Friday, October 24, 2014

Measuring Innovation in Education - A New Perspective


Measuring Innovation in Education

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Click to Access: 
OECD
Publication Date :
17 July 2014
Pages :
332
ISBN :
9789264215696 (PDF) ; 9789264215689 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264215696-en
Do teachers innovate? Do they try different pedagogical approaches? Are practices within classrooms and educational organisations changing? And to what extent can change be linked to improvements? A measurement agenda is essential to an innovation and improvement strategy in education. Measuring Innovation in Educationoffers new perspectives on addressing the need for such measurement.

This book’s first objective is informative: it gives readers new international comparative information about innovation in education compared to other sectors. And it documents change in a variety of dimensions of school practices between 1999 and 2011. Its second objective is methodological: it assesses two approaches to capturing the extent and type of innovation occurring within and across education systems. The third objective is exploratory: this book showcases a large-scale pilot that presents over 200 measures of innovation in education using existing international data. Last but not least, the fourth objective is prospective: this report proposes new approaches to measuring innovation in education in the future.

This book is the beginning of a new journey: it calls for innovations in the field of measurement – and not just of education.

Source: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/measuring-innovation-in-education_9789264215696-en


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sustainability Science Fellowships at Harvard University

Doctoral, Post-doctoral, and Mid-career Fellowships
Due date for applications: February 2, 2015
 
The Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University invites applications for resident fellowships in sustainability science for the academic year beginning in September 2015. This year’s competition is focused on three thematic areas related to energy and sustainability. We are seeking applications focusing on: 1) decarbonizing energy systems in the European Union; 2) designing, developing, and/or implementing sustainable energy technologies and policies in China; and 3) the impacts of fossil fuel subsidies on economic, environmental, and health indicators and the actions that can be taken to reduce them. The fellowship competition is open to advanced doctoral and post-doctoral students, and to mid-career professionals engaged in research or practice to facilitate the design, implementation, and evaluation of effective interventions that promote sustainable development.  The thematic areas are led by Professors Henry Lee and Joseph Aldy. The Program is also open, however, to strong proposals in any area of sustainability science.  In addition to general funds available to support this fellowship offering, special funding for the Giorgio Ruffolo Fellowships in Sustainability Science is available to support citizens of Italy, China, or developing countries who are therefore especially encouraged to apply. For more information on the fellowships application process see http://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/programs/sustsci/fellowships. Applications are due February 2, 2015 and decisions will be announced in March 2014.
 
Sustainable Energy and the European Union
Faculty leader:
Henry Lee, Jassim M. Jaidah Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program
Faculty co-leaders:
Laura Diaz Anadon, William Clark
This thematic area explores policies that will aid in decarbonizing the energy in the EU in view of the 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policy which will be decided on in October 2014. The EU is considering more ambitious targets for renewable energy options, increased energy efficiency goals for reducing greenhouse gases by 2030. Fellows will be expected work on the sustainability of the supply chain of renewable energies in the EU, from inception to commercialization. The overall renewable energy life-cycle can be considered in its entirety or the work can focus on a specific stage of the life-cycle. The program is particularly interested in analyzing the renewable energy sustainability in EU economies that have traditionally lagged behind other member states in terms of increasing the use of renewable energy technologies and the challenges and opportunities to expand deployment and use of those technologies.
 
