Tag Archives: ethics

The Helping Heart Jacket


Regardless of where one lives in the world, there is almost always someone who is less fortunate. While many people will donate to homeless people and panhandlers, many other people will not donate because they may not have cash, or may have concerns about how the money will be spent.

An innovative product is being tested by the homeless in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The “helping heart” jacket has an embedded donation screen. The public can then simply tap a contactless card (debit or credit) and give a fixed one Euro donation. The donated funds are deposited into an account for the person and are redeemable at official homeless shelters. The donations can be used for food, shelter, sleep, showers, and more daily functions.

It is an interesting concept and use of wearable technology. One that ultimately changes lives, one at a time.

Have a heart.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss social responsibility with the class.
  2. What are some common concerns that students have about donating money to homeless people?
  3. Show the video: https://youtu.be/HGG46rKARzQ
  4. How does this solution address the problem?
  5. Are there other social problems that technology can help with?
  6. Challenge teams of students to design solutions to social problems.

Source: Brandchannel.com


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Ikea Designs Refugee Shelters


Ikea is known for showing its customers how to have great design in small spaces. Many of its stores feature small footprint rooms and apartments that are beautifully and inexpensively furnished. That’s great for a large portion of the world, but what about people who lack even basic necessities in housing and care?

Recently, Ikea has taken to the small space format to highlight the challenges faced by Syrians living in a 25 square meter room of cinder block walls, with few furnishings and possessions. Based on a real home in Damascus, the room tells the story of the difficulties faced by people living in a civil war zone.

Ikea’s flagship store in Norway built the exhibit to draw attention to the Syrian crisis. In the room are posters and tags that tell the story of a typical Syrian family, including their struggles around the lack of food, medicine, and clean water. The price tags serve as donation slips and are part of a fundraising effort with the Red Cross.

The installation ran for several weeks in October and was seen by more than 40,000 visitors weekly, raising 22 million euros for the Red Cross efforts in Syria. It was an effort by the Ikea Foundation, a separate for-profit enterprise that is part of the Ikea stores.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss social responsibility of businesses.
  2. Show the Ikea video: https://vimeo.com/190261411
  3. Discuss how important shelter is for all people in a crisis situation. Bring up the Web site for Better Shelter: http://www.bettershelter.org/
  4. Another video detailing shelters designed by Ikea: https://youtu.be/krBzZ2A57o4
  5. Have students work in teams to look up the social responsibility actions of some of their favorite brands. What are these companies doing? What more could be done?

Source:  Ad Week, Brandchannel.com, other news sources


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Animal and Vegan ‘Meats’- Now That’s Diversification!


Consumers’ focus on health and wellness has been challenging traditional food companies to enter new areas of the market. While many food industry segments have been struggling to hold steady, one area of growth appears to be in the “alternative foods” markets – namely organic, vegetarian, and vegan foods and meals. According to Lux Research, the alternative foods segment could grow to $108 billion by 2050.

Traditional meat companies are taking note of the changing food trends and are reacting through investments in new products and acquisitions. It’s not only the changing taste buds of consumers impacting food companies. There are also concerns about draining of natural resources in water and land that are a result of raising animals solely for meat consumption. Some large food companies are also examining using alternative proteins in their existing products.

As an example, consumer food giant General Mills bought Annie’s Organics a year ago to appeal to a new market segment. And recently this year, Tyson Foods invested in a five percent stake in Beyond Meats, a company that sells plant-based protein food that “…looks, feels, tastes, and acts like chicken…”Beyond Meats is currently sold in more than 7,500 stores in the U.S.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show Web sites and discuss the companies’ products and markets:

Tyson: http://www.tyson.com/

Beyond Meat: http://beyondmeat.com/

  1. Which strategy is Tyson using for acquiring Beyond Meats? Why?
  2. Which strategy did General Mills used when acquiring Annie’s Organics? Why?
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market a product of their choice. (Ex: Sports drinks, soft drinks, music, etc.)
  4. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  5. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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