Podcast - Person of Interest
Andris Kotāns, an experienced asset manager, explains the basics of investment funds and how they work. He talks about smart investment and why ethical decisions matter even in the highly competitive financial markets.
Andris has graduated from SSE Riga and holds a master's degree in economics from the Central European University (Hungary). He began his financial career in 2001 as an audit consultant at Ernst & Young. In 2005 he started working for Hansa Investment Funds (now Swedbank group), initially as a financial markets analyst, and later as a fund manager. Andris has been with Citadele group since 2007. Under his leadership several CBL Asset Management managed funds have achieved and continue to receive the highest standard of international recognition. He is also a member of the pension plan investment committee and is a CFA charterholder.
Mārtiņš Kazāks, the Governor of the Central Bank of Latvia has been a student and teacher of economics for more than 20 years and became Latvian central bank governor in 2019. In this podcast he talks about the role the Central Bank plays in society, what day-to-day operations it performs and how the European Central Bank works thanks to contributions from across the eurozone.
On 12 December 2019 the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia appointed Mārtiņš Kazāks as the Governor of the Central Bank of Latvia for a term of five years. Mārtiņš Kazāks has lectured at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (1996–2008).
Professor Jeffrey Sommers has studied the US economy and society for decades. In this interview he explains how 50 years of change have led to recent unrest and current problems in the US, both economically and politically. Has 'neoliberalism' failed?
Jeffrey Sommers is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Senior Fellow at UWM's Institute of World Affairs and visiting professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. He has held three US State Department Fulbright Awards (and two extensions). Additionally, he has served as an invited specialist for a State Department new Ambassador training in Washington, DC. His academic research centers on global capital accumulation, political economy of Africa’s (and its Diaspora) accelerated integration into new networks of accumulation. Other areas investigated are development studies, developmental states, international political economy and hegemonic transitions. In addition to his academic work, he has been published in outlets such as the Financial Times, The New York Times, The World Financial Review, The Guardian, The Nation, Social Europe, Project Syndicate and others.
Guest Mark Gamsa is Associate Professor of History at Tel Aviv University. He gained his DPhil from Oxford University in 2003 and has also taught at the University of Latvia, SSE Riga and the European University Institute in Florence. Mike Collier talks to academic and researcher Mark Gamsa talks about an extraordinary subject that has never been seriously studied until now - an incredible gold rush on the borders of Russia and China reminiscent of the Klondike and Yukon gold rushes, but with its own specific Eurasian characteristics.
Mark Gamsa is the author of four books: The Chinese Translation of Russian Literature: Three Studies (Brill, 2008); The Reading of Russian Literature in China: A Moral Example and Manual of Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010); Manchuria: A Concise History (I.B. Tauris, 2020) and Harbin: A Cross-cultural Biography (University of Toronto Press, 2021). His main academic interests are in cultural and intellectual history, and Chinese-Russian relations.
Guest Arnis Sauka is Professor and the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Business at Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Arnis talks about his unusual path towards academia and what the interaction is between the very different worlds of academia and politics.
Professor Arnis Sauka is co-author of the annual Shadow Economy Index for the Baltic Countries (with Prof. Tālis J. Putniņš, since 2009), author of the annual FICIL Sentiment Index (in cooperation with Foreign Investors Council in Latvia, since 2015), author of the annual study on the Shadow Economy in the Construction Industry in Latvia (in cooperation with the Partnership of Latvian Construction Entrepreneurs, since 2015).
Guest Olga Kotova, well-known entrepreneur about one of her passions: mountain climbing. She relates some interesting tales about how she almost literally stumbled upon the pastime and the changes it made to her attitude to life.
Olga is a board member at an international social entrepreneurship accelerator New Door and a founder of Baltic Commercial Aviation Training/ BCAT. In parallel, she is a personal development coach and international speaker. Olga holds an MS of Economics.
It has been shown that social trust benefits the economy, individuals and society as a whole. Guest Ulf Andreasson has conducted research describing high levels of trust in society as "Nordic Gold" and goes into depth explaining why this is so and whether it can last.
