Archive for the ‘Culture & Society’ Category

16
Nov

MEXICO CITY — On September 19, Mexico´s ground was shaken once again, as it had been in 1985. Thirty-two years after the September 19, 1985 earthquake, buildings were once again turned to ashes, blackouts began, streets were destroyed and bridges fell. Hundreds of lives were taken away and thousands were displaced or left homeless, but citizens acted in unison to rebuilt their homeland. “The Mexico that I saw this week is not a Mexico that crosses arms, is not a country asleep, it is not an indifferent society,” said Elsy Reyes, a student in Puebla, where the earthquake’s magnitude hit 7.1.

Minutes after the ground stopped shaking, civilians began using social media to organize help for victims of the earthquake in Mexico. Women and men of all ages and social status volunteered to move rubble. Doctors, veterinarians and nurses worked day and night for free; and hospital and clinics gave free services.

“From the girl who, without knowing me, took me to her house at midnight to go to a clean bathroom, to those who put themselves at risk several times to save a life — they made me realize that together we make a huge difference. I am very proud of my country,” Reyes said. Read more

By Isa Barquin on November 1, 2017
IE Bachelor in International Relations 2nd Year Student
Published in http://www.borgenmagazine.com

3
Nov

As new technologies subject the world’s economies to massive structural change, wages are no longer playing the central redistributive role they once did. Unless the decoupling of productivity and wages is addressed, the political convulsions many countries are experiencing will only intensify.

MADRID – Macroeconomic data from the world’s advanced economies can be mystifying when viewed in isolation. But when analyzed collectively, the data reveal a troubling truth: without changes to how wealth is generated and distributed, the political convulsions that have swept the world in recent years will only intensify.

Consider, for example, wages and employment. In the United States and many European countries, average salaries have stagnated, despite most economies having recovered from the 2008 financial crisis in terms of GDP and job growth.

Moreover, increases in employment have not led to a slowdown or a reversal of the decline in the wage share of total national income. On the contrary, most of the wealth created since the 2008 crisis has gone to the rich. This might explain the low levels of consumption that characterize most advanced economies, and the failure of extremely lax monetary policy to produce an uptick in inflation.

Employment, too, seems to be performing in anomalous ways. Job creation, where it has taken place, has followed a different path than history suggests it should. For example, most employment growth has been in high-skill or low-skill occupations, hollowing out the middle. Many of the people who once comprised the Western middle class are now part of the middle-lower and lower classes, and live more economically precarious lives than ever before. Read more…
Published on Oct. 25, 2017 in https://www.project-syndicate.org

Manuel Muñiz
Manuel Muñiz is Dean of IE School of International Relations and Senior Associate at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

2
Nov

The Fourth Sector Is Here to Stay

By Alejandro Erquicia, MIR 2017/2018 Student

Organizations today are more aware than ever of society’s demands and are adapting, at different speeds, to the changing context of our time. The level of interconnectivity the world has reached is such that citizens demand change. Society wants progress and knows that to resolve these issues we need organizations to abide by social principles while doing business. In such an environment, the Fourth Sector, mission driven for profit organizations, is expanding its reach and establishing itself as the way to do business in the years to come.

A deep dive into the unstoppable growth of the Fourth Sector was presented to all of IE academia by the Center for the Governance of Change, a research institution aimed at deepening our understanding of change and developing strategies to anticipate, govern and promote progress. The School of International Relations at IE University was presenting the initiative as one of its core areas of work. In a roundtable entitled The Fourth Sector & the Future of Social Entrepreneurship panelists shared some practices and experiences on these types of businesses. The conversation was of great interest for students and professors of the Schools of Business, Law and International Relations.

The Fourth Sector, which has moved beyond the antiquated three sector system of government, private sector and non for profit, addresses societal challenges blending the three sectors. It is not driven by profit maximization but conducts business, in all types of industries, with a purpose to make the world a better place. The key factors are that like non-profits, their primary purpose is to advance societal benefit and, like for-profits, they generate a substantial portion of their income from business activities.

