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The public sector has long operated in isolation, developing methods and solutions of its own. In recent decades, however, interactions with the private sector have increased, whether through the growing role of consulting firms or in the form of public-private partnerships. Today, this collaboration is taking on a whole new dimension by integrating other stakeholders, including the users of public services. The emergence of open innovation models is redefining the methods and spirit of public action. Government is reinventing itself as an innovation platform.

There is not a single day when we don’t talk about innovation, digitalization and the competition between startups and big companies. We might miss the point when we do so, because the fundamental shift occurring is not digitalization by itself but the complexity it generates. Complexity causes a reduction of our capability to predict and makes us need to reinvent the way we design and manage organizations. All our beliefs about business are rooted in a world of simplicity, where the causal links were understandable and the evolution of markets foreseeable. This environment led us to focus on one holy metric, that eventually became an obsession: efficacy.

Advance amid choices: technological development, business innovation, laws and regulations

Society June 17th, 2016, Jia Kai / PhD Graduate at School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, Fullbright Scholar, Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Davis

Rapid technological upgrades and commercial innovation, coupled with a slow legislative and regulatory process, have given rise to successive social issues and disputes: Should platforms like Uber be legalized or not? Should Apple’s encryption technology be restricted? Should search results be affected by keyword bidding? Such issues not only pose great challenges to state governance, but also arouse intense social debates and controversies.

Urban transportation: trends, challenges and opportunities

Society June 15th, 2016, Sundaravalli Narayanaswami / Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Urban travel demand has to be understood from the context of differentiated urban growth. To some extent, capacity increase is possible by slight modifications with little or no investments such as signaling changes, widening of roads and extricating encroachments. But what works for one city may not work for the other, though some valuable lessons can be learned.

A Zero|Base health system

Society June 10th, 2016, Antoine Dubout & Guy Vallancien / President, French Federation of Private and Non-Profit Hospitals and Personal Assistance Organizations & President, Convention on Health Analysis and Management

Sirius has four characteristics. He is strictly rational and insensitive to any emotional stimulus. He is also insensitive to any political or corporate pressure. He ignores all existing health systems worldwide. He has a full capacity of understanding and immediate learning. Were Sirius asked to design a completely new health system, what would it look like?

Fintech in infographics: the global landscape in 2016

Industries June 9th, 2016, Choman Abdo / SEO Specialist, Potential Asia

Fintech? Over one thousand start-ups, all over the world, whose attempt to disintermediate the financial systems is a key challenge for banks and other financial institutions. A lot of money has already been invested and governments, through incubators, are now in the game. What does the global landscape look like?

The recent Directive on the protection of trade secrets sparked widespread criticism. Much has been said on this text, accused of having been written under the influence of multinational companies and of allowing prosecutions against journalists and whistleblowers. A careful reading of the text, however, can dispel most of the expressed concerns. The purpose of the Directive is not to organize the disguise of wrongdoing or unethical behavior. It is, however, aimed at protecting any information that would constitute a competitive advantage, without inducing intellectual property rights.

Are Indian consumers concerned about GM food?

Business May 26th, 2016, Satish Y. Deodhar / Professor of Economics, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA)

For quite sometime now, genetically modified (GM) food has been a subject of heated debates all around the world. In India, media have reported tensions between farmers, domestic seed companies, and large multinational seed firms. One also hears controversies about approval or otherwise of field trials for new GM crops. But what do we know about the Indian consumers’ perspective?

Over a number of years, the legal industry has been affected by a troubling change that looks every day less like a science fiction story. Lawyers and legal experts are witnessing the rise of digital services that integrate increasingly complex functions of the legal sector. The rise of Legal Tech has spawned a proliferation of startups focusing on the development of new technologies. Hence, secular jobs, which should have been spared by new technologies, are at the forefront of an assimilation phenomenon by artificial intelligences. Will robots wear court dresses in a near future?

Cosmetics in the thick of advertising competition

Industries May 18th, 2016, François Meunier / President, Alsis Conseil, Associate Professor of Finance, ENSAE ParisTech

Why does a company like L'Oréal spend 10 times more on advertising than on research? The answer lies within a strategic competition, proving extremely tough in the personal beauty and care sector. This advertising arms race has a cost, paid by consumers. Economists are beginning to take a serious interest in these cases where the more intense the competition, the higher the prices.

