American Climate Refugees, a World on a Shot Clock, and Data-Driven Diversity


Photo: Karen Apricot

Climate Change Refugees in the U.S.A.
 Is it the first of many? The Isle de Jean Charles, in southeastern Louisiana, received a $48 million federal grant intended to resettle its residents due to climate change-related flooding. In a deep New York Times package, we see a side of the first American climate refugees tale that focuses on the people, not the abstractions. Sample: “The floods ruined the trailer’s oven, so the family cooks on a hot plate. Water destroyed the family computer, too. Ms. Parfait, who has lupus, is afraid of what will happen if she is sick and cannot reach a doctor over the flooded bridge.” Must read.

Tick, Tick, Tick …
 It’s not just Isle de Jean Charles. The Earth is on a shot clock. In his weekly column, NewCo founder and editor in chief John Battelle says business can’t sit this game out.

Data-Driven Diversity
 There’s power in numbers, so a group of prominent female Silicon Valley executives have started Project Include (USA Today), a nonprofit intended “to increase diversity and inclusion in the industry.” One of the prominent founders is Ellen Pao, whose well-documented experiences at Kleiner Perkins and Reddit make her a particularly appropriate voice for the organization. Their plan is to collect and share data. They’re not talking about quotas for to diversify rank-and-file employees, although over in Europe, requirements for women in board seats seem to be working (Quartz).

Oracle’s Data-Driven Disruptors
 Industry by industry, one BigCo is building a portfolio of data-driven disruptors. Enterprise software stalwart Oracle’s will pay $532 million for energy data firm Opower (Washington Post). Opower started by tracking energy-use trends across large populations; more recently it has worked to help utilities communicate better with customers. It’s yet another Oracle purchase of a cloud company bent on changing a particular industry (following purchases in construction, marketing, and other verticals). Remaining Opower employees may be happy, although last week, apparently readying itself for sale, the company laid off 7.5 percent of its workforce (ARL Now).

The Detroit-Valley Connection
 Silicon Valley wants to absorb (that’s what “disrupt” means, right?) what’s left of the Detroit auto industry. It also wants to learn what it can from the incumbents. Detroit automakers, for their part, plan to hold off the inevitable by partnering with the Apples of the world (Bloomberg), with mixed results. With estimates that U.S. auto sales may fall 40 percent within 25 years, “Detroit is looking to tech partnerships to stay relevant.”

Millennials Are Reshaping the Beauty Industry
 Older folks want instant results from their beauty products but have reasonable expectations, saving for their complexion like they’re saving for retirement. Millennials, companies are finding, want it all. Now (WSJ).

The Adult Coloring Book Wars Have Begun
 Tablet apps are joining the fray. Why? “Coloring a page takes days” (Los Angeles Times). Guess it’s not only millennials who are in such a rush.

Walker-Miller Energy and the War Against Waste
 We waste more energy than we use. In our latest Video Spotlight, Carla Walker-Miller of NewCo Honors Finalist Walker-Miller Energy Services shares how her Detroit company intends to fix that.

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