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The Global Gender Gap Report 2014

December 8, 2014 Comments off

The Global Gender Gap Report 2014
Source: World Economic Forum

The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 emphasizes persisting gender gap divides across and within regions. Based on the nine years of data available for the 111 countries that have been part of the report since its inception, the world has seen only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, launched today, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% in 2006.

The gender gap is narrowest in terms of health and survival with a gap standing at 96% globally, with 35 countries having closed the gap entirely. Despite all this, it is the only subindex which declined over the course of the past nine year. The educational attainment gap is the next narrowest, standing at 94% globally. Here, 25 countries have closed the gap entirely. While the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity lags stubbornly behind, the gap for political empowerment, the fourth pillar measured, remains wider still, standing at 21%, although this area has seen the most improvement since 2006.

This year’s findings show that Iceland continues to be at the top of the overall rankings in The Global Gender Gap Index for the sixth consecutive year. Finland ranks in second position, and Norway holds the third place in the overall ranking. Sweden remains in fourth position and Denmark gains three places and ranks this year at the fifth position. Northern European countries dominate the top 10 with Ireland in the eighth position and Belgium (10) Nicaragua (6), Rwanda (7) and Philippines (9) complete the top 10.

Impact Investing: A Primer for Family Offices

December 5, 2014 Comments off

Impact Investing: A Primer for Family Offices
Source: World Economic Forum

Impact investing enables high net worth individuals to be explicit about their shared values and to reflect them in their investment and wealth management decisions. In addition, an impact investing strategy aligned with family values can help to engage a younger generation in the leadership and management of a family office.

Family offices act as responsible stewards of the wealth of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, their families and their heirs. Yet after wealth is generated by one generation of a family, an estimated 60% lose that wealth by the end of second generation, and a staggering 90% by the end of third. Many multi-generational family offices are now exploring whether impact investing is a way to unite families around values and positive legacies, thereby more closely involving family members in responsible long-term investing.

While impact investing may not suit all family offices, for those that choose to become involved, there is a shortage of expertise, tools and frameworks to enable engagement. As a result, despite growing interest, many struggle with the initial steps of engagement. One of the main goals of this primer is to help family offices interested in impact investing to begin to understand how they can put it into practice. It offers useful frameworks and insights for multi-family offices, family businesses, family foundations and high-net-worth individuals as well as policy-makers and advisers.

Joblessness, Inequality the New Normal as Geopolitical Trends Climb Global Agenda

November 10, 2014 Comments off

Joblessness, Inequality the New Normal as Geopolitical Trends Climb Global Agenda
Source: World Economic Forum

Deepening income inequality and jobless growth head the Top 10 trends for 2015, according to the Outlook on the Global Agenda, which is published today. These long-standing economic challenges are joined in this year’s survey by growing political and environmental concerns.

The trends are based on a survey of almost 1,800 experts from the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils as well as other communities within the World Economic Forum on what they believe will preoccupy leaders over the coming 12-18 months.

The Top 10 Trends for 2015 are:

  1. Deepening income inequality
  2. Persistent jobless growth
  3. Lack of leadership
  4. Rising geostrategic competition
  5. Weakening of representative democracy
  6. Rising pollution in the developing world
  7. Increasing occurrence of severe weather events
  8. Intensifying nationalism
  9. Increasing water stress
  10. Growing importance of health in the economy

The prominence of inequality and unemployment at the top of the list signifies that they are viewed even more severely than in previous years, with stagnating wages contributing to a vicious cycle of entrenched inequality through suppressed growth and employment prospects.

Rethinking Arab Employment: A Systemic Approach for Resource-Endowed Economies

November 7, 2014 Comments off

Rethinking Arab Employment: A Systemic Approach for Resource-Endowed Economies
Source: World Economic Forum

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have made tremendous progress in the past decades, building cities at the forefront of innovation, becoming global leaders in select industries, and continuously expanding their global aspirations. Yet, to sustain this momentum, dramatic progress needs to be achieved in how young people, a demographic majority, engage in the economy and society at large. GCC leaders are acutely aware that a job is more than a salary, and that the possible consequences of compromised futures, because of under- and unemployment, are deeply destabilizing. They understand that providing a dynamic, enabling environment in which these youth legions can realize their ambitions is critical to whether their economies can achieve their long-term aspirations, particularly in light of the current social context.

At present, however, even with wide acknowledgment of the importance of the matter and despite decades of economic expansion and extensive investments in education, infrastructure projects, and economic diversification, high youth unemployment rates persist, often reaching double digits.

Delivering Digital Infrastructure

May 7, 2014 Comments off

Delivering Digital Infrastructure
Source: World Economic Forum/Boston Consulting Group

The Internet is the essential infrastructure of the twenty-first century. It is as revolutionary in its effects on how people live, work, play, and interact as transportation, energy, and telephony were in the past. For billions of people already—and for billions more to come—life without digital interaction is all but unthinkable.

But suppose the unthinkable were to happen. Imagine that the infrastructure fails. Picture a bridge with a fractured support. Or a pipeline slowed to a trickle. Or an electrical grid that functions only intermittently. Such infrastructure-related realities occur all too frequently—and they represent big daily headaches and economic impediments for the people who must contend with them.

The costly and complex infrastructure that carries the traffic to make digital services possible is hardly immune to similar headaches and impediments. As the World Wide Web passes its twenty-fifth birthday, the volume of traffic that its infrastructure must carry is exploding at an exponential rate. This infrastructure is under strain; it needs investment and maintenance. It has limitations in reach, penetration, and capacity that can only be overcome through innovations. Perhaps most important, it needs the continuing collaboration of its own ecosystem of participants—companies, governments, users, and other parties—to keep pace with the increasing demands being placed upon it.

A new report by the World Economic Forum, written in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, Delivering Digital Infrastructure: Advancing the Internet Economy, is the first to undertake a comprehensive examination of the present threats to digital infrastructure with input from representatives of all affected stakeholder groups. These stakeholders include communications services providers (CSPs), content and digital-services companies, and hardware manufacturers active in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. They also include government representatives and NGOs.

WEF — Increased Cyber Security Can Save Global Economy Trillions

January 30, 2014 Comments off

Increased Cyber Security Can Save Global Economy Trillions
Source: World Economic Forum

Failing to improve cyber security could cost the world economy and lead to more frequent cyberattacks, according to a new report released today by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with McKinsey & Company.

The Risk and Responsibility in a Hyperconnected World report addresses options that institutions can take to improve cyber resilience and mitigate the economic and strategic impact of such attacks. With the recent proliferation of cyberattacks, corporate executives need to devote increasing attention to protecting information assets and on-line operations.

The report notes that major technology trends, including massive analytics, cloud computing and big data, could create between US$ 9.6 trillion and $US 21.6 trillion in value for the global economy. However, if attacker sophistication outpaces defender capabilities – resulting in more destructive attacks – a wave of new regulations and corporate policies could slow innovation, with an aggregate impact of approximately US$ 3 trillion by 2020.

WEF — Seven Principles for Adapting to the New Digital World

January 29, 2014 Comments off

Seven Principles for Adapting to the New Digital World
Source: World Economic Forum

  • New principles developed through World Economic Forum call for global collaboration to address the borderless nature of digital media
  • Internet users report relatively low awareness of laws regulating the use of digital content
  • Over 100 experts from media and technology industry, government, civil society and thought leaders, including innovators and artists, contributed to the principles
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