Climate change impact on human health part2

In part 1 we described the mechanism of climate change in general and derived out of this some impacts to human health. With this article we would like to somehow complete the picture and to draw out a conclusions about human health, derived from the climate change. The part1 we closed with the description of waterborne diseases, which will grow with further climate change. Let us now go to a subject, which is also water related.

Causes of Algal and Cyanobacterial Blooms

Algae and cyanobacteria behave like plants: they absorb carbon dioxide and release the oxygen that we need to survive on Earth. However, they can also produce toxins that are dangerous to wildlife and swimmers. Warmer ocean temperatures and heavier precipitation, which increases the delivery of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous to coastal waters and lakes, can promote the growth of algae and cyanobacteria. When conditions are right, algal blooms occur.

One of the key ingredients for a harmful algal bloom is nitrogen. The map below shows where nitrogen is deposited across the Mississippi river basin in the United States. The heavy use of nitrogen-based fertilizer to grow food, as well as highly concentrated livestock operations in the upper Midwest, deliver nitrogen into the Mississippi river. There, it ultimately reaches the Gulf of Mexico, where it can fuel harmful algal blooms. This scenario occurs wherever agriculture and rivers co-exist, which means it can – and does – occur on every continent except Antarctica.

The Mississippi River watershed covers nearly half of the United States, including substantial amounts of farmland that contribute large amounts of nitrogen from fertilizer. Agricultural runoff flowing into river basins and ultimately to the sea and fuelling harmful algal blooms is occurring around the world.

A very popular example is the damage of the Great Barrier Reef near Australia. It is the biggest reef we know on earth and contributes to a diverse population on fish. It is a fact almost beyond comprehension: In the summer of 2015, more than 2 billion corals lived in the Great Barrier Reef. Half of them are now dead.

Algal and cyanobacterial toxins cause a range of illness in humans and wildlife. Toxins can cause disease when swallowed or when they touch the skin. If ingested, these toxins most often cause headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, and numbness or tingling. They are also toxic to wildlife.

What are conditions, which make Algal Bloom developing? Recent research has found that warming oceans have expanded the range of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans in which harmful algal blooms can occur.

Recent research has also shown that ocean acidification may promote even more abundant and toxic algal blooms.

Malaria’s Impact

Ever been bitten by a mosquito? Depending on where you were when that happened the bite could have been merely an itchy nuisance or the beginnings of a life-threatening disease. Malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted through the bite of a mosquito, is a major global health challenge. Each year, more than 200 million people – mostly in lowland tropical areas – are estimated to contract malaria and more than 400,000 people, mostly children younger than 5, die. Almost half of the Earth’s population currently live in areas where malaria can be transmitted.

The impact of many diseases is measured in DALYs: Disability-Adjusted Life-Years. The greater the DALYs, the worse things are. The map below shows the DALYs associated with malaria round the world.

Map: Malaria DALYs per 100,000 pop

The impact of the climate change of the life cycle of mosquitos and Malaria, we explain in the following part.

Mosquito life cycle

The reproduction of malarial parasites involves stages in mosquitoes and in humans (including periods of time in liver cells and blood cells). You can see quick overviews of the mosquito life cycle above and malaria life cycle below. Note that the mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. The parasites have a lifecycle that includes time inside the human body and inside a mosquito. The time the parasite spends developing in the mosquito, where it is exposed to outdoor temperatures, is known as the extrinsic incubation period.

The following diagrams show the ideal temperatures for the life of mosquitos. This gives an indication, how and where Malaria can spread out with increasing temperatures on earth.

The optimal development temperature for mosquitos and malaria will spread out with rising earth temperature to high land regions and regions, in which mosquitos cannot live today due to the lower temperature.

Malaria transmission factors

Nutrition

Greenhouse gases will affect crop yields through several pathways as illustrated in the diagram below. The extensive connections between crop yields and greenhouse gas emissions make nutritional outcomes a key to understanding the health effects of climate change. Lower Crop Yields Flowchart

Heat, Ozone, and Crops

More heat also will drive additional ground level ozone production, and ozone can impair plant growth and damage leaves.

The bar graphs below show estimated yield changes between 2000 and 2050 due to warming temperatures with climate change and/or ground level ozone.

The pie graphs show the percent of the world total production by country or region of each of major food crops.

Change in crop yield

The above picture shows, the crop yield will become strongly reduced, in the tropic regions, were today we have a dense population. This will provoke that people have the need to move to other regions. These changes will have health impact due to the movements. migration and due to change of nutrition.     

Salinization of Coastal Groundwater

Sea level rise makes salinization of coastal groundwater more likely. As sea level rises, the pressure of salt water to intrude through rock and earth into aquifers rises, which drives salty water into fresh water.

How sea water rise salinizes ground water!

CO2 and Crops

Experiments have demonstrated that exposure to elevated carbon dioxide levels can substantially decrease the nutrient content of staple crops.

1.4 billion children aged 1-5 and women of childbearing age live in countries where iron deficiency prevalence is >20%. In these countries, the iron supply could fall by 3.8% based upon the foods consumed in their current diets and the detrimental effects of higher carbon dioxide levels on iron content of crops, as illustrated below.

