Links I Liked

Duncan Green - February 13, 2017

We lost a giant last week. Hans Rosling made geeks look cool, proved that Swedish students are less intelligent than chimps, and made everyone who has ever lectured realize just how boring we really are. Whether you are celebrating his life, or discovering his genius for the first time, here’s a sample: 200 years, 200 countries and a massively positive story of human development, all …

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A philanthropist using systems thinking to build peace

Duncan Green - February 10, 2017

Steve Killelea is an intriguing man, an Aussie software millionaire who, in the words of his bio ‘decided to dedicate most of his time and fortune to sustainable development and peace’.  Think a more weather-beaten Bill Gates. He also (full disclosure) bought me a very nice lunch last week. In pursuit of this aim he set up the Institute for Economics and Peace in 2007. …

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What determines whether/how an organization can learn? Interesting discussion at DFID.

Duncan Green - February 9, 2017

I was invited along to DFID last week for a discussion on how organizations learn. There was an impressive turnout of senior civil serpents – the issue has clearly got their attention. Which is great because I came away with the impression that they (and Oxfam for that matter) have a long way to go to really become a ‘learning organization’. So please make allowances …

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How Change Happens + 3 months: how’s it going?

Duncan Green - February 8, 2017

It’s now 3 months since How Change Happens came out (did I mention I’d published a new book?) so I dropped in at the publishers, OUP, last week to take stock. OUP took some risks with this book, notably agreeing to go Open Access from day one. That is a huge leap from the traditional publishing model of publishing only the hardback for a year, then deciding …

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Want to put together a team to research inequality? LSE may be able to fund you

Duncan Green - February 7, 2017

A 20 year project to build an international network of scholars and activists working on inequality is just kicking off. Interested? Read on. The Project is the Atlantic Fellows programme (AFP), run by the LSE’s new-ish International Inequalities Institute and funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, a US foundation (only foundations seem to be able to think on this longer time scale – it’s a really important …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - February 6, 2017

First there’s the search for the best placards – seems like humour is the best response to ugly/angry. Then there’s the analysis. Are institutions strong enough to withstand disruptive populism? Francis Fukuyama makes the case against panic. The World Bank’s Sina Odugbemi is less sure. And protest? Excellent lessons from Tina Rosenberg on lessons from previous waves As for longer reads, try What Trump is …

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Of Jousting Knights and Jewelled Swords: a feminist reflection on Davos

Duncan Green - February 3, 2017

Nancy Folbre is a feminist economist and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst  What kind of an economic system delivers as much wealth to 8 men at the top as to the bottom half of the global population? It’s easier to describe shocking levels inequality than to explain them. Activist challenges to the power of the top 1%–along with demands for the …

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Multinational Companies in retreat? Fascinating Economist briefing

Duncan Green - February 2, 2017

Now we’re all looking for ways to break out of filter bubble, I guess I can feel less guilty about loving The Economist. Beautifully written, it covers places and issues other papers ignore, and every so often has a big standback piece that makes you rethink. This week’s cover story, ‘the retreat of the global company’, is a fine example. Excerpts from the 4 page …

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Watching Oxfam morph into an interdependent networked system

Duncan Green - February 1, 2017

While I’ve been ivory towering on the book for the last couple of years, Oxfam has been going through a wrenching internal reform (wait, don’t click – this gets interesting, honest!). Known as Oxfam 2020, 18 different Oxfam affiliates are slowly and painfully sorting out a single operating system and pushing power down to countries and a new swathe of southern affiliates, all while retaining …

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The WDR 2017 on Governance and Law: Can it drive a transformation in development practice?

Duncan Green - January 31, 2017

  Stefan Kossoff (DFID’s governance czar) reviews the new WDR, published this week. For those of us working on governance this week’s publication of the 2017 World Development Report on Governance and Law (WDR17) has been hotly awaited. And I’m pleased to say the report–in all its 280 page glory–does not disappoint (there’s a 4 page summary for the time-starved). As Duncan Green, Brian Levy …

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