Her Majesty’s Former Attorney General Baroness Scotland Meets Nicolas De Santis

The UK’s former Attorney General Hon Baroness Scotland met with Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury to discuss the European Union, international affairs and global governance issues.

“Baroness Scotland has devoted great efforts and work towards advancing important issues and causes that are also of great interest to Gold Mercury including human rights, domestic violence, and better international collaboration and governance.” said Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury.

Hon Baroness Scotland became the United Kingdom’s first black female Queens Counsel (QC) at the age of thirty-five. She later became a judge and served on the British Privy Council – the country’s highest court of appeals. Baroness Scotland served in former prime minister Tony Blair’s foreign and home offices, and was elevated to the top legal position in her country with the ruling Gordon Brown administration. On 28 June 2007, Baroness Scotland was appointed Attorney General by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. She was the first woman to hold the office since it was formed in 1315. She was instrumental in creating the Quintet, which brought together the Attorneys General of USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to consider issues of joint legal and systemic concern.

Baroness Patricia Scotland was recently elected as a City of London Alderman for Bishopsgate ward, the first person of a black or minority ethnic background to win the coveted role and only the fourth woman in its 900 year history.

Baroness Scotland is a President at Chatham House.

Watch Baroness Scotland at TEDX Houses of Parliament

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Money Men Author Jeffrey Birnbaum Meets Nicolas De Santis

American journalist and television commentator Jeffrey Birnbaum met with Nicolas De Santis, Gold Mercury President in our offices in London to discuss global governance issues relating to the future of the EU and of the US.

Mr. Birnbaum is now the President of BGR Public Relations, a strategic communications, media relations and issue advocacy firm based in Washington. He leads a team that gives strategic advice to coalitions, companies and governments about handling the media and public policy development.

Mr. Birnbaum previously worked for the Washington Post and Washington Times. He also regularly appears as a political analyst for the Fox News Channel and long appeared as a regular panelist on Washington Week. Mr Birnbaum worked for The Wall Street Journal, working 16 years in variety of positions, and leaving the Journal as White House correspondent. He then spent seven years as the chief of Fortune magazine’s Washington bureau and two years, beginning in 1995, as a senior political correspondent for Fortune’s sister publication, Time. Birnbaum then worked as a columnist and feature writer at The Washington Post from 2004 to 2008. Birnbaum then joined the Washington Times as Managing Editor of Digital in 2008.

Mr Birnbaum is the author of four books. His latest, The Money Men, examines campaign fund-raising and was published in 2000. His first book, Showdown at Gucci Gulch, was written with Alan Murray in 1987. This classic chronicle of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 won the American Political Science Association’s coveted Carey McWilliams Award in 1988. In 1992, Birnbaum’s second book, The Lobbyists, was a Washington Post best seller. Madhouse, Birnbaum’s third book, about President Clinton’s White House, was published in 1996.

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Nicolas De Santis Speaks at Multilingualism Event

Nicolas De Santis, President and Secretary General of Gold Mercury International, will deliver a keynote on the English language and its role in the European Union at the upcming EDUKWEST event on Multilingualism in Europe.

You can learn more about the EDUKWEST event here.

The multilingualism event will take place on the 17th September, 2014, at the Glasshouse Building – 2 Trematon Walk (Off Wharfdale Road) – Regent’s Quarter – N1 9SR London – United Kingdom.

The BRAND EU Centre have launched a publication outlining how English is already the de facto language of Europe, and puts forth the position that we should embrace English as an unofficial language of Europe; as it has the power to unite us all in our diversity. This would not be at the detriment of existing European languages and would not serve to override them, but instead compliment them and give us a common European ground – especially when Europeans are already exceptionally multilingual and mobile. You can read the BRAND EU paper here.

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Melissa Lane, Professor of Politics and Princeton University Meets Nicolas De Santis

Melissa Lane, Professor of Politics at Princeton University and Director of the Program in Values and Public Life based in the University Center for Human Values visited Gold Mercury to meet Nicolas De Santis, Gold Mercury President.

