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Kurt Vonnegut on the Shape of Stories

Posted by Anne on November 27th, 2013

In the Cornelsen coursebook I’m writing, and in my classes, I warn my students against turning their presentations into straight pitches. Robert McKee, the Hollywood scriptwriter, has pointed out that the audience doesn’t really engage with and is not convinced by a presentation that tries to sell only strong points. People aren’t dumb. They’ll instinctively […]

The GoldieBlox Rube Goldberg (Anti)-Princess Machine

Posted by Anne on November 18th, 2013

I support GoldieBlox www.goldieblox.com, a toy startup dedicated to introducing girls to engineering through a combination of building toys and stories. That is, I bought 3 or 4 boxes of their first product from the USA on blind faith. The combination of hands-on building with hard and soft materials, abstract building materials and concrete characters,  […]

Zara’s logistics

Posted by Anne on August 16th, 2013

I’m writing a book for business English, Basis for Business C1. When I was putting the unit on logistics together, I was initially thinking of using Inditex, Zara’s parent company, as the main example. But it’s already been used in several other course book, including Cornelsen’s Career Express, and I’m trying to be as original […]

Describing Germany’s SMEs

Posted by Anne on June 9th, 2013

This report by Margaret Warner for PBS News Hour about the Eurozone crisis (February 2012) is nice introduction into the world of German small and mid-sized industry, the companies that make “the thing that goes inside the thing that goes inside the thing.” The first 2 videos are about Germany, the third is about Italy. […]

Branding: Smells, tastes, feels like home

Posted by Anne on June 5th, 2013

New exciting challenge. Learning about branding for a company I’ll be teaching at. So here’s my first exploration. Bill said: “Branding is about managing how people instinctively react to your ideas and identity.” Interesting. He’s sent me an ad for an insurance company that the company has branded, made by a separate agency. So one […]

Kickstarter

Posted by Anne on January 5th, 2013

Kickstarter is a website that helps crowd-source funding for creative projects. So they invite finite enterprises with specific goals that need concrete financial backing. It’s not primarily geared to companies, and it’s also not for charity, it really comes down to supporting the arts, where the performance, the product or the outcome is not expected […]

Charles Ferguson

Posted by Anne on January 4th, 2013

I watched Inside Job the other day, the Acadamy Award winning 2010 documentary about the 2008 financial meltdown, directed by Charles Ferguson, and had a bit of a meltdown of my own. As the blurb to the posted interview with Ferguson states “the film makes the powerful case that an out-of-control finance industry took advantage […]