Words to Watch in 2016

Key words from the blogosphere

21/01/2016 Barcelona

Blogosfera 2016
Headline grabbers for 2016 / Photo: IESE

Inequality and TTP – two words worth noting. They might just affect your business more than any others you hear in the press this year. IESE professors have been debating and musing over these words and more in our blogosphere.

Inequality and Unemployment

Oxfam’s latest report on world poverty and inequality was released this week, warning of the ever-widening gap between the world’s rich and poor. Just in time for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

The WEF president’s prediction that 7 million jobs world-wide will be lost due to economic changes and robotization has added to the polemic.

Last term Sandalio Gómez, Eduardo Martínez Abascal and Antonio Argandoña made clear that these are not just Southern European issues. Unemployment is one of the main reasons behind increasing world-wide inequality in society. Especially in the United States – featured last month in Xavier Vives blogpost.

How can we reverse this trend? And what can countries creating employment teach us?


Crude oil at 25 US dollars a barrel. Iran is back in the game after years of sanctions. And the U.S. is exporting for the first time in 40 years.

The global energy panorama is rife with economic, geopolitical and environmental disparity. It’s not just our economics professors who are writing about this. In his blog Doing Business on the Earth,  Mike Rosenberg also touches on the topic.

The remaining questions are what – and when – the tipping point will be. And how this will impact the different crude oil import and export economies. In the coming days we will delve deeper into this issue.

Immigration and Refugees

The conflict in Syria has caused the displacement of tens of thousands of people. Many of whom have chosen Europe as their destiny – bringing with them many new issues for the European Union.

Regulation and patrolling of the Schengen zone, humanitarian drama and how to welcome and treat immigrants and refugees. And last – but by no means least – how do we integrate so many displaced people into the workforce and business? As well as integrate them into society in general.    

During recent months, Sebastian Reiche’s blog has been charting this sorry tale of geographic mobility. War, conflict, discrimination – just some of the words on an ever-growing list associated with forced expatriation.

Women in Leadership

For the first time in 30 years a women was voted Person of the Year by Time Magazine in 2015: German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Above and beyond her political profile, Merkel has epitomized just what today’s women leaders are capable of.

From the blogosphere, IESE has analyzed the effect of women on boards of directors and advisory boards. Fresh perspectives and creating a more humane working environment are not all that women leaders bring to the table. Increased profits and performance are also par for the course.

This year, IESE Professors Nuria Chinchilla y Mireia Las Heras will continue to analyze the measures needed to shatter the glass ceiling – and smash the cement one – so that women directors can serve on executive and advisory boards with the same conditions as men.


After the tragic attacks in November, Paris has become a symbol of the war on terrorism. It was also the host of the XXI U.N. Conference on Climate Change (COP21). Foundations were laid for subsequent agreements to favor putting the brakes on global warming – essential for future sustainability.

The COP21 brought to the fore the complexities of multi-country negotiations. In his highly recommendable podcast,  Kandarp Mehta commented on this – and the need for companies to take environmental sustainability more seriously in terms of strategy. Mike Rosenberg has also published extensively on these issues.


The world’s attention turned to China in the new year, in wake of the recent stock exchange earthquakes.

Are these stock market storms due to slowing growth – or are they preludes to a crisis? Could they be the effect of an economic policy bent on finding better stability at any cost?

In his recent podcast, Pedro Nueno analyzes the situation and whether we’re facing a crisis or just a simple retuning.


Development of the commercial Trans-Pacific Partnership – TTP – between the U.S., Japan and 12 other South-Pacific countries will be in the spotlight over the next few month. Barak Obama hopes this agreement will assure the loyalty of his Atlantic and Pacific commercial partners.

Will Europe end up joining the TPIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership version?

Mike Rosenberg’s post and Víctor Pou’s blog explore these issues.

European Union

With the Greek Crisis under control, the E.U. turns its attention to incoming immigrants and refugees, dangerous voluntary and involuntary exits, and its ever-delicate economy’s health.

There have been – and will be – electoral processes putting in jeopardy the natural law of Germany’s ruling hand. It’s clear that 2016 will be an intense year, with the E.U. continuing to hit the headlines and providing material for many posts. 

The future is hurtling towards us at an unstoppable speed. IESE faculty will continue to highlight the key issues, and analyze how they’ll affect you, your business and society in 2016.