attacks on students has put the education system of Nigeria at extreme risk. Save The Children International stated “from January to August 2021, over 1000 children were abducted in Nigeria, with so many of them still in the hands of their abductors.”
Mercy Gichuhi, Nigerian Director of Save the Children International said “When education is under attack, a generation is attacked. Children, girls, and women are more vulnerable at times of attack, putting them at a higher risk of traumas, fear, gender-based violence, physical and sexual abuse.”
The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) stated that between 2015–2019, there were over 100 reported attacks on schools in Nigeria. The Islamist attacks increased between 2020 and 2021, which led to the closedown of many schools due to fear of being attacked.
Toronto-based BPTN (Black Professionals In Tech Network) will host its third annual Black Tech Summit BFUTR (Be Future) 2021, the world’s largest virtual tech summit for Black professionals and allies on October 28th-29th. This year’s Summit features over 60+ Black professionals and allies participating in keynote addresses, workshops, and panel discussions, while boasting an exciting lineup of movers and shakers from major corporations across North America.
“The 2021 BFUTR Global Tech Summit is all about ‘Levelling Up’ your knowledge, your connections, your career,” explains Lekan Olawoye, BPTN’s Founder and CEO. “At BPTN we’re unapologetically Black, and the BFUTR Summit perfectly exemplifies this. We’ve worked tirelessly to bring Black professionals and allies two days of non-stop learning and networking, stacking our panels with amazing speakers from major corporations across North America, including LinkedIn, Asana, AWS, RBC and our title sponsor TD. And we’re proud to say that this year we’ve really #levelledup the Black Excellence we’re bringing to the table with special guest D.L. Hughley and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, and Founder and CEO of iconic Black brand FUBU, Daymond John. BFUTR is by the culture, for the culture and we can’t wait to show up and show off this year!” This year’s lineup is stronger than ever, and features industry titans from across sectors and industries; from D.L. Hughley (actor, broadcaster, comedian), Michelle C. Meyer-Shipp (MLB – Major League Baseball executive), and Janeen Uzzell (CEO, National Society of Black Engineers), all the way to Canadian tech stars including Lola Oyelayo-Pearson (Shopify) and Gladstone Grant (Microsoft).
At this year’s Summit, BPTN is on a mission to connect 20,000+ Black technology professionals from around the globe, with 60+ senior executives and speakers, over a two day period, from the comfort of one’s home. The BFUTR Global Tech Summit 2021 is where Black professionals come together to celebrate community and build the future of tech. Attendees will get exclusive access to the impressive list of local and international speakers from leading global organizations who are shaping the future of technology, leading the way in diversity and inclusive leadership, and taking a stance when it’s most needed to support their Black employees. Summit tickets are FREE ADMISSION for all Black self-identified professionals, while allies and supporters can purchase General Admission passes at BPTN.
Motor car handover ceremonies are an important part of the Rolls-Royce experience. But the marque has delivered a very unusual car to an extremely important person in somewhat unusual circumstances.
Rather than the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, the setting was the playground at St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School, a fully inclusive, highly successful Church of England school for girls in inner-city Southwark, South London. The guest of honour was Sofia, UK regional winner in the marque’s global Young Designer Competition held in 2020.
As part of her prize, Rolls-Royce presented a complete new Greenpower car kit to her school to be used in future events run by the Greenpower Education Trust. This UK-based charity aims to inspire young people to excel in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects through designing, building and racing an electric car.
The kit comprises a standard chassis, motor and batteries. It’s left to the team to design and build the bodywork themselves. Sofia and nine friends, all currently in 8th grade, have formed ‘The Rolls Racers’ to create their car. The team will receive advice and support from Gavin Hartley, Head of Bespoke Design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and one of the Young Designer Competition judges.
For all the right reasons, the Greenpower car kit is supplied in a series of highly practical but prosaic packing cases. Rolls-Royce felt this lacked the proper celebratory feel for a national prize-giving. Accordingly, the occasion was graced by the official Greenpower demonstration car, finished in a striking gold livery, and a magnificent Wraith, the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever made, brought to London specially from Goodwood.
Although both cars represent the very best of their kind, neither can match the features or capabilities of Sofia’s winning entry in the Young Designer Competition. Her Bumble Bee 5000 is driverless, and equipped with comfortable tables and chairs, a disco ball, the best surround sound system, WIFI, GPS, a hook for luggage and much more; it also changes colour depending on the occasion or season.
