“Learning to code … gives kids a powerful boost in other core subjects” – Grant Hosford, CEO, Codespark
Fletcher alumnus Grant Hosford is up to some amazing things as CEO of Codespark. Leaning on a basis of coding, Grant hopes to bring both real world computer science skills and a growth mindset to childhood education. “Coding requires students to learn transferable skills like pattern recognition and sequencing that are foundational for reading and math. So, learning to code with a visual app like ours gives kids a powerful boost in other core subjects,” he told Forbes. Through his work with Codespark, Grant is helping to build a foundation for the next generation in this increasingly digital planet.
Recent studies out of the IBGC on the Digital Planet have highlighted how the adoption of digital technologies are impacting countries’ economies, competitiveness, their building of “smart societies,” and the building – as well as the undermining – of trust. Another area where the digital evolution is having a profound impact is Global Health – particularly in mHealth (mobile health) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Driven by the increasing penetration of mobile, access to healthcare training and services in even the poorest and most remote areas of the planet is being transformed.
The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development released a report (2/17) on the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) on global access to healthcare. The graph below shows the growth of broadband access between 2007–2016.
However, several other findings, listed below, are even more interesting.
From electoral intrusions to biometrics, cybersecurity expert Susan Landau delves into cyberattacks, cyber hygiene, and the importance of women in computer science.
Amidst growing fears over U.S. cybersecurity and an evolving global power structure vis-à-vis nations such as Russia and North Korea, our experts take you beyond the headlines in our new “In Focus” video series.
Great news for our students: Fletcher’s team in the CFA Institute Research Challenge emerged as champions in last night’s Boston-region competition! Presenting their research on the company Boston Scientific, the Fletcher team topped competitors Babson College, Brandeis University, and Hult International in the final round.
The winning team consisted of JP Craven (first-year MIB), Doris Hernandez (second-year MALD), Ashray Dixit (second-year MIB), and our own Admissions Bloggers Mariya and Adi! Professor Patrick Schena was advisor to the team and Office of Career Services Director Elana Givens added her input and attended the competition, as did Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti.
The next round of the challenge will be the North and South Americas regional competition (coincidentally) in Boston on March, with about 50 teams competing. The winner of the regional competition will go to the global competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in April.
Congratulations to Professor Schena and the successful team!
The number of people using the internet around the world is increasing at a rapid pace. With that, there has been steep expansion in global e-commerce. According to Euromonitor, in the US (the world’s biggest consumer market by sales volume), e-commerce accounts for 10% of all retail sales. Further, Euromonitor predicts that share will increase to 16.6% in 2021. All this growth brings immense business opportunities for companies like Amazon and Alibaba. At the same time, the number of people using social platforms on the web is also on the rise. As of 2017, Facebook had 2 billion global monthly users, followed by YouTube’s 1.5 billion, WeChat’s 889 million, and Twitter’s 328 million. Many of these internet companies generate revenue using targeted, personalized ads.
Mark Patel, McKinsey Digital, San Francisco shared his insights on digital trust
The growth of any platform-based business depends fundamentally on digital trust — the trust that the platforms create between sellers and customers which leads customers to buy seller’s products and services. For example: if Amazon’s product listings — the goods sold directly by Amazon and its partner merchants — couldn’t be verified as authentic products, customers wouldn’t buy them and might switch to a competitor. Similarly, a fraudulent phishing attack using customer’s stolen credit card is common in platforms. When this happens, the seller would suffer because, in addition to loss of merchandise, he would have to bear the costs of preparing and shipping the merchandise.
Continuing to catch up with our student bloggers following the fall semester, today we’ll hear from Adi, who is now one semester from completing the MIB program.
