Here you can find technical terms we frequently use explained in an understandable way.
In the history of artificial intelligence, an AI winter is a time when funding and interest in research declines. The term was coined in reference to the idea of a nuclear winter. An AI spring, in turn, represents a "burgeoning" time when the topic is gaining momentum again.
"Alternative Food" encompasses a range of new alternative foods. The trend towards "Alternative Meat" is currently receiving a great deal of attention. Alternatives to the consumption of animal products have been on the rise in recent years and have also associated the term "alternative" with food. Alternatives to conventional food consumption are being called for by a variety of groups and initiatives, such as the organic movement, veganism, zero waste or fair trade initiatives, Slow Food or Fridays for Future. These initiatives have in common that they criticize conventional production and consumption models and want more sustainable, fair, healthier and tastier products.
Alternative Food System
"Alternative Food Systems" are based on the value chains and innovative technologies that can be derived from the new products. The effects resulting from the scaling of products through new production systems in turn have a massive impact on the capacities, capacity utilization, value chains of conventional suppliers, who predominantly still rely on animal protein processing.
APP (Asset Purchase Programme)
APP is an asset purchase program adopted by the ECB in early 2015. It is sometimes also referred to as the Expanded Asset Purchase Programme (EAPP).
Aquaculture is the controlled rearing of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs or algae. It is characterized by interventions in the reproduction and/or growth phase to optimize conditions and increase production beyond natural ecological capacities.
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is understood as the ability of machine structures (computers) to "think like a human" and thus to be able to solve even extremely complex communication and decision-making problems. The latest "supercomputers" (Deep Blue, Watson, D-Wave) already seem to be very advanced in this process. A.I. is being discussed extremely controversially in expert circles, as it could give rise to incalculable complications in the future.
Asset Price Bubble
"Asset price bubbles" typically refer to excessive inflations of assets far beyond their fundamentally justified value. The background to such inflations is usually an excessively expansionary monetary policy.
Autocracy refers to a form of rule in which an individual or group of individuals exercises political power largely without control.
The trend toward autonomous driving is changing previous transportation and mobility systems. In this area, a convergence of different technologies is taking place, which can be characterized by keywords such as electromobility, digitalization, robotics and cognitive computing. Autonomous driving is likely to bring about strong changes in areas such as automotive engineering, logistics, transportation and tourism.
Avatars are a.o. digital assistants with whose help (older) people can act and interact virtually - i.e., without a physical presence - in many areas of life.
Bank Bailout Policy
A bank bailout policy is the targeted relief of an ailing banking system. The state and/or the central bank directly buys large parts of the banks' non-performing loans, thereby facilitating a rapid turnaround.
The term "bifurcation" originally comes from mathematics and so-called chaos theory, where it describes the phenomenon of a "qualitative change of state" in nonlinear systems. What is meant by this is a splitting of process patterns into two self-similar "fractals" in each case. In other natural sciences as well as in a general view, bifurcation regularly describes a "splitting" of existing phenomena or developments into two separate subsystems. Bifurcations always show the typical pattern of a "bifurcation", i.e. a separation of continuous development paths into two diverging "branches". With regard to the global economy, the term stands for a possible split into two separate economic hemispheres ("blocks").
The keyword "Big Data" characterizes a comprehensive aggregation and evaluation of complex data with the help of powerful digital analysis tools. The goal of such analyses is usually to create detailed forecasts based on specific correlation or relationship patterns or to determine personal behavior patterns. Big Data is relevant to numerous fields such as security, consumption and science.
Bio Hacking and Body Hacking
The terms bio hacking and body hacking stand for a variety of approaches with the goal of supplementing and improving natural body functions with the help of new technologies and/or technical aids.
Bitcoin is the first and by far the best known cryptocurrency. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto (pseudonym) conceived Bitcoin based on blockchain technology and successfully launched it in 2009. Bitcoin is also the first successful implementation of blockchain architecture. Ownership of a Bitcoin is not expressed by a bill or coin, but is recorded in an electronic ownership register (blockchain).
The term "blockchain" refers to a new method of digital documentation. The approach is based on decentrally stored "transaction blocks and chains." It thus forms a constantly growing decentralized database of all transactions recorded in the process. Blockchain has the potential to disruptively change previous processes in the area of recording, processing, documenting and verifying transactions and business processes. This will primarily affect banks, exchanges and other financial intermediaries, but possibly other institutions as well.
Blue carbon refers to carbon stored and sequestered in the marine environment and includes carbon sequestered in nearshore blue carbon (mangroves, seagrasses, macroalgae such as algae or kelp, and salt marshes) and oceanic blue carbon (phytoplankton, marine animals, and other biota in the open ocean).
Blue (or Ocean) Economy
The sum total of the economic activities of ocean-based industries and the goods and services produced by marine ecosystems is collectively referred to as the Blue (or Ocean) Economy.
BREXIT refers to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. It occurred on January 31, 2020, and is governed by the Withdrawal Agreement signed on January 24, 2020. During a transition period, the long-term relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union was renegotiated. As of January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU single market and customs union.
BTX / BTEX / BTXE
In environmental analysis, the abbreviation BTX stands for "highly volatile aromatic hydrocarbons." In petrochemistry they are usually abbreviated as BTEX or BTXE. They stand for the aromatic hydrocarbons: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes.
A business angel is someone who takes a financial stake in companies and at the same time supports the start-ups with know-how and contacts at a typically very early stage of the company's development.
The term carbon bubble refers to the phenomenon of a possible overvaluation of fossil fuels, against the background of global climate change and the UN climate targets derived from it. If these climate targets were to be implemented, only a portion of the fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) available worldwide would still be economically viable. Accordingly, the valuations of reported reserves and deposits would be inflated and would have to be reduced significantly ("bubble").
Carbon leakage refers to a situation that can occur when companies relocate their production to other countries with less stringent emissions requirements due to the costs associated with climate measures. This could lead to an increase in their overall emissions. In certain energy-intensive industries, the carbon leakage risk may be higher.
Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) stands for the possible creation of purely digital currency units which, as "digital central bank money," would meet the same security and liquidity requirements as paper money issued by central banks, but could be traded and deposited in digital systems and used as digital means of payment.
Chat / Conversation Bots
Chat/conversation bots often have deep learning algorithms at their core. These allow the user to contact a computer via speech or writing.
The name ChatGPT stands for "Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer." The core of the text robot is the language model GPT, which is trained with huge amounts of data. In version GPT 3.5, it has 175 billion parameters and 800 gigabytes of storage capacity.
A climate scenario allows us to explore how the transformation and physical risks and opportunities resulting from a transition to a low-carbon economy will affect an organization or economy. Because the exact nature of the transformation to a low-carbon economy is subject to uncertainty in various sectors, scenarios allow organizations to challenge assumptions and prepare for contingencies.
Cognitive computing refers to novel approaches to computer science in which machine learning and greatly enhanced ("cognitive") human-machine interfaces lead to a significant increase in machine performance. Cognitive computing is often regarded as a precursor to so-called "artificial intelligence".
Consensus Mechanism / Algorithm
All cryptocurrencies are based on a decentralized blockchain architecture. Thus, there is no omnipotent "boss" or "administrator" who determines which transactions are valid and will be recorded in the blockchain for all eternity. In a decentrally organized network, you need a specific consensus algorithm (a kind of democracy rule) that clearly determines how you arrive at a network consensus. So you agree on an identical version of the blockchain. The best-known consensus algorithm is the so-called "proof of work", where voting shares are distributed depending on computer performance.