Launched in April 2020, the competition was devised to provide a creative outlet for children aged 16 and under confined by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. It proved an instant and spectacular success, eventually attracting more than 5,000 entries from over 80 countries.
Asked only to design their ‘dream Rolls-Royce of the future,’ children had complete creative freedom, allowing them to develop ideas of astonishing scope, complexity and vision far beyond the realms of automotive design. Winning entries included designs inspired by (among many other things) unicorns, turtles, space travel, the Egyptian pyramids and Pablo Picasso.
Although the worldwide event ended in June last year, the format is currently being reprised in a Young Designer Competition recently launched by Rolls-Royce Lebanon.
Heather Reibsamen is an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer, who has published work within 360 Magazine and issuu. Specializing in new media, Heather’s innovation and passion are a force to be reckoned with.
Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, is set to release his first book this month. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.
This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.
The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Both Joseph and Vaughn Lowery are members of the first intercollegiate historically African American organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others.
In 1920, his grandmother, Agnes Christine Moore Lowery (the little girl in the blue dress, also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha), came with her grandmother to become the first black to vote in Tennessee. The kids’ book, The Big Day, depicts their journey the day she voted, now available on Amazon here.
360 Magazine is also now selling one of a kind home goods via Chairish, a curated marketplace for the best in vintage and contemporary furniture, decor and art. Check out this piece designed by 360’s founder Vaughn Lowery.
In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.
As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.
Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives.
The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.
Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.
Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.
Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.
Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.
Chapter 5:Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.
Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.
Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.
Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”
Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.
Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.
Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving.
Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.
Additionally Vaughn has an audio book titled, “Say Uncle: The Story of Vaughn Lowery” which loosely based on his childhood. It is available for here on Amazon Music. For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.
June is Pride Month, although many Americans may be more familiar with it as the month where big corporations drench their logos, merchandise and window displays in rainbow colors. This predictable phenomenon has been coined as “rainbow washing”—the act of using rainbow imagery to effectively advertise and signal allyship to a more diverse audience of consumers, with little genuine support of the LGBTQ+ community behind it.
The heart of the controversy surrounding rainbow washing and businesses’ celebrations of Pride Month lies in inconsistency. Many big-name brands—ranging from Bloomingdale’s to Amazon—brandish themselves in rainbow flags for the 30 glorious days of June, but then fall seemingly silent on LGBTQ+ issues for the remaining 12 months of the year. There is something about this kind of activism that is inherently performative. Sadly, this half-hearted performance almost makes sense when one considers that, according to LGBT Capital, the LGBTQ+ community holds roughly 3.9 trillion dollars of purchasing power globally. Rainbow washing during Pride Month is an effective capitalist strategy to garner more profit, while also looking like you care.
Let’s first consider McDonald’s as an example (among countless others) of this inconsistency…
According to Forbes, for Pride Month this year, McDonald’s has formed an unlikely alliance with Revry, “the world’s first global queer streaming network.” Their content is curated for the LGBTQ+ community and is boundlessly inclusive, highlighting both queer characters and queer content creators. The unlikely collaboration between a mega-fast food joint and a queer streaming platform has taken the form of a variety show, “House of Pride,” which is sponsored by McDonald’s and streamed via Revry. The show premiered June 6th, and you can watch it HERE.
This partnership is revolutionary and undeniably exciting; however, McDonald’s is not quite unified when it comes to its actions towards and support of the LGBTQ+ community. According to Business Insider, the fast food corporation has its own political action committee (PAC) through which it donates money to a wide array of politicians’ campaigns in the hopes of eventually influencing how these bipartisan lawmakers vote on issues that have a more direct impact on McDonald’s business (like working wages). Thus, McDonald’s has donations on opposing sides of key issues, LGBTQ+ rights being one of them. Most recently, McDonald’s PAC—and the PACs of other big corporations, including aforementioned Amazon—had a portion of their donations operating behind Republican representatives in the House who voted against the Equality Act, a bill with an overarching goal to protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination. Between 2019 and 2020, according to the same Business Insider article, “McDonald’s PAC donated a total of $213,000 to lawmakers who voted against the bill.” These donations have very real repercussions in the world of legislation and in the intimate worlds of LGBTQ+ individuals who are consistently at risk of discrimination in their everyday lives. A sparkly new partnership with a queer streaming service may be more attractive and easily marketable, but it has far less real-world impact.
