Wow ! Hadn’t thought of this yet with autonomous cars. I would definitely not want to be one of the engineers writing the code to decide which lives to take and which to save. However, if going down this dark and complex road – why not model the whole thing and see in which scenario more lives would be saved? What I mean is model a whole state or city for example, with an algorithm written via a few different ethical decision criteria (e.g. save the passengers, save the youngest kids etc.) and see on aggregate which reality would leave us better off?
At the end of the day, I hope this would evolve slowly, naturally and in a contained fashion so we can have the time as a society to make sense of it and hit the breaks (pun intended) when needed.
Thanks for the post and for 796 written words ! 🙂 Kidding aside, reading written words, either in print or digitally is something I see tomorrow’s public growing away from. Today, more and more people are multi-tasking, and are actually being exposed to more content than before, just in different channels, watching tv episodes on their iPhones / iPads while cooking or listening to podcasts while working out or taking the subway. At the same time I don’t believe people actually want to receive lower quality content, they just want the channel and methodology to change to cater to their needs and new lives. Enter – my suggestion to the New York Times – audible read outs of their well investigated and well written posts – so that people could – only after paying a subscription – listen to the articles read out to them while on the go. Pitch it to them – it’s the future!
Some thoughts on Walmart’s challenge to solve the Last-mile problem. As reported recently on the Washington post, Walmart is actually planning to come at the problem from a very different direction – leveraging their 11,000 plus physical stores across the world – an asset neither Amazon nor Google, Uber, Lyft have. By both controlling almost the whole value chain of grocery pickup/delivery, Walmart has an opportunity to be more efficient, keep costs down, control quality from suppliers, and reach the “burbs” – something Amazon (even with transport partners) will have to spend a lot of money on, in order to compete.
I’m curios if you think there is a world some of the population goes back to board games, perhaps we re-introduce them to our youth? Some argue that board games are experiencing a golden age, (see http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/life/entertainment/story/2016/aug/30/board-not-boring-far-dead-fans-say-physical-b/383324/). The truth of the matter is, I believe unless we purposefully steer our youth’s time allocation and their idea of fun, we will have a hard time predicting where their social habits will end up. These days it is very hard keeping young children and even babies from staring at the multiple video screens we all have in our homes, (e.g. iPhone, iPad, tv, computer, laptop, 2nd tv etc…) While it may seem natural for them to do so, something some even celebrate as being super tech-savvy, it is not necessarily the right or best thing for them, socially and cognitively. (See NYT article on the matter: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/04/13/bringing-up-baby-on-the-iphone/avoid-screens-for-children-under-2-years-of-age)
Thanks for the post. The point editor Clifford Levy makes, about shifting content from best possible investigative story to more DIGESTIBLE content for readers – really alarmed me. In my opinion, this is exactly what is wrong with the new media and mains stream tv trying to stay relevant in these times. If there’s anything we’ve learned from this past US presidential election, is that this is may lead to a slipper slope to faster, shorter and ratings driven news. The leap from that to other unregulated un supervised organizations producing fake new, is not an imaginary one (as depicted by the New York Times on Nov 18, 2016 – http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/technology/fake-news-on-facebook-in-foreign-elections-thats-not-new.html …. that is if we believe this post to be of high integrity and quality….)
Anton! Cheers for this post – didn’t know sustainability was part of the move to alphabet.
I definitely agree that in order to reach true scale in the fight against climate change we need the private sector corporations need to act as spearheads. Unfortunately, I also think the actual change to tip the scale cannot come from crowd initiated campaigns or NGOs unless they get the attention of major profit seeking businesses.
Having said that, given the premise that they should be leading the fight and that most of us are pretty pleased with their actions – how do we actually know that they are doing enough at all?
Perhaps Google, given its excess cash and control of the market, should be doing twice as much? These companies, being as big and influential as they are, are in my mind in position to control the narrative surrounding their own CSR campaigns. For irony – see almost no negative results when doing a google search for “Is google doing enough to fight climate change?”
In other words – who is overseeing and critiquing the big corps and keeping them honest?
Thanks Z! Building on the point you made about only 20% of used cotton actually being reused by H&M at the moment- has H&M considered the powerful impact of 2nd hand usage? The proposition to H&M would be to look into collecting clothes, perhaps in return for consumer discounts on next purchase, and then to try to distribute these clothes to communities or individuals in need. Several ways to go about this could be to pair with soup kitchens or with shelters networks. The way I would then think about it, if successful, the recycle or reuse rate would actually be closer to 100% of used cottons collected, and the social impact as well as the climate one would be tremendous.
Thanks so much for this post Alejandro! If that is your real name…
It’s brilliant how even a 1st world business can actually improve their sustainable production process so much, inspired by a negative natural disasters, in this case – droughts.
One thing that came to mind was whether or not the state of California has been considering larger scale state level solutions due to their repeated droughts. I assume these droughts affect other agricultural spaces and one possible solution could be desalination of saltwater. Do you know whether this topic has ever been explored? Would it make financial sense? Could this be done on a vineyard scale?
Thanks for interesting post! I love the title.
As I was reading the post and the numbers in your intro on “Why Meatless Burgers?” I was wondering about the level of potential for burgers to be replaced by non-meat? And why Beyond Meat, Inc. has chosen this as the focus for their business plan?
I was blown away by the fact that according to research, 75% of Americans eat a burger at least once a week! This led me to wonder- What percentage do these burgers make up of the total US beef consumption?
I think the answer might be super interesting in order to validate the company’s business model and whether or not they are gunning for maximum impact with replacing burger with non-mean? I assume the other alternative would be that they are going for a recognizable food that will be their entry point to other products down the horizon.
Thanks for this post Heather! Awesome topic and obviously I’m way hungrier now…
Given that use of cattle in industry is the biggest contributor to emissions, in locations where they introduced the non-beef options, did Shake Shack go further to put “their money where our mouths are” and price those alternatives differently?
One thought would be that they could transfer gross margins from beef-options and transfer those to the alternatives and by doing so roll discounts to the consumers. This might encourage more people to change their demand mix and ultimately, change the eating habits in their region.