Daily Archives: April 3, 2017

Parliamentary Democracies Are Just Better at Resisting Populism

By Leonid Bershidsky – Recent and upcoming political upheavals in a number of countries provide some evidence that the institutional design of democracies can be critically important.

A clear advantage is emerging for countries that don’t directly elect a president: They are more likely to resist the wave of populism sweeping the West.

Where there are no direct presidential elections, populists must win many individual elections over many cycles in order to rise to a nation’s chief executive; Donald Trump seized the White House in his first run for public office. It took less than 17 months.

When a country’s constitution provides for the direct election of a president, even with largely ceremonial powers, a strong leader with a lot of political weight can quickly turn things around and make the office more powerful, and more dangerous, than written laws allow. more> https://goo.gl/nmQGCC

3 Ways Exponential Technologies are Impacting the Future of Learning


By Sveta McShane – Exponential technologies have a tendency to move from a deceptively slow pace of development to a disruptively fast pace. We often disregard or don’t notice technologies in the deceptive growth phase, until they begin changing the way we live and do business. Driven by information technologies, products and services become digitized, dematerialized, demonetized and/or democratized and enter a phase of exponential growth.

In the past three decades, jobs requiring routine manual or routine cognitive skills have declined as a percent of the labor market. On the other hand, jobs requiring solving unstructured problems, communication, and non-routine manual work have grown.

The best chance of preparing young people for decent paying jobs in the decades ahead is helping them develop the skills to solve these kinds of complex tasks. more> https://goo.gl/UemBt9

Updates from GE

School’s In: GE’s New “Brilliant Learning” Program Will Train Workers For Jobs Of The Future
By Tomas Kellner – Jesse Schrimpf didn’t study additive manufacturing in school. But when a 3D printer showed up at his plant in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the GE Healthcare engineer decided to give the machine a whirl.

Normally, Schrimpf would design a new master mold, order a wooden mold prototype costing as much as $20,000 from a supplier and wait as long as four weeks for the delivery. He would test it, make tweaks and repeat the process. The costs quickly added up.

But with the 3D printer at his disposal, he could print a mold that performed better than the wooden kind in just two days on-site and for $1,000. The printer, which creates 3D objects directly from a computer file, enabled him to incorporate changes into the next design version with his keyboard and a mouse.

Schrimpf is in many ways the poster child for GE’s new “brilliant learning” program the company is launching for employees around the world this week. It includes “massive open online courses” in several languages, workshops, “immersion boot camps on lean manufacturing” and other training designed to help employees get ready for the arrival in the factory of 3D printing, big data, robotics, digital and lean manufacturing and other advanced technologies.

GE is launching “brilliant learning” to change things. The model feeds into the company’s idea of the Brilliant Factory, a plant that uses big data, software sensors, new manufacturing methods and robotics to increase productivity. GE businesses are busy rolling out the concept at 17 sites in Japan, India, Italy, Mexico and also the U.S, and more are in the pipeline. more> https://goo.gl/1jmbjf

Brexit – A Lose-lose Proposition

By Per Wijkman – The UK government hopes to limit its losses by negotiating a new trade agreement giving what EU membership now offers apart from the free movement of labor and trade subject effectively to the European Court of Justice.

This will be difficult. The UK’s negotiating position is weak since the EU Commission plans to start negotiations on a new trade agreement only after the UK has withdrawn from the EU. The UK thus leaves the EU without knowing what will replace membership. Deprived of a secure fall-back position, it will have little leverage.

Border controls, rather than tariffs, generate the major costs involved in cross-border trade, especially when cross-border supply chains are extensive. In order to avoid border controls between the EU and the UK, they must apply a common set of rules concerning technical standards, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, rules of origin, rules for financial services, etc. In addition, they must apply a common legal system in order to guarantee application of the common rules. The less extensive the common legal system, the more shallow the economic integration must be.

Since one of Prime Minister May’s key objectives with Brexit is to re-establish UK sovereignty over its legal system, a common legal system is ruled out. more> https://goo.gl/pCEs57

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