This fact is especially true when one takes into account the rates of workplace discrimination and harassment against LGBTQ+ employees. CNBC recently reported on a survey of working LGBTQ+ individuals conducted by Linkedin in which “25% of respondents [said] they have been intentionally denied career advancement opportunities (such as promotions and raises) because of their identity.” Another 31% of people from the study said they have been the target of “blatant discrimination and microaggressions in the workplace.” So while businesses may change their logo to the colors of the rainbow for the month of June, current legislation and inner-company culture is ignoring the lived experiences of queer workers.
Other examples of rainbow washing and inconsistent activism include J.Crew’s new “Love First” merchandise campaign—from which only 50% of the proceeds are going to an LGBTQ+ organization, PFLAG—and Nike’s “BETRUE” campaign. As with the McDonald’s case study, these Pride efforts are not to be singularly praised or criticized; they are far too complicated for that sort of a response.
In support of these campaigns, one could argue that heightening queer visibility by emblazing shirts and sneakers with rainbow logos and then donating at lease some proceeds to organizations that support LGBTQ+ individuals is doing some good. Going even further, many companies are using Pride Month and their colorful campaigns to amplify queer voices, which is another positive outcome. For example, J.Crew asked a handful of queer individuals “what it means to support and be supported in their community,” and then published their answers and photos online. Similarly, fast fashion company H&M recently launched their “Beyond the Rainbow” campaign, an interactive web app on which people can scan any rainbow flag to read others’ or share their own Pride stories.
On the other side of the coin, however, one could point to the lack of action taken by these companies outside of the month of June or the lazy “slacktivism” that their Pride campaigns promote. Slacktivism is the practice of supporting a social movement or cause but in a way that requires little commitment or effort. An example of slacktivism would be posting a graphic expressing protest or dissent on social media, without any further action taken. Within the context of Pride Month, slacktivism takes the form of companies commodifying the rainbow flag and mass-producing rainbow gear which then consumers can easily buy and feel validated as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. What these efforts lack is follow-through: supporting LGBTQ+ organizations, amplifying and showcasing queer creators and models and workers, lobbying for protective legislation, and informing consumers on the true meaning of Pride, all year long.
Online Abortion Service Women on Web Welcomes New Executive Director
Women on Web, a Canada-based international telemedical abortion service is excited to announce the appointment of Venny Ala-Siurua as its new Executive Director. She previously held the role of Manager of Operations in the organization.
After 15 successful years, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts will step down as the Executive Director and become Research Director, continuing to steer the organization’s innovative research efforts.
“To have the opportunity to work with such a strong and charismatic leader as Rebecca Gomperts has been a great privilege and opportunity. No one exceeds her in creativity and devotion. I know her commitment to the Foundation remains undiminished and now, with the leadership of our wonderful new Executive Director, Venny Ala-Siurua, Rebecca will be able to commit herself more to helping envision our next 15 years and beyond.” Richard Owens, Chair of the board of Women on Web International Foundation.
Venny brings to the role over a decade of leadership in health and social protection projects, with international experience in nonprofit management and organizational change.
Venny’s hiring comes at an exciting juncture for the organization as we re-imagine our future role in the post-pandemic landscape of abortion access, enabling the preference for self-managed medical abortions and advocating for abortion services that correspond to the rights, needs, and autonomy of pregnant people. Under Venny’s leadership, digital rights will carve out a prominent space in our work as part of the organization’s growth and evolution.
“We will continue working towards a future where at-home abortions are a part of modern and inclusive healthcare. Self-managed abortions should not only be endorsed during a time of crisis, and they should not be considered as the last resort that individuals turn to after all other options have been exhausted.” Venny Ala-Siurua, Executive Director of Women on Web International Foundation.
You can read the full interview with Venny on the website.
This announcement coincides with Women on Web’s 15-year anniversary campaign that looks back on the past achievements and focuses on some exciting new directions. To stay updated on their future work, please sign up for their newsletter to be launched in June.
