Read on the street 12 October

Good morning,

In this our second Read on the Street we suggest a few weekend reads, listens and watches from what we found interesting and different in the last seven days.

Heather McGregor, Sunday Times: Open plan working? I’ll see you outside with my winter coat on:

Our good pal Professor Heather McGregor has lit up public life in Scotland since she escaped London for Edinburgh as Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot Watt University amongst many other things. Last Sunday she debuted in the Sunday Times excellent Business section with her first major column since she was the Financial Times’ Mrs Moneypenny. Her focus was the hours chalked up in the open plan office.

READ here

Nobel Calling: If you relax you are more creative 

Taking on Heather’s work productivity theme some Nobel Laureates share their views. In their journey towards the Nobel Prize, each laureate has looked at a problem in a new way. They have used creativity to tackle existing problems or identify new frontiers. Creativity is something which many laureates speak passionately about – and some of the advice they share on the topic can be surprising. 

WATCH here And while you are on there you can review the latest Nobel prizewinners here

Tax without borders: Tech giants face higher tax bills under shake-up

On Wednesday the OECD Secretariat published a proposal to advance international negotiations to ensure large and highly profitable “Multinational Enterprises” (like Charlotte Street Partners only bigger), including digital companies, pay tax wherever they have significant consumer-facing activities and generate their profits. Now this is a colossal issue of both equity and fairness. For instance: are the profits of Apple truly made where the research and innovation is done or where the sale is completed? Is the real value add in whisky where the shop is or where the river flows to the distillery? And at a time when we are retreating from globalism and co-operation what chance will any national government have anyway.

Ponder and start reading here. Covered on Her Majesty's BBC here

Unit 29155 (catchy) and Russia's hybrid '"diversionary" activities around the world

This NY Times piece from Tuesday is about the not so humorous grand sabotage strategy of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Russian: (ла́вное управле́ние Генера́льного шта́ба Вооружённых Сил Росси́йской Федера́ции), abbreviated G.U. Resplendent with a logo of a red carnation and an exploding grenade. Definitely not evil. Having had their economic, political and military might surpassed the Russian Bear has been poked by life and it is fighting back laterally with all of the tricks of the Cold War updated for the digital age. Putting the new into Fake News. Fear not though, it is not as if the US President would collude.

READ here

World Economic Forum: Global economic trends and policy implications

Also, out on Tuesday was this report from the World Economic Forum. Identifying five key trends and what they mean for policymakers everywhere. Rest assured that our policy makers will be all over this because their eye is never off the ball.

READ here.

And the fuller World Competitiveness Report here

Lessons from communism for no deal Brexit Britain

A nice concise piece from the FT on Sunday from a Pole living in the UK, comparing her experience of living under communist rule with what might happen if there is a no-deal Brexit. Wonderfully sensationalist in our view but it's still good. Our favourite line: "Brits take pride in their queueing prowess, but in a no-deal scenario they will need to up their game."

READ here

The poetry of Brexit and a hard Irish border

This from Leitrim’s Seamus O’Rourke will lighten the load of reflection on impending doom. You cannot beat humour to bring down those desiccated souls that lack it.

WATCH here

"A girl needs a gun these days on account of all the rattlesnakes”

It’s been 35 years today (Saturday 12th October) since the debut album of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Rattlesnakes. In this short review in The Guardian the man himself and guitarist Neil Clarke reflect on just that. For most of my teens, twenties, thirties and forties I have so wanted to be like Lloyd Cole (if a touch jollier I grant you). This is my favourite and most identifying album of my life. And tonight (Saturday) I will be at the Queen’s Hall Edinburgh to watch him and Neil in action and will feel young again, or all of my years. With my IQ they’ll bring me down to size...

READ here

WATCH one of the lesser known tracks, Charlotte Street (sounds familiar?)

The Third Sector and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Last week’s speech on the creative economy by Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane was our most popular read. So here is another I attended in London in May this year by the same clever mind. This time on the importance of the third sector and its performance for the future proofing of our economy and society. An important read for all who work in, fund, regulate or receive services from the third sector.

READ here


Written by Andrew Wilson, Founding Partner