December 31, 2017

Tips on Work, Life Hacks, and Life Lessons

The end of the year is often a time of reflection. We ponder on the accomplishments during the past 12 months as well as things we wish we could have done better. The latter may be used as a basis of establishing personal or professional goals we set for the coming year. While I am not one to create New Year's resolutions, I appreciate that a new year is a moment in time to begin anew and focus on items that will help me become a better person.

While perusing the internet, I came across a list of top 100 tips on work, life hacks and life lessons as compiled by Nelson Wang, co-founder of Here are few tips of Mr. Wang's that I found of particular value as I welcome the year of 2018:

Work Tips

7. Celebrate progress. I agree with that "the journey to your goal could be a long one. So make sure you take the time to celebrate your progress along the way." Life is hard and many of us encounter not just one, but multiple challenges on a daily basis. It is too easy to focus on the failures (big and small) or times when we are performing our best. Nevertheless, it is important to celebrate progress. As Mr. Wang correctly asserts, "Because success is worth celebrating."

28. Embrace failure and learn from it. "You are going to fail at some point in life," writes Mr. Wang. "It could be a big event, like getting fired. It could be a small event, like forgetting to do the laundry. It's all relative." Some years will bring more accomplishments than setbacks and other years will see the latter outweighing the former. Embracing failure and assessing the lessons learned will often lead to making better decisions in the future.

Following from #28, Mr. Wang's list includes:

29. Embrace your champions. "Along the way, you will find people that genuinely believe in you and your mission. They will cheer you on. Embrace them. Even if your only champion is your mom." My mom is a GREAT champion on mine!!

30. Embrace your naysayers. "On this same journey, you'll also find people who doubt you every step of the way. Embrace them too. Only this time, use that doubt as your source of motivation."

During the course of my career, many people, some of whom I consider trusted friends and advisors, expressed doubt or serious concerns about a business idea or strategy. While I admit that I initial response was one of defensiveness, I learned to slow down, take a deep breathe (see #51 below), and try to understand the basis of their doubt or concerns. Was I not explaining myself clearly? Was I overlooking an important element?

Sometimes their concerns altered my approach and other times I proceeded as originally planned despite their doubts. Nevertheless, it was important to embrace these doubts and use them as my source of motivation.

Life Hacks

35. Freeze your fruits/vegetables. Many of my friends and colleagues born outside the United States comment about the large volume of food Americans waste. I agree.

Fruits and vegetables are often expensive and I have never understood the rationale for letting them go to waste. Mr. Wang suggests freezing your fruits and vegetables, which may later be used in soups, stews or smoothies. (Perhaps life hack #35A is to invest in a good blender.)

51. Slow down. "We get it. You want to make a dent in the universe. You want to change the world. You want to create something magical. Slow down. Take a deep breathe. You don't have to react instantly all the time. Sometimes, taking a moment to collect yourself and to think about the situation might drive a better outcome for you."

Not reacting instantly is an ongoing challenge for me. However, doing so often means that my work is controlling my life (and schedule). Maintaining effective time management skills and choosing the time when I respond to messages provides me with the opportunity to slow down, take a deep breathe and assert control over my life.

A friend and colleague recently gave me an hourglass to help remind me the virtue of patience, which is not one of my strengths. Slowing down, taking a deep breathe and having patience is an ongoing challenge to I will seek to incorporate in my life in 2018 and beyond.

Life Tips

56. Learn one new thing a day. Being a constant learner is, in my opinion, one of my greatest strengths. As such, it is a value that I appreciate among those closest to me in my personal or professional circle.

Being a constant learner simply begins with learning one new thing a day. Mr. Wang notes, "This could be one word from a new language, a scientific fact, a life hack or anything else that you're interested in. Over time, learning one new thing a day will shape you into awesomeness."

57. Remember people's names. Many of my mentors throughout my professional career demonstrated the importance of building relationships. This often begins with remembering people's names (and, if possible, other personal details such as their hometown, names of their spouse and children, schools attended and degrees earned, hobbies, etc.). "When you say someone's name, it shows that you care," explains Mr. Wang. "It shows that you recognize their presence. It shows that you're a nice person. Try it."

