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During recent weeks the world witnessed several landmark events. Leaders of nations big and small were forced to make difficult decisions. The global nature of the pandemic and the ensuing crisis changed the face of globalization itself. These changes often had mixed results. Here is a quick look at some of these trends.

Global commerce vs. local priorities

While the pandemic was spreading, most countries shut off their borders to all but essential movement. However the restrictions soon expanded into the economic and other domains. In March India placed a ban on the global export of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that showed promise for treating coronavirus. The US government stopped the export of masks to Canada under the Defense Production Act. Widespread logistical issues caused fears about international cooperation breaking down. Most of these challenges were caused by the disruption of key global supply chains.

Governments and firms are now looking at models that can shift their reliance away from overseas suppliers. Large corporations are trying to move from global just-in-time supply to more controllable local sourcing. The Harvard Business Review predicted in May that public opinion about globalization is likely to permanently change.

Empowerment of leadership

Many world leaders did their utmost to combat the impacts of COVID-19. However, some countries seemed to have exceptionally effective strategies. Nations that suffered fewer losses from the pandemic greatly credited their national leaders for their effective policies and timely response. These leaders became exceptionally popular and empowered. For example, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen quickly closed off the country’s borders and initiated a lockdown in early March. This helped reduce the number of effective cases considerably. According to a July poll by the statistics portal Statista, 76% of the Danish people now support her.

Vietnamese President Nguyễn Phú Trọng issued a guidance on outbreak prevention and detection as early as January 21. In June the IMF reported that because of this proactive approach Vietnam will make a quicker economic recovery than other countries in the region. The president gained considerable popularity for his proactive decisions.

One trend has been consistent globally. Populations have depended on their national leaders to make sound judgments, and follow them up with decisive action. Narratives from around the world give evidence that in a crisis people are willing to empower their leaders with unbounded trust and support. In coming years we are likely to see a new wave of global leadership characterized by bold decisions and bolder actions.

Gender and leadership

Female state leaders might be seen in a different light after the pandemic. A June publication by The Harvard Business Review mentions that countries with women in leadership have suffered six times fewer confirmed deaths from COVID-19 than countries with governments led by men. This indicates that the role of gender in world leadership is likely to change.

International collaboration

The global media was quick to highlight the “me first” kind of behavior from prominent leaders of the world. Yet, there was plenty of cross-border cooperation motivated by a “let’s work together” ideology. This was particularly evident in the scientific community. Scientists in Australia and China collectively analyzed the COVID-19 genome. They made it freely available to help speed up the global vaccine research. To this end health experts from all continents regularly share information on various online communication platforms. Clinical trials are being conducted on a global scale.

Flow of information

In some ways the present crisis has brought nations closer together, and unified them with a stream of essential data. In March a team of 300 engineers joined forces to build a 3D-printed ventilator on Facebook under the Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies initiative. In May UNESCO organized a global hackathon to find solutions for controlling COVID-19. More than 165 participants from 26 countries contributed to the event. Some of the ongoing open source projects to fight the crisis are unprecedented in their global scale and scope. The Institute of Management Development predicts that the world may well become more globalized, at least in terms of the flow of ideas and solutions, if not products.

The gig economy

While corporations try to find ways to localize the supply of materials, the exact opposite is taking place in human resources. Organizations big and small are seeking remote workers and gig workers. Gig work is now being done at scale. With cost-effectiveness a priority, organizations are no longer averse to hiring overseas and temp workers. It is easy for businesses to send money online to pay their contract workers regardless of geography. The reliance on full-time workers is in decline. According to Deloitte’s ‘Future of Work Accelerated’ report, 60% of organizations are estimating an increase on the reliance of gig workers. These new trends are powering the gig economy.

About the author:

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.


More than 4 billion metric tonnes of oil is produced annually. But as big as the oil and gas industry is, there are still significant factors affecting its success in 2019.

Here are 5 of the biggest trends set to shape the future of the oil and gas industry this year.

Oil Supply

The oil industry relies on the supply of oil from the world’s oil-rich exporters. Fluctuations in this supply can affect oil prices. And oil prices affect the standing of companies in the oil and gas industries.

For example, fluctuations in supply from the Permian Basin have reshaped the oil industry worldwide. US sanctions on some of the world’s top oil exporters such as Iran and Venezuela have also hit the industry hard. These hits have proven that a retraction in the oil supply can inflate oil prices.

Energy Outlook Publications

Energy outlook publications hold a lot of sway in the oil and gas industry. Publications like the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook report don’t only offer projections. They themselves can have an effect on the industry as a whole.

When staying on top of industry trends, one must stay up to date with energy outlook publications.

Changing Energy Policies

Energy policies are strategies outlined by a government, intergovernmental agency, or firm to help balance resources and boost the energy landscape. These policies have shaped the oil industry for decades and will continue to do so.

Some great examples of such policies are those put forward by the US Department of Energy. Their policies refer to the production of all energy sources that affect the US.

