On November 5, 2013, a rocket launched toward Mars. It was India’s first interplanetary mission, Mangalyaan, and a terrific gamble. Only 40 percent of missions sent to Mars by major space organizations?—?NASA, Russia’s, Japan’s, or China’s?—?had ever been a success. No space organization had succeeded on its first attempt. What’s more, India’s space organization, ISRO, had very little funding: while NASA’s Mars probe, Maven, cost $651 million, the budget for this mission was $74 million. In comparison, the budget for the movie “The Martian” was $108 million. Oh, and ISRO sent off its rocket only 18 months since work on it began.
There was once a time — the mid-1980s, to be precise — when women were earning close to 40% of the country’s undergraduate degrees in computer science. That’s not gender parity, but it seems tremendous compared to where that number sat in 2014, when only about 18% of such degrees went to women. That paltry figure underscores one of the tech industry’s greatest challenges: Boosting the number of women who study, and later pursue careers in, technology.
As a profession, "designer" is constantly evolving. Fifty years ago, chances are you'd either be a graphic designer, industrial designer, or furniture designer. In five decades, you might be an artificial organ designer, a cybernetic director, or fusionist, according to some futurecasting pros. But today, one of the most in-demand jobs is that of the user experience (UX) designer—a by-product of our increasingly digital world, where a strong user experience is essential to remain competitive.
Nearly 10,000 people graduated with MBAs from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business between 1990 and 2006. In 2009, three economists decided to study a quarter of those graduates. They asked a detailed set of questions about the jobs they’d held since graduation, how many hours they worked, where they worked, and what they had earned each year.
Ten miles south of Tel Aviv, I stand on a catwalk over two concrete reservoirs the size of football fields and watch water pour into them from a massive pipe emerging from the sand. The pipe is so large I could walk through it standing upright, were it not full of Mediterranean seawater pumped from an intake a mile offshore.
The federal government spends more than $160 billion each year on subsidies for college, but nobody believes the country has come remotely close to meeting the goal of universal college affordability. By contrast, under the landmark 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the share of uninsured Americans has dropped by roughly one-third and is now at a historic low.
Thailand has shut down 10 popular diving sites in a bid to slow a coral bleaching crisis, an official said Thursday, in a rare move to shun tourism profits to protect the environment. The tropical country’s southern coastline and string of islands are home to some of the world’s most prized white sand beaches and scuba sites, and the booming tourism industry props up Thailand’s lagging economy.
As many of us are still digesting all the art we’ve seen and heard in the last few weeks in New York alone - from Frieze to CONTEXT and beyond - there is one question that keeps me up at night: How well are women artists really doing in the marketplace as it stands almost midway through 2016?
In The Business of Good, serial and social entrepreneur Jason Haber intertwines case studies and anecdotes that show how social entrepreneurship is creating jobs, growing the economy, and ultimately changing the world. In this edited excerpt, Haber tells the story of one man’s plan to do something more with his life than throw parties.
Learn: How the foundation lost its entire investment in one biotech company – and reaped a 17-fold return on another. How a minor financial misstep earned Root Capital a dose of “tough love” that ultimately helped the agricultural lender grapple with the dangers of rapid growth. How the foundation used its deep pockets and superior market knowledge to steer pharma giants Merck and Bayer toward a low-price, high-volume strategy for contraceptive implants for women in low-income countries. How the foundation saw something more in the off-grid solar revolution in Africa: a way to expand commercial lending for the poor.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Women and men are not equal parties in the U.S. workforce. That can be qualified and quantified in any number of ways, but it's a simple, depressing national truth.
In every industry, digital technologies are transforming the status quo. Now we have evidence that they are also bringing us closer to workplace equality. Digital fluency is helping to level the playing field between men and women at work.
At the world humanitarian summit next week in Istanbul, Turkey, governments have a rare opportunity. By getting behind an initiative aimed at delivering education to some of the world’s most vulnerable children, they could make this a summit that delivers something more than vague promises and a communique that is long on words and short on action.
