In the course of our research for clients, we come across emerging technologies, new materials, new chemistries, growing markets, changing regulatory landscapes, innovative business models, and much more. Every other Friday, we pick five articles, videos, or podcasts that we found interesting and send them your way.

SPACECRAFT | PROPULSION

Lightsail 2 Spacecraft Succeeds in Flying on Sunlight Alone

Lightsail 2 is the first spacecraft propelled by nothing but sunlight. The crowdfunded vehicle reached orbit with traditional thrusters but raised that orbit two kilometers using only the force of photons. [TECH CRUNCH]

CLIMATE | FOOD

Using CO2 and Renewable Energy to Make Food Out of Thin-air

olein is a single-celled protein made with solar energy, CO2 extracted from the atmosphere, water, and nutrients/vitamins. The Finnish company responsible, Solar Foods, is hoping that food derived directly from carbon dioxide and sunlight can be a force in the growing movement to disrupt traditional food industries. [WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM]

PROGRESS

We Need A New Science of Progress

“Progress” is the combination of economic, technological, scientific, cultural, and organizational advancement that has transformed our lives and raised standards of living over the last several centuries. Is progress itself understudied? Does it need its own discipline? Here are the arguments. [ATLANTIC]

TECHNOLOGY

Scientist are Using the Cold of Outer Space to Rethink Air Conditioning

Using the centuries-old concept of radiative cooling, SkyCool Systems has developed a new material that reflects the light and heat of the sun so well that it can lower temperatures beneath the film by 5°-10° C as compared to the air around it. Radiative technologies could be leading us toward a revolution in low-energy cooling systems if we can overcome obvious implementation obstacles. [QUARTZ]

CARTOGRAPHY

Finally, A World Map That Doesn’t Lie

Traditional flat maps of the world based on the Mercator projection hideously distort land-masses and and create widespread misconceptions about the Earth. In 2016, Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa attacked this problem with a complicated, multistep process and created the most accurate 2D depiction of the globe to date. We couldn’t find a high-resolution version of the map online, so we made one that you can find here. [DISCOVER MAG]