February 16, 2014 in Business, Change, Good News, Inspiration, Technology by Meredith Ansell
Sam White – eliminating the need for diesel generators for cooling milk in rural India
Usually for the startup entrepreneur, a single key publicity exposure can make all the difference. It could mean coverage by the press, maybe even by a world-class news publication like the Wall Street Journal. In terms of influence and buzz making, the WSJ might have to start deferring to TED. A case in point is Sam White, co-founder of Promethean Power Systems, a thermal battery maker that specializes in cold-storage preservation of perishable food, who hit the motherload.
White gave a presentation at a TED event in Boston, showing how his technology will transform the rural dairy industry in India (the world’s largest milk consumer), and it went viral. White is now stranger to start-up activism. He and co-founder Sorin Grama have won numerous innovator awards. But even White have been surprised when his video was picked by the World Economic Forum, receiving countless more views on its way to viral status. Read the rest of this entry →
December 4, 2013 in Change, Charity, Funny, Good News, Inspiration by Meredith Ansell
“Batkid generated a huge outpouring of support during his day of heroism” – photo by Shelly Prevost (photogism on Flickr)
The Batkid phenomenon is amazing and inspiring on so many levels. I have a friend who wants to touch the lives of kids with cancer through a comic book she created about cancer-fighting superheroes and the heroic children that give him strength. Her comic book is called Nistar, and was launched recently. I donated to her Indiegogo campaign, and naturally felt fulfilled after doing so.
The story of Miles Scott takes my friend’s vision and projects it onto an entire city and into real time. Scott is Batkid’s alter ego, a five year old boy recovering from leukemia. As almost everyone knows by now, the city of San Francisco was converted into a de facto Gotham City by the Make-A-Wish-Foundation. Scott aka Batkid generated a huge outpouring of support during his day of heroism, costumed and zooming in his Batmobile to foil crime by the likes of the Riddler and the Penguin. The adventure was capped with Batkid being presented with the key to Gotham by grateful city officials. Read the rest of this entry →
November 14, 2013 in Change, Charity, Good News, Inspiration, Philanthropy by Robin Cook
Angela Chao is a corporate executive, philanthropist, and graduate of the Harvard Business School, like her sisters, three of whom also attended Harvard Business School. Harvard University and the Harvard Business School recently made history thanks to the generosity of her family. The University will for the first time in its history name a new building on Harvard’s historical campus after a woman, the matriarch of this illustrious Chinese American family, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao. The new building whose groundbreaking will occur in April 2014 is being constructed to memorialize the life and legacy of the late wife of Dr. James S.C. Chao, the Chinese-American shipping magnate behind the Foremost Group. The Chao family story is consistent with Harvard’s renewed emphasis on translating a commitment to feminist ideals into action.
As the old Chinese saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Harvard is a mixed bag when it comes to gender progressivism. Feminists were, of course, livid when Larry Summers, the 27th president of Harvard, made his infamous 2005 remarks about under-representation of women in the top tiers of science and engineering containing an aptitude component. Summers ended up resigning, and was ultimately replaced by Drew Faust, a woman. But the damage was done to the supposedly impervious Harvard brand. Read the rest of this entry →
October 28, 2013 in Business, Change, Good News, Technology by Meredith Ansell
Angela Ahrendts (Photo by Fortune Live Media)
The amazing 2013 Year of the Woman continues in the technology sector. Apple’s hire of Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is the capstone for an incredible year of female achievement. I already discussed Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s influential “Lean In” philosophy of corporate leadership. Then there was Marissa Mayer’s ascendancy at Yahoo in April. She started her stint as CEO by breathing new life into the company with the Tumblr acquisition and by banning tele-commuting, both gutsy shake-up moves. Now we have Ahrendts joining the Apple inner circle to oversee store development as head of retail and e-commerce.
Like Mayer, Ahrendts is known as a turnaround artist. She transformed Burberry from a stodgy fashion brand into the delight of hipsters – with disposable cash – the world over. Burberry was in danger of ossifying into British cultural memory. Now distinctive flagship stores dot pricey neighborhoods in cities like Chicago. Read the rest of this entry →