While I like many of the companies that tend to fall under the banner, I'm finding myself more and more annoyed by the term "sharing economy," which is used as shorthand to categorize a fairly miscellaneous set of firms virtually none of which involve sharing in any meaningful way. Under the circumstances, I was glad to see Rachel Botsman's presentation on how the sharing economy lacks a shared definition in which she attempts to rescue the concept with a more precise typology. But I don't think it works.
The level of inequality can be shocking: "Hong Kong is either heaven or hell depending on who you might ask. It has the [developed] world's highest Gini score with Singapore 2nd and the USA 3rd. Over in Kowloon you'll find so-called 'cage people', residents living in cages or ultra small dwellings, barely able to make ends meet and end up begging in the busy streets or living off meager social assistance if they can get it. Food and rent are expensive so losing a job can be a matter of life and death."
no crew traveled with us, it was just Oscar and me. we filmed this ourselves, with a tripod, using my personal cameras.
the whole story; i often get solicitations for work, all kinds of companies, people, organizations etc asking if i would be interested in making a video for them. i was really concerned after the typhoon, as anyone with a heartbeat was. left with the frustration and guilt i often feel when i learn of other people suffering, a guilt for not being able to help more. i had made donations but it's hard to see or feel the effects of ones contributions. a few days later i was contacted by 20th Century Fox, they wanted to know if i could make a promotional film to get the word out about Ben Stiller's great new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Mitty is a movie about chasing a dream and they wanted me to make a movie about chasing a dream. I am a big dreamer but at that time only one thing came to mind; if i could do anything in the world right now what would it be? that's to help the victims of the typhoon. i, someone crassly, replied to 20th Century Fox that the only movie i wanted to make is one where i give away the budget to those in need. i still don't understand how or why but they agreed. i jumped on a plane with my best friend and fellow adventurer Oscar and we flew to Manila. there was little time to think or plan before we left, actually we did zero planning before we left. my original thought was that we'd connect with an NGO already in place, a non-profit that's already doing a lot of good, and i'd simply hand them a check. but that turned out complicated and it sort of felt like the non-profits we contacted did not want to link up with us. so on a whim we decided to launch our very own relief mission. it was complicated and at first improbable but with the help of an extremely loving group of locals, all who were total strangers, we were able to stretch the production budget really far. beyond the food distributed in the video we also worked with a local nurse and purchased a lot of medicine and medical supplies, as well as providing tools to village leaders to be shared within the village and aid in the rebuilding process.
never have i met such people with the resilience of these typhoon victims. there was one thing that stuck out, one big huge tiny thing, that was; of everyone we were face to face with, thousands of people, not once, at anytime for any reason did anyone complain. no one. their focus was on rebuilding and healing, not sympathy.
big thank you to Fox and Ben Stiller for not freaking the fuck out when they saw what i did with their money.
he first day of trading in what will be by far the largest carbon market in China started briskly on Thursday with pricing in line with expectations, as Beijing continued its drive to slow its rapid growth of heat-trapping emissions.
The first trade on the China Emissions Exchange in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, was priced at 61 renminbi, or about $10, with the cement firm Hailuo buying 20,000 carbon permits from the new energy arm of the state-owned power producer Huadian Energy.
Early trade volume in Guangdong’s carbon permit market, expected to be the world’s second largest in terms of carbon dioxide covered, surpassed full-day totals that started the country’s three other carbon exchanges.
China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, wants to use markets to achieve its target to cut emissions per unit of gross domestic product to 40 percent to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 — at the lowest possible cost.
Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen have already opened markets of their own; Hubei Province and the cities of Chongqing and Tianjin are expected to follow in the next few months.
If you’re looking for the latest data to scare you into combating climate change, you won’t find it in Jigar Shah’s newly released book, Creating Climate Wealth.
Instead, Shah, founder of SunEdison, the solar company known for its unique service-versus-sales business model, and former CEO of the nonprofit Carbon War Room, says he deliberately steered clear of the climate fear factor — in favor of inspiring readers through the prospect of climate wealth.
Shah knows a thing or two about the latter, having built SunEdison from scratch — starting with a home equity loan and ultimately creating a company with more than $2 billion in sales last year.
China has banned shark-fin soup from official government banquets and receptions, according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news agency, part of a crackdown on political extravagance that also covers bird's-nest soup and other wild-animal products.
The Communist Party of China's announcement doesn't focus on the practice of shark finning, which kills an estimated 100 million sharks worldwide every year, and is framed more as an effort to limit the cost of publicly funded state banquets. Still, it fulfills a vow the government made in 2012 to phase out the controversial soup, brewed from fins sawed off live sharks before their bodies are dumped back into the ocean to die.
On average, an estimated 100-150 liters of water is needed to process one kg of textiles today. Industry analysts estimate that over 39 million tons of polyester will be dyed annually by 2015.
