World leaders head to Davos as uncertainty darkens the global outlook

A demonstrator holds a 'Stop The Shutdown' sign during a rally with union members and federal employees to end the partial government shutdown outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A demonstrator holds a ‘Stop The Shutdown’ sign during a rally with union members and federal employees to end the partial government shutdown outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

As a legion of heads of state and business leaders head to Davos for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) next week, world affairs are as unpredictable and unstable as ever.

In the 12 months since the last forum, global trade relations and diplomacy as well as domestic politics have been fractious, to say the least.

Since President Donald Trump first announced tariffs on a selection of Chinese imports last January, the U.S. and China have gone on to impose tariffs of $250 billion and $110 billion on each other’s goods, respectively. Washington is currently witnessing its longest ever shutdown because of an impasse over funding for a border wall and Brexit remains as chaotic and unclear as ever just weeks before the U.K.’s departure from the EU.

The forum released a “Global Risks” report Wednesday in which it noted that “global risks are intensifying but the collective will to tackle them appears to be lacking.”

In continental Europe over the last year, we’ve seen a populist government take charge in one of Europe’s major economies, Italy, and a demise of mainstream politicians that could lead to a power vacuum — and moral crisis — in the region.

Rise of populism and protectionism risking multilateral relations, analyst says

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced in October that she is to retire from politics and her party continues to cede voters to the left and right, meanwhile an increasingly unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron is dealing with ongoing and often violent protests on the streets of Paris.

John Drzik, president of Global Risk and Digital at risk management firm Marsh, told CNBC that cybercrime, critical infrastructure and environmental threats, as well as changes in geopolitics, are among the biggest risks facing the world right now.

“The rise of nationalist agendas around the world is creating friction among states as well as weakening multilateral institutions,” he told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche.

“It’s not just in the U.S., here in the U.K. you have Brexit, but in Brazil, Italy, Austria and Hungary there are lots of populist political figures who are getting elected and changing the agenda to be more protectionist and more nationalist and, as a result, weakening the multilateral bonds that were there and that’s expected to continue into 2019.”

The global economy is not looking too great either as trade concerns continue to concern business and rattle financial markets.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cited trade tensions when it downgraded its global growth forecast for 2019 last October. The IMF expects global growth of 3.7 percent in 2019, down 0.2 percentage points from an earlier forecast in its World Economic Outlook report.

The World Bank, meanwhile, sees global growth at 2.9 percent in 2019 amid tightening financial conditions. The European Commission is also downbeat about the region’s growth, forecasting a lackluster 2 percent growth in the EU in 2019.

Globalization 4.0

Against this backdrop, there’s plenty to talk about at this year’s Davos then when the heads and officials of over 100 governments meet, as well as top executives from over 1,000 global companies. Designed to foster private and public cooperation, the forum’s main objective is “to improve the state of the world.” This year’s theme is focused on “Globalization 4.0.”

WEF’s founder Klaus Schwab said in November that the world is experiencing “an economic and political upheaval that will not cease any time soon” adding in a WEF editorial that “the forces of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have ushered in a new economy and a new form of globalization.”

Schwab said that a slow and uneven recovery since the global financial crisis meant “a substantial part of society has become disaffected and embittered, not only with politics and politicians, but also with globalization and the entire economic system it underpins.”

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He said populist discourse had confused globalization, which has been seen to have negative connotations in some populist narratives, with globalism.

“Globalization is a phenomenon driven by technology and the movement of ideas, people, and goods. Globalism is an ideology that prioritizes the neoliberal global order over national interests. Nobody can deny that we are living in a globalized world. But whether all of our policies should be ‘globalist’ is highly debatable.”

Put simply, Schwab said the challenge for global leaders is “to restore sovereignty in a world that requires cooperation.” He advised that rather than closing off economies through protectionism and nationalist
politics, a new social compact is needed between citizens and their leaders, so that everyone feels secure enough at home to remain open to the world at large.”

“Failing that, the ongoing disintegration of our social fabric could ultimately lead to the collapse of democracy,” he said.

[“source=cnbc”]

Facebook Stories Set to Get Ads as User Base Touches 300 Million

Facebook Stories Set to Get Ads as User Base Touches 300 Million

Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories now have more than 300 million users, the social networking company announced in post. More importantly, Facebook announced ads are coming to Stories on both its main app and Messenger. This comes about a year after ads were rolled out for Instagram Stories. The company has announced WhatsApp Status, the app’s version of Stories, will be getting ads next year. The Facebook, Messenger and Instagram Stories – along with WhatsApp Status – are clones of Snapchat Stories but have far more users than the pioneer of the feature.

In a post on the Facebook Business page, the company said “To help businesses reach more people, we’re now making Facebook Stories ads available to all advertisers around the world. Soon, you’ll be able to extend the reach [of ads] and improve the performance of your stories ad campaigns in Messenger.”