Savior Barbie stands in front of a chalkboard in a run-down classroom somewhere in Africa. “It’s so sad that they don’t have enough trained teachers here. I’m not trained either, but I’m from the West,” the caption on the photo reads. In another, the plastic figurine poses in front shacks made from scrap metal and sticks: “Just taking a slumfie… Feeling so blessed.”
A growing number of students—including President Obama’s older daughter, Malia—are deciding to take a year off, or a “gap year,” before they begin college. During this time, many will choose to engage in some form of international volunteering service.
My mother and father separated and eventually divorced while I was still very young. My upbringing was not unlike many other kids raised in the 1970s by single parents. Women’s liberation meant that women no longer had to depend on men for financial security. Birth control enabled women to have sex without the fear of pregnancy and in case the contraception failed, abortion was made legal in 1973.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act has been a cornerstone in changing the education landscape in India. With the introduction of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the goal of ensuring universal primary education was aggressively pursued, and a significant quantitative impact in terms of the enrolment ratio has been seen. For the past six years now, enrolment in the country has been around 96%, which may seem a great feat. However, an assessment of the actual learning levels reveals the flip side of the coin. It is almost as if the common ‘volume versus quality’ trade-off has played its part in this scenario too, like any other.
Compared with medicine, where small companies often lead in turning cutting-edge science into new drugs, agriculture has never had much startup activity.
On Tuesday morning, Bloomberg unveiled a new index intended to showcase what the biggest financial players are doing to promote gender equality.
Poverty, lack of education, access to clean water... These social concerns strike a global chord. If an entrepreneur conjures up a workable solution, why not scale that up with a smart mix of hand-picked mentors, funders and a worldwide network? That’s exactly what the US-based Unreasonable Institute chose to do with a new experiment, the India partner of which is the city-based Deccan Centre for Innovation and Design (DCID).
If reports that nearly half of India's groundwater has depleted shocked its population last month - with one-third of the country reeling under drought — contamination of whatever water is left is affecting half of India, as on April 26, 2016.
Last year on July 1, our prime minister launched Digital India mission, which aimed at providing digital literacy across 2,50,000 villages. The mission, amongst the other things, recognised the poor awareness of digital knowledge across far-flung villages and brought into focus the stark reality of how successive governments have failed to disseminate the impact of policy and created a socio-economic-electronic divide in the country.
A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels. Green roofs, as they are called, have an isolating effect which helps to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter or cool it in the summer.
Paving way for early diagnosis of multi-drug resistant (MDR) and pre-extensively drug resistant (XDR) cases of tuberculosis, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will soon incorporate universal drug susceptibility testing (DST) for all TB patients in the city.
Growing up in Maseida, Tanzania, Martin Baha found it difficult to make ends meet. Opportunities for young people in this farming village had always been thin on the ground, so Martin would move around the district looking for casual labour, sometimes cutting down trees or burning charcoal. When that work dried up he decided to start up his own enterprise: brewing alcohol to sell to the local youth – a career path born out of frustration and desperation.
San Francisco has this week passed landmark legislation requiring all new buildings under 10 storeys in height to be fitted with rooftop solar panels. The city’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the new rule on Tuesday, making the metropolis the largest in the US to mandate solar installations on new properties.
The American Press Institute — and an axis of the biggest journalism foundations — makes the case in a new study that the nonprofit news sector urgently needs a code of ethics for accepting story-related grants.
At the Agricultural Marketing Service and across USDA, we often talk about the fact that the face of American agriculture is changing. The ranks of our farmers, especially young and beginning farmers, include a growing number of women, people of color, veterans or folks in their second careers. So-called “traditional” agriculture defies the term as it pursues new strategies, new products, and new markets. Across the country, agriculture is diversifying and evolving to meet changing consumer demands.
