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  • El cisne negro. Nueva edición ampliada y revisada - Nassim Nicholas Taleb October 19, 2017
    ¿Qué es un cisne negro? Para empezar, es un suceso improbable, sus consecuencias son importantes y todas las explicaciones que se puedan ofrecer a posteriori no tienen en cuenta el azar y sólo buscan encajar lo imprevisible en un modelo perfecto. El éxito de Google y You Tube, y hasta ell 11-S, son “cisnes negros”. Para Nassim Nicholas Taleb, los cisnes negr […]
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  • La teoría del todo - Stephen W. Hawking October 19, 2017
    Una manera clara y amena de acercarse a los misterios del universo. En esta esclarecedora obra, el gran físico británico Stephen Hawking nos ofrece una historia del universo, del big bang a los agujeros negros. En siete pasos, Hawking logra explicar la historia del universo, desde las primeras teorías del mundo griego y de la época medieval hasta las más com […]
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  • Ágilmente - Estanislao Bachrach October 19, 2017
    Bachrach es Doctor en biología molecular y explica el funcionamiento del cerebro. A través de ello, da consejos y herramientas para ser más creativos y felices en el trabajo y en la vida. La neurociencia es clara: el cerebro aprende hasta el último día de vida. La creatividad puede expandirse. Tu mente, mediante la aplicación de las técnicas correctas, puede […]
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  • EnCambio - Estanislao Bachrach October 19, 2017
    EnCambio te va a permitir alumbrar los procesos por los cuales te comportás de determinada manera con el fin de dejar atrás aquellos hábitos y conductas que ya no te sirven. El objetivo es que aprendas del potencial que tiene tu cerebro para cambiar y la capacidad que tenés vos para modificarlo. Este año cambio de trabajo, empiezo el gimnasio, bajo esos kili […]
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  • Breve historia de mi vida - Stephen Hawking October 19, 2017
    La mente maravillosa de Stephen Hawking ha deslumbrado al mundo entero revelando los misterios del universo. Ahora, por primera vez, el cosmólogo más brillante de nuestra era explora, con una mirada reveladora, su propia vida y evolución intelectual. Breve historia de mi vida cuenta el sorprendente viaje de Stephen Hawking desde su niñez […]
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  • La física del futuro - Michio Kaku October 19, 2017
    Un recorrido asombroso a través de los próximos cien años de revolución científica. El futuro ya se está inventando en los laboratorios de los científicos más punteros de todo el mundo. Con toda probabilidad, en 2100 controlaremos los ordenadores a través de diminutos sensores cerebrales y podremos mover objetos con el poder de nuestras mentes, la inteligenc […]
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  • ¿Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? - Maria Konnikova October 19, 2017
    Ningún personaje de ficción es más conocido por sus poderes de intuición y observación que Sherlock Holmes. Pero, ¿es su inteligencia extraordinaria una invención de la ficción o podemos aprender a desarrollar estas habilidades, para mejorar nuestras vidas en el trabajo y en casa? A través de ¿ Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? , la periodista y psicóloga Ma […]
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  • Sobre la teoría de la relatividad especial y general - Albert Einstein October 19, 2017
    Entre el Electromagnetismo y la Mecánica newtoniana existe una fórmula de bisagra: la teoría de la relatividad especial y general. La importancia del nuevo marco planteado por Albert Einstein se entiende por lo siguiente: la percepción del tiempo y el espacio es relativa al observador. ¿Qué significa esto? Si usted viaja a una velocidad mayor que la de la lu […]
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  • Tricks Any Dog Can Do! - Susan Day October 19, 2017
    This great book comes with advice and guidance as to the best way to teach these tricks. It offers more than one method which the reader can choose depending upon their own situation. There is also advice to using treats and shows you how to not end up with a treat junkie! This books is from the desk of Susan Day, a canine behaviourist. Susan teaches obedien […]
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  • Una mochila para el universo - Elsa Punset October 19, 2017
    ¿Cuánto debe durar un abrazo? ¿De qué sirve llorar? ¿Qué podemos hacer para cambiar nuestra suerte? ¿Tiene algún propósito el enamoramiento? ¿Y por qué es tan inevitable el desamor? ¿Cómo aprendemosa tener miedo? ¿A partir de qué edad empezamos a mentir? ¿Por qué sentimos envidia? ¿Cuántos amigos necesitamos para ser felices? ¿Podemos evitar estresarnos sin […]
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‘What the Health’ explores how corruption and collusion are keeping Americans sick

This is the latest mind-bending film from the makers of ‘Cowspiracy,’ and the subject is no less controversial this time round. […]

