New Business Models
When the Texas company, re:char, wanted to ship their biochar kilns to Kenya, they found the usual options were wasteful and costly. They concluded that it would be much more efficient to manufacture near to the customers. To do this, in a place with little industry or infrastructure, re:char designed a fully functioning, off-the-grid, solar powered factory inside a shipping container. One re:char "shop-in-a-box" is able to produce more than 300 biochar kilns a month. The company envisages a global network of shop-in-a-box factories able to quickly create and improve upon the product. A new version of a product would … Continue Reading
The British government is to make publicly funded scientific research available for anyone to read for free by 2014. Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world. Tensions between academics and the larger publishing companies have risen in recent months as researchers have baulked at the high journal subscription charges their libraries have to pay. Under the new scheme, libraries will not have to pay for subscriptions but authors will pay "article processing charges" … Continue Reading
Microsoft is creating a "carbon price and charge back model" that will levy fees on each of its various internal business groups for the emissions they generate. The company expects that this will result in its becoming carbon neutral by its next fiscal year. Each Microsoft business unit will be responsible for the carbon that it generates – creating incentives for greater efficiency, increased purchases of renewable energy and better data collection and reporting. To achieve this, Microsoft will create a new, internal price on carbon. The price will be based on market pricing for renewable energy and carbon offsets … Continue Reading
This video from www.everythingisaremix.info/ explains it all: .
We have just seen widespread protests aginst the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act. Proponents of these Acts claim that they want to encourage creativity by protecting the rights of authors, artists and musicians. But copyright law is not about protecting authors, artists and musicians. It is, and always has been, all about protecting the income of publishers. When printing presses arrived in England in the late 16th century, they created an industry. Printers soon wanted to prevent others from competing by printing the same books that they had published. So they convinced the government to … Continue Reading
Could the current scandals surrounding Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation organisation be a sign that printed newspapers are in their death throes? Dubious behaviour in a corporation and its management is often a sign of a failing business desperate for revenue. Printed newspapers are a relic of the industrial age and News Corporation seems to be an organisation whose thinking has has not progressed beyond that age. Another sign of desperation and old-fashioned thinking is the Murdoch plan to charge for access to his news web sites. Other businesses are able to thrive on the Internet without doing this … Continue Reading
Realizing that the appropriate, low-cost tools for affordable, sustainable farming and settlement didn’t exist, Marcin Jakubowski decided to build them. The idea was to create an easily repairable, modular and scalable set of tools providing everything you need to build, or rebuild, civilization. The result was a group called Open Source Ecolody, and an open source hardware initiative called The Global Village Construction Kit".
It is estimated that around 2.6 billion people have no proper sanitation. A group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a low cost, modular sanitation solution which they call "Sanergy". The project, which would be operated and maintained by locals and the waste transported to nearby processing plants, through a network of "micro-franchises". Biogas produced from the waste will be used to create electricity and what’s left of the human waste turned into fertilizer. The group has set up a pilot project in the slums of Kenya where more than 10 million live without proper sanitation.
Leading members of the corporate community, including IBM, Sony, Nolia and Pitney-Bowes, have come together in a first-of-its-kind effort to help the environment, unleashing dozens of innovative, environmentally responsible patents to the public domain. The pledged portfolio, dubbed the "Eco-Patent Commons", is available on a dedicated, public website, www.wbcsd.org/web/epc, hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Examples of the environmental benefits expected for pledged patents include: Energy conservation or improved energy or fuel efficiency Pollution prevention (source reduction, waste reduction) Use of environmentally preferable materials or substances Water or materials use reduction Increased recycling opportunity. Availability of these … Continue Reading
The UK Government has adopted the radical policy of using open-source, in preference to commercial, software. Under the new policy, agencies will be required not only to consider open source solutions and make the choice soley on the basis of value-for-money, but will give peference to open source solutions where there is no cost difference and will actively seek to avoid becoming locked in to proprietary software. The Minister for Digital Engagement, Tom Watson, said that “The world of technology has moved on hugely since we last set out our thinking on open source, which is why it was so … Continue Reading