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Session 20A-20C 15:30-17:00 // day two

20A - Transformations of Industry and Employment University of Warwick, IIE MSA, and University of Leeds

This paper explores the potential intersection between the emerging patterns in labour markets of wage inequality and atypical employment through the prism of skill-biased technological change. It uses data on wage differentials and permanent, and full-time employment as a share of the total labour force across the 32 OECD countries to estimate correlation between the two variables. Based on strong positive results, it makes a hypothesis about the causality between these phenomena that concern modern developed economies; that the shift in employment patterns toward more precarious, unstable forms may be in part due to the technology-driven increase in wage differentials. The initial consideration for this exploration is the recent literature on job polarisation that has found labour-displacing automation to be more pronounced in the middle of the skill distribution, such as clerical and administrative work (Acemoglu and Autor, 2011). The rationale behind the present hypothesis is that mid-skilled occupations have traditionally constituted the bulk of formal, permanent employment and received an average wage remuneration and social protection. In addition, evidence suggests that displaced middle-skill workers tend to occupy low-skill jobs, in the absence of state re-training, which are less protected by legislation or often undeclared. My conjecture is that as the expanding pool of displaced workers shifts to existing or emerging informal jobs (e.g. in the platform economy) outside the realm of social protection institutions, people will become more vulnerable. Such findings have crucial implications for modernising welfare policy and legislation on social protection in the age of automation.

According to the McKinsey Asia Personal Financial Services Survey in 2018, the consumer behaviour and competitive landscape for Asia's retail banking sector have shifted significantly in the past three years. While consumers are growing more engaged and digital, they also have many more digital options, including offers from nonbanking companies and fintechs ready to fulfil their banking needs. As consumers will continue to adopt digital channels for banking, the banks should consider the following factors while developing their fintech services:

  1. Maturity of fintech
  2. Customers' satisfaction

In the presentation, the factors above will be explained and suggestions will be provided.

The on-going discourse about the value of higher education, invariably links the value of degrees with graduate employment (rather than employability) and future earnings prospects. This discourse has put increasing pressure on universities to ensure that on graduating, students are "work-ready,� and effectively contribute to societal economic development.

The literature reveals theoretical and knowledge-based education does not meet the needs of employers. Due to the limitations of knowledge-based education, employers are placing a higher value on relevant work-experience, however, the literature is clear that systemic/structural barriers exist, preventing some students from accessing opportunities of professional socialization such as placements or internships. This research aims to unbundle these barriers and explore the extent to which unconscious bias may act as a barrier in developing work-ready undergraduate accounting and finance students, particularly for BME students.

It aims to clarify how certain university decisions and trade-offs can affect graduate employment, such as the decision to do a year in industry or a year abroad, with the ultimate aim of helping students have a better understanding of where they want to land when they graduate and what they need to do to get there. Through adopting a capital model and identity formation model, it aims to improve understanding of ‘work-ready students' and explore the structural barriers that perpetuate issues with employment opportunities access by students.

The research will use both qualitative and quantitative data collected from Leeds University Business School, specifically focusing on Accounting and Finance students, as well as UK based macro data.

Since South Africa is plagued by unusually high unemployment (with some estimates putting the rate of unemployment at 33% in general and 50% for the youth), social security programme currently implemented in South Africa through a variety of social grants is an undesirable solution as it perpetuates dependence by a large proportion of economically active citizens.

South African policymakers have long been emphasizing the importance of small enterprises in addressing unemployment. However, many of those pronouncements are just rhetoric as they have never been reduced to workable policies. There is still unbearable regulatory red-tape which acts as a huge lack of encouragement too much needed entrepreneurial activity.

In light of the ever-growing unemployment and the realization that entrepreneurship is the solution, drastic changes to policy have to be investigated and implemented in order to incentivise entrepreneurial activity in South Africa.

