Mind The Gap: The Space Where Design Strategists Live

CCA LiveE | Tuesday January 19th, 2010 | 5 Comments

By Ryan Opina

“Great concepts and great vision are not enough to make an impact.
Designers must recognize the challenges around implementation and deliver comprehensive prototypes with clear implementation plans.”

-Tim Brown – Designing for Social Impact

Grand visions of a breakthrough product. A service experience that will change the world. A video game that is immersive, entertaining and educational. Who doesn’t want to be involved in creating something along those lines? Coming from a background in design research, the purist, specialist side of me says to start with a clear and intimate understanding of the needs, motivations and behaviors of your users. Get that right and the rest will follow. Over the years however, experience has shown me another angle, one where the technology leads the way, not consumer behaviour. In fact, Donald Norman has recently published an article stating that design research is great for improvement but useless for innovation, while Steve Portigal provides a thoughtful reframing away from the term innovation and more to the identification of opportunity areas. It is here that I see ‘the gap’, the area that we as individuals in the MBA in Design Strategy program will find ourselves living.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Adobe Installs Windspire Turbines in Downtown San Jose

Jace Shoemaker-Galloway | Tuesday January 19th, 2010 | 8 Comments

Adobe Systems is yet another company that has jumped on the alternative power energy bandwagon.  Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Adobe Systems has installed 20 Windspire vertical axis turbines  atop the parking garage of its LEED certified office complex. 

While the feasibility of placing wind turbines in urban areas was once problematic, new integrated systems have made it possible for wind energy to be used in cities and residential areas.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

GM Halting Hummer Production Until China Sale Finalized

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Tuesday January 19th, 2010 | 0 Comments

“It’s another Hummer humming down the highway,” proclaims the chorus of a song by singer-songwriter David Rovics. However, starting today and until a sale is finalized by the Chinese company, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd, new Hummers will not be humming along the assembly line, reports Jalopnik. In October, GM reached an agreement with the Chinese company to buy the Hummer brand.

GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre “indicated that the Hummer deal faces a Jan. 31 deadline to close,” according to the Detroit Free Press.  CNBC reported that GM China Group President Kevin Wale said Chinese officials are “debating whether to grant approval to the deal, which will add another player to the country’s already overcrowded auto sector.” Wale also said that GM is “hopeful it will be decided in the very near future,” but that it’s uncertain.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Careers in Wind Farm Development: Electrical Engineer

Sarah Lozanova | Tuesday January 19th, 2010 | 0 Comments

This is the final article in a seven part series on careers in wind farm development. (Be sure to read the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth parts, as well.)

A wind farm can’t be created without input from an electrical engineer.  Their initial role involves identifying transmission constraints and determining the cost to overcome them. This is a vital step in determining if a potential wind farm is financially viable before investing more time and money into a project.

“When we find a new potential wind energy site, one of the first things we investigate is if there is an existing transmission infrastructure and it’s ability to take new power,” says Curt Bjurlin, Senior Wind Developer for EcoEnergy LLC.  “That is very important.  You can’t have a wind project without having an outlet for the power generated by the turbines.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Connecting Agricultural Labor Issues with Environmental Sustainability

3p Contributor | Tuesday January 19th, 2010 | 3 Comments

This is the 8th post in a series on the business of sustainable agriculture by the folks at Bon Appétit Management Company, a company that provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges and universities. To read past posts, click here.

By: Maisie Greenawalt, Bon Appetit Management Company

The more I learn, the less I know. Despite my fifteen years creating policies and watching the execution of sustainable sourcing by 10,000 culinarians working in a food business that puts ethics first, that’s how I feel about our exploration of how to improve farmworking conditions in the United States.

In 2009, I spent an eye-opening two days immersed in the problems of tomato pickers in South Florida with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, toured the Salinas Valley with a community organizer from California Rural Legal Assistance who detailed the sexual harassment and disrespect many workers endured in order to keep their jobs. With representatives of a health clinic outside San Diego, this organizer also saw migrant work camps that were literally make-shift rooms dug into hillsides. I attended the Domestic Fair Trade Association annual meeting where I heard optimistic, but maybe unattainable, goals being set by well-meaning activists.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Indigenous Designs Wins Free Range YouTopia Grant

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Monday January 18th, 2010 | 2 Comments

As we reported back in September, the creative agency Free Range Studios–the minds behind viral Internet hits including The Meatrix–opened up its yearly YouTopia grant this year to for-profit companies as well as non-profits. When asked about the shift to allow for-profits to apply for the grant this year, Free Range co-founder Jonah Sachs said the differences between for- and non-profit companies has been getting blurred as for-profit firms begin operating with goals and priorities that have traditionally been seen only in the non-profit realm.

