First Impressions: Press Review March 2013

Welcome to our monthly internal press review, featuring the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance: from working papers to policy reports to entire books.

Our March output includes 10 working papers, four journal articles, two PhD theses, and two research reports for the European Commission and United Nations Development Programme. For innovation, topics range from the aerospace industry, to nanotechnology, to R&D patents and productivity. For governance, we look into urban sustainability, economic vulnerability, and communities of learning. Geographically, the focus spreads from Latin America, through Europe and the Arab world, via Singapore to China, drawing on real-world data from more than 160 countries.

Students from the Khan Younis Training Centre in Gaza, run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), test drive a Formula 1-style car they have built, mostly out of recycled parts. Continue reading

Putting BOP on the Map

Despite all the global technological advances in the last decades, a large share of the world population at the Base of the Pyramid (BOP), still struggles with addressing its basic needs. In the developing world, 4000 children a day die from lack of access to clean drinking water, 80 per cent of the developing world does not have access to electricity, and Kerosene use leads to 1.6 million deaths a year due to smoke inhalation or fire.
– Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Shuan Sadreghazi
: I was in Tokyo in early March 2013 for a series of meetings and workshops linked to a joint project of Sasakawa Peace Foundation and UNDP on ‘Technology Incubation for the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP)’.

CIMIC Tabarre Issa IDP Camp Continue reading

We Are What We Eat: How To Break Our Bovine Habits?

When travelling it’s good to pay attention to local lifestyles, because what people eat and buy reflect a very intimate aspect of our societies. More and more, however, I’ve seen the same chicken soup, the same toothpaste, and the same soda in (more or less) the same plastic packaging in supermarkets wherever I go, be it Albania, Dubai or Ethiopia. Meanwhile I’ve seen kids scoffing the same Big Macs as far afield as Russia and Turkey.

What's Russian for Big Mac?

It’s no secret that a dozen corporations have managed to become worldwide consumer ‘standards’, so that millions of people now eat pretty much the same ‘thing’ in any big city. On the one hand we’re locked into synthetic seeds from Monsanto, and on the other the ‘always low prices’ from Wal-Mart.

Continue reading