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Paul in literary mood!

Paul in literary mood!

Volterra Partner Paul Ormerod has been active speaking at a batch of early Spring literary festivals about his book Positive Linking, the paperback version of which is due out in June. In Bath, his session competed with Sandi Toksvig and in Keswick with Melvyn Bragg. But each time, the session was fully booked, ‘it’s a good job they were small rooms’, says Paul. He also participated in the LSE’s Literary Festival, where the emphasis is of course on more hard line social science analysis, and spoke to an audience of well over 200 people.
Ellie’s latest project… and news of her return!

Ellie’s latest project… and news of her return!

We are thrilled to announce the healthy arrival of Volterra’s associate partner Ellie Evans’ second baby girl: Florence Jennifer Evans. Ellie is a long standing member of the Volterra team who, for the last few years, has been based in the USA. She plans to make a permanent return to the UK and Volterra’s London offices after completing her maternity leave later this year.
Volterra works with the Greater London Authority to re-examine London's Education Needs

Volterra works with the Greater London Authority to re-examine London’s Education Needs

Volterra were recently commissioned by the GLA to report on the skills that are currently required in London and those that will be required in the future. These were then compared to the education offering available in London by further education colleges, universities, and other private providers. As part of the project we spoke to key employers and a sample of education providers, carried out employment and skills forecasts for London, and provided the GLA with recommendations on how more Londoners, and in particular those from more disadvantaged backgrounds, could better access the London labour market. The findings were well received and were used as an impetus for a change in the capital’s educational offering.
Nick in the Financial Times

Nick in the Financial Times

Volterra associate Nick Bosanquet has been very vocal in the Financial Times of late. In a recent article Aging Taxpayers owe the iPod Generation, Nick calls for tax reform to redress the balance between the ‘privileged’ ‘benefit rich’ old and the struggling young. FT subscribers can read the article in full here. Nick was also asked to be a member of the paper’s select group of policymakers, academics and commentators that take part in an annual survey in order to gauge views on some important questions for the economy for the coming year. Read Nick’s responses to their 2013 questions here.
Paul Ormerod: Linking the past and the future

Paul Ormerod: Linking the past and the future

Volterra Partner Paul Ormerod recently addressed the Trinity College, Cambridge Student Economics Society. A welcome guest was Professor Emeritus Robert Neild, himself a Fellow of Trinity who, at the very start of his distinguished career, actually met Keynes himself! Paul spoke on the topic ‘Networks: the Missing Link in Macroeconomics’. He argued that Keynes’ great work, the General Theory of Employment, can be formalised in the context of modern advances in network theory. Keynes’ key concept of ‘animal spirits’, the optimism/pessimism of companies, is perfectly suited to a network interpretation. The presentation he gave is available here.
Paul on the speaker’s podium

Paul on the speaker’s podium

Last month, Paul spoke at a conference on Resilience chaired by the ex-Home Secretary John Reid, and organised by the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies at UCL. Other speakers included ex-CEO of BP, Lord John Browne, and Andy Haldane from the Bank of England. Paul’s topic was ‘Resilience and lessons from the banking crisis’. His message was simple: better fewer but better; think smart; embrace failure; innovate. November also saw Paul on a North American Tour. He was the keynote speaker at a complex systems conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His presentation is here. En route, he was a guest of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, where he was invited to speak about his latest book, Positive Linking. Whilst there, he also gave a seminar at the Fields Institute for Mathematics on the economics of recessions, a copy of the slides are here.
'What is the Use of Economics?'

‘What is the Use of Economics?’

This is a new book just out, edited by Diane Coyle, which has the contributions to a one day conference organised by the Bank of England and the Government Economic Service. Paul wrote a chapter with Dirk Helbing, research director of the 1 billion Euro project FuturICT, on ‘Back to the Drawing Board with Macroeconomics’, available here. Bridget reflects on what does it mean to be an economist, and what economics can learn from other disciplines (here)
Bridget talks airports on Radio 4

Bridget talks airports on Radio 4

Bridget recently featured on Radio 4’s You and Yours Programme giving her views on the feasibility of a Thames Estuary Airport. The special feature compares these recent plans with the proposal for a similar airport in Maplin Sands, Essex that were proposed and then pulled by the conservative government back in 1973. Listen to the programme here (the feature starts at 26:30).
Bridget Rosewell and Paul Ormerod on Complex Systems

Bridget Rosewell and Paul Ormerod on Complex Systems

The European Complex Systems Society conference is the major event in its area, with hundreds of researchers and scientists attending. This year, Bridget explained what complex systems science has to do in order to be of value to decision makers in the public and private sectors. The write up of her talk is here. Paul addressed the real world issue of how much does quality of the offer count in an increasingly networked world. A technical paper is here.
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