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On November 20, 2016, DF commented on The Internet of Things: Your Future Doctor! :

Saurav, thanks for your post. I believe digitization and connectivity will only increase for now, so this trend of IoT in healthcare is bound to grow exponentially. However, what worries me is who owns all this data? This is an excerpt from a BBC article about that question:

“The company maintains that the data it collects belongs to the user only. But it has published reports revealing the most obese cities in France and the US, as well as another study showing sleep patterns across Europe. Withings says this does not compromise the privacy of the individual user’s data because it is aggregated and anonymised.”

I personally find the claim of anonymity to not be sufficient. Government regulations need to come into place to make sure individuals’ privacy is protected and health insurance is not artificially influenced by such data.

Great post, Tarunika! This model for grocery shopping makes me think of remote south-asian villages and how such stores would be life-changing in many developing markets. Unfortunately, credit card penetration in such areas is extremely low, while in some places, there is also an absence of reliable internet/electricity. I wonder if Naraffar can think of ways to expand to such places. One idea that comes to mind is for them to partner with local mom and pop shops so that up-and-starting is not so capital intensive and they also have trial-ability. Regardless, I am keen on observing the future journey of Naraffar.

On November 20, 2016, DF commented on Education: One size no longer has to fit all :

Gng, great post! I am personally very interested in education and different models of education. I view the system described in your post more of a supplement to our traditional classroom models, rather than a substitute. You’re absolutely right when you express concern about not only “how” we teach children, but also “what” we teach them. I fear that such a solitary method of learning can only go so far – maybe the system can be perfected to impart bookish knowledge, but in order to truly educate children, I believe they require drastic amount of human interaction and face-to-face exchange of ideas, even more so than we see today in traditional classrooms.

On November 20, 2016, DF commented on One Medical: Revolutionizing Primary Care Using Technology :

Ashkad, thanks for this informative post! I actually remember looking into One Medical, but their membership fee deterred me, like many of my friends, who were rather healthy and saw the doctor only once a year and scheduled months in advance.

It’s great to see such an app-friendly medical practice, although I was surprised they don’t advertise this more. In fact, although this feature could be appealing to millennials, I can see it acting as a deterrent to the older, non-tech savvy, non tech trusting demographic.

One thing I would like to see medical centers such as One Medical start to do, is increase transparency around health insurance. It’s often hard for a patient to figure out why they receive the bill they did, and so a simple interactive online walk through for each patient – think how turbotax walks you through each step of the tax calculation – could be very beneficial.

On November 7, 2016, DF commented on Sustainability in the Steel City: Alcoa Aluminum :

Hi Rob Parsons, thanks for the informative article on Alcoa. I was indeed surprised to read that a company which bases its existence on a very energy intensive process is able to do so well in terms of achieving its sustainability goals. One additional idea which Alcoa is probably already executing is Al recycling. It requires only 5% of the energy to recycle old Al compared to extracting new Al, and so this seems like a jackpot in terms of sustainability and company profitability. If Alcoa can find a way to promote Al recycling or incentivize their customers to return scrap Al, this could be a great opportunity for them.

On November 7, 2016, DF commented on To Shop, or Not to Shop: Depends on the Weather :


This was a very interesting read. A lot of very good points were made in the above comments. I would add that clothing manufacturers are the world’s second biggest polluter of fresh water and so doubling down on internal controls for chemical disposal should be of the utmost importance for Macy’s suppliers, and Macy’s can play a huge role in ensuring that.

Additionally, Macy’s can definitely influence the conversation around fashion. Using natural fibers in lieu of synthetic fibers (70M barrels of oil are used every year just to make polyester!) for clothing could be one way of reducing the apparel industry’s carbon footprint. Additionally investing in partnerships to develop materials that are more eco-friendly but do not require large amounts off pesticides or fossil fuels to be produced could do wonders for the world AND for their brand!

On November 7, 2016, DF commented on Thinking Outside the Box :

Hi ijkijk, thanks for the informative read on the cardboard packaging industry. As I look at the two packages delivered to me today, I suddenly feel very guilty.

While I don’t imagine that PCA has the financial incentives to do so, I do think investing in R&D to create alternative packaging is an obvious step the company can take to stay ahead of the industry. As consumers and companies increasingly shift towards a “greener” mindset, it can present huge benefits to the company if their competitive edge is being eco-friendly and cheap. For instance, they could easily look into the many research projects looking into creating packaging materials from agricultural waste that can also compost very quickly.

Additionally, retailers should create awareness about packaging and maybe even incentivize customers to make purchases in a manner that reduces packaging material.

On November 7, 2016, DF commented on Global warming in the Alps: a modern tale of Atlantis? :

Roberto, thanks for an enlightening read. I am particularly intrigued by the effect of climate change on regional cultures and demographies. You mentioned that the prospect of working in tourism was what helped retain a lot of the young people in the Swiss Alps communities. As climate change increasingly challenges those tourism industries, it is bound to push those communities to relocate to other locales in search of work. Consequently, there is a chance of straining the resources and balance of the surrounding micro-economies.

We see similar changes in Bangladesh, where, because of increasing sea levels, people are being forced to migrate further and further north, and that has produced some of the densest cities in the world. Therefore, in addition to trying to preserve the historical climate of the alps, it might be worth looking into how to help the local communities make the best of the changing conditions, so that they are able stay near their homes but still be financially unburdened.

On November 6, 2016, DF commented on Do political parties use climate change demagogically? :


Thank you for writing in the context of Spain, what we see in so many countries. Unfortunately, the way our political systems are set up (perhaps one of the tricky parts of democracy), instant gratification of the public is more rewarded than long term strategic actions. And once again, it all boils down to the education of the public.

I found it interesting that the government did not anticipate the severity of unemployment in the mining sector caused by increased dependency on renewables. In fact, I would think they would try to use the increasing number of jobs in the renewables sector to employ the minors who lost their jobs.

I absolutely agree with Gng above that when it comes to political discourse in the media, our leaders are still stuck – and happily so – on their oversimplified stances, since it’s much easier to use such topics to polarize people and earn votes. I really see no hope in achieving the necessary milestones to curb climate change if we depend solely on elected officials. To me, the best way forward seems to be for private organizations to take charge of addressing climate change, creating the necessary jobs and infrastructure, and hope that governments do their part on the policy side.