Weekend Briefing No. 154

Welcome to the weekend and hello from Davos! Just kidding. I think my invitation got lost in the mail. (FYI… if you’re reading this and you work at the World Economic Forum, you can just send it to this email address next year.) But there’s always a flurry of interesting reports and announcements that come out of WEF’s annual conference in Davos. This week’s briefing is packed full of them. Enjoy.

This Week By The Numbers

115,000 years – 2016 was the hottest year on record for the third year in a row. Direct temperature measurements stretch back to 1880, but scientific research indicates the world was last this warm about 115,000 years ago and that the planet has not experienced such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for 4m years.

74 days, 3 hours and 35 minutes – the time it took French yachtsman Armel Le Cleac’h to win the 2016-17 Vendee Globe round-the-world solo sailing race.

5 hours – the most frenzied American ritual you’ve never seen is called the “transfer of families,” a five-hour tsunami of activity that transforms President Obama’s home into President Trump’s.

Best Countries for Social Enterprise

Thompson Reuters, Deutsche Bank, and Schwab Foundations conducted a global survey to understand what countries are best for social enterprise. The survey looked at things like government support, attracting skilled staff, public understanding, ability to make a living as a social entrepreneur, and access to investment. The top 5 countries are: 1) USA, 2) Canada, 3) UK, 4) Singapore, 5) Israel. Learn more at Thompson Reuters (5 minutes).

CEO Survey

PWC released a global survey of CEOs this week. Some of the interesting findings were: 38% of CEOs are confident in short-term financial growth. 88% of CEOs “promote talent and diversity”, whatever that means. 44% of CEOs think that globalization has not helped close the gap between rich and poor. 69% of CEOs say it’s harder for businesses to sustain trust. Learn more at PWC (5 minutes).

Trust Erosion

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals the largest-ever drop in trust across the institutions of government, business, media, and NGOs. Trust in media (43%) fell precipitously and is at all-time lows in 17 countries, while trust levels in government (41%) dropped in 14 markets and is the least trusted institution in half of the 28 countries surveyed. The credibility of leaders also is in peril: CEO credibility dropped 12 points globally to an all-time low of 37 %, plummeting in every country studied, while government leaders (29%) remain least credible. Learn more at Edelman (6 minutes).

8 Men

THow concentrated has wealth become in the globalized modern world? Here’s one answer: Just eight of the richest people on earth own as much combined wealth as half the human race. That’s a notable change from last year, when it was reckoned to take 62 of the super rich to match the assets of the 3.6 billion people in the poorer half of mankind. Oxfam, the author of the report notes that it is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy. Learn more at Oxfam (4 minutes).

$1B Fund to Fight Epidemics

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is a $1B fund launched this week at Davos. The organization has already raised half of the capital. It expects to raise the full $1 billion that it needs for the next 5 years by the end of 2017. The first targets for the CEPI are vaccines against the Nipah virus, those that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Lassa fever, which might be next to cause outbreaks similar in scale to SARS, Ebola, or Zika. Learn more at Nature (4 minutes).

We’re Weird

The West and East think in profoundly different ways. Psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behavior, and sense of self. For instance, we are WEIRD “western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic”, or ‘Weird’ for short. But, some of the most notable differences in the East revolved around the concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism”; whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with the other people around you, valuing the group over the individual. Generally speaking – there are many exceptions – people in the West tend to be more individualist, and people from Asian countries like India, Japan, or China tend to be more collectivist. Learn more at BBC (10 minutes).

The Struggle

Every founder eventually hits “the struggle”. The Struggle is when you wonder why you started the company in the first place. The Struggle is when people ask you why you don’t quit and you don’t know the answer. The Struggle is when your employees think you are lying and you think they may be right. The Struggle is not failure, but it causes failure. Especially if you are weak. Always if you are weak. Most people are not strong enough. Every great entrepreneur from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg went through The Struggle and struggle they did, so you are not alone. But that does not mean that you will make it. You may not make it. That is why it is The Struggle. Here are some things that have helped Ben Horowitz in the struggle. 1) Don’t put it all on your shoulders. 2) This is not checkers; this is muthafuckin’ chess. 3) Play long enough and you might get lucky 4) Remember, this is what separates the women from the girls. Learn more at Ben’s blog (5 minutes).

Feedback Loop

Like the feedback. Should you migrate the content to some reddit-like format that would allow more community creation of the real time feedback? I’m not sure reddit is the right format but something in that spirit if it exists, either closed or open group. – William Hoos, Co-founder and CEO @ NQ Oncology.

What do you think, should we have some community forum for Weekend Briefing community members to discuss?

About the Weekend Briefing

The best articles on innovation, impact, and growth distilled into one email every Saturday morning by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose and Managing Partner of Westaway.

Thanks for making the Weekend Briefing a part of your Saturday morning routine. I love putting it together every week and love hearing your thoughtful insights. Feel free to shoot me an email with any feedback or suggestions. If you like what you’re reading, I’d be honored if you share it with your friends. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend.