The drop in oil prices is heavily affecting the global economy four weeks into 2016. Most markets experience a heavy downward trend, and countries, companies and people are seeing values vaporise fast. The impact is huge; people are losing their jobs, particularly within the oil industry. Governments that are largely dependent on income from this industry are now debating on where to find alternative income sources both short and long term.
At the same time refugees from Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan are fighting the battle of their lives to find better ground to re-establish a new life for themselves and their families. Several of the countries to which the refugees flee are impacted also by the financial turbulence. How do these countries balance both challenges at the same time, whilst also ensuring that refugees are treated with the right level of integrity, respect and fairness? These are very difficult challenges to handle, both for Europe as a region and within each country. As these two challenges rise in magnitude, the risk of producing a more instable environment across Europe, in particular, is increasing rapidly. It will not be an easy task for governments to make the right decisions through 2016 with so many other challenges also to be addressed.
2016 is set to be the hottest year on record globally. Global warming is still the key element of this prediction, but it is strengthened by the weather phenomenon El Nino. The impact of these two key elements for 2016 is not too hard to predict. Rising temperatures driven by global warming, combined with natural variability, lead to a greater chance of extreme weather events. When variability adds to the underlying warming, it may cause outcomes we have never seen before. Are countries and citizens prepared to manage such testing circumstances?
The fight against extremists is continuing with increased efforts and based on media coverage we have started to see positive effects of that. However, on the flip side of this positive development we are seeing a real increase in extremist threats and incidents around the world – within Europe in particular.
All of these severe topics are having an effect on the lives of citizens. More and more people live in fear of new incidents and the lingering impacts.
How we as a society respond to these, plan, and prepare for them, is pivotal for the outcome. There are many different ways to plan for this. As the global leader of critical communication and public alerting, we are able to observe that only a few countries and societies are utilising the wide range of available communication technology and devices to prepare for these potential incidents. Mobile handsets are by far the most distributed communication channel around the world. In combination with more traditional solutions this is a very effective way of informing and alerting the citizens in any affected area.
So, what is our small contribution to some of the challenges we face going forward?
As a technology and software company developing solutions for critical communication and public alerting, our employees get up in the morning with an ambition to help countries, governments, private and public companies and individuals when it matters most. This is what motivates, inspires and drive everyone within the company every single day.
With our expertise in reaching people during a crisis, UMS ensures safety with effective and timely message delivery. Our solutions enable governments, utilities, public services and businesses to reach citizens with critical information. UMS uses advanced location based services and analytical software to innovate communication and develop new solutions to improve quality of life. We are helping our customers to reach people when it matters most.
Our solutions provide opportunities to improve communication and alerting before, during and after events to improve the outcome of these.
Within these environments some politicians do dare to put real important and daring bets to the global table, like Obama, who has clearly stated that US is committed to find a cure to stop cancer. It might not be possible to eradicate it completely but, nonetheless, highly ambitious statements like these, which are followed through, will make a huge difference over time.
As a Norwegian company that has customers, partners and employees around the world, we are not in a position to make statements that are in the same category as Obama’s. Our small contribution to making our society a safer and better place to live, will be to enable existing and new customers with the right technology to help them “Reach their people when it matters most”. We will continue to get up in the morning with a plan to continuously develop world-class products and solutions that deliver on this commitment to our customers.
Espen Gylvik, CEO