America's first climate refugees

Remember the name of Isle de Jean Charles. This little island connected by a bridge to the coast of Louisiana is the first community to receive federal tax dollars to help relocate due to the impacts of climate change, The New York Times reports. The residents of Isle de Jean Charles will get $48 million from a $1 billion climate change adaptation fund that came into effect in January. Despite the financial support, “the divisions the effort has exposed and the logistical and moral dilemmas it has presented point up in microcosm the massive problems the world could face in the coming decades as it confronts a new category of displaced people who have become known as climate refugees,” the NYT observes.

Driverless cars will change the insurance industry

That’s the opinion of Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson. He predicts that driver less cars are the “single most important advance in automotive safety” in years and bases his theory on US government research predicting autonomous vehicles will bring about an 80% fall in the number of car crashes by 2035, the Guardian writes. This improvement in safety will have an obvious knock-on effect according to insurer Swiss Re. It predicts that premiums in the 14 largest car markets in the world will plummet by $20bn (£13.5bn) by 2020.

Why should business care about the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

It’s a fair question given the high-minded but not-always practical technocratic thinking often associated with UN projects. However, as this Huffington Post piece by Nicola Ruane makes clear, in a world of finite resources, with a youthful global population that is learning to put a premium on sustainable living, and in a political climate where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be considered a license to operate, developing a business strategy that takes the goals seriously will be crucial for all companies. There are 17 main SDGs but The Huff Post piece focuses on three - gender equality, climate action and economic growth and decent work - that will likely resonate the most with business. 

Gamers against TB

Can video gaming help find a better clinical test for TB? That’s what the creator of the web-based game EteRNA is hoping. Players of the game are trying to design a “sensor molecule that could potentially make diagnosing TB as easy as taking a home pregnancy test,” NPR reports. EteRNA isn’t any old game of course. It was designed by a biochemist specifically to challenge non experts to design RNA molecules (they play a key role in biology and disease apparently) that can fight back against those same diseases.

Viral ads and the art of over-analysis

Finally today, if you’ve ever wondered whether the advertising industry perhaps overthinks how to influence their “target demographic” then this Adweek story will do nothing to dispel that notion. Fans of pie charts detailing what millennial females deem hilarious read on…

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