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Governments are going BIG on batteries! As the world transitions towards cleaner energy sources, Governments have recognized the importance of securing battery supply chains in the transition towards a more sustainable future!Some of the biggest government spending packages on battery production incentives include:The US Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, which provides up to $25 billion in loan guarantees to support the development and production of fuel-efficient vehicles and related components, including batteries.The European Union's Horizon 2020 program, which includes funding for research and development of batteries and related technologies as part of its Clean Energy for All Europeans package.China's National New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan, which includes significant government subsidies and incentives for the development and production of electric vehicles and batteries.The UK's Faraday Battery Challenge, which includes £274 million in government funding to support the development of battery technology and promote the growth of the UK's battery manufacturing sector.South Korea's Electric Vehicle Battery Industry Cultivation Plan, which includes government funding and support for the development of the country's electric vehicle and battery manufacturing industries.These government spending packages reflect a growing global commitment to supporting the development and production of battery technology, which is seen as essential for achieving a more sustainable future. By providing incentives and funding for battery technology research and development, these packages are helping to drive innovation and accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies.In Ep 2 with Gavin White, Co-Founder and CEO of About: Energy, we explore the various initiatives and policies implemented by countries to encourage the production of batteries.So whether you're interested in clean energy, electric vehicles, or the future of sustainability, this episode is for you! So, let's dive in!Helpful Links: was a record year for EV battery factories in the U.S. - NPRCATL plans Europe's biggest battery gigafactory - C&ENSupport the show
It seems like every electronic device these days involves some type of battery - your phone, your laptop, and even your CAR! We had another year of SuperBowls boasting new EV production cars from traditional manufacturers like GM, Honda, and Hyundai. The consumers have spoken and the demand for EV's cannot be stopped!But what's taking so long to get to an electrified future? Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to create battery technology? Traditionally, battery research has been a slow and expensive process, with many iterations of trial and error required to find the optimal combination of materials and design. About:Energy aims to change this!Today, on Things Have Changed, we chat with Gavin White, Co-Founder & CEO of About:Energy, revolutionizing the battery industry by building a software platform that helps researchers & institutions design and optimize batteries more efficiently.Gavin discusses in detail the process of building a battery tech company in the age of sustainability:🤔 Concept & Prototyping during his PhD⭐️ Commercialization & Building “The Voltt” Software Platform💊 Pain points & Tradeoffs in the Battery Development CycleThe Voltt platform speeds up the research process while allowing for a much broader exploration of the design space, potentially unlocking new breakthroughs in battery technology.The THC team are super excited to see how Gavin & Kieran’s team, continue to innovate  towards a sustainable and better future.Helpful LInks:About:EnergyFaraday Battery ChallengeGavin White, ICLNovel methods for measuring the thermal diffusivity and the thermal conductivity of a lithium-ion batteryUniversity of Birmingham and Imperial College London aims to speed up battery developmentSupport the show
The dollar tumbled to a nine-month low against the euro this past week, after data showed U.S. inflation was easing, prompting bets that the Federal Reserve will be less aggressive with rate hikes going forward. But this isn’t new.. The greenback’s share of global foreign-exchange reserves has extended a two-decade decline, but it’s still used more than all other currencies combined. For decades, the dollar has been the worlds most important currency. You buy energy in dollars, you pay back debts in dollars, and most of world trade is done in dollars. This gives the United States a unique amount of influence which some countries acknowledge is a challenge. Recently, developing countries including Brazil, Russia, India & China have been steering away from the surging US Dollar, in their global