April 13, 2012

Weekly Roundup: World Happiness Report, tech guilt and the undereducated male

Posted by: in North America

-An International Monetary Fund report examines the unexpected costs that aging populations will incur and says governments and pension funds aren’t prepared, Reuters reports.

-Smile! Columbia University’s Earth Institute releases its first World Happiness Report, finding that the keys to happiness are marriage, wealth and employment (sort of). Check out Fast Company’s synopsis.

-Myanmar’s leading business families are attempting to “cultivate a new image” as the country opens up after decades of military rule, according to a Reuters special report.

-The Economist looks at the growing market for private health care in China.

-Hospitals around the U.S. are opening geriatric emergency units, reports The New York Times, another way in which businesses are Retooling for an Aging World, one of our 10 Trends for 2010.

-Ireland has lost a third of its restaurants to the country’s economic crisis, reports The Wall Street Journal.

-The New Yorker asks, “Why are so many Americans living by themselves?” in a review of Eric Klinenberg’s book Going Solo.

-“Men are becoming the undereducated gender,” says Bloomberg Businessweek, spotlighting U.S. data projections showing the education gap widening.

-A U.K. study of marriage patterns finds women no longer tend to “marry up,” a trend that’s affecting social mobility and inequality, according to The Guardian.

-Facebook’s billion-dollar acquisition of Instagram is a turning point in the tech world’s shift from computers to mobile, says The New York Times.

-MIT Technology Review makes the case that ultra-low-power computing “will change everything.”

-Credit Suisse estimates that global smartphone sales will pass 1 billion units in 2014.

-A Gallup exec tells Marketplace that a lot of younger Americans feel guilty about how much time they spend with their phones and believe they’re online too much.

-A small study by Time Inc. finds that young consumers switch between media constantly, meaning brands must work ever harder to grab their attention.

-The New York Times reports that customer confusion over keeping tabs on mobile data usage is an issue that’s likely to grow with adoption of faster devices and networks.

-Ad Age reports that with various trends changing the nature of menial jobs, too many brands are represented by undertrained “frontline” workers.

-The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how major retailers are battling the “showrooming” trend (which we discussed last week).

-The New York Times reports that brick-and-mortar retailers are looking to partner with e-commerce startups as they seek to better compete online.

-The Tampa Tribune describes a new generation of men who avoid malls in favor of innovative online retailers that offer stylish menswear.

-The New York Times looks at the battle waging between readers and publishers when it comes to e-book borrowing.

-Brian Solis examines Generation C: the connected customer.

-The Washington Post covers a recent report on the decline in hybrid vehicle ownership.

-Focusing on changes afoot at New York City public libraries, The Wall Street Journal looks at how the digital era is changing the role of these institutions.

-As pizza gets more gourmet, Americans are eating more of it, according to Technomic.

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