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Paying for success: The story of how Utah became a leader in social impact investing

A Utah preschool program that has helped hundreds of severely at-risk 4-year-olds avoid costly special education programs is making waves across the country. And it didn’t cost taxpayers a penny to pilot the program. The Utah High Quality Preschool Program, which launched in 2013, uses a new model called “pay for success” in which private

How small farmers could be leading the way towards sustainable agriculture

Agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, but it is also undeniably affected by it. Farming must therefore change in order to keep up with global demands, while reducing its environmental impact. Without these necessary changes, it’s estimated that by 2030, the impacts of climate change will be even worse, causing yields to decline

2019-02-14T08:31:09+00:00Tags: |

Artificial leaves convert carbon with 10x efficiency of nature

Artificial leaves mimic photosynthesis -- the process whereby plants use water and carbon dioxide from the air to produce carbohydrates using energy from the sun. But even state-of-the-art artificial leaves, which hold promise in reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, only work in the laboratory because they use pure, pressurized carbon dioxide from tanks. But

2019-02-14T08:25:15+00:00Tags: |

On Why 100 Million Americans Are Financially Stressed And Will Likely Stay That Way

In January 2016 I founded a tech start-up help Americans make better financial decisions. I’ve since learned that most people are stressed out because they save little, have enormous debt, don’t know where their money goes and feel they’re not on track to meeting their long-term goals. I also found that the reasons for this are so

This Supermarket Is the Largest Employee-Owned Company in the World

Think about stock options and chances are, you picture the founders of successful startups whose shares are worth hundreds of millions on paper. As it turns out, the largest employee-owned company in the world is far from Silicon Valley. It’s Publix, a chain of more than 1,200 supermarkets based in the Southeast. The private company, which is based

Collaboration sparks sustainable electronics manufacturing breakthrough

Simon Fraser University and Swiss researchers are developing an eco-friendly, 3D printable solution for producing wireless Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors that can be used and disposed of without contaminating the environment. Their research has been published as the cover story in the February issue of the journal Advanced Electronic Materials. Additionally, 3D printing can give flexibility to add or embed functions onto

2019-02-14T08:05:25+00:00Tags: |

Reducing risk, extra returns, and being nice with it. That’s ESG

FOLLOWING last week’s column on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, what are the issues to look out for when screening for the best returns and best funds to choose? In the ‘beginning’, we had ethical funds, sustainable funds and socially responsible funds. Now we have the term ESG. Ethical funds avoided anything that did

Financial Wellness Programs Take Center Stage with Employers

Five years ago, employers were just starting to provide workers with financial benefits beyond their retirement plan, but now financial wellness appears to be firmly entrenched in the benefits space, according to a recent report. Nearly two-thirds of employers say they are very likely to take steps in 2019 to create or focus on the

ACCEND Construction launches in Chicago

ACCEND Construction LLC has opened its doors for business in Chicago. The general contracting firm is led by Andy MacGregor, president, an industry veteran who has headed some of Chicago’s largest projects in this space. The company will use an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making it one of the few general contractors to offer every

On Philanthropy: Understanding the “why” of impact investing

Impact investing is the rapidly expanding approach to financial markets that seeks to do well and to do good. It attempts to generate positive financial and social returns. Sustainable, responsible and impact-investing assets now account for $12 trillion of the $46.6 trillion in total assets under professional management in the United States. This is one of every four

Here’s How Much America’s Rising Income Inequality Is Costing Social Security

Just a few weeks into the 116th Congress, Democrats’ takeover of the House of Representatives has already exposed the huge gulf between what American voters want and what the previous House leadership and the Trump administration have thrust upon them in recent years. Congressional Democrats’ bold agenda—such as higher taxes on the rich, universal health care, and expanding Social Security—has

From the big stage to the political arena: It’s time for employee ownership to get its closeup

Liberalism is ascendant, at least in the Democratic Party. New Gallup polling just out shows that for the first time, more than half of Democrats identify as “liberal” as opposed to “moderate” or “conservative.” The left’s newly minted hero Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is becoming the right’s new favorite foil. Her Green New Deal and amplification of

MIT’s New Policy Suggestions to Make Cures Accessible and Sustainable

Today, the MIT-based Financing and Reimbursement of Cures in the US (FoCUS) consortium released a series of large-scale policy and practice recommendations for financing new and upcoming curative and durable treatments to ensure broad patient access and healthcare system sustainability. The recommendations were released at a FoCUS-hosted conference at the National Press Club. The conference

2019-02-13T07:26:12+00:00Tags: |

100% Renewable Energy Across Europe Is More Cost-Effective

No pun intended here, but in this climate of scientific denial, it’s time to listen to independent research again! Energy Watch Group and LUT University combined their resources to work on a new research that proves the feasibility of a European energy transition to 100% renewable sources. The study has simulated a full energy transition

2019-02-13T07:12:53+00:00Tags: |

6 Things Fortnite Can Teach Us About Financial Wellness And Behavior Change

What does America’s obsession with Fortnite have to do with financial wellness programs and financial behavior change? Surprisingly, more than you would think. Fortnite is on track to be the most popular video game in history and is currently beating out television and movies for user engagement. For those who play it regularly, it’s become part of their identity – inspiring

The Short Life of Enlightened Leadership (and How to Extend It)

As recently as the 1980s, many publicly traded U.S. corporations idealistically sought to spread their wealth among their employees. Generous benefits such as profit sharing, stock ownership, lifetime pensions, career-long training, and even job security were routine at such companies as AT&T, General Electric, Hallmark, J.C. Penney, Procter & Gamble, and Sears. But these practices mostly

Heated tobacco device causes same damage to lung cells as e-cigs and smoking

A new study that directly compares new heated tobacco devices with vaping and traditional cigarettes shows that all three are toxic to human lung cells. The study published in ERJ Open Research suggests that the new device, which heats solid tobacco instead of an e-liquid, is no less toxic to the cells than ordinary cigarette smoke. Researchers

2019-02-11T12:36:49+00:00Tags: |

New investment for businesses to tackle ocean plastics crisis

Plastic pollution is creating an environmental crisis in the oceans. According to the United Nations (pdf), more than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the water every year, killing up to 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals, turtles and fish. Unless significant action is taken, the amount of plastic in the seas will triple by 2025. New

Manchester scientists have clean energy breakthrough

Scientists have used a Nobel-prize winning Chemistry technique on a mixture of metals to potentially reduce the cost of fuel cells used in electric cars and reduce harmful emissions from conventional vehicles. The researchers have translated a biological technique, which won the 2017 Nobel Chemistry Prize, to reveal atomic scale chemistry in metal nanoparticles. These

2019-02-11T12:23:52+00:00Tags: |