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A Civic Duty To Improve Access To Generic Pharmaceuticals

Introductory note: The origins of Civica Rx were discussed in a previous Health Affairs Blog post, which also addressed whether the then-unnamed company should manufacture or purchase generic drugs. This post focuses on the unique governing role that three philanthropic organizations have as investors and founding board members in this first-of-its-kind venture, which is focused on

Fool-Proofing Sustainability with the ‘Biosphere Rules’

My first job out of college was as an environmental consultant in Silicon Valley. This was the 1980s and a time before “sustainability” had emerged as a business imperative. Our approach to environmental sustainability was called “remediation,” which may sound sophisticated, but in truth was technical janitorial work. We would go to contaminated industrial sites and

“Much of Modern Medicine May Become Infeasible”

The health care market is failing to support new antibiotics used to treat some of the world’s most dangerous, drug-resistant “superbugs,” according to a new analysis by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine infectious disease scientists. In a study published yesterday (October 7, 2019) in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society

2019-10-13T10:06:02-05:00Tags: |

Ranked: Countries with the Most Sustainable Energy Policies

Ranked: Countries With Most Sustainable Energy Policies The sourcing and distribution of energy is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Just under one billion people still lack basic access to electricity, and many more connect to the grid through improvised wiring or live through frequent blackouts. On the flip side of the

2019-10-13T09:58:38-05:00Tags: |

The benefits of being financially literate

Short-term lender Wonga recently asked over 1 000 of its customers about their attitudes towards money. It found that, despite 88 percent believing that financial health was “extremely important”, most (66 percent) claimed to have only an amateur knowledge of money management. “Financial literacy is key to financial health. It can help people to manage

Answering The Question, ‘How Do You Help People Too Poor For Microloans?’

Upaya Social Ventures is a nonprofit impact investing firm that answers the question, “How do you help people too poor for microloans?” The answer is both easy and challenging: jobs. The presumption of microlending programs often seems to be that everyone can or should be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a powerful economic driver, but most people

Mapping the future of ethical investing

What would the pioneers of sustainable investing think of progress today? The 1980s were a time when the role of finance in driving unsustainable behaviours was beginning to be understood. The Big Bang of deregulation of the City of London was part of an increasing flow of international capital, seeking higher returns. The logic for

Made with child labor? Major chocolate companies flunk scorecard

Major chocolate companies such as Godiva, Lindt and Hershey are failing to keep child labor out of their supply chains, according to a new ranking by activists released on Thursday. Godiva was rated the worst, followed by Ferrero and Mondalez on a scorecard of efforts to reduce child labor and deforestation published by the activist

The Multibillion-Dollar Potential Of Social Innovation

Societies worldwide are facing changes on a monumental scale. We are already experiencing the consequences of aging populations, digitization and climate change. The emergence of artificial intelligence and advanced automation technologies, as well as the ability to manipulate the human genome will have a comparable impact. Will we be able to rise to the challenges

Making research ‘business as usual’ in impact investing

The call for more thoughtful evidence-use has recently hit a crescendo in impact investing, with high-profile actors showcasing methods for incorporating secondary research into due diligence. This attention to research speaks partly to a growing awareness that much of the data that companies generate on their own fail to pass muster as impact evidence. As Jane Reisman,

So, You’ve Got 100% Renewable Energy — Now What?

Manufacturers seeking to decarbonize have a long row to hoe. They can order up a package of renewable energy and carbon offsets to power their factories and offices, but that’s just for starters. To be honest about the effort, they have to dig deeper. For some insights into the ins and outs of decarbonization, last

2019-10-11T10:14:23-05:00Tags: |

Top 10 countries with the most sustainable energy systems

European nations have been leading the way in terms of human prosperity and progress. So, I wasn’t surprised to see them near the top of the World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index, which assesses a country’s ability to provide sustainable energy. Here we take a look at the top 10 countries with the most sustainable

2019-10-11T10:10:36-05:00Tags: |

The Richest Americans Are Now Paying a Lower Tax Rate Than the Working Class

If you still happen to be wondering what’s causing the rampant wealth inequality in the United States, here’s a hint: The richest Americans are now paying a lower tax rate than the working class. The revelation is part of an analysis by University of California at Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, whose new

Environmental toxins impair immune system over multiple generations

New research shows that maternal exposure to a common and ubiquitous form of industrial pollution can harm the immune system of offspring and that this injury is passed along to subsequent generations, weakening the body's defenses against infections such as the influenza virus. The study was led by Paige Lawrence, Ph.D., with the University of

2019-10-10T07:41:59-05:00Tags: |

Can laboratories get smarter when it comes to sustainability?

Think of a research laboratory and pristine bare rooms lit by fluorescent lights come to mind. What doesn’t is that a lab can consume up to 100 times as much as energy as a similar sized office. Behind this mind-boggling figure are power guzzling laboratory equipment and, more critically, the need for high-end ventilation systems.

Poverty and economic growth: AI

Satellite images reveal enormous amounts of information about oncoming hurricanes, military troop movements and changes to the polar ice cap. Thanks in part to the work of Stanford computer scientist Stefano Ermon, they can also help us understand and ultimately assist impoverished communities around the world. He recently embarked on a two-year study that builds on

2019-10-10T07:31:17-05:00Tags: |

The Best Impact Investing Apps

Mobile investing apps are becoming “must haves” these days, and their popularity is expected to increase in the coming years. And that’s not the only investing trend that’s on the rise. Another is impact investing. Put these two trends together, and you’ll find a bevy of investing apps available for purpose-minded people. Traditionally, people invested

Harvard, Earth Friendly Products Host Environmental Summit

Harvard University’s Office for Sustainability and green cleaning products manufacturer Earth Friendly Products hosted the first-ever Harvard Environmental Action & Leadership Summit (HEALS) on Oct. 4. Held at the Harvard Faculty Club, the youth-led conference featured engaging and interactive panel discussions and workshops with leaders in business, policymaking, and environmental science. In the face of

2019-10-09T13:02:07-05:00Tags: |

Cybersecurity: Ransomware attacks shut down clinics, hospitals

What’s the news: October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it arrives not a moment too soon. Ransomware attacks across all industries grew by 118% in the first quarter of the year, according to the August 2019 McAfee Labs Threat Report, and recent news reports reveal that health care-related computer systems are becoming an increasingly

2019-10-09T12:52:53-05:00Tags: |