30 November 2008

Wertheimer's Vision ~ Levant Prosperity Parks!

Stef Wertheimer is probably most famous for having founded ISCAR, an Israeli precision metalworking business, and then selling a big chunk to Warren Buffett, his first non-US deal. But as this Business Week article by Stacy Perman titled An Entrepreneurial Path to Peace spotlights, Mr Wertheimer's Tefen business park -- and his ideas for a whole network of such prosperity parks in the vital Levant -- are what I find most inspiring. Writes Ms Perman...
"By providing small businesses with incubators, Israeli industrialist Stef Wertheimer hopes to give Israelis and Arabs economic opportunities that will lead to peace. [The first of these business parks is Tefen] Since Tefen, Wertheimer has established four additional industrial parks in Israel following the same model. To date, they have nurtured 175 companies, employ 5,000 people, and in 2007 produced collective sales of $750 million, 80% from exports. In 2003, Wertheimer established his sixth park, in Gebze, outside of Istanbul, Turkey. Today, Gebze has 70 companies employing 300 people. [...] In Werteheimer's grand scheme, a host of similar industrial parks would stretch across the Levant, the non-oil producing nations along the spine of the former Ottoman Empire, through Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. "There are 90 million to 100 million people quarreling about who's right," he explains. "Israel is more successful than the Arabs, and I believe peace will come if we have similar income levels. This we can have, but we have to change from an agricultural society to an industrial one. It can be done. We've done it here in the Galilee, which is 20% of Israel. It is made up of Arabs and Jews, and unemployment is 4% here compared to 7.5% in Israel."
This kind of orchestrated development is exactly what many emerging regions of the world need, especially the Levant. Indeed, this is an essential element of the Hummus 2050 project run by Austrian architect-planners Sigi Atteneder and Lorenz Potocnik -- honorees in the Just Jerusalem initiative here at MIT -- where they envision a vibrant network of interconnected and prosperous cities throughout the region...

Makezine.TV! ~ Check Out the New Channel!

Check it out, makezine.tv coming soon to a tube near you!

From IDEAS to Ventures ~ Key MIT Competitions!

MIT students and their friends have two key competitions to participate in:
  1. The IDEAS Competition is an annual public service competition that encourages teams to propose, invent, and develop prototype product or service solutions that address key societal problems. Each year IDEAS awards multiple teams up to $7500 to implement their projects in collaboration community partners. Students can next apply for a development grant for their project through IDEAS by the deadline of December 15th, 2008 by signing up IDEAS09 also matches teams with mentor who can provide insight and assistance developing ideas.
  2. The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is all about building viable and transformative ventures, the businesses which will change the world in key sectors like Energy, Biotech, Mobiles, international development, and more. The current phase of the competition is the ESC or Executive Summary Competition with a deadline of this Thursday December 4th, 2008 by entering online.

28 November 2008

City of Silk ~ Great Kuwaiti Urban Gigaprojects!

In the face of challenging economic times and general doom and gloom, it's worth keeping in mind the big picture and long-term. And short of thinking about planet-wide problems or of going beyond our cradle, there are few human things bigger and more exciting than thinking of future vital cities. Such cities develop over decades -- perhaps faster or slower with economic booms and busts -- but they are enduringly valuable. I've written before about various developments in the MENACA region, including the Dubai and Abu Dhabi boom cities, the Economic Cities of Saudi Arabia, Al Noor bridging between Yemen and Djibouti, the Arabian trans-logistics network, and the Hummus network of cities in the vital Levant, including Aqaba. And courtesy of Inhabitat writer Ali Kriscenski's story City of Silk Rail Network to Link Middle East & China here we have some lovely visualizations of another emergent node in this network, Madinat al Hareer or City of Silk in north-eastern Kuwait (towards Basra), designed by CivicArts, Eric Kuhne & Associates...

27 November 2008

EDITT Greenscraper ~ Ecologically Vital Cities

Back in January I noted with delight Ken Yeang's latest project in Singapore. Thanks to Inhabitat, here are some more recent design depictions, plus an update by Alexandra Kahn in her article, Singapore’s Ecological EDITT Tower...

