Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Moving into a new world of parliamentary participation

At the end of February 2018, German women did it again. Chancellor Angela Merkel—supposedly the most powerful woman in the world, if one believes Forbes—won her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party’s election overwhelmingly to form a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which had been hotly debated at the party and national level

Lebanon hops on the crypto train

Antoine Yazbek and Zaki Soubra are budding Lebanese cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, and they radiate seriousness in their endeavor. As a journalist, one is inclined to consider an entrepreneur serious if they answer a series of probing interview questions without losing their temper at the intrepid—or sometimes just intractable—media type across the table. A more general measure

Seeking crypto transparency

The concepts and realities of digital currencies are, at best, confusing. To understand more about the Lebanese cryptocurrency community, and the opportunities that the cryptocurrency economy opens for Lebanese business and banks—including the idea of a sovereign digital currency issued by Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s central bank—Executive sat down with Stéphane Abichaker. A locally well

Disruptive technology

In the long run, which will be the bigger B? Will the banking industry do to blockchain, and thus to the soul of Bitcoin, what in recent years it started doing to feeble fintech operators: acquire challengers and digest unwanted competitors before they can threaten legacy players? Or will the blockchain bacterium lead to a

The crypto challenge

For years, the world has been engulfed in accelerating debates full of fear and fascination about Bitcoin, altcoins, and blockchain economies. Just look at January 2018, which brought threats and announcements of state regulation over cryptocurrency in some jurisdictions, bans of exchanges, rumors of impending restrictions alongside news pointing to the opposite, reporting on both

The rock and the magic beanstalk

Human rights are the rock from which modern civilization mines its values, its social contracts, and its entire portfolio of identities. Human rights are the very justification for our system of social coexistence and stratification. They are key to understanding humanity’s (mostly unsuccessful) attempts of balancing the logic of solidarity against the logic of economic

The long journey of a large retailer

Local markets have proven remarkably resilient when it comes to resisting the dominance of large retailers that offer fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in hypermarkets and supermarkets—those behemoths of daily shopping that you enter with an empty shopping cart the size of a compact car and leave with said cart overflowing. One operator of mega-sized retail

Predictive analytics and TMI syndromes

Too-much-information (TMI) syndrome is a chronic affliction of contemporary existence. The affliction is growing, without an app that can alert us to its threats and update us on the speed with which the disease of big data is invading ever more of our lives. Other IT buzzwords with mystifying potentials are artificial intelligence (AI) and

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