Contracts For Difference
Contracts for Difference are products from the world of finance that are used to hedge fluctuating prices for shares or commodities, for example, and thus cushion investment risks. Carbon Contracts for Difference (CCfD) are used to support greenhouse gas neutral production processes, as these are usually more expensive than using conventional technologies. They are thus a method of making new technologies competitive.
Corporate Responsibility refers to a company's sense of responsibility towards society, employees, the environment and the economic environment. Corporate responsibility stands for a corporate philosophy that places ethically responsible behavior toward all stakeholders at the center of entrepreneurial action.
CRISPR / Cas9
CRISPR / Cas9 refers to a novel genetic engineering technique that acts as "gene scissors" and enables complex genetic manipulation (genome editing). The term CRISPR stands for repeated sections ("clusters") in DNA structures.
Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS)
The Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) is a settlement system developed by China for bilateral or multilateral payments outside the U.S. dollar system. Transactions in CIPS are usually based on the Chinese renminbi as the reference or settlement currency. In the future, China is likely to seek to increasingly open up CIPS, which has so far been used heavily for domestic Chinese transactions, to large cross-border payment flows as well.
The cryosphere is the part of the climate system in which water exists in a frozen state - be it as snow, ice on rivers and lakes, sea ice, ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps. However, part of the cryosphere also includes frozen ground on land (permafrost) and under the water of the ocean.
Crypto-assets include, for example, tokenized assets or crypto-currencies, such as bitcoin. These have no intrinsic value, but serve as a universal medium of exchange.
Cryptocurrencies are digital (quasi)currencies with a decentralized and cryptographically secured payment system. There are now over 1,400 different cryptocurrencies. All cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology as their "underpinning".
The term "cultured meat" refers to biologically cultivated meat or so-called in vitro meat. In vitro, Latin for "in a glass", means "outside the organism under artificial conditions, in a test tube". Other terms for Cultured Meat are also: meat from the Petri dish; cultured meat; safe meat; clean meat; victimless meat. Despite being grown artificially, cultured meat has a composition and texture that closely resembles that of traditional animal meat.
Currency cut usually refers to the process of drastically devaluing a currency. In many cases, this is synonymous with "currency reform," i.e., the phasing out of a currency due to de facto worthlessness. Currency cuts are typically triggered by events such as hyperinflation and/or sovereign default.
Currency manipulation is understood as the deliberate attempt by major central banks to bring about a deliberate change in the external value of their respective currencies through various elements of their monetary policy and the accompanying monetary policy rhetoric. Exemplary of this is the policy of the Bank of Japan from 2013 to 2015, but also the policy of the ECB since 2012.
A cyberattack is the targeted attack on major computer networks critical to a specific IT infrastructure from the outside for sabotage, information gathering and extortion.
Cybersecurity pertains to safeguarding electronic devices, systems, networks, and data from harmful cyber threats. It is commonly known as IT security or electronic data security.
Cyber war refers to quasi-warlike confrontations in and around virtual space, i.e., so-called cyberspace. The means used are predominantly from the field of information technology, whereby targeted attacks with disruptive programs ("computer viruses"/"malware") or large-scale cyber attacks ("hacking") against companies, institutions or critical infrastructure may occur.
Cyborg technologies refer to targeted optimizations of the human body by means of technological implants or similar aids. The term cyborg stands for "cybernetic organism" and refers to hybrid beings consisting of machines and biological organisms.
2 Degrees Celsius Target
The 2 degrees Celsius target is the overarching goal of international climate policy to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This goal was adopted in particular in 2015 at the World Climate Conference in Paris.
The so-called 3D printing is a new process for the decentralized production of objects and spatial structures using a printer-like system. This process has the potential to upend traditional production processes in numerous areas of the economy and could massively change global value chains.
With regard to the current system of the global economy, the term "decoupling" refers to an increasing tendency to deliberately dissolve or at least strategically reduce economic interdependencies between the two large economies, the USA and China. This economic decoupling follows an increasing geopolitical rivalry between the U.S. and China and may result in a split of the world economy into two separate blocs ("bifurcation").
Deep Fakes are digital counterfeits created and circulated using the latest technological tools. They are of such quality that they are perceived and circulated as quasi-authentic. Although deep fakes are currently circulating, they will increasingly feature in the daily news stream and the media environment, particularly as videos, in the near future.
Deep Learning refers to a new generation of machine learning based on neural network technology. Neural networks are an attempt to recreate small sections of the functioning of a human brain consisting of neurons and synapses and to train them with narrowly defined learning tasks. This involves multiple, "deep" architectural layers of neurons and connections, which led to the name.
Deep Technology or Deep Tech is a classification of organizations or typically startup companies with the express purpose of providing technological solutions based on essential scientific or engineering challenges.
DeFi (Decentralized Financial System)
The Decentralized Financial System (DeFi) is a digital financial ecosystem based on the Blockchain, more specifically on Ethereum and mostly on open source protocols as well as modular frameworks. This allows digital assets to be created and awarded.
Decarbonization refers to a socio-political and economic process aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels in the economic cycle. This ecological transformation is intended to contribute to a significant reduction in climate-damaging emissions and a more sustainable economic order overall. The path to comprehensive decarbonization is characterized by high "conversion costs" and corresponding "conversion risks" (including the problem of "stranded assets").
Demography describes the totality of factors that can be used to describe the composition and development of entire populations. In particular, the distribution by age groups and the reproduction rates of a society are decisive factors. The special feature of demographic factors is that they allow long-term trends to be forecast, often with very high accuracy.
The dependency ratio refers to the ratio between the working part of a population and the pension recipients. The higher the dependency ratio, the more pensioners have to be financed by active workers. In countries with adverse demographic trends, the ratio has been rising for years and will deteriorate further in the future. Japan is already severely affected, as are Central and Southern Europe.
Digital assets are digital or virtual assets that can be used as a medium of exchange, a store of value, or an investment opportunity. They are based on a decentralized technology called blockchain, which allows transactions between parties to be settled without an intermediary. The most well-known digital asset is Bitcoin, but there are now thousands of different digital assets that have different functions and use cases.
Digital Economy is a buzzword for an economic system that is strongly characterized by "digitalization" and automation. Core areas such as production, communication and administration are highly digitized, networked and in many cases automated. The concrete impact is in the area of low-wage jobs that are becoming obsolete as a result of advancing digitization.
Digital Farming is the consistent application of precision farming and smart farming methods, the internal and external networking of the farm and the use of web-based data platforms together with Big Data analyses.
Adolescents and young adults who were born at the time since the advent of digital media and grew up with them are referred to as "digital natives." It is generally assumed that the generation of "digital natives" will bring about a fundamental change in the economy and society due to their natural relationship with digital technologies (analogously also Generation X / Generation Y).
Terms for digital or electronic wallets, so-called "digital wallets," are numerous, but mostly refer to cashless payment methods on the Internet. The virtual wallet, the virtual purse on the smartphone that enables electronic payments via credit cards or via bank account in addition to (loaded credit).
Digital Central Bank Money
Digital central bank money refers to projects starting in the second half of the 2010s that create electronic money to be held directly in accounts at the central bank and available to a wider range of users than the current digital form of monetary base for commercial banks.
Digitization stands for an increasing penetration of numerous areas of the economy and society by digital technologies. Examples are the new social networks ("social media"), transactions on the Internet ("online shopping"), digital financial systems ("FinTech") and changed production processes ("Industry 4.0").
