Innovation & Tech

329 articles

How Tech Is Driving a Fourth Wave of Environmentalism

Sustainability is not just some nice-to-have byproduct of innovation – it's the goal.

In any era, the hard work of environmental progress requires the best available tools. Today those tools include technological innovations that are giving corporations and NGOs alike new capabilities and supercharging the partnerships between them. Sensors, data analytics, machine learning and blockchain are just some of the breakthroughs driving business growth as well as environmental […]

Rethinking the Fire Extinguisher

An entrepreneur's quest to build fire extinguishers that are functional — and beautiful.

In France, most homeowners don’t own a fire extinguisher, and if they do, they stow it away in a cabinet or closet. The safety item that should be perhaps most accessible is often the most difficult to find. French fire safety expert Rodolphe Gimenez wants to change that. “Fires are the second cause of mortality […]

Graduation Advice You Wish You’d Gotten, from 25 TED Speakers

Whether you put on your cap and gown last week — or last century — these honest answers can give you some insight and guidance.

“If you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life, you’re not a failure. Give yourself time and get yourself experience to figure things out.” — Angela Duckworth (TED Talk: Grit — the power of passion and persistence) “Although I think I already knew this back when I graduated from […]

Foreign Aid Enters a New Age of Accountability

Bringing trust and transparency to the world of foreign donations presents a strong case for blockchain technology.

“I don’t know why you’d bother giving money to help people overseas. It’s just wasted and taken by corrupt dictators.” I must have heard this comment (masquerading as a question) hundreds of times as I’ve spoken to audiences about the opportunities and challenges of ending extreme poverty by 2030. As a co-founder of Global Citizen, […]

Getting in the Family Business

A business owner with entrepreneurship in his blood puts a modern twist on his family’s craft.

Small business owner Mike Smith is passionate about the power of solar. The co-founder of Smith & Sons started his general contracting business with his father in the 1980s, when the two began rehabbing homes in low-income neighborhoods on the banks of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. His company now provides off-grid clean energy […]

3 Trends Shaping Startups in the Middle East

The start-up environment in the Middle East is positioning the region as an economic force for years to come.

The Middle East is facing rising geopolitical tensions, the world’s highest youth unemployment and a shift away from oil-based economies. In this context, the success of its startups could well determine the whole region’s success. Already, the Middle East’s only unicorn, a ride-hailing app called Careem, has created more than 500,000 jobs. It is now […]

Augmented Reality Is Helping Factory Workers Become More Productive

It's time for an augmented reality check.

Jimmie Beacham is no gamer, but that didn’t stop him from hanging an Xbox console from a ceiling at work. As chief engineer for advanced manufacturing at GE Healthcare, Beacham, 44, is in charge of a futuristic laboratory in Waukesha, Wisconsin, experimenting with new ways to make things. He and his team are using the […]

Relentless Service

Getting ahead in three different industries takes hustle. Just ask Ryan Alovis, founder and CEO of The Stella Group. But that’s okay, Ryan was born to hustle. Check out Ryan’s tips for outhustling the competition.

Long before Ryan Alovis sold his first business, MagazineDiscountCenter.com, to Time Inc. at the age of 33, he had already risen to success in the nightlife industry in New York City. What started as Ryan’s college side gig turned into a full-time enterprise that employed hundreds of other party promoters. His entrepreneurial roots run deep. […]

Imagine It, Make It

In this Q&A, Joel Johnson, inventor, innovator and co-founder of BoXZY, discusses the power of expanding the maker movement.

Small business owners Joel and Justin Johnson want you to build more stuff. The Pittsburgh-based brothers have formed their business on a simple premise: Just about anyone can make virtually anything from almost anywhere. BoXZY is a cube-shaped machine with rapidly changing parts: a CNC mill, 3D printer and laser engraver. Think of it as […]

From Time-Based to Task-Based Work

How will the evolving nature of work change our conception of time?

