Wheeler Institute for Business and Development

We create impact by identifying big challenges, applying business insights to help solve these challenges, and forging communities of learning and practice to implement large-scale and enduring change.

Understanding the key challenges of entrepreneurs in informal markets: Learnings from Alexandra

This is the first article of a 3-part series on informal entrepreneurship in emerging markets, based on empirical research conducted in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg, South Africa. Elizabeth Mogale* (not her real name), a 48-year old mother of four, grills chickens on the pavement of 12th avenue in Alexandra, one of Johannesburg’s most…

Rethinking Capitalism with Oded Galor

Oded Galor, Herbert Goldberger Professor of Economics at Brown University, joined Elias Papaioannou, Co-Academic Director of the Wheeler Institute and Professor of Economics at London Business School for the fifth event in the Wheeler Institute’s Rethinking Capitalism series. Professor Galor’s latest book ‘The Journey of Humanity’ explores the evolution of human societies since the emergence…

Aid, latent assets and WEIRD societies: reasons to be optimistic about African development

African History through the Lens of Economics: An introduction to African development and history The Wheeler Institute’s open access online course, African History through the Lens of Economics, concluded with three plenary lectures covering the impact of foreign aid, the reasons why Africa can be optimistic about the future, and the importance of judging Africa…

The importance of education for economic development

African History through the Lens of Economics: An introduction to African development and history The penultimate lecture in the Wheeler Institute’s open access online course, African History through the Lens of Economics, considered the impact of education on social mobility in Africa. David Laitin, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, Leonard Wantchekon, Professor of…

Harnessing the potential of urbanisation in Africa: Raising capacity of local governments

The success of urban policies depends on municipal and state capacity. Government in Africa, especially at the local level, suffers from low fiscal capacity, but there are signs of improvement. We have seen through this series that government policy has a role to play in ensuring that cities develop productively. However, without public funds and…

Social Finance: Bridging the gap between Philanthropy and Sustainable Investing

Ms. Phyllis Costanza, Head of Social Impact and CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation was recently hosted by the student-led Social Impact Club. In conversation with Akhil Pawar and Jane Lu, Ms. Costanza discussed the foundation’s work and shared her experience in pioneering innovative financing mechanisms and impactful interventions as well as her vision for…

Incorporating Climate Risks and Opportunities: Insights from a leading Credit Agency

As part of the Wheeler Institute Climate Initiative, Lucrezia Reichlin, London Business School Professor of Economics and trustee of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, recently hosted a webinar on “The need for and impact of high quality globally comparable reporting” on 10th March 2022. Lucrezia was joined by Richard Cantor, Chief Risk Officer of Moody’s…

Partnering to Scale Sustainable Innovation

Over the past decade, corporations have moved away from traditional corporate social responsibility – a ‘nice to have’ – to corporate sustainability, now an imperative that is embedded in a corporation’s systems, practices and products. This year, the Social Impact Club launched its Corporate Sustainability and Innovation (CSI) pillar to signify the increasing push for…

Rethinking Capitalism with Oded Galor

The fifth event in the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development’s flagship Rethinking Capitalism series will focus on the deep origins of comparative development and the emergence of vast and persistent inequalities across countries, regions, and groups. Despite the remarkable transformations in China, Asia, and more recently Africa, in the past decade, capitalism and globalization have come…