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The new business playbook

As ever, The Economist said it first. Recent trends confirm that we are now in the era of ‘slowbalisation’. The hyper-growth of globalisation, which has fundamentally transformed global economies, national identity, ways of life and individual prosperity – for tremendous good and tremendous ill – has run out of steam. For those paying attention, this…

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Purpose and Prosperity

“Mayer is a believer. Despite the great gobs of gloom he dispenses about some aspects of the global corporate economy, his book is a resounding paean and radical road map towards a bright future for the corporation and capitalism. Companies — the name derives from the Latin cum panis, implying to break bread together —…

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New year intention

‘A decade after the financial crisis shook voters’ confidence in capitalism, the challenges to Friedman’s model have been gathering momentum. Now — even as US President Donald Trump pursues stereotypically “pro-business” policies such as cutting corporate taxes and regulations — they are starting to converge into something that looks like a new worldview, shared by…

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Breaking stalemate

‘Atwater was a single, poor, black parent who led Operation Breakthrough, which tried to improve local black neighbourhoods. Ellis was an equally poor but white parent who was proud to be Exalted Cyclops of the local Ku Klux Klan… When each listened to the other’s reasons, they realised that they shared the same basic values….

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African innovation

“With a laptop, $25 in capital, and no previous experience managing a company, Gabas started Saami Online, a one-stop shop that sells and delivers everything from books and cosmetics to clothing and home appliances.” What do you think when you hear Africa? For many, it’s a thought worth pausing on. Do you think of need, or…

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The good school

“But decades of economic growth have changed priorities. Andreas Schleicher of the OECD reckons Singaporean education is going through “a silent revolution almost entirely unnoticed in the West”. Politicians now hope to marry good exam results with the promotion of skills that will help pupils work in the city’s growing service sector, and even to…

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The meaning of purpose

“In 1962, Milton Friedman set out a framework for business in which he described the social responsibility of businesses as being to increase profits so long as they stay within the rules of the game. It was a powerful and influential proposition that established the conventional framework for business around the world. However, it has…

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Show me the money

“Prior to December 2015, I didn’t have a clue we had a problem with human trafficking in Canada. And as I learned, and others learned, we found new indicators that we could immediately share with each other.” – Peter Warrack, Bank of Montreal and Project Protect   A powerful and rousing short film by The…

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The age of forgetting

From our smartphone culture to the rabid reductiveness of our sound-bite media cycle, we live in a time of momentary, meaningless distraction. It drains our productivity and it devastates our policy debate.  But England’s ageing crisis cannot be forgotten away – and we’re not adapting. The number of British people needing round-the-clock care will double by 2035. As the FT reminds us, ‘Public spending on the average 80-year-old is about four times that spent on the average 40-year-old. It is a similar story for tax payments, but in reverse…

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The UN launches the Sustainable Development Capital Initiative 

What does it take for an idea to seed? What are the specific conditions that must be met, what mind-sets cultivated, what context needed to achieve mass adoption? Two weeks ago I spoke at the UN’s General Assembly in New York City alongside Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, Rwanda’s President Kagame, and…

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Remembering Kofi

Last week, the world laid to rest Kofi Annan: father of Africa, great statesman, and profound humanist.    With his form of leadership, he taught grace to the world’s powerful, and gave strength to the world’s most lowly: boundless in his compassion and emphatic in his belief that you are never to young, or too…

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Aiding and abetting: rewriting the rules of giving

If there was ever a moment to redefine the meaning of international aid, it is now. The population of Africa is now greater than the entire developed world combined. There has never been a more compelling moment to challenge the diseased philosophy of moralised giving that sits at the heart of our Big Charity and Big…

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