TORSUS PRAETORIAN, THE WORLD’S MOST RUGGED HEAVY-DUTY OFF-ROAD 4X4 BUS, READY TO TRAVEL EVEN TOUGHER ACROSS THE PLANET’S MOST INHOSPITABLE TERRAIN THANKS TO A RAFT OF ALL-NEW 2021 TECHNICAL UPDATES
TORSUS PRAETORIAN benefits from all-new technical updates for 2021
Updates for PRAETORIAN include new LED lights, advanced air conditioning system, new safety-enhancing passenger door and pneumatic footsteps, new fire protection system and improved interior features
Built for the world’s toughest jobs, PRAETORIAN transports personnel and equipment across inhospitable terrain in extreme weather conditions
Transporting up to 35 occupants, PRAETORIAN can wade through water up to 900mm deep, ensuring nothing will stop the vehicle from reaching its destination
For more information on TORSUS, please visit: Torsus
TORSUS, manufacturer of the world’s toughest, heavy-duty off-road buses, today announces a comprehensive range of all-new 2021 technical updates for its flagship vehicle, the TORSUS PRAETORIAN.
Designed to transport personnel and equipment safely across the world’s harshest environments, the PRAETORIAN is a 4×4 off-road bus based on an upgraded, heavy-duty MAN chassis. It is powered by a six-cylinder MAN diesel engine with 286bhp and 1,150Nm of torque, as well as a heavy-duty 4×4 off-road transmission – sufficient for the bus to easily climb a 65 percent incline. From the Michelin XZL off-road tyres specifically designed for emergency response and tactical vehicles to the military-grade elastomeric coatings engineered for maximum durability and impact resistance applied to body parts, no detail is overlooked. The PRAETORIAN is engineered to master any terrain, in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world.
Following extensive customer feedback from all four corners of the globe and continuous vehicle developments, TORSUS is pleased to reveal a series of all-new technical updates to make the PRAETORIAN even more resilient. Underpinning TORSUS’ ethos to build vehicles for the world’s most demanding jobs, the upgraded PRAETORIAN features only the very best materials, technology and construction methods in the automotive industry, ensuring exemplary quality, unwavering durability and meticulous attention to detail. Now, both engineering refinement and every aspect of vehicle performance has been elevated to an even higher level.
‘At TORSUS, we live by and set the highest standards for ourselves and our world-beating 4×4 buses. Our mission is to ensure our 4×4 heavy duty buses conquer the world’s most daunting driving environments, safely transporting people and equipment to locations no other vehicle could ever reach. Achieving this requires rigorous attention to detail coupled with our obsession with delivering nothing but the best. That means we constantly strive to improve our vehicles and make sure they feature the most relevant and beneficial new technology through our ongoing process of product development. By listening to customer feedback, we make certain we are always on-point with our updates and improvements’; said Vakhtang Dzhukashvili, CEO of TORSUS.
‘Our expert engineering and manufacturing teams have helped us to manage the challenges of the past year. The 2021 model year represents the very best of TORSUS – it represents resilience, determination and our desire to succeed in the face of adversity. Like many businesses, the past 12 months have been challenging, but it is testament to our team that we have been able to produce an upgraded product and reach our key strategic targets’: said Yuliya Khomych, Director of Strategy, TORSUS.
From darkness to light
TORSUS creates a range of PRAETORIAN 4×4 buses to cope in highly challenging conditions from disaster evacuation to fire fighting and from motorsport to operations command. Optimum lighting is essential in such circumstances, which is why TORSUS’s engineering team has replaced the halogen lights previously found on the PRAETORIAN with highly energy-efficient all-new LED headlights, which provide significantly enhanced illumination. Roof-mounted lights are also offered for even greater levels of visibility and safety.
To develop the PREATORIAN’s new lighting system, TORSUS partnered with WAŚ – one of the most innovative automotive lighting technology companies in the world. WAŚ offers almost 4000 different lamps for automotive applications and supplied TORSUS with its ultimate W149 driving lamps. Both focused and diffused lighting units are fitted, each providing 4100 lumen, which is more than triple the illumination provided by a halogen high beam car light and perfect for driving safely off-road in darkness. When the PRAETORIAN is stationery, roof and side mounted 991 SIGNAL SL 1000 lumen work lights provide 360-degree illumination for the crew to carry out their tasks quickly and safely in the most demanding situations.
Keeping cool at 50°C
With sales outlets and service and maintenance points across Africa, Australia, Europe and South America, the PRAETORIAN was already comfortably at home in some of the hottest temperatures on the planet. Even so, TORSUS’s engineers have taken the opportunity to further bolster the performance of the vehicle’s air-conditioning system. Working closely with market leader Webasto, the PRAETORIAN’s air-conditioning has been thoroughly upgraded to protect the wellbeing of crew and occupants, whether they are travelling through Australia’s Great Sandy desert or the Sahara in North Africa. Both regions can see outside temperatures rise as high as 50°C and 60°C inside the vehicle, which is within the operating parameter of the air-conditioning system fitted to the PRAETORIAN.
