Working for Generation Open

Open Data Institute

Trust is at the heart of being open

Trust is a core value for Thomson Reuters. We don’t say this just because it sounds good, it’s something that is baked deep into our culture. The Trust Principles were established in 1941 in the midst of the Second World War as an obligation for employees ‘to act at all times with integrity, independence and freedom from bias.’

This year’s Open Data Institute Summit was for Generation Open, the ‘innovators and entrepreneurs, customers and citizens, students and parents who embrace network thinking.’ For us at Thomson Reuters, this feels a natural fit. Trust is at the heart of being open, and we really value our partnership with the ODI and the work they are doing to champion open data, which supports our own work in this area. (more…)

Message to sports chiefs: stamp out bribery or lose your sponsors

football

This week suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter made some jaw-dropping revelations to Russia’s Tass news agency about how the World Cup bidding process was run. But football’s sponsors will also have noted this observation from Blatter:

“You cannot destroy FIFA,” he said. “FIFA is not the Swiss bank. FIFA is not a commercial company.”

This follows hard on the heels of comments from Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, who defended Blatter on Russian TV, claiming corruption should be considered as a tax that has to be paid: (more…)

Searching for answers to a sustainable planet

#Susty7

We caught up with Tim Nixon, director and managing editor of our Sustainability site about our new multimedia report “7 Reasons The World Will Be Sustainable.”

The feature provides pathways for success following the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015, when the world focused its attention on 17 goals for the earth’s changing climate, natural resources distribution and prosperity.

What do you love about your job?

Connecting the dots. So many sustainability issues link together legal, financial, scientific and social issues. I love seeing how the different levers in these domains can influence and help each other. I also love talking with students about sustainability, and see their passion for plunging into this complex set of issues in search of solutions.

What does this report help to explain? (more…)

Income-based auto insurance pricing: The trigger for the FIO’s use of subpoena power

Judge and gavel in courtroom

In a recent comment letter to the U.S. Federal Insurance Office (FIO) issued on July 2, 2015, around 50 state and national consumer groups advocated the idea of income-based pricing for auto insurance premiums.

The letter brings a consumer perspective to issues that could pose significant changes to the auto insurance market. Besides the potential changes that pertain to the price of auto insurance for low- and moderate-income (LMI) drivers, the very nature of income-based auto insurance pricing is also the likely trigger for the FIO’s first use of subpoena power. Such use is likely to be the greatest exercise of federal power in the property and casualty marketplace in recent history. (more…)

China’s golden era – of interconnectivity

China's President Xi Jinping and Britain's Prince Philip review an honour guard during his official welcoming ceremony in London, Britain

China dominated the headlines in the UK this week. As its president, Xi Jinping, arrived in London with all the pomp of a state visit, the media turned its focus on how and why China was now being considered a strategic trade partner for the UK, with some £40 billion worth of deals signed during the visit.

Before Premier Xi’s visit, the UK Government keenly briefed journalists on the dawn of “a golden era” of cooperation between the two countries. And at a dinner at London’s Guildhall, where the Premier spoke warmly of Britain and its culture, I heard for myself a speech which contained more emotion and affection than the usual statesmanship expected of a visiting dignitary.

China is indeed entering a golden era, though not exclusively with the UK, and not perhaps in quite the way the Government intends. It is a golden era of interconnectivity, as the country creates myriad links to the world’s financial systems. For instance it was interesting how many delegates attended from Canada.

This interconnectivity includes information networks, of course, and just a few weeks ago I saw for myself in Shanghai how busily the financial sector was forging these vital connections. Such links will help them to attract foreign investment for their businesses and to import goods for their growing middle class, as well as maintaining their thriving exports. (more…)

Filling 9 billion bowls by securing land rights

land rights

How will we feed 9 billion people in 2050? If we are to meet the hungry demands of our future, we need a revolution in the way we produce and deliver food. Here’s an excerpt from our 9 Billion Bowls multimedia report, which tells the story of a diverse group of scientists, students, analysts and inventors who are using Big Data and leading edge technologies in entirely new ways to make this happen. Access the full report at 9billionbowls.com.