Sustainable Development of the Energy Sector in China: Challenges and Options
Faculty leader: Henry Lee, Jassim M. Jaidah Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program
Faculty co-leaders: Laura Diaz Anadon, Venkatesh Narayanamurti
This thematic area addresses the environmental implications of energy policies in China and explores how China can manage these implications. Fellows work to identify and promote policies that will contribute to the thoughtful use of China's natural resources (e.g., water, air, land) and/or the adoption of cleaner and less carbon-intensive industrial and energy technologies. Research areas include, but are not limited to: analyzing the impact of energy and industrial policies on water scarcity and air pollution; assessing polices to promote a low-carbon energy portfolio and an analysis of options to improve the efficient use of energy and greater penetration of alternative energy sources.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Impacts, Opportunities, and Challenges to Reform
Faculty leader:
Joseph Aldy, Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Fossil fuel subsidies distort the prices for electricity and fuels for a majority of the world’s population. Failing to account for the full social cost of energy – such as human health and environmental damages – results in implicit subsidies of nearly $2 trillion globally each year. In many developing countries, government subsidies for fossil fuel subsidies compete with potentially socially desirable uses of fiscal resources, such as investments in public health, education, infrastructure, and low- or zero-emitting sources of energy. Nonetheless, pricing energy, and especially fossil fuel-based energy, below its social opportunity cost persists throughout the world and it begs the question: if fossil fuel subsidies are so bad, why are they so common? We are interested in fellows whose research focuses on 1) empirical estimates of the environmental and health impacts of subsidizing fossil fuels in developing countries, 2) the potential fiscal trade-offs associated with fossil fuel subsidies, 3) how pricing energy below cost affects global commodity price levels and volatility as well as incentives for investment in non-fossil energy alternatives, 4) the political economy that supports policies that continue to subsidize fossil fuels in developing countries, or 5) case studies of successful energy price reforms to identify key lessons for informing future reform efforts.
 
Nancy Dickson
Senior Researcher, Harvard Kennedy School
Co-Director, Sustainability Science Program

Source: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/programs/sustsci/grants-fellowships/fellows/fellowships-in-sustainability-science


The concepts of sustainability and resilience are interrelated (National Research Council, 2012a). Sustainability tends to focus on long-term goals and strategies, while resilience is oriented to preparing for unexpected disruptions that may destabilize an otherwise sustainable system. Generally, approaches taken to address one concept would also be supportive of the other, although there may be tradeoffs. The more sustainable we are, the less we expose ourselves to unpredictable disruptions; the more resilient we are, the less we risk compromising our future well-being (Fiksel et al. 2014).


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Civic economy and sharing economy


compendium for the civic economy

“The idea at the heart of the Big Society is a very simple one: that real change can’t come from government alone. We’re only going to make life better for everyone in this country if everyone plays their part – if change in our economy and our society is driven from the bottom up.” Compendium for the Civic Economy by the London-based research and design bureau 00:/ presents 25 cases on how we can envision the future, create a new form of economy, and organise society in the UK and elsewhere.

 In the context of a global financial crisis as well as complex social issues and environmental change, a growing and diverse number of change-makers are already working towards a different economy. Through organisation, connection with people and use of the best approach to collaborative investment, an alternative economic platform is on the horizon. Compendium for the Civic Economy contains 25 case studies showing how the civic economycombining the spirit of entrepreneurship with the aspiration of civic renewalactively contributes to community resilience, everyday innovation and shared prosperity. From local food growing projects to sustainable supermarkets, community waste-to-energy plants to cooperative telecoms services, these initiatives are having a tangible impact on the social and economic realities in cities, villages and towns.
The book advocates that people should not wait for the government to solve the crisis, but instead play an active role in facilitating the ventures presented here. It is truly an inspirational read for entrepreneurs, activists, policy makers and anyone who is concerned with community empowerment and ways to withstand the consequences of deep socio-economic and environmental crisis. Flipping through the pages, you can find what the fertile conditions are for this new economy to thrive and how to turn ideas into practice.

Source: http://civiceconomy.net/

The Rise of Peer-to-Peer Companies

The sharing economy is a based on the provision of services or goods for a limited time from consumer (not a registered as a company) to consumer in exchange of a payment. This transaction is done through peer-to-peer platforms that facilitate the contact and enable consumers/peers to offer and buy products. This operation is based on trust as much as it is based on matching offers and demands from consumers/peers. These platforms constitute accessibility-based systems and are the support of a growing number of companies operating within the sharing economy.
sharing-economy en

The customer is always right

The sharing economy growth has been stirred by a combination of circumstances. Technology and communication media development are considered to be the main driver. Consumers’ increasing mistrust in corporations and finally the economic crisis has decreased consumers’ buying power. The raise of unemployment is also a strong factor that pressed consumers into searching for alternative to traditional business models that are more centered on their needs as potential suppliers and buyers.

Business challenges

Companies involved in the sharing economy in Europe still face several challenges. One of them is the lack of trust from the users’ perspective. The second is the availability of funding sources as many of these companies need to prove their ability at generating stable streams of revenue. Another challenge is business regulations and policies, or rather the lack of them.