Urban Harvests ~ Roof Gardens As Sky Farms!

I wrote recently about MyFarm, the urban farming venture, as well as other examples of green-city living. CNN just published an AP piece on Agriculture goes urban and high-tech spotlighting hydroponics and other methods for growing high-value crops. And, most exciting, I just stumbled on this great story in City Farmer News on the rich Rooftop Food Garden at the YWCA Vancouver in BC, Canada... Plus check out their video interview with Ted Cathcart, the Operations Manager and Rooftop Food Gardener at the YWCA.

Vertical Gardens ~ Patrick Blanc's Living Walls!

Thanks to Green Roofs Australia for spotlighting many interesting case examples of roof gardens and especially the fantastic work of Frenchman Patrick Blanc, whose Vertical Gardens are a real delight! Here's one example among many...He's written a book The Vertical Garden as well. Check out this brief video interview with Patrick... And stay tuned for more as Patrick has been commissioned to clad an entire skyscraper in Malaysia, the ultimate greenscraper!

25 November 2008

Paul Hudnut ~ BOPreneur on Venture Gapitalism

Yes, today MIT's Sloan Entrepreneurs for International Development club hosted Paul Hudnut, the Colorado-based BOPreneur blogger and co-founder of Envirofit, who spoke about Venture GAPitalism -- bridging the gap between classic venture capitalists seeking 30-50% rates of return, versus charitable grant-givers seeking social impact. Hudnut teaches in the CSU Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise program and is a champion of the BOPreneur...
"...an entrepreneur focused on improving the lives of the world's poorest people, the 3 billion people who earn less than $3/day, often referred to as the Base of the Pyramid (BOP)"

24 November 2008

RoboClam ~ MIT's Amos Winter Mimics Mollusks!

It's very nice to see one of my favorite MIT grad student engineers, Amos Winter, featured in today's Mass High Tech article by Brendan Lynch MIT’s robotic clam joins RoboTuna, RoboLobster on the buffet. Amos and his faculty advisor, Professor Peko Hosoi, learn lessons from real razor clams...

g-speak ~ Oblong's Gestural-Graphical Interface

MIT Media Lab alum-founded company Oblong releases g-speak, a gestural-graphical interface between us, our physical environs, and our infobits... Lovely!

22 November 2008

"Unlimited Kindness" ~ The Best of Humanity...

Ben Macintyre in The Times today writes about John Silbermann, a Jewish boy saved 70 years ago by a British operation called Kindertransport. In the summer of 1939, Silbermann...
"Stepped on a train at a Berlin railway station, waved goodbye to the parents he would never see again and headed for Britain."
Wingnut Nazis inflamed fellow Germans into Kristallnacht, the rampant destruction of Jewish storefronts and assets. Following this, the British decided to admit child refugees. Says Silbermann...
"To its eternal credit the British Government was the only one in the entire world that said "Right we have got to do something about this."
Silbermann and some 10,000 fellow children were saved. But the Nazi Germans would go on to slaughter 1.5 million Jewish children. And more. Silbermann today characterizes his own experience in Britain...
"All I remember is a feeling of unlimited kindness..."
That's awe-inspiring.

But what are we -- humanity today -- doing for the equivalent children worldwide? Whether those kids are in Sudan, or Haiti, or Bangladesh, or the Congo, or they are the kids of in-migrants, or are the poor kids of inner-city USA? These children are no less valuable than young Silbermann and his peers.

This is what kills me about the pograms on the US southern border with Mexico. And the building of despicable barriers between peoples. The US stole the land from the Mexicans and now self-righteous Americans kick out the rightful owners of the land, all of them legitimate Mexican migrants.

21 November 2008

Zimi's Story ~ One Child's Laptop in South Africa

MIT Sloan MBA student Amanda Peyton from the Sloan Entrepreneurs for International Development (SEID) club has been working with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) this past semester. Today at SEID "office hours" at the MIT Muddy Charles Pub, she told us about this new bit of OLPC promo, a delightful little video featuring Zimi, a South African laptop user who is asking you to Give One & Get One (like I have)...

