Andrea Wang, University of California, Irvine -- As of January 2020, 66,433 people in Los Angeles County are homeless, a 12.7% increase from the reported number in 2019. A leading contributor to this pertinent issue is the cost of living in the area, where rents continue to increase and affordable housing is no longer accessible.
Neha Malhan, Wellesley College -- Organizations are increasingly being held accountable for their social and environmental impact. While increasing shareholder returns is still seen as the primary objective of a commercial enterprise, advocates of sustainability argue that the interests of all stakeholders need to be served. Yet, in a lot of this debate, the implication is often that doing social good has a cost that must be borne by the enterprise.
Chidera Ejueyitchie, American River College -- With talk of self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and metaverses dominating the headlines, it is hard not to fantasize about the exciting technological innovations the future holds in store. But somehow, despite all the buzz, the prevailing vision of a futuristic new world still has a missing piece—a blank spot the size of a continent. This isn’t the first time Africa has been forgotten: The continent has lagged behind through each industrial revolution. Today, the African tech industry is ready to finally put an end to this game of catch up.
Richa Upadhyay, Stanford University -- Most people can name the nation’s most prominent health systems such as Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and Trinity Health. Hospital mergers and acquisitions continue to make the “household names” of healthcare stronger, but such consolidation often comes at the expense of consumers. More often than not, hospital acquisitions fail to improve health outcomes while raising costs for patients and payers due to decreased competition.
Nicolas Garcia, Stanford University -- The story of how negotiations between Stanford Hospital and the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement (CRONA), the union representing registered nurses (RNs) at Stanford, broke down is documented in both news reports and press releases. However, the role that the nursing supply in California played in shaping the strike deserves closer examination.
Azmaeen Zarif, University of Cambridge -- Despite vaccine successes, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unclear. While strict public health measures alongside lower fatality rates for the younger population may have mitigated the impacts on potential output in the long-term, issues such as the deskilling and demoralization of unemployed workers and delayed bankruptcies following the eventual withdrawal of governmental support, risk potential deep and persistent economic scarring. Past pandemics may hold the key to predicting the long-term economic effects of COVID-19.
Ezra Kohrman, Stanford University -- A food crisis is brewing. Over the last two years, supply chain chokeholds, rising energy costs, and natural disasters have fueled an escalating spiral of increasing food prices. The war in Ukraine is now accelerating this crisis to unprecedented proportions.
Irina Didenko and Jennifer Zhang, New York University -- As climate change continues to wreak havoc worldwide, the international community has become increasingly concerned for the environmental and economic future of less developed countries (LDCs), which face acute difficulty enduring and recovering from climate disasters due to their poor infrastructure, weak governance, and low level of human capital. One group of LDCs, in particular, requires special attention, as their unique geographic characteristics make them especially vulnerable to climate change shocks: the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS).
Zachary Cheek, University of Nebraska-Lincoln -- Trade liberalization has long been thought to lead to the decline of repressive regimes. However, as autocratic states like Russia, Iran, and China have expanded their influence, Western nations are beginning to see that trade alone will not be a motivator for antagonist governments to behave in the desired ways.