transactions. China, the worlds biggest trading partner, could also start demanding “Yuan” for it’s exports instead of dollars - I mean they’re starting to do that already! BRICS (Brazil, Russia, Inida, China, and South Africa) recently hinted at a plan to “dethrone” the dollar. A system of trade between the countries that could reduce the importance of the dollar for more than 40% of the world population. The dollar will remain the worlds reserve currency for a while but as the United States sanction countries that do not align with its political agenda, it becomes increasingly clear that dollar dominance comes at the risk of US policy alignment. Will we see the US dollar become less relevant? So today, on Things Have Changed, we’re going to talk about the US Dollar declines, why the rest of the world celebrates when this happens & the possibility of the US Dollar becoming less dominant as new contenders around the globe emerge! Support the show
Two months ago, the British government released a “Growth Plan” that talked about tax cuts worth about $45B. That led to a series of events that culminated in Lis Truss going into the history books as the shortest-termed Prime Minister in the UK.Things are not looking good for the UK economy, with interest rate hikes and soaring inflation! Add to that the Sterling PoundSpecifically, Sterling Pound has fallen against the dollar by around 20% since the start of the year and inflation is at 9.3% as of November 2022. So - How did this happen?Today on Things Have Changed Podcast, we’re going to talk about how the pound sterling is getting POUNDED! Tune in.Helpful Links:The pound is plumbing near-historical depths. Why?Britains Chancellor Offers up a Reckless Budget, Fiscally and Politically[UK Data on Inflation]( price inflation%2C UK%3A November 2022&text=On a monthly basis%2C CPIH,of 0.6%25 in November 2021.)A weaker pound does not spell disaster for BritainUK interest rates raised to highest level for 14 yearsHow to Invest a Million DollarsForbes Best Safe Haven InvestmentsSupport the show
In early 2021 the dollar was near its lowest level in more than five years against a broad basket of currenciesFast forward to July of 2022, the dollar reached parity with the euro for the first time since 2002! The dollar has been on a tear! climbing by around 20% over the past year against a basket of global currencies, and is at its highest level in 20 years.And this has been a wrecking ball to the global economy!Stock markets are bleeding, corporate bonds have been pummelled and crypto is dead!In this season of Things Have Changed Podcast, we’re going to talk about Currencies. and today we’re going to talk about how USD crushed foreign exchange markets!Helpful Links:Global rate rises are happening on an unprecedented scaleCentral Banks May Stoke Risks by Raising Interest Rates TogetherDollar-euro parity may be justified. But the yen looks cheap as chipsThe Dollar is Strong as Ever, Isn’t it?Why the dollar is strong and why that is a problemWhat’s behind the dollars strength?Things to buy when the dollar is strongSupport the show
Transporting people and cargo across the globe is almost as old as time itself! With shipping accounting for 90% of World Trade, it was surprising for us to learn how outdated the industry is with regards to technology! The maritime industry is still very manual, and highly regulated making it a herculean task to even propose bringing about change! But COVID flipped this entire narrative! The pandemic revealed how fragile the global supply chains of essential items are. Shortages in medicines, lumber, to semiconductor chips and cars highlighted the weaknesses & risks in global trade!  Recent global challenges & conflicts have made supply-chain resilience a must-have for businesses across the world. The need for advanced technology to predict & adapt to sharp fluctuations between supply and demand is all the more essential! In today’s episode we re-visit our discussion with Martin Verhaegen, Founder & CEO of Qwyk, a digital logistics platform, aimed at revolutionizing one of the oldest industries in the world. Since we recorded this conversation, the THC team was thrilled to hear that Qwyk's incredible cloud-based shipping platform was acquired by Magaya Corporation, the leading provider of logistics and supply chain automation software. Tune in to hear Martin's incredible vision, resilience and drive to digitize the Trillion dollar shipping industry!Support the show
