COVID-19: insight & opinion

Expert insight and analysis from Cambridge Judge Business School.

Companies whose CEOs expressed humanity-based concerns on conference calls fared better as shares tumbled when the pandemic took hold, finds new study co-authored by Jochen Menges of Cambridge Judge.

Leadership and organisational behaviour

How CEO’s compassion protects share prices during a crisis

Companies whose CEOs expressed empathy on conference calls fared better as shares tumbled when the pandemic took hold, finds new study co-authored by Jochen Menges of Cambridge Judge.

Working from home.

Examination of Reddit posts shows link between mental health topics and the Great Resignation during the pandemic, finds study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Woman taking part in remote clinical trial.

When COVID-19 travel restrictions were introduced, it sparked a trend towards remote participation in clinical assessments of new medicines’ safety and efficacy. A new study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School outlines a framework to assess when decentralised drug trials provide the greatest value to the system.

COVID-19 information screen.

Governance, economics and policy

A strong but uneven government response to COVID-19

State power was reasserted during the pandemic but this failed to address geographic disparities, says study co-authored by Michael Kitson of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Some people renounce goals or desires at work for emancipation rather than for conformity.

A new study co-authored by Dr Thomas Roulet of Cambridge Judge Business School examines the various ways people renounce goals or desires at work – for conformity but also emancipation – in this era of the great resignation.

Rupert Pick.

We meet a Cambridge MBA alumnus juggling it all in the retail sector.

COVID-19 can have a significant impact on mental health, according to a recent study.

Those more intensely exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus) became more anti-social, likely due to mental health deterioration, finds study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School based on the pandemic’s outbreak in China.

FT Academic Research with Real-World Impact Award.

Studies on COVID-19 modelling by Paul Kattuman and marginalisation by Shahzad Ansari are named runners-up in the annual Responsible Business Education Awards of the Financial Times.

Woman breathing at the top of a cliff at sunrise in the mountains.

Leadership and organisational behaviour

Employee wellbeing: how measurement is key to improvement

A new toolkit that provides a framework to measure employee wellbeing is launched by Highsight Analytics and the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School.

St John

Stefan Scholtes of Cambridge Judge Business School wins Collaboration Award in the Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Research Impact and Engagement for work on the COVID pandemic. Khal Soufani of Cambridge Judge is runner-up in Established Academic award for work in circular economy.

Woman uses advanced financial technology.

A new book from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Asian Development Bank Institute and Asian Development Bank looks at how the pandemic accelerated digital technology in finance. 

Monotonous tasks may be made easier using mindfulness.

More mindful employees perceive their job as less boring and are less likely to quit, says a study co-authored by Jochen Menges of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Yellow banners outside Cambridge Judge Business School.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reasserted its role as the world’s leading financial firefighter.

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The Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) recently celebrated its second anniversary, solidifying its role as a hub for research and convening on philanthropy in global growth markets.

Office colleagues congratulating happy woman excited by good news online.

Behavioural economics

Finding love and worth at work

Amelia Dunlop, Chief Experience Officer at Deloitte Digital, bestselling author and Cambridge Judge Business School alumna (MBA 2003), shares her advice on the ‘worthiness gap’.

Impact of COVID-19 on fintech industry.

New report reveals the impact of the global pandemic on fintech firms and details potential of the industry to improve financial inclusion.

Group of surgeons doing surgery in hospital operating theatre.

Study co-authored by Feryal Erhun and Houyuan Jiang of Cambridge Judge Business School finds that the pandemic has delayed lifesaving treatment for thousands of people with severe aortic stenosis.

Four challenges the world economy faces post COVID-19.

Former Governor of the Bank of England Lord King discusses his views on challenges facing the world economy following COVID-19 in the latest Pembroke Speaker Series lecture, organised by Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Cambridge Judge Business School.

Venturing forth: Qureight – integrating data with AI to solve complex diseases.

Qureight, a clinical data analytics company supported by the Accelerate Cambridge programme at Cambridge Judge Business School, just raised £1.5m in seed funding.

Jaime omahony emba alumnus foodpanda 1

Foodpanda managing director and Cambridge Judge Business School alumnus tells of the changing e-commerce market in Asia, and how his Executive MBA helped him to navigate the new territories uncovered in a growing market.

Businessmen talking about investments and finance pointing at a graph on a laptop.

Blended finance is an approach to global development co-operation that recognises that private capital has a pivotal role to play in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

Robotic arm with chipset.

Article by Cambridge Judge lecturer and MBA alumnus Hamza Mudassir (MBA 2012) on how the world ran out of semiconductors was third most-read University of Cambridge article in The Conversation in 2021.

Close up of three ballerina

Pandemic offers a unique opportunity for ballet companies to innovate, says paper by Megan Jones, an Executive MBA graduate of Cambridge Judge.

A kitchen counter with a freshly opened Gousto meal box on top.

Meal kit company Gousto, founded by Cambridge Judge Business School alumnus Timo Boldt, reaches ‘unicorn’ $1bn valuation and says the boom in online food will continue after the pandemic.

Five people sat around a table, having discussion.

The importance of internship programmes has certainly never been higher. The global pandemic has altered the employment landscape immeasurably both from the perspective of employers and candidates.

Making the most of remote working in the great outdoors.

Future of work

Remote working mindset

Are people more productive and emotionally positive working remotely? A new study co-authored by Dr Jochen Menges of Cambridge Judge Business School finds the answer may be in the mindset of employees.

A female executive presents to a group of board members.


Board reform

Improving board effectiveness requires a focus on the relationship aspect of boards as well as their structure, says a new book by Dr Philip Stiles of Cambridge Judge.

Illustration of colourful prisms of light.


Looking at 2022

Cambridge Judge Business School faculty offer their insights and opinions on what to expect in 2022 in areas ranging from climate change to workplace technology to business education.

Woman using contactless device to donate money.

As cash giving continues to decline and card payments have quickly dominated the way we spend, we find ourselves tapping our way through cafes, shops, and even train stations with less of us carrying a jingling pocket full of change.

A senior couple practise yoga together in the living room at home.

Mirthy, a social startup supported by the Cambridge Social Ventures programme at Cambridge Judge Business School, aims to bring joy to millions of older people.

A hospital ventilator.


Shared mission

The UK's rapid production of ventilators to fight COVID-19 holds key lessons for tackling grand societal challenges like poverty and climate change, says a new study co-authored by Peter Williamson of Cambridge Judge.

Classic architecture details of a Bank building.

The 2008-2010 financial crisis and the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic have highlighted the importance of an orderly insolvency resolution mechanism (hereafter IRM).

Shot of two businesswomen smiling having a work discussion while being seated in the office at work.

An essay on how digital natives may be best equipped as managers to respond to crises, written by Cambridge Judge PhD candidate Ariel de Fauconberg, is a Top-10 finalist in the student category of the Peter Drucker Challenge contest.

Statistics of financial market data about a epidemic disease. Analysis graphs and reports numbers about a pandemic virus crisis.

A farewell to R: study by University of Cambridge researchers suggests that "nowcasts" based on a new time series model are more effective in tracking later-stage pandemics than the traditional 'R rate' used during an outbreak.

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'Embrace your inner Sharer': leaders should not be afraid to talk about fears and anxieties, says a Harvard Business Review article co-authored by Jochen Menges of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Woman with disabilities doing a virtual business meeting at home. Partner in soft focus sitting in the background.

In the post-pandemic world, employers can differentiate their brands through flexible work policies, says Thomas Roulet of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Reputation. A speech bubble with one heart inside.



A summary of recent research and other initiatives from Cambridge Judge Business School.

Views of slums on the shores of Mumbai, India against the backdrop of skyscrapers under construction.

Each of our research centres has unique ways to engage with non-academic organisations and, through that, to generate real world impact. This month we decided to share with you the work of the Centre for India & Global Business at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS).

Female scientist looking at ampoule with new medication, vaccination development.

Sir Mene Pangalos of AstraZeneca, in a Cambridge Judge interview, urges continuation of the ‘exceptional’ collaboration between industry, academia, government and regulators that led to rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Business person using mobile smartphone app analysing fintech data in relation to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Joint study between Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and the World Bank Group to provide essential data to assess the medium-to-longer term impact of the global pandemic on fintech firms worldwide.

Medical staff member preparing a COVID-19 vaccine with a syringe injection while patient sits patiently with her bare arm out.

The response to coronavirus differed between East and West, says Professor Zhang Wenhong in an article in the China Report of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Night city skyline in Shanghai.

Cambridge Executive MBA alumni and a Cambridge MBA alumna have come together to form New Vision International Group (NVIG) – a platform offering investment advice to Chinese high net worth individuals (HNWIs).

A healthcare worker showing the signs of fatigue from working long hours combatting communicable disease in a hospital.


Very unwise

Ending all COVID-19 restrictions is a reckless decision by the UK government at this critical time, says Professor Christoph Loch.

Male checkout server wearing protective gloves and handing fresh pizza in pizza boxes, boy is holding paper bag, both customers is wearing protective masks during Covid-19 pandemic era.

Businesses should use the COVID-19 pandemic to pivot to better service rather than making excuses, says Jaideep Prabhu, Professor of Marketing at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Cover image from 2nd Global Alternative Finance Benchmarking Study depicting a wind turbine made of network links, shining bright on a dark background.

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School today published its 2nd Global Alternative Finance Market Benchmarking Report which found growth in total alternative finance volume of 27% (excluding China) from 2018 to 2020 to US$113 billion.

Close up of books on desk in library.

Faculty news

Clear impact

Cambridge Judge faculty members Stefan Scholtes and Robert Wardrop are named recipients of the 2021 Sandra Dawson Research Impact Award.

Multicultural people wearing masks volunteering to help others in need with boxes of donations.

Each of our research centres has unique ways to engage with non-academic organisations and, through that, to generate real world impact. This month we decided to share with you the work of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Singapore Marina bay area.

We reflect on Global Philanthropic's recent Talking Philanthropy forum, co-hosted with the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School and the Lee Juan Yew School of Public Policy, and take a look at the three individuals who won special awards for their charitable endeavours.

Janet Mui, MBA class of 2010.

As we launch the 2021 Wo+Men's Leadership Centre Annual Conference, we caught up with MBA alumna Janet Mui, who is a speaker on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion panel at this year's conference.

Businesspeople wearing face masks brainstorming in a meeting.

Each of our research centres has unique ways to engage with non-academic organisations and, through that, to generate real world impact. This month we decided to share with you the work of the Centre for Risk Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Indian woman gazes out of the window while protecting herself and wearing a mask against the coronavirus.

An MBA student-led initiative, Oxbridge Oxygenerates, seeks to raise funds to save lives in India during the COVID-19 pandemic by mentoring donors about business education.

Young Indian women wearing pollution mask against Coronavirus or COVID-19 and standing on rooftop at home in Delhi, India.

A new CJBS COVID-19 Tracker for India, developed by Cambridge Judge Business School and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in India working with Health Systems Transformation Platform in India, provides forecasts of the pandemic's trajectory based on a recently developed model.

A busy father works at home on his laptop, while his son plays on his phone beside him on the sofa and two dogs look at the camera.

Leadership and organisational behaviour

Making a difference

The pandemic has created greater empathy and understanding among business leaders to tackle society's big challenges, Robin L. Washington says in the latest edition of the CJBS Perspectives interview series on leadership.

Abstract connection points overlay a photo of electricity pylons in front of a pink and blue cloudy sky.

The results of privatisation, back in the public eye due to the pandemic, often depend on the type of industry and its competitive framework, says study co-authored by Dr Kamal Munir of Cambridge Judge.

Exterior of Cambridge Judge Business School in bright sunshine.

The Centre’s launch could not have been timelier as it coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and subsequent renewed interest in philanthropy – notably as a source of rapid response capital – as a means of bringing innovation to entrenched socio-economic global challenges.

Man doing market research, looking at at data and graphs on two computer screens.

Each of our research centres has unique ways to engage with non-academic organisations and, through that, to generate real world impact. This month we are sharing the work of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Woman with headphones in focussing while working on computer and digital tablet in her home office during the pandemic.

Companies need to revisit their values and identify their top cultural challenges in ensuring employee wellbeing in the post-coronavirus world, says an article in MIT Sloan Management Review co-authored by Dr Thomas Roulet of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Illustration of white paper aeroplanes all flying in formation, except for a rogue red plane flying off in its own direction.

by Professor Jaideep Prabhu and Dr Eden Yin There is no doubt that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been devastating for individuals and businesses all around the world. But could there also be an upside to all that disruption? After all: A crisis is too good an opportunity to waste. As marketing professors, we have turned our thinking over the last few months to the question of how companies large and small can use the pandemic to rethink how they do their marketing. Based on our own teaching and research, we think that this might actually be a golden opportunity for you as marketers to go back to the drawing board and rethink how you engage with your markets. As always, the first stop on any such journey should be your customers. This is a great time to get reacquainted with them. Who exactly are your they? What makes them tick? Who among them are the ambassadors, the fans, of your products and services and your brands? What is it about them or your offerings that gives them such delight and keeps them coming back? COVID may well have changed what they value: for instance, they might value their health…

Rolling wave of snow against a bright blue sky.

Higher education faces shakeup over the next 20 years due to technological, demographic and social shifts, Dean Christoph Loch of Cambridge Judge says in the latest China Report from the China Advisory Council of Cambridge Judge.

MBA student looks intently as she listens to a fellow classmate.

As another chapter in the Cambridge Judge against COVID-19 legacy concludes, we look back on the outcomes and experience for both student consultants and clients.

Four gold trophies in a row.

Four entrepreneurs connected to Cambridge Judge Business School have been awarded the Innovate UK Women in Innovation award. This year 40 female entrepreneurs were selected for the Awards and will receive a one-year tailored package of financial support and mentoring.

Cropped shot of a group of surgeons performing a medical procedure in an operating room.

Moving elective procedures out of general hospitals can increase quality and reduce cost of emergency services, says 10-year study of all English NHS hospitals co-authored by Professor Stefan Scholtes of Cambridge Judge Business School.

White face mask with a map of the world lying on a green background.

An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review by Clare Woodcraft and Kamal Munir of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School outlines findings of a pandemic-induced shift in the Global North-Global South philanthropic power balance.

Community holding hands standing strong together to tackle inequality.


No easy fix

The UK faces a 30-year challenge to level up society through building 'critical' mass to make forgotten communities thrive again, Alistair Darling tells the Pembroke Speaker Series @ Cambridge Judge. 

A 3D rendering of a little Earth surrounded by a van, a lorry and a plane flying overhead, with cardboard boxes in front of the Earth.

Pandemic-prodded predictions of relocalising supply chains and reshoring production 'grossly exaggerate' what will actually happen in practice, writes Peter Williamson of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Businesswoman wearing a face mask as she stares into the distance out of an office block window.

Misc news

Predicting impact

A year after UK lockdown, the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies calls for probability-based scenario approach to forecasting crises due to unreliability of well-established models.

USA flag and contemporary glass architecture of Financial District, New York City, USA.


Rescue plan

Joe Biden’s US$1.9 trillion stimulus won’t be enough to reignite world economy on its own, says Michael Kitson of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Computer screen displaying audit website against a church backdrop.

The REACH Ely project is collecting audit data about church buildings from the church communities in the Diocese of Ely.

Woman wearing protective mask, looking at the city from the window during coronavirus qurantine in Barcelona. Nice sunset with the sun shining in the sky.

Misc news

Rite of passage

Organisations can learn from anthropology in using the pandemic as a ‘liminal’ experience or time of trial, says Harvard Business Review article co-authored by Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville.

A hand uses chalk to write brand, objective, advertising, marketing, identity and product on a blackboard.

