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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.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS
Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.
"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."
"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
When gossip crosses the line.
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While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University
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