The Popularity of Fracking

Fracking is a way of exploring gas and petroleum trapped beneath deep-rock formations. When fracking, fluid injects into rock formations under high pressure to crack the rock. This then releases hydrocarbons.

Fracking is common-practice but has come up against hurdles recently. The UK and Australia, in particular, are experiencing social and legal pushback when proposing new fracking projects.

Energy Transition

Energy transition refers to the long-term structural shift of a nation’s energy mix. A great example of energy transition in effect is the switch from oil and coal to natural gas.

Today, we’re seeing another energy transition underway with the rise of renewable energy. Many governments are now laying out energy policies aimed at fostering this energy transition.

The shift to renewables is one of the biggest trends to affect the oil and gas industries. It’s led many major companies to expand their portfolio or even shift wholesale into the renewable market.

The Oil and Gas Industry Is in Flux

The oil and gas industry is one of the biggest in the world but that doesn’t mean there aren’t factors affecting major change. Oil supply, energy outlook publications, changing energy policies, the popularity of fracking, and energy transition are only a few of the trends bucking the status quo this year.

Interested in renewable energy? We asked the question: is solar power really the best way to generate clean energy?

According to The Balance (a personal finance website), a healthy economy is where unemployment and inflation are in balance. That is, the “natural rate of unemployment will be between 4.7 percent and 5.8 percent” while the “target inflation rate will be 2.0 percent.”

A healthy economy is traditionally defined and measured in terms of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or “the total value of everything produced by all people and companies in the country.” Therefore, if the GDP growth rate is healthy and thereby sustainable, “the economy stays in the expansion phase of the business cycle as long as possible” which leads to a positive change in the level of goods and services production, high level of employment, and ultimately, increased standard of living – thus, economic growth.

However, on a side note, more growth isn’t always better or healthier. Think about it as a body temperature – If the temperature is lower than the ideal, the body is sick. If too low, it is near death. Similarly, a higher temperature could mean fever. If beyond that, the body is deathly ill.

There is, therefore, a need for balance. And there are several key components that are detrimental to achieve this. In one way or another, they affect the economic growth in a helpful or hampering way but without them, it is quite impossible for a country’s economy to stay in the “ideal zone”.

Following are the important factors that make a strong economy:

Natural Resources

“Natural resources are materials from the earth that people use to meet their needs” and therefore, an abundance of it can give a head start as it could increase a country’s production capacity.

Natural resources can be categorized into two major types being renewable and non-renewable.

Renewable resources are “those that are used at a slower rate than they are replaced” which include water, animals, plants, wind, and the sun. Whilst non-renewable resources are “those that are used faster than Nature can create” like natural gas and minerals.

A country that is blessed with rich natural resources could give it an advantage towards the growth path. But it does not necessarily mean that countries with lesser natural resources will not. The exploitation and utilization of these resources depend on the skills and abilities of the labor force, technology, and availability of capital. A country with a skilled and educated workforce could spur growth, otherwise, it is most likely to struggle.

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Human Resource

Countries (especially the less-developed ones), even those with high amounts of natural resources, will lag behind if they fail to improve the skills and education of their workers.

Human resource is defined as “the people that staff and operates an organization.” The same as in a company setting, a country with skilled, well-trained, and well-educated workforce is more likely to be more productive and could produce high-quality outputs that add efficiency to the economy.

On the other hand, an under-utilized, illiterate, and unskilled workforce could be a deterrent to economic growth as it will become a drag on the economy and could lead to higher possibilities of unemployment.

Physical Capital

Reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of economic output will lead to higher productivity. Thus, capital formation is necessary for a country’s economic progress. It includes producing and acquiring land, building, machinery, power, transportation, and medium of communication.

“Capital formation increases the availability of capital per worker” which consequently raises the productivity of labor and results in an efficient output and economic growth.

Political and social factors

To a considerable extent, political and social factors contribute to making a stronger and healthier economy.

According to a research study titled “The Impact of Political Determinants on Economic Growth in CEE Countries”, “it is impossible to analyze a country’s economy by taking into account only the market factors.” Therefore, political factors are important to analyze the economic process and observe “to what extent and in what direction the political determinants of a state government affect its economic performance.”

Such determinants include regime type, political stability and instability, policy management, corruption, and the laws.

Meanwhile, social factors or (as it is commonly referred to) social economics examine the relationship between social behavior and economics. These include the following factors,

Lifestyles. A country’s way of living plays a crucial role in economic growth. For instance, a society that resists the adoption of modern ways of living and continues with conventional beliefs and superstitions will less likely to achieve improvement.

Sex distribution. Sex ratio, also, has pervasive effects on humans because it influences consumer behavior and economic decisions. In a study (based on a male-biased sex ratio) done in 2012, it was found that “monetary decisions and consumer spending are related to mating effort – increased mating effort is associated with increased male desire for immediate rewards and increased male spending on conspicuous consumption products.”

Family size and structure. The place of a family within the society largely depends on the economic functions it performs. Specifically, the size of a family which relationship with economic growth is quite controversial. A low-income country with larger family sizes may have slow development, whilst smaller family sizes in high-income countries could create social and economic problems.