Disparity describes the totality of security, supply and care systems in modern societies. Social systems are increasingly overstretched and are reaching the limits of sustainable financing. This is due to demographic trends and increasing demands on existing social systems.
In economic theory, disruption refers to shock-like innovation or transformation processes of high impact. Existing processes, technologies, companies or industries are subjected to severe upheavals, up to and including complete transformation or extinction. Examples include the introduction of digital storage media in photography, the emergence of the Internet in media, or the introduction of 3D printing in certain manufacturing processes.
DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology)
The term distributed ledger technology refers to the revolutionary technology used to document certain transactions.
DMFC (Direct Methanol Fuel Cell)
DMFC or direct methanol fuel cell uses methanol as fuel instead of hydrogen. Of advantage is the ease of storage and transportation of the methanol as a methanol-water mixture. Of disadvantage is the relatively low electrical efficiency of the fuel cell, 10 to 30%, and the toxicity of methanol.
Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency whose name and design is based on the internet phenomenon (meme) Doge. Dogecoin was released on December 8, 2013 and was meant as a parody of Bitcoin. There has been no software update for Dogecoin for over two years, making this currency increasingly technically unattractive.
ELA Loans (Emergency Liquidity Assistance)
ELA loans are emergency assistance for short-term liquidity shortages in the European banking system. ELA loans are granted by central banks of the ECB system to the associated national banking institutions, but are subject to approval by the ECB. From February to the end of 2015, the ECB tolerated the (allegedly unlawful) ELA loans of the Greek central bank, which used them (equally latently unlawfully) to continue financing the bankrupt Greek state.
Electrolyzers are devices that use electric current to bring about a chemical reaction, i.e. a conversion of substances.
Electromobility stands for a possible replacement of previous drive systems based on combustion engines by new forms of electric mobility. Strong drivers behind this trend are constraints of global climate change, but also technological advances in battery and storage systems.
Substances that can be used energetically, materially, as storage or as reactants across sectors are called energy vectors.
The term energy turnaround generally subsumes measures aimed at increasing the share of renewable energies in the energy supply in all sectors as well as efficiency in energy use.
ESG investments stand for liquid and illiquid investments that consider environmental (Environmental), social (Social) and governance criteria in addition to financial metrics. They differ in the degree of integration of ESG criteria.
ESM (European Stability Mechanism)
ESM stands for the "European Stabilization Mechanism" ("European Stability Mechanism"), which was established in the wake of the euro crisis from 2010 onwards on the basis of intergovernmental agreements between the governments of the euro countries. The primary objective of the ESM is to stabilize fragile EMU countries, for example by providing liquidity assistance and granting low-cost loans. A further development of the ESM into a kind of "European Monetary Fund" (EMF/EMF) is planned, but is currently still under negotiation at EU level.
ETF (Exchange Traded Funds)
ETFs are mutual funds and other listed investment vehicles that generally have a "passive" investment structure, i.e. very closely oriented to market indices. Due to their cost advantages, ETFs are increasingly used by both private and institutional investors.
EU reform stands for a changeable and not clearly defined process of EU policy, which is intended to stabilize, improve and deepen the "European project". The success of this process remains doubtful, since after various crises in recent years the EU has less and less common ground and uniform goals. Currently, efforts to strengthen the integration of the EU are in contrast to currents that call for greater independence of the member countries.
Euro Break Up
Euro Break Up (also: EMU Break Up) refers to the risk of failure or disintegration of the European Monetary Union. This risk can be specifically triggered by the exit of individual member countries, but also by other political, institutional or economic circumstances or decisions. The respective probability of the euro break-up risk can be determined or estimated using market-based indicators.
Fence sitters are countries, regions or regimes that position themselves "geopolitically undecided" in the global system conflict between the major power blocs. Such fence sitters - usually with an advantageous geostrategic or resource position - will in future be able to opportunistically improve their respective position in the "slipstream" of geopolitical system conflicts.
The term "fiat money" denotes "uncovered money" that has no intrinsic value and can, in principle, be "created" without any limit by a pure act of will on the part of a bank or central bank. Modern financial systems are based on the fiat money principle, in contrast to earlier systems with gold backing or other "anchors of value."
All assets owned by a private individual that can be valued directly in monetary terms through market prices.
Financial repression is the term used to describe government or government-administered measures that deliberately restrict or adversely affect the freedom of financial disposition, the return on financial or real economic investments and, more generally, the financial and asset sphere of economic agents. The goals are usually the stabilization of fragile financial systems, the "rehabilitation" of shattered public finances or comparable "sovereign" measures. Currently, these include the policy of negative interest rates, the targeted devaluation of currencies and the targeted steering of financial investments.
Financial Stability Board
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) is a global body comprising, among others, representatives of finance ministries, central banks and supervisory authorities of the G20 countries, the European Commission, and representatives of international standard setters and major financial institutions (including the IMF, World Bank, BIS, ECB). The FSB discusses issues of fundamental systemic importance to global financial system stability.
Finsta is short for “fake Instagram”. It refers to a second, private Instagram account that many people create under a pseudonym or nickname to share photos or content that they don't want to share on their main account. Finstas are often viewed as a place for people to show their true selves regardless of the expectations attached to their main account.
The Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (also Fischer-Tropsch process) is a large-scale technical process for the production of hydrocarbons from a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
The term "food system" encompasses all processes and infrastructures involved in food: Growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food and food-related commodities. Food Systems are also strongly influenced by a social, political, economic, and environmental context.
Fossil fuels are dead biomass that died millions of years ago and have been converted by geological processes into coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as various mixed products such as oil sands or oil shale. Uranium, a nuclear fuel that occurs naturally on Earth, can also be counted as fossil energy because it is not replicated. The counterpart to fossil energies (including uranium) are the so-called renewable energies. They are characterized by the fact that their energy source is self-renewing in the foreseeable future or does not run dry through use.
Game of Chicken
Game of Chicken ("coward's game") in the vocabulary of game theory refers to a confrontational game move designed to force the respective opposing party to make high concessions based on a credible threat. The stakes of the game can go as far as the threat of annihilation/self-destruction, as in the case of nuclear deterrence.
Generative Adversarial Network (GAN)
A Generative Adversarial Network - GAN for short - is a sophisticated machine learning system that can generate extremely complex data streams, such as deceptively real-looking images, videos or speech synchronizations. It basically consists of two competing Artificial Neural Networks (KNN): while one network generates real-looking data, the other AI engine classifies the data into real or artificial. By repeatedly "generating" and "verifying" over the course of many iterations, the system "learns" very precisely; as a result, the generated data continuously improves and the final result reaches amazingly high levels of quality.
Generative AI is a special form of artificial intelligence that generates new content based on existing information and specifications from the user. This includes texts, images, videos or audio content, but also 3D models or molecular structures. The content created is so good that it is often almost indistinguishable from human creations. Generative AI uses methods and technologies such as trained neural networks, supervised and unsupervised machine learning, deep learning, as well as "transformers" and special AI algorithms. Transformers are a type of machine learning that enables the autonomous training of increasingly large AI models. Much of current generative AI, including "big language models," is based on the Transformer architecture.
Gerontocracy generally refers to "rule by the elderly," corresponding to the Greek terms géron (old man) and krátos (rule). It thus corresponds to a form of rule in which mainly older people determine political events.
Gerrymandering is a term from political science that stands for an arbitrary or manipulative shifting of the boundaries of a constituency or the layout of an electoral district. In political systems with majority voting, the procedure can be used to achieve targeted party-political optimisation of election results ("constituency shifting"). The term goes back to Elbridge Gerry, a former governor of Massachusetts.
