MALTA, welcome to the International students

MALTA, welcome to the International students

Shrewd countries welcome students from abroad. Foolish ones block and expel them

MALTAway assist and advise you from English Courses to High School and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and University as well 



YOUNGSTERS have long crossed borders in search of an education. More than 2,000 years ago the Roman poet Horace went to Athens to join Plato’s Academy. Oxford University admitted its first known international student, Emo of Friesland, in 1190. Today more than 4.5m students are enrolled in colleges and universities outside their own countries (see article). Their fees subsidise local students. Their ideas broaden and enliven classroom debate. Most go home with happy memories and valuable contacts, making them more likely in later life to do business with the country where they studied. Those who stay on use what they have learned to make themselves and their hosts wealthier, by finding work as doctors, engineers or in some other skilled career.

Immigration policy is hard: Europe is tying itself in knots over how many Syrian refugees to admit. But the question of whether to welcome foreign students ought to be much easier. They more than pay their way. They add to the host country’s collective brainpower. And they are easy to assimilate. Indeed, for ageing rich countries seeking to import young workers to plug skills gaps and prop up wobbly pension systems, they are ideal. A foreign graduate from a local university is likely to be well-qualified, fluent in the local lingo and at ease with local customs. Countries should be vying to attract such people.

Places with the good fortune to speak English have a gigantic head start. Australia is the leader: a quarter of its tertiary students come from abroad, a bigger share than in any other country. Education is now its biggest export, after natural resources. For a while the influx of brainy foreigners was slowed by an overvalued currency and the reputational damage from the collapse of some badly run private colleges. But recently the Australian dollar has weakened, degree mills have been shut down, visa rules have been relaxed—and foreign students have flooded back. Last year their numbers rose by 10%.

Canada, until recently an also-ran, now emulates Oz. In 2014 it set a goal of almost doubling the number of foreign students by 2022. It has streamlined visa applications and given international students the right to stay and work for up to three years after graduating. Those who want to make Canada their home have a good chance of being granted permanent residence. Its share of the market for footloose students is growing, and numbers have more than doubled in a decade.

America, by contrast, is horribly complacent. In absolute terms, it attracts the most foreign students, thanks to its size, its outstanding universities and the lure of Silicon Valley and other brainworking hotspots. But it punches far below its weight: only 5% of the students on its campuses are foreign. Its visa rules are needlessly strict and stress keeping out terrorists rather than wooing talent. It is hard for students to work, either part-time while studying or for a year or two after graduation. The government wants to extend a scheme that allows those with science and technology qualifications to stay for up to 29 months after graduating. But unions oppose it, claiming that foreign students undercut their members’ wages. One that represents high-tech workers in Washington state has filed a court challenge, seeking to have the scheme axed.

The self-harming state

Britain is even more reckless. It, too, has the huge advantages of famous universities and the English language. But its government has pledged to reduce net immigration to 100,000 people a year, and to this end it is squeezing students. Applying for a student visa has grown slower and costlier. Working part-time to pay fees is harder. And foreign students no longer have the right to stay and work for two years after graduation. Britain’s universities are losing market share: their foreign enrolments are flat even as their main rivals’ are growing strongly.

Sajid Javid, Britain’s business secretary, says the aim is to “break the link” between studying and immigration. This is precisely the wrong approach. For a country that wants to recruit talented, productive immigrants, it is hard to think of a better sifting process than a university education. Welcoming foreign students is a policy that costs less than nothing in the short term and brings huge rewards in the long term. Hence the bafflement of James Dyson, a billionaire inventor, who summed up Britain’s policy thus: “Train ’em up. Kick ’em out. It’s a bit shortsighted, isn’t it?”


Relocation: education and school guide

Relocation: education and school guide

Designed to support parents embarking on an international assignment or a relocation to another area in their country of origin, this substantial, 232-page publication will be an invaluable resource for relocating families and the HR decision-makers, global managers and relocation professionals who support and advise them.

