FUTURE TRENDS

A digest of news, discoveries and opinions from the fields of science, technology, design, politics and economics; stories that we believe will have a significant impact on our future.

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Consumer Pressure vs Brand Image, Corporate Advocacy

Consumer pressure can lead to responsible sourcing of raw minerals

Every smart phone contains about 40 different minerals, including tantalum, tungsten, copper, iron, nickel, aluminum, tin, silver, chromium, gold and palladium. The mining profits often end up in the hands of armed groups in active conflict zones, who perpetrate violence and commit human rights abuses. Research from the University of Sussex claims that industry collaboration and consumer pressure could lead to responsible sourcing, while keeping mineral prices almost the same. Customers creating pressure on companies to use conflict-free minerals will not only have an impact on the formation of coordinated, certificated and transparent mineral supply chains but at the same time will tremendously enhance the company’s brand image.

FUTURE TRENDS by Startling Brands, Responsible Minerals Mining Sourcing, Illustration by Mario Dzurila

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Google demonstrates Corporate Advocacy by banning payday loan sharks

We are entering times when powerful private internet companies are supplementing the government’s role in the regulation of industries whose financial business-models are built on exploitation of those in need. Google publicly called payday lenders deceptive and harmful and further banned them from being able to advertise their services on its platform, adding them to the blacklist together with companies promoting tobacco, guns, explosives and hate speech. A payday loan is a small, short-term, unsecured loan with very high interest rates (36% and higher) that is primary targeted to poorer demographics. In some cases, delayed payday loans can grow interest rates from from 391% to 3733%. Google demonstrated a very brave move in the field of corporate advocacy by banning the industry that previously brought a lucrative portion of its ad revenue.

FUTURE TRENDS by Startling Brands, Google Payday Lending Ban Corporate Advocacy, Illustration by Mario Dzurila

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