Global governance refers to the existence of global coordination mechanisms and, in particular, a multilateral security and conflict resolution concept. Examples of this are the OECD, G7, G20, the United Nations (UN) and especially the UN Security Council. A multipolar world order with strongly diverging interests, as is currently the case, makes global governance more difficult. Especially in recent times, unilateral isolationist steps of important countries with strong populist motivation (UK / "BREXIT"; USA / "TRUMP") have impaired global governance. Geopolitical conflicts such as in Syria, Ukraine or Korea can then hardly be resolved.
The phenomenon of an increasing "aging" of Western industrialized countries is referred to as "global greying". From Japan to Europe to the U.S., demographic trends are underway that imply a sharp increase in "old" populations relative to declining proportions of "young" populations. "Global greying" has strong effects on the respective growth and innovation capacity of the countries concerned.
The term Global South was introduced into the development policy debate at the end of the 1980s and encompasses the group of countries known as developing and emerging economies. The rich industrialized countries, on the other hand, are subsumed under the term Global North.
Globalization dividend refers to economic benefits and financial "excess returns" that have accrued to certain countries, regions or groups over the past 20 years or so as a result of increased globalization and outsourcing of economic processes. In general, it is stated that the overall social distribution of these "dividends" has been very unequal and has systematically disadvantaged certain groups.
Good governance, in the political sense, refers to a system of rational, transparent, and ethical-moral structures and institutions that enables and produces government action that is rational, responsible, and oriented toward the best interests of the country.
The European "Green Deal" is a concept presented by the European Commission on December 11, 2019, with the goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union to zero by 2050, making it the first continent to become climate neutral.
The European Green Deal includes a range of measures in the areas of financial market regulation (sustainable finance), energy supply, transport, trade, industry, and agriculture and forestry.
Green Finance Study Group
The Green Finance Study Group is a research group under the Chinese G20 Presidency. Supported by a co-sponsorship of the Bank of England to identify institutional and market barriers to green finance and derive option to mobilize private capital for green investments.
Greening refers to environmental measures that are mandatory for European farmers in order to receive direct payments from the EU. Greening has been in place since January 1, 2015, with the aim of permanently preserving meadows and pastures and making arable farming more diverse in order to make a positive contribution to environmental and climate protection.
The green revolution is the introduction of new technologies in agriculture in developing countries.
Green or social washing is the term used to describe the offering of impact investing objects that ostensibly promise a social or environmental impact, but in reality achieve hardly any such impact.
The Haber-Bosch process is a large-scale industrial chemical process for the production of ammonia, developed by the German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch. In this process, ammonia is synthesized from atmospheric nitrogen and hydrogen on a catalyst at pressures of about 150 to 350 bar and temperatures of about 400 to 500°C.
Hanseatic League is a loose association of most recently 12 member countries of the EU and EMU, which oppose a change from EU/EMU to a transfer union. In addition to the Netherlands, it currently includes Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and the Baltic countries.
Hashgraph / Tangle
The main time factor in the classic blockchain architecture (e.g., in Bitcoin) is the lengthy process of reaching consensus. Simply put, in the classic blockchain architecture, a transaction block is accepted as "truth" when all relevant network participants have processed the valid transaction block. This limitation decisively slows down the speed (scalability) of the Blockchain. New versions of blockchain technology, e.g. Hashgraph or Tangle, focus primarily on this problem. They aim to drastically speed up consensus building by eliminating the need for all network participants to get all the information at the same time.
Hash values can be thought of as fingerprints for files. The contents of a file are processed by a cryptographic algorithm and a unique numerical value - the hash value - is generated that identifies the contents of the file. If the content is changed in any way, the value of the hash value also changes significantly. Two algorithms are currently commonly used to generate hash values: the MD5 and SHA1 algorithms.
Helicopter money is the term used to describe a direct combination of elements of monetary policy as well as fiscal policy that is pursued with the goal of massive economic stimulus. The term originated with U.S. monetary theorist Milton Friedman and was popularized by former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke starting in 2012. The conceptual image symbolizes the dropping of freshly printed central bank money from helicopters for free use by the population. Elements of this policy have been increasingly discussed since the Great Financial Crisis and are already partially applied in Japan.
Total resources founded in an individual that can provide benefits to the individual.
Hydrocracking is a petrochemical process to use hydrogen to convert higher molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions into intermediates for the production of motor gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel. The process is carried out with a hydrogen-rich gas under a pressure of up to 200 bar and at temperatures up to 480°C.
A hydrogen sink is a guaranteed, constant hydrogen withdrawal, e.g. in the form of a hydrogen filling station or a chemical plant.
In hydrotreating, the oil products still containing sulfur after distillation are desulfurized by heating them together with hydrogen and with the involvement of a catalyst to produce hydrogen sulfide. This can be removed from the process stream. In a downstream step, the hydrogen can be partially recovered and reused.
Hyperinflation is the phenomenon of a progressively increasing rise in goods price inflation. Typically, this phenomenon arises from an unchecked expansion of the central bank money supply through open money creation. The trigger is usually the misuse of a central bank for government financing purposes.
ICO (Initial Coin Offering)
The term ICO (Initial Coin Offering) refers to a public capital raising in which, in contrast to company shares, so-called tokens (coins) are issued. Due to their simplicity, most ICOs are based on the Ethereum blockchain (platform). In its basic principle, the ICO is similar to the much more strictly regulated IPO (Initial Public Offering).
Impact investing refers to ethically or socio-politically motivated actions through which a real or financial investment is also intended to achieve a social effect ("social impact"). Impact investments are therefore investments that, in addition to financial returns, also aim to have a positive social impact.
Indoor farming is a new form of plant cultivation that takes place in a closed system - i.e. a hall, a container or a greenhouse. The plants do not get any sunlight, wind or precipitation. LED light is used to replace the sun. At the same time, temperature, humidity and irrigation are controlled by automated systems.
Internet of Things (IoT)
British Kevin Ashton is considered the founder of the term "Internet of Things," or IoT for short. In the Internet of Things, physical and virtual objects or their representation networked with each other and work together through information and communication technologies.
Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
An Intrusion Detection System, abbreviated IDS, is able to detect and inform about attacks directed at computers, servers or networks. The intrusion detection system often supplements the usual functions of a firewall.
Islamism is a radical and strongly politically colored interpretation of Islam. Radical Islamism is responsible for numerous geopolitically dangerous developments, including Salafism, Islamist terror, and the spread of the so-called "Islamic State."
IVF (Indoor Vertical Farming)
In "Indoor Vertical Farming (IVF)", the majority of plant growth processes are moved to a controlled environment (building/"indoor"). The technology allows crops to be grown year-round, regardless of weather conditions, and with consistent yields of desired quantity and quality with minimal land use.
Large Language Models (LLM)
Large Language Models (LLM) are special Artificial Intelligence models that are trained to understand and generate natural language. They use machine learning based on neural networks to analyze large amounts of text data and recognize patterns and relationships in the language.
The longevity scenario is defined below as the basic assumption that average life expectancy will increase continuously in the coming years, especially for people in modern industrialized countries.
Machine learning is the term used to describe processes that enable a machine (computer) to recognize structures, inherent patterns and relationships from a large volume of data. From a repeated machine evaluation of raw data, commonalities and similarities are determined, which then enable an independent learning process. Results of these processes can be analytically evaluated and transformed (with respect to defined problems) into automated recommendations, evaluations or forecasts. Machine Learning is a basic prerequisite and important enabling technology for more sophisticated artificial intelligence applications and systems.
