Global Ideas News Brief: Pyramid schemes + Complex stories

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Global Ideas News Brief: Pyramid schemes + Complex stories

A Haitian woman and her daughter walk through the Solon Menos camp where they moved after the 2010 earthquake. Haiti is the 4th most at risk country from climate change, according to a new report. Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps.

Tech and innovation

Rwanda's 'digital president' Paul Kagame on technology's role in Africa's future
Wired UK interview
Rwanda was consistently praised last week at the Transform Africa summit by presidents, academics, business leaders and others for its progress in implementing technology initiatives, building productive partnerships with the private sector and creating an environment where innovation can flourish.

Report: Africa still needs more ICT education and cheaper tech to grow a competitive knowledge economy
Wired UK
"Africa is no longer struggling with technology," says Gilbert Mbesherubusa of the African Development Bank. But, he adds, we need to recognise that many people in Africa are still priced out of broadband adoption.

Today’s Complex Data Can Help Predict the Future’s War Zones
For much of the past decade, Afghanistan’s remote Faizabad district remained out of the Taliban’s reach. But the northeastern region has become a target for violence—and according to a new predictive model, Faizabad could get dicey by mid-2014.

Cleaner cookstoves can boost health and slow global warming
World Bank report calls for action to cut common pollutants such as soot, which could save millions of lives every year.


A $100 Million Urban Resilience Effort To Help Cities Survive The Next Superstorm
Hundreds of cities are vying for grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, because they know they aren't prepared for future disasters.

Disaster resilience: the private sector has a vital role to play
Governments alone cannot ensure the resilience cities need to cope with superstorms like Sandy, business must scale up technology to prevent and respond to disasters.

What is the business case for improving the resilience of cities?
Guardian, Judith Rodin, Rockefeller
With a changing climate, rising populations and resource scarcity, cities need to be able to bounce back from crises.


Small-scale agriculture holds big promise for Africa
Supporting smallholder irrigation through finance and technical assistance could significantly improve productivity and incomes

Economic development

Exports No Longer Sole Path to Economic Rescue
Yale Global
The countries that rely on exporting raw materials like oil and coal or low value-added products such as t-shirts or fertilizer may soon discover that value-adding activity, rather than cheap currency, is the economic requisite in the new era.

In Tbilisi, Georgia, Bold New Buildings Rise From the Ruins of Dead Empires
In Tbilisi, Georgia, a shiny new architectural skyline has become a political issue as much as an aesthetic one — is it slapdash commercialism ruining the culture’s authentic history or a step toward a more progressive society?

Financial inclusion

Bringing financial inclusion to the Horn of Africa
CNN Money
Zaad mobile wallet powers economic development and job creation in Somaliland.

Why the banker who helped millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty became his country’s enemy number one
The Independent
Muhammad Yunus has helped lift 50 million of his fellow Bangladeshis out of poverty with loans of as little as £14.50. His work has won him the Nobel Prize - and been copied around the world. So why is he now being hounded by his own government? And why are thousands set to take to the streets this week to protest against him?

Last mile distribution

Pyramid scheme
The Economist
To reach Africa’s poorest consumers, face-to-face contact works best.

Financing development

The Omidyar way of giving
The founder of eBay aims to be a more entrepreneurial philanthropist than his predecessors.

Stumbling into Philanthropy
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Turning a bunch of money into a lot of impact.

Telling our story

Forget feast or famine, it's time to tell the complex story of development
NGO communicators, like the wider PR industry, seem more interested in innovating content delivery rather than content itself

Climate Change

Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies
Climate change will pose sharp risks to the world’s food supply in coming decades, potentially undermining crop production and driving up prices at a time when the demand for food is expected to soar, scientists have found.

Report: Climate change may pose threat to economic growth
Nearly a third of the world's economic output will come from countries facing "high" to "extreme" risks from the impacts of climate change within 12 years, according to a new report.


Make youth central to post-MDG future
Late last month, the world’s diplomats, CEOs, NGOs,  foundations, press and social media magnates gathered in New York City for the “Super Bowl” of global talks (official and unofficial) about the world’s future in the form of the U.N. General Assembly, Clinton Global Initiative, Social Good Summit, and other newer entrants like the Concordia Summit.

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