The Ted-O-Matic! How to Generate Your Own, Faux-Profound TED Talk | Vanity Fair
"The art of faux profundity: nine easy steps to your own audience-flattering ted talk."
Information Is Beautiful | How Many Gigatons of CO2?
One of the best infographics on climate change I've ever seen
The Scary Hidden Stressor: Climate Change and the Arab Spring - Thomas Friedman
“The Arab Spring and Climate Change” doesn’t claim that climate change caused the recent wave of Arab revolutions, but, taken together, the essays make a strong case that the interplay between climate change, food prices (particularly wheat) and politics is a hidden stressor that helped to fuel the revolutions and will continue to make consolidating them into stable democracies much more difficult.
Fabian Society » Green Social Democracy
Michael Jacobs, former climate & energy adviser to Gordon Brown at No. 10, on the other crisis of capitalism
Jared Diamond’s Guide to Reducing Life’s Risks - NYTimes.com
On the utility of "constructive paranoia"
Secret Lives of North Korea
What it's actually like to live there - by a former British ambassador
Equitable Access to Sustainable Development: An idea whose time has come? « Hiya Maya
Required reading for anyone interested in the sustainability nexus of limits and fairness
Resources Futures | Chatham House
Big new report from Chatham House, based on 12 million data points, no less. Key message: it's the volatility that kills you.
Australia May Join Europe With Extended Kyoto Climate Pledge - Bloomberg
Tantalising remarks from Australia's Parliamentary secretary on climate change
Obama breaks silence on climate change. Does this presage action in his second term? – Telegraph Blogs
Geoff Lean reads the tea leaves - interesting historical discussion of environment in past Republican policy
Pro Bono: How rockers change the world - FT.com
Sympathetic review of BBC doc on Bono and Geldof's journey so far
The scenarios on a (large) postcard
Good futures outlook to 2025 from the Challenge Network
ICTSD • ‘One Billion Hungry’ Peak Missing From New FAO Numbers
FAO addresses criticism of its methodology and comes up with new hunger total of 870 million
A Reader's Guide to the WEF Global Redesign Initiative
A detailed online companion to the most comprehensive proposal for global governance reform since WW2
Ethiopia: navigating through the emotive, outrageous, and the subtle but dangerous narratives on the demise of Meles | African Arguments
Comprehensive and fair assessment of Ethiopia after Meles.
Upwardly Mobile Pakistan on 66th Independence Day - Haq's Musings
A Pakistan optimist celebrates the country's progress.
Niger struggles against militant Islam - The Washington Post
Situated next to Mali, Nigeria, and Libya, all of which are spreading instability across the Sahel, Niger looks increasingly vulnerable.
Crafting State-Nations: India and Other Multinational Democracies by Alfred Stepan, Juan J. Linz, Yogendra Yadav
Helps reconfigure the debate on the relationship between ethnic diversity and political institutions.
Ex WB Chief Economist makes case for manufacturing in Africa
Justin Lin discusses his new book on light manufacturing in Africa with examples from Ethiopia.
Why is Nobody Freaking Out About the LIBOR Banking Scandal? | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone
If collusion took place between the Bank of England and Barclays, what might have happened between Hank Paulson and US banks in 2008?
Barclays Libor scandal: how can we change banking culture? | Business | The Guardian
Outstanding broadside from Aditya Chakrabortty - who knew that each one of us in the UK has given £19,271 to the banks...
The 'Busy' Trap - NYTimes.com
Great takedown of our addiction to busyness. Citizen's income now!
Will Civil War Hit Afghanistan When The U.S. Leaves? : The New Yorker
"“The Americans have failed to build a single sustainable institution here. All they have done is make a small group of people very rich. And now they are getting ready to go."
George Monbiot – The Mendacity of Hope
Monbiot at his furious best, on the failure of Rio 2012
The Battle Over Climate Science | Popular Science
Excellent reportage from both sides of the climate war's front line
Why Women Still Can’t Have It All - The Atlantic
Must-read reflection on her time as head of policy planning at the State Dept by Anne-Marie Slaughter
Rio Minus: The End of Post Cold-War Treaty Making?