84. Be insanely curious. This connects well with #56 on learning one new thing a day. I agree with Mr. Wang that "being curious will help you keep an open mind" and "by doing so, you'll learn new ideas and help bring passion and excitement in your life." More importantly, "You don't know everything, so learn as much as you can in your life!"

94. Don't compare yourself to others. This tip is easier to follow as I get older. 20 years ago when I was in the early stage of my career, I, like many of my contemporaries, regularly and mistakenly compared myself to others. This is natural when you are in the your 20s feeling insecure and competing for opportunities that you hope will lead to significant returns.

I now see my younger colleagues exhibiting the same behavior. I could not say it better than "just focus on being the best possible version of yourself."

Which of Mr. Wang's tips do you find valuable or relevant?

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. And thank you for being my champion or naysayer (or sometimes both).

Aaron Rose is a board member, corporate advisor, and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

December 23, 2017

A Tech-Driven Transformation in Africa is Making People Healthier, Wealthier, and Better Educated

Since my first trip to the African continent in the 1990s, I have appreciated the correlation between advances in technology and the rise of socioeconomic development. From obtaining a drove of information from the world wide web through a desktop computer using a dial-up modem to transferring cash through a service optimized for mobile phones, it is amazing to witness such transformations in the lives of those whom live in developing countries. Therefore, I read with great interest a special report entitled "Technology in Africa" in the Nov. 11, 2017 issue of The Economist.

The report's leading article, "The leapfrog model: What technology can do for Africa," notes that across "sub-Saharan Africa, countries are on the cusp of a tech-driven transformation that is already beginning to make people healthier, wealthier and better educated at a pace that only recently seemed unimaginable."

Providing some historical context of technological advances in Africa, the article explains:
The first taste of these new possibilities came when mobile phones swarmed across the continent a decade ago. Within just a few short years hundreds of millions of people were able to phone and text for the first time, bypassing monopolistic state-owned phone companies that kept customers waiting for landlines indefinitely. And leapfrogging over old technologies and business models with mobile phones quickly made other sorts of leaps possible. Thanks to M-Pesa, a service that lets people send money through their phones, everyone with a phone suddenly also had, in effect, a bank account in their pocket. As mobile money has lowered transaction costs, it has brought down barriers to innovation in all sorts of other areas, allowing lenders quickly to assess credit risks, insurers to sell life and medical cover in small chunks and new energy firms to sell electricity by the day or week.
What is more, "Some of these innovations are emerging from the thriving tech hubs that are popping up across Africa, but most of the technology transforming the continent comes from elsewhere. The $50 smartphones on which apps connect motorcycle taxis and customers in Rwanda are Chinese, for instance. However, these technologies are often being combined in new ways to solve uniquely African problems. If you want to book a truck to move your cow, or get an ambulance to go to hospital, you will probably turn to an African startup."

The article importantly mentions that "much of the money going into African technology comes not from philanthropists but from hard-nosed investors looking for attractive returns. In 2016 African tech firms raised a record $367m. Although paltry by the standards of Silicon Valley, this is helping to stimulate the setting up of firms such as Flutterwave, a Nigerian payments company, and Zipline, which uses drones to deliver blood to clinics in Rwanda."

Not all of the news, however, is so optimistic:
Technology is advancing far more slowly in Africa than it is in the rich world, so the gap has been widening in recent years. "The poverty gap is a technology gap," says Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Ghana's science and technology minister. It is also a knowledge and education gap. Three-quarters of children in their third year of schooling in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are unable to explain the meaning of the sentence "The name of the dog is Puppy" after reading it aloud. If the education system cannot prepare youngsters for jobs in a tech economy, Africa risks falling even further behind.
The do it yourself method of learning, which I have witnessed all so well during my travels to Africa, continues to thrive. The article explains that "given an opportunity to grasp that technology, many in Africa do so with both hands. In a tech hub in Lagos, Nigeria, enthusiastic youngsters tap away on laptop computers, practicing coding skills that many have picked up through online portals such as Udacity or by watching YouTube videos." Furthermore, "Jean-Claude Bastos, who sponsors an annual innovation prize in Africa as well as a tech hub in the slums of Luanda, Angola, recalls how alarmed he was when he first put a 3D printer into the center, only to find that the youngsters there immediately dismantled it. 'They took it apart, then put it back together, then did it again. Now if anything in it breaks they rebuild it on intuition, like it is a motorbike or car,' he says."

