Becky Ham’s picture

By: Becky Ham

In February 2020, MIT professor David Simchi-Levi predicted the future. In an article in Harvard Business Review, he and his colleague Pierre Haren warned that the new coronavirus outbreak would throttle supply chains and shutter tens of thousands of businesses across North America and Europe by mid-March.

For Simchi-Levi, who had developed new models of supply chain resiliency and advised major companies on how to best shield themselves from supply chain woes, the signs of disruption were plain to see. Two years later, the professor of engineering systems at the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and director of the MIT Data Science Lab, has found a “flood of interest” from companies anxious to apply his Risk Exposure Index (REI) research to identify and respond to hidden risks in their own supply chains.

George Siedel’s picture

By: George Siedel

There is no shortage of books critical of business schools. The titles leave little doubt about how much disdain the authors have for the schools meant to prepare future leaders in business. Consider books like Shut Down the Business School: What’s Wrong with Management Education (Pluto Press, 2018), or Nothing Succeeds Like Failure: The Sad History of American Business Schools (Cornell University Press, 2019).

For criticisms of a specific school, there is The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite (Harvard Business, 2017 reprint).

These books lament the failure of business schools to develop ethical business leaders and to address societal concerns.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

One question led the founders of Nemo’s Garden, a subsea farming platform, to embark on its mission to take agriculture beneath the waves and bring better harvests to market: “Seventy percent of the planet is covered by water. Why don't we try to use part of the ocean to make more food, in a better way?”

The team has already successfully grown a variety of plants in this alien environment, and with help from Siemens, they’re looking to digitize the process so they can scale the project, validate the benefits their crops bring to the table, and expand their operations.

Project overview

The goal of Nemo’s Garden is to create an alternative agriculture system for areas where environmental, economic, or morphological reasons prevent traditional plant growth. The company has developed a prototype biosphere in which plants can be grown underwater. The biosphere can leverage the readily available, positive environmental factors in oceans or other bodies of water, such as temperature stability, water evaporation, CO2 absorption, abundance of oxygen, and natural protection from pests.

Otto de Graaf’s picture

By: Otto de Graaf

Despite the urgency of the climate crisis, and smart tech that enables the transition toward the factory of the future, for many manufacturers sustainability still feels like an afterthought rather than a priority. Certainly, sustainability may require big changes in strategy, processes, technology, and culture. Yet choosing to create a green manufacturing organization is not only the right thing to do; it is also, for now, a potential differentiator. This article outlines a pragmatic model to help you improve your sustainability by using quality data.

Sustainability: A real business need

With energy prices going through the roof, and scarcity of materials rampant, being sustainable is no longer just a greenwashing effort but a real business need. In its 2021 Climate Check report, research firm Deloitte identified the 11 biggest environmental sustainability and climate change issues already affecting or threatening organizations. Nearly 30 percent of businesses reported operational impact, 26 percent felt the effects of scarce resources, and 11 percent saw the need to modify industrial processes.

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By: Ann Brady

Safer food, better health: This was the theme of World Food Safety Day (June 7, 2022), and it’s obvious, is it not, that access to safe food is vital for life and health? The challenge in today’s world is how to achieve this. Global food systems, already under pressure before the pandemic, are now subject to supply chain bottlenecks, the impacts of accelerating climate change, and fluctuating geopolitical tensions.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the theme “safer food, better health” highlights the importance of safe, nutritional food in ensuring human health and well-being. We all have a part to play in achieving this. Whether we grow, process, transport, store, sell, buy, prepare, or serve food, food safety is in all our hands.

The need to tackle the challenge is pressing. The WHO says unsafe food causes 600 million cases of foodborne diseases worldwide and 420,000 deaths. Some 30 percent of foodborne deaths occur among children under five. These figures are likely to be an underestimation.

Jorge Gonzalez Henrichsen’s picture

By: Jorge Gonzalez Henrichsen

In April 2022, China's manufacturing output fell to its lowest level in two years, according to official data. The figures were the latest sign of economic pain as Beijing maintains its uncompromising zero-Covid response.

Dozens of cities, including Shenzhen and Shanghai, have been partially or fully sealed off in recent months. The restrictions have disrupted global supply chains while goods pile up at the world's busiest container ports.’s picture


Unlike a biological or identical twin, a digital twin does not have a universally accepted definition. In application, a digital twin will mean different things to different industries. On an assembly line, a digital twin of a robot may look identical to the physical robot, especially if it is photo-realistically rendered. The digital twin can mimic the physical robot’s movement, for example. The digital twin may not pass a close inspection for similarity, however. It cannot have the internal minutiae and complexity nature routinely provides. A robot’s digital twin may lack fastener threads, weld details, etc. found on the physical robot.

But unlike nature’s twins, digital twins need not replicate every bit, part, and function of their physical counterparts to be effective. If the digital twin can determine the reach of the assembly line robot and prevent interference with the production line or other robots, then the digital twin can consider itself complete enough for that particular mission.

Del Williams’s picture

By: Del Williams

The use of membrane technology as a processing and separation method in the food industry is gaining wide application for demineralization, desalination, stabilization, separation, deacidification, purification, and reducing microbial load.

Perhaps the most obvious application for membrane filtration is reducing dissolved or suspended solids from process water or liquid ingredients. However, membrane filtration can be used to remove microorganisms to prolong shelf life and provide a healthier option than utilizing additives and preservatives.

Membrane separation can also be combined with cold pasteurization and sterilization techniques to create products and ingredients with favorable characteristics. Since membrane separation eliminates the need for heat temperature treatment of products, it can preserve the natural taste of food products and the nutritional value of heat-sensitive components. Also, less energy is required.

Membrane processing plays a key role in wastewater treatment, as well. Wastewater derived from food production varies depending on the type of food (animal processors/rendering plants, fruit/vegetable washers, or edible oil refiners). By implementing membranes, the separated substances and clean water are recoverable.

Multiple Authors
By: Ruth Castel-Branco, Hannah Dawson

Narrative frames are fundamental to unifying ideologies. They frame what is possible and impossible, which ideas can be accepted, and which must be rejected. In her book, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics (Zed Books, 2018), storyteller and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola examines the framing of the Fourth Industrial Revolution narrative in this light.

She argues that it is being used by global elites to deflect from the drivers of inequality and enable ongoing processes of expropriation, exploitation, and exclusion. During a recent policy dialogue on the Future of Work(ers), she commented: “The real seduction of this idea is that it’s apolitical. We can talk about development and progress without having to grapple with power.”

Angie Basiouny’s picture

By: Angie Basiouny

Walter Orthmann has worked for the same textile manufacturer in Brazil for more than 84 years, setting the Guinness World Record last month for longest career at a single company.

It’s a remarkable stretch, considering American workers now spend a median of 4.1 years with their employers, according to federal data collected just before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted a spectrum of industries and spurred the so-called Great Resignation.

The record high quit rate—more than 40 million last year—has led to the tightest U.S. labor market in decades, with employees using that leverage to call the shots and find better jobs. They’re renegotiating everything, from their salaries and shifts to remote or hybrid work, and forcing employers to be more flexible.

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