We’re in the final stretch leading up to NewCo Shift Forum and are pleased to announce the nominees for the NewCo Honors, our annual awards for organizations doing well by doing good. Nominees are all market leaders and well-known names in their respective sectors, but what makes them significant through the NewCo lens is their commitment to leading in a new market with significant positive impact. They are the embodiment of business on a mission. NewCo Honors are given annually for actions in the previous year.
All of these organizations are “NewCos” based on our editorial narrative, which we have written about extensively, refined, and clarified over the years. They are a new kind of company, one that measures its success by more than profit. They are purpose-driven, information-first, networked, and, most importantly, on a mission.
The free market is perfectly suited to harnessing a solution, argues a former climate skeptic
Jerry Taylor, the founder of the Niskanen Institute, spent years of his career as a professional climate denier — his senior role at libertarian think tank Cato Institute demanded it, and he was unconvinced that the risks of taking action outweighed the destruction that action might have on the world’s economy.
But starting about seven or so years ago, Taylor began to question his own assumptions, and after studying the science — and in particular the academic economics — more carefully, he had a complete change of heart. Taylor is now an advocate for addressing climate change, and in this talk at the NewCo Shift Forum earlier this year, he explains why.
Silicon Valley’s newest congressman has some very choice words for President Trump. He has some pretty strong ideas as well.
On the day Trump announced he was pulling out of the Paris climate accords, I sat down with freshman House Representative Ro Khanna, known in Washington as “the Valley’s congressman.” A tech industry lawyer by training, Khanna ran twice for the seat he now occupies, failing in his first effort to unseat longtime incumbent Mike Honda in 2014. But his 2016 victory came with the sour aftertaste of the Trump administration, and Khanna’s sweeping ideas — like a trillion dollar rewrite of the tax code — were essentially dead on arrival in the chaotic aftermath of Trump’s ascendance.
But Khanna is still optimistic he can deliver for his powerful district — Facebook, Google, and Apple all fall within the borders of his constituency. Then again, he’s well aware of the lopsided nature of business interests on politics, which is why he refused all PAC money in his bids for Congress. This allows him to speak — and vote — his conscience. Which he very much did in the interview below, edited for clarity.
When does business-as-usual stop being business as usual? For tech leaders joining a high-profile White House summit later this month, that breaking point seems to lie on an infinitely receding horizon.
On June 19, the American Technology Council, led by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, will hold its first meeting. Attendees will include the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM. Alphabet/Google will send its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. Facebook has been invited, too, but hasn’t yet responded (Bloomberg).
President Trump’s decision to repudiate the Paris climate agreement marked a dead end for the “work within the system” phase of business leaders’ relationship with Trump’s administration. Among the many tech executives who sat down to parley with Trump soon after his election, the thinking was: get a seat at the table with the novice chief executive, and you could sway him when it really mattered.
Nothing matters more in the long run than the fate of the planet. But Trump chose to ignore science, his peers among world leaders, every other country on earth except for Syria and Nicaragua, his own daughter and son-in-law, and all the titans of business (among them, his secretary of state) who urged him to stick with Paris. Instead, he “extended a middle finger to the world” (Politico). Many of the tech CEOs who rode the elevator up Trump Tower last December expressed their disappointment with Trump’s choice, and Elon Musk announced on Twitter that he’s quitting Trump’s advisory board (Recode). He was not alone — Disney’s chief also resigned over the issue.
Trump has ditched the Paris climate agreement. Enlightened brands will see a massive opportunity to step up and win the future.
So Trump has ditched the Paris climate agreement. He cited his duty to the ‘citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris’. Sounds as though some among the good people of Pittsburgh are not too happy about that namecheck.
We shouldn’t be surprised. Trump is only doing what he said he’d do. Of course the commentary now will be endless — and so it should be.
With Trump making the disastrous decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, it’s more important than ever that private industry steps up. Entrepreneurs and even Fortune 500s might not be able to match the scale or impact of a global coordinated effort to combat climate change, but there’s quite a lot they can do.
Innovation in the clean energy space is flourishing. Solar is now cheaper than coal (unsubsidized) in many parts of the world. Battery powered cars will soon cost less than gasoline powered ones.
It’s 2025, and 800,000 tons of used high strength steel is coming up for auction.
The steel made up the Keystone XL pipeline, finally completed in 2019, two years after the project launched with great fanfare after approval by the Trump administration. The pipeline was built at a cost of about $7 billion, bringing oil from the Canadian tar sands to the US, with a pit stop in the town of Baker, Montana, to pick up US crude from the Bakken formation. At its peak, it carried over 500,000 barrels a day for processing at refineries in Texas and Louisiana.
The entire digital economy is built on a simple transaction model in which users give companies access to their personal data and companies provide services cheap or free. It’s a convenient and successful scheme, but it has some ugly incentives built in. And every now and then, a news story that lifts the veil from its shadier corners causes the world to go “yuck.”
In the latest incident of this sort, readers of Mike Isaac’s in-depth New York Timesprofile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick yesterday learned that an email inbox cleanup service called Unroll.me was selling anonymized data about its users’ behavior to third-party companies. In this case, Uber paid Unroll.me for reports on the volume of Lyft receipts in its users’ email so it could suss out the health of its rival’s business. Much online outcry ensued (here’s a good summary from CBS News).