Percent Change in Plant Nutrition between 380ppm CO2 and 550ppm CO2

Fishes disappear due to overfishing but also due to acid and to hot water. They are going to colder regions.

All the above shown changes in the diet of people can provoke nutritional diseases.

Nutritional diseases are conditions that effect the human body due to its food intake. Their strongest and most widespread effects are on children, the elderly and women of child bearing age. Each nutrient has a different set of diseases that can be induced by over- or under-consumption.

Nutritional diseases are sometimes referred to as nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition, but this overlooks the (comparatively new) issue of overnutrition, which can lead to obesity.

Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fiber, fat, essential fatty acids and protein. Protein deficiencies can lead to a variety of issues, from kwashiorkor to birth defects. An excess of protein may lead to increased kidney stone formation.

Micronutrients are primarily vitamins and minerals. Many have well documented and specific effects caused by deficiency: low vitamin C causes scurvy; low calcium causes osteoporosis. Others have broader effects: low zinc intake can result in a broad variety of issues from depressed growth to skin lesions to diarrhoea. There are often connections between various nutrients: for instance, it is difficult for the human body to absorb calcium without vitamin D.

Some micronutrients (like vitamin C) can be tolerated in doses much larger than what is needed by the body. Others (like iron) can cause severe issues in overdose, especially in children. Taking in more micronutrients than the minimum the body needs does generally not show any health benefits. The following diagram shows the connections which provoked migration and the health impact

The United Nations estimates that an unprecedented number of people – more than 65 million – have currently had to move against their will from their homes. About 22 million have moved outside their home countries and are refugees and the vast majority are hosted in developing nations. About 40 million are internally displaced within their home countries and are so called “internally displaced persons” or IDPs.

Each year since 2008, more than 20 million people have been forced to migrate due to extreme weather.

Conclusion

The already visible effects of climate change impacts the health of a lot of population already. Infection, migration,  impact on crop yields, water shortages and wildfires are jeopardising the health of more and more people and we come closer to the point that we have not any more enough healthy food for the world population.

What is most importand: the climate change and the increasing impact of CO2, ozone and particulate matter has already influenced our living conditions a lot. It is mandatory, to react now consequently. We anyhow will only be able to slow down the climate change. It is hard for me to believe we can stop it completely. Nevertheless, we are talking about, to assure several 100 years live for humans on earth. But with every degree temperature rise and rising CO2 emissions, the living conditions are becoming more and more challanging.

To show these interactions was the intention of the two articles.

Climate change impact on human health part1

Even if some politician on this world still ignore the fact of climate change, it takes place. Let us short recapitulate the effects.

Earth has several gases in its atmosphere that trap heat, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). These three gases, and others, retain heat and make the climate of the earth what it is, and the one in which all life that exists depends on for survival.

Many forces contribute to the Earth’s average overall temperature, including…

    Its orbit around the sun, which is more elliptical than circular.

    How hot the sun is – its temperature varies over time.

    How reflective the Earth’s surface is (white stuff, like ice caps, reflect light).

…but the temperature of our planet is most substantially influenced by the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

When greenhouse gases trap heat, they raise the temperature of air, but also of water, and especially water in the oceans.

Where is global warming going?

Greenhouse gas make that we have higher temperatures and the air contains more water. This brings heavier snow and rain falls.

But carbon dioxide has other effects on our planet that may be just as important for our health as its effects on the climate.

About 30% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, is absorbed into the world’s oceans. As it gets absorbed, it produces carbonic acid, which makes the world’s oceans more acidic.

Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. When concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air rise, plants change in ways that have consequences for health.

The largest modifier of the health impacts of climate change is human behaviour, including the policies we create to protect health from climate change. It is important to understand the three main ways through which human action can reduce the effect of climate change on human beings:

–             Through adaptation policies and actions to protect health from climate impacts (the black  area in the graph below).

–             Through mitigation, such as reducing emissions in the first place (the dark blue area).

–             Through health co-benefits – reaping health gains from climate-friendly policies and    individual behaviour (the light blue area).

Heat related health issues

Most people enjoy a warm summer’s day, but even for those who love sun and heat the most, very hot temperatures can be dangerous. In recent years, severe heatwaves around the world have led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people External link, either from the effects of heat itself or because of air pollution that heatwaves can generate. In the future, heat-related illnesses are likely to get even worse.

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion will become much more common as temperature rise, especially for those who live in tropical regions or who work outdoor. These has serious repercussions for the elderly and for the obese, who have more difficulties shedding excess heat. People at risk with heart failure and individuals with diabetes are also at increased risk.

Human cooling mechanism:

Ozone

By burning fossil fuels, we emit ozone to the environment.

Inhaling ozone is bad for our lungs. When ozone contacts our lungs, it causes inflammation that makes it hard to breathe for all people, but especially those with existing lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Ozone is formed when by-products of fossil fuel combustion, including oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, as is shown in the figure below.

