59 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

September 06, 2013

Chasing big ideas in East Asia

Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a World Economic Forum event in an equally amazing locale: Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, where the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia was held. Moderating the panel “Chasing the Next Big Idea”—with a range of stakeholders, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair—I witnessed first-hand how bold thinking  can contribute to the future of East Asian countries.

Despite recent headlines touting the slow-down in the region, East Asia’s star continues to be on the rise. Five countries in the East Asia region now fall in the top 20 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, with most scoring above average. And according to UN Millennium Development Goals, East Asia—including the Pacific—is on target to lower poverty rates from 50 percent in 1990 to less than 10 percent in 2015.

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July 23, 2013

Visit to the 50th International Paris Air Show

Dttl_2012aerospaceoutlook_200X200A few weeks back I spent a fascinating week at the 50th International Paris Air Show with an international delegation of Deloitte member firm partners. This was my second annual visit to the show, which alternates sites each year between Paris, France, and Farnborough, United Kingdom. The Paris Air Show serves as the primary gathering for senior executives from almost every aerospace and defense (A&D) company from around the world.  The high quality interactions held at the show make it a key event for Deloitte’s Global A&D Sector group to attend. The Deloitte team took advantage of the opportunity to have several meetings with various industry executives, attend numerous receptions, participate in media interviews, and also attend many industry seminars.

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June 19, 2013

Collaboration: A new imperative for societal impact

Shutterstock_stpetersburg_300x200In my conversations with leaders in the private and public sectors, there’s a clear desire for businesses to play a significant role in helping address complex global challenges. Outcomes like economic stability, public health and well-being, high-quality education, and protection of human rights are too far-reaching for any one organization, or even a whole sector, to bring about independently. So collaboration among institutions and groups to address these issues is essential.

Over the next few days, I’ll have the privilege of attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Each year the forum draws a distinguished group of business executives, government officials, media leaders, and other influential figures.

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January 28, 2013

Mainstreaming impact investing: Overcoming the hurdles, addressing the skeptics

Blog_tree_money_300x200Asset management is in a state of flux. Trillions of dollars are expected to change hands over the next number of years as baby boomers begin to transfer their wealth to the next generation – a generation that has grown up in a culture that calls on business to play a more active role in building a better society.  In this context, the field of “impact investing” has taken center stage as a means to enable and empower for-profit business models to address society’s toughest challenges.

But what exactly is impact investing, and isn’t all investing intended to create impact? First coined by the Monitor Group in 2009, impact investing is an emerging industry that places capital in businesses (or entrepreneurs) that intentionally seek to create social or environmental value. This could be an investment in a dairy products producer in Nairobi that works to increase the efficiency and production levels of small-scale farmers in rural Kenya. Or, it could be an investment in an innovative program that seeks to reduce youth recidivism (repeat criminal offense) in New York City. The common thread among impact investments is the notion of intent – when the investor intentionally seeks to create social or environmental value, the investment is an impact investment.

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January 25, 2013

A sense of optimism

During this week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Deloitte UK CEO David Sproul provided daily recaps on his experience at the Forum. Below is an excerpt from his latest blog post. To read the full article as well as previous days' posts, please visit the Deloitte UK Responsible Business blog.

Borris_innovationlive_davos_300x200Reflecting on the many conversations I’ve had with clients, and others, this week, it’s clear that there is a definite sense of optimism compared to the position at the start of 2012.

The concerns of last year—particularly of a eurozone exit—have receded materially. Despite the continued low growth in Europe there is a definite feeling of greater resilience and a growing confidence that economies are improving, albeit slowly. I’ve also seen much greater recognition of the need for business leaders to have a stronger voice in making the case for responsible business.

Alongside client meetings, Davos has also again provided a good opportunity to engage with the media—with the BBC, the Telegraph and the Times all carrying interviews.

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January 24, 2013

Bringing female perspectives in the boardroom – Challenges in Japan

Dttl_YorikoGoto_DeloitteJapan_300x200I have the honor to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos as one of the five representatives from Deloitte this again year. Deloitte LLP, the U.S. member firm, was the first professional firm that launched an initiative for the retention and advancement of women in the United States. Started in 1993, the Women’s Initiative changed the firm culture to retain and advance female professionals with leaders’ solid commitment.

Within 20 years, the U.S. firm achieved quite a number of goals: closing the gender gap in retention and promotion (female partner ratio from 7% to 23% and female board member from 1% to 30%). This was, of course, a turbulent journey, but does prove that we can make it happen if we believe in it.

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January 23, 2013

Nurturing innovation

Blog_innovation_300x200“Innovate or Die” is not a phrase that is easily translated to be understood in Japanese. Everyone acknowledges that over time emerging countries or companies can catch up with developed countries by becoming more innovative. However, over the past 20 years many Japanese companies and citizens seem to have gradually lost their determination to innovate.

As a run-up to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Deloitte conducted a Millennial survey targeting those born after 1982 in 18 countries worldwide (300 targets per country). Overall, responses from Japanese indicate that they’ve lost confidence in their ability to be innovative. For instance, the positive response to the question “Do you work for an innovative company?” was only 25% in Japan compared to 60% for the global average.  Also, of the positive responses to the question “Do you consider yourself as innovative?” responses for Japan were only 24% compared to 62% on average globally.

Will Japan keep losing its determination to be innovative? Of course, it shouldn’t. The country needs to revitalize by breaking through the barriers of innovation.

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January 22, 2013

Collaborative Capitalism: The power of business and government working together

Joe Echevarria at Davos 2012Last year was the first time I attended the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was a unique opportunity to hear insights from influential world leaders about the most pressing business issues and to discuss the critical role America plays in the global economy.

While last year’s event was marked by uncertainty with the volatile global economy, decreased trust in business, and the U.S. presidential elections, I anticipate this year’s discussion will focus on how we move the global economy forward to achieve a state of resilient dynamism, the theme of this year’s Forum, emphasizing the need to be both adaptable and fluid. To do this, we will need a bold vision and even bolder action. In our post-fiscal cliff reality, encouraging partnership between business and government is critical to creating more effective policies, restoring confidence, and increasing certainty, while creating a solid foundation for future growth. I like to call this fresh take on partnership Collaborative Capitalism.

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January 18, 2013

Cyber resiliency at the World Economic Forum

Blog_jolyon_cyberresiliencyLaunched at the World Economic Forum in Davos last year, we are asking CEOs and governments to sign a simple set of cyber principles, thereby personally committing to taking cyber risk as a top priority. The Principles are straightforward but powerful, asking leaders to recognize their interdependence, to acknowledge the importance of their leadership on this issue, the need to incorporate cyber risk management into their operations, and perhaps most importantly, the shared responsibility, and so to ask their partners, customers and suppliers to do the same.

This year we are bringing leaders from many different industries and nations together to build on our initial success. We’ve created a powerful community, one that can really move the needle to improve our global cyber resilience. I’ll ask this community during our meeting in Davos to collectively determine what success looks like, which issues need to be dealt with first, and what they will commit to.

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January 17, 2013

When men and mountains meet

Barry outside at Davos 2012The poet William Blake wrote that “Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”1 Despite this poem being more than 200 years old, and recognizing the dynamic collection of men and women leading business and society today, this line perfectly sums up my feelings of anticipation ahead of my return to the mountain in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, to participate in the 2013 World Economic Forum.

This will be my sixth year attending the forum whose theme this year is “Resilient Dynamism.” Each year I’m impressed by the quality and insightfulness of the event, and by the intelligence and passion of those who take part. Where else do you get the opportunity to interact with smart young innovators, top academics, government leaders, and senior executives … all in one place?

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