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On November 18, 2016, Ariana commented on The Smithsonian: How a 170-year-old Museum Leverages Technology :

I’ve visited the Smithsonian several times, but have never really stopped to consider it’s targeted approach to digitization until now! Museums present an interesting problem: defined as keepers of history, they are being forced to constantly adapt to modern technology in order to stay relevant. The Smithsonian is straddling the line between preserving history and foraying into the future in a very effective manner. I love the idea of digitizing collections that are not on display in order to share them with the rest of the world. These digital models will also be integral for preservation measures–a lasting record of important pieces of artwork. I wonder if the Smithsonian could use its digital technology and tech-savvy team to expand its social media presence as an additional lever to generate excitement about the museum. It could also partner with schools or promote local events in order to increase its online presence. I also like your idea of learning from other museums; maybe setting up a collaborative sharing platform between museums globally would encourage innovation and idea sharing. Smaller, less advanced museums could benefit from learning about the strategies that major players like the Smithsonian are employing to reach a wider audience.

This is so cool! An amazing opportunity to reduce food waste, increase profits, and contribute to a social good. I can see a future for this type of service in areas with a lot of students, low income households, or a high cost of living. It seems as though buffet restaurants should actually be seeking out BuffetGo, as this service nets them additional revenue and perhaps an additional customer who may return to pay for a meal full price in the future. I wonder if BuffetGo could go a step further by (i) advertising directly in restaurants to promote the positive stats of reducing food waste (something like, ‘this restaurant is a certified BuffetGo partner’ or ‘participates in BuffetGo’); and (ii) donating any additional leftover food from the restaurants to homeless shelters or low income areas. This last suggestion would involve labor/capital investments, but may show a true dedication to making the food industry more sustainable long term. Hopefully this type of service can scale beyond buffets in the future!

I had no idea all these apps and websites existed! They are going to become part of my winter flu watch…As a governmental agency, you don’t usually think of the CDC as on the cutting edge of social media technology. But from a quick browse through their website, it looks like they are actually very active online with a large number of digital resources ( I wonder if this is a push to reach a younger, more news-conscious audience who prefers information pushed directly (and conveniently) to them. The use of social media for data analysis also poses many interesting questions. There is no doubt that mining tweets and Facebook posts can reveal a huge amount of real-time data on current trends in healthcare, but I wonder if this goes a step too far. What are the privacy concerns with analyzing even anonymous Google searches, Facebook status updates, and tweets? It’s an interesting balance between mining valuable data and encroaching on a (maybe yet undefined) social media line.

On November 17, 2016, Ariana commented on Burberry: Digitizing the Trench :

Great article Irene! I really enjoyed reading about Burberry’s new digital strategies. It seems like they are trying to strengthen their brand through two main strategies: (i) reducing the time that customers have to wait, for customer service, to buy runway clothes, to sync shopping carts; and (ii) allowing for extreme customization, of the trench coat, the kiss envelopes, and the scarves. By playing on convenience and instant gratification, they are catering to the desires of millennials globally, building brand loyalty. I agree with your suggestion to expand this technology into emerging markets–a store or screen like the one in London may be a huge hit in China or India. Furthermore, I wonder if they could tap into celebrity photos–perhaps digitally scanning Facebook or Twitter for pictures of celebs in Burberry and linking these to their site as well. Overall, super interesting!

On November 7, 2016, Ariana commented on The Bitter Truth for Beer :

Great read! MillerCoors, as an industry leader, plays a very visible role in the American beer market. It’s great to see that they are taking responsibility for their part in contributing to climate change. I am especially intrigued by the Grower Portal, which connects growers digitally. By doing this, the company actually passes on some responsibility to the growers, involving them in the process of becoming more sustainable and conscious of energy/water usage. Although there isn’t a lot of information available online about this program, it looks like the growers can use a website ( to “directly enter information about [their] farming practices as related to sustainability, such as tillage, use of water, fertilizer, etc.” Sharing information and promoting transparency along every step of the supply chain is an important way to efficiently increase sustainable practices among a wider audience. I wonder if MillerCoors could do the same for its consumers—publically encouraging them to use reusable cups and recycle cans. I think you’re absolutely right that MillerCoors should be learning from other breweries and sharing best practices across the industry. As a major player in such an energy and water intensive business, the company has an obligation to publicly endorse sustainable practices!

