jerryking + united_kingdom   223

My time on The Apprentice taught me a lot about black men in business
Fri 1 Nov 2019 | The Guardian | by Samuel Brooksworth.

There is a lack of black men in senior positions. We need to tackle the discrimination that is holding so many people back
Black_British  FTSE_100   men  race  racial_discrimination  reality_tv  start_ups  systemic_discrimination  under-representation  United_Kingdom 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
How Britons forgot that history can hurt
September 19, 2019 | | Financial Times| by Simon Kuper.

Centuries of stability have created a country careless about risk... the British mainland has meandered along nicely since Newton’s death in 1727: no conquest, dictatorship, revolution, famine or civil war. The sea prevented invasions; coal made Britain the first industrialised power. Few Britons developed strong ideologies that they were motivated to kill for.

How to square this historical stability with the UK’s newfound instability?......What explains Britain’s transformation? I suspect it’s precisely the country’s historical stability that has made many of today’s Britons insouciant about risk. They have forgotten that history can hurt. Other countries remember....their citizens remember how countries can go horribly wrong (see Uganda, the French in Algeria, etc.)......Britain has no comparable traumas. Terrible things do happen there but chiefly to poor people — which is how the country is supposed to work. Even the losses suffered during two world wars have been reconfigured into proud national moments. The widespread American guilt about slavery is almost absent here.

And so, Britain has a uniquely untroubled relationship with its past, and a suspicion of anything new. No wonder the natural ruling party calls itself “Conservative”.

Britain’s ruling classes are especially nostalgic, because they live amid the glorious past: the family’s country home, then ancient public school, Oxbridge and Westminster. They felt Britain was so secure from constitutional outrages that they never bothered to write a constitution.

But it’s wrong to blame British insouciance (embodied by Johnson) on the elite. It extends across all classes. Most Britons have learnt to be politically unserious. Hence their tolerance for toy newspapers they know to be mendacious — Britons’ ironic relationship with their tabloids puzzles many foreigners.

Postwar Britons — the most shielded generation in this shielded country’s history — voted Brexit not out of fanaticism but in a spirit of “Why not?” Many Leave voters argued additionally that “Things can’t get worse”, which any Ugandan could have told them was mistaken. Some Leavers even seemed to crave a bit of history.
'30s  Argentina  Brexit  carelessness  complacency  constitutions  decay  false_sense_of_security  German  history  historical_amnesia  insouciance  ruling_classes  Simon_Kuper  social_classes  United_Kingdom  worrying 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
What would Plato make of Boris Johnson?
June 22nd 2019 | the Economist | by Bagehot.

Classics (Literae Humaniores) is a wide-ranging degree devoted to the study of the literature, history, philosophy, languages and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. It is one of the most interdisciplinary of all degrees, and offers the opportunity to study these two foundational ancient civilisations and their reception in modern times. The degree also permits students to take extensive options in modern philosophy......

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Mr Johnson’s failure to get a first continues to annoy him intensely—and to delight many of his rivals. But in truth it doesn’t matter a jot: the world is full of failures who got firsts, and successes who missed out. The really interesting question is not whether Mr Johnson’s results reveal some great intellectual weakness. It is what light the subject of his studies can throw on his qualifications to be prime minister. The classics corpus is full of meditations on the qualities that make for a good leader. And no classical author thought more profoundly about the subject than Plato, the philosopher who was put at the heart of Oxford’s classics syllabus by Balliol’s greatest master, Benjamin Jowett. What would Plato have made of the classicist who appears destined to be Balliol’s fourth prime minister since 1900?.....In “The Republic”, Plato argued that the most important qualities in a statesman were truthfulness and expertise. A good statesman will “never willingly tolerate an untruth”. (“Is it possible to combine in the same character a love of wisdom and a love of falsehood?” one of Plato’s characters asks. “Quite impossible,” comes the reply.) He will spend his life studying everything that he needs to make him a good captain of the ship of state—“the seasons of the year, the sky, the stars, the winds and other professional subjects”. .......By contrast, Plato argued, the surest signs of a bad leader are narcissism and self-indulgence. The poor statesman is an eloquent flatterer, who relies on his ability to entertain the masses with speeches and comic turns, but doesn’t bother to develop a coherent view of the world. Plato was particularly vitriolic about the scions of the upper classes who are offered the opportunity to study philosophy while young but don’t apply themselves, because they think they are so talented that they needn’t earn their place at the top table.......“The Republic” is haunted by the fear that democracies eventually degenerate into tyrannies. Democracy is the most alluring form of government: “the diversity of its characters, like the different colours in a patterned dress, make it look very attractive.” But it is inherently unstable. Citizens are so consumed by pleasure-seeking that they beggar the economy; so hostile to authority that they ignore the advice of experts; and so committed to liberty that they lose any common purpose......As democracies collapse under the pressure of their contradictions, panicked citizens look for salvation in a demagogue. These are men who love power, but cannot control their own desires for “holidays and dinners and parties and girlfriends and so on”. Plato calls them the “most wretched of men because of the disorder raging within them”. Citizens are so consumed by fear that they think these wretches have magical abilities to solve the country’s problems and restore proper order. Demagogues get their start by “taking over a particularly obedient mob”, before seizing control of the country. But the more power they acquire the worse things become, “for the doctor removes the poison and leaves the healthy elements in the body, while the tyrant does the opposite.”

