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Machines increasingly complement human labor in the workplace

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming businesses and will contribute to economic growth via contributions to productivity. They will also help address “moonshot” societal challenges in areas from health to climate change.

At the same time, these technologies will transform the nature of work and the workplace itself. Machines will be able to carry out more of the tasks done by humans, complement the work that humans do, and even perform some tasks that go beyond what humans can do. As a result, some occupations will decline, others will grow, and many more will change.

While we believe there will be enough work to go around (barring extreme scenarios), society will need to grapple with significant workforce transitions and dislocation. Workers will need to acquire new skills and adapt to the increasingly capable machines alongside them in the workplace. They may have to move from declining occupations to growing and, in some cases, new occupations.

This executive briefing, which draws on the latest research from the McKinsey Global Institute, examines both the promise and the challenge of automation and AI in the workplace and outlines some of the critical issues that policy makers, companies, and individuals will need to solve for.

  1. Accelerating progress in AI and automation is creating opportunities for businesses, the economy, and society
  2. How AI and automation will affect work
  3. Key workforce transitions and challenges
  4. Ten things to solve for

More: McKinsey Global Institute

Authors: James Manyika is chairman and director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a senior partner at McKinsey & Company based in San Francisco. Kevin Sneader is McKinsey’s global managing partner-elect, based in Hong Kong.

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Tackling the 1.6-Billion-Ton Food Loss and Waste Crisis

The scale of the problem is staggering. Each year, 1.6 billion tons of food worth about $1.2 trillion are lost or go to waste—one-third of the total amount of food produced globally.1 To put the figure in perspective, that is ten times the mass of the island of Manhattan. And the problem is only growing: BCG estimates that by 2030 annual food loss and waste will hit 2.1 billion tons worth $1.5 trillion.

This massive misuse of resources is emerging as a critical global issue, with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals setting a target of halving food loss and waste by 2030. The urgency reflects the fact that the food waste disaster has far-reaching implications. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Resources Institute, it accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And it is difficult to imagine solving the hunger problem—some 870 million people around the world are undernourished—when so much of the global food supply is lost between the farm and the table.

The challenge is enormous, but there is a clear way forward. On the basis of an extensive analysis of the food value chain from production through retail and consumption, BCG has identified five drivers of the problem, issues that—if addressed—could reduce the dollar value of annual food loss and waste by nearly $700 billion and create major progress toward hitting the SDG target. Certainly no one group, government, or company can make this happen. Rather, real headway will require commitment and coordinated action from consumers, governments, NGOs, farmers, and companies.

Companies that play a major role in the food value chain in particular can be catalysts for change. Through our research, we have identified 13 concrete initiatives companies can take to address those five drivers and help slash the amount of food lost and wasted every year.2 This is not only a chance to help the world—it is a compelling business opportunity. Recent research by BCG has found that companies that are effective at addressing societal challenges tend to be rewarded with higher margins and higher TSR. Companies that play a role in the food value chain stand to reap tangible business benefits such as lower costs, the opening of new markets, and new revenue opportunities. Just as important, these companies can burnish their brand and improve their ability to attract and retain talent as they tackle a daunting global challenge.

A Growing Problem—and a $700 Billion Opportunity

Food loss or waste occurs at all steps in the value chain—but it is most pronounced at the beginning (production) and at the end (consumption). (See Exhibit 1.) In developing countries, the problem is largely a function of the production and transportation of food from farms, while in developed countries it is most prevalent in the consumption phase, among both retailers and consumers

To understand the scale and scope of the problem, BCG created a food loss and waste model. (See “Quantifying the Food Waste Challenge.”) That work reveals a disturbing upward trend line: BCG projects the volume of food loss and waste will rise 1.9% annually from 2015 to 2030 while the dollar value will rise 1.8%.3 Food loss and waste are projected to increase in most regions around the world, with a significant spike in Asia in particular.

More: /www.bcg.com/

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Shaking up the value chain

Data and digitization are creating a growing array of value-creation choices in industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals, mining, and energy.

During the 1980s, McKinsey’s Fred Gluck and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter began writing about the interrelated activities through which companies create value for their customers. Executives have always had choices about how to perform the activities in this “business system” (Gluck’s words) or “value chain” (Porter’s). In the digital age, as information disrupts the nature of value creation in many industries, the range of choices available to senior business leaders has increased. For example, digital platforms in the pharmaceutical industry now make it possible to aggregate massive amounts of data on diseases—potentially accelerating the discovery and design of new drugs and challenging the industry’s legacy processes. In energy production and mining, although companies have long outsourced some functions in efforts to drive down costs, digital requires a new approach. Using data, suppliers can offer incumbents an expanded range of capabilities and productivity gains—alluring possibilities that are accompanied by the risk that sharing too much data could shut off areas of future growth. This type of flux in value chains will only intensify across industries, forcing leaders to grapple with existential questions about core competitive strengths in an environment where destabilizing technologies will be the norm.

