2050: What if cities ruled the world? (World Economic Forum)

“Imagine it is 40 years in the future. Government has been decentralized to the city level. Connections between cities consolidate into mega-corridors, which span national and state borders. This is the time of the mayor, whose political star has risen. The growth in the number and size of cities means they can innovate and get things done more easily….

The growth of cities was mainly a phenomenon of the West during and after the industrial revolution. But urbanization is now predominantly a non-Western phenomenon….

Urbanization is also swelling the ranks of the middle classes, again increasingly outside the West. In short, urbanization trends shift economics, and, by association, politics to the cities….

The implications for business are also strong. Increasingly, firms will operate along mega-corridors between cities as part of global supply chains….”

Source: forumblog.org

Foundation Announces Effort to Tackle Urban Poverty in Five African Cities | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

Cities, innovation– “The goal of these projects is to foster a productive relationship between city governments and the urban poor that can serve as a model for other developing world cities to follow as they seek to address the challenges of urban poverty.

The foundation is launching this effort in five rapidly urbanizing cities that have demonstrated interest and commitment to working with the urban poor. In each city, the foundation is working with a variety of civic partners to pursue uniquely tailored urban development efforts. –

  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Luanda, Angola
  • Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Monrovia, Liberia
  • Harare, Zimbabwe

See on www.gatesfoundation.org

Urban world: The shifting global business landscape | McKinsey & Company

By 2025, almost half of the world’s biggest companies will probably be based in emerging markets, profoundly altering global competitive dynamics. A McKinsey Global Institute article.

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

shift and flow – urbanization:  “To put this dramatic shift in the balance of global corporate power in perspective, remember that many of the world’s largest companies have maintained their current status for generations: more than 40 percent of the 150 Western European companies in last year’s Fortune Global 500 had been founded before 1900.   

Exhibit 1    

In 2025, almost 230 Fortune Global 500 companies will be based in the emerging world’s cities, up from 24 in 2000.

– See more at: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Urbanization/Urban_world_The_shifting_global_business_landscape?cid=other-eml-alt-mgi-mck-oth-1310#sthash.bmnR0IKH.dpuf

See on www.mckinsey.com

Top 10 cities leading in urban sustainability | SmartPlanet

These 10 global cities are ahead of the rest when it comes to finding innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions, improve mass transit and boost energ

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

Here are the top 10:

  • Bogota, Colombia – Urban Transporation
  • Copenhagen – Carbon Measurement & Planning
  • Melbourne – Energy Efficient Built Environment
  • unities

  • Mexico City – Air quality
  • San Francisco – Zero Waste Mexico City – Air Quality
  • Munich – Green Energy
  • New York City – Adaptation and Resilience
  • Rio de Janeiro – Sustainable CommBogota, Colombia- Urban Transportation Program
  • Singapore – Intelligent City Infrastructure
  • Tokyo – Finance and Economic Development

See on www.smartplanet.com

World Cities and global economics

Cities are the world’s future.Urbanization continues to be a defining trend of international development, particularly in Asia and Africa.  The way that cities develop will have profound, long-term, likely irreversible implications for the…

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

global cities – rankings  –

The chart below shows the latest top 10 city rankings from the Economist’s Most Liveable Cities, Mercer’s Quality of Living, and A.T. Kearney’s Most Global Cities in table form.

See on www.globalsherpa.org

China dreams of better fields – AQI

Though growth has slowed, its economic surge has resulted in improvements for millions.

GIBS Information Centre / GIBSIC‘s insight:

Dr Lyal White, Kobus van der Wath  –  ” (Air Quality Index) . . .The AQI has come to represent one of the many new attributes of China today. Rapid economic growth and development have built mega-urban centres the likes of which we have never seen before. These are filled with an aspiring middle class of almost 350-million people – greater than the population of the United States – with growing demands for a better life, higher standards of living and improved services.   –   It comes as no surprise then that the Chinese model of economic growth is shifting from an over-reliance on fixed-asset investment, heavy industry and bulk export-led growth to a focus on value-added manufacturing, more refined ­services and internal consumption.”

See on mg.co.za

BOG BLOG : 21 – 28 JUNE 2013



READ   Read   read   . . .