Professor Jaideep Prabhu and Dr Eden Yin discuss how the events of 2020 have not only changed the world, but also the world of marketing.

Illustration of a bull and a bear in face masks with stockmarket symbols and the coronavirus around them.

Misc news

Long-term returns

Following high returns in the 1980s and 1990s, real equity returns have since been below historical averages despite pandemic recovery, says Credit Suisse Yearbook co-authored by Professor Elroy Dimson from Cambridge Judge Business School.

A composite image of the US flag flying in front of the Capitol building, a giant coronavirus approaching over a red background.

Fiscal measures totaling $14 trillion have proved effective in mitigating the pandemic's economic effects including in emerging markets, says paper co-authored by Dr Kamiar Mohaddes of Cambridge Judge.

Woman tracking and trading stocks using laptop and desktop computer. Stock Exchange, investment, and financial trading concept.

Misc news

Stock sales

Three US senators cite research by Professor Alan Jagolinzer of Cambridge Judge Business School in urging SEC reform of insider trading laws. 

Polygonal illustration of a gavel, in the form of constellations in the blue night sky.

Future of work

Entrepreneurial law

James Goodnow, a student on the Master of Studies in Entrepreneurship programme at Cambridge Judge, says the legal industry needs to take innovation seriously or get left behind. James Goodnow believes that the legal industry is loath to change, and he’s determined to overcome such resistance. The Harvard Law School graduate, who is President and CEO of the US law firm Fennemore, is co-author of the book Motivating Millennials and a prolific columnist on the Above the Law website – where he writes about topics ranging from “How to run your practice like a tech CEO” to “Biglaw still isn’t getting it”. Convinced that law firms need more entrepreneurial skills, he enrolled in 2020 in the Master of Studies in Entrepreneurship (MSt in Entrepreneurship) degree programme at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), and says the programme’s lessons have already been incorporated into everyday practice at his 350-person firm, which has 10 offices in Arizona (where James lives), California, Nevada, and Colorado. James shares some of his thoughts on the legal profession, his Cambridge Judge programme, and “study dates” with his wife: You’d be hard-pressed to find an industry that resists change more than the legal profession. In the US, the…

Structure of hexagonal nano material. Nanotechnology concept. Abstract background. 3D rendered illustration.

CodiKoat venture supported by the Accelerate Cambridge programme at Cambridge Judge Business School is awarded £325,000 in UK government grants to help further develop its nanoparticle coating technology that kills viruses on any surface.

Illustration of human hands holding various smart devices with coronavirus alerts on their screens.


AI and COVID-19

Five important challenges in dealing with the coronavirus crisis can be addressed through machine learning and artificial intelligence, says article co-authored by Professor Stefan Scholtes of Cambridge Judge. Five of the most important challenges in responding to the coronavirus crisis can be addressed through recent developments in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), says an article in the journal Machine Learning authored by a team of academics at the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine, including Stefan Scholtes, Dennis Gillings Professor of Health Management at Cambridge Judge Business School. The integration of these ML and AI techniques into local, national and international healthcare systems will save lives by better utilising scarce healthcare resources and providing personalised patient management plans, the article says. The five areas highlighted in which ML and AI can play an important role are: Identifying people at the highest risk of being infected by COVID-19, by integrating electronic health record data with a “multitude of ‘big data’ pertaining to human-to-human interactions” – from sources such as cellular operators, airlines and social media. Through such techniques, “we can provide more accurate patient risk scores that will help clinical professionals decide who needs urgent treatment (and resources), and…

3D data visualisation of the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus across Europe.

New study co-authored by Dr Paul Kattuman of Cambridge Judge develops new time series models to predict epidemic trajectories before they reach peak.

Illustration of a woman in a face mask pulling back a coronavirus-patterned veil to show the yellow sky of a new day dawning.

Re-learning how to manage risk can be a template for the future governance of crises, say academics from the Centre for Business Research at Cambridge Judge Business School. This article, which originally appeared on the website of the University of Cambridge, is by Simon Deakin, Professor in the Faculty of Law and Director of the Centre for Business Research (CBR), and Dr Gaofeng Meng, Research Fellow of the CBR specialising in property law, with particular reference to Chinese law. As the pandemic crisis has played out across the world, different types of government have taken different approaches to controlling the spread of virus and supporting citizens – with different outcomes. Can we start to draw conclusions on how best to govern future catastrophic risks? In the 12 months since Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia from which a novel coronavirus was eventually identified, global efforts to contain it have gone from understanding SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it generates, to studying human behaviour and how the virus is transmitted. But there are some questions that virology and epidemiology alone cannot answer, such as why COVID-19 (Coronavirus) infection and mortality rates differ so widely across countries. We now know that…

Blurred crowd of thousands of people walking through a wide street.

Misc news

For the people

New book by Professor Jaideep Prabhu of Cambridge Judge Business School – How Should a Government Be? – outlines the state's role in the 21st Century.

Metal medals with leafy edge decoration.

Misc news

Queen’s honours

Cambridge Judge alumnus Dr Jonathan Pearce awarded an MBE for Services to COVID-19 research.

MBA students outside.

Cambridge MBA students offer pro-bono consulting services to those businesses still suffering the effects of the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.

A woman at home in lockdown using her tablet while on the sofa to have a video call with many other people she knows.

Misc news

Social impact

People and firms affiliated with Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation are honoured by the social enterprise community.

Professor Dame Carol Black talking about wellbeing at work.

The coronavirus crisis provides a 'unique opportunity' to focus on health at the workplace, says Professor Dame Carol Black. The coronavirus crisis provides a "unique opportunity" to develop a broader focus on health and wellbeing at the workplace, Professor Dame Carol Black, expert on public health, says in a Cambridge Judge Business School video interview. "When the virus hit the United Kingdom we weren't a healthy nation – we have too much diabetes, lots of people with hypertension and having heart disease. These are modifiable factors," says Dame Carol, Expert Adviser on Health and Work to NHS England and Public Health England. The crisis, as bad as it is, presents a fresh chance to develop policies to "enable people as they go through their working lives to stay as healthy as possible, to be able to contribute as much as possible, and to go on contributing beyond what might be considered their normal retirement age," says Dame Carol, former Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, and currently Chair of the British Library. Data could play a very important role in this in order to more properly assess risk factors: "It would be wonderful if out of this crisis there was an…

Srishti smiling as she shakes hands with a fellow student.

A Cambridge MBA alumna has been shortlisted for the finalists of Women of the Future Awards 2020 in the UK. Srishti Warman (MBA 2019) has been shortlisted in the MBA Star category.

Global communications sphere. Particle world.

Misc news

Global challenges

During the inaugural edition of a speaker series from Pembroke College and Cambridge Judge Business School, Shriti Vadera discussed some of the significant challenges facing governments and business in light of COVID-19 and longer term structural changes in economies and societies.

Selective focus of an alarm clock and happy worker having coffee break in home office with laptop.

Misc news

Timely advice

Working from home saves commuting time but there are ways to use that extra time more wisely, says Harvard Business Review article co-authored by Dr Jochen Menges of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Nandan Nilekani.

Examples of questions explored in this interview with renowned philanthropists Nandan and Rohini Nilekani, conducted by Badr Jafar, Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy: Are there some golden rules for strategic philanthropy?How is technology changing the philanthropic sector?How will COVID-19 impact our ability to achieve the SDGs by 2030?What are the current trends around giving in India?…

2021 happy new year from cambridge judge business school 883x432 1

As we get ready for another year of impact and engagement at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), we would like to celebrate the difficult year behind us with a great story of impact and engagement that came from our 2019 MBA cohort. As businesses started to face the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, MBA students Srishti Warman and Matt Lisonbee started an initiative to help out SMEs that were struggling to adjust to the new reality, leveraging the best skills that their cohort had to offer. Ever since, their initiative Cambridge Judge against COVID-19 has offered free consulting services through almost 100 CJBS MBA volunteers to around 50 small and medium companies, operating in sectors as varied as EdTech, consumer services, healthcare, financial services and hospitality. While the full impact of the initiative is still unfolding, many benefits have already emerged for both the students and companies engaged in the initiative. MBA students have gained a sense of purpose, networks, industry insights and the belief in the value of their skills to drive change in a difficult time. Companies benefited from creative and innovative ideas and from data-driven solutions to some of the unexpected problems…

Business person using tablet and analysing stock exchange online in monitoring room background, forex trading graph, stock market and financial investment concept.

Article co-authored by Professor Alan Jagolinzer of Cambridge Judge calls for Securities and Exchange Commission to reform 'pre-planned' stock sale rules.

Close up photo of female hands with a digital tablet on wooden table.


Top 15 reads of 2020

The news and insight section of Cambridge Judge Business School's website attracts audiences with eclectic interests ranging from business to healthcare to the arts. In 2020, attention was focused on articles related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital globe with data points appearing as though floating in space.


Improving philanthropy

COVID-19 pandemic shows the need to address the North-South power imbalance in global philanthropy, says report by the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. A new report into global philanthropy released today (15 December) says the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has highlighted the need to address inequalities in the philanthropic relationship between the Global North and South, including more core funding and local networks in the South. The report – entitled Philanthropy and COVID-19: Is the North-South Power Balance Finally Shifting? – is the first publication from the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, which launched operations in June 2020 with a mission to examine philanthropy within and from the world's highest-growth markets including Africa, developing Asia and the Middle East. Through interviews conducted with two dozen Global South Social Purpose Organisations (SPOs) and foundations during the COVID pandemic – as well as analysis of secondary data – the report finds that COVID-19 has revealed "a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo" in global philanthropy. While philanthropic foundations in the Global North have historically exercised considerable control over how resources are allocated to Global South grantees, the urgent demands of the pandemic have started to…

Ecosystem and healthy environment concepts and background, Garbage pile in trash dump or landfill, Aerial view garbage trucks unload garbage to a landfill, global warming.


A messy story

Cambridge Judge Business School MBA alumnus Ankur Bisen writes an award-winning book about the 'messy story' of sanitation in his home country of India.

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Financial incentives linked to unconscious bias may have driven leaders' pandemic decisions, says an article in Scientific American by Professor Sunita Sah of Cambridge Judge Business School.

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The Cambridge MBA entrepreneurs embracing change in a cold COVID-19 climate.

Mba 2020 news cambridge judge against covid

How an MBA gives you a platform to tackle the COVID-19 crisis head on. In April of 2020, just as the worldwide pandemic shook global economies, Cambridge MBA students Srishti Warman (MBA 2019) and Matt Lisonbee (MBA 2019) felt the urge to help small to medium size businesses that had been turned upside down. So, they put their MBA skills in action and founded Cambridge Judge against COVID-19 (CJAC).

Tree graphic of fintech icons.

A global study jointly authored by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, The World Bank and The World Economic Forum reveals 12 out of 13 FinTech sectors have grown during the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. But that growth is uneven and firms are facing significant headwinds in operations and fundraising.

Coronavirus market crash and financial crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic will likely reduce real world GDP by three per cent by the end of 2021 below pre-crisis predictions, says new paper co-authored by Kamiar Mohaddes of Cambridge Judge.

People in the shadows.

In a recent article for The Conversation Dr Thomas Roulet, University Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses how best to combat conspiracy theories.

Someone holding up their mobile phone ready to stream Disney +.

Hamza Mudassir, Visiting Fellow in Strategy at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses how Disney's restructuring has made it more like Netflix than ever before.

On 12 November, Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) co-organised – with the Global Food Security Initiative/EIT Food and the School of Technology – a panel for Cambridge Zero's Climate Change Festival 2020 to discuss what can be done to increase the resilience and sustainability of food systems around the world. Jaideep Prabhu, Professor of Marketing at Cambridge Judge Business School, joined as panel member Professors Cristiane Derani, Ken Giller and Shailaja Fennell and panel chair Professor Howard Griffiths to discuss pressing issues affecting food systems at a global level and potential ways to overcome them. Each panellist brought a different perspective to the discussion: from the need to increase the variety of crops we use for nutrition purposes and to reduce waste both at the consumption and production stages, to the importance of making food a human right, not dependent on income, and of rewarding producers in a fair way, instead of forcing them into poverty due to decreasing crop yields as well as decreasing prices per unit they receive. What became clear from the lively exchange of opinions between panel members is that current imbalances in the food system cannot be solved through a silver bullet or by a…

Pink-orange sunset over Cambodia.

Footprints Café, a social venture supported by Cambridge Judge Business School, is included in the Lonely Planet Best in Travel List 2021 for its focus on community. 

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The Executive Director of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP), Clare Woodcraft participated in a discussion hosted by the Nama Women Advancement Establishment, a leading organisation on women's empowerment in the UAE and Save the Children, addressing the topic of Local Voices: Creating an Equitable World for Girls.

Covid-19 restrictions in restaurants

Reframing, reprioritising and repurposing has come to the fore during the coronavirus pandemic crisis, say Professor Jaideep Prabhu and Viren Lall. Earlier this year Professor Jaideep Prabhu of Cambridge Judge Business School led a session on "frugal innovation" along with Viren Lall, Managing Director of London-based executive training company ChangeSchool, to a group of innovators from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme. Follow-up sessions have since continued online during the coronavirus pandemic.  Jaideep and Viren share their thoughts on how reframing, reprioritising and reusing can help organisations emerge stronger from the crisis: Mahmoud Hammoudeh is an inventor who runs a small fabrication operation in Jordan. He had previously developed safety storage cupboards for pathology specimens, and recognised that there was a huge demand in his country for coronavirus testing and laboratory equipment. So he pivoted his business to repurpose his safety cabinets to modify the filtration process, and this now helps to protect medical lab operators from micro-organisms and viruses including COVID-19 pathogens. The Jordanian Industrial Research & Development Fund fast-tracked Mahmoud’s proposal, and it is now in production following a test phase. The story of Mahmoud, who joined our Royal Academy of Engineering Leaders in Innovation Programme…

Three Cambridge MBA students strolling through Cambridge with smiles on their faces.

As well as the all-encompassing study and careers activities on the Cambridge MBA, the unique experience of being a member of the University of Cambridge and one of the 31 Colleges is an enriching part of the year.

Group of rows of green stacked biofuel drums in storage warehouse.

Karl W. Feilder of biofuels producer Neutral Fuels talks to Dr David Reiner of Cambridge Judge Business School about sustainability and turning cooking oil to fuel.

A city showing the effect of Climate Change.

The Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival features experts including Kamiar Mohaddes and Khal Soufani of Cambridge Judge Business School.

A still from the video interview with Badr Jafar.

The growth in emerging market philanthropy could not be occurring at a more critical time. Government budgets are coming under ever increasing pressure from the pandemic and the global downturn. Badr Jafar, the Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, explains the role philanthropy has in bridging the annual funding gap to meet SDGs in an interview with CNBC Africa.

light dashes forming circular patterns on a dark blue background.

Joint study by The World Bank and the Cambridge Centre For Alternative Finance highlights accelerated pace of regulatory innovation during COVID-19.

Skyscraper with world flags at the entrance.

Despite G20 pledge to do 'whatever it takes', the IMF has offered only 'trivial' new funding toward a $2.5 trillion pandemic financing gap in developing countries, says new article co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Cambridge MBA student smiling.

The creative arts face a decade of recovery without strong leadership and talent retention. The Cambridge MBA is creating a fresh pipeline of leaders to lift the industry out of its COVID-19 slump. What will recovery look like?  Jeremy Newton leads the Culture, Arts, and Media Management Concentration on the Cambridge MBA programme. He is also the Vice Principal and Director of Advancement for the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.   He says that recovery post-pandemic means different things for different subsectors of the industry. Creative content companies like Spotify and Netflix have fared well, adding subscribers in large numbers and capitalising on the crisis.  Film production, distribution, and exhibition, as well as the commercial art market have been hit hard but will likely recover quickly. The creative arts though – theatres, dance companies, orchestras, museums, and galleries – have suffered deep financial and organisational shock. Their recovery could take a decade. What do the arts need to recover? Allegra Markson (MBA 2015), a graduate from the Culture, Arts, and Media Management Concentration, who now works as head of business development for arts technology company, Spektrix, is adamant that the conversations around recovery must center on talent retention and attraction.  "Those are the people we need right now to make sure that five, 10 years from now the arts are thriving. If there's a significant creative and management brain drain, that's…

Badr Jafar and Bill Gates.

