Cultivating Creative Teamwork

CCA LiveE | Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 2 Comments

teamworkBy Tane Ross

Many students enrolled in the CCA DMBA program come from creative careers. These careers often require teamwork and collaboration which involve collective problem solving, applications of specialized expertise in visual and conceptual realms and communication skills. However, many teams that we encounter in more traditional businesses feature a hierarchy of leadership and defined processes.  Through my recent experiences in the DMBA program, I’ve become interested in defining a method that stimulates and fosters design thinking in teams to generate outstanding outcomes.

On the first day of class, our professor had us self organize into groups for our Innovation Studio course.  We had only known our classmates for a couple hours, yet we seemed to gravitate toward certain people.  I was lucky to match up with three positive and fair classmates.  For the rest of the semester, we were charged with creating an innovation around General Motors by imagining the company’s future.  The possibilities were endless.

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Is There Such A Thing As Sustainable Gift Giving?

CCA LiveE | Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

The holidays are finally here. Turkey leftovers, the smell of pine and baked apple pie, families snuggling up in warm winter homes. And who can forget that important part of the holidays – the sacred ritual of gift giving. Or more specifically, our annual obligation to support the myth that possessing more material items will make you more complete. Americans of all religions and ethnicities participate in this love affair with consumerism as a patriotic rite of passage. Who wants to be the Scrooge who ruins Christmas with talk of toxic imported toys and overflowing landfills? And who wants to ignore how important this holiday season is to the countless retailers and businesses who count on our shopping fervor to boost their sales into the next calendar year?

Now don’t get me wrong – I love gifts just as much as the next person. But I can’t help but feel this sneaking suspicion that there must be a better way to show our love of family, friends and country. Now that I am becoming involved in the “Design” community through MBA Design Strategy, I begin to question my blind allegiance to this consumer driven pseudo-religious ritual of department store sale celebration and credit card ringing. I can only imagine the massive volume of discarded “gifts” that end up in a landfill year after year. Americans throw away a shocking amount of waste a day – over 4.6 lbs of a day – the majority of which cannot be recycled.

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My Learning Equation: Simplicity + Enjoyment = FUN

CCA LiveE | Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

3p-chalkboardBy J Fristad

The life of an individual pursuing a Master’s Degree parallels anyone taking on a complex professional endeavor; there can be many competing demands for attention, time, and energy. This is knowledge I am gaining first-hand as a student in the MBA in Design Strategy program at CCA. Juggling the competing demands of work, family relationships and school is a serious challenge.

It is also a lesson in time-management, with an even greater inherent challenge – how to have a fun time while doing it! This is a learning experience that reaches beyond just graduate studies and into professional life as well. It applies to anyone who finds their daily experience becoming less enjoyable as their responsibilities increase.

Often, those individuals who pursue a Master’s degree already have many years invested in a career. Many have spouses/significant others, children, financial commitments such as a mortgage, car payment or undergraduate school loan. Whatever the particulars, each requires significant attention and resources that have the potential to distract from graduate studies.

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10 Best Practices for Supporting Green Teams

| Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 5 Comments

By Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact

There seems to be a growing buzz about green teams these days as companies struggle to find the best way to engage their employees in sustainability. GreenBiz.com and Green Impact recently released a new report Green Teams: Engaging Employees in Sustainability–a great resource for companies and organizations just beginning to think about creating a green team and for those ready to take their existing program to the next level.

Based on interviews with green team leaders from Intel, Yahoo!, eBay and Genentech, as well as a review of the latest literature on employee engagement and green teams, the report provides an overview of the best practices companies are using to support and guide green teams.

It makes the business case for green teams, includes tips for getting started, identifies four emerging trends and details 10 best practices for supporting green teams.

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Top Five Greenwash Posts of the Year

| Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

Dear Readers,

Triple Pundit has had a heck of a year. With your help we’ve grown to be one of the most widely read online publications about sustainable business, brought in many new contributors, and helped stoke the fires of a new, green economy in many new places. We hope you’ve had a great time reading and engaging with us and we’re ready to kick of January with a lot of new features, partnerships, and content.

To celebrate the end of the year, our crack team of editors has put together a few top-five lists for the year, including this one…the top five greenwash stories of 2009.