The shadow on the wall
Democracies have proved more durable than Plato imagined. And his cure for the problems of democracy—the rule of philosopher-kings, who are expected to hold their wives and children in common—is eccentric to put it mildly. But he is right that character matters. Politicians can change their advisers or their policies, but character is sticky. He is also right that democracies can suddenly give way to populist authoritarianism...... The best way to prepare for a Johnson premiership is to re-read “The Republic”, hoping Plato is wrong but preparing for the fact that he may be right
Boris_Johnson  character_traits  contradictions  demagoguery  democracies  Greek  humanities  leaders  leadership  liberal_arts  opposing_actions  Oxford  pairs  philosophers  Plato  politicians  Romans  statesmen  truth-telling  United_Kingdom 
july 2019 by jerryking
British quantum computing experts leave for Silicon Valley
June 24, 2019 | Financial Times Madhumita Murgia in London.

A group of Britain’s best-known quantum computing scientists have quietly moved to Silicon Valley to found a start-up called PsiQ that believes it can produce a commercial quantum computer within five years.

The departure of some of the UK’s leading experts in a potentially revolutionary new field of technology will raise fresh concerns over the country’s ability to develop industrial champions in the sector.

The news comes just weeks after the successes of the British start-up scene were extolled at London Tech Week, where prime minister Theresa May pledged £150m specifically to help develop commercial applications for quantum computing.

The scientists’ move to Silicon Valley was driven partly by a need to raise capital. “The story is that the best of Britain is going to the United States to scale up,” said Hermann Hauser, co-founder of UK-based chip designer Arm, which is now owned by Japan’s SoftBank, and an early investor in PsiQ.

“They rightly concluded that they couldn’t access the capital in Europe so moved to the Valley,” he added. So far PsiQ has received investment from Playground Global, a venture firm started by Android founder Andy Rubin.

PsiQ, which has 50 employees according to LinkedIn, was co-founded by Jeremy O’Brien, a physicist at the University of Bristol and Terry Rudolph, a professor at Imperial College London. Several PhD graduates of the two UK labs have followed the researchers to Palo Alto, where the start-up has set up shop close to Stanford University.

Chief operating officer Stu Aaron was previously a partner at premier Silicon Valley investment firm Khosla Ventures and has worked for at least five start-ups based in California. 
carve_outs  funding  package_deals  Palo_Alto  PsiQ  quantum_computing  relocations  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  United_Kingdom 
june 2019 by jerryking
Past mistakes carry warnings for the future of work
May 21, 2019 | Financial Times | by SARAH O'CONNOR.

* Data can mislead unless combined with grittier insights on the power structures that underpin it.
* William Kempster, a master mason who worked on St Paul's Cathedral in the 18th century, left wage records that helped expose a flaw in our understanding of the past.

It is often said that we should learn from the mistakes of the past. But we can also learn from the mistakes we make about the past. Seemingly smooth data can mislead unless it is combined with a grittier insight into the structures, contracts and power relationships that underpin the numbers. On that score, economists and politicians who want to make sense of today’s labour market have an advantage over historians: it is happening right now, just outside their offices, in all its complexity and messiness. All they have to do is open the door
17th_century  18th_century  builders  contextual  data  datasets  developing_countries  economic_history  economists  freelancing  gig_economy  handwritten  historians  human_cloud_platforms  insights  labour_markets  London  messiness  mistakes  politicians  power_relations  power_structures  record-keeping  United_Kingdom  unstructured_data  wages  white-collar 
may 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The United Kingdom Has Gone Mad - The New York Times
By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

April 2, 2019

What do the most effective leaders today have in common? They wake up every morning and ask themselves the same questions: “What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world? And how do I educate my citizens about this world and align my policies so more of my people can get the best out of these trends and cushion the worst?”

So what world are we living in?

(1) We’re living in a world that is becoming so interconnected — thanks to digitization, the internet, broadband, mobile devices, the cloud and soon-to-be 5G wireless transmissions — that we are becoming interdependent to an unprecedented degree. In this world, growth increasingly depends on the ability of yourself, your community, your town, your factory, your school and your country to be connected to more and more of the flows of knowledge and investment — and not just rely on stocks of stuff........The key to creating economic value has been to acquire some proprietary knowledge stocks, aggressively protect those knowledge stocks and then efficiently extract the economic value from those knowledge stocks and deliver them to the market. The challenge in a more rapidly changing world is that knowledge stocks depreciate at an accelerating rate. In this kind of world, the key source of economic value shifts from stocks to flows......yet Britain is ruled today by a party that wants to disconnect from a connected world....
(2) Understand that in a world of simultaneous accelerations in technology and globalization, keeping your country as open as possible to as many flows as possible is advantageous for two reasons: You get all the change signals first and have to respond to them and you attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers, who tend to be the people who start or advance new companies.....The best talent wants to go to the most open systems — open both to immigrants and trade — because that is where the most opportunities are. Britain is about to put up a big sign: GO AWAY.
(3) wise leaders also understand that all the big problems today are global problems, and they have only global solutions: climate change, trade rules, technology standards and preventing excesses and contagion in financial markets......small states/middle powers need to be part of a wider coalition like the European Union.
(4) the best leaders know a little history. Trump is fine with a world of competitive European nationalisms, not a strong European Union. So is Vladimir Putin. So, it seems, are the Brexiteers. How quickly they’ve all forgotten that the E.U. and NATO were built to prevent the very competitive nationalism that ran riot in Europe in the 20th century and brought us two world wars.
accelerated_lifecycles  Brexit  Tom_Friedman  United_Kingdom  21st._century  EU  historical_amnesia  history  information_flows  interconnections  middle-powers  proprietary  questions  small_states  interdependence  talent_flows  technical_standards  open_borders 
april 2019 by jerryking
Hostage negotiation skills provide lessons for the boardroom
JANUARY 6, 2019 | Financial Times | Helen Warrell

A former police officer suggests using surprise to gain an advantage......she is instructing a class of young professional women on how to argue, persuade and arbitrate

She reels off the similarities. “We’re both in the situation where there’s a possibility of crisis,” Ms Williams tells us. “You need to be well-prepared, whether you’re talking to some terrorists on Iraq or going into a big meeting.” 