Pandemic will have 'profound' impact on philanthropy through greater collaboration, Bill Gates says in interview with Badr Jafar, founding patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis will have a "profound" impact on philanthropy through forging more active collaboration and ensuring more equitable responses, Bill Gates says in a video interview conducted by the founding patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School, Badr Jafar. The co-founder of the Gates Foundation said the "scale and urgency of the pandemic" has prompted philanthropists to engage "in more active collaboration, not only with businesses and government but also with each other." As an example, he cited the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator involving the Gates Foundation, Mastercard, Wellcome and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founded by Priscilla Chan and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates said that philanthropists are "uniquely positioned to ensure an equitable response to a challenge, in COVID's case to ensure that diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines reach the billions of people who need them, at an affordable cost. "Philanthropy is also very good at moving quickly, finding new innovations, trying out things that governments will be very slow to do…

Aerial view of the beach divided in squares for social distancing.

Governance, economics and policy

A smoother transition

Ten considerations to engage people and communities in the transition phase from government measures to combat COVID-19 from Professor Sunita Sah.

Cleaner service team cleaning floors and walls in office or hospital corridor - cartoon people in uniform using equipment to clean up in business building.

How key workers go unrecognised but are the hidden part that holds up an "iceberg". The coronavirus pandemic has expanded the common perception of who is a "key" worker to include not only doctors and pharmacists but also, cleaners, janitors and other unsung heroes of the past few months. A new paper by Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari, Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, argues that such seemingly mundane activities are the hidden work that undergird more visible institutions, leaders and innovators.  Specifically, the article focuses on "invisibilities," or unspectacular institutional processes, and introduces the idea that institutional work is an "iceberg" that involves interplay between its visible and invisible, undergirding parts. The paper discusses the role of "invisible elbows" – the unnoticed interactions of people who perform mundane but essential enabling tasks in our society.  At the same time, the paper concludes that the very invisibility of such work also ensures that their role in the maintenance of institutions such as health standards is under-valued and not adequately recognised, which unfortunately contributes to the marginalisation and even the stigmatisation of some of these occupations.  The research paper, "From 'invisible elbows' to icebergs: rethinking the invisible and mundane institutional processes" – is co-authored by Dr Adriana Mica and Dr Mikołaj Pawlak from the University of Warsaw.  We asked Shaz Ansari to talk about some of the paper's findings and conclusions:  Please explain…

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Pharma shift

The pharmaceutical industry's focus on procedures and dealmaking could change significantly in this uncertain period, five Cambridge Executive MBA graduates say in a webinar for the What's Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World series. Here's an opportunity to see their presentation and read key findings: The focus of pharmaceutical procedures and dealmaking may change significantly in this uncertain period as the world deals with the fallout from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, participants told a webinar organised by Cambridge Judge Business School that featured five graduates of the Business School's Executive MBA programme.  "The rules have been completely rewritten" in recent months, said webinar host Dr Nektarios Oraiopoulos, University Lecturer in Operations and Technology Management at Cambridge Judge. "Projects that have taken months or years are now being done in days or weeks." The five EMBA alumni were speaking in a personal capacity and not as representatives of their respective companies.  Pharma dealmaking will now place even more emphasis on milestone-linked financial incentives as it means investors don’t have to put as much money at risk early on in a collaboration, said Lily Cortese (EMBA 2014), Director, Transactions – Johnson & Johnson Innovation. "You will see more deals with additional optionality (with) financial payouts contingent on meeting certain milestones and providing more incentive to reach those milestones." For the time being, she said,…

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Remote culture

Jennifer Howard-Grenville says maintaining organisational culture while working from home involves far more than just stating company values, in a webinar for the What's Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World series. Here's an opportunity to see her presentation and read key findings: Organisational culture is more than a mere "statement of values" but instead reflects the practices and expectations of people working together, says Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville of Cambridge Judge Business School.  Culture in a company is best considered in the way "an anthropologist would consider a culture: which is the way this group of people go about doing what they do," Jen told a webinar at the Business School. "Anthropologists study culture – they watch practices – but it's only by living with people and living like them that we can unpick the beliefs that support these practices." The layout of an office – whether it is open plan or has a table football game for staff to use – "is only the physical aspect" that might be suggestive of culture but don’t really capture its more important behavioural elements, she added.  The webinar entitled "Keeping Your Organisational Culture When You’ve Lost Your Office" was the last in a series of webinars at the School on "What’s Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post-COVID-19 World". …

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Pandemic shows that organisational scholars need to see the world as systems of interdependent activity rather than individual entities, says Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has shown that academics need to see the world in a new way: not as entities and their environments but rather as systems of interdependent activity, Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville of Cambridge Judge Business school said in the keynote address of a prestigious global conference. The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities ranging from supply chains to healthcare to finance, while at the same time highlighting the importance of resilience, Jen told the annual colloquium of the European Group for Organisational Studies (EGOS), held virtually this year rather than in Hamburg as scheduled. "As organisational scholars we risk drawing on and perpetuating outdated ideas of resilience and adaptation if we continue to see the world as made up of entities – organisations – and their environments – or everything 'out there' – as opposed to systems of interdependent activity," she told the conference, Organising for a Sustainable Future: Responsibility, Renewal & Resistance. Citing the words of American author Ralph Waldo Emerson that "In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed", Jen noted that…

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Visiting Fellow Hamza Mudassir featured in Entrepreneur magazine issue on entrepreneurial ingenuity. A Visiting Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School, Hamza Mudassir, features as one of 137 people on the cover of the latest edition of Entrepreneur magazine in the US devoted to entrepreneurial ingenuity at this unprecedented time. Hamza is a Visiting Fellow in Strategy and an alumnus (MBA 2012) of Cambridge Judge. A version of an article by Hamza on how "COVID-19 will fuel the next wave of innovation" also appears in the magazine, following a longer version of this article published in the European edition of the magazine a few months ago. "In normal times, our covers feature a celebrity," the magazine's editor-in-chief wrote in an article in the new issue. "But that seemed like the wrong tone" at a time of pandemic, so the magazine instead decided to focus on entrepreneurs. "We wanted them to be a representative sample of entrepreneurial ingenuity," the article said. "Our sole filter: They had to have done something adaptive during the pandemic, whether it was helping their team, their community, their customers, or others." The cover of the July 2020 issue of Entrepreneur says: "The world needs you! Let's shape…

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How are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tackling new challenges posed by COVID-19 (coronavirus)? A recent Enterprise Tuesday event discussed how to overcome new obstacles to growth for small- and medium-sized businesses. The talk was chaired by Professor Stelios Kavadias, Academic Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, which organises the Enterprise Tuesday lecture and networking events. Guest panellists were Peter Grainger, co-founder of CafePod Coffee; Arash Farboud, Founder and CEO of Arash Motor Company, Arash Technologies and medical equipment firm Unisurge, and Anna Dawson, Energy Product Strategy at satellite data analytics firm Terrabotics. Each company’s leadership team participated in the Strategic Business Growth Programme (formerly known as SME Growth Challenge) at the Entrepreneurship Centre. Common challenges faced by SMEs looking to scale up prior to the pandemic included lack of sufficient funding, an inability to deliver products or services in larger quantities through current operations, and limited access to capable people who can support growth. The impact of COVID-19 on the economy now adds arguably the largest current roadblock to growth. The Enterprise Tuesday panellists discussed a variety of issues related to SME growth and the pandemic, and here are some edited excerpts: Be resilient and…

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More with less

Coronavirus pandemic has boosted frugal innovation around the world in both developed and developing countries, says Professor Jaideep Prabhu, in a webinar for the What's Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World series. Here's an opportunity to see his presentation and read key findings: The need for quick and inventive solutions to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has sparked a wave of "frugal innovation" initiatives around the world, says Professor Jaideep Prabhu of Cambridge Judge Business School. “I’ve been struck during this pandemic how this kind of frugal innovation is happening in many different areas, and not just in developing countries,” Jaideep said in a 8 July webinar entitled "Frugal Innovation and COVID-19: How to do More (and Better) With Less". Jaideep, Professor of Marketing and Director of the Centre for India & Global Business at Cambridge Judge, is the co-author of the book Jugaad Innovation about doing more with less in India and other developing countries, as well as the follow-up book Frugal Innovation focusing on the West. Examples of frugal innovation in recent months include pop-up hospitals such as the Nightingale Hospital in London at the ExCel Convention Centre, repurposing trains as COVID-19 isolation wards or…

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The second annual Cambridge Social Innovation Prize, awarded by Trinity Hall and the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, to help four outstanding social entrepreneurs. As businesses struggle through COVID-19 lockdown, many social entrepreneurs face an unexpected challenge: unprecedented demand for their services, which address deep needs in the community. The second annual Cambridge Social Innovation Prize, announced today, will help four outstanding social entrepreneurs to meet this increased need with a £10,000 grant and advice from experts at the University of Cambridge. The Prize, awarded by Trinity Hall and the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, will enable four leaders in health, employment and community services to boost their own leadership capacity so they can meet new challenges head-on. Addressing unmet needs in healthcare, social prescribing firm Elemental Software helps frontline health workers connect vulnerable patients to community services; and volunteering platform GoodGym combines getting fit with doing good, linking joggers with volunteering tasks on their morning run. Boosting employment, mobile phone repair company Cracked It gives ex-offenders work experience and employability training; while community-owned bakery Homebaked is rebuilding Liverpool high streets 'brick by brick and loaf by loaf' through local…

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Policymakers face a big test on whether to support fintechs given increased competition from big tech and incumbent banks says Dr Robert Wardrop, in a webinar for the What's Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World series. Here's an opportunity to see his presentation and read key findings: Policymakers face a big issue whether to support innovative fintech firms as many will be "extremely vulnerable" in the face of competition from both big tech companies and incumbent banks, says Robert Wardrop, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School. While online financial services have received a big boost from coronavirus-linked government stimulus programmes, particularly in developing countries, it's not clear that online financial firms ("fintech") will mostly benefit from this given recent trends, he told a 15 July webinar. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, venture capital investment in fintechs had been declining; the role of big tech firms such as Amazon (alone or in partnership) in online financial services has been surging; and only 25 per cent to 30 per cent of tech startups including fintechs have one year or more of "runway" (balance sheet funding relative to their "burn" or…

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The ThinkCyber startup co-founded by Cambridge Judge Business School alumnus Tim Ward (PGDE 2016) was awarded a Fast Start UK business disruption grant to further develop its security awareness software Redflags. The project will focus on the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during and post COVID-19 pandemic. Redflags will deliver guidance directly to employees in order to rapidly change business practices such as aligning with remote working, transitions back into the office, stop-start lockdown measures and associated business threats. Tim says that ThinkCyber will focus on cyber-security behaviour in SMEs, "aligning content with their needs, reducing barriers to adoption, increasing self-service configuration and allowing immediate impact through a Freemium delivery model." The grant package of £40 million was set up by the UK Government to drive forward new technological advances. Innovate UK received over 8,600 applications and around 800 projects will share the funding, with ThinkCyber being granted £28,000. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "The coronavirus crisis has created challenges that impact the way we live, work and travel but has also prompted a wave of new innovations as businesses look at ways to solve some of the challenges facing our world today. "This funding will support UK…

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Find out how the startup eco-system on the Cambridge MBA and across the Business School exposes entrepreneurs to everything they need to get their ideas off the ground. Veena Adityan and Yigit Akar are both MBA graduates from Cambridge Judge Business School. They're also both entrepreneurs developing their business ideas out of Accelerate Cambridge, the Business School's accelerator programme that offers entrepreneurship training, coaching, mentorship, and a shared workspace for nascent ventures. Veena graduated in September 2015 and is co-founder and CEO of SmartBell, an animal health monitoring and management service, while Yigit finished the MBA last year and is co-founder of Skinlync, a digital health startup. Both graduates have seen their startups go from an abstract idea to a fully-fledged business. They credit the support of Accelerate Cambridge for setting them up for success. The startup accelerator driving entrepreneurship in Cambridge Veena Adityan (MBA 2014) studied engineering and computer science at university before spending close to a decade working for Amazon. She was a software development manager in San Francisco and part of the project to launch Amazon Prime Music. She pursued an MBA because she wanted a broader skillset and the knowledge that would allow her to continue…

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Slow recovery

Dr Kamiar Mohaddes says the pandemic's economic situation is 'really different' from past crises in that the combination of supply, demand, and confidence shocks is unprecedented, in a webinar for the What's Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World series. Here's an opportunity to see his presentation and read key findings: The economic situation flowing from the coronavirus pandemic is distinct from past economic crises in many respects, Dr Kamiar Mohaddes, University Senior Lecturer in Economics & Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, told a webinar on 1 July. "This time is really different, because unlike a typical macroeconomic shock, the COVID-19 pandemic and policies required to mitigate its spread have economic consequences involving supply, demand, and confidence. The combination is unprecedented." He added that 2020 will mark the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s that both advanced and emerging economies will be in recession. This time is also really different because services are being negatively affected worse than manufacturing and on a global scale, while in past crises the effect on services has been "relatively muted", Kamiar said. But given the hit to services, does this mean that we will have a…

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Mental health

People with coronavirus symptoms more likely to have general psychiatric disorders and loneliness, says study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School. People who have or had COVID-19 symptoms are more likely to develop general psychiatric disorders and are lonelier, with women and young people more at risk, says a just-published study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School.  Having a job and living with a partner are significant protective factors against general psychiatric disorders and loneliness, says the study in the journal Psychiatry Research, based on 15,530 UK respondents, which is described as the first such large-scale, nationally representative survey in a developed country.  Although there has been previous research on specific coronavirus-related disorders such as anxiety, depression and insomnia, prior to this research we knew "little about the broader psychological impact of the pandemic on a wider population", says the study in the journal's September 2020 issue.  "Only focusing on specific disorders underestimates the psychiatric burdens of the pandemic in more subtle forms and overlooks the needs for psychiatric care of the people who have not been clinically diagnosed," the study says.  "Although the minor psychiatric disorders are often less urgent concerns of the public health policies, they are not negligible given the large proportion of the population that have been affected," says the study co-authored by…

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The Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has partnered with Caroline Fiennes, the Director of Giving Evidence, to study the response of philanthropy to the COVID-19 crisis. Caroline has over 18 years' experience in the philanthropy sector, with deep expertise on how best to demonstrate and improve the impact of philanthropic capital. She has worked around the globe including in core emerging markets where the CSP focuses (Middle East and Africa). She is an outspoken advocate for better data and research to help improve the sector's effectiveness: she has written extensively on the topic including in her column in the Financial Times. Caroline has already undertaken significant research on philanthropic behaviour in the undertaken significant research on philanthropic behaviour in the UK. In this project, Caroline and CSP's team will use their expertise on philanthropy in development to understand how philanthropic donors have responded to the corona crisis. Specifically the team will seek to understand whether any of the responses triggered by COVID-19 – for instance, in terms of how donors support their grantees – might foretell a permanent change in modus operandi and/or raise broader questions about how the sector can best respond not only to crises but also to the…

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Coronavirus deaths and swelling public sector debt share a data-quality problem, writes Dr Marion Boisseau-Sierra, University Lecturer in Accounting at Cambridge Judge. Watching scientists, politicians and journalists struggle to compare national death rates from the coronavirus pandemic, I had an acute case of déjà vu. Though the virus may be novel, the confusion generated by inconsistent data standards is anything but. It's something I've observed closely for many years in studying public sector debt. Such league table comparisons in both cases are simply not reliable. The pandemic has shown that public health data and economic data share the same flaws and challenges regarding basic accounting issues. Chief among these is how different countries measure data and how to harmonise data that comes from lots of different sources. Take harmonisation. The UK is widely reported to have the highest number of coronavirus deaths in Europe. But what is considered to be a COVID-19 death is, in fact, not commonly defined. Spain and Germany count all deaths where the person had tested positive for COVID-19. As testing capacities were limited at the beginning of the pandemic, this limited the number of COVID-19 deaths actually reported. France (like the UK) first counted only hospital…

Cambridge Judge Business School.

