Social Innovation Trend Canvas

    Disruptions in Urbanization: The Role of Roads in a Smart City — November 26, 2015
    Roads might soon do much more than physically cophoto-1447622919665-d95b0d80b251IInnect people and goods; they might disrupt urban planning as we know it by becoming the main arteries powering the urban city of the future. For thousands of years, roads have been a centerpiece of urbanization, making it possible for people, markets, and merchandise to be connected over vast distances. Over time, technology has evolved to make roads stronger, more efficient, and safer, but may soon connect us in new ways. Roads to produce distributed power. Last October, France’s major civil engineering and road construction firm Colas announced the launch of its solar road technology, Wattway. Wattway is the world’s first ever photovoltaic road surface which uses new road-building materials to produce energy to contribute to a city’s power generation. According to the firm, one kilometer of Wattway-paved road can provide the electricity to power public lighting in a city of 5,000 inhabitants; equipping just one quarter of France’s public roads would make the country energy self-sufficient.
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    The Business Case for CSR — November 26, 2013
    With increasing investor, customer, and societal activism, most companies these days have already established some form of Corporate SociaIMG_2470l Responsibility (CSR) as a means to articulate purpose. Most CSR initiatives find their roots in philanthropy, and companies also give employee time as a means to engage with the community, develop bonds among corporate volunteers, and grow leadership among young staffers in low-risk settings. Traditional CSR efforts will however always be hampered by shareholders who don't believe in freely giving company assets away. We see an opportunity to break this trade-off in Shared Value companies, where corporations use Socially Innovations to generate direct returns from doing social good.
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    Clear Skies Ahead for the Window Films Market — October 22, 2013
    filmsWindow film technology is becoming adopted worldwide since its beginning in the USA in the 1950’s, particularly with the rising global concern for environment protection and energy savings. These films have are widely used to filter harmful ultraviolet rays, keep temperatures cool, reduce glare, prevent burglary, and protect windows from breaking into dangerous fragments. The recent appearance of new technologies such as nano-structures and Graphene is expected to dramatically impact the future of window films and their applications. Nano-ceramic and nano-carbon films are being introduced as high performance alternatives to metalized window films. Nano-ceramic films are non-conductive, do not cause radio frequency interferences, and offer higher performance with over 99% reflection of UV rays. Nano-carbon films have similar properties, and yet are thinner and less visible on windows.
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    Increasing the Efficiency of Innovation — September 12, 2013
    There is an arms-race going on at the moment, where countries and organizations alike are competing with each other to boost their competitive advantage and growth by investing heavily in innovation initiatives. Innovation EfficiencySingapore, for instance, has performed well in terms of investing in innovation inputs such as educational institutions, research organizations, infrastructure, and technology. However, there is a strong contrast when we examine the actual creative and scientific outputs that result, such as the number of patents and journal publications, labour productivity increases, or royalty and licence fees. This reveals that organizations cannot blindly embrace innovation as a buzzword, but need to systematically control the productivity of their innovation initiatives.
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    Thailand, the Green Kitchen of the World? — April 18, 2013
    kitchThailand is known as the ‘Kitchen of the World’ for being among the largest food producers and exporters worldwide. The industry is now becoming greener, more efficient, and more socially-responsible.  While factories in developing Asian countries are often associated with inconsistent quality control, adverse environmental impact, and unfair labour practices, Thailand is leading the way towards high quality standards in its food industry. Due to escalating energy cost, many production plants in Thailand are now moving towards energy efficiency production machineries and practices. In June 2013, the 4th edition of the Industrial Energy Efficiency forum was held in Bangkok, featuring 150 exhibitors from over 20 countries and showing Thailand’s innovation leadership in the region. Good food processing practices such as Lean Six Sigma, environment-friendly packaging design, and light conveyor systens that consume less energy also increasingly adopted in the country.
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    Early Lung Cancer Detection Saves Lives — December 15, 2012
    BJWhile smoking increases the risk of having lung cancer, not smoking does not necessarily mean that you would be completely freed from lung cancer. Interestingly, being an Asian increases the chances that you getting non-smoking lung cancer.  This is mainly due to a gene variant lung adenocarcinoma found among Asians. Together with the increasing second-hand smoke from smokers, air pollution, and oil particles from cooking, exposure to asbestos and radon gas from building materials, it is not surprising to see non-smoking lung cancer cases rapidly increasing in many countries in Asia. Non-smoking lung cancer, unlike smoking lung cancer, tends to start from the finer and thinner peripheral sections of the lungs – an area that is generally harder to reach and perform diagnosis. This usually results in late diagnosis and delayed treatment, leading to the high lung cancer death rates.
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    Design Thinking in Public Service — March 22, 2012
    IMG_8979Public service regulates externalities in the market and provides services for citizens. Yet, as governments develop policies to meet the needs of the public, boundaries between the roles of customers, taxpayers and citizens are increasingly blurred. The growing demands from the public challenge the efficacy of policy solutions. Therefore, policy practitioners need to better understand the true needs of their stakeholders to ensure that governments stay relevant. They need to identify their problems, generate ideas for policy solutions, and evaluate their programmes for continual improvement. Design Thinking offers civil servants an alternative set of tools to address these needs and challenges. We have helped government agencies, multinational corporations, social enterprises, non-profit organizations, as well as small and medium-businesses apply Design Thinking, to come up with more humanistic solutions. The classical pillars of Design Thinking may be adapted for the public service in the following ways
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    Understanding the Emerging Middle Class — September 2, 2011
    EMCEmerging Middle Class (EMC) consumers represent the next driver of demand for multinational companies. Depending on the income definitions used, there are over three billion EMC consumers expected by 2020, with China and India alone accounting for one billion then. EMC consumers make an income of USD2 – 50 per day usually from working in the informal sector, and with rapid urbanization are just starting to exercise their spending power. Some companies starting to target the EMC with low-cost products and services do not experience success as affordability alone does not meet the growing expectations of the EMC consumer. The EMC consumer works within a budget constraint for the same performance expectations.
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    Sunny outlook for China’s solar leadership — April 15, 2011
    While Germany continues its leadership in new solar technology development, China, the world’s largest energy consumer, has recently achieved a global solar market share of 50%. China has previously used feed-in-tariffs to successfully develop the biggest wind power industry in the world. It is expected to soon announce a nationwide feed-in-tariff scheme for solar power.
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    China’s Great Leap to Green — March 9, 2011
    China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, with carbon emissions that increased by 32.5 per cent between 2006 and 2009. To address this, Beijing has launched an ambitious program to close factories which do not meet emissions targets, develop its low carbon-economy, and create high-value jobs to power its economy, similar to that observed in the Obama administration. As part of its social security policy, China recognises that intense pollution and several poisoning incidents have led to unrest in many parts of the country.
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