20 November 2008

M-PESA ~ No-Card ATM Cash Transfers in Kenya

Videoreporter Ruud Elmendorp tells the story of M-PESA money transfers using mobile phones in Kenya... As Noel Mwakugu of the BBC wrote about last year, this M-PESA service by Safaricom and Vodafone is available to anyone, even if they do not have a bank account or a bankcard.

Visualizing Complexity ~ Lovely Maps & Graphics!

HUMMUS 2050 co-creator Sigi Atteneder pointed me to the really lovely maps and graphics by Philippe Rekacewicz and colleagues at Le Monde diplomatique. Most are straight maps of geography crossed with other dimensions of interest, for instance, this view of displaced people planet-wide... But I also found this visualization of the complex UN of special interest...

16 November 2008

WattzOn? ~ Saul Griffith Calculates His Footprint

At Pop!Tech 2008, MIT alum genius inventor engineer Saul Griffith unveiled WattzOn, a webtool to calculate your personal energy footprint and compare your wattage with everyone else...

Entrepreneurship Week @ MIT ~ Worthy Events...

As part of the Unleashing Ideas Global Entrepreneurship Week, MIT is hosting several cool activities including dinners, talks, showcase and more. Check out the calendar at the MIT Enterprise Forum Global website.

15 November 2008

Global Dynamics ~ Simulations For Learning...

While looking into the global electric grid, I ran across this OS Earth Global Simulation Workshop, a role-playing game engaging students in the challenges of running the planet. This is apparently a descendant of Buckminster Fuller’s World Game where he wanted students to aspire to...
"make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone."
Still a worthwhile goal. And with computers, the range of games and simulations accessible to all has never been greater. These games and simulations can be tremendous tools for teaching and learning as documented by MIT alums Edery & Mollick in their book, Changing the Game. Consider the popular Sim video game series by Will Wright at Maxis, including SimEarth. Curiously enough, Wright's first big success, SimCity, was based on the Urban Dynamics work of MIT Sloan Professor Jay Forrester, creator of the System Dynamics method. Forrester went on to build the World Dynamics models which became the basis for the Limits to Growth family of models (and popular books).

While the intellectual battle still rages between the so-called peaknik doomsayers and their opposites, the cornucopian doomslayers -- both with different prognoses about what is happening and/or will happen with our Planet Earth and our role in helping or hindering things -- what we can at least agree on is the need for more data, greater transparency, sharing of underlying assumptions, opening up of the underlying models -- whether mental, econometric, system dynamic, computational, etc -- and a relentless pursuit of greater understanding and truth. Games and simulations can play a transformative role here.

Electric Grid ~ Global Infrastructure Solutions?

I just read MIT alum Peter Huber's piece on Oil, Gas and Wires in the latest Forbes where he makes the case for creating a high-voltage, continent-spanning and unified US national electric grid. This $75 Billion investment in infrastructure would unleash market forces in the power sector, enabling new generation sources, more competition and lower prices for electricity, and encourage many liquid fuels users to electrify. As MIT's Tech Review spotlighted in an article on A Smarter Power Grid, the current US network is trifurcated...This got me interested in the more general question of whether interconnecting into a global electric grid was a logical extension of Huber's argument. This is what organizations such as GENI Global Energy Network Institute argue for (and which Bucky Fuller first suggested decades ago)... GENI also points out the growing number of regional international grids and cooked up this promo video to advocate the grid... While grid solutions do seem to make sense in general and under ideal conditions, it nevertheless seems like a lot of good will come from off-grid innovations -- whether it's bringing first-light to remote villages through solar or it's creating backups and alternatives to the all-to-frequently "flaky grid".

Singapore! ~ Green Buildings in the Garden City!

