Human beings have been campaigning against inequality and poverty for 3,000 years. But this journey is accelerating. Bono "embraces his inner nerd" and shares inspiring data that shows the end of poverty is in sight … if we can harness the momentum.
Bono, the lead singer of U2, uses his celebrity to fight for social justice worldwide: to end hunger, poverty and disease, especially in Africa. His nonprofit ONE raises awareness via media, policy and calls to action.
In this TED talk, Bono outlines the substantial progress that has been made toward reducing poverty and how trends point toward eradicate poverty in our lifetime, if we remain committed to that goal.
The Greater Good Science Center reports on psychology studies concluding that those who exercise abstinence are happier than those who binge, backing up the wisdom of Lenten practices and Sabbath limits.
"All of this research points to a paradox of happiness: It’s not tied to abundance but to recognizing and appreciating what we do have. Once we meet our basic needs, our lives become more satisfying if we can savor and be grateful for the good that’s already around us, before we strive for more."
Relentless consumption and desire for more makes for unhappy people, while moderation and occasional limits have the opposite effect.
Indeed, so much of our everyday behavior is driven by the misconception that more is better. We celebrate our most important holidays by cooking twice as much food as we need, then scarfing it down. We work hard to get a promotion—then after getting it, start thinking about how to get the next one. We stay up all night tearing through “House of Cards” or the latest season of “Mad Men.”
VentureBeat writes about the choice for software developers between lucrative companies that are just out to make a buck and new trendsetters "characterized by morality, creativity, craftsmanship, and purposed problem solving." Other employees, investors, reporters, educators, and consumers can also influence these choices.
Oftquoted founder Jeff Hammerbacher put it this way: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.”
But there are a growing number joining a "maker" culture that is focused on making a difference:
We face, as a society, incredible challenges in the coming decades: balancing social justices like healthcare with a disappearing middle class to pay for it; competing in a global market; generating better energy solutions; ensuring clean water access for large populations; solving health issues that shorten life; moving our planet towards a more sustainable environment; creating organizations and systems of management more in harmony with the human spirit; and many more.
BoingBoing.net offers an excerpt from Bob Harris's new book about microloans and his adventures around the world tracking down many of the people he loaned money to.
"Bob Harris had an epiphany: He would turn his own good fortune into an effort to make lives like theirs better. Bob found his way to Kiva.org, the leading portal through which individuals make microloans all over the world: for as little as $25-50, businesses are financed and people are uplifted. Astonishingly, the repayment rate was nearly 99%, so he re-loaned the money to others over and over again. After making hundreds of microloans online, Bob wanted to see the results first-hand, and in The International Bank of Bob he travels from Peru and Bosnia to Rwanda and Cambodia, introducing us to some of the most inspiring and enterprising people we've ever met, while illuminating day-to-day life-political and emotional-in much of the world that Americans never see. Told with humor and compassion, The International Bank of Bob brings the world to our doorstep, and makes clear that each of us can, actually, make it better."
TED2013 offers an interesting presentation by musician Amanda Palmer on the importance and art of asking and receiving.
Amanda Palmer commands attention. The singer-songwriter-blogger-provocateur, known for pushing boundaries in both her art and her lifestyle, made international headlines this year when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter (she’d asked for $100k) from nearly 25,000 fans who pre-ordered her new album, Theatre Is Evil.
Today culminates another National Day of Unplugging, sponsored by the Sabbath Manifesto. It encourages people to take a 24 hour break (sunset to sunset) from technology. They also are posting photos of people holding up signs reading their completion of "I unplug to..."
The San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate challenges folks to go a step father, however, and make a more long-term change.
From the National Day of Unplugging site:
Do you have multiple cell phones? Take your ipad to the beach on vacation? Ever find it hard to get through a conversation without posting an update to Facebook? Is your computer always on?