By Anushya Devendra
A core principle of the Oxford Martin School is to ensure that our research has impact beyond academia. A rather novel concept when the School was created in 2005, today ‘impact’ is a common feature of university parlance. But what does impact mean to us? It means that our research actively contributes to countries, companies, international organisations and individuals harnessing the opportunities and minimising the risks of our globalised age. It means that our research is as useful to doctors or financiers or international civil servants as it is to editors of journals or organisers of academic conferences.
Wednesday 8 October saw the beginning of an exciting new initiative to increase the impact of the Oxford Martin School’s work. Our Director, Professor Ian Goldin, joined Andrew Pitt, Global Head of Investment Research at Citigroup, to launch a long-term research partnership. This will include the production of a series of reports on global trends and their economic, technological and societal implications - within Citi’s ‘Global Perspectives and Solutions’ or ‘GPS’ series - as well as deeper research collaborations in a number of areas spanning the School’s work.
Ian authored the first joint GPS report, Future Opportunities, Future Shocks, and it sets the scene for the collaboration, examining the key drivers of global opportunity and risk and the potential impact of these drivers on our lives, companies and markets. His report examines the implications of demographic shifts, the double-edged sword presented by new technologies such as 3-D printing, and the shifting global balance of economic power. Harnessing analysis presented in greater depth in his recent book, The Butterfly Defect, Ian lays out the systemic risks emanating from a deeply interconnected world. He concludes by calling for enhanced supranational coordination and reformed international organisations capable of addressing today’s and tomorrow’s major transnational risks.
We are confident that this new partnership will enhance our ability to reach new audiences, furthering the School’s aim of ensuring impact beyond academia. It will also afford our academics the opportunity to find new collaborations with the world’s largest financial services network, accessing new data and working with its specialised researchers. Because to tackle the great challenges of our time – whether climate change, pandemics, or enhanced machine intelligence- sustained engagement between pioneering researchers, business leaders and policy makers is vital.
This opinion piece reflects the views of the author, and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Oxford Martin School or the University of Oxford. Any errors or omissions are those of the author.