She adds that managing the stakeholders — such as the parents of abducted children — is sometimes harder than managing the kidnappers. “You’ve all got anxious bosses and CEOs to keep on side, which is difficult too.”...She advises preparing for salary negotiations by researching statistics, calculating averages, and making sure your pitch is evidence-based rather than impassioned......make clear this is a serious discussion, not a water-cooler conversation,”..... She advises using surprise to your advantage, effectively by springing meetings on bosses at a moment when they seem unoccupied and then asking “have I caught you in the middle of something?”. “It’s obvious when they’re not so it’s hard [for them] to pretend otherwise,”.....in response to someone deploying “hostile silence” in the face of requests for pay rises. “Don’t fill silence with nonsense, there’s a British trait of thinking every silence has to be filled,” instead, ask a direct question to force a response. “You could try, ‘what are you thinking about?’ or, ‘have I stunned you?’”.....Something that works well with alpha men is planting the seed that something you want is actually their idea: you can try saying, ‘did I hear you mention X’ or ‘have you thought about Y?’”

......tips for any important negotiation are first, identifying the people who are the “real decision makers”, then knowing what is negotiable, and preparing a second-best scenario to fall back on.
hostages  negotiations  salaries  Scotland_Yard  United_Kingdom  women  kidnappings  surprises 
january 2019 by jerryking
Tech companies targeted in mission to develop new spy tools
SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 | Financial Times | David Bond, Security Editor.

an £85m venture capital fund backed by intelligence chiefs. The National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF) was announced by chancellor Philip Hammond in last year’s budget to boost investment in the UK’s security technology sector.

This week, the government-owned British Business Bank, which is running the fund, will begin to encourage private fund managers to promote the programme with a view to raising additional money from fund managers and private investors.

It is thought to be the first time the UK’s main intelligence and security agencies, led by the foreign intelligence service MI6, have actively looked to invest in the private sector....To guide companies considering applying for funding, the government has set out 11 “technology areas” that are of greatest interest to the UK national security community, which also includes the domestic security service MI5, digital and signals intelligence agency GCHQ and the National Crime Agency.

These include data analytics and artificial intelligence, technologies to track financial information and new computing tools that highlight or obscure identifying information about individuals and groups.....Warner said last week there was nevertheless “an aversion among civil servants to working with start-ups for fear they will fail”.

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Warner added: “Singapore and Norway have shown it is possible for governments to act more like venture capitalists, using sovereign wealth funds to back innovative new players.”
GCHQ  security_&_intelligence  technology  tools  United_Kingdom  venture_capital  InQtel  MI5  MI6  start_ups 
september 2018 by jerryking
Thomas Cromwell: the man who made modern England
September 13, 2018 | Financial Times | by Kate Maltby.

Thomas Cromwell: A Life, by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Allen Lane, RRP£30, 728 pages
biographies  books  book_reviews  Hilary_Mantel  Protestant_Reformation  Tudors  United_Kingdom 
september 2018 by jerryking
Is Thomas Goode a sleeping giant of British retail?
August 31, 2018 | Financial Times | by Horatia Harrod.

200 year old Thomas Goode & Co is a homewares powerhouse.... Outfitted in morning suits, the staff — many of whom have worked at Thomas Goode for more than two decades — are solicitous and impeccably well-informed. There’s only one thing lacking. Customers....Johnny Sandelson, is the property entrepreneur who acquired the store for an undisclosed amount in July 2018. .....Sandelson has set himself the task of waking the company up — and it’s going to take more than just turning on the lights. What is required is a 21st-century overhaul....Thomas Goode sells more over the phone than it does online, for the simple reason it has no ecommerce platform. Some 40 per cent of its £5m in annual sales comes from special orders — a loyal client outfitting their new yacht or private jet — but oligarchs alone are unlikely to keep the business afloat....The plan, Sandelson says, is to democratise. “Fortnums did it, Smythson did it. Those great British brands reinvented themselves to become relevant to the affluent middle classes, but Thomas Goode didn’t.”.......Sandelson hopes that, in an age of experiential retail, the shop’s peerless service will entice a new generation of customers. He’s also eyeing up collaborations to reach those for whom the Thomas Goode name has little resonance.......Parts of the business that had lain dormant are to be revived, with an injection of £10m-£15m in investment. There’s a voluminous archive to be mined for designs, and production of tableware in the Thomas Goode name is being restarted at factories in Stoke-on-Trent......Sandelson is committed to a revival. “We’re unashamedly proud of our British heritage and our British brand,” he says. “To honour that, you have to be involved with a very high standard of manufacturing in Britain. There would be cheaper ways of going about things, but the British way stands for quality. Stoke-on-Trent has been producing beautiful plates for 200 years. So it works for us.”....Almost inevitably, the top floors of the South Audley Street flagship are to be turned into luxury flats. “Will we be able to afford a shop of this scale in the coming years?” says Sandelson. “I think the brand is bigger than the premises. I’m pursuing the dream on the basis that the building will be developed over time and we’ll hope to have a space within it.”
21st._century  brands  commercial_real_estate  entrepreneur  experiential_marketing  gift_ideas  heritage  history  homewares  London  luxury  middle_class  property_development  real_estate  retailers  restorations  revitalization  turnarounds  United_Kingdom  Victorian 
september 2018 by jerryking
Tales from the storage unit: inside a booming industry | Financial Times
July 27, 2018 | FT| Daniel Cohen.

