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The disease always gets a head start: how to handle an epidemic

A patient presents at an emergency department somewhere in the world. They are feverish and vomiting. Doctors suspect it is influenza, but they are wrong. When the outbreak of a virulent new disease such as the coronavirus is identified, the starting gun is fired on a vast, multimillion-dollar international effort to try to contain it. But nothing

Amid climate crisis, investors are starting to put their money towards a sustainable future

The risks of climate change are already impacting investors, with increasingly frequent climate disasters like wildfires, drought, flooding and heatwaves threatening business operations and properties worldwide. Many investors are now choosing to funnel their money into investments that address climate change risk. Asset managers are rushing to meet the demand, but sustainable investing isn’t as

Tracking complex mixtures of chemicals in our changing environment

Chemicals are the basis of life, but some anthropogenic organic chemicals pose inherent dangers. Pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other synthetic chemicals can enter the environment and the food chain, causing unwanted effects and disease. Medical research indicates that as much as two-thirds of chronic human disease risk cannot be explained by genetics alone and

2020-01-27T03:59:12-06:00Tags: |

Sea level rise could reshape the United States

When Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast in 2017, displaced residents flocked inland, trying to rebuild their lives in the disaster's aftermath. Within decades, the same thing could happen at a much larger scale due to rising sea levels, says a new study led by USC Computer Science Assistant Professor Bistra Dilkina. The study,

2020-01-28T03:46:25-06:00Tags: |

The Powerful Legacy Of Leila Janah, Social Entrepreneur And Giver Of Work

The first time I saw Leila Janah speak was at the Social Good Summit in 2015. I remember being blown away by the vision and success of her company, Samasource. She was intelligent, articulate, passionate and determined to have a positive impact on the lives of others, all qualities I deeply admire. Her untimely passing at the age

Land-management lessons in old ways

A new study led by archaeologists, ecologists, and paleoclimatologists at Harvard and elsewhere overturns long-held beliefs about the role humans played in shaping the American landscape before and after European colonization. The findings offer insights and lessons in managing biodiverse landscapes in the Northeast. The study, published today in the journal Nature Sustainability, focuses on

2020-01-26T07:57:04-06:00Tags: |

Lyme disease patients fight for their lives while academics fight each other.

For patients, there is often nothing more soul-crushing than being inexplicably sick with doctor after doctor having no answers, or getting the wrong diagnosis and being led down the wrong path with the wrong drugs. But for patients with Lyme disease, either or both is common, because its every aspect has been so bitterly contested

Can we do good without it really costing anything?

Book Review: Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (Penguin, 2019) It’s a seductive idea – the notion that we can “do good” for people and the planet while also profiting from the status quo, that we can make a difference without it really costing us anything. This idea is at the heart

A Decade Of Sustainable Funds Investing: 10 Years/10 Charts

In a research article published today by Sustainable Research and Analysis, a decade of sustainable investing developments as seen through the prism of mutual funds and ETFs is portrayed in the form of ten charts and commentary. The total net assets of mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) linked to sustainable investing expanded dramatically in

With A Bit Of Work Any Business Can Become A Social Enterprise

Jane and Scott Wolfe run Melba’s in New Orleans. From the outside, Melba’s is an unremarkable sandwich shop. What’s going on inside is so remarkable Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton stopped by to see what they’re doing. Melba’s is attached to a laundromat, which creates an odd synergy. The laundromat is a 24-hour business, so the restaurant

New Moms kindles bright futures

While browsing the candle section at Whole Foods, pick up a Bright Endeavors candle and flip it over. On the bottom label of each candle is the name of the young mother who made it. Bright Endeavors, the New Moms 16-week paid job training program, provides young mothers in need with the skills necessary to

Plastics Industry Faces Backlash Over Environmental Data

Frustrated with the sight of plastic bags and styrofoam containers piling up in its harbor, the city of Charleston, South Carolina, rang in the new year with a promise to start enforcing a ban on single-use plastic containers and utensils. It's one of hundreds of similar bans that have been launched across the U.S. and

2020-01-24T06:50:59-06:00Tags: |

The Doomsday Clock is now at “100 seconds to midnight.”

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by researchers who worked on the atomic bomb. It publishes research on “manmade existential threats such as nuclear war, climate change, and disruptive technologies.” And lately, it’s been a little bit, well, doomsaying. Its famous extinction clock has hovered for the last few years at

The Growing Call for New, More Sustainable Investing

In December, thousands of world leaders gathered in Madrid to address what is arguably the most pressing issue of our time: the climate emergency. We are, as the United Nations secretary general said, nearing “the point of no return.” Heads of state, business leaders, scientists, and activists at the COP25 conference urged drastic changes to

New report unveils key insights into business models that put people and planet first

A University of York academic has co-authored a major report which advocates creating business models that are focused on benefiting society and the planet. Based on a recent study of Fair Trade Enterprises, the report unveils pivotal governance, management and profit reinvestment models that are already working across the world. The report from the World

This is the year to get your financial wellness benefit right

If you’re going to spend money on a benefit for your employees, it needs to actually work. So many wellness programs just blow smoke. They either don’t give employees the right tools to succeed, or they give them a false sense of control with gimmicks and information that don’t actually make an impact for the long

GIIN Report: Impact Measurement And Management Are Front And Center For Investors

New evidence that the world of impact investing is maturing: a newly released survey from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Called The State of Impact Measurement and Management Practice, the GIIN’s second biennial report on the topic reveals that impact investors are a lot more sophisticated when it comes to the assessment and management of social and environmental

Loftness in Hector becomes employee-owned

Loftness Specialized Equipment Inc. based in Hector, MN has joined an employee stock ownership plan. Through this change, the manufacturer of agricultural and vegetation management equipment is now 100 percent employee-owned. “Our employees, as well as the entire community of Hector, mean very much to us so we’re excited to present them with this new

Accelerating impact – five lessons in five years

Supply and demand for growth capital in socially responsible companies has grown. Specialized infrastructure, networks and expertise are necessary for impact investing. Impact measurement will improve with more impact investing. The world has reached a critical juncture in the relationship between industry and society. We are no longer in a period where, as Milton Friedman

Davos 2020: Financial inclusion is key to meeting the UN SDGs

While technology has yet again been a central topic of discussion at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, there has also been a determined focus on fintech and how financial inclusion is key to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In conversation with Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, she highlights