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Portland nonprofit helps transgender kids

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Must Reads
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Portland nonprofit TransActive leads the nation in helping transgender and gender-nonconforming youth and their families.

 

Mount Hood has best season yet

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mount Hood resorts saw 1,342,405 visits in the 2012-13 season, 150,000 more than the 10-year average.

 

Corvallis cider company grows

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Must Reads
Thursday, October 31, 2013

2 Towns Ciderhouse is growing again in Corvallis.

 

Lake Oswego converting streetlights to LEDs

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Must Reads
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lake Oswego plans to convert thousands of streetlights to LEDs in the next five years.

 

Society43 teams with NBA

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Must Reads
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Portland sunglasses company Society43 launched a partnership with the National Basketball Association.

 

Renowned PSU planner, wife, die in car crash

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Must Reads
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nohad Toulan, 81, and his wife Dirce Angelina Moroni Toulan, 78, were key figures in Portand's modern urban development.

 

Foreclosure mediation program ramps up

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Must Reads
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The program requires the state's large lenders to offer a meeting with homeowners before they can foreclose.

 
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Water World

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Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


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Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


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Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

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carsonstudentdept-thumbBY 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.


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Powerbook Perspective

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BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


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Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

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The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


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The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

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Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
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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