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Creative approaches

Sustainable banking awards: who's winning what?

The Financial Times and IFC announced shortlists of potential winners for the 2008 Sustainable Banking Awards. The awards recognize financial institutions that have led the way in integating their policies with social, environmental, and corporate governance objectives. Below is a sample the categories and the shortlisted candidates, the full list is available here.

Sustainable Bank of the Year

Locally-grown food in the middle of New York City

New York Magazine asked four architects to design whatever they would like for a full city block of space with no clients to worry about. One design offered was a vertical farm, complete with water tanks and each floor would be used for the cultivation of a different crop.

Reducing carbon emissions but keeping a healthy economy

On a day that media reports were dominated by talks on carbon emissions, one particular McKinsey & Co. report came to mind. It talks about Germany's goal to cut its carbon emissions without compromising its economy. Germany has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 percent of its 1990 numbers during the next 12 years. "By 2020, Germany could eliminate 30 percent of its 1990 level of greenhouse gas emissions, without curbing economic growth," says the report.

Negroponte's competitor: One laptop per rich child

Classmate PC – Intel's low-cost educational laptop – which was initially designed for developing countries is now going to be distributed in Europe and in the United States.

Here's a cost comparison of the low-cost and educational laptops out there:

From growing cassava to funding a university

Beatrice Ayuru introduces herself as a teacher and businesswoman. She is from northern Uganda, a war-ravaged area with much poverty and few schools.

A few years ago, with no business training and no money, Beatrice decided that she would build her own school. "No girl should endure what I had to go through myself," says Beatrice. "Education is the best way to help reduce poverty in my region […] and giving girl children education empowers them. In my village, women are over-dependent on men."

Can the private sector teach development?

Professor William Duggan argues in his book, Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement, that disciplines such as psychology, military history, and business strategy may collectively teach strategies that could be used by development agencies in order to ensure success. He discusses this idea in depth on his blog.