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SAVE THE DATE: Ecological Economists Kate Raworth and Hazel Henderson on June 28th

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Modern, industrialized economics strives for endless growth, and the social policies they promote, by their nature, lay waste to natural systems and exploit vulnerable populations. The result is global crises and disruptions such as the 2008 financial meltdown, climate breakdown, and even the COVID lockdown, as well as extreme wealth concentration and global inequality.
Renegade economist Kate Haworth brings a counter vision of human prosperity based on making economics fit for 21st-century realities. She envisions running the world in a way that gives everyone what they need – food, homes, healthcare, and more – and saves the planet at the same time. She is known for her work on ‘doughnut economics’, which is an economic model that balances essential human needs and planetary boundaries. Her work shows how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create regenerative and distributive economies by design.

On June 28th, you have the opportunity to hear from both icons of economic transformation in one 60-minute online session. Kate and Hazel will discuss the basis of their insights and where we can go from here to protect the health of the planet and human wellbeing.

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Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/save-the-date-ecological-economists-kate-raworth-and-hazel-henderson-on-june-28th/

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How this billionaire family business wants to become a better corporate citizen

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A combination of a delicate natural environment and increasing poverty is encouraging the son of a billionaire business founder to improve their company’s sustainable and social efforts.

Property group Alliance Global is based in the Philippines, which — being an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands — is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change, as CEO Kevin Tan described.

“We’re located in a very unique and rather precarious geographic location,” Tan said. “Every year, we experience several calamities, ranging from simple tropical depressions to typhoons to even prolonged droughts and dry spells … In recent years, we have actually seen these occurrences happen more frequently, and with a much higher ferocity,” he added.

Founded by Tan’s father Andrew Tan in 1993, Alliance Global operates in real estate, hospitality and food, with assets including casino and hotel complex Resorts World Manila, and the world’s largest brandy distiller, Emperador. It is also the main McDonald’s franchise holder in the Philippines, via its Golden Arches Development Corporation.

Alongside this, the country has a poverty problem: The World Bank estimates that there will have been 2 million more poor Filipinos in 2020 than there were in 2018 due to the coronavirus pandemic, per a June report — the country has a total population of 108 million.

And according to Tan, a shifting population is also putting pressure on resources. “(There is an) uneven sort of distribution of population growth towards the urban centers versus the rural centers of our country. And … it poses several challenges — among them is really this unequal distribution of economic opportunities,” he said.

The Philippines’ environmental and economic issues spurred Alliance Global to identify two goals: becoming carbon neutral by 2035 and creating 5 million jobs, either directly or indirectly, by the same date. “We decided we wanted to be … better corporate citizens,” Tan said. However, the pandemic meant that the firm extended its deadline for both from 2030. “Nothing could have prepared us for this. I have to admit, yes, of course we had to step back a bit, because we were on survivor mode for the most part of last year and even until today, we’ve had to recalibrate our entire business model. We’ve had to … reduce our costs,” Tan explained.

Alliance Global’s Emperador is the world’s largest brandy distiller.

Jay Directo | AFP | Getty Images

The firm’s net income reduced by 62% year-over-year to 10.3 billion pesos ($216 million) in 2020, although several of its businesses recovered during the fourth quarter. McDonald’s revenue went up 36% compared with the previous quarter, while liquor sales at Emperador rose 42% over the same period.

Making its alcohol operations more environmentally-friendly has been a focus for Alliance Global: At Emperador the firm uses biogas created from the distilling process to fuel its boilers. In turn, the boilers produce steam, which powers turbines and creates electricity. Around 30% of the company’s distillery operations are powered this way, while vineyards producing grapes for its Fundador brandy in Spain use a process called deficit irrigation, where only the areas that need water are given it.

When it comes to economic development, Tan said the company’s Megaworld “township” residential and office complexes are creating jobs. He singled out Iloilo, a development on the Philippines’ Panay Island, where there is a focus on business process outsourcing (BPO), a practice where firms contract some of their operations to external suppliers. Such BPO companies are growing — and they need office space, Tan said. “Traditionally, the BPO sector was dominated by health care, travel, and financial services. Because of the pandemic, new industries have been introduced to outsourcing, for example logistics, technology, and e-commerce,” he explained.

