Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

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Why Women Should Invest More: A Q&A with Alumna Alice Finn (F88), CEO of PowerHouse Assets

Wealth management expert Alice Finn (F88) is the prime example of a Fletcher alumna. She pays it forward — Finn founded PowerHouse Assets to help women tackle finances with confidence — and sets high goals and achieves them. Finn recently released her book, Smart Women Love Money: Five Simple, Life-Changing Rules of Investing, to help women get their start in investing.

Fletcher Alum and wealth management expert Alice Finn (F’88) tpeaks to the the Fletcher community on her book, “Smart Women Love Money” (Photo Credit: Sarah Collins)

On Wednesday Nov. 1, Finn returned to The Fletcher School to take part in the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) Speaker Series and in true Fletcher style, she brought along a fellow alumna and PowerHouse Assets colleague, Ralitza Gueorguieva (F05). IBGC Director of Corporate Relations Dorothy Orszulak introduced Finn to an engaged crowd — of both genders. Finn answered every question asked thoughtfully and passionately, sharing her five top tips:

  1. Invest stocks long-term
  2. Allocate assets
  3. Implement index finds
  4. Rebalance regularly
  5. Keep fees low

In a Q&A before the event, Finn revealed her motivation for starting her company, shared her best financial tip and explained how her Fletcher experience prepared her for her career.

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Oliver Wyman CEO Scott McDonald Addresses Business’ Role in Politics

“Should businesses be involved in politics? Absolutely. We have a responsibility to make our contribution to society,” Oliver Wyman CEO Scott McDonald told Fletcher students last week during a talk hosted by The Institute for Business in the Global Context. McDonald explored business’ ever-evolving role in politics during his presentation and explained how he navigates the changing landscape as head of a leading global management consulting firm.

The debate around whether business should (or shouldn’t) be involved in politics isn’t a new one, McDonald said, but discovering the right way to balance involvement in politics without alienating your employees and consumers often poses a challenge for companies.

Oliver Wyman CEO Scott McDonald discusses the role of business in politics as part of the IBGC Speaker Series (Photo Credit: Ahmad Raza)

Political activities such as lobbying have existed for ages and have always been a natural part of the business world, McDonald explained. During the 1960s and ‘70s, businesses became more involved in politics as the civil and women’s rights movements hit the scene. The next big wave of activity popped up in the ‘90s as consumers began to make their voices heard more clearly. Over the past 10 years or so, companies have started to think strategically about consumers’ voices and have begun to actively align their goals with those of their customers.

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Religious Literacy in International Business – Fletcher Conference on 11/3

This year, Ernst & Young announced the launch of a new training program, Religious Literacy for Organizations (RLO), which “help[s] organizations better understand religious inclusion and its positive impact on business process and performance.” Why would a “Big Four” accounting firm offer religious literacy training to its clients? What does this move mean for the consulting industry and global business?

The Institute for Business in the Global Context is proud to sponsor…

Religious Literacy in International Business

— A Case Study of Global Business Operations —

Part of Approaching Religious Literacy in International Affairs
presented by the Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law & Diplomacy

REGISTER NOW

Friday, November 3, 2017
1:30 PM
ASEAN Auditorium
The Fletcher School at Tufts University

Read the case study

This panel will discuss the practicality of religious literacy training in today’s global businesses, what religious literacy looks like in business operations, and why this trend should be on radar of today’s business students.
Moderator:
  • Paul Lambert, Assistant Dean at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business
Panelists:
  • Dr. Ibrahim Warde, Professor of International Finance at The Fletcher School
  • Dr. Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation
  • Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO of Tanenbaum

MIB Candidate Adi on his Summer Internship as a Banker

Originally post on the Fletcher admissions blog, a home for lots of great content from the Fletcher community!!

At one point during my first year at Fletcher, someone told me that, in the end, everything was going to be o.k.  Everyone will do something during the summer break, be it an internship, research, writing, or catching up with old friends and family for two or three months.  As much as I wanted to believe that, I couldn’t help but get a little nervous when it was a couple of weeks after the last final of the spring semester, summer had officially started, and there was still no official offer letter for a summer internship.  I even flew back home to Indonesia, not knowing whether I was going to intern at all during the next few months, or just plain relax (or maybe start writing my capstone).

Adi (in the red shirt) and the CCB team at Citi Indonesia

Then the moment I had been waiting for finally arrived.  I was offered a spot in the Global Consumer Summer Associate batch at Citigroup’s Jakarta office.  While extremely relieved, I also came to realize that now the hard work would start.  This would be my first exposure to working at a global corporation, first time at a financial institution, in an industry far away from my previous professional background.  I was put on the Commercial Lending team.  My role was to support the business analysis and marketing staff in the division.  My main deliverable was an official guide for new employees of Citi Commercial Bank (CCB).  This meant that I had to learn how CCB operates, understand the complete business process down to the individual roles of each person on the team, and package all this information into a guidebook that would be easily digestible to a newcomer.

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Ig-Nobel Mistakes

Wiping out 86 per cent of a country’s currency is rarely a “good start” on anything. In a country where, according to recent analyses of income-tax probes, the cash component of undeclared wealth is estimated to be only about six per cent, leaving an economy virtually cashless is certainly not a good place to end up. If Thaler had studied the data on the Indian economy he might have realised that the policy instrument he had supported was aimed at the wrong target: The currency of corruption is mostly in non-cash assets.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express

The “Smart Society” of the Future Doesn’t Look Like Science Fiction

by Bhaskar Chakravorti and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi

What is a “smart” society? While flights of imagination from science-fiction writers, filmmakers, and techno-futurists involve things like flying cars and teleportation, in practice smart technology is making inroads in a piecemeal fashion, often in rather banal circumstances. In Chicago, for example, predictive analytics is improving health inspections schedules in restaurants, while in Boston city officials are collaborating with Waze, the traffic navigation app company, combining its data with inputs from street cameras and sensors to improve road conditions across the city. A city-state such as Singapore has a more holistic idea of a “smart nation,” where the vision includes initiatives from self-driving vehicles to cashless and contactless payments, robotics and assistive technologies, data-empowered urban environments, and technology-enabled homes.

