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Columbia Business Monthly

#ColumbiaAgenda: Ford's Trends Survey, Medical Marijuana, State Work Pay Raise, 50 Most Influential: Charlie Banks, Ghost Kitchens, Mind-Controlled Cyborg Rats

Feb 22, 2019 09:55AM ● By Chris Haire
The 2019 Further With Ford Trends Report is out, and it offers a fascinating look into worldwide opinions about smart phones, the workplace, and social media. Based on the report's findings, individuals in the U.S., Brazil, India, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and nine other countries are largely optimistic about technological advances, but a sizable portion fear their impact.

While 79% believe technology is a force for good, 46% believe technology is trying to "get inside my head." Many view AI as a potential threat to humanity, with 44% of women and 37% of men saying they are afraid of AI, while 57% of Gen Z, 57% of Millennials, 46% of Gen X, and 36% of Baby Boomers believe AI will be stronger than the human mind in 10 years.

The report also highlights the world's mixed feelings about smart phones and other devices. Sixty-nine percent believe there should be mandatory time-outs from devices, signally the inability of some users to put down their phones. In fact, 45% said they envied people who can disconnect from their devices, while 25% of Gen Z and Millennials said they would rather give up their sense of smell over their smart phones and other devices. 

The two younger generations also indicated there is disconnect between their online selves and their IRL selves. While 35% of Gen X and 17% of Baby Boomers say they are more outgoing on social media than in person, among Gen Z and Millennials those figures are 56% and 53%, respectively.

Among all ages, however, those surveyed say that are less than honest about their lives, with 84% saying people paint a better picture of themselves online. Oddly enough, 38% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials believe people are becoming more truthful on social media.

As for the workplace, 77% believe that companies don't do enough to accomodate working parents, while 84% believe companies should offer mental health days. The majority of those polled also believe that companies should reward employees for using all their vacation time.

SC state workers could get a pay raise in proposed state budget. Here’s how much (The State)

Lawmaker: South Carolina medical marijuana bill sensible (Herald-Journal)

New SC rules could keep your rented golf cart, moped off the road (The State)

Charleston’s Cooper River Bridge Run named the top SC tourism event of the year (Post and Courier)

U.S. Automakers to Trump: Don't Slap Tariffs on Imported Cars (Manufacturing.Net)

The Wire
THS Constructors, Inc. Completes Construction Of Claflin University's New Health And Wellness Center

The QM Group Expands Orangeburg County Operations

RockBox Fitness To Open Two Columbia Locations

Jersey Mike’s Kicks Off 9th Annual “Month Of Giving” In March

Central Carolina Community Foundation Grants $327,000 To 14 South Carolina Nonprofits

Maxwood Furniture, Inc. Locating New Distribution Center In Marion County

SCRA Announces Seven New Client Companies

Clemson, GE Power Unveil New Lab Dedicated To 3-D Printing For Advanced Manufacturing

Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu Joins The Marianne 2020 Campaign As S.C. State Director

50 Most Influential 
Charlie Banks
Managing Director 

Charlie Banks is the co-founder and managing director of VentureSouth, one of the country's largest early stage investment firms. 

In 2018, the organization continued to expand its footprint by adding investors from across the country, including Canada, and now is comprised of nearly 300 private investors. The firm also shattered their 2017 record of $4.5 million with a 2018 total of $7 million invested in Southeast-based companies. Perhaps most importantly, VentureSouth returned $6.5 million in profits to their investors after the successful acquisition of three portfolio companies.

Banks also serves as the executive director of Venture Carolina, a sister nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive investor and entrepreneur education. This year, Venture Carolina partnered with the S.C. Department of Commerce to build the Pitch Lab, a facility where entrepreneurs and investors can connect virtually using sophisticated live-streaming video technology.