nike 50th anniversary, serena williams building, nike ispa
via Nike

Nike's new Serena Williams building and ISPA shoes.

Nike will celebrate its 50th anniversary in May 2022 and its first five decades have been fueled by a desire for innovation that has changed the world’s expectations for athletes and the gear they use to excel.

After Nike’s first fifty years, there’s no doubt the company has remained true to its mission statement: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

The company’s commitment to innovation is evidenced by three developments that highlight its commitment to sustainability, circular economy and equity—the ISPA line, Serena Williams building and new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.


via Nike

Nike has maintained its standing as a global leader in sustainable design by taking the responsibility to innovate. "To protect the planet, we don’t wait for solutions, we create them," Nike says on its website. This commitment has led the company to create its ISPA line of shoes—the first created to be taken apart.

ISPA stands for Improvise; Scavenge; Protect; Adapt and this spring the first two shoes from the line will be released. The shoes are made of three interlocking modules that can be disassembled. When the shoe has reached the end of its life, the modules can be dropped off at a Nike store to be recycled.

The shoe is a direct result of the company’s dedication to circular thinking.

“Circular thinking is all about making our world a better place by designing with the end in mind. It is looking at our product in a very holistic way. How do we source our materials? How is our product made? How do our consumers use it? How do we afford them experiences to extend the longevity of the product? Then, how is our product returned? And ultimately, how do we reimagine it? To me, that’s circular thinking. It’s forever new,” Liz Rodgers, Nike's VP of Sustainable Product, said in a statement.

“The future of circularity means no virgin material is used. It means that nothing is wasted, that we truly create an end-to-end regenerative system,” she added.

Nike is laying the groundwork for the future of sport with the unveiling of its new Serena Williams building at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The one-million-square-foot building is the size of three Portland city blocks and has 140 full-sized tennis courts. One of the courts was named the East Compton Hills Country Club Tennis Court after the tongue-in-cheek name the Williams family gave to a community court in Compton.

The building’s 200,000 square feet of lab space allows Nike to develop new ideas and is home to design, merchandise and consumer insight teams.

via Nike

“The whole building takes your breath away. Every element, everywhere you go, is an opportunity to be inspired. I hope this building encourages people to bring out the best of themselves and to dream bigger than they thought possible,” Serena Williams said in a statement.

“For me, Nike is the ultimate place to innovate and be a designer. To know this building will be the home of Nike’s product design and Consumer Creation teams is incredibly surreal. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve been a part of,” she added.

The building was designed with the same commitment to sustainability that brought forth the ISPA line. It’s LEED Platinum-certified and was designed for maximum energy and resource efficiency with a focus on material and water use, indoor environmental air quality, and wetland improvements.

The building was created with its immediate environment in mind. Stormwater runoff from the building has been reduced to protect the Pacific Northwest salmon watersheds.

Nike’s dedication to DEI is evident inside the building from its mothers’ rooms to support new and nurturing moms to its wellness rooms to promote mental health and provide space for meditation, prayer, and general well-being. Inclusive all-gender bathrooms are available throughout the building as well.

Nike put its commitment to DEI in stone by setting the 2025 goal of having women represent 50% of its global workforce and 45% of those at the VIP level and above. It’s also working toward a 30% representation of racial and ethnic minorities at Director level and above in the U.S.

This dedication is also evident in how Nike works with a variety of communities to use the power of sport to help elevate athletes’ voices, through a combination of grants, programming, products and services.

BeTrue honors athletes who uplift the LGBTQIA+ community and use their voices for change. BHM honors the Black community by investing in and creating platforms for athletes to raise their voices. It helps Native American and Indigenous communities get moving through the N7 program that encourages healthier, more active lives.

For the past fifty years, Nike’s innovations have helped athletes on all levels achieve their potential on courts, fields, pitches, diamonds, and courses. It’s pushed boundaries in culture, design, and sustainability to create a future without limits. Today, Nike’s latest advancements in circular thinking, sustainability and inclusivity are proof that there's sure to be even more human potential unlocked in the coming decades.


Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less

Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

Keep Reading Show less