Will digital platforms transform pharmaceuticals?

Start-up companies are combining genetic information and new therapies to transform drug discovery and development—at greater speed and scale.

Product innovation is at the heart of the pharmaceutical industry’s value chain. Long, capital-intensive development cycles and legacy processes, though, have made it difficult to exploit the full potential of emerging digital technologies to deliver faster, more agile approaches to discover and develop new drugs. Indeed, McKinsey research shows that the industry’s digital maturity lags that of most other industries.

A new current is forming in one area of the industry: start-up companies that are creating biomolecular platforms around cellular, genetic, and other advanced therapies.1 The platforms marshal vast amounts of data on the genetics of diseases, such as cancer, and combine that with patients’ genetic profiles and related data. They zero in on key points along the information chain—for example, where there are linkages between DNA and proteins, and then cells—to “design” new drugs. Much like software developers, the platforms engineer disease therapies built upon the “code-like” DNA and RNA sequences within cells (Exhibit 1).

These techniques have significant implications for the treatment of many life-threatening illnesses that are outside the reach of standard therapeutic approaches. They could also disrupt the industry’s value chain as they speed up drug discovery and development, with the potential for a single platform to scale rapidly across a range of diseases (Exhibit 2).

In one example of a biomolecular platform, for a disease that results from a mutation in DNA that codes for a needed enzyme, the platform models the disease from medical and genetic data to arrive at an enzyme “optimized” to correct for the mutation. The platform then designs a sequence of genetic material to treat the disease, as well as a delivery vehicle to get it to the target cells. In another example, for CAR-T2 therapies, the platform modifies a patient’s T cells (an immune-system cell), which are then deployed to attack a cancer.

A new competitive landscape

Optimized biomolecular platforms have the potential to accelerate the early stages of R&D significantly. For example, it can take as little as weeks or months to go from concept to drug versus what’s often many months, if not years, of trial and error under conventional discovery methods. This is achieved by routinizing key steps (such as preparing a drug for preclinical testing) and using common underlying elements in the design of the drug (such as drug-delivery vehicles that are similar). In the past five years or so, a number of start-ups have formulated dozens of drugs that are in clinical trials and, in some cases, drugs that have already been approved. The large information base behind therapies helps identify the right targets for preclinical and clinical trials.

By Olivier Leclerc and Jeff Smith

More: https://www.mckinsey.com

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Projmors – Dobre czasy dla inżynierów

Terminal LNG w Świnoujściu, stanowisko T1 w DCT Gdańsk to sztandarowe inwestycje hydrotechniczne, które już wrosły w pejzaż polskiej infrastruktury morskiej.

Rozwój infrastruktury portowej, modernizacja stoczni, inwestycje w rozwój żeglugi krótkiego zasięgu i śródlądowej to trend światowy, w który wpisuje się aktywność firmy Projmors – Biura Projektów Budownictwa Morskiego działającego od prawie 70 lat.

Czas inwestycji. Niedługo rozpocznie się budowa kanału żeglugowego przez Mierzeję Wiślaną. Ambitne plany mają porty w Gdyni i Gdańsku. Oprócz nowej obrotnicy i publicznego terminalu promowego, Gdynia planuje zbudowanie terminalu w głębi Zatoki Gdańskiej – informował Adam Meller, prezes Zarządu Morskiego Portu Gdynia. Modernizacja portu wewnętrznego oraz budowa portu zewnętrznego – to priorytety Zarządu Morskiego Portu Gdańsk – podkreślał prezes Łukasz Greinke w czasie niedawnego  Forum Gospodarki Morskiej w Gdyni. W planach Ministerstwa Gospodarki Morskiej i Żeglugi Śródlądowej znajduje się również modernizacja stoczni i aktywizacja szlaków śródlądowych, bowiem „gospodarka morska jest branżą, z którą rząd wiąże ogromne szanse i która należy do priorytetów rządu” podkreślał w czasie gdyńskiego Forum  Marek Gróbarczyk, Minister Gospodarki Morskiej i Żeglugi Śródlądowej.

Czas na doświadczenie. Tak ambitne programy stanowią wyzwanie dla projektantów z unikalnymi umiejętnościami. W czasach rajzbretów w firmie pracowało nawet 400  projektantów i innych specjalistów. „Wraz z rozwojem komputeryzacji zatrudnienie było ograniczane i obecnie nasze biuro projektowe zatrudnia 60 projektantów we wszystkich specjalnościach” – mówi Mateusz Samulak, prezes zarządu  Projmors. Połowa z nich to młodzi inżynierowie. „Łączymy bowiem doświadczenie z młodzieńczą pasją. Inżynierowie z długim stażem spełniają rolę mentorów” – wyjaśnia Samulak.