I'm increasingly impressed with Singapore. They are creating what is arguably the leading global green city and continue to make great commitments to world-class architecture. Among my favorites are this new commission by Ken Yeang to create part of a science park as described in an Inhabitat article by Mahesh Basantani... And this lovely greenroof building housing the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University as described in Inhabitat by Ali Kriscenski...

Global Water ~ Areas of Abundance and Scarcity

UNESCO's WHYMAP effort looks at hydrogeological resources...

14 November 2008

The Butterfly Effect ~ Visualizing Catastrophy !-)

Chaos theorists first postulated the Butterfly Effect but GeekPress impresario Paul Hsieh pointed me to the first-ever video documentary of this phenomenon;-)

11 November 2008

Global Junkyards? ~ Ghana (& China) Recycling...

Thanks to UniqueDaily for spotlighting this Reuters video on the Ghanaian waste recycling sector... What's waste to rich country consumers is raw material to Ghanaian junk processors who extract the valuable metals. The downside is the tremendous health impacts of this process -- e.g. hazardous chemicals, sharp metals, and dirty toxic burning and smelting methods of extraction. Earlier this year, Chris Carroll wrote in National Geographic about High-Tech Trash, also spotlighting this controversial trade... Sun Nov 16 Addendum: I just found this 60 Minutes story on The Electronic Wasteland by Scott Pelley about waste-handling practices in China... and in the USA. This is classic investigative reporting, with Pelley & crew rigorously documenting facts and then surprising-exposing the leader of a US recycling company in what appears to be a blatant lie. Ecopreneurist tells more of the backstory in their Greenwash Crisis Plan story. Watch the original 60 Minutes episode for yourself...

Common Wealth ~ Prof Jeffrey Sachs at Google...

Colombia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs speaking at Google about his book Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet...

Brazil Rising ~ Spreading Tropical Farm Tech...

Great story by Sara Miller Llana, staff writer of the Christian Science Monitor on Farming superpower Brazil spreads its know-how: It is bringing the technologies of tropical farming to other parts of Latin America, and to Africa and Asia. Brazil is today the world's largest exporter of soybeans, beef, chicken, orange juice, ethanol, and sugar. What's especially interesting is that Brazil:
"...is emerging as more than just a supplier. Its scientists are now bringing the technologies of tropical agriculture to other parts of Latin America, and to Africa and Asia. In 2006, Embrapa opened its first foreign office in the West African nation of Ghana to lead the effort. Lobato assessed soils in Mozambique this year. And in May, Embrapa dispatched its first team to Venezuela to help boost food production. "In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, there was a lot of collaboration and support from the US and Europe," says Elisio Contini, head of Embrapa's Office of International Affairs – helping to turn Brazil into the agricultural powerhouse it is today. "Now we think it's time to transfer technology to other poor countries in Latin America and Africa. We are supporting them like the Americans supported us."
Very exciting!

Percapitization ~ Bold Egyptian Privatization Move

Very exciting to read today's FT story by Heba Saleh in Cairo that Egypt to hand out stakes in state assets. This means:
"Egypt is preparing legislation that would give citizens a stake in dozens of public sector companies in a move designed to address popular misgivings about the state's privatisation programme. [The proposal is that] all Egyptians above the age of 21 would receive a certificate of ownership of shares in a range of companies owned by the state. In a country with a socialist legacy from the 60s and with widening income disparities in recent years, privatisation has come to acquire a bad name, and there are frequent accusations that state companies are being sold off to government cronies and foreigners at bargain-basement prices. Analysts say that by transferring ownership of the assets to the general public, the government will make privatisation more popular. "This will push privatisation much further because it will eliminate all the problems and accusations that companies are being sold cheaply," said Aladdin Saba, chairman of Beltone Financial, an investment bank. "A foreign investor who wants to buy will have to make a tender offer in the stock exchange. There will be no issue over price or accusations that anyone took a bribe or that public assets are being under valued."
There's some precedent for this kind of thing, including the Alaska Permanent Fund dispersing oil income on a per-capita basis to state residents, and Voucher Privatization in Russia and Eastern Europe (with mixed results). But there is dramatically more opportunity here for what I call Percapitization, the per-capita privatization of state and common assets -- including land, mineral rights, state-owned enterprises, and more. Imagine the percapitization of organizations like PEMEX in Mexico, thus distributing the ownership of this vast business among all the peoples of the country -- unlike prior privatizations, for instance Telmex.

