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The Times Raconteur: Is greenwashing always a bad thing?

We often see businesses accused of greenwashing in the media. McDonald’s was questioned about its decision to get rid of plastic straws, while having a business model reliant on animal agriculture, a huge contributor to greenhouse gases. Elsewhere, H&M has been pushing its Conscious Collection, while remaining a fast-fashion business and therefore naturally unsustainable. But is this really greenwashing? And, if so, is it always … Continue reading The Times Raconteur: Is greenwashing always a bad thing?

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Wall Street Journal: In a Concentration Camp, Dreams of a Café

Jewish communities have suffered a spate of horrifying anti-Semitic attacks on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet survival has always been the story of the Jewish people. Remembering how previous generations responded to persecution shows how light can still be found amid darkness. Consider the life of Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005), an Austrian Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to tracking down Nazi war criminals. Before … Continue reading Wall Street Journal: In a Concentration Camp, Dreams of a Café

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The Sunday Times Raconteur: Can you change your unconscious biases?

Unconscious bias training has become the go-to diversity training for large companies. Almost 20 per cent of US companies offer the training, according to one estimate, and they spend $8 billion on such initiatives. However, despite the hype around unconscious bias training, an increasing amount of evidence shows that it doesn’t actually change behaviour. In the worst case, it can even backfire. In unconscious bias … Continue reading The Sunday Times Raconteur: Can you change your unconscious biases?

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Standpoint Magazine: Ironies of Ideology

On a recent visit to the Royal Academy, I noticed a tall, elegantly dressed man who spent quite some time admiring a square object attached to the wall. I wondered whether to tell him that far from being Russian avant-garde art, which was the theme of the exhibition, it was in fact the temperature and humidity control box. Many visitors to Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 … Continue reading Standpoint Magazine: Ironies of Ideology

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Standpoint Magazine: Viennese rooms with a point of view

“Austria comes alive on my divan,” said Berta Zuckerkandl, and this was an understatement. An influential journalist and art critic, Zuckerkandl welcomed everybody from Auguste Rodin and Gustav Klimt to Arthur Schnitzler at her home. There, she promoted their work, found them buyers and introduced them to the luminaries of the day. “Hail to the most marvellous and witty woman in Vienna,” Johann Strauss is … Continue reading Standpoint Magazine: Viennese rooms with a point of view

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Standpoint Magazine: City where history is still being made

Long before either Ukraine or Russia existed, there was Kiev. For centuries, the city’s residents have been sauntering along the Dnieper River, strolling through the green hills on which the city is built and exchanging news on Krechatyk Street. The city’s architecture attests to its longevity. There’s the Byzantine Saint Sophia Cathedral, which was built in the 11th century, and has scribbles from medieval visitors … Continue reading Standpoint Magazine: City where history is still being made

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The Times’ Raconteur: What are dark patterns and how are they tricking me?

Security researcher Ophir Harpaz was browsing a travel website to book a flight when she noticed a little prompt many of us are familiar with. It said: “38 people are looking at this flight.” At first glance, this may seem to be a helpful reminder warning that the flight might sell out. Except it wasn’t so. In a tweet that has since gone viral, Harpaz … Continue reading The Times’ Raconteur: What are dark patterns and how are they tricking me?

First Things Magazine: Taking Art Off the Street – Museums are giving street art a home, but at what cost?

“Street art—you mean vandalism? No, thank you.” That was the response of a friend when I invited him to join me at the Museum of the City of New York for their recent exhibit, “City as Canvas.” His scruple was understandable but a little out-of-date. Graffiti was once something so furtive and illicit that the city of New York spent over three hundred million dollars … Continue reading First Things Magazine: Taking Art Off the Street – Museums are giving street art a home, but at what cost?

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The Times’ Raconteur: Exploring the dark side of frictionless shopping

When it comes to shopping, convenience is the name of the game. Increasingly, one-click buying, contactless payments and same-day deliveries create a frictionless shopping experience. But is friction necessarily a bad thing? After all, removing friction creates a cognitive and emotional distance from our purchase. In other words, it makes handing over money feel less real. At the same time, we increasingly shop online through … Continue reading The Times’ Raconteur: Exploring the dark side of frictionless shopping

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Financial Times: How to create a golden age

What makes a genius? Since at least the 19th century, some have said it is down to genetics, while others have argued that upbringing is decisive. More recently, the idea that genius rests on sheer hard work — the “10,000 hours” thesis popularised by the writer Malcolm Gladwell — has gained currency. The latest contribution to the debate comes from the journalist and travel writer … Continue reading Financial Times: How to create a golden age