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Here are the women who are driving a rethink of our economic systems

Worldwide, economic policies still rely on fundamental economic theories that were formulated by Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Freedman, and other men. The number of women economists has grown, but their influence on public decisions has been disappointingly low. But now, the pandemic is creating a more fertile environment for their ideas to be heard.

Women economists are questioning critical notions like ‘value’, ‘growth’, and ‘GDP.’ They are drawing attention to the failures of the free market, reclaiming a strong role for the state, and proposing ideas that redefine capitalism as we know it today. They’re pointing to the…


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For organizations to become human, hierarchy needs to go

I am often asked why I left a rewarding corporate life to jump into the unknown territory of becoming independent. The CEO of my former company was heard, more than once, saying that “people join an organization, but they leave a boss” — how right he was. That was a good guess for what would happen to me and was clearly informed by many other cases before mine — which is why good leadership is so critical to retain talents in an organization.

In a video chat with Jeff Gothelf (author of the book Forever Employable), Michael Bungay Stanier, author…


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Sex is either great or awkward, but it’s still not normalized

As a product of the late 70s, I have no direct memory of the mythical sexual revolution experienced by my parents’ generation. The 80s and 90s — the years of my education — were years of growth, optimism, and a rise in women’s participation in higher education, jobs, and independence. The advancement of gender equality was often attributed, at least in part, to the battles older people — and women in particular — had fought to take sex out of the codified “married couple” and to de-couple it from reproduction.

My generation banked on the expanded opportunities created by the…


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From keeping connected to my community to using my balcony as a movie set, 2020 also brought some positive learnings

As the year-end approaches, everyone’s spreading wisdom about the past 12 months. And since I’m no different, here are my reflections about the year nobody will miss.

The first thing I learned — or perhaps confirmed — in 2020 is that freedom and individual behaviors are strictly interrelated. So strictly that the way we manage our freedom can impact the life of others. In normal times, freedom is easier to manage. The real challenge comes in times of crisis because there we reveal our true selves. And it is not always a nice spectacle. Most of the older people —…


The odds of being in the business of democracy

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The last few months have been tumultuous for social media. Twitter banning Donald Trump and Facebook suspending him indefinitely earlier this year has marked a significant shift in public awareness about tech companies’ role in our lives. At about the same time, Facebook announced changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service, including the right to collect personal user information and to share it with the parent company, causing a mass exodus of users to rival messaging apps Signal and Telegram.

By the time you will have reached the end of this article, there will have been 20 million Google searches, 6.5…


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Image: Jon Tyson/Unsplash

The pandemic could change the prospects of access to higher education for the better

Higher education refers to all post-secondary education, including public and private universities, colleges, technical training institutes, and vocational schools. According to World Bank data, over 200 million students worldwide are enrolled in higher education, twice the number twenty years ago.

Among other institutions, the European Commission has stated that higher education plays a crucial role in individual and societal development and in “providing the highly skilled human capital and the engaged citizens that society needs to create jobs, economic growth, and prosperity”. …


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This ‘manifesto’ introduces my newly launched website www.germanabarba.com. Feel free to visit the website, leave comments, and get in touch!

Let This Be The Time

To redesign our individual and collective future

There’s never been a time as uncertain and as exciting as this. We have been shaken by changes we did not ask for. We have discovered new interests and new passions. And we have re-discovered long-held values.​

Let this be the time we choose the changes we want for our communities and ourselves.

The etymology of the world crisis lies in ancient Greek verb κρινω (krino) which means ‘to separate’ in the sense of to distinguish, discern. In today’s discourse…


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If we want to save the EU, we need a structural reform

As we approach the end of one of the most turbulent years of our lifetime, reflections over the challenges we faced (and will continue to face) are joined by hopes for the year ahead. Swamped by a once-in-100-years public health catastrophe and an economic shock, these hopes are indispensable in order to imagine the world after COVID-19. One such hope is the re-thinking of the functioning of the European Union for it to continue to serve its fundamental purpose, which is to promote peace, the EU values, and the well-being of its peoples.

It is a paradox, but while the…


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Further worsened by the pandemic, this crime must come to an end.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in our world today and the most common violation of women’s human rights in Europe. According to UN Women, 1 in 3 women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in the course of their life. Women and girls are disproportionately subjected to violence, including murder, sexual violence perpetrated by partners as well as non-partners, and trafficking. Sexual violence includes rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, and cyber-harassment.

Worldwide, 137 women are killed by a…


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Women Leaders call for urgent actions on gender balance, health protection, and building power and confidence together.

Since 2018, women leaders from around the world have gathered in the Harpa, one of the shining beacons of Reykjavik, to discuss how to advance gender equality and improve the number of women in leadership positions.

The arctically hipster capital of Iceland was not chosen by hazard. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, Iceland leads the world in terms of gender equality. Having introduced women’s suffrage in 1915, it was the first country in the world to elect a female President, Vigdís Finnbogatóttir (also a single mother) in 1980 and has since elected two other…

Germana Barba

Political scientist, public affairs expert, author. Advocating for positive change. Former corporate executive. Meet me at www.germanabarba.com

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