Google and the Green Economy: Lessons in Systems Innovation

ScreenHunter_162 Apr. 20 09.02

Guest post by Samia Mazhar

Global efforts to reach a climate change agreement in Paris later this year are gaining momentum not only in the halls of some parliaments but also in the corporate world. In this guest post, an Australian scholar of project management and innovation, Samia Mazhar, explores ways one major corporate power is harnessing the green economy through a systems-based approach to their advantage and for planetary prosperity.

The grapevines are abuzz with thoughts on the upcoming twenty first Conference of Parties or COP21, a.k.a. the Climate Summit in Paris, December 2015. There are many hopes invested in the negotiations undertaken by global players, as they attempt to put in measures to address the now well-accepted climate crisis. One main purpose of this summit is to identify ways to mitigate the catastrophic outcomes of global warming for human and other races by the end of the century, ideally before they happen. The Sustainable Innovation Forum is a major “business-focused side event” at the conference, which (among other things) will explore how corporations and investors can contribute to the Green Economy (described by UNEP as being “low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive”).

Numerous initiatives demonstrate the benefits of moving to such an economy, however some developed countries, however, are seen to still need some convincing. Australia is among those that did not fare well in the Global Green Economy Index in 2014, and the current administration has a role to play in this. Yet aside from the to-ing and fro-ing of politics, one might ask: what can corporations do to systematically contribute to the solution while leaders re-negotiate their commitments year after year on the global stage?

Some companies have decided to take things into their own hands and grab the sustainability —> Read More

‘Ex Machina': The Consciousness Test

If only Alan Turing was alive today.

He would have enjoyed the acclaim of the movie about his life, The Imitation Game, and the great public interest around his role in helping to end WWII, the beginnings of the modern computer and the test for artificial intelligence that bears his name.

Turing would have been able to share the thrill, as Stephen Hawking did while still alive, in the making of the movie of his life, The Theory of Everything – a film that dramatically places Hawking in the pantheon of great modern theorists.

And he would have delighted in the artful and challenging, Ex Machina a movie set in the near future which uses the Turing Test as a starting point for an exploration of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human.

The movie title is taken from the Latin phrase, Deus ex machina or God out of the machine — a reference to a Greek theatrical device whereby a god is lowered on a mechanical crane to resolve a conflict or problem the clueless humans can’t solve. Interestingly, while removing the god from the title of the movie, man’s god-like ambitions are on full display in this modern day drama.

The action is set in a remote and wildly beautiful hideaway of Nathan, the fabulously wealthy founder of the world’s most dominant search engine, Blue Book. The fact that billionaire Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, describes his company as being in the business of AI or artificial intelligence is, perhaps, not entirely coincidental. The film opens with a Blue Book employee, Caleb, being flown out to his boss’s lair having “won” a chance to spend a week with the great man.

Caleb quickly learns that he is actually there —> Read More

Penn Medicine: Immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab shows promise for mesothelioma patients

The PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab, a cancer immunotherapy drug, shrank or halted growth of tumors in 76 percent of patients with pleural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that arises in the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, according to a new study from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. —> Read More

Investigational personalized cellular therapy tolerated well by patients

Genetically modified versions of patients’ own immune cells successfully traveled to tumors they were designed to attack in an early-stage trial for mesothelioma and pancreatic and ovarian cancers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The data adds to a growing body of research showing the promise of CAR T cell technology. The interim results will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2015, April 18-22. —> Read More

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