Not long ago in parts of Madagascar people measured time in units of rice cooking – how long it took to cook a pot of rice (about half an hour) or how long it took to fry a locust (a moment). Native people in Southern Nigeria used the saying: A man died in less than the time […]

Is Wearable Tech the Future of Safety Management?

What makes wearables so effective is their ability to help safety managers efficiently find the zebra in the herd of horses.

The Internet of Things has significantly enhanced the efficiency and safety of our day-to-day lives over the past several years. With the click of an icon, connected devices let us see who is in our house, control the thermostat, give our dogs a treat, monitor the afternoon commute, count our steps, gauge our sleep quality […]

Tech Needs Architects

Fintech, in particular, could learn from the complexity of architecture and the built environment.

I started my career in architecture, working for Norman Foster (architect of Apple’s headquarters) and then Fisher Park, set designers for the Rolling Stones. Today, I’m a partner with Anthemis, a VC firm that focuses on financial services. And there are many lessons from my previous career that apply today as I watch the fintech […]

Unified Data Governance: A Competitive Advantage

Is data governance part of your company's offensive playbook?

Once deemed the core of a good defensive strategy, relegated primarily to aiding in regulatory compliance, data governance has made its way into the offensive playbook as organizations around the world seek to convert data into a competitive advantage. As data emerges as a strategic asset, data governance is in my view a foundational program […]

Better than Being There

In the era of teleconferencing, how do leaders avoid getting stuck in the uncanny valley?

I used video teleconferencing for the first time in 1973. The video wasn’t very good and the audio was worse, but otherwise the design vision was pretty much the same as the systems of today – an invisible wall between two groups of people able to see and hear each other. In time, under that vision, […]

10 Innovations Changing How the UN Delivers Food

The mission to end global hunger is evolving alongside technology.

As technology adapts and smarter solutions emerge, WFP is testing and deploying bold new tools to carry out its global, lifesaving mission of delivering food to families in need. From growing fresh food without soil to using drone technology to map areas affected by natural disaster, these groundbreaking approaches are transforming how the world’s leading […]

4 Strategies that Will Change Your Approach to Fraud Detection

Fraudsters and money launderers are getting more sophisticated. We’re getting more sophisticated at fighting back.

When it comes to fraud, even the most cynical and careful among us are at risk. According to Javelin Strategy & Research: In 2017, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud, a record high that followed a previous record the year before. Account takeover losses reached $5.1 billion – a 120 percent increase from […]

6 Design Themes for Reimagining Urban Tech and City Life

Why we’re excited about how we’ll live in cities in 2018 and beyond.

With 2017 distant in our rearview mirrors, now is a perfect opportunity to think about where we’re going with the future of city life. To do that, the team at URBAN-X looks for inspiration and insights in many places, including the cohort of companies we work with who are on the frontline of new technology, […]

Adult Education Is Transformative

We have proof: Adult education can prepare our current workforce for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow.

There is much discussion around the importance of a high-quality early education and how crucial the formative years of K-12 are to a student’s future success in the workforce. In the media lately, U.S. investments in postsecondary education are getting quite a bit of air time as well. As the U.S. economy struggles to break […]

As Technology Advances, Don’t Forget About William

How do we ensure innovation does not outpace what’s best for our people?

I was visiting Detroit recently, and as I often do, I sought out a local establishment to mingle with the locals. I sat down at the bar for a beer and pub grub. After a few minutes, a weathered man with a well whiskey and a water sat down next to me. We started with […]

How AI Is Helping Control Malaria

Using a combination of advanced computer infrastructure and AI, we can deploy intervention strategies to combat Malaria.

Bed nets, insecticides and repellents are all effective intervention strategies to control the spread of malaria, but with a continuously dwindling budget, how can public officials and policymakers know what to use – where and when – to be most effective? Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. While […]

Want to Change the World Through Innovation in Engineering?

What makes a good idea great? And what makes a great idea world changing?

