News Article | January 29, 2016
Fast Company is excited to announce the addition of 107 new members to the Most Creative People in Business 1000, an exclusive community of influencers in business from across the economy and around the globe. These mavens of business, art, technology, and social good were chosen from among the creative forces featured in the magazine during 2015. Selected for their vision and fearlessness in today's quickly shifting business landscape, they come to us from the worlds of tech, retail, fashion, health care, space science, and entertainment. They hail from Detroit, Beijing, Stockholm, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Vancouver, Miami, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Whether they're digging into news about the world's most important issues, helping to save the environment, or reinventing retail, they'll continue to be a major part of our stories, newsletters, and events. And of course, they'll be as active as ever across social platforms—follow along with the hashtag #MCP1000 and our MCP 1000 Twitter list. Here are the pioneers in business who have stood out from all other leaders we reported on this past year: Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, Wecyclers David Alpert, Skybound Entertainment Sam Altman, Y Combinator Steve Aoki, DJ/entrepreneur Balanda Atis, L’Oréal Lucy Beard, Feetz Milena Berry, PowerToFly Kayvon Beykpour, Periscope Alex Blumberg, Gimlet Media Brené Brown, Author/speaker Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe Stewart Butterfield, Slack Åsa Caap, Our/Vodka Anthony Casalena, Squarespace Pete Cashmore, Mashable Joy Cho, Oh Joy! Ken Coleman, Andreesen Horowitz Richard Copcutt, Converse Katie Couric, Yahoo Scott Crouch, Mark43 Lee Daniels, Empire Dr. Theresa Dankovich, Drinkable Book Christine Day, Luvo Ken Denman, Emotient Mikey Dickerson, U.S. Digital Service Peter DiLaura, Second Genome Carolyn Duran, Intel Eric Eriksson, Facebook Craig Erwich, Hulu Nicola Farinetti, Eataly U.S.A. Jennifer Fremont-Smith, Krash Phil Fremont-Smith, Krash Robb Fujioka, Fuhu Taro Fukuyama, AnyPerk Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles mayor Randy Garutti, Shake Shack Lisa Gersh, Goop Lisa Gelobter, U.S. Department of Education Jason Goldman, U.S. Chief digital officer Dr. Corey Goodman, Second Genome Brian Grazer, New Form Digital John Green, VlogBrothers Kristin Groos Richmond, Revolution Foods Karyn Hillman, Levi Strauss Lisa Holme, Hulu Mike Hopkins, Hulu Drew Houston, Dropbox Rosalind Hudnell, Intel Steve Huffman, Reddit Naoki Ito, Party Belinda Johnson, Airbnb Ron Johnson, Enjoy Susan Kare, Graphic Designer Alex Kauffmann, Google Robert Kirkman, Skybound Entertainment Jenni Konner, Lenny Letter Dr. Klaus Lackner, Center for Negative Carbon Emissions John Landgraf, FX Network Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad Jessica Livingston, Y Combinator Susan Lyne, BBG Ventures at AOL Erik Logan, OWN Network Rose Marcario, Patagonia Kim Mathews, Mathews Nielsen Michael McDaniel, Reaction Inc. Melissa McCarthy, Actress/entrepreneur Jonathan Mildenhall, Airbnb Rebecca Minkoff, Rebecca Minkoff Uri Minkoff, Rebecca Minkoff Helena Morrissey, 30% Club Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Physician/author Signe Nielsen, Mathews Nielsen Barack Obama, U.S. president Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop Dev Patnaik, Jump Associates Richard Plepler, HBO Scorpio Ramazani Khoury, Made in Kigali Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Ben Rivera, Leatherman Michele Roberts, NBPA Tara Russell, Fathom Kirsten Saenz Tobey, Revolution Foods Sheri Salata, OWN Network Nathan Seidle, SparkFun Tony Scott, U.S. Chief information officer Shivani Siroya, InVenture Brad Smith, Intuit Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup Beatrice Springborn, Hulu Tom Staggs, Disney Ellen Stofan, NASA Yuri Suzuki, Yuri Suzuki Ltd. Nikki Sylianteng, To Park or Not to Park Hiro Takeuchi, Harvard Business School Lorraine Twohill, Google Haley Van Dyck, U.S. Digital Service Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Lego Group Ken Washington, Ford Matthew Weaver, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Billie Whitehouse, Wearable Experiments Bayard Winthrop, American Giant Idit Yaniv, Facebook Malala Yousafzai, The Malala Fund Katharine Zaleski, PowerToFly Dr. Yusheng Zhang, Apricot Forest Please join us in congratulating them on their induction into the MCP 1000, where they join an ever-growing community of visionaries, changers, and doers. In June, we'll honor another 100 leaders in the world of business with our annual Most Creative People in Business issue, which uncovers innovators who have never before been covered by the magazine.