Land rights and hunger are intimately connected

(more…)

Want to boost women’s careers? Raise their expectations

work life

By Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation and Monique Villa, CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation

One of the advantages of the digital revolution is its immediacy. You read the news together with the readers’ reaction; you flick through pictures understanding how people relate to them. It’s a much more enriching experience, because it triggers a debate. So we thought we would bring the same approach to statistics. Take women’s rights, for example. Every year, authoritative reports track the number of women entering the workforce, their academic qualifications, and their average salaries. But this set of data doesn’t tell us the whole story. It doesn’t correlate with how women feel, how they fare day-to-day in the workplace, what they see as major obstacles to their career progress. To fill that gap, we decided to join efforts and to ask women directly, across the G20 countries. The findings were very revealing. (more…)

Infringement suit over Disney’s ‘Frozen’ iced

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: An author’s suit alleging that Walt Disney Co.’s hit animated movie “Frozen” infringed her copyrights in two books was properly dismissed, a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel has ruled.

The panel agreed with a February decision by the U.S. District Judge William J. Martini of the District of New Jersey that the books were not substantially similar to the Disney movie. Tanikumi v. Walt Disney Co., No. 14–5877, 2015 WL 716429 (D.N.J. Feb. 19, 2015).

(Westlaw users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Filling 9 billion bowls by winning the weather game

weather

How will we feed 9 billion people in 2050? If we are to meet the hungry demands of our future, we need a revolution in the way we produce and deliver food. Here’s an excerpt from our 9 Billion Bowls multimedia report, which tells the story of a diverse group of scientists, students, analysts and inventors who are using Big Data and leading edge technologies in entirely new ways to make this happen. Access the full report at 9billionbowls.com.

Longer-term, more accurate weather forecasting

Corey Cherr, Head of Agriculture and Weather Research and Forecasts and his team are driven to be able to accurately predict weather well into the future, giving farmers and commodity professionals enough notice of what coming growing seasons may bring – so they can plan their planting and strategy accordingly.

And help eliminate those “spectacular” crop failures in the process.

While weather prediction has always contained a margin of error, it’s even more challenging today as the pace and intensity of climate change take hold. Droughts are more common. Heat more intense. Floods more violent.

“We’ve seen seasons where weather has permitted farmers to make unbelievably large harvests that swamp the market, only to be followed by some of the most decimating droughts in recent memory,” Cherr says. (more…)

Big money meets big climate

Steam billows from the cooling towers of a coal power plant in the western town of Gelsenkirchen

Early next week, over 200 banks, insurers and investors from 51 countries will meet in Paris. You might assume it’s for a high-level World Economic Forum or G7 meeting, but you would be wrong. These investors, insurers and bankers are coming together as partners to voice their concern over the real risks that businesses and economies face as a result of climate change. We talked with the Co-Chair of this UNEP FI event, Mr. David Pitt-Watson, about what they are saying, and according to him, it comes down to three points:

  1. For sustained profitability, policy-makers must agree to a robust climate deal. That is why 377 investors representing 24 trillion dollars have signed a petition asking them to do so.
  2. The finance industry is trying to create channels through which money can flow to sustainable investment. Three years ago only $2 billion of green bonds were issued. This year it will be $70 billion. That is one of many initiatives which Pitt-Watson says is “not enough, but a good start”.
  3. Investors have influence as major shareholders, and are expressing increasingly loud voices on the risk of carbon in our investments.

Mr. Pitt-Watson sums it up this way: “It’s mainly up to the policy-makers and leaders of our countries to address the climate risks before us. That said, we represent a rapidly growing pool of financial expertise and capital, and we will not sit idly by while risk continues to build around our investment portfolios.” When asked about the upcoming Paris talks, he added: “we do not expect a complete solution, but we will be hoping that it gives a strong signal that we are on the way to addressing climate change”.

This is a very serious discussion, not just about climate risk but about financial risk.