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Sharing is the New Buying in the Collaborative Economy

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Sharing is the New Buying in the Collaborative Economy

Sharing is the New Buying in the Collaborative Economy

Uber, the ride sharing app, continues to skyrocket in valuation. In August 2013, it was valued at $3.7 billion. In June 2014, it was valued at $17 billion. And today, it’s reportedly worth $40 billion, making it the world’s highest valued startup.

This is the financial impact of the new sharing economy, and investors need to take note.

What is this new collaborative economy? Technology and communication has facilitated people in finding new ways of sharing assets such as homes, cars, and vacation rentals. Even more, investments and fundraising can also be shared through crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending. Bitcoin, using the blockchain, is also peer-to-peer in the way it operates.

The benefits to consumers are obvious: lower prices, convenience, and sustainability. However, what investors need to know is that this new way of doing things can completely disrupt traditional industries. Look at the way AirBnB is disrupting hospitality, Uber is disrupting transportation, or bitcoin is disrupting the financial sector.

These are opportunities, but also threats to the status quo. For investors with money in more traditional spaces, it is worth keeping an eye on the shared economy, simply because it could make your investment obsolete.

Original graphic from: Vision Critical

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The Decline of Extreme Poverty in Perspective

We look at the latest data from the World Bank, which reveals a drop in extreme poverty of 1 billion people globally since the year 1990.

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The Decline of Extreme Poverty in Perspective

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

If you follow the news, the world can seem pretty grim at times.

This pessimistic view of global affairs is common. We’ve been trained by the media to believe that things are always getting worse – and not surprisingly, people extrapolate these perceptions onto issues like poverty.

One survey in the U.K. is the perfect barometer for this kind of public pessimism: in 2016 an Oxfam poll found that 87% of people thought that global poverty was staying the same or getting worse. However, the reality couldn’t be further from those perceptions.

Poverty in Perspective

The World Bank announced this week that extreme poverty is at its lowest rate in 28 years.

The current estimate is that 8.6% of the global population now lives in extreme poverty, using a measure based on a $1.90 per day wage (in 2011 PPP). The figure is adjusted using the cost of living and inflation, and it also takes into account the minimum needed for daily essentials in places where poverty is prevalent.

For comparison, in 1990, more than 1.9 billion people (36% of global population) lived below the extreme poverty line. That means more than one billion people have come out of poverty since then.

Recent Data

The preceding context is powerful, but where are we today in the fight against extreme poverty?

According to the World Bank’s latest comprehensive numbers that were just released for 2015, here is the latest data by region:

RegionPeople in poverty (2015)% of world total
World Total735.9 million100.0%
East Asia and Pacific47.2 million6.4%
Europe and Central Asia7.1 million1.0%
Latin America and Caribbean25.9 million3.5%
Middle East and North Africa18.6 million2.5%
South Asia216.4 million29.4%
Sub-Saharan Africa413.3 million56.2%

As you can see, just over 85% of the population in extreme poverty is living in the Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia regions. It’s worth noting that both of these regions are also rapidly growing in terms of population, as well.

Finally, here’s a look at recent progress during the period of 2013-2015:

RegionPoverty rate (2013)Poverty rate (2015)Change
World Total11.2%10.0%-1.2%
East Asia and Pacific3.6%2.3%-1.3%
Europe and Central Asia1.6%1.5%-0.1%
Latin America and Caribbean4.6%4.1%-0.5%
Middle East and North Africa2.6%5.0%+2.4%
South Asia16.2%12.4%-3.8%
Sub-Saharan Africa42.5%41.1%-1.4%

The one anomaly above (Middle East and North Africa) is a result of wars in Syria and Yemen – however, as you can see, the region did previously hit a low under 3%.

Overall, as the data shows, there has been progress in the fight against extreme poverty in both the long and short terms. That said, experts do warn that the rate of poverty reduction is slowing in more recent years, which will make the trend harder to keep intact.

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Peak Population: What it Means for Global Resources (Part 1)

By 2100, our global population is to be between 9.6 and 12.3 billion. Here’s what peak population looks like and its effects on resource consumption.

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Peak Population: What it Means for Global Resources (Part 1)

Peak Population: What it Means for Global Resources (Part 1)

Presented by: Gainesville Coins

Even with having existed for millions of years, the process for humans to reach 1 billion in population was long and arduous. It is only about 12,000 years ago that humans started engaging in sedentary agriculture. This allowed humans to settle and consistently produce food, rather than hunt and gather throughout.

However, it is with the Industrial Revolution that the means for exponential human population increases was created. New technology, boosts in productivity, and the use of energy allowed for a new frontier in increasing health, sanitation, and standard of living. It is also around this time – in 1804 to be exact – that the earth’s population hit 1 billion people.

Fast forward two hundred years, and the impact of the Industrial Revolution is loud and clear. Now with over 7 billion people, global population has risen so fast that by one estimate, 14% of all human beings that have ever existed are alive today.

Based on a recent UN study, by 2100, our global population is predicted to be between 9.6 and 12.3 billion people. The world will be much different than we know it today in the future.

For starters, the vast majority of growth will happen in the less developed regions of the world. As an example, Nigeria’s population will increase five-fold, from around 174 million today to almost a billion people. It will likely be the 3rd most populous country behind India and China in 2100. Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole could hold up to almost half of the world’s population in the future.

While population has exploded exponentially, unfortunately the resources on our planet are finite. The ecological term for this is “carrying capacity”, which is the maximum population that an environment and resources can sustain indefinitely.

Human carrying capacity is very complex and takes into account many factors, including nutrients, fresh water, environmental conditions, space, technology, medical care, and sanitation. The carrying capacity for humans is not static, and can be changed by adding or subtracting resources from the ecosystem.

While technology has saved the human race time after time, we have not yet found ways to address many of the problems tied to overpopulation such as consumption, changes to climate, inequality, and scarcity of resources.

There are certain realities we will have to face. Here are just some of the issues:
• By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity.
• The United States uses 1 million gallons of oil every 2 minutes.
• The marginal cost of producing oil and metals has never been higher.
• Food prices are skyrocketing, and availability of essential nutrients (like phosphorus) needed to grow food is becoming scarcer.
• Governments continue to create new currency and debt at unprecedented and unsustainable levels.
• Potential collapses in biodiversity and changes in our climate.

Is our future littered with disease, famine, stunted growth, currency collapse, and a lower quality of life?

Or should we be optimistic that we can persist? Can technology and smart decisions save the day?

Visual Capitalist continues to look at Peak Population in Parts 2 and 3 of this series in early 2015. Subscribe below to make sure you get it.

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