PRESS REVIEW — 13 MARCH 2019

[WHAT IS THIS PRESS REVIEW ABOUT?]

1. MonacoTech Mentors Familiarization Event

2. The Value of Conscious Capitalism

3. Turning Plastic Waste Into Long-Lasting Chairs


1- MONACO IMPACT / MONACOTECH EVENT

The Monaco Impact / MonacoTech Partnership is moving forward as on March 25, our Members who wish to mentor young startups will assist to our Mentors Familiarization event, organized by MonacoTech to kick off this mentoring programme.


2- OUR MEMBERS TALKED TO US ABOUT ARTICLES…

“On the Shoulders of Giants”

Full article: Conscious Capitalism

Remembering Jack Bogle and Herb Kelleher

How do you carry on the legacy of a great individual? A start is by remembering what they taught. Another is to put those teachings into practice.

Earlier this year, the world lost two great individuals: John “Jack” Bogle and Herb Kelleher. Jack was the founder and longtime CEO of the Vanguard Group, bringing to market the very first index fund available to individual investors in 1976, the Vanguard 500, and grew The Vanguard Group into one of the world’s largest investment management companies.

Herb Kelleher was the founder and longtime CEO of Southwest Airlines, who is recognized for revolutionizing low-cost air travel in the U.S.

Each one engaged Conscious Capitalism in his own way. Herb endorsed the book Conscious Capitalism with this: “Conscious Capitalism is a welcome explication and endorsement of the virtues of free-enterprise capitalism—properly comprehended, there is no more beneficial economic system—and a simultaneously pragmatic and inspirational extolment of higher purpose and humanism in business. I hail and revere the tenets of Conscious Capitalism!”

The way they did this was thinking beyond the common understandings of how business “should” be done. Herb may have put it best when he said, “The business of business is people.” Or, as Jack said at the Conscious Capitalism Annual Conference: “The purpose of business is providing a public good that goes beyond oneself.”

That means taking care of employees. In his talk at the Conscious Capitalism Annual Conference, Jack explained the value of passing along savings to customers by having employees as shareholders. It may not make the founder, like Jack, as wealthy as others who structure the company differently, but as he put it: “What the hell is the matter with taking care of the people who built the business with you?” When it came to his employees, Herb’s philosophy was simple: “I just treated them like human beings.”

That means providing opportunities to customers that were previously not available. Both are known as democratizers. Jack is known for democratizing stocks and bonds, making them more accessible for more people. Kelleher is known for democratizing the skies, making air travel more accessible for more people. 

Photo courtesy of Goodwell Investments

Jack and Herb made big business out of making industries more accessible to more people, both for those they served and those who served alongside them. They practiced and preached the power of business to make people’s lives better.   

They were giants not only in their industries, but also in capitalism, more broadly. Let us remember what they taught. Let us keep them alive by standing on their shoulders.


2- ABOUT ARTICLES…

“This chair made from ocean waste hints at the furniture of the future”

The chair is a stunner. It’s a deep emerald green, with luxurious swirls of marble. Despite its modernist lines and plastic body, it looks opulent.

Would you ever expect that it was made from recycled ocean nets?

This is the S-1500 chair, developed by the architecture and design firm Snøhetta for the furniture producer Nordic Comfort Products.

Its development can be traced back two full years ago–well before the world freaked out about plastic straws–as Snøhetta opened a small lab in Norway to experiment with recycled plastic as a building material.

The lab wasn’t much more than a plastic grinder and injection molding machine, but Snøhetta architect Stian Ekkernes Rossi wanted to reconsider discarded plastic as something more precious rather than disposable–to understand its strengths and weaknesses.

NCP got wind of the work after reading one of Rossi’s articles on his research, and hired Snøhetta to redesign one of its most successful chairs. The R-48 and its line of chairs for schools and offices, originally designed in the 1960s, had sold over 5 million units in Norway alone. But it required virgin plastic.

“They wanted to know, ‘How can we not just talk about the circular economy, but really do it?” says Rossi. Working with labs across the country, the two partners learned a lot about the vastly different compounds that constitute plastic. But they also discovered that, only a little outside the factory where R-48 chairs were produced, the local farmed salmon industry would frequently wear out plastic components like its fishing nets, and it would actually need to pay a service to collect and dispose of them.

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Rather than import plastic from China, which is what the company did previously, NCP found it could harvest viable used plastic from businesses inside just a 12-mile radius.

“One of our goals was to do a project to inspire and show the industry that you can actually make businesses out of what they today consider as trash,” says Rossi. “Through design and architecture, plastic becomes a resource.”

The nets are not only ground down plastic pellets to create new chairs inside injection molding machines; they have green, yellow, and dark blue hues that combine beautifully. “We use no dye whatsoever,” says Rossi. “I refuse to add any color. We should use whatever we get from the fishing net.”

Snøhetta isn’t the only company looking at repurposing ocean plastics into sought-after products. Furniture companies like Yardbird and Vepa both offer select items made out of ocean plastic. Ikea announced plans in 2018 to build ocean plastic into its resource pipeline. And Adidas has been an early pioneer in this space, turning ocean waste into performance footwear with its Parley line of tennis gear.

But dealing with our global pile of plastic is a larger problem than any one sector or company can handle on its own. “When you use plastic for certain things that are meant to last, it’s a wonderful material,” says Rossi. “When you misuse it in products with a short life-span, it’s a misunderstanding of the material’s capability.


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