Maltaway serve and assist you with a holistic 360° approach including school as well…just ask


Moving is a stressful business, even if you have done it many times before. For employees, there is the challenge of getting to grips with their new role and work commitments and understanding the nuances of the business culture in their new location. For partners, there can be concerns around finding employment and settling the family.

For parents with accompanying children, sourcing appropriate school places is paramount; without the reassurance of a school place, they may even refuse the assignment or relocation move.

Moving with a family isn’t easy, but with the right information and support, parents can make informed choices and give their children opportunities that will widen their horizons and help them to become global citizens. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we can reassure parents that there are education options to meet their needs, and experienced professionals within schools and experts across the globe who can help them make the right choices for their individual circumstances.

For HR, global managers and employers, understanding changes in education systems and the complexities of curricula, domestically or in regions around the world, can be bemusing. This guide will help them deal confidently with parents who need school places in their new location and who require support to enable them to take up an international assignment or a domestic relocation move.

It will also help them to understand the education and family issues involved, and to make fair and informed decisions that support their organisation’s talent and enable them to function as effectively as possible in the new location from the outset.

For relocation professionals, the guide will support the work they do in sourcing schools and accommodation for families relocating to a new area. It’s another tool to help them guide families through the transition and change that are inevitable in moving and establishing a new network and sense of home.–coming-soon

Non solo cervelli in fuga per MALTA, è anche il lavoro che va dove sta il talento

Non solo cervelli in fuga per MALTA, è anche il lavoro che va dove sta il talento

Confermo stia accadendo la stessa cosa anche per Malta dove il rapporto tra costo del lavoro e competenze è il migliore d’Europa e i vantaggi fiscali, del clima e qualità della vita attirano skills e progetti sempre più importanti in un paese noto per la sua stabilità e solidità del proprio sistema finanziario ed ora sempre più ricco e capace di attrarre le migliori menti del globo….e dove vanno i cervelli vanno i capitali perchè questo è il vero abbinamento vincente

MALTAway per il tuo business, per la tua relocation


Mentre le persone continuano a spostarsi dove ci sono lavoro e opportunità, ora sono anche i lavori che si stanno ‘spostando’ dove ci sono talenti. Alcuni paesi, infatti, hanno cominciato ad attirare l’attenzione degli investitori internazionali a fronte della disponibilità di talento creativo a costo ragionevole: Cina, Corea del Sud, Filippine e Vietnam nella regione Asia-Pacifico; Malta, Slovenia, Cipro e Moldavia nella regione europea; Turchia, Giordania e Tunisia nella regione Mena; e Panama in America Centrale.

E’ quanto emerge dal ‘Global Talent Competitiveness Index (Gtci)’ 2015-16, studio pubblicato da Insead, istituto di direzione aziendale internazionale, e fondato sulla ricerca condotta in collaborazione con Adecco Group e Hcli (Human Capital Leadership Institute di Singapore).

“La mobilità è diventata un ingrediente chiave dello sviluppo di talenti: trascurando di incoraggiare mobilità internazionale e ‘circolazione dei cervelli’, il talento creativo non raggiungerà la fase di pieno sviluppo. Il dibattito sulla migrazione deve passare da emozioni a soluzioni: adottando una prospettiva orientata al talento, gli Stati trarranno vantaggio dalla gestione della circolazione delle persone”, si avverte.

E le ‘pratiche di gestione’ fanno la differenza in termini di capacità di attirare i talenti: oltre agli incentivi economici e al tenore di vita, un’altra discriminante importante nella capacità di attirare i talenti, infatti, è la professionalità della gestione e l’investimento nello sviluppo dello staff.

Non solo. “I lavoratori non qualificati continuano a essere sostituiti da robot, mentre gli algoritmi determinano la delocalizzazione dei lavoratori della conoscenza: mentre la tecnologia e altri fattori continuano a ridefinire la mobilità, i lavoratori della conoscenza – si evidenzia – ne subiscono le conseguenze e tale evoluzione segnala la possibile delocalizzazione di interi settori di attività. Alcuni potrebbero dover lavorare virtualmente da casa per diversi datori di lavoro, mentre altri saranno costretti a riqualificarsi e trasferirsi lontano per trovare lavoro”.