Lastly, the report says,
A cluster of new technologies promise to have a huge impact on Africa, not least because they can help solve some of Africa's biggest and longest-standing problems. These include weak state-run education systems, a high burden of disease, broken infrastructure and low productivity on farms and in factories. What made mobile phones so much more important in Africa than in the rich world was that for hundreds of millions of people they were the first and only form of telecommunication available. Equally, if a vaccine is developed for malaria, it will make little difference in the rich world but could save millions of lives in Africa. 'Investments in health R&D for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases will be a massive boon for poor countries where the disease burden is highest,' says Bill Gates, whose foundation funds some of this research. 'The same is true for innovations like better seeds that enable poor farmers to increase crop yields.'
The Economist's special report is presented through the following articles:

How do you think technology will transform the lives of people living in Africa?

Aaron Rose is a board member, corporate advisor, and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

December 18, 2017

Artificial Intelligence is the Epicenter of Web 3.0

A friend recently noted that the current version of internet, which is often referred as Web 2.0, has matured. Such maturity has led to a stagnation in the production of innovative products and services by startups and large corporations alike. Following his observation, which I happen to agree with, he asked, "What is next for the internet?"

In an article published by the New York Times in 2006, John Markoff wrote, "From the billions of documents that form the World Wide Web and the links that weave them together, computer scientists and a growing collection of start-up companies are finding new ways to mine human intelligence."

The goal of the computer scientists, says Mr. Markoff, "is to add a layer of meaning on top of the existing Web that would make it less of a catalog and more of a guide — and even provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion. That level of artificial intelligence, with machines doing the thinking instead of simply following commands, has eluded researchers for more than half a century."

"Referred to as Web 3.0," notes Mr. Markoff, "the effort is in its infancy, and the very idea has given rise to skeptics who have called it an unobtainable vision. But the underlying technologies are rapidly gaining adherents, at big companies like I.B.M. and Google as well as small ones. Their projects often center on simple, practical uses, from producing vacation recommendations to predicting the next hit song."

11 years later, The Economist published an article about the race to dominate artificial intelligence (AI). "An exponential increase in the availability of digital data, the force of computing power and the brilliance of algorithms has fueled excitement about this formerly obscure corner of computer science," the article explains. "The West's largest tech firms, including Alphabet (Google's parent), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft are investing huge sums to develop their AI capabilities, as are their counterparts in China. Although it is difficult to separate tech firms' investments in AI from other kinds, so far in 2017 companies globally have completed around $21.3bn in mergers and acquisitions related to AI, according to PitchBook, a data provider, or around 26 times more than in 2015."

I agree with the assertion that "over the next several years, large tech firms are going to go head-to-head in three ways. They will continue to compete for talent to help train their corporate 'brains'; they will try to apply machine learning to their existing businesses more effectively than rivals; and they will try to create new profit centers with the help of AI."

The Dec. 7, 2017 article continues to explain how AI will be used in machine learning, autonomous driving, augmented reality (AR).

In addition, the article importantly notes:
Artificial intelligence is also being applied in the corporate world. David Kenny, the boss of Watson, IBM’s AI platform, predicts that there will be "two AIs": companies that profit from offering AI-infused services to consumers and others which offer them to businesses. In practice, the two worlds meet because of the tech giants' cloud-computing arms. Providers are competing to use AI as a way to differentiate their offerings and lock in customers. The three largest—Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud—offer application-programming interfaces (APIs) that provide machine-learning capabilities to other companies. Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, for example, helped Uber build a verification tool that asks drivers to take a selfie to confirm their identities when they work. Google Cloud offers a "jobs API," which helps companies match jobseekers with the best positions.
As for augmented reality, "Mobile apps like Snap, a messaging app, and the game Pokémon Go are early examples of AR. But AR could more radically transform people's relationship with the internet, so that they consume digital information not from a small screen but via an ambient, ever-present experience. AR devices will offer portable AI capabilities, such as simultaneous translation and facial recognition."

We have embarked upon the Web 3.0. What are your predictions for the application of artificial intelligence?

