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ICAEW annual EU lecture

This flagship event is an opportunity for policy-makers, academics, business and finance professionals as well as the wider stakeholder community to step back from the daily policy agenda and hear from eminent academics about major societal, technological or economic challenges.

ICAEW’s aim is to bring-in voices from across the world and different fields to provoke discussions that matter. The annual lecture is followed by a European perspective, usually provided by a senior EU official or politician.

For more information contact: europe@icaew.com


Title  ‘Out thinking Humans – How should society respond to the rise of AI?’ 
 Lecturer Prof. Moshe Vardi, Rice University (Texas)  
Summary Technological advances have historically eliminated some jobs and created others. But with the swift rise in robotics and artificial intelligence, machines are getting smarter and better at tasks that previously could only be performed by humans. So are we approaching the time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task and how should European policy-makers and the wider society confront this historical challenge? The 2017 lecture will look at the rise of AI and how it will impact our work and society.   


Title  ‘How numbers have become so powerful’ 
Lecturer Jane Gleeson-White, Writer (Australia)  
Summary In May 2016, renowned Australian writer Jane Gleeson-White visited Brussels to hold the 2016 annual ICAEW Europe lecture on the topic ‘How numbers have become so powerful’. Jane took the audience of around 150 policy-makers, academics and other stakeholders on a captivating historical journey from the origins of GDP to today’s globalised financial world. She challenged the usefulness of the GDP in today’s complex and increasingly digital economic environment, arguing that the ‘GDP as the only measure of wealth is coming to an end’.  


Title  ‘Public Accounting from the Medici to the Eurozone crisis’ 
Lecturer Prof. Jacob Soll, University of Southern California  
Summary In June 2015, historian and MacArthur “Genius” Award-winner Professor Jacob Soll, author of the widely acclaimed book The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Making and Breaking of Nations joined us from the US to take us on a whirlwind tour from Renaissance Italy, the Spanish Empire and Louis XIV’s France to the Dutch Republic, the British Empire. Over and over again, good accounting practices have produced the levels of trust necessary to found stable governments and vital capitalist societies, and poor accounting and its attendant lack of accountability have led to financial chaos, economic crimes, civil unrest and worse. In echoes of the sovereign debt crisis and continuing efforts to achieve more sustainable public finances in Europe, the role of democratic accountability remains of acute public interest.