Around the World in 80 Posts

A trip through the last 12 months in the IESE blogosphere

19/08/2016 Barcelona

IESE Business School

A look back on the last highlights of the last 12 months / Photo: Samuel Dunn

Pack your bags, we’re going on a world tour through the last year’s podcasts and blogposts from our professors. It’s a small but worthwhile selection… Are you ready?

United States: Oil, TPP, Elections…

Our tour kicks off in the United States, which has taken center stage in many blogposts due to its role in the plummeting oil prices. Javier Díaz-Giménez analyzes this and the key role of the U.S. in the climate change summit COP21 held in Paris last December.

Another hot topic that took us to the U.S. was the TTP, the ambitious commercial treaty signed with Japan and a dozen other countries in the Pacific. The European version, the TTIP due to be signed between the U.S. and Europe also came to the fore. Víctor Pou analyzes both treaties and their strategic and commercial scope.

Election year? Mike Rosenberg has been following them for us from the start. And he gives us a beginner’s guide to how the often incomprehensible U.S. electoral process works.

Brian Leggett’s finger has also been on the pulse when it comes to examining the politicians’ rhetoric. His historical analysis on political debate includes valuable lessons for business leaders.

New to this year’s elections is the female candidate factor. And who better than our own Mireia Las Heras to tackle this? Her podcast addresses the question of whether the first woman to be nominated to represent a party in the presidential elections, Hillary Clinton, has really broken the glass ceiling by herself… or not.

Europe: Brexit, the Refugee Crisis and the Future of the E.U.

Tensions in the E.U. have risen to breaking point, posing a real threat to all the agreements on key issues – such as accepting immigrants on mass that are still flocking to the continent. And in direct relation to this, and to the surprise of many Brits, the U.K. voted to leave the E.U.

The Brexit has been one of the trending topics in the IESE blogosphere this year. Worth listening to is the excellent pre-referendum podcast by Alfredo Pastor and the post-analysis from Xavier Vives.

A few months prior to this the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke. At that time they were the world’s number one car manufacturer. The scandal affected millions of diesel motors and brought about the fall of their top executive. Our first ever podcast was on this. Mike Rosenberg commented on the scandal and how the car manufacturer could recuperate its credibility.

Joan Fontrodona took ethics and integrity into account in his post on the whole affair. If they had existed at Volkswagen, he argues, the scandal would never have happened.

The IESE blogosphere has dedicated many posts to the refugee crisis from the European perspective. Amongst others, Sebastian Reiche from his blog Expatriatus dedicated to global mobility provides some guidelines on how Europe should take in hundreds of thousands of people and integrate them into the old continent.

Asia: When China Sneezed and the World Trembled

Who doesn’t remember the Chinese stock exchange’s seizures at the start of the year? Was it the prelude to a crisis or controlled regulation by the government? Alfredo Pastor, Pedro Nueno and Nuria Mas analyze its global impact and the keys to the phenomenon that had investors around the globe on tenterhooks.

The tragic situation in the Middle East, which has caused a significant ripple effect in Europe, such as the avalanche of refugees and the waves of attacks has been one that we cannot ignore. In his blog, Doing Business on the Earth, Mike Rosenberg tries to explain the conflict zone, the strange alliances that have been forged between countries and how to combat ISIS.

And going back to the issue of falling oil prices, we find ourselves asking: is it really good for business that Brent has dropped to 35 dollars a barrel? And how has this affected countries who rely on the exportation of crude oil? Morten Olsen explained recently how Saudi Arabia has put into action its Vision 2030 plan to free itself from its almost absolute dependence on black gold.

Africa: From Nairobi to Abidjan

IESE arrived in Africa long before it came into fashion. Our professors began working there in the nineties – and continue to this day – contributing to the continent’s development. From Nairobi to Abidjan, passing through Lagos, The Africa Initiative has been ever present in the blogosphere. An example being the weekly posts from Africa Ariño, published in her blog Africa from Africa.

Prof. Ariño has remained true to her readers, sharing firsthand experiences and insight into the human and economic development of the continent. Amongst other hot topics, she has dedicated a few posts to Africa’s Agenda 2063.

And Alejandro Lago, co-director of the initiative, has managed to attract the attention of a large number of African readers by talking about an entrepreneur in Nairobi in one of his posts.

Latin America: Beyond the Panama Papers

The scandal of the famous offshore entities created in Panama led to Joan Fontrodona’s podcast on evaluation criteria to gauge when it is acceptable to use such tools – and when it is not.

Pedro Videla took a different approach and analyzed the Chinese investments in Latin America which have also suffered thanks to the plummeting price of crude oil.

Territories Still to Explore

While to a great extent the blogosphere has been driven by current affairs, the management side of things has also propelled it with emerging markets, big data, sports management, self-management and social entrepreneurs’ initiatives taking the lead.

Posts from Tony Dávila, Julia Prats, Joan de Dou, Alberto Ribera, Hakan Ener, Matthieu Carenzo, Julián Villanueva, Xavier Oliver, Eduardo Martínez Abascal, Nino Vaccaro, Domènec Melé, Antonio Argandoña, Nuria Chinchilla, Víctor Martínez de Albéniz, Fred Krawchuk, Mario Capizzani, Carlos García Pont, Josep Maria Rosanas, Rafael Andreu, Nuria Chinchilla, Jorge Soley, Javier Zamora and many many more have contributed to this year’s wonderful journey.