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Good News #67 - #71 --- Cooking Safely, Old Sneakers, Cheaper Solor, Fuel Economy, 21st Century Master's Degree

Hello again...

Below are five more GOOD NEWS ideas that expand the possibilities for the future...

I teamed up again with long-time colleague, Debbe Kennedy for INNOVATING in HARD TIMES 2, an ONLINE global dialogue where we continued the discussion about innovating at a special place I call "the verge". If you missed it, you'll find the recorded audio/visual program at the following link: http://www.puttingourdifferencestowork.com/dialogues-library.html

I also invite you to see an online VIDEO preview of my 2009 video release, INNOVATION at the VERGE at http://www.innovationattheverge.com. On the site, you'll find information on supporting materials, including a VIDEO Book Review I created to share my thoughts about the book, Putting Our Differences to Work by Debbe Kennedy related to innovating at the verge. 

Scroll down to see my good news ideas #67 through #71...

Joel Barker-- Joel

Joel Barker
futurist, filmmaker, author


CleanCooker-sm#67 - Clean Air Cooking
for the developing world.

Very few of the readers of this blog have to worry about dirty air in their dwelling from cooking fires. But for almost half the world's population, it is a problem because their fires produce carbon monoxide (deadly) and benzene(noxious). More than one million people each year are killed by these gases.

At Colorado State University in Fort Collins, led by Professor Bryan Willson, a team of researchers have developed an inexpensive indoor stove that cuts bad emissions by 80% and uses less fuel doing it. You can buy the stove for as little as $10 in some countries.

This kind of technology is easy to ignore, yet it makes the lives of billions of people better.

Google:  Bryan Willson, "B-1100 Cookstove"



AirJordanGreen-sm #68
Nike Going Green
It is good to see sustained commitment by global companies to make their products and processes greener. Nike continues to focus their product development on greener shoes. But, they don't talk about it much because some of their customers think it means a lesser quality product.

Example: the newest Air Jordans' sole is made up of old Nike sneakers that have been ground up. But their customers are looking for fashion and feel, so being friendly to the environment isn't important to them.

As a result, Nike doesn't advertise the environmentally good side of Air Jordans. Here's a thought: why not have Mike come back and be the spokesman for Eco-Nike efforts?

Google:  "Nike eco-friendly"




Solararray #69 - It's Getting Cheaper!
Even as Congress is trying to stimulate green energy, the marketplace has changed so dramatically that the key ingredient for solar cells--crystaline silicon--is getting cheaper faster. Two reasons for this:
1) demand overall for silicon is down in the down economy, and 2) new plants have just come on line. CEO of SunPower, Richard Swanson, believes that within five years, his company will be able to produce solar panels that generate electricity at $1.00 per watt which is almost 50% less than today.

Solar roofs are looking more likely every year. Think about what it would mean to have your house generating much of the energy you use. That's where we are headed with solar.

Google: SunPower, Exelon




Fastkins-470-0509-smller #70 - Golf Balls and Little Cars
Those who play golf know that golf balls have tiny little dimples on them to make them fly through the air better. A company out of Dallas, Skinzwraps, has developed second skin for cars that use the same technology--little dimples that cover the car like a skin.

The end result is 20% better fuel economy. It costs $1800 to do a wrap right now, but, of course, that cost will go down if it gets popular. And that's the problem: it doesn't look cool. But, who knows, maybe some celebrity will get his or her car "fast-wrapped" and it will become an energy saving craze!

Google:  fastskinz,  golf ball aerodynamics




Mathandscience #71 - Professional Science Master's Degrees
Sheila Tobias, a columnist for Science News,  presents a powerful argument for the importance of a special kind of science degree for the 21st century, the Professional Science Master's Degree. She believes such a degree will be the equivalent of an MBA in the 20th century. I agree with her. Those who have a firm grasp of science and math will have great advantage in leading technology firms and firms who interface with technology.

The heart of this new degree is a combination of graduate level science and math coupled to a new field of science and/or technology with management training. Think about the power of someone educated this way and trained to be a scientist/manager/leader, not just a scientist/technologist.

By the way, this is another "verge" where two very different sets of disciplines are coming together to create a new kind of manager/researcher.

Google:  "Professional Science Master's degree"


Visit the Joel Barker's COLLECTION at the Global Dialogue Center 


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