Aaron Rose is an advisor to talented entrepreneurs and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

December 16, 2017

Customer Service is Everything

The following is a guest post by Alexander Brooks

Last week I had a terrible customer experience with one of my favorite coffee shops in Seattle. I've been going to this coffee/cafe shop at least twice a week to grab lunch or dinner for the past year. This place always has a friendly vibe topped with incredible food and service. Today I'm going to discuss some of the ways to build great customer service for your business.

I decided to spend a few hours at my favorite coffee shop to get dinner and work through some programming challenges. After getting carried away problem-solving for about an hour, I was confronted at my table by one of the waitresses with a menu. Keep in mind, this is a place in which you come to the cash register when you're ready to order. The waitress says, let me know when you're ready to order. There's two of us at this table, but I'm the only person that receives a menu. I decided to think of what kind of snack I want for the evening and drifted back to work. I was then confronted by the same waitress again stating I have to order food and can't use the internet unless doing so. The waitress was short with me and walked away right after making her statement.

Consistency is Key

Creating consistently great service experiences keeps customers coming back. As a business owner, I'm always observing both good and bad customer service experiences. I'm a consistent customer at this cafe who actively brings friends here to try out the food as well. Warren Buffet once said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." Although I still like this place, my excitement and interest have changed due to this experience. By having a system that identifies consistent customers this experience could have been avoided.

Know Your MVP Customers

There's value in knowing who the MVP customers are and how they impact your business. By simply collecting data on purchase activities, you can identify your most consistent customer. Having this information can create opportunities to provide rewards programs that can lead to increase customer engagement. One of the local bakeries in Seattle does a great job of having a rewards program set up for consistent customers. Wild Rye is a local bakery and sandwich shop in the downtown area of Seattle. They provide me with a free sandwich of choice after every eight purchases at their restaurant. Although your business model may not fit this type of rewards program, this is an example of a way to engage with your MVPs.

Customer Service Strategy

With the internet, it takes a few seconds to find dozens of great customer service strategies to employ in your business. If this cafe had a system that notified the staff when a high volume customer makes a purchase, my experience could have been completely different. As your business grows, make sure you're looking for ways to use customer data to add value to their experience.

Alex Brooks is the founder and CEO of AE Brooks, LLC (dba Entreprov), a Seattle-based firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses increase their customer base and extend lifetime value of current customers through machine learning and business strategy. Mr. Brooks may be contacted at

December 10, 2017

Singapore Has Overtaken the US as the Most Attractive Destination for Chinese ODI

According to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), "The outlook for China's overseas direct investment (ODI) appears to have dimmed. After a bumper year for deal-making in 2016, ODI flows from China slumped by over 40% year on year in the first ten months of 2017." The EIU's China Going Global Investment Index 2017 ranks 60 major economies across 57 indicators, distributed across four sub-indices spread between an "opportunity" pillar and a "risk" pillar. In addition, The EIU developed six separate indices covering six industries: automotive, consumer goods, energy, financial services, healthcare and telecommunications. Their coverage in this update to the index is slightly less than the previous versions in 2015 and 2013, when they included 67 countries. (I wrote about the 2015 version in a post on this blog.)

The report encouragingly suggests that "it is still an exciting time to be watching the international expansion of corporate China, and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) views the recent drop in ODI flows as temporary. Although approval processes may be more complicated, Chinese companies will still feel impelled to venture overseas for similar reasons as they did before—to drive higher revenue by tapping new markets and acquiring better technology." Moreover, "The roll-out of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a government strategy announced in 2013 to boost trade and investment links between China and over 60 (mainly developing) countries, has also given an additional impetus for some firms."

