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After the Climate Action Summit, What Role Can Businesses Play?

Yesterday, world leaders convened in New York for the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit to present plans for how their countries could achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Earlier this year, BRINK’s executive editor, Tom Carver, spoke to professor Mike Berners-Lee about how companies can play a role as well.

“Humans are capable, individually and collectively, of changing the values that they operate from and the values that are culturally normal. One example would be that, over the last few decades, there’s been a rise of neoliberalism and free market values. One of the things they’ve done is increase the focus on individualism and the pursuit of extrinsic rewards. So if that’s possible, then the reverse of that is possible, and a greater focus on intrinsic rewards, and less materialistic rewards, and a greater focus on cooperation and empathy with, and respect for, people all over the world. … The challenge for a business, if it wants to have corporate responsibility in this new context, is to be asking, ‘What are we doing to help create the conditions under which the world can deal with the big, systemic challenges that we face?’”

Revisit that interview here: Why Values Matter in Combating Climate Change

Housing Prices Rise Among Majority of Countries

Housing prices skyrocketed in 2020 across the globe. Forty-two countries saw an increase in housing prices as interest rates remained low and commutes were cut because of the pandemic, according to research done by the International Monetary Fund

The IMF recently found that supply chain woes contributed to the rising prices of building materials and homes and led to headline inflation. The housing boom is also likely to increase wealth inequalities around the world, with many real estate developers opting to build for affluent communities

In the U.S., home sale growth is slowing as we head into the fall, but home buying is still a tall task due to continued low mortgage rates. “It’s still a very competitive market,” Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud told Marketwatch. Elsewhere, forecasts for China’s economic growth have weakened because of recent news regarding its real estate developers.

Startups Raise a Record Amount of Money in Q3 2021

Startups raise a record amount of money

Startup businesses raised a record amount of funding in the last quarter, according to the State of Venture Q3’21 Report by CB Insights Research. Globally, venture capital firms invested more than $158 billion dollars into companies, a 107% increase since Q3 2020.

While the U.S. received the most funding, accounting for a little less than half of global funding, with $72.2 billion raised, Asia is catching up. China raised $25.5 billion, growing 26% since Q2 2021, and India raised $9.9 billion, growing 195% since Q3 2020.

Health care companies lead the various sectors for the year to date, with $97 billion raised, followed by fintech companies with $91.5 billion. As the past few years have shown, health care has plenty of room to innovate. According to Roy Schoenberg, M.D., CEO of virtual health company Amwell, the health care industry will look drastically different than it does today. “Within the next 10 years, physical, digital, and automated care will ideally apply to all patients,” says Shoenberg. “The care of any one patient will eventually become a mix of all three classes,” he predicts.

Why Employees Are Leaving Their Jobs

New research from Oliver Wyman Forum sheds light on what’s behind the Great Resignation. In a survey of workers from 10 countries, the most commonly cited reason is more money. According to the survey’s authors, “wages have been stagnant for years, private pensions are almost non-existent for new hires and frozen for long-timers, and employees are increasingly footing the bill for rising health care costs.” The most common way to remedy those issues for workers, it seems, is a job change.

Fulfillment and flexibility were also key in employees’ decisions to leave. With remote work becoming the norm, workers are looking for situations that allow for work-life balance. Remote work also allows for more job opportunities and ways to feel fulfilled by day-to-day tasks.

According to the authors of the report, now is the time to act. “More than a third of the people we surveyed said they’re planning to leave within the next six months. The right salary, flexible benefits, and opportunities for growth and fulfillment could stop them.”

More People Are Living In Floodplains, Research Shows

More people are living on floodplains than ever

The proportion of the world’s population exposed to floods grew by 58–86 million between 2000 and 2015, according to new research using data from NASA. Led by Beth Tellman, a geography researcher at the University of Arizona, the study also found that 255 million people were affected at least once by major floods during the same time.

Analyzing flood events from the past 20 years, researchers found that floods caused by heavy rains and tropical storms have increased as a result of climate change as well. Marsh McLennan has also indexed which countries are most at-risk of flooding.

Recently, the U.S. government announced a renewed approach to flood insurance, introducing risk-based premiums for its National Flood Insurance Program. The program should be able to cover catastrophic losses without having to borrow funds from the U.S. Treasury as well as incentivize property owners to invest in loss reduction measures that would lower the cost of insurance, reflecting lower expected claims in the future. 


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