Indigenous Designs is one of those for-profits that has been blurring the for-profit/non-profit line throughout its 15 year history of selling organic, fair trade apparel made by artisans from around the world.

The company announced last week that it won the 2009 YouTopia grant–which provides $15,000 worth of free design and strategy services from Free Range. The winner was selected partly through a crowdsourced model; the studio’s client and fan base were asked to vote on the proposals from grant applicants in order to select the top 10 candidates.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Was John Mackey Forced Out as Whole Foods Chairman?

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Monday January 18th, 2010 | 6 Comments

John Mackey stepped down as Chairman ofthe Board of Whole Foods Market Inc. last month, and ever since people have wondered if he was forced out. The question is a fair one given the uproar over Mackey’s Wall Street Journal opinion piece which began by quoting former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher on the evils of socialism, and went on to condemn President Obama’s healthcare agenda.

Mackey wrote in the WSJ piece:

While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

How Google’s China Pullout Shows Their Triple Bottom Line

| Monday January 18th, 2010 | 6 Comments

Cartoon police officers JingJing and ChaCha appear periodically when surfing the Web in China to help Internet users remember to maintain harmonious Internet order together and to be conscious of safe and healthy use of the Internet.

What happens when, in its mission to make information as universally acceptable as possible, Google has to be kind of evil? Google’s mission and motto, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and, of course, “don’t be evil,” will not be new to most readers. What’s interesting is when these two missions come at odds, like in the case of China.

Google wrestled hard with whether or not it could afford to refuse China’s demands. If it refused to comply, it would lose key market share and cut off access to more than 103 million internet users. If it complied, it would deviate from the company’s core values. The search giant’s decision to stand up for itself and make the right move is one of the greatest examples of company activism for triple bottom line thinking of our time.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Our Clean Tech Future and the Sexiness of Standards

3p Contributor | Monday January 18th, 2010 | 6 Comments

The Tesla Roadster: As hot as the J1772 electric vehicle charging standard?

By Charles Shereda

Next week marks the sixth annual Clean Tech Investor Summit, a gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, and trendsetters who will shape the future of clean tech. The speaker list is loaded with a spectrum of sustainability heavy-hitters ranging from Ray Anderson, chairman of Interface, to Craig Venter, famous for mapping the human genome, to Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute, who will deliver his keynote on ‘reinventing fire’ (translation: the shift from burning stuff to not burning stuff to create energy, such as moving from coal-fired power plants to wind turbines). I have the good fortune of being your eyes and ears at the summit. I’ll tell you about the stories and surprises that emerge. Together we’ll figure out where clean tech is headed, and in our spare time, we’ll determine what the investment climate will be like in 2010 for companies looking to get funded. I’ll also listen to your suggestions for topics you’d like to hear about.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Ron Pernick about the upcoming summit and his vision of our clean tech future. Pernick is the co-author of The Clean Tech Revolution and cofounder and managing director of Clean Edge, a market research firm focused on clean tech. He’s also co-producer of the Clean Tech Investor Summit.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Brand Building in the 21st Century

3p Contributor | Monday January 18th, 2010 | 2 Comments

What is a Brand Manager and how will he/she play a role in building the 21st century?
By Ryan Jones

Given the tough business climate, mind-bending techology changes and the dire need for innovation in the next decade and beyond, some (like Forrester) propose that we ax the command and control “Manager” part of the traditional Brand Manager title and go with something more relevant like “Brand Advocate.” Ad Age followed up with a similar article on this topic near the end of 2009.

Brand Managers today in many companies are really business managers that guide a multifunctional business team (e.g. Finance, PR, Supply Chain, etc.). Marketing promotion is just one part of their job (remember the 4Ps of marketing). Brand Managers create the strategy for the business, making decisions about how to run the business and build the brand.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Heart Shaped Country

CCA LiveE | Sunday January 17th, 2010 | 4 Comments
"Martin Brod, Bosnia and Herzegovina" by Jim Marshall

"Martin Brod, Bosnia and Herzegovina" by Jim Marshall

By Amina Horozic

You’re from where?

