Business Diplomacy Today

10 Episodes

By: Dr. Matthias Catón

Sponsored and presented by the Indo-German Centre for Business Excellence, the podcast brings international relations and geopolitics to the business world. We live in a dynamic world where business, government, and society converge. Today, every business leader must be a savvy player in the public arena. Geopolitical events, new regulations in other markets, natural disasters, changing public perceptions, etc., directly impact a company’s future, even if they happen far away. Business Diplomacy Today addresses contemporary international relations and geopolitics, looking at the issues from a business perspective. It helps business leaders anticipate changing political and societal trends, build and le...

Business Disruption and Change in 2024

In this episode, host Matthias Catón join Christina Rabe, the Market Unit Lead for Accenture in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. They delve into the Pulse of Change Index developed by Accenture.

Raab discusses the interconnectedness of technology, talent shortages, and demographic shifts, emphasizing the movement of talent from countries like India and the critical role of global talent pools. The discussion explores how artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to reshape various industries, starting with banking, capital markets, insurance, and software.

Raab underscores the importance of companies being proactive rather than reactive in adapting to t...

Imagining Asia After Europe

In Episode 29 Matthias Catón is joined by Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University. Following Sugata’s recent publication “Asia After Europe: Imagining a Continent in the Long Twentieth Century”, Matthias and him discuss the how Asia’s history has been defined by Europe and what the current century brings.

Matthias and Sugata’s discussion delve into history, identity and European focus in Asia; looking at ideas of Asian countries psot-independence, prospects of a multipolar region and Asia’s need to detach themselves from a Eurocentric vision of universalism.

With Sugata’s...

Achieving Financial Equality

In Episode 28 of Business Diplomacy Today, host Matthias Catón is joined by Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. Matthias and Mary Ellen examine the persistent gender gap in financial inclusion and its linkages to digital inclusion.

Matthias and Mary Ellen begin their conversation by analysing why finance is not optimised for women, looking at the lack of access to financial services for women and the intricate connection of financial equality and digital inclusion. Using India as a case study, Matthias and Mary Ellen illustrate the importance of implementing digital public infrastructure tha...

The EU AI Act

In Episode 27 of Business Diplomacy Today, host Matthias Catón is joined by Till Klein, Head of Trustworthy AI at appliedAI. Matthias and Till explore the forthcoming EU AI Act, including an investigation of its core principles and implications for businesses.

Their conversation begins by looking at key points of the EU AI Act, including the EU’s risk-based approach, where it tries to classify certain AI practices into four categories. Matthias and Till discuss if such an act will hinder bringing innovation to the European Union due to its requirements around data governance, risk management, and acc...

Geopolitical Intelligence and Corporate Planning

In Episode 26, host Matthias Catón is joined by Lewis Sage-Passant, Global Head of Intelligence at Novo Nordisk and founder of EncyclopediaGeopolitica. Matthias and Lewis delve into the intricacies of how multinational corporations navigate geopolitics and international relations.

Matthias and Lewis investigate how the changing responsibility of security intelligence teams and how, in a corporate environment, this is transforming into a strategic direction – how does geopolitics work? What implications does this have on a business?

Empirically, Lewis explains how geopolitic events affect different sectors of a business, such as supply-chains, access and affordability to raw mat...

US-German Transatlantic Relations

In Episode 25 host Matthias Catón is joined by Simone Menne, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany. In their discussion, Matthias and Simone address the intricacies of transatlantic relations between the US and Germany and how this relationship is shaped by geopolitics.

Following themes of economics, politics and international relations, Matthias and Simone discuss the current stand of the transatlantic relationship and the significance of US-German partnerships; notably in the context of the automotive and pharmaceutical industries. As the US prepares for the 2024 election, the episode investigates the potential outcome and the rise of r...

The Digital Euro

In Episode 24 of Business Diplomacy Today, host Matthias Catón is joined by Karel Lannoo, CEO of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). In their discussion, Matthias and Karel dive into the complexities of implementing a digital currency and its impact on the financial landscape; in this episode, specifically on the case of the Eurozone and the Digital Euro.

Covering an array of compelling topics, Matthias and Karel discuss the motivations of central banks to embrace digital currencies and the evolving landscape of digital payments. Karel shares thought-provoking arguments on the privacy concerns of implementing a d...

2024 Trends to Watch

In Episode 23 of Business Diplomacy Today, host Matthias Catón is joined by Tom Standage, Deputy Editor of The Economist and editor of its future-gazing annual, The World Ahead. Timely, with the start of the new year, Matthias and Tom delve into global trends and predictions for 2024; as well as their implications for businesses and global affairs.

To understand the metholodogy, Matthias and Tom begin by discussing how forecasting is developed and the necessity to analyse previous events and liaise with cross-departmental colleagues to look forward. Their conversation analyses both predictable events and forecasted events, ranging from G...

How Crises Shape Globalisation

In Episode 22 of Business Diplomacy Today, host Matthias Catón is joined by Prof. Harold James, Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University. Drawing inspiration from Harold’s recent publication Seven Crashes: The Economic Crises That Shaped Globalisation (2023), Matthias and Harold discuss seven major turning points in the history of globalisation.

Their conversation explores the requirement for preparation and flexibility in responding to global crises, such as geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic. Also discussed is the impact of political systems on crisis response and how this differs in autocratic and democratic systems.


The Rise of Middle Powers

Episode 21 of Business Diplomacy Today covers the emerging significance of middle powers. Host Matthias Catón is joined by Michael Mazarr, Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation. Matthias and Michael discuss how middle powers are rising and their impact on global trade and business environment.

Beginning with definitions of middle powers, Michael explains the concept of different power scales, and the domestic and global roles great, middle, and small powers play. Understanding different factors as ingredients of influence, such as size, geography and economic power, Matthias and Michael discuss the shift into a multipolar reality where m...