Detailed work was carried out to enhance air distribution to individual luggage rack outlets for more airflow volume and increased nominal air conditioning cooling capacity. The industry-leading 21.52 kW system can cool down a full bus of 35 occupants from 60°C to 30°C in just three minutes, and incredibly, can drop the temperature from 60°C to a comfortable 20°C in under 15 minutes. In fact, so effective is the air-conditioning unit; it can even keep the engine cool should it, for example, become in danger of overheating when climbing sand dunes.
Safer entry and exit
To comply with the latest EU regulations, TORSUS has redesigned the operating system of the PRAETORIAN’s passenger door, facilitating the smooth opening and closing in less than 8 seconds. To ensure optimum safety, the door automatically closes once the vehicle speedometer reaches 3km/h. Incorporated sensors eliminate the risk of passengers or obstacles being trapped in the doorway. All-new pneumatic extending and retracing footsteps and new entrance bars make it more convenient and safer for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle than before. And an updated emergency evacuation system has also been integrated into all doors, which feature both interior and exterior emergency release buttons, and roof hatches.
Another example of TORSUS’s determination to go to any and every length to create the ultimate specification 4×4 off-road bus is the fitment of a highly efficient bus stop brake system. Operated by the touch of a button, it utilizes the air service brake equipment of the rear axle with a pressure of 3.5 bar and negates the need for the service brake or parking brake to be applied during frequent stops.
TORSUS is also about to enter production with first vehicle equipped with fully mechanical doors in the middle section and rear swing doors. This will provide an unmatched versatility offering in fields such as leisure, camping, safari and tourism, and enable customers to create a vehicle that meets their needs and desires perfectly.
Protection against any eventuality
The PRAETORIAN is designed to offer its occupants optimum protection in every condition and circumstance, even in the unlikely event of a vehicle fire. A powerful, new, automatic, fast-acting fire suppression system developed by industry leaders in fire protection BlazeCut, has been fitted to the PRAETORIAN. As per mandatory legislative requirements, the BlazeCut system automatically actuates in the fuel tank area when a fire occurs, extinguishing the blaze in seconds leaving very minimal damage to the vehicle, and keeping occupants safe. However, TORSUS has extended the coverage of the system to other areas of the vehicle, such as the engine compartment, at no additional cost to the customer. Two fire extinguishers are mounted inside the cabin, and new fire-resistant materials and fabrics have also been fitted.
Complete comfort in challenging terrain
The PRAETORIAN’s ability to climb snow-covered mountains, wade rivers and cross rock fields does not come at the expense of occupant comfort. And now, both driver and passenger experience an even more refined travelling experience thanks to an extensive range of upgraded interior features. The positioning of the driver’s seat has been realigned, which improves safety with better side mirror visibility, while passengers now have even more space between seats. The passenger seats have also been upgraded, with the introduction of individual monitors in the back of each seat to facilitate the integration of personal media devices. Additional occupant comfort takes the form of new, efficiency-enhancing insulation materials in the vehicle walls and roof, which provide superior heat retention in cold conditions and help keep the vehicle cool in hot weather. Also, improved mechanisms on the sliding windows efficiently reduce energy consumption.
To enable the PRAETORIAN to cope with extreme cold, whether transporting passengers to a ski-resort or moving crew and equipment around an arctic base for example, TORSUS has equipped the vehicle with a CELLO heating panel. This flat, wall-mounted heating panel essentially generates radiant heat by mitigating cold airflow. Even when the temperature outside drops to -10°C the combination of side wall insulation heating panel raises the temperature inside the vehicle to +20°C, requiring 19 percent less energy to do so compared with a conventional heating system.
Peter Zaicek, Head of Production at TORSUS, said: “As the most adaptable and versatile 4×4 heavy-duty off-road bus on sale, the TORSUS PRAETORIAN is designed and engineered to excel in many different and extremely hostile environments across the globe. Ensuring the vehicle always delivers optimum performance, durability and safety in any location require extensive testing and development– not just of the vehicle but also of the ground-breaking equipment and technology it’s fitted with. At the core of every TORSUS vehicle is quality. We are fully confident that each of the latest updates to the PRAETORIAN matches both our and our customers’ high standards.”
