Month: October 2017

Open for Innovation: The Growth of Social Entrepreneurialism in Uganda

Photo: Rachel Strohm (CC) This past summer, I had the good fortune to attend the LeoAfrica Economic Forum, a one-day conference dedicated to chronicling disruptive growth and development innovations in Africa. The event featured panelists and organizations from all segments of the innovation space in Africa and played host to a series of talks about unlocking the true potential of disruptive technologies. In the morning, the opening plenary kicked off the day with a bold vision of harnessing entrepreneurial spirit in the country, creating innovation hubs around across Uganda, and scaling locally produced apps. The energy was contagious and...

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Of, By and For the People: Getting Involved in Local Government

Photo: Sarah Pollock For a state that prides itself on having a culture of go-getters, Texas has a population of citizens who are remarkably disengaged from the political process. According to the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, voter turnout in Texas has been one of the lowest in the country for presidential and midterm elections alike, dating back to 1972. Turnout only gets lower for more local elections—here in Austin, only 13.3% of eligible voters participated in final round of the most recent mayoral election. In recent months, however, prominent voices on the national and local stage have...

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Japan’s Snap Election: Pacifism and the North Korean Threat

Photo: Pexels (CC) On October 22 Japan will hold a snap election, over a year in advance of the regularly scheduled date, December 2018. This decision, made by current Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, has been met with mixed reactions at home and abroad. Abe’s potential motives are being debated, but several factors may play a role in his hasty decision: the increasing threat of a North Korean missile strike, a long-running goal to strengthen the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and the rise of a potential political adversary, Koike Yuriko. Here Comes Koike To casual observers, current PM Abe Shinzo...

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TribFest: U.S. – Mexico NAFTA Renegotiations Cause Worry Along the Border

Photo: Jonathan McIntosh (CC) At a Texas Tribune Festival panel on “Trump and Mexico”, fear and uncertainty underlined conversations for future policy agendas and proposals for U.S.-Mexico relations. Panelist and U.S. Representative, Henry Cuellar, said border communities receive about $1.3 million in revenue resulting from the constant influx of visitors and partnerships from Mexico. However, communities are seeing less revenue and visitors from the U.S. due to aggressive rhetoric via the Trump Administration. Indeed, NAFTA has brought $1.15 trillion in trade revenue and 5 million new jobs to the U.S. since the agreement was enacted over twenty years ago....

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While Relief Stalls, Puerto Ricans Suffer

Photo: Matt (CC) Your entire state loses power, and three weeks later you and 86.3% of your neighbors still can’t turn on their lights. Imagine spending day after day in a gas line, only to return with enough gas to make it home. Maybe tomorrow you’ll be able to buy enough to start your generator-it’s supposed to be very hot this week, and you’ve run out of ice to refrigerate your husband’s insulin. Your grocery store may have finally opened after a week, but all they’ve got are military-grade MREs. Your sister walks to your house from her place...

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