Archive for the ‘World Issues’ Category

All things being (more) equal, we’re happier people.

I recently viewed the video “How Economic Inequality Harms Societies“.  Here Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level, explains how gaps in income distribution hurt societies.

The bigger the gap between the rich and the poor, the bigger society’s problems. Conversely, the more homogeneous a people are, in terms of income, the greater the well-being and happiness in the society.

And, according to Wilkinson, the determining factor for social well-being is not how rich or poor a given society is overall. Rather, it’s how similar the individuals in the population are to one another in terms of the distribution of wealth.

It would stand to reason, by this argument, that what we need to increase well-being is not more money per se. We need to close the gap between the rich and the poor. Continue reading

Tell Me a Story

It makes sense. When you can identify with one person and her story, you are much more likely to help her.

Stories work. A story grabs my attention and lets me know what, say, Maude needs and what my money does to help her.

Check out this blog on: The Power of Stories in Social Change

Here’s how one non-profit leader who films and shares stories of the homeless Continue reading

I got mine…?

Last month (January 2012) the Inter-American Development Bank attempted to answer the question:

Does Inequality Breed Altruism or Selfishness?

The answers are based on data about Brazil’s redistributive programs, also known as cash transfer programs.

One conditional cash transfer program in Brazil is called Bolsa Familia Continue reading

Twittering for Good

Check out CGAP’s latest on the power of Twitter to “change the world with 140 characters”:

http://microfinance.cgap.org/2012/01/30/changing-the-world-with-140-characters/

Twitter can be a powerful communication tool when people need instant information or want to inspire others to immediate action. Continue reading

Scratch-offs + cell phones = energy.

Read how this social entrepreneur is bringing a pay-as-you go system to provide the world’s poorest people access to solar energy:

  1. Get a unique code from a scratch-off card.
  2. Send a text with the code to a local service.
  3. The service that will then credit the specified personal solar cell.

From the Sun (Bypassing the Grid) to the BoP Consumer.

Social businesses are reaching and improving the lives of the world’s poorest Continue reading

Can famine be fixed?

From the Poverty Matters blog:   Famine isn’t an “anomaly”, but the predictable result of a broken–and complex– system of food production and distribution.  Hunger, of course, is not just a problem limited to Africa or elsewhere in the developing world, but a global challenge.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2012/jan/30/famine-predictable-result-broken-system

MSNBC reported in 2006 that the number of people in the world who are obese had surpassed the number of people who are undernourished.

What can be done to “fix the system” so that people do not unnecessarily starve?

Eating chocolate without the guilt

Where does your  chocolate come from?

Many cocoa plantations supplying major chocolate companies– Hershey’s, for example–  have been known to use child and slave labor. How can we distinguish “good” chocolate from the bad?

A Fair Trade label tells you that… Continue reading