In his 1941 novel You Can’t Be Too Careful, H. G. Wells wrote that the “crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow”. For much of the developing world that relies on capital from international financial markets to fund its growth, the joke tomorrow may be in extremely poor taste.
June 17 marked the release of the ninth annual Global Peace Index (GPI). The report, generated by the Institute for Economics and Peace, reveals a remarkable divide between the world’s most and least peaceful countries. This report and its predecessors focus on what increases peace, rather than what causes conflict, in an effort to identify structures and institutions that create peaceful societies.
The global payroll to population rate remains at 26%, not having grown since 2011, according to Gallup’s recently released Good Jobs 2014 report.
Imagine a world where everybody knows, understands, and maximizes their strengths. The late Donald O. Clifton ambitiously dedicated his life to pursuing this ideal by researching and instructing on early strength development. The Clifton Foundation and Gallup announced last week that they will further Clifton’s objective by gifting the University of Nebraska-Lincoln $30 million to create the Don Clifton Strengths Institute within the College of Business Administration.
At time of writing, Brazil’s economy first quarter marks are out. According to a federal public agency, the IBGE (The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), the country’s GDP shrunk by 0.2% for the quarter, this in relation to last year’s fourth quarter GDP performance. Further and, while comparing to same period in 2014 (Q1/14), the economy dropped a significant 1.6%.
For the world’s developed nations, technology has continued to push the boundaries, providing limitless opportunity for the future. The rest of the world however, faces a different outlook, with a vast technological gap that only threatens to continue to widen. The World Economic Forum, in conjunction with INSEAD and Cornell University, recently released the Global Information Technology Report 2015, examining the Networked Readiness Index. By evaluating a country’s ability to use and control information and communication technologies (ICTs), the report provided rankings and benchmarks for 143 nations.
On International Women’s Day in 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama remarked that, “Empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.” Just last month Germany became the latest nation to institute a mandatory requirement for the number of women in supervisory board positions, joining such countries as Norway, Iceland, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium with boardroom quotas ranging from 30-40 percent. By comparison, currently about 19 percent of board seats at U.S. stock index companies are held by women. The numbers are moving in the right direction, and the quotas mandated throughout Europe have opened the door, but the business potential is the greatest case for gender diversity on corporate boards.
Emerging markets have never mattered more to Western multinationals. They have also never been more difficult to navigate. With the global fragmentation of political and economic power, corporations face greater uncertainty and rapidly diversifying sources of risk. Emerging markets are producing formidable new competitors and are also starting to rewrite the global rules of business. At the same time, MNCs’ home governments and established relationships are less useful than they once were when entering new markets. Faced with this complex new reality, multinationals must increasingly look to themselves to solve problems and generate opportunities.
Washington is abuzz once again with talk of free trade, presidential authority, and Congressional responsibility. Last week’s announcement that movement is being made towards fast-track authority for President Obama in vital trade deals is an encouraging sign that the U.S. Congress is serious about advancing free trade in the coming years.
The vast liberalization of international trade and the relatively free movement of capital on a global scale no longer move parallel with the freedom of migration. OECD members are afraid to flood their countries with poor immigrants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. However, developed countries are now willing to accept talented young graduates who gained their education in less developed countries and now want to offer their skills to foreign labor markets for a “better life.”
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