Monthly Archives: February 2013

Innovating our teaching-selves through outsourcing

February 5, 2013
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Innovating our teaching-selves through outsourcing

This time of year, grading tasks loom over our physical and virtual desks.  Large piles of student papers, tests and presentations represent assignments we expect will reveal the relative learning, if only we can spend the time to look at each piece of evidence critically.  Sometimes Teaching Assistants take on these grading functions, guided by…

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Gold rush again in the California Sierra Nevada mother lode

February 5, 2013
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Gold rush again in the California Sierra Nevada mother lode

Gold-mining returns to California after a six decade hiatus.  Canadian company, Sutter Gold Mining Inc., controls mining rights to approximately 3.6 miles of the California Mother Lode Gold Belt in Amador County, California.  The primary focus today is the Lincoln-Comet zone of the Lincoln Project that is at the heart of the Mother Lode region. …

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Anglo American Minas-Rio iron ore mine is regulatory trouble

February 5, 2013
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Anglo American Minas-Rio iron ore mine is regulatory trouble

Iron ore mining costs rise beyond control for Anglo American’s Minas-Rio Brazil project.  Permit and licensing difficulties with the Brazilian government led the company to write down $4 billion in the project value this month.  This may be the first of other write downs, as costs continue to rise over three times beyond the original…

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Increasing GDP through trade barrier reduction and the supply chain

February 5, 2013
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Increasing GDP through trade barrier reduction and the supply chain

The World Economic Forum recently released a study it conducted with Bain & Company and the World Bank on the relationship between supply chain barriers, tariffs and the world GDP.  Combining case studies of individual companies and industries with empirical macroeconomic analysis, they conclude that “reducing supply chain barriers to trade could increase GDP up…

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Innovation economics: The race for global advantage

February 5, 2013
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Innovation economics:  The race for global advantage

Authors Atkinson (PhD UNC Chapel Hill, President of Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) and Ezell (BS Georgetown University, Senior Analyst at Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) believe that innovation is central to the US’s ability to recover economically and to return to a world competitiveness leadership position.  Studying historical patterns from 1970 forward, they conclude…

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The interactive Big Mac guide to international currencies

February 5, 2013
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The interactive Big Mac guide to international currencies

Purchasing power parity (PPP) is the rate of exchange between two currencies that results in equal purchasing power in each of the economies.  Since 1986, the Economist has published the Big Mac PPP index in which the price of a Big Mac in one country’s currency is divided by the price of a Big Mac…

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Patents and prosperity– interactive view of the US

February 5, 2013
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Patents and prosperity– interactive view of the US

This interactive report on the status of patent prosperity in the US, prepared by the Brookings Institution, shows the relationship between patents as a measure of invention and economic growth in the major US metropolitan areas.  The metropolitan area data includes: patent activity by year of application, trends in patent growth and productivity growth, a…

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New ideas for building sustainability in farming business

February 5, 2013
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New ideas for building sustainability in farming business

Wim Bastiaanssen is the founder of Water Watch, a consulting company that produces exploitable information on agricultural conditions using information gathered from satellites that is processed through proprietary analytical algorithms in order to measure water consumption and then can be transmitted to on the ground mobile communication devices for exploitation.  The company conducts survey work…

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Nestlé and the business-society social contract

February 5, 2013
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Nestlé and the business-society social contract

At this year’s Davos World Economic Forum, Nestlé CEO, Paul Bulcke, advises that government and government officials need to think longer-term.  The policy-making activity appears to be disconnected from economic activity.  Sustainability issues, such as water usage, are important to the Nestlé business model and for society in general.  Through innovation and careful attention to…

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February classroom activities―innovation as competitiveness necessity

February 5, 2013
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February classroom activities―innovation as competitiveness necessity

Using your classroom teams in their online Wiki sites, have students conduct the following studies: Choose two countries listed on the Big Mac index discussed in this month’s Tech Tips.  Conduct a PESTEL analysis of the factors relevant to the fast food industry in each country.  Does the Big Mac index provide any insight?  Explain.…

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