COVID-19 and Child Labor; Hackathon with Prize Money; How Energy Shapes Civilization

Supply chains are complex, global networks with blind spots to ethical, legal, and reputational risks. COVID-19 is increasing these risks, with the extent of the impact still unfolding. Recently the International Labour Organization (ILO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) put out a report on COVID-19 and child labor highlighting the channels through which the current pandemic can influence child labor, including fall in living standards; deteriorating employment opportunities; rise in informality; reduction in remittances and migration; contraction of trade and foreign direct investment; temporary school closures; health shocks; pressure on public budgets and international aid flows. This report is essential reading for supply chain professionals.

This is a critical moment for the entire world. To mitigate the impact of COVID-19, now and for the foreseeable future, upholding children’s rights as well as fundamental workplace principles and rights has never been more urgent.
— ILO and UNICEF report

What We're Reading

Can't-miss Events

How can we utilize emerging technologies to "future-proof" supply chains to be more flexible, agile, and adaptable to meet unexpected challenges? Traditional supply chains have been severely disrupted by recent global and local crises, and GS1 US is looking for your help to find the answers. Join the Future-Proofing the Supply Chain Hackathon to design and develop solutions that will increase the adaptability and resilience of supply chains during rapid change. 

Participation is free and comes with access to GS1 US test data, mentorship support, and team formation assistance from hackathon staff. Plus, compete for the $30K prize pool with 7 team prizes available! The deadline for submitting a project is September 20 and there is a team formation webinar tomorrow (Friday, 9/11) at 8 am PST, so register now!

By the Numbers

$37 trillion

Assets under management by the 631 investors who signed the 2019 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change

Book of the Week

Review by Kellen Betts

The dawn of industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries was led by innovations in metallurgy, steam power, and production processes. The energy powering these developments came from coal.

The transition from biomass and water/windmills to steam power and coal had a profound impact on the course of human history— as did the transition to oil, internal combustion engines, and electricity (largely still powered by coal).

To reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere—and the climate changes it is causing—we are embarking on new energy transitions to “advanced” fuels (hydrogen, ammonia, biofuels, etc.), further electrification (especially in transportation), and the radical overhaul of our electrical grid and electricity generation. These transitions will have an equally profound impact on human civilization.

To understand where we are going, we must first understand where we came from, and the course of human history has been shaped, in no small part, by our quest for energy.
Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil is a fascinating inquiry into this subject by one of the world's foremost experts, and essential reading for anyone interested in energy.

About Us

Kellen Betts is Editor of Supply Chain Weekly. He also writes the newsletter Manifold, exploring the intersection of supply chain, sustainability, and technology. Contact him at Follow him on LinkedIn and @KellenBetts.