There's obviously no excuse for the wage gap; men and women performing the same job should make the same amount of money, end of story. But like so many issues, pointing out that the wage gap is morally wrong, and actually closing it in real life, are two totally different things. And as the World Economic Forum's 2015 Gender Gap Report illustrates, even the most egalitarian countries on earth have problems with wage equality — and the countries with the smallest gender pay gaps still struggle to pay women what they're worth.
Curbing the world’s huge and increasing appetite for meat is essential to avoid devastating climate change, according to a new report. But governments and green campaigners are doing nothing to tackle the issue due to fears of a consumer backlash, warns the analysis from the thinktank Chatham House.
Rem Koolhaas the world class architect once wrote that “[a]rchitecture is hazardous mixture of omnipotence & impotence. It’s by definition a chaotic adventure in other words, the utopian enterprise.”
The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has just released the report For your own good!, which outlines the GMO industry’s expansion across Africa. The report focusses on non-commercial traditional crops, such as cassava, sorghum, sweet potato, pigeon pea, cowpea, banana and rice, which corporations are attempting to genetically modify and roll out under the guise of philanthropy.
This is the age of technology disruption, where digital is the way to go. The world, as we have known, has transformed in just under a decade, growing and evolving on the wings of revolutionary digital innovations that are now visible everywhere.
Africa’s progress in fighting meningitis A is one of the best-kept secrets in global health. Thanks to the development and deployment of a low-cost vaccine, the lives of hundreds of thousands of children have been saved, and communities that might otherwise have been devastated by the illness are thriving.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the environment shouldn't be a partisan issue. Trudeau says politicians may have different views and backgrounds, but they can still come together in the fight against climate change. Trudeau's appeal in a speech to a global clean-tech conference in Vancouver came ahead of talks with all 13 premiers and indigenous leaders on a national climate policy.
“More time!” “More energy!” When we sat down to write this year’s letter, those answers stuck with us. Sure, everyone wants more time and energy. But they mean one thing in rich countries and something else entirely when looked at through the eyes of the world’s poorest families. Poverty is not just about a lack of money. It’s about the absence of the resources the poor need to realize their potential. Two critical ones are time and energy. More than one billion people today live without access to energy. No electricity to light and heat their homes, power hospitals and factories, and improve their lives in thousands of ways. Likewise, a lack of time creates obstacles too. It’s not simply the feeling of not having enough hours in the day. It’s the crippling effect of having to perform the backbreaking work that needs to get done when there’s no electricity.
Zuckerberg has been open about what he learned from his experience in Newark. In November 2015, he posted on Facebook, “It's very important to understand the desires of a community, to listen and learn from families, teachers, elected officials and other experts.” With this statement, he was commenting on an essential quality for any social change agent: empathy.
Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai told BuzzFeed News education was crucial for girls who are often forced into early marriages. “It’s not just learning, but in a way a protection for them, for their independence, for their own personality, to have that identity of being themselves. “
Every now and then, we come to a fork in the road that requires us to either stay on our current life path, or change course and do something radically different. These ‘moments of obligation’ are usually caused by a sense of outrage about some injustice, wrong-doing, or unfairness we see in society or by an opportunity that can revolutionize the world and benefit us personally. The former is what Mother Theresa probably saw every day in the slums of Calcutta and the latter is what Bill Gates must have felt when he saw the opportunity to develop software for mini-computers in the mid-1970’s.
Can internet save the world? In some places, it has helped curb corruption, encouraged more girls to go to school, and enabled citizens to monitor election violence.
Most of the time, social entrepreneurs are questioned on scaling up of their organizations. Let’s be fair – that is the only metric we are all comfortable with, as regular for-profit companies are measured by the size of their balance sheet, or the price of shares in the market. Applying a similar lens to social organizations has its fundamental flaw. Growing the organization gets measured in the number of people or the amount of grants it receives.
The modern microcredit movement was actually founded on a very fundamental misunderstanding. Yunus’ uplifting claims were based on a far-reaching, and wrong, assumption. This was that the poor, especially women, could easily establish an informal microenterprise selling simple items and services to other poor individuals in the same community.
