Great Fashion+Hacker Blog

A student of mine for her final project creatded a blog about recycled fashion.

Ditch or Stitch!

Great name!

Happy reading.

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Final Paper – Sustainability in Higher Education

For my final paper I would like to further explore Colleges and Universities as organizations, and how difficult it is to change them in order to accommodate for new innovations.  More specifically, I plan to look at the effect that the “Green Movement” and sustainability have had on higher education.  The green movement and sustainability are innovations that are sweeping our nation and appearing rapidly in our schools. I am interested to see how, and if, the structure and delegation of tasks within these organizations change.

Sustainability is a complex concept which involves more than installing recycling programs or serving organic foods.  It involves a more complicated integration of environmental concerns and social justice issues.  The AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing “human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.” Furthermore, achieving sustainability in higher education is best defined by improving the following areas: leadership, recycling, buildings and grounds, curriculum, energy, food, transportation, and outreach.  These eight areas were defined by the Arnold Creek Production and show how complex the innovation of sustainability is.  There are many reasons why colleges and universities are working towards a sustainable future, including economical, competitive, and moral/ethical reasons.  However, I wish to look past why they are interested in sustainability, and concentrate on how they are implementing the new methods with those that already exist.

Like big operations everywhere, campuses are plagued by divisions. The lack of coordination between students, faculty, and the various administrative departments is an issue when trying to introduce a new campus-wide innovation.  Schools have to figure out how to integrate technical climate plans with institutional practices, governance structures, financial decision-making processes, and campus culture.  Revamping energy-guzzling buildings, selling new food, and changing the curriculum are just three areas that will involve time, money, and coordination of administrators, faculty, and students.  There is also a question of leadership and who will take charge of the new implementation or any issues that may arise. While some schools have hired sustainability coordinators, others find current staff members to head the challenge.

These are just a few ideas that I have been looking at when it comes to sustainability and higher education. I also wish to look at social movements as a whole and what changes they bring in the past, present, and future.  Hopefully these ideas will tie together in my research paper and provide an interesting piece for a higher education audience.

Final Paper Take II: IDEO

I definitely love Bucknell as much as the next person (I’d probably even argue more), but looking into how Bucknell operates as an organization doesn’t exactly exite me.  So, on advice from our wonderful professor I am going to write my paper about something that really intrigues and exites me – innovation.  Within the depths of Silicon Valley exists a firm that has emerged and remained as one of the most innovative and creative companies in the world and its name is IDEO.  IDEO is a design firm that has invented thousands of products over the last 15 years: everything from the squishy handles on toothbrushes to technologically complex medical devices.  Yet, what really makes IDEO stand out above the rest is not what they invent or the ideas they come up with, it’s HOW they do it and the processes that they use.

Even their logo is innovative!

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File Under “What Will They Think of Next…”

I am linking to this NY Times story about crazy adventure travel mainly as Dave told us about his experiences with the Bucknell Brigade in Nicaragua.

Squinting in the Nicaraguan sun, I found the goggles that had flown off my head during my tumble and shimmied over to my board, slowly slipping downhill all the while. I somehow regained my seated position on the board and immediately submitted again to gravity, zooming down, down, down, until I slid to a gentle stop amid applause from fellow boarders.

This was my introduction to volcano boarding, a young adventure activity that has popped up, most notably at Cerro Negro, an ominous charcoal-black volcano in western Nicaragua.

Stage-Gate Process – Roadmap for New Product Development

In today’s globalized world where information flows freer than ever before and the the consumers are more discerning than their fathers and grand fathers were. There are more competitors in any given industry. Companies that fail to innovate, or to innovate at a fast enough pace face the threat of going out of business. However, it is not just enough to be innovative, almost half of the resources that are used for the research, development, and launch of new products go to products that never make it.

The text of this page is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 and later and under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribute Share-Alike

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Final Paper: The Stage-Gate Process

The text of this page is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 and later and under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribute Share-Alike

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Bottoms up, Bottoms up

Last week our discussion on innovation brought two techniques to the table; top-down innovation and bottom-up innovation. These two ideas basically described where the ideas came from, and whether the trickled down or shot up. After thinking about the terms in that manner, I decided that if a low-rank employee could shoot his ideas all the way up to the top, then that was definitely something worth exploring.

As I went to look for an example of bottom-up innovation, the first one that my search engine showed was Best Buy. I figured that since this is a company that we are all familiar with that it would be interested to see how they have employed this particular technique.

Chris Applegate became a sales associate in 2002 at a Best Buy store in Lakewood, California. As an employee, he brought his store a lot of new ideas, that would eventually travel around the country to other branches. His first idea came from Vonage VOIP services (Vonage is a provider of internet broadband telephone services). Chris then created a Vonage sales and marketing program that spread quickly to other areas in California. His efforts have changed the California consumer by creating a massive increase in Vonage users.

“Chris is practicing Best-Buy’s bottom-up innovation.  For the last several years, Best Buy has been developing this disciplined innovation approach.  Every associate is encouraged to try new ways to increase Best Buy’s sales and profits.  They are rewarded financially when they succeed, and in lots of other ways just for trying. “

This practice has proven very successful for Best Buy, and can be seen in numerous other innovations.

“Like most innovation efforts, the goal of Best Buy’s bottom-up innovation is improved growth and profitability for the company.   And in recent years, Best Buy has been performing quite well along these dimensions, with sales rising about 30% over the two year period from March, 2003 to March, 2005.  During that same period, the company’s operating earnings were up about 50%.”

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