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Governance

Six trends shaping city life

70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, what the former premier of British Columbia, Mike Harcourt, refers to as the urban tsunami. Clearly, the design and re-design of our cities for greater sustainability is critically important. Key questions like what is the optimal density, can we re-introduce biodiversity and food hubs integrally into our daily lives, and many others will determine our collective liveability?

Nature Needs Half

I try to blog most of the time on the amazing innovations and ideas that are happening on the ground in Canada and internationally. This movement, led by Harvey Locke, is a simple and yet very elegant idea, namely that Nature Needs Half.

The Next Big Imperative

On our front page this week, we feature our video on spatial justice, justice that takes into account place integrated into social justice, that we can’t have spaces of inequality alongside gated communities. The rising income inequality revealed by the recent Oxfam study that the top 1% now possess 48% of the world’s wealth is further exacerbating a world of haves and have nots.

Why the SDGs alone aren’t enough

There is a new metric when it comes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: the ‘spillover effects’ of each country on the world at large. These spillover effects include pollution, financial secrecy, and contribution to peace abroad. Since these effects are accounted for outside of a country’s borders, they are not represented by national statistics. A country might rank very highly when judged only by its own statistics (such as the US and Switzerland), but this is a lopsided view when looked at in a global context.

The Time is Now

Right now is the perfect time to share feedback with our federal government, especially when it comes to basic income. To identify poverty reduction strategies in Canada, they are calling on the public to submit ideas on how our various levels of government can address this issue. They are also encouraging Canadians to join the conversation by sharing personal experiences with social support programs.

A very thoughtful commentary

In this very far ranging commentary, Noam Chomsky talks about some critical questions: Is Russian hacking really more significant than what we have discussed — for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world? Or to enhance the already dire threat of terminal nuclear war? 

U.S. Will Be Left in the Dust

As the Trump Administration announces their plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, other countries are set to take the lead in reducing global carbon emissions.

The Meaning of Civility

Bill Clinton’s speech at Martin McGunness’ funeral

Governing with Collective Intelligence

Collective intelligence refers to the ability of large groups—a community, region, city or nation—to think and act intelligently in a way that amounts to more than the sum of their parts. In a post-truth world and the aftermath of Brexit, an informed and engaged citizenry is even more critical to democracy and governing. Nesta has just released a new report, Governing with Collective Intelligence, which brings together dozens of examples from around the world.

A Progressive Tax

The Swedish government is introducing tax breaks on repairs to everything from bicycles to washing machines so it will no longer make sense to throw out old or broken items and buy new ones. This is consistent with Paul Hawkin's article, 12 steps Society can take to save the whole enchilada.

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