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Perspectives

An offbeat, refreshing look at solutions brought to you by the business leaders and academics, policy makers and designers who are in the field.

Latest Perspectives

The really “smart” phone of the future? Fully recyclable, responsibly produced in the People’s Republic of China, and built on blood-free minerals from Congo’s South Kivu province.

Good news: in Amsterdam, apparently, the future has just begun, since a young organization is attempting to change the way we look at our mobiles and−more in general−remind us of the role we play with our daily choices as consumers in defining socio-economic development patterns worldwide.

Fairphone, a social enterprise launched in 2013, employs a truly hands-on approach that utilizes existent market forces and supply chain systems to produce smartphones whose every stage of production is closely monitored to ensure compliance with sustainable practices and fair working conditions.

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In more and more river basins around the world, water use is bumping up against the limits of a finite supply. Groundwater is being overpumped, wetlands are drying out, lakes are shrinking, and large rivers—from the Indus and the Nile to the Murray and the Colorado—are so tapped out that they rarely reach the sea.1

Society faces a difficult conundrum: water is finite, but human demands for it are not. Water is needed to produce just about everything we use, eat, and wear—from electricity and paper to burgers and blue jeans. Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have estimated that humanity's collective water footprint totals some 9,087 cubic kilometers per year—a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of 500 Colorado Rivers.2...

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Other Perspectives

In 2013, the global consumer electronics industry accounted for more than $1 trillion in sales, and worldwide phone sales of consumer electronics totaled 435 million units just in the second quarter, according to Gartner.1 There is no...
At last the Garden of Eden in southern Iraq will have ecologically sound waste treatment and re-use. Iraq forms the southeasterly bend of the Fertile Crescent and literally means the land between two rivers: the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers...
Communities, countries, and the planet as a whole need to articulate shared goals, and create ways to track progress in meeting them. This is the essence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) process currently underway at the UN. The...
Guest Editor for the Resilience Issue While it is clear that the pace and pattern of global economic growth is unsustainable, we are slow in responding to this challenge. Sustainability advocates offer visions of a utopian future in which...
Across the US, billions of dollars are devoted towards large scale ecosystem restoration programs. The Everglades in Florida is the recipient of a $15 billion program over 30 years; Chesapeake Bay $7 billion over a decade. The list goes on...
We are entering a new urban era where the planet is increasingly influenced by human activities and where cities have become a central nexus of the relationship between people and nature, both as crucial centers of demand for ecosystem...