News & Outlook Archives - Page 3 of 16 - Activate World

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…

Trump’s fight with California divides automakers

GM, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler, and others are now backing the Trump administration’s move to remove California’s power to impose CO2 rules — and by proxy mileage rules — that exceed federal standards. This is the latest twist in the standoff between Trump and California regulators over the Administration’s proposed weakening of federal auto-emissions standards set during the Obama administration. …

Ed Stack: taking a stand on gun control

Ed Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, sparked a national debate when he decided to stop selling assault-style firearms in February of 2018, after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. In his book, It’s How We Play The Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference, Stack says the tragic shootings made him realize that,…

Twitter bans political advertising

CEO Jack Dorsey is taking a bold stance and banning political ads from Twitter’s platform beginning November 22nd.  The announcement came minutes before Facebook posted its quarterly results, highlighting the differences between the two companies on the controversial practice of political advertising in social media.   Lunchtime Conversations: On Facebook, an ad claims that Joe Biden gave…

Venture capitalists are missing opportunities to fund diverse entrepreneurs

Despite the opportunities represented by women and multicultural entrepreneurs, venture capitalists are not making these investments a priority and missing out on significant returns. To understand why, Morgan Stanley surveyed a combination of nearly 200 US-based VCs and diverse entrepreneurs and found few made it a top priority and lacked the motivation to educate themselves…

Marc Benioff – Doing well and doing good

Marc Benioff, co-founder and co-CEO of Salesforce, is the epitome of the activist business leader and frames every discussion in terms of values. He says that “Capitalism as we know it is dead.” He opposed a law in Indiana that could have discriminated against the LGBTQ community, and he has called Facebook “the new cigarettes.”…

Tech workers show increasing interest in unionization

Google management unsuccessfully tried to shut down an employee-led talk on unionization at its Zurich office last week. Dozens of full-time Google employees met in defiance of their employer’s attempt to cancel the meeting. Google continues to struggle with employee discontent over workplace issues on a variety of topics, including labor organizing.  Lunchtime Conversations: Why…

Open Source software helps the energy industry go green

Meeting the ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions set by governments and the Paris Agreement will require more energy from sustainable sources like wind and solar power. This shift is creating problems for utilities due to the unpredictable nature of these renewable energy sources. The energy sector is turning to open source software to meet these technological challenges. …

For Facebook and other platforms, fake news is still news – and money

Facebook is running a false ad about Joe Biden paid for by President Trump’s reelection campaign. The platform says it meets with its policies, and other media/tech companies are following suit.  Lunchtime Conversations: What are the implications for democracy if public opinion is manipulated at scale with false ads? CNN and other stations refuse to…