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December 11, 2019 – EconoFact Awarded $50,000 Grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

(December 11, 2019  Medford, MA) – EconoFact, a non-profit media initiative published by the Murrow Center for a Digital World at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, is pleased to announce that it was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The grant will be administered by Tufts University, and will help to expand the scope, exposure and distribution of its non-partisan economic analyses.

EconoFact has assembled a network of more than 90 economists across the United States to contribute their expertise on timely economic policy issues, ranging from education and immigration to criminal justice and climate change. EconoFact shares this expertise through written memos, videos, and its Data Point series of compelling statistics to make the information and ideas accessible to a general audience. Since its inception in January 2017, EconoFact has achieved more than one million page views, developing a strong following among researchers, academics, government analysts and the media. In this respect, EconoFact aligns with the Sloan Foundation’s mission by serving as a resource for thought leaders, as well as the wider public, who want access to informed, expert opinion without a political slant.

“Through the leadership of Professor Michael Klein, EconoFact has demonstrated how collaboration in our community can have real-world impact on important policy discussions,” said Rachel Kyte, Dean of The Fletcher School. “We are excited to have the opportunity to expand this effort thanks to the generosity of the Sloan Foundation.”

EconoFact’s contributors, several of whom have served in policy positions such as chief economists in the U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments, as well as in leading roles in academia, are not financially compensated. They choose to participate in the initiative out of a sense of civic responsibility and a desire for civic engagement.  

“We founded EconoFact on the premise that there is both a need, and a desire, for quality, non-partisan resources that inform the public about the most important economic issues of our time,” said Prof. Klein, EconoFact’s Founder and Executive Editor. “We are pleased with the response to our efforts, and look forward to continuing to grow this initiative with the help of our generous supporters.”

To learn more about EconoFact, visit www.EconoFact.org.

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About EconoFact

EconoFact bridges the economic policy divide by publishing non-partisan, fact-based analyses by leading researchers across the U.S. on timely economic policy issues. The memos aim to provide context and background information for understanding the key economic debates of our time. Founded in 2017, EconoFact is published by the Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. More information can be found at www.econofact.org.

About The Fletcher School

The Fletcher School at Tufts University is the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the U.S., working to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to research and education. Since 1933, The Fletcher School has prepared the world’s leaders to become innovative problem-solvers in government, business, and non-governmental organizations with strategic cross-sector networks. Through our ongoing commitment and rigorous approach to advancing world knowledge through research and scholarship, The Fletcher School at Tufts University continues to inform and build bridges to meaningful global solutions.

Follow The Fletcher School at Tufts University on Twitter (@FletcherSchool), Instagram (@thefletcherschool), Facebook (@fletcherschool) and LinkedIn (Tufts University – The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy), or visit our website (www.fletcher.tufts.edu) to stay updated on our news and events.  

About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit, mission-driven grant making institution dedicated to improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. Founded in 1934 by industrialist Alfred P. Sloan Jr., the Foundation disburses approximately $80 million in grants each year in three broad areas: direct support of research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics; initiatives to increase the quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and efforts to enhance and deepen public engagement with science and scientists. The Foundation strives to be guided in all its actions by the values of the scientific enterprise: impartiality, empiricism, curiosity, rigor, and the conviction that a reasoned, systematic understanding of the forces of nature and society, when applied inventively and wisely, can lead to a better world for all. Learn more at sloan.org.

November 21, 2019 – The US, UK and the Netherlands are the Top Countries to do Business in a Digitally Dominant World - The Fletcher School at Tufts University Unveils the Ease of Doing Digital Business Report

A  first-of-its-kind global ranking of countries that are most conducive for digital businesses 

(November 21, 2019 – Medford, MA) – The Fletcher School at Tufts University today unveiled the Ease of Doing Digital Business report (EDDB) 2019, in the hopes of answering the question: Pick a country that might be a market for a digital business, such as Amazon, Airbnb, Netflix or the next unicorn; how easy or difficult is it to establish, grow or even exit a digital business in that country?

This study provides the first-ever detailed analysis of doing digital business in 42 advanced and emerging economies that account for nearly 4/5ths of internet users and economic output globally. The research, which acts as a toolkit for digital businesses, investors and policymakers, identifies and measures the factors that buoy and beset digital businesses by focusing on four major digital platforms: ecommerce, the sharing economy, online freelance, and digital media. This study derives inspiration from the World Bank’s highly influential Doing Business annual reports – and extends it into the digital era.