This report from the Business Innovation Observatory explores all these topics and provides insights into the socio-relevance of the sharing economy, its drivers and the challenges it faces. The report concludes by policy recommendations that would facilitate the establishment of the sharing economy within Europe while regulating its activities and setting quality and safety standards.

The Sharing Economy: accessibility Based Business Models for Peer-to-Peer Markets
Case study 12
Business Innovation Observatory
European Commission, September 2013

Source: 


Better Growth, Better Climate

One of the most critical and urgent challenges facing countries today is achieving economic prosperity and development while also combating climate change. 

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and its flagship project The New Climate Economy, have been set up to help governments, businesses and society make better-informed decisions on these crucial issues.

The Global Commission is chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón and comprises former heads of government and finance ministers, and leaders in the fields of economics and business. The Commission's work is being conducted by a global partnership of leading research institutes. Reporting in September 2014, the project will make recommendations on actions and policies that can achieve high quality economic growth at the same time as addressing dangerous climate change. 

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate was commissioned by seven countries - Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom - as an independent initiative to report to the interational community.

 
Source: http://eukn.org/E_library/Urban_Policy/Better_Growth_Better_Climate
http://newclimateeconomy.net/

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives



Jeffrey M. Smith, author of the world’s bestselling book on GMOs, Seeds of Deception, is a leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices.

Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives has won the 2012 Movie of the Year by the Solari Report and the Top Transformational Film of 2012 by AwareGuide!

Never-Before-Seen-Evidence points to genetically engineered foods as a major contributor to rising disease rates in the US population, especially among children. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, inflammatory diseases, and infertility are just some of the problems implicated in humans, pets, livestock, and lab animals that eat genetically modified soybeans and corn.

Monsanto’s strong arm tactics, the FDA’s fraudulent policies, and how the USDA ignores a growing health emergency are also laid bare. This sometimes shocking film may change your diet, help you protect your family, and accelerate the consumer tipping point against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Don’t miss this film!

Source: http://geneticroulettemovie.com/


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Leonardo DiCaprio (UN Messenger of Peace) at the opening of Climate Summit 2014

"Well done! Bravo Leonardo Dicaprio: putting carbon tax on emission, remove subsidies for fossil fuels and, of course, renewable energy is unquestionable."
Hang Dao






Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Guide to Sustainia

"Guide to Sustainia" An outcome of the Project Green Light
This is a book about making what may seem impossible a reality. About creating a better future. We know climate change is real; it changes our planet and seriously affects the people who share it.

Curbing climate change is a real challenge. The Guide to Sustainia sets a new tone in communication about sustainability. Rather than representing a future of sacrifices and restraints, Sustainia shows us how sustainable solutions can contribute to real improvements in people’s lives.

Sustainia is a realistic vision. We hope it will inspire real change. Download “Guide to Sustainia” here.

Please contact Ms Laura Storm on lss@mm.dk for more information and partner opportunities. If you are interested in ordering a hard copy (20 euros plus VAT), please contact Ms Solvej Karlshøj Christiansen at skc@mm.dk

Copenhagen – Beyond Green



The city of Copenhagen is well known for being a green city. Through strategic urban planning and a history of environmental ambitions, Copenhagen has created swarms of cyclists, large recreational areas, a high share of renewable energy, clean water in its harbor, and a world class system of district heating and integrated public transportation.

What is not as well known about being a green city are the social and economic benefits. The study documents that Copenhagen’s green city strategy has not only brought great reductions in the CO2 emissions, decreased pollution, created several green jobs and produced annual growth rates of an impressive 12 percent in the green sector. The city’s green ambitions have also triggered a great improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Copenhagen and created growth, export and job opportunities throughout the entire economy of the city – not just in the clean-tech sector.

The mission of Green Growth Leaders is to examine the evidence of green growth and document the benefits. It is from this starting point we set out to examine the economic and social benefits of green initiatives in Copenhagen. What we have learned is that urban green investments offer benefits far beyond environmental. What we have found is evidence of how sustainable life can be more fun, more profitable, and healthier, than ordinary life.

You can download the study here