Friday, January 11, 2008

Social Innovation Conversations

The Stanford graduate school of business has a Center for Social Innovation, which publishes, among others, a podcast called Social Innovation Conversations. The center searches for social innovations that can help solve the major problems the world faces today, from poverty to environmental breakdown. The publications, hence also the podcast, are considered to be a means for spreading the various ideas and make them more fruitful.

In the podcast series, quite a number of lectures are carrying the caption: Making Supply Chains Socially Responsible. The latest of these features Willard Hay of Starbucks. Hay lays out the structure Starbucks is building under the name C.A.F.E. Practices, by which they attempt to purchase the best of coffee under the best conditions.

C.A.F.E. Practices is a program that covers the entire supply chain of Starbucks's coffee. The intent is to make sure workers and farmers can earn a good living as well as the middle men and the company and its employees. The program involves heavy auditing in order to make completely transparent where all coffee comes from and it is produced and sold properly. In addition the company engages in health care and education on the ground as well as agricultural advice. The aim is to make for a good and sustainable business. We can only hope it works as wonderful as Hay makes it sound.

The Social Innovation Conversations podcast is produced by The Conversations Network a non-profit organization that publishes podcasts from various lecture and conference realms that otherwise would not have had their audio content on line, let alone be syndicated. I learned of the Conversations Network when Doug Kaye was on the podcast expo and had himself interviewed on Shrinkrapradio.

My review of that Shrinkrap.
More Doug Kaye.

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Berkeley's Spring 2008 courses

It is only January and spring is in the air. Why? University of California Berkeley has just published the courses that will be podcast (and vodcast) this semester.

Spring 2008 naturally serves some good oldies such as Physics 10, otherwise known as Descriptive Physics or even better: Physics for Future Presidents.
See also the reviews Nukes and Roswell)

As every semester we also have the incomparable History 5, European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present, this semester delivered by Margaret Lavinia Anderson. I am planning to actively blog about History 5 this semester.
More History 5 on this blog: From the Renaissance Until Today, Agricultural revolution first, Thomas Laqueur.
More Professor Anderson: Antisemitism, The genitals of Christ (1 and 2).

New courses that I plan to follow are:

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