Doświadczenie budowano latami. W latach 50.  60.   Projmors wykonywał projekty dla odbiorców krajowych, by z czasem realizować zlecenia dla kontrahentów w Europie, Afryce, Bliskim i Dalekim Wschodzie. Silną pozycję na rynku międzynarodowym zapewnia mu to, że firma jest zarejestrowana w FAO oraz UNIDO, a unikalną wartość ma Świadectwo akredytacji bezpieczeństwa systemu teleinformatycznego ″TAJNE″ i ″NATO SECRET″.

Czas na projekty. Inżynierowie Projmorsu mają na swoim koncie bazy przeładunkowo-składowe towarów suchych i płynnych, terminale promowo – kontenerowe, porty i przystanie jachtowe morskie i rzeczne oraz oczywiście budowle i konstrukcje hydrotechniczne. Tu zaprojektowano obiekty o konstrukcjach stalowych, żelbetonowych i drewnianych, kompletne obiekty i instalacje budowlane, wodno-ściekowe, cieplne, energetyczne, telekomunikacyjne i transportowe. W pracowniach Projmorsu powstały kompleksowe projekty z obszaru ochrony środowiska, a także stocznie remontowe i obiekty zaplecza techniczno-warsztatowego, urządzenia transportowo – podnośne, dźwigi pływające, suche doki,     porty i bazy rybackie, chłodnie i magazyny specjalne. Tu, na deskach projektantów rodziły się tak spektakularne inwestycje jak: Bałtycki Terminal Kontenerowy oraz Port Północny, Terminal Przeładunkowy w Porcie Elbląg oraz Terminal Głębokowodny DCT Gdańsk, Terminal LNG w Świnoujściu.

            Czas na wdrożenia. Z ostatnich realizacji na konto inżynierów Projmorsu zaliczyć należy Port LNG w Świnoujściu, a więc zbudowany od podstaw  całkowicie nowy port zewnętrzny z głównym falochronem dł. 3000 m, stanowiskiem przeładunkowym gazowców o dł. do 300 m, torem podejściowym i obrotnicą o gł. 14,5 m i wym. 630/1000 m. Projektanci z Gdańska tworzyli również terminal kontenerowy dla Deutsche Bahn na Ostrowiu Grabowskim w Porcie Szczecin o zdolności przeładunkowej 120 000 TEU. W komputerach Projmorsu narodził się również Głębokowodny Terminal Kontenerowy DCT Gdańsk o zdolności przeładunkowej 500 000 TEU w I etapie. Tu zaprojektowano falochrony o łącznej długości 2600 m, 2 stanowiska statkowe o gł. 13,5 i 16,5 m na nabrzeżu kontenerowym długości 650 m dla statków Postpanamax i całe zaplecze lądowe aż po terminal kolejowy.

Z ostatnich realizacji zagranicznych warto wymienić koncepcję budowy  wielofunkcyjnego terminala paliwowego w Afryce oraz projekt Stoczni Sacomar W Namibe w Angoli.  Zaprocentowało doświadczenie projektowaniu i realizacjach w libijskich portach Derna, Trypolis czy Garabulli, budowie  Stoczni Remontowej Nigerdock II w Lagos czy terminala kontenerowego w Porcie Algier. W Gdańsku zaprojektowana została również  Stocznia Remontowa Nigerdock I w Lagos w Nigerii oraz Stocznia Remontowo-Produkcyjna ″Ha-Long″ w Wietnamie.

Czas dla inżynierów.  Od roku 1975 Projmors wykonuje funkcje Generalnego Realizatora Inwestycji, pełni nadzory inwestorskie oraz pełni funkcję Inżyniera w rozumieniu umów o roboty budowlane wg FIDIC. Na kocie firmy są więc typowo morskie nadzory inwestorskie, jak Baza Mosawa w Gdyni, czy system kierowania statkami w Zatoce Gdańskiej, jak i budowa giełdy rolno-spożywczej Rënk w Gdańsku, czy  budowa zespołu obsługi startowej lotniska Rębiechowo w Gdańsku.

