Technology is indeed disrupting education and I believe for the better because it is providing a wider range of people access to quality education. I still believe that there is value for group learning which is what we see in business schools and perhaps we should figure out how technology can enable that as opposed to a purely distance model. Any thoughts on this?
Companies like Sidewalk Labs indeed show that urban planning and disruptive startups need not work against each other. There is plenty of scope for collaboration as you have pointed out for the parking problem. Do you think that this same model could be extended to other areas of urban planning and development? Are there synergies and similarity of skills to be leveraged in areas like housing development, infrastructure, public transport, and affordable housing?
Omada has an interesting take on the health scenario in that it can reduce the burden and bill of the traditional health care system. But the main challenge I see is its ability to scale this in order to reach the maximum number of patients possible in order to have a sizable effect. It makes sense that this is now being covered by government healthcare and there is plenty of role for government support given the effect of reducing the taxpayer burden by prevention.
There is huge potential to have a connected house that is integrated into every other aspect of your digital life. A huge barrier would be how should companies cross the barrier of trust requirement to enable users to take up these technologies on a large scale. Recently there was an incident of a Nest camera being hacked. Many users would not feel very safe using such technologies. Companies would need to first demonstrate strong ability to manage security risks and then an ability gain and retain customer trust.
Cybersecurity is indeed a big issue in digitization of infrastructure as you rightly pointed out in this note. The threat comes from hackers as well as other players in the larger context of online security. How companies will respond to threats like this and continue to innovate against rapidly innovating hackers will be key in ensuring that this remains a sustainable business model.
AI is an topic with the potential to revolutionize every field of human endeavor. The largest companies working on AI have started to work together to set ethical standards for research into AI to which every company will adhere. At least, this is the ideal. With the entry of disruptive startups, it would be important to look at how to regulate and set ethical standards when the research institutes themselves are so many, small and fragmented. Would love to hear thoughts on this.
Research and innovations into the airline manufacturing sector can have a strong influence in reducing and reversing climate change due to the significant burden that air transportation places on the environment. Boeing has shown that it can influence its competitor Airbus to similarly invest in sustainability. This is ideal as it drives the forces of competition towards preventing further climate change. It would be interesting to see government bodies and funding sources forge public-private partnerships to deploy heavy capital on long term research into this sector.
It’s great to see Barry Callebaut being an active member of the World Cocoa Foundation. There is scope for collaboration across businesses in many industry sectors with regard to slowing and reversing climate change. This can be developed and used as a model for many other industries. It would be interesting to see what, if any, plans the company has for using seed engineering / microbiome technology as a way to mitigate declining agricultural output.
Rising sea levels affect not only vibrant cities like Miami but entire nations like the Maldives. There is plenty of opportunity for synergies and collaboration across local and international governments to share best practices and jointly develop methods to combat rising sea levels. Learning from places where this rise is more accelerated or pronounced now (such as Maldives or Sunderbans) would be helpful for city governments to get an idea of where things could be headed if climate change is not adequately checked. This can enable better preparation.
Agriculture and associated industries will be among the most impacted by climate change and will also be the ones that could accelerate climate change if not handled responsibly. We see a growing trend of related businesses driving improvements in their supply chains and energy use policies, but we should think of how much would be enough to offset the damages being done to take steps to reduce and reverse climate change.
Using LEDs to drive vertical farming is a novel approach to addressing the issue of agricultural losses in areas affected by climate change and rising sea levels that render land fallow. I believe that global LED prices are on a downward trajectory with decreasing manufacturing costs and capacity glut. This helps adaptation of the technology but it would be interesting to see the company’s business plan with a focus on the projected financials.
This is a very relevant matter for California and, as you have noted, it seems that PG&E have taken the first steps and initiative towards tackling this. However, if the rate and risk of climate change increases, this may prove to be woefully inadequate. It would be great to see the company work with experts to understand the best practices to mitigate and prevent issues and also to understand patterns of climate change and local impact. This would allow them to better decide how to spend their resources.