Across the UK, there are now about 1,160 indoor self-storage sites like it, according to the Self-Storage Association (SSA), plus 345 sites offering outdoor containers, serving a total of about 450,000 customers. The industry has an annual turnover of about £750m, and the amount of storage space has almost doubled in a decade, to more than 44m sq ft last year — equivalent to 0.7 sq ft for every person in the country. That’s more than anywhere else in Europe, though it’s still far behind the US, where the figure is an astonishing 7 sq ft per person.....The service offered by self-storage operators is fundamentally very simple. If you choose a dedicated, indoor site, as most do, all that really varies is the size of the unit and the length of occupancy. Customers tend to overestimate how much space they require and underestimate how much it will cost......Increasingly, however, the industry has come to prize new, purpose-built warehouses. ......There are plenty of triggers for putting things in storage. “We deal with the three most stressful things: moving, death and divorce,”......For many people, self-storage is a short-term solution to a pressing need. Other customers, however, simply consider it part of their daily life.....The popularity of storage can’t simply be explained by lack of space, though. If that were the case, the industry wouldn’t be so successful in the US, where it experienced annual growth of 7 per cent between 2012 and 2017, ...even though the average home there is bigger than anywhere else in the world. It’s also about how many possessions we have. Frank Trentmann, author of Empire of Things, points to the accumulation of clothing and electrical items over the past few decades. But the rise also reflects wider social changes,.....“You used to buy a table or a bed when you married, and then you kept it until your partner died. Now, you have partnerships changing much more often, more flexible family arrangements. So people end up having multiple versions of the same article.”..For business customers, self-storage is a different equation. Businesses account for a quarter of all self-storage customers in the UK, but they take up 39 per cent of the storage space.....The growth of self-storage also owes something to the surge in start-ups....There are obstacles. The competition for new sites is intense. “If we look at a site, it could well be one that a discount food retailer is looking at, car showrooms, budget hotels, student housing,”
booming  storage  self-storage  United_Kingdom  purpose-built  possessions  artifacts  warehouses  social_changes  hoarding  start_ups 
july 2018 by jerryking
Cause or effect? The link between gentrification and violent crime
July 12, 2018 | | Financial Times | by Nathan Brooker YESTERDAY.

London, which is experiencing a sustained increase in violent offences as crime rates in other global cities such as New York, Sydney and Hong Kong continue to fall......The escalation of violence has been linked to provocation on social media, increased competition in the drugs trade, a reduction in police measures such as stop and search and an overall drop in police funding— the Met has seen its annual budget cut by about 20 per cent since 2010-11, and it has lost 10 per cent of its police officers in that time......However, one factor that is often overlooked and, according to professional and academic observers, has played a key role in exacerbating London’s recent crime wave, is its gentrifying property market.

Areas of London that have higher levels of deprivation also tend to have higher crime rates.........The level of violence you see is getting much more extreme......Gentrification has had a significant impact on the area....“One of the issues young people have in Hackney Wick is the lack of aspiration, the lack of hope,” says Allen. “They’re all living in a rich, diverse city, but it still feels very separate to them. It’s not their development; it’s somebody else’s. They think they won’t be able to live in the area they were brought up in because they’re not going to be able to spend £600,000 on an apartment.”.........gentrification has not only affected gang recruitment..... it has fundamentally altered how some gangs operate.........“It changed their idea of territory, since some senior members were forced out of the area [by the redevelopment] and had to commute in, for want of a better term,” he says. “Ten years ago there was a very strong connection to territory. There was an emotional connection. But the redevelopment changed that. The only territory that was left was the market place — the drugs market place — and that needs to be protected.”

It’s the protection of that market — one both lucrative and highly nebulous — that is behind some of the increase in violent crime. Without the clear boundaries an estate or a postcode might provide, he says, and with the high value of the drugs trade upping the stakes, transgressions are met with more intense violence.....The reasons behind the dramatic decline in New York’s murder count are much argued over: the growing economy, the end of the crack epidemic have all been put up as possible causes. Yet improvements to policing brought in under former New York police commissioner Bill Bratton cannot be overlooked.

Bratton’s policies, which included clampdowns on various low-level offences, and an increase in stop-question-and-frisk, are often mischaracterised as a zero-tolerance approach to policing, he says.

“What he really did was a management innovation.” Bratton, who was in the office 1994-96 and returned in 2014-16, introduced CompStat, measures that used computer programs to map where and when crimes were taking place, and how police resources were being shared. “When [Bratton] took over, the largest number of cops were on the day shift, but the largest number of crimes took place on the evening shift and the night shift,” he says. Bratton reallocated officers accordingly. They had a slogan: “Put cops on the dots”.......the most important thing Bratton did, Kleiman says, was make management more accountable, hauling in three precinct captains each week to grill them on their CompStat data. During his first year as commissioner, Bratton replaced something like two-thirds of the city’s 76 precinct commanders......The problem with fear is that it’s an unhelpful response. Fear raises money for private security firms, not community programmes; it improves funding to free schools, not failing academies; it promotes only the most brutal, careless forms of policing. In communities that are undergoing gentrification, fear further divides the haves and the have-nots: decreasing the kinds of relationships that might aid social mobility and better connect disadvantaged youth with the city they live in.

