In the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake, four panelists with strong personal and professional ties to Haiti share their insights about the different paths to rebuilding and reconstructing the country.
Erica James begins with a view of Haiti’s history of “insécurité”, a term used to describe “cycles of polit
Innovation at the Interface: Technological Fusion at MIT
When disciplines converge, innovation results. To prove the point, two inventers offered rich and varied examples from their respective areas: artificial intelligence and biomedicine. Rodney Brooks describes robots exploring dangerous bunkers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and intelligent prosthetic limbs. He predicts that in
Future energy demand and supply
When you consider that the global annual consumption of primary energy increased more than ten-fold during the 20th Century, the importance of planning future energy supply becomes clear.
Whales to Wood, Wood to Coal/Oil- What’s Next?
In 1845, the Dietz Company of New York introduced the sperm oil lantern, which nearly wiped out some whale species. A decade or so later, Dietz began to manufacture lamps using other oils, and gas lighting fixtures, giving whales a reprieve. More than a century has passed, and we’re “about to do it again,” says
Observations on the Science of Finance in the Practice of Finance
There will be a time “beyond crisis,” asserts Robert C. Merton, who delves into the dense science of derivatives -- a field he has fundamentally shaped -- to explain how the vast global economic collapse has come about, and how financial innovations at the heart of the collapse could also be tools for reconstruction.
Education Across Borders: The India Perspective
Rickshaw drivers in India are frequent victims of tuberculosis after just a few years inhaling traffic fumes. This near-epidemic went unacknowledged until
Kapil Sibal demanded a solution. The fix, now gaining traction across the country, is a solar-powered vehicle that eliminates pedaling. But what began as a project to ass
MIT Perspective on Engineering Systems
The field of systems engineering has only recently emerged, and as this symposium demonstrates, defies precise definition. But MIT has taken this evolving area to heart, nurturing a new division and encouraging a raft of ventures that in their execution, may help shape the field for the next century.
An MIT freshman in 1
Race from France to France, Leave Antarctica to Starboard
Rich Wilson had followed the Vendée Globe Race ('round-the-world single-handed) since its inception in 1988 but had never considered sailing it himself—“too hard, too long, too dangerous, too risky, too, too, too, the boats were too big, the sails were too big.”
Then he reconsidered the possibility when he realize
Lunch with a Laureate: Robert Horvitz
As an undergraduate at MIT, Robert Horvitz did not take a biology course until his senior year. But after only six weeks into his first class with professor Cy Leventhal, he realized this was the field for him. He boldly asked for a recommendation as part of his application to grad school—in biology. “Is it too late?” he
The Power of Competition: How to Focus the World’s Brains on your Innovation Challenges
Cooperation may be making us “a little bit too nice” when it comes to innovation, suggests Fiona Murray. She believes there’s nothing like competition for injecting energy into the process of solving key innovation problems, whether in business or society.
Murray is convinced competition make ventures “more ef
Automotive Lightweighting as a Strategic Opportunity for India’s Automotive Industry
Suppose you could leapfrog 100 years of experience in the automotive industry and begin a new manufacturing epoch. The strategic change you would make is to lightweight the vehicle, observes Charles Fine. Although steel has been the material of choice for many automotive components since the dawn of the automotive age, th
Weapons of Mass Confusion: Assessing the True Risks
Panelists gathered for this discussion agree that when setting weapons policy it is counterproductive to lump weapons together. The dangers from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons need to understood individually. Owen Cote says nuclear weapons, with their large-scale production process and instant lethal capacity, belong in one categ
The Militarization of Science and Space
Chomsky launches a savage, two-pronged assault on national economic policies and efforts at “global domination….By now the stakes are so high that issues of survival arise,” says Chomsky.
The basic principle underlying our current economy is “to make rich people happy and make everybody else frightened.” Chom
Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons
Joseph Cirincione delivers an energetic and at times impassioned primer on the standoff with Iran on its nuclear program, drawn in part from his latest book, The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons (Columbia University Press, Spring 2007).
He offers a succinct ‘equation’ to describe what drives nat
So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits and the President Failed on Iraq
Greg Mitchell has found both comedy and tragedy in the shameless and near-universal complicity between the American press and the Bush Administration around the Iraq war and occupation. Mitchell’s amply documented account of the run-up to the invasion through the recent surge forms the basis of his new book, So Wro
Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist
Who knew that one of mankind’s greatest scientists also worked as a gumshoe on London’s mean streets, or that this same absent-minded professor helped England fix its monetary policy from an office in the Tower of London? Thomas Levenson brings all sorts of surprises to light in his own sleuthing of a little known but significa
enChanting Musical Artifacts in Unlikely Places: Rare Resources in MIT’s Lewis Music Library
There are times when it’s necessary to judge a book by its cover, or a single page, because that’s all that remains. Michael Scott Cuthbert and Nancy Schrock reveal some treasures from MIT’s early music collection which, while often incomplete or damaged, sing volumes about their origins and use.
How organisations work together to build a sustainable supply chain: The case of Nespresso
Executive Doctorate (DBA) alumna Gabriela Alvarez discusses the impact of the programme and her research with Toby Thompson. LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/dHMAns
DBA supervisor perspective: The role of personal values as antecedent to management behaviour...
DBA supervisor perspective: The role of personal values as antecedent to management behaviour and performance in a tenanted pub retail business in a UK regional Brewer. Prof Kim Turnbull James talks about the doctoral research of Dr Andrew Wood and impact that the Executive Doctorate (DBA) programme had on him.
In this bitter commemoration of the end of the Vietnam War, the speakers dispel any comforting notion that Americans have absorbed lessons from that bloody time, much less sought the truth. Ngo Ving Long describes how the United States policy of pacification, starting in the early ‘50s, involved “incredible assassinations of peopl