News Article | March 17, 2016
By James Larsen, Director of Business Development with The Advanced Energy Centre at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Canada Canada has a thriving cleantech industry, particularly with respect to energy. Clean Energy Canada reported that investment in new clean-power generation approached CAD $10.9 billion in 2014 — an 88% bump over 2013. Yet, Canadians tend to limit the scope of their export ambitions, and in doing so, we’re overlooking significant market opportunities. Inevitably, we wonder what technology and expertise Canada can export, and to where. Business leaders are often quick to point to China and India because their economies are “big” and “growing.” But Canada’s potential energy export markets are not just about Asia. Central and South America are neglected markets that are hungry for clean energy solutions, and Canadian firms are well positioned to serve these regions. The potential in Latin America is huge. The World Bank predicts that electricity consumption in Latin America will more than double between 2010 and 2030, and that $430 billion in investment will be needed to meet that demand. Additionally, South America is expected to become a key smart grid investment location over the next decade, reaching $38.1 billion by 2025. Several Latin American countries exhibit healthy business climates, favourable trade agreements, and energy markets that are open and reformed (or undergoing reform). Having recently completed business trips to Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, I observed significant opportunities in these markets. Innovative technologies are required to deliver against these countries’ ambitious energy targets, and there are willing intermediaries who can help Canadian firms find partners to work with in the region. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, countries like Chile and Colombia filed only around 3,000 and 2,000 patents in 2013, respectively, as compared to Canada’s 35,000. They need foreign innovation to serve their demand for cleantech energy technologies, and there is every reason for Canadian firms to participate in this growth. Fernando Soto has the same message. Soto is Head of International Affairs for Club de Innovación in Chile, an organization with a mission of attracting investment and new technology to the country. Chile’s economy has similarities to Canada’s, says Soto. It, too, is a big commodity exporter, and its key products – copper and other metals – have suffered price swoons similar to oil. There’s nothing that Chilean companies can do about metal prices, so they are closely examining ways to cut costs, says Soto. Electricity is a huge expense for miners, and consequently an area for potential cost-cutting, he says. Chilean utilities have been slow to help, however; Soto likens them to big ocean liners that can’t easily alter course. Rising costs have prompted Chilean miners, as well as other big power users like manufacturers and commercial real estate firms, to seek methods of bypassing the utility monopoly. They increasingly look to supply their own energy, independent of the major utility companies: a signal of significant opportunities for cleantech energy solutions. Renewable energy sources are a natural fit for these firms. The north of Chile (and some of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina) is home to the Atacama Desert, the highest solar radiation area in the world, which also happens to be home to the majority of Chile’s mining operations. And as a coastal nation, stretched along the Pacific Ocean, Chile also presents abundant potential for wind farms and marine energy technologies. To date, these resources have not been fully exploited. What Chile lacks, according to Soto, is the technology and expertise to develop them. Canadian clean energy firms have a natural entry point to do just that, he says, and they can easily look beyond Chile: “[Canadian companies] should use us as a pilot. Chile is the entry point for all of South America; it has always been a testing field for cell phone companies, as well as other technology companies. What works in Chile is copied quickly by Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.” It’s not just Club de Innovación and Chile that are supportive of foreign innovation in Latin America. In Colombia, there are groups like ACI, with a mandate to promote and support foreign investment in their market, working in parallel with groups like Ruta N, an innovation hub, to help foreign companies land on firm footing. In Mexico, groups like INADEM and ProMexico are likewise looking to support foreign entrants. Roger Morrison agrees wholeheartedly that there are big opportunities in Latin America. He is the founder and chief executive of dTechs, an 8-year-old firm whose technology gives utilities tools to monitor their grid performance, and pinpointing power leakages in the system due to theft or faulty equipment. Canadian utilities, including Oakville Hydro, use dTechs technology, however Morrison says the leakage problems are much larger for Latin American utilities. Additionally, these utilities are now coming under pressure from regulators to tighten up their systems. dTechs has found strong demand for its technology in Latin America — it is now earning 80% of its revenue in the region, a figure that Morrison expects to increase. Success like dTechs’ doesn’t happen overnight. Resources like the Advanced Energy Centre’s Going Global reports on the Chilean and Colombian energy markets are a good start. Roger relied on invaluable help from MaRS, Export Development Canada, and Global Affairs Canada to guide him toward making initial contacts in the region. However, learning the business culture was also an important aspect. In Roger’s experience, holding face-to-face meetings and forming personal relationships was crucial – much more so than in North America, where most business is conducted by phone and email. Finding local partners was also important, Morrison says. dTechs has formed a partnership with a Colombian firm that has also opened doors in Chile and Ecuador. Roger’s company is now working with three giant utilities with a total of 18 million customers. By