The most effective strategies for success, Heidi Grant Halvorson  /  HBR Blog Network

In order of effect magnitude, the most impactful strategies were:

1. Have Grit — Persistence over the long haul is key
2. Know Exactly How Far You Have Left to Go — Monitor your progress
3. Get Specific — Have a crystal-clear idea of exactly what success will look like
4. Seize the Moment to Act on Your Goals — Know in advance what you will do, and when and where you will do it
5. Focus on What You Will Do, Not What You Won’t Do — Instead of focusing on bad habits, it’s more effective to replace them with better ones.
6. Build your Willpower Muscle — If you don’t have enough willpower, you can get more using it.
7. Focus on Getting Better, Rather than Being Good — Think about your goals as opportunities to improve, rather than to prove yourself
8. Be a Realistic Optimist — Visualize how you will make success happen by overcoming obstacles|
9. Don’t Tempt Fate — No one has willpower all the time, so don’t push your luck

Notice how persistence is at the very top of the list? While we marvel at people who’ve shown incredible perseverance — Earnest Shackleton, Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony — I wonder how many people have ever thought to blame their own failures on “not hanging in there long enough”? In my experience, very few. Instead, we assume we lack the ability to succeed. We decide that we don’t have what it takes — whatever that is — to meet the challenge. And we really couldn’t be more wrong. Grit is not an innate gift. Persisting is something we learn to do, when (and if) we realize how well it pays off. 

Urbanizing the world  / conversable Economist blogspot

” . . .  Chinese urban dwellers will increase from more than 622 million today to over 1 billion in 2030. This trend is not unique to developing countries—today’s high-income countries underwent the same transformation in the 20th century. In fact, virtually no country has graduated to a high-income status without urbanizing, and urbanization rates above 70 percent are typically found in high-income  countries.”





The quest for Telematics 4.0, E&Y

Providing in-car connectivity is going to be essential for every carmaker, but the industry is still looking for viable business models.   The global telematics market is poised to grow exponentially in the future, with approximately 104 million new cars expected to have some form of connectivity by 2025:

  • Penetration of global integrated telematics to touch 88% for new cars by 2025, while that of tethered telematics to flatten around 28%
  • Penetration of integrated telematics to be driven by growing importance of smartphones and regulations for driver safety
  • US to continue its lead with sales of approximately 16 million new cars with embedded telematics by 2025
  • EU, Japan and BRIC nations present huge potential, primarily due to upcoming regulations

“When we look at the car, we see another smartphone.” — President, global telecommunications company

Evolution of automative telemetics

EveryCarConnected, E&Y

EveryCarConnected, E&Y


Source: 2025 Every Car Connected: Forecasting the Growth andOpportunity study, by SBD and GSMA, published in 2012

Our Global Automotive, Telecom and Insurance Centers have developed this telematics blueprint with the aim of:

  • Defining the telematics ecosystem and its components, including market needs, services, infrastructure and stakeholders
  • Identifying commercially viable business strategies and the associated risks, rewards and considerations for stakeholders
  • Evaluating the position and future role of the automotive, telecom and insurance sectors in this emerging ecosystem
  • Analyzing differences in telematics strategies across the ecosystem through business model case studies

“Soon you will not be able to make money anymore with cars that don’t integrate customers’ smartphones.”  — CEO, premium global carmaker


As they say in Kerala, there’s more to life than GDP by JIM STANFORD  (Economist with the Canadian Auto Workers union)

. . .   Statisticians and politicians alike obsess over the latest ups and downs of GDP, assumed to reflect the progress of an entire economy. But in practice, a well-endowed GDP means nothing if it isn’t put to good work. If extra economic production (measured by an expanding GDP) does not bring improvements in the human condition, then what’s the point?  . . .  