“In un mondo caratterizzato dalla circolazione di talenti, città e regioni – si rimarca – rivestono un ruolo sempre più importante nella gara per aggiudicarsi il talento globale: agilità e branding delle città sembrano essere discriminanti più critiche rispetto alla dimensione, poiché sempre più metropoli adottano politiche creative per attirare i talenti da tutto il mondo”.

Debuttano, inoltre, nuovi poli in grado di attirare talenti. Mentre gli Usa, Singapore e la Svizzera da sempre rappresentano mete privilegiate dai talenti, la concorrenza potrebbe inasprirsi tra i poli emergenti come Indonesia, Giordania, Cile, Corea del Sud, Ruanda e Azerbaigian, a fronte dell’incremento dei lavoratori interessati a queste destinazioni sempre più interessanti.

“La scarsità delle competenze professionali – si osserva – affligge i paesi emergenti: i gap nelle competenze professionali persistono nei paesi emergenti come Cina, India, Sudafrica e soprattutto in Brasile, dove le capacità dei talenti mostrano segni di indebolimento su tutti i fronti. Anche alcuni paesi ad alto reddito come Irlanda, Belgio e Spagna cominciano a manifestare lo stesso fenomeno”.

Come afferma Bruno Lanvin, executive director di Global Indices presso Insead e co-autore della relazione, “una raccomandazione chiave che emerge dalla relazione riguarda gli Stati, che devono imparare a gestire le nuove dinamiche emergenti della ‘circolazione dei cervelli’ con maggiore abilità: mentre la mobilità economica temporanea di figure altamente qualificate potrebbe essere inizialmente considerata come una perdita per il paese di origine, gli Stati devono tener conto del guadagno netto che percepiranno al momento del ritorno in patria”.

“Lo sviluppo eccezionale del settore dell’elettronica di Taiwan, grazie ai lavoratori rimpatriati dalla Silicon Valley, è un modello preso ad esempio da molti. Nuove tecnologie potrebbero creare nuove sfide per i lavoratori aventi livelli diversi di competenze: l’automazione sta annientando i lavori non specializzati; gli algoritmi potrebbero determinare la delocalizzazione delle posizioni che richiedono competenze di livello medio”, prosegue Lanvin.

Da parte sua, Paul Evans, professore emerito titolare della cattedra di Risorse umane e Sviluppo organizzativo intitolata alla Shell, presso Insead, e direttore accademico e co-autore dell’indice Global Talent Competitiveness Index, sottolinea: “La nostra analisi dei dati globali mostra che la retribuzione, da sola, non basta per attirare e fidelizzare i talenti, anche dall’estero: la qualità della gestione assume, infatti, un ruolo sempre più importante”.

“Mentre le opportunità di istruzione superiore rimangono un fattore chiave nella capacità di attirare e fidelizzare i talenti, un fattore di richiamo sempre più irrinunciabile – precisa – coincide con la professionalità delle imprese e delle pratiche di gestione, come dimostrato dall’ottimo posizionamento in classifica dei Paesi nordici che brillano in termini di meritocrazia, gestione professionale e attenzione verso lo sviluppo dello staff. Un aspetto particolarmente importante per la generazione del millennio, formata dai leader creativi del futuro”.

“L’evoluzione del mondo del lavoro – commenta Alain Dehaze, Chief Executive Officer per Adecco Group – procede a un ritmo senza precedenti, introducendo grandi opportunità e sfide: 200 milioni di persone sono disoccupate e l’automazione mette a rischio circa 1 posto di lavoro su 2. A fronte dell’inarrestabilità di digitalizzazione e invecchiamento, l’indice Gtci conferma il ruolo prioritario della mobilità dei talenti al fine di potenziare la competitività e bilanciare eccedenze e carenze di competenze a livello internazionale”.

