When you think of early adopters of technology, innovative designs to streamline manufacturing, or having thousands of songs in your pocket, you typically think of private sector ingenuity. Imagine if you could take a dash of that private sector ingenuity, blend it with the entrepreneurial appetite for risk and infuse it into government programs and initiatives. What types of risk would you see?
In recent years, evidence-based practices have begun to drive social changes internationally. Policies are less frequently passed without accompanying evaluation. Prior to allocating limited resources, more public and private agencies are asking: “What works?” Yet, the answer to that question is rarely simple, especially when evaluating interventions for clandestine crimes like human trafficking.
In the past weeks, tensions along political lines have (predictably) erupted in what can only be described as all-out war among hundreds of thousands of combatants—no, not the recent protests in Ukraine, Venezuela, or Thailand. I am referencing the internet’s recent multiplayer gaming experiment, “Twitch Plays Pokémon.” For more than 390 hours, more than 29.5 million total viewers watched millions of players wrestle in real time over the control of Red, the main character of Pokémon Red (1996); after players bested the Elite Four, the adventure of working through Pokémon Crystal (2000) began. And the evolution of in-group/out-group politics and collective action in this exciting (and strange) social experiment definitely is worth examining.
In an effort to safeguard national security, the United States has undertaken a few select, high profile interventions that have challenged the sovereignty of other nations in years past. Some of these unilateral military actions have been criticized as aggressive attempts to demonstrate the United States’ global superpower status, including last October’s well-reported raids in Libya and Somalia.
Times are changing and the competition between businesses for the brightest and talent is going to get fiercer in the coming years. As many economies face declining birth-rates and aging populations, the shortage of skilled workers is set to rise. This means that companies who intend on expanding and sustaining their competitive advantage on a global scale will increasingly have to battle it out to attract the best up-and-coming talent in the harshest talent climate. To access the best from the global generational talent pool, businesses should be prepared to understand what makes each generation unique, employ innovative strategies such as virtual platforms, and have the ability to manage flexible teams of remote employees.
In order for today’s young people to succeed, they must develop the flexible qualities of character and mind necessary to handling the challenges that globalization poses. To become global citizens, they must learn how to communicate and interact with people around the world. Failing to teach them to embrace it for all it is worth will only condemn them to being left further behind since millions of others throughout the rest of the world will.
The STEM talent pipeline starts in the home of pre-K students and ends in the workplace, but much is lost on the way. Prognostics about future talent needs will force us to plug some leaks and increase the flow, particularly with emphasis on K-12 education.
In light of the recent government shut down and an especially polarized government, thinking about how to effectively instill civic knowledge in America’s youth is especially challenging. In the 2012 presidential election, only 10 percent of American youth between 18 and 24 met a standard of “informed engagement”. With more than half of young people not participating in the American political system, the approach to civic education must be reevaluated.
Burma, at least on the surface, is entering an unprecedented time. More and more political prisoners are released each year by Burma's quasi-civilian government. The 19-member committee set up by President Thein Sein to identify political prisoners recently recommended that 63 political prisoners be freed as soon as possible. Thein Sein has opened the country up for investment, with numerous major foreign companies entering the Burmese market. The World Bank predicts that Burma's economy will grow by 6.8 percent in 2014, putting it in the pantheon of South East Asia's top performers. Khwima Nthara, the World Bank’s senior country economist, claimed that Burma's above average growth forecast "is very much attributable to the new wave of reforms.”
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