Monthly Archives

January 2022

Research Findings

The Unintended Persistence of Recycling in India

January 27, 2022

Self-driving cars and manufacturing automation are widely discussed as challenges for the contemporary workforce. Less visible, however, are labor questions at the other end of the commodity chain: is household garbage collected by hand or lifted by giant compactors? Does sorting for recycling take place on conveyer belts or in the back of informal workers’ carts? How are these decisions made?

These questions became especially urgent in countries across the Global South over the last few decades, when people increasingly concentrated in cities and became reliant on the packaged goods that are predestined to become trash.

While administrators feverishly cooked up policies under the guidance of international organizations, informal recyclers continued to plie streets, knocking on doors and mining dumpsites in search of waste they sell into recycling markets. Without the support of formal policies or programs, and often in spite of them, informal workers have sustained recycling globally.

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Research Findings

Hope in Organizations Tackling Grand Challenges

January 20, 2022

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic – and other large-scale issues facing humanity – organizations all over the globe have been working to tackle challenges that are key for human flourishing, and even survival. For example, non-profit organizations, medical institutions, think tanks, and corporate CSR efforts have aimed to tackle challenges such as climate change, social inequity, and finding the cure for disease or illnesses.

However, as organizations aim to address these important societal issues, they are likely to find that it’s hard to tackle grand challenges. Given the magnitude of the issues they seek to address, and the difficulty in doing so, organizations may never fully realize their goals. In such situations, progress is often slow, and failures and setbacks are almost inevitable.

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