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2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report

April 10, 2014 Comments off

2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report
Source: Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (University of Pennsylvania)

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania released its seventh annual 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Report on Wednesday January 22, 2014, at a morning press conference in Washington DC, hosted by the World Bank. The 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) marks the seventh year of continued efforts by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania (TTCSP) to acknowledge the important contributions and emerging global trends of think tanks worldwide. Our initial effort to generate a ranking of the world’s leading think tanks in 2006 was a response to a series of requests from donors, government officials, journalists, and scholars, to produce regional and international rankings of the world’s preeminent think tanks. Since its inception, our ongoing objective for the GGTTI report is to gain understanding of the role think tanks play in governments and civil societies. Using this knowledge, we hope to assist in improving the capacity and performance of think tanks around the world.

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Arab Women Rising: 35 Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in the Arab World

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Arab Women Rising: 35 Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in the Arab World
Source: Knowledge@Wharton

Recent decades have seen greatly expanded opportunities for women throughout the Arab world, leveling the playing field as never before.

In Arab Women Rising, Knowledge@Wharton contributors Nafeesa Syeed and Rahilla Zafar share the entrepreneurial journeys of 35 women, from a flower farmer tending her fields in the Tunisian countryside to a Saudi royal advocating for expanded women’s rights throughout the kingdom.

This Knowledge@Wharton collection tells the stories of:

  • Pioneers who are establishing exciting technology companies in a region where mobile usage is on the upswing
  • Small and midsize business owners who started enterprises specializing in everything from public relations to the arts
  • Innovators who have rolled out new products, revamped fashions, and integrated new services into their industries
  • Visionaries tapping the big-picture potential the region holds in such growing fields as entertainment and science
  • Women effectively spearheading change in their communities by starting social enterprises

Inspiring and powerful, Arab Women Rising is a guide to understanding the modern business environment created and led by a new generation of women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa.

Are Top Executives Paid Enough? An Evidence-Based Review

March 19, 2014 Comments off

Are Top Executives Paid Enough? An Evidence-Based Review (PDF)
Source: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Our review of the evidence found that the notion that higher pay leads to the selection of better executives is undermined by the prevalence of poor recruiting methods. Moreover, higher pay fails to promote better performance. Instead, it undermines the intrinsic motivation of executives, inhibits their learning, leads them to ignore other stakeholders, and discourages them from considering the long-term effects of their decisions on stakeholders. Relating incentive payments to executives’ actions in an effective manner is not possible. Incentives also encourage unethical behaviour. Organizations would benefit from using validated methods to hire top executives, reducing compensation, eliminating incentive plans, and strengthening stockholder governance related to the hiring and compensation of executives.

Garbage: Disrupting the World’s Oldest Industry

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Garbage: Disrupting the World’s Oldest Industry
Source: Knowledge@Wharton

Nature wastes nothing. Human beings are less frugal. We have been generating garbage for thousands of years, and are only now starting to confront the reality that our waste streams are poisoning the planet. Governments have begun to regulate how we dispose of what we no longer want; large corporations are working to find sustainable solutions that are also profitable; and smaller “green” companies and non-profits are aiming for zero-waste-to-landfill, which may be as close as we can come to the example set by nature. This special report, sponsored by the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and Rubicon Global, looks at where we have been, where we are going and how we are getting there.

Greening the Sports Industry

December 20, 2013 Comments off

Greening the Sports Industry
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

It was Robert Redford, a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who first suggested that sports are the key to vastly extending environmental awareness in this country. Looking back on that moment in 2004, Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the NRDC, wondered why it took so long. “It’s crazy,” he said. “It took the environmental community more than 30 years from the first Earth Day to partner with sports. It was the elephant in the room. Only 13% of Americans follow science, but 63% follow sports.”

In part because this was a movement waiting to be born, progress was remarkably quick: By 2005, NRDC had an alliance with Major League Baseball (MLB). In 2007, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was added, followed by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) in 2008, Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2009 and NASCAR in 2013. NRDC’s focus on professional teams was recently expanded to include college sports as well, both athletics and recreation. To date, NRDC advises more teams, leagues and college athletic departments about environmental issues than any organization in the world, and this has encouraged hundreds of universities in the United States to pursue sports greening programs.