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Drill Baby, Drill: Environmentalists Conflicted Over Natural Gas

| Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 3 Comments

Be careful what you wish for. Now that environmental concerns are getting attention at the highest levels, new fractures are opening up within the “movement” — if it can still be called that — over nuclear power, carbon trading, and now natural gas.

When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke this fall at Solar Power International, he railed against King Coal and the oil industry, but urged the expansion of natural gas power plants nationwide, and touted the fossil fuel as a friend of solar power. Besides the Natural Resources Defense Council, which Kennedy heads, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund also are in favor of expanded use of natty gas.

But now the NRDC is modulating its support of gas, calling for the regulation of drilling in New York State due to environmental concerns. And the Sierra Club’s national leadership is locked in an internecine battle with local chapters in West Virginia and New York, who are opposing drilling, the Wall Street Journal reports.

So why the controversy?

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Getting a Charge Out of EVs in 2010?

Bill DiBenedetto | Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 5 Comments

Are we ready for the brave new world of electric vehicles? And is the EV era truly upon us? Maybe, but the coming year likely will clarify the answers to those questions.

There are still major worries about batteries, storage capacity, EV range, charging stations, and by the way, the current low cost of oil, which seems diabolically timed to undercut the development of EV and biofuel development.

This is the time of year for predictions and lists about the coming year. And Pike Research has weighed-in with a report outlining its 10-predictions for electric vehicles in 2010.

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How Sustainable Values Bridge the Conservative-Progressive Divide

3p Contributor | Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

By Martin Melaver

One of our clients is a fundamentalist Church with a mega-congregation. My own company is a small family business with strong leftist Jewish values. You wouldn’t think we’d have much to talk about except the weather and SEC football. The differences could not be greater.

The K-12 school that is a part of the Church has a sign on its football stadium that reads “With God’s help we will crush the enemy.” In my own lexicon, I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “warrior” outside the context of a yoga position. The Church finishes all of its meetings with a prayer. Our own company meetings are much more riotous by comparison. The Church evangelizes on television every Sunday. We try to do our talking through various sustainable practices that take years before they come to fruition.

There are some things we are never going to agree on, some other things I can’t even imagine having a conversation about. And yet despite many cultural differences, our two entities are slowly discovering some compelling common ground.

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U.S. Pledges $10 Billion per Year In Climate Change Aid

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week that the U.S. will participate in the international pledge of $100 billion a year in aid for developing countries to mitigate climate change, through providing  $10 billion a year by 2012. Clinton spoke of the need for developed countries to “provide generous financial and technological support for developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, to help them reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.”

The details Clinton gave about where the funding will come from concerns some people. Clinton said the funding “will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance” with a “significant focus on forestry and adaptation.” Journalist Bradford Plumer commented in an article that the $100 billion in aid will come from “private sources, like carbon-offset projects purchased under domestic cap-and-trade programs.”

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Autodesk Launches Online Game to Build Awareness About Green Building

Kathryn Siranosian | Tuesday December 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

Here’s a question to test your sustainability IQ:

What’s the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States?

Think carefully. In a survey last year, only 4% of Americans answered that question correctly.

Could it be cars? Trucks? Planes?

No. No. And, no.

The number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is . . . buildings.

That’s right, buildings. Which means our homes, schools, offices, shops, and manufacturing facilities offer tremendous opportunities to save energy, save money, and curb climate change. As Steven Chu, US Secretary of Energy summed it up so succinctly,

“Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit that is lying on the ground.”

In fact, 38 percent of all carbon emissions in America come from powering our buildings, and according to McKinsey & Company, energy efficiency measures alone can tackle about half the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 60 to 90 percent by the year 2050.

But, what can be done to spread the word? How can engineers, architects, landlords, and the like –as well as the general public –be encouraged to address building performance?

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The Copenhagen Accord – Final Thoughts on COP15

| Monday December 21st, 2009 | 10 Comments

Get the full text of the Copenhagen Accord (pdf – advance unedited version).

