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Personalization: how do e-consumers feel about it?

Business September 20th, 2016, Ahlem Abidi-Barthe / Head of Master Program Digital Business & E-Commerce at European Business School Paris

Emerging as an experiment fifteen years ago, personalization has become today a central feature of e-commerce, whether in the form of customization of products, the boom of made-to-measure or the personalization of customer relationships using customer relationship management tools. But do we know how consumers feel about it? In 2004, Ahlem Abidi-Barthe led the first scientific investigations on the subject. What has changed since then?

Airbnb or how to rejuvenate the rent economy

Society September 12th, 2016, Monique Dagnaud / Emerita Research Director, Institut Marcel Mauss (CNRS-EHESS)

The Airbnb community reflects very interesting socio-cultural aspects. Almost 73% of Americans are unaware of collaborative economy, and this consumption pattern appeals primarily to under-45s, university graduates and people with a good level of income. This form of consumption is popular among the upper stratum of society because of the Romantic image it conjures, the ecological label and the art of living together. Simultaneously, it federates the support of young people because of the economic benefits it provides. Collaborative economy is the warhorse of a sort of cultural avant-garde; but this group will grow.

Proponents of synthetic biology introduced in molecular biology a number of principles directly inspired from engineering. Their goal: alter living organisms to make them produce new molecules. Numerous applications are expected in the areas of health, energy, materials, environment and agriculture. How will the transition to the industrial phase take place? This, today, is the main issue.

Why American internet companies fail in China: a cultural perspective

Business September 5th, 2016, DONG Jielin / Associate Professor and Member of the Academic Committee, Research Center for Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University

Different hierarchies of needs explain why, in the internet industry and other high-tech industries in China, there are both the Chinese way and the Silicon Valley way of doing business, and why some big American companies have been struggling to make headway here. High-tech sounds high-up, but for online service providers, it all boils down to understanding other people’s ways of thinking and doing things. They have to understand local governments, their employees, business partners, users and clients. Looking back, the U.S. internet giants that failed were simply out of tune with the Chinese market. They didn’t clearly see the importance of understanding Chinese culture; they talked to the wrong people in the wrong ways about the wrong things.

Has IoT increased our exposure to cyber threats?

Business July 22nd, 2016, Sandy Verma / Senior Director of Asia Pacific for Internet of Things Solutions, AT & T

Cybersecurity is already top of the agenda for many corporate boards, but the scale and scope of Internet of Things (IoT) deployments escalate security risk, making it harder than ever for C-suite executives to protect their businesses.

As automation technologies such as machine learning and robotics play an increasingly great role in everyday life, their potential effect on the workplace has, unsurprisingly, become a major focus of research and public concern. The discussion tends toward a Manichean guessing game: which jobs will or won’t be replaced by machines?

China’s reform progress exemplified: the road transportation situation

Society July 9th, 2016, Mats Harborn / Executive Director, Scania China Strategic Office

In order to continue to prosper, China as a country and as an economy needs deep and comprehensive reform. President Xi Jinping outlined his view in a long article published on May 10th in Peoples’ Daily, the official party newspaper: reform means that market forces should play a decisive role in resource allocation, and for that to happen there needs to be a level playing field. That in turn requires that all players abide by the same rules, standards and laws, which will not be achieved without strict and equal enforcement. In the field of road transportation, these issues become very concrete, visual and easy to understand.

Value creation and global chains: new business models

Business June 29th, 2016, Corinne Vadcar / Senior Trade Analyst, Institut Friedland

The slowdown in international trade and the digital revolution converge to shake up global value chains, a paradigm for international trade since approximately 25 years. A value chain, it should be recalled, encompasses all of the activities that form a product or service, from its conception to its use by the end consumer. The globalization of value chains that began in the early 1990s opened a cycle that now seems to bend. On these different links, the way value is created changes greatly. Western companies draw lessons by changing their business model. But emerging countries have also entered the game. Ultimately, maybe only a few winners with a global corporate status will be left.

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.

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