Walk on the longest suspension bridge in the world near Randa in Switzerland

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Testing environmentally friendly products and services

Visiting the Umweltarena in Spreitenbach just outside Zürich, I learned a lot testing various products and services. Top experiences: Testing a segway and a Renault Zoe. The home made cream soup in the climate restaurant tasted very well. The saying on the last slide “Zwischen Reden und Tun liegt das Meer” means “Between talking and doing is the sea.”

The Morteratsch glacier in Switzerland is melting

Like most alpine glaciers, the Morteratsch glacier in the Eastern part of Switzerland is melting.

 

The transformation of energy

During this well moderated and informative 1-hour event on the transformation of energy, I learned, for example, this:

  • From minute 3: The downward trend in the price of oil will continue. Investments in oil are declining.
  • From minute 10: The price of solar energy has reduced dramatically. Technology innovations have helped solar panels to generate energy much more efficiently. Price reductions in solar energy will increase. In China, investments in renewable energies – including solar energy – will increase considerably.
  • From minute 20: Renewable energies are developing into a main fuel. In particular, wind energy and solar energy are in focus. The driving forces are emerging economies with China, India, and Brazil as strong growth engines.
  • From minute 31: The price of batteries is decreasing – leading to increasing usage. In particular, the use of batteries in transportation will increase and drive further innovation. Electric vehicles are key in driving growth in the use of batteries.
  • Minute 59: The increase in demand for energy will increase considerably.

As you watch / listen to the event, please note the moderator’s strong moderation skills / facilitation skills, for example in

  • asking short, concrete questions – including follow up questions – to each of the panelists.
  • involving other participants in the room by inviting them to ask short, concrete questions. In this regard, notice how the moderator follows up on the question of a participant at minute 48 and asks the person to better explain what he means and be more explicit – thereby helping the person asking the question to add more detailed information.

Additional research on innovation in renewable energy.

Idea by Christopher Pissarides about child care services

Listening to this very interesting World Economic Forum briefing by Christopher Pissarides, I learned this:

  • At 8:45, Christopher Pissarides mentioned that in Sweden, child care is subsidized – encouraging people, who have children, to buy child care services in the market. This initiative helps child care services develop, raises incomes for people, and reduces inequality. He also mentioned that, currently, this does not work in, for example, Italy, where the government – at the moment – does not take much interest in services like child care. This is one reason why we are seeing high gender inequality – including low rates of work participation by women – in Italy.
  • At 19:35, Christopher Pissarides said that in Sweden, at least twice as many jobs are being created in child care services and other health care services as in Italy.

 

Reflections by Hikmet Ersek

At 11:55 and at 42:55 in this World Economic Forum session entitled Escaping from poverty, Hikmet Ersek reflects on his experiences working in the USA and in Vienna, Austria. He explained, for example, that

  • in the USA, people were asking him: What do you do / what can you do? He also said that in the USA, it was not important for people what his name was.
  • in Vienna, Austria, people were asking him: Where are you from? He also explained that in Vienna, his name changed everything.