Penn GSE Study Shows MOOCS Have Relatively Few Active Users, With Only a Few Persisting to Course End

December 18, 2013 Comments off

Penn GSE Study Shows MOOCS Have Relatively Few Active Users, With Only a Few Persisting to Course End
Source: University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

Emerging data from a University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) study show that massive open online courses (MOOCs) have relatively few active users, that user “engagement” falls off dramatically—especially after the first 1-2 weeks of a course—and that few users persist to the course end. Presented today by Laura Perna and Alan Ruby at the MOOC Research Initiative Conference in Texas, the findings are from the newly established Alliance for Higher Education & Democracy at Penn GSE.

The Penn GSE study analyzed the movement of a million users through sixteen Coursera courses offered by the University of Pennsylvania from June 2012 to June 2013. The project aimed to identify key transition points for users – such as when users enter and leave courses – as well as when and how users participate in the courses. The study also considered how engagement and persistence vary based on various course characteristics. The courses studied ranged widely in topic, target audience, length of study, instructional time, use of quizzes and assignment of homework, and other dimensions. While a few courses were oriented toward college preparation (e.g., “Calculus: Single Variable”), most focused on occupational skills (e.g., “Cardiac Arrest, Resuscitation Science, and Hypothermia”) or were geared toward personal enrichment (e.g., “Greek and Roman Mythology”).

Disasters, Rebuilding and Leadership – Tough Lessons from Japan and the U.S.

October 9, 2013 Comments off

Disasters, Rebuilding and Leadership – Tough Lessons from Japan and the U.S.
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (U Penn)

On March 11, 2011, deep below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, enormous seismic forces reached a tipping point. At 2:46 p.m., one of the earth’s tectonic plates suddenly shifted, thrusting violently underneath another. The North American plate was pushed upward with such force that the movement generated a massive tsunami. It took the wall of moving water 51 minutes to reach the coast of Japan, some 45 miles away.

In some places, the tsunami towered more than 125 feet above the ground when it hit. Thankfully, the height of the wave was far less where it came ashore near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant — “only” 50 feet high. Still, the nuclear disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami has been rated by the International Atomic Energy Agency as equal in severity to the 1986 accident at Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster on record.

The complex catastrophe — earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown — killed close to 20,000 people, displaced hundreds of thousands more and contaminated a large swathe of beautiful countryside for decades or longer. More than two years later, Japan is still struggling to recover and prevent even more devastation.

On May 24, 2013, the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) sponsored a panel at the Wharton Global Forum in Tokyo to consider the leadership lessons generated by the Fukushima disaster, and to look at its impact on Japan’s energy policy and the resettlement of afflicted areas.

While the scale of the natural disaster in Japan was beyond the experience of anyone now alive, it was far from unprecedented and should have been anticipated, according to several post-Fukushima reports. Yet those in leadership positions failed to adequately prepare for the catastrophic events of March 2011. Unwilling to face up to the rare but predictable worst-case scenario, government and industry leaders were quickly overwhelmed by events. The judgments they made and the actions they took — or failed to take — often compounded problems. A close look at these mistakes offers valuable lessons for leaders facing disasters in the future.

Information Sharing and Collaboration in the United States Intelligence Community: An Ethnographic Study of the National Counterterrorism Center

August 26, 2013 Comments off

Information Sharing and Collaboration in the United States Intelligence Community: An Ethnographic Study of the National Counterterrorism Center (PDF)
Source: University of Pennsylvania (Nolan)

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was est ablished to serve as the primary organization in the U.S. Government for the integra tion, sharing, and analysis of all terrorism and counterterrorism intelligence. To date, no study has sought to illustrate whether and how NCTC overcomes the barriers to info rmation sharing among agencies and the people that comprise them. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the micro-level ways in which intelligence work is conducted in a post-9/11 world and to examine the circumstances that both facilitate and discourage collaboration. By presenting detailed ethnographic evidence and the in-depth interview perspectives of the people who actually do this work daily, this study provides a sociological analysis and discussion of best practices to help identify ways in which NCTC can move closer to fulfilling its mission.

2013 Wharton Private Equity Review: Navigating the ‘New Normal’

July 11, 2013 Comments off

2013 Wharton Private Equity Review: Navigating the ‘New Normal’
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

Some $200 billion of new capital went to private equity (PE) and venture capital management partnerships globally in 2012. For the first time, 20% of that total — some $40 billion — went to fund managers in emerging market countries. Surprisingly, of that amount, only $15 billion went to the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China). That leaves $25 billion that went into non-BRIC emerging markets, such as Columbia, Chile, Peru and Mexico. What’s more, Sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed solid growth in fund managers and capital under management. Turkey also has emerged as a destination, as have Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The 2013 Wharton Private Equity Review, sponsored by Ernst & Young, explores this major shift in articles based on the 2013 Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference. Also included are articles that look at: U.S. regulatory developments in PE; how one company helped to recapitalize a troubled Irish bank, and how PE helps to create value more generally. Finally, a piece on venture capital considers the challenge of generating consistent returns and the growing allure of New York City over Silicon Valley. Some of the articles included here were written by Wharton MBA students from the Class of 2013.

