The 10th anniversary Aspen Ideas Festival,
produced by the Aspen Institute in collaboration with The Atlantic magazine, continues to trumpet optimism over the future, as the event has from its inception a decade ago. Yet this year’s theme of “Imagine 2014″ – looking a decade ahead rather than at the decade past – felt tempered also over concerns about the limitations of progress yet to be won, ranging from the perception of Congressional gridlock and Supreme Court setbacks to deficiencies of funding and civil liberties quandaries resulting from medical and scientific advances, to name a few.
A theme running across many of the talks and conversations engaging luminaries in the audience as well as on stage was how to address issues of scarce resources in the face of vulnerable infrastructures, underperforming education institutions, opportunities to conduct hugely promising research and the challenges of war, human suffering and environmental degradation.
But before proceeding, let me describe the IdeasFestival a bit more. Begun in 2004, the event seeks to bring together hundreds of leaders in fields of business, government and scientific endeavor, as well as social entrepreneurs, into a weeklong series of talks and conversations.
The festive conference…
Imagine receiving $2,750 a month every month, from the government, irrespective to your current income and employment.
At that rate, an individual could rake in $33,000 a year while not working a single day. According to Public Radio International, this may soon be a reality for all Swiss nationals
. Because of a petition passed around by a grassroots organization, Switzerland must now vote on whether or not to provide all adults with a generous base income.
No strings attached. In Switzerland, any public petition that receives 100,000 or more signatures must be voted on and in a culture known for following the rules — this one is no exception.
This “base income” (2,500 Swiss Francs, monthly) has a different purpose than what’s typically called welfare, and according to Georgetown University professor, Karl Widerquist, “it isn’t as kooky as it sounds”. Switzerland is a prosperous economy with a relatively small population of less than eight million people. It’s not unusual for the tiny nation to find itself with a budget surplus at the end of a year while many nations often come up short. In this case, what better way to stimulate the economy than…
Many may have read about the tragic collapse of a garment factory complex in Bangladesh this past month. According to HuffPo, “A Benetton Chief executive said Benetton bought shirts from a company called New Wave Style, which operated one of the several garment factories inside the Rana Plaza building. The collapse of the building in an industrial suburb of Dhaka in late April took the lives of more than 800 people. One of Benetton’s suppliers in India had issues fulfilling orders, and offered the option to relocate a portion of its work to several manufacturers located in Bangladesh.”
Above, a girl cries for her missing mother at the site of the garment building factory that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, April 27, 2013. Police in Bangladesh took five people into custody in connection with the collapse of a shoddily-constructed building this week, as rescue workers pulled 19 survivors out of the rubble on Saturday and vowed to continue as long as necessary to find others despite fading hopes.
Photo credit: Associated Press Photo/Wong Maye-E
HSBC Expat today announces the opening of its sixth annual Expat Explorer Survey and is encouraging expats from across the globe to take part by sharing their experiences of living and working abroad.
Expats have the opportunity to be part of the world’s largest global survey of its kind. The results are used to create Expat Explorer Interactive – an award-winning online resource that paints a comprehensive picture of expat life and shows how it differs from country to country. The annual survey gives expats a voice on aspects of life overseas including economic outlook, lifestyle and raising a family abroad.
In 2012, more than 5,300 expats from over 100 countries took part in the Expat Explorer survey, making it the largest sample to date. This year HSBC Expat is hoping to reach even more expats from a wider variety of countries to take part and share their experiences.
“Expat Explorer is well established within the expat community and we’ve seen how they have been enthusiastic to share their experiences by taking part in the survey each year. Now in our sixth year, we want Expat Explorer to deliver even…
“How ugly we can become when we obsess over our beauty, and how beautiful we can be when we don’t.”
A wise insight, and it got me thinking about a recent article I read in The Atlantic
regarding cultural variance in the way parents view their children. “Researchers compiled a list of the attributes that 60 families in six different countries used to describe their children,” and what they found between Italy, Australia, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands is that the parents of these nations emphasized the happiness and ease of their child’s temperament. In the US, however, parents overwhelmingly described their children as “intelligent,” “alert” and “especially bright”.
Of the top 6 or 7 phrases that the researchers charted for each nation, those one or two words that parents most often used to describe their children, happiness, didn’t even make the US list.
Looking at this through the intercultural lens, the value Americans place on competition, education and hard-work shines through this data pretty clearly. In contrast, Europeans are more cognizant of their babies’ emotional state in addition…
The fourth annual TEDx Berkeley Event
(a 501c3) will kick off on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall
with 13 thought provoking and renowned
speakers and three performers, set to tackle this year’s theme: Catalyzing Change
This decade presents significant and global change that will impact how we use technology, how and where we work, communicate and use utilities and applications across
industries, from education, mobile technology, biotech and biofuels to healthcare, government, sustainability and beyond.
Learning and sharing ideas in a way that provokes change and making the world a better place is what TED events are about. Given that Berkeley is an epicenter of
innovation, inspiration and talent, it’s the perfect location for speakers and attendees alike to participate in this important global conversation.
Below is a list of the 2013 TEDxBerkeley speakers and performers:
- Chris Anderson: Chris is the co-founder and chairman of 3D Robotics, former editor of WIRED Magazine and author of The Long Tail, Free: The Future of a Radical Price and Makers: The New Industrial Revolution.
- Louann Brizendine, MD: Louann is a practicing neuropsychiatrist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor at UCSF, founder of Women’s Mood
Any talk of Qatar these days simply has to include a mention or two of football – that’s soccer to well-nigh 99.99% of interested Americans. Forget the fact that Qatar’s population grew last year by an incredible 5%, or that Qatari nationals are now outnumbered by a factor of seven to one thanks to the influx of more than a million foreign workers into the country last year. That’s the power FIFA’s World Cup football competition has to galvanise any economy, even that of the world’s wealthiest country.
However, even taking away the 2022 football factor, the year the competition is to be staged in the tiny Persian Gulf state, foreign workers would still pour into Qatar. For they’re chasing a dream and hoping just a little piece of the country’s eye-watering wealth rubs on to them. If it does then family fortunes back home could very well be transformed.
With nine stadiums to be built and three expanded in order to stage the competition, the $4 billion price tag actually seems quite reasonable. However, some estimates do put the money that’ll eventually be spent on the competition at very much higher than that. But whatever…
I’ve met Al Gore
a few times now over the years and have heard him speak about a dozen times, maybe more, particularly since he became so entrenched with technology while he was in office and after the fact. It should be no surprise that he was in full form at South by Southwest (SXSW)
this year on the main stage in Austin in a fireside chat with WSJ’s Walt Mossberg.
Those of us who know his agenda and his passion for climate change were waiting for him to dive full force into his ‘green’ agenda, which he did towards the end of his talk.
They started with the digital revolution, appropriate given the “Southby audience.”
Print media are devastated he said, which is a very old discussion in the world of social media, where SXSW is the Queen Bee conference that takes such discussions to the next level…and this one started eight or so years ago. That said, mainstream consumers in small towns are still reading newspapers and while they all may have a cell phone, they don’t necessarily all use it to get their news.
He refers to the ‘now’
economy as a…
Next Page »