Author: Real Leaders

Is This The World’s Most Affordable House?

Forty percent of all energy demands comes from real estate, so if you can solve that, you will be richly rewarded. After all, the cleanest and cheapest energy is energy saved. A zero energy house that guarantees no energy bills for 10 years is capturing the attention of communities and may redefine home ownership. “Our mission is to make every home a zero energy home, that’s smart, stronger and affordable for the masses,” says David Goswick Founder and CEO of Houze, a man on a global quest to  build the most energy efficient homes possible. In addition, he’s aiming at a $250,000 price point for his homes, making them affordable to the widest market possible. While his take on the spelling of “house” is attention grabbing, the companies full name, Houze Advanced Building Science, suggests a far more serious mission. Goswick has even engaged scientist from NASA in the Houston area to create new technologies that change the performance of homes and transform them from energy eaters to energy generators. “Homes are the last American product to embrace the technology revolution,” says Goswick. “With the greatest technologies the cost reduces and performance improves. With our new construction techniques, the total cost of  home ownership is now less than renting an apartment,” says  Goswick. “In addition, our houses are stronger, safer and more durable.” In 1983 Goswick started a public relations...

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The Way The Cookie Crumbles

Wendy Ruiz Cofiño has turned her creativity and technology into solutions for real life problems. If you where to learn that one of the top apps of the last ten years to be honored by the United Nations World Summit Award was not from Palo Alto, but from Guatemala, would you be surprised? Many are, when they discover that a digital and marketing agency MilknCookies, run by founder Wendy Ruiz Cofiño, is behind the educational app for kids called Mini Mundi (Little World), an educational game that teaches kids about recycling (shown above). The app is already in use in classrooms across Spain with many teachers using it as a teaching aid. The kids in class learn while playing and many times are unaware of the positive, subliminal messages that are suggested to them about caring for their planet. The game consists of a round, bubbly, “baby” earth, full of life and bright green. Kids need to care and nurture Mini Mundi and follow daily tasks. If Mini Mundi is neglected, the world starts to develop real enemies and turns grey, sad and unhappy. The idea for the game came about when Cofiño was working with one of the largest recycling companies in Spain. “A problem they had was the great cost they had to pay to reclassifying all the waste they received,” says Cofiño. “People didn’t know what...

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Will.i.am Talks Trash

Hip hop celebrity Will.i.am has approached leading brands and offered them solutions on how not to let waste go to waste. Most music fans are accustomed to seeing their favorite celebrity walking around with the obligatory plastic water bottle glued to their hands. It’s almost become a fashion accessory for some and has been adopted like wildfire among millions of young followers. While the focus has always been on the music and   lavish lifestyles, no-one has really given the plastic water bottle a second thought. Post-consumer waste of plastic has reached endemic proportions. According to the U.S. Environmental protection Agency, 32 million tons of plastic waste was generated in 2011, with only 8 percent of this amount recovered for recycling. There are few global superstars who get anywhere close to the world of corporate sustainability. But Will.i.am, founder of the hugely successful band The Black Eyed Peas and the director of creative innovation at Intel, is on a mission after recognising that the world is threatened by a combination of population growth, resource scarcity, climate change and over-consumption. Rather than fall into the traditional celebrity trap of being used by companies to sell even more products in exchange for a multi-million dollar check, Will.i.am decided to approach a few well-known brands with his own solution, the EKOCYCLE project. Will.i.am has always composed music with a social conscience, now he’s...

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Adapt or Fail – Why 70% of Your Team Isn’t Committed to Your Success

Whenever you work really, really hard and fail, it is because you’re missing something. Usually it’s reality. It is tempting to deny that anything has changed. Or that you need to know something that you don’t. Or that others aren’t inspired by the same things you are. Or that you’re going to have to take responsibility for things you don’t want to. The list goes on. There are countless reasons to deny the real reasons we are failing. So we wait. We wait for things to get back to normal. Well, things are not going to go back to normal because something really, really big has changed. It is a revolution of epic proportion. It is simply this. Anyone can know anything, instantly.  In the last five years, access to knowledge through smartphones enables almost everyone to know anything they want to know within minutes. I frequently tell my career classes that anyone can become an expert in a specific field within six months.  Hell, you can become more knowledgeable about a certain topic than 80% of people in three weeks. All you need to do is spend 20 minutes a day with a search engine on the Internet watching videos, reading articles, or searching the research. Want to become knowledgeable about 3D printing, how to finance a business, what makes a happy marriage, how to surf, garden, play the...

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Comic-Book Heroes Help Change Image of Islam

Naif Al-Mutawa has developed a series of superheroes who’s main mission is to change perceptions and educate, while still being entertaining. As provocative as Wonder Woman, but in an entirely different way, Batina the Hidden is a character in the hit comic book series “The 99” who is not only a Muslim girl from Yemen, but one whose outfit of choice when fighting evil is a burqa. “Most articles about Islam these days involve terrorism, so that was my challenge: How do I redefine this? The media not only reflects reality but can help change the course of reality,” said Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of “The 99,” during a speech at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity a few months ago. “The idea was to reposition Islam not only to the West, but to Muslims themselves as well.” “The 99,” features Islam-inspired characters, based on the 99 attributes of Allah, who discover magic stones that unleash powers like superhuman strength, ability to read minds, and to teleport. And, in true super-hero style, they use these powers to fight bad guys. The comic series, which began publication in 2007 by the Teshkeel Media Group in Kuwait, is the first of its kind from the Middle East geared toward an international audience. The characters may have Muslim names, but they represent diverse backgrounds, such as Hadya the Guide from London, a...

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