Ulf Andreasson through his educational background and professional experience has acquired extensive knowledge in the fields of policy development, energy and environment, employment and labor market, China, technology and innovation. Since 2017 he is the Senior adviser at the Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat. As a policy analyst Ulf has participated and authored many articles and reports in his fields of expertise. The latest of his reports are "Trust - the Nordic Gold" and "Nordic leadership".
Guest Anna Andersone has graduated from SSE Riga in 2002. In this podcast with Anna we look beyond the coronavirus to the fundamental role physical contact between human beings plays in our mental and bodily health, and how a simple hug can have a range of benefits.
As a consultant and a leader, she has worked in different projects encouraging women to join the tech field. She is co-founder of FROONT, a design tech startup that provides a responsive web design tool for designers, and CEO of Riga TechGirls. In addition she is founder of the company "Be-with" which mission is to bring people closer together by providing space and opportunities for physical touches.
Guest Zane Čulkstēna has amazing organizational abilities, as her wide range of interests and professional involvements shows. In this podcast, she talks about one of her latest projects, the 'Riga Jurmala' classical music festival, which has gone from an unknown date on the calendar to prestigious international event in less than two years.
Zane is the CEO of Riga - Jurmala Music Festival, which is the largest classical music event in Latvia, offering Latvian and international music lovers the opportunity to hear dazzling performers and unforgettable experience. She is a founder and director of the largest conceptual space of contemporary art in Riga, Contemporary Art Center Kim? Besides Zane successfully runs her company ERDA, which is the only consultancy firm in the Baltics specialized in employer branding.
Diplomacy has always been a profession surrounded by mystique and even secrecy. But is it as mysterious as we think? Baiba Braže, Latvian diplomat, talks to Mike Collier and gives insights into an ambassador's daily life, her path through the diplomatic service and even a few tips of this internationally important trade.
Since 2016 Baiba Braže serves as Latvia's ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Ambassdor Braže started to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993. She has held many posts in the Foreign Service, including: the Head of the Humanitarian Affairs Division, Director of the First Political Department, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Head of the Directorate of Security Policy and International Organisations and Head of the Communications Directorate. Baiba Braže has also worked as Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister of Latvia. The Ambassador graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia. She earned a Master's degree in Social Sciences for Communication Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia, and has attended various courses of international law and diplomacy. Baiba Braže has received the Cross of Merit, as well as other decorations of Latvia, Portugal and France.
Businessman, investor and startup advocate Andris K. Berzins talks to us about his remarkable international upbringing and his almost 30 years of business experience. He tells us why the Baltic startup scene is more than hype, how the modern investor and company founder differs from those of the past and reveals a couple of very useful tips on how to pitch your idea more effectively.
Andris is an experienced global technology entrepreneur, angel investor and startup mentor, actively supporting the growing Baltic startup community. He is a Managing Partner at Change Ventures, the first truly pan-Baltic pre-seed/seed fund in the Baltic States. His main social entrepreneurship engagement is as co-founder of TechHub Riga, the first expansion location for TechHub from London. They kick-started the emergence of the startup community in Latvia, set up the leading co-working space in Riga and run highly popular meetups and the annual TechChill conference.
In this podcast businesswoman Baiba Rubesa shares her extensive experience from the commercial world but also considers a topic that is often overlooked: knowing when it's time to quit. What does it take to make that brave decision and how can you walk away with dignity and with your head held high?
Experienced and results oriented manager with a range of business experience from oil and gas, retail, automotive, telecommunications - and most recently, transport / railways. Governance, transparency, human rights, sustainability and stakeholder engagement are key focus areas.
What motivates investigative reporters to risk their lives for the sake of a story? How do they cope with extreme stress and death threats? And what form is large-scale corruption likely to take in the future? In this podcast Mike Collier interviews Drew Sullivan, director of the OCCRP, to discover the journalistic work behind exposing some of the world's biggest corruption cases.
Drew Sullivan is an investigative journalist who has worked for almost a decade in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.He founded the Center for Investigative Reporting in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2004 and served as its editor and first director. Drew co-founded and serves as editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Program (OSSRP), a global network of 40 investigative reporting centres, media, and networks. He also founded the Journalism Development Network, an innovative media development organization with programs worldwide. Under his direction, OCCRP has won more than 90 international awards including the European Press Prize, the Online Journalism Award, the Global Shining Light Award and others. He previously worked as an investigative reporter for the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville and for the Special Assignment Team of the Associated Press in New York.