MCFC (Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells)
MCFCs are molten carbonate fuel cells. These high-temperature fuel cells use an alkali carbonate mixed melt of lithium and potassium carbonate as the electrolyte and operate at an operating temperature between 580°C and 675°C.
The "Median Line" is a virtual demarcation line between mainland China and Taiwan, which was established in 1955 under pressure from the USA and runs roughly through the middle of the Taiwan Strait. Under international law, however, the status of this demarcation line is highly ambiguous: while the U.S. clearly emphasizes its validity, China persistently disputes it.
A megahub is the name given to airports that serve as hubs for several airlines. In Europe, these include London-Heathrow, Paris- Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt/Main.
Methanation is a chemical reaction in which hydrogen and carbon dioxide are converted into methane. The reaction is also known as the Sabatier process.
Migration stands for global migration, evasion and flight movements, which increasingly show crisis-like tendencies. Behind the increasing global migration are often economic motives (Mexico, Eastern Europe, North Africa), but also wars, civil wars, terrorism, anarchy or global climate change (West Africa, Middle East, Central Asia).
Mini-BOT stand for Italian government bonds in small denominations, which were envisioned by the new Italian government as a parallel means of payment and currency substitute.
Mission drift is when the primary focus of an investment object shifts from achieving a social and/or environmental impact to achieving financial returns as the primary objective.
MMT (Modern Monetary Theory)
MMT stands for the concept of "Modern Monetary Theory," a heterodox view on the effect of monetary policy. MMT assumes that, in purely factual terms, government spending is always financed by central banks' money creation. This thesis leads to the recommendation to consider central banks as part of the government apparatus and to use the instrument of money creation specifically to finance government spending.
Monetary dilution (analogously also "Monetary Dilution") refers to the process of an increasing "flooding" and "dilution" of existing financial systems by newly created central bank money. Newly created central bank money increases the amount of money in circulation in a system, triggering complex price and quantity reactions. Typically, monetary dilution leads to inflationary effects, distortions and falsifications of market prices, and depreciation of the currency in question.
The term "monetization" refers to an assumption or refinancing of government debt, deficits, or other liabilities by the respective central bank. Monetization of government debt by a central bank is considered a "primal sin" of politics and monetary policy and is therefore explicitly prohibited in many cases. Since the great financial crisis, however, initial approaches to monetizing government debt have already been observed in the context of "unconventional monetary policy" (Japan, but also EMU).
In recent risk and contract theory, moral hazard refers to the problem that a market participant or economic agent may tend to behave in a way that is excessively risky or harmful to the interests of others as a result of incorrectly set incentives. The problem is also relevant in the context of game-theoretic analyses of "multi-period models."
Multipolarity defines a recent geopolitical state. In contrast to the post-WW2 era, no longer does only one strong country (USA) exert dominant influence on world affairs (or two countries share bilateral spheres of influence like USA and USSR during the Cold War), but more than two countries strive for dominance or geopolitical influence (currently USA, China, Russia). Multipolarity is a dangerous condition from a geostrategic point of view, implying unstable power constellations and severe problems of global governance.
In medicine, multiresistance refers to a form of antibiotic or antiviral resistance in which germs, known as super germs, are insensitive to several different antibiotics or antivirals.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Natural language processing (NLP) is a machine learning technology that gives computers the ability to interpret, manipulate, and understand human language.
NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions)
NDCs refer to country-specific contributions to the transition to a low-carbon economy and to meeting the 2 degree Celsius target agreed at the 2015 World Climate Conference in Paris. NDCs also put direct and indirect pressure on national companies to reduce their emissions levels accordingly.
Negative Interest Rates
Negative interest rates were long considered unimaginable and mathematically impossible. However, in the course of fighting the crisis in recent years, central banks in Europe (ECB; SNB; Riksbank, national banks) and Japan (BoJ) have lowered their deposit rates into negative territory. At the same time, heavy securities purchases by these central banks have also manipulated yields on long-dated government bonds into the negative interest rate range. According to historians, interest rates today are at their lowest levels in the last 5,000 years.
Nepotism refers to behavior in certain circles of politics, business or other areas of life that systematically favors and advantages members of the respective groups or - in the negative case - protects them from corresponding liability and accountability. A colloquial translation of nepotism is the term "nepotism."
New Economy Bubble (Also Dotcom Bubble)
A term of art for a speculative bubble that burst in March 2000, affecting in particular new economy companies and leading to asset losses among small investors, especially in industrialized countries.
The term "New Energy" stands for a variety of alternative mechanisms and technologies for the extraction, generation, storage or transformation of primary energy. Typically, these include solar and photovoltaic energy, wind power, hydro energy, geothermal energy, and biogas. In a broader definition, it also includes areas such as smart grids, electromobility, batteries, and other storage technologies.
Nexus in this context refers to the close intertwining of sovereign debt and banking crises. This results from the fact that banks are often among the largest holders of government bonds due to particularly advantageous risk classifications. In the event of a crisis (such as in 2010-2012), this can result in a dangerous negative dynamic with mutual progressive interaction and "toxic problem infection."
NFT (Non-Fungible Token)
A non-fungible token is a non-replaceable cryptographic token, i.e., a deposited string of characters that is not exchangeable, unlike a fungible token such as Bitcoin. Currently, the technology is used primarily to identify digital files such as computer-generated artworks as individual items.
No Bailout Clause
The "no bailout clause" (Article 125 of the TFEU) basically states that, within the framework of the EMU, no country has to answer for the debts and obligations of another country. This clause was, especially in the context of the euro crisis from 2010 onwards, in fact broken several times or at least deliberately undermined.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a manufacturer of components or products that does not retail them itself.
Old-age dependency ratio
The old-age dependency ratio is calculated as the number of potential pension recipients (65 and older) in relation to the total working population (15- to 64-year-olds).
Old-age security describes the problem of adequate security and provision in retirement. It is already apparent today that existing systems of old-age provision are facing serious problems, even in prosperous countries. In addition to adverse demographic trends, this is due to a lack of willingness to reform on the part of politicians and, more recently, the phenomena of "low interest rates" and "national debt.
Old-age support ratio
The old-age support ratio is calculated as the ratio of the total working population (15-64 year-olds) to the number of older people (65 and over); it thus shows the number of active contributors that must be used to provide for a pensioner.
Olefins is a generic term used in the petrochemical industry for hydrocarbons with one or more carbon-carbon double bonds. It excludes aromatic compounds.
OMF (Overt Monetary Financing)
Overt Monetary Financing, or OMF, is the term used to describe an extreme variant of unconventional monetary policy in which central banks directly and "openly" underwrite government deficits and/or debt, thereby providing permanent financing. OMF has been propagated several times recently by academic or political circles as a way to prevent a renewed crisis in the highly indebted global economy.
PAFC (Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell)
The phosphoric acid fuel cell is a high temperature fuel cell and operates with highly concentrated phosphoric acid fixed in a polymer structure. It operates at a temperature of 160°C to 220°C.
Parallel societies are sociological phenomena that play an increasingly explosive role in Western societies. Causes are immigration and migration from other cultural circles as well as insufficient integration. In Europe, this mainly concerns immigrants from the Maghreb (France), from Eastern Europe and Turkey (Germany), and from Africa and the Middle East (EU).
Pax Americana describes the hegemonic order of cooperation and peace that lasted under the leadership of the USA from 1991 to 2021. It enabled and promoted a long phase of increasingly intensive interdependence of the world economy ("globalisation").
