Top Stories

January 16, 2017

Innovation & Technology

Scott Whitby Studio transforms shipping container into a Health & Safety “caution cinema”

Architecture firm, Scott Whitby Studio, has used over 1,000 foam pyramids to transform a shipping container into a pop-up cinema where port workers can be taught vital health and safety information. Called the Caution Cinema, the mobile screening room is designed to ensure that Britain’s port workers remain engaged when learning behaviour practices that could one day save their lives. The Caution Cinema was commissioned by one of the UK’s biggest port operators, Associated British Ports, as part of a safety awareness campaign called Beyond Zero. It could be used to train dock workers up and down the country. “Hopefully our design will go on to help save lives and make a real difference to the world of dockside safety, and the safety of all the people who work on or by our countries industrial waterside,” added Scott-Whitby.  (Dezeen)


World’s first custom-built floating city to rise off French Polynesian waters

The world’s first floating city could be constructed off the waters of French Polynesia after the Government signed an agreement with a United States company, The Seasteading Institute, in San Francisco at the weekend. The agreement with the French Polynesian Government is for the studies to be completed this year and incorporated into draft legislation. If passed by the end of 2018, construction can start in the next year. The Seasteading Institute believes their vision for “sustainable, floating islands and innovative islands” will prove to be part of the solution to rising sea levels. The institute’s executive director, Randolph Hencken said:  “We are planning to spin off a new industry of floating islands that will allow people to stay tethered to their sovereignty as opposed to having to flee to other countries. That’s why the Tahitians are interested in us. They want the environmental resiliency as well as the economic opportunities.” (ABC)

Corporate Reputation

South Korea prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung heir-apparent

Special prosecutors in Seoul have requested an arrest warrant for the heir-apparent of Samsung group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, as a corruption scandal that has led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye ensnares one of the country’s most powerful corporate figures. Lee Jae-yong, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, is facing charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury, according to prosecutors. If granted the warrant, Mr Lee would be detained. The request to arrest Mr Lee comes amid allegations Samsung donated millions of dollars to a close confidante of the President, Ms Park, in order to secure government support for a contentious merger between two Samsung affiliates. Prosecutors believe Samsung made the payments in order to secure the backing of South Korea’s National Pension Service in the controversial merger between Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T in 2015. That deal was crucial for Mr Lee to secure his grip on Samsung Electronics, the group’s crown jewel. (Financial Times)

 Responsible Investment

World’s largest fund manager demands cuts to executive pay and bonuses

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is threatening to unleash a fresh wave of shareholder rebellions in the UK unless Britain’s largest companies rein in excessive boardroom pay. It is demanding cuts to director pension entitlements and an end to huge pay rises as UK companies prepare to put their latest pay deals to shareholders. The US fund manager said it would only approve salary raises for top executives if firms increase workers’ wages by a similar amount. The company’s head of investment stewardship in Europe, Amra Bali, said: “Executive pay should be strongly linked to performance, by which we mean strong and sustainable returns over the long-term, as opposed to short-term hikes in share prices.“ “We consider misalignment of pay with performance as an indication of insufficient board oversight”. One of the first companies to put their pay proposals up for the shareholder vote will be Imperial Brands at its annual general meeting on 1st February. David Haines, chairman of the tobacco company’s remuneration committee, is recommending a £3m hike in the pay package of its chief executive Alison Cooper since last year. (The Guardian)

Supply Chain

Salmon prices set to soar as parasitic sea lice hit global supplies

The price of salmon is set to soar as global supplies have been hit by an infestation of sea lice. The parasites, which are less than 1.5cm long, have already caused wholesale prices to rise by as much as 50 per cent in the last year. The outbreak comes after stocks had been depleted by a deadly algae bloom in Chile, the world’s biggest producer of farmed salmon. Now farms in Scotland and Norway have seen their fish affected by large numbers of the lice. The parasites, which spread by being blown across the surface of the water, feed on the blood of the fish, damaging their fins and skin and spreading diseases. Experts have blamed climate change for the lice becoming increasingly common on fish farms.  Scott Unwin, a trader at London’s Billingsgate fish market said that: “I’ve been at Billingsgate 30 years and I’ve never seen it so bad.” (The Telegraph)

Image source: Entrance of National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo, Japan. This photograph is under Creative Commons’s Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license.