Can companies do better by doing less? | Guardian Sustainable Business In mainstream economics and politics, “growth” is a largely unquestioned good, generally associated with positive attributes like “progress” or “innovation”. “Degrowth”, on the other hand, connotes negative trends like recession, decline, unemployment and social disruption. Viewed from this angle, the idea of voluntary degrowth seems bizarre. Not surprisingly, when policymakers and business leaders look for solutions to environmental and social crises, they usually focus on technology-based “growth” strategies like “green growth”, geo-engineering and carbon capture. However, a growing number of scientists have argued that growth-based technology solutions alone will not be able to stop the dramatic human overuse of nature, or eradicate poverty. Even so, degrowth – either voluntary or as a result of ecological and economic crises – is still not considered a realistic alternative by most mainstream economists. Building degrowth communities – and economies Changing the global conversation
10 TRENDS FOR 2015 Jeff Bezos recently told shareholders that Amazon would have 10,000 Kiva robots by the end of 2014 (from just 1,400 in 2013), and that this could cut fulfillment costs for an average order by 20-40% (BCG, August 2014). And while lower costs will be central to the robot narrative told in boardrooms during 2015, smart business will be planning not just how robots might decrease their costs, but how they can also increase customer satisfaction, too. Draw inspiration from the examples below around how to use robots to initiate better customer service: more reliable, faster, richer, more personal, more convenient … the list goes on. Remember, this isn't about Man vs.
The Rise of the Sharing Economy Collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer marketplaces, the sharing economy — it's been called a few names by now, but no one is denying that the idea of accessing rather than owning is controversial — and it's taking the Internet by storm. Peer-to-peer marketplaces, of which Airbnb is the beloved poster child, have been popping up for the past few years, but 2011 was an explosive year for the sector. Whether you wanted to borrow or rent someone's apartment, bike, car, parking spot or random household good, you could find a marketplace to do it. This is only the beginning, though; 2012 looks to be a promising year for those involved with the sharing economy. Collaborative consumption services are getting a lot of attention, yes, but I couldn't help but notice that only a small percentage of my contacts — even my super techie friends — have tried any of them. It's All About Value Knodes and SnapGoods founder Ron J. Renting vs. While it's called the "sharing economy," not everything is free.
Learning Shelter - L'enseignement Peer To Peer L’enseignement Peer to Peer (que l’on pourrait traduire par enseignement mutuel ou collaboratif) apparaît comme une alternative de plus en plus crédible à une éducation centrée sur le professeur. Il repose, lui, sur l’idée que l’on a quelque chose à apprendre de n’importe qui ; pas seulement des experts et des professeurs. Avec l’engouement suscité par Wikipédia, Quora, P2PU ou Skillshare, gageons que l’enseignement P2P prendra une place significative dans la réinvention des systèmes éducatifs. Une conception de l’éducation centrée sur le professeur Aujourd’hui, le professeur enseigne et l’élève apprend dans une relation unilatérale. L’ordonnancement de la classe entretient cette relation : les étudiants sont assis à leur bureaux, écoutent l’instituteur et n’ont pas à communiquer entre eux. Un héritage historique à dépasser Cette conception de l’éducation avait encore un sens au XXe siècle lorsque le professeur était, pour les étudiants, le seul accès au savoir et à la connaissance.
How Uber and the Sharing Economy Can Win Over Regulators - Sarah Cannon, and Lawrence H. Summers Sharing economy firms are disrupting traditional industries across the globe. For proof, look no further than Airbnb which, at $10 billion, can boast a higher valuation than the Hyatt hotel chain. Uber is currently valued at $18.2 billion relative to Hertz at $12.5 billion and Avis at $5.2 billion. These firms bring significant economic, environmental, and entrepreneurial benefits including an increase in employment and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (in the case of car sharing services). However, rather than rolling out the red carpet, city governments have resisted many of these new entrants issuing subpoenas and cease-and-desist orders. Regulation is often the most significant barrier to future growth for sharing economy firms. The relationship between sharing economy firms and regulators will likely remain uneasy for the foreseeable future. Be responsive to regulators’ legitimate concerns. Use state of the art approaches to reaching out to government.
STATUS SKILLS | A value shift in status: from passive consumption to mastering skills First published: September 2006 | It’s September, which for many of you means the start of the busiest business quarter and even more pressure to come up with smart strategies and plans for 2007. So, as a professional, it never hurts to remind yourself of the business you’re really in: providing your customers and clients with status, directly or indirectly, in whatever form or shape. After all, there is little that consumers do that isn't consciously or subconsciously influenced by a desire for recognition from family, friends, and any fellow consumers they come into contact with. Luckily, shifts in what constitutes status in our Great Consumer Society hardly ever occur overnight. And even if they do, status shifts won't entirely replace the tried and tested. So you have ample of opportunity to spot these shifts early on and to introduce something that evolves your core offerings, not necessarily making them obsolete straight away. Note: this is *not* an anti-business trend.
CROWDFUNDING – Les 2 millions de dollars du nouveau film de Zach Braff financés en cinq jours Depuis quelques années, le crowdfunding – soit le financement d'un projet par des dons du public qui, en contrepartie, peut y participer et obtenir quelques retombées une fois qu'il est réalisé – rencontre un succès grandissant. Selon Crowdsourcing.org, près de 1,12 milliard d'euros ont été levés en 2011 sur les quelque 450 plateformes qui existent à travers le monde – comme celle de Kiss Kiss Bank Bank en France –, avec une hausse de 72 % des fonds amassés, dans des domaines aussi divers que la santé, l'environnement, le journalisme, la science et, surtout, la culture. >> Lire l'enquête du Monde : La création à l'heure du "crowdfunding" (édition abonnés) Le cinéma, également en quête de financement indépendant, se tourne de plus en plus vers ce modèle. Aux Etats-Unis, où la culture du mécénat est bien plus développée, la plateforme KickStarter mène la danse dans ce domaine. Signaler ce contenu comme inapproprié Cette entrée a été publiée dans Actualité.
And what about the money? On September 15, 2008, six years ago, Lehman Brothers collapsed. Despite a “tsunami” of reforms, the financial system has not been transformed. To change finance, there might be a need to change our basic understanding of the financial system. This come-back to fundamentals has led reformers as well as central bankers to focus on money itself. By Fabien Hassan, guest poster* Since its creation in 2012, Finance Watch has been trying to have an impact on the regulatory agenda in Europe, and has achieved some remarkable results (see annual report for 2013). But what of the reforms that have not made it onto the mainstream legislative agenda? The role of money in macroeconomics Mainstream economics, a science which deals with prices, wealth, and production essentially claims that money doesn't matter. In the 1970s, opponents of Keynesianism built on this conception to develop the so-called “quantitative theory of money”. Who are the advocates of monetary reform? Image © Positive Money