Which countries are at the top of the ranking? The U.S. and U.K. emerge as unrivalled leaders, driven by their market sophistication, supply chain infrastructure, and favorable regulations that support the growth of the digital economy and the free flows of data. The Netherlands, Australia, and Norway make up the remainder of the top five, with Canada, Japan, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden rounding out rest of the top 10. Performing consistently well across the four digital platforms, these markets prove that having the right digital and analog foundations in place together with enabling institutional mechanisms are crucial for competitiveness in the digital economy.

“Digital technologies and data -- that feed into and flow from digital platforms of all kinds -- are transforming the way we buy, sell, live, work, play, and pay,” said Dr. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. “The EDDB scorecard provides a framework for countries to find ways to make it easier to set up businesses on these platforms to improve their economic competitiveness in the digital era. With data being a key source of value, fostering institutional environments that facilitate free flows of data, while safeguarding privacy and security is key to unleashing innovation in the global digital economy.”

Overcoming barriers to doing digital business 

The EDDB reveals that barriers to doing digital business tend to be a combination of institutional and infrastructural factors, as well as those specific to the market and nature of the digital platform used to establish the business:

  • Several high-growth countries are restricting data flows and mandating data localization. This may protect domestic industry in the near term but hurts the competitiveness of their data economies and the ability of digital platforms to create value internationally over the long term. China is one of the markets affected in this way.
  • Conversely, many developing countries suffer from a combination of poor foundational factors and low data flows, despite exhibiting strengths in specific digital platforms. These markets risk bumping up against the limits of growth if gaps in their analog and digital foundations remain unaddressed.  Online freelance in India is a case-in-point.
  • While currently leading the way, several of the most digitally advanced economies (primarily in the EU) are leaving opportunities on the table by failing to translate their analog and digital advantages into a hospitable environment for digital platforms and businesses.

Overcoming these barriers and boosting the digital economy is key to unlocking wider economic growth. In the U.S., for example, the digital economy grew at 3.7 times the rate of the traditional economy from 2006 to 2016 and supported 3.9 percent of the market’s employment in 2016. Improving EDDB scores should therefore be a priority for every policymaker and business leader. The framework for EDDB analysis lends itself to reverse engineering to inform policy: if a country wants to move up in the rankings by creating an environment conducive to digital business, the model offers direct guidance on which factors need to change or improve and by how much.

How countries can win

The EDDB is designed to complement the findings of the World Bank’s landmark annual Doing Businessstudy, which explains the workings of the traditional business economy but does not take into account the many factors that govern the ease of business expansion in the digital economy. The clear divergence between each market’s digital and traditional economic scores in the EDDB shows that nurturing the digital business sector poses unique challenges and so requires targeted interventions from policymakers and business leaders alike.  Two clusters of countries help illustrate this divergence: The Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland have higher EDDB than Doing Business scores, while Malaysia, Thailand and Russia see their traditional economy outstrip their digital economy performance.

While greater ease for one kind of a digital platform in a country does not automatically translate into ease for every other kind of digital platform, and prescriptions and implications vary across individual markets and platforms, the EDDB studyindicates that countries intent on improving their overall digital business climate and competitiveness would do well to focus on five key areas:

  • Invest in building strong, versatile, and agile data repositories i.e., the Gross Data Product aka the “new GDP” – a new measure coined by The Fletcher School at Tufts University – and eliminate barriers to free movement of anonymized data within and across borders to foster innovation.
  • Foundational and infrastructural elements that are at the intersection of the digital with the physical world, from internet and mobile access to payments and fulfilment, are as crucial to digital businesses as they are to traditional businesses.
  • Third, since digital businesses are built on platforms that match users on either side of a transaction, the factors governing all users’ capabilities are key to enhancing EDDB. Skills, user sophistication and the willingness to engage with digital platforms are all material.
  • Digital platforms are born global and create the greatest value when allowed to operate globally. National regulations such as protectionism hurt both the country in question and digital businesses. Further, countries ought to collaborate to eliminate cross-border restrictions and regulations governing the flows of payments, goods, and services that hinder the growth of the digital economy.
  • Lastly, digital platforms are a double-edged sword. Much tends to accrue to platforms that already have the most. It is vital for countries to combine digital business friendly policies with a strong enforcement regime against monopolies and cartels to remain at the cutting edge of innovation.

