In an age rife with digital innovation, India has made two meaningful contributions: The number “zero” and Aadhaar. Okay, I cheated a little bit with the first one, given its pre-digital age origins, but let’s not allow petty details to get in the way. Aadhaar is a monumental IT project and a monumental vision for inclusion. Aadhaar, as a concept, lays the very foundation of trust in the digital age. And it does so regardless of caste, Facebook status or creed, across a billion people. Unfortunately, this also means that Aadhaar is a treasure trove of personal data on a billion people; therein lurks a parallel potential for widespread mischief. A journalist writing for The Tribune suggests that, indeed, such mischief can be pulled off rather easily.
Core to the work of The Fletcher School’s Institute for Business in the Global Context, the “Turn?” Series of conference examine regions of the world at a point of inflection. From Africa to Turkey to Greece in the past few years, these events bring together leaders from business, politics, and academia for timely discussions, exploring implications for the world at large and the region on the cusp of “turning.”
This now-standard tallying of the benefits and risks of securitization omits the costs involved in the decline of old-fashioned banking itself. And those costs are quite significant. A financial system that downgrades the role of banks becomes dangerously dependent on nearly blind trust in generic credit scores — a risk still underappreciated even a decade after the financial crisis. The marginalization of traditional banking also discourages lending to small businesses, which are essential to America’s economic dynamism. And it tends to over-centralize the supply of money, and therefore of credit, in ways that distort our economic life.
Instead of applauding the greater “completeness” of anonymous debt markets, we should lament the marginalization of traditional banking. And we should work to reverse it.
Trust in digital technology will be the internet’s next frontier, for 2018 and beyond
After decades of unbridled enthusiasm – bordering on addiction – about all things digital, the public may be losing trust in technology. Online information isn’t reliable, whether it appears in the form of news, search results or user reviews. Social media, in particular, is vulnerable to manipulation by hackers or foreign powers. Personal data isn’t necessarily private. And people are increasingly worried about automation and artificial intelligence taking humans’ jobs.
From time to time we like to feature the recent work of a number of our esteemed business faculty here at The Fletcher School. The series continues with Jette Steen Knudsen, Professor of Policy & International Business and Shelby Cullom Davis Chair in Sustainability at The Fletcher School.
The latest work from Professor of Policy & International Business and Shelby Cullom Davis Chair in Sustainability, Jette Steen Knudsen, examines the changing relationship between the regulator environment across the globe and the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of multinational corporations. Learn more:
A growing number of states are regulating the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of domestic multinational corporations relating to overseas subsidiaries and suppliers. In this book, Jette Steen Knudsen and Jeremy Moon offer a new framework for analysing government–CSR relations: direct and indirect policies for CSR. Arguing that existing research on CSR regulation fails to address the growing role of the state in shaping the international practices of multinational corporations, the authors provide insight into the CSR issues that are addressed by government policies. Drawing on case studies, they analyse three key examples of CSR: non-financial reporting, ethical trade and tax transparency in extractive industries. In doing so, they propose a new research agenda of government and CSR that is relevant to scholars and graduate students in CSR, sustainability, political economy and economic sociology, as well as policymakers and consultants in international development and trade.
There’s a Gender Gap in Internet Usage. Closing It Would Open Up Opportunities for Everyone
We have all heard about a gap when it comes to participation of women in the tech industry. Facebook, Google, and Apple have 17%, 19% and 23% women in their technology staffs, respectively. Multiple surveys, such as the “The Elephant in the Valley,” have documented systematic discrimination against women. And there’s a continuous barrage of news stories regarding the challenges that women face across a raft of iconic Silicon Valley firms. No more than a quarter of U.S. computing and mathematical jobs are held by women, consistent with the data that around 26% of the STEM workforce in developed countries is female. In developing countries, those differences are even greater.
But the gender gap problem doesn’t stop there. There’s also a shortage of women using some of the industry’s products. The International Telecommunications Union reports that the proportion of women using the internet is 12% lower than the proportion of men; this gender gap widens to 32.9% in the least developed countries. And even when a woman gets on a phone or is online, she might face additional hostility. A World Wide Web Foundation report says “women around the world report being bombarded by a culture of misogyny online, including aggressive, often sexualized hate speech, direct threats of violence, harassment, and revenge porn involving use of personal/private information for defamation.”
What this speaks to is an opportunity for the tech industry — both to address internal diversity issues and to address how companies think about the products they create around the world.
Trump Envoy Erik Prince Met with CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund in Seychelles
by Erin Banco
“Why would you separate the management company?” asked Patrick Schena, an expert on sovereign wealth funds who teaches at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. “One of the reasons is to give the appearance of a degree of separation to show independence in decision-making.” In other words, he said, RDIF wanted to move away from a highly controversial sanctioned entity to appease potential business partners.
We are beyond thankful for everything that thousands of people did make this the largest giving day in Fletcher and Tufts history.
Thank you for volunteering. Thank you for donating.
And thank you for supporting today’s students and faculty and the tremendous academic and global community that is Fletcher. Together, we’re making a brighter world.
Today is #GivingTuesday! Learn why Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti is giving to Fletcher, and consider joining him with your own gift. If 250 people give to Fletcher today, we unlock a special $50,000 challenge gift!
Memo to the World Bank: India should be rated even higher in the ease of doing business rankings the next time
Pop the champagne and pass the mithai — for it is, indeed, the epoch of belief, the season of light in the world’s largest democracy. After languishing in the World Bank’s league tables, India is, finally, getting its due: It has been admitted to the top 100 nation club for Ease of Doing Business. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one giant step closer to fulfilling every Indian’s dream.
It is now time to plot the next big move — to break into the top 80 nations club. With all the hard work already behind us, this next step should be a piece of cake. Here is how.
Another day, another MIB working at the intersection of business and world affairs! Kelly Liu, supply chain manager at Dell and a 2016 MIB grad, was quoted in CNET on the fight to stop child labor abuses in Congolese cobalt mines. Check out the story!
That sentiment was shared by Kelly Liu, a supply chain manager at Dell. She said her company has been working closely with Huayou Cobalt and conducted a survey with its suppliers and shared its template with other companies as well.
“We recognize this is a complex issue, and this is probably going to be marathon and not a sprint in order to create positive change,” she said.