University uses 1,250 gallons of bad mayonnaise for power

The mayo went bad, but it didn’t go to waste. […]

Save the trees! Sign up for Rainforest Alliance’s 30-Day Sustainability Challenge

Get simple but powerful personal actions delivered to your inbox every 3 days; 30 actions in all – are you up to the challenge? […]

Millennials Looking for a Place in the Emerging Green Economy

This is the season when my colleagues and I spend a lot of time reviewing applications for graduate school, most of which were submitted after the recent election. I direct two master’s programs at Columbia, one a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy and the other a Master of Science in Sustainability Management. Together, the two programs enroll about 300 students. Columbia also has programs in climate and society, sustainable development and development practice. Among this student body there is a deep sense of unease with the direction of the U.S. federal government, but that is coupled with a high degree of confidence in the importance of the emerging green economy. […]

Solving "Wicked Problems" – the Road to a Better World?

What makes a problem “wicked” rather than just daunting, formidable or really, really tough? Wicked problems are ones in which we operate with incomplete or contradictory and rapidly-changing information with a large number of stakeholders and with connections to many other problems. How to provide nutritious, satisfying and sufficient food for 9 billion of our neighbors in a sustainable and affordable way is an example of a wicked problem. By DNV GL Chief Sustainability Officer Bjørn K. Haugland; and Professor Kevin Noone, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES), Stockholm University. […]

Five Simple Rules (For Purging Deforestation From Corporate Supply Chains)

By Kelli Barrett This story first appeared on Ecosystem Marketplace. “Supply chains are vast, complicated intricate things with a lot of moving parts and players,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, the Global Director of Sustainability for candy and food giant Mars. “They are more like webs than chains.” Rabinovitch was speaking at the December climate talks in Paris, but delegates to next week’s Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) meeting in Jakarta, from March 10-13, will also be working to untangle those webs. The TFA is a consortium of governments, companies and organizations with a shared interest in transitioning to zero-deforestation supply chains, and the General Assembly of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 is intended to spur an exchange of knowledge and expertise over best practices and methods to achieve sustainable supply chains – which companies are committing to in the form of pledges to make sure they’re not destroying forests to access their raw materials. Mars, for example, says that 100% of its palm oil, soy, beef, and paper will soon come exclusively from sources that can prove they’re sustainably sourced, and it’s implementing similar limits on its cacao, dairy, pork, and other products. Towards that end, the company has announced a plan to restructure its supply chain, and it has joined several corporate sustainability initiatives like the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), according to Supply-Change.org, an initiative launched by Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends to track the actions that companies are taking to keep their green pledges related to palm, soy, cattle, and timber & pulp. Mars has emerged as an aggressive member of the RSPO, along with PepsiCo, General Mills, ConAgra , and others that pressured RSPO through the Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) to create more rigorous standards. Many of these same companies are active in WWF’s new Markets Institute, which aims to promote the spread of workable solutions to the supply-chain challenge. Such cooperative initiatives offer assistance in untangling the supply chain web, as Rabinovitch puts it. The supply chain is complex largely because companies like Mars don’t grow their own sugar or cacao. They buy it from hundreds of thousands of producers around the world, most of whom are small-scale subsistence farmers in the developing world. At least 70% of tropical deforestation is from commercial agriculture according to the Forest Trends report “Consumer Goods and Deforestation”. Tracking Corporate Action on Deforestation All of the companies in this article have pledged to reduce or eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, and all are listed on Supply-Change.org, but hundreds of companies have made promises, and few have yet reported results. The platform tracks progress reported against promises made, but it doesn’t evaluate the promises themselves. Some companies may, therefore, report little progress against substantial commitments, while others may report massive progress against minimal objectives, and still others may have achieved results that they simply haven’t announced. Nevertheless, Supply Change can function as a good barometer of corporate activity, and throughout the year