And what gets forgotten, says Allen, is that fear goes both ways. “A lot of the young people that get caught up in youth violence are caught up because they’re vulnerable and they’re frightened,”
accountability  Bill_Bratton  budget_cuts  carding  causality  CompStat  criminality  criminal_justice_system  data  deprivations  disaffection  fear  gentrification  homicides  killings  London  New_York_City  NYPD  organized_crime  policing  property_markets  redevelopments  United_Kingdom  violent_crime  youth 
july 2018 by jerryking
Donors should propel Oxford down the Ivy League diversity road
May 26, 2018 | Financial Times | David Lammy.

Elite Eastern institutions are using aggressive outreach campaigns to attract applicants who might otherwise be unaware of the schools’ generous financial-aid packages.
diversity  Colleges_&_Universities  outreach  Oxford  applicants  economically_disadvantaged  United_Kingdom  alumni  admissions  minorities  Black_British  donations  donors  Ivy_League 
may 2018 by jerryking
Norway’s oil wealth swamps innovation
John Gapper OCTOBER 19, 2016

"omstilling", is the name for Norway’s nascent shift to living without the energy industry that has brought it wealth and welfare for 45 years.

Why hurry, some wonder. Its 5.2m citizens are among the world’s comfiest, with gross domestic product per head of $75,000. Its oil-funded sovereign wealth fund, set up in 1990 to help it avoid “Dutch disease” — the syndrome of resource wealth driving up national currencies and weakening other sectors — is worth $880bn. Its oil and gas reserves should last for another half-century.

The trouble is that Norway is too comfortable. It takes a crisis to get most people to change their ways radically or for an economy to adjust the way that it works. Whatever you think of Brexit, it is one of those crises. At the moment, Norway has more official think-tanks and innovation incubators than entrepreneurship and disruption.....The oil fund is exemplary in many ways: by taking the wealth largely out of the hands of the government and directing it into overseas investment, Norway has avoided the worst of Dutch disease. But it adds to the sense of the country having a cushion against change: the fund’s very existence extends its deadline to reshape the economy.

The citizens are also cushioned......Norway remains hesitant about change.....Norway is a consensus-driven society that feels comfortable only with reform that has been carefully discussed and agreed....Elisabeth Stray Pedersen, a 29-year-old fashion designer who last year bought a factory opened in 1953 by the designer Unn Soiland Dale. She wants to revive its Lillunn brand and sell more of its Norwegian wool blankets and coats abroad.
Norway  Norwegian  oil_industry  Brexit  United_Kingdom  innovation  natural_resources  resource_curse  sovereign_wealth_funds  complacency  fashion  apparel  start_ups 
april 2018 by jerryking
Global Britain or globaloney - Bagehot
Mar 15th 2018 | The Economist | Bagehot.

Mr Tugendhat’s committee worries that “global Britain” cannot be the basis of foreign policy because it is little more than an “advertising slogan”. This columnist thinks the problem goes deeper. Global Britain is three badly thought out ideas rolled into one....
The first is that, thanks to its long history as a trading nation and imperial power, Britain is an irreducibly global country.....The second idea is that being global means embracing emerging markets. Since 2000 these have accounted for more than 60% of the world’s economic growth. The European Union is the economic equivalent of a “legacy system”: locked in the past, overburdened by entitlements and regulations, terrified of the creative destruction at the heart of capitalism. The emerging world, by contrast, is a bubbling cauldron of new opportunities and new consumers. ....The third idea is that “global Britain” means the Anglosphere. This embraces countries around the world that share a common culture because they were once part of the British empire.....The phrase “global Britain” is well intentioned, designed to send a message that Britain is not withdrawing from the world by leaving the EU. It remains open for business, active on the world stage, bouncily cosmopolitan. But Britain needs to do more than remain open for business. It needs to work out ways of engaging without overstretching its abilities and of embracing globalisation without forgetting that it has downsides as well as upsides. Talking globaloney isn’t going to help.
Brexit  delusions  downside_risks  EU  fallacies_follies  globalization  overstretching  slogans  United_Kingdom  upside  world_stage 
april 2018 by jerryking
First Skripal, Then NATO - WSJ
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
March 13, 2018

London has long been a favorite place for Putin allies to stash their stolen wealth and conduct their rivalries. Since the attack last week on Sergei Skripal, a former head of Scotland Yard is now calling for investigation of 14 other mysterious, Russia-related deaths........ The West’s risk-aversion in dealing with Mr. Putin is understandable.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  security_&_intelligence  United_Kingdom  risk-aversion 
march 2018 by jerryking
The dumb-bell economy: inside the booming business of exercise
FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | FT | Jo Ellison.