One of the highest consumers of electric power are data centers. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the data center industry, accounts for approximately 4% of global electricity consumption and 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To top it off, the carbon dioxide emissions of data centers are comparable to that of the aviation industry.The data center industry is responsible for more greenhouse gases than commercial flights  🤯 And so the pressure is on for them to achieve net-zero emissions!The growing intensity of computing power as well as high performance demands has resulted in rapidly rising temperatures within data centres. More computing means more power, more power means more heat, more heat demands more cooling, and traditional air-cooling systems consume massive amounts of power which in turns contributes to the heating up of sites.So what can we do??Our guest today, Bharath is at the forefront of this exact problem and is working on some very exciting sustainable methods of reducing DC energy footprint to help us achieve our NetZero goals.Throughout this conversation with Bharath, Shikher and I learned so much about why Data Centers are starting to become an industry to watch. Although we’ve branded it as one of the most profitable businesses of the 21st century, we acknowledge that it’s also going to continue to take a toll on our environment.Researchers and engineers like Bharath are the people that are working to improve the way we use technology, so that it doesn’t have to be technology vs the environment. As a lover of technology, maybe you can start learning about these problems and help building the solutions for the future of data centers. We’re putting some links in the description to help you get started! And you heard him! Reach out if you’d like to know more!Until next time… Stay Curious!Helpful Links:The environmental footprint of data centers in the United StatesHow green data centers can cut your carbon footprintBharath Ramakrishnan LinkedinSupport the show
Whether you’re streaming "House of the Dragon" on HBO or just chatting with your friends on Whatsapp, both cause a chain reaction and use energy. Today nearly all the world's Internet traffic goes through data centers or DCs for short. and it all the crazy things we do on the internet from cloud computing, AI, self driving to streaming your favourite shows on Netflix.There are big costs to running these massive servers! These DCs, need a huuuuge amount of electricity to run their equipment and make the internet that we use possible. They also need a lot of it to keep the machines cool. Research shows that DCs consume close to 1% of the worlds electricity consumption!If DCs were a country, it would be the 3rd biggest electricity consuming nation, just behind the 2 biggest economies today in the US & China! And that is staggering! All those memes you share with your friends is consuming so much energy.In this episode, we continue our cloud series conversations with Bharath Ramakrishnan, Senior Thermal Engineer at Microsoft. Bharath understands the technology of data centers intimately and at the same time, is working to answer the question: “What’s the best way to keep Data Centers ‘Cool’?”Support the show
As of 2022, approximately 95% of organizations are using cloud computing for their work and nearly 85% of companies have deployed their workload on cloud in 2021. Furthermore, with the rising usage of internet and mobile phones & laptops, digitization is flourishing rapidly.Cloud computing is clearly here to stay.. and it's still growing.. but what drives the cloud in the physical space?To continuously expand the capabilities and the capacity of the cloud, we need to build data centers.. and to build data centers.. we need semiconductors. This has been the core technology enabling us to build the future of the cloud. The leading principle of the semiconductor technology can be traced back to the 1960's into the empirical observation of Gordon Moore.Anything exponential in this world is typically paired with something called "Moore's Law".. Founder of Intel forecasted that the number of components on a chip would double every two years, roughly. That prediction really defined the trajectory of technology as we know it today and it's been a huge growth driver of our economy. A few years ago, leading economists credited the information technology made possible by integrated circuits with a third of US productivity growth since 1974. But as we know in this show, things ALWAYS change and they have.In this episode, we explore the validity of Moore's law for the foreseeable future and we also speak with an expert in the space of preparing for that inevitable future, Bharath RamakrishnanHere are some cool links to read up on:Why Liquid Cooling May Soon Be the Hottest Thing in Thermal ManagementCost-Efficient CoolingLiquid Cooling Options for Data CentersThe 5 Best Liquid Cooled Gaming PC in 2022Support the show
