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Schumpeter: A new green wave

BILL MCKIBBEN, an American environmentalist, once dismissed sustainability as “a buzzless buzzword”. That seems about right.

Online gaming: Streaming down the Amazon

ON OCTOBER 4th 2013, tens of thousands of gamers packed the Staples Centre in Los Angeles to watch SK Telecom T1 triumph over Royal Club in the annual finals of “League of Legends”, a team-based video game; 32m people watched the games live at some point, about 50% more than watch “Sunday Night Football”.

Natural gas in China: Shale game

IN 2012 China’s main planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, declared that the country would produce 60 billion-100 billion cubic metres of shale gas a year in 2020.

Marketing: What are brands for?

WHEN Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth-largest cigarette-maker, said in July that it would spend $7.1 billion to expand its business in America, its chief executive, Alison Cooper, was adamant on one point: it will not be buying companies.

Cloud computing: Silver lining

IN 2004 Amazon, then a $7 billion-a-year online retailer, was starting to build up a technology infrastructure to serve other companies as well as itself.

Burger King: Seventh time lucky?

Would you like the company with that? ACCORDING to its supporters, the union of Burger King with Tim Hortons, a Canadian restaurant chain, is all about world domination.

Accounting for brands: Untouchable intangibles

COCA-COLA is worth $79.2 billion, according to Interbrand, a consultant. That does not seem excessive for the brand responsible for making Santa Claus look so jolly.

Trust-busting in China: Unequal before the law?

IN RECENT weeks, Chinese authorities appear to have been singling out foreigners in bars around Beijing, harassing them for allegedly breaking the country’s narcotics laws, conducting spot inspections of their bodily fluids and reportedly busting them without due process.

Schumpeter: Got skills?

FOR decades vocational education has suffered from the twin curses of low status and limited innovation.

Obamacare and business: Paternalism 2.0

An online exchange could make it better AMERICAN exceptionalism takes many forms. In the corporate world, one example is particularly odd: companies choose health insurance for their workers.

Music and shopping: Beware of Beethoven

EVER since Muzak started serenading patrons of hotels and restaurants in the 1930s, piped-in music has been part of the consumer experience.

Governing partnerships: Electing the boss

EVER since the inception of the corporation, the “principal-agent” problem has bedevilled shareholders.

Farming in the Netherlands: Polder and wiser

How long until the robots arrive? AT THE entrance to Hoeve Rosa farm, in the southern Dutch province of Limburg, a sign gives a warning that unmanned machines might zoom past.

Business in Nigeria: Africa’s testing ground

IN 2001 MTN, a fledgling telecoms company from South Africa, paid $285m for one of four mobile licences sold at auction by the government of Nigeria.

Viadeo: Nipping at LinkedIn’s heels

LINKEDIN is not the only game in town. With 60m members, Viadeo is the world’s second-biggest professional social network.

State-controlled airlines: Flags of inconvenience

MALAYSIA AIRLINES deserves sympathy. This year Flight MH370 disappeared over the Indian Ocean and MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Schumpeter: Replacing the board

CORPORATE boards are among the most important institutions in capitalism. Their job is to police the relationship between shareholders who own companies and managers who run them.

LinkedIn: Workers of the world, log in

A LOT of room in an office is a sign either of a blossoming company or a shrivelling one. Happily for Frank Han, the empty space at Kenandy, a cloud-computing company in Redwood City, a few miles south of San Francisco, indicates the former.

Kinder Morgan: The reversion of a species

WHEN Charles Darwin landed on the Galapagos Islands in 1835 he found a “world within itself”. Isolated from their mainland ancestors, songbirds had evolved in unexpected ways.

Geothermal energy: Hot rocks

The zigzag route to success DEPENDING on your point of view, hydraulic fracturing—or “fracking”—is either the future of clean, natural gas or an environmental apocalypse.