This will be my last post under the banner “The Road to Copenhagen.” Much punditry, on this site and elsewhere, comes in the wake of the now-ended COP15 climate conference. I will likely not have much to add as I recover from my 28-hour journey home (one missed connection can really spoil your day) and begin to take stock of the last two weeks. There is talk of “heartbreaking disappointment” resulting from the process and the Copenhagen Accord which it bore, and I am forced to question the wisdom of placing this disappointment solely at the feet of COP15.

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Top Five Start-Up Posts of the Year

| Monday December 21st, 2009 | 3 Comments

Dear Readers,

TriplePundit has had a heck of a year. With your help, we’ve grown to be one of the most widely-read online publications about sustainable business, we’ve brought in many new contributors, and we’ve helped stoke the fires of a new, green economy in many new places. We hope you’ve had a great time reading and engaging with us and we’re ready to kick of January with a lot of new features, partnerships, and content.

To celebrate the end of the year, or crack team of editors has put together a few top-five lists for the year, including this one: the best start-up stories of the year. These are the stories that inspired us the most and gave us hope about the possibility for a better way to do business.

First up: the unbelievable. Making drinking water from thin air. It’s not science fiction.  This story hit big for the technology’s potential to bring water to waterless regions.

Then there was Virgance, the company that figured out  how to turn activism into a business model. Got a mob, need action? These guys will tell you how to monetize it, too.

Zumbox plans to revolutionize the mail with the power of digital transmission. How novel!

Molten Salt just sounds cool, doesn’t it? Molten Salt! SolarReserve thinks it’s the key to solving the solar energy storage problem. And adding flavor to your popcorn. (Ok, that last one maybe not so much.)

Finally, there’s Better Place. The company aims to make the world just that, through innovations to electric vehicle charging and the car ownership model. Turn a traditional sales model on its head by renting the risky part (batteries) and suddenly you have a new market opportunity. These guys are one to watch, for sure.

Check back tomorrow for the best of the worst: greenwashing edition. On Wednesday we’ll look at our top five posts of the year!

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U.S. Airlines Sue to Avoid EU Carbon Caps

| Monday December 21st, 2009 | 3 Comments

jet-smogAmerican Airlines, Continental and United Airlines have joined with the Air Transport Association (ATA) in suing the U.K. over that country’s planned implementation of EU emissions trading schemes (ETS), according to Business Week.

The airlines and ATA sued the U.K. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change December 16th in British court, saying the rules “violated the U.S.-EU bilateral Air Transport Agreement of April 2007 and the Kyoto Protocol,” according to the London court filing.

The regulations will require airlines to cap their emissions, and buy carbon permits if they exceed those caps. The U.K.-based Carbon Trust estimates airlines could spend as much as 35 billion euros ($50 billion) between 2012 and 2020 on carbon permits.

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NYC Announces Comprehensive Assessment of Urban Food Systems

Tori Okner | Monday December 21st, 2009 | 1 Comment

“Too often we allow food issues to be pushed to the fringe of public policy,” admitted New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, in announcing the creation of “FoodWorks New York.” This initiative is the first attempt by the city government to implement a comprehensive assessment of the urban food system. Quinn’s objective? To capitalize on opportunities for job growth while ameliorating environmental and health failings.

Quinn took advantage of the media presence at an event to promote the FRESH supermarket program. With $10 million of New York State funds earmarked to assist the financing of new markets in under serviced neighborhoods, the FRESH supermarket program is one aspect of the Governor Paterson’s Healthy Food/Healthy Communities Initiative. For Quinn, and in time perhaps for NYC, the event marked a turning point in the discourse on local food policy.

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Walmart Making New Pizza Boxes From Old Cardboard

Jace Shoemaker-Galloway | Monday December 21st, 2009 | 0 Comments

As part of its effort to reduce, recycle or reuse everything that comes into U.S. operations by 2025, Walmart has several sustainable goals for the future.

One goal includes recycling corrugated cardboard waste into private-label take-and-bake pizza boxes.  Cardboard waste is gathered and transported to Indiana’s Pratt Industries box plant where it is then recycled into Walmart pizza boxes.

The recycling measure is expected to divert 8,600 tons of cardboard waste from landfills.  Approximately 125,000 trees will also be spared by recycling the corrugated cardboard.  The innovative approach is one such way to close the loop on waste, help the environment and reduce resources as well as costs.

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