An investment in knowledge pays the best interest
Keeping in mind that social impact takes in to consideration the needs of people – their current and approaching problems, aspirations and challenges – and it reflects fundamental changes achieved in the quality of their lives, it is logical to conclude that as such social impact itself is not set in stone but it changes – not just over time, but from society to society, from one development phase to another, from one side of the world to another. In other words... [Read more]
Think of Malaysia – a wonderful tropical country that is one of the 12 mega-biodiverse countries in the world (read: it has breathtakingly beautiful rainforests populated with animals and plants that most of us have only seen in National Geographic or on the Animal Planet channel). A country so rightly proud and protective of its rich cultural, religious and ethnic diversity – and so not protective of its worldwide-acknowledged bio-diversity (Central Forest Spine). A country that has a rapidly decreasing percentage of rainforest coverage because it has for decades been linking some measures of its economic growth to the cutting and selling of timber from the fragile jungles.
A country that has many dedicated environmental activists, volunteers and people who dearly care about their environment – yet it has relatively few local scientists, experts and knowledgeable decision-makers in the area of biodiversity conservation... [Read more]
The relevance of the following example is directly linked to the fact that, in decades to come, the world is going to have not just more people but more elderly people. The UN predicts that the rate of population ageing in the 21st century will exceed that of the previous century. It is projected that the combined senior and geriatric population will reach 2.1 billion by 2050. This will, for sure: put strain on health and medical infrastructure; cause insufficient funds for social services; exert pressure to increase taxes because there will be more pensions to pay; increase demand for unpaid family carers; increase already worrying level of social inequality... [Read more]
A decade ago, a few analysts – of whom Norman Myers, the British environmentalist who is recognized for his work on environmental refugees, is perhaps the best known – have tried to estimate the number of people who will be forced to move over the long-term as a direct result of climate change1. His estimate was 200 million by 2050. Some academics challenged Myers methods but they all agreed that climate change will significantly increase their number in years to come... [Read more]
Let us consider the right of women in Switzerland to vote. On 1 February 1959, a referendum on women’s right to vote was rejected by the majority (67%) of Switzerland’s men. It took 12 more years (1971) for women to obtain the right to vote in national elections, and 20 more years (1991!) for all Swiss cantons to grant women the vote on local issues. In total it took 32 years of building coalitions, consultations, organizing and conducting public campaigns, raising awareness, developing policy recommendations, building capacity, lobbying, conducting research and comparative analysis – multiple activities with various results – to achieve right to vote. And this is Switzerland: land of law, order, efficiency and rigid discipline (and delicious chocolate!). Imagine how long this or similar processes would take/have taken in some other less democratic, less developed countries?... [Read more]
Evidence is the seventh component of the Anatomy of Social Change. The real secret of social or any other type of impact is consciousness of the impact and the ability to prove it. As W. Edwards Deming, an acknowledged American engineer and statistician, once said: “In God we trust, all others brings data.”... [Read more]