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Across the African continent, popular demand for democratic governance has risen steadily over the past decade. However, this growing demand has remained unmatched by a proportionally increasing supply of democracy.

Getting the story out can be a dangerous enterprise. Journalists throughout the world go about their profession in a climate of repression and coercion, often risking their lives in the effort to inform, to get out a compelling video, the narrative, the testimony, the tweet. In some parts of the world, governments and radical groups make it their highest priority to prevent the spread of information and deny citizens the basic right to know.

Ambassador Jimmy Kolker is the Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Global Affairs, in the Office of the Secretary, leads the Department’s efforts to better the health and well-being of Americans and of the world’s population through global strategies and partnerships and working with other U.S. government agencies in the coordination of global health policy. Now the Department’s senior health diplomat, Jimmy previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the office (2011-2014).

As some superb books have come out about entrepreneurship and startups from the legends of Silicon Valley–most notably by venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, investor Peter Thiel and founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman–one might wonder what more is there to say.

Growth, either in a garden or an economy, is a welcome sign of health. And since the world economy is ruled by the principles of capitalism, such growth must be sustainable. In the global West, gardens typically take two distinct patterns: English or French. The latter is neatly manicured, almost homogeneous in nature, but exquisite in detail and precision. The former, however, is a melee of variety, creating a diverse scene in which no one species is dominant. Will the newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi simultaneously transform India’s English-garden-society and socialist leaning economy into the structured French-garden-society, coupled with a neoliberal penchant without uprooting civil society?

Despite growing interdependence, private sector representatives often know everything about their own business and their markets but very little about their larger public sector environment. Acquiring such knowledge is a lifelong learning process that should start in business school. Knowing the public sector, its national and international policies as well as its representatives will help private sector entities to avoid costly political mistakes.

Big Data, the analysis of huge datasets using sophisticated algorithms, holds huge promise. One of the most-cited examples, Google Flu Trends predicts flu outbreaks based on the search terms from users in a given region. However, the quality of data used has been criticized as a key weaknesses of Big Data. The idea behind Big Data usage currently is that the datasets are so massive that the quality of the data does not matter. That assumption is now being challenged.

From natural disasters to the highest levels of refugees in recorded history; from growing attention to elections transparency to coordination in humanitarian aid, new technologies are making it possible to save more lives, grow global development, and improve elections.

One after another, they fill front-page headlines—Tehran, Tahrir, Wall Street, Puerta del Sol, Gezi Park, Euromaidan, Hong Kong.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on October 25th at the annual Valdai Discussion Club made clear that Russia does not view the post-Cold War order as legitimate, but rather as just a system of rules imposed by the West—ones that the U.S. itself does not even follow. There was little new in the speech, but it confirmed that Moscow is in no mood to negotiate, and that there will be no compromise on Ukraine.

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