At Cambridge Judge Business School, we pride ourselves in our commitment to engaging with businesses, policy-makers and civil-society organisations. We believe that knowledge can be a powerful tool to help different players to improve their practices, policies and to develop their thinking. and, in this way, to generate positive social impact. But what does it mean "to engage" for a business school? And how can we keep on engaging as we all adapt to a life with physical distancing? Undoubtedly, many of our engagement practices have changed significantly in this period. But we would like to think that the creativity required to overcome current barriers to in-person physical engagement has actually improved and strengthened our connections to our community. At every level, Cambridge Judge people have committed to stay in touch with our key stakeholders and have come up with successful engagement initiatives. Here are just some examples of the many ways in which our faculty and research centres have been able to keep on engaging with students, alumni, and organisations, even as we have been working from home and adjusting to a new normal. Dr Simon Taylor, Faculty (Professor-level) in Management Practice (Finance) has published regular posts on his…

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The Centre for Strategic Philanthropy is producing an industry report that will assess initial responses to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis by the global philanthropic community with a focus on emerging markets. It will seek to understand how philanthropy is rising to the challenge and what, if any, measures are being taken, and why. It will aim to understand if there is any shift towards specific geographies (e.g. low-income countries) and/or towards specific sectors (e.g. health care) and how this has impacted decision making. In the current coronavirus pandemic, many foundations and donors are responding – by changing their behaviour and giving practices, by making more grants, by increasing their rate of pay-out, by moving to unrestricted funding, by streamlining their processes and by switching priority areas. This research will aim to understand these behaviours, what is driving them and the reasons why. It is hoped that the research will provide key insights that can help inform the Centre's broader research agenda about how to improve effectiveness and impact. The research will be based on a small sample of foundations working in low- and middle-income countries with a focus on Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. It will assess whether there has been a shift in their behaviour…

Photo of man with flu.

The COVID-19 death rate is higher in European countries with a low flu intensity since 2018, says a working paper by Chris Hope of Cambridge Judge Business School. The death rate from COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Europe appears to be linked to low-intensity flu seasons in the past two years as the same people are vulnerable, says a working paper by Dr Chris Hope, Emeritus Reader in Policy Modelling at Cambridge Judge Business School. Although the working paper is "very much a first attempt to investigate any link between the COVID-19 death rate and flu intensity," the results do find a "significant negative correlation" between lower flu intensity and higher death rates from coronavirus – showing that more COVID-19 deaths have occurred where there have been fewer flu deaths the past two seasons. "The paper does not seek to make judgments about whether individuals were fortunate or unfortunate with regard to flu or coronavirus, or to evaluate governments' response to either illness," says author Chris Hope. "It simply reports my initial statistical findings as a policy modeller regarding the apparent statistical relationship between flu-season severity and COVID-19 deaths. The correlation with flu intensity can't explain everything, or even most of the…

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There are some key techniques to help an organisation’s culture survive despite staff working remotely, Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville of Cambridge Judge says in MIT Sloan Management Review. There are some key techniques to help an organisation's culture survive and endure despite the mass move to working from home due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, says a new article in MIT Sloan Management Review by Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville of Cambridge Judge Business School. Organisational culture includes the "largely taken-for-granted beliefs and practices that underpin how people work together," and these are harder to maintain when not working in an office, says Jen, Diageo Professor of Organisation Studies at Cambridge Judge. Here are Jen's suggestions: 1. Make culture visible by calling it out Managers should call attention to aspects of a firm’s culture that are on display in online interactions and remind people why these matter, and invite others to do the same. It’s also important to censure practices that depart from the firm’s desired culture. 2. Welcome modifications to the cultural "tool kit" As workforces are now scattered, we can adapt practices learned through diverse new sources including insights learned through Zoom conference calls. "With your workforce now scattered and working…

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"Frugal innovation" can help governments respond better to the COVID-19 pandemic, says article co-authored by Professor Jaideep Prabhu in Stanford Social Innovation Review. The concept of "frugal innovation" can help governments and civil society organisations around the world respond better to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), says an article co-authored by Professor Jaideep Prabhu of Cambridge Judge Business School published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The frugal innovation responses so far have been based on four underlying principles: "reuse, repurpose, recombine, and, informing all of the others, rapidity", the article says. Regarding reuse, it was recently announced that the common and inexpensive steroid dexamethasone, in use since the 1960s, has been found effective in treating COVID-19. Another example: owing to the shortage of personal protective equipment, people have found creative ways to manufacture masks and shields using hole punchers and other common household devices. On repurposing, or altering current valuable research for a new purpose, Indian and Pakistani railways have turned underused trains into intensive care wards, while around the world ski goggles have been converted to safety glasses. An example of recombining or the mixing of resources is the construction of hospitals in a very short time using…

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How one Cambridge MBA’s experience in 2008 reveals lessons for MBAs of today: for Marina Maslowski Marsat (MBA 2008), embarking on the Cambridge MBA just as the global financial crisis broke in 2008 was a new challenge she hadn't anticipated. "When we first join an MBA programme, we have ideas of what we want and how to get there. Yet, through no fault of our own, the world changes. Change is hard." A personal career journey Russian born Marina Maslowski came to Cambridge as a single parent with an 11-year-old daughter. She started her MBA year just as the global financial crisis broke in 2008. "For us, the crisis had unfolded during our first week of studies in September of 2008. What we saw was an immediate reduction of recruitment efforts in the autumn of 2008, and great uncertainty around recruitment in general across 2009. "Many people start an MBA in anticipation of holding several job offers by the time they finish. Yet, in the spring 2009 the world economies were in deep recession and two of the biggest industries for MBAs – finance and consulting – had halted all their hiring efforts altogether. "It wasn't until late spring in…

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Dr Thomas Roulet addresses how management style needs to change in the era of remote working in his webinar – as part of the What’s Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World series. Here's an opportunity to see his presentation and read key findings: Remote work is here to stay. But leadership styles have to change in this new era of virtual office life, says Dr Thomas Roulet, University Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory at Cambridge Judge Business School.  Managing remotely during the coronavirus crisis is difficult because there is a "COVID fog of war" given uncertain business conditions that trigger employee emotions that are not visible to managers and co-workers, Thomas says in the second of a series of Cambridge Judge webinars, What's Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post-COVID-19 World.  So it's important for people managing remotely to demonstrate "transformational" leadership that relies on communication, understanding and consideration of others' personal circumstances – what Thomas refers to as "perspective-taking" or standing in another’s shoes.  "Transformational leaders are not saying 'this is how you're going to go, this is what you’re going to do next,' but instead they are asking you how you want to grow. It's a two-way relationship. A transformational leader helps you grow, listens to your objectives, then capitalises on what he…

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Cambridge MBA students win competition award for Oxwash for serving NHS staff during the pandemic. A team of Cambridge MBA students recently won a prize of $25,000 at the global MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) competition and as their chosen venture in the competition, they invested the money to an Oxford-based laundry business serving NHS staff during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The team of five – Julian Payne, Nareewat (Eng Eng) Kujareevanich, Yuanyuan (Yvonne) Gong, Ahmed Raafat and Dae Won Lee – all MBA class of 2019, were awarded first runner-up in the competition where they competed with around 100 MBA teams globally. The Cambridge team spent the first seven months of their studies working on the competition, said Nareewat (Eng Eng) Kujareevanich in an MBA blog posted on the Cambridge Judge Business School website. "Although our team were very diverse in professional backgrounds and cultures, a good and long-lasting friendship has developed gradually across every weekly meeting. In the Autumn, we were tasked by MIINT to develop our impact investment thesis and to source impact-driven startups for a potential seed investment of $50,000," she said. From a list of 40 startups the team decided to represent Oxwash, an eco-laundry service…

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Professor Mark de Rond gives us six key techniques to having "courageous" work conversations in the Zoom era in the first webinar of our What’s Next? How to Survive and Thrive in a Post COVID-19 World series. Here’s an opportunity to see his presentation and read key findings: A tried-and-tested process can help people have "courageous" conversations with co-workers in the remote Zoom video conferencing era when misunderstandings can more easily fester, says Professor Mark de Rond of Cambridge Judge Business School. For many people, working together by working separately is proving far from straightforward: technological hiccups, "pixel eyes" that result from hours staring into computer screens, and the intrusion of home life on calls can make for a dispiriting experience. Add to this a nagging feeling that others don't appreciate how hard you work just to stay afloat, and these are the makings of a perfect storm. While, in the traditional workplace, one can more easily pick up cues as to how people are faring, what’s working and what isn't, this is much harder to do when working remotely, Mark said to the webinar on Wednesday 10 June, in the first of a series entitled What's Next? How to…

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Cambridge MBA alumni reunite to help provide COVID-19 information through the World Health Organization. A partnership between Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) alumni helped spark the launch of the World Health Organization (WHO) HealthAlert on WhatsApp around the world. Virginia (Gini) Arnold (MBA 2009), co-founder of the WHO’s BeHe@lthyBeMobile (BHBM) programme, and Chiara Kunnie (MBA 2017), the Business Development Manager at non-profit healthtech organisation, met in a Cambridge Judge-related consulting project. Fast forward to March 2020 and their relationship helped WHO and to launch one of the most widely used platforms to inform millions of people around the world about COVID-19 (coronavirus) via WhatsApp in multiple languages. The story begins in 2010, when Gini consulted with Vodafone London during her Global Consulting Project as part of her MBA programme. "The experience demonstrated to me the power of mobile technology to improve people's lives," she says. "Most people in the world have a mobile phone and I was keen to see how we could turn this into a health tool, to provide messages and advice on the world’s biggest health issues directly to people’s phones".  Inspired by the opportunity of mobile, Gini co-founded WHO's BHBM programme in 2013 in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union. The…

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Government grant for cybersecurity startup ThinkCyber. The ThinkCyber startup co-founded by Cambridge Judge Business School alumnus Tim Ward (PGDE 2016) was awarded a Fast Start UK business disruption grant to further develop its security awareness software Redflags. The project will focus on the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during and post COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Redflags will deliver guidance directly to employees in order to rapidly change business practices such as aligning with remote working, transitions back into the office, stop-start lockdown measures and associated business threats. Tim says that ThinkCyber will focus on cyber-security behaviour in SMEs, "aligning content with their needs, reducing barriers to adoption, increasing self-service configuration and allowing immediate impact through a Freemium delivery model". The grant package of £40 million was set up by the UK Government to drive forward new technological advances. Innovate UK received over 8,600 applications and around 800 projects will share the funding, with ThinkCyber being granted £28,000. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "The coronavirus crisis has created challenges that impact the way we live, work and travel but has also prompted a wave of new innovations as businesses look at ways to solve some of the challenges facing our…

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Leisurely pace of change not quick enough for many businesses in COVID-19 era. "Discontinuous" transformation rather than a leisurely pace of change will be needed at many businesses in the COVID-19 (coronavirus) era, Dr Kishore Sengupta of Cambridge Judge Business School says in a Financial Times article published today (Monday 15 June). Such transformation goes beyond speed of change "but also the direction of travel, and not through mere incremental moves," says the article, which accompanies the FT’s global ranking of Master of Finance (MFin) programmes. Finance plays a very important role in this type of transformation, because traditional linear return-on-investment benchmarks may need re-evaluation, says Kishore, Reader in Operations Management at Cambridge Judge. His research on discontinuous transformation has yielded four key insights: transformation can occur without large capital expenditures; timing on financial returns needs to be flexible; savings are crucial at a time of major change; and liquidity can be boosted by not prematurely ending existing revenue streams.…

Colourful illustration of a tree representing different fintech symbols that look like leaves.

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, alongside the World Bank and World Economic Forum, launches survey to assess impact of COVID-19 on FinTech industry globally. The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, is partnering with the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum to launch a Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Survey. The empirical data collected will be used to understand COVID-19's impact on the FinTech markets, how the global FinTech industry has responded and some of the immediate regulatory and policy implications. The aim of this online survey is to rapidly assess the performance of the global FinTech market and ascertain what kind of regulatory and policy responses might be most appropriate across different FinTech market segments and geographical markets. The survey is directed at firms in FinTech and Digital Financial Services (DFS) markets and will run from 15 June through to 30 July. Working with more than 150 global FinTech associations and ecosystem partners, the rapid assessment survey aims to reach 15,000+ FinTech firms in over 190 jurisdictions. For the purpose of this study, FinTech is defined broadly, encompassing advances in technology and changes in business models that have…

2020 mba live mbe globalconsultingprojects making an impact beyond the virtual world

Practical learning has never been more important during the current global pandemic. As the crisis peaked in April the Cambridge MBA class of 2019/20 formed 43 teams each working remotely with a global client on a ‘live’ consulting project. We meet some of the teams and talk about their experience and challenges. The Global Consulting Project (GCP) is seen as a highlight for many students on their Cambridge MBA year. The live consulting project comes at the end of the second or Lent term and allows students in small teams to put into practice their learnings from the core courses Management Praxis I & II, that run across the preceding terms. This core course, a cornerstone of the MBA curriculum at Cambridge, focuses on enhancing negotiation skills, alongside the study of leading high-performance teams. While the circumstances for this year's GCP were very different and precluded global travel and even face to face meetings in any capacity, the sector range and global diversity of projects and companies was no less interesting and varied: from WWF, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization to financial giants BlackRock and the London Stock Exchange. Working on a real live project at the…

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Executive MBA (EMBA) alumna Dr Eugenie Regan heading up new division to provide services for global publisher’s research community. Dr Eugenie Regan (EMBA 2018) has joined academic publishing company Springer Nature, heading up its new Research Solutions department. Dr Regan's team is dedicated to supporting researchers improve the quality of their work and achieve immediate higher profile for their publications. Joining after a successful tenure as Manager for the UN Environment Project World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)'s Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool, Dr Regan is applying her skills to manage higher levels of revenue, a larger team and a greater number of business lines. "Springer Nature endeavours to provide the best possible service to the whole research community," says Dr Regan, based in Cambridge. "We help authors share their discoveries, enable researchers to locate, access and understand the work of others, and support librarians and institutions with innovations in data and technology." As an ecologist with a PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway, with an extensive publishing history of her own research, Dr Regan was already familiar with her new industry and company from a client perspective. "Having published with Springer Nature earlier in my career, I bring a…

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Local business and health solutions are winners in #CamvsCovid hackathon organised by MPhil in Technology Policy students. Entries focusing on local shops, the virtual shopping experience and remote health diagnostics were the winners of the #CamvsCovid: 72-hour virtual hackathon to seek solutions to problems stemming from COVID-19 (coronavirus). The hackathon last month was organised by the HackCambridge Foundation and students in the MPhil in Technology Policy programme at Cambridge Judge Business School.  The student-led initiative was designed to demonstrate "solidarity and collective action to develop novel solutions" to problems associated with the pandemic. Ten Cambridge Judge faculty and other experts participated as speakers or jurors.  Each team entering the event had 72 hours to draft its response to a pressing problem by video and text, and their 750-word text solution went through a juried review process. All the 750-word solutions, which totaled 11 entries, are being assembled into a portfolio.  "I was home in Germany, and saw the German government do something like this on a larger scale," says Darius Sultani, an MPhil in Technology Policy student at Cambridge Judge who is a key organiser of the event. "I knew the community we have at Cambridge Judge, and the School's entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, so I thought that we could use the Cambridge Judge infrastructure to do something similar." The winner of the event was entitled…

