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  1. How blockchain can help fight COVID-19 and secure business revival

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    Category: Opinions

    The COVID-19 crisis is confronting society with huge challenges. Governments all over the world are focusing on the complex task of setting up rapid high-volume vaccination campaigns so that life can get back to normal as soon as possible. In consonance with these efforts, blockchain technology can help tackle several of the challenges imposed by COVID-19, and it can even help our economy recover more quickly from this pandemic. Professor Kristof Stouthuysen and researcher Tineke Distelmans talk about the possible applications of blockchain in vaccine tracking and storage, a COVID-19 passport and the global organisation of supply chains.

  2. The secret to being a good manager is listening

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    Category: Opinions

    Leadership can be defined as the art of motivating people to achieve a common goal. To be able to motivate your team, you need to understand them, know which tasks they enjoy and which they don't, and take their input into account. This kind of relationship can only be built if you truly listen to them. Listening is also the pathway to fresh insights and ideas, and can be the difference between a project succeeding or failing.

  3. Artificial intelligence bridges the gap between big data and sustainable investing

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    Category: Opinions

    Sustainable investing is booming. But how can you objectively measure sustainability? As opposed to financial reporting, sustainability reporting is only in its infancy and the difficulty to measure sustainability in an objective and qualitative manner might keep investors from moving into the sustainable investing field. There is no lack of ESG information, but much of this data is unstructured, which makes eliciting meaningful information challenging. According to Professor Kristof Stouthuysen and doctoral researcher Bjarne Brié, artificial intelligence can decrease the uncertainty inherent to sustainable investing. The combination of AI and big data analytics allows for fast and almost real-time objective information analyses based on multiple data sources.

  4. What does it take to achieve the ‘Great Reset’ after this pandemic?

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    Category: Opinions

    “The ‘Great Reset’ after the pandemic asks us to face uncertainty and discomfort bravely, instead of giving in to escape phantasies to alleviate our anxiety. Only if we are ready to welcome reality and take time to reflect can we remake the world,” says Smaranda Boros, Professor of Intercultural Management and Organisational Behaviour at Vlerick Business School. She sees the crisis as an opportunity for systemic transformation, to reinvent ourselves and restore our relation to the world as one ecosystem.

  5. What impact do you want to have as a leader?

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    Category: Opinions

    COVID-19 is a great lesson in humility. It’s the kind of experience that forces you to draw breath and reflect on who you are as a leader and the difference you want to make. After all, it’s all too easy to think that you can't have any kind of impact. According to Professor Katleen De Stobbeleir, everyone's choices and actions – no matter how large or how small your role – have a significant impact on the bigger picture. So, the question is, what difference do you want to make?

  6. How can our companies and Artificial Intelligence help in fighting climate change?

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    Category: Opinions

    In the Paris climate agreement, more than 100 countries – including Belgium – have committed to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Although the new US President Joe Biden is putting climate change back on the political agenda, whether or not this goal is achieved will mainly depend on the vigour of the business community. According to Professor Kristof Stouthuysen, the proper use of artificial intelligence is the key to helping our companies become climate-neutral more quickly.

  7. Predicting the future with time-series

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    Category: Opinions

    Traditional time-series analysis and forecasting methods are nothing new. However, lately companies like Google and Facebook have invested in developing time-series models that combine traditional techniques with Machine Learning (ML). What is the reason that Big Tech firms are suddenly looking into ways to optimise forecasting techniques? And why should all companies and their managers care about these new forecasting techniques?

  8. Soccer, M&A Prediction and Machine Learning

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    Category: Opinions

    Currently, robotic process automation is often used in finance departments in order to redeem employees from dull chores. However, despite the booming field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), financial applications of these techniques are quite scarce. By making a connection with a referee who needs to (dis)approve a goal, Lennert Van der Schraelen, Kristof Stouthuysen and Mathieu Luypaert try to establish useful applications concerning mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

  9. Are CFOs the Lucky Luke of decision-making?

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    Category: Opinions

    Analysing data at a rapid pace in order to make decisive decisions based on the results delivered, is an issue that many companies and their decision-makers often struggle with in this digital world. Apart from the obvious technological aspect, you need an integrated view on data and decision-making and a data-driven company culture. The CFO can act as a major catalyst to help organisations transform towards a more agile and effective decision-making entity.

  10. Are self-managing teams the solution in a fast-changing environment?

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    Category: Opinions

    In a fast-changing market, traditional and hierarchical structures are making way for more agile teams that are able to respond quickly to challenges, come up with solutions and strive for innovation. Self-managing teams are in charge of a meaningful share of the work, with the role of the leader taking on a completely different function. Professor Karlien Vanderheyden explains how to lead self-managing teams and talks about the advantages and potential pitfalls.

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