Featured Ideas

Medellín: A Light Unto Cities
CREDIT: Jorge Gobbi (CC).
Joseph Stiglitz
Once notorious for its drug gangs, the tale of the Medellín's innovative transformation holds important lessons for urban areas everywhere.
From Lab to Table
Credit: New Harvest.
Irene Pedruelo, Gilonne D'Origny
"New Harvest" wants to kick-start a bio-economy of animal products made without animals. Some have already called this revolution "the next .com."
The Next Pig Idea
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Irene Pedruelo, Tristram Stuart
Food waste expert and environmentalist, Tristram Stuart, has had an unexpectedly big idea that could change the world.
What Makes a City Great? It's not the Liveability but the Loveability
People celebrating "Raahgiri Day," a car-free and pollution-free day in the streets of New Delhi, India.
CREDIT: Nidhi Gulati and Manisha Balani from Project for Public Spaces.
Irene Pedruelo, Ethan Kent
A conversation about cities, suburbs, and the consequences of exporting the "Western" city model to the world with Ethan Kent, senior vice president of Project for Public Spaces.
Bye, Doctor, Hi, "Cloud"
Miriam, the diagnostic tool created by the Miroculus team.
Irene Pedruelo, Alejandro Tocigl
A team of entrepreneurs based in San Francisco is turning the out-of-date diagnostic industry upside down.
"Soy is a Huge Cloud Over All Agriculture"
Kathryn Redford, co-founder of Ofbug, feeding chickens with worms.
Irene Pedruelo, Kathryn Redford
Kathryn Redford has a mission: revolutionize the meat industry. How? By using insects in animal feed, instead of soy or corn.
Going into Business for Wildlife Conservation
CREDIT: Manuel Scrimshaw.
To achieve large-scale, long- term success, wildlife conservationists need to think like the private sector and invest in business innovation.
Social Good is Always Good Branding—Or is It?
CREDIT: Shutterstock.
Building a brand solely on social impact is not a guarantee for success, and it comes with risks that can take businesses by surprise.
From the Forest to the Health Clinic
Kalimantan, Indonesia. CREDIT: CIFOR (CC).
Michelle Bussard
Dr. Kinari Webb and her team are saving lives and forests in Indonesia through a very unusual incentives program.
Can the University Help Make Better Cities?
Oxford. CREDIT:Yann Caradec (CC)
Alex Schafran
We need 21st-century institutions for 21st-century urbanization and cities. If we have the courage to reimagine and remake them, universities can be at the heart of this project.
COP21: Six Things You Need to Know About Climate Change
Forest in the Czech Republic. CREDIT: Jakub Sejkora.
It is no exaggeration to say that the outcomes of the Paris climate conference will determine the future of our planet. As world leaders gather for COP21 this December and try to agree on a global legally binding climate treaty, we offer you six great posts that will help you understand the implications of climate change.
Boys and Girls Are Born Equal: The Power of Challenging Gender Norms Early in Life
Credit: International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).
Pranita Achyut
A program in India is working to redefine masculinity and the way that children think about their roles in society.
China's Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Other Companies are Changing the Rules of Business
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Edward Tse
Entrepreneurs emerging from China are redefining the nature of business—not just in China, but everywhere in the world. The new millionaires and billionaires are determined to ride that wave of growth and see how they can shape it to serve their own ends.
When Restrictions Apply
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Why general funding for non-profit organizations is the future of innovation.
Conservationists Use Social Media to Take on Peru's Booming Illegal Wildlife Trade
CREDIT: Dave McLear (CC)
The illegal wildlife trade has long been ignored in Peru, but changes are afoot.
Now They're Cooking: SolSource Harnesses the Himalayan Sun
CREDIT: One Earth Designs.
John Haffner, Scot Frank, Catlin Powers
With a solar cooker designed through community consultation, two young innovators are delivering clean energy to remote mountain villages, as well as your backyard BBQ.
A Solar-backed Currency for the Refugees of Western Sahara
View of Smara, one of the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. CREDIT: Mel Chin, 2011.
Mel Chin
Artist Mel Chin is working with Sahrawi refugees in northwest Africa to develop a local currency backed by solar power generation.
The Drone Primer
CREDIT: Mauricio Lima (CC)
Why are we so terrified and at the same time fascinated by drones? The Center for Study of the Drone brings a report that reflects on the important and controversial role that drones are currently playing.
Rainforests: 10 Things to Watch in 2015
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Here's a quick look ahead at what might be in store for tropical forests in 2015.
Desertec's Plan for Saharan Sun to Power Europe Burns Out
CREDIT: Stuart Rankin (CC).
Political and technical problems have sunk a mega-plan for huge banks of solar plants in the Middle East and Africa to power Europe with clean desert sunlight.
Empowering Women and Girls: The Impact of Gender Equality on Public Health
CREDIT: Gates Foundation (CC)
Deborah Derrick
Gender inequality is a strong driver of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. How can we reach out to women to correct this imbalance and save lives?
FAIRNESS AND ITS OPPOSITE: International Student Photo Contest
CREDIT: Aldrich Lim (CC).
Carnegie Council announces its second annual International Student Photography Contest. This year's theme is "Fairness and Its Opposite."