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How do AI, video conferencing and other technologies affect the workplace?  In this episode, joining podcast host Michael Kitson, University Senior Lecturer in International Macroeconomics at Cambridge Judge Business School, are Cambridge Judge faculty Dr Kishore Sengupta, Reader in Operations Management at Cambridge Judge; Dr Mia Gray, University Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Fellow of Girton College, University of Cambridge; and Dr Stella Pachidi, University Lecturer in Information Systems at Cambridge Judge. This is the 19th in a series of "Cambridge Judge Business Debate" podcasts featuring faculty and others associated with Cambridge Judge Business School and the broader Cambridge community.  This latest podcast focuses on technology at work at a time when many people are working at home. The podcast, which was recorded remotely, looks at the roles of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and other automation, and their short- and long-term effects on the workplace and skills development.  Here is an edited transcript of some of the podcast discussion: What technologies are we referring to?  Michael Kitson: "Moving beyond the current crisis there is much discussion on how technology may change the way we work. But it’s useful to talk about what technological changes we’re talking about, because there’s automation, there’s artificial intelligence, and other…

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Food security

Nutrition and education beyond COVID-19 from Professor Jaideep Prabhu. Reducing food waste through innovation can play an important role in eliminating hunger and malnutrition as the world looks beyond the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, Professor Jaideep Prabhu of Cambridge Judge Business School said on a webinar organised by the Akshaya Patra Foundation UK, which focuses on classroom hunger and educational access in India.  The Foundation's CEO, Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, asked on the World Hunger Day event why we still have hunger today and what can we do to tackle the problem to ensure a better future.  Jaideep, whose research has often focused on frugal innovation, or doing more with less resource, suggested three possible solutions:  Food waste: Around a third of fruit and vegetables is wasted in India and a similar amount of processed food is wasted in Western countries. Focusing on the food we already have and finding frugal solutions to reduce waste would be a big step forward. Organisations: Social enterprises and other firms can make a big difference by focusing on issues such as food waste, using their collective power to tackle the issue. Innovation: When you have an organisation focusing on a particular problem using the technology and assets they have today, then innovation follows and you get a solution.   "A good example of a social enterprise that has focussed on frugal innovation…

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Cambridge MBA alumna Zohra Khaku (MBA 2008) featured in BBC article on coronavirus fight. Cambridge MBA alumna Zohra Khaku (MBA 2008), who runs the Muslim Youth Helpline in the UK, was featured in a lengthy British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) article on people on the "frontline" of the fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus).  "Rather than working on a ward, or delivering food, she and her staff are on the end of a phone line" to offer counselling for young Muslims in the UK, says the article.   The article coincided with a report by Public Health England showing a disproportionate effect the pandemic has had on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, including a higher likelihood of becoming critically ill or dying.  Zohra said in the article that the helpline had had a more than 300 per cent increase in contacts from distressed teens and young adults since the pandemic appeared in the UK, as more young people have become isolated or are struggling with bereavement issues involving family members.  "We've been going for 19 years, but we've never been as busy as this," she says in the article. "We usually get one call about suicide every two weeks, but we get them every night now. We had one day last week where half…

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Announcing the social entrepreneurs shortlisted for the 2020 Cambridge Social Innovation Prize, awarded by Trinity Hall and the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cambridge. From fighting loneliness on your morning jog, to rethinking land ownership, to helping you repair your broken toaster: the entrepreneurs shortlisted for this year's £10,000 Cambridge Social Innovation Prize are responding in unique and creative ways to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis. The prize, now in its second year, rewards and celebrates outstanding founder-CEOs of social enterprises who have a proven track record of social impact within a thriving business. University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall) alumnus Graham Ross Russell has generously supported this prize as part of the College's ongoing work to nurture entrepreneurial ambition among its students and academic fellows. "As the world faces a once-in-a-generation crisis, it is crucial that business plays its part in building sustainable, innovative solutions with social responsibility at the core," he said. "By throwing the spotlight on outstanding entrepreneurs, we hope to inspire the next generation of business leaders to take up their mantle." The four winners will receive £10,000, 10 days of business support from experts at Cambridge Judge Business School,…

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How are Accelerate Cambridge startups adjusting in the current climate? Entrepreneurs supported by the Accelerate Cambridge programme at the Cambridge Judge Business School Entrepreneurship Centre are adjusting their activities in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. We spoke to some of them to find out how are they adapting in the current climate. Prosoma The startup was co-founded in 2018 by Andrzej Jończyk, Marek Ostrowski and Ema Kufel. The aim is to help cancer patients who suffer from mental distress by delivering psychotherapy via mobile application. Prosoma is in the final stages of developing the app that will be accessible instantly to every patient and allow people to work on their mental health by themselves. In light of the current situation, the team has decided to open some of the most helpful techniques free of charge to help people in the UK and US manage stress and anxiety. The app will provide advice on how to reduce anxiety, how to manage isolation, and exercises such as meditation and breathing therapies. The app is now in beta tests and users will be able to register to beta tests shortly on  "As we see the severe impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has on the public’s collective mental health, we feel obligated to respond and focus on…

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A "multiple-shots-on-goal" approach is needed to find coronavirus drugs, Cambridge Judge academics say in California Management Review. A many-shots-on-goal approach – not command and control – will most effectively develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 (coronavirus), Cambridge Judge Business School academics say in a new California Management Review article. While some have suggested a coronavirus "czar" to coordinate medical responses to the pandemic, the Cambridge Judge team say focusing resources on what seems like the most promising ideas – the natural tendency of a czar – is less likely to succeed.   "Instead, what we need is a multiple-shots-on-goal approach that would allow us to test as many and as diverse ideas as possible, some of which will seem crazy to some experts, at least until they start working (or can unambiguously be ruled out)," says an Insight note in California Management Review by the Cambridge Judge team – Donald Drakeman, Fellow in Operations and Technology Management; Professor Christoph Loch, Dean of the Business School; and Nektarios (Aris) Oraiopoulos, University Lecturer in Operations and Technology Management. The Insight note refers to an academic study, "The risk of de-risking innovation: optimal R&D strategies in ambiguous environments", published in the new Spring 2020 issue of California Management Review by Donald Drakeman and Nektarios Oraiopoulos that analyses the most novel medicines of the past 20 years. It shows the "superiority of decentralised parallel searches" – finding that a very large group of small companies created more breakthroughs, at considerably less overall cost, than a…

PPE collaboration.

Two Cambridge Executive MBA alumni help lead an appeal to raise funds to provide high-grade personal protective equipment. An appeal to raise funds to provide high-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) is being led by two Cambridge Judge Business School Executive MBA alumni, Dr Antonio Vidal-Puig (EMBA 2013) and Angela Single (EMBA 2013), and a faculty member at University of Cambridge, Dr Sadaf Farooqi. All three have worked in the NHS, providing them with first-hand experience of the current PPE shortages. In addition to being medical doctors, both Antonio and Sadaf are University of Cambridge professors from the Wellcome Trust MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, where they lead basic and translational research teams working on obesity and metabolic disease. Angela's experience comes from her work as a trained nurse, as well as NHS Senior Management and non-executive director roles at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Cambridge. She is currently the Director of Sales for BridgeHead Software, a health informatics company. As part of their EMBA, Toni and Angela were members of a Global Consulting Project that facilitated Chinese elders to access aids and equipment from EMEA. To address the immediate PPE shortage, the 4C PPE team are working in collaboration with academic counterparts at…

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Health crisis from pandemic worsens economic issues in Middle East and Northern Africa, says Dr Kamiar Mohaddes. The health crisis from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic exacerbates economic problems in the Middle East and North Africa caused by declining oil prices and a lack of diversification in the region, Kamiar Mohaddes of Cambridge Judge Business School told a World Bank – Economic Research Forum webinar. Declining oil prices have partially been the result of the "shale oil revolution" in the past decade, which has created an upper bound on oil prices in the short and medium terms, Kamiar said, citing research by the Federal Reserve Board of Dallas that the break-even price for new wells is around $50 per barrel and between $23 and $36 for existing wells. Oil prices are currently around where they were in 2015, at about $30 per barrel. The impact of shale oil is a "big factor in the oil shock, so even when the health crisis is over this low oil price environment will stick around and will be pretty bad for the region," Kamiar, University Senior Lecturer in Economics & Policy at Cambridge Judge, told the 12 May global webinar. The effect of low…

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Trust among US finance professionals has declined far more sharply than in the general population, finds study that has implications for coronavirus bailout plans. The level of trust among US finance professionals has declined far more sharply than among the general population over the past four decades, finds a new academic study that has implications for the effectiveness of huge COVID-19 (coronavirus) bailout programmes enacted by governments around the world.  The study by academics in Germany and the UK focuses on "generalised" trust (trust in anonymous other people), and finds that the much greater decline in such trust among finance professionals is particularly strong in the investment sector and among professionals with higher seniority and influence. It is tied to a lack of trust only in institutions related to the finance industry.  "Simply put, while generalised trust has declined in US society as a whole, it has declined significantly more across finance professionals. This relative decline in trust is unique to finance," says the study, entitled "The Death of Trust across the Finance Industry". While the research predates the COVID-19 crisis, implications of the findings could complicate government efforts to implement credit programmes and other measures to combat the pandemic, says study co-author Raghavendra Rau, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at University of Cambridge Judge Business School. "Any actions taken by central banks or governments need to be trusted by the financial system in order for them…

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At a time of global pandemic, developing smart infrastructure and efficiently managing our international supply chains has never been more vital. Cambridge MBA alumnus, Forbes 30 under 30 and MBA scholarship recipient Slaven Stekovic (MBA 2018) puts a career in life science on hold and takes us through the management of interrupted supply chains and the disruption of mobility infrastructure in his newest startup. What is your current venture? DrainBot is a new robotics company that specialises in the development and distribution of automated, robotic systems for tunnel drainage maintenance. We aim to make the maintenance of tunnel drainage more efficient, by reducing the costs as well as the resource consumption of regular maintenance to the operator. What is the company story and what led you to develop the concept? The company and its innovation are the joint effort of myself and my co-founder Philipp Lepold. Philipp has almost a decade of relevant industry experience in product development and sales, while I came in with an experience of successfully building and running technology-based startups, both before and after my Cambridge MBA. This was not my first venture and with Philipp's existing strong network within the industry, the process of development…

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The extent of the economic downturn facing the world due to COVID-19 is not clear, and companies are bracing for big disruption. How will this situation affect MBA hiring in future, and will it impact what skills they are looking for? We interviewed Margaret O'Neill, Head of Cambridge MBA Careers: The job market right now in summer 2020 – is it all bad news? While the current job market is undoubtedly tough for MBA students currently seeking employment, some sectors are seeing growth, such as Edtech, biotech and the global supply chain and operations sector, which are increasing resources to rise to current and future challenges. The finance sector is better prepared for this crisis than it was for the 2008 world economic downturn. Balance sheets are in much better order, institutions are more robust and risk management has significantly increased across the board. Is now the time to start an MBA? As things are changing so rapidly, there is a unique opportunity to be part of the solution and to create the new business and social architecture for life with, and after, COVID-19. Working in a volatile and uncertain world, recruiters need those people who can manage that volatility…

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An Executive MBA alumnus, Dr Rav Seeruthun, heads a Roche team that has developed a drug being tested to fight COVID-19.  Dr Rav Seeruthun (EMBA 2013) of Cambridge Judge Business School, is heading a team at the Roche UK Medical Directorate that has developed a drug that is now the subject of three trials to test the drug's effectiveness in fighting COVID-19 (coronavirus).  The Roche product, Tocilizumab, is part of the RECOVERY trial, the largest COVID-19 clinical trial in the world, which is looking at the effectiveness of several drugs on those admitted to hospital with early stages of the disease. Two other trials are looking at Tocilizumab in relation to later stages of the disease when patients are admitted to intensive care units.   The trials are looking into whether the drug, which is an anti-inflammatory treatment given by injection, can help reduce the cytokine storm seen in COVID-19 and therefore decrease the number of coronavirus deaths. The trials follow a research-based approach regarding Tocilizumab by Rav’s team in conjunction with teams from Oxford University and Imperial College, London.  Rav, who is a William Pitt Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, said he is hopeful that the first results will be available by late July 2020 and if positive will lead to a…

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Calls for companies to reduce working hours instead of cutting jobs help mental health and to boost the economy after the pandemic. Research co-authored at the Centre for Business Research, Cambridge Judge Business School, calls for companies to reduce working hours instead of cutting jobs to boost the economy after coronavirus pandemic.  If the UK emulated short-time working programmes in countries like Germany it would help mitigate the mental health as well as economic crises caused by the coronavirus, argue researchers from the Employment Dosage project, led by Dr Brendan Burchell with co-investigators Dr Daiga Kamerade, Dr Adam Coutts, Dr Ursula Balderson and Dr Senhu Wang.    Millions of UK lives have been changed significantly in the last few weeks, even those who have not been infected by the virus. Three of the most widespread changes for many working age adults have been:  The loss of a job or a large reduction in working hours A shift in the place of work from the employer’s premises to homeworking Living in social isolation alone or with other members of one’s household (adults and children) who are also spending more time at home.   We know from past research that any one of these can have negative mental health consequences, but the combined effects of…

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Building the trust needed for innovation and collaboration through Zoom with those we’ve never met in person, by Dr Chris Coleridge. The world needs its innovators and innovation capabilities more than ever.  But innovation has always been a "contact sport" – it originates in and needs personal contact, personal trust and the possibility for two or more people to set aside the urgent exigencies and "realities" of the moment and imagine, together, a new and different way of doing things and how that new and different way can be plugged into, and spread into, a fast-changing world.  Yet it looks like distancing measures will continue or recur, across the world for some time to come. And, while life will "return" to something more like the "old normal" in some respects and at some times, the "new normal" of having to collaborate through online tools to a greater and greater extent will weigh heavily on how we work together in collaboration.  So, if we want to keep the innovation wheels turning, we have to figure out how to develop trust with people we have never met. Collaborating with people we already knew, pre-lockdown, is always possible – but eventually, the world will run out of such pairings, or, at the least, a degraded ability to form effective, trust-filled new relationships will…

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Study shows Fog and Edge technologies have the ability to help fight the pandemic. How can a company that peripherally participates in an existing platform create a new platform without upsetting the current setup and provoking its dominant players? A new study co-authored by Professor Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari of Cambridge Judge Business School suggests a "rising-tide-lifts-all-boats" rather than "winner-takes-all" approach – and this has implications in using online technology to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The study focuses on how telecoms and networking equipment company Cisco created a new decentralised computing platform called Fog to take advantage of "Edge computing" (managing data via "mini-clouds" located near physical devices) through the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), without undermining the cloud computing platform dominated by firms, such as Amazon Web Services in which it played a relatively small role as a hardware provider. Published in Strategic Management Journal, the study sheds new light on "how incumbents respond strategically to prevalent platforms in which they are not leaders" – and this has practical implications for other companies (Ericsson, IBM and General Electric are mentioned) that have lost market share to increasingly dominant platforms. These hardware firms also saw an opportunity from the phenomenal growth…

