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Building a true sharing economy

Sharing key resources a critical part of many communities around the world.
Giving what we have is part of what makes us human, ASU anthropologist says.
How can you incorporate sharing into your life? ASU professor has tips.
November 27, 2017

ASU anthropologist Amber Wutich explores how developing trusting relationships makes it possible for us to thrive together

“Can I borrow a cup of sugar?” For many Americans, the question conjures a nostalgic image of friendly neighbors relying on each other for support and assistance. For Amber Wutich, an anthropology professor and director of the the Center for Global Health at Arizona State University, such small acts of kindness form the glue that binds us together and may even ensure our survival.

Wutich is an ethnographer who studies sharing traditions in diverse communities around the world, including a small-scale farming village in Paraguay, a squatter settlement in Bolivia and the Mexican immigrant community in Arizona. In each of these communities, Witich observed residents sharing with one another — even when they had very little for themselves. These sharing networks proved to be a critical element in the life and vitality of the community and its residents.

Regardless of where we live or our economic circumstances, sharing is a fundamental part of what makes us human. In her KEDtalk, Wutich explores how developing nurturing, trusting relationships with one another makes it possible for us to co-exist, support and thrive together. 

Wutich’s talk is part of the ASU KEDtalks series. Short for Knowledge Enterprise Development talks, KEDtalks aim to spark ideas, indulge curiosity and inspire action by highlighting ASU scientists, humanists, social scientists and artists who are driven to find solutions to the universe’s grandest challenges. Tune in monthly to to discover how the next educational revolution will come about, whether space is the next economic frontier and more.

Iti Agnihotri

Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications , Learning Enterprise


ASU Research Park event boosts ASU-industry connections

November 27, 2017

On Nov. 14, ASU Research Park tenants and students met for the Inaugural Connect @ ASU Research Park event. ASU Events and Research Park staff organized the networking experience to showcase the park’s research and development companies and build relationships with ASU departments.

“The ASU Research Park enhances Valley economic development, advances the power of the university’s knowledge and provides students and companies unique research opportunities,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer, CFO and research park board president. “Today the park houses nearly 6,000 people who work at 52 companies.” Connect at ASU Research Park event booths The inaugural Connect at ASU Research Park event was held Nov. 14. Photo courtesy ASU Business and Finance Communications Download Full Image

Near the 320-acre park’s entrance in Tempe off Loop 101 and Warner Road, the following ASU schools and departments and park tenants gathered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to build connections, share ideas and enjoy free food truck fare 

• ASU Graduate Admissions

• Diversant

• Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

• PADT, Inc.

• QESST Solar Power Lab

• Sun Devil Athletics

• University Sustainability Practices

• Versum Materials

• W. P. Carey School of Business MBA

An employee of JLL, the facility manager at the ASU MacroTechnology Works building at the park, connected with ASU Sustainability Operations staff during the event about how JLL can incorporate more sustainable office practices on its property. MTW allows ASU to advance research in partnership with private industry. MTW was constructed and used by Motorola in 1997 for the semiconductor industry and has offices, wet and dry labs, clean rooms, and high bay space.

MTW also houses QESST (Quantum Energy and Sustainability Solar Technologies). The engineering research center is part of the ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Alex Killam, an ASU electrical engineering PhD candidate at the QESST Solar Power Lab, provided insight into community engagement that occurs during the summer QESST research experience.

“We host a 'Research Enrichment' program for undergraduates, teachers, high school students, and veterans here at SPL,” Killam said. “I personally mentored the Research Enrichment for Teachers this past summer. Some teachers helped develop solar lesson plans that they could implement in their classes. These lesson plans were integrated with some of our own in a solar outreach and education handbook.”

“A major goal of our research center is to educate the general public of solar technology, and this program had a large impact in addressing this,” he said. “Many of our students pursue advanced engineering degrees after their summer experiences. Some have reported that this is a direct result of the program.”

Mark S. Bailly works with Killam at SPL. The ASU electrical engineering graduate research associate said the SPL also could give students an edge when it comes to being printed in research publications since the lab has the only student-led pilot line in the U.S. for silicon solar cells.

Park tenant PADT, Inc., displayed reengineered parts made by a 3-D printer. An engine mount was represented in three product phases, which depicted its evolution to become a stronger part created with fewer materials.

Eric Miller, PADT principal and co-founder, noted the company employs up to four ASU student interns during the summer and has three students presently employed.

“Most recently, our interns have been focused on 3-D printing and numerical simulation,” Miller said.

Not only do ASU students serve as PADT interns, but one of its former employees now is an ASU associate professor. Dhruv Bhate, who previously worked for PADT, now teaches at ASU and has collaborated on projects with students including 3-D-printed lattice research.

Melissa Scott, property manager for the park for Sunbelt Holdings and co-organizer the event, said electronics materials company Versum Materials connected with ASU engineering representatives for its spring intern program.

“I am thrilled that meaningful connections were made at the event,” Scott said. “The prospect of future university-industry contacts is exciting to me as we continue to accelerate the connections between Research Park tenants and ASU.”

For more information about the ASU Research Park, contact Heidi Kimball, Sunbelt Holdings senior vice president.

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group