Very interesting article! To answer the question you pose on whether Alta’s PE/VC owners have a social responsibility to continue to invest, in the last couple of years there has been a growing trend on more conscious investments within the PE industry. Limited Partners (“LPs”) have become more strict on evaluating their General Partners (“GPs”, the funds) from an Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) lens. As an example, last year in PEI’s responsible investment forum, Kathleen Bacon, Managing Director at LP HarbourVest Partners, said “if we thought that somebody was not, practicing good governance or looking at the social impact of their businesses, we would not invest”. It might be naive to think that Alta’s PE/VC owners will continue to invest if it does not make financial sense, but if LPs keep pushing funds to consider the environmental and social side of their investments, there might be a future in which funds favor impact vs. financial return.
 LPs: ESG is non-negotiable. Isobel Markham – https://www.privateequityinternational.com/lps-esg-is-non-negotiable/
Very interesting read and sad reality. My TOM challenge also talks about global warming related impacts and I was negatively surprised when doing my research about how many companies mention global warming as a challenge going forward and say they are doing actions to mitigate it, however don’t pose a more clear action plan on how they plan to achieve this. It made me question how many of them are just doing it for the PR. Therefore, I would be very interested to hear how Mars plans to achieve such significant greenhouse gas emissions in the future.
Another trend in the agriculture industry is the use of biologics and/or chemicals to improve the yield. Are companies like Mars considering going down this path? Would it be the right path, considering they are selling edible products? I would be very cautious with this.
Very interesting article Anna! It is a clear example of how governments do not provide an holistic picture of the consequences that certain public decisions can have. In the past, following previous radioisotope shortages, the NHS has reduced the amount of radioisotopes used through efficiency savings. A question that came to me was whether they can continue doing this to mitigate the supply chain challenges they will be facing, and if not, do they have the capabilities to develop the new technologies needed to produce radioisotopes? Is the latter even financially sound?
Very interesting perspective Anisha! A clear example of reactions automotive manufacturers have had to take because of the risks posed by potential NAFTA negotiations and measures the US government could take to encourage (or force?) production in the US is the fact that Ford cancelled its plans to invest US$1.6bn in a new manufacturing plant in Mexico in January of this year. I imagine this was a big hit to Ford, which had already made a decision that could not be done overnight.
A question I ask myself if whether taking away a significant number of job opportunities from countries like Mexico will only encourage Mexican illegal immigrants to go seek these types of opportunities in the US. Does the current administration prefer to have more jobs in America, even if they may be done by illegal immigrants?
Very interesting article Jordan! One of the questions that concern me the most that you well point out, is the change of business model that Uber will have to consider when AVs become a reality. Will they want to invest in their own fleet and become an asset heavy business, or will they try to outsource this fleet? A big consideration for this question is whether the cost of AVs will be accessible to the masses, or when it will be accessible to the masses. If only the wealthy will be able to afford an autonomous vehicle, will Uber be able to achieve the necessary scale with outsourced vehicles?
Very interesting article Marissa! I see the disruptive potential that 3D printing can have in the medical devices sector. My big concern here would be that regulatory bodies in the healthcare space have to be very strict with all and each commercialized product, and I can see challenges with regulators accepting thousands of different customized products without testing them, which of course would be ridiculous. I think companies like J&J will have to do a lot of work in educating regulators and lobbying with them so that they don’t become the bottleneck, and this might require a considerable amount of investment from the companies’ side.