Peak globalization refers to a thesis according to which the process of progressive global economic and trade interdependence ("globalization") has passed its peak. Indications of this are declining trade flows, growing frictions in the global exchange of goods, and an increasingly protectionist attitude in many regions.
Peak Oil refers to a controversial thesis from the field of oil exploration, according to which global oil production has been showing declining marginal productivity for many years. Originally, the peak oil thesis assumed that the time of the global production maximum for crude oil had already passed at the beginning of the 21st century. The emergence of new production technologies (including "fracking") has disproved this picture for the time being. Nevertheless, many statements of the peak oil thesis can hardly be disputed physically and remain relevant.
Peak shaving is a method in the energy industry in which power peaks are capped (shaved) by means of energy storage and released back to the grid as needed.
PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane)
PEM stands for Proton Exchange Membrane. This is a membrane which is permeable only to hydrogen atom nuclei (i.e. protons), but not to electrons, water or oxygen.
PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell)
PEMFC stands for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. Literally translated, it means proton exchange membrane fuel cell. However, the term polymer electrolyte fuel cell is more common in German-speaking countries. The core element of the PEMFC is a very thin membrane with the trade name Nafion, which separates the two reaction partners hydrogen and oxygen from each other and only allows protons, i.e. electrically positively charged particles, to pass through.
A permafrost soil is frozen all year round, i.e. it has persistent temperatures below freezing point even below the earth's surface. Permafrost soils are found primarily in Siberia and in Alaska and northern Canada. A critical property of permafrost soils is the amount of climate-damaging gases (especially methane) bound there. If such soils thaw as a result of global warming, this can trigger extremely damaging feedback effects: Warming leads to accelerated release of methane, further accelerating and amplifying the global greenhouse effect.
Polarization refers to an increasing divergence and intensification of political discourse in many Western democracies. Polarization stems from rising discontent and frustration among certain segments of the population, leading to more extreme political preferences and more erratic electoral outcomes. Political "surprises" such as the British BREXIT vote are examples of this trend.
Polycarbonates are transparent and colorless plastics which, due to their high scratch resistance, are used as an alternative to glass or in the manufacture of blank CDs, among other things.
Populism stands for an increasing political trend in numerous Western democracies such as France, Italy, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and also the USA. Populism relies on highly simplified, distorted or pointed statements and often sharply drawn and rhetorically aggressive political figures. The rise of populist forces in many countries is a clear warning signal for the field of public policy.
Positivism is a science policy methodological program built on the epistemology of empiricism. The epistemological model for all sciences is natural science. The starting point is sensory experience (empiricism); findings of science must be intersubjectively verifiable. In the 20th century, the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle conceived of a unified science in which the natural sciences and the humanities were to be brought together on an empirical basis. Accordingly, the standards of scientific knowledge can only be established with the help of formal logic and physicalistic description of the world. For example, in the social sciences, social contexts are described as "social physics".
Power-to-X / P2X
Power-to-X refers to various technologies for storing surplus electricity from variable renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. These include hydrogen, ammonia, synthetic fuels, and also heat and pressure. Also commonly used is the term P2X. P2X includes power-to-gas, power-to-liquid and power-to-heat.
The English-language term precision farming refers to a method of location-differentiated and targeted management of agricultural land. The term encompasses a subset of digital process technologies in the context of digitalization in agriculture for monitoring and optimizing agricultural production processes.
The use of precision fermentation to produce proteins for human consumption is not a novel innovation. In 1978, the first gene-modified yeast was introduced for the production of human insulin "Humulin" for the treatment of diabetes. Approved by the FDA in 1982, humulin rapidly replaced previously used animal insulin. Humulin was more consistent in quality, better tolerated, and controlled sugar levels more effectively and was quickly preferred over animal insulin, although it was initially more expensive to produce.
Protectionism refers to a political stance designed to shield a country's economy from outside influences, especially foreign exporters and competitors. The instruments of protectionism include import tariffs, trade sanctions, licensing procedures, and other restrictions, but also often include currency manipulation and other non-tariff trade barriers.
Pump-and-dump deals are a form of financial fraud in which the share price of assets (e.g., cryptocurrencies) previously purchased at a low price is artificially inflated (pumped up) by false, positive statements in order to then sell these assets at higher prices to bona fide investors.
Quantitative Easing ("Q.E.") refers to a special form of monetary policy practiced by various central banks since the great financial crisis beginning in 2008. In Q.E., a central bank makes large-scale purchases of securities in the financial market to increase liquidity and the supply of money in the market while lowering market interest rates. The process of Q.E. regularly leads to a significant inflation of central bank balance sheets. Since the corresponding purchases are financed with newly printed central bank money, Q.E. is an important aspect of "monetary dilution."
A quantum computer is a processor whose function is based on the laws of quantum mechanics. Unlike the classical computer, it does not operate based on the laws of classical physics, but on quantum mechanical states.
A quantum leap is an immediate change of an electron within an atom or molecule from one energy state to another. These energy states are discrete in the Bohr model of the atom, i.e., there are no intermediate states. However, the idea of a discrete radius with which an electron orbits around an atomic nucleus is now considered to be false. Whether quantum jumps really exist in this way and whether they are not only an effect of quantum mechanical measuring processes is doubted today. In the real world, the term "quantum leap" -- unlike in linguistic usage -- is actually much closer to its physical interpretation. "Quantum leaps" may appear to us as disruptively jumpy, because here exponential processes change from (sub)linear phase to exponential motion ("tipping point"). To humans, who are not "designed" for the perception of exponential processes, this moment may appear as a singular jump without intermediate stops. Thus the picture between the linguistic quantum leap and physics is again coherent - however differently than intuitively assumed.
In May 2018, Ran Raz and Avishay published a paper describing a problem that can only be solved by quantum computers. This problem belongs to the class of BQP (bounded-error quantum polynomial time). It is roughly about proving whether two random sequences can be connected by a Fourier transform. Intuitively, this sounds relatively useless at first, but this kind of sandbox problem is typical in the development of such novel technologies.
Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious code) that "locks" a system or encrypts files. In order to access the data again, a ransom must be paid, which today is usually in a cryptocurrency.
Rare earths include 17 metals: Scandium, yttrium and lanthanum, as well as the 14 metals following lanthanum in the periodic table. These so-called lanthanides include cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, europium and ytterbium. Rare earths are silver-colored and relatively soft metals that tarnish quickly when exposed to air. A distinction is made between light and heavy rare earths.
Reflation typically refers to the targeted financial or monetary "recapitalization" of an economy threatened by deflationary forces.
RegTech services enable the agility and speed needed to efficiently implement the flood of new regulations, using standardized approaches to address the specifics of diverse data. Innovative technologies, such as Big Data and data visualization techniques, as well as artificial intelligence building blocks, are used.
Reinforcement learning is an area of machine learning in which intelligent agents act in an environment in a way that maximizes their reward function. This allows them to train themselves with the help of few rules without much training data. This type of machine learning is among the three fundamental paradigms of the discipline, along with supervised and unsupervised learning.
Renewable energies, also referred to as regenerative, alternative, sustainable or eco-energies, are energy sources that are either available in virtually unlimited supply or can be regenerated (renewed) quickly in a natural way.
Ridehailing is often described as a modern alternative to cabs. These services (well-known examples include Uber and Lyft) use an app to request a car and driver to transport people for a fee.
