Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Technology & Innovation

Top Stories

September 22, 2016

Technology & Innovation

Mark Zuckerberg pledges $3 billion to ‘rid the world of all disease’

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have vowed to spend $3 billion over the next decade to try and cure all diseases. The Facebook founder and his wife, who has worked as a paediatrician, said the money would be used to assist scientific work and build new research tools. “We spend 50 times more on health care treating people who are sick than we spend on science research (to cure) diseases so that people don’t get sick in the first place,” Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg is worth about $56 billion thanks to shares in his own company. He has asked other shareholders to allow him to give away his stock without losing control of the company. The announcement comes a day after Microsoft made a pledge to “solve the problem of cancer” within a decade by reprogramming diseased cells. (Telegraph)


Report: Cellphones, not banks, may be key to finance in the developing world

The increasing digitisation of finance, and the move away from cash, could add 6 percent to the annual economic output of the world’s developing nations over the next 10 years, according to a new report from McKinsey. The report says that developing nations lose enormous amounts of economic potential from the continuing reliance on cash and the difficulty many businesses and individuals encounter when trying to gain access to the financial system. 80 percent of people in the developing world currently have mobile phones, and by 2020 that will rise to 90 percent. This will reduce the cost of providing financial services by 80 to 90 percent, the report says. But countries need regulations that allow for the development of new financial technology and start-ups that address the existing landscape. (New York Times)


Total partners with Ecoslops to build oil recycling plant in Marseille

Oil giant Total has struck a deal with the company behind an innovative recycling technology to build a new waste-processing unit in La Mède, near Marseille, France. Ecoslops claims its technology reduces marine pollution by making it easier and cheaper for shipping firms to dispose of their maritime oil residues, while also providing a greener source of fuel for boats. If it goes ahead, the site will be the firm’s second oil recycling plant. The first one, in the port of Sinès in Portugal, started selling recycled fuel last year. Total is planning further regeneration of the La Mède site, where it plans a “world class” biorefinery turning vegetable oils into biodiesel. (Business Green)

Sustainable Development

New campaign aims to leverage private investment capital to help achieve SDGs

A new campaign is calling on investors and money managers to make their investments part of a “tremendous force for good in effecting positive change.” Launched by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the campaign asks investors and money managers to commit capital to impact investing efforts aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). GIIN is also publishing a series of investor profiles to highlight successes of the impact investing industry. A report compiled by the GIIN and Cambridge Associates found that private impact-focused funds had returns that were comparable to non-impact-focused funds, and 90 percent of respondents to the GIIN’s Annual Impact Investor Survey, said their returns met or exceeded financial expectations. (Sustainable Brands)

Corporate Reputation

GSK cuts vaccine price for refugees, bowing to pressure

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is cutting the price charged for its pneumococcal vaccine when given to refugees, following complaints about the product’s “exorbitant” cost by medical charity Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF). For seven years, MSF has been in discussions with GSK and Pfizer, the only two manufacturers producing the pneumonia vaccine, for access to a more affordable price. GSK said it would provide Synflorix at a discounted price of $3.05 per dose to recognised civil society organisations. The price, which GSK says is intended solely to support refugee populations, has previously been available only to the world’s poorest countries. MSF now hopes that Pfizer will match GSK’s offer, and that both companies will additionally reduce the price of the vaccine for governments of developing countries. (Reuters, MSF)


Image source: Technology by Adrianna Calvo / CC0