Where once consumers looked for acquisitions to express their status, our spending habits are shifting towards more holistic expenditures. In the past 20 years, the leisure industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic, disruptive and fashionable of forces. It’s all part of a new focus on the “lifestyle experience”, a trend that has possessed consumers and found luxury brands spiking with sporty new offerings — sneakers, leggings, apps and accessories — designed to harness the burgeoning market. As Harvey Spevak, the executive chairman and managing partner of the Equinox group, likes to say: “Health is the new wealth.”
.....2019 will see the first Equinox hotel opening in New York’s Hudson Yards, the first in a rollout of Equinox hotels earmarked for billions more in investment. The hotels will be founded on the same full-service ideal as the clubs. “Our vision for the hotels is to cater to the high-performance traveller,” says Spevak, “and we think about it as we do, historically, from a science perspective. We call it MNR — movement, nutrition and recovery — where a high-performance lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle is a three-legged stool.”.....as our lives have become busier, atomised and more urban, the gym has emerged as the new place in which to gather: to be part of a community....not only are millennials more likely to buy gym memberships, they’re driving the boutique business as well. The rise of the group workout, club membership and all of the attendant accessories that come with it have become part of the new language of “wellness”......Where you work out, who you work out with, and what you wear to work out in have become totems of fashionability. Spevak traces the first shoots of the wellness trend to 9/11, when he saw a jump in the number of people becoming focused on holistic health and taking care of themselves.
....But more than anything, the fitness boom must be a corollary of a digital revolution in which working out has become a ubiquitous feature of our online life; ....Minton agrees that a gym’s success depends on cultivating this tribal loyalty, delivering a unique experience and then selling product that marks its members out. “Some of the most interesting clubs are those that are expanding into less obvious areas,” he says. “We now have over 600 boutiques across the UK and they are growing faster than traditional gyms as they have a smaller footprint and can take pop-up spaces.......The experiential market is throwing a lifeline to retailers, as well. “The fashion link is growing,” adds Minton. “Fitness apparel brands like Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Reebok, Nike all now offer free in-store workouts, which provide them with an opportunity to market their brand lifestyles more directly and forge a connection with the consumer.”.......“The demise of retail is a permanent shift,” says Spevak. “It doesn’t mean retail’s going to go away, but it’s going to look very different. The consumer, in my opinion, will continue to buy nice things for themselves, but I think in the scheme of priorities the experience is more important than the handbag.”
fitness  exercise  London  United_Kingdom  gyms  wellness  rollouts  strength_training  boutiques  leisure  Equinox  millennials  experiential_marketing  small_spaces  pop-ups  non-obvious  upscale  retailers  in-store  digital_revolution 
february 2018 by jerryking
China falls for the charms of an English education
December 20, 2017 | Financial Times | FREDERICK STUDEMANN.

Westminster School in London had signed an agreement to set up six new establishments in China in the next decade, the latest example of a British private school embracing the biggest education market in the world.

Under the terms of an ambitious deal, Westminster will export its successful teaching methods to Chengdu and other cities. In return the school will boost its bursary funds, making more money available to help families on lower incomes access an education at one of the UK’s leading — and pricier — academic independent schools...The venture sits within an initiative to promote collaboration between future leaders of both countries.

This all seems to tick many boxes. These range from a need for a “global Britain” to seize new opportunities, to Westminster acquiring the means to fulfil its obligations as a charity to make its schooling as widely available as possible.

The move is also in keeping with a broader trend. For years now British schools have been operating offshoots in China (and elsewhere), selling various brands of top-drawer education directly in to fast-growing markets....a broader question closer to home: what are overseas parents actually paying for? As the numbers of foreign students have increased, schools have adapted to their new customers. At what point do they lose the qualities that attracted overseas students in the first place?
United_Kingdom  education  globalization  China  high_schools  Brexit 
december 2017 by jerryking
Open books, open borders
OCTOBER 20, 2017 | FT| Janan Ganesh.

The globalised Booker also confirms this medium-sized country’s knack for cultural decorations — degrees from its universities, air time on the BBC — that are coveted worldwide. The unfakeable emotion from Saunders and Beatty upon receipt of the prize was a larger compliment to Britain and its soft power than a Booker for one of its own would have been.....There is a strategic imperative to open up that goes beyond the aesthetic one. As the gap narrows between the superpower and the rest, it becomes more important for America to understand the outside world. Better foreign news coverage can help, but mere politics is downstream of culture. The real prize is to comprehend another country’s thought patterns, speech rhythms, historic ghosts and unconscious biases — and these seep out from the stories it tells and the way it tells them....Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker cites the spread of literacy as a reason for the long-term decline of human violence. To read another person’s story is to end up with a larger “circle of sympathy”. But even if America’s concern is the narrowest raison d’état, rather than world peace, it would profit from reading beyond its borders.

The minimum return is that more American readers would have more fun. The headiest writing tends to come from places that are ascendant enough to matter but raw enough to retain some measure of dramatic chaos: 19th-century Britain and Russia, mid-20th-century America, and now, perhaps, early 21st-century Asia. It is not just in economics that protectionism stifles.
books  cosmopolitan  cross-cultural  cultural_products  empathy  fiction  George_Saunders  Janan_Ganesh  literature  Man_Booker  middle-powers  national_identity  novels  open_borders  open_mind  parochialism  prizes  protectionism  reading  soft_power  storytelling  United_Kingdom  writers 
november 2017 by jerryking
U.K. says White House spying claims are ‘ridiculous’ - The Globe and Mail
GCHQ, based in a futuristic building located in western England, is one of three main British spy agencies alongside the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service and the MI5 Security Service.

GCHQ has a close relationship with the NSA, as well as with the eavesdropping agencies of Australia, Canada and New Zealand in a consortium called “Five Eyes.”
GCHQ  Five_Eyes  security_&_intelligence  United_Kingdom  White_House  Donald_Trump  lying 
march 2017 by jerryking
Hedge fund manager driven by a thirst for knowledge
December 10/11th, 2016 | Financial Times | Lindsay Fortado.

