Innovation and the Luxury Fever

I recently read Robert Frank’s book Luxury Fever – Why Money Fails to Satisfy in an Era of Excess (1999) after a particularly enlightening course on consumption theory. This was one of those courses that made me rethink some previously held philosophies about consumption, capitalism and even innovation. Among other topics, the professor talked briefly […]

Maia Von Lekow

Where was I when contemporary songstress Maia Von Lekow burst into the Kenyan scene? She’s awesome! Her music fuses “jazz, funk, folk & blues, sprinkled with Swahili spice”. Love it! Maia’s based in Nairobi. Born to a Kenyan father and a German/Italian mother, her music appeals to a large variety of audiences across the world. She […]

Innovation in Africa: Looking ahead 2014

Trendwatching.com has published a bulletin detailing “5 must-know African consumer trends to run with in 2014”. Below are the highlights: FABA (For Africa By Africa): African solutions to African challenges done the African way Mobile roaming: The other ‘mobile’, i.e innovation boosting commuter freedom, logistical flexibility both physically and digitally. Civil info-nation: Africans will embrace even more […]

Buchenwald

Deutschland. This land of mind-boggling realities. Of economic prosperity, innovation, and industry. Of beautiful people, landscapes, and architecture. Of poets, philosophers, scientists, laureates and priests. Not to mention the modern pleasures of the great autobahn, high-speed trains, bratwurst, Bundesliga, fine universities, and general German efficiency. It is difficult to reconcile the paradise of present-day Germany […]

The Dark Ages of Grad School

We all get into grad school with grand ideas. Ideas to change the way basket weaving is perceived by path-dependent academics… to open minds and horizons, to move knowledge forward. To do ground-breaking research. And for the ambitious ones, to win the Nobel prize (or settle for a conference ‘best-paper award’). These grandiose feelings and […]

Academic Confidence

As a graduate student you’re expected to make a ‘scientific contribution’ to existing knowledge. Matt Might illustrates this process in an illuminating graphic. The first challenge for a new PhD student is to find out if they truly have mastered all human knowledge on their subject of interest. Does one ever get to that point? […]