Niedawno Projmors włączony został do grupy ASE, zespołu firm innowacyjnych, skoncentrowanych na projektowaniu instalacji przemysłowych, a szczególnie bezpiecznych technologii dla przemysłu i infrastruktury. Niedługo firma przeniesie się do nowego budynku, blisko Międzynarodowych Targów Gdańskich. W wyniku tego w ramach Grupy ASE powstanie nowa jakość – kampus technologiczny, w którym innowacyjne rozwiązania będzie tworzyć około 300 inżynierów  i pracowników zaplecza – wyjaśnia prezes Samulak. Niedawno oddano do ich dyspozycji nowy zespół laboratoriów, w którym tworzone będę kolejne innowacyjne technologie.

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Getting Physical: The Rise of Hybrid Ecosystems

BCG Sept 2017 Getting Physical COVER

On June 16, 2017, Amazon surprised the business world by announcing that it would acquire Whole Foods for approximately $13.7 billion. The acquisition is Amazon’s largest to date by far as well as a significant departure from its traditional strategy of growing businesses organically.

There has been much speculation about the strategic rationale behind this move. Some have referred to the overlap between the clientele of Amazon Prime and of Whole Foods, others to the value of a brick-and-mortar presence, and still others to the need for scale in building out grocery supply chains.1

Whatever the specific motivation for this transaction, we believe the acquisition is not an isolated occurrence but part of a broader trend: the shift from the largely digital ecosystems that dominate today to ones richly exploiting both the digital and the physical worlds. This shift signals opportunities not only for digital giants but also for physical incumbents to build new digital-physical ecosystems. Orchestrators of these hybrid ecosystems must follow some new principles and adopt a set of behaviors different from those that purely digital ecosystems require. The Japanese company Recruit offers a rich example of how to succeed in this new realm.

The Rise of the Digital Giants

Digital ecosystems—networks of companies and consumers that interact dynamically to create mutual value—have enabled some of the most profitable and most valuable business models that exist today.2 Digital ecosystems create value primarily through the delivery of digital goods and services, using scalable digital platforms such as two-sided marketplaces. The five most valuable public companies in the US—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon—are all orchestrators of digital ecosystems. This is a strong contrast with ten years ago, when Microsoft was the only digital player alongside four physical giants (Exxon Mobil, General Electric, AT&T, and Citigroup) in the top five.3

What has allowed digital ecosystems to become so dominant? The answer lies in a winner-take-all dynamic of competition, which allows winners to reach tremendous scale and build impregnable moats around their positions. Three sets of factors have contributed to this competitive dynamic:

  • Zero Marginal Costs and Positive Network Effects. Successful digital ecosystem orchestrators offer a dominant service in their core category. Think of Google’s search engine or Facebook’s social network. Starting from this service, orchestrators have relied on virtually zero marginal production costs, network effects, and low barriers to geographical expansion (in the absence of protectionism) to grow their digital ecosystems to gigantic proportions. Digital marketplaces, like Amazon’s, embody all these features: adding one or a thousand more products for sale comes at virtually no additional cost; the more people who use the marketplace, the more attractive it becomes; and digital goods can be delivered around the world at little extra cost.
  • Unprecedented Data Accumulation and Analysis. Successful digital giants take advantage of the “data flywheel effect”: as digital ecosystems grow, they accumulate more data, which then fuels improvements in services, thus stimulating further growth. Improvements in data processing and analysis, driven by cumulative experience, and the spreading of investment costs over large volumes of data, strengthen the advantage. The ability of digital giants to attract and develop digital talent in areas of short supply, like machine learning and data engineering, reinforces the virtuous circle even more.
  • Seamless and Comprehensive Digital Experience. Finally, once they reach a certain scale, digital ecosystems can become even bigger by providing a seamless experience for users, giving them the ability to satisfy multiple needs on a single platform. Digital winners manage to build comprehensive ecosystems, including a wide variety of service providers, to this end. By reducing the incentive for users to leave the platform, these ecosystems are able to capture most of their attention, time, and value. The most salient example of the one-stop digital ecosystem so far is the Chinese app WeChat (which combines the functionalities of Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and others), but all US digital ecosystem orchestrators are moving in this direction.

Orchestrators of digital ecosystems have all focused on exploiting this winner-take-all dynamic to establish dominant positions. Nondigital players, by contrast, lacking the kind of advantages noted above, have mostly not succeeded in building digital ecosystems. Consider the fate of Sears, which in the early 2010s invested heavily in an e-commerce business that would complement its traditional brick-and-mortar business. In the end, Sears’s digital business failed to achieve the necessary scale, and this, coupled with a sales decline in the neglected core business, led to a loss of more than 75% of market value for the company.4

More: www.bcg.com: The BCG Henderson Institute is The Boston Consulting Group’s internal think tank, dedicated to exploring and developing valuable new insights from business, technology, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. The Institute engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice and to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. For more ideas and inspiration from the Institute, please visit: Ideas & Inspiration