Rinsta is short for “real Instagram”. It refers to a primary or main Instagram account where a person shares their day-to-day activities, interests, and relationships. The content on a Rinsta account is intended to convey a positive image of the person and is expected to be maintained and updated on a regular basis. In some cases, rinstas are even used to promote a specific image or brand.
Risk Parity Approach
Risk parity (or risk premium parity) is an approach to managing investment portfolios that focuses on allocating risk, with each asset contributing equally to the overall risk of the portfolio.
Robotics refers to mechanical concepts for delegating simple tasks in production, transportation, or handling to appropriately configured machines (robots). In the future, robotics will also offer sophisticated technological solutions that enable even complex interactions - such as care for the elderly. Robotics is thus directly related to topics such as technology and digitalization, but also to society and demographics.
In honor of its principal inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, Satoshi is the name of what is currently the smallest Bitcoin unit, namely one 100 millionth of a Bitcoin. Which person or group of people is behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto is still unknown.
SBBS (Sovereign Bond-Backed Securities)
SBBS ("Sovereign Bond-Backed Securities") describe a concept of the EU to bundle and securitize existing government bonds of the Eurozone. The aim is to create a synthetic European "safe asset" through appropriate "tranching".
SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction)
SCR Reduction agents are means of treating exhaust gases, such as the urea solution AdBlue used in diesel vehicles.
SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are political targets set by the United Nations to ensure sustainable development at the economic, social and environmental levels.
The term "secular stagnation" goes back to the U.S. economist Alvin Hansen. In 1938, under the impression of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Hansen used it to describe a state of permanently weak economic growth with a low propensity to invest on the part of companies and declining incomes of the population. Today's period of persistent fragility and weak growth in the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis beginning in 2008 is characterized by some scholars as "secular stagnation."
The sharing economy refers to the new sociological phenomenon whereby younger people in particular only want to use certain consumer goods, but not to own or possess them. This principle is already evident today in various areas, such as housing, mobility, software and communication.
A shitstorm is a storm of indignation in virtual space, in social media, in blogs and in the comment sections of online newspapers and magazines, directed against people, companies or organizations. Such public outrage spreads quickly and is often triggered by negative comments, reviews, memes or hashtags on social media. The consequences of a shitstorm can be very serious for those affected, as it can significantly damage the reputation of a company or a person.
The term "silver agers" refers to the rapidly growing target group of well-off people who have already retired or are about to retire. The Silver Ager phenomenon is a direct reflection of the two megatrends of global greying and longevity.
Singularity or Artificial General Intelligence is the (so far still theoretical) principle of a machine-based intelligence that is at least equal or superior to human intellect and reasoning ability in all essential aspects.
Smart contracts are digital contracts based on computer protocols. They are built on blockchain technology and can map contracts, verify them and provide technical support for settlements of a contract. They are thus more cost-effective, more efficient and allow extensive digitization even for complex contract structures.
"Smart Farming" refers to the modern use of information and communication technologies in agriculture. However, the term only covers a subset of digital process technologies in the context of digitalization in agriculture.
Smart grids are intelligent electricity networks that combine generation, storage and consumption. A central control system coordinates these factors and thus balances out power fluctuations in the grid, such as occur with renewable energies.
Smart Home refers to the networking of a household both internally and externally. A concrete example is refrigerators that detect shortages themselves and trigger appropriate reorders. The aim is to increase the quality of life and living while at the same time improving burglar resistance and energy efficiency.
Social engineering refers to any technique aimed at getting a target to divulge certain information or perform a certain action for illegitimate reasons.
Social Networks / Social Media
The global trend toward digitization has had a decisive impact on the field of social media and social networks. Social networks and social media are extremely relevant in understanding the emergence of new social currents, global trends or changing consumer habits. Social media usage behavior is directly related to issues such as demographics, digitalization and "digital natives."
Social Or Green Washing
Social or green washing is the term used to describe the offering of impact investing objects that superficially promise a social or ecological effect, but in reality hardly achieve any such effect.
SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cells)
SOFC or solid oxide fuel cells are high-temperature fuel cells that operate with ceramic electrolyte at 600 to 1000°C.
Total of all current and potential resources associated with the possession of permanent networks of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual knowledge or recognition.
The term social systems describes the totality of security, supply and care systems in modern societies. Social systems are increasingly overstretched and are reaching the limits of sustainable financial viability. This is due to demographic trends and the increasing use of existing social systems.
SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company)
A Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is an acquisition purpose or shell company that first raises capital through an initial public offering in order to invest it in the acquisition of a company in a second step.
Spyware is software that aims to collect information about a person or organization and send it elsewhere to harm the user, for example by violating their privacy or compromising the security of their device.
SRI (Socially Responsible Investing)
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) refers to socially responsible investments. These primarily take social and ecological criteria into account when selecting investment objects. In practice, this is usually implemented either by excluding (from the investor's point of view) socially or ecologically irresponsible companies, industries or products (so-called negative screening) or by means of positive screening, in which particularly socially or ecologically responsible investment objects are given preference in the capital investment. SRI encompasses both liquid and illiquid asset classes. The concept of SRI has major interfaces with that of "sustainable investments," "ESG investments," "ethically oriented investments," or "social-ecological investments." Often, these terms are also used with identical meanings.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that reflect the value of an asset, for example in the form of fiat currencies or precious metals. Their price is controlled by active or automatic monetary policy with the aim of low volatility in relation to a national currency, a basket of currencies or other assets.
Stellar is an open source protocol for value exchange. Various servers run a software implementation of the protocol and use the Internet to connect and communicate with other Stellar servers, creating a global network for exchanging value.
STO (Security Token Offerings)
This is a form of corporate financing. The issuance of security tokens is then called Security Token Offerings or STO. While Utility Tokens mostly serve a Blockchain use case, Security Tokens are regulated capital investments like company shares.
Stranded assets are investments, assets and other parts of an industrial infrastructure that are left partially devalued ("stranded") after a structural or disruptive transformation. The problem of stranded assets plays a central role in the discussions on climate change, sustainability and decarbonization.
Strategic metals are defined as those raw materials that are indispensable for central aspects of digitalization and decarbonization (energy and mobility transition) as well as for other strategically important high-tech applications. We focus on central building blocks of a global energy transition, such as power grids, electric drives, wind turbines, energy storage systems, innovative battery technologies or chemical catalysts; in addition, there are modern information and communications technology, optoelectronics, laser systems, aerospace and sensitive armaments. From today's perspective, the most important of these "strategic metals" include copper, palladium, nickel, lithium, cobalt, neodymium and other rare earths.
Supercomputer, a class of extremely powerful computers. The term is commonly used to refer to the fastest high-performance systems available at any given time. Such computers are used primarily for scientific and technical work that requires extremely fast computations.
The term "sustainability" generally refers to the principle of sustainable development. This primarily requires consumption and production processes that conserve resources, are climate-neutral and sustainable in the long term. The scope of the term ranges from social consensus-building to political measures and impulses to the transformation of economic processes.
Sustainable Blue Economy
The Sustainable Blue Economy defines itself as an economy that "provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations; restores, protects, and sustains diverse, productive, and resilient ecosystems; and is based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows." It is an economy based on circular economy, collaboration, resilience, opportunity and interdependence. Its growth is driven by investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, improve energy efficiency, harness the power of natural capital and the benefits these ecosystems provide, and halt biodiversity loss. General economic activity related to the marine and coastal environment is referred to as the "blue economy" regardless of sustainability considerations.
Sustainable economy refers to the basic features of an economic order that is clearly aligned with the principle of sustainability. Features of such an economic order include elements such as resource conservation, recycling, climate-neutral energy generation and high energy efficiency.
