Posts tagged sustainability

more gems from Fast Company….

“The power of population,” he wrote, “is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.”

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/126/special-report-china-in-africa.html

Dude…

I may hate his slimy underage models, but he’s got a point here.

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/126/sex-vs-ethics.html?page=0%2C0

“…ask most people whether they care about the environment, and it’s not particularly surprising that many would say yes. Ask whether they would back that up by “buying green” if they had the chance, and again, it’s likely that very few would admit to being hypocrites by saying no. What we do in the marketplace is another matter.”

“There were 7,000 cut-and-sew factories in the Los Angeles area, he fumed; none were unionized, and American Apparel paid the best wages of any of them.”

“”That’s the problem with the anti-sweatshop movement. You’re not going to get customers walking into stores by asking for mercy and gratitude.” If you want to sell something, ethical or otherwise, he said, snapping the book closed, “appeal to people’s self-interest.””

Even better, buy the book by the article’s author: “Buying In” by Rob Walker. I am.

Nau should read it too…

Ironically, white people live in the part of town where the tap water is safe to drink.

I just found the funniest blog, while drinking from my metal water bottle filled from my Brita (because you never know…)

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/76-bottles-of-water/

Wow.

This is from NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/opinion/10cox.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

The poorest 1/5th of US people spend double what they earn. And the richest 1/5th don’t spend nearly as much more on apparel as they do on other things. I remember visiting a friend of a friend in Nashville who was the epitome of conspicuous consumption, and being kinda shocked as she bragged about he $12 sweater from TJ Maxx or some shit. If rich people won’t buy expensive clothes, who does? Besides me, that is. ;-)

grrr. they wont let me post their awesome graph, so you have to go to the link to see it. I don’t feel like copying it onto flickr.

Mergers and Acquisitions I actually care about..

I rail against monopolies and lose sleep imagining a world where all my consumer products are frmo Proctor and Gamble, and all my news comes from Newscorp. But there is a possibility that these green guys being gobbled up by big guys have the power to affect change from within. After all, if they weren’t good at rakin’ in the greenbacks, the big guys wouldn’t have bought them. And it’s hard to grow a green company from nothing to a lot without knowing how to do it right, which is a transferable skill.

Article here: http://grist.org/advice/ask/2008/02/06/index.html

interesting graphs here: http://www.msu.edu/%7Ehowardp/organicindustry.html

OK, now I simply must get off my ass and go watch the Tarheels decimate the dorks from dook!

But first, a moment of silence for all the poor, underprivileged Americans who don’t live anywhere near a Whole Foods or a Wild Oats. I kinda doubt that the vast expanse of emptiness between stores is populated by a billion mom & pop health food stores. No wonder so many Americans are dying of obesity.

holy shit!

Rob Brezny pinned it again. And it’s a great motivator. Just tonight I sketched the very first outline for my big plan that’s going to revolutionize the world. The garment manufacturing world, that is. And then I come home and Rob tells me to stay on topic. Kinda scary though, because commitment to one path means what am I missing on the other paths??? I like having options, being able to wander off in the direction of the next shiny object. Since he’s talking about my half-baked notions, I’ll limit this to business. I have zero notions about my other driving desires. Even though I learned a shocking fact in Ethics class today. Something like 60% of couples met/ started dating at work?!? Where have I been? Oh, that’s right. In an industry predominantly comprised of straight women and gay men. Not exactly a romance incubator.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I urge you to spend 2008 turning all of your
pretty good but half-developed notions into a few brilliant, fully formed
ideas. While you’re at it, melt down your hundreds of wishy-washy wishes
and recast them into three driving desires. This is the Year of Pinpoint
Aim, Aries, also known as the Year of Lasering Your Focus and the Year of
Seeing with Fierce Clarity. Psyche yourself up for a major campaign to cut
the crap so the essence can shine.

Three driving desires:

1. stop exploitation of humans and other resources in manufacturing consumer products
2. create economically and ecologically sustainable jobs in Africa that fit with the local culture
3. have fun doing it

Fortunately, I have one idea that might be able to cover all three. But who knows. At least I don’t expect too much. If I even convince one company to fix one thing, that will be exciting.

Damn!