Reflections on the failure of Rio from the former head of the Sierra Club
Neal Stephenson's Past,Present, and Future - Reason.com
Great interview with Neal Stephenson from just after he published the Baroque Cycle
Pope Benedict Focuses on Legacy While Ignoring Vatican Power Struggle - SPIEGEL ONLINE
"The mood at the Vatican is apocalyptic. Pope Benedict XVI seems tired, and both unable and unwilling to seize the reins amid fierce infighting and scandal."
Trust, Democracy and Diversity - Democracy In Africa
Good introduction to a book on a key challenge for fragile states and developed countries alike.
"The End of the World as We Know It"
Great euro-driven disaster scenario from Dani Rodrik on Project Syndicate
Have we arrived at a financial singularity? - Finance Addict : Finance Addict
Are the financial algorithms, models and computers taking over from their human creators? Have we reached a financial singularity?
Exclusive: EU floats worst-case plans for Greek euro exit: sources - chicagotribune.com
European finance officials have discussed as a worst-case scenario limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing capital controls in at least Greece should Athens decide to leave the euro.
My break with the extreme right - Politics - Salon.com
Awesomely good take down of America's new right - by one of its old right
A new Europe of competing currencies - FT.com
A thoughtful take on one possible consequence of Grexit, from Samuel Brittan
An Arab Spring south of the Sahara? - Phil Clark in Juncture
Why didn't the Arab Spring reach sub-Saharan Africa? From the first edition of IPPR's new journal Juncture.
Ideas for a Sustainable Development Outlook | International Environmental Governance
Latest thinking on the idea of a Sustainability Outlook report (one of the few useful things that might yet emerge from Rio+20), from the Mexican Mission to the UN's Jorge Laguna Celis
Greeks apologise with huge horse
Left outside the European Central Bank in the dead of night, the horse has now been moved into the ECB’s central lobby where it is proudly on display.
Fascism rises from the depths of Greece's despair - Europe - World - The Independent
"Still half-asleep, Panayiotis Roumeliotis was surprised to be asked to show his identity card by two young men with shaved heads. It was his first direct contact with the vigilante groups that have become a feature of everyday life in some areas of the Greek capital."
If you're not worried yet... you should be
Reasons to be gloomy from ZeroHedge
A paper by David Steven, Joshua Meltzer and Claire Langley, published by the Brookings Institution, supported by the FutureWorld Foundation, on how the United States should respond to the aftermath of the recession in order to promote growth and sustainability in the coming years.
An options brief by David Steven, published by New York University’s Center on International Cooperation and funded by the UN Foundation, on the role that global goals can play after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. Download Report
What should sustainability advocates aim for in the post-2015 international development agenda – and how should they go about it?
The first in a series of CIC case studies on the challenges that resource scarcity and climate change pose to poor countries – and how they, and their international partners, can build resilience to them. The report assesses both Ethiopia’s current policies on scarcity and climate, and a range of key gaps, vulnerabilities and exogenous risks that need to be taken account of in future planning.
There’s a consensus that any post-2015 global development framework should have more to say about the role of the private sector than the MDGs have done. But what does that actually mean in practice? This new report from the Overseas Development Institute explores some options for how the private sector might be represented in and contribute to a new set of global goals for development.
This report addresses the Arctic’s growing strategic relevance and conflict dynamic; offers background on, and assessment of, the existing institutions, and examines ongoing risks. Ultimately, the report concludes that the prospects for cooperation outstrip the potential for conflict, and that the Arctic offers lessons for tackling evolving challenges in other regions.
An edited and expanded version of talk given to the ‘Lessons from the Economic Troubles’ panel at an international workshop on systemic lessons from the global economic crisis, hosted by the Global Futures Forum.
Debate on what should follow the Millennium Development Goals after 2015 is now underway in earnest. This briefing paper by Alex Evans and David Steven, prepared for a closed session Brookings Institution meeting organised at the request of the US government, sets out an overview of the MDGs and their expected status in 2015; describes the background to, and options for, a post-2015 framework; and discusses the political challenges of agreeing a new framework and sets out considerations for governments and other stakeholders.
