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Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Offices are getting busy again. + Lego says goodbye to gendered marketing.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- The next cohort of executive EMBA students: Entrepreneurs. Once the degree of choice for those looking to climb the corporate ladder, executive MBA programs are increasingly attracting mid-career entrepreneurs looking to up their credibility and expand their networks, with an eye to attract investors and funding, the Financial Times reports. Corporate funding for EMBAs began to dwindle in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, setting in motion a new trend that has instead pulled in entrepreneurs interested in developing their careers, particularly after gaining real-world experience in building a business and identifying their own knowledge gaps.

It is NEVER too late, ladies and gentlemen. Never. Consider this: “The college sophomore was tired. She’d just finished playing 54 holes of competitive golf over two days, 36 of them in the rain. Now there was a four-hour van trip back to campus, and the sophomore had plenty of homework to keep her 4.0 average. She could start researching a term paper for her literature class; she could bury herself in statistics assignments; she could crack open her criminal justice textbook. She could also watch a video from her PE class, though that might be hard to hear, with her teammates cranking music in the van.” The catch? The sophomore in question is age 63.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- More and more people are trooping back into the office (in the US, at least) than at any time since the pandemic began. And more employers are planning to follow suit in the weeks and months to come, the Wall Street Journal reports. Players in industries ranging from finance to manufacturing and entertainment all want their people back under the same roof.

So what does the “end” of covid look like? Well, there’s probably not going to be an “end” — the disease is here to stay. But Axios reports that researchers think “victory” over the bug looks kind of like … Denmark.

Also: Delays between vaccine jabs and a “mix and match” approach may be helpful, Canada’s CBC reports, writing that the delay of up to four months between jabs and the decision to allow people to have, say, a jab of Pfizer followed by one of Moderna has actually helped create stronger and more lasting immunity. Not that that helps when another country wants you to have two matched jabs, but…

Once upon a time, people were told to drink “Wate-On” to gain weight. Today, we just call it “food.” The ingredients: Refined carbs and seed oils. Just sayin’. Check out the vintage ad courtesy the dumpster fire that is our Twitter.

WATCH THIS- Okay, we can’t claim that we follow handball. But Zamalek keeper Karim Hendawy’s highlight reel (courtesy the International Handball Federation) is just killer (watch, runtime: 1:00).

Anti-greenwashing requirements in the EU are proving more complicated than expected, leading asset managers to say they’re unlikely to meet a 1 January 2022 deadline to correctly label the sustainability of investment funds, reports Bloomberg. The European Fund and Asset Management Association — which represents fund managers with a cumulative USD 22 tn AUM — has said the deadline is too soon to implement the so-called Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), particularly as the EU is in the process of finalizing new requirements. Fund managers therefore have yet to see what these standards entail and how to calculate them, let alone put them into practice. European authorities had intended to provide a complete draft of RTS in late September or early October, but this has been delayed due to its “complexity.”

China has already beaten the United States in the battle for AI supremacy, the former Pentagon software chief tells the Financial Times. “We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already done … it is already over in my opinion.”

Lego has taken a stand against gender-based marketing, saying it would stop targeting toys to boys or girls through packaging or other means. The company isn’t planning to change its products, but will stop segmenting them into gender categories, Lena Dixen, a senior vice president, explained to the Danish press. The decision comes after a survey was conducted to see if kids categorized toys for each gender, with 7k parents and children taking part. Around 75% of boys and 62% of girls believe that some toys are only for girls and some are only for boys — and parents only perpetuated the stereotypes by pushing Lego more on boys than on girls. Lego’s stance comes amidst a push for equality from the Danish company with hopes that the new marketing scheme will make all children “feel welcome in the Lego universe.” Bloomberg has the story.

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