TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

This 2-Acre Vertical Farm Out-Produces 720 Acre 'Flat Farms'

Farming is going vertical, thanks to startups like San Francisco-based Plenty.

According to Nate Storey, the future of farms is vertical. It's also indoors, can be placed anywhere on the planet, is heavily integrated with robots and AI, and produces better fruits and vegetables while using 95% less water and 99% less land.

But the future of farms is also personal, emotional, and deeply meaningful.

"The objective of all technology really should be to enable human joy, right?" Storey asked me on a recent episode of the TechFirst podcast. "For me, it's the memory of being a child in the garden and eating a carrot that my grandfather gave me that still has the grit on it, and the snap and the crunch and the flavor and the aroma, or a tomato from my grandmother's garden."

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

I'm a survivor! How resilience became the quality we all crave

During the pandemic it has become a buzzword for successfully steering through adversity. But what exactly is resilience - and can you cultivate more of it?

It was after her block of flats burned down that Sadi Khan thought, finally, things could not get worse. She had married at 19, and for four years her husband had subjected her to horrific violence on an almost daily basis. She had been punched and kicked, financially controlled and constantly told she was stupid; once, a friend arrived at her flat and found her lying unconscious after an attack. So the day she accidentally set fire to her flat while cooking was simultaneously the day she lost everything and the day she started again. "He's beaten me, I've lost everything," she says. "What more can go wrong?"

Her father arrived the following day, and wanted to take her home. "I think that was the turning point," says Khan. "When my dad was in front of me, saying: 'Come home, let me look after you.' I thought: 'No, I don't need looking after. I'm still alive. I burned the flat down, I'm still alive. I've been beaten up, I should have been dead five times over, but I'm still alive.'"

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Tapping into the power of humble narcissism

No, "humble narcissism" is not an oxymoron; it's a combination of qualities that the best leaders and companies have. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant explains why.

Who would you rather work for: a narcissistic leader or a humble leader?

The answer is more complicated than you think.

In a Fortune 100 company, researchers studied whether customer service employees were more productive under narcissistic or humble leaders. The least effective bosses were narcissists - their employees were more likely to spend time surfing the Internet and taking long breaks. Employees with humble bosses were a bit more productive: they fielded more customer service calls and took fewer breaks. But the best leaders weren't humble or narcissistic.

They were humble narcissists.

How can you be narcissistic and humble at the same time? The two qualities sound like opposites, but they can go hand in hand. Narcissists believe they're special and superior; humble leaders know they're fallible and flawed. Humble narcissists bring the best of both worlds: they have bold visions, but they're also willing to acknowledge their weaknesses and learn from their mistakes.

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