Wildfires and particulate matter

Because climate change causes heatwaves and more severe droughts, it creates conditions favourable to wildfires. During a particularly hot and dry spell in eastern Europe in 2010, thousands of fires burned an area of forest roughly the size of Indiana (38,600 square miles or ~100,000 square kilometres) burned. The smoke from the fires, however, would have stretched from San Francisco to Chicago. The air pollution produced by the fires killed tens of thousands of people.

When forests burn, they produce smoke that is comprised of many toxic substances, as shown in the image below.

Harmful substances in smoke from wildfires includes acrolein (a lung irritant), carbon monoxide (which can be fatal at high concentrations); formaldehyde, benzene, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs (all of which can cause cancer); and particulate matter (PM).

PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller in size. You may also see references to PM10, 10 microns in size, which is considered less harmful but can still be dangerous.

Very fine beach sand is about 90 microns in size. Human hair is about 50-70 microns in size. PM ten is under 10 microns, and PM two point five is under 2.5 microns.

PM2.5 is about 1/20th the width of a human hair. Research on PM2.5 has clearly demonstrated that when people breathe it in, it can be deadly, particularly by causing heart attacks and strokes. Worldwide, PM exposures is responsible for millions of deaths each year. PM exposure has also been associated with preterm birth, lung cancer, and a host of other diseases. Exposure to air pollution is the 4th highest-ranking risk factor for death in the world.

Allergies and Asthma

Pollen is a major contributor to seasonal allergies and can cause asthma attacks. Warming temperatures have substantially lengthened the season during which plants that produce allergenic pollen can survive.

At the same time, higher carbon dioxide concentrations in the air are contributing to greater pollen output from ragweed plants.

The pollen production per ragweed plant was 5 grams in the year 1900, 12.5 grams in the year 2000, and will be over 20 grams in the year 2060.

Figure courtesy of Harvard. Data from Rising CO2 and pollen production of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.), a known allergy-inducing species: implications for public health.

The data shown in the graph are based upon experiments in a lab in which ragweed plants were grown under different carbon dioxide concentrations (280, 370 or 600ppm). The higher the carbon dioxide concentration, the more pollen was produced. Remember, today the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is well above 400ppm, which means the amount of pollen produced by ragweed plants may be twice than that at the start of the 20th century.

Other allergenic plants are influenced by elevated carbon dioxide, including poison ivy. Poison ivy has been shown to grow larger and produce more allergenic urshiol (the compound in poison ivy responsible for causing an allergic reaction) when grown under higher carbon dioxide concentrations

The Basics of Vector-borne Disease

Insects are cold blooded creatures (or “ectotherms”), and so must seek out warmer or cooler environments to regulate their body temperatures. The intensification of the water cycle with climate change is particularly relevant to mosquito reproduction which occurs in water. The parasites and viruses carried by insect vectors also are temperature sensitive.

Rainfall can substantially influence risk of vector-borne disease. Research on Dengue in Guangzhou China, Taiwan and elsewhere documents that rainfall is associated with dengue outbreaks. Rain creates pools of water that can be breeding habitat for juvenile mosquitos. However, too much rain can wash away these pools, and with them, the developing mosquitos.

Somewhat counterintuitively, droughts may also promote vector-borne disease outbreaks. During droughts, people may be more likely to use containers to store water, and mosquitos can breed in these containers.

Warming combined with changes in the water cycle have raised concern about how climate change may influence the spread of vector-borne diseases.

Here we will focus on malaria in the next article. Let’s move now on to waterborne diseases.

Waterborne Disease

Greenhouse gas emissions arguably have equal if not greater relevance to the distribution and spread of waterborne diseases as vector-borne diseases around the world. From Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera and other diseases, to ciguatera fish poisoning and shellfish poisoning and harmful algal blooms, warming temperatures and more intense precipitation may favour waterborne disease outbreaks.

The graphic below illustrates how climate related events, such as heavy precipitation, can contribute to outbreaks of waterborne disease. Rainfall washes pathogens contained in animal and human excrement into sewer systems and eventually into local water bodies where water may be drawn from for drinking or crop irrigation. Warmer temperatures may promote growth of pathogens.

Cities and Sewers

Some cities have drain pipes that carry stormwater run-off and sewage together. These so-called combined sewer systems can be found in many cities around the world, particularly those that had systems built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At the time of their construction, the amount of sewage and rainfall were less than today. Engineers accounted for the potential of population growth but not necessarily for the heavier downpours occurring with climate change.

When the combined sewer pipes reach capacity, the sewer systems have outfall pipes that drain into local waterbodies to prevent sewage backing up into peoples’ homes and onto streets (see figure below).

Research on cities and regions in the United States with combined sewers may be more likely to have E. coli contaminated water and higher rates of emergency room visits after extreme rainfall events. (For further studies see Patz et al. 2008 External link, Kleidorfer et al. 2009. 2009  and Nilsen et al. 2011).

Even cities with combined sewer systems, however, have been able to substantially reduce discharges of untreated sewage through a variety of actions. These include planting more vegetation and reducing the number of paved surfaces (which keeps more storm run-off out of the sewer system). Sound familiar? It should – these are the same interventions that prevent urban heat islands and so they provide a double dividend to health.

