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Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

See Halcyon's unique reporting on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and contact us to discuss how we may be able to help you contribute to and/or create value from the SDGs.

Follow Halcyon's forthcoming 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter, which will feature 52 issues and 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Politics

What's Changing? - Africa
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Halcyon In Business 19 May 2018

 

 

Please see below selected Africa-related change.

 

May 2018

What's Changing? - Democracy
Democracy
Halcyon Identifies 25 April 2018

 

2018

What's Changing? - Politics

Politics

"Politics is the great generaliser and literature the great particulariser" - Philip Roth

 

2018

 

March

 

There are currently about 3.3 billion people living under political systems considered autocratic, according to a report by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a research institution. That’s the highest number registered since they began regular surveys in 2006. Still, 4.2 billion people live in democracies. 

 

What's Happening? - China

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Please see below selected recent intelligence about China. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.

 

Q3 (July-August-September) 2016 

 

  • The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund warned that a slowdown in China is the greatest threat to the global economy, claiming that a "hard landing" for one of the main engines of global growth could not be ruled out.
  • However, China’s industrial profits jumped the most in three years. They rose 19.5% from a year ago to 534.8 billion yuan ($80.2 billion), according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The data suggests further stabilisation in manufacturing and a greater ability of companies to pay off debts.
  • Indeed, China’s economy grew by 6.7% in the second quarter, the same as in the previous three months and a healthier pace than many had expected given the country’s stock market crash and depreciation of the yuan. Investment in infrastructure has surged and personal consumption has been strong.
  • Although there is some suggestion that Chinese private sector is losing confidence in economic prospects, China’s producer price index was its least bad in four years. Government data tracking the cost of manufactured goods out the factory gate showed prices declined just 0.8% through the month of August, indicating that the flagging economy might be stabilizing. Consumer price inflation climbed 1.3%, slightly below July’s increase.
  • Yet China’s July economic data provided more evidence of a slowdown. Investment grew at its slowest pace in more than 16 years in the January-July period. Retail sales in July increased 10.2%, versus a forecast 10.5% and down from 10.6% in June. Industrial output for the month rose 6% from a year earlier, slowing from 6.2% in June and missing the forecast of 6.1%.
  • China’s “One Belt, One Road” project aims to make central Asia more connected to the world, yet even before the initiative was formally announced China had helped to redraw the energy map of the region. However, China is not the only investor in central Asian connectivity. Multilateral financial institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank have long been investing in the region’s infrastructure. The Kazakh government has its own $9bn stimulus plan, directing money from its sovereign wealth fund to infrastructure investment. Other countries, including Turkey, the US, and the EU have also made improving Eurasian connectivity a part of their foreign policy. 

 

June 2016

 

 

 

 

 

What Happened? - China

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Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about China. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.

 

December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

  • Activity in China's services sector expanded at a slower pace in November as new orders weakened. The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 51.2 in November from a three-month high in October of 52.0. A reading above 50 points signifies growth on a monthly basis, while one below that points to a contraction.New business rose at a slower pace of 51.1 - down from 52.9 in October - showing weaker domestic and external demand while employment in services rose only marginally, with the smallest increase in three months.

 

 

 

  • The latest snapshot of manufacturing activity by the Chinese Federation for Logistics and Purchasing showed activity slipping for the fourth month in a row, falling further below the 50 no-change mark to 49.6 in November from 49.8 the previous month. Economists at ANZ Bank said the data could prompt yet another rate cut from China's policymakers.

 

 

 

What Might Matter In The Future?

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Global socio-economic, demographic and technological forces will have a sustained and transformative impact on businesses, societies, economies, cultures and our personal lives in years to come, as this 2016 HP video illustrates. 

 

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita's The Predictioneer’s Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future presented new ideas on decision-making and learning to come up with reliable predictions to foresee and even engineer the future.

On Holism

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A.S. Byatt tells us that "for the Victorians, everything was part of one thing - science, religion, philosophy, economics, politics, women, poetry. They didn't compartmentalise - they thought big." - quote in New Statesman, 27/04/09

This is the Halcyon philosophy too, as much of what's most interesting and important in life appears to come from the interconnectedness of ideas, from the alchemy of putting together - in the words of Theodore Zeldin - two ideas that have never met.