There’s a growing consensus among the countries, UN agencies and civil society organisations involved in discussions on the post-2015 development agenda that equity, or inequality, needs to be somehow integrated into any new framework. This paper considers the pros and cons of some current proposals for integrating inequality into a post-2015 framework, and offers a tentative [...]
Recent months have seen increasing interest in the idea that Rio+20 could be the launch pad for a new set of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). But what would SDGs cover, what would a process to define and then implement them look like, and what would some of the key political challenges be? This short briefing [...]
Any global framework for development which is agreed after 2015 will be a political deal between states. This paper looks at recent trends in policy and politics in emerging economies and traditional donors to assess where a consenus might lie. It suggests some principles for a post-2015 agreement which emerge from recent policy developments
Paper from ODI and UNDP, authored by Claire Melamed and Andy Sumner, summarising the evidence on the impact of the MDGs, and looking at current trends in poverty and in global governance that will affect the shape and the scope of any future agreement on global development.
Why resource scarcity will be a game changer for global justice agendas, and what aid donors, NGOs and other development opinion formers need to do about it. WWF / Oxfam report by Alex Evans.
The Rio 2012 sustainable development summit is at risk of being the latest in a long line of damp squibs on environmental multilateralism – but could still make real progress, if it focuses on greening growth and building resilience to shocks and stresses, and above all faces up to the issues of fair shares that arise in a world of limits.
How national and international governance systems need to be reconfigured to meet the challenges of food security in a world of tighter supply and demand balances and increasing volatility. Report for Oxfam’s new Grow campaign by Alex Evans. (May 2011)
Article on scarcity of resources in Pakistan and what it means for the country.
Text of speech by Alex Evans to Institute for New Economic Thinking annual conference at Bretton Woods; the YouTube video is here. (April 2011) Download Speech
Article published on China Dialogue on reasons for the new food price spike, including potential implications of the current drought in China. (February 2011) Download Article
Eight critical uncertainties for development over the next decade, and ten recommendations for what ActionAid – who commissioned this report – should do to prepare for them
Article published in World Politics Review on current American foreign policy
Report asking how organisations can prosper in what will be a turbulent period for world order
Center on International Cooperation report on what forms of multilateral cooperation are needed to manage scarcity of resources
Background paper on whether resource scarcity and climate change will cause increased violent conflict
Chatham House report on how the UK’s new coalition government should upgrade and reform the way Britain conducts foreign policy
Introductory remarks by David Steven at a Brookings Institution seminar on risk and resilience in the global system (March 2010)
Talk given by David Steven at Gresham College on risk and resilience in the UK housing market, as part of a Long Finance Roundtable meeting (March 2010)
Report by David Steven in response to the FSA’s Mortgage Market Review
Brookings Institution report by Alex Evans, Bruce Jones and David Steven on how globalisation could fail – and how it could be made more resilient. Published to coincide with the 40th anniversary World Economic Forum in Davos.
Report by Alex Evans and David Steven analysing the post-Copenhagen context on climate change, including a proposed 12 point action plan. Written for the Brookings Institution / NYU Center on International Cooperation Managing Global Insecurity programme.
World Food Programme report on the state of the science on what climate change means for hunger, plus policy recommendations. Authored by IPCC Impacts Chair Martin Parry with Mark Rosengrant, Tim Wheeler and Global Dashboard’s Alex Evans (December 2009)
Presentation by Alex Evans to a seminar organised for the UN Department of Political Affairs by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (August 2009)
Article on risk and resilience by Alex Evans and David Steven – part of a special in World Politics Review on risk and resilience in a globalized age (July 2009)
Report by Alex Evans and David Steven exploring the future international institutional requirements for managing climate change, and including three scenarios for climate institutions between now and 2030. Commissioned by the UK Department for International Development. (May 2009)
Article by Alex Evans and David Steven exploring resilience as a political agenda – part of a special edition of Renewal on the transformation of foreign policy (February 2009)
Climate and cities think piece, co-authored by David Steven and the British Council’s Peter Upton (29 January 2009)
Chatham House pamphlet by Alex Evans on how scarcity issues will shape the outlook for global food production, and the actions that policymakers need to take at the international level and in developing countries to ensure food security in the 21st century
Paper by David Steven, presented to “Reforming International Institutions – Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century,” a conference organized by the United Nations University and the British Embassy in Tokyo (Jan 2009).
