Asia

Recent stories

WWOOF Korea: A Bridge of the Agricultural Past and Urban Modernity

With members and hosts in almost 100 countries, there is very little international oversight for WWOOF. Instead, it is truly grassroots, with national WWOOF organizations in over 50 countries, and 45 more countries with independent hosts who are willing to take on volunteers. For a national membership fee, volunteers get access to anywhere from a few dozens to over 2,000 in-country hosts. After that, no money, not a single dollar, changes hands.

Are Green Taxes a Luxury for Developed Economies?

“What do you mean with ‘green’?” Emin asks while driving me to Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. This young Turkish taxi driver tells me (with his limited English, and even more limited body language, given he’s driving) he does not know what environmental taxes are, while pointing out the dozens of cars stacked in traffic on the right side, traffic he managed to avoid by maneuvering.

Why Social Entrepreneurship Aid is Putting Asia on the Shelf

Of the 197 companies that attended the 2013 meeting of Partnering for Global Impact in Lugano, Switzerland, only 17 were from Asia. Of that 17, four were from China or Southeast Asia. During my stay at the conference, this statistic would profoundly mirror back to me, when Tao Zhang, Managing Director for the China Global Impact Fund, said, “China [is] being put on the shelf.” Why hasn’t impact investing taken off in China & Southeast Asia? An analysis of key cultural, demographic and perceptual factors could explain why North American and European firms are hesitant to enter the industry.

“Exposure” – Former CEO Michael Woodford’s Naked Truth on Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing has become a major news item again since Edward Snowden recently decided to expose secretive materials of the National Security Agency. What about whistleblowing in the corporate world? During the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland, Michael Woodford (former CEO of the Olympus Corporation) shared his insights and experiences in whistleblowing in the Olympus scandal. His story provides us with valuable lessons regarding corporate governance and human nature, but an elementary question remains: where do we go from here? ST GALLEN, Switzerland – Whistleblowing: an act of courage or betrayal?

A 4P Future: People, Planet, Profit, and Plastics

“Don’t say no to plastic. Say no to plastic which is non-degradable.” Speaking at a TEDx conference in his home country of Indonesia last year, Sugianto Tandio – President Director of PT Tirta Marta – shared what he is calling his “redemption story.” Formerly in the conventional plastics business, he explained his current passion for solving the global plastic waste problem as both an activist and a social entrepreneur. The 3P’s of people, planet, profit – also known as the Triple Bottom Line – is the holy grail for business sustainability practitioners. Can plastics, Mr. Tandio’s redemption story, fit in? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jON7MvJ1xOk&w=640

According to a report commissioned by PlasticsEurope, and authored by British futurologist Ray Hammond, plastics will continue to play an important role in meeting many of the world’s crucial future challenges.

Too Much Water: Taiwan’s Water Burden

Dr. Yuei-An Liou is the Distinguished Professor and Director at the Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research at National Central University in Taiwan. He specializes in satellite remote sensing and atmospheric science and has published over 100 referral papers, and 200 conference papers. In this interview, Dr. Liou discusses one of Taiwan’s most serious water issues. Interview highlights include the discussion of:

One of Taiwan’s largest water issues
How too much water can lead to serious problems
The steps Taiwan is taking to adapt to climate change

Exciting guest from the Far East: Prof. Masafumi Maeda, University of Tokyo

Europe has learned many times from Japan. In past decades Japanese business administration principles were adapted by European management consulting agencies, Japanese art of cooking found it’s way into our restaurants and even Japanese styles of bedding are popular in Europe. Tomorrow maybe we’ll  have the chance to adopt Japanese resources management into our European concepts. Masafumi Maeda, Vice President of the University of Tokyo, Japanese Academy of Engineering is giving a keynote address at the World Resources Forum on Tuesday 20th of September. The general title “The Japanese View of Resource Management – a Perspective of Industry and Science” promises different insights into the way resources topics are discussed in Japan.