Thanks to Jorge @ Catenary for rescuing the Worldmapper from the archive of “lost & found” items. While the whole set of maps sheds a brilliant view of our real world, the following two maps provide a visual representation to the metaphor “the South has set itself up in the very heart of the North!” coined by Marco @ Insurgelicious and mentioned in the previous post misunderstanding globalization.
Just take a look at how the countries in the Northern hemisphere are bloated as a result of the net immigration:
while the countries in the Southern hemisphere are desperately loosing their population as a result of the net emigration:
I know we have frequent visitors from countries such as India, Mexico, China, Singapore, Argentina, South Africa, Pakistan, Philippines, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, El Salvador & Brazil. If you care to leave a comment on how emigration from these countries to the North is perceived, I’m sure we’ll find some recurring themes.
During the Clinton Global Initiative a special session was held to discuss the nature of the cities of the future (full transcript). I extracted some facts that found very interesting.
Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas.
160,000 people are moving from rural areas to urban areas every single day.
The Tyndall Center (London) says we have 4 to 10 years to avoid the tipping point to reversible climate change.
300 million people in India are going to move to cities in the next 15 years.
If urbanization of China continues at its present pace will mean they lose 25% of their farmland by 2020.
China expects to build housing for 400 million people in the next 12 years. This would be like rehousing the entire United States in 7 years.
An apartment in Mumbai costs more than an apartment in New York. Land is very precious and a source of income for all kins of people in developing countries.
London charges $8 dollars a day to drive a car in the city, creating an incentive for people to use alternate transportation. The charge was introduced in parallel with massive expansion of the bus fleet.
In the West no [...]
Update: after reading the transcript of the session, I thought it was important to reflect the words of Bishop Tutu as accurately as possible.
Dave Johnson has been blogging at Live From The Clinton Global Initiative. This one quote from Desmond Tutu at the Managing Diversity plenary caught my attention when, Bishop Tutu, asked about the Pope’s speech said:
There is no faith that I know that propagates death, murder, as a principle of that particular religion. There is no faith that I know which does not, in fact, seek to propagate compassion, justice, love, caring. And we need to hold on to that and underscore the fact that religion, in and of itself, is actually morally neutral. It is neither good nor bad. As I‚Äôve sometimes tried to say, it is like a knife. When you use a knife for cutting bread, it‚Äôs good. If you use that knife to stick into somebody‚Äôs guts, it‚Äôs bad.
And I am deeply concerned that even here, you know, we are sliding in the thing of saying Muslim terrorism. Muslim – I haven‚Äôt heard people describe the guy who bombed Oklahoma. Those, that‚Äôs an example of Christian terrorism. I haven‚Äôt heard them speak [...]
Update:Transcripts for the session are available now in two parts. Read part 1 & part 2.
The Clinton Global Initiative is running its annual meeting this week, and while I’m not quite familiar with their work so far, one of their focus areas is Mitigating Religious and Ethnic Conflict, which got my attention as it seems to be related to some of the general topics I discuss here. In particular a session entitled “Bridging the Transnational Cultural Divide”:
This session will move to the broader level of intercultural communication, misunderstanding and conflict [...] and of growing cultural stereotypes, with westerners seen by Muslims as patronizing and domineering, and Muslims seen by westerners as fanatical and intolerant
While transcripts are not available yet, there is at least one person blogging live from the event. My favourite news program “The Daily Show” had Bill Clinton as a guest to promote the event:
I was particularly impressed with the pragmatism of the organization and its 52 ways to make a difference, among which the following seemed bang on for those who follow this space:
Attend a religious service other than your own.
Organize screenings of films dealing with issues of cross-cultural conflict and tolerance.
Organize inter-ethnic or [...]
In the chicano network I provided a quick snapshot of the deep roots that the Mexican community has in the U.S. and some of the historic reasons for this. More recently, an exodus of Mexicans have reached farther regions as a result of the climate of social instability and the idea of recruiting bridge bloggers to capture the essence of their voluntary exile came back from an early post entitled global voices.
While the term Bridge Blogs was possibly created by Global Voices, their definition can group a very large number of blogs:
Hossein Derakhshan (aka. Hoder) proposed three models for ways people can use weblogs to communicate between cultures: windows, bridges and caf√©s. Windows allow us to look into another culture, but not interact – an example might be a weblog of someone in another country, talking about her daily life to her friends and family. We’ve got a chance to look in, but we’re not invited to interact. Caf√©s are complex spaces where groups of people can meet to discuss in ways that they can’t meet in the real world, due to geography, politics or language. [...] Bridges are more interactive than windows, but less complex than [...]
The Daily Telegraph published an open letter signed by more than 100 leading doctors, academics and other intellectuals blaming junk food, marketing, over-competitive schooling and electronic entertainment for seriously affecting the development of young children.
In my opinion, the abundance of opportunities for parents in privileged countries is seriously affecting the dynamic of the relationship with their children, often times exposing them to untested methods. The paradox of abundance is well illustrated by the common metaphor of the “rich spoiled kid”, but we seem to have grown apathetic to such wisdom. We are all richer and we are spoiling our kids, but fail to see anything wrong with it. In a culture of consumism, the only winners are the corporations profiting from the growing obsession to “care” for our children through products and services that have little to do with their most basic needs to be nurtured and allowed to discover the world at their own pace.
Sadly, some of the more traditional societies, which place family values above all, are also some of the most challenged in our globalized world, forcing concerned parents to migrate to cities that will offer better opportunities for the new generations, not realizing [...]