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United States

On Henry David Thoreau

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In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden, five years ago, in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.

See also:

What's Changing? - Migration

Migration

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issues an annual report concerning the approximately 21 million people worldwide falling under its mandate: refugees forced to leave their countries due to war, political, racial or religious persecution, as internally displaced persons, or as repatriates on their way back home.  An interactive visualisation gives an insight into the flows and connections of global flight and expulsion.

As Western populations live ever longer, they will need more nurses, care assistants, housekeepers and cleaners. The demand for highly skilled workers will therefore grow too, and countries will start to compete more fiercely for mobile talent. Migration will “define our future” , claimed the authors of a recent book.

On T.S. Eliot

East Coker

T.S. Eliot died over 50 years ago now. His legacy remains profound and his poetry moves me deeply.

In August 2016 I had the privilege of visiting his final resting place, East Coker.

I listen to the peerless Little Gidding at least once a quarter, sometimes more often, and almost every line entrances, as if peering through a veil at something once known, but half-forgotten because not looked-for.

On what mattered in the past

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Asking which shifts, in which centuries, really shaped the modern world. a historian identified 10 leading drivers of change, century by century (see below).

Meanwhile, Prospect believes that reflecting on the past can give great in sight into the present and has published accordingly The past in perspective e-book.

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What's Happening? - Americas

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

 

June 2016

 

 

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What Happened? - Americas

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

 

December 2015

 

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  • PwC Canada acquired Cinovate, a leading Canadian Salesforce.com consultancyPwC says the deal enhances its ability to deliver a suite of cross-industry, cloud-based Salesforce solutions to the marketplace for implementation by the firm’s more than 420 Salesforce-Certified technology consultants. Cinovate was founded in 2009 by Ron Caruso and Matthew Fidler, the firm’s Managing Partners. Cinovate’s operations will be integrated within PwC’s Salesforce Consulting operation, led by PwC’s Justin Wortley.

 

 

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  • The Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in 9 years. The FOMC announced rate lift-off by raising the target range on the fed funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.25% - 0.5%. Moreover, in line with expectations, the FOMC and Chair Yellen delivered dovish forward guidance regarding the future path of rate hikes. Past episodes of first rate increases in a U.S. monetary policy tightening cycle were often accompanied by a flattening U.S. yield curve, and currency depreciations and/ or monetary policy rate increases in emerging markets. The close correlation with emerging market borrowing costs suggests that lift-off in 2015 may increase global financing costs, especially for vulnerable countries.

 

 

 

 

 

On Bob Dylan

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I was relatively late in properly getting into Dylan...into my early 20s - although before that I'd appreciated individual songs, such as Lay Lady Lay, Like A Rolling Stone and others.

However, when his force finally it hit me, it hit me hard. Chimes of Freedom, To Ramona and Ballad in Plain D all affected me on a deep emotional level in different ways, while the likes of One More Cup of Coffee had a beguiling exoticism.

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On Governance

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Imagine that we could build "start-up countries" and escape limiting, outdated forms of governance that hold people back. "Seasteading", according to its advocates, has the promise to do this, creating new "spaces for human freedom".

On 2025

By 2025:

  • 21% of the world’s people and 39% of US citizens will buy for-profit water.1

1. The Price of Thirst, Global Water Inequality and the Coming Chaos, Karen Piper, University of Minnesota Press © 2014