September 2010

Next: Cheaper solar panels

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Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010

0910_Next01Portland State University chemistry professor Carl Wamser is figuring out a way to create solar panels that could be inexpensive enough to install on every house. The current process that uses silicon, the main element of a solar panel, is expensive. Wamser has found a cheaper substitute: an organic molecule called porphyrin, which is purple and acts like chlorophyll.

 

Powerlist: Staffing Firms

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Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
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RANKED BY FULL-TIME OREGON STAFF

 

Highest-paid Oregon CEOs earn less

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Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010

0910_CEOpay01

The highest-paid CEOs Oregon public companies shared some of the pink slips and wage cuts that were common across all industries in the past year. For 2009, the total pay for this year’s Top 40 dropped 5% versus last year’s Top 40, and nearly half the current crop received less compensation than they did the prior year. Bonuses plummeted 59%.

 

Money Ball: Oregon colleges follow the cash to football

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Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
0910_Sports02It's smart business to have a stake in Oregon's $166 million college football industry.
 

Bankruptcy lawyers cash in

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Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
0910_Lawyers01Bad news brings good business to firms that specialize in bankruptcy and finance.
 

Oregon economic indicators as of June 2010

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Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
 

The state we're in: Lumber improves

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Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
0910_TSWI03

Western softwood lumber production, including 27 Oregon mills, toppled to 10.7 billion board feet in 2009, down 44.6% compared to 2005 with 19.3 billion. However, 8.7% more board feet were produced year-to-date in June than last year.

 
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The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


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Streetfight

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On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


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Two Sides of the Coin

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Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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Leading with the right brain

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On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


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Woman of Steel

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Tamara Lundgren tackles the challenges—without getting trampled.


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Three problems with Obama's immigration order

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By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


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