Throughout the past six months, the coronavirus has impacted almost every industry around the globe. Whether those industries are small or large, very few have excelled financially when discussing this year’s success. Nevertheless, through recent announcements and quarterly financial reports, it appears that we may begin to see some economic upturn for the global automakers.
Plastic has now become an inseparable aspect of our lives. Convenient and user-friendly, it has enhanced our lives in many ways. However as our reliance grows, we need to be cautious of the side effects. Since its mass-production in the 1950s, 4.9 billion tons have been sent to landfill, and only 600 million tons have been recycled. There is only so much space on Earth. Scientists and environmentalists from all over the world are trying to find solutions to solve the issue of single-use, unrecyclable waste.
Over the past several months, relations between the U.S. and China have continuously been unpredictable. With recent developments, it appears that the relationship may continue to worsen. On February 13, the U.S. government charged Huawei Technologies and two of its subsidiaries with federal racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets from American companies. With Huawei technologies being one of China’s top tech companies, this may lead to future global issues.
If you haven’t paid any attention to growing internet trends recently, you may be unfamiliar with the social media platform, TikTok. TikTok is a popular destination for short-form video creation through lip-syncing, dancing, and memes. Similar to the now-extinct Vine, TikTok features the same looping video function however adds a new layer of customization through the form of effects, filters, and sound overlays. Many of the application’s 800 million active users are teenagers, with the younger demographic being largely represented among TikTok’s top content creators.
By now, everyone has heard of virtual reality (VR). For the past decade, scientists and engineers have tried to improve this technology to be more user-friendly and affordable. Companies around the world are all investing in this "next big thing". Thanks to their hard work, VR has become not just something in fantasy movies but also a technology that can be used in daily life.
Over the past 10 years, advances in technology have led to economic growth as well as stability for many markets throughout the globe; however, one of the most exciting advances is still yet to come: the self-driving car. As tech companies continue to test and develop software that has the ability to control a car’s every move, there are some implications that have sparked global issues. Three of the world’s four largest economies are involved in a debate caused by issues relating to consumer privacy, trade disputes, and business opportunities.
A health-and-wellness storm has been sweeping through countries around the world. It has affected and shaped numerous industries, from food to technology. Of course, the ever-changing fashion industry is hopping on the bandwagon as well. This time, it has partnered with the sports industry to create apparel that can be worn not only during workouts. Athleisure wear gave exercise attire a stylish twist in addition to innovative fabrics that are designed for people to have a laid-back, yet stylish lifestyle.
Tobacco has been a large industry ever since it was brought to Europe centuries ago. The American plant took off in popularity, becoming a commonly used product worldwide to be smoked and chewed. One of the primary factors causing tobacco consumption is the addictive nicotine found inside. Smoking continued to rise in popularity until its peak in 1963, where roughly 11 cigarettes were purchased per person per day in the United States. Other countries appeared to have a slightly later peak in popularity for smoking. In 1972, Switzerland approached its peak, resulting in Swiss smoking temporarily surpassing the rates of the U.S. Other countries, such as Germany and Japan, also experienced their highest rates in the 1970s. The United States and Switzerland had significant declines in sales after their peaks, though many other countries did not experience these rapid declines in cigarette sales until the early 2000s. Nowadays, many countries that have the highest rates of smoking tend to be in Europe, such as France, Germany, and Greece.
Recently, big retail giants have been approaching their brick-and-mortar stores differently. Instead of following their traditional footsteps, companies have been looking into alternative ways to stay competitive in the digital economy and to attract a wider consumer base. This trend has just recently surfaced in the U.S., but for other countries, this has already been in practice for many years. In areas with dense population and expensive rents, it is very typical for retailers to downsize. It allows the company to operate without incurring an unreasonable amount of fixed expenses. Best of both worlds, it offers convenience to customers while staying competitive amongst other retailers.
Tech firms have been innovating and growing freely with no strings attached for the past few decades. However, governments and politicians in the America and Europe have been growing a negative sentiment towards the freedom of the giant tech firms. Companies that fall under the social media, search engine, and e-commerce buckets have been specifically put under the microscope. The whole world is currently watching Mark Zuckerberg’s, the Founder and CEO of Facebook, testimony where he has been drilled with 100s of questions revolving around Facebook’s business model, monopolistic power, and the company’s lack of responsibility and respect towards its users data. The real question here is: should governments intervene and regulate these industries?