Ecosystem Marketplace will be digging into the numbers to shine a light on the complexities of tackling deforestation on the ground. In the meantime, visit Supply-Change.org to see what actions Mars, PepsiCo, General Mills, ConAgra, APP, Carrefour, and Mondi have reported to-date. Plans and Actions Scores of companies made green pledges in the last two years via the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) and other initiatives to halt deforestation. Progress, however, has been slow, and only half of the companies that pledged to source certified soy have yet to integrate it into their supply chains, although 74% of the companies that committed to sustainable palm oil have done so, according to a report from the nonprofit climate research organization CDP. The report, “Realizing Zero Deforestation”, also found that 70% of the 180 companies reporting have commitments in place to remove deforestation from their supply chains. Where’s the Map? There isn’t a blueprint or model to follow and so all companies basically lack a clear understanding of how, exactly, to eliminate deforestation, says Aida Greenbury, the Director of Sustainability at Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which committed to a zero net deforestation policy in 2013. Rabinovitch agrees, and adds that there isn’t even a clear and common definition for success, which often leads to cumbersome discussions that tie up resources and time. “Every minute we spend arguing and working out what success looks like and how we can measure it is a minute and a dollar not spent fixing the problem,” he says. Other challenges are occurring closer to the ground-level. For instance, South African paper company Mondi, which so far has achieved 100% of its commitments tracked by Supply Change.org (you can find the company’s source reporting here), is struggling to find enough certified wood to meet a growing demand as 90% of forests aren’t certified. CDP’s report tries to offer some clarity, in the form of a five-step “supply chain performance plan”. The Zero-Deforestation Performance Plan The five steps outlined in CDP’s proposal are: Enhance the procurement process: 77% of manufacturers and retailers have procurement policies for sourcing forest-risk commodities, but only 5 of those said they train their procurement teams on these policies. Communicate expectations: ensuring the suppliers are aware of the buyer’s new standard or target, and also making sure the supplier is not only clear on options but also of the wider benefits of sustainable practices. Track progress transparently: 80% of companies are still not disclosing deforestation data, let alone monitoring progress. Many of those that do, however, are using advanced technology like satellites and drones to monitor forest loss. Collaborate to drive progress: companies should join forces forming jointly agreed on targets or creating sustainability projects together and or with their suppliers. Just 13% of retailers and manufacturers are implementing joint projects with their suppliers, the report says. Review, revisit and reward: follow through and continue with the previous steps, acknowledging where actions were successful and where they failed, and then making alterations accordingly. Supplier Relations Business leaders emphasize step four, the collective aspect of accomplishing zero net deforestation, often noting CDP’s work and other such efforts as the Consumer Good Forum’s zero net deforestation resolution. “If you really want to avoid deforestation, acting collectively and sharing a similar trajectory is the most important thing. It isn’t a matter of competition,” says Bertrand Swiderski, the Director of Sustainability at Carrefour, the French retail giant, which operates under a sustainability plan focused on biodiversity and includes commitments for deforestation-free timber products and palm oil. “When we work on sustainability, we must join forces,” adds Greenbury. “We cannot create deforestation-free supply chains alone.” Cooperation, she adds, is anathema in the hyper-competitive and fragmented paper industry, where it can even be seen as collusion. Still, she says her company has largely stopped deforestation in the three years since it committed to do so, although pockets of deforestation exist, mostly through individual community members or encroaching development. The company’s sustainable peatland process, she says, is working on a large scale as well, though deforestation is still occurring, and El Nino weather continues to cause fires. (The Supply-Change profile will be updated to reflect this soon.) Swiderski says it’s important to note the success of each step taken that brings them closer to achieving their overall targets. “We still have a lot of stairs to climb but we’ve reached the first step,” he says. Kelli Barrett is a freelance writer and editorial assistant at Ecosystem Marketplace. She can be reached at kbarrett@ecosystemmarketplace.com. Edited by Steve Zwick. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Putting the "Real" Into Sustainable Real-Estate: How One Tech Company is Positioned to Tackle a Trillion Dollar Opportunity

