"This [Bitcoin] is a good development for the poor of the world. Those who do not have access to banking services, who do not have access to financial services of various kinds, are now gaining access through mobile payments. We are obviously in a period of disruptive innovation, and it is early in this revolutionary period, so we are kind of in the ‘let a thousand flowers bloom’ period." -- Al Gore
As the urgency of the global financial crisis faded, the world faced a new crisis: employment. A global job market filled with skills mismatches, tepid job creation, and uncertainty for investors has led to political instability and protests over income inequality, the ineffective state of higher education, and government inaction. By 2050, the world will need approximately 500 million new jobs to be created.
Imagine a stock market where share price is based solely on the currency of creating social impact. If you improve the lives of people in a community, identify a tangible solution or business model for a social problem, your stock goes up. The caveat is that the solution has to work, and has to demonstrate a measurable social impact to produce a return. Would you buy this stock? And if so, how much would you expect in return on your investment?
The three rounds of sanctions implemented against Russia are more about saving face in the short term than they are about creating costs for Moscow. Ultimately, they are necessary but counterproductive.
Northern Europe may have a cold climate, but for many women it is paradise nonetheless. In matters of gender equality, Nordic countries lead the way, according to the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report, issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
We all know that Europe faces a looming demographic crisis of existential proportions—not a single country on the European continent claims a fertility rate at or above replacement rate (2.1). As a result, aging populations and shrinking workforces will contribute to unsustainable social spending and stunted economic growth. Now more than ever, these countries need a solution to overcome the problems that accompany industrial modernization. Beyond implementing short-term economic fixes and relaxing immigration quotas, enacting policies that reduce the economic gender gap is a common-sense solution.
Businesses and governments around the world are beginning to come to terms with the new reality of the post-financial crisis era. There is a critical need to unleash growth, to leverage emerging trends in technology, market needs, and society to expand enterprise and economic opportunity. Success in breaking through to a new wave of growth and prosperity will depend increasingly on human capital and brain power.
Many immigrants dream of improved lives in their adopted country, but the reality is not quite as majestic. While life in wealthier countries may be better, particularly when one’s financial situation is improved, immigrants often discover that their new life has not made them happier.
The global economy is still reeling under the impact of the recent financial crisis. Advanced and developing economies alike are grappling with the fact that the global economic recovery has not only been a jobless recovery, but also a weakening one. Although each region has its unique challenges, a common threat, which the global economy at large is facing, is rising unemployment—particularly youth unemployment.
In late August 2013, the World Economic Forum released a report titled “Technology Pioneers 2014,” which identifies companies that are finding new and innovative solutions to current problems. The list is largely dominated by companies focusing on four different areas: medicine and healthcare, big data, education, and green technology. These, accordingly, are the current areas where the most progress from technology is expected.
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