Artificial limbs, manufacturing machines, and transportation drones all share one common trait: the implementation of robotics. One of the fastest growing sectors in the world, robotics and its applications are revolutionizing the way society conducts our lives. The recent data boom has produced a newfound excitement around all technology, using the benefits of mass statistics to carefully craft new innovative products. Robotics has been one of the largest, if not the largest, benefactors from this trend, using systems like cloud storage, artificial intelligence, and responsive programming to evolve into a highly intelligent and efficient tool. Currently, technology stocks are growing tremendously compared to past years and robotics seem to be on the cutting edge of a new era.
globalEDGE offers a number of indices on our country pages. Topics of these indices range from the level of innovation performance of a country to an index that ranks countries based on the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac in different countries.
Entrepreneurship is permeating business conversations as more people discover the lasting benefits that come with investing in start-ups. Entrepreneurs are responsible for driving the majority of social and economic innovation across the globe and continue to foster opportunities for growth in mature, emerging and frontier markets alike .
It is very likely that you will soon witness a self-driving truck next to you on the highway. The world keeps taking a step further into the tech field, sparking innovative solutions for automotive companies. The automotive industry is highly competitive and many automotive companies are working very hard to stay ahead and take part in one of the greatest advancements in trucks.
The maritime industry is being revolutionized this year, with the introduction of “smart ships.” The maritime transport carries more than 90% of world trade annually and is the most cost-effective mode of transportation for mass goods and raw materials worldwide. Advancements in technology have built a strong platform for the creation of autonomous ships. The sensory technology and algorithms needed for a virtual captain already exist and it’s only a matter of time until we see unmanned ships.
Artificial intelligence is starting to have a great impact on the transportation sector worldwide. Self-balancing electric flying vehicles are pushing the future means of transportation to a whole new level. The first certified multicopter was tested in Bruchsal, Germany last year. Since then, different countries and companies around the world have shown interest in this new technology.
Virtual reality has been making great strides in the gaming industry, but also has many possible benefits within business. Virtual reality is not yet widely accepted by the public, with devices such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive still not having as much success as was expected. However, there has been an increasing interest in virtual reality technology by the public and by major companies as new uses for the technology are being discovered. According to Reuters, there has been a 375% increase in companies that included virtual reality as part of their business plans from just last year; companies included are the New York Times, GoPro, and Wayfair.
Milk has always been an essential part of India’s culture. In the early 1900’s, India's milk production was incredibly inefficient and was struggling with its limited production of milk. Until one individual, Dr. Verghese Kurien caused a dramatic change in his home country. Dr. Verghese Kurien, known as the Milkman of India, is also a Michigan State University alumnus. Dr. Kurien states himself that Michigan State University provided him with the best education and prepared him to achieve his dream.
With the population in India increasing and the need for a sustainable food supply being so important, a multi million dollar investment that is backed by the World Bank has gone into place. The main goal of this initiative is to boost the agricultural industry in India. This goal will be achieved by educating the new generation and equipping them with the skills needed to be successful in agricultural business.
According to Kai-Fu Lee, the founder of venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures, robots are likely to replace 50% of all jobs in the next decades. Lee expects this to be the next revolution in the technology industry, even bigger than electricity, the industrial revolution, or internet. Lee has previously held high executive positions with companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. When asked if humans will still have a role in the world with machines growing more intelligent, Lee responded that nothing can replace person-to-person social interactions, meaning there is hope for the service industry. Still, artificial intelligence (AI) has been impacting and will continue to impact all aspects of life as we know it.
As the world is becoming more connected, the courier, express & parcel (CEP) industry is growing and evolving. Online shopping has induced this growth significantly, with companies such as Amazon and Alibaba playing a major role. The ease with which a consumer can find items online from a variety sellers with many delivery options and often reviews and ratings, has shifted the purchasing power significantly to the hands of consumers. This forces retailers to offer better service and cheaper delivery. This, in turn, has created a lot of issues for CEP companies and has forced them to rethink their strategies, as costs have been rising faster than revenues. Also, emails and social media have almost completely replaced the use of mail delivery, which required postal companies to shift their main focus to parcel delivery products, services, and supply chains that would create better revenue streams.