Journalist Ann Cooper about physical and online safety among professionals working in the media. Ann Cooper is a CBS Professor Emerita Of Professional Practice in International Journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
In addition to her achievements as a journalist, Ann also worked eight years as executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a press freedom advocacy group, prior to joining the Columbia faculty. Cooper's voice was well known to National Public Radio listeners as NPR's first Moscow bureau chief, covering the tumultuous events of the final five years of Soviet communism. She co-edited a book, "Russia at the Barricades," about a failed 1991 coup attempt, and she has continued to write about the glasnost era, the subsequent decline of press freedom in Russia, and Russia's global media strategy. After Moscow, Cooper worked as NPR's bureau chief in Johannesburg. Her coverage of South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994 helped NPR win a duPont-Columbia silver baton for excellence in broadcast journalism. She has been to nearly 80 countries - some as a journalist, others as a press-freedom advocate or a team leader for Habitat for Humanity global volunteer programs.
Is it possible to improve environment as well as your health by running? It seems so. Plogging is the combination of jogging with picking up litter. In this episode, the founder of "Plogging" Erik Ahlström explains how an organized activity in Sweden became a movement that is making a positive difference globally.
Since 2016 the movement has grown organically around the world. The global reach has led to over 40 countries being represented in the official online "Plogga" group and major events have been organized in nearly all of them. PLOGGA also became one of 38 official new Swedish words of 2017. If you are interested to learn more or join Plogga movement, visit their website: https://plogga.se
We spoke to Nicholas Johnston, editor in chief at a rapidly rising media company AXIOS, about its bold new approach to news presentation and the likely media business models of the future.
Nicholas Johnston is the editor in chief of Axios, a new media company that through Smart Brevity, gets you smarter faster on the topics that matter most in business, tech, media and politics. He leads the entire Axios newsroom and regularly speaks about politics, policy and business on MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News. Before helping to launch Axios in 2017, Nick was a managing editor at Bloomberg where he oversaw newsletters and breaking news coverage in Washington. Previously as a reporter for Bloomberg he covered the White House, Capitol Hill and the 2008 presidential campaign. Nick began his journalism career at the Washington Post and is a graduate of Georgetown University.
John Horne is one of the leading authorities on the history of World War I. Professor Horne talks about the twists and turns of the war and parallels of Irish and Baltic history.
John Horne is an historian, emeritus Fellow and former Professor of Modern European History at Trinity College Dublin and Member of the Royal Irish Academy. He is a board member of the Research Centre at the Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne (France). In 2016-17 he was Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Oxford University. He is the author and editor of a number of books and over a hundred chapters and articles, many relating to the Great War.
SSE Riga's head of the economics department Morten Hansen talks about his way of combining economics and teaching, and how even a little bit of economic knowledge can help us understand the world around us.
Morten Hansen is head of the Economics Department at SSE Riga, contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit and director of MHansen Consulting. Morten joined SSE Riga in 1997 and became head of the Economics Department in 2005. He is actively engaged in economic and governance issues in Latvia and has been a member of the Fiscal Discipline Council of Latvia since its inception in 2014. On 17 December 2019, the Latvian Fiscal Discipline Council elected Morten Hansen as Deputy Chair of the Council.
Researcher, applied microeconometrican Agne Suziedelyte. How much do we know about people and decision making? How people behave? How they make decisions? Agne Suziedelyte has been studying these questions for years. She has done research, including on the effect of the internet on health and an exploration of the assumed link between video games and violence in young people. Sometimes the results turn out to be unexpected.
Agne Suziedelyte is an applied microeconometrician and work on various topics in the economics of health and human capital. She is particularly interested in the effects of ICT and media on health and human capital development. Her other research interests include intended and unintended consequences of public policies, wellbeing effects of economic shocks and natural disasters, and reporting of health in surveys. She received PhD in Economics from the University of New South Wales in 2012. Currently, she is Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor) in the Department of Economics at City, University of London.