There is no dearth of awareness about the different social needs across India, and social entrepreneurs are conscious of this. They try to reach the maximum impact with limited resources. There are several ways social entrepreneurs achieve scale: these include strategic collaborations, franchise models, associations and open sourcing.
The social innovation sector is not immune to those changes: there is a gap, often times, between the skills and expectation of people wanting to be employed in this field, whether with an MBA or not, and the reality of the job. So much so that NGOs and international organizations sometimes struggle to find the right candidates for the projects. Someone in Kenya is trying to fix this.
Shah spoke with me after the formal part of the event, and said some 80 percent of small businesses that apply for loans get rejected, leaving a sizeable group looking for financing. He said some of the chief ways entrepreneurs try to address this issue include looking to crowdfunding such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo; alternative lenders, such as OnDeck; and peer-to-peer lending marketplaces such as Lending Club and Prosper. “If you can get a loan from one of these go for it,” Shah said. But those options do not work for everyone. Kiva operates in a different niche, he said, and can serve as an entry point for people who do not yet qualify for lending from those sources or traditional banks. “We want to sign partnerships with all of them and be that $5,000 or $10,000 seed loan,” he said. “Then you graduate to these other lenders.”
In 2007, a man named Keno was killed with two bullets to the chest at point blank range near the Iguagu National Park in Brazil. He was one of many farmers peacefully occupying a GMO research plant to protest the imposition of an industrial agricultural system that had no place for them. The men who murdered him were part of a private militia working for the Syngenta biotech corporation. They perpetrated what the courts would later describe as an attempted ‘massacre’ to, in Syngenta’s chilling words: ‘propagate the idea that every action results in a reaction.’
Higher education is part of the problem of global social inequality, not a solution to it, according to a leading academic. In his best-selling book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, economist Thomas Piketty argues that investing in education is the best way to tackle worldwide wealth inequality.
1. Corruption 2. Overinvestment in new infrastructure, underinvested in service delivery monitoring and accountability 3. Lack of Nurse Practitioners who can provide primary and preventive care 4. Ignoring nutrition at our own peril 5. Overmedication, Overspecialisation and Overreliance on diagnostics
This is an interesting project but reminds me largely of Google Maps: Although the scope of the project is vast, the process is rather simple. The first step is to plug satellite images into the free mapping software OpenStreetMap. Volunteers then log in remotely, from anywhere around the world, and trace the outlines of buildings, roads, parks and rivers over the satellite image.
Hey Hillary! I think anything that would help people perhaps use the form in their own settings would be great. Perhaps a bit more personal than just an outline, including, what are the key things to keep in mind, and perhaps some resources? Thanks again!
This is great Hilary! Is there a way other people can learn more about how to perhaps use Capoeira in their own social settings?
Hey Palak - This is a great idea! Do you know how other people could incorporate MUN in their schools as well? Is there some template that can be followed of how to get started or the do's and dont's of the program? Would love to hear more!
And then this: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/plHDD2OS1DykDKnZNJYPfJ/Toxic-air-in-Delhi-exposes-Indias-environment-struggle.html
There was a diaspora event recently held by USAID in Delhi - What started as a list of 5 friends quickly became over 50 people who gathered with about a one-week notice. Expats from all over the world! Was indeed refreshing to see all the enthusiasm for India's future coming from abroad - so much more to do, but this is a great start!
I think this is mostly because agriculture isn’t relatable. It isn’t the sort of activity that would be fulfilling for the vast majority of the youth, and most of the urban population hasn’t seen a field in a very long time. That in itself is a large challenge to overcome.
Jacob Matthew has SO much to teach us! He began focusing on design thinking even before it became a "fad"! "Pivoting fast" is the key that I think alot of entrepreneurs miss. However, that's also the hardest part when running an enterprise.
Right - but my point is that far too often, fellowship programs are not focusing on the key needs of the organization. And there is alot of capital going into these endeavors - when truly, we need investors to focus on shifting the larger ecosystem encouraging more full-time employment.
Great read - Thanks for sharing!