Available in a variety of derivatives, the PRAETORIAN can be used from adventure tourism to the military frontline. There is a specification for every need. Always dependable. Always reliable.
TORSUS is breaking new ground by designing, developing and manufacturing the world’s toughest off-road buses. The iconic PRAETORIAN makes the world’s most capable heavy-duty off-road bus, and the new TERRASTORM signals the brand’s fearless ambition to grow further into the global heavy-duty 4×4 minibus market. The TORSUS brand was released in 2016, developing and manufacturing heavy-duty off-road 4×4 buses in a purpose-built factory in Slovakia.
TORSUS operates and sells in global markets to customers in heavy industry, utility and government service sectors. Warranty and service backup is provided in all markets with the fastest response times in the sector. Working in partnership with MAN and VW on key chassis and powertrain technology ensures that every TORSUS has ultimate durability, reliability, serviceability, value and, of course, toughness engineered in. TORSUS: BUILT FOR THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST JOBS.
OZY Fest brings together the game-changers and change-makers who are ahead of their time and worthy of yours for a virtual celebration of bold change and big ideas. The festival has previously been held in New York City’s Central Park with guests including John Legend, Trevor Noah, Issa Rae, Padma Lakshmi and Joe Biden, and has been described as “TED meets Coachella” and “New York’s answer to SXSW” for its unmatched blend of thought leadership and entertainment.
The virtual festival will be streamed live, with two simultaneous virtual stages between 5pm and 9pm ET offering a combination of live music and comedy performance, thought leadership, and interactive programming. VIP tickets are available for purchase allowing access to exclusive interactive virtual offerings. OZY Fest’s partnership with new live social media platform Clubhouse will break new ground, employing the app’s private chat functionality to host VIP meet-and-greets in an intimate audio-only setting.
“We are so excited to be bringing OZY Fest back,” says OZY COO and co-founder Samir Rao. “Virtual events and festivals have been hit and miss over the trying past year, but OZY Fest is going to take things to the next level, with the most interactive virtual experience of all time. OZY Fest won’t disappoint if you’re as tired of Zoom as we are.”
The theme of OZY Fest 2021 is “Reset America,” with organizers saying that it hopes to host conversations to reimagine how democracy, racial justice, education and more should work in the 21st century. OZY Media is partnering with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to provide free access to all current students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and to donate proceeds from VIP ticket sales to UNCF. UNCF CEO, Dr. Michael Lomax, is featured among OZY Fest headliners.
“It’s a privilege to be partnering with UNCF to make an impact with OZY Fest this year,” says Carlos Watson, OZY CEO and co-founder, and host of The Carlos Watson Show. “I have said before that the 2020s will be the new 1960s, and OZY will play its role in facilitating some of the most important conversations about where we turn next as a society.”
OZY Fest is brought to you by Chevrolet and American Family Insurance. It is produced by OZY Media in partnership with YouTube, Twitter, Clubhouse and iHeartRadio.
For a full list of headliners and information about how to register for tickets or purchase VIP passes, head to OZY Fest.
INTRODUCING BEYOND GREEN: A PURPOSE-DRIVEN HOSPITALITY BRAND DEDICATED TO HELPING GLOBAL CITIZENS MAKE TRAVEL A FORCE FOR GOOD
Forward-Thinking Hotel Network Debuts Booking and Storytelling Platforms That Invite Travelers to Explore How to Travel Gently and Travel Well
Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green officially launches today as a curated guide for travelers seeking a more purposeful way to explore the world, featuring a global portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Debuting at the onset of a new era of travel in which protecting nature, benefitting local communities, and celebrating cultural diversity has taken center stage, this forward-thinking brandinvites travelers to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their sustainable travel values and aspirations through a variety of intuitive tools and experiences. These include a new brand website; dedicated storytelling via its @StayBeyondGreen social media accounts; exclusive benefits through I Prefer Hotel Rewards; and a celebratory, limited-time Journeyer’s Pick Package.
“At the heart of Beyond Green is a belief that to travel gently and with purpose is to travel well. More than ever, each of our individual travel choices make a difference, and, together with our outstanding member properties, we designed Beyond Green to make it easier for travelers to enjoy incredible luxury vacations that also support significant social and environmental change for the future,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of both Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group. “The world has shown an unwavering need to Believe in Travel, and this is our defining moment to inspire a kinder and gentler way to explore the planet together, where good guests meet good hosts.”