“Prof Lane has developed an incredible body of work connecting ancient Greek political thought with our modern times and critical issues, including sustainability. This provides great clarity and a solid base to structure new thinking in our complex world,” said Nicolas de Santis, Gold Mercury President.

Her work is in political theory, with her principal expertise being ancient Greek political thought and its modern reception. She also works on a broad range of topics in the history of political thought and in normative theory and public ethics. She is a 2012 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and in 2012-13 is on leave from Princeton as a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Professor Lane’s books include Eco-Republic; Plato’s Progeny: How Plato and Socrates still captivate the modern mind; Method and Politics in Plato’s Statesman; and a new ‘Introduction’ to the Penguin Classics volume of Plato’s Republic (2007 edition). She has edited, with Martin A. Ruehl, A Poet’s Reich: Politics and Culture in the George Circle (Camden House), in which her own contribution builds on archival work on the Circle’s reading of Plato, and is currently editing, with Verity Harte, Politeia in Greek and Roman Philosophy for Cambridge University Press. She is a contributor to both The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought (of which she was also an Associate Editor) and The Cambridge History of Twentieth Century Political Thought. Her article on ‘ancient political philosophy’ was published in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in 2010. Current projects include the rule of knowledge in Platonic thought and the figure of the legislator in the history of political thought.

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Nicolas De Santis Attends House of Lords Event on Obesity Epidemic and Diabetes

Gold Mercury President, Nicolas De Santis, attended the Windreff event on “Preventing diabetes and obesity: the role of sport, diet and exercise,” hosted at the house of Lords by Baroness Howells of St Davids, OBE. The event focused on the critical rise of diabetes and obesity in the world.

Baroness Howells is the President of the Windward Islands research and Education Foundation. Professor Gareth Williams, Emeritus professor of Medicine at the University of Bristol and expert on diabetes and obesity, spoke on the challenges of diabetes on a global scale. Professor Harry Rutter of the London School of Tropical Medicine and scientific advisor to Public Health England, spoke about how to combat obesity. Charles Modica, Chancellor of St George University of Grenada, was also present at the Windreff event.

No country on earth has reduced obesity rates in more than three decades.

Almost 30 percent of the earth’s population is obese or overweight, a new study Published in The Lancet on May 29, “Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013,” was conducted by an international consortium of researchers led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Overweight is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI), or weight-to-height ratio, greater than or equal to 25 and lower than 30, while obesity is defined as having a BMI equal to or greater than 30, estimating that this affects about 2.1 billion people.

Obesity rates have increased in countries all over the world, but it’s not an evenly distributed health problem, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reported on Wednesday.

In the developed world, adult men have higher rates of obesity (defined as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or more) than adult women. In the developing world, the opposite is true.

The prevalence of overweight and obese children and adolescents worldwide has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1980, the study says, and no country on Earth has successfully reduced obesity rates in the last 33 years.

Childhood obesity rates are notably higher in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly among girls.

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Nicolas De Santis Attends Chelsea FC Player of the Year Awards 2014

Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury International and advisor to Chelsea FC, attended the Player of the Year awards ceremony, which took place in the Great Hall at Stamford Bridge and was hosted by Chelsea TV’s Gigi Salmon and Trevor Nelson from BBC Radio 1.

Eden Hazard was crowned the Chelsea Player of the Year for 2013/14. The Belgian received the award from Jose Mourinho to cap a memorable second season with the Blues. The Belgian international has impressed with 17 goals and 10 assists in all competitions for the Blues, helping them contend for the Premier League title and progress through to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Former Chelsea defender Paulo Ferreira also collected the Special Recognition award for his service at the club; he appeared 217 times between 2004 and 2013.

Nicolas De Santis and Eden Hazard

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Former Foreign Minister of Tunisia, Dr Rafik Abdessalem Meets Nicolas De Santis

Dr Rafik Abdessalem, Former Foreign Minister of Tunisia, visited Gold Mercury to discuss the development and organisation of an international conference that Gold Mercury is organising in Tunisia to discuss the future of the country.