Regardless of sewer system design, heavier rainfall has been shown to promote outbreaks of waterborne diseases, including hepatitis A, cryptosporidiosis, Vibrios, and leptospirosis as well as enteric pathogens, such as E. coli that causes diarrheal disease.

In parts of the world without sewer systems heavier rains also can promote waterborne disease outbreaks but so too can a lack of rain. Infectious pathogens may be more likely to contaminate freshwater supplies when, for instance, water is scarce.

Summary

This article shows a part of the health problems we have, and which will rise by the climate change. In the next article, which will be published within the next two weeks, we would like to complete the picture and to draw some conclusion out of it.

IT is needed in all our businesses and IT provides additional business opportunities

In this article I would like to develop an overview about the IT technologies, which are available and are on the way to be introduced in our day to day businesses. We will show the necessity and the possibilities to introduce this IT solutions in all businesses and its positive impact. Than we will show, how the businesses will change with this IT technologies and derive out of this the risks, which will rise, for businesses, which deny this implementation of IT technologies

Let us follow the structure in the above shown picture.

First, we should look, if we use the IT elements, which exists already since years, but are further developing, sufficient and adjust our businesses accordingly. Than we should discuss the opportunities, which grow with the new technologies and last but not least, we will discuss, what new business models are possible now. This should make us think about our placement in the business structure and give us the possibilities to decide, if we have to change our business model or if it is still stable.

1. Add-ons to our present business models

Let us go step by step through the structure, given in the picture in the introduction. There is first the discussion about ERP systems. Like the name is saying: Enterprise resource planning system. No enterprise can exist without making a reliable resource planning. No customer order can be confirmed, if I have not checked the availability of the needed resources.

Irrespective of whether the company is a multi-national, multimillion-dollar organization, non-profit, or a small company with single digit million turnover, the goal of system selection is to source a system that can provide functionality for all of the business processes; that will get complete user acceptance; management approval and, most importantly, can provide significant return on investment for the shareholders.

Since the mid-1970s, when there was widespread introduction of computer packages into leading companies to assist in material requirements planning, software companies have striven, and for the most part succeeded, to create packages that assist in all aspects of running a business from manufacturing; supply chain management; human resources; through to financials. This led to the evolution of ERP Systems.

Today you have a big choice of different ERP systems and you can even decide to let them run in a cloud (hosted by a cloud provider), if you use open source software or licensed. With this wide field of opportunities, it is even for small and medium size companies possible, to use a professional ERP system. Especially in B2B businesses and in retail businesses, it is required by the customers, to work with proper ERP. It is affordable now for everybody.

Than we come to social medias. Meanwhile it is absolute necessary for a company, to be present in social networks. I am still struggling, in which networks it is necessary to be present an in which you can allow you, not to be active. Let us go to some statistics:

Working with this statistics, we have also to consider, in which regions we are looking for contacts.

Even if WatsApp has the most user, you will be not very successful, if you do not have WeChat in China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We must be aware, how large the community, using social media already is. To become successful, we can not deny the social medias

A company should at least have a profile in the most important social medias. For some B2B customers it may be not to important for their customers, but is important, to develop its employer branding.

Than let us come to the EDI issue. Keying in data manually is one of the biggest uncertainties in industrial supply chains.

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the concept of businesses communicating electronically certain information that was traditionally communicated on paper. The two classic examples of such information are purchase orders and invoices. Standards for EDI exist to facilitate parties transacting such instruments without having to make special arrangements.

EDI provides a technical basis for automated commercial “conversations” between two entities, either internal or external. The term EDI encompasses the entire electronic data interchange process, including the transmission, message flow, document format, and software used to interpret the documents. However, EDI standards describe the rigorous format of electronic documents, and the EDI standards were designed by the implementers, initially in the Automotive industry, to be independent of communication and software technologies. EDI can be transmitted using any methodology agreed to by the sender and recipient. This includes a variety of technologies, including modem (asynchronous and synchronous), FTP, e-mail, HTTP, AS1, AS2, AS4 etc. It is important to differentiate between the EDI documents and the methods for transmitting them. When they compared the synchronous protocol 2400 bit/s modems, CLEO devices, and value-added networks used to transmit EDI documents to transmitting via the Internet, some people equated the non-Internet technologies with EDI and predicted erroneously that EDI itself would be replaced along with the non-Internet technologies. These non-internet transmission methods are being replaced by Internet protocols such as FTP, HTTP, telnet, and e-mail, but the EDI documents themselves remain.

As of 2002, Walmart have pushed the AS2 for EDI. [4] Because of its significant presence in the global supply chain, AS2 have become a commonly adopted approach for EDI.

And like EDI is a safe communication tool, so is skype and videoconferencing a meanwhile a standard communication tool. In a global acting world and in global shaped supply chains, it is necessary to have standard IT possibilities to connect and to transfer data to commonly used data rooms.

Skyp, video conferencing and using globally internally and externally changeable data rooms are mandatory for a globally working company. What ever is used, it should be based on a software, in which I can invite practically everybody, who is connected with his computer to the internet.

