Henrique Oliveira's Profile
Very interesting reading and a very puzzling question. When I was thinking about the decision of LEGO to build a factory in China an it seemed pretty straightforward to me that having access to such an attractive market was worth the cost of building a factory in China. And besides the access to the market, labor costs in China are still inferior than in the US and than most developed countries, it is not so hard to understand why LEGO decided to do it in China. However, the decision is not as simple when we are talking about building a new factory in the US specially because (a) costs are not so attractive as they are in China and (b) no one really knows if this factory will be needed to have access to US market in the long run. The uncertainty about the future of NAFTA is enough for me to agree with James and say that LEGO should just wait and see, although this might mean taking a hit in margins and sales for a few years before they can have a factory up and running in the United States. Thanks a lot for writing this!
Thanks for writing about this topic. This is very interesting and not discussed enough. I strongly believe that tele-medicine is an unstoppable reality. In Brazil, my home country, conservationism and strong regulations have, unfortunately, not allowed for tele-medicine to start and gain momentum as it is happening in other parts of the world, including the U.S.. A point that often comes up when discussing disruptive advancements in healthcare is what is the best for an individual patient VS what is the best for the society and the combination of all the patients. This point is so controversial because, we all think about ourselves or someone that we love in need of a specific healthcare treatment, and we always think that this person deserves what is the best possible out there. However, because resources are limited the best possible for each individual patient might not correspond to what is best for society. In my opinion, tele-medicine and the work that SCVMC is doing is one those cases. We still have a long way before we can say that a remote visit from a CSI specialist will be as good or effective as physical visit of the same specialist. Yet, it will be easy to prove that using this remote/virtual approach will yield better results for all the patients of the system. Therefore, I do not think we should ask “how will SCVMC ensure that these consultations achieve parity in quality?”, because these modes will hardly have the same outcome, (although this should be pursued as a vision). Instead, we should ask ourselves how can we prove that the tele-medicine will improve healthcare access and quality for the society as a whole.
Impressive how many uses of the blockchain have come up in the last year. I guess the true question is where blockchain can NOT be applied?
It is still not 100% clear to me how could the block chain have such a tremendous effect as in the example of mangoes mentioned above unless the previous process was really precarious. However, I guess that serves as supportive evidence that the requirement of the approval of the network to make every single change in the chain results in a process that needs to be followed and offers a benefit that goes beyond protection against fraud. For that reason, I do think that blockchain is already mature enough to be applied to food security, simply because it is already a better process. To the second question, I am sure that in the short term the application of blockchain to food security will be delayed by those stakeholders that are still resistant to change, but once some critical stakeholders adhere to the new technology it will be just a matter of the whole supply chain be controlled via the blockchain.
As the essay puts it, the key problem that Gotham is trying to solve is reducing climate change, by reducing the carbon footprint caused by the transportation of produce from farmers to consumption centers (i.e. cities) and by reducing food waste, and I believe that the original business proposed by Gotham, the well-localized facilities, definitely attacks those two points, but specially the first one. I would argue, however, that producing the packaged goods, such as the pesto, does not really help any of those points unless they can manufacture ready-to-use pesto in a more eco-friendly way than any other competitor, which does not seem to be their core capability. Therefore, I believe Gotham should let this business aside and keep focusing on initiatives that will reduce climate change. Having said that, I see an enormous potential in the Ugly Greens initiative.The amount of food that is wasted just because some vegetables don’t look so good is unbelievable. Along those lines, it would also be interesting to think how the direct to consumer approach mentioned by the essay could be leveraged to reduce waste, since every single day an enormous quantity of fruits and vegetables are wasted by big supermarket chains, just because it is impossible to perfectly match supply and demand. That is a problem that could potentially be solved if consumers would order individually because there would be such a better visibility of the actual demand.
Very interesting essay and it portraits a problem that is an example of many others caused by climate change. Our world will not remain the same, and it is amazing and frightening to think how close we are from a world with no chocolate, or where chocolate will be super expensive and will not be available for all. Answering to the second question posed by the essay, I think we could imagine a world where planting cocoa will become a type of very risky investment, with possibly high returns, given the mismatch of supply and demand. Another reasonable prediction, is that the land that will still be suitable for cocoa planting in 20150 will greatly appreciate in the coming years, and this, coupled with higher prices, will give local farmers the chance to modernize and possibly verticalize their structure and start to export chocolate as a finished good. This would allow them to capture more value from the limited world supply of cocoa. In any way, the ability of Cargill to continuing supplying cocoa, will be greatly affected and I believe Cargill should immediately start to invest in the land property that will remain suitable for cocoa planters in 2050.