A memorable part of most people’s childhoods is learning how to ride a two wheeled bicycle. Now that skill is becoming a vital mode of transportation for many in Beijing, China. There are multiple start up apps running the main front of this business such as Mobike and Ofo. All one must do is download the app and it will locate the nearest bike. This service costs only 7 cents for a half hour and has taken off in Beijing. However not everyone is happy about the healthy, cheap new mode of transportation.
In the age of information, the mind-boggling amount of data available at our fingertips can seem daunting. Yet, handled in an efficient manner, it can also be immensely useful. Big Data—referring to the use of nontraditional analytics to examine vast amounts of data—has become an increasingly important part of the business landscape. Over the past few years, several prominent corporations have invested in Big Data analytics and are incorporating them into their business strategies—UPS ostensibly spends $1 billion a year on Big Data analysis strategies. Specifically, many are looking at Big Data as a way to further optimize logistics and increase efficiency of commerce. Those who currently utilize Big Data analysis find it essential, warning that other companies who do not adapt to the technology may find themselves left behind.
Innovation is crucial in the business world, and as companies and businesses grow larger, they often find it difficult to promote new ideas. Bigger companies are usually less mobile, and quick changes to operations and strategy become much harder to implement after initial success. For companies looking to break this mold, empowering upper level management is very important, in order to enact the changes needed to push the business culture toward innovation.
One of the newest technological curiosities to hit the globe is virtual reality, where, with a headset, users can be transferred to a “real” place anywhere on Earth, in an environment that is also completely interactive. The vast amount of applications for this technology make it extremely promising, and its impact on the business world could be huge, possibly in a way not seen since the creation of the internet. At this time, the headsets have mostly been focused on the entertainment industry, in applications like video games, but as virtual reality becomes mainstream, its use could spread to many facets of our lives.
In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has been faced with the message of “do more with less.” Companies in the industry are used to arguing with insurers over the coverage of a particular drug, searching for cures for seemingly untreatable diseases, or facing public backlash from the high prices of currently sold drugs. Overall, this underlying message is not expected to go away in 2016, and significant challenges are predicted ahead.
South Africa is one of the most prominent wine-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere. With more than 300 years of winemaking history, it is now the ninth-largest producer of wine in the world, with some 250,000 acres under vine. The wine tasting trip to Stellenbosch provided the perfect introduction to the South African wine industry.
In the fast paced business world of today, adoption of the latest technological advances is essential for sustainability and growth. One area of technology that more and more businesses are taking advantage of is the cloud, which allows data to be stored remotely on servers across the world. This remote storage has many advantages for businesses, such as allowing companies to rent hardware instead of purchasing the infrastructure themselves - which can be very costly. Cloud storage also gives companies greater flexibility with their data and information, as it can be accessed anywhere and anytime, which can be especially helpful for businesses that operate in many countries.
Currently, businesses in the global mining sector are seeing “diseconomies of scale”, possibly due to the size and intricacy of the industry. Ernst & Young, one of the big four accounting firms, published a report titled Productivity in Mining: now comes the hard part, that dives deep into the current issues in the mining sector that are causing such diseconomies of scale.
A large number of new startup companies are appearing in Israel. What is making Israel such a sought after destination for these new enterprises? Part of it could be that the government is introducing new programs that encourage innovation in the country. The online edition of Entrepreneur magazine published a story highlighting the many reasons why Israel is a hotspot for current entrepreneurs.
In 2011, Portugal was hit by a severe economic crisis and the government needed an international bailout of $103 billion for austerity measures. The effects of this crisis are still relevant to this day as the unemployment rate in Portugal just rose to 14.1%. Simply put, this has been the worst recession for the Portuguese economy in more than 40 years. Now an important question remains unanswered—as a nation and a workforce, how do you recover from this economic hardship?
As technology continues to grow and change throughout the world, the way consumers pay for their products is also changing. Consumers are using credit and debit cards at an increasing rate compared to cash, even with small purchases less than $5. According to a survey, one third of American consumers said that they usually pay for purchases under $5 with a card rather than cash. Even more surprising, 51% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 reported that they prefer to use a card when dealing with transactions under $5.
