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Development Economy Environment Technology

Perspectives on Environment and Development (Various)

Categories
Development

Sustainable Systems (Donella Meadows)

Lecture from Donella Meadows on sustainable systems, which integrates ecological and equity concerns. In this talk, she refers to the Daly Laws (see also Sustainability and the scale of the economy (Herman Daly). Here is another one of her lectures: Down to Earth (Donella Meadows). Meadows draws on systems thinking; an approach with historical roots explained in Cybernetics, self-organisation and power (Adam Curtis).

Categories
Own production

Summary of ‘Development in Bad Waters’

For those who haven’t had a chance to see the full documentary ‘Development in Bad Waters’, we summarised the main points in this 8-minutes short version.

Categories
Economy

Diagrams and dollars (Devin Smith)

A helpful visual representation of money flows between government and private sector. The actual explanation of the thought process can be found here: part 1 and part 2. It is obviously a conceptualisation that simplifies much of what is going on. I therefore recommend also having a look at Money is created out of nowhere (Dominic Frisby)Money as debt (Paul Grignon) and Money as Debt II – Promises Unleashed (Paul Grignon).

Categories
Development

Global Wealth Inequality (Grain Media)

An animated infographic on wealth distribution and wealth transfer in the world (here are others: Record inequality between rich and poor (OECD)What is happening to inequity? (Me)The 99.99% versus the 0.01% (The Guardian)).

Categories
Development Economy

Unreliable GDP stats lead to misguided ‘evidence-based’ policies (Morten Jerven)

There has been a lot of discussion about the viability of GDP as a measure of development (see The Genuine Progress Indicator, an alternative to GDP (Ron Colman)). Here, Morten Jerven discusses another issue with GDP, namely its unreliability (with a focus on Africa). Estimates of economic growth rates and per-capita income are basic to the operation of governments in developing countries and to nongovernmental organizations and other entities that provide financial aid. As Jerven notes, the current catchphrase in the development community is “evidence-based policy,” and scholars are applying increasingly sophisticated econometric methods—but no statistical techniques can substitute for partial and unreliable data. Similar arguments have been put forward  regarding extreme poverty calculations (see What is happening to poverty? (Rammelt and Surace)).

Categories
Development

Seeds of Freedom (The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network)

A short history of agriculture with a focus on seeds.

Categories
Development Economy Environment

Conversation with Economist David Korten on When Corporations Rule the World

David Korten is an economist, author, and former Professor of the Harvard Business School. His political activism has made him a prominent critic of corporate globalization.

Categories
Development Economy

Welfare for Walmart

US Senator attacks the system that sets minimum wage below a living wage, in effect welfare subsidising a corporation’s wage bill. It features Robert Reich, also seen in Income mobility or stickiness? (Horwitz, Reich and Pew).

Categories
Economy Technology

Will Work For Free (Maveric Media)

The documentary is lengthy and repetitive, but it presents interesting recent examples of technologically-driven unemployment. These could be used as updates to New Technology: Whose Progress? (Frank Morrow), an older (but in my view clearer) documentary on the effects of automation and new technology on workers and the workplace. An even older documentary, Valley Town (Educational Film Institute of New York University), shows us that this process has been going on for a very long time.