The main takeaways from the 2017 update to the China Going Global Investment Index include:
  • Singapore has overtaken the US as the most attractive destination for Chinese ODI. The city state's superior business environment, access to South-east Asian markets and close links with China are integral to its top ranking, while the fall in the US ranking is partly attributable to higher trade tensions with China. Hong Kong ranks third in the index.
  • Although developed economies still dominate the upper ranks of the index, emerging markets have risen in this update. More stable commodity prices have improved economic prospects for many developing economies since the last update, while the BRI has provided additional incentives for Chinese firms to invest in these regions. Notable climbers include Malaysia (ranked fourth) and Kazakhstan (ranked 13th). Several developed economies have tumbled down the index: the UK slips by the most, by 29 places to 41st, owing to the worsened outlook for economic growth following its decision to leave the EU.
  • Countries that rank consistently highly across the six industry indices include the US, Japan, India and Iran. While the US and Japan owe their positions mainly to the opportunities they offer Chinese firms to obtain technology and brands through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), India and Iran are fast-growing markets in which companies from China are likely to be competitive.
The report begins its conclusion by explaining:
The 2017 slump in Chinese ODI is unlikely to be a reflection of the future trend. China's ODI stock as a share of its GDP was only 10.9% in 2016, a much lower level than in large developed economies such as the US (28.9%), Japan (27.6%) and Germany (57%). This suggests that there is still plenty of room for growth, and the drivers of ODI from China in recent years—a desire to grasp global market share and acquire technology, brands and resources—remain in place. We expect that China's ODI flows (on a balance-of-payments basis) will return to growth in 2018.
The EIU also predicts that "we will probably not see a return to the exuberant deal-making of 2016. The government has heightened supervision over overseas investment and it is likely to remain concerned about risks posed by excessive capital outflows for several years yet." Furthermore, "An expected tightening in domestic credit conditions could also have an impact on ODI by making it more difficult for companies to tap bank lending. This will encourage firms to align their plans with areas where financing is still available, such as under MIC 2025 or the BRI."

Are the report's findings useful to your business?

Aaron Rose is a board member, corporate advisor, and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of GT Perspectives, an online forum focused on turning perspective into opportunity.

December 3, 2017

The Global Healthcare Industry Will Experience Many Changes in 2018

My previous post focused on The Economist Intelligence Unit's (The EIU) report, Industries in 2018, that forecasts how six industry sectors (automotive, consumer goods and retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, and telecoms) will develop globally over the coming year. This post focuses on report's discussion of the healthcare industry, which asserts the continuing policy chaos in the United States, China's health reforms and the preparations for Brexit as the biggest challenges for companies.

"US attempts to overturn Obamacare will still head the agenda in 2018, but other countries may have more success with their reform plans," the report explains. "Efforts to overturn the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA, commonly known as Obamacare) have loomed over the US healthcare sector in 2017 and are likely to do so again in 2018. Whereas the Republicans spent much of their first year in office trying to draft and pass reforms to 'repeal and replace' Obamacare at the national level, over 2018 they will focus on dismantling the current system from the inside." The EIU asserts that "as the system crumbles, there will be increased pressure from the public and from industry to come up with viable alternatives. Individual states are already stepping into the breach."

The report notes that "what happens in the US will be vital to the global healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector over the coming year." Furthermore, The EIU "expects US healthcare spending to reach US$3.5trn, which is around 44% of the global total (based on the 60 biggest economies). Pharmaceutical spending will reach around US$444bn, or around 36% of the global total, despite efforts to rein back prices. No other market will come close: health spending in China and Japan, the nearest contenders, is less than one-sixth as high."

With respect to China, the world's most populous country will see important changes in 2018. The Chinese "government will continue with its efforts to broaden and deepen the national healthcare system. This will involve implementing the numerous reforms begun in 2017 or earlier. Two of the three public health insurance schemes, the New Rural Co-operative Medical Scheme and Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance, are gradually being merged. Tax breaks introduced in mid-2017 will encourage more people to take out top-up private insurance."