Due to the worldwide rolled out standards, this demand is easy to fulfil. And it is easy to fulfil for everybody the demand of the above-mentioned solutions, with the offered …aaS (as a Service) solutions. Every company can shape its one IT environment, even if they do not have any IT know-how. You can get IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a service) and SaaS (software as a service) solutions. Depending on the economical result you can choose to give everything to extern or to do part of the business within your company. In this respect it is also necessary, to assure a safe data connection from everywhere to your data. This keeps you and your people workable, independent where you are.

And finally, in this area, we should mention platforms, which should be used, to assure to stay with the right contracts in the market. The best examples are the e-buy platforms. On this platform you can place your offers and you can ask for offers from suppliers. In my opinion a “must” to assure competitiveness. And there are much more possibilities, which every company has to check regularly.

Until this point, we have discussed applications only, which should be really standard or at least be analysed by the business management. Depending on the businesses, it is possible, some businesses need less intense application of the one or the other subject. In my opinion it is not possible, to deny this elements without checking the influence of your business.

2. Opportunities, driven by newer technology

In this chapter I have listed technologies and application fields, which can be used already today. It is strongly depending on the business model, which impact these technologies can have.

With our todays capabilities of computer, we have great possibilities to analyse big data volumes in brief time. The big data development has achieved meanwhile a status, which gives the possibilities to analyse big data volumes continuously. Such a continuously monitoring gives a good basis for decision making and risk evaluation.

Big data analysis becomes especially valuable, if a lot of data are available. This becomes better and better, as more sensors we adapt to the internet of things.

How the internet of thing (IoT) works?

If we have in all products the above-mentioned sensors, we are confronted with the question: What to do with this data?

Here are some fields of opportunities, to use this data in daily life and to make life easier

You name it and you will have it in IoT.

And here is now the strategical decision of companies needed: Are existing companies ready to take over the new business models, arising of the table above table or will we have for the application of these services new companies.

However, the decision of the companies, how to place themselves in the market, is now necessary. The train towards the IoT is already on the race and the important places in this train are assigned now.

In the following picture you can see the growth of the word population in the past and with some forecast and you se the development and the forecast for the IoT.

We have already several times more sensors and devises on the IoT than people on earth.

The new businesses will mainly have this development as a basis. We are in the middle of the time to define the business models, using this data source.

All this is accompanied with progresses in artificial intelligence. I am not sure, how much we can already call resent developments: artificial intelligence.

Nevertheless, the progress we can find in these developments are remarkable. This development can make our life much more convenient. We have in this respect also to see the risks, coming up with this development. In the book: Superintelligence, Paths, Danger, Strategy wrote Nick Bostrom (Oxford University 2014) what risks are arising, if the wrong people are first in developing a super intelligence. It is in my opinion a very serious written book, which we should keep in account in further developing superintelligences. But, however we set up the strategy, a lot of developments in that direction are on the way and we have to use them for the services, to utelize the values from the IoT.

IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are already available today. Practically it is already today possible to by services, instead of doing and investing for the own company. This makes it possible that everybody can participate.

Depending on the degree of services, the customer is buying, the direct control of the customer is limited

In the field of the elements, described in chapter 2, the companies must urgendly define their position, now.

3. Development of new business models.

Cloud services, central databases and Blockchain should be our subjects in this chapter. I brought these three subjects in this chapter together, even if this are not modern technologies. To utilize this

technologies on a global scale, we do not have usable policies in place.

Let us start with describing the cloud services:

From these services we can make a SWOT analysis:

The SWOT analysis shows clear the deficits for cloud solutions. In a lot of countries, it is not possible to store bookkeeping data abroad. Even if for some companies the bookkeeping is done abroad, the data storage has to be assured in the country, in which the company has its registration.

At present time, central databases and cloud solutions must exist in parallel. To come to future orientated business models, it is necessary, for the policy makers, to look for more suitable policies.

However, the central database and the cloud have the issue, to become target of cyber-attacks.

Blockchain technology has some key differentiators from databases.

A blockchain is a write-only data structure, where new entries get appended onto the end of the ledger. Every new block gets appended to the block chain by linking to the previous block’s ‘hash’ . There are no administrator permissions within a blockchain that allow editing or deleting of data.

In a relational database, data can be easily modified or deleted. Typically, there are database administrators who may make changes to any part of the data and/or its structure. Additionally, blockchains were designed for decentralized applications, whereas relational databases, in general, were originally designed for centralized applications, where a single entity controls the data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some examples, which are advisable to work on with a Blockchain technology:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of this we can show, how to decide, which system should be applied.

Looking to the before shown examples, we see, the Blockchain can influence a lot of businesses and will change them drastically. Especially subjects like supply chain management, the standard bank processes and the overview about medical results, are very practical examples to be improvable with the Blockchain technology.

Blockchain needs still the proposal for business opportunities and then the helpful policies from the governments. Due to these difficulties, I put it in the chapter: Development of new business models.

4. Summery

In my opinion, the people, who have knowledge about the technologies are not precise enough mentioning it towards the politic. It is necessary to develop business models in this area, because it will have considerable influence on our societies. The change of a society is always long lasting. For this it is necessary to start in time.

The Federal council of Germany considered the climate agreements of Paris

On 7th of October 2016, the federal council, which is the assembly of the federal states of Germany and a constitutional body, decided, they will allow from 2030 onwards to register only cars, which are CO2 neutral. That means, they will not allow any more to register combustion engine driven cares from 2030 onwards.

