Why we shouldn’t trust markets with our civic life

Michael Sandel

In the past three decades, says Michael Sandel, the US has drifted from a market economy to a market society; it’s fair to say that an American’s experience of shared civic life depends on how much money they have. (Three key examples: access to education, access to justice, political influence.) In a talk and audience discussion, Sandel asks us to think honestly on this question: In our current democracy, is too much for sale? Why we shouldn’t trust markets with our civic life?

Political philosopher
Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard, exploring some of the most hotly contested moral and political issues of our time
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‘Octobot’ Is the First Autonomous Soft Robot

Chris Wiltz

A team led by researchers at Harvard University has produced the first untethered, autonomous, “soft” robot. Dubbed “Octobot,” because of its octopus-inspired design, the robot was created using a combination of 3D printing, molding, and soft lithography and has no rigid parts like a circuit board or battery. The researchers, who published their work in the journal, Nature, this month, hope their proof of concept will lay the foundation for a new generation of soft robots with the flexibility and dexterity to move and operate in tight spaces.

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Pete Myers on the health benefits of a circular economy

Keeping materials cycling throughout the economy is good, right? Perhaps not, if you haven’t considered exactly what materials you’ve got re-entering the loop. Unfortunately, we don’t know all the substances contained in the products and built environment around us, or understand the health impacts that can occur as a result of the accumulation of certain chemicals. Creating pure material flows is a crucial value driver for the circular economy, offering economic and health benefits.

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Lettera22: il documentario su Adriano Olivetti

Lettera22 è il film documentario su Adriano Olivetti, un industriale, un politico, un urbanista, un’intellettuale che ha segnato con la sua opera la storia del nostro paese. Adriano Olivetti ha contribuito per un trentennio alla formazione della classe dirigente italiana. Il suo pensiero, i suoi scritti e le sue opere sono state e sono tuttora all’avanguardia in Italia e nel mondo.

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8 videos that explain the circular economy

8 videos that explain the circular economy

Image: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

You may not have heard of the circular model economy but it has been described as a ‘trillion dollar opportunity’ as well as a way of making life more sustainable.

This video series presents perspectives from leaders across business, academia, policy and civil society as they explore the concept of the circular model and how growth can indeed be ‘green’. This is one of the key issues being explored in ourBeyond GDP series, as we look at ways of moving away from a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ way of living.

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Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

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