“I paesi che vantano una reputazione d’eccellenza nel talento – aggiunge – dimostrano che, per attirare i talenti, i governi devono investire nell’istruzione e negli hub di conoscenze, nonché snellire la burocrazia e semplificare i mercati del lavoro. Le imprese dovrebbero promuovere la mobilità dei talenti e investire nell’iperconnettività per capitalizzare sulla tecnologia, sfruttare le opportunità offerte dall’economia globale e creare posti di lavoro”.

Per Wong Su-Yen, Chief Executive Officer di Hcli (Human Capital Leadership Institute), “la circolazione dei talenti negli Stati è sostenuta da una serie complessa di fattori economici, politici e sociali”. “La nascita della Comunità economica dell’Asean (Aec) – spiega – ha dimostrato che gli Stati che tradizionalmente attirano i talenti potrebbero vedersi sottrarre il vivaio locale di talenti ad opera di altri mercati emergenti nella regione. Dobbiamo ricordare che la competitività dei talenti di uno Stato non conosce permanenza, e i talenti erranti spesso cercano nuovi orizzonti e opportunità di carriera a livello regionale e globale. La sfida per i paesi, quindi, consiste nel continuare a innovare nei modi in cui sviluppano, attirano e fidelizzano i talenti”.

EU all’attacco degli schemi di corporate tax avoidance, le 5 stelle di Malta

EU all’attacco degli schemi di corporate tax avoidance

le vecchie prassi e giurisdizioni di Lussemburgo, Irlanda, UK, Svizzera ecc…sempre più nel mirino

Con MALTAway hai accesso a Malta, la giurisdizione più efficiente a 5 stelle riconosciute nel mondo:

  1. bassa struttura dei costi e bassa tassazione dei redditi e degli asset
  2. 100% compliant con le norme EU e OCSE
  3. modello regolatorio trasparente e alla luce del sole
  4. ideale per il grande afflusso di cervelli e capitali e quindi per l’economia e il business reali
  5. modello anglosassone con veicoli e strutture a protezione dell’individuo e del patrimonio ma molto aggressivo nei confronti della corruzione e del riciclaggio

EU to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance schemes

Multinational companies are facing severe constraints on their ability to avoid taxes on their activities in Europe as regulators seek to close loopholes laid bare by the LuxLeaks scandal.

Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s tax policy chief, will set out plans next week to curb practices such as using debt interest payments to lower tax bills or shifting profits to minor subsidiaries in low-tax nations, according to a copy of the proposals obtained by the Financial Times.

“The schemes targeted by this directive involve situations where taxpayers act against the actual purpose of the law, taking advantage of disparities between national … systems,” the document says. Such techniques mean that “taxpayers may benefit from low tax rates or double deductions or ensure that their income remains untaxed”.

The measures build on international proposals developed by the OECD and are one of the most far-reaching steps yet by the EU to seize the initiative in the wake of LuxLeaks.

The LuxLeaks revelations emerged shortly after Jean-Claude Juncker became commission president in November 2014, and dogged his early days in office. They documented how during his two decades as Luxembourg prime minister, up to 340 multinational companies, ranging from Ikea to Pepsi, funnelled profits through the tiny country to lower their tax bills to as little as 1 per cent.

The scandal was particularly resonant at a time of rising populist anger in Europe and a sense among many citizens that the pain from austerity measures had not been shared equally.

The commission has sought to get on top of the affair by proposing regulatory changes and pursuing competition cases against tax deals governments have struck with multinationals such as Apple, Starbucks and Fiat.

Mr Moscovici’s proposals, which will need unanimous support from the EU’s 28 national governments to become law, include an effort to limit the extent to which a multinational company can cut its tax bill by financing some parts of its business through debt owed to subsidiaries in low-tax countries.

The plans would limit the amount of interest that a company can claim each year as tax-deductible, setting an upper limit measured as a percentage of operating profits. The commission plans to set the ratio at 30 per cent, the upper limit foreseen by the OECD, with the option for individual nations to go further if they wish.

Banks and insurers would be given a carveout from these rules while the EU develops more tailored requirements for the sector, according to the documents.

