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July 2011

Ethics and profits: oxymoron or path to business sustainability?

Companies that are bad at environmental management are bad at managing everything. Not surprisingly, they are less profitable than their industry peers. As a bright-eyed young sewage scientist in 1990, I discovered this in an article that analysed the performance of the firms in the Fortune 500 list to find out if there were any features that made the good ones stand out – and the bad. What fascinated me …Read More

People power: defining happy, healthy and prosperous communities

The welfare of a nation ‘cannot be inferred from a measurement of national income,’ said Simon Kuznets (the economist who invented GDP) in 1934. It is a poor measure of anything other than the flow of money through an economy – for example it can’t measure the overall wellbeing of people and the environment. But his advice was ignored until the late 20th century, when a number of people in …Read More

Openness to different views builds brain resilience

In a fascinating interview, The New York Times Science Editor Barbara Strauch told Kim Hill some of what she has learned about the human brain. She has has written two books on the teenage and middle-aged brains and how research is expanding our knowledge of their development and function. One thing that struck me was the research into the brains and lives of people who die old and at a …Read More

Good news encourages us all

The “honking geese” video was a great hit at April’s National Speakers Association of Australia conference. Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, showed this to illustrate how geese flying in formation honk to encourage those in the lead, who face the most aerodynamic resistance, to keep flying at a good pace. When the leaders eventually tire, they fall back and slipstream a bit to recover – and take …Read More