Additionally, family structure and economic well-being are correlated. For example, the U.S. economy is strongly related to marriage.

According to a research – marriage, which creates intact family structures, are found to “outperform all other sexual partnering structures; hence the economy rises with intactness” and encounters fewer difficulties and inefficiencies. Divorce, on the other hand, rises poverty – that is, non-intact family structures are six times more impoverished than the married families.

Similarly, Ted Khalaf, an experienced family divorce lawyer of Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles, believes that “divorce is bad for the economy.” Speaking from experience and concerned with the growing divorce rate,, Khalaf explained that throughout the divorce process, the rate of income increase for a man drops almost to that of his always-single counterpart. “It is common misconception that higher divorce rate will lead to stronger economy. This is simply not true.”


Image source Pexels

With the economy on the slow road to recovery after the 2008 collapse, you may be thinking that it is the right time for a career change. Whether looking for a change of scenery, or a leg up, you will find yourself in the unenviable task of putting yourself out there. However, too often people begin their job searches with a lack of preparation. Going into the job market without taking the proper steps beforehand, can decrease the chance of you landing the job you always wanted. Let’s take a look at some simple things you can do to make yourself more ready than ever to find a new job.

Research Potential Employers

When you have had the itch to leave your job for longer than you can even remember, it’s easy to jump ship at the first opportunity. With the economy continuing to add jobs, there are more options than ever. Don’t make this mistake. It might seem like the first job that pops up is the one you have always been waiting for, but it’s likely not. The desire to immediately jump ship is a result of wanting to be rid of your old job, not excitement to work at the new one. Switching jobs frequently can lead to a pattern of working for a small amount of time, only to then switch to a new job, and so on. Not only does this mean you will be constantly retraining and wasting time, but it looks bad on your resume too.

A better solution is to be patient and wait until you the right opportunity opens up. Part of this is knowing what your career goals are. Obviously, if you aspire to be a restaurant manager, switching from your fry cook position to a retail advisor makes zero sense. Ideally, you want every job switch you make to be done with a solid reason as to why your new job will aid your career. Researching the companies that you are considering applying to will help you make those decisions. There are plenty of resources available that can give you detailed information about certain company’s employment policies, pay scale, culture and more. Researching the companies you are thinking of applying to will save you time, and send you on the right path for your career.

Perfect Your Resume

More often than not, your resume will be the first thing any prospective employer will see from you. It can’t be overstated how helpful taking the time to update, rework, and improve your resume can be. Again, it is the first thing an employer is going to look at. You don’t want it to be a flimsy, wrinkled piece of paper you haven’t changed since college.

Sitting down and updating your resume will give you the chance to highlight any strengths you have in your field, as well as cover any weaknesses. Didn’t finish school? Focus on your employment history. Got fired at a previous job for eating too many jelly doughnuts? Talk about your food addiction rehab and how you have positively changed your life and relationship with food since. You don’t have to go it alone either. There are plenty of resources available to help you fine-tune your resume into a veritable work of art. Both online and offline professional resume helpers can give you sound advice on your resume, such as what areas to highlight, or how to format your resume. You can even find great cover letter examples online.

Have A Backup

Sometimes finding the job you want takes a long time. In fact, it can take months of applying, researching, and interviewing before you land a permanent gig. So before you start, it is wise to have a backup plan ready. A backup plan can take a few different forms. One option is to continue to work at the same job you already have. This is the route most people choose, whether it is out of necessity or convenience. On the plus side, it looks good to employers when you are still working while applying, and you keep a steady income. However, one negative aspect is that keeping your old job leaves you less time and energy to search for a different job.

Another option is to save up enough money to able to take time off and dedicate yourself to a job search. While not feasible for everyone, this is the best option if you really want to spend the time searching out the perfect job for yourself. You will have ample free time to research, apply, and prepare for your next job. One possible pitfall though is you get stuck without a job and run out of money, in which case you are back to square one.

Wrap Up

Searching for a job is an exciting time. Just remember to plan out your approach ahead of time, so you are not giving yourself unnecessary headaches, looking for your next job.

Best-selling author of Capital in the 21st Century Thomas Piketty has turned down France’s top award, the Legion D’Honneur.

The French economist said: “I do not think it is the government’s role to decide who is honorable.”

His book examines income inequality in society and became a surprise hit, topping the bestseller list in the US.

Thomas Piketty, who was once close to the Socialist Party but has criticized the government of Francois Hollande, said he was unable to accept the award.Thomas Piketty refuses Legion D'honneur

“I have just learned that I was nominated for the Legion D’Honneur. I refuse this nomination because I do not think it is the government’s role to decide who is honorable,” he told the news agency AFP.

“They would do better to concentrate on reviving [economic] growth in France and Europe.”

Capital, a book of almost 600 pages, sold half a million copies and was much-debated, particularly in the US.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman called it “the most important economics book of the year – and maybe of the decade”.

In 2014, cartoonist Jacques Tardi also turned down the Legion D’Honneur.

Others to have refused the award include philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and radiology pioneers Pierre and Marie Curie.

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