Companies already warned the UK Treasury this month that the plans to restrict the generous tax treatment of interest costs were unnecessary and potentially damaging.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales said businesses had “major concerns” and warned that changes to the “current, relatively benign, regime for interest deductibility” could have a negative impact on the UK as a desirable business location.

Sven Giegold, a German lawmaker in the European Parliament who has campaigned on corporate tax avoidance issues, said the plans threw down the gauntlet to national governments.

“Member states now face a test on whether they are serious to fight corporate tax avoidance and should adopt this new directive within the year,” Mr Giegold told the FT. “European citizens can no longer understand why their leaders do not deliver on key reforms.”


MALTAway fornisce servizi societari e si fonda su principi semplici e rigorosi: credibilità , integrità , trasparenza e rigore.

Per essere credibili, si deve essere innanzitutto trasparenti e rigorosi, questo è un nostro valore.

MALTAway è una Società di Consulenza e Servizi, per il Consiglio di Amministrazione, per la Governance Societaria, per gli Investimenti.

La nostra attività e quella di consigliare e aiutare i nostri clienti nel migliorare le proprie performances e nella crescita, attraverso un approccio strategico e globale

Con sede legale a Malta, MALTAway ha sviluppato e guidato molteplici progetti in diversi settori di attività e paesi

La Mission di  MALTAway è anche quella di promuovere MALTA e le sue opportunità e capacità di Business, Governance e Globalizzazione.

Un ambiente pro-business e uno stile di vita unico e vincente, sono capaci di attrarre a Malta Professionisti qualificati, Capitali, Aziende, Imprenditori e High Net Worth Individuals ( HNWI ), interessati a trasferirsi in questa giurisdizione per fare Business, Investire, Lavorare


Il Team di MALTAway offre un’ampia capacità, competenze ed esperienze, dai servizi societari e di governance alla consulenza di business e di management, dalle tematiche fiscali a quelle legali e regolamentari, sia societarie sia di protezione del patrimonio.

Investimenti, prodotti e servizi finanziari basati sulle nuove tecnologie e servizi finanziari e bancari tradizionali, strumenti di investimento e di ricerca e analisi finanziaria e quantitativa

Inoltre, abbiamo sviluppato una rete di partner locali accuratamente selezionati, capaci di consigliare e assistere clienti di qualsiasi settore e dimensione insieme a MALTAway a Malta e nel mondo

MALTAway offre i seguenti servizi ai clienti che vanno dalle start-up alle imprese consolidate, dalle imprese familiari alle società globali e ai HNWIs:

  • SERVIZI PER IL CONSIGLIO DI AMMINISTRAZIONE: MALTAway offre risorse senior e qualificate, residenti a Malta, necessarie e adatte a ricoprire il ruolo di Direttore NON-Esecutivo Indipendente, con lo scopo di ampliare la capacità e le competenze del consiglio di amministrazione e di rispettare le leggi fiscali internazionali
  • SERVIZI GOVERNANCE: MALTAway mette a disposizione un personal trainer dedicato per i tuoi Membri del CdA e per il tuo Leadership Team, offrendo supporto e consulenza in materia di governance e investimenti, sia a fronte di problematiche emergenti dovute a variazioni di mercato e/o a specifici piani di crescita.
  • BUSINESS SERVICE: Processi di Relocation, MALTAway opera come connettore del cliente con la comunità di business e di governo, assistendo i nostri clienti che si trasferiscono a Malta, nel massimizzare in poco tempo i benefici reali presenti e nel mettere a frutto le concrete opportunità che questa giurisdizione offre
  • SERVIZI FISCALI: locali, europei, globali, regolamentazioni OCSE, BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting)
  • SERVIZI LEGALI: Corporate, Holding, Fondazione & Trust, Corporate & Fiduciary Services, ridomiciliazione per individui e imprese
  • SERVIZI FINANZIARI: Banking, Treasury, Investment & Merchant Banking, Asset Allocation
  • RELOCATION SERVICES: pacchetti completi di trasferimento per le Società, Dirigenti, Dipendenti e Individui, dal viaggio alla scuola per i figli, alla scelta della casa e degli uffici alle coperture assicurative
  • CORSI INGLESE CORPORATE: pacchetti individuali e collettivi per Executives, Managers, Dipendenti e loro famiglie

