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Value of Higher Education Discussed on WEF Panel

Last week the World Economic Forum (WEF) held a panel on the value of higher education titled “Higher Education – Investment or Waste?

The panel consists of professors and stand out entrepreneurs such as Zach Sims, the founder of Codecademy and Professor Daphne Koller, who teaches Computer Science at Stanford University and one of the founders of the popular Coursera learning platform. In an extensive discussion the panel talks about the state of education in the United States and abroad, the rising expenses of higher education and finding innovative ways to bring learning opportunities to the greater world population. Take some time to watch or listen through the discussion, what are your thoughts on the value of higher education?

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Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Yet today, the US has a trillion dollar student loan bubble and the graduate unemployment rate has reached 14%. With over 285,000 university graduates working at minimum wage in the US, many students are faced with buyer’s remorse. Is it time to reconsider whether a college degree is worth the investment?

Speakers: Angel Gurría, Sean C. Rush, Daphne Koller, Gianpiero Petriglieri, Zach Sims, David Callaway

 

 

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Richest 1% Own Almost Half the World’s Wealth

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Gearing up for the 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, OxFam released a study that finds the richest 1% own nearly half the world’s wealth. Ever since the mortgage-financial crisis, the public’s attention has focused on the glaring economic inequality both within the United States and around the globe.  For this reason, studies revealing said economic disparity comes across as unsurprising, and without the garnered interest it has had in the past. Except when reports come out that the 85 richest people anywhere are as wealthy as the poorest half of the world, the thought raises our eyebrows and has us wondering what us humans are doing to better the lives of the world’ls overall population.

Oxfam International is a non-profit organization with the explicit goal to change the world with the power of people to fight against poverty, and the injustices that cause poverty. One of the main themes of this year’s WEF is economic inequality, which will highlight some of the talking points from this study as some of the world’s most distinguished businessmen, entrepreneurs, celebrities, government officials and scholars convene in Davos this week.

Of course, the WEF is known almost as much for the noticeable faces that are absent as it is for the members that make appearances, including Warren E. Buffett, Timothy Cook (Apple), and the founders of Google Larry Paige and Sergey Brin.  Such is the nature of these events, which offer both the opportunity to stir change through discussion, or at the least function predominantly as a public relations/networking event. However you look at it, the WEF brings a platform that heightens awareness and promotes discussion of important subjects like economic inequality to a global audience in an effort to help better our world. It’s worth checking out, and you can many an informed discussion when you browse through the topics.

For now though, check out Oxfam’s full report here (PDF).

And this helpful infographic via USA Today

 

 

Images via Oxfam

 

 

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World Economic Forum on Latin America 2013

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The World Economic Forum (WEF), a Swiss-based nonprofit,  has just wrapped up the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2013 in Lima, Peru. Originally a gathering of European business leaders in the 1970s to exchange business ideas to match their U.S. counterparts, the WEF has morphed into a much broader collection of leaders and ideas geared towards the improvement of the world community. In its 42-year history, the organization has expanded to encompass figures from business, politics, entrepreneurs, and other leaders of society. These leaders discuss topics to shape global, regional and industry agendas in the effort to “improve the state of the world.”

Most widely known for its annual meeting at the Davos-Klosters Swiss Alpine ski resort where big names and global leaders gather, The Forum has branched off to include six to eight regional forums each year. The World Economic Forum on Latin America was April 23-25th, and was the 8th such forum in Latin America. The Latin American Forum articulated a bevy of ideas and hosted over 650 participants to discuss the region’s dynamic development and maintaining its growth trajectory.  Sports for Sharing’s very own Dina Buchbinder Auron was one of these participants on behalf of S4S and its parent organization, Deport-es Para Compartir!

Under the theme, “Delivering Growth, Strengthening Societies”  some of the main talking points included fostering strong partnerships to consolidate the modernization of Latin America’s economies and institutions, innovations to create a more inclusive society, and building resilience towards a continued path of sustainable development. The emphasis on inclusivity and consolidation across institutions pertains especially to Latin America’s burgeoning middle class. With over 70 million people having moved out of poverty in Latin America over the past decade, the needs of the developing population and the expectations of their governments/institutions have grown considerably. The onus is on these institutions, both public and private, to grow alongside the population, working together to provide “buoyant economics, improved government institutions, responsive businesses and environmental protection.” Otherwise the new demands  will overwhelm these institutions. The growth of the middle class will become unsustainable and lead to stagnation.

Although the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2013 is now closed, audio, video, blogs, and other forms of media have been uploaded onto the WEF website, which you can access here. These resources cover all the events, topics discussed, and partners who attended the regional gathering. You can look over some of the commentaries and share them with others as a way to increase awareness. While the discussions of this regional meeting are localized to Latin America, it is important to recognize that these events send a positive message as they are happening all over the world, and that we must engage ourselves to improve the state of the increasingly global community.

(Source: Thomas Steinmetz)
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