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2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report

January 30, 2015 Comments off

2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (PDF)
Source: University of Pennsylvania

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. Often referred to as the “think tanks’ think tank,” TTCSP examines the evolving role and character of public policy research organizations. Over the last 25 years, the TTCSP has developed and led a series of global initiatives that have helped bridge the gap between knowledge and policy in critical policy areas such as international peace and security, globalization and governance, international economics, environmental issues, information and society, poverty alleviation, and healthcare and global health. These international collaborative efforts are designed to establish regional and international networks of policy institutes and communities that improve policy making while strengthening democratic institutions and civil societies around the world.

The TTCSP works with leading scholars and practitioners from think tanks and universities in a variety of collaborative efforts and programs, and produces the annual Global Go To Think Tank Index that ranks the world’s leading think tanks in a variety of categories. This is achieved with the help of a panel of over 1,900 peer institutions and experts from the print and electronic media, academia, public and private donor institutions, and governments around the world. We have strong relationships with leading think tanks around the world, and our annual Think Tank Index is used by academics, journalists, donors and the public to locate and connect with the leading centers of public policy research around the world. Our goal is to increase the profile and performance of think tanks and raise the public awareness of the important role think tanks play in governments and civil societies around the globe.

Since its inception in 1989, the TTCSP has focused on collecting data and conducting research on think tank trends and the role think tanks play as civil society actors in the policymaking process. In 2007, the TTCSP developed and launched the global index of think tanks, which is designed to identify and recognize centers of excellence in all the major areas of public policy research and in every region of the world. To date TTCSP has provided technical assistance and capacity building programs in 81 countries. We are now working to create regional and global networks of think tanks in an effort to facilitate collaboration and the production of a modest yet achievable set of global public goods. Our goal is to create lasting institutional and state-level partnerships by engaging and mobilizing think tanks that have demonstrated their ability to produce high quality policy research and shape popular and elite opinion and actions for public good.

Improving Government Performance, Anticipating Citizens’ Needs

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Improving Government Performance, Anticipating Citizens’ Needs (PDF)
Source: University of Pennsylvania (Knowledge@Wharton)

Predictive analytics is becoming a vital tool for governments trying to tackle tax evaders, terrorists, flu epidemics — and more.

The Role of Contagion in the Housing Boom (and Bust)

September 16, 2014 Comments off

The Role of Contagion in the Housing Boom (and Bust)
Source: Knowledge@Wharton

A run-up in housing prices in one metropolitan area has the ability to cause a similar housing boom in a neighboring area — but recent Wharton research examining the housing surge, and subsequent bust, in the middle of the last decade finds that such a bump cannot be explained fully by fundamental economic factors such as the spread of higher incomes or new jobs sparking greater employment in a nearby city.

The research paper, “The Role of Contagion in the Last American Housing Cycle,” was written by Wharton real estate professors Joseph Gyourko and Fernando Ferreira, and doctoral students Anthony DeFusco and Wenjie Ding.

The paper examines the boom, which crested in the middle of the last decade, followed by a woeful tumble that caused many homeowners to owe more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. The authors use that sinister sounding word, “contagion,” to describe the phenomenon of a housing boom spreading from one area to a neighboring area.

They illustrate the phenomenon in a series of maps that show the housing boom spreading, year after year, from region to neighboring region. It started in 1997 in California and the area connecting New York and Boston, slowly spreading along either coast, and into Arizona, Nevada and Florida.

The researchers crunched the numbers and found that as one metropolitan statistical area, or MSA, experienced a boom, its neighboring MSA often also saw a bump in activity, and remained higher for several years.

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.

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.

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