Announcing the 2017 Global Action Report in partnership with the Global Action Platform
Dare to turn on the news. It is a constant bombardment; stories of war, death, terrorism, political scandal, and financial crisis. As consumers, we are 10 times more likely to view/click/read negative rather than positive news. Just like a good soap opera, data shows time and again we will follow negative news as far as it takes us. And this is what advertisers like: more eyeballs, more clicks.
Ten years ago, I founded Diplomatic Courier, a Global Affairs Media Network, to tell the stories we don’t hear about very often. This is not to say we are oblivious to the major issues humanity is facing, like climate crisis, religious radicalism, and so on. Our focus on finding stories of prosperity and uncommon collaboration was to bring balance to long-form journalism.
Our audience has rewarded us handsomely. In just a short and disruptive media decade, Diplomatic Courier has amassed a global readership in over 180 countries and broadcasts content live in multiple platforms, reaching a combined 224 million social media impressions in the last five years.
In the Global Action Platform (GAP) we found our kindred spirit. Over the years, we have covered and reported on many of the well-known thought leadership gatherings out there. In GAP, we found a community of leaders seeking to effect true change.
Since its founding five years ago, we have been the original and enduring rapporteurs. We have designed and produced the report you hold in your hands, capturing the ideas, challenges, and solutions that the GAP community generates each year. We then disseminate to the widest global audience possible: an audience of purpose that shares in the mission for a better world; an audience focused on the positive stories. And despite what major media outlets report, there are many positive stories.
Reduction in absolute poverty. Over the last 30 years, the share of the global population living in absolute poverty has declined from 53% to under 17%. While there remains room for improvement (especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia), the quality of life in every region has been steadily improving and will continue to do so. In the next 20 years, we have the ability to extinguish absolute poverty on Earth.
Spending less of our income to buy food. According to the USDA, over the last 50 years the percent of our disposable income spent on food has dropped by more than 50 percent – from 14% to less than 6%. This is largely a function of better food production technology, distribution processes, and policies that have reduced the cost of food.
Reduced infant mortality rates. In the last 25 years, under-five mortality rates have dropped by 50%. Infant mortality and neonatal mortality rates have also dropped significantly. And this is just in the last 25 years. If you looked at the last 100 years, the improvements have been staggering.
A better-educated world. Futurist and fellow optimist Peter Diamandis has said a better-educated world raises all tides. Along those lines, global literacy rates have increased from around 10% to close to 100% in the last 500 years. This is a function of technology democratizing access to education.
Many of the solutions for a better future will come from our community at GAP. We hope you will join too.
The report can be downloaded for free here.
Ana C. Rold is Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Diplomatic Courier.