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
The latest report of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) marks the definitive rhetorical shift from preventing climate change to limiting climate change. Instead of the usual narrative that sufficient climate action could still limit global warming to acceptable levels, this new narrative tells us that climate change will be disastrous, no matter what we do. Nevertheless, we still can and should prevent matters from getting worse. Looking back, we have to acknowledge that the mere threat of climate change was not sufficient to persuade the world to take concrete and direct measures beyond the long-term goals that have defined climate agreements thus far. This year, we are being confronted with visible and undeniable climate change in the form of extreme droughts, floods and wildfires. Looking ahead, we can only hope that this confrontation will finally result in the institutional and behavioral change that is needed to limit further harm.
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.