Artificial intelligence: the fear is from the unknown

Science and Technology May 12th, 2016, QIN Zengchang / Director, Intelligent Computing and Machine Learning Lab, Beihang University

Artificial intelligence (AI) research has gained major headways over the past few decades. Relevant technologies have grown from being just lab myths to mass market products. Some computing technologies are sophisticated enough to replace human minds and solve real world problems. Regardless of the professional systems widely adopted in areas such as national defence, finance and medicine, search engines, social networks and apps on smart phones are the real vehicles that have allowed the public to feel the massive power of AI. Whether it is for academy or industry, AI talents detected that this renaissance would bring a different historic meaning to the technology. With Google, Baidu and other tech giants joining the ranks, the public has given different interpretations of AI from their own perspectives, with some of them being off track. Which stage has AI technology reached? Is the arrival of machine intelligence a blessing or a curse?

Is there a future for the British steel industry?

Industries May 11th, 2016, Elie Cohen / Economist, Senior Researcher, Sciences Po

The sinking of the British steel industry has resulted in confusing, and sometimes contradictory debates. The politicization of these challenges tends to obscure questions having primarily to do with industrial strategies. Strategies of the concerned companies of course, but also those of States and Europe.

For over a century, cars were made of four wheels, a steering wheel and a driver. And what if everything changed? The explosion of social and technological innovation has transformed the automotive sector into a laboratory of the future. Two trends emerge: the technology race and the “step on the side” approach. With one unifying concept: sustainable mobility.

E-commerce and crowdfunding: why are they the same in China?

Industries April 18th, 2016, Julien Legrand / Yenching Scholar & Mines ParisTech Engineer

As long as laws and regulations are not changed to promote further diversity in crowdfunding, the industry will very likely focus on products that have already proven their feasibility. This is unlike in the West, where platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo can promote projects even before their first proof of concept. Entrepreneurs in China can therefore see in crowdfunding an alternative to venture capital in scaling up, or use it as a way to test their markets.

Staying one step ahead at Pixar

Industries April 17th, 2016, Ed Catmull / President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios

The cofounder of the company that created the world's first computer-animated feature film lays out a management philosophy for keeping Pixar innovative.

With the emergence of new, often disruptive, forms of personal mobility, the automotive industry is facing a drastic change in its role and its relationship with consumers, end-users and society in general. New forms of partnerships are also emerging. Innovation and technology are crucial drivers for these changes, while automotive suppliers are its key actors, alongside OEMs, new industrial players and service providers.

American unconventional oils against the backdrop of falling prices

Industries April 7th, 2016, Thierry Salmona / Vice-President, Innovation, Research & Technology, Business Support, Imerys

The current price of 50-60 dollars per barrel limits the number of new wells that can be drilled at an economically reasonable price. As a consequence, the drilling activity in the United States collapsed by 50%. Now that OPEC has stopped playing its regulatory role, American unconventional oils may well be the main balancing factor on the market. At the same time, the industry has already begun to adapt very quickly and the possibility of lower costs will play a very important role in this evolution.

Overcoming the pessimism that permeates many visions of the future of the news media, today we find ourselves in a period of intense activity, i.e. in the “creative” phase of a Schumpeterian moment. Many startups no longer rely on advertising and are refocusing on the service provided to the reader. Crowdfunding has freed up initiatives and is allowing for experimentation. Brief.me, a daily newsletter launched in 2014, was born of such experimentation.

Why AlphaGo is not AI

Science and Technology March 29th, 2016, Jean-Christophe Baillie / Founder and President, Novaquark

Culture is the essential catalyst of intelligence and an AI without the capability to interact culturally would be nothing more than an academic curiosity. However, culture can not be hand coded into a machine; it must be the result of a learning process.

Since her departure from JP Morgan Chase to become CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, Blythe Masters, the renowned economist and market operator, initiated a speaking tour dedicated to blockchains. During the Exponential Finance Conference held on June 2nd 2015, she declared that “financial blockchain applications will be measured in the trillions.” Since this sensational announcement, specialized firms have been receiving many calls that all revolve around the same issue: “How will the blockchain technology help us take the ascendancy in our industry?” Today, there is a real curiosity, but above all, a need for education on the subject of Bitcoin and Ethereum protocols, as well as “blockchain technology.”

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