I was almost twelve years old when I came to the US in 1994. Since then whenever I mention that I am from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am always inundated with all sorts of unusual questions. Occasionally, I have to clarify that it is a country in Southeastern Europe east of Italy; that yes it does consist of two names Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it is oftentimes referred to only as Bosnia; and that Sarajevo is in fact the capital city. More frequently however, the questions typically revolve around the war of the early ’90s: the siege of the city, the genocide of the country, the ethnic cleansing of the people.

Rarely am I asked questions about my homeland outside of the war context, though it has been almost fifteen years since the war has ended. Despite its many positive attributes, to the majority of the outside world Bosnia and Herzegovina is still a scary and foreign place, synonymous with war and destruction. What is less commonly known or recognized about Bosnia and Herzegovina is its untouched natural beauty and ecological wealth.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Curriculum Vitae Verde – Practical Tips for Refreshing your Resume

CCA LiveE | Saturday January 16th, 2010 | 2 Comments

By Lindsay Wolff Logsdon, Human Resources Manager, frog design

With the Green Jobs Act now over two years old, and President Obama pledging that jobs in sustainable energy and resources will be a keystone of US economic recovery, the next frontier of the American job market is a very green place.   Job seekers pushed out of more traditional markets are pursuing these “green collar jobs”. As they take that step towards a career in green business, they need to consider the best way to highlight their experience and passion.  Whatever your background, a fresh résumé is a great place to start.  In this post I’ll share a few practical tips to help make your résumé a strong reflection of your passion and ethics.

As a recruiter and human resources manager, my zone of experience has mainly been in the design industry – my advice comes from many years of reviewing applications for design, technology, and program management positions within design consultancies.  That said, the design and green industries share many similarities (and in some sectors, they downright converge) – both industries require a high level on innovation, a strong passion for the subject matter, and in many cases, an unconventional approach to career paths.

From a résumé and job hunt standpoint, there are many things someone interested in breaking into a green business can learn from the design industry.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Partners in Health Does “Whatever It Takes” in Haiti

Kathryn Siranosian | Friday January 15th, 2010 | 3 Comments

Sustainability in health care isn’t only about energy efficient buildings, innovative technology, and effectively using resources. It’s also about people. It’s about access. And, it’s about creating health care solutions that work within the context of other constraints, such as culture, infrastructure and economy.

Need proof? Just look at the medical crisis now unfolding in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. To be clear, earthquakes are acts of nature. But, as Tracy Kidder explains in the New York Times, the Haitians’ “extreme vulnerability to earthquakes is manmade” —and it only serves to underscore the urgent need for sustainable, community-based health care in the world’s poorest countries.

The Boston-based international aid organization Partners in Health (PIH) has been working for more than 20 years to fill that need for several of the world’s most indigent populations.

Since PIH’s flagship project launched in Haiti in 1985, the organization’s community-based health care model has proven successful in delivering effective care both for common conditions like diarrhea, pneumonia, and childbirth —which often prove fatal for poor and malnourished populations—and for complex diseases like HIV and tuberculosis.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Design Involves More Than Thinking

CCA LiveE | Friday January 15th, 2010 | 2 Comments

3p_graphic
By Jason Linder

In 2008 CCA introduced an innovative new approach to the business degree—the MBA in Design Strategy. In 2009 CCA took this idea even further and began offering a dual-degree MFA/MBA. I am one of three students embarking on this hybrid journey. My curriculum integrates courses from the existing MFA in Design with the new MBA in Design Strategy Program to offer completion of both degrees in three years.

Having worked in interactive design for the last 10 years, both at small agencies and in-house at a large corporation, I have witnessed the mesh of creativity and business many times and am excited about what both disciplines can learn from each other. One term that has become a popular way of describing this crossover is “Design Thinking.”

The core idea—that the creative processes used by designers can be applied to the processes used by business—is compelling and full of promise. But the term “Design Thinking” sets a misguided expectation about how these creative processes work—that it’s simply a matter of switching to a different mental mode. On the contrary, one of the most important tools of the design process is to take the thinking out of the equation.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Balancing Arrogance and Humility in Business Strategy

| Friday January 15th, 2010 | 1 Comment

preidio-buzz-bar.gif

By Ted Ko
Some recent writings by Jay Ogilvy (not yet published) on the opposing styles of systems thinking provide an enlightening philosophical framework behind the evolution of strategy theory and the successes and failures of corporate strategy development processes. Fundamentally, strategy design is a systems thinking exercise and executives would do well to understand the basic approaches to systems theory. Then, optimal design would seem to require active awareness of the “oscillations” between arrogance and humility and strike an appropriate balance.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »