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Fairmount Santrol Professor of Social Entrepreneurship David Cooperrider provides his insight on current articles relating to Business as an Agent of World Benefit.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Remember when Henry Ford years ago raised everyone's wages dramatically in his belief that a strong middle class and upward pay mobility would be good for business AND society? Well here is a small company in Seattle doing something similar. And even though small, these kinds of innovations can have large impact as they enter our collective imaginations. A significant percentage of employees at Gravity Payment will see their salaries double over the next three years, while the CEO, Price himself, will take a pay cut from $1 million down to $70,000 a year, or minimum wage by his standards. 

Seattle Business Owner Will Pay $70,000 Minimum Wage to All Employees

Seattle Business Owner Will Pay $70,000 Minimum Wage to All Employees

employees will see their salaries double over the next three years, while Price himself will take a pay cut from $1 million down to $70,000 a year, or minimum wage by his standards.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

We are in one of those once in a civilization opportunity moments: re-creating the energy basis of an entire economy. The shift to 100% renewable energy is the vision of some of the top business leaders of our times: Gates, Khosla, and Elon Musk among many others. One venture that demonstrates the huge business logic is a relatively new company called Ambri...based on the work of MIT engineers and scientists bent on providing solutions to the battery storage question. Phil Guidice, the CEO who’s running Ambri, says new batteries emerging with the help of big backers will finally enable renewables to compete with fossil fuels. “Khosla, Gates, Musk, and the Pritzkers are all excited about changing the world in a better way, and they’re swinging for the fences,” Guidice says. “We’re getting closer every day.”

The $5 Billion Race to Build a Better Battery

The $5 Billion Race to Build a Better Battery

Phil Guidice, the CEO who’s running Sadoway’s Ambri, says new batteries emerging with the help of big backers will finally enable renewables to compete with fossil fuels. “Khosla, Gates, Musk, and the Pritzkers are all excited about changing the world in a better way, and they’re swinging for the fences,” Guidice says. “We’re getting closer every day.”
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Your retirement account can help generate a worldwide transition to renewable clean energy, and “People are learning that…you can earn good economic returns and do good with your money at the same time.”

You Can Now Invest In Solar Bonds Through Your Retirement Account

You Can Now Invest In Solar Bonds Through Your Retirement Account

Major solar provider SolarCity announced Monday that it was partnering with securities and investment firm Incapital to allow Americans to invest in Solar Bonds through their IRAs or financial advisers.
Solar Bonds, which were created by SolarCity in 2014, are a way for Americans to invest in solar through a bond structure, rather than buying stock in a company.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

In a keynote address to 200 business and government leaders at Singapore’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dutch former Mckinsey partner and Minister Pieter Winsemius shared that in recent decades, business attitudes towards sustainability have evolved through four stages; reactive, functional, integrated and proactive.

 

In the first ‘reactive’ stage, companies merely abide by government regulations on environmental performance; as they progress to the ‘functional’ stage, they start to explore ways to implement compulsory sustainability measures as efficiently as possible.

 

The third ‘integrated’ stage sees companies recognising that there are business opportunities in addressing environmental and social challenges, and they begin to integrate sustainability concerns into their operations.

 

In the final ‘proactive’ approach, businesses take responsibility for meeting the needs of future generations, and adopt long-term thinking to anticipate and fulfil these needs.

Companies proactive on sustainability have competitive edge

Companies proactive on sustainability have competitive edge

Corporate sustainability has come a long way in recent decades, morphing from a mere adherence to regulations set down by governments in the 1970s to the integration of environmental and social responsibility principles into core business practices by many companies today. 

But to achieve sustainable development - that is, ensuring that the needs of future generations are not compromised by the present - companies must take an even more proactive approach in their practices, said Dutch professor, author, and former minister Pieter Winsemius at a conference on Tuesday. 

In a keynote address to 200 business and government leaders at Singapore’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, Winsemius shared that in recent decades, business attitudes towards sustainability have evolved through four stages; reactive, functional, integrated and proactive.

In the first ‘reactive’ stage, companies merely abide by government regulations on environmental performance; as they progress to the ‘functional’ stage, they start to explore ways to implement compulsory sustainability measures as efficiently as possible.

The third ‘integrated’ stage sees companies recognising that there are business opportunities in addressing environmental and social challenges, and they begin to integrate sustainability concerns into their operations.

In the final ‘proactive’ approach, businesses take responsibility for meeting the needs of future generations, and adopt long-term thinking to anticipate and fulfil these needs.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

People don"t need to own products, but they do want the service and the experience the product provides. This idea is powering the collaborative economy, including cloths. How about making it possible for everyone to go luxury when they want and enable easy access, complete recycling, and radical price reductions? Girl Meets Dress is a disruptive e-commerce business with a mission to democratise luxury – believing that everybody deserves a Cinderella experience. We provide millions of women with the ability to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price.

