Highlights of the September 2009 Issue of Fast Company

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Cover Story: Nokia Rocks the World, by Mark Borden, page 66
Fast Company’s Mark Borden profiles Tero Ojanper’s plan to “rule the world” and bold bid to trounce the opposition and transform Nokia into a media company. “You can laugh and say, ‘What is the point? Nokia is a cell-phone company; it will never get into the entertainment business.’ That’s okay. Laugh,” Ojanper says. “That’s what people did when we said we were going to be the biggest cell-phone company in the world-back when we were making car tires and rubber boots.”


Daddy Givebucks, by Jeff Bailey, page 74
Fast Company examines multi-billionaire Warren Buffett’s promise of $1 billion in shares to each of his three children, Howie, Peter, and Susie. The catch? All money must go toward their charitable foundations. “In a letter that accompanied his pledges to them, Buffett wrote, ‘I consider myself lucky to have three children who want to spend much of their time and energy working on projects that will benefit others.’ That set out his expectation-that they will personally manage the assets and aggressively direct them to their chosen causes. ‘Anyone can go around and get a hospital wing named after them,’ Buffett says.” In interviews with all three children, writer Jeff Bailey details their foundations, their efforts, and the one major lesson that each of them has learned along the way.

Hacking Education, by Anya Kamenetz, page 84
Who needs Harvard? Anya Kamenetz writes about how American higher education is being transformed by a cadre of Web-savvy edupunks. “Today we’ve gone from scarcity of knowledge to unimaginable abundance,” she writes. “The string-quartet model of education in no longer sustainable. The university of the future can’t be far away.”

Fast Talk: Transit Authorities, interviews by Kate Rockwood, page 17
Congestion, pollution, and volatile fuel costs are inspiring cities and companies-even automakers-to entice urbanites out of using their cars.

  • Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC DOT Commissioner, cut through the congested knots of Manhattan traffic with a novel concept: Close some roads, specifically high pedestrian traffic areas, to cars.
  • Jerome Guillen, director of business innovation for Daimler Ag, has used Daimler’s Smart brand to launch Car2Go, a car-sharing service. Its program pilot in Germany has attracted nearly 10% of the city’s driving population; it’s first U.S. initiative begins later this year, in Austin.
  • The biggest reasons people give for not biking to work are fear of theft and the inconvience of showing of sweaty and in bike clothes,” says Andrea White-Kjoss, CEO of Mobis Transportation/Bikestation. “With a service hub like Bikestation, people can not only securely store their bikes but also use the shower rooms and changing facilities, buy equipment, take classes, use on-site maintenance-and-service stations, and ask for advice.”
  • Grant Harrison, vice-president of Humana, created B-cycle-automated kiosks that let riders rent bikes at prices akin to mass transit-at Humana in partnership with Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Trek. The national rollout will bring 50,000 bikes to a dozen U.S. cities in the next three years.
  • “Public transportation has never been a cool idea in Los Angeles. We probably have the worst traffic in the country,” says Michael Lejeune, creative director of Metro Design Studio. “Our goal is to make Metro cool.”
  • Kerstin Hanson, business innovation manager with Volvo Group, developed a “CO2 pedometer” application for cell-phones, which measures commuters’ carbon emissions. Inspired by the data, Hanson’s test group altered its behavior and reduced its carbon footprint by 30%.

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