On July 18, the seventh annual Global Innovation Index (GII) was released at the B20 Australia Summit in Sydney. This year, the report's theme dealt with the Human Factor in Innovation, referring to the role that people play in the overall innovative success of different countries. While Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Sweden topped the list, a significant change was seen: nations in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa showed the most overall improvement on the list. Seventeen African nations, including Mauritius, Seychelles, and South Africa, jumped up in the rankings by several placings. Sub-Saharan Africa has already seen great strides in economic growth and freedom, and this new development spells good news for Africa and its future.
In an increasingly competitive business world, continuous technological advancements are providing businesses with more opportunities to get ahead of the curve. Specifically, geo-location is starting to become a big asset in helping businesses grow by giving them greater market reach. Successful businesses can only grow if they strategize to meet consumer demands that require services to be fast, reliable and relevant. Geo-location is able to fulfill this criterion because of the wide use of phones, tablets, and computers, but the collection of this sensitive data also pressures businesses to be cautious in their approach.
A big topic in business today is the evolution of the new digital world. It is vital to businesses that want to continue being successful to recognize and adapt to the new trends. Companies will either take flight in the new age or dwindle and faze out. This holds true for nearly every industry as global business has become technologically advanced.
When naming the most innovative place in the world, Silicon Valley of the United States is usually everyone’s first response. However, that might not hold true in Europe. The tech-savvy country of Estonia is proving to be an important focal point for entrepreneurship and innovation. Right on the edge of Europe, Estonia has a total population of just 1.3 million. Estonia may be considered an extremely small country, but in terms of technology and innovation, it’s a giant.
Latin America is filled with a myriad of natural resources, and for generations many Latin American countries relied on exporting these endowments for their wealth. However, the tides are beginning to change in Latin America. For the first time in history, a large number of Latin Americans are choosing to be entrepreneurs. In 2010, just 2.6% of the world’s applications for patent registration were filed in Latin America. With the new surge of entrepreneurship in the region, expect that number to change.
In 2012 alone, piracy in Somalia cost shipping companies $6 billion. Teresa Stevens and her husband have come up with a product that aims to make it a lot more difficult for pirates to board ships. The product is called the Guardian Anti-Piracy Barrier. It is a simply-designed plastic barrier which fits over the rails of a ship and makes it nearly impossible for pirates to board ships using ladders or grappling hooks. This invention has the potential to lead to huge cost savings for global shipping companies and have a positive impact on neighboring African countries’ economies.
As the world continues to integrate the globe becomes more interconnected with complex supply chain systems. This becomes even more important now that countries are becoming evermore specialized in one industry or another. An interesting development where countries are specializing is in the arena of patents.
Silicon Valley has always been considered the Mecca of tech start-ups. Why Silicon Valley? Countries have been asking themselves this for years as the insistence on replicating the success of Silicon Valley becomes ever more alluring. Many have tried to replicate Silicon Valley but that has proven to be a herculean task. France, Norway and Malaysia have attempted to create an entrepreneurial rival but to no avail. There is no doubt that one of the keys to success is the relative ease with which a company is able to be started in the United States compared to the rest of the world and also the sheer amount of capital surrounding Silicon Valley makes access to funds easy but these strategies alone cannot explain why northern California has excelled, for many countries have duplicated these methods.
Identifying intercontinental and cross-cultural opportunities and weaving them into unique profit-building innovations can be a daunting task for a small start-up, especially when a high cost-risk ratio is factored. Michigan State University offers a multitude of resources for global entrepreneurs for understanding how to tackle the most common roadblocks: market commonality/divergence recognition, foreign economy entrance, and network access for concrete business-services platform.
How to encourage entrepreneurship? This is a question many universities, cities, states and nations ask themselves on an almost daily basis. The notion of entrepreneurship is a romantic one. Those who begin ventures in a dorm room or garage and achieve success are universally beloved – look no further than Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. The secret formula to release and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit has long been debated. Could failure actually be a cause?
Starting a business is not an easy task. It’s one that takes hard work, dedication, and an entrepreneurial spirit that is willing to take on challenges. Despite the many challenges faced by entrepreneurs, starting a business has become easier in certain parts of the world as policymakers begin to recognize the importance of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial activities are extremely crucial for the economic well-being of almost every country. As the driving force of innovation and job creation, entrepreneurship has taken on a new level of significance in the global economy. However, certain countries lag behind others in terms of entrepreneurial activities. Differences in culture and business climate are the major factors affecting the level of entrepreneurship within a country.
