Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

92-year-old Tom Brogan works at Asda. Credit: ITV/Tonight

92-year-old Tom Brogan works at Asda. Credit: ITV/Tonight.

Please click here to view article on Noreena’s ITV blog.

In the past 10 years, the number of people over the age of 65 who are at work has doubled. More than one million of Britain’s pensioners are now clocking on. But is this by choice or is it due to circumstance? And what does this imply for the rest of us? I went on a journey across the country to find out.

For some like 92-year-old Tom Brogan, work clearly enhances life. I could see how much he enjoys interacting with his customers at Asda and how much his fellow employees cherish him. Tom talked of how work gives him “independence” and of how it “gets me out of bed”. Similar sentiments were shared by several of the other over-65s in work I spoke with.

And I get that, being stuck at home all day could be really lonely and dull. But what if you’re not healthy enough to go out to work each day? Or don’t have enough energy? Forty percent of over-65s have limiting chronic health issues.

And is it that easy to get work if you’re older? Because despite laws against age discrimination the reality, as I found, is that getting a job when you’re over 50 is tough. More than a third of over-50s who were looking for work past year had been searching for more than 12 months.

Julia Clancy – a charismatic former hairdresser – is 59. She’s been applying for hundreds of jobs to no avail for the past two years. I could understand how demoralising it was for her “to imagine a future when all she had to live on was £73 a week”.

“I can’t see any light at the end of this tunnel,” she told me.

It’s not that older employees make worse employees, the opposite is in fact true. Andy Briggs the Government Business Champion for Older Workers had enlightening statistics to share. An over 50-year-old is less than half as likely to take a sick day than a 20 to 25-year-old and five times less likely to leave and change jobs than a 20 to 30-year-old. And whilst some of our skills do wane with age, our experience and knowledge grows.

Businesses need to wake up to the fact that older workers can add significant value and nurture their older employees better. Most could do much better than they currently are on this front.

Tricia Cusden set up a make-up company for older women. Credit ITV/Tonight.

69-year-old Tricia Cusden runs her own make-up company. Credit ITV/Tonight.

For those of us not yet approaching retirement my journey shed light on something else: how ill prepared most of us are for our twilight years. In Holland it’s common for people to save 20% of their salary for their retirement. Here in the UK, latest figures from Prudential show nearly one in seven workers retiring this year have made no other financial provisions for life after work and will be relying solely on their state pension to survive.

What this means it that for most of us working into later life will be a necessity, if we hope to retain a decent standard of living that is.

Retirement is increasingly a luxury many will never be able to afford.

La Vanguardia – Generation K

September 21st, 2017 by admin

Please click here to read an article on Generation K published in La Vanguardia.

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Please click here to view original article on PRNewswire, provided by SiriusXM Holding Inc.

July 31st 2017, 7.00 ET, New York.

“MegaHertz: London Calling” will feature a wide range of fascinating and vibrant perspectives from across the Atlantic.

Hertz will be SiriusXM’s first foreign-based host for news and talk programming.