How digital businesses and investors can win

There is great need for this data as we look to 2020. As businesses prepare to launch an IPO, as well as prepare to succeed post-IPO, they must take into account the wide differences in what it means to “do business” across international markets. This report provides key findings that will help digital businesses take into account and prevent the mistakes of 2019 that ignored many of the on-the-ground realities of the market conditions of such companies, (e.g. Uber, WeWork). The EDDB provides investors, analysts and company executives a tool to do such market assessments as they evaluate how companies, such as Airbnb or Didi Chuxing, that may have an IPO in 2020, might perform as they operate across diverse international markets.

“The EDDB shows, with remarkable clarity, the importance of cultivating environments in which digital businesses can grow and flourish,” said Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, Associate Director of Research and Doctoral Fellow at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. “With the global digital economy expected to grow to U.S. $23 trillion by 2025, the value that these businesses stand to add is immense. Remaining competitive in the digital era should be a policy priority for every government, which makes this report an essential tool in understanding how businesses in these sectors can thrive.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

The link to the full report and methodology can be found here.

EDDB methodology

For this first edition of theEDDBscorecard, The Fletcher School at Tufts University draws upon over 236 comparable variables across 42 countries from a combination of more than 60 data sources comprising public databases such as the World Bank and World Economic Forum; subscription services such as Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) and Euromonitor; and proprietary sources such as Akamai, Chartbeat, and Private Capital Research Institute.

Each country’s EDDB score is obtained from a combination of:

  • Four platform-specific scores (ecommerce, digital media, sharing economy, and online freelance) amounting to 50 percent of the total country score.
  • Foundational factors (data accessibility, digital and analog foundations, and the World Bank Doing Businessscore) amounting to 50 percent of the total country score.

The Fletcher School

The Fletcher School at Tufts University is the oldest exclusively graduate school of international affairs in the U.S., working to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to research and education. Since 1933, The Fletcher School at Tufts University has prepared the world’s leaders to become innovative problem-solvers in government, business, and non-governmental organizations with strategic cross-sector networks. Through our ongoing commitment and rigorous approach to advancing world knowledge through research and scholarship, The Fletcher School at Tufts University continues to inform and build bridges to meaningful global solutions.

Follow The Fletcher School at Tufts University on Twitter (@FletcherSchool), Instagram (@thefletcherschool), Facebook (@fletcherschool) and LinkedIn (Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) to stay updated on our news.

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November 8, 2019 – Bank of America Executive, Washington Post Reporter Win 2019 Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award

(November 8, 2019 – Medford, MA) – The Fletcher School at Tufts University is pleased to announce Karoun Demirjian, F06, and Siobhan MacDermott, F13, as recipients of the 2019 Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award. This is the first time the award has been given to two alumnae. 

The Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award (FWLA) was established in 2014 by the Board of Advisors and executive leadership of The Fletcher School to honor outstanding female graduates making a meaningful impact in the world. Honorees are mid-career leaders living and working outside of the United States or whose work has an international component or implication.

“I am delighted that we are recognizing two women leaders who have made their experiences at The Fletcher School inflection points in their careers. Their leadership is evident in the way they have been able to make sense of the complexity of today’s world,” said Dean of The Fletcher School Rachel Kyte. “A Fletcher education is an investment in one’s lifelong learning and leadership – it pays back many times over. As Dean, I am dedicated to investing in tomorrow’s leaders, today. Karoun and Siobhan are wonderful role models and examples of the impact we hope to have.”

Karoun Demirijian is a National Security reporter, focusing on Congress, at The Washington Post, covering national security policy on Capitol Hill, with a focus on defense, foreign policy, intelligence, and matters concerning the judiciary. Prior to that, Karoun was a correspondent for The Washington Post based in its Moscow bureau. Demirjian received her Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) in 2006 and holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University.

“The Fletcher experience is invaluable to a journalism career,” said Demirjian. “When professors push you not just to get the right answers, but to unpack an argument or case study until the pieces fit together and it makes sense, that builds reporting skills that are critical for investigative journalism; when you're encouraged to do original research on international topics, that creates an instinct to look for stories in places others might not consider; and when you spend two years building friendships with people from all over the world, it makes you a better human and more trustworthy listener.”