The report importantly says,
In the meantime, China's family-doctor system will expand, and hospitals will start to adopt new management procedures. These will include new payment schemes and a double-invoice system intended to reduce hospitals' reliance on mark-ups from selling pharmaceuticals. Pressure on pharmaceutical prices will increase still further. However, other measures will be aimed at improving drug quality and speeding up the approval of innovative medicines. This follows a ruling in October 2017 allowing companies to use foreign trial data to support their applications.
It is a packed agenda, and not all of it will work. As is usual in China, many of the reforms will be done on a pilot basis in particular regions and cities, and even when the policies are supposed to be national, implementation will vary across the country. Pharmaceutical companies will have to adapt quickly to cope with the changes and to benefit from market growth, which we expect to be around 8% in local-currency terms but just 3% in US dollar terms.
Emerging markets will also experience far-reaching changes in their respective healthcare sector:
India will be starting to implement the National Health Policy it unveiled in March 2017, which aims to provide free drugs, diagnostics and emergency services to all Indians through public hospitals. Indonesia will be scurrying to meet its goal of universal coverage by 2019, while the Philippines has a similar goal for 2022. Pakistan will continue to pilot the prime minister's National Health Insurance Programme for low-income households.
Many countries in Latin America and the Middle East, as well as Russia, will be reassessing funding for healthcare as their economies recover from the effects of low global commodity prices. In Mexico, for example, the government has promised to unify public healthcare services into a universal social service, while Brazil's government is considering introducing a compulsory health insurance system. South Africa is due to release its long-awaited plans for health insurance in late 2017, although they may be delayed again.
Lastly, listed below, in its entirety, are items to watch for in 2018:
  • EU regulations: Data protection rules will come into effect in May 2018, followed by rules on e-procurement in October 2018. However, the implementation of new clinical trials regulations, initially scheduled for 2018, has been delayed until 2019. The EU will also be working towards the full implementation of its 2017 Medical Devices Directive by 2020, and for in vitro diagnostics medical devices in 2022.
  • Patent expiry: Generic competition looms in the US for two erectile dysfunction drugs: Pfizer’s Viagra (sildenafil) has protection until 2020 but will face competition from Teva’s copy from the end of 2017, while Eli Lilly’s Cialis (tadalafil) will lose patent protection in September 2018.
  • Polio eradication: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is likely to narrowly miss its 2018 deadline for wiping out the disease worldwide. At the end of October 2017 the only countries where the disease is still endemic—Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria—reported a combined total of 12 wild polio cases this year, along with 61 vaccine-derived cases.
What changes do you predict to occur in the healthcare industry in 2018?

Aaron Rose is an advisor to talented entrepreneurs and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

December 2, 2017

Political Risk Will Hang Heavily Over Corporate Investment Decisions in 2018

Each year The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) issues a report forecasting how six industry sectors (automotive, consumer goods and retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, and telecoms) will develop globally over the coming year. Industries in 2018 highlights how traditional business models are likely to come under strain amid sweeping changes, many driven by technology. It also highlights how, despite continued global economic growth, companies will need to remain flexible and be wary of political risks, particularly in the European Union (EU).

The EIU report begins by asserting: "Traditional business models will come under strain amid sweeping changes, many driven by technology. Despite the decent economic conditions, political risk will hang heavily over investment decisions."

Furthermore, "This year's report, which gives our forecasts for 2018, highlights how old ways of making money are fast going out of fashion. Perhaps the starkest example of this is in retailing, where online selling is dramatically disrupting the traditional shopping culture. That industry is not alone. Telecoms companies are facing new challenges from technology players, heightening already fierce competition, while established players in carmaking and energy are struggling to adapt to the rise of clean technologies. Pharmaceutical companies face pricing and patenting dilemmas, while regulators are redoubling pressure on financial services companies."

From a business strategist perspective, I support the report's assertion that "companies will need to shake up their business models in 2018 to respond to these pressures. However, planning is easier than execution. New regulations, new competitors and new consumer demands will emerge during the year ahead in many markets, while the business environment will develop in ways that may be hard to predict."

What is more, according to The EIU, "High levels of political risk will also complicate matters in each of our six industries: automotive; consumer goods and retail; energy; financial services; healthcare; and telecoms. At least global economic conditions will not be bad—although not quite as good as in 2017."

Lastly, the report importantly notes:
Although White House policies continue to concern many companies in our six industries, the threat of a damaging trade war has receded since our 2017 report as geopolitical and business realities win out. Even so, global trade growth will decline from 4.6% in 2017 to 3.5% in 2018, mainly owing to a slowdown in China's economy. Political risks will remain strong, particularly in the EU: as Brexit edges nearer, the risk that the negotiations will break down remains high. In 2018 companies will need to remain flexible enough to deal with such risks, while also seizing the opportunities presented by continued global growth.
Do you agree that political risk will hang heavily over corporate investment decisions in 2018?

Aaron Rose is an advisor to talented entrepreneurs and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.