Speakers in the news 18th June
1) Joseph Stiglitz
- Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president’s) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university’s highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz’s work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are “Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited“(2003), “The Euro” (2016), “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy” (2015), and “The Great Divide“(2016).
- This week, Joseph has been questioning whether the euro can be saved. In an article for Project Syndicate, he wrote: ”Across the eurozone, political leaders are entering a state of paralysis: citizens want to remain in the EU, but they also want an end to austerity and the return of prosperity. So long as Germany tells them they can’t have both, there can be only one outcome: more pain, more suffering, more unemployment, and even slower growth.”
2) Lucy Hawking
- Lucy Hawking uses story-telling to help audiences understand and engage with science.Lucy is the creator of the George Greenby books, a series of adventure stories which use dramatic story-telling to explain complex science to young audiences. Lucy has collaborated with several distinguished scientists on the George Greenby series, including her well-known father, the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. Translated into 40 different languages the books have each met with rave reviews. Lucy is currently working with Canadian animation studio DHX media to develop the series into an animated television series.Previously, Lucy worked as a journalist in London and New York. She subsequently moved into publishing with two comedy novels for adults: “Jaded” (2004) and “Run for Your Life” (2005). While working on the George series, Lucy spent a year as Distinguished Writer in residence at the Origins Project, ASU where she was also Visiting International Scholar at the Institute of Humanities Research.
- This week, Lucy gave her first television interview since her father, Stephen Hawking’s death in March, aged 76. In it, she paid tribute to her father’s determination, academic brilliance – and fierce fondness for mischief. She said that Professor Hawking had refused to let motor neurone disease “define him” and that he “bore his challenges with enormous dignity”. She also called for his world-famous office at Cambridge University’s Gonville and Caius College to be preserved for others to learn from.
3) Keyu Jin
- Dr. Keyu Jin is a Professor in the Economics Department at the London School of Economics (LSE) in London, and an advisor to the Chinese Government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) in Beijing.Keyu specialises in international macroeconomics, international finance, and the Chinese economy, and focuses her research on global imbalances and global asset prices, as well as international trade and growth. This research is tightly linked to examining various economic issues in China, with a particular interest in patterns of savings across different generations of consumers.
- In a video for Project Syndicate, Keyu discussed the potential outcome of a US-led trade war:
”Donald Trump says trade wars are “good” and “easy to win.” But if the shock of a US-led trade war were to force China to open up and address the distortions in its domestic economy, Trump’s tariffs may prove to be a blessing in disguise.”
4) Martha Lane-Fox
- Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, is a leading entrepreneur and champion of digital inclusion. Her latest initiative – Dot Everyone – aims to develop a new national institution to make Britain the most digital nation on the planet, by helping people understand, and take full advantage of, the transformative power of the Internet. Martha worked for a year as business development manager of Carlton Communication’s initiatives in pay TV and digital channels before co-founding lastminute.com with Brent Hoberman. They floated the business in 2000 and she remained on the board until the company was purchased by Sabre Holdings in 2005 for £577 million. It is currently still Europe’s largest travel and leisure website.Martha is also founder of the karaoke bar chain Lucky Voice, which currently has seven bars and a rapidly growing online community. She is also founder and Chair of Antigone.org.uk, her own grant-giving foundation which supports charities involved with criminal justice, health and education.
- This week Martha spoke at London Tech Week’s TechXLR8 showcase event – covering how tech must keep sight of its social responsibility in the crowded digital space. In a talk with Rohan Silva, who co-founded shared workspace provider Second Home, it was pointed out that six million people in the UK have never been on the internet, while 9.5 million lack basic digital skills. Martha said: “This week we’re celebrating London tech in particular and it’s fantastic – every hour there’s a new start-up in the city and the rise in investment in the sector is enormous.“But half the world isn’t on the internet. In the UK, it’s a question of not just social justice but makes economic sense too.“One million of those people who have never used the internet aren’t employed, yet 90% of jobs are advertised online – so people are trapped out of all the things we take for granted.” She believes more peer-to-peer training at relevant locations like job centres is required, while the depth of digital understanding needs to be far greater.“I feel as though digital skills are a checklist. Can you send an email? Tick. Can you do a transaction safely? Use a piece of social media? Tick, tick.“But actually that’s a small amount of it and actually we have to build a resilience so you’re owning the technology.”