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Universities will propel the country forward after the pandemic, says Lord Karan Bilimoria. The innovation and creativity of the United Kingdom as reflected in its universities will propel the country forward despite the current coronavirus pandemic, says Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer and Chair of the Advisory Board of Cambridge Judge Business School. In a video interview with Dean Christoph Loch, Lord Bilimoria said that while people are rightly focused now on healthcare and the economy, the UK is "still a phenomenon when it comes to innovation and creativity, and our universities are the jewels of our crown." "That's what's going to propel us forward and enable us to deal with this crisis," he says in the video, part of the "CJBS Perspectives: Leadership in Unprecedented Times" series of videos organised by the Alumni & External Engagement team and Executive Education teams at Cambridge Judge. "I'm very confident that as a country, with the strength of our universities, we'll be able to go forward and harness that strength of the United Kingdom. "Business schools are perfectly placed to help businesses across the board," he added. "In any business, you have to adapt or die, you have to be flexible, you have…

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How might the coronavirus pandemic impact the future of education and digital delivery of learning? The podcast reflects on the first SHAPE Education conference organised in September 2019 by Cambridge Assessment English and Cambridge Judge to discuss how education should adjust to a changing society. Dr Michelle Darlington, Head of Knowledge Transfer at the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, said that education has traditionally been risk-averse, but "now as a result of COVID-19 schools and universities are closed and we do have conditions for innovation, but not in a way we have anticipated." Dan Frost, Learning Technology Lead at Cambridge Assessment English, said that with many people now developing "bottom-up innovation to solve problems" it will be interesting to see later on which solutions worked well and how they can be captured and applied more widely. "The challenge to the industry is to learn and to share practices, and to work together." Mark Andrews, Digital Learning Programme Manager at Cambridge Judge, advocated that it's through collaboration within the education sector, learner communities and with organisations outside of the education sector such as technology that we will truly innovate. They agreed that the way we respond to the crisis now is…

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Tech industry patent scheme is model for coronavirus vaccines, says Dr Andrei Kirilenko, Reader in Finance. The race to find a vaccine and treatments for COVID-19 has brought together companies, universities and governments to share knowledge at an unprecedented rate, which is wonderful and life-affirming. Therefore, we can’t allow a profitmaking race for patents to slow this essential work. The life sciences industry should adopt a crucial model that’s been forged by the technology industry in creating Wi-Fi and other pivotal societal breakthroughs. In life sciences, teams of scientists often share knowledge when they work on early-stage research, but each team is free to convert this into its own solution as quickly as possible to gain valuable patents. Yet what works well commercially for a patent race winner may not be best for global public health in this extraordinary quest to beat coronavirus. Recognising the need for fast-paced collaboration in their lightning-fast sector, tech firms have often agreed to pool intellectual property into something known as standard-essential patents (SEPs), which are patents that cover essential technologies needed to implement a certain interface or dominant tech design such as Wi-Fi or 5G mobile phone networks. These SEPs simplify the "basics" of…

2020 thinkers taylor why chinese virus is wrong 883x432 1

It’s scientifically incorrect to call COVID-19 the ‘Chinese Virus’ – so why do politicians do it? Read Dr Simon Taylor's latest blog. By Dr Simon Taylor, Faculty (Professor level) in Management Practice (Finance) I was asked a question by a student today and I thought I would share my answer in this blog. The question: "You rightly call the global financial crisis of '08 the North American crisis – in attribution, correctly, to its origin. In the same light I was wondering why you don’t refer to the current pandemic as the Chinese virus instead of Covid-19?" My answer is in two parts. Why "North American" financial crisis? The usual name of the 2008-09 financial crisis is Global Financial Crisis, but this refers more to the effects of the financial crisis, which were indeed global owing to the deep recession in the US and Europe, which caused a big fall in global trade. China suffered no financial crisis but was exposed to the fall in its exports, and took offsetting action in the form of a large domestic financial stimulus. The 2008-09 financial crisis is also sometimes called the North Atlantic financial crisis, as the UK also suffered major banking collapses. The…

2020 brainfood stock market volatility 883x432 1

Market volatility to COVID-19 crisis second only to 1987 stock market crash over past 120 years. Stock market volatility during the COVID-19 crisis has been second only to the October 1987 stock market crash over the past 120 years, Professor Elroy Dimson of Cambridge Judge Business School told a webinar "Financial History’s Lessons for Present-Day Investors" organised by the CFA Institute. Global equity markets over the past three months slumped sharply before recovering strongly; the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 8.4 per cent in February and 12.5 per cent in March, followed by a gain of 12.7 per cent in April. Drawing on a 120-year study of global markets he co-authored, Elroy said that markets tend to return to their historical levels of volatility in a very short time: on average, it has taken 87 trading days from the top spike of volatility to return all the way back to the long-term mean, and only nine trading days to return to the halfway mark. "It is an astonishingly short period of time if you wanted to be an active investor when you see an opportunity and the market's very volatile,” said Elroy, Chairman of the Centre for Endowment Asset…

2020 brainfood gdp at risk 883x432 1


Economic impact

The GDP@Risk over five years from COVID-19 could range from $3.3 trillion to $82 trillion, says the Centre for Risk Studies. The GDP@Risk over the next five years from the coronavirus pandemic could range from an optimistic loss of $3.3 trillion (0.65 per cent of five-year GDP) under a rapid recovery scenario to $82.4 trillion (16.3 per cent) in an economic depression scenario, says the Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Under the current mid-range consensus of economists, the GDP@Risk calculation would be $26.8 trillion or 5.3 per cent of five-year GDP, says a "COVID-19 and business risk" presentation prepared by the Centre for Risk Studies. Under the Risk Centre's projections, the GDP@Risk in the United States would range from $550 billion (0.4 per cent of five-year GDP) to $19.9 trillion (13.6 per cent), in the United Kingdom from $96 billion (0.46 per cent) to $3.5 trillion (16.8 per cent), and in China from $1.03 trillion (0.9 per cent) to $19.2 trillion (16.5 per cent). The Risk Centre developed the GDP@Risk metric in recent years and has applied it to measure the potential loss from a range of events ranging from natural disaster to…

Leadership lessons.

Leaders facing tough times can draw on a three-step plan, says Dean Christoph Loch.  Leaders of organisations facing big challenges such as the coronavirus crisis can follow a three-step route to stabilise, examine and move their organisations forward, the Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School, Christoph Loch, says in the first of a new video series "CJBS Perspectives: Leadership in Unprecedented Times" at the Business School.  Companies facing deep problems owing to the pandemic need to first "stop the bleeding" by establishing a floor to prevent the firm collapsing; examine strategic assumptions to understand what is not working; and then bring the organisation along in a new direction.  "Bringing an organisation along takes honesty and the realisation that bringing people along is an emotional piece of work and not a cold-blooded analytical piece of work," Christoph says in the video, the first of a series entitled CJBS Perspectives: Leadership in Unprecedented Times, organised by the Alumni & External Engagement and Executive Education teams at Cambridge Judge.  The next two videos in the series are interviews by Christoph with two prominent business leaders, Lord John Browne, former CEO of energy company BP, Chair of the Francis Crick Institute and Deputy Chair of oil and gas company Wintershall DEA, and a former Chair of the Cambridge Judge Advisory Board; and Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer,…

2020 news business consulting report 883x432 1

Cambridge MBA students offer free consulting services to tackle issues posed by the coronavirus pandemic.  Students on the Cambridge MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School are offering free consulting services to British companies to help them deal better with the coronavirus crisis. The Cambridge Judge Against Covid-19 consulting project is a student-led initiative and not part of the formal MBA qualification. The Cambridge MBA students are offering advice on crisis management as well as longer-term strategic decisions in dealing with the pandemic, including: crisis communications researching new opportunities analysis of key decisions. Small teams of three or four students are offering to work 20 to 30 hours per week for up to three weeks, at no cost to the business. Cambridge MBA students have backgrounds that include accounting, finance, engineering, sciences and the arts. "We feel the plight of businesses and are keen to contribute using the skills and experience we have," says Srishti Warman (MBA 2019), student project co-lead. "We're ready to work with you to shape your needs – let's fight together," adds Matthew Lisonbee (MBA 2019), student project co-lead.…

2020 mba how an mba will prepare you for post coronavirus job market 883x432 1

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the jobs market hard. An MBA could help you stand out once the economy restarts. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the economy hard. Businesses are furloughing staff, the hospitality and travel sectors are in forced hibernation, and the ability of workers worldwide to work from home is being put to the test. The longer lockdowns go on, the more likely it is that furloughed staff and those out of work will see their skillsets become outdated. An MBA could be the piece of the puzzle that reignites a career and helps you stand out in the post-coronavirus jobs market. Cause for optimism Cambridge MBA alumnus and CJBS Visiting Fellow Hamza Mudassir (MBA 2012) is the managing director and cofounder of, a specialist consulting firm with a focus on digital transformation. Despite the current negativity swirling around the economy, he believes there is cause for optimism. The hospitality and travel sectors might be shrinking due to the impact of coronavirus, but it's a temporary hit. We will travel again, and we will return to bars, restaurants, cafes. There will be one area in particular, he thinks, that will see long term growth and a spike…

2020 news shieldnhs 883x432 1

60,000 face shields for NHS hospitals. Cambridge Judge Business School entrepreneurs are taking part in a volunteer effort to produce thousands of face shields helping to protect hospital staff from coronavirus. ShieldNHS, a non-profit organisation founded in March 2020, says it has already delivered more than 60,000 face shields to 56 hospitals across the UK to support doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19. One of the leading volunteers is entrepreneur Lucy Jung, Co-Founder of medical startup Charco that is currently on the Accelerate Cambridge programme at the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge. Lucy approached US company Delve, which had designed the Badger Shield. A team of volunteers in the UK including firefighters, the Salvation Army and entrepreneurs are now working to produce face shields based on the Badger Shield model to be donated to hospitals, ambulance services and care homes. Dr Floyd Pierres, a doctor who is Co-Founder of Charco, is also volunteering for ShieldNHS. Working on the frontline he saw first-hand the importance of protective personal equipment (PPE). "We at ShieldNHS have worked on strict procedures and testing to ensure the face shields are safe and reliable to protect us," he says. "With the…

2020 brainfood alexandrov closed but connected

How church communities are coping with COVID-19. By Dr Timur Alexandrov, Research Associate, Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation Churches in the time of a modern pandemic For the first time in modern history, places of worship including churches are closed. As the lockdown continues in the UK, we cannot help but notice the silent local churches. As we take our daily exercise allowance, we have all seen that the traditional boards proclaiming 'church is open' are gone, and the doors are locked. The arrival of COVID-19 has caused a great many difficulties on both a national and an individual level. What makes matters more painful, and difficult to process, is that the social-distancing rule prescribes now that only immediate family can attend the funeral of a loved one. In recent weeks, the Church of England has been encouraging families to discuss with clergy the possibility of a memorial service once the lockdown has been lifted, enabling more people to gather. If only we could step inside our churches Why are the churches closed when they are most needed at the times like this? People seek comfort in these troubling times and the importance of being able to go to church…

2020 brainfood market integrity 883x432 1

Study on insider trading is relevant to coronavirus bailouts. The last big economic bailout in the United States was the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP) enacted during the financial crisis in 2008. That package is now dwarfed by measures adopted by governments around the world to respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, including a $2.2 trillion economic recovery package in the US. A new study about TARP and insider trading co-authored by Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, has taken on added relevance owing to the COVID-19 bailout plans. The study "Political connections and the informativeness of insider trades" was published 20 March 2020 in the Journal of Finance. Last month, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, said that companies that are in discussions about coronavirus bailout funds should disclose such "sensitive information" to investors. "I encourage companies to disclose where they stand and limit speculation," he said in an interview on CNBC. A few days later, a statement issued by Jay Clayton and William Hinman, Director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, called on companies to "provide as much information as is practicable regarding their current…

2020 brainfood seven cashflow strategies 883x432 1

Practical ideas for businesses to remain resilient in the challenging COVID-19 economic environment from Max Montgomery (MBA 2019). The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has forced governments around the world to implement extreme lockdown policies. Although this has helped contain the virus, the impact on their economies and, more specifically, small to medium sized businesses, has been devastating. For business owners, the phrase "cash is king" has never been truer as they try to weather this storm. There are no magic solutions to solve cash flow problems and many businesses will require continuous incremental improvements to survive the next six to 12 months. However, having recently consulted with a turnaround private equity firm, I’d like to share seven cash flow strategies (by no means an exhaustive list) which may help some businesses get through this crisis: 1. Make the most of government support Invest time in understanding, and applying for, the various government grants, subsidies or tax breaks that are available in the jurisdictions your business operates in. These policies are continuously being updated. Make sure you keep on top of any new policy announcements by signing up to the relevant email distribution lists. 2. Identify, and develop, profit-making activities Pinpoint and…

2020 uncategorised supply chain resiliancy 883x432 1

Will coronavirus disruptions prompt a new focus on supply chain risk and resiliency for business? A video interview with a global supply chain expert conducted by Sytske Wijnsma, a PhD candidate at Cambridge Judge Business School, was utilised in a recent Executive MBA class on Operations Management at Cambridge Judge. Dr Anne Robinson, a past president of INFORMS (the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences), said in the interview with Sytske that disruptions owing to coronavirus will prompt a new focus on supply chain risk and resiliency at companies around the world. "The reliance on traditional forecasting is going to shift because there’s an acknowledgement that what got us here won’t get us there – that the past is not a good indicator of the future," said Dr Robinson, whose interview was used as supporting material for two EMBA classes totalling 120 participants. "So focusing on better planning, agile planning, the ability to change your plans quickly will be very, very important. And I think the conversations between CEOs and chief supply chain officers are going to be around risk, resiliency and robustness of the supply chain." A native of Newfoundland in Canada, Anne is currently chief strategy…

2020 brainfood guernsey coronavirus finance 883x432 1

Early-stage finance research exploring the impact of COVID-19 on important financial outcomes such as household spending and investor expectations, by Dr Scott Guernsey, Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Finance and the Cambridge Endowment for Research and Finance (CERF). In the first article, "How does household spending respond to an epidemic? Consumption during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic", Professors Scott Baker (Northwestern University), Robert Farrokhnia (Columbia University), Steffen Meyer (University of Southern Denmark), Michaela Pagel (Columbia University), and Constantine Yannelis (University of Chicago) investigate how US households altered their consumption behaviour in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Using transaction-level household financial data, the paper finds that households' spending markedly increased as initial news about the spread of COVID-19 in their local area intensified. The initial increase in spending suggests that households were attempting to stockpile essential goods in anticipation of current and future disruptions in their ability to frequent local retailers. Meanwhile, as COVID-19 spread, more households remained at home, sharply decreasing their spending at restaurants and retail stores, and their purchase of air travel and public transportation. These effects are magnified for households in states that issued "shelter-in-place" orders, with the increases in grocery spending nearly three times…

2020 entrepreneurship covid19 ventures featured 883x432 1

Cambridge Judge student ventures pivot through the coronavirus crisis. Many startup firms, like many large companies, have adjusted their operations in response to the lockdowns and other measures related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. We caught up with some current Masters in Entrepreneurship students, class of 2019, at Cambridge Judge Business School to find out how they have pivoted in response to the crisis. You Okay, Doc? Daniel Gearon (MSt in Entrepreneurship 2019) founded the charity You Okay, Doc? in 2019. Daniel works as a medical doctor, a cardiothoracic surgical trainee at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, and hopes his startup will support the mental health and wellbeing of doctors and healthcare workers. In response to COVID-19, You Okay, Doc? has launched The Huddle, a virtual community facilitated by mental health experts and guest speakers, with evolving topics each session to match the needs of frontline workers. The meetings are hosted on Zoom and are completely confidential and independent, so doctors can feel safe to open up. The sessions are currently weekly and deliberately intimate to encourage openness, supporting 25 doctors in the UK per week. The team hopes to expand globally soon and open The Huddle up to 250+…

