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Humanitarian innovation: Surprising news, cautionary tales, promising directions

Camille Crittenden, deputy director, CITRIS | March 16, 2016

For those fleeing active conflict zones, natural disasters, or the gradual devastation of climate change, a host of humanitarian relief agencies is standing by. A symposium of leaders from the United Nations, nonprofit organizations, academia, and industry gathered last month at CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) and the Banatao … Continue reading »

Cell phone etiquette

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | September 9, 2015

People have been complaining about bad cell phone behavior for years. What are the 21st century’s Emily Post rules for cell phones and texting? (For the millennials: Emily Post was the great doyenne of etiquette and manners advice in the 20th century. Her descendants still produce advice books under her name. And there actually are new-era Emily … Continue reading »

No longer useless: Liberal arts education in a digital age

Catherine Ceniza Choy, professor of ethnic studies | August 4, 2015

Last week, two on-line articles published on the same day, July 29th, in Forbes Magazine caught my attention. The first, entitled “America’s Top Colleges Ranking 2015,” by Forbes staff writer Caroline Howard, opened with the following: “The No. 1 FORBES Top College 2015 is Pomona College, followed by Williams College and Stanford University.”* The second Forbes article … Continue reading »

Citizens, appeal to the courts: Free your documents

Brian Carver, assistant professor, School of Information | May 28, 2015

Several federal judges across the country will be receiving some unusual mail on Friday. Piles of postcards will arrive on their desks written not by litigants before their courts or by lawyers working on someone else’s behalf, but written by ordinary citizens concerned about PACER, the electronic system intended to provide public access to court … Continue reading »

Privacy vs. privacy

Lisa Ho, campus privacy officer | February 27, 2015

It’s common to see privacy pitted against security in the form of the question: “How much privacy are we willing to give up for security?” Some call the security vs. privacy debate a false choice, and suggest the debate is actually liberty vs. security, or liberty vs. control, or privacy vs. cooperation. At UC Berkeley, … Continue reading »

How To Think Like an Entrepreneur: The Inventure Cycle

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 9, 2014

The Lean Startup is a process for turning ideas into commercial ventures. Its premise is that startups begin with a series of untested hypotheses. They succeed by getting out of the building, testing those hypotheses and learning by iterating and refining minimal viable products in front of potential customers. That’s all well and good if you already have an … Continue reading »

Old days, fast times

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | May 9, 2014

There’s a lot of discussion about speed these days – from the possible advantage of seconds that some users on the internet would get were broadband “net neutrality” to go away to the market-disrupting micro-mini-milli-second competition among “flash mob” stock traders to debates over the speed-up “bullet trains” might provide. It seems as if we … Continue reading »

Does technology really cut us off from other people?

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | March 20, 2014

Smarthphones and social media are changing our daily lives and our society. It’s now normal to see two people at a dinner table fiddling with their phones—and why not? They probably first met each other through their phones, on a dating site like OKCupid. But are digital devices and social media disconnecting us from the … Continue reading »

How to be Smarter than Your Investors — Continuous Customer Discovery

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 19, 2014

Teams that build continuous customer discovery into their DNA will become smarter than their investors, and build more successful companies. — Awhile back I blogged about Ashwin, one of my ex-students wanted to raise a seed round to build Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) with a Hyper-spectral camera and fly it over farm fields collecting hyper-spectral images. These images, when … Continue reading »

Where to find love on Facebook

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | February 13, 2014

This piece was co-authored with Emiliana Simon-Thomas. What’s the most popular emotion in the world? Well, on Facebook at least, the answer is clear: It’s love. How do we know that? Because the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center worked with Facebook to develop a new set of animated emoticons to express a broad range … Continue reading »

Art and the machined world

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | January 24, 2014

Much of early 20th-century art in the West was commentary on the massive technological developments of the late 19th century. Where, 100 years later, is the comparable 21st-century artistic response to the technological developments of the late 20th century? American artists a few generations ago, especially painters and photographers, portrayed the massive structures, machined objects, … Continue reading »

For a winning health care system, lab advances must be translated into clinical solutions

Kyle Kurpinski, former executive director, UC Berkeley/UCSF Master of Translational Medicine Program | January 13, 2014

Universal access to affordable, high-quality health care requires not only advances in science, technology, policy, and clinical services, but also more effective translation of technological innovations into the marketplace. To cross the gap from lab bench to patient bedside, innovators must deal with issues of product development, technology management, market positioning, cost/reimbursement, and regulation. Graduate … Continue reading »

Tablet and smartphone boot camp for middle-school parents

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | December 6, 2013

Every day I read something that leads me to believe that tech devices are dramatically affecting our kids’ normal social, sexual, intellectual, and emotional development. What I’m most amazed by, frankly, is how uninvolved we parents tend to be in the online lives of our middle schoolers. Our tweeners tend to seem much more savvy … Continue reading »

When product features disappear – Amazon, Apple, Tesla and the troubled future for 21st century consumers

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 21, 2013

One of the great innovations of the 21st century are products that are cloud-connected and update and improve automatically. For software, gone are the days of having to buy a new version of physical media (disks or CD’s.) For hardware it’s the magical ability to have a product get better over time as new features are automatically added. … Continue reading »

Cell phone science

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | November 5, 2013

My attention was recently drawn to the topic of cell phones and not just because … hold on a sec … um, no messages … of the phone sitting next to my keyboard, but because I was reading two books … wait, what’s the ball score? … No change … where was I? …. oh, … Continue reading »

Societal advances depend on basic science and new technologies

Robert Birgeneau, professor of physics, former chancellor | July 9, 2013

Near the end of World War II, in a study entitled “The Endless Frontier,” Vannevar Bush, the true progenitor of the modern research and teaching university, stated that “new products and new processes do not appear full-grown. They are founded on new principles and new conceptions which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in … Continue reading »

Playing it safe will get you nowhere

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | May 15, 2013

Here is the text of the speech I delivered May 10 at the University of Minnesota College of Science & Engineering: I am honored to be with you as we gather to celebrate your graduation. This school has a distinguished roster of graduates… Earl Bakken, the founder of Medtronic, was an Electrical Engineering grad, and Bob … Continue reading »

Guns and cyber security

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | May 13, 2013

The online world can be a dangerous place for the unprepared.  And it’s just going to get worse. It’s time to teach cyber security as integral part of the high school and college curriculum and to all corporate employees. — I grew up in New York City and for a few years heaven on earth … Continue reading »