Alliance Global is also looking to reduce waste in its developments. “We collect all the plastics from all of our developments, from all of our communities, we put them together and … cement factories, they take this plastic and use it as fuel,” Tan said.

Tan claimed the firm now looks at a “triple” bottom line. “Profitability is obviously still very important … But when we look at things now, we look at … not just having a singular bottom line, but having a triple bottom line, and that now includes, of course, environmental sustainability, as well as our social impact.”

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/14/kevin-tan-property-group-alliance-global-aims-to-become-more-sustainable.html

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A ‘Slime Rancher’ sequel is coming to Xbox Series X and PC in 2022

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Microsoft’s E3 2021 event had its share of surprise sequels, but this may be one of the most… adorable. Monomi Park has revealed that Slime Rancher 2 is coming to Xbox Series X/S and PC (via Steam and the Epic Games Store) in 2022. You’re still running around an open world gathering relentlessly cute slimes of various forms, but you’ll now explore a new land (Rainbow Island) full of “ancient technology.” It’s a very, very pretty, low-pressure ‘life simulator’ game, in other words.

The visuals have received an upgrade, of course — on top of 4K support, you’ll see those slimes in vivid detail through dynamic lighting and more advanced effects shaders. You can likewise expect “spectacularly unpredictable” physics as critters bounce off each other.

This may be a bigger deal than it seems at first blush. The original Slime Rancher has racked up over 10 million players since it debuted in 2017, making it a prime candidate for a sequel. Notably, though, there’s no mention of PlayStation, Mac or Linux releases this time around. Monomi is clearly hoping that its focus on Xbox and Windows will be enough to ensure strong sales for the sequel, at least for now.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/slime-rancher-2-reveal-trailer-211338205.html?src=rss_b2c

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Apple was told to quietly supply data on Trump’s White House counsel in 2018

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Apple wasn’t just caught up in legal requests targeting Democrat politicians, it seems. New York Times sources claim the Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for information about former President Trump’s White House counsel, Don McGahn, in February 2018. It’s not clear what the FBI was looking for or if McGahn was the focus, but officials issued gag orders Apple from notifying the counsel for a while — it only told him about the request in May of this year.

The company reportedly didn’t say what it shared with the government, or outline the nature of the case. There were a number of potential issues at play. Trump was angry with McGahn at the time over Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and January 2018 leak, but the Times considered that unlikely. However, the request might also have stemmed from the Mueller investigation itself (McGahn was the Trump campaign’s top lawyer in 2016). Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, also faced fraud charges just a day before the subpoena.

We’ve asked Apple for comment. McGahn’s lawyer declined comment.

The news came just days after word that the Trump-era DOJ had requested account info from Apple for at least two Democrat politicians, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, around the same time. In both cases, concerns have swirled not just around who was targeted, but how — just what did agents learn? The tech firm recently instituted a cap of 25 identifiers per request in a bid to prevent governments from requesting excessive amounts of data.

The incident also reinforces concerns about publicizing requests. Tech companies have pushed for greater transparency for years, and cases like this might explain why. While it’s unlikely Apple could have shared details specific to McGahn’s case in the short term, the years of gag orders certainly didn’t help any attempts to be open about government surveillance demands.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-subpoena-don-mcgahn-trump-counsel-204031115.html?src=rss_b2c

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‘Babylon’s Fall’ will put a co-op twist on the PlatinumGames formula

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The last time we saw Babylon’s Fall, it looked like a stylish third-person action game. That much hasn’t changed, but what we now know about the game is that it will be an online co-op title. In Babylon’s Fall, you’ll make a character and party up with up to three other players to take on various dungeons. At the end of each one, you’ll earn items and materials you can use to further build out your character. 

Among other things, PlatinumGames says it plans to introduce new moves post launch for players to add to their arsenal. At first, they’ll be five different weapons for players to use. Your character can carry two weapons, one in each hand. The Gideon Coffin, a item your character carries on their back, will allow you to bring additional weapons to a battle and use them independently of the ones in your hands. So say you want to make a hard-hitting warrior, you can equip four hammers to smash all your opponents, or mix and match to make a more balanced fighter.  

Babylon’s Fall doesn’t have a release date yet, but starting today, you can sign up to take part in the game’s upcoming beta. Square will release Babylon’s Fall on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC.  

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/babylons-fall-live-service-game-203944204.html?src=rss_b2c

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