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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - January 9, 2017

The World Economic Forum tweeted a rather silly list of ’14 things successful people do before breakfast’. Paul Kirby reckoned ‘The secret of success must be to have breakfast in the evening’. As for trying this at home, when I try and ‘spend quality time with my family’/’connect with my spouse’ before breakfast, they turn pretty nasty……. Lots of great commentaries on the zeitgeist – …

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How bad is my filter bubble problem? Please help me find out

Duncan Green - January 5, 2017

In an idle moment over the Christmas break, I decided to run a twitter poll to assess the extent of my filter bubble. For any of you who’ve been on a different planet for the last few months, that’s the social media phenomenon whereby you like/follow/read only those sources that broadly agree with you, creating an echo chamber that can lead to you mistakenly thinking …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - January 4, 2017

A few links from either side of the Christmas break, to provide some initial distractions in 2017 How much does $10m in large banknotes weigh? Carrying bags of cash is (luckily) easier on the back in Davos than Caracas (h/t The Economist) Great (long read) interview with inequality guru Branko Milanovic The focus on better communicating certain ‘truths’ is misplaced: academics must improve their emotional literacy …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - December 19, 2016

When scientists protest, their placards have footnotes [h/t Bill McKibben] Are economists partly responsible for the rise of populism? Dani Rodrik argues that by abandoning evidence to become cheer leaders for globalization, they helped contribute to the backlash The Digital Divide is serious: Fewer than half of all Africans have phones; 3/4 don’t use the internet. Here’s one reason why that matters. From 2008-14, 2% …

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Why is Africa’s Civil Society under Siege?

Duncan Green - December 15, 2016

Oxfam’s Ross Clarke (Governance and Legal Adviser ) and Desire Assogbavi (Resident Representative & Head of Office, Oxfam International Liaison Office to the African Union) introduce a new analysis of the threats to African civil society After years on the margins of the mainstream development agenda, addressing civic space is finally getting the attention it deserves. If the number of policy initiatives, conferences and campaigns …

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What can Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Matrix teach us about how change happens?

Duncan Green - December 14, 2016

Chatting to academics in the US last week, we swapped notes on the merits of using shared cultural references to convey some of the key ideas around how change happens. They act as a short cut, allowing subtle, nuanced ideas to be discussed on the basis of a large pool of common knowledge. You need to avoid the pitfalls of cultural imperialism, of course (so …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - December 12, 2016

Social Wealth Funds, publicly owned, that pursue social good & reduce (rather than exacerbate) inequality. A smart proposal from Stewart Lansley Talking of wealth, you can always rely on the FT magazine’s ‘How to Spend It’ column to answer the really pressing questions of the age: ‘when your superyacht is too small, you are no longer expected to buy a bigger one. Instead, you just …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - December 5, 2016

Despite being on the road in US flogging books, a couple of things caught my bleary jet-lagged eye. Delighted that How Change Happens makes it to the top of ‘Thoughtful Campaigner’s’ Xmas book recommendations for development wonks. Whole list is worth a look. Lots of stuff on aid Characteristically contrarian MSF critique of the localization agenda in humanitarian response. Does ‘Political correctness’ gloss over the …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - November 28, 2016

In the US for next two weeks (Washington, New York and Boston). Here’s a list of public events if you want to come and discuss How Change Happens (seems pretty relevant right now, huh?) What is a Muslim? Funny, smart and very effective 3m video. Best/Worst charity ads of the year. Rusty Radiator awards now open for voting – get stuck in. Background here Two …

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Friday rant: ‘development’ is not the same as ‘aid’. Got that?

Duncan Green - November 25, 2016

A recent headline in my RSS feed flicked my ‘Activate Rant’ button. ‘This Video from Uganda Highlights Everything Wrong with Global Development’ it shouted. I knew what the video was about – some young white American missionaries getting into trouble for ‘dressing up native’ and singing ‘get your mission on’ provoked outrage in various quarters. I hadn’t found it interesting enough to blog or even …

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