Today SiriusXM, a U.S.-based radio company with more than 32 million subscribers, announced the debut of MegaHertz: London Calling hosted by one of the United Kingdom’s most noted and dynamic intellectuals, Noreena Hertz. The program will broadcast live from London starting Monday, August 28th at 1:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Insight channel 121.
With her new Insight program, Hertz will become SiriusXM’s first foreign-based host for news and talk programming and will serve as Chief Europe Correspondent across all talk radio channels. Her show, MegaHertz: London Calling, will invite listeners into Hertz’s salon, bringing a powerful variety of voices and opinions from the across the Atlantic.
Each episode will transport listeners into Hertz’s inner circle, an eclectic mix of writers, thinkers, political players, artists, business leaders, comedians, celebrities, and more. During the one-hour live show, Hertz and her guests will discuss and debate topics ranging from news and current events, to pop culture, business, the arts and beyond, as well as provide a unique opportunity to hear European-based perspectives on stories dominating headlines in the United States.
“I’m hugely excited to be launching MegaHertz: London Calling on SiriusXM and beginning a relationship with its listeners,” said Hertz. “The world has never been more vibrant, complex and controversial. I have plenty to say about the big topics affecting us all and will be inviting an eclectic and energetic mix of guests to debate them with me here in the UK and our listeners across America.”
“Designer Vivienne Westwood has said of Noreena’s writings, ‘That is what punk is all about,’ and that is the exact type of energy and attitude SiriusXM subscribers can expect from Noreena,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM. “Beyond her reputation as one of Britain’s foremost intellectuals, Noreena will also deliver an irreverent European flair and offer SiriusXM listeners nationwide a fresh perspective from across the pond.”
A respected economist who has graced the cover of Newsweek magazine and was named “one of the world’s leading thinkers” by The Observer, Hertz rose to prominence in the U.K. shortly after graduating college at 19-years-old. Hertz has a PhD from Cambridge University, an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently a Visiting Professor at University College London. She has advised some of the world’s leading business and political figures, regularly chairs sessions at The World Economic Forum in Davos, and has delivered Keynote Speeches at TED conferences and Google Zeitgeist events.
Hertz’s best-selling books The Silent Takeover, IOU: The Debt Threat, and Eyes Wide Open are published in 22 countries. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times of London and Wired, and has appeared on flagship television shows on CBS, CNBC, PBS, the BBC, and ITV.
MegaHertz: London Calling will join Insight’s powerful lineup, which includes programs from Pete Dominick, John Fugelsang, and Neil De Grasse Tyson, and features WNYC’s Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin and Freakonomics Radio.
SiriusXM recently announced that its 200+ channels – including SiriusXM Insight – are now also available for streaming to SiriusXM subscribers nationwide with Amazon Alexa. Go to www.SiriusXM.com/AmazonAlexa to learn more.
About SiriusXM
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) is the world’s largest radio company measured by revenue and has more than 32.0 million subscribers. SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; exclusive talk and entertainment, and a wide-range of Latin music, sports and talk programming. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company and on smartphones and other connected devices as well as online at siriusxm.com. SiriusXM radios and accessories are available from retailers nationwide and online at SiriusXM. SiriusXM also provides premium traffic, weather, data and information services for subscribers through SiriusXM Traffic, SiriusXM Travel Link, NavTraffic, NavWeather. SiriusXM delivers weather, data and information services to aircraft and boats through SiriusXM Aviation, and SiriusXM Marine. In addition, SiriusXM Music for Business provides commercial-free music to a variety of businesses. SiriusXM holds a minority interest in SiriusXM Canada which has approximately 2.8 million subscribers. SiriusXM is also a leading provider of connected vehicles services, giving customers access to a suite of safety, security, and convenience services including automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery assistance, enhanced roadside assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

Noreena Hertz – Speakers Showreel

July 20th, 2017 by admin

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Please click here to view article on Noreena’s ITV blog.

Unemployment figures out today reveal that the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.5% – a 42 year low .

This is good news for workers who in such a jobs market can be choosier.

Although they won’t necessarily be paid more. Historically lower unemployment has meant that wages have increased – basic supply and demand.

But despite the record low level of unemployment, today’s data revealed that real wages have continued to fall – the three month average rate of wage growth fell to 1.8% in May from 2.1% in April. Wage growth hasn’t been this low since October 2014.

For many employers, today’s story presents a real challenge – how to keep recruiting the right people when so many are already in work?

And many are worried that their task is about to get a lot harder. This is because low unemployment coupled with the end of free movement of labour that Brexit implies presents a double whammy which is likely to make recruitment significantly harder in the future.

This is especially true for those sectors which rely on the services of low and middle skilled workers.

Such sectors as food manufacturing, hospitality and social care have relatively high percentages of European workers – the hospitality sector employs over 500,000 Europeans.

Should Brexit mean that they could no longer hire Europeans, this would imply significant potential labour shortages in the future.

Premier Inn is a growing UK business. According to its management it is opening on average a new hotel every ten days. 20% of its staff come from outside of the UK, predominantly from Europe.

But despite this Chief Operating Officer Simon Ewins tells me, that he is “not concerned at this moment in time”.

He believes this is because they pay better than the industry norm, provide considerable training and development opportunities to employees, and also because they have in the past few years implemented a policy of looking outside of traditional employment pools within the UK – they have schemes to attract employees straight from school, from amongst the ex military and also ex offenders.

“People can build careers here, both in Premier Inn and in the industry more widely and therefore we think we can attract and retain talent even in a tighter labour market.”

Simon Ewin’s lack of concern bucks the general trend amongst employers (Premier Inn’s relative size and success helps to explain this). In an extensive piece of research conducted by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and CIPD which surveyed and interviewed over a thousand employers across the country in industries that rely on low and middle skilled employees, researchers Dr Heather Rolfe and Gerwyn Davies found that the majority of such employers are worried about how they will meet their staffing needs in the future and see the hiring of local British workers as a significant challenge.