The Nexus of Food, Energy and Water

June 28, 2013 Comments off

The Nexus of Food, Energy and Water
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

More than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water, sufficient food and electricity. Meanwhile, the global population is growing by some 80 million people every year. By 2030, the nine billion people living on earth will need 30% more water, 40% more energy and 50% more food to survive.

Given the complex relationships among all three resources — the nexus of food, energy and water — meeting these demands will require thinking in terms of systems, not silos. It will take collaborative approaches that embrace rather than battle natural processes. And it will mean new technologies and approaches to everything from bio-fuels to desalination. This special report, produced in coordination with Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), takes a close look at the key issues.

Poverty and Inequality: Persistent Challenges and New Solutions

June 20, 2013 Comments off

Poverty and Inequality: Persistent Challenges and New Solutions

Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

In the last two decades, the number of people living below the poverty line globally has been cut in half, primarily due to robust growth in the emerging economies. Yet poverty is on the rise in both Europe and the United States, especially among children. Meanwhile, inequality across countries is on the decline, although inequality within countries has grown in both the developed and the developing world, with the notable exception of Latin America. This report, produced by the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, examines the changing patterns of poverty and inequality as well as potential solutions.

Special Report: Japan Boldly Resets Its Economy

May 23, 2013 Comments off

Special Report: Japan Boldly Resets Its Economy

Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

Japan is recovering from far more than the tsunami, the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the global financial crisis: It is also attempting to bounce back from two decades of economic lethargy. The country faced a similar period in the 1920s and early 1930s, leading Japan’s then-finance minister to loosen monetary policy, drive down the yen and increase spending. The economy quickly reversed course. Today, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is taking similar steps. This special report examines the implications of Abe’s new economic policies and analyzes two problem areas — finance and higher education.

Fueling Growth in Uncertain Times

May 1, 2013 Comments off

Fueling Growth in Uncertain Times

Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

Wall Street and Capitol Hill are in different cities, but where dialog on major economic issues is concerned, they might as well be on different continents. Many corporate executives suspect that policy makers do not understand business. And government officials, for their part, often view business people as being short-sighted and more concerned with profits than the pressures of public policy.

To bridge this gap between New York City and Washington, D.C., the Wharton School — located appropriately midway in Philadelphia — recently launched the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. On March 7, the Initiative hosted its first major event, the Wharton Economic Summit, in New York City. "Our goal was to bring together business leaders and policy makers and talk about major sectors of the economy," says Mark Duggan, faculty director of the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. "We wanted to shine a light on a path forward for the U.S. economy that will be important for future growth." Marc Rowan, co-founder of Apollo Global Management and chair of the Summit, adds: "Think tanks are funded by the left or the right. We are an independent party, and we want to show that business can be a resource for policy makers."

In this special report, Knowledge@Wharton covers themes from the Wharton Economic Summit, which opened with a discussion on leadership between GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Michael Useem, director of Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management. Other articles — based on sessions at the summit — deal with health care, innovation, real estate and energy. "We are at an inflection point," says Rowan. "We need a forum for airing important economic issues."

2102 Global Go To Think Tanks Report and Policy Advice

April 24, 2013 Comments off

2102 Global Go To Think Tanks Report and Policy Advice (PDF)

Source: Think Tank and Civil Societies Project, University of Pennsylvania

From press release:

The Global GoTo Think Tank Index is the result of an international survey of over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists who helped rank more than 6,500 think tanks using a set of 18 criteria developed by the TTCSP. The purpose of the rankings is to help improve the profile and performance of think tanks while highlighting the important work they do for governments and civil societies around the world.

As we move forward, TTCSP will continue to engage think tanks, policy makers and other stakeholders in a peer-to-peer dialogue and knowledge exchange on major policy issues while discussing issues of capacity-building and the organizational and environmental challenges facing think tanks. Our broader objective is to build partnerships across regions and sectors in order to encourage international cooperation. It is our hope that together we can develop a number of global public goods that will lead to collective action on some of the key transnational issues we face today.