There are indications that it could account for as much as 10% of GDP as well as nearly twice the job growth rate as traditional for-profit businesses in the US and Europe, said Heerad Sabeti, head of the World Economic Forum’s Fourth Sector Development Initiative during his intervention. He defended the job creation implications the Fourth Sector could reach and encouraged the furthering of the new system of operating which lies at intersection of the three traditional sectors.
On his behalf Sebastián Gatica, professor in Social Innovation at the Universidad Católica de Chile spoke about the need to further develop a supportive and conductive ecosystem from which the fourth sector could exponentially increase its presence since it’s an approach to see the future, and the world for generations to come, in a positive way. Alejandro Pachecho, Strategic Adviser at the United Nations Development Programme and Antonio Vives, Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, also shared their insights and discussed the challenges and opportunities of this new sector.

The Fourth Sector is a new international project supported by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), that seeks to accelerate the establishment of a tailor-made ecosystem for social economy and for-benefit enterprises across borders. IE University will act as an academic partner in the project.

The Fourth Sector is here to stay. Businesses are transforming and can’t solely concentrate on Corporate Social Responsibility. More is needed and by focusing on the combination of doing good for the planet and having that approach to tackle the challenges we have, the social and economic returns will be noticed by all across the board.

Before closing the session Diego Rubio, Executive Director of the Center for the Governance of Change raised a question that surely left all thinking. If you were to receive two job offers, one working in the Amazon forest on tree preservation and the other working for a tobacco multinational in the US that paid five times more, which one would you take? Food for thought.

4
Dec

As a theoretical physicist based in Cambridge, I have lived my life in an extraordinarily privileged bubble. Cambridge is an unusual town, centred around one of the world’s great universities. Within that town, the scientific community that I became part of in my 20s is even more rarefied.

And within that scientific community, the small group of international theoretical physicists with whom I have spent my working life might sometimes be tempted to regard themselves as the pinnacle. In addition to this, with the celebrity that has come with my books, and the isolation imposed by my illness, I feel as though my ivory tower is getting taller.

So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely aimed at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.

It was, everyone seems to agree, the moment when the forgotten spoke, finding their voices to reject the advice and guidance of experts and the elite everywhere. Read more…

by Stephen Hawking; Thursday 1 December 2016 ; theguardian.com

15
Nov

nov16-10-55948705

My father-in-law grew up eating blood soup. He hated it, whether because of the taste or the humiliation, I never knew. His alcoholic father regularly drank up the family wage, and the family was often short on food money. They were evicted from apartment after apartment.

He dropped out of school in eighth grade to help support the family. Eventually he got a good, steady job he truly hated, as an inspector in a factory that made those machines that measure humidity levels in museums. He tried to open several businesses on the side but none worked, so he kept that job for 38 years. He rose from poverty to a middle-class life: the car, the house, two kids in Catholic school, the wife who worked only part-time. He worked incessantly. He had two jobs in addition to his full-time position, one doing yard work for a local magnate and another hauling trash to the dump.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he read The Wall Street Journal and voted Republican. He was a man before his time: a blue-collar white man who thought the union was a bunch of jokers who took your money and never gave you anything in return. Starting in 1970, many blue-collar whites followed his example. This week, their candidate won the presidency.

For months, the only thing that’s surprised me about Donald Trump is my friends’ astonishment at his success. What’s driving it is the class culture gap.

One little-known element of that gap is that the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich. Class migrants (white-collar professionals born to blue-collar families) report that “professional people were generally suspect” and that managers are college kids “who don’t know shit about how to do anything but are full of ideas about how I have to do my job,” said Alfred Lubrano in Limbo. Barbara Ehrenreich recalled in 1990 that her blue-collar dad “could not say the word doctor without the virtual prefix quack. Lawyers were shysters…and professors were without exception phonies.” Annette Lareau found tremendous resentment against teachers, who were perceived as condescending and unhelpful. Read more…

Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center of WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Published in the hbr.org on Nov. 10, 2016

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