This should have now followers, because it is a logical step, if countries tread the decision, done in the climate conference in Paris, seriously. A combustion engine care has a lifetime of about 20 years. If people tread the target to be 2050 CO2 neutral seriously, they have to forbid selling combustion engines in 2030. A logical step, which has to be done in every country, who signed the agreement of Paris.

I would even go further and require, that until that time, it is also assured that electrical energy is not anymore produced out of fossil sources or critical sources like nuclear energy. Only if we produce electricity out of renewable energies and use them for everything, we fulfill the criteria, defined in the Paris assembly.

I fear for Germany at present time the activities of the executive. The minister for transport questioned immediately that decision. From the ministry of energy we heard no statement so far. The execution of this decision is difficult and needs characters, which are capable to apply this. Bothe ministries have not performed adequately in the past. I hope, the ministries will apply certain logic in their doings. Otherwise I hope that the election in 2017 will clarify the situation.

Thank you very much to the federal council, to bring a discussion up, which should have had took place already years ago.

Now we have to care, the lobbies will not eliminate this logic. This can be a sign for the world, if local short term interests will not kill it.

Conveniences prevent necessary social changes and prevent opportunities from being taken

The examples I will provide today are mainly taken from Europe, but they could take place anywhere. I will focus today on a social political discrepancy. We are living in a time full of developments that ultimately impact the structure of our society. To act on the opportunities of some developments, it is necessary to also adapt the social political framework.
I will provide three examples. All of them represent big opportunities for most countries, in my opinion. These opportunities can be taken only if society makes the necessary changes. Thus we come to a weakness of democratic systems, which are already developed over the long term. Societies are not ready to change unless there is pressure on all people or everyone has a deep understanding of the necessity for change. In democratic systems, elections take place every four to five years, and the politicians have only one interest: to keep the lobbyists quiet and maintain the status quo as much as possible, so as not to inconvenience people.
Let me take as the first example the energy transition in Germany. A fast reduction of CO2 is necessary to fight against climate change, and Germany was ahead of all countries in implementing renewable energies. This took place as long as the utility companies were not directly influenced. About two years ago, the utility companies recognized that they cannot hinder a further change toward renewable energies, and their old power plants will become more and more obsolete. Renewable energy sources are already the cheapest forms of energy one can produce. Last year the utility companies divided their business into a renewable part and a conventional part. They are now struggling more and more with the profitability of the conventional energy sources. Environmental activists are requiring a clearer scenario of how to end dependence on coal energy. Last week the German utility companies attended a conference, where the German minister of economy and energy affairs announced:” I will never agree to a scenario to get completely away from coal energy, if no one gives me a solution for the workplaces of the coal mine workers.”
There is a clear urgency to reduce CO2 emissions to keep our climate in balance. The minister also knows this. It is his duty to develop conditions to promote a solution for coal mine workers. It is clear to everyone that this has to be done, but the minister has announced the opposite to assure the coal mine workers not to fear and instruct the utility companies not to start with their change processes.
This is nothing other than purposeful propaganda to survive the next election. This hinders the necessary progress in energy transition. The society has to change to make the necessary changes in our energy system, and the politicians have to provide the framework. The above-mentioned statement of the German minister of economy and energy affairs shows that he is neglecting his duties to ensure that the utility lobby and the coal mine workers will further promote him.
The second example I will mention is TTIP, the free trade agreement between Europe and the US. US President Barack Obama and former EU President Barroso announced the beginning of TTIP negotiations at the G8 summit on June 17, 2013. The first of 11 rounds of negotiations so far was from October 19 to 23, 2015, in Miami. A 12th round of negotiations is scheduled for early 2016. There are a lot of lobbyists fighting to keep their areas protected. TTIP is mandatory, especially for Europe if it wants to strengthen its economic position. Some politicians have discussed that the European Union needs this free trade area, but the voices of the lobbies are louder. TTIP could be a good tool to finally overcome the European financial crisis. But because of political hesitation, this has not taken place.
My third example is the refugee crisis in Europe. After World War II, a lot of refugees came from the eastern part of Germany to the western part. There were skeptics and critics, but the refugees after World War II heavily contributed to what was called the “German economic miracle.” To finalize the economic growth in Germany, companies were asking for Italian, Spanish, Greek and Turkish workers. The additional workforce produced additional GDP and drove growth rates.
Why should this be different with the refugees who are coming now? I agree, there cannot be a never-ending stream of people coming to Germany, but the people who have arrived so far are not killing this country. This takes us back to the idle politicians, who are not actively building up the conditions for integration and who are not intervening early enough in the crisis regions of the world. They are only discussing how to protect the present situation by building up the borders again.
To summarize: Necessary developments that would bring the world to a sustainable future are blocked due to pending political decisions. Politicians are not making these decisions because they are not responding to needs; they are following the interests of lobbyists and trying to prevent societal change. If they did so, they would risk failure in the next election.
One reason for the economic strength of Germany is that Germany cleaned up its social security system. This was done under Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s “Agenda 2010.” It brought a lot of changes for society, but it made Germany stronger. After implementing these changes, he was not elected again. For this I very much appreciate him: He did what was necessary, even if it was clear to him that he would jeopardize his next election.
I wish Germany had more of this kind of politician to overcome the present problems. . Politicians must be clear: The problems like climate change, trade limitations and refugees will not disappear, and a late decision is even harder to make. In a mature democracy we need politicians who take responsibility and do not think only of the next election. Otherwise these societies will not change like necessary and the countries becoming weaker and weaker.