comparison, Canada’s utilities collectively serve a customer base of about 9 million. Moreover, one of the Latin American utilities dTechs works with is foreign-owned, with 11 million additional customers in its own country. That may present further opportunities for dTechs. The scale of opportunity in Latin America exceeds that of Canada. While Canadian companies entering Latin America have to adapt to different languages and cultures, the differences are less pronounced and the similarities more abundant than in Asian markets. Asia will remain an important region for Canadian export, but the potential for clean energy solutions in Latin America simply can’t be ignored. James Larsen is the Director of Business Development at The Advanced Energy Centre (part of MaRS Discovery District), a public-private partnership with a mission to foster the adoption of innovative clean energy technologies in Canada, and to leverage those successes and experiences into international markets. Prior to joining The Advanced Energy Centre, James was a Management Consultant with Bain & Company, developing strategic solutions for market-leading companies. James also spent many years as an engineer working in the renewable energy industry with a variety of technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells, micro-hydro and geothermal generation. James has dedicated significant personal time towards his passion for sustainability, founding the 2011 Ivey Business School sustainability conference and ecological footprint reduction challenge. James also volunteers as an Advisor with MaRS Cleantech’s Venture Services group, providing business advisory to young cleantech companies, to help them grow into successful sector leaders. Twitter: @LarsenJames Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | September 3, 2016
Peter Coles, an economist who left Harvard Business School to go to Airbnb, calls Silicon Valley “an absolute candy store for economists.”
News Article | January 12, 2016
Small wins matter big. It’s that tinge of excitement that helps us move forward during that long, uphill battle. Small wins signal to our brain that progress is happening and big results are just around the corner. Major accolades might be saved for big wins, but it’s the small, frequent wins that seem to matter most, says B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University. "In other words, don't wait until the end of the month to say, ‘Wow you did a good job,’" Fogg tells Fast Company. Instead, think of the ways that you can feel successful more frequently. To do this, think about the celebrations that seem to kick up your innovative powers. According to Fogg, the earlier you feel those tiny wins, the better. "Success in the morning sets your day," he explains. "So, design your routine and your own work, or help your colleagues feel successful early in the day." For instance, think about the last time you woke up early, completed your morning routine, and had a successful morning. There’s a good chance you were motivated to seek that kind of triumph for the rest of the day. On the other hand, if you overslept and weren’t able to get your morning cup of coffee on time, there’s a high chance the rest of your day felt a little off, much like you were trying to catch up. To study the simple behaviors that surround success, Fogg has mentored close to 30,000 people through his Tiny Habits program, coaching them day-by-day on creating new habits. Every week, he evaluates the program and currently has over half a million data points on what works and what doesn’t work when it comes behavior change and motivation. Leveraging small wins is a powerful move for managers trying to motivate employees. As most of us know, one of the biggest concerns companies have is designing a structure that helps people feel successful and, consequently, boost morale and innovation. Teresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School and Steven J. Kramer, an independent researcher and author, have conducted numerous research on the psychological experiences and business performance within organizations. In one research study that included 12,000 daily surveys, the researchers found that progress and setbacks influenced emotions (people felt more positive emotions on days when progress is apparent). In other words, small wins are desperately needed for that long-term, big win. The authors write in a Harvard Business Review article that while big wins are great, "they are relatively rare"—and if we waited around to only celebrate those wins, we’ll be feeling a lot of the frustration, fear, and sadness that often comes with setbacks. So, instead, the authors suggest: The good news is that even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously. Many of the progress events our research participants reported represented only minor steps forward. Yet they often evoked outsize positive reactions. Consider this diary entry from a programmer in a high-tech company, which was accompanied by very positive self-ratings of her emotions, motivations, and perceptions that day: "I figured out why something was not working correctly. I felt relieved and happy because this was a minor milestone for me." The bottom line: The central fuel that’s driving you to that big win are the psychological experiences you go through on a daily basis. How do you motivate yourself—and others—to view that long journey that’s going to include a lot of ups and downs positively? How do you prevent the intimidating big picture from dragging you down? Simply by finding ways to push yourself higher to more creative, more innovative levels that make you feel proud and give you the strength to make it through the tough days.
News Article | March 16, 2016
Hiring new, more productive scientists is considered an effective way to raise a research-based organization’s performance via a direct effect (the new hire’s contribution) and a stimulus to incumbent scientists’ productivity. New research by Andrea Fosfuri (Bocconi University) with Kremena Slavova (Middlesex University Business School) and Julio De Castro (IE Business School) highlights that the positive effect on incumbents is rather small and subject to conditions.