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On November 17, 2016, mkful commented on Technogym: helping you to get in shape for the summer :

This article really calls into question the value proposition of gyms these days. As more people are better able to track their fitness using technology (fitbits, Apple Watch, etc.), do we still need personally trainers? And as more people take advantage of communal, social exercise, do we still need the community of the gym to incentivize exercise? I wonder if the digitization of gym facilities will be enough to justify the high prices these facilities are currently demanding. Personally, I hope that as consumers are given more options for informed physical fitness, demand for gyms will decrease and prices for gym memberships will decrease as well.

Wow this is crazy! I have never heard of this technology and certainly didn’t expect to see this sort of digitization of dining! I can see how RFID assists managers across many industries help manage inventory and costs. However, I am a little skeptical of how RFID is being used at Blue C and whether this is really the correct way to bring technology to the restaurant experience. First, this sounds really expensive! Did you turn up any research on how this affects overall costs for the restaurant and price for the consumer? I imagine there are significant savings in food waste and inventory management, but I also imagine the technology is expensive and that the consumer ultimately bears that cost. Second, this feels a little invasive to a dining experience. It feels like a computer is serving me food and monitoring my eating, which personally, would dissuade me from becoming a patron of Blue C. It will be really interesting too see how this develops!

On November 17, 2016, mkful commented on Outsourcing Chores: Groceries On Demand :

Great article, Hartley! It will be fascinating to see how online grocery shopping develops in the future. I am surprised by how low the penetration rate is among millennials, I definitely thought it was higher. If this really begins to reach the mass market, it could be hugely influential on consumer goods, advertising, transport, even real estate. Ben & Jerry’s is a good example of how suppliers have already slowly begun to adapt, but I think this could really revolutionize the way CPGs reach out to customers.

On November 16, 2016, mkful commented on From Iditarod to the ICU: Transforming Critical Care in Alaska :

Hey BJF! Great article – really innovative stuff coming out of Alaska! I appreciate how beneficial this is to a place like Alaska where there are few doctors per resident and a spread out population. However, I can see how this model could be enormously impactful for the American healthcare system as a whole. Almost every state has a shortage of physicians and we are suffering from rapidly increasing healthcare costs and decreasing access to high quality medical services. Could we take this model and extend it as a way to make healthcare more efficient for all Americans? I think the implications of getting this right in Alaska could be huge for the entire population.

On November 16, 2016, mkful commented on e-Estonia: How Estonia is digitalizing an entire country :

This is fascinating! I particularly think the “only ask me once” policy is important. Estonia seems to me making huge leaps in Government efficiency, which will eventually allow it to cut down on spending. I am also pleasantly surprised to read that the Government has made internet a right since 2000, when internet was nowhere near as pervasive and accessible as it is today.

A few questions come to mind. First, how does the Government pay for this? Estonia is not an incredibly wealthy country and while I believe this initiative will save cost in the long-run, it surely was a large upfront investment. Second, what sort of measures is the Government taking to promote technology education? There needs to be a base understanding and access in order to have an initiative such as this benefit an entire population. Finally, how do they secure such a vast network and make it safe for all users? Do users fear a potential violation of their privacy? Could the entire database of all Estonians be hacked by tapping into this one network?

Hi Greta – very scary post! I really hope wine companies can come together, as you suggest, to share knowledge about best practices and mitigate the impact of environmental changes on wine production. I am curious to know if it’s possible that any region or grape type might actually benefit from effects of climate change. In your research, did you come across any geographies that were unable to grow wine in the past, but with rising global temperatures, may be able to grow wine in the future?

This is a really interesting post about an industry that, in my opinion, is one of the greatest threats to our environment (see my blog post about trains!) While you’ve highlighted some important steps a carrier can take to reduce its impact on the environment, do you really believe that any airline carrier can be sustainable and profitable without a truly fundamental change to air travel?

Hey Jenn! This is fascinating. I can’t believe the statistic about how we only wear an item of clothing 7 times before throwing it out! Cuyana sounds like it’s doing great things to improve the sustainability of fast fashion. My big question is – can Cuyana really have an impact? The cycle of fashion, even fast fashion, seems predicated on the cycle of high end fashion, which is also supported by some of the facts you provide early on in your blog post. Do you think Cuyana can make a fundamental change to the way we consume fast fashion before changing our mindset about fashion in general? Do you think high end fashion bears the onus for tackling this issue and creating more sustainable trends with less frequent turnover?

Thanks for sharing these thoughts on Club Med. I am intrigued to read about your suggestions for “curative solutions” for the dilemma the company faces. Do you think it might encourage holiday-makers to avoid visiting Club Med destinations all together knowing that the risk of a major weather event is significant enough that the Club has to stock emergency food and water? More broadly, do you believe that the Club Med business model is truly sustainable in the long-run? I would argue that as coastlines disappear, as flying becomes more expensive (unless an environmentally sound alternative is developed) and as consumers become more eco-conscious, Club Med will become a thing of the past – like the sandy beaches it exploits for profit.

On November 4, 2016, mkful commented on From EDLP to EDLT :

Hi Craig! Thanks so much for your post. I agree that Walmart seems to be far more advanced in moving towards sustainability than I would have initially given it credit for (although, as you bring up, there’s a long way to go). I have a couple questions about your post – primarily as regards your sources: did most of your information come from Walmart Corporate documents (as it appears in the citations)? If so, do you trust the information Walmart is providing directly or do you think they may be “greenwashing”? What do you think about Walmart pleading guilty to Federal environmental crimes in 2013? []