Gernot Würtenberger and Salem El-Mogaddedi gazed across rows of violet saffron unfurling like a carpet beside the small village of Shakiban in Afghanistan’s Herat province. It was harvest season in the fertile river valley, and local women gathered saffron among fields that not so long ago yielded poppies to supply the world’s insatiable demand for opium.
A woman wearing a vivid purple headscarf walks purposefully into the shop, her husband and young daughter following close behind. My eyes meet hers, a glistening green, and we greet each other silently, a smile and a nod substituting for our lack of shared language.
2018 was the year of overtourism. From Fodor’s new “No List” to protests in Barcelona to the Peruvian government’s ongoing battle to limit visitor numbers to Machu Picchu, popular destinations are feeling the strain. In 2016, over a billion people took a tourist trip abroad – more than double the number of just 20 years ago.
It’s not just about numbers.
A few years ago, University of Southern California professor Safiya Umoja Noble was shocked to find that Googling “black girls” resulted in countless pages of pornography. The discovery prompted her to start researching how algorithms reflect and entrench bias, resulting in her book Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism.
Settling in with a laptop beneath a shady tree, connecting with colleagues around a fire pit, or sampling a local craft beer at the bar… this is work, but not in the traditional sense.
As the boundaries between business and leisure continue to dissolve, secluded retreats are turning their attention to a new set of customers.
Germany's new Wage Transparency Act, which came into force on 6 January, empowers employees to find out the median salary of six colleagues of the opposite sex, in a comparable role. It aims to address the country’s gender pay gap, which, at 21%, is among Europe’s highest.
Finally, a data-driven approach to space utilisation. For our podcast debut, Natalie Holmes chats to the CEO of Density, a new piece of technology that anonymously counts the number of people in a given space, using infrared lasers and computer vision.
Day 1: My atrophied resilience
A few weeks ago, I injured my back. Although it hurt to walk, the doctor advised against complete rest. Apparently your muscles atrophy if you don’t use them — and it happens frighteningly fast. It made me wonder: has my resilience atrophied, in the five years since I got a smartphone?
The forces that sweep over cities are powerful, complex and global. Watching my neighbourhood change so rapidly, I often find it hard to believe anything can stop gentrification.
Vacations are not just fun. They also play a key role in physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as bringing new perspectives to productivity in work and life. Studies have shown that vacations relieve stress, maintain focus, strengthen relationships and even improve your quality of sleep.
The buzz around Smart Buildings has ramped up in recent years, especially with commercial buildings. Given all the hype, it can be tricky to distinguish the truly transformative innovation taking place, how it can be of benefit, and to whom.
Chatbots look set to replace apps, infiltrate our homes and predict our every desire. They might even free us from the trappings of the web.
It’s clear that 2018 is the year of pet tech: Smart, connected and AI-assisted devices that help us communicate with, train, feed and reassure our beloved furry friends. What’s more, these advances are changing the way we relate to and interact with our pets, giving us unprecedented insight into their lives, adventures and even their emotions.
What if you owned a share of your city’s electricity grid? Along with your fellow citizens, you could decide where your energy comes from, how much it costs and even receive a portion of the profits each year. It sounds like a dream, but if the BürgerEnergie Berlin (BBE) initiative has its way, it could become a reality.