Monthly Archives: August 2013

Why you can bank on the humanities to launch a City career

Philosophers have been making a killing in financial services since Thales of Miletus used options to corner the ancient Greek market for olive oil. So it is fantastic news to see several big banks continuing to recognise how much humanities graduates have to contribute in the twenty-first century: nearly half of the intake at Barclays is set to have an arts background. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Human nature, Liberal education

UK leadership of the international space race isn’t entirely out-of-this-world

Who says the sky has to be the limit? Britain’s space industry has ambitions to become a global leader. The sector’s new growth plan, announced this week, includes establishing a British spaceport within five years. It wants our 6.5 per cent share of the global space market in 2010 to be 8 per cent by 2020. The latter would mean an annual turnover of £19bn in today’s terms, rising to 10 per cent of the anticipated £400bn market by 2030, creating 100,000 new jobs. Continue reading

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Filed under Politics, Science, Technology

Why Britain needs its own Breaking Bad

Britain needs better liars. Having lost our tolerance for taking reality straight up, we need a more palatable way to swallow hard truths. And for this, truth sugared by fiction looks like the best option we have left. Continue reading

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Filed under Film, Human nature, Literature

All hail the boffin burger: The next step in human nutrition

It would be easy to dismiss the serving of the first lab-grown burger as classic silly season fodder. Yet this is one photo opportunity that really may mark a historic moment, even if most seem to be missing its exact importance. In vitro meat is significant not because it increases menu options for a few Western vegetarians but because it may represent the next great step upwards in global nutrition. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovation, Science, Technology

The voice of business should burst the Westminster bubble

It is great news to see that more senior business figures will be joining the House of Lords, including Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB and Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe, former executive director of Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs department. At the same time, it’s not nearly enough – at least, that’s the judgement of some of the most senior figures at Britain’s blue chip firms. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Politics

The ladder of innovation means ever more low-hanging fruit

Hardnosed business sense can improve charitable outcomes. That should be obvious enough, but it is a story that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

How cheering then to read this week of the difference Toyota made to the efficiency of New York’s food banks by sharing its commitment to kaizen, or continuous improvement. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Economics, Innovation