If you were intrigued by Saptarshi's blog post about the "green" ideas of Sophie Bathurst, you'll be happy to know she has been blogging in more detail about them on the World Bank's Climate Change blog. Sophie is the winner of this year's World Bank Essay Competition, and she has some innovative ideas about tackling climate change through youth-led solutions. Check it out!
In a previous post, I had talked about problems due to power outages faced by retailers in India using Enterprise Survey’s data on 1,948 retail stores. I provided evidence showing that losses due to power outages (as a % of the annual sales of stores) and hours of power outage in a typical month were much higher for low-income lagging states compared with more developed leading states in India.
It seems a bit of a non-argument, but an intriguing one, nevertheless: Which MDG is the most important to achieve?
When the global economic crisis hit Africa, I worried (along with others) that the continent’s economic reforms would be stalled or reversed. Political support for these reforms may be undermined as economic growth slowed. Furthermore, the response of high-income countries in response to the crisis—large fiscal deficits and greater government participation in the banking sector—was in the opposite direction of the reforms that African countries had been pursuing
The author, Sophie Bathurst of Australia, won first place in an international youth essay competition sponsored by the World Bank and other partners. She answered the question "How can you tackle climate change through youth-led solutions?” The awards were announced in Seoul in June, 2009.
|Photo © Sophie Bathurst|
My vision for Australia is that of a nation where healthy people live in a healthy environment. I believe that Australia's future social and economic prosperity as well as the livelihoods of our Pacific Island neighbours depend on our response to the climate challenge. An effective response demands the engagement of all sectors of society and involves both responsible adaptation to existing environmental problems as well as the mitigation of further climate change.
If we ignore the warnings, we will not only damage our precious ecosystems and lose our water resources but will also have to contend with disruption of services; decline in key industries such as agriculture, tourism and fisheries; and increased health problems for society’s most vulnerable, particularly the elderly and remote indigenous communities.
If we think long-term and embrace the challenge, however, climate change can present an opportunity for youth. It can contribute to the establishment of an energy sector based on renewable and clean fuels, the development of world-class research centres and the implementation of globally recognised education programs in sustainability.
Education lies at the core of an initiative that I proposed recently. I envision a series of new projects for primary schools that will be led by a 'Green Taskforce' composed mainly of unemployed youth. The projects are designed to build confidence and to equip young people with some of the skills required for permanent employment in environmental trades. At the same time, these projects will create a culture of ecological awareness and healthy living within primary schools and teach students to reduce their carbon footprint.
I just recently finished reading James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds, and I've been thinking a lot about how prediction markets could be mainstreamed into the work of development institutions.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools in India has just announced a mobile phone ban, echoing similar calls in many other places (from Sri Lanka to South Korea, from the UK to the Philippines to France) to restrict student access to what are often seen as 'devices of distraction'.
Why then will the World Bank will be kicking off a study next month looking at "The Use of Mobile Phones in Education in Developing Countries"?
Watching current international events unfold, we increasingly see how foreign policy acknowledges the role of the public in politics. Since the 1990s scholars have used the term "soft power" to describe a certain kind of international diplomacy, and it seems that this kind of cooperative diplomacy gains more and more weight on the international stage. The term "soft power" was coined by Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye in his 1990 book Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power and he developed his concept further in Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, published in 2004.
There is a place where the Nile is born, and the locals can show you exactly where it is. It is quite a privilege to see it in person—a place that was searched for by generations of explorers in Africa. I am talking about that spot on the northern bank of Lake Victoria where the White Nile first enters the world. Another important birth is taking place nearby in a ritzy neighborhood of Kampala called Munyonyo.
My first brush with business was at the age 11, when I started selling stickers/posters in school. It was a great experience, although short-lived, and I regard it a milestone as I realized what I wanted to be when I “grow up!”
At the age of 15, I started working on environmental projects in Kolkata. This was another great experience, the summary of which can be found here, where we had to come up with revenue-generating projects to support our numerous activities.