News & Outlook Archives - Activate World

U.S. companies aid and abet Chinese censorship

Shutterstock, the online purveyor of stock images and photographs, now maintains a search blacklist of keywords forbidden by China’s authoritarian rules. Other U.S. companies also support China’s censorship by complying with the government’s censorship requirements.  Lunchtime conversations: Should American companies always honor the American values that underly their business? Although some compromise is necessary, when…

COP25 – the rise of ocean-based climate action

In Madrid, delegates from governments around the world are meeting to work on a global response to climate change. This is the 25th meeting under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP25. The primary objective this year is to nail down the finer points of how to achieve their Paris Agreement commitments. Lunchtime…

Google fires employees for alleged workplace activism

Four software engineers say they were fired by Google last week in retaliation for workplace activism. The former employees plan to file complaints with the National Labor Relations Board in a move that will likely escalate tensions between Google’s management and workforce.  Lunchtime Conversations: How can Google regain its reputation as the architect of the…

Businesses embracing regulation

Many CEOs dislike regulation, and it consistently ranks high in surveys citing tough business issues faced by chief executives. But some companies are taking a different approach to regulation by aggressively creating solutions that eventually set standards.  Lunchtime conversations: Amazon recently announced the company is developing standards and laws for its facial recognition technology, Rekognition, hoping…

Patagonia accelerates environmental activism platform

Outdoor company Patagonia is matching donations to grassroots environmental organizations through its Action Works platform as a unique way to fight climate change. Through December 31, the brand is matching donations up to $10,000 per individual, per transaction, and up to $10 million overall.  Lunchtime Conversations: Patagonia has been working to impact the planet positively for four decades….

Bolstering gratitude in the workplace

The benefits of expressing gratitude are well known. Studies show the more you are thankful, the more attuned you are to your feelings of well-being and gratefulness. Unfortunately, appreciation and gratitude in the workplace lag behind expressions of these emotional skills. Lunchtime conversations: How can the positive aspects of gratitude create a “we’re in this together” mentality in…

Google and Ascension launch Project Nightingale

A business partnership between Google and Ascension, a major hospital chain and health insurer, includes the transfer of 50 million patient medical records without their knowledge or consent. Within 48 hours, federal regulators announced an investigation into the partnership. Google and Ascension both claim that they are fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and…

Internet freedom continues to decline

Freedom House reports that free speech and privacy on the internet declined globally for the ninth consecutive year. The bipartisan watchdog and think tank reports in their Freedom on the Net 2019 report that election interference and government surveillance of social media are undermining internet freedoms.  Lunchtime conversations: How can government policymakers balance surveillance for crimes versus…

California mayors propose turning PG&E into a cooperative

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wants to turn embattled Pacific Gas & Electric into a massive, customer-owned cooperative. He first proposed this radical re-imagining of the utility in October, and its gaining traction. Last Tuesday, more than two dozen other California mayors signed on in support. Lunchtime conversations: All members of cooperatives take part in…