The recent pronouncements by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his second State of the Nation Address in 2019 are just the beginning to dealing with this monstrous challenge of our times. This paper considers plausible government contributions to stimulating the ease of doing business in addressing the problem of unemployment. It shows that regulatory improvements will not be the only solution needed to address the problem. The government should think about streamlining capitalisation methods, regulated private sector intervention, non-financial skills impartation, tax incentives and other methods as complementary to the need to reform the regulatory environment to make it conducive to entrepreneurial activity.

20B - Social Change, Inclusion and Engagment University of Warwick, University of Leeds, and Baruch College, City University of New York

This project investigated the barriers to language learning experienced in class by three young language learners with ADHD in a public secondary school in South England. In attempting to answer the research question ‘How can the language classroom influence learning in young students with ADHD?' this study offers a new methodological approach to the issue. In particular, implementing my study exclusively on the learners' perception provided an innovative bottom-up approach to children research where elements of exploratory practice, visual elicitation and focus group were included. This study aimed to listen and generate hypotheses on the main potential barriers for language learners with ADHD, which were found to be the poor relevance of the target language to students' lives and language teachers' attitudes and teaching strategies. This paper was inspired by a personal bias in socio-constructivist theories of ADHD and language learning, both found evidence in my findings, generating new questions on the future of language education for students with ADHD.

Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies are model organisms in biology and have numerous genes in common with humans (orthologs). Their muscle system shares many components with human muscle: including shared contractile proteins and sarcomere structure, and shared gene expression patterns. The information that is known about the muscle system in embryos and larvae are specific to the abdominal muscles which are key for movement towards food. So far, no research has been done concerning the craniofacial muscles in embryos. Genes that are turned on during embryogenesis for the placement and attachment of the abdominal muscles are being studied for their expression in the head musculature. The under expression of these genes may show us how it affects the viability of the organism and what roles these genes play in the formation of embryonic muscles.

I hypothesise that adult social care spending cuts under post-2008 austerity led to a deterioration in the health of vulnerable individuals in England. Consequently, greater pressure was put on NHS hospitals and the welfare of social care users declined. I begin by outlining the Institutional Background to provide context to my findings. Then I conduct a Literature Review, analysing conclusions in the literature. I use data on rates of emergency hospital admissions for over 65s and subjective welfare survey scores from social care users. I analyse these using a panel of 148 Local Authorities in England over the period 2005-06 to 2017-18. In my Analytical Framework, I demonstrate two complications with the data that arise from the health of the population impacting both social care spending decisions and hospital outcomes. In my Empirical Strategy, I address these complications with Fixed Effects and an Instrument Variable. My results suggest that emergency hospital admissions increased as a direct result of cuts to social care spending. Social care cuts also influenced the well-being of care users, most notably their confidence in their ability to manage their conditions and feelings of safety in the home. This implies that a policy to renew social care spending should be expected to both ease growing A&E pressures and improve the well-being of care users. However, these results are partially hindered by imperfect data on the numbers of care users in England. Hence, this research also highlights the need for improved data collection..

Right to the City, a movement founded upon the writings of Marxist scholars Henri Lefebvre and David Harvey, envisions a society where citizens, not capital, control and transform the urban landscape and its resources. It achieved formidable political success despite its anti-capitalist heritage, influencing political campaigns and legal frameworks worldwide.

However, the veiled dismissal of the ‘non-Western-Urban’ underlying the ideological foundations of Right to the City debilitates the movement from becoming a viable challenge against exploitative neoliberal capitalism appropriating the Global South. Urban spaces, especially when situated within colonies, historically served as propaganda for Western superiority over native traditions. In this sense, the universal dissemination of a movement exclusively cultivating a ‘Western’ urban citizenship may easily lead to the reproduction of imperial power disparities.

Therefore, concerned with the distinct lack of critical postcolonial literature on Right to the City, this presentation attempts to uncover the unacknowledged presumptions of Eurocentricity in the movement’s ideological bedrocks, drawing from the political philosophy of Frantz Fanon to underline its conflicts with the Global South. I then analyse UNESCO’s operation of the movement in India to highlight the downfalls of hastily dismissing the postcolonial implications attached to the movement. Subsequently, I explore whether the movement can be sufficiently decolonised to successfully accommodate the unique context of physical and social subjugation commonly shared among previous colonial spaces. The presentation concludes with theorising the international implications of a decolonised Right to the City.