Next Stop, Innovation: What’s Ahead for Urban Mobility?

March 26, 2013 Comments off

Next Stop, Innovation: What’s Ahead for Urban Mobility?

Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

Transportation in the 21st century is entering a robust phase that mirrors the early years of the automobile, when gasoline, steam and electric technology vied for market share. Although electric cars led for a while, the internal-combustion engine reached dominance by 1920, with profound effects on American city-based public transportation — which atrophied as car ownership grew.

Today, urban transit is making a comeback, as is the electric car. Congested highways still face emission concerns, but consumers now often have the choice of light and heavy rail. Car sharing, which began as a European phenomenon, has prospered in U.S. urban centers, along with bicycle sharing, vanpooling and other options.

Government plays a major role in shaping efficient urban transportation systems. So far, regulations have proven an effective driver in the early development of new technology. But for ultimate success, environmentally friendly options also must satisfy consumers’ needs and meet economic goals. This special report, produced in coordination with Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), explores how cities are expanding their options for cleaner transportation, and how new technologies, innovations and incentives are revitalizing the sector.

Hurricane Sandy’s Storm Surge and the NFIP; Flood Insurance Coverage in New York and New Jersey

December 6, 2012 Comments off

Hurricane Sandy’s Storm Surge and the NFIP; Flood Insurance Coverage in New York and New Jersey (PDF)
Source: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

+ Following the devastating storm surge and flooding from Hurricane Sandy, concerns have been raised about the status of flood insurance in the United States.

+ Our analysis shows that many homeowners who sustained flood damage from Sandy did not have a flood insurance policy.

+ Sandy will cost the NFIP billions of dollars in claims, further increasing its debt.

Sustainability: New Perspectives and Opportunities

August 10, 2012 Comments off

Sustainability: New Perspectives and Opportunities

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

After five decades of sustainability debates and policymaking, the world still lacks a comprehensive strategy that recognizes the complexity of the issues. This report, produced by the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzes the main aspects of sustainability — from the environmental challenges facing cultures around the globe to the quest for a sustainable supply of water and food. Green business practices are seen through the lens of the tradeoffs involved and consumers’ attitudes towards the environment. The report also looks at what kinds of governance structures are needed to encourage sustainability worldwide and to improve collaboration among government officials, companies and nonprofit organizations.

Greening the Supply Chain: Best Practices and Future Trends

June 14, 2012 Comments off

Greening the Supply Chain: Best Practices and Future Trends
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

The more corporations around the globe focus on sustainability, the more they realize that their greatest challenges and opportunities often lie outside their own offices and manufacturing plants. To make a truly significant lifecycle leap, large companies have to work on greening their supply chains.

Recognizing this, Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) devoted its 2012 annual conference to “Greening the Supply Chain: Best Business Practices and Future Trends.” Attended by noted academics and professionals, the conference covered a broad range of topics.

This special report, a collaboration between IGEL and Knowledge@Wharton, zeroes in on four of the most pressing issues in the field, using information from the conference, as well as additional interviews and research.

Insurer Pricing and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from Medigap

May 24, 2012 Comments off

Insurer Pricing and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from Medigap (PDF)
Source: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

While adverse selection is often blamed for inefficiently high insurance premiums, imperfect competition is also a pervasive feature of many health insurance markets. In Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap), two firms control nearly three-fourths of the market, and premiums exceed claims by 30 percent. I find that, while adverse selection can restrain markups, low price elasticity and consumers’ brand preferences create incentives for firms to engage in substantial marketing and price above cost. I conclude that the strategic behavior of insurers facing relatively inelastic demand is critical in explaining poor market performance and loss of consumer surplus, and find that insurers do not capture all of the rents in this market.

Bayesball: A Bayesian Hierarchical Model for Evaluating Fielding in Major League Baseball

April 28, 2012 Comments off

Bayesball: A Bayesian Hierarchical Model for Evaluating Fielding in Major League Baseball (PDF)
Source: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

The use of statistical modeling in baseball has received substantial attention recently in both the media and academic community. We focus on a relatively under-explored topic: the use of statistical models for the analysis of fielding based on high-resolution data consisting of on-field location of batted balls. We combine spatial modeling with a hierarchical Bayesian structure in order to evaluate the performance of individual fielders while sharing information between fielders at each position. We present results across four seasons of MLB data (2002–2005) and compare our approach to other fielding evaluation procedures.

See: Sports by the Numbers: Predicting Winners and Losers (Knowledge@Wharton Today)

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