Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Back to the Future

Written on December 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

[Note: I was asked by the creative folks behind in Australia to draft a guest post that would reflect some on changes that I have seen in the international arena over the past few decades.  This is that post which can also be found on The title came from our brainstorming about how the past intersects with the future...]

I initially started working internationally in the early 1980’s (yes, I know that seems a long time ago!). I have worked for numerous big and small organizations involved in various aspects of ‘engaging internationally’ to try and make …


We are 7 Billion – what’s next?

Written on October 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Earlier this year I wrote about ‘awareness raising campaigns‘. Although the 7 Billionth Person mark is not an awareness raising campaign per se, it has many of the same characteristics.  It has been interesting to watch the progression of public attention.  It started a few weeks back when the United Nation Population Fund (UNFP) released its 2011 State of the World’s Population report predicting 7 billion people by 31 October.  Next came a run of ‘fun’ stories such as National Geographic’s “World’s Most Typical person” and online  interactive activities including the BBC’s “What’s your Number?”  Then on “the day” itself …


Impact without Boundaries

Written on June 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm

As we’ve been working to bring about significant social change, alleviate poverty, and face other challenges over the past few decades, we’ve separated ourselves into silos.  We refer to:

  1. Non-governmental organizations or NGOs (also called by a whole host of other names),
  2. International development  practitioners (aid providers, not beneficiaries who have only recently been ‘asked to the [decision-making] table’);
  3. Social entrepreneurs, a term with many different definitions (See Alison Rapping’s blog for some of these)
  4. Corporate representatives (focusing on another broad concept, that of ‘corporate social responsibility’ or CSR)
  5. Academics who also play roles as international development consultants, and so


Written on April 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I often have this gut instinct not to like ‘contests’ or lists of “Best or Top (fill in the number)”.  I know this is not a popular view.  I also know that yes, we all like accolades, it makes us feel good about ourselves and our work, and a little competition can be a good thing.  But is the time and effort put into these contests the best use of our limited time and resources as we work to make a better world?  A major focus of my work is about sharing information that can help practitioners develop and implement …


Global Health: What We're Learning

Written on April 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm

This past weekend I participated in the Global Health & Innovation conference sponsored by Unite for Site and hosted by Yale University.  The conference discussions were for me a ‘check’ on what I’d a written a few months back on Global Health trends.  Here are a few of my observations from the conference:

  • Issues have indeed become more integrated – under the umbrella of ‘global health’ conference presentations included discussions of agriculture, climate change, education, and mobile technology among other topics.
  • Cross-sector discussions and partnerships
  1. We often talk about cross-sector partnerships as including NGOs (very broadly defined), private sector and