Now that I have officially finished the fall semester, I can reflect on what happened, while also looking ahead to my final semester at Fletcher. What was particularly different compared to my first year at Fletcher was the feeling of freedom and flexibility in choosing my courses. With most of my MIB core requirements out of the way, I see way less of MIB classmates whom I saw pretty much every day last year, while meeting new students and even fellow second years whom I never met until this semester. (Surprising as that is, it does happen.) My second year is all about electives. I do have one more requirement, but I have decided to push that to my final semester. So, my fall schedule was completely of my choosing. I ended up enrolling in the Art and Science of Statecraft with Professor Drezner, Processes of International Negotiations with Professor Babbitt, Large Investment and International Project Finance with Professor Uhlmaan, and Petroleum in the Global Economy with Professor Everett. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic mix of finance, markets, politics, and hard and soft skills, with topics that complemented each other surprisingly well.
My Fields of Study at Fletcher are International Banking and Finance as well as International Political Economy (IPE). Project Finance and Petroleum both fit my IPE Field of Study, although I think even if they didn’t, I would still have taken these two courses out of curiosity and interest. Negotiations could have satisfied my DHP requirement, but I already had a DHP course, so I took the course purely out of recognition of the importance of being an exceptional negotiator in whatever professional path I end up pursuing. Statecraft was taken out of curiosity. After all, Fletcher is a school of diplomacy, and Professor Drezner is one of the better-known names not just in the school, but in his field of expertise.
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.”
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!
Prior to travel and while in Rwanda, I identified access to energy, or lack thereof, as a major driver for growth in trade in East Africa. Energy is crucial for building capital-intensive infrastructure, such as roads, railways, bridges, and power plants, and I was curious about the status of this in Rwanda, the most stable and fast-growing country in East Africa. I made a list of important stakeholders in energy in the Rwandan government as well as the private sector, to be contacted and possibly interviewed for their views on energy status in Rwanda and its greater implications across East Africa.
Once in Rwanda, I contacted the Rwanda Development Board to meet their CEO, Clare Akamanzi, as well as their Energy Specialists. Clare was busy due to the elections in Rwanda, but I was able to meet Olivier Ngororabanga, an Industrial Development Analyst in the Investment Promotion Department of the Rwanda Development Board. He was helpful in briefing me about interesting developments surrounding energy in Rwanda.
By 2017/18, the Rwandan government planned to give access to 70% of the population from an earlier 34.5%. This would be achieved by 48% on-grid and 22% off-grid. As a large proportion of Rwanda’s population, almost 10 million people, live in villages, I was interested in what kind of off-grid solutions were being provided – this would be critical to understanding the kind of light industries that could be supported in rural Rwanda and give an understanding of potential income increase for many people. The Rwandan government had set a goal of increasing the per capita income to $900 by 2020 and this would not be possible without providing energy access to the population residing in villages. I observed that the Rwandan government had a tiered system of classification for implementing rural electrification; Tier 4 and Tier 5 would be critical installations needed to support businesses. Continue reading
From time to time we like to feature some of the outstanding work of The Fletcher School’s business faculty. Today we look at a new article from Jette Steen Knudsen, Associate Professor of International Business and The Shelby Cullom Davis Chair in International Business.
A Global Policy special issue on public and private protections of labor and social standards in the global economy explores whether public and private regulations of such standards develop in harmony or tension with one another. Included in this issue was a piece researched and written by Prof. Jette Steen Knudsen titled, “How Do Domestic Regulatory Traditions Shape CSR in Large International US and UK Firms?”
Read the abstract below and follow the link to learn more:
This article examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) pertaining to labor standards in apparel and tax transparency in extractives and explores how domestic regulatory traditions shape CSR in large international US and UK firms. Reflecting their more collaborative business-government traditions, British firms are more willing to join international CSR multi-stakeholder initiatives with business-critical actors such as unions and civil society actors. The US has a more top-down regulatory approach, which promotes hard law international CSR or encourages business-driven voluntary CSR initiatives. This article makes three contributions. First, it argues that while corporations are the key actors in international CSR, their behavior reflects their respective national business systems. Second, focusing on a range of international CSR initiatives, this article finds that UK firms are more interested in adopting international (multi-stakeholder) CSR initiatives than US firms. Finally, the article shows that the US and the UK governments play a key role in driving an international CSR agenda, and in doing this it highlights government agency more so than other research has.