It’s happening. AWS is no longer the only cloud heavyweight doing business with the US Government. Azure has recently signed a $10 Billion deal with the DoD.Gartner reports that AWS is still a better product than most competitors, in terms of what they offer and the quality! But some ask if it's fair that the DoD is only doing business with Amazon, a representation of perpetuating the monopoly Amazon is clinging onto. Amazon and Oracle both raised questions about “political interference”.Microsoft’s resurgence has been nothing short of extraordinary! With almost a year and a half of revenues more than 30% of AWS’, has Microsoft officially trumped Amazon in Cloud? And don't forget Google, the small fish in this race aggressively ramping up in high growth markets like India & South East Asia.If you’re curious about how the Cloud Wars are pitting the biggest tech companies against each other, tune in!Some helpful links:Monopoly to DuopolyAmazon LawsuitMicrosoft Come-Back with AzureBig Tech BattleGroundGovernments Erecting Borders for DataBattle for Cloud DominanceCloud MarketshareSupport the show
IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are all taking the helm for the cloud renaissance. Gartner says that in 2021, spending on public cloud services could go over $330B. All types of industries and even GOVERNMENTS are moving their infrastructure and technology to the cloud.There is tremendous opportunity to build on the infrastructure of the cloud. AWS has been the clear winner for a while now, spanning almost 14 years, the margins and scale are unlike any other business in the world, and those incredible margins are attracting some pretty big fish like Microsoft and Google.  If you’ve ever wondered how you’re able to watch Netflix or hail a cab through Lyft with a click of a button, you are basically using the cloud. So ‘What is the cloud?’ Join us as we make sense of the highly-coveted industry!Support the show
In the past 2 years, inflation has been making headlines all over the world! To add to the higher grocery and utility bills, payments processing companies added on higher fees in 2022.Now, as an average consumer, you may not notice these increases so much! But small businesses, the backbone of the economy, is once-again feeling the squeeze. For a business, it's almost impossible to succeed in today's world without accepting Credit cards. Merchants hand over $138bn in fees each year; according to the National Retail Federation, it is their second-biggest cost after wages.So how is this impacting you as a consumer?Today on Things Have Changed, we dive into why your Credit Card is getting more expensive to use, and how those Swipe Fees are crippling small business owners.Helpful Links:Average Credit Card Processing FeesRetailers call out VISA and Mastercard for fee hikes that could make inflation worseCredit Card Marketshare in the USUnderstanding Credit Card Swipe FeesHow VISA became the TOP DOG in FinanceSupport the show
In the previous episodes, we’ve chatted about currencies and how cash was increasingly playing a smaller role, even in fast growing countries like China & India! The disruptor, that helped transition countries into cashless economies: Credit Cards and Debit Cards.In 2021, transactions on these plastic cards hit $6.7 TRILLION USD. Like many other technology industries, COVID helped accelerate the shift from cash to cashless. For the average American, more than half of their transactions were done using a credit or debit card!My first thought on the largest benefactor is the banking industry but there is an even larger player in this field that caught our attention… Payment processing companies like VISA surpassed JP Morgan Chase as the biggest financial services company in America in 2020, boasting operating margins of up to 65%.Today, on Things Have Changed, we’re going to tackle a question of: How did VISA become the most valuable payment card company in the world?Helpful Links:Average Credit Card Processing FeesRetailers call out VISA and Mastercard for fee hikes that could make inflation worseCredit Card Marketshare in the USUnderstanding Credit Card Swipe FeesHow VISA became the TOP DOG in FinanceCan the Visa-Mastercard duopoly be broken?As merchants complain of Visa’s high swipe fees, experts weigh in on the company’s role in the retail marketHow Visa Makes MoneySupport the show