Internet of things, cloud computing, big data analysis, artificial intelligence: How can we forecast their middterm development?

The Internet has helped to globalize our world. Now, the Internet is changing our day-to-day behaviors. For most people, communication with a bank takes place mainly or only on the Internet. A lot of things are purchased on the Internet. If we have a question about a subject, than we are not looking in a lexicon, now we use search engines like Google to find explanations. But all these changes are only the beginning of a much deeper influence of the Internet in our life. Let us briefly discuss these developments, which are ongoing and will influence our lives in the next 3 to 6 years. The three main influencers will be:
1. The Internet of things: On the Internet, people are connecting, communicating, and exchanging data and information. But why should people only be on the Internet? Today, we have many machines, sensors and actors that can communicate via the Internet. All of these elements can exchange data and information between each other. This gives us a lot of additional possibilities. On the Internet, we have access to data about the weather, traffic, maps, events, and so on. On this database, we can imagine things like autonomous cars, transport system optimization, demand-driven infrastructure systems, and so on.
2. Cloud computing: In cloud computing, the full IT structure is provided by service companies. We divide this into SaaS (software as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service), and PaaS (platform as a service). All the services or part of the services are provided from service providers.
3. Big data analysis: The amount of information and data available on the Internet today is hugs. With the Internet of things, it will multiply even more. To combine this data in real time drives us toward new business opportunities and will increase the productivity of a lot of businesses.
4. Artificial intelligence: With complex algorithms and intelligent sensory and learning systems, we will become more and more capable of building systems, including service systems that are unimaginable today.
These above mentioned developments are not a far-fetched vision. These developments are already available today, waiting for us to use them. They will influence our lives in the short- and mid-term. Here are a few examples:
1. Autonomous cars: It started with some distance sensors, which initiated active braking if the distance from a car in front of your car is too short. A lot of cars already offer an automatic parking device. You stop your car outside the parking lot, your car measures the parking area, than you drive the car at the beginning of the parking lot and push the button for automatic parking. Your car will drive perfectly into the parking space if you do not disturb it. Even the Tesla can drive on highways mostly autonomously. It keeps distance and can over take over other cars autonomously. These are the systems that are already released to the public. On a few test tracks and even on a few highway pieces in Germany, there are test cars that drive autonomously every day. So we should expect that autonomous driving will be released in the new future to public use. To make autonomous driving possible, we need a lot of communication with the environment around the car. We need precise information from a map, distances to barriers around the car, exact road pictures, general traffic information, and so on. We have to bring all this data together to go with the car autonomously and safely to our desired destination. For this, we need the combination of the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, and big data.
2. Guidance in health data: In the health-care sector, first applications are on the way. For a few days, I have had a sensor on my arm, measuring continuously my heart frequency, how many steps I take, how often I climb stairs, and how I sleep. It is calculating how many joules I used. Once a day, I get an e-mail with hints to my behavior in relation to my health. This looks like a gadget, but if we develop it further, it can become a serious device that can improve the health of the whole population, reduce costs for health care, and extend the life expectations for people. Maybe we can develop it to call for emergency help if necessary because the location of people is always possible to navigate. Heart frequency, blood pressure, blood sugar level, and so on can be monitored continuously, and in case of disorder, a message or help will be sent. There are even developments on the way that compare the behavior of people to a reference base and to calculate best behavior to extend a person’s life span. This can then be given continuously to people, providing them the opportunity to correct their behavior. An American friend of us got from their health insurance a step tracker. Exceeding a certain level of steps per day reduces their health insurance fee.
3. Sharing economy: For people in future social systems, it will not so much be important to have personal items. It will be more important to experience and socialize. This will increase the sharing economy. I need a car only if I cannot reach a destination directly by public transport. For these distances, I need an organization, which assures that I have access to a car in close reachable distance or someone gives me an individual service. This has to be managed. From a big database, which is continuously updated, the best solution will be extracted and proposed to me. I choose by best price, shortest time or whatever my requirements are. I want to cook a Chinese meal and need a rice cooker. A rice cooker I need only twice a year. It makes no sense for me to buy one. I look to a database, where I find possibilities to share such a device. We can imagine that this list of devices can grow.
4. Energy availability: This is an area that has been discussed for a long time, but has been blocked due to lobbyism by the politicians. In Germany, two big energy companies Eon and RWE divided their companies into the fossil-driven division and the renewable-driven division. This shows me very clearly that they finally understand: the future is renewable. But this renewable energy does not have the same conditions as the energy coming from fossil fuel plants or nuclear plants. Renewable energies are much more volatile and composed of a lot of small energy producers. If I go with my electric car and need to charge it, I can look to the Internet to guide me to a place that is convenient for me, which has energy available and so on. If in a house nearby, a family decides to use a washing machine within the next six hours, the artificial intelligence can calculate how both, the family and I, can be served best. I can immediately charge my car, and the family gets their clothes washed in 1 hour.
We have now seen developments in different areas regarding the Internet of things, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence. We can see that this is not fiction. It is already partly in place and has started to change our way of life. In the end, it will change our social system and society.
I predict we will appreciate and accept most of the technical changes. In my opinion, the more difficult part will be the necessary change of social behavior and society. These changes require generations. The described technology will change within the next 10 to 15 years.
In this respect, we will have the biggest challenges in the future.
But for people who understand these changes, they can already start to develop their businesses in this direction or develop business models according to these changes. I would like to be a member of this group.