The Taiwan Strait (also known as Taiwan Strait or Formosa Strait) is an approximately 180 km wide strait between mainland China and the island of Taiwan. It is one of the busiest waterways in the world and plays an important role for shipping traffic in the Asian region. A historical demarcation line ("median line") runs through the middle of the Taiwan Strait, but its significance under international law is openly questioned by China.
Tangle / Hashgraph
The main time factor in the classic blockchain architecture (e.g., Bitcoin) is the lengthy process of reaching consensus. Put simply, in the classic blockchain architecture, a transaction block is accepted as "truth" when all relevant network participants have processed the valid transaction block. This limitation decisively slows down the speed (scalability) of the Blockchain. New versions of blockchain technology, e.g., Tangle or Hashgraph, focus primarily on this problem. They aim to drastically speed up consensus building by eliminating the need for all network participants to receive all information at the same time.
TARGET (Trans-European Automated Real-Time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System)
TARGET, or TARGET 2, refers to an internal clearing system for financial flows within the System of European Central Banks. This system was originally intended to have a purely accounting clearing function in normal monetary transactions between EMU central banks.
The Tea Party is an arch-conservative, political and increasingly right-wing populist US protest movement that emerged in 2009 as a wing of the Republican Party to oppose Barack Obama's economic policies. From 2010 onwards, it became a powerful movement across America, which has since been active in all states, advocating extreme libertarian positions. It strongly advocates economic freedom and the dismantling of the federal government. Its supporters usually describe themselves as very conservative and many members are staunch supporters of Donald Trump.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is used to estimate the maturity of a technology. TRL 1-3 is basic research, 3-7 is applied research, and 7-9 corresponds to the pre-serial stages for market introduction. A TRL of 10 subsequently corresponds to a product ready for series production.
The thermohaline circulation is a term used in oceanography and is often referred to as the global conveyor belt (ocean conveyor belt). The term refers to a combination of ocean currents that unites four of the five oceans into a global circulation. The flow direction and dynamics of these currents depend strongly on the temperature and salinity of the water in different layers. The consequences of global warming can cause massive changes in these variables. Important basic properties of ocean currents - such as flow direction and strength of the Gulf Stream - are directly affected. Fundamental disturbances of the thermohaline circulation can thus result in catastrophic weather phenomena and profound climate changes.
The term Thucydides Trap was popularized by American political scientist Graham T. Allison. It describes a strategically tense constellation with an obvious tendency towards violent solutions (war). As a rule, an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power as global or regional hegemon.
Tipping points are turning points or tipping points that mark the transition from one state to the next. The triggering of such tipping points regularly leads to a greatly accelerated, often even exponential, development. With respect to global climate change, there exists a large number of critical tipping points, the crossing of which leads to a further increase and acceleration of harmful climate impacts (often through feedback effects). One example is polar ice cap melting, which not only causes sea water levels to rise, but also exacerbates thermohaline circulation problems and also reduces the Earth's ability to reflect incoming solar radiation.
Tokenization refers to a small-scale denomination and digital representation of real or intangible assets (assets). Each fraction represents a fixed value and defined rights and obligations. The process is based on blockchain technology.
The traction battery, also called traction battery, is an electrical energy storage device used in electric vehicles as the main energy source, but also as a buffer battery in fuel cell vehicles. It usually consists of classical accumulators, such as lithium-polymer, or nickel-metal hydride cells.
Transaction networks are closely interwoven aggregates of economic, financial, social, institutional and data relationships that are indispensable as the basic framework and "infrastructure" of global economic cooperation.
A transfer union is the (currently increasingly prominent) concept of an EMU that requires permanent financial transfers for its long-term cohesion. The path of transfers is (directly or indirectly) from the stronger member countries (especially Germany) to the highly indebted and economically weaker EMU members. The nature of the transfers is indeterminate: they range from genuine financial payments and contributions to the granting of loans, guarantees and liability deposits to new mechanisms of joint risk assumption (also with an obligation to make additional contributions). The concept of a transfer union is clearly at odds with the originally defined founding logic of the EMU, both in terms of content and politics.
Transition or transformation risks are understood as the risks for business models resulting from decarbonization and the transition to CO2-free economic structures. Stranded assets, for example, are a manifestation of transformation risks. The term was introduced in 2015 by the UK Financial Services Authority.
Tribalization refers to the breakup of communities into smaller groups that are separated from one another based on cultural characteristics, religion, or political orientation.
TRL (Technology Readiness Level)
Categorization by Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is used to estimate the maturity of a technology. TRL 1-3 falls into basic research, 3-7 is applied research, and 7-9 corresponds to pre-serial stages for market introduction. A TRL of 10 subsequently corresponds to a product ready for series production.
TTP (Trusted Third Party)
A trusted third party is a third party that is trusted by two parties. In cryptography, a trusted third party is an entity that enables interactions between two parties who both trust the third party. The third party audits all critical transactional communications between the parties to more easily detect fraudulent digital content.
UAM (Urban Air Mobility)
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) refers to a range of vehicles and operational concepts that transport passengers and cargo within a metropolitan area on an on-demand or scheduled basis.
Unconventional monetary policy
The term "unconventional monetary policy" describes a variety of recent instruments of active central bank policy, specifically to combat systemic crises. These include negative interest rates, direct purchases of government bonds, and "Q.E." (through massive purchase programs of marketable securities of all kinds).
A unicorn refers to a startup company with a market valuation, before an IPO or exit, of more than one billion USD.
Urban agriculture, urban farming or urban gardening is the practice of growing, processing and of food distribution in or around urban areas territories. It is a complex and diverse mix of food production activities.
Urban Gardening is the mostly small-scale, horticultural use of urban areas within settlement areas or in their immediate surroundings.
The goal of urban mining is to save primary raw materials, to use raw materials efficiently beyond the product cycle, and to recover secondary raw materials from buildings, infrastructure, vehicles, and other durable goods. As a result, urban mining provides a largely independent source of raw materials, both temporally and geographically.
"Vertical Farming" is a special form of urban agriculture and is a term used in future technology to enable sustainable agriculture and mass production of crop and livestock products in the urban agglomeration in multi-story buildings (called farmscrapers).
Vertiports are flexible physical landing infrastructure or hubs to provide agile access to cities.
Virtual reality (VR for short) is the representation of a computer-generated reality with 3D images and, in many cases, sound. It is transmitted via large screens, in special rooms or via a head-mounted display (video or VR glasses).
VTOL (Vertical Take-Off And Landing)
VTOL stands for "vertical take-off and landing" and refers to aircraft or drones that can take off, hover and land vertically. The best-known example of a VTOL aircraft is a helicopter.
The term VUCA is a catchy abbreviation that originally comes from the field of military planning. VUCA stands for a confluence of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, thus describing an extremely confusing environment that makes rational analysis and decision-making very difficult. A VUCA scenario consequently defines a very diffuse, contradictory and at the same time highly unstable and dynamic overall environment.
Workation is a combination of work and vacation. It is a journey in which people relocate to another location to continue their work while enjoying the benefits of a destination and new experiences.
A zero-day exploit is a computer software vulnerability that was previously unknown to those who should be interested in fixing it, such as the manufacturer of the target software. Until the vulnerability is mitigated, hackers can exploit it to harm programs, data, additional computers, or a network.
Zoonoses are infectious diseases transmissible from animal to human and from human to animal. They are considered a major cause of recurrent outbreaks of local or global viral infections and pandemics.