All systems go

Lessons from India

We recently came across Adam Werbach’s presentation on lessons in business and sustainability to take from India, and thought they were some great thoughts to share. His five takeaways reveal the flexibility, ingenuity and values of Indian business: Hire people, not machines; Cultivate self-reliance; Think in whole systems; Align with natural forces; and Plan first, then improvise. An inspiring collection of considerations for all.

Interactive Objects

Your computer mouse may soon be obsolete if AnyTouch technology takes hold. The prototype from French Digitas Labs and startup Ayotle, developed as part of the AACC Startup Project, turns any everyday object into a touch and gesture-detecting machine. The prototype software combined with 3d sensor can detect objects and gestures, so that anything – even a piece of paper, can be made interactive. This video shows more.

(Image of Augmented Shadow by Joon Moon)

Solar Support

Solar energy is getting hot again. Recognizing that we all have a stake in how we use energy, Solar Mosaic – a new company that bills itself the “Kickstarter for Solar” – recently ran a beta test with over 400 people investing $350,000 to finance 5 solar rooftop installations. The building owners lease their solar systems and make monthly payments to repay investors. And a new ice-pop truck powered by a solar roof serves organic Good Pops and shows off infographics on energy consumption and the benefits of going solar.

Business on a Boat

A new boat could launch the next technology giant. Blueseed is a large vessel situated 12 nautical miles off the coast of California, which will house entrepreneurs coming from non-US backgrounds who want to live and work in a startup community close to Silicon Valley. The vessel’s design is in the works (one concept shown), and will have living and working amenities, and twice-daily ferries running to the mainland. Startups interested can apply online, and the ship will be ready to go by end of 2013.

Food Flight

No one looks forward to a meal on an airplane. But many don’t realize that the poor flavor of food in-flight actually has to do more with the environmental factors than bad cooking. British Airways is combating the lackluster meals with the cheekily-named Height Cuisine, working with experts taking into account altitude, air pressure, and humidity to make airplane food more palatable. Leatherhead Food Research’s team of scientists conducted a series of taste-tests on board, finding that delicate foods tend to lose their flavor. In turn, British Airways is adapting their menus, with items like Indian chicken tikka and rich tortellacci with tomato and olive.

Work it Out

Many of us spend a good deal of our lives at work, but sometimes environmental or behavioral considerations are afterthoughts to the work itself. Luckily at Wert, we have a beautiful, light-filled & comfortable space, but some are not so lucky. An infographic shows how recommendations for wellness in the workplace – from the building to your desk, and some suggested behavior changes, like “Walking Meetings” and healthy snacking options – can improve performance and loyalty on the job.

In the Trunk

In a time when our fashion accessories tend to be designed for technology (with perfectly-sized smartphone pockets and cord-tie attachments), its refreshing to see a company going back to basics, with a twist. Australian-based Trunk & Orderly hand-make classic fiberboard suitcases, to order.  Customers can choose the exterior color, and some fun interior fabrics, blanketing their suitcase in blades of grass. And check out a great profile on their workshop here.

Neighborly Shopping

Save time, meet neighbors, get groceries – a new crowdsourced service in Italy, Milk, Please! allows users to give and get needed groceries with neighborly help. Those at home who can’t make it to the store send a request to Milk, Please!, which has online and smartphone apps, as well as kiosks in supermarkets. Then, someone who wants to help and is headed to or already at the store can add the item to their shopping list, drop it off, and get compensation.

(Via Springwise)

Fix it yourself!

There’s never been a better time to get involved with fixing your own things. The tools and expertise to make repairs, whether to a fan, a lamp, or a bag are out there: visit the Fixers Collective, which meets monthly in the Proteus Gowanus Gallery in Brooklyn, or, if you happen to be in Amsterdam, try any number of the local repair cafes there, as the The New York Times reported on recently. Even if it’s the fridge or your iPhone that’re broken, search around online for professional repairs before you replace. You might be surprised how fixing something can change your relationship with it, or deepen an affair with something that’s already precious.

(Image via NYTimes)

Travel, Give, and Learn

A new organization replaces online ordering and delivery with actual people meeting, sharing goods and experiences. mmMule is an Australian-based company connecting tourists with locals needing goods from abroad. In return, tourists are rewarded with experiences like personal tours of cities or sights, or a place to stay the night. The site’s new arm, AngelMule connects visitors with non-profit organizations, giving tourists the chance to pack a little good in their bags.

(Image of mmMule mascot)


View all

Start to notice your own patterns in your life that will one day reveal themselves... in a way you can look back 20…