Why didn’t they have this program so I could apply to it??? It’s right up my alley! Man, I would have rocked that joint! ;-P

From Economist.com:

Quant-u-want

Perhaps because “master’s programme in mathematics in finance” sounds a bit dull, New York University’s Stern School of Business is advertising its new joint degree as the “super-quant degree”, whose holders will be able to get jobs on Wall Street faster even than a speeding bullet might. Students enrolled in the programme, co-hosted by Stern and NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, will earn both an MBA and a master’s of science in mathematics in finance, in only three years, by taking courses at both institutions.

The programme is scheduled to commence in the autumn of 2008. Courant notes that while work experience is not required for admission (prospective students must apply to both degree programmes separately), they do expect to find in each good applicant an understanding of multivariate calculus, linear algebra and the Gaussian distribution.

hahahahahaha. just kidding, duh! MY school made the news much higher on the list, and with much more interesting news. Instead of teaching us how to help a few rich people get richer, we’re doing stuff like this:

Providing solutions

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has joined an initiative to provide greater access to safe drinking water. The Carolina Global Water Partnership, an alliance between the university’s schools of business and public health, is charged with exploring ways to increase the availability of new technologies, such as ceramic water filters. Kenan-Flagler hopes to help identify ways in which private firms, including entrepreneurs working with microfinance loans, might be able to facilitate distribution. The first phase of research is tentatively set to take place in the Mekong region of South-East Asia.

New from the Net Impact conference…

All the speakers were saying the same thing, Corn might be OK for right now, but it’s not a viable, sustainable alternative. We can’t go using up all our farmland for gas. We just have to use a lot less petroleum if we want it to last…

Net Impact Conference


The King and the Princess.JPG, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

Was amazing. Funnest moment: IDEO workshop. Best speech: Yvon Chouinard. Most Awkward Moment: Calling people I know by the names of people they spend a lot of time with. Most Uplifting Moment: A textile sourcing specialist from Gap, Inc. saying he thought that an 11% increase in cotton prices could be absorbed, and not passed on to the Gap shopper. Perhaps my devious plan of ending US cotton subsidies through boycott by major end users will work, after all. (evil laugh of someone more interested in the greater good than the special interests of a few wealthy corporations)

Hallelujah!!!! Wal-Mart’s goin’ DOWN!!!

OK,sure, they employ a lot of people. And make it so poor people can afford to buy cheap crap and food. But the social (and environmental and health) cost of doing that is enormous. So now they are finally losing market share for real:

http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB119135657404946747.html

Some choice excerpts, for those of you who think WSJ is just a tool of the conservative elite. It’s not, even under Murdoch’s ownership, so maybe you should subscribe:

Wal-Mart’s shares trade about where they were at the start of the decade, when the company produced less than half its current revenue. Shares closed yesterday up 40 cents at $44.87, and down 9.3% from the stock’s year-earlier price. Earlier this year, Wal-Mart took the extraordinary step of ratcheting down its U.S. expansion plans because its new stores were stealing too much revenue from existing ones. That wasn’t a concern in the 1980s and 1990s when Wal-Mart was regularly flattening competitors.

In some ways, Wal-Mart’s loss of clout is a reflection of a more fragmented world. Retailing is a mirror to how we live and work. Big-box stores thrived by selling highly recognizable national brands, which themselves were fed by two phenomena: the growth of mass media and freeways, which encouraged large stores in remote areas. Stores and brands together achieved scale efficiencies that allowed them to overwhelm local chain stores and regional brands.

But the Internet is transforming the retail definition of scale. The once-stunning compilation of 142,000 items found in a Wal-Mart supercenter doesn’t seem so vast alongside the millions of products available on the Internet. At the same time, the cost of creating and sustaining a national brand is rising because of media fragmentation. Niche brands, created by Internet word of mouth, are winning shelf space and sapping profits required to fund big brands’ advertising. Manufacturers such as Apple Inc. and Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., lacking the retail distribution or presentation they crave, are opening their own stores. One result is that retail giants hold less sway over their customers — and over their suppliers.

Wal-Mart wasn’t able to demand big suppliers continue investing in a technology that was raising their operating costs, says Ken Rohleder, president of Rohleder Group, a Louisville, Ky., supply-chain consulting firm. “There was a time when they could have dictated anything,” he says.