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December 2019

Interactive map shows nature’s benefits

December 2019: A new high-resolution and interactive map models nature’s contribution to people’s lives around the globe. It highlights nature’s declining ability to provide food security, high water quality, and protection for infrastructure. The map could serve as a platform for policy-makers to develop high-impact investment strategies for high-value ecosystems.

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Artificial Intelligence and the Feeling Economy

December 2019: AI is projected to perform the majority of problem-solving tasks and analytical thinking in future work scenarios. These shifts emphasise the need for education systems and Human Resource Management (HRM) strategies to adapt and support the development of people’s feeling and empathetic skills in the workplace.

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Smart yarn

December 2019: Flexible, electrochemically, and electromechanically active yarns could allow for the scalable production of textile-based devices. Such smart garments have a wide range of applications from public health to military defence and could produce clothing that responds to outside conditions while retaining wearability

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Recycling plastic waste

December 2019: Developments in steam cracking and pressure technology now enable the production of ‘virgin’ quality plastics from recycled plastic waste. This could allow for plastic manufacturing sites to transition to plastic collection and refineries within the framework of their existing infrastructures.

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Increased antibiotic stewardship needed

December 2019: An overuse of antibiotics in human health, animal health, and the agricultural sector are contributing to the rise of antimicrobial resistance and superbugs which pose risks to public health. Increased research efforts could lead to a robust evidence base that informs antibiotic stewardship programmes.

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Scientists declare climate emergency

December 2019: An interdisciplinary and international coalition of scientists have declared a climate emergency and are calling on decision-makers to act on climate change. The paper sets out clear interventions and identifies energy, short-lived pollutants, nature, food, economy, and population size as primary domains for intervention.

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Indigenous land management

December 2019: Adopting indigenous management practices could support the long-term environmental management of land and waterways. Partnering with indigenous peoples may contribute to carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and land restoration at a global scale.

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Impacts of single use bioplastics

December 2019: Swapping conventional plastics for bioplastics may have adverse effects on waste generation and further incentivise a culture of single use. Instead, new research recommends to rather reduce the general consumption of plastics and to only substitute plastic for bioplastics in food packaging. This could generate a waste stream that does not contribute to landfills and reduces the amount of non-recyclable plastics due to food contamination.

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Covid-19 and creating the future we want

Apr 02, 2020

2 April 2020 – Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), reflects upon the impact of Covid-19 on business, society, and our collective future.

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Adele Wiliams

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The views expressed in these external research papers are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL, the University of Cambridge, or any of its individual business partners or clients.