The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 25 May 2016

Image: Roderick Aichinger

Peaceful progress

The process of picking a new secretary-general for the UN is secretive, confusing and distinctly undemocratic – but at least a little light is being shed on the decision this time around. Public hustings will take place in London next week, featuring three of the main contenders to replace Ban Ki-Moon, whose term ends in December. Several candidates have already publicly addressed the General Assembly in New York, giving member nations the chance to quiz those who want the UN’s top job. The decision effectively still lies with the Security Council and there is nothing stopping them from putting forward another candidate who hasn’t been part of the process – but it’s a step in the right direction nonetheless.

Image: Luigi Fiano

Environmental platform

Santiago’s subway system is on track to be the greenest in South America; this week Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced that the capital’s metro system would be adapted to run on 60 per cent renewable energy. Metro de Santiago has made two deals: one with a solar-energy company to provide 42 per cent of the subway’s power and another with a wind-energy firm to provide another 18 per cent. Both energy sources are expected to be up and running by 2018. The city’s metro system, which is the second largest in Latin America after Mexico City, carries nearly 2.5 million people every day. While many other cities in the world continue to struggle with traffic congestion, Santiago is setting a stellar example.

Image: Art Jones

Cinematic Cuba

Four years before US president Barack Obama made his historic visit to Cuba, a group of Franco-American film-makers visited the Caribbean island. The result is the dramatic comedy Forbidden Cuba, helmed by New York director Art Jones, which will receive its world premiere at the 2016 edition of the Brooklyn Film Festival next week. The film represents the first time that a US feature has been shot in Cuba – albeit covertly – since the 1959 revolution. Though the film-makers were eventually detained and their equipment was confiscated, Jones managed to keep his footage. The film is one of 107 features and shorts from 31 countries that will be on show during the festival, which runs until 12 June.

Image: Metta

Follow the link

Technology whizz kids and wannabes are gathering in Hong Kong for the second edition of Rise, a start-up conference that begins next week. Away from the conference centre this year’s attendees will have an alternative venue for more intimate mingling and matchmaking. Metta – a members club meant to serve as a home away from home for entrepreneurs – opens this week on the 21st floor of California Tower in Lan Kwai Fong. Led by start-up incubator Nest and backed by the building’s owner Allan Zeman, Metta is designed to be a comfortable and convivial meeting place with regular live events to facilitate networking rather than co-working. “We have built a new way for people to collaborate, connect and ultimately drive innovation forward in Hong Kong,” says Tony Verb, director of Metta. If nothing else it could hail the arrival of a new wave of members clubs in Hong Kong: London’s Soho House group is working on its first outpost in the city.

From Monocle 24

Tortus Copenhagen

Denmark has been a ceramics hub for generations and its heritage is being kept alive by companies such as Copenhagen-based Tortus. Monocle’s Tom Morris heads to the company’s HQ for a throwing lesson with master potter Eric Landon.

From Monocle Films

Making it in the city: Vienna’s ateliers

Vienna provided the perfect backdrop for the second instalment of The Monocle Quality of Life Conference in 2016. Monocle Films paid a visit to six of our favourite ateliers and discovers that you can create jobs and wealth with downtown workshops – and the sound of the odd hammer.

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