Late last month, The New York Times published a piece about businesses finally opening their eyes to the realities of climate change. Don't get too excited, though. It makes sense that Coca-Cola and Nike, the companies featured in the article, would be taking proactive positions: Their value chains are heavily affected by commodity costs and the global economy. But most companies aren't making much headway. The vast majority of respondents in a new Sloan and BCG survey say climate change isn't a significant issue (11%) even though 67% agree that it is real (which is still a pretty sad number in 2014). And of the 27% who acknowledge that climate change is a risk to their businesses, only 9% say their companies are prepared for the risk. How to bump that percentage up? Sloan points to peer pressure and louder calls to action coming from important voices. In the end, "the more quickly industry does awaken to the threats of climate change, the better chance companies will have to prepare." C'mon, companies.
Wendy Davis has been a lot of things — a trailer-dwelling single parent, a Harvard law student, a Forth Worth city councilwoman, a Texas state senator, and a darling of progressives for conducting an 11-hour filibuster (while wearing pink running shoes) against abortion limits. Now, in her drive to become governor of Texas, she’s presenting herself as a modern-day Supermom. Which raises a question: Does every high-profile female politician still have to cover her flank by touting her credentials as an exemplary mother? As writer Robert Draper puts it, “no one ever stopped Clinton, Bush, or Obama in his biographical tracks to say: ‘Wait. If you were out there conquering the world, then you could not have been here, with your family.’” But that’s the kind of objection female politicians run into every day.
It was just nine months ago that Hanoi resident Dong Nguyen uploaded a new game to the iOS App Store — a simple little thing with the awkward name of Flappy Bird. It became insanely popular, and soon he was earning $50,000 a day from advertising. But, as Ryan Rigney writes in Wired, its very popularity helped bring it down, in a bizarre story of obsession, conspiracy theories, raging tweets, and death threats. Finding the game to be highly frustrating, players took to social media to express their eternal hatred for it and its creator, who was plunged into doubt about the value of what he had made. "I am not sure it is good or not," he tweeted pathetically. This past weekend, he took Flappy Bird off the market. He wants people to leave him alone and stop playing his game. Only in the internet age is success strangely indistinguishable from failure. —Andy O'Connell
Even as the cost of a four-year college degree continues to soar, so does the cost of not having one, a new study from the Pew Research Center suggests. Pew’s nationally representative survey of 2,000 Millennials between the ages of 25 and 32 shows graduates with a BA or higher degree earning an eye-popping 50% more than their counterparts with some college or a two-year degree (the median income of the latter group is only 7% higher than that of holders of just a high school diploma, sad to say). Almost half (46%) of employed Millennial college grads, versus just 31% of those who haven’t gone to college, say their education has been “very useful” in preparing them for their current work and for their future careers. Seven out of 10 of those under-33-year-olds surveyed who’d earned a BA or higher degree report having no college debt. And among the two-thirds who’d borrowed to pay for all that schooling, more than eight in 10 (86%) say their degrees have been worth it, or expect that they will be in the future. —Andrea Ovans
In America (and elsewhere, really), long-term unemployment is a major problem. There's plenty of debate about how to improve the situation, and it all too often comes down to this question: Do extended unemployment benefits mainly help people stay afloat during a tough time or do they dissuade people from applying for jobs? Although U.S. unemployment benefits come with a requirement to keep searching, the effect of that requirement is uneven. First there's an initial application rush; but for people who can’t find jobs right away, searches lag. Is that because unemployment checks make them too comfortable to go out and search? Hardly — it's because looking for a job is extremely unpleasant and, more often than not, isolating.
HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case Ebook + Tools
HBR Paperback Series
This enhanced eBook version of the HBR Guide to Building Your Business Caseincludes downloadable tools and templates to help you get started on your own case right away. You've got a great idea that will increase profitability or productivity—but how do you get approval for the budget and resources to make it happen? By building a business case that clearly shows your idea's value. Available exclusively through HBR.org.Buy It Now