For some, eating insects may seem unappetizing and unappealing, but it is estimated that 2.5 billion people worldwide eat insects on a regular basis. Students from McGill University in Montreal, Canada believe they have come up with a solution to cut down on global poverty and hunger. It involves distributing cricket-producing kits to impoverished populations around the world that will give these people a source of protein and potentially a source of income as well. Simply, families could eat what they want and then sell the rest.
A recent report by the Consumer Electronics Association has projected that global gadget spending on electronics will surpass $1.1 trillion in 2013. This study comes days before the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the world’s largest technology-related trade shows. What new innovations will the CES 2013 reveal and how will it impact the global economy?
The Dreamforce Expo kicked off this week with a rumored 90,000 attendees from 150 countries there. Sponsored by Salesforce.com, the purpose of this expo is to help businesses around the world realize the power of cloud computing. Cloud computing uses the internet to host data and provide information and services effortlessly to consumers. While cloud computing is not a new idea, the big revelation from Dreamforce is how important social media is going forward.
In a continent where the Internet is scarcely available, computers are often too expensive to buy, and online business transactions can be extremely complicated to conduct, Africa is experiencing an upwelling in mobile phone use as a means of sharing information and doing business. Of the 695 million current mobile phone subscribers in Africa, the vast majority of this demographic does not belong to the middle and upper class, where e-commerce is commonly conducted on computers. According to Primedia Online business development manager Susan Hansford, many mobile phone subscribers still live in small, remote villages, where advertising high-priced consumer goods would make little to no sense. Stemming from these circumstances, Africa has since provided innovators and investors the unique opportunity of reaching millions through markets based around mobile phone use.
As the human population grows and environmental complexities become more widespread, social responsibility and the fight against climate change have become major issues for businesses across the globe. Many companies are beginning to implement sustainable business practices to combat climate change and mitigate harmful emissions. You may be wondering what businesses around the world are at the top of the list in developing environmentally friendly business operations. Look no further, because a United Kingdom research company has just released rankings that track how large global companies are mitigating climate change and creating clean technology solutions.
Politicians in Estonia, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, began to realize how computers could positively impact a country with a very small workforce and a general lack of physical infrastructure. For the next twenty years, Estonia concentrated on using the internet to transform its government, economy, and society in general. Today, Estonians can do just about anything electronically. Citizens can pay for bus tickets and parking via text, vote in elections from a laptop, or even sign legal documents from a smart phone.
No. Well, at least not for a while, according to Xu Xiaoping. Xu ranks among China’s most prominent angel investors. He is also CEO of a NYSE-listed education company called New Oriental Group that helps prepare people from China to study overseas. There are many reasons why innovation has been lacking in China. Many of these reasons deal with cultural differences in comparison to other countries, where innovation is encouraged and embraced.
Recently, Novozymes, a company that makes enzymes used to make goods such as household detergents and soft drinks, announced that it has developed an enzyme that will make it possible to derive cellulosic ethanol from waste material like household trash or corn husks. This company has discovered something that has been sought after by many clean energy producers- a way to inexpensively convert biowaste into fuel. Novozymes officially announced its new enzyme, Cellic CTec3, February 22, 2012, and already has deals in place to begin supplying it.
Entrepreneurship is risky. Entrepreneurship is for the naïve. Entrepreneurship rarely succeeds. All of these assumptions make entrepreneurship sound like a bleak place only for the most risk-averse; the de facto position from many people is that corporate life is the way to go. But this conventional position is far from true. Building new companies is far more sensible than one may think.
Online shopping is being used in many countries around the world and its use is becoming more widespread each year. In emerging countries such as India, the e-commerce market is growing rapidly with over three thousand e-commerce centers found online. Recently, businesses in South Korea have taken online shopping to the next level by allowing people to shop in virtual supermarkets with their smartphone.
With increased awareness of environmental change in today’s business world, more and more companies are looking for innovative resources to reduce their “footprint” in any way possible. Some have started cutting down on packaging; others have redesigned their containers with recycled material. Certain companies are one step ahead of these methods and have turned to agricultural products to eliminate packaging wastes.
