Business & Economics

Reforms, not reformers

Industrial-scale agriculture has placed small farmers and their local environments at risk not just in the United States but across the developing world, warns Eric Holt-Giménez of the “think-and-do-tank” Food First. Fixing the problem, he argues, isn’t a matter of waiting for top-down reform — but of generating sustained pressure from below.

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More cows, moving faster

Desertification is a serious and rapidly-growing problem across wide swathes of the world, and cattle grazing plays a role in it. But if the environmental and economic success that Johann Zietsman has been having with his herds is anything to go by, the answer may not be fewer cattle but more.

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Telling stories for a better China

If rampant consumerism is a cultural — not just economic — phenomenon, can a culture be deliberately changed to minimize its effects? Peggy Liu leads China Dream, a project that aims to achieve nothing less with the world’s most populous nation and oldest civilization. SCOPE asks her how she plans to succeed.

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Learning from Kigali

One of the fastest-growing cities in the world is Rwanda’s capital Kigali, and its challenges are as complex as any other urban centre’s. Guillaume Sardin explains how a new documentary research project led by his think tank and a team of Rwandan architecture students hopes to unveil the inner dynamics of one of its most diverse neighbourhoods.

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Twice as bright, but half as long

Recent improvements in the ability of the oil industry to successfully drill for oil in “tight” non-porous rock formations like shale, using methods like hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and horizontal drilling, have revolutionized the conversation about energy in the United States.

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Keep your friends close — but not too close

The longstanding myth of rational financial markets continues to be eroded by research into the behaviour of actual investors. In a recent study conducted by academics at IESE, the London School of Economics, and the University of Essex, it is

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Costing to price

For North American and European multinationals, rapidly-growing emerging market countries like India have long offered appetizing pools of potential customers and low-cost outsourcing opportunities. However, as London Business School professors Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam argue in their new book,

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A bicycle would cost more… and would be far less fun to watch

Beginning a fifty-theatre run in France this week is a two-hour-and-thirteen-minute film that has attracted a great deal of critical buzz and was recently featured in the ACID lineup at Cannes. Praised for its realism and intensity, another part of

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Slums not as problems, but as solutions

Brazil’s pacification operation in the Rocinha and Vidigal favelas of Rio de Janeiro this past week made international headlines, involving as it did the dramatic occupation of the districts by 3,000 soldiers and police supported by helicopters, tanks, and snipers.

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Innovation through imitation

Patent wars are breaking out all over the high-technology industry, the most high profile of which is the battle between Apple and Samsung. Apple initiated hostilities in April on behalf of its market-dominating iPad and has won a preliminary injunction

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From macro to metro

Projections show that 75% of the world’s population will be living in cities in the next couple of decades: right now, 40 people per hour are moving into the city of Lagos, Nigeria. This unprecedentedly urbanized world will bring both

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Light and power

A quick glance at the all-window exteriors of modern office buildings seems to offer little hope for the application of solar power cells anywhere but on rooftops, which comprise but a small proportion of a given tower’s total surface area.

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