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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.
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY OB STAFF
Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.
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:
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!
Thursday, December 18, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
BY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.
|A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy|
|Woman of Steel|
|Kill the Meeting|
|Debate surrounding Washington-Oregon I5 span heats up|
|Watchdog group takes issue with timber company's 'green' label|
|Labor dispute at the ports slowing Christmas deliveries|
|Fed stresses 'patience' regarding interest rate|
|Obama to announce end of Cuba isolation|
|Energy prices drop cost of living in US by most since 2008|
|Russia's attempt to slow ruble freefall fails|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
How sports tourism is driving economic growth and making cities across Oregon a better place to live.
Port of Morrow's business-ready attitude has a surprising global impact.
Through its support of the arts, the Cultural Trust is strengthening the business community.
Heed the morals of these seminal holiday stories in your everyday life.
Amy will practice in the firm's Business, Real Estate, and Tax practice groups.
While the Bend City Council ultimately upheld the approval which enables OSU-Cascades to move forward with the 10 acre site, it did also thoughtfully consider the nature of its code requirements, resident concerns and OSU-Cascade’s efforts and suggestions and crafted conditions of approval to address potential impacts of the site in the area.