Why you should care
From super-accurate medical services to driving fines based on income, these business ideas might have a place in the U.S.
Sometimes, when you want to make a business, education or even society a little better, it’s a good time to look at how other nations are managing. How do they deliver emergency health services more accurately? How do they encourage the start of new business ventures? What means and methods could we adapt in America to potentially stop more deaths or better prepare us for death when mortality looms?
We’ve rounded up some global trends that could also work in the U.S. — from incredibly accurate ambulances to “entrepreneur-nity leave” (job leave to start your own business) and better death education to realigning driving fines.
Home simultaneously to some of the world’s poorest nations and fastest-growing economies, West Africa is now quietly emerging as a laboratory for locally developed cutting-edge emergency health care technology that is saving lives. Many of these fixes have applications beyond West Africa, and other nations are picking these up too. One such device is the SnooCODE Red, a service that provides location codes on request — and with a super sharp accuracy — allowing emergency services to reach a person without the worry of inaccurate or incomplete street signs or addresses.
From risk-taking attitudes to levels of privilege, the factors that spur entrepreneurship have long been a subject of debate. But now, mounting evidence suggests there is something else that helps entrepreneurship: leaves with job security. Sweden allows full-time employees to take up to six months leave to start their own company and Stockholm has the second-highest number of unicorns (billion dollar startups — per capita second only to Silicon Valley. There have also been similar success stories in other countries, such as Canada when combined with parental leave. But could it ever work in the U.S. — the only developed nation without a national parental leave policy?
In 2017, Norway’s richest woman was booked for driving while intoxicated. The fine was $30,400. In Norway — along with Finland, Switzerland and, to a certain extent, the U.K. — traffic fines are based not on a flat fee, but on a percentage of the offender’s income. But should one’s wealth be a determining factor in whether a speeding ticket hurts or not? You wouldn’t charge a pauper and a millionaire the same amount in tax — why should they pay the same fine for speeding? Still, is a pay-according-to-your-wealth penalty system an idea that the U.S. should consider?
Like much of the rest of the world, China has death taboos — including a relationship with the number four, giving white flowers and naming the dead. But the ultra-conservative society is the unlikely scene for a popular movement in support of death education. And communities across the globe, both online and offline, should follow suit in bringing this debate — still largely confined to academic circles — to the masses. Because breaking the taboo around conversations about death means people are more likely to discuss end-of-life matters and care for a start. Is American society ready for death education in schools? One expert says not yet.