“I am always paranoid I’m not smart enough,” he said. “The biggest challenge in today’s world is that knowledge has increasingly become a commodity. How do you find the kernel of information, that anomaly that enables you to generate alpha?"
hedge_funds  United_Kingdom  HBS  slight_edge  anomalies  philanthropy  alpha  kernels  commoditization_of_information 
december 2016 by jerryking
For Britain’s ‘Brexit’ Bunch, the Party Just Ended - The New York Times
By PETER S. GOODMANOCT. 7, 2016For those blithely inclined toward the view that Britain would somehow find a way to sever its relationship with the European Union free of drama or financial consequences — like canceling a car rental reservation, with a tad more paperwork — Friday was a sobering day of reckoning.

As the British pound plunged some 6 percent against the American dollar in the span of two minutes in early trading in Asia, the markets offered a reminder that divorce tends to be messy, expensive and laced with uncertainties. It rarely ends happily.
Theresa_May  United_Kingdom  Brexit  EU  financial_markets  breakups  messiness  uncertainty 
october 2016 by jerryking
For Brexit supporters, a cautionary tale from Henry VIII - The Globe and Mail
CARL MORTISHED
LONDON — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016 3:06PM
Brexit  United_Kingdom  Tudors  EU  history  cautionary_tales 
september 2016 by jerryking
Fast Response to ‘Brexit’ News: A Pop-Up Paper Finds Success in Britain - The New York Times
By NICOLA CLARK SEPT. 13, 2016 | NYT |

“It kind of dawned on me: Here was an audience that was so clearly identifiable and passionate,” said Mr. Kelly, a longtime British newspaper executive who is now chief content officer of Archant, a large British newspaper group. “If there ever was a time for launching a new newspaper, this is it.”

Less than two weeks later, in early July, The New European, a weekly print newspaper, hit newsstands nationwide. The paper, conceived as a finite, monthlong experiment, is now going into its 11th week after proving a surprisingly profitable hit with readers.....Some midsize publishers have focused on portfolios of smaller-scale titles that can be produced using the same infrastructure of presses, distribution and marketing networks. Those economies of scale can significantly reduce the marginal costs — and the risks — of developing new print products....earlier experiments, aimed at general-interest audiences, failed to capture enough demand from readers and advertisers to justify their publishers’ relatively modest initial investments....The New European was conceived as a niche publication--the 48 % of Britons who voted on June 23 to stay in the European Union Since it was meant to be short-lived, Archant avoided spending huge sums on market research or publicity campaigns. “We never set out to actually create a long-term brand,” “The way we structured it was to make money on a four-week run.....successful pop-up titles could be linked to popular political or social movements, or major sporting events like last month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
pop-ups  newspapers  digital_media  Brexit  experimentation  new_products  product_launches  United_Kingdom  economies_of_scale  epiphanies  event-driven  events  social_movements  contextual  cost-structure  print_journalism  short-term  niches  short-lived  sports 
september 2016 by jerryking
Sending Mail in Mongolia? ‘Dissident.sloth.ploy’ Could Be the Address
AUG. 11, 2016 | - The New York Times | By BRYANT ROUSSEAU.

poetic three-word codes will soon act as a stand-in for the more common addressing convention of house number, street name and postal code, which never quite caught on in Mongolia, one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries.

They are the invention of a British start-up, What3Words, that has mapped the world into 57 trillion patches of nine square meters and given each one a unique three-word identity.

“Words are easier to remember and communicate than GPS or other alphanumeric systems,” said Giles Rhys Jones, a What3Words spokesman.
Mongolia  location_based_services  mobile_applications  What3Words  GPS  start_ups  mapping  United_Kingdom  postal_services 
august 2016 by jerryking
British Politics Gives a Sense of Government by Old School Chums - The New York Times
LYALLJULY 7, 2016
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United_Kingdom  Brexit  Oxford  elitism 
july 2016 by jerryking
U.K. Can’t Bank on EU’s Rationality in Talks - WSJ
By STEPHEN FIDLER
July 1, 2016

In a rational world, the EU would indeed react to Brexit by seeking the closest economic relationship possible with the U.K., and this may be what happens. But there are other factors suggesting this outcome shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Here are four reasons why:

Anger: The U.K. can’t draw on a wellspring of sympathy from the EU 27, and some leaders are plain angry that in their view the British government has put the EU’s future at risk to resolve a domestic political problem. “Moods are ephemeral,” said Peter Ludlow, a Brussels-based historian and analyst, before the vote. “But it will affect both the tone and the content of the earliest exchanges between the two parties.”

Mercantilism: an outdated philosophy that equates national prosperity with exports, still hold broad sway with the public and with politicians throughout Europe and farther afield. EU governments, not least in Paris, are salivating at the prospect of benefiting from the U.K.’s exclusion from the single market in services.

Asymmetry: Yes, the U.K. is important to Germany, but the EU as a whole is more important to Britain than vice versa.

Strategy: Germany and other EU governments don't want to 'reward' the UK with a special deal that tempts other countries to follow it toward exit.
Brexit  United_Kingdom  Germany  rationalism  negotiations  strategy  EU  anger  asymmetrical 
july 2016 by jerryking
You Break It, You Own It - The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman JUNE 29, 2016

It’s the story of our time: the pace of change in technology, globalization and climate have started to outrun the ability of our political systems to build the social, educational, community, workplace and political innovations needed for some citizens to keep up.