Speech by Alex Evans at the Tomorrow Network (25 November 2008)
Paper by Alex Evans and David Steven on financial reform and wider multilateralism, published ahead of the G20 ‘Bretton Woods II’ Summit (November 2008).
Speech by David Steven to RUSI Conference on UK Resilience (8 October 2008)
Chapter by Alex Evans and David Steven in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office publication, ‘Engagement: public diplomacy in a globalised world’ (July 2008). Download Chapter
Draft report by Alex Evans exploring multilateral system reforms needed in order to manage resource scarcity issues more effectively. The final version will be published in early 2010 (July 2008)
Speech by Alex Evans at UK Parliament (8 July 2008)
Speech by David Steven at the UNU G8 Symposium (4 July 2008)
Speech by Alex Evans to United Nations Association UK (7 June 2008)
Speech by David Steven to the UK Defence Academy’s Advanced Research and Assessment Group seminar on Strategic Communications, Public Diplomacy and Afghanistan (4 June 2008).
Speech by David Steven to the University of Westminster Symposium on Transformational Public Diplomacy (30 April 2008).
Briefing paper by Alex Evans, published through Chatham House’s food programme (April 2008).
Speech by David Steven to RUSI Conference on Critical National Infrastructure (16 April 2008).
Paper by Alex Evans and David Steven, commissioned by Gordon Brown and presented to heads of state at the Progressive Governance Summit (April 2008).
Obama’s Israel speech | Comments Off
More What we're watching
It has become to fashionable to say that G8 meetings never achieve anything. It is also incorrect. Civil society campaigners have made use of G8 meetings in the past to achieve major steps forward on debt, on access to HIV/AIDS treatment, and on maternal and child health. But whereas, in the past, campaigners have [...]Nuclear war called off in Korea – time to relax?
Something quite significant happened this week– though you may have missed it. It seems the US military doesn’t think there will be nuclear war with North Korea. A few weeks ago, you could have been forgiven for thinking we were on the brink of something similar to the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962. Pyongyang was [...]The worst corporate scandal you never heard of
Like many people, I have grown blasé about the successive waves of corporate scandal that have broken since the financial meltdown of 2008, but Fortune’s account of the crimes of Indian generic drug maker, Ranbaxy, is quite astonishing. Ranbaxy boasts that it ”is a research based international pharmaceutical company serving customers in over 150 countries… providing high quality, affordable [...]How to Start Development’s Gutenberg Revolution
As a schoolboy I was troubled to learn about medieval Europe where a narrow elite maintained unaccountable power by controlling access to information; and I delighted in the heroic story of how Johanes Gutenberg’s humble printing press began a revolution that brought an end to the unchecked control of knowledge and power by a few. [...]Britain’s dirty secret – the island havens that make life hell for the world’s poor
The G8 agenda on tax is getting increasingly radical, and much of the credit on that must go to to the UK Government hosts. Issues that were off the table months ago are now up not just for discussion but for decision. The agenda has moved beyond tax evasion to the kind of tax avoidance [...]A Balkan success for EU soft power?
Serbian leaders will make another attempt this week to convince Serbs in northern Kosovo to accept last month’s deal between Belgrade and Pristina to normalise relations between Serbia and its former province. The April 19th agreement was hailed in the much of the western media as a great success for the EU’s soft power and [...]The future of global poverty: What if there were multiple horizons for aid post-2015?
A Brookings paper out this week (here) does something a set of papers have sought to do recently – that is make projections about the future of global poverty. These kind of papers have significant policy implications because it is only by understanding both the future scale and anticipated locations of poverty that properly informed [...]Brazil & the US – never on the same page?
Relations between the two giant democracies of the Americas, Brazil and the US, should be easy, but they never seem to be - as the recent spat over recognising Nicolas Maduro’s victory in the Venezuelan election demonstrated again. Here’s a piece I’ve done for Yale Gobal on why they don’t see eye to eye despite [...]