More broadly, we might define a smart society as one where digital technology, thoughtfully deployed by governments, can improve on three broad outcomes: the well-being of citizens, the strength of the economy, and the effectiveness of institutions.

The potential for technologies to enable smart societies is rising. For example, internet-of-things sensor applications are envisioned to deliver a wide range of services, from smart water to industrial controls to e-health. The market for smart technologies is predicted to be worth up to $1.6 trillion by 2020, and $3.5 trillion by 2026. Surely, given the size of the opportunity, increasing interest among governments and policy makers, and the explosion of relevant technologies, we can start to understand what smart societies are  and establish standards and ideals to aim for.

Read the full piece in the Harvard Business Review

After the Wall Street crash of 2008, Fabian Olarte (MIB ’11) found himself seeking a new career path. He decided there was no better place to do so than at The Fletcher School, and is grateful for the warm, helpful community he found at the school: “A lot of people helped me get my job and helped me advance in my career, and I’m doing the same for them.”

Britain’s Digital Advantage

No wonder then that there is much anxiety among Brexit-watchers about the UK making a clean break and rejecting the ‘four freedoms’ that EU members enjoy − free movement of people, goods, capital and services. I would argue that there is a fifth freedom that negotiators ought to keep in their sights, one that may hold the key to re-balancing the terms of Brexit. This freedom has to do with the free movement of data.

Data matters because it is the fuel − and exhaust − of a critical part of the overall economy: the digital economy.

When one considers the digital economies of the UK and that of the EU, the latter would be losing a genuine star if barriers to UK-EU data flows were to be erected.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti on the Chatham House website

New from Prof. Kim Wilson – “Migration’s Middlemen and How to Pay Them”

by Kim Wilson, CEME Senior Fellow

Posted originally by the Center for Financial Inclusion

How do refugees finance their journeys and which expenses need financing? This was the question that a team of us at Fletcher set out to answer in our study “The Financial Journey of Refugees.” We studied the routes and financial challenges of more than 100 refugees in Greece, Jordan and Turkey, between July 2016 and April 2017. The refugees we interviewed had traveled from South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and West Africa.

Regardless of their country of origin, with the exception of Syria, a refugee’s biggest expense was the cost of hiring a smuggler. Smuggling expenses ran about 85 percent of the total cost of the journey. The smuggler’s fee included important services: travel by air or overland, depending on the refugee’s budget, guide services across borders, payment of bribes at border crossings, and documentation falsification expenses. Smuggling prices varied widely by country of origin (some borders being porous, others sealed tight), by how deluxe a trip was (air versus ground), by numbers of borders crossed (affecting the number of falsified IDs required). To give an example, journeying overland from Afghanistan through Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey to Greece might cost $7,500 per person, a price that went up or down based on shifting rules and border crackdowns. Traveling from Eritrea to Greece might cost the same amount. Traveling from Syria to Turkey could cost as little as $500.

The price of the journey was one factor in a traveler’s safety – the higher the cost, the better the traveling modes, and the safer the travel. While what refugees paid their smuggler was important, how they paid them was equally important. Did the refugee pre-pay the kingpin smuggler in advance of the journey? Did she post-pay him after arriving safely in Greece or Germany? Did she pay leg by leg? All these strategies were in play and we outline them in our report summary and they are detailed by the refugees themselves in a Compendium of Field Notes. Below we describe two of many strategies.

Strategy 1: Guarantee Scheme via a Financial Third Party

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Dalberg’s Angela Hansen Discusses Sustainable Development, Design Thinking

As an advisor on agriculture & food security at strategic advisory firm Dalberg Advisors, Angela Hansen works at the forefront of some of the world’s most pressing issues. On September 27, Hansen shared some of her insights on global sustainable development and the practice of “design thinking” with Fletcher students at the first event in this semester’s Institute for Business in the Global Context’s speaker series. In a hands-on event that featured a few participant exercises, Hansen encouraged students to approach her talk with a “beginner’s mind” and keep their curiosity open to the subject at hand.

At Dalberg, Hansen works across the public, private and philanthropic sectors to help clients in emerging and frontier markets enhance performance, meet objectives and develop new partnerships in the field of global sustainable development. Hansen has prepared strategies for multilateral organizations, leading international NGOs and private sector companies all over the world and has lived and worked in Africa for over a decade.

In a brief Q&A, Hansen gave us a look into her typical work day, revealed her best advice for Fletcher students and explained how “design thinking” can impact global sustainable development.

1) What does your typical work day look like?

There is no typical day. Most of this week, I have been in side-events around the UN General Assembly in New York. I’ve engaged with private companies such as Barclays, Eni, Siemens, Mars and Phillip Morris. I’ve met with non-profits including Business Fights Poverty and CARE, and I’ve spoken with multilateral and bilateral development actors, as well as with a few of my favorite thought leaders such as Roger Martin and Malcom Gladwell. It’s great to be back in New York; this past month I have been in South Africa, Italy, Austria and Denmark for a mix of Dalberg and non-Dalberg commitments. Continue reading

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