Today I came across the Green House Think Tank, a Green Party-associated UK-based organisation with some very good people involved in it. It looks to be quite new so I would keep an eye on their homepage for upcoming events etc:
Here’s a link to the recently published 2014 UN Human Development Index, a consistent reminder of how much work is yet to be done to on global inequality. I also think it’s interesting to look at the HDI in the context of the figure below, which illustrates the oil-rich countries of the world. Consider the role of oil companies in oil-rich but low HDI countries like Angola or Nigeria – someone is making money here and it’s not the citizens.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s been confirmed that Facebook is illegally tracking, for advertising purposes, all visitors to its site, whether registered or not. Hopefully this will bring some tighter legislation on online privacy:
Great article in today’s Observer about funding cuts to the Humanities in UK universities. I always feel that the debate about critical thinking v. practical skills is particularly important for business/management schools:
This week is “Meat Free Week” in the UK and Australia, an initiative started by an Australian charity a couple of years ago. The aim is to “get you thinking” about the amount of meat we eat and the impact of meat production on “health, animals and the environment”:
As a counterpoint, check out this article in the Guardian which question the efficacy of Meat Free Week and in the process makes some interesting points on why people make more sustainable/less unsustainable lifestyle choices. There’s also a link at the bottom to the Guardian’s “Sustainable Blog of the Week” series:
Meat Free Week also got me thinking about agriculture in Ireland, our largest indigenous industry. It’s a classic sustainability trade-off – long-term environmental impact versus short-term economic impact. Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, is tackling the issue through carbon audits of farms around the country. Here’s a link to their sustainability policy, Origin Green, with some interesting stuff under the “Farms” and “Dairy” headings:
Researchers often focus on the role of top management in implementing an organisation’s “sustainability” strategy, but, as this article suggests, the role of the Board may be even more important. Perhaps it is there we should be focusing our powers of persuasion?
Interesting article in the Observer today about Starbucks’ new initiative inviting customers and staff to start conversations about race. The article expands into an analysis of Starbucks’ recent attempts to “redefine the role and responsibility of a public company”. I like the balance of this piece – it outline what the company is doing and then gives us some positive and negative perspectives thereon.
This is an interesting little piece plugging Worldwatch’s latest “State of the World” report. The author of the chapter of the report profiled here is Lou Pingeot, who considers the role of the UN in making corporations more transparent and accountable:
Announcement a couple of days ago that Irish organisation OpenSparkz is to open a “Global Sustainability Centre” in Castlebar in Mayo. The aim of the organisation is to provide social entrepreneurs in Africa with capital and support, and the Centre in Castlebar will be a “hub” hosting about ten companies. Here’s the announcement and, below, a link to the organisation’s website: