Horizons Newsletter – week 50 // 2019
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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Europe’s climate ambitions move to space
Two weeks ago, at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ministerial Council, member states approved the largest budget in the agency’s history, €14.4 billion. The ESA’s budget comprises of a mandatory contribution by its 22 member states, totaling €1.9 billion, and optional funding for programs proposed by the agency. The optional funds will pave the way for missions to the Moon and Mars, but Earth observation programs received the largest share of the budget. These projects for monitoring air, seas and land from satellites received roughly 20% of all funding, exceeding what the ESA originally asked for. A large portion will be spend on the E.U.’s Copernicus program, the world’s largest producer of Earth observation satellite data. The extra budget will improve and expand the Copernicus program with five new systems to measure Arctic sea-ice, land temperatures, rising sea levels and CO2 emissions. The approval of the ESA’s budget came on the same day that the European Parliament announced a climate emergency and illustrates how governments are increasingly reallocating budgets to track challenges posed by climate change.
Intrinsic relation of coding and logics
With digital technology being omnipresent in our daily lives, understanding and creating digital systems has become a vital skill in our economy and society (e.g. programming virtual environments, fixing an internet problem). As a result, all sorts of initiatives are emerging outside of the conventional educational systems, such as educational coding apps, coding programs and coding schools. Last month, for example, Disney and video game platform Roblox teamed up to learn kids how to design and race on their own digital spaceships in the game Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Creator Challenge. Coding and programming is heavily dependent on formal logic. The mastery of the ability to systematically make valid inferences, proof and classify arguments, and depict ‘logical forms’ to all valid arguments, is thus becoming increasingly important. The admission requirements for coding school 42, for instance, solely consists of a test in logic (even no degree is needed). With the ongoing process of digitization, the need for coding and programming skills will increase; to support this, formal logic should become a regular subject in schools.
Individualism in the 21st century
When countries modernize and transform from an agricultural and traditional society into an industrial modern society, the general culture tends to individualize. This is driven by the process of structural differentiation that creates more specialized and independent social roles for persons, and the emergence of a middle class that strives for more personal freedom and self-expression via consumption. Sociological research also shows that more individualist cultures generally have more technological innovation and higher long-run growth rates. This is because individualist cultures grant higher social status rewards to personal achievements and thus provide not only monetary incentives for innovation but also social status rewards. As such, individualization is both an effect of modernization as well as an engine for further development. Countries that are rapidly growing and modernizing are therefore developing middle classes that will drive future growth via innovations that cater this middle class group. Examples are Chinese “superapps” (e.g. Alibaba, WeChat), music and streaming platforms in India or mobility-as-a-service in Southeast Asia. As such, the process of modernization and individualization go hand in hand.