Half of the world’s 7.4 billion people live in cities. According to research by the United Nations, in 2050 more than 70% of the world’s population (projected to exceed 9 billion) will live in urban areas. This trend is significant, particularly as global demand for natural resources continues to rise in step with population growth and the evolving needs of society. Humans thrive off of connectivity with each other and the natural world. Cities tie people and place together with shared infrastructure and opportunities for enrichment through culture, arts, sciences, commerce, politics, and entertainment. As the global design and engineering consultancy points out in their “Sustainable Cities Index,” humanity has now officially entered “the age of the city.” The migration of people to urban centers makes sense. It’s represents a cue that people value the significance of place as it defines their life. ARCADIS’ Sustainable Cities Index evaluated 50 of the largest cities in the world against specific sustainability indicators such as income inequality, property values, air pollution and greenhouse gases, waste management practices, work-life balance, the availability of greenspaces, literacy rates, education rankings, the ease of doing business, health indicators such as life expectancy, among others. According to the ARCADIS analysis, cities including Rotterdam, Soul, London, Sydney, and Copenhagen rank among some of the most sustainable in the world. And cities including Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Nairobi, which are primarily located in developing region of the world, are ranked lower on the sustainability index, but improving. Paralleling the rapid urbanization trend is the rise of the global middle class. Data from scholars with the Brookings Institution estimate that the global middle class will reach 4.7 billion people by 2030, compared to 1.9 billion in 2010. In the next ten to fifteen years projected economic growth in Asia-Pacific region nations including China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia will give rise to a more significant global middle class than the world has ever seen. Brookings Institution research estimates that by 2030, Asia’s middle class will represent nearly two-thirds of the world’s middle class, accounting for more than 40% of global consumption. As more people navigate to cities and with purchasing power, greater demands will be placed on natural resources. Sustainable buildings and infrastructure provides a counterbalance this trend. But capital markets, real-estate developers, government agencies, and leading consultancies like ARCADIS cannot do it alone. The purchasing power of people can and will have a profound impact on the future state of sustainable cities and living. A next generation company positioning itself at the nexus of sustainable living, urbanization, and the emerging opportunities of the international real-estate market is Propy, Inc. At the center of Propy’s value proposition is a goal to motivate sustainable building and living choices for consumers, particularly in the largest global cities. While real-estate is always a local and site specific opportunity, the marketplace for real-estate has truly become global. Currently one-third of real-estate purchases are made by international customers. In 2015, home sales to foreign buyers represented a $104 billion market in the U.S. alone. Chinese buyers comprised more than a quarter of foreign purchased homes in the U.S. with a valuation of $28.6 billion. One of Propy’s solutions for international real-estate buyers is that it aggregates property listing from prominent global cities and advertises them to foreign investors in their native language. The Propy App also links local real-estate brokerages and foreign buyers together so that potential deals can be brokered more efficiently and faster. Propy’s value proposition does not end there however. Recognizing that 40% of CO2 emissions are correlated to residential homes and living, Propy has integrated into their App, a sustainability tool which actively assesses social, economic, and environmental indicators of the property and its location, culminating into a sustainability score for the home. Propy’s embedded sustainability tool provides a platform to encourage buyers to proactively evaluate sustainability criteria of buildings and homes. At the core of Propy’s sustainability tool is dynamic and proprietary algorithm that takes into account the walkability, quality of education, air quality, energy efficiency, access to public transit, and a diversity of other parameters. While it seems complex, Propy’s App, like other successful tech-based companies, is simple and intuitive. They’ve done their homework and honed in on an enormous and underserved opportunity in the marketplace: connecting international buyers with opportunities for sustainable living. What I find interesting about Propy is that their platform has potential to driver consumer choice and builder behavior simultaneously, thereby motivating investors and owners to focus on sustainable building. Sustainability is complex, as Propy’s management team knows all too well. Two of Propy’s executive team, Ms. Natalia Karayaneva, CEO, and Ms. Eva Otanke, Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), met while attending Oxford University’s Sustainable Urban Development Program. Originally from Russia, Natalia Karayaneva had a successful career as a real-estate developer, and saw the opportunity to connect international investors with the evolving trend in rapid urbanization. Ms. Karayaneva sought out to study the complexity of sustainability in real-estate, and in 2015 she completed her Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Development from Oxford. Her focus, studying and assessing the nuance of sustainability rating systems as applied to residential real-estate. Ms. Otanke, a Latvian Canadian, has been a successful entrepreneur in her own right, owning and operating a business planning, development and sustainability consulting and event planning company with international operations. In addition, Ms. Otanke is currently supporting the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Latvia on their development and fundraising strategy. Green and sustainable building standards organizations, like the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have established world-class voluntary standards for energy efficient and environmental design including commercial buildings, neighborhoods, and home. While such standards have begun to transform the quality, efficiency, and sustainability of the built environment, there remains a gap between builders, buyers, and sellers regarding the assessment, scoring, and disclosure of sustainability as an integrated metric for real-estate. Enter Propy whose app is working to provide a market-based opportunity to root sustainability into the everyday psyche of the international real-estate investor. Propy is also practicing what it preaches. The company has dedicated 1% of its revenues to support energy efficiency projects in low-income areas. This past Martin Luther King Day the company announced that it was launching a program to install solar panels in low-income neighborhoods in partnership with Samantha DeBianchi. If Ms. DeBianchi’s name sounds familiar that’s because she is a famous real estate broker featured on Bravo TV’s reality show, Million Dollar Listing. The details of Propy’s low-income neighborhood solarization initiative are forthcoming and will be disclosed by Earth Day 2016 along with a pilot project in the U.S. according to company sources. In just a few weeks after their launch, Propy had more than 10,000 unique visitors and thousands of app downloads, substantial progress for this new-age company on a mission to deliver sustainable value. Only time will tell how well Propy does as a company for Ms. Karayaneva and her team, but one thing is for certain, Propy is positioned to integrate science into sensible real-estate selection options that bridge an existing global need with the opportunity for creating a more sustainable world. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]