We have globalized trade and manufacturing, and we have introduced robots and artificial intelligence systems, far faster than we have designed the social safety nets, trade surge protectors and educational advancement options that would allow people caught in this transition to have the time, space and tools to thrive. It’s left a lot of people dizzy and dislocated.

At the same time, we have opened borders deliberately — or experienced the influx of illegal migration from failing states at an unprecedented scale — and this too has left some people feeling culturally unanchored, that they are losing their “home” in the deepest sense of that word.
Tom_Friedman  EU  Brexit  social_integration  United_Kingdom  safety_nets  circuit_breakers  social_fabric  institutions  automation  artificial_intelligence  unemployment  illegal_migration  dislocations  open_borders 
june 2016 by jerryking
UK’s former spy chiefs say Britain more secure inside Eurpean Union - The Globe and Mail
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, May 08, 2016 1:37PM EDT
Last updated Sunday, May 08, 2016
Brexit  MI6  MI5  United_Kingdom  EU  security_&_intelligence  spymasters 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Indian Spy Who Fell for Tibet - The New York Times
By SAMANTH SUBRAMANIAN
MARCH 16, 2016

Book cover of Journey to Lhasa and central Tibet,
Journey to Lhasa and central Tibet,
Sarachchandra Dāsa, 1849-
Book, 1902. 285 p.

TRL Stacks
Stacks Retrieval Stacks Request Reference N-MR In Library
Stack Request 915.15 S13
Tibet  security_&_intelligence  espionage  India  United_Kingdom  books  TPL  libraries 
march 2016 by jerryking
Pied a Terre restauranteur dips a toe into barbecue chains
October 23, 2015 | Financial Times | Malcolm Moore

Malcolm Moore on a perfectionist adding casual dining to his repertoire

David Moore says he is not a perfectionist but he is fibbing. For 25 ye...
casual_dining  restaurants  restauranteurs  BBQ  London  United_Kingdom  from notes
december 2015 by jerryking
What my Goldman Sachs training taught me about entrepreneurship - FT.com
March 31, 2015 2:17 pm
What my Goldman Sachs training taught me about entrepreneurship
Jason Gissing
United_Kingdom  alumni  Goldman_Sachs  London  entrepreneur  traders 
november 2015 by jerryking
Tech City News: London to host first Food Tech Week
Weblog post. Newstex Trade & Industry Blogs, Newstex. Oct 1, 2015.

ProQuest Central: hackathon and food and distribut*

October will see the launch of London's first ever 'Food Tech Week' which will be celebrating all things food and facilitating tec...
London  United_Kingdom  product_launches  food  technology  hackathons  disruption  ecosystems  brands  fresh_produce  innovation  food_tech  from notes
october 2015 by jerryking
Meet the Zaouis
23 May 2015 | Financial Times | Jonathan Guthrie.

The business plan for their M&A advisory firm was essentially a Post-it note reading 'Allons-y!" But in the two years since they set it up, broth...
finance  financiers  investment_banking  London  United_Kingdom  start_ups  boutiques  mergers_&_acquisitions  from notes
july 2015 by jerryking
Britain resigns as a world power
May 21, 2015 |The Washington Post | Fareed Zakaria
"I was struck by just how parochial it has become. After an extraordinary 300-year run, Britain has essentially resigned as a global power.

Over the next few years, Britain’s army will shrink to about 80,000."... Why does this matter? Because on almost all global issues, Britain has a voice that is intelligent, engaged and forward-looking. It wants to strengthen and uphold today’s international system — one based on the free flow of ideas, goods and services around the world, one that promotes individual rights and the rule of law.

This is not an accident. Britain essentially created the world we live in. In his excellent book “God and Gold,” Walter Russell Mead points out that in the 16th century many countries were poised to advance economically and politically — Northern Italy’s city-states, the Hanseatic League, the Low Countries, France, Spain. But Britain managed to edge out the others, becoming the first great industrial economy and the modern world’s first superpower. It colonized and shaped countries and cultures from Australia to India to Africa to the Western Hemisphere, including of course, its settlements in North America. Had Spain or Germany become the world’s leading power, things would look very different today.
BBC  books  cosmopolitan  cost-cutting  cutbacks  David_Cameron  drawdowns  EU  Fareed_Zakaria  foreign_policy  forward_looking  geopolitics  globalization  industrial_economy  international_relations  international_system  internationalism  leadership  London  middle-powers  parochialism  punch-above-its-weight  retreats  rule_of_law  superpowers  United_Kingdom  Walter_Russell_Mead 
may 2015 by jerryking
In the Dark Corners of the Web, a `Spider' Intercepts Hackers
April 22, 2015 | Bloomberg Business| by Edward Robinson

Encircling enterprises with digital force fields to protect against invasion is an outdated strategy, as the intrusions at JPMorgan Chase, Sony, and Target have demonstrated, according to James Chappell, Digital Shadows’ co-founder and chief technology officer. IT systems have simply become too open and diffuse to keep the bad guys out.
“Social media, long supply chains, mobile technology. There is now so much that no longer lives within the castle walls; it lives beyond them,” he says. “You can no longer assume that you’ll never be hacked. You have to assume that you will be.”
Enter the spider, a program of the firm’s own design. Crawling through shadowy corners such as the Deep Web and the Tor network, the program searches 80 million data sources in 26 languages for signs that Digital Shadows’ clients are at risk.
cyberattacks  Digital_Shadows  cyber_security  banks  hackers  malware  United_Kingdom  London  data_breaches  dark_web  pre-emption  network_risk  cyberintrusions  left_of_the_boom 
may 2015 by jerryking
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