Premier Inn is a growing UK business Credit: PA

Premier Inn is a growing UK business Credit: PA

With a third of those they interviewed saying that they recruit EU nationals because they simply cannot fill their positions with UK born applicants. Whilst they found that some employers were being proactive.

Dr Rolfe told me: “We have [some] employers saying they’re working much more closely with Job Centres, they’re working with their industry organisations to try to think of ways in which they might attract young people. They’re reviewing their pay and benefits packages as well. So they’re looking at ways in which they might attract more British workers.”

However, what surprised the researchers was that despite this, and despite being aware that Brexit might severely restrict their ability to employ EU nationals, many of those they interviewed were still in ‘wait and see’ mode. In a competitive domestic labour market such as ours and with Brexit looming, ‘wait and see’ may prove a very dangerous strategy.

It is essential for businesses to understand today’s teenagers as they represent a very significant market. This generation, Generation K (born 1995-2000), are profoundly different to previous generations. Here, economist and strategist Noreena Hertz speaks at the Google Zeitgeist in May 2015 and gives insight into where these differences lie and why it is important for businesses to truly understand them.

Please click here to view article on Noreena’s ITV blog.

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Cambridge University

The Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University has intervened over the government’s offer to EU Nationals living and working in Britain. Simply put, he doesn’t think it went anywhere near far enough. And he fears for its impact on the 808-year-old institution.

During my interview with Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, he didn’t mince his words. “We may be fiddling while Rome’s burning”, he cautioned “We have to be very very careful that Brexit doesn’t become Brexodus.”

It comes in the week the prime minister laid out plans to offer ‘settled status’ to EU citizens who had lived in the UK for five years or more.

Although they could stay indefinitely, for Professor Borysiewicz it doesn’t go quite far enough.

Nor did he feel that there was sufficient clarity when it came to what Theresa May had offered. The government needs to recognise the devil is in the detail,” he said.

Brexodus – the Vice-Chancellors phrase for a Brexit exodus – would be a disaster for Cambridge University. Almost a quarter of staff are non-UK EU nationals.

When it comes to Post-Docs, (the young researchers who are the engine of Research & Development) it is even higher. They are typically offered contracts that are far shorter than five years. But the best are often willing to pick from the world’s best universities.

If Cambridge is to continue to stay in the top tier of universities globally it needs to be able to continue to retain and attract the best academics from anywhere in the world.

That’s why Sir Leszek (“call me Boris”) is so concerned. “What is going to be the status of their partners? Of their children?”

He has other concerns too. In the past 10 years Cambridge has received 600 million Euros in EU funding. Although the government has promised to meet any immediate shortfall after March 2019, the whole process is yet to be agreed. Alongside that funding comes collaborations.

It is the lifeblood of universities; 60% of Cambridge’s research comes in the form of collaborative projects with other EU institutions. It can’t allow those ties to be severed. As my interview drew to a close, he raised a wry smile, “that’s before we’ve even touched immigration.”

So is the government listening to this sector’s needs? Well, the Vice-Chancellor told me “It is very difficult to tell”.

Noreena’s TED talk: How to Use Experts

July 20th, 2017 by admin

Professor Noreena Hertz addresses the audience at the third TED Salon in London, 2nd November 2010

We make important decisions every day – and we often rely on experts to help us decide. But, says economist Noreena Hertz, relying too much on experts can be limiting and even dangerous. She calls for us to start democratizing expertise — to listen not only to “surgeons and CEOs, but also to shop staff.” (Video duration: 18.19)

Noreena joins fellow guest speakers Thomas Thwaites, Camila Batmanghelidjh, Jon Kolko, Michael Pawlyn, Matthew May, JP Rangaswami, Martin Jacques, Michelle Gallen, Sarah Churchwell, Theresa Senft and Mike Dickson to address the theme of ‘re-framing’  at the Unicorn Theatre in London.

Opening the second session, economist Noreena Hertz addresses the influence of “experts” — like herself — and how we should view them with skepticism. “In an age of extreme complexity, we believe experts are more able to come to conclusions than we are,” she said. “I believe this is a big problem with potentially dangerous consequences for society, and for us as individuals.” She urged the crowd to rebel against this dynamic, by “being ready and willing to take on” the experts, by “embracing the notion that progress comes about not only in the creation of ideas but also in their destruction” (what she called “managed dissent”), and by “democratizing expertise,” which is “not only the domain of surgeons and CEOs, but also of shop staff.”

