Aung San Suu Kyi: The inside story | SBS Dateline

Aung San Suu Kyi: The inside story | SBS Dateline:

Fast-forward to September 2017 and Daw Suu – once the darling of the international community, is almost universally condemned for what many see as her silence over a military campaign that drove 700,000 Muslim Rohingyas across the border to refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Some say it’s not her fault, she has no control over the army, it’s not her doing, she probably doesn’t know what’s happening there.

But our six-month investigation reveals how the Nobel Laureate actively blocked United Nations investigations into violence against the Rohingyas and angrily condemned efforts to free two Myanmar journalists investigating mass graves.

I will say it may not entirely be her fault but she is one of the people blame. 

What makes it worse is that we all thought she would stand for something better.

Read the whole article. 

Bijan Sabet — What makes  a great venture capitalist…

I like this section:

Thing 2:  Be a great partner to the startup

In the early stage investing business, most startups don’t work out. So most VCs are dealing with a portfolio that has many investments that are struggling or worse. VCs that serve on boards have a duty to do their best to help the company though these tough times. It’s very stressful and intense. It requires some combination of being proactive, being engaged and being patient. It requires dealing with a problematic co-investor(s). It can be about founders that don’t get along. Or a cash crunch. Or a lawsuit. Or cultural issues. And it happens a lot. It’s likely the least understood and appreciated part of this work. And when I meet someone who wants to be a VC, I spend a fair amount of time talking about this part. If this sort of thing feels allergic to you, then this business isn’t for you.

— Read on

Cities will be remade – what opportunities will this open up?

A couple of articles have caught my attention around the remaking of cities once we all come to grips with the simple fact that most cities around the world were designed to accommodate moving vehicles over pedestrians. Now with people realizing that scooters and bikes are an option – the startup community has rapidly built a few services that fill the need. Problem is the demand is there but the roads and sidewalks don’t accommodate the traffic. PMDs are mixing with people walking and in general bicycles are always on the roads at the mercy of the cars around them.

This article today sums up how I feel about the scooters – let’s fix the streets to accommodate them. Long but good article but I like this part:

Scooter companies have drawn their share of ire, of course, which is why cities want to cap their numbers in an effort to control them. But there’s a better fix than limiting new options. If cities gave people more safe spaces to ride and park all modes of non-car transportation, both fans and critics would be happier. Imagine if, along with its scooter regulations, San Francisco announced a pilot program to expand Market Street’s 10-mph zone into a citywide, multimodal network, to be completed by the end of the summer?

That may sound impossible, but it could happen about this quickly. Seville, Spain—a city almost identical in size to San Francisco—built out a comprehensive “lightning” bike-lane network in just 18 months. The number of people commuting by bike daily increased tenfold in about four years. How did it work? The city carved out space from existing roadways—and eliminated 5,000 places to park cars.

Which leads me to this article about parking. We all know that since everything was designed around cars than of course there would be parking lots everywhere which won’t be needed once we get rid of most of the cars.

There are about 500 million parking spaces in America for our 326 million citizens. Parking infrastructure occupies over 3.5 million square miles, an area larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. And yet, despite our sea of parking garages and lots, visions of a car-less future are gaining momentum. This may be inconceivable for adults who have spent a sizable chunk of their lives behind the wheel, searching for that perfect spot. But if car ownership does indeed drop, parking structures would be cast into the same graveyard as fax machines and video cassettes–or would they?

As an architect who has studied and participated in 15 years’ worth of urban development projects at Arcturis, my hunch is that our cultural shift to ride sharing, autonomous vehicles, and alternative transportation will result in a permanent paradigm shift in urban planning.

That last part brings me to the crux of my thinking when it comes to wearing my VC hat. It will take time and some countries will move faster than others but the core of a city that we know today will dramatically change. My personal view is people will go to malls less and continue to up their spend online. Which means people will only go to seek brands or entertainment options which means overall retail space will reduce.

Couple this with people using scooters, bikes, autonomous buses and maybe, just maybe, walking more will mean that the city center will be able to get rid of some of the road space. All of this will effect how people shop, move and spend money which means this entire remaking of the city center will provide huge opportunities as well as create new havoc around employment.

Singapore is setting a pretty good example for what the new Jurong might look like –

As a VC we constantly try to peer a bit into the future and decide on what themes might be if interest for us to invest in today.

For me the coming change in cities will be a big one.