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November 29, 2012
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Setting the Example 
  • "Universal town" in India becomes green-building "test bed"
    Auroville, a "universal town" designed by French architect Roger Anger, is an "experimental" city in India that holds 2,000 residents. "Green building techniques -- from the development of specifically curved housing, which offers strength, durability and heat reduction to the use of handmade bricks from locally sourced mud -- make the township a hotbed for green thinking and learning," writes Emily D'Alterio. (Australia) (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Vertical garden project brings green to high-density area
    A project that includes a vertical garden, an edible green screen and a rainwater harvesting system is meant to promote biodiversity and sustainability at the University of Washington in Seattle, Kaid Benfield writes. The initiative features two, 10-foot-tall vertical gardens and a 39-foot-tall edible screen with hops and kiwi vines. It will also have two cisterns that will collect rainwater from the roof to be used as irrigation for the plants, Benfield notes. Natural Resources Defense Council/Switchboard blog (11/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story

Creating Accountability 
Sustainability Update Powered by 3BL Media 
  • Banorte Uses Mobile Technology to Help Make Banking Available for More Mexicans
    Banorte recently launched Fondo Personal MiFon, a simplified account where the user links his or her cell phone -- of any company and rate plan -- to a bank account and operates the account via text messages on the widely used SMS platform. Guillermo Ortiz, chairman of Grupo Financiero Banorte, said: "We are determined to take significant steps to achieve the levels of banking and financial inclusion that our country requires." With this new technology, Banorte reaffirms its commitment to help those who currently have limited or no access to financial services. 3BL Media
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The Responsible Leader 
  • "Benefit corporations" balance social good and financial gains
    Companies are being asked not just to care about corporate responsibility, but to put such goals first by registering as "benefit corporations." Registration gives companies a legal obligation to balance profits and social benefits, which allows them, for instance, to avoid layoffs even if it means lower financial returns. "The idea of a benefit corporation is to weave some social responsibility into the DNA of the company itself through its charter," writes Ben Schreckinger. MIT Sloan Management Review online/Improvisations blog (11/28), The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (11/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Powering Tomorrow 
  • Defense Dept.'s biofuels program furthers energy security
    Congress should support the U.S. military's biofuels program because it lessens the country's reliance on "oil from unstable and undemocratic countries," writes Paul Clarke, a senior adviser to the Truman National Security Project. The program was born from the realization by U.S. defense leaders that "reliance on oil is a major vulnerability," Clarke states. "Our military deploys troops and spends billions of dollars every year securing oil supply routes, and any rise in oil prices can leave the Defense Department on the hook for billions in costs," Clarke adds. The Hill/Congress Blog (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Engage. Innovate. Discuss. 
  • Slow down and start learning from your failures
    Failures should be part of a learning process, writes Henna Inam, CEO of Transformational Leadership. Rushing to avoid or cover up failures means missing an opportunity to grow wiser and stronger, Inam argues. "[W]e need to think about failure as a process we go through rather than an event to avoid at all costs," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
How far can you dilute the profit motive without hurting a business's chances to grow and thrive? And, if there really is broad agreement that the profit motive sometimes needs to be reined in for the greater good, is a voluntary, opt-in effort really the best tool to accomplish it?"
--Ben Schreckinger, writing in The Boston Globe
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