2020 thinkers cotta enterprising vision 883x432 1

Why it's so important to see beyond a crisis and what we can learn from enterprising people, by Bruno Cotta, Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre. It was just five years ago that entrepreneur and now philanthropist, Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft, delivered a sobering  TED talk  describing "the next outbreak", warning that the world was not ready to cope with a global epidemic of the kind that millions of people are now witnessing. As each of us attempts to "keep calm and carry on" at home, or at work, two other organisations are similarly known for the foresight of their founders, whose products and services we also depend on daily as this situation unfolds; Apple and Google, have announced the joint development of smartphone technology to rapidly trace contact with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Meanwhile, even closer to home, the University of Cambridge is partnering with pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline to support the UK's aim to boost the nation's COVID-19 testing capacity and nearly 80 companies and academic institutions worldwide are conducting research and development, racing to produce a much-needed vaccine. This very human spirit of endeavour is also bringing together our next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in equally timely efforts making a real difference to those on…

2020 brainfood challenges and opportunities 883x432 1

Healthcare supply chains can learn from COVID-19 response. The global scramble to find medical supplies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic points to both challenges and opportunities for the sometimes too narrowly defined area of healthcare supply chains, says a team of researchers from Cambridge Judge Business School. Healthcare supply chains have suffered from an issue shared by supply chains in other sectors, in which managers have been more successful in reactive responses rather than proactive planning, the research team says in an epilogue prepared for a working paper. The team has been working for the past year on applying supply chain thinking to healthcare to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. Global supply chains were found underprepared by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite earlier epidemics such as SARS and H1N1 and many warnings over the years of the crippling effect of an even bigger pandemic, says the epilogue to the paper, "Supply chain thinking in healthcare: lessons and outlooks", currently under review in the journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. Yet at the same time, as with other major disruptions, COVID-19 has created opportunities for innovation in healthcare supply chains, says the Cambridge Judge team – PhD candidate Lidia Betcheva;…

2020 emba emba participants respond to covid 19 crisis 883x432 1

Participants in the 2019 cohort the Cambridge Executive MBA programme have implemented rapid changes within their respective organisations to respond to issues related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. By considering how they can adapt organisational assets, utilise professional competencies and leverage networks, participants are approaching challenges with determination to save lives and livelihoods. From providing space for NHS health centres to pivoting to personal protective equipment (PPE) production, the Cambridge Executive MBA (EMBA) community is making a difference to support patients and workers. Providing clinical space for the NHS In response to increased demand for temporary clinical space to support patients during the COVID-19 crisis, Tariq Shah (EMBA 2019)'s company, Vigo Group, has transformed part of one of the company's flexible office space centres into a fully refurbished and equipped health centre. Vigo Group is a third-generation family business that specialises in investment, construction, and development of commercial and residential properties. The new health centre, The Phoenix Clinic, is the result of the commitment of the NHS and local businesses to work together in partnership and provide facilities to support patients during the current coronavirus crisis. Ahead of the transition, Vigo Group faced several challenges in its ambition to repurpose…

2020 news think tank honours 883x432 1

Jan Lodge, a PhD candidate at Cambridge Judge Business School, is named a member of the ThinkTank30 of the Club of Rome (Germany). Jan Lodge, a PhD candidate at Cambridge Judge Business School, was named a new member of ThinkTank30, the think tank of the Club of Rome (Germany), a group of people in their 30s who engage together on some of our most pressing social issues. The think tank founded in 2004 in Hamburg has a key focus on sustainability, and as an independent group it contributes to social debates and formulates recommendations for long-term politics through research, study and work. Jan, who was born and raised in Germany, is a third-year PhD student in Organisational Theory at Cambridge Judge and he holds an MPhil degree in Innovation, Strategy & Organisation from the University of Cambridge. He recently published an article on The Conversation website based on his research on prisoners, and how their experience in dealing with loneliness and isolation can be instructive in dealing with the coronavirus lockdown.…

2020 thinkers williamson deglobalisation 883x432 2

Worrying signs of a knee-jerk reaction to COVID-19, says Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management. There are worrying signs of a knee-jerk reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, a spasm toward protectionism, nationalism and the abandonment of international cooperation. This is clearly the wrong approach.  Turning inward would cripple manufacturing efficiency. The prices consumers pay would rise. Innovation and productivity growth, already under threat, would slow down. In short, people’s lives would suffer.  The reality is that our globally interconnected economy has helped in dealing with the pandemic. Vital raw materials such as testing reagents have moved across borders to where they are in short supply. Personal protective equipment and even ventilators from across the globe are now helping to alleviate shortages in many of the worst-hit countries. Contrary to dire predictions, global supply chains including food have held up pretty well.  Yet despite what history tells us of the dangers of protectionism, the United States in particular seems intent on undermining the supply side of the global economy. The semiconductor industry underlines the dangers of such an approach at a time when mobile phones and the semiconductors they use are the very devices we’re now relying on to maintain our safety, sanity, and some vestige of normality in our lives.  Rules proposed by the Trump administration would disrupt the global semiconductor innovation and supply chain by stipulating…

2020 entrepreneurship camsocvent covid19 883x432 1

Social ventures adapting to issues posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The goal of the Cambridge Social Ventures programme, part of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, is to support a range of businesses that have positive social and environmental impacts. While everyone changes their routines due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), many ventures supported by the programme are adjusting their procedures in order to address issues posed by the pandemic. We talked to a few of those enterprises to find out how they are adapting to the current climate in order to help their constituents: Griffin Occupational Therapy Founded in 2010 by occupational therapist Kim Griffin, this startup provides online training and therapy programme solutions for parents and teachers. It focuses on sensory processing disorder training and motor skill development programmes for families of, and teachers working with, children with autism or developmental delays. Usually, when working directly with a child, Kim would set the programme of activities up to match their abilities. In March, Kim started publishing daily videos to help parents teach things like fine motor skills while their kids are home. The videos include activities such as exercise, modelling playdough, papercraft and colouring. "As I'm no longer able to…

2020 blog virtual residential week 883x432 1

A blog from the Masters in Entrepreneurship on the impact of COVID-19 on University educational programmes. The Master of Studies (MSt) in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School adjusted its "residential" week to online delivery due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Important lessons were learned that will outlive the current crisis. Kerstin Castle, Marketing Manager of the programme, writes about their quick transition during the crisis. Continuing during a pandemic The Master of Studies in Entrepreneurship is a two-year, part-time programme that has students from 35 countries who are either launching a startup from the ground up or growing their existing businesses. It was always designed as a "blended" programme in which four "residential" weeks in Cambridge over those two years are combined with the bulk of learning online. Like all organisations, we hoped this would continue uninterrupted despite the news emerging from China at the end of January of a dangerous virus. But we prepared well for unanticipated developments, and we believe that so far this has paid off and taught us valuable lessons for the future. As the news emerged from the city of Wuhan, we started putting preparations in place in case our Chinese students would be…

2020 lowdown roulet social network 883x432 1

Now is the time to reconnect with your dormant social network, says article in MIT Sloan Management Review co-authored by Dr Thomas Roulet. Coronavirus lockdowns around the world provide a "perfect opportunity" to reawaken dormant ties with relationships weakened by time or distance, says a new article in MIT Sloan Management Review co-authored by Thomas Roulet of Cambridge Judge Business School. Relationships that may have been underexploited in recent times might be with friends from university, former neighbours, previous co-workers or distant relatives, says the article entitled "Your Dormant Social Network". "Now is the time to reopen online discussions that have been left idle and reach out to old friends and colleagues via social media platforms or, perhaps, even an old-fashioned phone call," says the article co-authored by Thomas Roulet, University Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory and Deputy Director of the MBA programme at Cambridge Judge, and Ben Laker, Professor of Leadership at Henley Business School at the University of Reading. In fact, the input we can get from these more distant relationships is often more valuable, because the information from people less likely to share the same current background will be fresher and less redundant. This could help people…

2020 thinkers sengupta pandemic opportunities 883x432 1

Working from home can empower new thinking, writes Dr Kishore Sengupta, Reader in Operations Management at Cambridge Judge Business School. The involuntary migration of work from offices to homes, difficult as it is for many organisations, offers a rare opportunity for companies to experiment with bottom-up transformation through employees suddenly empowered to think and perform in new ways. Organisations naturally run on routines, with employees performing a pre-defined task, but the sudden lack of usual office structures means that workers are gaining autonomy over certain types of decision-making that they lack in normal times. This can create downsides if employees make the wrong call, but also offers a route to personal and organisational innovation. What's clear is that the current situation, for many firms, doesn't lend itself well to the sort of deeply rooted hierarchies and narrowly defined roles that reflect their usual corporate cultures. There has been a disconnect between settled patterns and the current workplace reality. This ties in well with research I have conducted with my colleague Dr Philip Stiles, University Senior Lecturer in Corporate Governance at Cambridge Judge Business School, on how organisations handle "discontinuity" – the sort of transformation forced by circumstances that may include…

2020 thinkers lodge lessons from prisons 883x432 1

How prisoners' coping strategies for loneliness and isolation can help those in coronavirus lockdown writes Jan Lodge, PhD Candidate in Organisational Theory at Cambridge Judge Business School. Isolation and confinement during the unprecedented coronavirus lockdowns around the world are a first time experience for most people. Under these circumstances we all have a lot to learn from prisoners – many of whom have had to find certain strategies to deal with the numerous mental upheavals that seclusion during incarceration entails.  It goes without saying that being cooped up at home is of course far more manageable than being locked up behind bars. But people isolating due to COVID-19 are still forced to deal with a lack of freedom, loss of normality and a loneliness they may have never encountered before. As with prisoners, this can lead to challenges of mental wellbeing, an erosion of self-esteem, and an inability to thrive and sometimes function.  In my current research looking at how individuals with a criminal conviction move back into employment, interviewees often described their time in prison as a major emotional challenge. As a result, many prisoners developed a range of coping strategies to navigate the consequences of being confined to their cells…

2020 brainfood hope voluntary exposure 1998x642 1

An alternative idea to social distancing from policy modeller Dr Chris Hope. A new working paper by Dr Chris Hope, Emeritus Reader in Policy Modelling at Cambridge Judge Business School, suggests an alternative that could be offered to social distancing measures under the current coronavirus lockdown: "voluntary exposure" in which healthy people can choose to be infected and confined to their homes until no longer infectious. Currently, most people do not know if they are infected until they show symptoms, and they can, therefore, pass the infection on to other people in shops or the street while unknowingly infected. Under a "voluntary exposure" approach, people who choose to be immediately infected with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and then stay in their homes until no longer infectious "would then be able to resume something closer to normal life, once sufficient numbers were immune and the government allowed it," Chris writes in a blog post summarising the working paper. People at high risk or with pre-existing conditions would not be offered such voluntary exposure, or presumably not take it up if offered. He emphasises that the working paper posted on the Cambridge Judge Business School website is a "first analysis" of this new idea,…

2020 mba greening business 883x432 1

Career and personal development

Greening business – the sustainability challenge

Fires, droughts, floods and Greta Thunberg – sustainability has never been so much at the forefront for global business. What are the trends to look out for? Cambridge Judge Business School faculty, MBA alumni and a current MBA candidate give us their thoughts.

2020 news collaborators pandemic help 883x432 1

Cambridge Judge Business School wants to extend its most gracious thanks to our existing collaborators, with whom we have an existing deep relationship – Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS), China Medical System (CMS), and current Cambridge MBA student Nancy Zhang (MBA 2019) and Richard Liu Qiangdong, together with their company – for their generous donation of medical supplies to the Cambridge University Health Partners system and other Cambridgeshire NHS partners. In support of the current mission to defeat COVID-19 (coronavirus), all three – PHBS, CMS and – have generously donated a significant amount of medical supplies, personal protective equipment and many other much needed supplies to hospitals and patients in Cambridge, the wider region and the UK. The donations are being facilitated through Cambridge Judge Business School, and the University of Cambridge’s central point for logistics, Homerton College. These supplies are being delivered to medical hospitals and GP surgeries in the Cambridgeshire area in support of the current mission to defeat COVID-19. The items will be used to support doctors, nurses and health workers treating COVID-19 patients and are critical for the provision of medical care for patients. Professor Christoph Loch, Director of Cambridge Judge Business School,…

2020 thinkers williamson teaming up 883x432 1


Teaming up

Coronavirus brings partner ecosystems to the fore, writes Professor Peter Williamson of Cambridge Judge Business School. Commenting on the challenge of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier summed up the new reality perfectly: "No single entity covers the medical, economic, and political elements required to produce a vaccine for all".  The same holds true as manufacturers such as General Motors or Dyson try to overcome the technical, logistical and regulatory hurdles of moving from cars and vacuum cleaners to supplying ventilators in the tens of thousands. As expert as these companies are in their specific fields, they need to collaborate with other companies and individuals to contribute in new and vital ways.  This underlines a crucial point in today's interconnected economy and society: whether it is keeping their supply chains moving, redeploying their staff to new roles, or pivoting their business models to online sales, companies across the world are recognising the critical nature of collaborators – the quality and depth of ecosystem partners. Innovative responses require access to the capabilities of such an ecosystem of partners, drawing on know-how and capacity in a wide variety of related industries. This is the topic of a new book, Ecosystem Edge, I have co-authored with Arnoud De Meyer of Singapore Management University.  Managers are also learning that while they can't command…

2020 brainfood barrett evidence navigator 883x432 1

The Evidence Navigator for research on COVID-19 is discussed by Professor Michael Barrett and Cambridge Judge alumnus Professor Torsten Oliver Salge (PhD 2006). Knowledge sharing is an essential element of Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), and scientific knowledge sharing about COVID-19 lies behind the Evidence Navigator, a tool that a Cambridge Judge alumnus, Torsten Oliver Salge (PhD 2006) helped develop with colleagues at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. A Professor and Co-Director of the RWTH Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, Oliver is a Fellow of Cambridge Digital Innovation (CDI), whose Academic Director is Michael Barrett, Professor of Information Systems & Innovation Studies at Cambridge Judge. Michael recently asked Torsten to discuss the Evidence Navigator and its goals: Why did you and your colleagues at RWTH come up with the idea of mapping the scientific evidence on COVID-19?   The COVID-19 crisis has fuelled unprecented efforts in science, industry and the broader society to build new knowledge on how to contain the virus and its health, social and economic impact. As for medical research alone, more than 200 new journal articles on COVID-19 are published each day. This is very encouraging. However, the sheer volume is likely to overwhelm the absorptive capacity of most. This is a major obstacle to the effective translation of…

2020 thinkers roulet freeze assess rebuild centred 883x432 1

A three-part policy of Freeze-Assess-Rebuild can help businesses navigate the uncertain 'fog of war' posed by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, says Dr Thomas Roulet of Cambridge Judge Business School. Societies are rightly proud of their resilience. Londoners survived nightly bombing in 1940-41 through the "Blitz spirit", and Europe rapidly rebuilt after World War II to produce decades of strong economic growth. So it's not surprising that people are recalling that wartime grit as we fight through the coronavirus crisis. But in terms of restoring shattered businesses, such a comparison is unfortunately misplaced in today's vastly more complicated global economy. The 1940s manufacturing sector shifted the means of much production toward the war effort and then to reconstruction, while in the 2020s few companies will be able to start building ventilators or producing relevant medicines. The coronavirus reality might be a lot grimmer for businesses. Another comparison with military conflict is actually more apt: as battlefield generals must navigate the "fog of war" – the uncertainty about relative army strengths, intent and conditions – the coronavirus crisis has confronted societies and businesses with dazzling and unprecedented uncertainty. Similarly to political uncertainty, the situation implies societal ambiguity. But with the globe in…