Siobhan MacDermott is vice chair of Global Corporate & Investment Banking at Bank of America, with a primary focus on global sovereign wealth funds and private capital family offices.  She previously served as head of Bank of America’s Global Cyber Public Policy team, dedicated to improving cyber resiliency of the global financial system. MacDermott received a Master of Arts in International Relations via the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) in 2013, and holds an MBA in International Business and Economics from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. in German Language and Literature from Temple University.

“I am truly honored to receive this award and extend my gratitude to The Fletcher School for their consideration,” said MacDermott. “Being a part of the Fletcher community is an even greater distinction due to the many important contributions of its graduates worldwide. Graduating from the GMAP program was a pivotal moment for me and has played a key role in my professional development and success.”

Karoun Demirjian and Siobhan MacDermott will be honored at The Fletcher School during the sixth annual Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award Ceremony on Thursday, November 14th at 5:30 p.m. ET at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, 160 Packard Avenue in Medford, MA. 

About The Fletcher School

The Fletcher School at Tufts University is the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the U.S., working to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to research and education. Since 1933, The Fletcher School has prepared the world’s leaders to become innovative problem-solvers in government, business, and non-governmental organizations with strategic cross-sector networks. Through our ongoing commitment and rigorous approach to advancing world knowledge through research and scholarship, The Fletcher School at Tufts University continues to inform and build bridges to meaningful global solutions.

Follow The Fletcher School at Tufts University on Twitter (@FletcherSchool), Instagram (@thefletcherschool), Facebook (@fletcherschool) and LinkedIn (Tufts University – The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy), or visit our website (www.fletcher.tufts.edu) to stay updated on our news and events.  

November 5, 2019 – Fletcher School Professor Emeritus Bill Moomaw Co-Authors Climate Emergency Declaration

11,000 scientists agree on the six steps for combatting climate change today

(November 5, 2019 – Medford, MA) – The Fletcher School at Tufts University is proud to share that Professor Emeritus, and Director Emeritus and founding Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at The Fletcher School, William R. Moomaw is one of five scientists who have co-authored a declaration published by BioScience, titled “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency.” 

Catalyzed by climate activist Greta Thunberg’s call to Congress to “listen to the scientists” last month as she testified in the fight against climate change, a group of over 11,000 scientists from 153 countries signed this declaration due to what they’re calling their “moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to tell it like it is,” as stated in the declaration. 

The goal of this declaration is to make clear that scientists agree there is a climate emergency and urge strong and immediate action to address it. It also provides two sets of guideposts that can be updated annually to determine progress going beyond the standard of measuring the global average temperature, as well as a set of six steps that can be taken today to combat the rate of warmth.

“Now is the moment to declare a climate emergency and to call for immediate action by a large cross-section of the scientific community,” said Moomaw. “Half of all heat-trapping gases emitted by humans have occurred in just the last 30 years, and the acceleration of storm intensification, downpours, melting of glaciers and ice caps, rising of sea level and the increased scale of wildfires is firmly linked to human emissions. A failure to act now will have permanent adverse consequences for all people, the economy and the natural world.”

The six critical and interrelated action steps the authors are suggesting businesses, governments and civil society take to lessen the worst effects of climate change relate to: 

  • Energy: The authors call on the world to replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables, “leave remaining stocks of fossil fuels in the ground” and “carefully pursue effective negative emissions using technology such as carbon extraction from the source and capture from the air and especially by enhancing natural systems.” They also call on wealthy nations to “support poorer nations in transitioning away from fossil fuels.”  
  • Short-lived pollutants: “Potentially reducing the short-term warming trend by more than 50 percent over the next few decades, while saving millions of lives and increasing crop yields due to reduced air pollution (Shindell et al. 2017),” the authors express the need to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, black carbon (soot), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). 
  • Nature: In order to protect the sequestration of atmospheric CO2, the authors say “we must protect and restore Earth’s ecosystems,” which includes phytoplankton, coral reefs, forests, savannas, grasslands, wetlands, peatlands, soils, mangroves, and sea grasses. 
  • Food: According to the declaration, eating mostly plant-based foods will have a ripple effect of beneficial repercussions, including human health, significantly lowering GHG emissions (including methane in the “short-lived pollutants” step), and “free[ing] up croplands for growing much-needed human plant food instead of livestock feed, while releasing some grazing land to support natural climate solutions.” 
  • Economy: Our goals as a global economy “need to shift from GDP growth and the pursuit of affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving human well-being by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality,” say the authors.
  • Population: If we can stabilize the global population, the authors contest that greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss will be lessened.