Nils Muižnieks, ex Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe. Nils' dedication to human rights protection started at the beginning of the 1990s, when he was faced with dealing with post-Soviet bureaucracy. Here, he explains why human rights matter and how to make countries to pay proper attention to them.
Nils Muižnieks has been working in the field of human rights for the past two decades and has acquired extensive knowledge in the field of international human rights monitoring, training and education. He held a prominent post of Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe (2012-2018), his posts included director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Riga (2005-2012); Chairman of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2010-2012); Latvian minister responsible for social integration, anti-discrimination, minority rights, and civil society development (2002-2004); and Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies - now Latvian Human Rights Centre (1994-2002).
CEO of Swedbank Latvia and graduate of SSE Riga Reinis Rubenis talks about the Baltic - Scandinavian banking sector and the challenges we are facing ahead.
Reinis Rubenis started his career in 1998 in management consulting company Gemini Consulting (now CGEY – Cap Gemini Ernst & Young). After several years he joined AS Lohmus Haavel & Viiseman (later LHV) team in Latvia, in order to focus on M&A and capital rising services. Since 2007 Reinis Rubenis worked for Swedbank Markets, primarily responsible for Corporate Finance services in Latvia. Since October 2011 he also retains administrative responsibility over Swedbank Markets in Latvia. From 2014 to 2016 Reinis was Head of Swedbank Corporate Customer Division and since September 2016 he is CEO of Swedbank Latvia.
Data expert, business consultant and lecturer Rihards Garančs talks about processing and presenting data.
Rihards Garančs is a lecturer at SSE Riga. His area of expertise includes database development, data visualization, data and financial reporting automation, efficiency improvement. Rihards runs a consulting company that develops Business Intelligence solutions. His focus is to help companies advance in business analytics using the latest digital tools. Rihards has worked for the clients in the Food & Beverage, Telecommunications & Digital, Media and Manufacturing industry. He complements his knowledge by attaining a double degree MBA in HEC Paris and National University of Singapore and Data Science certification in Paris.
Film-maker Gints Zilbalodis talks about making movies and the production of his award-winning animated film "Away".
Gints Zilbalodis(1994) is a Latvian filmmaker and animator who made his debut feature film Away entirely by himself. His fascination for filmmaking began at an early age watching classic films and making shorts and commercials. He has made 7 short films in various mediums including hand-drawn animation, 3D animation and live-action and often mixing their characteristic aesthetics. Currently, he’s making a new animated feature film.
Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Washington Post Jeremy Gilbert talks about the importance of storytelling and how new tools, techniques and audience expectations are reshaping publishing.
As Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Washington Post, Jeremy works to identify, create, and execute unique digital products and storytelling experiences. He works closely with The Post's engineering, product design, graphics, audience, analytics and advertising teams. In this role, Gilbert figured out how to tell the story of the 2016 presidential race with 3D printers, built The Post's first automated stories, created The Post's first virtual reality project, initiated the use of 360 cameras, oversaw its first augmented reality story, built a freelance network that changes how The Post covers national stories and launched a new leadership vertical. Before joining The Post he helped National Geographic develop and deploy its digital strategy and was an associate professor teaching media product design, interactive storytelling, web and print design tools and techniques for Medill and the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University. Previously Jeremy led The Poynter Institute in rethinking and redesigning its industry-leading website and served as an art director at a couple of newspapers.
Former CEO of Vice Media India Chanpreet Arora talks about how to engage with Generation Z and the media landscape in India.
Chanpreet Arora launched the leading global youth brand, VICE, as a full-scale media company in India. Currently, she is a consultant with the New York Times and has held leadership roles at the Times Internet (Bennet & Coleman), Ernst & Young - Media Advisory Practice and Buddh International Circuit (Formula One in India). She recently completed the prestigious fellowship at the Reuters Institute for Study of Journalism at Oxford University. As a consultant and leader, authored multiple articles published in leading business papers and Industry reports for leading institutions such as TRAI, Prasar Bharti, USIBC and Ernst & Young. Her strength within the ambit of media strategy lies in introducing a new concept, idea or brand targeting youth and helping it build resonance in a new market.