Top 3 Disaster Relief Innovations

This was a sad weekend, with news about a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal that has killed over 4,000 and injured many more so far. Natural disasters like this earthquake, the one in Japan in 2011, in Haiti in 2010 or the tsunami in 2004 are some examples of the great damage that natural events can cause, especially in developing countries. The disadvantaged are always those who suffer most from these phenomena, since they tend to live in poorly built houses that cannot stand strong shaking. Nepal, with poorly constructed buildings combined with Katmandu’s local geology and tectonics, had been … Continue reading Top 3 Disaster Relief Innovations

3 Things to be Excited about on Earth Day

Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day. Since 1970, on Earth Day events are held around the world to show support for environmental protection. Instead of focusing on the threats of climate change on international development or politics, let’s celebrate some efforts that are taking place around the world to mitigate global warming. Low carbon farming for sustainable agriculture Did you know that rice farming releases greenhouse gases more potent than carbon? Research shows that the cultivation of rice, a leading crop that feeds as a main food source around 2.5 billion people, becomes less climate friendly as the world’s atmosphere … Continue reading 3 Things to be Excited about on Earth Day

Innovative Education for Refugees

The horrendous conflict in Syria, with an estimated 6.5 million displaced and 3 million refugees, has brought up the challenges of education in emergencies one more time. Worldwide there are around 51.2 million people displaced and 16.7 million refugees, of which approximately half are under 18. As education in emergencies expert and Columbia professor Mary Mendenhall explained this month in a talk at Columbia University, the fact that 80% of these camps are hosted in developing countries is the root of many of the shortcomings refugees face. On top of that, Professor Mendenhall emphasized the lack of funding for education … Continue reading Innovative Education for Refugees

Opportunity in Post-embargo Cuba

Cuba, the largest country by land area in the Caribbean, has been all over the news this week following interest in investment by US companies, namely Google or Airbnb. The home rental company just launched 1,000 brand new listings–only available to Americans for now—in anticipation of an upcoming boom in tourism. Netflix launched a streaming service recently, and JetBlue added a charter flight to Cuba from Tampa, even though travel to the Caribbean island is still limited. What’s all the fuss about? Last December the United States announced restrictions would be lifted in the island after over 50 years of … Continue reading Opportunity in Post-embargo Cuba

Breakthroughs in Solar Energy

  Will solar be the cheapest form of electricity in the next 10 years?  Is there no end to the cost decline of photovoltaics? This is a question several of our clients are asking — so we threw it out to our panel of on-the-ground solar experts across developing markets. Their answer: we certainly hope so! More than a ray of hope Indeed, solar seems to be rounding the corner, especially in the case of utility-scale projects. There is significant buzz right now, especially around conventional silicon-based solar technologies and ground-mounted systems. Shedding light on true costs How cheap is solar? … Continue reading Breakthroughs in Solar Energy