Very interesting topic! The effect of climate change on McDonald’s operating model, as such a dominant player in the fast food market, will be very visible to the entire industry. I was especially intrigued by your suggestion to move towards serving other items on the menu other than beef. Most of the McDonald’s in Asia actually do just that—for example, in India the menu is focused on chicken and vegetarian options for cultural/religious reasons. I wonder what a geographical analysis of expenses and GHG emissions looks like! McDonald’s could maybe also tackle other inefficiencies in its supply chain to reduce its impact on climate change, including tackling its transportation costs. From a quick Google search, a few articles ( reference two to three truck deliveries per week—perhaps by consolidating these deliveries or optimizing routes, McDonald’s could also cut down on fuel use and subsequent GHG emissions from this category. Combined with the strategies you listed above, this could really impact their GHG emissions through all parts of their supply chain.

On November 6, 2016, Ariana commented on Fast Fashion on a Fast Decline via Climate Change :

It is pretty amazing how the drought in China directly translated into a large hit to H&M’s bottom line. It’s great that H&M is focusing on becoming more energy efficient and increasing its use of renewable energy—especially while increasing sales simultaneously. The goal of using 100% renewable electricity is a big commitment for a retailer of that size, and I hope this sets a standard in the industry that others follow. I also wonder if H&M could take its efforts a step further and act as a catalyst within the policy space, perhaps by promoting GHG emission reduction measures in countries where it sources the majority of its materials. Their online supplier map ( shows that it has a geographically diverse set of manufacturing plants, with concentrations in both Europe and Asia. Perhaps H&M could consider shifting more production work to areas with less GHG emissions while also advocating for stricter policies and regulations in countries like China and India.

On November 6, 2016, Ariana commented on Wine – a Californian dream – or nightmare? :

This is a really interesting analysis of the Californian wine industry! I’m especially struck by the magnified effect climate has on family run businesses that are especially capital intensive. Your point about them not being able to easily pick up and move or expand their operations is very real; a larger corporation could pursue this strategy through an acquisition or by simply purchasing land elsewhere. A family owned business is not only constrained by resources, but also by ties to heritage and loyalty. I wonder if their product mix is also a reflection of that (i.e. historically they have always grown Chardonnay and therefore would be more reluctant to shift to a different grape mix). I really like how you broke down the various options in terms of the grape growing cycle—it seems that one of the most important elements is harvesting the grapes at the right time, since this both determines the ripeness and the sugar content (and therefore tax implications). As the business only handpicks grapes, this seems to be an extremely labor intensive task involving closely monitoring the weather and obtaining enough seasonal labor at the right now. I wonder how this will impact labor supply and demand as climate change continues to affect operations!

This is a really thought-provoking issue, and I am glad to read that Levi’s is doing something about water conservation! The idea of putting the responsibility partially on the consumer is an interesting proposition. Although Levi’s is actively attempting to decrease its water usage, using strategic marketing initiatives like the ad you referenced both educates the public about water consumption while also making the consumer accountable for their portion of water use after the company has relinquished control of the product. Their website ( even lays out the results of a challenge reporting how consumers could use less water in their lives, further quantifying the issue in simple terms such as the number of untaken showers, unwashed jeans, and reused water bottles. It’s interesting that Levi’s is also placing responsibility on designers, challenging them to also use less water in the denim finishing process. Overall, these initiatives are innovative ways to improve internal processes while also addressing other parts of the business outside of Levi’s control, such as the designer and consumer.

On November 6, 2016, Ariana commented on Morgan Stanley’s Attempt to Capitalize on Climate Change :

Extremely interesting read! You make a great point about involving all companies, not just those with GHG emission-heavy operations, in the climate change conversation. Morgan Stanley is in a unique position as a client-facing company with impact across a wide variety of industries and geographies. Utilizing these connections to help its clients lessen their impact on climate change will not only help the environment, but it provides both profitable business opportunities and good press for Morgan Stanley. The company could also take advantage of the Institute for Sustainable Investing by partnering with other firms in the environmental impact space in order to (i) source sustainable projects that have been quality checked; (ii) combine capital to mitigate risks and diversify holdings; and (iii) expand its reach into this field in order to set a positive example for other financial institutions. Green Bonds are also an excellent way to become involved in the climate change conversation, but pose some risks. The market currently does not have a clear definition of what “green” is, creating a lack of standardization and transparency. Any company in any industry can issue a Green Bond for projects ranging from renewable energy to nuclear power plants. Perhaps Morgan Stanley could take the lead on initiating these conversations around Green Bonds. However, I agree that Morgan Stanley should continue to both push itself and its clients to respond to climate change in a sustainable manner through innovative financial instruments.