Entrepreneurs can provide mentorship to facilitate development towards a sustainable circular economic framework. Consensus building and collective action is required to convert the ideas and innovations of knowledge-rich but economically poor individuals and communities, into viable means of raising income, addressing social needs and conserving the environment. Unless we build on the resources in which poor people are rich, the development process will not be dignified, and a mutually respectful and learning culture will not be reinforced in society and lead to an inclusive future for all. Even with access to the best pool of resources and networks, accelerating grassroots innovation is not a guaranteed smooth-sailing journey. The simple answer is: it is tough. A more objective answer is: it requires a coherent and holistic hand-holding ecosystem to be built around it for sustenance. Crowdsource global innovative ideas to deliver on the SDGs The importance of sustainable solutions came to the forefront in 2020 as communities across the world faced the twin threats of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, this urgency continues to grow. Innovation and sustainability are inextricably linked at the grassroots level, and we can only be sustainable by generating measurable long-term social and environmental development benefits applicable to local communities. Encourage local governments to become an active stakeholder Around the world, local governments are increasingly tasked with regulating environmental concerns that do not conventionally lie within their purview. In local government policymaking, affected residents are the grassroots. Citizen participation in local government is an effective method to educate citizens about governmental activities and remove barriers to advancing the SDGs. Foster a grassroots community to share research, know-how and talent A basic principle of grassroots innovations is to not depend on external systems and incentives for solving local problems. Whether innovation is induced through an […]
Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize * Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction A voice for the ages—akin to Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield, but more resilient. From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, this is a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity. Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities. Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.
As it marks its 10 years anniversary, the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community continues to drive change and disrupt the status quo in cities and communities across the world. The community is a network of more than 14,000 young people driving dialogue, action and change in more than 450 hubs across 150 countries and territories around the world. Their projects range from providing disaster relief to combating poverty to fighting climate change to building inclusive communities. This is an incredibly diverse community, but they all have one thing in common: they want to create real, meaningful change. For many people around the world, 2021 has been a reminder of the fragility of our global system. For others, this year has been a time of hope as countries race to vaccinate their population with the aim of going back to normal. But for many members of our community, “normal” is the problem. Young people today believe that they can and will change the world for the better. The Global Shapers Community was created with the mission to empower young people through enabling them to self-organise and amplifying their voices. Global Shapers have sense of shared responsibility, an urgency to make the world a better place and an attitude of cooperation irrespective of differences. The ambition is to support a global community of young changemakers taking action to improve the state of the world, one local community at a time. To achieve this goal, the Global Shapers Community seeks to create meaningful impacts on individual Shapers, who in turn create change within their communities through city-based Global Shaper hubs and the projects these hubs develop, launch and implement. Through the work of Shapers, hubs and their projects, citizens become engaged in their communities, become proud of their communities, and develop a greater sense […]
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It’s thought 70% of people will live in cities by 2050. Co-living could offer sustainable, affordable housing options for many. The world’s loneliness and mental health crisis is being exacerbated by the pandemic. Communal living can provide companionship for those who don’t want to live alone. Studies suggest living with others can help anxiety and improve mental wellbeing. The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on a trend that’s catching the eye of more and more city dwellers – co-living. Accommodation designed for multiple individuals with shared facilities, such as work and cooking spaces, has been on the increase for the best part of a decade. When rising property values priced a lot of young professionals out of the real estate market, many turned to sharing the cost burden with strangers. Now, as the pandemic prompts governments around the world to issue stay-at-home orders, could communal living help lessen the side-effects of lockdowns, especially anxiety and loneliness? “Co-living is an opportunity to live in your own private place but still be part of a ‘family’,” says Jaimee Williams of SPACE10, IKEA’s “research and design lab” and co-organizer of a survey on perceptions of communal living. “Urbanization has led to unaffordable housing and, paradoxically, increasing loneliness.” Sharing the load Respondents to the One Shared House 2030 survey said the ability to socialise was the biggest benefit of co-living. The survey also had something to say about the notion that the trend is only for the young: elderly respondents identified the concept as a good means of staying close to people who could help them in an emergency, among other things. “Communal living has moved on from communes and sharing meals,” says Irene Pereyra, co-founder of New York-based design agency Anton & Irene, another co-ordinator of the survey. “What’s nice is that everyone who answered our […]
The killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers on May 25, 2020, caused a surge in anti-racist activism across the world. From Tokyo to Cape Town to Stockholm to Rio de Janeiro, Black Lives Matter protests advocating the basic principles of social justice – equity, rights and participation – have taken place in more than 60 countries. The social unrest has also ignited the debate about the role and responsibility of business as trustees of society to accelerate social progress. Racism is manifested in current social, economic and political disenfranchisement of historically marginalised and underrepresented ethnic groups such as the lack of opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment and the racial wealth gap. Between Floyd’s death and the end of October, about one-third of Fortune 1000 companies responded by making a public statement on or commitment to racial equity, and the private sector pledged a total of $66 billion towards racial justice initiatives. Yet companies have been repeatedly reckoning with the gap between intentions and progress. There have only been 15 Black CEOs over the course of the 62 years of the Fortune 500’s existence, and currently, only 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are Black. There are no Black female CEOs of the Fortune 500 and only three women of colour. Too often, company programmes take a broad-brush approach to diversity and offer uniform policies and training. These strategies fail to address norms and practices that are rooted in specific historical and societal patterns of exclusion, marginalisation and disadvantage. In addition, varying national laws and regulations, demographic compositions and societal norms across the world also mean organisations struggle to design common indicators and strategies. A global coalition to boost effectiveness To address these challenges and drive systemic and sustainable change towards racial justice, the World Economic Forum is creating a global coalition […]