For more information go to the TED website.

 

Please click here to view article on Noreena’s ITV blog.

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Heavy rain is forecast throughout the UK on Thursday.

Conventional wisdom suggests that this would mean fewer people will turn out and that this is bad for Labour as traditionally lower voter numbers results in a more favourable result for the Conservatives.

But is conventional wisdom right?

I have trawled through the academic literature on weather and elections and this is my considered response.

Whilst there have been no detailed academic studies looking at the relationship between rain and turnout at General Elections in the UK (surprising given how interested we are as a nation in the weather), in a number of countries such studies a relationship between rain and turnout has been found to hold.

In the US researchers have found that for each inch of rain turnout falls by about one percentage point.

A similarly negative relationship between rain and turnout has been found in Spain and the Netherlands.

In Sweden, however, no statistically significant relationship has been found to hold between rain and turnout.

Assuming that Sweden is the outlier here – and I think this is a reasonable assumption to make given how used Swedes are to extreme weather conditions and how strong their sense of civic duty is – it implies that on Thursday we should expect lower turnout than if the weather had been better.

(Note: not all experts may agree with my assumption. Professor Stephen Fisher from The University of Oxford, tells me that he’s looked at overall turnout at British elections since 1945 and finds no systematic pattern whereby turnout is lower when the weather is worse).

Traditionally lower turnout favours the Tories – but that claim is one about turnout in general.

If turnout is reduced specifically due to poor weather it’s less clear who it would favour. That’s because it’s unclear as to who is less likely to go to vote in the rain. The old? Or the young?

If the old stay at home, that’s bad news for the Tories, if the young, that’s bad news for Labour.

It’s also interesting to consider some fascinating research looking at the relationship between wind speed and voter preferences in the US and Switzerland.

It found that higher the wind speed, the more the electorate favours candidates whose message stresses safety and the retaining of the status quo.

“Safety and the retaining of the status quo” sounds very much like Theresa May’s “strong and stable “message.

So how windy will it be on Thursday? Looking at the Met Office’s wind map projections for Thursday it looks like there won’t be a significant breeze.

 
Last updated Tue 6 Jun 2017

What will this election mean for you?

June 7th, 2017 by admin

Please click here to view Noreena’s article in Stlye, The Sunday Times.

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My name is Noreena and I have election ennui. It’s not just that this is the third time I’ve been called to vote in 25 months. Even for a cheerleader for democracy like me, this is somewhat excessive. There’s also the feeling — we’ve all seen the polls — that whoever I support, the outcome of this election is already a done deal; an inevitability that, come Friday, the Tories will have won their third election in a row; that whether I’m Team Theresa or not, my single vote doesn’t really matter.

Except it does.

I’m not going to harp on here about the importance of respecting the history of women’s suffrage, although I do believe that glorious respect is due. It is that the purpose of voting is not just to help propel your own team to victory (not that I’m dismissing the pleasure of being on the winning side), it is to make damn certain that whichever party claims the keys to Downing Street is acutely aware that vast numbers of people think differently to them, believe different things, have different priorities.

For democracy to function effectively, diverse voices must be heard. Yet according to the Fawcett Society, some 8m women may not vote at this election. Imagine how things could be shaken up if they did. If we allow men to continue to dominate at the ballot box and in the debating chamber — 71% of MPs in the last parliament were men — it’s only natural that what matters most to men will still be prioritised.

It’s a message I heard loud and clear growing up. My late mother was a renowned feminist activist and champion of women in politics, who stood for parliament herself. “Noreena,” she’d tell me, when I was eight or nine, after I’d reported witnessing a kid being bullied at school or come to her in tears after watching a story about famine in Africa, “speak up for what you believe in. If you don’t, who will?”

Now, to be clear, I don’t believe that certain issues inherently matter more to women, that health and education are de facto female issues, while the more muscular concerns of the economy, taxation and our relationship with the EU are intrinsically male. I happen to care a lot about these, and am still surprised when people assume that the economics professor on the credit card must be my husband. But everyone is different. And women are no more different than men. How much you earn, your age, whether you have children, aged parents, are married, your ethnicity — these will all affect what matters most to you and who you vote for.

