Canadian students’ slum-health idea finalist for $1-million Hult prize

For the second year in a row, a team of business students from Canada has advanced to the finals of the $1-million (US) Hult Prize global case challenge for social enterprise startups, reported The Globe and Mail April 4. Six business undergraduates from York University’s Schulich School of Business will compete against five teams from four countries for the grand prize to be awarded in September in New York. Read full story.

Tesla: Selling eco cred
Tesla’s electric powertrain doesn’t explain the fascination with the company, said Markus Giesler, professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in Marketing magazine April 3. The allure starts at the top: with Elon Musk, who has a mythic quality reminiscent of Steve Jobs. “All the positive things we associate with Silicon Valley startup mavericks – creativity, being unorthodox, emphasizing fun – are embodied by Musk,” says Giesler. “And that’s an Apple-oriented strategy: the brand is the person, and the person is the brand.” Read full story.

Lac-Mégantic disaster: Railway’s one-man crew documents kept secret
One year before the Lac-Mégantic train disaster, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) began running trains steered by a sole engineer to the small town. . . . MMA had to provide two documents to the regulator: a risk assessment and an implementation plan. But these documents are considered to be “third party” by Transport Canada, meaning the regulator will not release them to the public. . . . “In effect, Transport Canada is accepting a higher level of risk to the public so the operator can reduce their costs,” said York University Professor Mark Winfield in the Toronto Star April 4. Read full story.

More women on company boards reduces fraud, study finds
Having more women on company boards reduces fraud, according to a new study from China, which says “the optimal percentage of women on boards is 50 percent” – higher than the average anywhere in the world. Oliver Rui, a professor of finance and accounting at the China Europe International Business School, is one of three authors of the study, along with Douglas Cumming of York University’s Schulich School of Business and Tak Yan Leung from the Open University of Hong Kong, reported Sinosphere April 4. Read full story.

Study: Laptops aren’t the best way to take notes
Recent research by faculty members from McMaster University and York University suggests that laptops encourage multitasking, which in turn reduces the attention paid to lessons and eventually results in lower test scores, reported EdTech April 3. Read full story.

Campus greens
The UI GreenMetric, an annual effort launched in 2010 by the University of Indonesia, ranks universities across a range of categories, including energy use, climate policy, waste reduction, water use, promotion of low-carbon transportation, and sustainability related courses and research. . . . The University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, which ranked sixth, was the only Canadian institution to crack the Top 10, followed by Toronto’s York University (13th) and the University of Ottawa (25th), reported Corporate Knights April 3. Read full story.

Stouffville jury had 300 pieces to choose from for show
Almost 300 pieces of art were submitted for Latcham Gallery’s annual juried exhibition. Only 29 were selected. . . . Artist and York University Professor Kevin Yates was one of the jurors, reported the Stouffville Sun-Tribune April 3. Read full story.

Mayors question sunshine list
The sunshine list was intended to improve accountability and transparency in public sector pay. Criticism includes its failure to adjust for inflation in the past 18 years. Earlier this week in a CBC news story, Daniel Cohn, a York University professor of public policy and administration, suggested the list has actually driven up salaries by making them easier to compare, reported Brant News April 3. Read full story.