Nowadays many companies are becoming more environmentally conscious and are looking for new business practices that support sustainability. A company called Neutral Fuels in the United Arab Emirates has developed an innovating process that promotes sustainable development while also generating a healthy profit. Neutral Fuels converts used vegetable and cooking oil from local fast food restaurants to biodiesel so that it can be used to fuel trucks. This waste conversion process has had a tremendous impact on the environment and oil production in the United Arab Emirates.
Most African economies are known for their valuable commodities like oil, copper, and gas. But as of late, countries in Africa are adding a new focus to their economies with technology innovation. Countries throughout the continent have acknowledged technology as a key component in the battle to boost prosperity. This has sparked a technology revolution in a continent with high ambitions.
During the cold winter months, businesses use an enormous amount of energy to heat their working facilities. With soaring energy prices around the globe, businesses are looking for ways to save energy to reduce these high energy costs. A company in Sweden has found an exceptional way to do just this. Sweden’s creative approach to heating might just surprise you.
London has always been well-known internationally for its historical and cultural importance. In recent years the city has also developed into a significant force in the technological sector. Innovative businesses were completely absent from London’s economy back in the year 2000, but the roughly 100 new high-tech businesses in east London have received international attention for their significant contributions to global business. While far from reaching the level of California’s Silicon Valley, the so-called “Silicon Roundabout” is joining cities such as Boston and Tel Aviv in the second-tier of global innovative centers.
Continuous innovation is essential for companies to remain competitive in any industry. Businesses refusing to adapt to product and process improvements have quickly been left in the dust by competitors. Stability in business is based on the ability of management to consistently and effectively adapt to changes in the external business environment.
In collaborative partnerships, suppliers and customers work jointly to develop products that will be popular on the open market. A recent article published by Michael Schrage in the Harvard Business Review shed some light on how to develop partnerships that are conducive to effective collaboration.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review highlights the importance of living abroad, and the positive impacts it can have on your career. Not only will this benefit the individual manager, but the company sending their workers abroad as well.
The Irish love to own their own property and home. In the past 20 years, the value of their homes had for the most part increased dramatically, creating a solid investment in something the Irish cherish greatly. In the past year however it’s been a different story, the bubble finally burst. Most of the property values have been cut in half. Many are now owned by banks, and most toxic loans are bundled into a nationalized body called the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). The government bought out many banks to a tune of 50 billion euro. The bond market in Ireland is in major trouble. Many experts are saying there is a huge need for leadership in not only Ireland’s government, but in Europe as a whole (or the European system may possibly collapse).
The lore of leaving is engrained in the Irish culture. There were 27,700 emigrants this year, an increase of 42%, due in part to unemployment being at 13.7%. In the short run, emigration is just a safety valve. However there is still hope in Ireland. Watch the video to see how George Boyle dealt with her company going bankrupt, and how she stimulated her own micro economy of sorts.
India, being known as a country inclined to new technology, has added yet another innovation to its inventory—a talking newspaper advertisement. When readers opened to the last page of a popular Indian newspaper, a voice began to talk resembling a radio commercial. The source for this surprising advertisement was a light-sensitive, voice activated chip that encouraged readers and listeners alike to buy a new Volkswagen sedan. Weighing only one ounce, this paper-thin chip is a groundbreaking design. This “talking newspaper” can change the way print media is viewed and provides businesses a new way to communicate their messages with customers.
Hospitals today are fast-paced, frenzied places. The goal, of course, is to get health care to as many people as possible. Hospitals around the world suffer similar problems in that they often have too much health care to administer, and not enough adequate facilities with which to do so. Furthermore, the types of health care that need to be administered are evolving as well, leaving many places with outdated or ineffective facilities with which to handle them. However, the Compass system seeks to alleviate some of these problems.
A nation's basic system of transportation, communication, building and maintaining road, bridge, sewage, and electrical systems provides millions of jobs nationwide. For developing countries, building an infrastructure is a first step in economic development. It is needed for a country to be efficient and productive. Without a good infrastructure in a country, an economy cannot thrive. Businesses cannot grow and be competitive with similar firms elsewhere.
