Weekend Digest: September 14th, 2018
Fri Sep 14

Weekend Digest: September 14th, 2018

F.B. International’s Weekend Digest is an easy-to-read breakdown of what we’re reading and highlighting from the past week.

More from this week’s theme: Accessible Tech

Image from The New York Times

  • “How Google has stepped up its efforts to make its own tech more accessible to the disabled” https://cnb.cx/2L9UYMP
  • “How Inclusive Design Can Lead to Better Innovations for Everybody” https://bit.ly/2x0NI0I
  • 8 Innovative Assistive Inventions in the deaf & hard-of-hearing community: https://bit.ly/2J3gcLj
  • Here is a blog post we published a few months ago highlighting Neosistec, an accessible tech company FB International worked with during their trade mission to Chicago: https://bit.ly/2D5DL38

What our team is reading this week:

Each week, the team at F.B. chooses an article to share. These are not necessarily related to international business, but are some “good-reads” we think you may enjoy.

Fabrice Bonvoisin, President

This week, Jeff Bezos announced the creation of his own philanthropic fund called the “Bezos Day One Fund.” It made me think of the 19th century’s charitable organizations created by the powerful to provide for the poorest during the early days of the industrial revolution. In France we called the “patronage.” Being in the U.S. and no longer in France, this piqued my curiosity and I asked myself: how big is philanthropy in this country? I found an answer in the 2017 report from Giving USA: https://bit.ly/2spZqlL.

The amounts illustrated in this article are mind-blowing. When it comes to social initiatives, I always compare the amount to a yearly salary to evaluate the genuine benefit of a donation. For example, the $390 billion would be enough to pay 7.8 million people for a full year, at a $50,000 salary, or twice the pay at Chicago’s minimum wage! How many homeless people do we have in this country?

Anyhow, I’ve heard many times that donations and not-for-profit initiatives usually exist due to the lack of effectiveness of a government. After reading this article, I wonder if this statement is true or if is not the result of the simple principle that: if you make more money, your responsibility is to give pack some of it to support the causes of your choice? If the latter is correct, then comes the question: on what basis are these choices made, religion, personal belief, or politics?

Image from Yahoo News | AFP Photo

  Article: https://www.yahoo.com/news/amazons-jeff-bezos-unveils-2-bn-philanthropic-fund-165239487.html

Ruby Blau, Marketing Associate

Five years ago, a Dutch 18-year-old had an idea to clean up the floating trash heaps in the ocean. This week, that idea has become reality–in a beta-test, at least. Called “The Ocean Cleanup,” a 600-meter “floater” that can collect about five tons of ocean plastic per month just set out into the Pacific Ocean from California. The target? The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, of course–a mere 1,000 nautical miles from the launch point. The goal is to clean up 50% of the patch within 5 years, with 90% reduction by 2040.

As they monitor the data from this beta unit, they hope to launch an “improved fleet” of 60 more units skimming the ocean for plastics in less than two years. These unit will be available for companies and organizations to fund & sponsor, they will then be branded and trackable via an app.

Is this innovative approach enough to quell the issue of plastic pollution in the oceans before they break down and travel up to food chain? This article examines the science of this project and gives some insight to what some effects could be.

Image from Forbes, courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup

    Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkart/2018/08/28/the-ocean-cleanup-is-starting-aims-to-cut-garbage-patch-by-90-by-2040/#109eee3f253e 

Balint Homonnai Varga, Assistant Project Coordinator

Since I moved to Chicago I have been on the lookout for great restaurants and unique antique stores with old books, special furniture, and vintage watches. There is something about the feeling of vintage that embraces the person. I personally enjoy craftsmanship, and appreciate the histories of old objects. Great restaurants with history have a similar feeling. Well decorated dishes, delicious bites, and a great wine list make me appreciate the present. Physical spaces that are designed with adroit craft make me appreciate a restaurant from the get-go.

So this week, I wanted to write about a restaurant I would like to visit soon, the Cherry Circle Room in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (Chicago). The space has a great atmosphere with wooden and brass interior, and serves dishes that are reminiscent of the early 20th Century. Until I don’t try it I will not know but it surely seems like a restaurant that is the fusion of vintage and great food.

Image from the Cherry Circle Room

                  Link to restaurant website: http://www.lsdatcaa.com/cherry-circle-room#openModal

Events you may be interested in next week:

  • September 18th: Exploring European E-Commerce: VAT Fulfillment for E-Commerce. Last of three webinars (Sept. 11 & 13), sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service, will cover: What is VAT and how is it paid; Differences in VAT fulfillment between standard exports and ecommerce; Properly invoicing customers on B2C shipments. Speakers: Britta Erikkson, CEO, Euro VAT Refund, and Jonathan Matthews, Business Development & Commercial Manager, VAT Global. 10:00 a.m. CDT. Fee: $75 for three webinars. For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2x7jz0N
  • September 20th: Technology: Global Trends in IoT Applications. Webinar sponsored by Global Chamber. Speakers include: Christian Oviedo, Engineering Manager, Vates (Buenos Aires); William C.B. Harding, Distinguished Technical Fellow, Digital Health, Medtronic; Bruno Herrmann, Columnist, EContent Magazine & Brand Quarterly (Brussels); Carla Leslie, Business Development Manager, Cargo Partner. 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CDT. GC Members – No charge; Non-members – $30. For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2Ojqafi
  • September 20th: Becoming a Supplier And/Or Partner to AIRBUS. Symposium sponsored by Congressman Adam Kinzinger, U.S. House of Representatives, 16th Congressional District of Illinois and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. This event is an opportunity for regional businesses to attend a targeted invitation for suppliers and partners who fit into the supply chain needs of Airbus. Following a presentation by Airbus, there will be a networking event. 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Giovanni’s, 610 North Bell School Road, Rockford, IL. No charge; registration preferred. For information & registration, please e-mail: CFray@RockfordIL.com.

Next week’s: Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming blog with an interview from Mark Harris, president of ISTC, about how their STEM Challenge is creating a more inclusive and diverse talent pipeline.

Downers Grove North/ISU, Image Courtesy of ISTI

                  Make sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see these posts.

Author: Ruby Blau

Ruby is the Marketing Associate for FB International LLC. Ruby focuses on supporting the marketing, social media, and business development efforts of FB International’s clients.

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