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  • Seoul Kicks Off Its Year of Design

    Seoul has long been known for its daring, innovative business culture, but the look of the place, which was drab and generic, never matched this ambition. Now 2010 may be the year that changes. In early February the city is set to unveil the first of three artificial floating islands on the Han River that will serve as host to the Seoul International Business Advisory Council and the G20 meetings this fall. The $83 million project is the latest step in Mayor Oh Se-hoon's initiative to reshape the city and turn it into a mecca for design talent, all in time for Seoul's tenure as World Design Capital. The city beat out notable rivals such as Singapore and Dubai for the biennial title--unanimously bestowed by a jury at the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID)--and will celebrate the honor with a slate of competitions, and exhibitions culminating in a 21-day design Olympiad in September and October.  ...
  • Obama and the Decade of Profligacy

    In announcing his $3.83 trillion budget this morning, President Obama referred much blame for America's economic dire straits on the "decade of profligacy" that preceded his presidency. Whether the public buys that line is an important test of Obama's credibility on economic issues. Unfortunately for him, many voters seem afflicted by a convenient, collective amnesia regarding the causes of our bleak economic times. Today's budget is a sobering document. It forecasts deficits of $5.08 trillion over the next five years, a 35 percent increase over the administration's prediction this time last year. That's largely the result of lower-than-anticipated revenues due to a recession deeper and more sustained than the administration had predicted in its early days. The president has proposed some limited remedies: the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, fees on big banks, and eliminating some tax breaks for oil, gas, and coal companies. But...
  • Peter Sands, Robert Diamond on the Global Economy

    Where is the global economy headed in 2010, and is the financial crisis really behind us? Two banking heavyweights, Barclays president Robert E. Diamond and Standard Chartered CEO Peter Sands, give their take to NEWSWEEK's Stefan Theil. Excerpts: ...
  • Reverse Innovation Powers Globalization

    What do a $2,500 Tata Nano, a $250 Acer Netbook, and a $1,000 General Electric handheld electrocardiogram device have in common? According to Vijay Govindarajan, a professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, all three are examples of "reverse innovation"—a concept that's becoming the next big driver of globalization. "Historically, American companies innovated in the U.S. and took those products abroad," says Govindarajan, who coauthored a Harvard Business Review article on the idea with Dartmouth colleague Chris Trimble and GE chairman Jeff Immelt in October. "Reverse innovation does the opposite: companies now innovate in poor countries and bring the products to the U.S."Because they're designed for emerging markets, these products—like the Nano, a tiny automobile designed for India, or the GE EKG, priced far below a conventional unit—are dramatically less costly, making them appealing to frugal consumers in developed countries. Reverse innovation will also grow as...