The conference will also discuss key issues such as democracy and Islam, the role of women in the country as well as economic development and investment.

This conference will examine the case of Tunisia (so far), as a successful example of a smooth transition in the region, after promulgating the new constitution. Gold Mercury will also present the Gold Mercury International Award to candidates that played a key role in this transition. This Award Ceremony and Conference is managed at the highest levels of government, business, academia and civil society organisations. Check out the conference’s event page for a more detailed agenda and plans about the event.

Dr Rafik Abdessalem and Gold Mercury President Nicolas De Santis also discussed the recent situation in Tunisia following the Arab Spring and the reconciliatory process used for the development of the new constitution. They also discussed the situation in other Arab spring countries and the Middle East, as well as the upcoming European Union elections. Dr Rafik Abdessalem is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Tunisia, under Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali. In London, he founded the Maghreb Centre for Research and Translation, as well as chaired the London Platform for Dialogue. He is also a visiting scholar at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and has worked as a senior researcher and head of the Research and Studies office at Al Jazeera. He is a member of the ”Ennahda Movement”, and has published 2 books and many articles in Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic international newspaper.

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The Euromaidan Movement; Ukraine, Crimea and Russia – Nicolas De Santis Interviewed at CNBC

Nicolas De Santis – President of London based Gold Mercury International, the Corporate Vision Strategy Think Tank, was interviewed by Angela Antetomaso of CNBC Italy about the political, historical and strategic background to the current crisis in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula.

The crisis in Ukraine began when the Ukranian government suspended their plans to sign a Free-Trade Agreement with the European Union, in favour of closer economic ties with Russia; despite public support for closer integration with the EU. This increased widespread public perception of corruption within the Ukrainian government, and the government’s subsequent violent dispersal of what were initially peaceful protests paved the way to the escalation of the crisis, known as the Euromaidan. When Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych fled from Ukraine for fear of his life, and was subsequently replaced by an interim, pro-European government, Russian forces occupied the Crimean peninsula and parts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, with Russian Presidnt Vladimir Putin claiming to be defending Russian interests, and the Russian population in Crimea, the majority of whom are Russian speakers. This clash of global superpowers and interests has been likened by some to be reminiscent of a Cold War struggle.

“Russia’s incursion into Ukraine is really about strategic interests, and in some ways, an assertion of power. The Euromaidan has threatened the power which the Russians had over Ukraine using economic and resource might, and so they feel they have been forced to respond to the threat of the new pro-European power with military might. Though it is not entirely bluster, the Russian military action and takeover of Crimea is more a display of power and a threat than a precursor to any armed conflict. It is not in anyone’s interests for that to happen, a fact which Putin knows very well.”  Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury, on Russia’s motives for recent action in Crimea.

De Santis provides an analysis and explains the situation as a geo-political ‘Chess Game’ getting out of control. De Santis explains the rising of the Euromaidan movement, fighting to join the European Union, the quest for Russia to have Ukraine join its own Customs Union (Eurasian Economic Union) and keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence (and out of NATO). These tensions led to the fall of the existing government in Ukraine and the Crisis in the Crimea (of Russian majority), a naval base port of critical strategic importance to Russia. De Santis also explains the importance of Ukraine for Russia as its conduit of gas to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Gas Pipeline. Ukraine also depends on Russia for over 50% of its gas. Recent gas-price wars between Russia and Ukraine also were part of tensions between the two nations, which have been gradually escalating as the crisis progressed; but have now diffused slightly.

De Santis also gives details on how the history of the Unity of Italy (Il Risorgimento) is directly connected to the Crimean War of 1853 where the forces of the Kingdom of Sardinia of Vittorio Emanuele II and Cavour allied with the French forces to fight the Russian Army in the Crimean Peninsula. Italy later requested French assistance in Italy in the fight against the Austrians to gain control of Lombardy in the quest for Italian Unity. De Santis argues that ultimately, the crisis in Ukraine, Crimea and Russia will diffuse without conflict, as it is not in any of the nations’ interests to engage in war with one another. It is ultimately a political jousting of wills; an assertion of control and a restatement of interests.

