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Convoco Topic 2015

25/03/2015

This is a short note to introduce you to our new topic for 2015:
Power and its Paradoxes: Who’s Really in Charge in a Globalized World?
‘Convoco revisited’ looks back at our 2013 theme of Strategy.

At the center of this year’s conversation will be the opportunities and limitations of sovereign action. A decision presupposes alternatives. But a decision-maker cannot take a decision without access to the world of counsellors and experts. As history has shown even the most absolute ruling prince has to rely on the information and advice of his consultants. How is the decision-maker to choose his sources of advice, wisely and effectively, in today’s information-saturated world?

Our focus lies on the interface between politics, economics, and academic expertise.

On the relationship between science and politics:
“In economics the consultation of different experts is important, which does not mean that the right answer is arbitrary. We do not have to see the current struggle between economists and politicians negatively. It shows that scientists fulfil their central function to ignite debates.” CLEMENS FUEST, ZEW, participant in this year’s Forum, in Handelsblatt, 18.11.2014

On the relationship between economics and politics:
“My research on S&P 500-companies in the US has revealed that the value of a company is influenced by the political interconnectedness of their chairmen. Economic and political power therefore are highly interdependent.” JÖRG ROCHOLL, ESMT Berlin, participant in this year’s Forum

Water means power:
The struggle for water has begun: by 2030 there could be a 40% gap between the demand for water and the available supply.

Convoco revisited: Dealing with Downturns: Strategies in Uncertain Times, 2013.
“The uncertainty has doubled between end of 2013 and middle of 2014” (ROLAND BERGER Uncertainty Index). This study considers a range of factors including the dynamics of economic forecasts and real economic data such as rise and fall in exports. 

“In order to develop a strategy, assumptions about future developments have to be made. But is this still possible? ‘All wisdom begins with the recognition of facts’, says Cicero. And to today’s facts, which we have to recognize first, belongs the recognition that we live in uncertain times.” BURKHARD SCHWENKER, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at RB Strategy Consultants