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Insight meditation, which claims to offer practitioners a chance to escape all suffering by perceiving the true nature of reality, is one of the most popular forms of meditation today. The Theravada Buddhist cultures of South and Southeast Asia often see it as the Buddha’s most important gift to humanity. In the first book to examine how this practice came to play such a dominant—and relatively recent—role in Buddhism, Erik Braun takes readers to Burma, revealing that Burmese Buddhists in the colonial period were pioneers in making insight meditation indispensable to modern Buddhism.

Braun focuses on the Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw, a pivotal architect of modern insight meditation, and explores Ledi’s popularization of the study of crucial Buddhist philosophical texts in the early twentieth century. By promoting the study of such abstruse texts, Braun shows, Ledi was able to standardize and simplify meditation methods and make them widely accessible—in part to protect Buddhism in Burma after the British takeover in 1885. Braun also addresses the question of what really constitutes the “modern” in colonial and postcolonial forms of Buddhism, arguing that the emergence of this type of meditation was caused by precolonial factors in Burmese culture as well as the disruptive forces of the colonial era. Offering a readable narrative of the life and legacy of one of modern Buddhism’s most important figures, The Birth of Insight provides an original account of the development of mass meditation.
This title was first published in 2003. While in the past, corporate community involvement was mainly considered a form of philanthropy, nowadays the argument is gaining credit that corporate community involvement is not only a matter of ethics, but also of self-interest. As companies recognize their interest in the welfare of the city, they may become inclined to invest in some way in that city's welfare. Assuming that the interests of public and private stakeholders tend to converge as companies become aware of their interest in an attractive environment, then corporate community involvement may bring along a new type of public-private partnership, as an instrument of urban regeneration. Bringing together comparative case studies from Amsterdam, Chicago, Leeds, London, Munich, New York, Seattle, St. Louis and The Hague, this considers the potential implications of corporate community involvement for the sustainable development of cities and the creation of cross-sector partnerships. It analyses the involvement of companies in urban challenges in the fields of education, employment, safety, affordable housing and the living environment. It also looks at the efforts made to establish strategic partnership between "enlightened" corporations and public authorities. The book reveals that "pro-active" firms attach much value to investments in their "urban environment" as part of their corporate strategy. But it also shows that cities do not yet take full advantage of these arising opportunities.
Why are some regions and cities so good at attracting talented people, creating high-level knowledge, and producing exciting new ideas and innovations? What are the ingredients of success? Can innovative cities be created and stimulated, or do they just flourish by mere chance? This book analyses the development and management of innovation systems in cities, in order to provide a better understanding of what makes such systems perform.

The book opens by developing a conceptual model that combines insights from urban economics with economic geography, urban governance and place marketing. This highlights the relevance of path dependence, different types of proximity (and the role of clusters, networks and platforms), institutional conditions, place attractiveness and place identity in the evolution of local innovation systems. The authors then draw on this conceptual framework to structure empirical case studies in three cities with a relatively high innovation performance: Eindhoven (the Netherlands), Stockholm (Sweden) and Suzhou (China). Through these case studies they provide a detailed analysis of how successful innovation systems evolve and what makes them tick.

Unique to this book is the linking of analysis to concrete policy and management responses. The book ends with a discussion on six themes in the development of successful urban innovation systems: firm-capabilities and leader firms, higher education and research, attractive environment, place branding, institutional environment and entrepreneurship. Each theme is examined fully, drawing lessons from the case studies, and from recent insights and other cases discussed in the literature.

This title will be of interest to students, researchers and policymakers involved in regional innovation systems, knowledge locations and cluster development.

Why are some regions and cities so good at attracting talented people, creating high-level knowledge, and producing exciting new ideas and innovations? What are the ingredients of success? Can innovative cities be created and stimulated, or do they just flourish by mere chance? This book analyses the development and management of innovation systems in cities, in order to provide a better understanding of what makes such systems perform.

The book opens by developing a conceptual model that combines insights from urban economics with economic geography, urban governance and place marketing. This highlights the relevance of path dependence, different types of proximity (and the role of clusters, networks and platforms), institutional conditions, place attractiveness and place identity in the evolution of local innovation systems. The authors then draw on this conceptual framework to structure empirical case studies in three cities with a relatively high innovation performance: Eindhoven (the Netherlands), Stockholm (Sweden) and Suzhou (China). Through these case studies they provide a detailed analysis of how successful innovation systems evolve and what makes them tick.

Unique to this book is the linking of analysis to concrete policy and management responses. The book ends with a discussion on six themes in the development of successful urban innovation systems: firm-capabilities and leader firms, higher education and research, attractive environment, place branding, institutional environment and entrepreneurship. Each theme is examined fully, drawing lessons from the case studies, and from recent insights and other cases discussed in the literature.

This title will be of interest to students, researchers and policymakers involved in regional innovation systems, knowledge locations and cluster development.

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