There is much at stake in Europe just now. The external environment is characterised by economic slowdown, the pressure of conflict, the refugee crisis, and the need to move rapidly to act on the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to climate. Urgent action is also needed to tackle the tax and transparency issues revealed by the Panama Papers. The threat of global disease epidemics is ever-present, with Ebola having been supplanted by the zika virus as the most urgent current threat. In all these arenas, the priority is coordinated action among groups of nations: another reason to put the global role of the EU high on the agenda.
I came across Helen and Hugh at a TEDxBrixton talk last month. They were presenting some video clips from their travels, a collection of narratives and findings born from seemingly simple answers. The work was beautiful, but why travel lands afar and set up such a big operation to film snippets with strangers?
The quality of European universities and their campuses not only affects policy agendas of education, research and innovation. It also affects Europe's position in the global competition for the best students and professors (the global 'battle for brains'), and the wider competitive advantage, productivity, profitability and sustainable development of Europe.
Rapper, song writer, film director and now charity founder, Plan B is this month supporting the launch of The Big Music Project. The founder of Each One Teach One, Plan B is joining forces with the lottery funded Big Music Project to give more opportunities in the music business to young people across the UK.
We should have seen it all coming. The civil war and the underlying tensions rocked Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula should be no surprise to us. Indeed the unprecedented rise of Islamic extremism and the foundation of an organisation like ISIS, along with the independence and anti-EU movements in Britain, along with many other global issues.
A longstanding plateau of supply chain procurement and services buying innovation has left the global market in a state of stunted growth, with seemingly little room for manoeuvre. Philip Letts, CEO of blur Group reveals exactly how key players in the tech world are pushing to broaden the horizons of traditional commerce.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last Friday the most comprehensive ever study on global warming. The landmark report, prepared by more than 200 scientists over two years, concludes that global temperatures could rise by up to 4.8 Celsius (8.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of this century compared to pre-industrial levels, but could potentially still be held to 0.3 C (0.5 F) with deep, speedy cuts in emissions.
Globally, women and girls are estimated to account for almost two-thirds of the people who live in extreme poverty. Women currently perform two-thirds of the world's work and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only ten percent of the income. To add to this injustice, only one in five parliamentarians worldwide is a woman.
The members of the G8 are ultimately just eight individuals brought together to try to agree on a number of subjects listed on an agenda. Whether they can do this is another matter, and it provokes the question of whether the G8, with all its renown, reputation and international respect, is really just a power trip.
Against all my own expectations, the Olympic Games have emerged like unexpected blossom on a tree that only flowers erratically. When was the last time GB could stand so proudly tall? I'm reminded of the post war years when the response to the end of WW2 was to implement the Beveridge Report and build the welfare state. Am I comparing a few sporting triumphs to the construction of, amongst other things, the National Health Service? No - that would be pure bathos. But I am comparing a display of national character, where the choices that were made in a moment of coming together, were open, inclusive and dynamically forward looking.