Changes of ownership, changes of the management board and generation change in a company

This is not a complete guideline of how to manage changes of company ownership, changes in the management board or generation change. We will discuss how to set up a process, how to manage this situation and which options should be taken into consideration.
The most common change in company ownership is done by selling a company.
What are the main differences in selling a company?
1. The share deal: In this case, the company’s shares or part of the company’s shares are changing ownership. The company continues with its business and its liabilities for its business, as done in the past. These deals are done to clean investor portfolios, to merge companies to get the new company a more complete portfolio or sometimes also to extend market share. In the post-merger phase, very often the management structure will also be adapted. This will normally be done with a post-merger integration (PMI) project.
2. The asset deal: With an asset deal, the company sells its assets or parts of its assets. These deals are often done because the buyer is not ready to take liabilities from the company he or she buys or only a part of a company is sold, which makes it often difficult to share its liabilities. Asset deals provide a lot of possibilities to shape a necessary restructuring process or to enable a good PMI project. The problem with an asset deal is always that the old company, which is now out of assets but still has liabilities, then has to be liquidated or sent to insolvency. A lot of legal requirements have to be considered for such a process.
The possibilities and needs involved in shaping a company sales deal are important. Shaping the deal in a good way opens for the new company the possibility to place itself better in the market or to make its existence further on possible. There are some Founds in the active market that deal only with this kind of company, which they are bringing back in more healthy conditions to the market. This is a hard job, but with the right management team, which can properly handle these kinds of change processes, this business model guides to good profits.
This brings us to the next subject: management change in the board of a company. In the case of company sales, there is normally automatically also a change in the supervisory board. This new supervisory board defines and decides upon a new or changed board of management.
To keep companies healthy, to develop them in a good direction and to assure successor availability, changes in the board of management in a company are necessary and should be planned accordingly. Most of the contracts of management board members are given for a period of three to five years. This assures that the supervisory board has to decide from time to time about every management board member. Let us make a small list of reasons why management board members should be changed from time to time. This list cannot be complete, but it shows the situations that should be taken into consideration:
1. The management team is not playing as a team together. This will provoke a situation in which, for strategic decisions, there is no consensus in the team, and so these decisions can be pushed by the CEO only.
2. There may be performance issues. If a board member cannot deliver the agreed-upon target results or is not capable of bringing a company back to profit after a certain period, he or she has to be changed.
3. After, for example, heavy restructuring phases, a lot of uncomfortable decisions could have to be made, which could make it difficult to work together afterward. In this case, a management change may be necessary.
4. Sometimes it may be necessary to make changes in the management board to bring new ideas in. Especially companies with long-term continued good business have the risk of losing track. Only to emphasize: we are the best! Makes blind for changes in the surrounding.
After these examples of why change is necessary, we should now think about what may be the best source for our candidates. We can get candidates from inside the company or from outside the company. From inside the company it will always be a candidate who will be assigned to the management board for the first time, but the internal candidates have the advantage that they know the conditions within the company quite well.
External candidates can be from the board of another company or can provide special skills, for example, MBA educations, a specialist in some science fields and so on.
The perfect candidate will be someone who is accepted from the supervisory board and the board of management.
The management board is like a good meal: The right mix makes the difference!
Choosing candidates for a board of management, we have to consider their mindset for this task. The board of management, and in the end the chairman of the board or the CEO, is responsible for everything that happens in the company. The board of management has all the power to decide on changes in the company. They must be ready to do so.
Until now, we have discussed only companies, which are composed of shares, and the organs (supervisory board and annual general meeting) of these companies are deciding on data. This becomes somehow more complex when it comes to family-owned companies. It starts already with the problem that the owner often for 20 to 30 years (one generation) stays in charge of all board decisions. The whole company is relying on his or her intelligence, decision-making skills and capability to change. This is a high risk for the development of a company.
My proposal for this kind of company is always to put at least the organs for a limited company in place. Try to define criteria at which a wider circle of people will participate in decision making.
The same is to be taken into consideration for the successor planning. The children of the owners do not always have the best skills to continue the business.
My advice is this: Children of company owners should have at least 10 years’ experience in another company and should have developed in the external company to a management position. If this cannot be fulfilled, the organization of a limited company should come in force.
This article is a reflection of my experience and not a scientific analysis. I would be happy to discuss the aforementioned subjects.