As someone who has worked in Silicon Valley for 20-plus years, you might expect me to tout the computer as the greatest engineering innovation of all time. But even after decades working in the cradle of one of the most significant inventions in history, I still often jump back several centuries when asked what I […]

Virtual Reality and Storytelling for More Than Entertainment

VR opens the door to a deeper level of communication, which could transform education, healthcare and countless other industries.

A few months ago I spent about 60 seconds trapped under a fallen rafter in a burning building. As I lay there on the floor, waves of heat wafting over my body, my colleague explained how sensory cues – the fake crackling fire sounds, the heat from the portable space heater, the weight of a […]

These 3 Elements are Crucial to the Future of Electric Cars

The convergence of energy and mobility must be strategic, intentional and guided if cities and citizens are to receive the maximum benefits.

As urbanization increases – an additional 2.5 billion people will live in cities by 2050 – cities and suburbs will undergo significant transformations to create sustainable living conditions for their residents. Energy and mobility are the twin pillars of these transformations, and both will require radical adaptation to meet the demographic and economic growth without […]

Corporate Venturing: A Great Way to Innovate and Learn

Amanda Setili explains how UPS uses 'corporate venturing' to innovate and learn.

This excerpt of Fearless Growth: The New Rules to Stay Competitive, Foster Innovation, and Dominate Your Markets by strategy consultant Amanda Setili explains how UPS uses “corporate venturing” to innovate and learn.  Even small and mid-size companies can employ this technique to tap into the skillsets, technologies and ideas of startup companies seeking investment funds. Corporate venturing […]

How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance

A survey of 1,700 companies discovers a relationship between diversity and innovation.

Diversity is both an issue of fairness and, some say, a driver of innovation and performance. To assess the latter claim, we undertook a large, cross-country study into the relationship between multiple aspects of managerial diversity, the presence of enabling conditions such as leadership support for diversity and innovation outcomes. We surveyed more than 1,700 […]

IoT-Driven Manufacturing Trends to Look for in 2018

We are in as transformative a phase right now as when electricity was invented – people will wonder how we ever lived without IoT solutions.

With Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology spending expected to reach $772.5 billion this year – 15 percent higher than 2017 – the world’s top manufacturers are shifting into exhilarating overdrive down the path to AI-driven and IoT-enabled automation. So where will 2018 take us on this journey? First and foremost, the year ahead will see manufacturers rapidly connecting the […]

7 Things Every Company Should Know about AI and Sustainable Business

From human rights to environmental issues, we have much to lose if AI does not evolve in ways that support the public good.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing rapidly, thanks to ever-more-powerful computing, massive growth in the availability of digital data and increasingly sophisticated algorithms. The world’s largest technology firms are investing billions to develop their AI capabilities, and companies across industries, from travel to real estate to fashion, are racing to bring AI-enabled services to market. AI […]

Faster, Smarter, Greener

An in-depth look at the future of the car and urban mobility.

Changing consumer behaviors are driving new economies and possibilities in a world of hyper-connectivity. But what lessons can cities, technologists and entrepreneurs take from this shift? This excerpt from  Faster, Smarter, Greener: The Future of the Car and Urban Mobility (MIT Press), explores the factors altering the trajectory of mobility in developed economies, as well […]

Cyber Resiliency in 2018

Here are five areas where we can transform critical IT infrastructure.

During the last year, frequent cyberattacks, data breaches and other IT disruptions have garnered significant media attention and raised a new level of awareness among business leaders, IT professionals and the general public. While that heightened awareness is a positive development, the mandate to secure and protect data is a growing business concern. Therefore, it […]

Disrupting the Electricity Industry

By changing the way we think about and create energy, we can make our communities greener and more self-sufficient.

It’s no secret that going green is challenging. Governments, businesses and individuals must consider several factors when making the shift to alternative energy, including availability, cost and storage. In the case of electric energy, rising demand means we have to start rethinking the way electricity is produced, transported and consumed. Here’s how: First, we should […]