“The question is no longer whether we can transform travel based upon sustainable tourism principles and practices to be a powerful force for saving nature, regenerating ecosystems, and providing tangible social and economic benefits to local people, while also celebrating cultural diversity and inclusiveness around the world. This is now happening, as also represented by Beyond Green members. Rather, the most important question is how travelers help can make sustainability the new normal around the world while also having a great vacation. The answer is when we travel the sustainable way – the Beyond Green way – we can have a positive impact right now on the places we visit,” said Costas Christ, Brand Leader of Beyond Green and President of Beyond Green Travel, also an entity of Preferred Hotel Group.
Digital-First Resources for Inspiration and Information
Experiential travelers looking for a more meaningful way to explore the world can now visit Beyond Green’s website for thoughtful, essential resources and tools to book truly sustainable luxury getaways, from Belize to Bora Bora. The new website features highly curated visual content of each member property and the experiences they offer, along with vivid stories about the world of sustainable travel through its Good Stories blog, where novel content, tips and advice will be added on a continuous basis. The brand also invites travelers to engage in daily dialogues about sustainable tourism, inspiring travel experiences, and best practices for being informed global citizens on social media by following its newly launched Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn channels and #StayBeyondGreen and #TravelGently online conversations.
I Prefer Hotel Rewards Member Benefits
As part of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Beyond Green invites travelers to enroll in I Prefer to access meaningful rewards at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. In addition to receiving standard, I Prefer benefits such as points for every eligible stay and early check-in and late check-out privileges, I Prefer members who book stays at participating Beyond Green hotels, resorts, and lodges receive access to exclusive bonus points-earning opportunities that are tied to participation in on-property enrichment activities representative of the three pillars of sustainable tourism. Varying from property to property, these experiences range from an Ecology Tour in San Juan Capistrano at The Ranch at Laguna Beach in California to a specialized lecture on the Gobi Desert at Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia. I Prefer members with Elite-tier status will also receive a welcome amenity or community giving opportunity, in addition to earning 50 percent more bonus points during every eligible stay.
Celebratory Launch Offer
Whether seeking to stay within their own country or satisfy the pent-up desire to dust off their passport and go somewhere new, Beyond Green encourages travelers to seize the moment by taking advantage of a limited-time only Journeyer’s Pick Package, available at 15 participating properties for bookings made by September 30, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2021. Featuring the best available rate plus a unique local experience or meaningful memento exclusively available through this special offer, as well as 5,000 I Prefer bonus points, the Journeyer’s Pick Package include highlights such as, but not limited to:
Traditional sunset Dhow Cruise with snacks and drinks at andBeyond Mnemba Island
Guided walking tour of the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa at Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
Body scrub wellness experience using organic ingredients at Borgo Pignano
Polynesian outrigger experience at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Where Good Hosts Meet Good Guests: The Beyond Green Portfolio
With plans for steady, thoughtful growth, Beyond Green celebrates its official launch in collaboration with 27 inspiring member properties that each take a unique and genuine approach to hospitality while representing sustainable tourism leadership through actionable, measurable efforts:
Americas – andBeyond Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile); Arenas Del Mar Beach Front and Rainforest Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize); Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California, USA), Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA); Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama); Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA); Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA); The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA); Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
Africa – andBeyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya); andBeyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania); andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia); Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa); Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda); Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana); Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia); Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe); Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana); Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
Asia – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia); The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia); Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)
Travelers are invited to access more information on Beyond Green, its three key pillars of sustainable tourism, and its member properties, and book authentic, luxury travel experiences around the world by visiting Beyond Green.
About Beyond Green
Guided by a passion to embrace travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of properties based on their commitment to deliver on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Hotel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit Beyond Green.
About Preferred Hotel Group
Owned and operated by the Ueberroth Family, Preferred Hotel Group is the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel, representing more than 1,100 hotels, resorts, and residences across 80 countries, in addition to a global portfolio of destinations such as Suzhou, China; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Uganda. With more than 200 seasoned travel professionals situated across 20 countries, the company connects independent hotels, hospitality companies, destinations, and tourism bureaus to key markets worldwide through a variety of strategic branding, sales, integrated marketing, revenue management, and comprehensive distribution services, along with other consultancy services. Fueled by its brand promise, Believe in Travel, the company champions an unwavering belief in the transformative power of travel and its ability to enrich people’s lives and create greater tolerance. For more information on Preferred Hotel Group’s entities, please visit Preferred Hotels, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.
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