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As a fellow fintech nerd, I really enjoyed reading this! What I really like about ActivoBank’s branch model is that they have really thought about the customer experience. Instead of just incorporating Internet and mobile banking into their product offering and leaving bank branches unchanged, ActivoBank’s incorporating of UX into the bank branch is a real innovation that appeals to the things customers care about (speed and efficiency) and the things banks care about (their bottom line). I also really like the idea of the virtual branch and wonder how long it will take for all bank branches to become digitized. My major concern with the proliferation of online banking, however, is data security. I would love to know how ActivoBank is thinking about protecting customer information as it engages through social media platforms and how the Portuguese financial regulators are responding to this digitization.

On November 20, 2016, ritaroo commented on Out of print :

This is a fascinating subject, especially now, as the media at large is under fire regarding the presidential election. I agree with the other comments that journalists need to question their assumptions about how people engage with journalism as well as maintain limits to their customization. Something that really concerns me though is how journalists are expected to remain unbiased and compete with the “clickbait” that pervades social media. Will journalists sticking to their guns by providing quality, unbiased media be able to pique the interests of readers? Is this a profitable business model? Or is the onus on readers to seek out quality journalism, and quite frankly, how would they know the difference? With information being thrown at consumers from all sides, it is hard to know what is real and what is important. I’m really happy that NYT is already thinking about this, and I hope their lessons will be passed along to more subversive and local media outlets.

On November 20, 2016, ritaroo commented on Industry Luminary :

Interesting post, Matt! I really like the dual benefits of Acuity’s system – integration of sensory data into lighting fixtures as well as increased energy efficiency. I also think your point at the end about the commoditization of data is interesting, and I wonder how public utility companies (and ultimately, the government) will use this kind of data. I think there could be all sorts of interesting incentive programs that are tied to installing an Acuity system or other types of energy efficiency measures for real estate owners, but I do worry that the there is a strong enough aversion to data privacy that these kinds of incentives may take a long time to get implemented. Perhaps these are some of the advocacy efforts that Acuity is working on!

This is such an awesome idea, thanks for posting! I share Merkel’s concern that this could cannibalize sales. I know there is also a huge problem in the US of food deserts, typically lower income or rural areas where there is limited access to healthy food. I wonder if there is an alternative distribution strategy that would avoid the risk of cannibalization as well as serving these food deserts. What if buffet restaurants could freeze leftover and get them to these food deserts in reasonable time? There would definitely be an impact on the price BuffetGo would be able to charge, but perhaps the benefits of serving food deserts would outweigh the additional costs.

Interesting post, Iryna! I agree that a lot of the changes that we have seen in digitization in the US government are coming top-down from the Obama administration with programs like the US Digital Service (https://www.whitehouse.gov/participate/united-states-digital-service), and the Presidential Innovation Fellows (https://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows), but I think there are also a lot of engagement efforts taking place at the city and local levels. We see this in Boston with services like Boston 311 (http://www.cityofboston.gov/311/) and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (http://www.cityofboston.gov/newurbanmechanics/). I think a problem with these local efforts, though, is that not many local citizens know about the services or how to engage. In a new administration, I do wonder how the roles of federal and local digitization efforts will shape public policy.

On November 7, 2016, ritaroo commented on Mars Inc Commits to Sustainability :

Andrew, this post made me hungry! I’m really impressed by all of the work that Mars is doing to reduce the environmental footprint and to see how far they have come in achieving their goals. I agree with KS above about the potential for vertical integration to make sure that Mars is adhering to its own policies on high standards. I think this is also an opportunity to impact the lives of West African farmers who will be adversely affected by climate change. If Mars can provide the financial support for these farmers, keep them from being displaced, and provide Mars full control over the quality of its cocoa. Of course, there is the risk, as was in the IKEA case, that this would get Mars into a completely different type of business than it has been accustomed to working in, but perhaps climate changing times, cause for organization changing measures?

On November 7, 2016, ritaroo commented on Only The Resourceful Will Survive :

Awesome to read about Kutamani, Mark! I love the idea that entrepreneurs will have the solutions because they are problem solvers who will innovate to overcome the hardships they see as a result of climate change. I checked out kutamani.org to get an understanding of who the target entrepreneurs are and how they may be affected by climate change. I read about Rittah and wonder what the climate change impacts are in her local community in Nairobi and how salient are those impacts. I wonder how climate change is perceived by her and how she could make her textiles more sustainable to accommodate climate change. I liked that you discussed geographic diversification and geopolitics, but I wonder if it would stretch the organization too thin to not only have an understanding of the different ways that climate change affects different locations and different political climates, but to also provide resources to entrepreneurs across these spectra. Additionally, what kinds of resources would Kutamani provide for climate change solutions? Would it incentive entrepreneurs to focus on coming up with ventures that attack this problem?

p.s. Let’s chat about low-income entrepreneurs at some point. I have a microfinance non-profit in Texas that focuses on the same target market!

On November 7, 2016, ritaroo commented on Breath of Fresh…Smog? :

This is a great post and draws attention to the fact that we *don’t* pay enough attention to the impacts of climate change on our health. It is a problem that is easier to procrastinate dealing with if it is going to affect future generation, rather than us – but your post is a stark reminder that climate change is already affecting us and that the faster we can resolve some of its issues, the better off we will be in our lifetimes. I liked your point about engaging government at the national level instead of just the state and local levels, but I wonder if federal action will be as impactful. Is it more effective to get buy in from many state and local governments that are very connected to their communities or to engage the federal government to employ a sweeping mandate that may be a little out of touch with its citizens’ tactical needs?

On November 7, 2016, ritaroo commented on Can Google stay “Googley” with climate change? :

Interesting insights, Jason! I really love that Google is being so proactive about helping climate change, but I wonder if there is a way to make climate change policy even more embedded in the organization. As you said, Google employs so many people in so many places that will be directly impacted by climate change, especially a rising sea level – I wonder if Google could ingratiate climate change into their culture to create a collective group of people who each do their part in mitigating the effects of climate change (i.e. encouraging using clean energy and composting in their homes, etc.). As an industry leader, I would also venture to guess that many other companies would follow suit, and then we would have a large army of people each creating some incremental climate change benefit.

On November 6, 2016, ritaroo commented on Banking on change :

Nice post, Sophie! I think all of BoA’s initiatives sound great, and I agree that they can be even more forward-looking by diversifying thier Green Bonds. The one thing that I am skeptical of is the regulatory environment. As jayflo mentioned, Green Bonds could be construed as BoA providing insurance on climate-related risk. Will regulators accept this risk, or will they see it as another new credit vehicle that can be exploited through securitization and diversification? Will the regulators be afraid of a climate-change induced financial crisis where they yet again have to bail out the banks? From my government experience, regulators are scared of change, and I think BoA will have to spend significant resources getting the several financial regulators on board with higher risk initiatives. Perhaps this is also an opportunity to use the bargaining power of other government agencies (i.e. EPA, FEMA, National Parks Service, etc.) to support BoA!