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|Friday, September 13, 2013|
BY TOM COX | BUSINESS TIPS CONTRIBUTOR
The past hour has left me feeling enormously more optimistic about the future of the human race — and about the future of the economy of my beloved home state of Oregon.
As I type this, to one side of me are six special booths at the Oregon BEST Fest.
BEST Fest is a celebration of the Built Environment and Sustainable Technology.
These six booths are staffed entirely by students from Portland State University.
One booth, Continuum, showcases a seismic brace, newly designed yet using off-the-shelf materials, that vastly prolongs the useful lives of old buildings by giving them a faster, cheaper, non-corroding, less-invasive way to conform with updated building codes. People are safer, and beautiful old buildings can continue to serve their neighborhoods. Tons of material (and millions of dollars) are saved by not tearing down those buildings.
Next booth over at EndoBright, the cosmetics industry is becoming more humane (and more vegan). A novel way of extracting brightly colored pigments from fungi offers to replace the industry supply of pigments from beetles.
Then at Mobius Microfarms, an automated system pairs a fish tank with grow beds for organic micro-greens and herbs. Restaurants and soon apartment dwellers will be able to grow a portion of their weekly vegetables in a beautiful cabinet — combining gorgeous indoor decor with the most local food imaginable. No pesticides or herbicides needed, and it recycles its own water and runs on $3 a month for the grow-lights. How many tons of carbon will be saved when we’re all getting our delicious ultra-local organic herbs and greens from our living rooms or the neighborhood vertical farm?
Next over at the Diatomix booth, tiny diatoms are grown and turned into a material that has astonishing properties — such as the creation of
I lost track at that point — Diatomix is astonishing.
Next to them, another team has a system that recycles both used tires and used motor oil into fuel and other usable products. Another has a sunlight-powered water purifier for remote or impoverished areas of the world that lack both power and clean water.
None of these companies existed a year ago. All are now seeking to productize and sell their creations.
People make a lot of problems for each other. With the chance — and support from allies like PSU, TiE, Wells Fargo, and others — people can also create amazing solutions.
So too can you. So too can the people who work for you and with you.
Tom Cox is a Beaverton consultant, author and speaker. He coaches CEOs on how to boost performance by building workplace trust.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG
For Far West Fibers, one of Oregon's largest and oldest mixed-recycling companies, garbage alchemy has long been big business.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Oregon Business magazine's "Green Your Workplace" seminar featured a panel of sustainability experts from small, medium and large organizations. The seminar drew 70 people and took place in the Nines Hotel this morning.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
Transportation accounts for the second-largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. (28% in 2012), and the use of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, is booming in light of state and national programs to make transportation fuels cleaner.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Brad Baker, CEO and co-founder of Works Electric, is a good husband. His wife, an OHSU employee, sought a more efficient way to commute up Marquam “Pill” Hill, so she asked Baker to build a transportation solution.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
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