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Alexa? do you make children bratty?

There's an article on the zine today about the effect new digital assistants such as Alexa (other assistant digital assistants are available, unless Amazon would like to provide me with a free one, then Alexa is the only one and also the best one) have on our children. The topic of conversation being, do these digital assistants produce bratty kids. I mean you can certainly see the basis for that argument, little 5 year old Jimmy can demand just about anything from Alexa, and I can't imagine she'll ever directly say no. Now this certainly sounds dangerous, a child who never hears the word no, and I can speak from experience as a cricket coach, that bratty kids, aren't particularly pleasant.

I want it NOW!

Topic of conversation today? Vending machines. Here in the U.K. our vending machines are pretty 'standard', soft drinks, chocolate, maybe some crisps, but not much more beyond that. Compare that to the Chinese company Alibaba who this week announced their plan to build a car vending machine and in doing such, bizarrely enough in my eyes, would become the SECOND company to do so. In Singapore, there is already a vending machine that dispenses cars within 2 minutes of the customer making a selection on a touch screen (and paying I would assume). Alibaba's reasoning behind the vending machine was that they wanted to make buying a car as easy as buying a can of coke. It got me thinking, what oth

Beyond Icebreakers

Guest blogger this week is Beatrice Briggs with her views on Participatory processes: Beyond Ice-Breakers: What Do We Mean By “Participatory Processes”? For years I have described myself as a specialist in participatory processes, naively assuming that people will understand what the work entails and why it is important. Now that “participatory” has become a global buzz word, however, I feel the need to be more specific about what this multi-faceted concept means to me and the groups I serve. Participatory processes are: Participatory processes: Participatory processes are essential when: To be successful, participatory processes need: Participatory processes can be used to: I agree wi

Business Model Innovation

Our guest blogger this week is Tsuyoshi Amano. He has been working on the exploration of business models for innovation. I invited him to share some insights on the topic: Innovation is always difficult, mainly for two reasons: uncertainty and complexity. They are similar but slightly different. Uncertainty can be rephrased as unpredictability. You cannot predict what is innovation because it does not exist yet. Harvard Business School Professor, Clayton Christensen formulates five principles of disruptive innovation, one of which is "markets that don't exist can't be analyzed". Complexity can be also described as interdependence of different parts. A part of your business influences another

Mind the GAP

I am just back from gap year. I get asked: Should you take a gap year? Yes. Whether you're 18 or 48 (other ages do apply), take the opportunity! Gap years seem to be rising in their popularity however I feel like there's a sort of stereotype placed upon them; bearded, dreadlocked teenagers prancing about the globe on a journey to 'find themselves' and I think this stereotype needs to be put to bed. A gap year can be whatever you want it to be, it's a chance to fulfil that dream you've had since you were a kid. I've just come back from 7 months of playing cricket in Australia and I can safely say, they were the most eventful, exciting, entertaining months of my life. I went out a couple

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