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Nicolas De Santis Featured in UK’s Leading Investment Publication – Shares Magazine

Nicolas De Santis, the President of Gold Mercury International, has written a strategy piece for the “Mr Market” segment of Shares Magazine.

Read or download the article here.

In his piece, Nicolas De Santis; who advises governments and corporations on long-term strategic visioning, business model innovation and sustainable strategies, wrote about the necessity for long term strategic vision in policy making and business and the need to think about the future in a systematic way. The article shows the true meaning of “lacking vision,” and the importance of visionary leadership to anticipate future change, and includes clear examples of companies that were industry leaders, but then lost their ability to envision the future.

Shares Magazine is the leading weekly publication for the private investors that require regularly updated intelligence on Stocks, Commodities, Bonds, Funds, Forex, CFDs, ETFs, and much more. Since 1999 Shares has remained the private investor’s most trusted provider of financial education, news & information; written by a broad range of highly respected journalists and grass-root industry experts.

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Nicolas De Santis Presents “Future of Education” Tech Report

Gold Mercury International, the Corporate Vision® Strategy Think Tank, have issued a report on the impact of technology on education, and how the shifting paradigms of technology; both emerging and current, are drastically altering the landscape of modern education.

Download the report here

The report, titled: “The Future of E-Ducation: The Impact of Technology and Analytics on the Education Industry,” examines the new global dynamics of education and the dramatic changes which are disrupting the educational sector; showing that the transformation has really only just begun. The Gold Mercury report explains what the future is likely to look like for teachers and students, and examines what the implications might be for institutions and companies currently involved in the industry. The report also determines that there will be massive improvement in the lives of students, teachers and parents. The traditional institutions that have shaped this industry historically will be left behind if they do not allow their organisations to adapt. The study has identified where the key education meta-trends are, and also where they may potentially lead, and it is crucial for us to understand them in order to adequately adapt.

Some key findings of the report include:

  • All levels of education are being dramatically affected by modern technology, with the traditional higher education business models being disrupted the most, due to their high fees and their need to improve future global workforce’s job-seeking abilities.
  • The pricing models and delivery of educational services are radically changing, as the actors and value-chain of education are totally transformed by new, innovative players and changing models of certification.
  • Access to education for the poor is rapidly increasing thanks to mobile technology and free Massive Open Online Course platforms, helping to advance the United Nations’ millennium development goal of universal education by 2015.
  • Three important, broad tech meta-trends are affecting education’s future at all levels: 1. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), 2. Mobile Learning and Multi-Faceted Technology and 3. Learning Analytics.

“This report shows that technology will disrupt education in a way never seen before in other industries. The tech tsunami is coming towards the shores of education and it will disrupt all education business models and the meaning and purpose of education, from curriculums to certification, to how and why people are hired in the future,” says Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury.

For this EdTech study, Gold Mercury partnered with Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK): the not-for profit organisation bringing the leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and thought leaders to the UK, to ignite local entrepreneurship. SVC2UK recently hosted the Future of Education Summit; partnered with Cambridge University Press, to discuss and debate the future of learning in the context of new technologies. Sherry Coutu, SVC2UK Chairwoman has this to say on the importance of the report:

“Gold Mercury and SVC2UK believe that this Ed-tech study shows the truly dramatic changes happening at all levels of the education value chain, and business models in countries around the world. Technology has started its transformation of the lives of those in and dedicated to education, but the transformation has only just begun; we are going to see real disruptive changes”.

The report also includes a special section on “How technology is disrupting education forever and helping the poor” by Dr David McNally, Director of Digital Systems for Macmillan Science and Education. Macmillan are driving the introduction of new and innovative digital education models, that have the potential to disrupt traditional textbook publishing businesses; but with much greater scalability and global reach.

