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Doing Well by Doing Good

{complink 5218|STMicroelectronics NV} is one of those companies that back up corporate social responsibility statements with firm actions. And it's been doing it for years, first under former chairman and CEO Pasquale Pistorio and continuing even now, years after he left the job.

At the recent Semico Summit, STMicroelectronics presented its view on shaping the semiconductor future, and — no surprise — it involved also helping to shape our social future. Bob Krysiak, executive VP and general manager of the Americas for the company, spoke on how STM and the semiconductor industry have been “doing well by doing good.”

Krysiak pointed out the demographic changes that are occurring in our society, noting that most of the world's population growth is in non-Western countries. By 2050 there will be nearly 10 billion people in the world, 3 billion more than today. In addition we will have quite an aging population. These factors will add to pressures on many resources.

The theme of Krysiak's presentation, “doing well by doing good,” presents the Internet and connectivity as key elements in addressing these issues. He noted that the Internet and connectivity have become the plumbing of our world and industry. There are a growing number of online users, many in China, for instance, and this has positive implications for our society.

We will depend more on the Internet and connectivity for increases in productivity and security. Human productivity will depend more on mobility and wireless. Banking will be transformed by this, but then security becomes more important. This will lead to growth in brand authentication, protection, and trusted platform security.

With aging populations, countries need to deal with healthcare management. Krysiak pointed out that in developed countries 12 to 18 percent of GDP is spent on healthcare. Much of this is for the management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Remote monitoring and wellness are the next big explosion of content. Connectivity will play a major role in this, and semiconductor technology, including MEMS, offers more affordable solutions, with greater reliability and precision.

The so-called “smart grid” also applies IT and networking expertise to deliver energy efficiently. This includes smart meters, photovoltaics, electric vehicles, and home-area networks (HANs) working together for energy efficiency by balancing supply and demand. Network security plays an important role.

The semiconductor industry offers the intelligent control and high-performance analog technology to make all of this happen.

18 comments on “Doing Well by Doing Good

  1. hwong
    May 17, 2011

    It's not doubt that “internet of things” is the major theme that is a slowly emerging technology for the next 20 years. However, I do not think that remote monitoring of patients at home can replace the social interaction that senior community can provide. Yes,  it does give the elderlys family members peace of mind by thinking that the parent/s are being watched healthwise. But it still does not prevent the fact that what actions to take when their health becomes jeopardizes. Is there really workforce to take into action immediately? With the rise of the healthcare cost, most likely not.

  2. Nemos
    May 17, 2011

    Very nice introduction, it was like reading a social article. So our conclusion is that semiconductor companies such as ST have a social challenge, and their products will have to follow the society “needs” .

    Does our needs forming the technology or the technology forming our needs?

  3. SunitaT
    May 18, 2011

    Tony,

     Thanks for the post. Nice to hear that semiconductor industry has so much to offer to Social future. By when do you think semiconductor industry will actually start contributing to the social sector? 

  4. prabhakar_deosthali
    May 18, 2011

    No doubt , tomorrows technology is going to bring about a radical change to the way we live today. But the negative aspect of this technology is , while the world is getting crowded by the population explosion, the individual is getting more and more isolated . With on line banking, on line shopping, 3D entertainment at home, movies on demand on your Tv, high spped internet offering a range of live services sitting at home , very little has been left for human-to-human personal interaction, emotional outlets. Tomorrows world will be more or less controlled by those faceless machines , those IVR systems with sweet but emotion-less voices, those voice activated robots. Where it is going to take us all?

  5. Jay_Bond
    May 18, 2011

    One of the social areas I'm curious about is healthcare. The percent of GDP being spent on healthcare continues to rise annually. This is not including the effects of the latest healthcare bill. I know that semiconductor technology can do wonders, the question being will the technology be implemented properly for everybody to see healthcare reductions.

  6. SP
    May 18, 2011

    I agree corporate social responsibility is something that should be there in all companies whether  big or small. After all they make money from the society and its always good to develop the society in return. The children parts, infrastructure,schools, hospitals, old age care and so on. I feel if all these corporates do their bit honestly,espcially in Asian countries like India infrastructure would never be a problem.