With a historically tight labor market, why are some tech companies laying people off?With Inflation not slowing down and the economy showing signs of a possible recession, companies are preparing for the worst. Layoffs are sweeping across American businesses, specifically in growth companies in tech in 2022.Shopify, Netflix, Peloton, Tiktok, Robinhood, and Coinbase are only some of the companies that are starting to lay off their employees.But with our most recent episode, we just learned that there was still A LOT of tightness in the labor market - citing labor shortages - so why would these companies lay anyone off?Well, in this episode of Things Have Changed Podcast, we’re going to explore why tech companies are feeling the burn.Important Links:Millions of Americans Regret the Great ResignationBig Tech Won the PandemicTech’s Red-Hot Hiring Spree Shows Signs of CoolingIs Big Techs Red Hot Jobs Market about to Cool?Bird is laying off 23% of staffNetflix lays off 300 more people — almost 3% of its staffUS Layoffs, Hiring Freezes Are Tip of Labor Market SlowdownJPMorgan Initiates Mass Layoffs and Reorganizing, 1,000 Employees Possibly AffectedRivian Plans Hundreds of Job Cuts Following Surge in StaffingAmazon has 100,000 less workersAmazon increased layoffsNasdaq historic Wipeout - a Tech StorySupport the show
Airlines globally have cancelled hundreds of flights, citing labor shortages. They blame COVID-19, uncertainty, and the tight labor market for leading causes for flight cancellations and delays.The result has been long queues at airports, lost luggage, long layovers, and loads of disappointment.It’s gotten so BAD that Heathrow airport, historically Europe’s BUSIEST airport, is now telling airlines to STOP SELLING SUMMER ticketsThere are multiple reasons fueling the disruptions from bad weather to the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, but labor shortages have been cited as a common reason.So what is this tight labor market, how is it affecting different industries and how is it fueling straight up chaos in airports globally. Some Helpful Links:US Jobless Claims Were Little Changed Near a 5-Month HighThe potential dark side of a white hot labor market‘Not Giving Up’: Job Data Show Just How Tight US Labor Really IsHow to Manage the Great ResignationThe Feds Flawed Plan to Avoid a RecessionUS Layoffs Hiring Freezes Are Tip for Market SlowdownLabor Crunch Spurs Revenue Losses, Canceled Projects in CanadaWhy the Rich World is Facing a Hiring ProblemAre Labor Markets in the Rich World too Tight?Evidence for the Great Resignation is on Thin GroundSupport the show
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021. So.. During the Pandemic, the definition of “work” drastically changed. Millions of Americans learned how to work from home and even more were forced to risk their lives, being front-line workers.This event pushed many to re-think what they want from work… many factors impacted this decision from safety, working from home, higher wages and better care form the companies they worked for. And the huge demand for workers meant for the first time in a long time workers had the power!So… they left!Welcome to our latest season on THC, where we talk jobs jobs jobs! Specifically the big trends within the global labor markets since COVID. From the Great resignation, to the tight labor markets today, where employers in select industries are still scrambling to find workers! Tune in for our deep diveSome Helpful Links:The Great Resignation Didn’t Start with the PandemicWhy the Rich World is Facing a Hiring ProblemAre Labor Markets in the Rich World too Tight?Evidence for the Great Resignation is on Thin GroundSupport the show
Technology is changing finance in developing countries. The Pandemic turbocharged it. With a staggering 650 million Internet users, India has been one of the biggest winners of digitization and by some degree!Just a decade ago, India’s millions of small business owners used only cash to transact. Now they use phones. This has been nothing short of a financial revolution, as Mobile payments, powered by a technology called the UPI, have more than doubled to a staggering $1 trillion in 2021 from the year before!Similar accounts of financial transformations across the globe have taken decades! So how did India’s cash heavy economy manage to turn, in the matter of years, to a more inclusive digital economy from the bottom up?The Indian digital payments story is one of success when it comes to financial inclusion and immense growth. It’s been so successful, Google had suggested our own Federal Reserve adopt something similar - so we’ll hear a lot more about FedNow in 2023, something that will be our version of UPI. Although UPI has brought financial inclusion to India, it also opens the door for an extra level of control of the government, which has a whole new set of risks for an institution with access to, in the future, 1.2B peoples biometric information.This has been really fun to learn about the Indian story of Financial inclusion and we hope to see initiatives like this grow around the world to reduce friction in transacting! Until next time, stay curious!Helpful Links:UPI supercharged mobile payments in India. It’s now gearing up for next phase of growthIndians living in the US, UK, and Gulf can now use UPI - QuartzFintech: India's UPI is beating blockchain in the paymentsUPI, the Made-in-India Payments System, is Rocking Not .What is UPI?India is likely to be the world’s fastest-growing big economy this yearIndia UPI WikiIndia Digital Payments Win PraiseIndias Digital PlatformsZero MDR the PriceSupport the show
