20 January 2017
5 insightful op-eds or articles to help make sense of today’s world
Ross Chainey, “What’s the one thing you would do to make the world a fairer place? 10 Davos experts respond”
(World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda - 16 January 2017)
Rising inequalities is one of this year’s big themes at Davos. 10 participants/ economists offer their views on the one measure they would implement to make the world a fairer place. These range from paying high wages to teachers in poor communities to the more mundane such as greater redistribution through taxes and transfers, and in improved – and more equal – education at all levels. There are also other more original suggestions such as government-sponsored inequality insurance (reads in about 6-8 min).
Marc Benioff, “4 ways to close the inequality gap in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”
(World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda - 18 January 2017)
The tsunami of technological change engulfing the world (another prominent theme at Davos) will worsen inequalities. Salesforce’s chairman and CEO acknowledges that while the 4th industrial revolution is enabling extraordinary levels of innovation and efficiency, it’s also contributing to a widening inequality gap. He makes four broad suggestions to address the challenge: (1) build trust, (2) stimulate growth (3) spur innovation, (4) drive equality (reads in 5-6 min).
Dave Edwards, Helen Edwards, “The skills your kids should cultivate to be competitive in the age of automation”
(Quartz - 16 January 2017)
This is related to the theme of the article above and is a must-read for anyone with children and/or looking for a job in the years to come. As we compete with robots and AI, which are the human skills that will remain valuable? The authors provide an answer by looking at what careers require human capabilities that the robots won’t be able to beat for a very long time (reads in 4-6 min).
Timothy Garton Ash, “Is Europe Disintegrating?”
(The New York Review of Books - 19 January 2017)
The renowned historian reviews seven books that try to make sense of the state of Europe and how the continent will evolve. He is bearish: “There is crisis and disintegration wherever I look”. Yet, some make the point that in relative terms, European citizens enjoy a remarkable combination of individual liberty, social solidarity and peace. In the end, the crisis of European integration mirrors the broader crisis of capitalism and democracy. A dense and interesting read (10-13 min).
Alice Park, “Sitting Too Much Ages You By 8 Years”
(Time - 18 January 2017)
We know that sitting too much is bad for us: it is linked to a host of diseases, ranging from obesity to heart problems and diabetes. Recent studies show that it also has detrimental effects on cells by shorting telomeres: a marker for how well we age. The logical conclusion: exercise is most likely a way to combat the aging process (reads in 3-4 min).