This time is different

(Spanish version below)

Last week, on June 23rd, Colombians celebrated the cease-fire agreement that the national government has reached with Farc, in order to terminate an internal conflict of more than 50 years that has resulted in more than 200.000 people murdered, over 6 million of internally displaced people and hundreds of thousands more whose lives have been appallingly impacted in many different ways.

Despite that several aspects of the deal still remain to be agreed on, and that this has sparked heated controversies among commentators, academic experts and citizens overall, the general consensus is that this is now an irreversible point, and the country waits anxiously for a new period in its history to begin.

Counting your Pennies. Part 1

imagesWill there be the dawn of a day where we finally see a world where there is equal and equitably distribution of the global resources? As this remains the dream and aspiration of many policy makers, the harder we try the bleaker the possibility of that wish ever attaining fruition. While it may not be totally impossible to pare the three classes currently existing within the social hierarchy into one, where national and global resources are equally and equitably distributed, capitalism remains the greatest adversary to such an agenda. Within the upper, middle and lower classes however, people move between classes through change in income levels and spending habits. While change in income level may not necessarily result in burgeoning resources because that usually comes with a commensurate expenditure level, adopting a more thrifty spending habit will, and combing the two produces incredible results. The objective of this article is to discuss and explore some basic principles that can engender prudence in managing one’s resources.
The global resources are not increasing as significantly as the rich are increasing their wealth. An Oxfam report shows that the wealth of the richest 62 people increased by $500bn to $1.76tn between 2010 and 2015, while the wealth of the poorest 50% dropped by 41% over the same period. It therefore follows the logic that while the wealthy few accumulate more, the mass lose what they barely have, my best fit explanation for the high individual indebtedness today. The 388 people who owned the world’s one half wealth in 2010 shockingly reduced in number to only 62 people holding propriety over the same percentage of global resources, according to The Guardian. Effectively, less than 1% of the 7 billion people on earth own more than the wealth of the rest 99% put together.
Iconic individuals such as Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, and Pope Francis have tried to spearhead a course to reverse the trend in inequality, but we have only seen really situations that fly in the face of the intended outcome of their agenda. Every individual should wake up to this reality to take conscious steps to husband his or her resources, because for as long as capitalism continues to dominate the world the filthy rich will always have the right and insatiable edge to come after the nothing of those still living under the radar. In order to do this, you need to change your perspective about the penny and properly account for your own resources and be in control. Hopefully the following points will put you on the path to achieving this.
1. Change your perspective about the cent
What is our perspective about the cent? We barely place any value on it; we feel bothered to receive them from grocery stores as change. We often ignore it on the dollar prices when paying for goods and services but that is where the money machine mechanism is hidden because Accountants know most people careless about what cent amount is on the product, as long as they have the dollar price. For instance, most people will not see or perceive the 99 cents on a product that is tagged $5.99; all that is important is the $5. Think of how many times you ignore the presence of the cent on a daily basis. This is the perspective you should change about the cent that makes you lose money on daily basis. If you know the standard price quotation of a product or service, why would you elect to buy it at maybe 20 or 50 cents more unless it is an urgent situation? Obviously because of the perspective you have always had about the cent, “it’s nothing” or “it’s not much”. The irony is that what people see as insignificant in cents, a whole nationwide, continental or global grocery or departmental stores value greatly and make every effort to get it from you. Beat this trick of “centism” by rounding up rather than rounding down.
It is important you know the prices, at least ranges of the things you frequently buy. There is no point in paying free cents to a company unless it is in a circumstance of lack of information or urgency. You can gain considerable idea about the prices of your most frequently patronized goods and services by keeping receipts and review at your free time. This will not only help you to become more conscious about general prices, so you do not confuse prodigality with normality, but also put you on the way of becoming a more sparing individual and properly managing your limited resources.
The next points will discuss the tools you can use plug all the loopholes through which you lose your money unjustifiably.

Making the Environment Healthier

As I tell them that I work at the Center for Environmental Health, I prepare to hear the same old question  by a brand new person: What does your organization do? So In the land of the lay, I keep the jargon at bay, and tell them this story of a beautiful day.