32 years ago, Mcdonalds opened a restaurant in Moscow. Many people interpretted it as a soft integration to the west. In 1990, 30,000 people lined up for the opening at Pushkin Square, for many, it was the first taste of western consumerism. Since then, the Russian people have fallen in love with the Big Mac and the chain has grown all over the country. But today, the American fast-food giant has pulled out of Russia entirely. McDonalds closed over 800 stores in the country and ended up selling their productive resources to the Russians. The new owner replaced the symbolic golden arches with a new brand, "Vkusno & tochka", which translates to "Tasty & That's it".But McDonalds isn’t the only one. So many other companies are leaving Russia! From the Auto industry (Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen AG), to the Finance industry (Goldman Sachs, Visa, American Express, and Paypal), companies are either suspending operations or limiting their services in the country of 146 million people - check out this article to see who's made drastic measures.The sanctions of the west are definitely taking effect and the Russian economy is drastically changing… But are the changes what the west was aiming for?Last episode, we talked about what Sanctions are and Professor Seth Benzells work around studying their effects. In this episode, we’re going to hear the professors thoughts about where policy makers might want to spend more time.Tune in to learn about which Moscow factory, that used to employ 10,000 people, is being sold to the Russian government for $1 rouble..Some Helpful Links:Simulating Russias and Other Large Economies' Challenging and Interconnected TransitionsWhat Companies have Pulled Back from RussiaWhat to KNow as U.S., Allies Put Sanctions on RussiaHow New Sanctions Could Cripple Russias EconomyProfessor Seth Benzells ResearchSupport the show
As one of the worlds most televised conflict rages on in Ukraine, western countries, not directly involved, look to utilize a weapon that is forged by economists..The sanctions imposed on Russia are some of the largest and far-reaching the world has ever seen.. with western countries and international corporations completely cutting ties with the once major emerging economy.. But is this economic weapon working?Thanks to the pandemic, Sanctions can exacerbate the issues that already trouble the global supply chains, ultimately contributing to inflation…Here at Things Have Changed, we’ve sat down with our favorite economist, Professor Seth Benzell, who has done some research on assessing how effective western sanctions would be on the Russian economy. One important note is that Seth worked on this with a team of Russian economists at the Gaidar institute, a major center of economic research and training in Russia. On this first episode, we talked about why would sanctions be prescribed and how exactly this would play out in the Russian economy.For our next episode, we chat more about some ideas that Seth has about where the sanctions should be targeted! To read about it today, check out the article he posted on titled “To really hurt Russia’s economy, Target Investment and Human Capital, not gas”. Helpful Links:Western Sanctions are Nothing like the World has SeenWestern Businesses Pulling OutHow is the Russian Economy Doing?Anonymous Tipsters and Russian IntelligenceWhen Central Banks Face SanctionsHow New Sanctions Could Cripple Russias EconomyWater-shed Moment in Global Economic HistorySupport the show
The Great Deceleration in housing might just be bigger than a seasonal cooldown.The economic shock of higher mortgage rates means borrowers are getting stretched thin to a degree unseen since 2006. And home shoppers in April and May are finally backing away from record home prices.On Thursday, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Kiefer tweeted about what this downward shift means: "The U.S. housing market is at the beginning stages of the most significant contraction in activity since 2006."So today on THC, we’re going to talk about the problem of affordability in many hot markets, from Phoenix, Charlotte to Toronto, Canada and what that impact could be.Important Links:Even Deep-Pocketed Buyers Are Starting to Back Away From the U.S. Housing MarketThe housing market is entering the ‘most significant contraction in activity since 2006,’ says Freddie Mac economistToronto Home Prices Slide for Third Month on Higher RatesMortgage Rates Hit 5.27%, Highest Level Since 2009Support the show
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