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On November 27, 2017, Kristina commented on The impact of Brexit on Kerry Group :

Kerry Group should also look at the UK’s current dairy exports – what products are being shipped where? If EU tariff barriers deter the UK dairy industry from continuing exports to EU countries ( and potentially shift UK focus to non-EU countries), Ireland might have an opportunity to fill the dairy gap that could arise in certain European countries. I don’t know if it is realistic that the Brexit negotiations take this route, but if so, Ireland should proactively seek out new shipping routes that bypass the UK on the way to continental Europe.


As you point out, consumers nowadays prefer convenience over quality. With the rapid advancement of streaming services and mobile devices, this trend will likely develop a strong hold in the coming years. As a result, I wonder if tomorrow’s music listeners (i.e. millennials who lead a highly digitized lifestyle) will ever know or care about what they are missing. If this group is apathetic to music quality, I see an intense uphill battle for companies like SM entertainment to convince the masses that quality is key. If the goal is to create a world where music quality is increasingly valued, I wonder if the hardware (i.e. headphones) might initially play a more important role. Headphones provide a physical connection to music and are often an extension of a listener’s personality. Discrepancies in headphone quality might thus be a good opportunity to show listeners what the wonder of music quality is all about.

On November 27, 2017, Kristina commented on Protectionism Threatens to Cripple US Solar: Spotlight on Sunrun :

I would think Sunrun takes on a massive risk in increasing US inventory prior to new tariff introductions. Although solar cell efficiency is improving rapidly, the exact rate of improvements vary greatly (and are also partner and technology dependent). For an inventory strategy to pay off, Sunrun would need to hit a sweet spot where existing inventory is big enough to carry them through to a relevant solar cell cost improvement, but not at a size where Sunrun risk sitting on old/less attractive inventory.

As a second point, I assume that residential energy storage will shift the economic viability of solar installations in several states. This will depend on feed-in tariffs per state (I don’t think figure 1 accounts for that?). An emphasis on energy storage can boost sales of the Sunrun Brightbox (the company’s energy storage system) but might also spur on more aggressive competition from fex. Solar City, which provides a turnkey solution for residential solar installations and energy storage via the Tesla Powerwall.

On November 27, 2017, Kristina commented on Protecting Livestock and Profits at Tyson :

I share your curiosity in your final remarks, as I am also quite curious about how plant-based meat from Tyson might eventually alter consumer behavior and longterm meat demand. Although it is exciting and encouraging that behemoths such as Tyson are taking steps to “decarbonise” their business, I wonder how aggressively the company is actually pursuing and fostering relationships like the one with Beyond Meats. My instinct is to think that majority of these efforts are a form of greenwashing, and that they will never reach any scale of significance (I hope I’m wrong). Still, I don’t discount the importance of their efforts. Getting “Beyond Meats” name out there, and allowing them to gain brand momentum might not be of huge importance to Tyson, but it could still be big for the meatless industry.

Here comes a comment from the electric vehicle enthusiast! As you point out, an autonomous fleet can be used more efficiently and can optimize for time on the road. As utilization per vehicle goes up, the cost/mile per vehicle becomes increasingly important. The cost of ownership of electric vehicles (maintenance, depreciation and energy costs) outcompetes combustion vehicles, and as a result it is very relevant for AV fleets to be electric. I am hopeful that Uber and Lyft’s efforts to spur on AV technology will also lead to an accelerated adoption of electric vehicles.

On November 26, 2017, Kristina commented on Arctic shipping: A new way to capitalize on climate change? :

The Arctic route does indeed present an opportunity for the shipping industry to capitalize on climate change, and we might also consider the resulting reduction in CO2 emissions (through reduced fuel spend) to be net positive for global climate.

But taking advantage of the Arctic route, simply because it is economically viable, could have dire effects on the Arctic, as well as global climate. This is because the pristine environment of the Arctic will be extra sensitive to aerosol emissions – especially black carbon which is a bi-product of burning high-sulfur bunker fuels (which the shipping industry currently relies on). One example of a direct impact of increased black carbon in the Arctic would be a reduction in the Arctic albedo – i.e. ice’s ability to reflect sunlight decreases as darker particles are deposited on the ice. This would lead to an acceleration of ice melting in the region.

The impacts of emissions in the Arctic and beyond are well known to groups such as the Arctic Council and the International Maritime Organization. These groups will likely push to regulate Arctic shipping, and the shipping industry might be required to rely on higher grade fuels (which combust more efficiently) if it chooses to go through the Arctic.