Sustainability Article

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

We tied up last year in a neat little bow, talking about how stories define ourselves and our work; waste is waste, no matter your political leanings; and putting numbers from the news in context.

“The Gift of Being Small”

This article by Quality Digest’s Taran March wonderfully illustrates how we, and everything we do, is influenced by our “story”—our history up to the current moment.

Matt Krupnick’s picture

By: Matt Krupnick

When graduate student Atis Degro got an email about a George Mason University course in resilience last year, he had to look up what that meant.

He was also curious about the credential being offered for successfully completing the course: not a conventional degree or a certificate, but a “badge.”

“I thought, OK, this sounds useful,” says Degro, a 32-year-old doctoral student from Latvia studying applied physics. “I’m always eager to try new things.”

Steven Barrett’s picture

By: Steven Barrett

Since their invention more than 100 years ago, airplanes have been moved through the air by the spinning surfaces of propellers or turbines. But watching science fiction movies like the Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Back to the Future series, I imagined that the propulsion systems of the future would be silent and still—maybe with some kind of blue glow and “whoosh” noise, but no moving parts, and no stream of pollution pouring out the back.

Aytekin Tank’s picture

By: Aytekin Tank

A giant engine in a factory fails. Concerned, the factory owners call in technicians, who arrive with bulging toolkits. None of them can work out what the problem is. The issue persists.

One day, an old man shows up who’s been fixing engines his whole life. After inspecting it for a minute, he pulls out a hammer and gives the engine a gentle tap. In seconds, it roars back to life.

A week later, the owners receive an invoice for his work: $10,000. Flabbergasted, they write back asking for an itemized bill.

Ariana Tantillo’s picture

By: Ariana Tantillo

The ability to program computers is crucial to almost all modern scientific experiments, which often involve extremely complex calculations and massive amounts of data. However, scientists typically have not been formally trained in science-specific programming to develop customized computational modeling and data analysis tools for advancing their research. Computer science is not always part of the coursework for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) college students.

John Bell’s picture

By: John Bell

To most of us, the phrase “work that matters” infers job satisfaction. The outcome is lower stress, lower turnover, and higher productivity—in business, a win-win for employees, customers, and shareholders. The logic is infallible. So, I ask you, why is there such a gap between the theory and the practice? Why are so many organizations and so many workers struggling to find workplace nirvana?

Scott Berkun’s picture

By: Scott Berkun

To ask a good question requires two things: insight and gumption. The root of all worthy questions is a desire to fill in a gap in your understanding of something. The insight in good questions comes from seeing that gap, exploring its edges, and forming a question that can serve as an invitation to others to fill. But a question can’t ask itself. You need gumption, or the courage to ask the question of someone. Many people have good questions but never find the courage to speak up and share them.

M. Mitchell Waldrop’s picture

By: M. Mitchell Waldrop

Back in the 1990s, when U.S. banks started installing automated teller machines in a big way, the human tellers who worked in those banks seemed to be facing rapid obsolescence. If machines could hand out cash and accept deposits on their own, around the clock, who needed people?

Mike Richman’s picture

By: Mike Richman

One of the highlights on our calendar each year is the first Friday in October, which is Manufacturing Day here in the United States. This event offers us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the centrality of manufacturing as a driver of the economy, innovation, automation, education, and lots more.

By: Jeanita Pritchett

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career outreach programs play a pivotal role in shaping the capabilities and makeup of the future workforce. Generally speaking, “STEM outreach” involves organizing events, both in and out of school, where we can encourage and inspire young people to consider pursuing careers in STEM by improving awareness and building STEM literacy.

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