Education – The last great transformation

The education sector has, in reality; for decades (or even possibly centuries), been the last great bastion of industry tradition and fixity. The lonely island of the educational sector has remained static, amidst a violent sea of modern change and technological transformation; a raging torrent which has long since swept away and revolutionised all other sectors. In many ways, education is the last great industry to fall to this change, and be brought into the 21st Century by technology. As part of the findings of the report, Gold Mercury have identified three broad meta-trends from which the majority of the substantial changes to the shape of education are emerging. Understanding the importance and potential for these three types of disruptive technology is absolutely crucial if we are to continue to bring education out from the stone-age.

The three most important meta-trends and categories of EdTech

The report analyses the degree to which education is being made into a universally accessible, innovative, personalized, and adaptive experience, and finds that the these changes will be pivotal for achieving the United Nations’ goal of universal education by 2015. The report breaks down new types of technology into three broad categories, and then examines how they are influencing the shape of modern education; the meta-trends being:  1) “Open Sources and the Internet”, 2) “mobile and multi-faceted technology”, and 3) “virtual learning environments/learning analytics”.

1) Open Sources and the Internet

Two technological areas of particular importance to education, which the report examines in detail, are that of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the Web 2.0 Platform. MOOCs and Web 2.0 are Open Source technologies which have been born from the Internet, and the drastic changes the Internet has brought about in how people communicate and process information. These two technologies defy the traditional barriers of education, and allow the overall structure of education to decentralise and universalise.

The report highlights that the previously rigid, top-down structure of education is now giving way to a more adaptable, fully customisable, individualised system; primarily due to the ubiquity of modern technological devices. The standardisation of the Internet, Web 2.0, mobile devices, computers and virtual realities, as part of our everyday lives, will help to facilitate and reinforce this fundamental shift by means of normalisation; utilising the fact that modern students are already “digital natives”.

2) Mobile and Multi-Faceted Technology

While Open Sources and the Internet revolutionise the structure of education itself, mobile and multi-faceted technology revolutionises the way society can provide education to students. Mobile devices provide more accessible, individualised portals through which information and knowledge is accessed, shattering the rigidity of traditional education. What could previously only be accessed in the classroom is now available in the palm of your hand, wherever you go.

3) Virtual Learning Environments and Learning Analytics

With this mobile technology and its increasing prevalence around the globe, students can then use this technology to merge their virtual lives with their physical ones; by completing assignments and educational games online, or by receiving feedback online through virtual learning environments. Learning and teaching can now both occur in these online environments, due to the presence of analytics.

At the centre of modern education – true innovation

The evidence which Gold Mercury has collected about the state of the EdTech industry, draws the exciting conclusion that the revolution’s catalyst is indeed true innovation, as opposed to business interests or hollow rhetoric. The extensive collection of case studies referenced in the report paint an exciting picture; the majority of the important and widely-influencing technologies in recent educational history have come from small startup businesses who are then funded by major companies, who see their potential. Examples of this, referenced in the report, include Veduca, Minerva University, Raspberry Pi, Kahoot!, Khan Academy, etc. Education is a field which is encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurship and innovation, and one which carries an enormous multiplicity of social and economic benefits. Not only are businesses and start-ups finding great success in genuinely innovating the sector, but their output is more than just economic; they strengthen human capital and condition significantly, by ensuring accessible, involving, and personalized education for all. This creates the entrepreneurs and innovators of the future, driving sustainability and growth worldwide.

Advancing the goal of global educational development

The revolution in E-Ducation is important for humanity in so many different global areas, and is undeniably crucial for sustainability, growth, and perhaps most importantly – improving overall human condition. It is paramount that we do all we can to understand and help drive this change and move forwards; to ensure a better future for ourselves and future generations. Now that the revolution has finally been catalysed, we must continue to drive it forward.

Gold Mercury have dedicated the Ed-Tech report to Malala Yousafzai, whose message of universal education we support wholeheartedly. She has become a symbol for the right to universal education, and the rights of women to study around the world.

Press Release Ends

For further information, please contact:

Chon Kemp, Corporate Affairs Manager – Gold Mercury International

E-Mail: chon.kemp@goldmercury.org

Telephone: +442071933708 / Mobile: +447932988874

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