Beyond Organizational Scale: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Systems Change

Beyond Organizational Scale: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Systems Change. World Economic Forum. May 2, 2017.

This report is designed for any social entrepreneur or social sector leader looking for strategies and tools to influence the broader system in which they operate. The objective of this research report and the accompanying in-depth teaching case studies is to help practitioners understand what systems change means in the context of social entrepreneurship, how it is distinct from direct service or “business-in-a-box” models and, most importantly, what it looks like in practice – not as abstract concepts, but as a set of concrete activities, processes, and leadership lessons.

The case studies follow six for-profit and non-profit social entrepreneurs in the Schwab Foundation network as their strategies evolved beyond organizational scale – growing the reach of a prescriptive, organizationally designed solution to a problem – to systemic scale, with the goal of shifting the rules, norms and values that make up social systems. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages, 7.73 KB].

IOT, Automation, Autonomy, and Megacities in 2025: A Dark Preview

IOT, Automation, Autonomy, and Megacities in 2025: A Dark Preview. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Michael Assante, Andrew Bochman. April 26, 2017

This paper extrapolates from present trends to describe plausible future crises playing out in multiple global cities within 10 years. While predicting the future is fraught with uncertainty, much of what occurs in the scenarios presented here is fully possible today and, absent a significant course change, probable in the timeframe discussed.

It is not hard to find tech evangelists touting that ubiquitous and highly interconnected digital technology will bring great advances in productivity and efficiency, as well as new capabilities we cannot foresee. This paper attempts to reveal what is possible when these technologies are applied to critical infrastructure applications en masse without adequate security in densely populated cities of the near future that are less resilient than other environments. Megacities need and will deploy these new technologies to keep up with insatiable demand for energy, communications, transportation, and other services, but it is important to recognize that they are also made more vulnerable by following this path. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 294.46 KB].

Do Digital Currencies Pose a Threat to Sovereign Currencies and Central Banks?

Do Digital Currencies Pose a Threat to Sovereign Currencies and Central Banks? Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief 17-13.Daniel Heller. April 2017

Bitcoin is the first digital currency to have received widespread recognition and interest from users, developers, investors, central banks, and regulators, largely because of its “distributed ledger” technology, which allows it to provide relatively low-cost peer-to-peer transfers of money. Users own the bitcoin system and can make changes to the rules and protocol only by consensus or a supermajority of 95 percent. This communitarian ownership model and the fact that payments in bitcoin can be easily made from one end of the globe to another have led many to believe and hope that bitcoin will one day replace sovereign currencies—and the central banks that issue them. In addition, some observers see bitcoin as the origin of a fundamental transformation of the financial system toward a more decentralized structure. As a medium of exchange, bitcoin is still small compared with traditional channels, and it is held largely for speculation rather than transactions. Its lack of a mechanism for dampening the price effect of an increase in demand or reducing supply in case of a demand slump means that adopting bitcoin as a currency would be like reverting to a currency based on gold coins. As long as central banks continue to pursue stability-oriented monetary policies, they will have little reason to fear that the bitcoin system will replace them. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 302.31 KB].

The Payoff to America from Globalization: A Fresh Look with a Focus on Costs to Workers

The Payoff to America from Globalization: A Fresh Look with a Focus on Costs to Workers. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief, 17-16. Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Zhiyao (Lucy) Lu. May 2017

Hufbauer and Lu, updating a landmark PIIE study made in 2005, calculate the payoff to the United States from trade expansion from 1950 to 2016 at $2.1 trillion. The payoff has stemmed from trade expansion resulting from policy liberalization and improved transportation and communications technology. The sum translates into an increase of $7,014 in GDP per capita and $18,131 in GDP per household. The potential gains from future policy liberalization could be as large as $540 billion for the United States by the year 2025, or an increase of $1,670 in GDP per capita and $4,400 in GDP per household. On the other hand, 156,250 manufacturing sector jobs were lost annually over the past 13 years, representing less than a percent of the number of people involuntary separated from their jobs each year. A more generous unemployment insurance program and expanded tax credits would help displaced workers adjust, the authors argue, while preserving the large gains resulting from trade expansion. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages, 385.11 KB].

Does Greece Need More Official Debt Relief? If So, How Much?

Does Greece Need More Official Debt Relief? If So, How Much? Peterson Institute for International Economics. Working Paper, 17-6. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, Eike Kreplin and Ugo Panizza. April 2017

Creditor countries and international organizations continue to disagree whether Greece should receive additional official debt relief, and if so how much. This paper first shows that these disagreements can be attributed to competing assumptions about Greece’s future capacity to repay, particularly about economic growth and the fiscal primary balance. It next evaluates the plausibility of alternative primary balance assumptions using international evidence about fiscal adjustment experiences. It concludes that primary balance paths required to make Greece’s debt sustainable are not plausible and that Greece will therefore require additional debt relief. Finally, the paper shows that the debt relief measures suggested by the Eurogroup in May 2016 (albeit with significant caveats on whether they will in fact be granted or not) could be sufficient to address Greece’s sustainability problem, provided the Eurogroup is prepared to accept both very long maturity extensions on European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) debt (to 2080 and beyond) and interest deferrals that could lead to a large rise in EFSF exposure to Greece before it begins to decline. If the Eurogroup wishes to avoid the latter, it will become necessary to either (1) extend the scope of the debt restructuring, (2) lower the interest rates charged by the EFSF significantly below current predictions, or (3) extend European Stability Mechanism (ESM) financing beyond 2018 and delay Greece’s return to capital markets for a protracted period. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 54 pages, 479.65 KB].

Race to the Top: The Case for the Financial Stability Board

Race to the Top: The Case for the Financial Stability Board. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief 17-12. Nathan Sheets. April 2017

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has helped strengthen international financial regulatory standards, and as a result, the global economy—and hence the US economy—is more resilient and better able to support strong, sustainable, and balanced growth. The FSB has provided a framework to encourage other jurisdictions to toughen their regulatory regimes in line with steps taken in the United States. The FSB, however, does not have a perfect track record. Sheets suggests several areas where the governance, transparency, and the work program of the FSB could be improved. Supporters of the FSB’s work need to do a better job of presenting the case for international cooperation and showcasing the FSB’s accomplishments. The United States has played a leadership role in the FSB since the group’s inception, and important benefits have flowed to the US economy as a result. If it fails to maintain its leadership position, other countries will step in to fill the vacuum, resulting in rules and practices in the global economy and financial system that evolve in directions that are inconsistent with US national interests. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 235.92 KB].

Fact Sheet: Clean Energy Job Growth in the United States

Fact Sheet: Clean Energy Job Growth in the United States. World Resources Institute. Helen Mountford, Joel Jaeger. March 2017

The clean energy economy in the United States—including wind, solar, and efficiency industries—is putting more and more Americans to work. This fact sheet outlines the latest data on how many Americans are working in clean energy and where the jobs are located. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 2 pages, 223.21 KB].