You can read the full declaration, including more details on each of the recommended steps, here.

About The Fletcher School

The Fletcher School at Tufts University is the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the U.S., working to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to research and education. Since 1933, The Fletcher School has prepared the world’s leaders to become innovative problem-solvers in government, business, and non-governmental organizations with strategic cross-sector networks. Through our ongoing commitment and rigorous approach to advancing world knowledge through research and scholarship, The Fletcher School at Tufts University continues to inform and build bridges to meaningful global solutions.

Follow The Fletcher School at Tufts University on Twitter (@FletcherSchool), Instagram (@thefletcherschool), Facebook (@fletcherschool) and LinkedIn (Tufts University – The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy), or visit our website (www.fletcher.tufts.edu) to stay updated on our news and events.  

July 31, 2019 – FAITH and The Fletcher School at Tufts University Launch Pilot Partnership Program in Strategic Leadership and Transformation for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

(July 31, 2019 – Medford, MA) – The Fletcher School at Tufts University and FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism are pleased to announce the launch of a new executive education program, Strategic Leadership and Transformative Action (SLTA), for members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. SLTA is an intensive program designed to give clergy and laity a foundational set of technical, intellectual, and spiritual tools and ideas for leadership to produce transformative action by the Church as a faith-based community and institution. 

The pilot program will launch on The Fletcher School campus in Medford, MA in January 2020.  Participants will engage in four days of lectures, interactive seminars, training and skills workshops, project development, and presentations over the course of an intensive, four-day program. The customized curriculum will include lectures by distinguished experts in leadership, strategic management, and communications for faith-based organizations; financial management for non-profits; religious literacy; Orthodox Christianity in America and the world; and religious pluralism in America. Upon completion of the program, all participants will receive a certificate of completion from the Office of Executive Education at The Fletcher School.

Participants will be selected via application to FAITH and will include clergy and laity who aspire to develop and deepen their knowledge base and practical skills for active, theologically-informed, transformative leadership consistent with their institutional mission as the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. The program aims to enable participants to draw intentionally and innovatively on the program’s organizing principles of awareness, action, and impact, in order to contribute to dynamic, faith-based transformation within their parishes, metropolises, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and public communities. The program is the first of its kind for the Greek Orthodox community of America. 

“The Metropolis truly is grateful to FAITH to be selected as the pilot program group for the opportunity to learn from the faculty in a world-class university setting like The Fletcher School,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. “It presents a unique setting for active engagement in workshops focused on teaching the best practices of non-profit management, collaboration, and accountability that will help empower our Metropolis and community. Leadership must be the unbroken thread through everything we do as a Church and community, from both clergy and laity perspective.”

The Fletcher School has a dynamic, multi-faceted series of executive education programs customized to meet the needs of diverse participants. “The SLTA Program builds on Fletcher’s demonstrated strengths and innovation in executive education that is designed for world leaders who work comfortably at the local and global levels,” said Prodromou, who is the SLTA Program Coordinator and who directs Fletcher’s Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy. “The School’s commitment to religious literacy as part of educating world leaders, as well as our history of engagement with the Greek Orthodox Church and Ecumenical Patriarchate, make for a perfect match in piloting this new program.”

About FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism

Since 2004, FAITH has supported and promoted excellence and leadership among young people within the Greek and Hellenic community through sponsoring college scholarship programs, St. John Chrysostom Awards, financial aid travel grants to Ionian Village, and various educational resources for the Greek language and culture programs at parishes. More information and applications for this program will be posted at www.thefaithendowment.orglater this summer.

About The Fletcher School

The Fletcher School at Tufts University is the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the U.S., working to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to research and education. Since 1933, The Fletcher School has prepared the world’s leaders to become innovative problem-solvers in government, business, and non-governmental organizations with strategic cross-sector networks. Through our ongoing commitment and rigorous approach to advancing world knowledge through research and scholarship, The Fletcher School at Tufts University continues to inform and build bridges to meaningful global solutions.

Follow The Fletcher School at Tufts University on Twitter (@FletcherSchool), Instagram (@thefletcherschool), Facebook (@fletcherschool) and LinkedIn (Tufts University – The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy), or visit our website (www.fletcher.tufts.edu) to stay updated on our news and events.