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While nationalist policies are undergoing a revival, globalization should find new paths through the digitization of the economy. Since they are either immaterial or dematerialized, the flows supporting global business escape restrictive practices. But digital globalization also entails digital protectionism. Protectionism is perhaps not as incompatible with the digital world as we think!
French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss introduced the concept of bricolage into the social sciences, noting that most useful innovations in pre-industrial cultures emerged from repetitive adjustments and transformations of familiar, readily available materials. In recent years, other academics have explored whether bricolage, loosely translated as tinkering, can explain how craftsmen, entrepreneurs, and other decision-makers operating in resource-constrained environments assemble creative solutions. Firms using bricolage exhibit three specific traits: a bias towards action that refuses to wait for resources to reach a desired level; a readiness to use whatever relationships, know-how and resources are on hand; and an inventive and even playful approach to recombining existing assets and resources in novel ways to advance the venture’s mission.
In 2018 we should expect as our base case a year of slightly slower growth, with wider variations across provinces and cities than ever, driven by increased consumer spending skewed to wealthier cities and higher government social spending. This will be weighed back by lower property and infrastructure spending. Net exports remain the largest uncertainty in realizing economic growth, remaining subject to whatever actions the United States may initiate, perhaps initially on Chinese exports of tech goods but that could roll into multiple other sectors in a gradual escalation. Without this effect, we can look forward to a year of very positive developments in many sectors in China, framed by an environment of tighter and more centralized regulation and control.
When people think of enterprise IT infrastructure, they often imagine racks of hardware locked away in data centers and basements. But it is actually a focal point of disruption and innovation in every area, from servers and storage to networking and software. What are the trends that are giving rise to such disruption and innovation? And what are the implications for business-technology strategy?
Several studies suggest that the intelligence quotient (IQ) has been declining since the early 2000s. The hypothesis of Barbara Demeinex is that endocrine disruption is one of the main factors contributing to this decline and in particular, that which affects the thyroid hormone. Many of the chemicals we are exposed to, including thyroid axis disruptors, not only circulate through the mother’s blood but also cross the placental barrier and into the amniotic fluid, at high enough levels to interfere with thyroid signaling. Hence, several epidemiological studies have shown in recent years that children born to mothers exposed to a high rate of thyroid disruptors have a lower IQ than those whose mothers did not incur the same exposures. The implementation of regulation is slow, despite potentially considerable societal, economic and health costs.
Since its creation, Nutriset has worked towards a unique goal: to feed vulnerable populations in the Global South and to provide humanitarian and health actors with innovative and effective nutritional products. How should these goals, this founding spirit, be reconciled with the imperatives of a growing company, and with renewed teams? The concept of a “firm with an extended social purpose,” developed with the Mines ParisTech Scientific Management Centre, is one answer to these questions.
The effects of the digital revolution on employment have fueled debate and triggered strong concerns, two of which are particularly striking. The first is quantitative, and argues that the current productivity gains associated with technological developments will reduce the amount of work and jobs available. The second is more qualitative, and anticipates a transformation in the very nature of jobs: salaried labor could be replaced by independent work, with workers connected directly with their clients via digital platforms. In this scenario, workers’ social guarantees and safeguards, fundamentally built into the framework of waged employment, would be threatened. To use an expression that has become common, it would facilitate the Uberization of the economy.
The blockchain revolution shakes the established order whereby institutions played the main role in disseminating trust in society. For the first time since the birth of institutions approximately 10,000 years ago, a technology allows to establish a system of trust that does not rely on a central authority but on all the members of the community that use it. Because we have been raised and educated in a centralized world, we feel insecure about decentralized systems. Nevertheless, it is very powerful operating mode. Given the current mistrust towards institutions, decentralized systems have a great opportunity to create a new world in which it is possible to think differently and where authority is not necessarily represented by a centralized human organization but by a combination algorithms/community. There will be great resistance, maybe even chaos, when shifting from one system to the other.
The implementation of a low-cost strategy means that we should reason at the level of the ecosystem. Focusing on value creation for the end user is not enough. When a firm is placed within a complex network, it must create value for the entire ecosystem. Of course, this requires analyzing the different players and their interactions. But we need to go further, with a more collective involvement. This ecosystem approach opens up new areas for design, which we need to learn to drive.
While serving as CEO of PepsiCo, John Sculley was recruited by Steve Jobs to become CEO of Apple in 1983. After a disagreement with Jobs over business strategy in which the Apple board sided with Sculley, Jobs left the company and Sculley continued at the helm of Apple until 1993. Since then, Sculley has co-founded or invested in technology-focused companies in many industries, including media marketing, financial services and health care. Knowledge@Wharton recently spoke with Sculley about working with Steve Jobs and his views on the emerging fields of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data analytics, health care innovation and the industrial internet. An edited transcript of the conversation follows.
This study describes briefly the strategic status and development feature of aircraft engines, as well as the successful aircraft engine industry in Western countries (US, UK, France) being an integrated, market-bonded whole led by major manufacturers or OEMs, and supported by government, clients and suppliers, whose roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. It demonstrates that, the fundamental solution to revitalizing China’s aircraft engine industry lies in a market-oriented national mechanism. To this end, following suggestions are proposed: 1) marketing reform of major aircraft engine manufacturers or OEMs, 2) building an inclusive supplier system, 3) establishing national aircraft engine research institute, and 4) attracting experts from abroad and helping tap their full potential.
The first real anonymization algorithms were developed in the mid-1990s. These methods worked very well over the next ten to fifteen years, until the beginning of a new era, that of big data. Everybody generates data from which they can be easily re-identified. The era of big data leaves no room for anonymization. The offered solution reverses the problem: instead of sharing an anonymized database, data will be stored on a secure infrastructure with a controlled access. Those who wish to use these data cannot access it directly. Instead, they will download an algorithm, which we will check and run before authorizing it to search the database for the pieces of required data. This secure infrastructure will allow researchers, statistical institutes or companies to use the potential of big data while offering very strong guarantees in terms of protection of user privacy.
What does it mean for a company to work with artists? Art can be an activator of innovation, allowing to anticipate future uses in order to reflect on and invent new services, new products, new experiences.
China’s influence on world markets far outweighs the degree of integration of its own banks and financial markets with the rest of the world. While the country has only gradually eased controls on its capital account and foreign exchange markets, illicit flows of capital are playing an outsized role in some overseas markets and industries. This will change. But how and when? The “New Silk Road” project underlines Beijing’s ambition to keep promoting globalization, in a sharp contrast with the rise of protectionism in the US. But the pace of reforms needed to push that process forward has been slowing. Most than anything, Chinese authorities fear the volatility associated with a higher degree of integration.
Developer innovation has been at the very heart of the digital revolution since its beginnings and is still leading social and economical transformations induced by emerging technologies. Yet, developers as a class have largely been ignored by research in Human and Social Sciences. This disregard may be related to the fact that they cannot be classified using specific social or economical statuses without leaving out the underpinning dynamics making them special. To seize those dynamics, one has to acknowledge a fundamental distinction between “day job” and “side-project,” characterizing their modus operandi. This “double game” has implications in both the way we conceive action in general and the way technological potential is explored in the industrial field. In their movement, developers also create new forms of organization supporting their personal explorations, such as the Barcamps and the Hackathons.
What sets the Silicon Valley apart from other clusters? Many other countries have tried to emulate this model, but none have matched California’s ability to host dozens of “unicorns,” not to mention thousands of new startups every year. Why do policies fail to replicate this Californian success? Venture capitalists could very well be the differentiating factor.