Francisco Gallegos, Wake Forest University. Carlos Alberto Sánchez, San José State University. Ever had the feeling that you can’t make sense of what’s happening? One moment everything seems normal, then suddenly the frame shifts to reveal a world on fire, struggling with pandemic, recession, climate change and political upheaval. That’s “zozobra,” the peculiar form of anxiety that comes from being unable to settle into a single point of view, leaving you with questions like: Is it a lovely autumn day, or an alarming moment of converging historical catastrophes? As scholars of this phenomenon, we have noted how zozobra has spread in U.S. society in recent years, and we believe the insight of Mexican philosophers can be helpful to Americans during these tumultuous times. Ever since the conquest and colonization of the valley of Mexico by Hernán Cortés, Mexicans have had to cope with wave after wave of profound social and spiritual disruption – wars, rebellions, revolution, corruption, dictatorship and now the threat of becoming a narco-state. Mexican philosophers have had more than 500 years of uncertainty to reflect on, and they have important lessons to share. Zozobra and the wobbling of the world The word “zozobra” is an ordinary Spanish term for “anxiety” but with connotations that call to mind the wobbling of a ship about to capsize. The term emerged as a key concept among Mexican intellectuals in the early 20th century to describe the sense of having no stable ground and feeling out of place in the world. This feeling of zozobra is commonly experienced by people who visit or immigrate to a foreign country: the rhythms of life, the way people interact, everything just seems “off” – unfamiliar, disorienting and vaguely alienating. According to the philosopher Emilio Uranga (1921-1988), the telltale sign of zozobra is wobbling and toggling between perspectives, being unable to relax into a single framework to make sense of things. […]
What a puzzling place America is. Full of great talent in the arts, music and creative in the world of technology and innovation. And yet, they are run by a man who does not inspire and is rapidly leading his country into disrepair. With an election due it is outrageous that Donald Trump can be re-elected. Will all the people who voted for him last time vote for him again? Can Americans be so disillusioned that this is the man for four more years in office? The world and America does not deserve this result. However, when you consider the Democratic alternative in Joe Biden you really wonder where the Obama, the Kennedy appeal is hiding? When the Democratic Party were choosing, searching for their candidate they had some with genuine potential…and yet they have ended up with a 70 year old, conservative white man without charisma. Maybe it is that America has never been truly and greatly led by only a few…the likes of Obama and Eisenhower. However it goes in November, we may well be experiencing the demise of the land of the free. There are so many complexities in their way of life, that cause inequality and bafflement. The biggest one is the irrational thinking of voters who elected Trump to office. If you are reading this in the USA, it seems that you can only vote for Joe Biden as the best of the two options. Good luck to you all! Next time choose a forty-something, charismatic leader who will inspire and lead with policies for a free and equal society, not one based on priviledge for a few, at the cost of the many.
Mariah Levin, Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, World Economic Forum. Each year, the World Economic Forum names its new YGLs Young Global Leaders are under the age of 40. Influential people who want to make the world a better place. What does the winner of the FIFA Women’s World Cup have in common with the prime minister of Finland? They are both young leaders who gained international repute over the last 12 months. And now Megan Rapinoe and Sanna Marin have been recognised as Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum – joining a community of people dedicated to changing the world for the better. Each year, the Forum of Young Global Leaders identifies the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 – people driving innovation for positive change across civil society, arts, culture, government and business. By connecting them to a community of remarkable peers and investing further in their leadership abilities, the aim is to create a ripple effect over five years that benefits their organisations and the world. Here are some of the 115 YGLs that make up the class of 2020: Megan Rapinoe – As co-captain of the US women’s soccer team, Rapinow lifted the 2019 FIFA World Cup. Off the field, she advocates for gender equality, including equal pay in her sport, and speaks out on diversity and inclusion. Jesús Cepeda – Chief Executive Officer of OneSmart City, a company that uses blockchain and artificial intelligence to help city authorities provide digital services. Cepeda hopes the technology will create greener cities and stronger institutions in line with the UN goals on sustainable development. Larry Madowo – The BBC Africa Business Editor launched six new business TV shows for African audiences in English, French and Swahili. Madowo is also an on-air correspondent on BBC radio and […]
COVID-19’s impact on the Australian labour market has been dramatic and multifaceted. Some sectors of the economy have been almost completely shut down by government order. The demand in many industries has collapsed, while a few others have seen an increase. As many as one million jobs are under threat. Such estimates came before the government’s extraordinary JobKeeper scheme, which will undoubtedly reduce this figure considerably. Despite that, many who will keep their jobs may not actually have much to do at work. The economy will be in “hibernation” or on “life-support” for some time to come. We’ve gained about 1 billion hours of time If the economy has shed the equivalent of one million jobs, then we’ve gained about one billion hours of available time, and that’s just over the next six months. The full impact of the crisis could be even larger. What should we do with this time? Many of us are spending more time with children who are no longer physically at school. Some of us are doing tasks which our older relatives previously did. Netflix is also a compelling option. From a human capital perspective, the crisis presents a unique economic opportunity to re-train and up-skill Australia’s labour force. The Australian government jumped on board on Sunday, announcing funding that would cut the price of new six-month, remotely delivered diplomas and graduate certificates in nursing, teaching, health, information technology and science provided by universities and private tertiary institutions. Economists have long observed that investment in human capital (education, skills) tends to increase during recessions, because there aren’t as many well-paying alternatives. We can use it to get ahead of the curve In the current recession, the opportunities for training are greater. Even those of us who will remain employed but have little to do can use the time to invest in training. Our […]