In the second annual Wharton-HCT Innovation Tournament in the Middle East, regional entrepreneurs brought forward proposals that addressed a host of issues facing the Arab World. Winning the top prize was a healthcare initiative from Algeria that focused on managing diabetes with online and mobile tools. Discussing the competition with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, entrants said it was an opportunity not only to gain precious funding and exposure to academic and industry experts, but also to learn and be inspired.
Though governments in the Middle East increasingly support the idea that innovation and entrepreneurship are essential to transforming their economies, Wharton's Karl Ulrich and Bulent Gultekin say that without institutions such as incubators and business-friendly policies, innovation culture cannot take root. Quality of life is also essential, they add, noting that Dubai's ability to attract people and capital stands as a successful regional model.Hardly Fragile: Tunisian Glass Artist's Effort Displays Women's Strength
Sadika Keskes is credited with reviving the art of glass-blowing in Tunisia and breathing innovation into the field over the past few decades. Following Tunisia's political revolution, she foresees new frontiers for creative expression and avenues for artists to help rebuild their country. Through "Women, Show Your Muscles," an artisanal initiative in the economically strained interior of the country, Keskes hopes to guide fellow female artists and fledgling entrepreneurs to self-sufficiency.Who Dares, Succeeds: Fighting Fear and Finding Creativity
Do you have a great idea, but have not tried to see if it would actually work? That's because you feel too safe, according to Adam Montandon, a British digital futurist living in Denmark. Real creativity seems very dangerous to many people, he says, because of the uncertainty in a new proposition. But that's how you get the best ideas. "If you're approaching the same thing, the same way every time, you get the same results every time," he suggests.Why Global Real Estate Developers Are Eyeing the U.S.
Earlier this year, one of China's biggest real estate developers, China Vanke Co., announced its entry into the U.S. housing market -- a partnership with New York-based Tishman Speyer Properties to build luxury condos in San Francisco. What do developers from China -- and elsewhere -- see in the U.S. market, which has experienced considerable volatility? According to speakers at a Wharton real estate forum, produced in collaboration with Chinese real estate firm E-House, changing demographics, pent-up demand and limited supply suggest that more housing is needed in the U.S., and consumers are looking for new options in housing and lifestyle. Film Personality Boman Irani: 'An Actor Has to Feel Unfulfilled'
Film and theater actor Boman Irani was introduced to cinema at a very young age. But he took a meandering path to becoming an actor. His first job was working as a waiter. He then sold burritos at the family store, and later became a photographer. Getting into acting was almost an accident. Today, with more than 60 films under his belt including hits such as Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and 3 Idiots, Irani has also forayed into television. The problem with Indian cinema, he notes in this interview with Wharton professor Kartik Hosanagar, is that there is a lack of good scripts.