Happy New Year and welcome to the new BSG blog. Last year ended with everyone in the school thinking hard about major Challenges of Government and 2013 has already brought more. High on my list in 2012 was the Eurozone crisis (our Conference highlighted several ideas about how to galvanize growth and create jobs).It’s curious to me that parts of the UK government want to decide now to stay in or exit the European Union even before we know exactly what it’s going to be – a fiscal union or a looser union?
Another big issue on my agenda for 2013 is financial regulation. This issue should have every tax-payer’s attention. Governments have still not remedied the cracks which led to the 2008 crisis. New liquidity rules were announced on Sunday 6th January – if you’re wondering whether they’re heading in the right direction, be challenged by Macer Gifford’s new paper, written as a Visiting Fellow in the School’s Ford Foundation Program on Globalization and Finance.
Further afield the issue of gender has sprung across everyone’s TV screens as demonstrations against rape in India are broadcast across the world. There is surely no government in the world which does not have more work to do in this area. On the issue of women, it was terrific to have Dr Isobel Coleman (author of Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East) visit the school today, bringing a cool, level-headed, non-ideological analysis of how the position of women in Arab countries is changing (fast and to positive effect).
Inside the School we are delighted to be receiving applications from all over the world for our 2013-2014 MPP cohort. We are committed to finding a way for every successful candidate to join the school. Do not let a lack of finance put you off!
Our students seems to have bonded and developed with extraordinary speed. It seems like only yesterday (yet it was in our first-ever week in September) that South African Minister Trevor Manuel was sharing his experience of activism to bring down apartheid and then to guide South Africa into the world economy. It was a joy to watch such a global class learning with UK Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander about how to write a GREAT policy brief, and learning how to manage high-performing teams with former UK Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell. I loved hearing Lord Mark Malloch-Brown on implementing human rights; Philipp Hildebrand and Peter Kurer on how they bailed-out Switzerland’s largest Bank (Philipp on one side as Swiss National Bank Governor, and Peter on the other as Chairman of UBS); Stanley and Rhoda Fischer on managing global crisis, and managing the work-life balance; and Maria Eitel on how to transform communities.
A huge welcome back to our students, and new Faculty. If you’re thinking of learning to lead and serve your community – do apply to be one of the outstanding 2013-14 cohort at the BSG. You can find all the information you need on our School website.
All the best,