Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

Tag: Forbes (page 1 of 2)

Technology May Seek To Flatten The World, But The “Digital South” Will Chart Its Own Course

With trade wars, anti-globalization rhetoric and nationalist politicians hogging headlines around the world, mercifully, there are two things that can still bring the world together: viral messages on digital media and the FIFA World Cup. In fact, the real magic happens when the two global obsessions intersect. A quarter of the world’s active Internet users had planned to watch the games online; with over 4 billion online, that counts for a lot of people who are then poised to instantaneously pour their emotions onto social media. Once the World Cup final gets done on Sunday, July 15th, however, we might be back to digital virality carrying the flag solo to battle the forces of de-globalization.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

The Future Of Work Isn’t All Bleak For Women. Here’s Why.

Many workers who have been displaced are experiencing the early signals of how technological change will transform the way we work, what work we do and who gets to work. With AI and automation creeping into our daily existence in that Macbethian “petty pace from day to day”, if all the tech chatter is right, humans will be handing tasks over to machines at a scale that boggles the mind. The degree to which the mind is boggled depends on which pundit you believe. While the OECD projects that only 14 percent of current jobs will be affected, the European think tank, Bruegel places the displacement factor at 54 percent. The McKinsey Global Institute offers a more nuanced view: 60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of constituent work activities that could be automated with variations across geography and occupation; about 15 percent of activities on average would be displaced by 2030, with some occupations at risk of a third of all constituent work activities being automated.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Seize The Year: And Now For All The Non-Trump News Crowded Out in 2017

It is already the start of the third month of 2017. We have been so absorbed with the daily barrage of news from Washington DC and Mar-a-Lago, and news about news, both fake and real, that it seems all other headlines have been crowded out. So much else needs to be done in 2017 to create the headlines we would like to see in the months ahead. It is time to “carpe annum”, to seize the year.

No doubt, 2017 will live in the long shadow of 2016. We must also find ways to take stock and push beyond the shadows. Of the many from which to pick, we found 5 developments from the past year worth noting in its impact on our work ahead.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Thiel Warms Up The Throng For Trump: When Silicon Valley Becomes Political

Silicon Valley, famously, is as much about that over-used notion of disruption as it is about over-stated claims to making the world a better place. Both goals have the power to stir up the millennial mind, which is good for recruiting. Both, however, also have strong political overtones: disruption pulls the rug out from under the powerful; as for making the world a better place…well, isn’t that what politicians are supposed to be doing when they aren’t politicking? No wonder, despite the commonly held belief that politics and technology are like oil and water, technology, without question, is increasingly tied to political expression. In the past, this expression used to occur in subtle ways. In the present political season, that subtlety has gone out of the window. Technology seems to have embraced politics like never before.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Investing in The Sustainable Development Goals In A Time of Anti-Globalization And Economic Slowdown

No doubt, the global economy is going through a period of several overlapping challenges. In some parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa, these may seem like the worst of times – at least in the last 17 years. However, with far-sighted leadership and some imagination, the worst of times may well turn out to be the best of times.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Silicon Valley’s Obsession With Flying Cars Flies In The Face Of Business Logic

Bemoaning the state of innovativeness, Peter Thiel — don of the PayPal mafia, Silicon Valley VC, and most recently revealed as the nemesis of Gawker — remarked, “We asked for flying cars. Instead, we got a hundred and forty characters. It seems Thiel’s moans have been heard by no less than Google/Alphabet’s Larry Page, who has quietly been investing in, not one but, two flying car start-ups, Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk. Page, of course, has only taken a page out of the books of other pioneering legends, who have shared this strange obsession. The obsession dates back even to pioneering legends who knew a tad more about cars than Messrs. Page and Thiel; Henry Ford tried his hand at it and even managed to get a person killed in his own pursuit of a flying car. Of course, the industry is far from take-off; the only successful situation involving a flying Ford I am aware of is of Ron Weasly flying a 1962 Ford Angilia to rescue Harry Potter in The Chamber of Secrets. But I digress…

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Who Knows If Robots Will Rob Us Of Our Livelihoods, But They May Help Us Live Longer

Regardless of how our new relationship with automation technologies develops, I am truly excited about the possibility that a certain class of bots might, in fact, make a dramatic difference to our lives – by extending them. A reality of aging societies is that we must contend with an increasing rate of colonoscopies, angioplasties and even nastier procedures. I take great comfort in the musings of the physicist, Richard Feynman, who spoke way back in 1959 of “swallowing” the surgeon as an alternative to all the nastiness.

In other words, bots can do good simply by being good for us.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti at Forbes

10 Questions To Ask Before Trusting The Nabobs Of The Net: Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Uber

The Internet was meant to be a force for democratization, its power drawn from the bottom-up, peers working with each other without mediators. Recall that its origins were in ARPANET, originally funded by DARPA, as a decentralized and distributed collection of networks, without omnipotent hubs that might be vulnerable to attack by foreign powers. Much of the entrepreneurship that has fueled the Internet was bootstrapped out of scrappy locations — dorm rooms, friendly couches, garages — far from the corridors of power.

Yet, the Internet, circa 2016, is far from a digital Woodstock; it is ruled by a handful of omnipotent hubs. While this outcome may seem ironic, in an industry prone to network effects and scale economies, a concentration of market power among a handful of players is entirely natural and should not come as a surprise. What is surprising is how much we trust them and the tradeoffs we make every time we use their products.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

How Mark Zuckerberg Can Resolve The Inclusive Innovator’s Dilemma

More generally, innovation in doing well while doing good is a growing trend among businesses seeking new markets in the developing world. Our research and conference initiative on this issue, conducted in collaboration with the Citi Foundation, confirms a growing preference for pursuing such dual objectives over pure philanthropy. For example, when we spoke with Sunny Verghese, founder and CEO of Olam, the agri-business company, he mentioned how pure corporate charity was not popular with shareholders. “But when you tell your shareholders that you are engaging in a variety of developmental initiatives which have some reciprocal value for the company, there are no questions asked,” he says.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Care About People And Planet? Time To Add A Third ‘P’ — Profit

The entrepreneurial nature of business makes it a powerful force for problem-solving. As far as I am concerned, all points of intersection between entrepreneurial business and the wider context is fair game: geo-politics, economic development, international and national security, climate change, technological shifts, humanitarian issues, war and peace. It is time we recognized that the world of business must engage directly with the world – for the benefit of both. The power of ideas at this intersection has captured my imagination.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

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