Horizons Newsletter – week 40 // 2021
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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Shifting political landscapes
Last week, the left-of-center Social Democrats won the German elections. Support for Angela Merkel’s CDU plunged to a historic low and the far-right AfD lost its status as main opposition. In the meantime, the ratings and support for Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro have fallen to all-time lows. In other countries, such as France and the U.K., the far-right seems to have been losing ground as well. Reasons for this might be the mishandling of far-right governments of the coronavirus crisis. A second reason could be the resurgence of the Big Left and Big Government in the wake of the pandemic, fueled by calls of the general public for more government intervention (e.g. on inequality) and government spending. Lastly, there could be a general shift in consensus on what the core issues are; from identity politics and culture wars to fighting climate change and creating more resilient societies in a sustainable sense. With upcoming elections in several major economies next year (including France, U.S. (mid-term elections), Brazil, India, Sweden and Australia), 2022 will be a crucial year for the global political landscape.
Broaden your horizon?
In this section we share content that may be of interest to you:I
- While AI can’t tell stories yet, it could work alongside humans to improve the storytelling process. McKinsey and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab recently investigated the potential for such machine–human collaboration in video storytelling.
- Rock Health takes a look at Healthcare’s middle children. Large retail, fitness and tech companies that are not big, but still a force to be reckoned with.
- Our open banking report already noted the changed role of banks. This Strategy & Business article described how customers are now making choices based on transaction execution. Instead of choosing a transaction method from the options provided by their account, they are adapting where they store their money, or how and from whom they borrow, to suit their preferred way of paying for goods and services. With open banking, more companies can offer that experience and take the customer relationship away from the banks.
Regulating the Gig Economy
Around the globe, governments are grappling with the disruption caused by gig platforms, such as Uber and Lyft. These platforms claim that they are not subject to existing regulations (for instance concerning vehicle safety or employment contracts), since they “merely” provide a technology platform that brings together workers and customers. Some judges do not agree with that claim however. Most recently, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that Uber drivers are employees, not freelancers. Governments are following up on the court judgments with regulation. In September, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that calls for a European framework to guarantee people working for digital labor platforms to have the same level of social protection as non-platform workers of the same category. With the Gig economy forecasted to grow further, more needs to be done, though. Aside from labor, Gig Economy companies challenge exiting product-market regulation, competition policy and taxation systems. Furthermore, these platforms are not only operators within an existing market; their platforms also act as a private market that they can regulate through their algorithms. These dynamics create a challenging regulatory case that is far from being solved.