Consumers can expect to see Nike ColorDry products in the marketplace early next year. Initial indications from FENC show that ColorDry is more efficient and consistent than traditional dyeing methods. Executive Vice President Kuenlin Ho said:
Compared to traditional dyeing methods, the ColorDry process reduces dyeing time by 40%, energy use by around 60% and the required factory footprint by a quarter. It’s also the most saturated, intense and consistent color we’ve seen.
It has become fashionable to issue dire projections of declining prosperity based on demographic aging. But is that really such a problem?
There is no doubt that all the countries of the world are getting older, but they are at very different stages of the process. The median age in the United States—with half the population older and half younger—is currently 36. In Ethiopia it’s 18, owing to a higher birthrate and a lower life expectancy. In other African countries it’s even lower. The world’s oldest country is Germany, where the median age is 45.
The pattern is very clear: The young countries are poor, and the old countries are rich. So why do people fear population aging? I see two reasons. The first is psychological: The analogy to individual aging suggests that as populations get older, they grow frail and lose mental acuity. The second comes from economists and an indicator called the dependency ratio, which assumes that every adult below age 65 contributes to society, and everybody above 65 is a burden. And the proportion of people older than 65 is bound to increase.
Yet we also know that the productivity of some individuals is much higher than that of others, independent of age. Nothing is inherently special about the age of 65. Many people live longer and do so mostly in good health. The saying “Seventy is the new 60” has a sound scientific basis. Meanwhile, education has been shown to be a key determinant of better health, longer life, and higher productivity (not to mention open-mindedness). The active aging of better-educated populations can be an asset rather than a problem.
“A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.” So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger, in a passage that might have been referring to climate change denial—the persistent rejection, on the part of so many Americans today, of what we know about global warming and its human causes. But it was too early for that—this was the 1950s—and Festinger was actually describing a famous case study in psychology.
German architect André Broessel, of Rawlemon, has looked into his crystal ball and seen the future of renewable energy. In this case it’s a spherical sun-tracking solar energy-generating globe — essentially a giant glass marble on a robotic steel frame. But this marble is no toy. It concentrates both sunlight and moonlight up to 10,000 times — making its solar harvesting capabilities 35 percent more efficient than conventional dual-axis photovoltaic designs.
Progress toward more sustainable global business is proving tough, but by turning sustainability initiatives into drivers of measurable value, some pioneering CEOs are significantly outperforming their peers and forging a path for others to follow.
Starbucks, Nestle and the University of Cincinnati are among the organizations turning spent coffee grounds into bioplastics, laundry detergents and biodiesel, The Guardian reports.
Starbucks currently purchases around 400 million pounds of coffee a year and is working on turning the used grounds, along with its bakery waste, into laundry detergents, bioplastics and other products.
The coffee giant is donating the waste to a research project at the City University of Hong Kong. Researchers blend the grounds and baked goods with fungi that break down the carbohydrates into simple sugars that can the be processed into succinct acid, a key ingredient in many products including bioplastics and laundry detergents.
In the first few decades after China's communist revolution, most families aspired to own the "three circles and a speaker" - a radio, a bicycle, a wrist watch and a sewing machine.
Decades later, the list of Chinese must-haves is a lot more expensive. Chinese people are under pressure to buy their own apartment, a car, a smartphone, a DSLR camera and a laptop, for starters. Others strive for designer clothes and furniture too.
One of the key drivers underpinning some of the world's worst ongoing violent conflicts over the past few years is the extraction and trade of natural resources.
Recently in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Séléka rebels, who have carried out acts of violence against their people, have taken advantage of the diamonds trade to consolidate their power. This has led to the exclusion of the CAR from the Kimberley process aimed at tackling conflict diamonds.
Meanwhile in the Democratic Republic of Congo the extraction of cassiterite, gold, tungsten and coltan has financed warring factions for the past two decades, in a conflict that has already resulted in millions of victims.
But Africa does not have a monopoly on this kind of problem. In Burma the mining industry was militarised for several decades, with the national army controlling mining sites, business operations and exportation. While in Colombia tantalum, wolframite and gold mines as well as their respective business concerns are controlled and taxed by armed groups.
Products that have funded conflicts can only reach the international market with participation of the businesses that buy and use them. An article published by Bloomberg revealed that BMWs, Ferraris, Porches and Volkswagens contain tungsten and wolframite that come from businesses under the control of the FARC Colombian rebels. This is far from being an isolated case as these minerals are used in the making of components that can be found in the majority of everyday electronic, aeronautical and defence equipment.
The Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale, California has been ordered to cease production due to the presence of microorganisms in the beloved sauce. The Los Angeles Superior Court ordered Huy Fong Foods company to stop making Sriracha, in addition to its Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek, until it can better control not only the microorganisms, but also the irritating odors affecting locals.
Read more: Sriracha Hot Sauce Plant Ordered to Cease Production Due to Presence of Microorganisms | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building