The Future of Secret Lobbyists

Posted By on October 20, 2017

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Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.

In Exponential Minds’ The Future of Secret Lobbyists we look at Google’s X Lab in Washington, death from global pollution, and Bill gates shifting focus to education.

The super-secret Google X lab has hired its own lobbyists in the nation’s capital

Even the moonshots at Google have lobbyists.

The search-and-advertising giant is the tech industry’s most active political spender. But as it seeks to spare its most audacious projects from prohibitive government regulations — big bets like internet-beaming balloons and energy-capturing kites — Google and its parent, Alphabet, is hiring even more help in Washington, D.C..

Starting in September, the secretive research lab known now as X has retained a trio of outside lobbyists with deep connections to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to a newly filed federal ethics disclosure. Its precise agenda, however, is about as hush-hush as X itself: The firm, Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, only revealed in its filing that it would provide “situational analysis of policies relevant to X.”

A spokeswoman for Alphabet’s X declined to comment on this story.

Read more at Recode

Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens ‘survival of human societies’

Pollution kills at least nine million people and costs trillions of dollars every year, according to the most comprehensive global analysis to date, which warns the crisis “threatens the continuing survival of human societies”.

Toxic air, water, soils and workplaces are responsible for the diseases that kill one in every six people around the world, the landmark report found, and the true total could be millions higher because the impact of many pollutants are poorly understood. The deaths attributed to pollution are triple those from Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

The vast majority of the pollution deaths occur in poorer nations and in some, such as India, Chad and Madagascar, pollution causes a quarter of all deaths. The international researchers said this burden is a hugely expensive drag on developing economies.

Read more at The Guardian

Gates Foundation to Shift Education Focus

Marking a new chapter in education philanthropy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will step back from its traditional education reform agenda to instead invest close to $1.7 billion over the next five years on new initiatives that include a focus on building networks of schools.

“Education is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging areas we invest in as a foundation,” Bill Gates is expected to say Thursday during a speech at the Council of the Great City Schools’ annual conference in Cleveland, according to prepared remarks. “But I’m excited about the shift in our work and the focus on partnering with networks of schools.”

In a sprawling address, the Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of one of the most influential and contentious entities involved in the education space plans to reflect on lessons learned about the foundation’s efforts and how those lessons will play into its revamped vision for the future.

Read more at US News


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