KPMG recently released a report called "The Infrastructure 100," which displays the most exciting infrastructure projects from around the world, as selected by independent judging panels due to their scale, complexity, innovation and impact on society. This is a showcase of the most interesting infrastructure projects from around the world. There are different categories from water, power, renewable energy, rail, roads and education among others.
Poultry farmers all over the globe are running into serious problems with the waste from chickens, which is real trouble when it gets into the water supply. Years back John Logan, a farmer from Prentiss, Mississippi, noticed the same problem. In an interview with NPR radio he recalled, "I said, 'I got to do something.' I can't be putting this on the ground. Now, I have a river right here. What's to happen when that phosphorus overload washes into the river, which then ends up in the Gulf of Mexico?"
Is “off-grid” the new “on-grid”? Bloom Energy thinks so. The company is a start-up based in Silicon Valley, California and it claims to have found a solution to both reducing harmful byproducts and providing energy at lower costs than the current average market rate. Their compact power plants are run on everyday elements such as oxygen and can be as small as a lunchbox.
Many companies launch a new product and enjoy high sales if the product is successful, but somewhere along the line they forget that it will not be as profitable infinitely. The business world today is extremely competitive, especially since there are many products that differentiate very slightly from each other. Therefore, spending some time to think on possible ways to improve a product should constantly be on the daily agenda.
One of the quirkier tools used to examine the Purchasing Power Parity between two currencies has been the Big Mac hamburger, responsible for being the basis of The Economist’s Big Mac Index, which compares the price of Big Mac hamburgers in each country. It may be difficult, however, to apply the Big Mac index to Iceland’s króna, as the hamburger giant has pulled out of the country. Don’t pity Iceland, however. Fast Company’s Robert Walcott and Michael Lippitz visited Iceland in December, and are quite optimistic regarding its potential.
The global impact of our individual actions in society today is more than most of us know. The reach a single person can have has grown exponentially with the advent of the Internet and accompanying decrease in technology costs. The question becomes, how have people used this historical improvement in our ability to communicate across the world? One professor from the University of Oxford began inventing solutions for the less privileged people of the world. His idea began with the concept of user-adjustable spectacles. Check out a demo of his invention:
Professor and author C. K. Prahalad explores how General Electric took a local innovation in the healthcare industry, one designed to help those in the poorest and most remote villages in India and China, and turned it into a global, game-changing product. In his book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, he argues that this is no anomaly, but rather the future of innovation.
The aim of reaching a broader market with the EKG turned into a more efficient, cost-friendly product. Should companies be taking more of a look at developing innovative products to help the rural poor? Could these innovations spread to the global market as well?
We have all learned to ignore the pile of cables connecting the pieces of our home entertainment. But how great would it be if we could just get rid of them? This is something consumers and engineers have been dreaming of for years. Now, it is a reality.
The current recession has impacted almost every sector of the economy, and hamburgers are no exception. In an environment where top quality matched with most appealing prices is the key to success, many restaurants are re-thinking their menus by including and re-imagining what the burger should be. Therefore, top chefs around the world are viewing the burger as the latest test of their culinary skills and ingenuity. Also, in some restaurants, the quality of their burger is what decides the ultimate fate of the restaurant, especially in these uncertain times.
Creativity is always an important factor when deciding where to do business, especially if you are an innovator with a novel idea, looking for a receptive market. If you want a concise listing of one publication's opinion on the matter, check out Fast Company's slideshow: "The 13 Most Creative Cities in the World". They are a little heavy on cities in the US, but oddballs like Malmo, Sweden keep the list interesting. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Seattle is apparently the most creative city of the year.
Luckily, a survey done by the Boston Consulting Group, working with the National Association of Manufacturers' Manufacturing Institute, seeks to answer just that question. They rank the top 30 most innovation-friendly countries on the basis of government policy and real business results.
Innovation is extremely important in the competitive global business world we live in. Therefore, it significant for business graduates from any university in the world to master this skill. The following video is an interview with Dean Tom Campbell of the Haas School of Business on the importance of innovation and the steps the school has taken to ensure that its graduates obtain the skill to develop strategies for outstanding business ideas.
A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group which measures the government policies and corporate performance most encouraging to innovation has Singapore as the number one global leader of innovation, followed by South Korea at number two. Former innovation leaders from the west such as the United States and Germany dropped to numbers eight and nineteen, respectively. What exactly has contributed to this?