 Board, Governance & Investments – New way for Global thinking & Local Actions 





JPM’ CeO pay with performance share units

JPM’ CeO pay with performance share units

JPMorgan Chase has given with one hand and taken away with the other — bumping up Jamie Dimon’s pay by more than a third, while subjecting the chairman and chief executive to three years of tests before he is paid out in full.

In a filing on Thursday afternoon the board of the New York-based bank said Mr Dimon’s total pay for 2015 would rise to $27m from $20m last year. His base salary remains at $1.5m, while he receives a cash bonus of $5m, down from $7.4m last year. The remaining $20.5m comes in the form of  (PSUs), earned only if the bank hits certain profit targets over a three-year period.

Last year Mr Dimon’s $11.1m share award came in the form of restricted stock, with no performance hurdles attached.

This marks the first year JPMorgan is using PSUs as part of the variable pay for top management — a move that it says it made in response to a challenge by investor groups at its annual meeting last year. Then, more than a billion votes — a record 38 per cent — were cast against the bank’s pay policy after ISS and Glass Lewis, the proxy advisory firms, called for stronger ties between pay and performance. The firms also queried the chief executive’s $7.4m cash bonus for 2014, a year in which the bank’s shares trailed rivals, saying that it lacked “a compelling rationale”.

Still, the big increase risks stoking criticism among shareholder factions concerned about spiralling pay in the C-suite and its trickle-down effects. Bart Naylor of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, said that it was fine for the proxy firms to push for stronger links between pay and performance at technology firms such as Apple — but not at banks.

“If Apple goes bust the world will survive, but a bank is a different breed of corporation,” he said. “There is a basic toxin when you incentivise through stock, which motivates management to be risk-hungry rather than risk-averse.”

Another governance analyst at a big public pension fund said the award seemed “odd,” in a climate of cost-cuts and flat revenues.

Mr Dimon’s pay award peaked at $30m in 2007, comprising $15.5m in cash and the rest in restricted stock. The following year, after Lehman blew up, it dropped to a salary of $1m and no incentives.

Mr Dimon’s rise also comes as regulators are still thrashing out rules arising from the Dodd-Frank Act that are designed to curb pay at financial-services firms. Under Section 956, banks would be banned from offering any type of incentive-based pay that the final rule says is “excessive,” or that could expose the firm to material financial loss as a result of “inappropriate” risk taking.

Finalising the rule requires agreement between half a dozen agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

JPMorgan said that other senior executives including Daniel Pinto, head of the corporate and investment banking unit, and Matt Zames, chief operating officer, would receive equal shares of PSUs and restricted stock.

The PSUs will be earned based on the bank’s return on tangible common equity over a three-year performance period ending on December 31 2018. Earned PSUs will settle in shares that range from zero to 150 per cent of the number of PSUs awarded on Tuesday’s grant date, the bank said, depending on its ROTCE both on an absolute basis and relative to 11 peers over that period.

Executives must then hold the stock for an additional two years before they can sell it. Mr Dimon, 59, who has just passed a 10-year milestone at the helm of the bank, has not sold a single share of common stock so far, according to filings.

The secret of immigrant or expatriate brilliance

The secret of immigrant or expatriate brilliance.

MALTA is a cosmopolitan community, and MALTAway has a cosmopolitan thinking because a “cognitive flexibility,” is a prerequisite for creative thinking.

Some of the world’s most outstanding intellectuals have been immigrants. We tend to assume it’s because they’re driven and hungry for success…that it probably has more to do with “schema violations”—an outsider’s perspective, which gives people more cognitive flexibility and power

This suggests that it isn’t the immigrant’s ambition that explains her creativity but her marginality. Many immigrants possess what the psychologist Nigel Barber calls “oblique perspective.” Uprooted from the familiar, they see the world at an angle, and this fresh perspective enables them to surpass the merely talented. To paraphrase the philosopher Schopenhauer: Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.