Yet if we think about women in the aggregate — the average Jane, so to speak — the reality is that her life is very different to the life of the average Joe. Bluntly speaking, women are less likely to be promoted and more likely to be paid less, to bear the brunt of caring responsibilities, whether for children or elderly parents, and be the greater victims of domestic abuse. This means that if it’s not only your own back you want to watch, but also those of your “sisters”, what each party has to say on these issues really matters.

Most parties, of course, acknowledge that targeting the female vote can pay off. So combing through this batch of election manifestos, I wasn’t surprised to see overt courting of women.

The Women’s Equality Party unsurprisingly leads the pack here, given that its female-focused agenda is written on the tin. Flagship policies include universal free childcare, “fully equal” parental leave, big bucks for social care and more protection for women against discrimination at work. It was heartening to read through 31 pages of policies targeted at women, even if I don’t agree with everything it proposes and recognise its chances of cutting through this election are extremely slim (the combination of a snap election, limited resources and bare-bones infrastructure means it is fielding only seven candidates). But their prospectus did make me wonder how much more women could be valued in our society if all parties had the imagination to think this differently and comprehensively.

The offerings from the three mainstream parties were considerably more femme-lite — paragraphs rather than pages. All three promise to provide some additional free childcare. All three promise to encourage some more paternity leave. All three address, in some way or other, the crisis in care. All three promise some progress on the gender pay gap. But there are significant differences when it comes to the how much, when and how.

As for which other women’s issues make the leading triumvirate’s shopping list, the parties diverge. Among the pledges from the Lib Dems are free sanitary products for girls at school. The Lib Dems are also offering more mental-health funding for pregnant women and mothers, and quotas for numbers of women on company boards. Having sat on corporate boards, I think it’s amazing how far we have to go to achieve gender parity. Among the Tories’ pledges is a commitment to ensure the civil service is more gender-balanced; overseas, a promise to lead on education of girls globally and to fight against the modern slave trade. I was at Davos this year when Theresa May shared, in a private session, her commitment to ending modern slavery. This is clearly an issue close to her heart. Labour’s proposals run the gamut from pledges to deliver a cabinet that is at least 50% female — Justin Trudeau made a similar promise in Canada and delivered — to extra money for female pensioners. It also commits to ensure that workers have equal rights from day one, whether part- or full-time — considering a lot of women work part-time, this could disproportionately benefit them.

These are the obvious hard sells. But how about the political choices that less obviously affect women differently to men? Policies on areas such as Brexit, austerity and the economy? We don’t typically think of these as being gendered. But they are.

Take austerity — it’s a double whammy for women. It hurts them disproportionately because they make up the bulk of the public-sector workforce and, therefore, suffer most when this sector is slashed — 77% of NHS workers are female. Cuts to welfare and benefits freezes also hurt women most because they are poorer in the first place and more likely to be affected by reductions in child benefits: 90% of single parents are mothers. The Lib Dems and Labour have committed to reversing some of the Tories’ welfare reforms.

As for Brexit, it clearly has the potential to create significant female collateral damage. The EU has long been a champion of gender equality and has played a key role in advancing maternal employment rights and ensuring that women are paid equally for work of equal value. It has also been a considerable funder of female causes. Without its pressure and euros, there is a real danger that women’s rights could be significantly eroded. I’ve spoken to many women’s organisations who are worried on this front. And then there’s the fact that women suffer disproportionately in downturns. Most economists believe that in the long-term, Brexit will come at a cost. Which party will minimise this? I’ll leave it to you to make that call.

These are some of the big issues and a few of the ways they affect us. But as we decide who to vote for on June 8 as women, is there something else we should be considering? What about the gender of the candidates on the ballot paper? Has the time come for us to only consider the women on the ballot slip? Or only candidates from parties that are led by a woman? Should gender trump policy and politics? This might sound extreme, but there’s a vast body of research that highlights how much better group decisions are when the group is made up more evenly of men and women; how problems are better solved and more innovative solutions reached when women are at the table, too. More women MPs isn’t just good for women, it’s good for men, too. But while the argument for “picking the woman” is strong, it’s not strong enough. Take it to its logical conclusion and you’d be voting for Marine Le Pen.

If you are choosing between similar candidates, go for the woman for sure, but chromosomes should not override politics and values combined. Especially not now. These are radically uncertain times, of great international instability, environmental peril and technological change. The right leadership matters now more than ever.

So, use your vote wisely, make your voice heard. And when casting your vote, don’t only think about what matters to you: remember there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.