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Renowned statistician Hans Rosling demonstrates the state of world inequality in seven snowballs

Hans Rosling speakerIncome inequality and the gap between the richest and poorest is one of the items at the top of the agenda for the World Economic Forum currently taking place in Davos. This is because in developed and developing countries alike, the poorest half of the population often controls less than 10% of its wealth.

While it is true that around the world economic growth is picking up pace, deep challenges remain, including poverty, environmental degradation, persistent unemployment, political instability, violence and conflict. These problems are often closely related to inequality.

Swedish Professor Hans Rosling is a statistician who specialises in data visualisation and in tracking income disparities around the world. As global and business leaders meet in the small Swiss ski resort, he uses snowballs to explain how inequality in the world is changing.

For more information on how to book Hans Rosling as a keynote speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at leo@chartwellspeakers.com or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Watch Jim O’Neill and Jean-Claude Trichet at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Lippo Group,  a major Indonesian conglomerate, and Jakarta Globe, a daily English language newspaper in Indonesia, organised a lunch dialogue produced by our new partner, Salween Group, which examined the new realities and challenges facing emerging markets. The program was filmed in Davos at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.

The program featured Jim O’Neill, Former Chairman Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the ECB (2003-11), Mahendra Siregar, Chairman, Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, and Gita Wirjawan, Former Trade Minister of Indonesia and current Presidential Candidate.

Click here for the full program.

Anil Gupta on how to build national innovation capacity

Anil GuptaWe have worked closely in the past with Anil Gupta, Michael Dingman Chair in Global Strategy and Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland, USA. One of the world’s leading business professors, he spoke at Davos this year on how developing nations can increase innovation by creating a diverse ecosystem to nurture creativity, talent and entrepreneurial spirit. You can read a summary of the discussion here.

It’s interesting to see how this conversation resonates with what was said at Chartwell’s RAC breakfast discussion with Julia Hobsbawm and Allister Heath a couple of weeks ago. Here, Julia argued that productivity can be increased by creating cultures that break down rigid hierarchies and encourage collaboration and the more open, fluid exchange of ideas.

Martin Wolf on the perilous road to economic recovery

At the conclusion of the World Economic Forum last week, Christine Lagarde, MD of the International Monetary Fund (IMF),  stated “we have avoided collapse, but we need to guard against any relapse. 2013 will be a make-or-break year.” Her words reflected the renewed optimism of this year’s event – the first Davos meeting since 2007 where discussions centred on hope, prosperity and economic recovery, not fiscal tumult and economic calamity.

This optimism is shared by Martin Wolf, Financial Times columnist and one of the world’s most influential economic commentators, but his buoyancy is not without caveats; “the fact that the economies of the high-income countries have not fallen off their rickety bridge does not guarantee a swift return to growth. That may well come. But it is not yet ensured.”

What explains the rising beatitude? “One reason is that feared disasters – a break-up of the eurozone or a fall over the US fiscal cliff – have been avoided,” Martin writes. “Another is that substantial post-crisis adjustment has occurred, above all in the US, where private leverage and house prices have gone through a significant rebalancing: US private debt is back to 2003 levels relative to gross domestic product, for example. Yet another explanation is rising trust in the competence of policy makers. Above all, central bankers have used ultra-expansionary monetary policies to pull the economies for which they are responsible for a long time. The US Federal Reserve’s federal funds rate has been 0.25 per cent for more than four years, with more to come. Even the European Central Bank, the most cautious of the big central banks, has adopted what would have seemed an irresponsibly easy policy in any previous era, with interest rates at 0.75 per cent since last July.”

However, the future seems far from golden. In an update of its forecasts for the World Economic Outlook, the IMF has painted a far from rosy picture , of “2 per cent growth in the US, 1.2 per cent in Japan, 1.0 per cent in UK and -0.2 per cent in the Eurozone this year. It is also possible to envisage big problems arising from managing fiscal and monetary policy. The dangers are of tightening too soon or of tightening too late: too soon and the recovery may be aborted; too late and inflationary expectations may become embedded, once again”.

Martin concludes, “policy makers have, so far, responded successfully to the challenges the current crisis poses – however, in the case of the Eurozone, they were almost too late. A chance of a return to sustained growth is now emerging, though least of all in Europe. Substantial fiscal and monetary support is still essential. If policy makers sustain the effort, the world could be far closer to full recovery a year hence.”

Niall Ferguson: “Currency wars are best fought quietly”

Niall Ferguson speakerAgainst the zeitgeist of economic optimism and a globally interdependent economy disseminated by last week’s World Economic Forum at Davos, it is perhaps easy to forget that, even in the modern epoch, conflict is as vital a component of  a state’s economic strategy as collaboration.

Niall Ferguson is an authority on economic history. In a piece for Sunday’s edition of the Financial Times, he opines about exchanges rates, which he believes are “an issue almost uniquely susceptible to political misrepresentation” – and their role in ongoing currency “wars”. In typically trenchant style, Niall puts recent currency battles in a historical context, and also praises David Cameron’s recent EU referendum pledge, framing it as part of a “covert devaulation strategy”. The column is fantastic, and you can read it in full by clicking here.

For information on Niall’s speaking availability, please contact our Co-founder, Alex Hickman, at alexh@chartwellpartners.co.uk or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004

 

Robin Niblett at Davos on Europe’s economic future

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Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House, the world’s leading foreign affairs think tank, attended the World Economic Forum at Davos last week. In this clip, Robin talks about Europe’s economic future, and the momentous steps being taken towards closer fiscal union in Europe.
If you’d like to book Dr. Robin Niblett for a speaking opportunity, please email Alex Hickman.

 

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