Latest blogs

INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT TREATIES: CURSE OR BLESSING FOR THE ENERGY REVOLUTION

International law on the protection of foreign investment may impose excessive constraints on the freedom of states. But without international treaties, global companies may not invest in foreign countries – think about security, change in political administrations, shift in public perception, etc. This applies especially for the energy industry where contracts are signed for long-term periods. So: Are International Investment Treaties (IITs) a curse or a blessing for the governments and their plans for the energy revolution?

Part 1

Part 2

THE FEAR OF REPUTATIONAL LOSS – A CASE STUDY ON CLIMATE MODELS

Global Climate Models (GCM) play a crucial role in understanding climate change in general and anthropogenic climate change specifically. With growing importance, their reliance is key to predict manmade climate change and to deduce consequential actions. This is where a considerable debate over fidelity and utility starts. If GCM’s fail due to a lack of information, calculation errors or natural anomalies in the climate system, climate change deniers instantly use this momentum to criticize governments approaches towards a low or even zero carbon future. For international organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), part of the UN and responsible for reports about climate change, but also for policy makers who have to deduce actions and finally the media who has to inform the public, there is a lot at stake, especially the potential of a reputational loss.

Putin and Chávez: Oil and gas strategies in Russia and Venezuela in the 21 Century

Russia and Venezuela; two countries based on the world’s opposite side with different sizes, different background, different political systems and different challenges, and yet intertwined with a remarkably comparable story since the beginning of this millennium. Two decades, formed by two politicians, both coming from a low-income family and sharing a military background. Both “Putinism” and “Chavinism” work(ed) with a strong state role, even to the extent of a de facto one-party state in Russia, and a general anti-American attitude. And despite coming from the opposite sides of the political spectrum, both Putin’s and Chávez’s political agenda reveals surprisingly many similarities especially when analysing the oil and gas sector. This blog describes the politics and strategies of the two long-term presidents and critically discusses success and failure of their politics.

THE FACEBOOK-CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SCANDAL

Part I

The rise of Facebook seems to be one of the most successful stories ever. What began in 2004 as a platform for Harvard students became popular and conquered the world in a very short period of time. Within 15 years, Facebook has become one of the most powerful corporations in the world, playing a major role in shaping the online environment. Although the company has had to deal with criticism again and again, nothing hit it as hard as the (un)voluntary cooperation with Cambridge Analytica, which is most likely the most famous data scandal the world has ever seen – resulting in an unprecented loss of trust and reputation

Part II

The rise of Facebook seems to be one of the most successful stories ever. What began in 2004 as a platform for Harvard students became popular and conquered the world in a very short period of time. Within 15 years, Facebook has become one of the most powerful corporations in the world, playing a major role in shaping the online environment. Although the company has had to deal with criticism again and again, nothing hit it as hard as the (un)voluntary cooperation with Cambridge Analytica. Most likely the most famous data scandal the world has ever seen, the aftereffects and reputational damage are still very difficult to assess.

Your Right to be Forgotten

“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” says Warren Buffet. A quote which, thanks to digitalization, is even more true today than it was ever before. But what happens after those critical five minutes when things just don’t go the way they should, or even worse, what if you are negatively portrayed in media without any wrongdoing on your part (think ‘Fake News’)? Will your reputation be tarnished forever, or do you have a right to be forgotten?

VISION GRAUBÜNDEN 2050

Since the founding of the Canton in 1803, history shows that Graubünden is an excellent breeding ground for visionary ideas. The development of alpine tourism with bold hotel facilities, the Rhaetian Railway, hydroelectric power plants, Olympic games or Switzerland’s only national park. Visions are indispensable for striving long-term perspectives in a state, because “strategic planning is worthless, unless one has a strategic vision” (John Naisbitt). Having said so, in 2016 the President of the Government (Regierungspräsident Christian Rathgeb) called for new visions in an economically challenging surrounding. This is the result of Christian Rathgebs call, the book VISIONEN GRAUBÜNDEN 2050, in which about 150 people tell their future perspectives for Graubünden. I was one of the lucky people to bring in my Vision.

About Rub-a-Dub, Baked Bean, Sausage Rolls and 007

Dried up lawn, no rain, and temperatures around 30° Celsius – That’s how London presented itself to us at the end of June. The all England Lawn Tennis Club opened its door at Wimbledon for the Lawn Tennis Championships for the 129th time (if I counted correctly…). Everything was set for an unforgettable five-week stay at the UKs’ capital. And it delivered.