Biogurt ~ MIT's Edible Designer Bugs at iGEM!

TR's Emily Singer writes about an MIT student team Engineering Edible Bacteria to create Biogurt full of microbes that fight cavities and produce vitamins. This was one of the great participants at iGEM 2008, the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition this past weekend. Check out the TR Biogurt video as well as the iGEM Results and participants. These are all case examples of grassroots student excitement about the blossoming field of Synthetic Biology.

10 November 2008

Villager Ventures ~ Learning from Millennium...

Nice update in the FT recently by Alan Beattie titled UN village project boosts Africa on Millennium Villages which I first wrote about earlier this year worrying that this was a bit top-down. Indeed, Beattie writes:
"A United Nations experiment designed to boost health, agriculture and education in African villages has shown “remarkable results” but could be difficult to replicate at a national level, an independent study has found. [The project] has sought to showcase the benefits of heavy investment using 12 groups of settlements across 10 countries. In a new study, the Overseas Development Institute, a London think-tank, found there was “considerable evidence of significant improvements at household and village levels in the health and agriculture sectors”. But it said the project’s reliance on highly trained staff meant it could be hard to replicate at a national level."

"One critic of the project, Michael Clemens, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, points to a similar donor-funded initiative – the Southwest Poverty Reduction Project in China between 1995-2000. Within five years of subsidised inputs ending, the villages were no better off than those that had not benefited. “What creates sustained growth and poverty reduction is the interaction of village economies with towns and the wider world economy – not pouring in vast amounts of resources to an isolated community,” he says."
I really applaud this as an effort to aggressively explore how to influence villages to be more prosperous, more vibrant, and more effective for the villagers. But, based on our MIT experience with Development Ventures, what I suspect is most needed are a new set of grassroots-oriented Villager Ventures, organizations supplying both village-scale solutions -- e.g. energy like BlueEnergy, health services like ClickDiagnostics, delivery services like United Villages, and more -- as well as household-scale solutions -- e.g. biogas energy by FertilGas, solar lighting by SELCO, and more -- all on a for-profit basis that compensates and motivates an entire food-chain of entrepreneurial people.

09 November 2008

Pico-Projectors ~ Ultra-Portable Display Modules

As I noted back in March, here are several compelling pico-projection technologies in the manufacturing ramp-up process, including this MicroVision solution... And this 3M solution... See 3M promo video...

America 2050 ~ Emerging US Megaregions

From the America 2050 Megaregions initiative... America 2050 is:
"A national initiative to meet the infrastructure, economic development and environmental challenges of the nation [adding] 120 million additional Americans by the year 2050."