How Girl Meets Dress is capitalising on the demise of ownership

How Girl Meets Dress is capitalising on the demise of ownership

Girl Meets Dress is a disruptive e-commerce business with a mission to democratise luxury – believing that everybody deserves a Cinderella experience. We provide millions of women with the ability to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Imagine someday being able to scan a product and hear the story of the life cycle/sustainability of the product--from toxins to transportation fallout. And imagine if you could then see a "sustainability leadership badge" that helps you find sustainability leadership quickly in any category--for example the most sustainably designed TV on the shelf. Well this is soon going to be a reality and soon thousands and thousand of products, companies, and industries will be made more comparable, more transparent, and help make us all more intelligent about sustainable value. And Walmart has set it in motion, already in a big way, with its new "sustainability leaders badge." And I cant wait until it matures to the point where we can sweep our i-Phones over a code and hear the whole story narrated as part of our purchasing experience. It could be revolutionary. 

 

The Sustainability Leaders badge, at this stage of development, does not make representations about the environmental or social impact of an individual product, only that the manufacturer has scored well enough to earn a badge across all of the products they make in that category. For example, a television identified with a Sustainability Leaders badge indicates that the manufacturer has been identified as a Sustainability Leader among its peers in the television category for its sustainability management practices. But this is just the beginning of something that can be remarkable and exactly what all of us need to be more conscious, informed, and inspired about products getting better and better. 

Walmart Sustainability Index Goes Live With Over 100,000 Suppliers

Walmart Sustainability Index Goes Live With Over 100,000 Suppliers

The Sustainability Leaders badge does not make representations about the environmental or social impact of an individual product, only that the manufacturer has scored well enough to earn a badge across all of the products they make in that category. For example, a television identified with a Sustainability Leaders badge indicates that the manufacturer has been identified as a Sustainability Leader among its peers in the television category for its sustainability management practices.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, CEO of Mirai Co., has partnered with GE Japan to make his dream of a water, space and energy efficient indoor farming system a reality, with amazing stats and nutrients: 100-fold increase in productivity per square foot;

Wasted produce down 50%; nutrient rich in 2.5 times faster than conventional outdoor farming. 


By controlling temperature, humidity and irrigation, the farm can also cut its water usage to just one percent of the amount needed by conventional outdoor farming. “What we need to do is not just setting up more days and nights. We want to achieve the best combination of photosynthesis during the day and breathing at night by controlling the lighting and the environment,” says Shimamura. The systems allows the farm to grow nutrient-rich lettuce two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm. Wasted produce is also reduced from around 50 percentdown to just 10 percent of the crop. This means a 100-fold increase in productivity per square foot. The LEDs also last longer than fluorescent lights and consume 40 percent less power.


Read more: The World's Largest Indoor Farm Produces 10,000 Heads of Lettuce a Day in Japan | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

 

 

http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/28/worlds-largest-indoor-farm/

 

World's Largest 'Vegetable Factory' Revolutionizes Indoor Farming » EcoWatch

World's Largest 'Vegetable Factory' Revolutionizes Indoor Farming » EcoWatch

World’s Largest ‘Vegetable Factory’ Revolutionizes Indoor Farming
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

“The trajectory for sustainable investing continues to point upward.  What used to be a bifurcated decision – one between investing to make money and giving to do good – is increasingly becoming a blended conversation as investors look to harness the power of the capital markets as a force for positive impact,” said Audrey Choi, Managing Director and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley.  “As sustainable business practices and investment options become more important to investors, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing is working to drive scalable investment solutions that seek to achieve market-returns that beat the market

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Poised for Growth.

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Poised for Growth.

Over seventy percent of active individual investors (71%) describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65%) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. 
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Citi has increasingly focused on environmental sustainability, with investments into such financing increasing over the past several years. Such financing swelled from $4.29 billion in 2008 to $8.78 billion in 2013, according to Citigroup’s global citizenship report. That report showed that the bank lends the most to solar projects, while wind and energy efficiency projects also receives sizable investments. In total, Citi's announcement of $100 billion for green initiatives represents a dramatic leap, even as the price of oil plummets. 

Citigroup sets aside $100 billion for green initiatives

Citigroup sets aside $100 billion for green initiatives

Bank sets target to finance green initiatives over the next decade
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Ray Kurzweil's exponential technology thesis is now being applied in the solar industry, and some of the analyst conclusions are stunning. They are being used to recommend stocks, such as Solar City. Here is just one conclusion: solar PV technology only needs to improve at its historical rate for only 16 more years to fulfill near 100% of the world's energy needs. There is absolutely no reason to think that an S curve inflection point will occur within this 16 year timeframe. Many individuals likely find it too absurd that solar will displace the massive fossil fuels generation industry within the next decade and a half, and so subconsciously assume that the S curve inflection point of solar PV growth should occur before such a thing happens. Besides purely emotional reasons, there is no logical reason to believe that such a thing should occur within the next 16 years.

How SolarCity Sees The Future Playing Out And the Exponential Opportunity in Motion

How SolarCity Sees The Future Playing Out And the Exponential Opportunity in Motion

To summarize, solar PV technology only needs to improve at its historical rate for only 16 more years to fulfill near 100% of the world's energy needs (as was stated before, corner cases will likely stick around for longer). There is absolutely no reason to think that an S curve inflection point will occur within this 16 year timeframe. Many individuals likely find it too absurd that solar will displace the massive fossil fuels generation industry within the next decade and a half, and so subconsciously assume that the S curve inflection point of solar PV growth should occur before such a thing happens. Besides purely emotional reasons, there is no logical reason to believe that such a thing should occur within the next 16 years.