Scan the roster of history’s intellectual and artistic giants, and you quickly notice something remarkable: Many were immigrants or refugees, from Victor Hugo, W.H. Auden and Vladimir Nabokov to Nikolas Tesla, Marie Curie and Sigmund Freud. At the top of this pantheon sits the genius’s genius: Einstein. His “miracle year” of 1905, when he published no fewer than four groundbreaking scientific papers, occurred after he had emigrated from Germany to Switzerland.

Lost in today’s immigration debate is this unavoidable fact: An awful lot of brilliant minds blossomed in alien soil. That is especially true of the U.S., a nation defined by the creative zeal of the newcomer. Today, foreign-born residents account for only 13% of the U.S. population but hold nearly a third of all patents and a quarter of all Nobel Prizes awarded to Americans.

But why? What is it about the act of relocating to distant shores—voluntarily or not—that sparks creative genius?

When pressed to explain, we usually turn to a tidy narrative: Scruffy but determined immigrant, hungry for success, arrives on distant shores. Immigrant works hard. Immigrant is bolstered by a supportive family, as well as a wider network from the old country. Immigrant succeeds, buys flashy new threads.

It is an inspiring narrative—but it is also misleading. That fierce drive might explain why immigrants and refugees succeed in their chosen fields, but it fails to explain their exceptional creativity. It fails to explain their genius.

Recent research points to an intriguing explanation. Several studies have shed light on the role of “schema violations” in intellectual development. A schema violation occurs when our world is turned upside-down, when temporal and spatial cues are off-kilter.

In a 2011 study led by the Dutch psychologist Simone Ritter and published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers asked some subjects to make breakfast in the “wrong” order and others to perform the task in the conventional manner. Those in the first group—the ones engaged in a schema violation—consistently demonstrated more “cognitive flexibility,” a prerequisite for creative thinking.

This suggests that it isn’t the immigrant’s ambition that explains her creativity but her marginality. Many immigrants possess what the psychologist Nigel Barber calls “oblique perspective.” Uprooted from the familiar, they see the world at an angle, and this fresh perspective enables them to surpass the merely talented. To paraphrase the philosopher Schopenhauer: Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.

Freud is a classic case. As a little boy, he and his family joined a flood of immigrants from the fringes of the Austro-Hungarian empire to Vienna, a city where, by 1913, less than half the population was native-born. Freud tried to fit in. He wore lederhosen and played a local card game called tarock, but as a Jew and an immigrant, he was never fully accepted. He was an insider-outsider, residing far enough beyond the mainstream to see the world through fresh eyes yet close enough to propagate his ideas.

Marie Curie, born and raised in Poland, was frustrated by the lack of academic opportunities in her homeland. In 1891, at age 24, she immigrated to Paris. Life was difficult at first; she studied during the day and tutored in the evenings. Two years later, though, she earned a degree in physics, launching a stellar career that culminated with two Nobel prizes.

Exceptionally creative people such as Curie and Freud possess many traits, of course, but their “openness to experience” is the most important, says the cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman of the University of Pennsylvania. That seems to hold for entire societies as well.

Consider a country like Japan, which has historically been among the world’s most closed societies. Examining the long stretch of time from 580 to 1939, Dean Simonton of the University of California, writing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, compared Japan’s “extra cultural influx” (from immigration, travel abroad, etc.) in different eras with its output in such fields as medicine, philosophy, painting and literature. Dr. Simonton found a consistent correlation: the greater Japan’s openness, the greater its achievements.

It isn’t necessarily new ideas from the outside that directly drive innovation, Dr. Simonton argues. It’s simply their presence as a goad. Some people start to see the arbitrary nature of many of their own cultural habits and open their minds to new possibilities. Once you recognize that there is another way of doing X or thinking about Y, all sorts of new channels open to you, he says. “The awareness of cultural variety helps set the mind free,” he concludes.