Kerala’s literacy is the highest in India, well above 90 per cent. Infant mortality is the lowest. Thanks to grassroots education programs and economic opportunity for women, its birth rate is one quarter of that in the rest of India – lower, even, than in the United States. By these social indicators, Kerala could even be considered a “developed” economy, despite its Third World levels of output. On my own recent travels through the state, I witnessed almost none of the grinding, desperate poverty commonly encountered in most of India.  A stark statistical indicator of Kerala’s social success is provided by the United Nations ranking of countries according to its Human Development Index. . .  Steel tycoons, call-centre entrepreneurs and Bollywood producers are certainly loving it – in 2008, 53 billionaires possessed combined wealth equal to one quarter of the annual output produced by India’s 1.2 billion people. But the UN statistics confirm that most Indians are not benefiting nearly enough.  Kerala’s GDP per capita is decent by Indian standards, but not spectacular. But its superior education and health outcomes push it well up the human development ranking. It boasts the highest HDI of any Indian state. If it were a country, Kerala would rank 77th in the world – ahead of countries with much higher GDP per capita, such as Turkey, South Africa and Peru.

 Africa records $186.3b financial flows in 2012 / African Development Bank, Ekow Quandzie

                                …as remittances overtake ODA, FDIs for the first time

External financial flows into Africa hit a record of $186.3 billion in 2012 as remittances into the continent overtook foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA).

Remittances amounted to $60.4 billion in 2012 compared with $56.9 billion in 2011, the African Development Bank noted in a new report. It was the first time remittances became the largest external financial source to Africa. According to the 2013 African Economic Outlook (AEO), the flow of FDI, portfolio investment, ODA and remittances were the main source of financing for African countries along with tax revenues and those have quadrupled since 2001.  The financial flows to Africa were $158.3 billion in 2011.  “This strong performance partly stems from the strong recovery of direct and portfolio investment,” said the report which was launched at the just-ended 2013 AfDB Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco.  The report estimated that FDIs into Africa was $49.6 billion and ODA, it was $50 billion in 2012. Portfolio investments was $26.3 billion end of 2012, it estimated.  It adds that external flows as a share of Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased to 9.2% compared with 8.3% in 2011.    –     The AEO report expects total external financial flows into Africa to top $200 billion in 2013, about 9.5% of the continent’s GDP.

On academic rigor by Stephen M. Walt

” . . .  In academic research Customize, “rigor” is an especially cherished quality. If you want to praise a scholar’s work, you talk about how “rigorous” it is. If you want to dis someone’s scholarship politely, you might sniff and say, “Well, it’s interesting, but it’s not very rigorous.”

But what we mean by “rigor” isn’t always clear, and the way it is implemented in practice may even be counterproductive. Many academics tend to define “rigor” in narrow technical terms: 1) Did the researcher employ the most advanced methodological practices, 2) did he or she consider and debunk alternative explanations convincingly, 3) was the data-collection procedure especially careful, 4) did he or she examine all the relevant archives or only a few, 5) was the statistical model properly “identified”? Etc., etc. These criteria can be applied to both quantitative and qualitative research, by the way: In this sense, “rigor” is conceived as a measure of technical proficiency, designed to give us confidence that the claims being advanced are in fact valid.

The gold standard for “rigorous” research is publication in a “peer-reviewed” academic journal. By subjecting papers to anonymous peer review, academic fields supposedly weed out less “rigorous” works and publish only the best research. Different scholarly journals acquire reputations over time, and publishing in “top” journals is seen as the primary measure of a scholar’s worth. University presses follow similar procedures when deciding which monographs to publish, and they too develop reputations of various sorts. Notice, however, that this is all inherently subjective: A journal or a publisher is regarded as prestigious if scholars in the field believe it is.  There’s a lot to be said for this basic approach, which has generated a lot of progress in some fields. I’ve spent a lot of my own career writing articles for refereed journals, reviewing manuscripts for them, or co-editing a book series for a university press, so I’m hardly hostile to this way of doing business. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, academics ought to acknowledge that the system is far from perfect and even encourages some counterproductive tendencies. . . .   Instead of privileging one sort of publication over others, based on a narrow notion of “rigor,” we ought to recognize that different types of scholarly writing reach different audiences and are exposed to different forms of outside scrutiny. In most cases, an article published in a prominent economics, history, or political science journal will be read by relatively few people, one or two of whom may then take issue with the work and challenge its findings.

Booz&Company –  Fit for Growth Index  2013

BoozCompany FitForGrowthIndex

BoozCompany FitForGrowthIndex



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