Facebook Stories ads will support tracking metrics such as reach, brand awareness, video views, app install, conversion, traffic, and lead generation. Brands such as iHeartRadio, Kettle Chips and KFC are among the advertisers who were part of the testing phase for Facebook Stories. The social media company claimed these brands have seen a “lift from their Facebook Stories ad campaigns.”

Citing an Ipsos survey, Facebook said, “More than half of people surveyed said they’re making more online purchases as a result of seeing Stories. In addition, 38 percent of people said that after seeing a product or service in a story they talked to someone about it, and 34% said they went to a store to look for it.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Unveils Workplace for Good as Free Tool for Non-Profit Organisations

Facebook Unveils Workplace for Good as Free Tool for Non-Profit Organisations

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Workplace Premium costs $3 per user per month
  • Facebook looks to offer Workplace Premium for free to non-profits
  • It has already partnered with organisations like WWF, Unicef, and more

Facebook launched its Workplace by Facebook service two years ago, providing social tools to companies to ease intra-office communication. It is a subscription product, competing mostly with Slack, and charges $3 per user per month. Now, the company has launched something known as Workplace for Good which gives non-profit organizations all the tools of Workplace Premium for free, without any subscription fees.

Through Workplace for Good, Facebook is offering Workplace Premium free to non-profits and staff at educational institutions globally. It has already partnered with organisations like the World Wildlife Fund, Comic Relief, Unicef, Save the Children, RNIB, NRC, It Gets Better, Australian Catholic University and the Miami Dade School District.

“We’re also investing in a dedicated team to grow our efforts in this space, alongside a new online resource center that brings together product information, success stories, and videos to help organizations take the first step,” Annette Gevaert, Head of Workplace for Good-Facebook said in the company’s blog.

Workplace provides tools like live video streaming, group messaging, News Feed announcements, and voice and video calls across desktop and mobile platforms. It also gives access to Workplace and Workchat apps on iOS and Android both. There’s also unlimited file, photo, and video storage, along with integration with other file storage providers. It ensures secure collaboration between companies, and comes with a desktop notifier for Windows devices. The Premium variant has enterprise features like administrative controls to manage your community, monitoring tools for IT team, APIs for custom integrations, integrations with e-discovery and compliance providers, single sign-on (SSO), active Directory support, 1:1 email support for administrators, and integration with G Suite, Okta, and Windows Azure AD.

All organisations that are not non-profits can also use Workplace Premium for free for 90 days, after which the subscription fees will be levied. Anyone who has a Workplace account can ask for Workplace for Good accessibility. To try Workplace Premium for free, head here and to enrol for Workplace for Good, head here.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Ramakrishnan Hariharan joins Publicis India as creative head

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MUMBAI: Publicis India has strengthened its creative function with the appointment of Ramakrishnan Hariharan as the head of creative. Ram, as he is fondly known by his peers, will be based out of Mumbai and will report to Publicis India MD and CCO – South Asia Bobby Pawar.

As the creative head of Mumbai, Ram will manage and lend his creative know-how on some notable brands of the agency including Zee, Lakme, HDFC MF, Skoda, Citibank, etc. He will work closely with the teams and the leadership and assist in carving out a unique creative identity for the brands that he will manage.

Commenting on the appointment, Bobby Pawar says, “Creatively, the Mumbai office has been on a roll for a while, with great work on Ambuja Cement, Nerolac, HDFC Mutual Funds, Skoda, Zee and more. Ram comes to bat at the right time. He is not just a great creative guy who is adept at traditional and non-traditional ideas, he is also the kind of leader people rally behind. I am sure he will help us raise our game a few notches.”

Ram joins Publicis from Ogilvy India where he was the senior creative director.

A creative veteran with an enviable experience spanning more than 18 years, Ram has been associated with some key brands across multiple agencies in India. His most notable works include launch of Savlon antiseptic range and JSW Cement, campaigns for Amazon devices including Kindle and FireTV Stick, Taj Mahal Tea, etc. Prior to Ogilvy, Ram has also been associated with Lowe Lintas, Everest Brand Solutions, Leo Burnett, Vyas Gianetti Creative etc.

Welcoming Ram on board, Publicis India managing director Srija Chatterjee adds, “Ram has been the face behind some memorable campaigns in the recent past, and it will be great to see him bring that creative spark across most of our work at Publicis. We are certain that under his leadership, the teams will imbibe a great creative culture and churn out an enviable body of work that will end up winning multiple laurels. We welcome him to the agency and look forward to seeing some great work from him soon.”

Sharing his views on joining the agency, Ram said says, “Publicis has done some outstanding work in the past and is truly geared for more success. Bobby is like a mentor to me, and I am fortunate to work closely with him in shaping up the creative culture here. We have clients who believe in us and a robust brand-planning and account-management team driving those businesses. What more can a creative person ask for.”

Ram is no stranger to awards and many of his works have gone on to win top honours across prominent award shows. He has been the recipient of many awards across festivals like Abby Awards, Clio Awards, Cannes Lions, Adfest, Goafest, Kyoorius Awards, Effie India, D&AD, One Show, Spikes Asia etc.

[“Source-indiantelevision”]