The Ethics of Innovation
Christopher Fabian, Robert Fabricant
An ethical framework can connect the worlds of start-up technology and international development to strengthen cross-sector innovation in the social sector.
Fast-Tracking Climate Action
CREDIT: Anthony Delanoix.
Achim Steiner and Christiana Figueres call for urgent action to cut short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon and methane.
How Much More Processed Food Can We Eat?
CREDIT: Shuttersock
Tim Lobstein
Food policies for the 21st century will be about the purpose of markets and the need to hold marketers to account for their activities.
Local Food Systems: A Green Way of Life, or a Luxury Only for Elites?
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Kelly Hodgins
While many celebrate salad greens, the local food movement is cultivating exclusivity and becoming less and less budget friendly.
The Responsible Investor’s Guide to Climate Change
CREDIT: Light Brigading (CC).
Jeffrey Sachs, Lisa Sachs
Jeffrey D. Sachs & Lisa Sachs make the case that fossil-fuel divestment is only one option.
Cancer Care for the Developing World
CREDIT: Created by Josh from the Noun Project
Lawrence N. Shulman
Lawrence N. Shulman calls for a global effort to ensure access to cancer treatment in developing countries.
Ebola: What Went Wrong?
In a chronically underfunded global health system whose needs are so often eclipsed by issues of national insecurity and expediency, it is time to tackle Ebola strategically.
Closing India's Technology Gap
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Raghunath A. Mashelkar and Anu Madgavkar chart the tremendous social and economic gains the country would reap from a successful strategy.
New Life in Old Age
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Joseph Jimenez
Joseph Jimenez suggests how health-care companies can help address the challenge of population aging.
Scrappy Solutions
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Suzie Boss
A new regulation in Massachusetts (United States) aims to direct food waste away from landfills and toward more productive uses.
The Mantra of Delivery
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Four lessons for scaling social impact that arose from curing children's diarrhea in Bangladesh in the 1980s.
Modi's Clean India Needs More Actions than Photo-ops
CREDIT: Adam Jason Moore (CC).
Prashanth Bhat
The Swachh Bharat campaign needs to become more than a mere slogan. Otherwise, it will end up being added to the long list of India's many paradoxes.
Socrates in Silicon Valley
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Lucy P. Marcus
Has Silicon Valley lost its ethical compass? Lucy P. Marcus reflects on the tendency of the West Coast high-tech innovation hub to not examine itself.
Where Will All The Workers Go?
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Nouriel Roubini
Nouriel Roubini worries that labor demand will not keep pace with technological innovation.
Secondary Schools' Primary Importance
Mabel of Orange-Nassau on the importance to end child marriage in one generation. CREDIT: Maurice Mikkers
Joel E. Cohen, Kamal Ahmad
Kamal Ahmad and Joel E. Cohen argue that post-primary education in the developing world benefits all levels of society.
What Are the Ecological Costs of China’s Future Food Imports?
CREDIT: Shutterstock
China's growing agribusinesses and demand for soybeans and meat is bringing intensive farming and the risk of further deforestation in Brazil and beyond.
The Urban Village
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Carlo Ratti, Matthew Claudel
Computational social science is showing why cities thrive. When a city doubles in size, every measure of economic activity increases by about 15 percent per capita.
What You Need to Know About the UN Talks Ahead of Lima
CREDIT: Douglas Brown (CC)
Some hard choices and compromises will be needed before a wide-ranging deal can be agreed at the UN summit in Paris in 2015.
Who Will Feed China’s Pigs? And Why Does It Matter to Us?
CREDIT: Chris Goldberg (CC)
A new generation of Chinese companies like the New Hope Group and COFCO are challenging the dominance of U.S. agribusiness as they seek to meet China's growing demand for food.
Why Isn't Food a Public Good?
CREDIT: ChefSteps (CC)
Jose Luis Vivero Pol
What would the world look like if we were to treat food as a public good or commons and not merely as a commodity?
Zhao Zhong: Lessons from the Bottom Up
Chayuan, Gansu Province. Credit: Green Camel Bell
John Haffner, Zhao Zhong
After an accident where nature nearly took his life, Zhao Zhong has been on a mission to protect the environment in his homeland of China.
A Storm in a Bucket: Lessons from the Ice Bucket Challenge Controversy
CREDIT: University of Central Arksansas (CC)
Kei Hiruta
Fun-based activism such as the Ice Bucket Challenge does not persuade you; it mobilizes you. That's why it's been so successful.
Health in a Time of Ebola
CREDIT: European Commission DG ECHO (CC)
Prabhjot Singh
Efforts to respond to an epidemic should not undercut investment in community health workers. These medical staff are vital in areas where access to proper care and trust is limited.
Reforming Taxation to Promote Growth and Equity
Joseph Stiglitz
This white paper outlines policy measures that can restore equitable and sustainable economic growth in the United States.
The BRICS Development Bank: Why the World's Newest Global Bank Must Adopt a Pro-Poor Agenda
CREDIT: Presidential Press and Information Office, Russia (CC)
Oxfam International argues that the newly created BRICS Development Bank must commit to fighting poverty and inequality.
Advancing Sustainable Business in China
CREDIT: chinadialogue (CC)
Isabel Hilton
This special issue of chinadialogue's journal exposes polluters and highlights some of the best examples and models of sustainability in China today.

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