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Spring cleaning for the sheep

By | Sustainability | No Comments

OPEN SEA

It’s just before dawn when the men roll out from under their covers and start groping around in the semi-darkness of the beach for their sticks. For these shepherds from San Giovanni a Piro, a town at the extreme end of Campania, in Italy, this is the day of the sheep shearing, and it begins with a dip in the sea. For the sheep.

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Milk cans for the global village

By | Sustainability | No Comments

OPEN BOX

It was the humble milk can that helped me understand the principle of globalization at an early age, at least unwittingly. As the milk – so important for my growth – was produced a couple of kilometers from our house, I had to cycle to a farm every evening with a metal milk can to fetch some still-warm milk in time for dinner. This was a rather irksome task that eventually made me insist, at age eight, that our front garden should be transformed into a pasture for a dairy cow. A pleasant model – though barely economically viable, as my father explained.

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All blue tits are connected – at least somehow

By | Design and communication | No Comments
OPEN MEMORY

A couple of apes are sitting on a lonely hilltop somewhere, let’s say Africa, and together they learn a new skill. Before long, this new ability will have spread in waves across the entire planet. The acquired knowledge then pervades the entire species, becoming part of the collective memory of all apes in the process. British biologist Rupert Sheldrake is convinced that all animals of the same species worldwide can draw on a vast library of once acquired practical knowledge. What a wonderful thought. Read More

It’s the Mountains, stupid

By | Swissness | No Comments
SWISS OPEN

We Swiss are a slightly quirky, somewhat withdrawn mountain folk who successfully turned a rocky wilderness with the worldwide highest density of four-thousand-meter peaks into a leading location for business. A rather improbable achievement. So how did we manage it? An attempt at an explanation. Read More

Icon with shoulder straps and legs of its own

By | Design and communication, Sustainability | No Comments

OPEN BAG

Ikea’s blue shopping bag may have become a fashion accessory overnight, but it’s been working its way up to fame for a couple of decades. It was conceived in 1996, when Ikea had a less than glamorous problem. Smaller things than flat-pack items were being added to the product range, but customers weren’t finding it easy to cart them around the gigantic stores. The blue bag was the solution – though it wasn’t one the furniture empire could keep within the confines of its premises. No matter how they tried, they could never quite stop customers from taking the bag home with them.

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