2020 news turning cambridge judge blue to say nhs thank you3 883x432 1

The iconic Addenbrooke's building, a former hospital now home to Cambridge Judge Business School, turned blue on Thursday 16 April to show support for the National Health Service (NHS) during the coronavirus pandemic. The building turned a warm shade of blue and the words "NHS Thank You" appeared just above the main entrance, a light show put on by a local audiovisual company. The spectacle coincided with the weekly Thursday evening "Clap For Our Carers" show of appreciation for NHS staff and other essential workers during the crisis, as people throughout the UK stand on doorsteps to applaud them. Absolute Audio Visual Solutions, based in Litlington, about 15 miles south of Cambridge, came up with the idea to light a different iconic building around Cambridge each week. The previous week it was the huge air hangar at IWM Duxford. Managing Director Alex Parmee said the company wanted "to show our solidarity and appreciation for the NHS and in particular our local hospital, Addenbrooke's". The building housing the School is a refurbishment and extension of the old Addenbrooke's Hospital, first established on the Trumpington Street site in 1766. As Cambridge Judge Business School's history has long been entwined with Addenbrooke's, and…

2020 reasons why mudassir preparing for post coronavirus 883x432 1

Four key insights can help companies better navigate the expected COVID-19 (coronavirus) recession and be poised for growth when the economy improves, Hamza Mudassir, Visiting Fellow in Strategy and alumnus (MBA 2012) of Cambridge Judge Business School, writes in a new article for Entrepreneur magazine. While firms are rightly fearful of the word “recession” as such downturns drive up bankruptcy and jobless rates, there is research that shows a recession doesn’t affect the long-term, eventual success of a business, the article says. The four insights useful for businesses to help weather recession and be prepared for better times are: 1. Don’t be fooled by the news, as recession doesn’t affect all firms in the same way While many firms will suffer a sharp fall in sales, others may see an increase in business, and it’s also not always true that small companies are the most vulnerable, the article says. One recession-navigating strategy doesn’t fit all organisations, but all organisations can benefit from acting with agility, flexibility and speed in a downturn. Another tip during a recession: keep a close tab on how your biggest customers and suppliers are doing, as this will help firms make the right decisions to prepare…

2020 news healx 883x432 1

Healx, a biotech firm that was supported by the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, says it is using its artificial intelligence (AI) platform to develop drug combinations from approved drugs to seek treatments for COVID-19. The Cambridge-based company, which specialises in rare diseases, said combination therapy candidates will be available in May for testing in collaboration with partners. Healx said that the focus on combination therapies, where two or more drugs simultaneously target different aspects of the disease pathology, has the potential to ensure a more effective treatment. Combination therapies are particularly difficult to discover, as it requires detailed analysis of millions of possible pairs from the thousands of drugs on the market. The Healx AI platform, Healnet, analyses biomedical data from multiple sources to predict those combination therapies most likely to succeed. Healx was previously on the Accelerate Cambridge and the Strategic Business Growth (formerly SME Growth Challenge) programmes at the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge. "The recent spread of COVID-19 is risking the lives of millions of rare disease patients across the world," said Dr David Brown, Healx Chairman and co-founder. "Healx's data-driven AI platform is able to predict, within weeks, which known drugs can be…

Coronavirus research.

Working with Public Health England and the NHS in the East of England on responses to COVID-19 (coronavirus). A team of a dozen faculty and PhD students at Cambridge Judge Business School is working with Public Health England and the NHS in the East of England on several projects relating to responding to the coronavirus response. The projects look at how COVID-19 is affecting the East of England, in order to better plan for capacity at various facilities. At the same time, the project looks at how organisations improvise and innovate in real-time at times of major disruption. The projects are expected to last for several months, and there are no results ready to be announced at this point. Specifically, the projects focus on: short-term projections of hospital bed and intensive care capacity requirements for COVID-19 patients in the East of Englandmedium-term modeling of disease progression and health system usage in the East of England, and in particular the timing and strength of peak resource usagemodelling the effects of policy interventions, such as school closures and lock-downs, on COVID-19-related local health resource usage in both primary and secondary careidentifying lead indicators of future local flare-ups of COVID-19 clusters from primary…

2020 thinkers mother of adaptablility 883x432 1

We need to take advantage of this crisis-fueled breakthrough to fully tap technology, says Dr Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat.  It’s said that "necessity is the mother of invention", but the seamless transition to online work and education around the globe – forced by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis – makes me think that this age-old expression is misplaced. As the Director of Programmes for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at The Entrepreneurship Centre, and a former design engineer and manager of supply chains, it seems that the amazingly smooth shift to an online work environment instead reflects that necessity can be the mother of "adaptation" rather than invention. Let me explain. At Cambridge Judge Business School, we just successfully delivered the late-March residential week of our Master of Studies in Entrepreneurship programme to students in 35 countries through online technology, after having to close the Business School’s doors to the usual in-person gathering. The same scenario is playing out smoothly in offices, schools and universities around the world, where all interactions have shifted suddenly to an online environment. This is major news. A mind-boggling development. The type of breakthrough that in the newspaper industry’s 20th Century heyday would have sent bells ringing and teletype machines clanging…

2020 news alcohol shift 883x432 1

An alumnus of Cambridge Judge Business School, Ashwin Balivada (MBA 2015), is producing free hand sanitiser in Goa, India on production lines normally used to produce Scotch whisky. An alumnus of the MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School, Ashwin Balivada (MBA 2015), has converted his family's India distillery business into a temporary production facility for hand sanitiser given away free to hospitals, police and other organisations to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Goa-based Cheers Group, which usually produces such liquor brands as The Labrodog Blended Scotch Whisky, Ginsin London Dry Gin and The Three Monkeys Indian Single Malt Whisky, said it produced more than 250,000 bottles of hand sanitiser in the first 15 days after converting one of its production lines in mid-March. The company, launched in 2010, usually produces about one million bottles per month of its various liquor brands across 21 countries. "Around the 14 of March, I realised that there could be a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in India, after studying the pattern in the US, Europe and China," says Ashwin, CEO of Cheers Group. "By then there was already an acute shortage of hand sanitiser in India, so we started to manufacture it…

2020 brainfood dimson wait and see 883x432 1

It will take a while to see how the current stock market downturn rivals historical crashes, says Professor Elroy Dimson in a new podcast. The current slump in world stock markets is substantial, though not as severe as past crashes related to oil, credit and tech over recent decades. But it’s too early to draw long-term conclusions, says Professor Elroy Dimson of Cambridge Judge Business School. Asked by host Robin Powell of The Evidence Based Investor blog whether recent stock market swings have been more volatile than in previous downturns, Elroy, Chairman of the Centre for Asset Management at Cambridge Judge, said the answer is "unfortunately sort of yes and no". "At one level markets respond faster and faster to pieces of news because news travels very quickly," he told the blog’s podcast, posted on 31 March. "But on the other hand, if we ask ourselves what we really care about in terms of downsides in the market. It’s not vibration from one day or one week to the next – it’s what might happen if you go through a protracted down period" such as the credit crash of 2007, tech crash in 2001 after the dotcom boom, or oil shock of the 1970s. Over…

2020 brainfood de rond better video chat 883x432 1

Six ways to improve video conferencing interactions for you and your team, by Mark de Rond, Professor of Organisational Ethnography at Cambridge Judge Business School. Human beings are surprisingly good at drawing inferences from the behaviour of others, even based on cursory observations. MIT’s Sandy Pentland credits the power of "thin-slicing" to “honest signals” – the idea that, over millennia of social evolution, we have developed ways to effectively co-ordinate with other human beings through facial expressions, verbal cues, gestures and scent. They "work" because typically we are able to connect with others face to face. The global “lockdown” owing to COVID-19 (coronavirus) has forced many of us to work in teams while working from home. One of the many challenges this poses is obvious: without the ability to communicate face to face (which, according to Pentland, accounts for 35 per cent of variation in team performance), how are we help teams perform at their best? The good news is that video conferencing, whilst not perfect, isn’t a bad substitute. However, it has caveats. Following are some suggestions to help make the most from today’s conferencing technologies: 1. Limit the number of people on your call. As more people join…

2020 brainfood grimes community building 883x432 1

Civic crowdfunding platforms can be valuable during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, says Dr Matthew Grimes, Reader in Organisational Theory and Information Systems. As the COVID-19 epidemic is forcing people all over the world to work from home and to connect remotely, the importance and usage of digital tools is rapidly soaring. During a time like this, civic crowdfunding platforms might play an especially crucial role. They virtually connect different stakeholders – public sector organisations, councils, individuals, businesses, cultural institutions, for example – and help them pool resources and ideas for the realisation of projects of public and local interest. Even in times of relative stability, these civic crowdfunding platforms play a critical role in filling in local infrastructural gaps due to the limited budgets of many local authorities. And right now in this period of uncertainty and instability, civic crowdfunding platforms could prove a particularly vital source of community building as well as a tool that can support things happening at the fast pace that is required by a fast-evolving emergency. Yet, as the demand for these tools grows, so too do the challenges associated with managing this growth. A few months ago, Strategic Management Journal published a "Platforms for…

2020 brainfood stiles long term effects 883x432 1

Dr Philip Stiles outlines five key changes to business in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis will usher in permanent changes to business. Philip Stiles, University Senior Lecturer in Corporate Governance at Cambridge Judge Business School, outlines five key implications for the workplace. 1. Business leaders need to develop greater resilience in their firms through greater reserves. After the 2008 financial crash, which provoked an economic crisis, the way companies were organised – paying large dividends to shareholders while loading up debt on their balance sheets – meant there had to be huge bailouts by the state to keep organisations running. Now in 2020, in the midst of a health and economic crisis, the same scenario is being repeated. The speed at which companies have discovered they need help is hugely concerning. During the 2008 crash, there was a strong feeling that capitalism and in particular the shareholder primacy model needed to be reformed, or maybe even overhauled. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted similar thoughts. Leaders of businesses have long been urged to adopt greater long-term perspectives and to develop greater resilience in their firms by having greater reserves in the organisation to offset risk and…

2020 thinkers taylor it really is different this time 883x432 1

In the 2008/09 financial crisis, we thought we were living through historic times. barely a decade later we face another historic crisis, Dr Simon Taylor blogs. A crumb of comfort during the 2008/09 financial crisis was the thought that we were living through historic times. But to face another historic event barely a decade later is perhaps a bit much, says Dr Simon Taylor, Faculty (Professor level) in Management Practice (Finance), in his new blog post.  The financial-macro relationship The so-called global financial crisis (which was actually a crisis of the US financial system and the wider dependence on dollar funding in Europe and Asia) was a case of the financial system causing a shock to the real economy. Economists refer to the "real economy", not in contrast to some virtual or unreal one, but meaning the goods and services that actually matter to people. By contrast, the financial system is there to serve the real economy, and financial assets are merely claims on real resources with no intrinsic value. (If you really think the end of the world is coming, dollar note and Eurobonds are unlikely to be as useful as a tin opener). A seriously mistaken theme in…

2020 brainfood prabhu cycles of poverty 883x432 1

How will income inequality deepen problems during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis? While some are relying on friends and neighbours to help them get groceries during the COVID-19 crisis, the poor may need to put themselves at risk of COVID-19 by venturing out on public transportation to get supplies. Depending on where they live, they may trust no one else to help out. This is true in areas with the highest levels of income inequality, where the poor are less likely to rely on their community for support due to shame or embarrassment, according to a paper to be published on Monday 30 March in Nature Human Behaviour. A good example is New Haven, Connecticut, home to the prestigious Yale University. Part of the city is a wealthier University area, and the other part is primarily low income. It would be rare, the research suggests, for someone from the lower-income areas to ask those in the University section for help – especially now as the coronavirus continues to spread.    “Policymakers have rightly sought to help lower-income individuals, and this remains vital around the world,” says study co-author Jaideep Prabhu, Professor of Marketing at University of Cambridge Judge Business School. “But…

2020 news covid19 hamza 883x432 1

The coronavirus pandemic will fuel the ‘next wave of innovation’, says an article in Entrepreneur magazine by Hamza Mudassir, Visiting Fellow in Strategy and alumnus (MBA 2012) of Cambridge Judge Business School. The coronavirus pandemic will fuel a new wave of innovation the way that other big crises have altered the history of society and business, according to an article in Entrepreneur magazine by Hamza Mudassir, Visiting Fellow in Strategy at Cambridge Judge Business School. The article’s prediction of a coronavirus-linked innovation wave was cited by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jason Feifer, in a letter to the publication’s readers that called on entrepreneurs to “discard what worked yesterday, and embrace the needs of tomorrow.” The article, “COVID-19 will fuel the next wave of innovation” by Hamza, a Cambridge MBA graduate, writes that “Black Swan” events such as recessions and pandemics “change the trajectory of governments, economies and businesses – altering the course of history.” For example, the Black Death of the mid-1300s shattered Europe’s feudal system, while deep economic recession flowing from decades of war between Britain and France three centuries later led to innovations that boosted agricultural productivity. Much more recently, the SARS pandemic in 2002-04 helped e-commerce company Alibaba…

2020 brainfood roulet perspective taking centred 883x432 1

By Dr Thomas Roulet, University Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory and Deputy Director of the MBA Programme at Cambridge Judge Business School. Everyone is adjusting to life during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. For many, working from home is the new normal and poses all sorts of new challenges. Anyone in a position of management has, overnight, lost many of the tangible aspects of doing their job – particularly the non-verbal aspects of communication and how we interact in space, in person. It is essential that managers are attuned to the various personal needs of their colleagues at this time. The boundaries between work and personal life erode when we work from home and everyone will experience this situation in a different way, depending on their family situation, their dependents, and the various dimensions of their personalities. This requires managers to put themselves in the shoes of their colleagues and take their perspective. There is a large amount of research into this idea of taking another person’s perspective, as this approach has been found to have a range of positive consequences – in particular bringing people closer. Fundamentally it requires us all to be our most compassionate and caring selves. Here are five…

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The COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis underlines need for firms to quickly ‘pivot’, Professor Paul Tracey of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation. Many entrepreneurs need to pivot – make radical changes to their business model – because their initial ideas fail to work out as planned. It is a strategy especially suited to new ventures whose small scale affords them a nimbleness and speed of decision making that often eludes established firms. But the dramatic spread of COVID-19, and the extraordinary changes to the competitive environment it has brought, has led many mature businesses to shift their business model in a radically new direction. In other words, the corporate pivot has become a mainstream strategic response in this moment of crisis. In some cases, pivoting has been forced on firms. For example, fine dining restaurants have rarely offered a takeaway service. Their model has been designed for maximum control over the dining experience: not only the quality of the food, but also the physical setting, and the interactions with diners are carefully choreographed in an elaborate performance. Allowing customers to take their food from the premises therefore undermines the core value proposition of these establishments. And yet the decision of governments around…

2020 brainfood menges commute 883x432 1

Does our commute help us switch into "work mode"? Dr Jochen Menges looks into the new work from home era. Working from home due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic means no commute – but what seems like a relief may actually not be such a good thing for some people. A study co-authored by Dr Jochen Menges of Cambridge Judge Business School finds that commuting time can be a useful period of "role transition". Around the globe, people commute to work an average of 38 minutes each way – or at least they did before the coronavirus pandemic ushered in a new era of working from home, however temporary. While this may have a positive impact in terms of reducing air pollution and carbon emissions, this sudden loss of commuting time may not be such a good thing for many people, says Dr Menges. A study forthcoming in the journal Organization Science found that commuting to work can be beneficial if people seize the opportunity to "transition" to their work role – especially employees with high levels of "work-family" conflict in which one such role is made more difficult by the other. "With no more separation of home and work,…