20C - Production, Robots and Machine Learning University of Warwick, University of Leeds, and Pompeu Fabra University

This talk will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of fake snow production, more specific, potential methods of improving artificial snow. This may influence present and future industry; snowflakes can have different shapes - from the well-known hexagonal to cones and strings. We'll explore how choosing the "best� shape of a snowflake can make artificial snow more suitable to the task at hand. Since the current main use of fake snow is in the skiing industry, one vein of investigation will be the improvement of "ski-slope� snow while decreasing the environmental impact in terms of energy and carbon usage in the production process. Agricultural industry may also benefit from artificial snow. Cereal crops such as wheat benefit greatly from a snow cover during winter, which acts as both insulation and fertiliser during spring. Nitrogen and sulphur, through melting, fertilise the ground and feeds the growing seedlings. Our investigation is looking to optimise the shape of the snowflakes, based on decreasing heat conductivity, trying to tackle climate change matters as well as increasing crop production, in order to deal with world hunger issues. We will also consider how other nutrients can be incorporated into the snowflakes, to further aid crop production. To this aim, we will use diffusion-limited aggregation computer models, common when researching snowflake formation, which either simulate a lattice within a desired geometry, or use standard molecular dynamics to closely mimic the chemical and physical processes. Other approaches include using statistics to determine the best snowflake model for the situation

The research focuses on the improvement of Robotics and AI towards the goal of RoboCup - "By 2050, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game, complying with the official rules of FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup."

The technology used will be applicable in many other fields and help us solve difficult real-world problems. To play soccer, robots must be able to perceive their environment, classify obstacles and landmarks, make decisions based on the current game state and then execute the decision made.

My research focuses on the behavior of 2 robot roles in a team of 5 robots. This refers to the all the decisions made by any 2 robots in the team (as roles can change). My research also includes the team behavior during special cases such as kick-ins (replacement for throw-in) and goal kicks. These decisions mainly focus on determining the best position and facing direction of the robot based on the current game state and position of teammates and opponents.

Research was conducted via experimentation. First, a hypothesis is made on a possible plan based on possible game states. Then, it is programmed and tested in simulation. If the outcome is unsatisfactory, changes are made. Once the outcome is satisfactory, it is tested on the physical robot. Throughout the process, it must be kept in mind that in the real world, conditions are not always ideal and all possible errors must be taken into consideration.

After six years of terraforming and colonizing Mars, Lupe Garcia and Yun Lao are about to reach the red planet as the third Space Astronaut Expedition (ISA). But they know very little about the dangerous situation in which they are entering ... Mars Oddity is an interactive comic made in HTML5 that tells the misadventures of these two astronauts on a Martian basis and the dark story behind it.

The Elementary Particle Physics Group at Warwick are developing a software package to reconstruct particle collisions in data taken by DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment), an international collaboration expected to come to fruition in 2026.

A key goal of DUNE is to make a definitive statement about a fundamental problem in Physics known as ‘matter-antimatter asymmetry’. There are two types of building blocks found in nature; matter, which is what everything around us is made of, and antimatter, material which looks and acts the same as matter, but has the opposite charge. It is theorised that the Big Bang created equal amounts of both, but today we see only matter. One of the suggested reasons for this imbalance is due to a property of neutrinos (a type of particle), and being able to solve this mystery would vastly improve our understanding of the beginning of the universe.

For my research, I wrote an algorithm to extract data from simulations of events involving Michel electrons (electrons produced by the decay of a certain parent particle). I also defined a success metric to investigate the performance of the reconstruction software. Finally, I interpreted event displays and made plots to correlate this metric with different variables.

The experiment itself will involve detecting and analysing neutrinos to measure and better understand their properties. The outcome of my project will inform the future development of software and will help make it much more efficient and effective, which is vital in large scale projects like DUNE.