Monthly Archives: October 2018

What ever happened to social capital in the internet era?

You are finally at home after a busy day at work. An invitation to join friends watching the latest episode of the Avengers saga at the cinema pops up on your smartphone. You are tired, and you already planned to spend a relaxing night at home, ordering pizza through Deliveroo, listening to your favourite music with Spotify and watching […]

The unspoken global race for artificial intelligence

Two men walk into a bar, the first one says: “robots will conquer our civilisation and make us their servants within ten years”, the second one responds: “No, the principle of artificial intelligence (AI) is a far-fetched goal that will never see light”. The bartender smiles, analyses their facial expressions, assigns a sentiment score to their sentences, evaluates their […]

Global talent fosters innovation and collaborative patents

Innovation thrives when a diverse set of ideas come together, and globalisation plays an important role in facilitating this process. This recombination often happens through skilled people moving to top talent clusters or labs. Over 40 per cent of the researchers at America’s top seven cancer research centres are foreign-born, and one researcher described how the interaction of these […]

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    Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age – Book Review

Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age – Book Review

Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age. Nicole Seymour. University of Minnesota Press. 2018.

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Efforts to address climate change sometimes seem to have the quality of a joke about them: lawmakers continue to put their fingers in their ears and pretend ecological devastation is a myth, while their well-meaning colleagues propose solutions that feel like rearranging […]

October 28th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

Over the past two decades, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has become the world’s largest multilateral financial institution. In 1999, the EU member states’ ‘policy-driven’ bank counted around 1,000 staff members. This number is now close to 3,000. In 1999, the EIB’s balance sheet stood at 200 billion euros. It now stands at 550 billion euros.

While this has given […]

On timing and rhythm for strategy implementation

We know that time is important – after all, timing is everything! And time is money! If used skilfully, time and timing can be allies in strategising. But, surprisingly (or maybe not-so-surprisingly), getting time right is hard; it involves a complex balancing act. For example, if you push your strategy too much, you overwhelm your team, whereas if you do […]

Encouraging customers to go paperless

The rapid rise of digital communications ushers new opportunities for corporate environmental responsibility. For instance, online conferencing provides alternatives to air travel for meetings of international colleagues, and online form submission and bill payment schemes reduce requisite paper communications between companies and their patrons. Yet mandating that employees or customers use these options can cause resentment by appearing as […]

Asian emerging markets in the era of ‘infinity war’

It was just a year ago that Argentina issued a 100-year bond offering a dollar coupon of less than eight per cent, for which there was three times as much demand as supply. Shortly afterwards, major investment banks issued their outlook for 2018. One of them was titled “Synchronised Skating”. Another one said, “As Good As It Gets”. In January […]

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    Human in the loop: why we will be needed to complement artificial intelligence

Human in the loop: why we will be needed to complement artificial intelligence

Along with artificial intelligence (AI), it is likely most readers will have observed the increased press coverage around automation. More recently these two terms are being used jointly to present a world where AI can significantly push the envelope of what is possible to be automated today. Whilst I believe this is true, it is worth analysing the state […]

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    Proactive people have greater life satisfaction in late career and early retirement

Proactive people have greater life satisfaction in late career and early retirement

While there are countless studies that focus on the working individual, there are fewer that look at retirees. Yet, the largest generational cohort in the U.S. is retiring in droves. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, baby boomers are retiring from the workforce at a rate of 10,000 people per day! Thus, as people transition from being employees […]

October 23rd, 2018|Career & Success|0 Comments|
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    The dynamics of (dis)integration in enterprise risk management

The dynamics of (dis)integration in enterprise risk management

When the word ‘integrated’ is associated to a business practice, an organisational environment, or a workplace, it is often good news. The term has a positive connotation in common language, expressing something that is ‘systematic’, ‘comprehensive’, ‘coherent’, ‘cohesive’ etc. Indeed, dictionary definitions leave no doubt. Something is integrated if ‘two or more things [are] combined in order to become […]

Are celebrity women executives good role models for women?

It is well documented that there are few women at the top of organisations. A frequently suggested reason for this scarcity is that women simply lack role models: you cannot be what you cannot see. However, although there may be few senior women who might function as role models in women’s immediate organisational environment, the number of celebrity businesswomen […]

October 22nd, 2018|Gender, LSE alumni|0 Comments|
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    Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction – Book Review

Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction – Book Review

Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction. Ivan Ascher. MIT Press. 2016.

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In Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Modes of Prediction, Ivan Ascher argues that financial markets have reshaped the contemporary economy, extending Karl Marx’s theory of labour to consider how the abstraction and securitisation of risk in financial markets have profound influence on economic and […]

October 21st, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The playing field between YouTube and television will be a bit fairer, but still far from level

The playing field between YouTube and television will be a bit fairer, but still far from level

On 2 October MEP Sabine Verheyen announced: “we have established a fair, level playing field,” celebrating the adoption of the revision to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which now will also cover “video sharing platforms” (VSPs). This was an overstatement: the Directive may make things a bit fairer, but can do very little to even out competition for […]

Smart and simple strategy decisions to minimise regret

We like to think that for our strategy work, we will have plenty of time and resources. Armed with both, out of the 10s or 100s of options we have on the table, we will pick the best one.

In this article, we will make the opposite argument. Not only do we not have much time or resources available to […]

Synthetic knowledge and the internet of things

In principle, there is broad consensus that knowledge should be the basis of environmental sustainability policies. Knowledge about the environment is often generated by corporations, in addition to governments, as part of their industrial activities (Mukerji 1989).

The Arctic is an important crossroads of industrial development and environmental preservation (Figure 1), as calculations suggest that it contains one-fourth of the […]

Are blue-collar jobs turning white?

Manual jobs in European manufacturing are being transformed, as blue-collar workers take on more intellectual tasks. This is a consequence of the increasing use of digital tools and the growing importance of quality control in production. The severe losses of medium-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector during the economic crisis raised concerns about its future role and contribution to […]

October 18th, 2018|Future of Work|0 Comments|
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    Gender gaps in promotion: it is also because women apply less

Gender gaps in promotion: it is also because women apply less

A related recent post (Who stays longer, male or female CEOs?) documents that women account for 5 per cent of CEOs of major North American firms as of January 2018 (Catalyst). According to Bertrand and Hallock (2001), they represented 2.5 per cent of top executives in US firms in the 1990s. Even if these two figures are not perfectly […]

October 17th, 2018|CEP, Gender, LSE Authors|0 Comments|

What are green jobs and where are they?

Addressing grand environmental challenges (e.g. climate change) entails adapting the skill base and, thus, the composition of the workforce. Recent interventions both in the form of environmental regulation or of subsidies – i.e. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and its green component, which accounts approximately for 15 per cent of the overall fiscal stimulus – […]

October 17th, 2018|Economics, Environment|0 Comments|
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    Fracking in the UK: how could a technologically advanced society choose to destroy itself?

Fracking in the UK: how could a technologically advanced society choose to destroy itself?

Prime Minister Theresa May recently doubled down on the Conservative Party’s commitment to the development of hydraulic fracturing of shale gas (‘fracking’) in the UK. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister proposed £1 billion of additional resources be directed to local communities and councils to support their acceptance of this new source of fossil fuel extraction. Fracking, […]

October 16th, 2018|Environment|1 Comment|