Vision 2050 ~ Imagining & Modeling Our Future

In July 1997, Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden wrote The Long Boom: A History of the Future, 1980 - 2020 in WIRED, speculating that:
"We are one world. All organisms crammed on the globe are intricately interdependent. Plants, animals, humans need to find a way to live together on that tiny little place. By 2020, most people are acting on that belief. The population has largely stabilized. The spreading prosperity nudged a large enough block of people into middle-class lifestyles to curtail high birth rates. In some pockets of the world large families are still highly valued, but most people strive only to replicate themselves, and no more. Just as important, the world economy has evolved to a point roughly in balance with nature. To be sure, the ecosystem is not in perfect equilibrium. More pollution enters the world than many would like. But the rates of contamination have been greatly reduced, and the trajectory of these trends looks promising. The regeneration of the global environment is in sight."
In 2001, Jerome Glenn's article A Better World in 2050? in The Globalist speculates that:
"By 2050, the world had finally achieved a global economy that appeared to be environmentally sustainable, while providing nearly all people with the basic necessities of life -- and the majority with a comfortable living. Different explanations have been given for the series of astounding successes achieved by 2050. Some believe that breakthroughs in science and technology were the key. Others argue that development of the human potential was more fundamental -- and still others that political and economic policies made the difference. All three themes were important and mutually reinforcing."
In October 2003, Dominic Wilson and Roopa Purushothaman at Goldman Sachs published Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050 speculating that:
"If things go right, in less than 40 years, the BRICs economies together could be larger than the G6 in US dollar terms. By 2025 they could account for over half the size of the G6. Of the current G6, only the US and Japan may be among the six largest economies in US dollar terms in 2050. The list of the world's ten largest economies may look quite different in 2050. The largest economies in the world (by GDP) may no longer be the richest (by income per capita), making strategic choices for firms more complex."
In March 2006, John Hawksworth at Pricewaterhouse Coopers published The World in 2050, in which they project:
"The relative size in the period to 2050 of the 17 largest economies in the world in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. These comprise the current G7 (US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Canada), plus Spain, Australia and South Korea, and the seven largest emerging market economies, which we refer to collectively as the ‘E7’ (China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey)."
In a March 2008 update by John Hawksworth and Gordon Cookson entitled The World in 2050 Beyond the BRICs: a broader look at emerging market growth prospects extends:
"The analysis to 13 other emerging economies that, while smaller than those of the E7, also have the potential to grow significantly faster than the established OECD economies. Some of these countries, such as Vietnam, appear to have immediate potential as inward investment locations for manufacturing in particular. Others, such as Nigeria, may appear to be high risk propositions now, but have considerable long-term potential if they can achieve and sustain a greater degree of political stability and economic openness in the longer term. The general message is that investors with long-time horizons should not restrict their attention only to the BRICs or even the E7 -- there are many other alternatives worth considering depending on the nature of the investment and the risk tolerance of the investor."
In October 2006, Sandra Poncet at CEPII published The Long Term Growth Prospects of the World Economy: Horizon 2050 spotlighting that:
"Today’s advanced economies are to become a shrinking part of the world economy: in less than 50 years, China and India together could match the size of the US in current dollars (26.6 against 26.9% of the world GDP in 2050). China and India will stand out as an engine of new demand growth and spending, their GDP will grow at yearly average rate of 4.6 and 4.5%, respectively between 2005 and 2050. The largest economies in the world (by GDP) may no longer be the richest (in terms of income per capita)."

Non-Stop Train ~ Fast-Rail Innovations!

Taiwanese speed-rail idea for a station-solution which allows for non-stop trains...

08 November 2008

More Vital Cities ~ Urbanization and Development

The Economist article Cities and growth: Lump together and like it spotlights "the problems -- and benefits -- of urbanisation on a vast scale" and in particular points to the new World Development Report. The Report summarizes the biggest development challenges, three giga-challenges of slums, rural poverty, and economic disconnection... The lessons from this years report include:
  • "Places do well when they promote transformations along the dimensions of economic geography: higher densities as cities grow; shorter distances as workers and businesses migrate closer to density; and fewer divisions as nations lower their economic borders and enter world markets to take advantage of scale and trade in specialized products."
  • "Economic growth is seldom balanced. Efforts to spread it prematurely will jeopardize progress. Two centuries of economic development show that spatial disparities in income and production are inevitable. A generation of economic research confirms this: there is no good reason to expect economic growth to spread smoothly across space."
  • "The experience of successful developers shows that production becomes more concentrated spatially. The most successful nations also institute policies that make basic living standards more uniform across space. Economic production concentrates, while living standards converge."

Local & Global Regions ~ Future Post-Nationalism

I'm especially curious about the prospect for post-nationalist global polities where as much political freedom and choice as possible is pushed to ever more local areas, namely these sub-national administrative regions...And at the same time, much greater global integration of economies, freedom of movement of goods, services, capital, and people, and generally the benefits of openness and modernity as made possible by ever more embracive trade blocs and macro-administrative units such as these... Or this set of regions used by the World Bank in their latest World Development Report...

