March 10, 2017

UBS-Reinvents-WorkSpaceOver the years, Silicon Valley startups have become famous for developing open work spaces free of personalized desks or big corner offices. The idea is to allow employees to gather together and collaborate rather than leave them enclosed in their cubicles. While other companies avoided this unconventional approach at first, more firms have switched to open offices as the concept has become more popular. Still, these companies have tended to be smaller operations as many big businesses remained skeptical that Continue reading

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March 9, 2017

SwedishSoftwareCompany-wo-CEOThree years ago, the staff of the Swedish software consulting firm Crisp felt it was time for a change in leadership. The company had been recently experimenting with its upper management structure, going from a standard CEO model to one that replaced the top executive annually through a staff vote. Then, a radical idea took root in the minds of Crisp’s employees. “We said, ‘what if we had nobody as our next CEO – what would that look like?’” said Continue reading

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March 3, 2017

NOAA-PhotoLibraryFrom tsunamis to earthquakes to hurricanes, each year natural disasters strike all across the world and leave devastation in their wake. In the immediate aftermath of these catastrophes, ensuring people’s safety is the number one priority. As a community starts to recover from a disaster, however, their thoughts turn towards rebuilding and returning to normalcy. Still, this isn’t such an easy task to accomplish. Natural disasters can destroy infrastructure and buildings that take millions of dollars and months of time Continue reading

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January 26, 2017

DaveSTo people familiar with sunny Silicon Valley, Finland may seem like a questionable tech hub. But thanks to the telecommunications giant Nokia, for years the snowy Scandinavian nation served as one of the central destinations in Europe for tech workers. Once Nokia began to collapse, however, the fortunes of many Finnish engineers declined as well.

These formerly prominent staffers then signed up for unemployment benefits in the hopes that the tech industry would turn around. When jobs largely failed to Continue reading

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January 24, 2017

QuinnDombrowskiIn the years since the economic crisis of 2008, wealth inequality has been an increasingly alarming problem both for scholars and regular people. Last year, the development charity Oxfam estimated that 62 billionaires owned just as much wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the globe. This month, however, the agency had worse news: a group of just eight men are worth a combined $426 billion, equivalent to the wealth held by 3.6 billion people.

Along with foreign billionaires like Continue reading

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January 20, 2017

Ensuring clean water for everyone on the planet is one of the major environmental challenges facing future generations. In this video, a Chilean engineer demonstrates his invention that draws vapor from the air and turns it into drinkable water. If he succeeds in making the machine smaller and cheaper, it could provide an immense benefit to communities that lack access to clean water.

Questions:

  1. Why does Hector Pino need to continue refining his product?
  2. Once fully developed, should Pino form Continue reading
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December 6, 2016

Thanks to a rapidly growing middle class, China has transformed into the largest moviegoing market in the world. And while Hollywood is the source for many of the nation’s hit flicks, American filmmakers still face a number of hurdles before they can do business in China. This video looks at the ways Hollywood tries to appeal to Chinese culture in order to break into this tough but rewarding market.

Questions:

 

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of China’s revenue Continue reading
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November 17, 2016

DavidSteadmanWhile the holiday shopping season in the U.S. doesn’t officially kick off until next week, Chinese retailers are already counting their profits from the phenomenon known as Singles Day. Founded in the 1990s by a group of college students celebrating their bachelorhood, the November 11 holiday has since morphed into a nationwide shopping spree. This year the online retailer Alibaba brought in nearly $18 billion in sales, far more than what the entire American retail industry earns during Black Friday Continue reading

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November 10, 2016

When a group of Australian special effects artists were having trouble finding work, they decided to pool their resources together and create their own animatronics company. Most had planned to return to working on movies and television once they’d made a splash with their enormous, lifelike representations of dinosaurs and monsters. But Creature Technology wowed the world with their creations, leading to the bustling and almost magical workshop shown in the video below.

Questions:

 

  1. Why must Creature Technology keep Continue reading
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October 27, 2016

Although the world’s population is always increasing, the physical size of the globe stubbornly remains the same. As a result, humans might soon face a shortage of some key resources, including food with high protein content. But here’s where the humble cricket hops in: while many Americans may consider them pests, crickets can be a nutritious and environmentally sustainable food source. This video takes a look at the ways one cricket farm operates and how its owners hope to market Continue reading

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