Periodically we’ll be interviewing Senior CEME Fellows to check in on their latest research, big questions they’ve been pondering and everything they’re keeping an eye on in the world. Today we spoke with Managing Director of SGI Ltd., Paul Schulte.
Interviewer: What are the questions that keep you up at night around your current research/focus of interest?
PS: Right now there are three things on my mind:
- I am very concerned that with all the quantitative easing (QE) we are having that we are on the verge of severe deflation.
- The speed at which the internet is increasing access to information and as a result it is disrupting ‘traditional industries’ such as Universities, text book publishing etc. How will this change peoples’ outlook on subjects — for example economics and finance?
- The rich-poor gap is continuing to increase and this is known as a key factor that can lead to social unrest that can also disrupt societies. How will we close this gap, or deal with the upheaval?
Interviewer: What do you see in the developments and events around the world today that make your work relevant and timely?
PS: One major thing that has been going on is that the underlying architecture of the entire banking world is being completely reconfigured right now. For example, China is currently in its own banking crisis which could lead to huge possibilities for the global economy. It could lead to an opening up of capital markets to products like derivatives, fixed income, and equities. My work on the nature of banking (specifically lending) and its role in economic theory is the kind of work that can have real-world application to governments, businesses, and investors thinking about how to deal with the changes in the banking industry.
Interviewer: Where do you see the greatest opportunities for impact for students who affiliate or work with IBGC?
PS: When I graduated in 1988 from Fletcher our multidisciplinary education was quite unique in nature. Now professional schools around the world, especially business schools, are increasingly concerned with political affairs. Through the IBGC students get a chance to connect with professionals like me working in schools around the world. Furthermore, I act as a mentor and advisor to students, helping them navigate their career path as they leave Fletcher. I have also hired Fletcher students to work on research projects for me.
Interviewer: What is the most interesting book you have read recently?
PS: Who Owns the Future by Jaron Lanier. It’s a must read for anyone entering the workforce now.