On a nice sunny afternoon, two year old Johnny kept rolling on the artificial turf installed in his backyard while suckling on his pacifier, as his 4 year old sister kept forming letters by putting together painted alphabet blocks. Meanwhile Instead of keeping an eye on the kids, their father had dozed off on the comfy new garden chair, as their mother walked in carrying a tray of freshly baked ginger cookies, a homemade mid-day snack.

How to create your life plan (Hive Global Leadership Program)

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When I attended Hive’s Global Leadership program in San Francisco between May 26th to May 30th, I didn’t really expect that what I was going to do in the future. I mean I know what I will do right after I go back to Korea early July as I got a job there. But it was a great opportunity for me to think of it seriously during the program. Over hundred innovators and creators from 40 countries gathered together. Following by the workbook “Designing Your Life,” I tried to explore what makes me come alive, what I am good at and what does the world need. Under those questions, there are reasonable flows to think and find each answer to reach out to lifetime goals.

Designing for Learner-centered Activities

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At Mozilla, we see teaching as mentoring: our facilitators are not just “covering the material,” they’re thinking about meeting learners where they are and moving them forward. Facilitators welcome all questions, encourage risk-taking, and understand the value of mistakes and failures as powerful learning moments. They remember that being a learner (encouraging behaviors such as trying new things, keeping an open mind, taking risks, changing, and iterating) is at the core of being a good facilitator.

1. What does “learner-centered education” mean?

“I can’t teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” – Socrates

Learning by Making in Mozilla

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Mozilla Clubs promote learning experiences that are goal-oriented, hands-on, and designed to support real work for projects that further open research and open source.

At Mozilla, we’re dedicated to coupling our digital literacy programs with a “make first” approach. We don’t think the Web should be taught traditionally, with textbooks and a blackboard. The “sage on the stage” approach is directly oppositional to the distributed and participatory nature of the Web we champion. Instead, learners should start by doing what they eventually intend to master: building apps, remixing content, creating web pages, and more. This “make first” approach has always guided Mozilla’s Learning Networks, a collection of Hives, Clubs, and annual celebrations like Maker Party and MozFest “. Chris Lawrence VP of Leadership, Mozilla Foundation.

Global Issues Cause Global Cooperation: Peacekeeping, 3D, R2P

This article firstly was published in Diplomatic Courier, Special 10 Year Anniversary Edition: Volume 10, Issue 3, June 2016.

Globalization and the issues of interdependence and interconnectedness make people perceive daily life in a new way. With the increasing number of international and interstate conflicts and crises the civilian population has become the most disadvantaged: women, children, and elderly people suffer, and it concerns developing countries (failed and weak states) and also the states with historic level of peace and security. Twenty years ago, Europe experienced the most terrible human tragedy after the II World War: mass killings, assassination, enormous refugee flows. The humanitarian catastrophe in the Balkan Peninsula has posed new questions about the future of peace operations, i.e. the question of peace enforcement concept.

Glimpse of Queer Feminist Youth Activism in India: A Talk

During the 4th Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, I spoke during the plenary session titled ‘To The Point’ where I talk about a bit of creating safe spaces for queer and trans folk through my work, including ending criminalization of trans folks and sex work. Enjoy the video!

My First Month into the Best Global Changemakers Fellowship Program

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Three months back, I read a piece in Huffington post (http://huff.to/28YprP4) that included Atlas Corps in the list of top five fellowship programs to jumpstart one’s journey as a Global Changemaker. As someone about to join Atlas Corps Class 21, I was curious as to what made Atlas Corps so special to be included in such a small and selective list, while keeping various other programs out. After spending a month here in Washington DC, I can now testify to the verdict of this particular post.

Youth Potential in Action–My Learning Outcomes from Reviewing YLAI Applications

Photo Source: ylai.state.gov

Photo Source: ylai.state.gov

The day was June 9th. I was looking forward to this day to be able to review the applications of President Obama’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative(YLAI). YLAI is a program that seeks to address the opportunity gap for youth, especially women by empowering them and other civil society leaders to enhance economic development, human rights, security, etc. in the region.

Unless you have the chance to go through the applications, you don’t know what “potential of the youth” and YLAI really mean. Lots of great ideas both in untapped markets and new areas of development, that show positive signs of prosperity that is soon to come.