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Vanessa Ellingham

Nelson City Council today launched The Solar Promise, a nationwide campaign encouraging all NZ councils to embrace solar solutions and make it easier for their communities to go solar.Teaming up with the Nelson Environment Centre and SolarCity, the council is calling for other councils around the country, as well as central government, to make solar energy more affordable.

Innovation/Product Design

Finally, a pair of mind-reading glasses! Well, not quite, but Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab has developed a pair of “social X-ray glasses” that are designed to decipher emotions via facial expressions and could change the way we relate to one another.

A second round of business optimism stats this week show that Kiwi business confidence is on the rise. The Grant Thornton International Business Report was released yesterday, with New Zealand up 8 percentage points to 52 percent percent this quarter in the optimism percentage balance ranking. This comes after the national NZIER survey was released earlier this week showing a similar trend.

Christchurch

An organic leadership structure conducive to students has seen the president of the Student Volunteer Army in Christchurch receive the Sir Peter Blake Special Leadership Award. At only 22, Sam Johnson may be leading an army, but there’s no regimented structure in sight, in a move that has seen the team’s ideas taken to the world, and has certainly pushed the Gen Y stereotype.