  7. Kunmi
    May 18, 2011

    prabhakar_deosthali : I absolutely agree with you. Technology is affecting our lives today in a dispersed way creating independent life style for everyone. Though it is good in one part but the side effect is breaking the cohessiveness or community life styles. As other moderators reflected on the cost of healthcare due to advance technology, robots are ruling healthcare industry causing relapse in utilization of human brain to think unlike the hold medical practice. Technologically, the society is doing great but I do not think that it will trigger any low cost of healthcare rather escalate the price because of the cost of maintenance of these faceless devices.  It is quite unfortunate that faceless elements will be the ruler of the the day in the next generation.

  8. FLYINGSCOT
    May 18, 2011

    The potential upside is huge for companies that can help create an effective smart grid.  As ever the issues will be regulatory, technology standardization, interoperability and cost.  It is hard to argue against the potential benefits to society of such technology but it will take bold leadership to deliver a smart grid that truly revolutionizes the way we live our lives.  

  9. Himanshugupta
    May 18, 2011

    Nemos, if i am in the same boat then i read sarcasm in your comment. I agree with you in this article. It seems STM is just trying to label their work as a social work rather than something out of competition.

  10. Himanshugupta
    May 18, 2011

    Jay_Bond, i do not know what part of the heathcare cost is due to the “connectivity” and what part is due to the higher cost of medicines and hospital care. But if we can leveraging some money on buidling the infrastructure then we might in the 90's era of IT.

  11. saranyatil
    May 19, 2011

    Definitely there is going to be a big drift in the field of health care. there are loads of innovations happening on them so i think we can see some reduction.

  12. Nemos
    May 19, 2011

    No indeed I liked the article very much.It is too early to say that ST tries to name their products as social.

  13. Anna Young
    May 19, 2011

    @Prabhakar, I agree, it makes me wonder – what will the future be like for our children? If the so called faceless, emotionless machines now replaces humans, what will happen? I’m reluctant to consider this. On a more serious note, like you said nothing can replace human touch.   Technology has impacted and still playing major parts our lives.

  14. stochastic excursion
    May 19, 2011

    The 10 billion person estimate of world population matches the high estimate of the UN 2004 population estimation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World-Population-1800-2100.png)  There is also a median and a low estimate that take into account non-optimal conditions for human life.  Some might argue that even the low estimate shows too smooth a drop-off that doesn't really match population dynamics in nature.  Any kind of technological game plan should take into account contingencies for non-optimal events.

  15. hwong
    May 19, 2011

    According to some insider information. Healthcare cost is so high because lawyers, insurance and doctors all want to get their fat check.
    Insurance companies are charging customers high premiums yet not paying their doctors. Doctors tries to overcharge you for every single service ; even those that are marginally performed. Lawyer is trying to make their share by helping you sue doctor. It's a completely ugly chain

  16. Ms. Daisy
    May 22, 2011

    Anna:

    In addition to the social isolation created by technology use, there is also the desensitization of the younger generation to human plight. The violent games have turned the children into robots who take killing of humans as fun and games.

  17. Ms. Daisy
    May 22, 2011

    Nemos:

    “Does our needs forming the technology or the technology forming our needs?”

    I have struggled with this question in the past. The former holds true when we look at the impact on household appliances on the family and the help many women have gained from technology to run their homes especially in the era of “housewives!”  . It has become the latter in the 21st century where humans are adapting to technological innovations with damaging cnsequences to relationships and communities.

  18. Anna Young
    May 22, 2011

    Ms Daisy, I share your passion regarding the impact technology has on the present generation. Like many other things in life, it has to be evenly balance. It's difficult to blame the technology altogether for the repercussions resulting from irresponsible use of these devices. I’m sure before the advent of technology, there were social declines associated with conformity and all sorts of ills in the society. Our younger generations must be taught about being responsible users; the onus is on the parents/ guardian and users to be responsible users. After all innovation is not just about doing well in the community but is about rewards for the companies manufacturing and selling them too – in the form of profit margins. Having said this, manufacturers are equally responsible to educate the younger users as to the dangers resulting from irresponsible usage of such items. I'll like to lean more towards the advantages.

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