07 November 2008

Nanobamas ~ Prof John Hart and the Nanonerds...

Yes indeed, my MIT alum friend and current U Michigan engineering Professor John Hart and his nanonerd compadres have fabricated Nanobamas, small-scale carbon nanotube facial images of President-Elect Obama, each made of approximately 150 million tiny carbon nanotubes, or about how many Americans voted on November 4! Yes, this is extremely geeky... and I love it!-) Here's how you too can DIY Nanobamas!

06 November 2008

CHANGE.GOV ~ Open (Source) US Government?

Open (source) government?! Check it out -- change.gov -- looks promising. Let's see what this means and where this leads.

04 November 2008

Epic! ~ US Elects President Barack Obama!

Yes, I admit I was extremely skeptical that this would even be possible, nevermind actually happening! But Barack Obama -- a man who would not be considered a full citizen and barely even a human being at the birth of the United States of America some 230 years ago -- has just been elected President by a populace inspired by possibilities, invigorated by hope, open to opportunities, and engaged in an agenda of change and transformation towards a new and better tomorrow! Epic! Now, of course, comes delivering on promises.

Deadlock ~ A Herpetological Battle-Royale!-)

Nevermind politics, check out this deadlocked herpetological battle-royale betwixt a Morelet's tree frog and a cat-eyed snake as captured by photographer David Maitland in Belize and published in my all-time favorite journal, National Geographic...

03 November 2008

Neurotech Night @ MIT Enterprise Forum Nov 12th

On Wednesday, November 12th 6:00p to 8:30p in the MIT Stata Center's Kirsch Auditorium, the MIT Enterprise Forum Innovation Series presents: This all-star keynote plus live-case study plus panel discussion will survey the economically enormous health sector covering disorders of the brain, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and depression, pose some of the hardest challenges for the biopharmaceutical industry. See how biopharma ventures are addressing these challenges, with guest speakers from the cutting edge of neuroscience drug discovery, including:
  • Keynote: Darryle D. Schoepp, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Neuroscience Franchise Head, Merck Research Laboratories, PA. Dr. Schoepp is responsible for the scientific direction of drug discovery and development for neuroscience programs at Merck. Prior to joining Merck he was a VP at Eli Lilly, where he led the development of a new first-in-class drug for the treatment of schizophrenia.
  • Company Presentation: Christoph M. Adams, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer, FoldRx Pharmaecuticals, Inc. FoldRx was co-founded by Susan Lindquist, Professor of Biology at MIT, former Director of Whitehead Institute
  • Panelist: Robert Desimone, Ph.D., Director, McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
  • Panelist: Douglas M. Fambrough, Ph.D., General Partner, Oxford Bioscience Partners
  • Panelist: Todd Sherer, Ph.D., Vice President Research Programs, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
  • Moderator: Skip Irving, Partner and Managing Director, Health Advances LLC
More info (and sponsor, partner, and presenter bio details) on the MIT Enterprise Forum website. Students free with ID. Everyone should pre-register! This is a not-to-be-missed session on neurotechnology ventures!

MyFarm ~ Organized SF Urban Gardening Venture

The USAToday has an interesting story today entitled A Bounty Sprouts in the City with MyFarm Enterprise about...
"...an enterprise that puts vegetable gardens into people's backyards, then sends a gardener once a week to do upkeep and harvest, leaving a weekly basket of fresh produce behind."
MyFarm founder Trevor Paque had the great idea to turn otherwise underused urban land into a productive "decentralized urban farm".
"MyFarm charges customers $800 to $1,200 to install the garden. Then for a weekly fee that varies according to the size of the plot, a gardener weeds, tends and harvests the garden, leaving the owner with a week's worth of vegetables. For time-starved residents, MyFarm is a way to get organic produce grown steps from their kitchen without having to touch a trowel. For yardless neighbors, it lets them effectively buy a share of their neighbors' gardens. What makes Paque's venture different is that he sees all the gardens as merely components of one large farm."
Check out the video...