History bears this out. In ancient Athens, foreigners known as metics (today we’d call them resident aliens) contributed mightily to the city-state’s brilliance. Renaissance Florence recruited the best and brightest from the crumbling Byzantine Empire. Even when the “extra cultural influx” arrives uninvited, as it did in India during the British Raj, creativity sometimes results. The intermingling of cultures sparked the “Bengal Renaissance” of the late 19th century.

In a 2014 study published in the Creativity Research Journal, Dr. Ritter and her colleagues found that people did not need to participate directly in a schema violation in order to boost their own creative thinking. Merely watching an actor perform an “upside-down” task did the trick, provided that the participants identified with the actor. This suggests that even non-immigrants benefit from the otherness of the newcomer.

Not all cultural collisions end happily, of course, and not all immigrants become geniuses. The adversity that spurs some to greatness sends others into despair. But as we wrestle with our own immigration and refugee policies, we would be wise to view the welcome mat not as charity but, rather, as enlightened self-interest. Once creativity is in the air, we all breathe a more stimulating air.

—Mr. Weiner is the author of “The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places, From Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley,” just published by Simon & Schuster

GM gets aggressive and launches a car-sharing service for the future when no one owns cars

GM gets aggressive and launches a car-sharing service for the future when no one owns cars

Will this model part of the way, MALTAway thinks it is a part of the solution of traffic related troubles in Malta as well

While other car companies have been dancing around the future where no one owns cars, GM is asserting itself and positioning for the win.

“We see the emergence of car-share/ride-share as much more of an opportunity than it is a threat,” said GM’s president Don Ammann during a press conference for reporters.

On Thursday, the company plans to announce a new service,Maven, which pulls together its assembly of car-sharing services into its bet on the future.

GM has tested services where people share their own cars, but Mavens will incorporate that with a twist. Instead of needing to own one, GM will supply cars that customers can rent by the hour or for days. Unlike a traditional rental car spot, there’s no counter or clerk — you just walk up, unlock the car with an app, and go. As long as you return it to the same parking spot,  you’re good.

While a part of GM, Maven is its own consumer-facing name and service designed to compete (and hopefully surpass) startups like Getaround, Zipcar, and Turo, which have pioneered the car-sharing industry.

Maven will work similar to other car-sharing companies, but it’s magic will be in the phone app and in-car amenities like OnStar, said Julia Steyn, the VP of Urban Mobility leading the project.

“A Maven customer would download the app and that smartphone will be used as the key to the vehicle. When you come to the car, you can open the car for you and you can be on your way,” Steyn said.

Plus, the app will include options like remote heating and cooling, so the car will match your likes from the moment you get in, she added.

Rather than blanketing cities in parking spaces, Maven is also tailoring its programs to be designed for the location.

Its residential option in New York City lets apartment dwellers in the same building share a car. For its new pilot in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Maven is installing 21 parking spaces around town and the University of Michigan’s campus to give students and residents alike a chance to rent a vehicle for a short time.

It’s not a revenue-generating endeavor for the company, yet. The cars in Maven’s program start at $6 an hour, so it would need to be driven many thousands of hours before paying for itself.

As Ammann explained, the reality is many people still want to own cars, and GM expects to sell millions of those cars for many years to come. However, there’s also a growing segment of the population who aren’t as interested in buying cars as generations past — and that’s who GM is courting with Maven.

“We do see significant change in consumer behavior,” Ammann said. “And we see significant opportunities as change occurs. We very much as a company want to put some thought into the forefront of that.”

The rebound of GM

Six years ago, GM was on the brink of failure. Amidst the financial crisis of 2009, the automaker filed for bankruptcy, shed its brands like Hummer and Saturn, and tried to turn itself around.

The auto industry looked bleak for many a company. At the same time, a little upstart called Uber was launching in San Francisco.

Fast forward six years and the auto industry is recovering strongly, but the road to the future has changed. Uber claims it will do away with cars, and is alreadymaking a dent in it.

GM Maven