* The blind men and the sustainable development elephant

Blind men and the elephant

We all know the story about The Blind Men and the Elephant?

Fine, but do you know the one about The Blind Men and “Sustainable Development”?

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Has sustainability become a risky business?

tightrope walkerJohn Davies writes in GreenBiz.com about a new report just released by Ernst & Young which presents a disconcerting paradox when it comes to corporate sustainability efforts. Namely that while more companies are concerned about increased risk and proximity of natural resource shortages, corporate risk response appears to be inadequate to address the scope and scale of some of these challenges. We reprint his article with links to the full report here with his permission.

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How to Find New Ideas

brain2Zipcar founder Robin Chase, who addressed our class last year, has forwarded to me today the attached short interview in which she shares how she comes up with her ideas, and explains the importance of starting with a “minimum viable product” when launching a business. She appeared at Stanford Graduate School of Business as part of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies’ E-Provocateurs lecture series on April 23, 2013. Let’s listen to what she has to say.

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Robert Ayres on Economic Growth Enigma: Money or Energy

robert ayres - 2Professor Robert Ayres will be joining us as a guest speaker on Thursday at 14:00.  You will find a short bio note summarizing some of the high points of his career and prolific  output just below. In his presentation  and in  the following question period Ayres will be looking at some important aspects of the future of the planet, which holds out some interesting clues for the future career and expertise choices of young people looking at a future business career.  As he rakes through the smoldering coals of a world soon to be  saddled with post-peak oil prices that will never again come back to “normal”, he may have a few clues for your future. Continue reading

Guest speaker: Robert Underwood Ayres

Professor Robert Ayres will be joining us as a guest speaker on Thursday at 14:00.  You will find a short bio note summarizing some of the high points of his career and prolific  output just below.

In his presentation to our seminar and in  the following question period Ayres will be looking at one important aspect of the future of the planet, which holds out some interesting clues for the future career and expertise choices of young people looking at a future business career.  But his point of departure may surprise: he will open with a tough look at the on-going financial crisis facing and already to an unfortunate extent crippling the world economy.  As he rakes through the smoldering coals of a world soon to be  saddled with post-peak oil prices that will never again come back to “normal”, he may have a few clues for your future.

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Change has to take root in people’s minds (before it can be legislated)

john adams risk coverProfessor John Adams has spent quite some years in researching, thinking, talking and writing about risk, and about risk when it comes to how people get around in their daily lives. This posting is taken from his blog Risk in a hypermobile world”  His attraction to transport problems grew out of his involvement in the 1970s and 80s as an objector at public inquiries, on behalf of Friends of the Earth, to the British Government’s road building plans. See “Hypermobility: too much of a good thing” for a summary of his current take on transport problems.

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Archives: The Limits of Cost-Benefit Analysis

During the early nineteen sixties the famed development economist, Albert Albert HirschmanHirschman negotiated with the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, part of the World Bank group, the financial support that he needed for an extended visit to several WB development projects scattered throughout the poor areas of the world. The document where he reports his visit was the matter of much controversy between the IBRD staff and Hirschman. One of the major points of disagreement was the latter´s refusal to employ the technique of cost-benefit analysis, then very popular at the WB, as a measure of the success of a project.

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