A new college program to launch encore careers

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A growing number of 55-plus adults seek opportunities to move from their career jobs to new ways of working and living in an evolving new life stage, that’s now being called “encore careers”. Despite widespread interest, few pathways to such post-career social impact work exist. A new 1 year college program in the US is providing this pathway. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/07/17/the-new-college-program-to-launch-encore-careers/

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The world’s first hydro-solar power plant

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In Portugal the world’s first hydro-solar power plant has commenced operation. The Alto Rabagão dam, near the country’s northern border with Spain, added 840 floating solar panels earlier this year, Floating solar panels offer a means of expanding hydroelectric plants’ capacity without embarking on costly dam reconstruction. http://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/hydro-solar-plant_us_595f96dee4b02e9bdb0c0fa6

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Giving streets back to residents

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Barcelona’s new planning strategy will restrict traffic to a number of big roads, drastically reducing pollution and turning secondary streets into ‘citizen spaces’ for culture, leisure and the community. The plan is based around the idea of superilles (superblocks) – mini neighbourhoods around which traffic will flow, and in which spaces will be repurposed to “fill our city with life”, as its tagline says. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/may/17/superblocks-rescue-barcelona-spain-plan-give-streets-back-residents

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Rent a designer dress online

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Glamcorner offers thousands of dresses from over 100 top international and local designers, ranging from size 6 to 22, delivered to your door. If the dress doesn’t fit or you’re just not happy with it you send the dress back with all tags fully intact, and they’ll either send out a different size for free or give you a full refund. They also offer an obligation-free try on option of up to 2 dresses for a small charge. www.glamcorner.com.au

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New cycling system powers America’s Cup win

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The radical move to cycle-style grinding stations let New Zealand take advantage of superior leg-power, rather than arm-power, to fuel the crucial on-board hydraulics system and win the 35th America’s Cup. The successful system yielded other benefits since it left hands free to tackle other on-board duties, including the intricate business of foil-trimming. The NZ skipper at 26 was also the youngest ever to win the race.! http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-27/new-zealand-reclaim-americas-cup-with-win-over-oracle-usa/8654286?

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A pool made from a shipping container

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A Canadian company has converted standard, metal shipping containers into pools and jacuzzis that can be installed above or below ground. A portion of one wall is cut away to make room for a viewing window. The pool also comes equipped with an interior partition made of sturdy, heat-resistant plastic that is used to separate it from a jacuzzi. https://www.dezeen.com/2017/05/03/modpools-repurposes-used-shipping-containers-swimming-pools-hot-tubs/

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Transforming land from barren to fertile

Transforming land from barren to fertile

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Creating natural light that heals

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This system uses LED lights to mimic natural daylight patterns in patient rooms, rather than the harsh lighting that patients normally experience in wards. Light levels gradually increase to replicate the soft glow of a morning sunrise to the bright light of mid-mornings, and then steadily decrease in the evening. Natural light has been clinically proven to improve patient wellbeing and sleep in clinical trials. http://www.lighting.philips.co.uk/systems/packaged-offerings/office-and-industry/healwell.html

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Repair cafes

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Description: We throw away vast amounts of stuff-even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Repair cafes are now spreading around the world to help you learn these basic skills again. Check if there’s one near you and if not, maybe you can start one? http://www.repaircafe.org

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A new way to help back pain

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Description: MyGolgi is a wearable device with a sensor that’s placed on your body which can provide feedback on your posture via your mobile device. It can warn you when you’re doing an activity that may aggravate your back pain, such as sitting poorly for long periods of time and lifting incorrectly. Through this capture of information during daily life, health professionals should be able to make more informed decisions about your pain and treat it more effectively and efficiently. It’s planning to be the world’s first biomechanical tracker that’s adaptable and able to be worn long term. http://www.mygolgi.com

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Vote for your favorite NFP ideas

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Description: Google is supporting innovative Australian non-profit organizations that use technology to solve our greatest challenges. FishFace, for example is a mobile technology being developed to protect global fish stocks, the livelihoods of coastal communities and to maintain fish as a sustainable food source for people around the world. You can easily vote for your favorite ideas from the 10 shortlisted NFP’s. Voting ends on Oct 25. https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/australia2016

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Looking good in hospital

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Description: A new startup aims to make you look good in hospital by not having to wear the usual drab gowns. Their gowns are made from soft, breathable fabric in stylish designs and suit hospital requirements. Gowns are available for both men and women. http://www.hospitalglamour.com.au

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Making beekeeping less work & more fun

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Description: This new hive makes it easier for the beekeeper as well as the bees. The bees don’t even seem to notice when the honey pours out into your jars. Of course there’s more to beekeeping than harvesting honey. You still need to look after your bees and do all the normal things to keep your hives happy and healthy. Beekeeping is a fascinating, rewarding and addictive hobby for many people. http://www.honeyflow.com.au

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Where to invade next

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Description: In this documentary Michael Moore looks at the benefits of schooling in France, Finland and Slovenia. In Italy, he marvels at how workers enjoy reasonable hours and generous vacation time. In Portugal, he notes the effects of the decriminalization of drugs. Norway shows him a jail system that focusses on rehabilitation and results in low recidivism. In Iceland he sees how bankers were prosecuted after the financial crisis and how women now have equality to the benefit of society. He’s told that many of these ideas came from the US which has taken a different path.

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