The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 16 February 2017

Image: Getty Images

Cold call

Sunshine might be an easy sell but this week an urban conference is exploring how to make winter a winning proposition. Edmonton is holding the Winter Cities Shake-Up congress, a three-day affair that examines urbanism, business and wellbeing in frosty climes. With an average February temperature of minus 8 degrees Celsius, the city is using the conference to champion the idea that frigid weather need not make a city unlivable. The event will see representatives and guest speakers from similarly chilly cities – including Sapporo, Stockholm and Tromso – talk about everything from improving winter transport to how cities can encourage cycling and running in sub-zero temperatures.

Image: Getty Images

All work, no play

Working hours in Japan are once again under scrutiny after reports that workers at advertising agency Dentsu Inc were putting in more than 100 hours of overtime a month – allegedly leading to the suicide of one employee and the subsequent resignation of Dentsu’s president Tadashi Ishii. Karoshi (death from overwork) was also cited this month in the case of a shop manager at Mister Donut, who died after working 112 hours of overtime every month for six months. On Tuesday members of a government panel on labour reform put forward a draft proposal that would cap overtime work at 720 hours a year (or 60 hours a month). If companies can’t change working culture on their own, the government will have little choice but to step in.

Accessible art

Art Fair Philippines, which kicks off today, has grown tremendously since its inaugural fair in 2013, driven in part by how it has plugged into the region’s scene. It has also created a citywide line-up with Manila’s visual-arts institutions. But its growth can also be attributed to its unique show space, which has taken the art world out of the galleries and into a more accessible setting: a city-centre carpark. “The art fair brings a lot of interest to the public; we will see a lot of people who are not necessarily participants in the art world,” says Jaime Ponce De Leon, director of Leon Gallery and a regular attendee. His gallery is running the Asian Cultural Council Auction, a sale of rare finds – and another sign of a market ripe for discovery.

Image: Getty Images

Quit your whining

It’s synonymous with Argentina: a glass of full-bodied Malbec from grapes that have ripened on vines with views of the snow-capped Andes. Yet at the end of last year the legislature in capital Buenos Aires voted to ban billboard advertising for all alcoholic beverages in a bid to discourage youngsters from drinking to excess. The move has been enough to incur the wrath of the Argentine Winemaking Corporation, which is currently awaiting the result of a Supreme Court appeal that claims that wine isn’t the same as other alcoholic tipples because it forms part of Argentina’s cultural heritage. We’ll drink to that.

From Monocle 24

Brewed force

In the mid-1990s Australia-born Jasper Cuppaidge ended up in London after missing his connecting flight while on a surfing trip. Years later he founded one of the city’s most beloved beer brands, Camden Town Brewery, which he recently sold to much fanfare and controversy to the world’s largest brewer – for £85 million.

From Monocle Films

Montevideo: broad horizons

With its intriguing mix of grand colonial boulevards, art-deco façades and buzzing plazas, Uruguay’s capital is emerging as a beacon of creativity and democracy in Latin America. Monocle’s Tomos Lewis and photographer Ana Cuba travelled to Montevideo to find out more about Latam’s most liveable, lovable and liberal capital.

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