(List #41) List has COVID

Vending machines, smells, Peter, repairing, testicles, Africa and Pollock.

(List #41) List has COVID

This week is a little random...but still relevant in its own way. So please do read on.

My family and I are all sick with COVID. As per the rules, we can’t leave the house for 7 days which wouldn’t actually be so bad if we didn’t feel so sick. I really didn’t want to miss a List though, although I’ll warn you it has little to do with business education this week and more to do with where my sleep deprived head is at. It’s perhaps not as random as I expected it to be though…


(CAMPUS) In Bilbao, I remember stopping to stare curiously at vending machines selling fresh milk directly from the farmers. It was such a fantastic idea. You just bring any jug you have, fill it up at the machine and there you go.  Today I stumbled upon this article with a range of other fantastic vending machines. Singapore has a salmon ATM with frozen Norwegian salmon. In France there is an oyster vending machine. Belgium has a potatoes machine and Cedar Creek has a pecan pie vending machine. Japan must have the best machines though, including one that just sells bananas, another selling bugs to eat as snacks (cricket energy bar anyone?). And then, as if by magic, I found this great document from the University of Saskatchewan on sustainability and their vending machines on campus

+ What vending machines do you have on campus and how sustainable are they (and what are they selling and is that sustainable?)


(CAMPUS) When I tested positive for COVID I was really worried about losing my sense of taste or smell (I haven’t yet).  I am currently judging the International Chocolate Awards and can’t afford to lose my sense of taste or smell (nor would I want to anyways). I saved this project in my list of “things I like” a while ago. Dr. Kate creates scent maps, for example this map of an NHS hospital corridor (UK). You can also download her “Smellfie map” and create your own smellscape mapping. Another way of viewing the world.

+ What do you smell on your way to work everyday?


(ISSUE) I missed this back in January, but it is no less relevant. For a few days in January, women in the Netherlands were encouraged to change their LinkedIn name to Peter. This is because there are more CEOs in publicly traded companies in the Netherlands named Peter than there are women CEOs altogether. The campaign also highlighted that less than a quarter of professors at Dutch universities are women and females make up just 14% of general managers at the country’s 100 largest companies.

+ If not Peter, what name would you change your linked in profile to in your country?


(CAMPUS) My apple laptop just died. It was old, but I didn’t mistreat it so I don’t understand why it just died. Apparently, it can’t be repaired, I just need to buy another one. If this programme from Google Chromebooks catches on, I might just be tempted to switch. They are promoting repairability as a key feature of Chromebooks and encouraging schools to set up repair programmes so that students can repair their own computers. The European Commission has a right to repair legislationcoming out in 2022 with the view of making repairs “systematic, cost efficient and attractive” and “setting a mandatory minimum period for the provision of spare parts and reasonable maximum delivery times” as well as prices..

+ How many universities have a place on campus where students can go to repair items?


(MARKETING) Marketers play a really important role when it comes to sustainability. This is why I love it when I find a really smart ad campaign and then hope that one of your business school graduates had something to do with it (because these are the kinds of graduates I hope we are shaping). The National Institute of Cancer in Chile has gone around and put a sticker with an image of a hand and information about how to test for testicular cancer on the always ever-present graffiti images of male genitalia present around the city (and the world). The campaign is called Graffititesti. Testicular cancer is primarily a problem with men between 25 and 45 years old and if identified early the cure rate is extremely high.

+What other unwanted grafiti (or other things) on campus can be transformed into something impactful?


(DISCUSSION) This morning I had a chat with my son about Africa. Africa is not a country. This may seem obvious, but too often Africa is spoken of in that way. While cases from Europe and North America dominate business school courses, there are plenty of examples from the the many unique countries in Africa. For some reading check out Africa is a Country . Another is Africapolis, a research and data visualisation tool that helps to understand urbanisation in Africa.  Before you start, read this piece on “How to write about Africa”. There is so much more, but my head will only allow for this much today.

+ Others may view people from your country or continent in a certain way as well (read How to write about Africa). What is true, what is not, and how do you change that narrative?


(JUST BECAUSE) One of my favourite humans (her name is Alison) introduced me to this website many years ago and I visit it regularly just because it’s fantastic. Take a moment and give it a try. Who said you weren’t creative….

Have a great week,